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

Greg is very good, even if I get lost when he has historical performance graphs on screen and talks about pressure, vacuum, manifold pressure, cooling losses, pumping losses and so on. His delivery is so low key he sounds like he’s lying down.
Yea - some of his stuff does go over my head.
 
Greg has another interesting video on torpedo planes. Has lots of good things to say about the Swordfish but eventually picks the Avenger as his pick for best torpedo plane of the war. It's a long video packed with lots of detail.

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Allegedly the Swordfish holds the tonnage record as the most successful naval strike aircraft of all time

Probably a record that will never be surpassed
 
Allegedly the Swordfish holds the tonnage record as the most successful naval strike aircraft of all time

Probably a record that will never be surpassed
I wouldn't be surprised if the Fairey Swordfish is indeed the most successful Naval Strike Aircraft of all time, but personally l would have thought the Grumman Avenger takes that prize.

From late 1942 through to V-J Day the Avenger was extensively used a a Torpedo Bomber, Level-Bomber and Sub Hunter right across the Pacific.

The Avenger helped to sink to Super Battleships, numerous Aircraft Carriers and other Warships and loads of Cargo Ships.
 
I wouldn't be surprised if the Fairey Swordfish is indeed the most successful Naval Strike Aircraft of all time, but personally l would have thought the Grumman Avenger takes that prize.

From late 1942 through to V-J Day the Avenger was extensively used a a Torpedo Bomber, Level-Bomber and Sub Hunter right across the Pacific.

The Avenger helped to sink to Super Battleships, numerous Aircraft Carriers and other Warships and loads of Cargo Ships.

The Swordfish was in the game considerably longer the Avenger which probably swings it

I did read that for a lengthy period Swordfish off Malta were sinking 100,000 tonnes a month but can't remember the source

The Swordfish is famous for being an unlikely combat aircraft but despite its obvious shortcomings its war record is outstanding
 
I wouldn't be surprised if the Fairey Swordfish is indeed the most successful Naval Strike Aircraft of all time, but personally l would have thought the Grumman Avenger takes that prize.

From late 1942 through to V-J Day the Avenger was extensively used a a Torpedo Bomber, Level-Bomber and Sub Hunter right across the Pacific.

The Avenger helped to sink to Super Battleships, numerous Aircraft Carriers and other Warships and loads of Cargo Ships.
On the other hand the Swordfish was used everywhere and extensively in 'cunninghams pond' the axis took massive shipping losses there.


US destruction of Japanese shipping and the battle of the Atlantic get good coverage but the both the med anti shipping campaigns (of bothsides) and the UK submarine actions seem to go unremarked save a few well known events.
 
The Swordfish was in the game considerably longer the Avenger which probably swings it

I did read that for a lengthy period Swordfish off Malta were sinking 100,000 tonnes a month but can't remember the source

The Swordfish is famous for being an unlikely combat aircraft but despite its obvious shortcomings its war record is outstanding
On the other hand the Swordfish was used everywhere and extensively in 'cunninghams pond' the axis took massive shipping losses there.


US destruction of Japanese shipping and the battle of the Atlantic get good coverage but the both the med anti shipping campaigns (of bothsides) and the UK submarine actions seem to go unremarked save a few well known events.

So much the better if the Fairey Swordfish was the most successful Naval Strike Aircraft of WW-ll.

It does say a hell of a lot for the young men that flew them into action though.
 

Yokel

LE
So much the better if the Fairey Swordfish was the most successful Naval Strike Aircraft of WW-ll.

It does say a hell of a lot for the young men that flew them into action though.

For most of the war the Swordfish was not delivering torpedoes against enemy warships or merchant shipping, it was flying from escort carriers and merchant aircraft carriers in an anti U-boat role. It did this in the roughest of seas in the Atlantic and Arctic. The slow speed would have lent itself to operating from a small deck. I suspect that the problem of ship/aircraft integration was one of the reasons for pre war carrier aircraft having speed limits? I did discuss this on this thread relating to ship/aircraft integration.

I watched the 1941 film Ships With Wings last night - as far I know the only British film about carriers and the Fleet Air Arm. One of the characters (a Pilot) made the comment that the secret to carrier aircraft was trying to combine the highest flying speed with the lowest possible speed for landing on.

A timeless truth, and the key to ship/aircraft integration.


@jrwlynch you have commented (elsewhere) on the debate regarding arming merchant ships in the Mediterranean - is it better to give a few ships a heavier armament to get more kills, or to spread out the finite number of anti aircraft weapons so that every ship can throw something at the enemy. The latter results in more merchant ships surviving.

Is there evidence to say the same thing about Swordfish and the like based aboard escort carriers and CAM ships for anti U boat work, and carrier based fighters? The Swordfish kept the U boats down and made it hard for them to identify targets, communicate, or keep their batteries charged, and the fighters (even in the early days) broke of bomber formations and disrupted their bomb runs?
 
