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Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
How Carriers Fought
7/28/2021 4:20:12 PM
Recently finished an interesting book, "How Carriers Fought: Carrier Operations in WW2", by Lars Celander.
This might best be described as a technical manual on WW2 aircraft carriers, and how they were employed. It covers the three navies operating carriers, the U.S.N., the Royal Navy, and the Japanese.
Topics covered include carrier design and design evolution, propulsion, machinery and equipment, aircraft design and their technical evolution, bombs and torpedoes, fleet dispositions, staging and launching strikes, fleet defense, including radar, CAPs (combat air patrols), and anti-aircraft guns. Tactics are covered in depth, including both torpedo and dive bombing, as are logistics, including, in particular, fuel oil. This is an excellent book for the technical nerd, who enjoys seeing how the nuts & bolts work.
Interesting factoids abound:
Aircraft were cheap, compared to the carrier, and were essentially ammunition, expendable and easily replaced.
The Americans realized that captured pilots would be tortured and talk, so told them nothing of importance.
Kamikaze attacks actually made a good deal of sense from the Japanese perspective, since U.S. defenses were so effective that most of any strike would be lost in any case.
The most effective AA gun of the war was the quad 40mm. The heavy (5") guns were overkill and took up too much deck space, plus a single kill could empty the magazines of a destroyer. The light (20mm) guns lacked range and power, and often resulted in "revenge kills" against planes which had already done their damage.

One of the most telling facts: the Japanese navy used approximately 12 million tons of fuel oil during the war. This was about two weeks worth of U.S. production.
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Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 995
Joined: 2005
How Carriers Fought
7/28/2021 4:38:43 PM
Hello Jim:

I had thought about getting this book, good to read a convincing review. Is the subject of fire fighting discussed in the book, seems that it would be, either way I am going to snag this one.

Thanks-Dan
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"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
How Carriers Fought
7/28/2021 9:38:29 PM
Yes, although not in great detail.
Uncontrolled fires are described as the major threat to a carrier in the event of bomb damage. A hit among parked planes fueled and loaded with ordnance would overwhelm damage control and the ship would be reduced to a burning wreck. One or more hits, without the fueled and armed aircraft, and the carrier would survive. (An exception was the Hermes, sunk by dive bombers alone.)
A combination of bomb and torpedo hits would overwhelm damage control, and the ship would be lost, but in all cases the survivors were evacuated and the ships scuttled.

My post gave only a cursory overview. I suspect that you will be impressed with the level of detail.
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Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

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