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Carrier Question

Discussion in 'Ships & Shipborne Weaponry' started by GunSlinger86, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    Is there any reason the US fleet carriers used Wooden flight decks and did not use steel as the British did? I know that a fleet carrier was never sunk by a Kamikaze, but they did sustain more damage.
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Reduced weight, faster to repair. Yorktown would not have made it to Midway if she had to replace a few acres of armor plate.
     
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  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    To elaborate a little...

    Reduced topside weight - which allowed for a second full size hanger deck - this allowed more aircraft to be carried. The first 3 British carriers only had one hanger deck and carried only 36 aircraft & the later ones had a full length hanger deck and a half length one for a total of 48 aircraft.

    Faster & easier to repair - allowing faster return to action. Also, construction times were reduced, getting them into the war quicker.
     
  4. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    Would the steel plate have really made much of a difference for protection? Seeing as they could take a beating without being sunk...
     
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    RN carriers vs. USN carriers, a story as old as time.
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Yes, they could for lighter bombs, but the Germans & Americans had already moved on to heavier bombs.

    Don't forget that the armoured deck was also proof against cruiser gunfire - a very real threat in the stormy North Atlantic.

    The smaller number of aircraft carried was accepted because there was still much debate going on in the RN as to the number of aircraft one carrier could efficiently operate at a given time. This only changed with combat experience.

    Also, the armoured deck was to protect the aircraft from bomb & shell damage. Since, when not operating they were stored below deck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
  7. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    I remember reading an observation of an USN liaison officer assigned to the British Pacific Fleet (TF 37/57) of the aftermath of a kamikaze attack. He said that when a kamikaze hits the US carrier deck just right, it usually results in a trip to the rear areas for repairs, or maybe even Pearl Harbor. But when a kamikaze hits the steel deck of a British carrier, it results in the order "sweepers, man your brooms" given. It's probably a bit more than that, but I figure it's a fairly accurate statement when discussing the difference of damage assessment and repairs of US/UK carriers.
     
  8. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    As the kamikaze paradigm called for a bomb to be part of the package I doubt it was that simple.
     
  9. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Agreed, but maybe a glancing blow was made when the kamikaze in question hit the British carriers and was observed by the USN liaison officer. Those kamikaze pilots weren't very well trained you know. But to give them proper credit, they tried real hard, and about 1 in 5 scored hits from what I've read. Don't remember how many of those hits were devastating, but I'm sure they caused plenty problems.
     
  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Some planes came in lower than the flight decks. Not aware of what damage that did to the two types of carriers.
     
  11. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    I'm sure Takao will be back with detailed info on that very question before long. He's a very clever fellow.
     
  12. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    And much better sources.
     
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  13. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  14. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Actually, it is probably closer to 1 in 2.5. I believe that the 1 in 5 includes those that went out, but did not find any targets, and returned to base. The 1 in 2.5 reflects those that found targets and conducted an attack.
     
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  15. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    I watched this a few days ago...thought it looked awesome.

     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The Eternal Zero - 2013.

    Yes, it is awesome
     
  17. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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