For most of the war the Swordfish was not delivering torpedoes against enemy warships or merchant shipping, it was flying from escort carriers and merchant aircraft carriers in an anti U-boat role. It did this in the roughest of seas in the Atlantic and Arctic. The slow speed would have lent itself to operating from a small deck. I suspect that the problem of ship/aircraft integration was one of the reasons for pre war carrier aircraft having speed limits? I did discuss this on this thread relating to ship/aircraft integration.

I watched the 1941 film Ships With Wings last night - as far I know the only British film about carriers and the Fleet Air Arm. One of the characters (a Pilot) made the comment that the secret to carrier aircraft was trying to combine the highest flying speed with the lowest possible speed for landing on.

A timeless truth, and the key to ship/aircraft integration.


@jrwlynch you have commented (elsewhere) on the debate regarding arming merchant ships in the Mediterranean - is it better to give a few ships a heavier armament to get more kills, or to spread out the finite number of anti aircraft weapons so that every ship can throw something at the enemy. The latter results in more merchant ships surviving.

Is there evidence to say the same thing about Swordfish and the like based aboard escort carriers and CAM ships for anti U boat work, and carrier based fighters? The Swordfish kept the U boats down and made it hard for them to identify targets, communicate, or keep their batteries charged, and the fighters (even in the early days) broke of bomber formations and disrupted their bomb runs?
In my Defense, l did refer to the Fairey Swordfish as a "Naval Strike Aircraft" even though it was primarily a Torpedo Bomber.

Anyhow l agree with all else that you write about it.
 

Yokel

LE
In my Defense, l did refer to the Fairey Swordfish as a "Naval Strike Aircraft" even though it was primarily a Torpedo Bomber.

Anyhow l agree with all else that you write about it.

I thought that 'torpedo bomber' was 'naval strike', as were dive bombers and the like. Does the record for most successful refer to the tonnage sunk or the number of ships and other craft sunk? Does that include U boats that it sank? Does it include U boats sank in conjunction with other aircraft or warships in the Atlantic or Arctic? What about damaged vessels put out of service for months?

Simple statistics are an incomplete way of looking at history, or anything else. For example - how many merchant ships or warships were not attacked by U boats because the aircraft from the escort carrier kept them from surfacing and attacking as a pack, and how many did not get bombed as the fighters from the carrier broke and and disrupted the waves on enemy bombers?
 
I thought that 'torpedo bomber' was 'naval strike', as were dive bombers and the like. Does the record for most successful refer to the tonnage sunk or the number of ships and other craft sunk? Does that include U boats that it sank? Does it include U boats sank in conjunction with other aircraft or warships in the Atlantic or Arctic? What about damaged vessels put out of service for months?

Simple statistics are an incomplete way of looking at history, or anything else. For example - how many merchant ships or warships were not attacked by U boats because the aircraft from the escort carrier kept them from surfacing and attacking as a pack, and how many did not get bombed as the fighters from the carrier broke and and disrupted the waves on enemy bombers?
I would say that "most successful" would be the sheer number of missions flown and different roles performed by such Aircraft as the Fairey Swordfish.

It was Perhaps THE key Naval Strike Aircraft of the F.A.A. in WW-ll and was successful in the numerous roles is was used in.
 
My copy of this book arrived this week.
The Author served in the Fleet Air Arm and was the Curator of the F.A.A. Museum in Yeovilton.

Had a brief read of the chapters covering the years 1944-45 and l am already delighted with it.

A book on this subject has been long overdue l feel.

Recommended......
51txKUt8xrL._SX328_BO1_204_203_200_1080x.jpg
 
I would say that "most successful" would be the sheer number of missions flown and different roles performed by such Aircraft as the Fairey Swordfish.

It was Perhaps THE key Naval Strike Aircraft of the F.A.A. in WW-ll and was successful in the numerous roles is was used in.

Apparently sank a greater tonnage of Axis shipping than any other aircraft

Probably as good a summary as any other measure
 

joey88

Old-Salt
I have posted this before, but worth another mention on the 80th anniversary. He was killed in his gunners position soon after by the attacking aircraft.

Whilst trying to keep the Focke-Wulfs and Messerschmitts at bay, Spitfire pilot Michael Crombie’s eye was caught by Esmonde’s bomber fending off repeated waves of attacks, its gunner PO William ‘Clints’ Clinton responding to the 20mm cannon of the German fighters with his much-less-potent Lewis machine-gun. When tracer set the tailplane alight, the senior rating left his cockpit and clambered along the fuselage to beat the flames out before returning to his seat to continue the struggle against the foe.
 

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