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R_Target
09-14-2007, 06:43 PM
Interesting article here (http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-030.htm).


Off Okinawa, the resistance of the British carriers seemed impressive but in reality the damage they took was severe. Having the hangar inside the hull girder made the hull structure weak and the ships were deformed by comparatively minor damage. Note how quickly nearly all the armored carriers were scrapped postwar - surveys showed they had irreparable hull damage. In contrast, the Essex's, which suffered much more severe damage, lasted for decades.

Viper2005_
09-14-2007, 07:06 PM
My late paternal grandfather was on HMS Illustrious, below decks. It was his considered opinion that without armoured decks I would not exist.

IMO they were a good investment!

R_Target
09-14-2007, 07:11 PM
Originally posted by Viper2005_:
My late paternal grandfather was on HMS Illustrious, below decks. It was his considered opinion that without armoured decks I would not exist.

IMO they were a good investment!

Lol, I hear ya. I'd probably think the same.

leitmotiv
09-15-2007, 12:00 AM
Wasn't the armored flight deck which was the problem, it was the incomprehensible error of the British and Japanese using an enclosed hangar without large side shutters to allow the hangar to vent explosions outboard. The USN carriers had the side openings. ILLUSTRIOUS and INDOMITABLE had armor-piercing bombs penetrate the flight deck and explode in the hangar---the terrible structural damage was due to the blast being contained by the enclosed hangar. The best of both worlds was achieved in the colossal MIDWAY class carriers which just missed the war---they had thickly armored flight decks and shuttered openings on the hull sides to vent explosions out of the hangar. The USN uses this system to this day. The Japanese lost almost every one of their big carriers to explosions in their enclosed hangars.

R_Target
09-15-2007, 12:18 AM
Not just explosions, but fire too:


Formidable had raped herself when a Firefly (sic aircraft that caused the damage was actually a Corsair) rolled off a lift and raked the hangar with 20 mm gunfire. This started a very bad fire which was contained within the hangar and acted like a furnace. The heat deformed the hull and that was it.

leitmotiv
09-15-2007, 02:28 AM
Another factor, of course, was penury. Britain was stone broke after the war, and took years to complete their big fleet carriers, EAGLE and ARK ROYAL because of lack of money. VICTORIOUS was rebuilt in the '50's. The main reason the WWII-era armored deck carriers were junked was because they were too small to carry a worthwhile deckload of aircraft. Even the bigger EAGLE and ARK ROYAL were barely suitable. The USN realized even the colossal MIDWAY class was too small for modern jets.

JG53Frankyboy
09-15-2007, 03:22 AM
the history of RN post WW2 carriers was realy a drama http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif
http://navy-matters.beedall.com/cva01.htm

btw, here you can find some interesting "cruise books" of them http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
http://www.axfordsabode.org.uk/comishbk.htm

the crews had still a lot of humor http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

DKoor
09-15-2007, 03:31 AM
Originally posted by R_Target:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Viper2005_:
My late paternal grandfather was on HMS Illustrious, below decks. It was his considered opinion that without armoured decks I would not exist.

IMO they were a good investment!

Lol, I hear ya. I'd probably think the same. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

leitmotiv
09-15-2007, 03:53 AM
Originally posted by JG53Frankyboy:
the history of RN post WW2 carriers was realy a drama http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif
http://navy-matters.beedall.com/cva01.htm

btw, here you can find some interesting "cruise books" of them http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
http://www.axfordsabode.org.uk/comishbk.htm

the crews had still a lot of humor http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Great stuff, FB!

woofiedog
09-15-2007, 03:58 AM
Great article.

After the analyst of war time damage to US and British carriers. US design came out the better of the two. Most of the US carrier's war damage was repaired and the ships placed back into service.
While the damage to the British carrier's was to extensive to the ships and most were scrapped after or soon after the war.

I've read another article a while back that came to the same conclusions regarding the armored flight decks over the wooden/steel decks that were unarmored.

But Carrier Warfare was still being born during WWII and the leasons being taught came with hands on training the hard way.

leitmotiv
09-15-2007, 04:25 AM
The USN was incredibly lucky the Japanese fielded two completely whimpy dive bombers during the crucial carrier battles of the war, the D3A1 "Val" and the D4Y2 "Judy." Neither could carry a bomb bigger than 250-kg (compare with the 1000-lb bomb carried by the Dauntless and the 2-1000-lb bombs carried by the Helldiver). The Japanese did not make a 250-kg armor-piercing bomb. They had 250-kg high-explosive bombs and 250-kg semi-armor-piercing bombs (the USN never made a 500-lb AP bomb, either, and the 1000-lb AP was not available until after the decisive carrier battles of 1942 which killed off Japan's first team). Thus, the Japanese lacked a bomb for their dive bombers which could penetrate the armored deck below the hangar in the US carriers---the 250-kg SAP could not get into the guts of the American carriers.

