The Anniversary of The Channel Dash - 1942 - and the wider RN Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
""The overall commander of the fleet in Asia was Admiral Sir Tom Phillips. On December 8th, Phillips met with officers on board ‘Prince of Wales’. Reports indicated that Japanese forces had landed at Kota Bharu in the very northeast of Malaya and at Singora in southern Thailand. Phillips decided that the best use of Force Z was to sail north from Singapore and attack the Japanese along Malaya’s eastern coastline before their navy arrived to support the landings. However, Phillips realised the importance of aerial support and requested such from what the RAF could offer. On the afternoon of December 8th, as Force Z steamed north, Phillips received a message that he could expect no air cover. Therefore, a vital requirement as laid down by Phillips went unanswered.""





""Regardless, Phillips elected to proceed. It is believed that four factors entered into his decision: He thought that Japanese planes could not operate so far from land, he believed that his ships were relatively immune from fatal damage via air attack, he was unaware of the quality of Japanese aircraft and torpedoes,""



It doesnt mention anything that would support or refute the rest of your post - but as you are completely wrong about his rejection of air support and Torpedo bombers I think its safe to file it under more made up bollox to suit Photex perception

You seem very angry again, so angry you can’t even do the most basic research....

allow me to assist you.

”No. 453 Squadron RAAF, which was to provide air cover for Force Z, was not kept informed of the ships' position. No radio request for air cover was sent until one was sent by the commander of Repulse an hour after the Japanese attack began. Flight Lieutenant Vigors proposed a plan to keep six aircraft over Force Z during daylight, but this was declined by Phillips. After the war, Vigors remained bitter towards him for his failure to call for air support on time.[23] He later commented, "I reckon this must have been the last battle in which the Navy reckoned they could get along without the RAF. A pretty damned costly way of learning. Phillips had known that he was being shadowed the night before, and also at dawn that day. He did not call for air support. He was attacked and still did not call for help."[28] Daytime air cover off the coast was also offered by Wing Commander Wilfred Clouston of No. 488 Squadron RNZAF, but his plan, "Operation Mobile", was also rejected.[29]

There ya go, even the names so you can verify.
Now, be polite or I’ll put you back on the naughty step.
 
You seem very angry again, so angry you can’t even do the most basic research....

allow me to assist you.

”No. 453 Squadron RAAF, which was to provide air cover for Force Z, was not kept informed of the ships' position. No radio request for air cover was sent until one was sent by the commander of Repulse an hour after the Japanese attack began. Flight Lieutenant Vigors proposed a plan to keep six aircraft over Force Z during daylight, but this was declined by Phillips. After the war, Vigors remained bitter towards him for his failure to call for air support on time.[23] He later commented, "I reckon this must have been the last battle in which the Navy reckoned they could get along without the RAF. A pretty damned costly way of learning. Phillips had known that he was being shadowed the night before, and also at dawn that day. He did not call for air support. He was attacked and still did not call for help."[28] Daytime air cover off the coast was also offered by Wing Commander Wilfred Clouston of No. 488 Squadron RNZAF, but his plan, "Operation Mobile", was also rejected.[29]

There ya go, even the names so you can verify.
Now, be polite or I’ll put you back on the naughty step.


No the trouble is as ever you lack the ability to apply context and so take a single fact and spin it into your usual duh brit offishur duh dem yello folk dumb durr narrative

Having been told there wont be guarrenteed air support - there will be no air superiority (because a cap provided by a squadron of 10 Buffaloes*** isnt going to provide that for a few hours never mind a day) It becomes obvious that Phillips elects to go radio silent and not broad cast to the world where he is.

Villars disagreed with this - he may even have gone a bit Sharky ward in his beliefs - But lets be clear you are asserting Phillips Durr Airpower wots dat durr - when the evidence suggests he made a decision based on the evidence and situation on the time

Probably the right one as well since all radioing his position would have achieved is Japs finding him sooner and several dead Brewster Pilots - because the availible support would have achieved nothing



Of course your point about Villars comments doesnt refute the bollox about his belief in not wanting air power or that japs crap durr - but that will be lost on you as lost i suspect as all those cheap Blackhawks? Ospreys and M1A3s with Diesel engines.

