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Gen. Sandworm
10-05-2005, 04:46 AM
Does anybody have an good info on role the British/commonwealth forces played in the Pacific Theater of Operations. There is not much on the site about this. Plus when the Brits realized that the Germans werent just cooking weinersnizel this time around the defense of the UK itself was of greater importance.

Iron Yeoman
10-05-2005, 06:03 AM
I know that towards the end of the war (1943/44?) virtually the entire British carrier fleet was ordered to the pacific to make up American shortfalls, I think this was after the Yorktown was sunk, not sure on dates though.

Dani
10-05-2005, 07:42 AM
Loss of “Repulse” and “Prince of Wales" - december 1941:
http://www.btinternet.com/~m.a.christie/warship.htm

http://www.navweaps.com/index_inro/INRO_Repulse.htm

More will follows! :D

Edited: a brief OOB for RN in Australia: http://home.st.net.au/~dunn/navy/rnfaa.htm

Dani
10-05-2005, 07:47 AM
RAN (Royal Australian Navy): http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-navy/ran_ww2.htm

Edited: RCN (Royal Canadian Navy): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Canadian_Navy#World_War_II

Also links for Commonwealth Navy (and not only): http://home.vicnet.net.au/~mildura/Naval_links.htm

Useful infos in this document (back in 1943): http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-P-Strategy/Strategy-T.html

pdf27
10-06-2005, 06:49 AM
The majority of the British/Imperial effort was in Burma under General Slim (IMHO the best general officer on any side of the war). That was a truly Imperial force, with troops from India, Nepal, Britain, West Africa, and as far as I'm aware most of the rest of the Empire. It was also IIRC the major allied land campaign in the Pacific.
There's a fair bit about it on the internet, best guess for a starting point would be the Burma Star Association (http://www.burmastar.org.uk)

Topor
10-06-2005, 08:14 PM
One of the major advantages of the RN Carriers was their armoured decks. Unlike the USN Carriers, which had wooden decks, they were highly resistant to Kamikazes, although this meant their aircraft complement was much less than the Americans.

pdf27
10-07-2005, 11:16 AM
One of the major advantages of the RN Carriers was their armoured decks. Unlike the USN Carriers, which had wooden decks, they were highly resistant to Kamikazes, although this meant their aircraft complement was much less than the Americans.
Bit of a mixed blessing that - all the armoured deck carriers hit by kamikazes had to be scrapped as constructive total losses after the war as a result of the hits, and the reduced air group has a major impact on ability to fight off an attack.

Bladensburg
10-07-2005, 04:26 PM
The armoured decks were a distinct bonus in the role that the carriers were intended for - look how much punishment some of them took on the Malta convoys.
I doubt that the Admiralty ever envisaged them facing Kamikazis though or providing most of the combat power for a fleet. However neither do I think that the wooden decked US carriers would have lasted long against prolonged conventional attack by the Luftwaffe or the Italians.


BTW I once heard a dirty rumour that the "unrepairable" tag was used as an excuse to cut carriers for cost-cutting reasons.

Topor
10-07-2005, 04:29 PM
One of the major advantages of the RN Carriers was their armoured decks. Unlike the USN Carriers, which had wooden decks, they were highly resistant to Kamikazes, although this meant their aircraft complement was much less than the Americans.
Bit of a mixed blessing that - all the armoured deck carriers hit by kamikazes had to be scrapped as constructive total losses after the war as a result of the hits, and the reduced air group has a major impact on ability to fight off an attack.

Your information is incorrect:

Indomitable scrapped 1955. One Kamikaze hit: slid off, no damage.

Victorious scrapped 1968 after a major fire during refit. One Kamikaze hit. No damage. Converted to angled flight deck in 1950-58.

Illustrious scrapped 1956. One Kamikaze hit. Damaged & repaired 1945.

Furious scrapped 1956. Two Kamikaze hits. Minor damage – operational within hours.

I can find no mention of cumulative damage leading to their scrapping & as a boy saw Victorious in Singapore during the mid 60s when she carried Buccaneers.

Firefly
10-07-2005, 05:23 PM
The point remains that the UK carriers could not embark an air group of the size of the US carriers. The Armoured deck, while being a blessing in some respects, also had its drawbacks. One of the main ones was the generated heat. Also the UK carriers being smaller and heavier required to refuel more often, thus they were available for less time.

I garner from my reading that the US Navy regarded the Uk fleet as more of a hinderance than a help as they were the ones providing the logistics. I stand to be corrected though.

Another point is, Burma was not regarded as being in the PTO. So if we are staying strictly within the PTO we have to discount Burma as it was a seperate command.

Iron Yeoman
10-07-2005, 08:19 PM
Another point is, Burma was not regarded as being in the PTO. So if we are staying strictly within the PTO we have to discount Burma as it was a seperate command.

Really? IMHO i think that Burma was definitely part of the PTO. Remeber the actions of the Allied forces in Burma would have had an effect on the PTO, defending in a multiple front war is difficult at the best of times. By waging a succesful campaign in Burma this meant there were less avialable men and resources for the fighting in the pacific.

Topor
10-07-2005, 08:27 PM
If you look at the "time on station" figures, then the RN vs USN figures are comparable.
Admittedly, the RN carriers had much smaller Air Groups ( except Furious?[certainly one of the RN CV's] which at one point had 60 F3F's available) but they had these available for more time than the wooden decked carriers.

Firefly
10-08-2005, 07:22 AM
Another point is, Burma was not regarded as being in the PTO. So if we are staying strictly within the PTO we have to discount Burma as it was a seperate command.

