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NAME SOMETHING THE RN DID BETTER THAN THE USN

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Ebar, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    We now can say with complete certainty that the Axis would not have gotten the French fleet. After all, they didn't.
    Hitler was concerned that the French fleet might end up joining the British. The fleet was the most important bargaining chip the French had. The British knew or should have known that. The British attack weakened the French position and assured Hitler that he needn't have any worries.
    Cunningham was brilliant. He disregarded his instructions and made peaceable arrangements with the French, despite extreme tensions. I have heard from a former RN battleship sailor who said the atmosphere among his friends was quite hostile toward the French, and they would gladly have opened fire.
    Somerville did not have the luxury of having Gensoul's ships in a British harbor.
    Of all cruisers under 10,000 tons, the Italian Abruzzi-class CLs may have been the best-armored. The first few Condottieris were scantily protected, but the later classes saw improvement. We wouldn't judge all American cruisers by the Pensacola class or all British cruisers by the Kents.
     
  2. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    it would seem neither side had much choice but to do what they did...were i the french admirall i would have my crew on alert to flee ashore at the first sign of the rn...this of course would not be the action taken by any self respecting french admiral or any other admiral...
     
  3. churchill17sp

    churchill17sp New Member

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    Better? Perhaps only because the USN was concentrating on other targets in other areas, but the RN became extremely effective in the Indonesia area with airstrikes against Japanese oil production; anyway its something the RN did really well, if not better.
    Some details since these raids are not well known -
    Meridian 1 operation Jan 24 1945 struck at Pladjoe oil/avgas production at Palembang with 43 attack aircraft, 54 escort fighters + diversionary strike/sweep of 44 more reduced oil output by half.
    Meridian 2 Jan 29 1645 struck at Soengi Gerong refinery Palembang with 46 strike, 49 escort and 27 fighter sweep; production completely halted for 2 months; and never got above a third of original production (a most important operation by the RN against Japan.
    So while the USN became the most effective at carrier-vs-ship, the RN were becoming effective at the successful use of carrier-borne aircraft for strategic operations against economic targets.
     
  4. churchill17sp

    churchill17sp New Member

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    One in which the RN could do best was their great support of the Okinawa landings April-May '45 against potential airstrike/Kamikaze staging points in the Sakishima Gunto. The USN was impressed at ability of the RN CV's to maintain their position in the operational line. When the Hancock was put out of action by a Kamikaze, Admiral Spruance requested that the British carriers strike at Formosa airfields as well, since these were the most dangerous; these RN Carrier operations against Formosa April 11-13 were the BPF's most successful inderdiction operations yet; the USN was so impressed that they requested more strikes from the RN, who replaced the 160 aircraft losses of the 2-month period with 173 from the replenishment carriers of their well-equipped fleet train.
     
  5. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    Thr British were much more vulnerable to kamikazes and embarrassingly inferior in logistics.
     
  6. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf New Member

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    Deja vu.

    Hey, y'all - see UK vs US Carriers thread.
     
  7. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    In keeping with the humourous intent of the topic:

    If you go back for enough then the RN was better at everything, because there was no USN... :grin:


    ASW was definately an RN strongpoint, mostly because it had to be.
     
  8. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    RN had better trained naval aviators (atleast when it comes to night flying).
     
  9. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    Better trained naval aviators? What standard are you applying? Number of flying hours prior to entry into combat is the usual yardstick. I will try and find some numbers but IIRC the US pilots had more hours training when entering combat than any other country in the war.
     
  10. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    True, the USN had the more highly trained and skilled naval aviators, however I believe that at the war's outset at any rate the USN preferred to avoid night flying wherever possible (Not surprising considering the dangers of a flightdeck landing during daylight let alone in the dark), infact during Midway one of the carrier skippers took a considerable risk lighting up his carrier deck in order to recover a returning air group. That they landed with few (If any) losses is a credit to the pilots, but I seem to remember that this was most of the pilot's first night carrier landing! (can't dig out a quote since I lost the book on the train :angry: , but I believe Peter C Smith makes reference to this in his book on Midway).

    I think Notmi's statement in its entirety is probably correct (i.e. FAA crews recieved more night training), although it is worth pointing out that most if not all of the important carrier battles were fought in daylight.
     
  11. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    In 1941, the RN was still the only navy with a true night carrier capability.
    Taranto was at night.
    The famous incident in which Mitscher ordered his lights on was at Philippine Sea.
     
  12. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    I didn't really have a problem with the parenthetical portion of the statement. As Simon has pointed out night fighting was not of any significant tactical importance in WW II.

    Perhaps it should have read: RN had better trained night fighters :wink:

    The USN did not conduct air operations off carriers at night for all practical purposes.
     
  13. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    I would disagree that Taranto was not tactically significant.
    We may note that the carrier battles were daytime events, but we should also note the obvious reason for it--neither the USN nor the IJN had a viable night strike ability. If the British had been in position to fight a carrier battle, they would have had that advantage. In fact, that was the plan for the possible clash with Nagumo in 1942. The big hitch in the plan is that British aircraft were so inferior in range that the British would likely have to absorb a daytime attack before getting their punch in. What do you think the British prospects would be for absorbing a strike from Nagumo?
     
  14. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    If english was my first language, I might have been able to formulate that sentence right away. :(
    You know, I'm strugling to make myself clear everytime I write here. Sometimes I'm successful, sometimes not.
     
  15. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Good question. Much would depend on the circumstances. I do know that when Nagumo's carriers were rampaging through the Indian Ocean, Admiral Somerville was planning to make a night attack on the Japanese, being prevented by the sinking of the cruisers CORNWALL and DORSETSHIRE.
     
  16. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    I think you are doing quite well, for the most part. Perhaps even better than my Finnish :grin:
     
  17. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    Not strictly true. The USN did not conduct any significant offensive operations at night, but made extensive use of night fighters by wars end. USS Wasp (CV-8) had trained for night operations in 1942. The USS Enterprise was designated a night carrier by war's end. The USS Guadalcanal, a CVE, operated aircraft at night to catch U-boats on the surface.
    There is also a huge difference in finding a port at night and attacking stationary vessels and finding a high speed manuvering carrier fleet at night and attacking it.
     
  18. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    "for all practical purposes" :wink:

    You just mentioned 3 carriers ,now about the other 102?

    {Yes, I know. I'm including jeep carriers whereas you are discussing fleet carriers}
     
  19. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    In 1941 the RN was the only navy with practical night operations from carriers, no arguments. By 1942 the USN was operating from carriers at night. By 1944 even CVE's were engaged in night operations and carriers were assigned a specific night mission. Besides Taranto, which involved attacking an immobile fleet at a known location, what were the significant RN carrier night operations? I could use some enlightenment.
     
  20. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    How about all-weather flying? Like the strike launched by VICTORIOUS against BISMARK in absolutely vile weather. And some of theose pilots had never flown from a carrier before that day! :eek:
     

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