It would probably be innaprpriate to point out that your assertion the new turrets a warmed over Leo - has come as a suprise to a person whos worked on it


Incidently you need to learn the differrence between highlighting for emphasis and shouting


Edit ***Theres some potential confusion here
1 report says 453 maintain 6 aircraft over the fleet, another sayscould provide 10 aircraft a 3rd speaking of 453s operations shortly after states squadron strength as 16 aircraft.

Im going to run with the idea that 10 aircraft was the amount it could get airborne if called allowing for returning aircraft and maintenance. But im 1st to admit it seems a tad conflicting but thats the problem with not knowing how to do basic research accross multiple sources rather than being an expert at using only the one you like
 
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Daz

LE
the addition of Radar merely gave the Mk37 a blindfire capability on top of its already superlative fire control capabilities.
The Mk37 entered service on the Destroyer USS Sims in August 1939. It was so far in advance of anything else, the RN was still fitting it after WWII.

The standard US director being fitted up to 1939 was the Mk33, fitted since 1934, it too was a tachymetic director - able to hit dive bombers at speeds up up to 400mph - a capability the RNs HACS totally lacked as it was only a two axis director.

in fact, the HACS was already obsolete before it was installed in the mid 30’s, it had been designed to tackle aircraft sportingly flying straight and level at up to 200mph, which was a bit of bugger as planes were doing a lot better than that. It was eventually modified in 1940 to be able to tackle planes doing the unheard of speed of 250mph! - a performance rather shy of the Mk37 that maxed out over 1000mph.
Not quite true, HACS was upgraded with GRU/GRUB which could calculate target speed and direction for targets with a maximum speed of 360 knots, or 6 degrees of target motion per second -360 knots is about 414 mph, in 1940, also in 1940, radar ranging was added to the HACS - HACS went through several upgrades during its lifecycle

Just as an aside, "By May 1941, RN cruisers, such as HMS Fiji, were engaging the Luftwaffe with stabilized HACS IV systems with GRU/GRUB and Type 279 radar with the Precision Ranging Panel, which gave +/- 25 yd accuracy out to 14,000 yds. HMS Fiji was sunk in the Battle of Crete after running out of AA ammunition but her HACS IV directed 4-inch AA gun battery fended off Luftwaffe attacks for many hours"

Note the cause of loss, running out of ammo, not a crap AA system

Yes, the RN had issues with its AA policy, but it was one of the leaders in the field at the start of the war, and it did recognize its shortcomings and did try to address the issues, such as investing in the PomPom followed by the 20mm & 40mm upgrades, altering mounts where possible to increase the HA degree etc etc

For some odd reason, once again you're pointing to a single item and neglecting the small fact that the issue is multi-faceted, after all, you can have the best fire control system in the world, but if your AA is limited to .5's & Chicago piano's its a bit pointless
 

Yokel

LE
I think we talked about this on another thread, but the seaplane carrier ConOps was really quite twisted. Her aircraft were reconnaissance assets, so they were tasked to support the light cruiser/destroyer screen scouting ahead of the fleet. So that the cruiser squadron commander could command effectively, and the whole operating radius of the seaplanes could be used, this meant the seaplane carrier deployed in the screen...

...or in other words, an unarmed converted liner would be on point, steaming towards the enemy at full speed as they steamed towards us, and as soon as the seaplanes were wanted, she would be expected to stop, heave to, and hoist them overboard. Did I mention that the battlecruiser group will be coming up behind at 27 knots while this is happening?

At Jutland, IIRC, the seaplane carrier was the first ship to sight the enemy - not because the seaplane found them, but because the ship sailed through a patch of fog at full speed keeping up with Goodenough's cruisers and...whoops!

you can see why they invented the aircraft carrier.