Really? IMHO i think that Burma was definitely part of the PTO. Remeber the actions of the Allied forces in Burma would have had an effect on the PTO, defending in a multiple front war is difficult at the best of times. By waging a succesful campaign in Burma this meant there were less avialable men and resources for the fighting in the pacific.

There were 4 commands in the East.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_War

By 1945 the Burma Theatre was commanded by Mountbatten. You have a point about the actions affecting other areas though.

Iron Yeoman
10-08-2005, 10:21 PM
Awww, cheers mate.

Cheshire Yeomanry
10-09-2005, 07:39 PM
I garner from my reading that the US Navy regarded the Uk fleet as more of a hinderance than a help as they were the ones providing the logistics. I stand to be corrected though.

In January 1944 a British Admiralty mission went to Washington to discuss the composistion of the UK Fleet Train and formulate proposals. It was agreed that with the Americans that the British should have its own supply arrangements and be self-sustaining except that the US would:

1) Share its excess facilities afloat and ashore in forward area's

2) Maintian harbour defences and minimum port facilities

3) Render emergency and temp battle damage aid to British units on the same basis as US units

4) Make available such airfields as may be under its control adjacent to the fleet anchorage for British carrier aircraft, but would not be prepared to support such aircraft for maintenance.

Source: Roskill, The War at Sea Vol III Pt2, Appendix P, Page 427

Firefly
10-10-2005, 08:19 AM
Cheers for that, I know the BPF was big, didnt know that we could have looked after 17 Carriers and all the support ships that went with that on our own.

Cheshire Yeomanry
10-10-2005, 09:47 AM
Cheers for that, I know the BPF was big, didnt know that we could have looked after 17 Carriers and all the support ships that went with that on our own.

Estimate of strength required to support BPF (Dec'44)

Listed first is the type of ship, then the estimated strength and then the actual strength come July'45

Repair Ships 7-3
Hull Repair Ships 1-0
Escort Maintenance Ships 3-2
Destroyer Depot Ships 2-2
Submarine Deot Ships 2-1
Aircraft Maintenance Ships 3-1
Aircraft Component & Aircraft Engine Repair ships 6-2
Motor Craft Maintenance Ships 1-0
Minesweeper Maintenance Ships 1-1
Mine Issue Ships 2-0
Accomadation Ships 6-6
Armament Maintenance Ships 2-0
Naval Store Issuing Ships 6-2
Naval Store Carriers 8-5
Victualling Store Issuing Ships 10-7
Air Store Issuing Ships 3-2
Armament Issuing & Store Carrier Ships 19-13
Hospital Ships 2-5
Tankers (Fast) 5-14*
Distilling Ships 2-1
Netlayers No Estimate Given (NEG) -1
Bar Vessel NEG-1
Deperming NEG-1
Tankers (Small) NEG-3
Salvage Ship NEG-2
Water Tankers NEG-4
Colliers NEG-2
Floating Docks NEG-3**
Tugs NEG-5
Radio Maintenance Ships NEG-1
Harbour Craft Carrier & Depot Ships NEG-2

* The estimate for Fast Tankers had been increased to 18 in early 1945

** The Floating docks were destroyer size. One arrived from Iceland and the other from Oran. The Large dock had been damaged in Trincomalee in August 1944 with the BB HMS Valiant inside it.

Same source as previous post

Gen. Sandworm
10-11-2005, 03:27 AM
I know that towards the end of the war (1943/44?) virtually the entire British carrier fleet was ordered to the pacific to make up American shortfalls, I think this was after the Yorktown was sunk, not sure on dates though.

Just an FYI. The Yorktown was sunk at the battle of Midway in 42 and was rebuilt the next year. http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/8791/ You can go and see in Charleston SC. Its pretty cool. I realized because of my height that me on a ww2 aircraft carrier would have been a bad thing. I would have knocked myself out every 5 mins.

Iron Yeoman
10-11-2005, 04:38 AM
D'oh i feel so dumb :oops:

Firefly
10-11-2005, 02:56 PM
That means that by 1945 the British fleet was huge and at a time when they were screaming for Infantry replacements in Europe. Maybe we should have concentrated more on the Army instead of the Navy.

I wonder what the size of the Fleet was in 1946. After we were skint!

2nd of foot
10-11-2005, 03:41 PM
That means that by 1945 the British fleet was huge and at a time when they were screaming for Infantry replacements in Europe. Maybe we should have concentrated more on the Army instead of the Navy.

I wonder what the size of the Fleet was in 1946. After we were skint!

It may not be exact and a little post date, but QE II’s revue of the fleet in 53 will give an idea of what ships were still around 8 years latter. On page 2 are a number of photos and you can count the carriers and on page 3 is the diagram of all ships. About 10 carriers I think starting with Eagle.

http://battleshiphmsvanguard.homestead.com/53Review1.html

what about all the crews in bomber command?

edited to add

And in the Express this W/E a list of 100 Great Britains had Slim as the only soldier from WW2.

Firefly
10-11-2005, 04:45 PM
Ah the crews in Bomber command were the only ones for years that could attack the enemy. But you have a point there. Still 55.000 dead Bomber crews would have made a lot of Infantry.


Edditted to add, er 55,000 infantry to be exact.


Further editted to add, Boy, the modern navy would fit into 1 small insignificant corner of that lay-out.

Bladensburg
10-11-2005, 08:30 PM
That Coronation fleet review makes for depressing reading when you consider the Trafalgar review this year.

How much of the RNs Pacific Fleet was ANZAC btw? i would disagree that the fleet's manpower was wasted, it was vital for the Battle of the Atlantic and success in the Med made North African and Italian operations possible.