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

It's also worth remembering that before the FAA was transferred from the Crabs to the RN the latter struggled to get their opinions known of what aircraft were needed to operate from their carriers. They also trained comparatively few naval pilots and, with so few aircraft available would have been incapable of conducting realistic operational training.
 
It's also worth remembering that before the FAA was transferred from the Crabs to the RN the latter struggled to get their opinions known of what aircraft were needed to operate from their carriers. They also trained comparatively few naval pilots and, with so few aircraft available would have been incapable of conducting realistic operational training.

indeed a valid point, but what’s missing in the whole period 1918-39 was any noticeable intellectual thinking on air power and its employment within the Royal Navy.
The Admiralty in particular was very happy to ignore any ideas for carriers as anything but their intended WWI purpose.... carrying spotting planes for fall of shot, torpedo planes to slow up battleships for them to be brought to bay by the Fleets big guns, and some very pedestrian ‘fighters’ to shoo away the other sides spotter planes.
There was no work on the use of carriers as primary offensive platforms in their own right.
There had been plenty of thinking along that line in 1917-18, see plans for carrier raids on the German High Seas Fleet at wars end, but all those pesky Young Turks and their new fangled ideas went off to the RAF or left, allowing the Admiralty to get back to its Big Guns.

yes, the RAF treated the its interwar ‘fleet air arm’ as very much a Cinderella service, but it had a very ready and complicit partner in the Lords of the Admiralty.
 

Yokel

LE
I would suggest it was because the Griffon Engined Seafires had strong engine torque and needed constant trimming.

Was there a difference in the throttle control and responses times of the Merlin and Griffon engines? Could the latter have modifications to improve responsiveness? Another aspect of ship/aircraft integration...

It's also worth remembering that before the FAA was transferred from the Crabs to the RN the latter struggled to get their opinions known of what aircraft were needed to operate from their carriers. They also trained comparatively few naval pilots and, with so few aircraft available would have been incapable of conducting realistic operational training.

It was also unusual to get qualified flyers in staff or senior appointments....
 

Yokel

LE
indeed a valid point, but what’s missing in the whole period 1918-39 was any noticeable intellectual thinking on air power and its employment within the Royal Navy.
The Admiralty in particular was very happy to ignore any ideas for carriers as anything but their intended WWI purpose.... carrying spotting planes for fall of shot, torpedo planes to slow up battleships for them to be brought to bay by the Fleets big guns, and some very pedestrian ‘fighters’ to shoo away the other sides spotter planes.
There was no work on the use of carriers as primary offensive platforms in their own right.
There had been plenty of thinking along that line in 1917-18, see plans for carrier raids on the German High Seas Fleet at wars end, but all those pesky Young Turks and their new fangled ideas went off to the RAF or left, allowing the Admiralty to get back to its Big Guns.

yes, the RAF treated the its interwar ‘fleet air arm’ as very much a Cinderella service, but it had a very ready and complicit partner in the Lords of the Admiralty.

Leaving aside the issue of what 'primary offensive' actually meant, you do have a point. I am guessing that when the RAF was formed in 1918, many of the experienced RNAS types went over to the RAF, and the senior leadership who had driven the use of aircraft in both offensive and defensive roles were all retired or died.

Therefore the leadership did not fully grasp the contribution that aircraft had made in the First World War, doing things such as torpedo attacks in the Dardanelles, hitting targets ashore at Cuxhaven and other places, and defeating the Zeppelins (which is what led to the invention of the carrier - via fighters launched from cruisers), nor was the threat of enemy aircraft understood.

Perhaps the view that the big gun ships had won had some justification, but it distorted inter war priorities from things like aviation and trade protection.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I also seem to recall that there was a theory that bombers could not hit moving ships. Even when disproved, it was thought that the officer in charge of the test had cheated.

This negated the need for fighters for defence.
 
I also seem to recall that there was a theory that bombers could not hit moving ships. Even when disproved, it was thought that the officer in charge of the test had cheated.

This negated the need for fighters for defence.

For quite some time the theory about struggling to hit manouvering ships was fairly valid.
In the 1930's getting a sufficent bombload on target to sink a capital ship was nigh on unthinkable.

The loss of Repulse and PoW changed all that but up until then it was genuinely and credibly believed that bombers were unable to kill capital ships.
 
For quite some time the theory about struggling to hit manouvering ships was fairly valid.
In the 1930's getting a sufficent bombload on target to sink a capital ship was nigh on unthinkable.

The loss of Repulse and PoW changed all that but up until then it was genuinely and credibly believed that bombers were unable to kill capital ships.

Despite Billy Mitchell in 1921.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer

Although an easier read is here Billy Mitchell - Wikipedia
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Despite Doolittle in 1922.

I must admit I thought it was Dolittle too but it was Billy Mitchell. See links above.

Mitchell sank a stationary ship not underway, and it sank due to slow flooding which the Navy claimed would have been stemmed by damage control.

Dolittle developed navigation and instrument flying,
 

Mölders 1

Old-Salt
For quite some time the theory about struggling to hit manouvering ships was fairly valid.
In the 1930's getting a sufficent bombload on target to sink a capital ship was nigh on unthinkable.

The loss of Repulse and PoW changed all that but up until then it was genuinely and credibly believed that bombers were unable to kill capital ships.

Moving ships were difficult targets for Dive Bombers throughout WW-ll.,

Torpedo Bombers were the key to the sinking of Repulse and Prince Of Wales.
 
I must admit I thought it was Dolittle too but it was Billy Mitchell. See links above.

Mitchell sank a stationary ship not underway, and it sank due to slow flooding which the Navy claimed would have been stemmed by damage control.

Dolittle developed navigation and instrument flying,

Yep, corrected for senior moment, and still 'first footing' from a D-In last night.
 
Billy Mitchell conducted what amounted to rgged excesrsises against a stationary, undefended target without damage control.
His demosntration not being viewed as credible was reasonable

Force Z would suggest his 'experiment' was actually pretty accurate.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Billy Mitchell conducted what amounted to rgged excesrsises against a stationary, undefended target without damage control.
His demosntration not being viewed as credible was reasonable

Mitchell's aim was to amalgamate the various Air services and get the money that was spent on ships, spent on planes!
 
As l said further upthread, a good number Torpedo Bombers were the key to the destruction of Force Z.

I agree with Jagman2 comment.

It all depends on the tactic and weapons you choose to use.

 

Sticky847

Old-Salt
There was 2 decades of invention and testing between Mitchell’s stunt and Force Z meeting the kido butai, he was a forward thinker but his tests were not true to life for an operational ship.
 

W21A

LE
Book Reviewer
Yamato was hit by at least 11 torpedoes and 6 bombs. It was the torpedoes that did for her. She would have probably survived the bombs.
 
Yamato was hit by at least 11 torpedoes and 6 bombs. It was the torpedoes that did for her. She would have probably survived the bombs.

Battleships primarily armoured against the plunging fire of the main armament of other battleships; quelle surprise.
 

Mölders 1

Old-Salt
Yamato was hit by at least 11 torpedoes and 6 bombs. It was the torpedoes that did for her. She would have probably survived the bombs.

The 6 inch Gun Turrets on the Yamato/Musashi were only lightly armoured, so a bomb hit on a very near to one of them would be very serious.

Their Armoured Belt was designed to withstand the blast from a Torpedo armed with a T.N.T. Warhead, unfortunately American Torpedoes were armed with Torpex Warheads (Torpex is 1.4 X more powerful than T.N.T.)

The actual number of Bomb/Torpedo hits is unknown, figures always seem to vary between sources.
 

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