I thought it was because three seaplane carriers were meant to join the fleet at Jutland, but only one managed it. The day after the the battle a Zeppelin overflew the fleet but they were unable to launch a seaplane quickly enough to do an intercept.

Later that year a fighter launched from the cruiser HMS Yarmouth and splashed a Zeppelin.
 
Edit ***Theres some potential confusion here
1 report says 453 maintain 6 aircraft over the fleet, another sayscould provide 10 aircraft a 3rd speaking of 453s operations shortly after states squadron strength as 16 aircraft.
Squadron strength is only a little more accurate than 'squadron establishment' when you're trying to determine how many airframes were actually serviceable.
 
I thought it was because three seaplane carriers were meant to join the fleet at Jutland, but only one managed it. The day after the the battle a Zeppelin overflew the fleet but they were unable to launch a seaplane quickly enough to do an intercept.

Later that year a fighter launched from the cruiser HMS Yarmouth and splashed a Zeppelin.

Actually just over a year later, in Aug 17, but it was launched from HMS Yarmouth, rather than a lighter towed behind the ship. HMS Yarmouth had earlier had the 1st ever successful launch from a flying-off platform (mouthed on one of the 6" gun turrets) a few weeks earlier.


E2A: a sad end to the record-breaking WAFU.

'On 28 June 1917, Flight Commander Rutland took off in a Sopwith Pup from a flying-off platform mounted on the roof of one of the gun turrets of the light cruiser HMS Yarmouth, the first such successful launch of an aircraft in history. He received a second award of the DSC in 1917 for “services on patrol duties and submarine searching in home waters”.

'However the story does not have a happy ending – Rutland resigned his commission in 1923. He had come to the notice of MI5 in 1922 when the agency had received what it called “reliable information” from a “very delicate source” that the Japanese had had secret talks with Rutland. MI5 noted that Rutland possessed “unique knowledge of aircraft carriers and deck landings”. He had subsequently been providing technical details which helped the Japanese design aircraft carriers, in the years before the attack on Pearl Harbour. This was discovered when Japan’s cyphers were broken. MI6 discovered that Rutland had come to the attention of the US authorities. He returned to Britain on 5 October 1941 and on 16 December 1941 he was interned under Defence Regulation 18B “by reason of alleged hostile associations”. Rutland committed suicide in 1949.'
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Not quite true, HACS was upgraded with GRU/GRUB which could calculate target speed and direction for targets with a maximum speed of 360 knots, or 6 degrees of target motion per second -360 knots is about 414 mph, in 1940, also in 1940, radar ranging was added to the HACS - HACS went through several upgrades during its lifecycle

Just as an aside, "By May 1941, RN cruisers, such as HMS Fiji, were engaging the Luftwaffe with stabilized HACS IV systems with GRU/GRUB and Type 279 radar with the Precision Ranging Panel, which gave +/- 25 yd accuracy out to 14,000 yds. HMS Fiji was sunk in the Battle of Crete after running out of AA ammunition but her HACS IV directed 4-inch AA gun battery fended off Luftwaffe attacks for many hours"

Note the cause of loss, running out of ammo, not a crap AA system

Yes, the RN had issues with its AA policy, but it was one of the leaders in the field at the start of the war, and it did recognize its shortcomings and did try to address the issues, such as investing in the PomPom followed by the 20mm & 40mm upgrades, altering mounts where possible to increase the HA degree etc etc

For some odd reason, once again you're pointing to a single item and neglecting the small fact that the issue is multi-faceted, after all, you can have the best fire control system in the world, but if your AA is limited to .5's & Chicago piano's its a bit pointless

Moving the goalposts there old chap, shall we stick to the original Sep 1939 date and the armament of destroyers we were discussing?
By 1942, the Mk37 on Destroyers was now blindfire enabled and until the end of the war, was vastly better than the director on any U.K. Destroyer, both day, and now by night.