As a number of warship specialists have noted, the USN carriers were so dangerously top heavy by 1944-45 (due to the massive AA batteries they carried, which they had not been built to carry), they were unlikely to survive more than one torpedo hit, and if they had been speared vertically by AP bombs blowing out their bottoms, they would have been easy to sink. Thus, by 1944-45 the Japanese were socking the US carriers right where they were strongest---above their armored decks, leaving their vulnerable hulls undamaged. By 1944, it was nearly impossible for a Japanese torpedo bomber to survive the colossal anti-aircraft barrages put up to defend the American carriers. In the crucial Marianas battle in June 1944, not one Japanese torpedo plane or dive bomber was able to hit a US carrier. As in so many instances in the Pacific War, the USN was sublimely lucky. The aircraft which could have wreaked havoc on the USN carriers, the B7A "Grace" wasn't available until 1945 and only in tiny numbers. It was able to carry a torpedo very fast, or it could carry a big bomb in its bomb-bay (it had dive brakes for dive bomber missions). Furthermore, it carried two 20mm cannon, was very maneuverable, was very fast, and was heavily protected. If they had had this kind of quality in 1942, the USN would have lost more carriers, and the Japanese would have lost fewer airplanes.

JG53Frankyboy
09-15-2007, 04:30 AM
according to Rene Francillon the D4Y was able to carry a 500kg bomb in its bombbay.

leitmotiv
09-15-2007, 04:35 AM
As far as I know, they never carried 500-kg bombs off of carriers. The other problem was that the only AP bomb the Japanese had was 800-kg, a converted 16" naval shell. Anyway, not once in the war did a Japanese dive bomber bomb penetrate intact the deck armor of US carriers. They were able to spall the deck, or knock some fragments through the deck, but that was it. Each fleet carrier the US lost was due to flooding from torp hits with the exception of LEX which was destroyed by fractured fuel lines spreading gas fumes.

JG53Frankyboy
09-15-2007, 04:37 AM
propably a question of range.
as far i understand Francillon, with a 500kg bomb , they could not carry their full internal fuel load.

leitmotiv
09-15-2007, 04:42 AM
As I understand, the high point for the Judy was in 1945 when one dived out of low cloud off the coast of Japan and landed a bomb right into a deckload of aircraft on the (was it the BUNKER HILL?) and nearly blew the ship to kingdom come.

leitmotiv
09-15-2007, 04:50 AM
Of course, the greatest enemy of a carrier was fire, and the Kamikaze certainly came close to sinking FRANKLIN. She and BUNKER HILL were never repaired after their ordeals so, in effect, the Japanese knocked them out.

woofiedog
09-15-2007, 06:23 AM
Following the end of the war, Franklin was opened to the public for Navy Day celebrations. On 17 February 1947, she was placed out of commission at Bayonne, New Jersey.

While Franklin lay mothballed at Bayonne she was redesignated to an attack aircraft carrier CVA-13 on 1 October 1952, to an antisubmarine warfare support carrier CVS-13 on 8 August 1953 and, ultimately, to an aircraft transport AVT-8 on 15 May 1959. In the end the ship never went to sea again and was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 October 1964. She and her sister USS Bunker Hill, which also had sustained severe damage from aerial attack, were the only carriers in their class that saw no active-duty postwar service though their wartime damage had been successfully repaired.

General Characteristics

Displacement: As built:
27,100 tons standard
36,380 tons full load
Length: As built:
820 feet (waterline)
872 feet (overall)

Beam: As built:
93 feet (waterline)
147 feet 6 inches (overall)
Draught: As built:
28 feet 5 inches light
34 feet 2 inches full load

Propulsion: As designed:
8 × boilers (565 psi., 850ºF)
4 × Westinghouse geared steam turbines
4 × shafts
150,000 shp
Speed: 33 knots
Range: 20,000 nautical miles at 15 knots

Complement: As built:
2,600 officers and enlisted

Armament: As built:
4 × twin 5 inch 38 caliber guns
4 × single 5 inch 38 caliber guns
8 × quadruple 40-mm 56 caliber guns
46 × single 20-mm 78 caliber guns

Armour: As built:
2.5 to 4 inch belt
1.5 inch hangar and protectice decks
4 inch bulkheads
1.5 inch STS top and sides of pilot house
2.5 inch top of steering gear

Aircraft carried: As built:
90100 aircraft
1 × deck-edge elevator
2 × centerline elevators

Bunker Hill

During the remaining months of World War II Bunker Hill participated in the Iwo Jima operation and the 5th Fleet raids against Honshū and the Nansei Shoto (15 February4 March); and the 5th and 3d Fleet raids in support of the Okinawa operation. On 7 April 1945 Bunker Hill's planes took part in a Fast Carrier Task Force attack on a Japanese naval force in the East China Sea. The enemy battleship Yamato, one cruiser, and four destroyers were sunk during Operation Ten-Go.