HACS got better on big ships as the war wore upon, but all U.K. destroyers suffered from the same critical failings.

compare the ‘new’ 4.7” vs the 5”/38

their main guns couldn’t elevate high enough - 40 degrees vs the 85 degrees of the 5”/38, so no threat to high flying aircraft.

their guns were hand serviced, rather than the power serviced 5”/38 making high elevation shooting painful and slow

their rate of fire was too slow, 12 rpm vs 22 rpm

but the critical failing was the fuze setting. Automatic and constantly updated by the director on the US 5”/38, reliant on a chap manually inputting the last guesstimate on the 4.7”, so always at best last best guess, and usually wildly inaccurate.

it wouldn’t be until the introduction of the 4.5” Mk6 in the 50’s, RN destroyers would finally had a main armament comparable to the 1934 5”/38.
 

Daz

LE
Moving the goalposts there old chap, shall we stick to the original Sep 1939 date and the armament of destroyers we were discussing?
By 1942, the Mk37 on Destroyers was now blindfire enabled and until the end of the war, was vastly better than the director on any U.K. Destroyer, both day, and now by night.

HACS got better on big ships as the war wore upon, but all U.K. destroyers suffered from the same critical failings.

compare the ‘new’ 4.7” vs the 5”/38

their main guns couldn’t elevate high enough - 40 degrees vs the 85 degrees of the 5”/38, so no threat to high flying aircraft.

their guns were hand serviced, rather than the power serviced 5”/38 making high elevation shooting painful and slow

their rate of fire was too slow, 12 rpm vs 22 rpm

but the critical failing was the fuze setting. Automatic and constantly updated by the director on the US 5”/38, reliant on a chap manually inputting the last guesstimate on the 4.7”, so always at best last best guess, and usually wildly inaccurate.

it wouldn’t be until the introduction of the 4.5” Mk6 in the 50’s, RN destroyers would finally had a main armament comparable to the 1934 5”/38.
No, you moved the goalpost because you were unable to get away with a single issue point which is USA, USA, USA

You're also incorrect about the 4.7 as later version could angle to 55-degree elevation such as on the S Class Destroyers

Oh, and once again

"The Tizard Mission to the United States provided the USN with crucial data on UK and Royal Navy radar technology and fire-control radar systems. In September 1941, the first rectangular Mark 4 Fire-control radar antenna was mounted on a Mark 37 Director, and became a common feature on USN Directors by mid 1942"

Thanks to the UK & RN for supplying the data and tech needed
 
Actually just over a year later, in Aug 17, but it was launched from HMS Yarmouth, rather than a lighter towed behind the ship. HMS Yarmouth had earlier had the 1st ever successful launch from a flying-off platform (mouthed on one of the 6" gun turrets) a few weeks earlier.


E2A: a sad end to the record-breaking WAFU.

'On 28 June 1917, Flight Commander Rutland took off in a Sopwith Pup from a flying-off platform mounted on the roof of one of the gun turrets of the light cruiser HMS Yarmouth, the first such successful launch of an aircraft in history. He received a second award of the DSC in 1917 for “services on patrol duties and submarine searching in home waters”.

'However the story does not have a happy ending – Rutland resigned his commission in 1923. He had come to the notice of MI5 in 1922 when the agency had received what it called “reliable information” from a “very delicate source” that the Japanese had had secret talks with Rutland. MI5 noted that Rutland possessed “unique knowledge of aircraft carriers and deck landings”. He had subsequently been providing technical details which helped the Japanese design aircraft carriers, in the years before the attack on Pearl Harbour. This was discovered when Japan’s cyphers were broken. MI6 discovered that Rutland had come to the attention of the US authorities. He returned to Britain on 5 October 1941 and on 16 December 1941 he was interned under Defence Regulation 18B “by reason of alleged hostile associations”. Rutland committed suicide in 1949.'

There’s a book called Rutland of Jutland which covers him in a lot more detail
 

Yokel

LE
There’s a book called Rutland of Jutland which covers him in a lot more detail

Is this worthy of a thread dedicated to the First World War development of naval aviation and the progressive steps which led to the flush deck carrier? Alternatively I am happy to quote.

It is also covered in depth in the book by Guy Robbins, and other texts including a recent PhD paper on carrier airwakes.
 
@Yokel to be honest it’s a niche phase of Navy development, if someone has access to the official archives, then a stand alone thread would be okay. Some threads run others fade into the background
 
when people talk on here about anti aircraft gun directors, are they similar to the "fruit machine" used for gunlaying the big turret main guns?
 
when people talk on here about anti aircraft gun directors, are they similar to the "fruit machine" used for gunlaying the big turret main guns?

I think so. One solves a two-dimensional problem and the other a three-dimensional problem.
Have you a dit to share?
 
No but I recall seeing what was called the fruit machine on HMS Belfast and the tour guide explained that it was entirely clockwork/mechanical and that it was fed information both manually and electrically for gunlaying. If the director operator knew the speed and course of the enemy ship, for example,as well as his own, he could calculate the expected future location of the target and adjust the guns accordingly. He could even shell land targets with a great deal of accuracy. I thought it was an incredible piece of kit.
 
No but I recall seeing what was called the fruit machine on HMS Belfast and the tour guide explained that it was entirely clockwork/mechanical and that it was fed information both manually and electrically for gunlaying. If the director operator knew the speed and course of the enemy ship, for example,as well as his own, he could calculate the expected future location of the target and adjust the guns accordingly. He could even shell land targets with a great deal of accuracy. I thought it was an incredible piece of kit.

You might like this then.


ETA and this....

 

Yokel

LE
I have never quite been able to get my head around the way that in the early 1930s (and even into the run up to war) it was assumed that the fleet's main defence against enemy aircraft would be ships' guns, when it had been necessary to use fighters to deal with Zeppelins in 1916 onwards.

I do wonder if a lack of realistic air defence exercises was part of the problem.
 
I have never quite been able to get my head around the way that in the early 1930s (and even into the run up to war) it was assumed that the fleet's main defence against enemy aircraft would be ships' guns, when it had been necessary to use fighters to deal with Zeppelins in 1916 onwards.
Despite the IJN's prowess with carrier aviation, they still built the Yamato-class BBs (ordered in 1937), with the greatest broadside throw-weight of any naval vessel constructed. However, the third of the class, Shinano, ended up built as a CV rather than a BB, and even the 18" guns on the other two could fire an enormous anti-aircraft round (AA Type 3: 1,360 kg (2,998.3 lb)). - San Shiki (anti-aircraft shell)

BB Yamato - sunk by torpedoes and bombs from USN carrier-based aircraft
BB Musashi - sunk by torpedoes and bombs from USN carrier-based aircraft
CV Shinano - sunk by torpedoes from a USN submarine

E2A: The Japanese film, 'The Great War of Archimedes' is worth a look if you want to explore the tensions between the 'big gun' admirals and the carrier advocates in the IJN. To spoil the ending, the 'big guns' won, resulting in the losses listed above.

 
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Mölders 1

Old-Salt
Despite the IJN's prowess with carrier aviation, they still built the Yamato-class BBs (ordered in 1937), with the greatest broadside throw-weight of any naval vessel constructed. However, the third of the class, Shinano, ended up built as a CV rather than a BB, and even the 18" guns on the other two could fire an enormous anti-aircraft round (AA Type 3: 1,360 kg (2,998.3 lb)).

Very true/correct.

Ironically the first two Warships were sunk by Carrier based Aircraft and the later was sunk by a U.S. Submarine within 24 hours of being launched.

The Shinano was more of a "Resupply Carrier" than it's more famous older sisters.....not that she achieved anything.
 
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