After two Kamikazes strikes in 30 seconds.On the morning of 11 May 1945, while supporting the Okinawa invasion, Bunker Hill was hit and severely damaged by two suicide planes. A Japanese Zero fighter appeared from a low cloud, dived onto the flight deck and dropped a 250-kilogram bomb, which went through the vessel and exploded in the sea. The Zero then crashed onto the flight deck, destroying parked planes full of fuel, causing a massive fire. The remains of the Zero went over the deck and dropped into the sea. Then, a scant 30 seconds later, a second Zero, piloted by Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa, plunged into a suicide dive. The Zero went through the AA fire, dropped a 250-kilogram bomb, and crashed into the flight deck near the control tower as Kamikaze were trained to aim for near the island superstructure (as was the case with the USS Sangamon). The bomb penetrated Bunker Hill's flight deck and exploded. Gasoline fires flamed up and several explosions took place. The ship suffered the loss of 346 men killed, 43 missing, and 264 wounded. This was the single most deadly Kamikaze attack on a US ship during WWII. Although badly crippled she managed to return to Bremerton via Pearl Harbor.


Bunker Hill received the Presidential Unit Citation for the period 11 November 1943 to 11 May 1945. In addition, she received 11 battle stars for her World War II service.

Postwar
In September Bunker Hill reported for duty with the "Operation Magic Carpet" fleet, returning veterans from the Pacific. She remained on this duty as a unit of TG 16.12 until January 1946 when she was ordered to Bremerton for inactivation. She was placed out of commission in reserve there 9 January 1947.

While laid up, she was reclassified three times, becoming CVA-17 in October 1952, CVS-17 in August 1953 and AVT-9 in May 1959, the latter designation indicating that any future commissioned duty would be as an aircraft transport. As all Essex-class carriers survived the war, the peacetime navy had no need for the services of Bunker Hill. She and her sister USS Franklin, which also had sustained severe damage from aerial attack, were the only carriers in their class that saw no active-duty postwar service despite being repaired to good condition. Stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in November 1966, Bunker Hill was used as a stationary electronics test platform at San Diego during the 1960s and early 1970s. She was sold for scrapping in May 1973.

leitmotiv
09-15-2007, 06:40 AM
Thanks for the info WD. I had no idea the BH ever went to sea again, however briefy, and only as a troopship. I saw a doc about the FRANKLIN on TV just before they scrapped her, and, from what they showed of the ship, I had the impression she was never completely repaired.

woofiedog
09-15-2007, 06:58 AM
With the damage done to either ship you would think they were sunk.

But given that the damage control was a lot better organized in the last years of the war and more prepared on most ships of the Fleet. This gave these ships a fighting chance to survive the pounding they took.

verbaska
09-15-2007, 07:56 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

leitmotiv
09-15-2007, 09:11 AM
Damage control was certainly the specialty of the USN, WD. The Japanese had nothing like the carrier repair organization we had. Our sailors were ready to put steel patches over bomb holes in flight decks restoring them to action in half a hour. The USN's firefighting systems were comprehensive, completely modern (water and foam, fire curtains, CO2 put in gas lines when incoming attacks detected, etc), and the sailors superbly trained. As SHATTERED SWORD showed, the Japanese had only one officer on board trained in damage control, and their ships were woefully protected against fire. They had two fleet carriers blow up due to fractured fuel lines filling the ships with explosive vapors as late as the Marianas battle in June 1944. The USN lost LEX to this in May 1942 and fixed the problem instantly. The Japanese were so completely overmatched in all things except torpedoes and night fighting it was pathetic. They were not ready for prime time. Still killed a lot of Americans, though.

han freak solo
09-15-2007, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
By 1944, it was nearly impossible for a Japanese torpedo bomber to survive the colossal anti-aircraft barrages put up to defend the American carriers.

IL2-1946 does a pretty good job of replicating this. Especially, if you are flying Japanese. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/crackwhip.gif

Durchstarten
09-15-2007, 11:44 AM
Post WWII one Royal Navy Carrier had a rubber deck fitted for Vampire jet landing trials. Now, if only I could find that photo.

This will have to do:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Warrior_%28R31%29

DPS.