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1000ydstare
01-22-2006, 02:09 AM
I remember in a previous thread I banged up alot of info reference the Atlantic Conveyor including lots of pictures of it being used as a Carrier.

Is that thread still lurking or has it gone down the earth spike?

If still around could it be seperated and posted or I'll just start again. :?

Firefly
01-22-2006, 04:25 AM
Best to start again unless its in the 2005 Archive it may have been sanitised!

1000ydstare
01-22-2006, 04:42 AM
No dramas, shouldn't take too long.

1000ydstare
01-22-2006, 06:38 AM
MV Atlantic Conveyor was used as a stores ship in the Falklands but also, and perhaps crucially, as a sort of auxillary aircraft carrier.

http://www.btinternet.com/~philipbparker/CONVEYOR-FALKLANDS_1982-2.jpg
A Royal Navy Harrier landing on the forward section of "Atlantic Conveyor"

http://www.btinternet.com/~philipbparker/CONVEYOR-FALKLANDS_1982-1.jpg
A view from the accommodation of "Atlantic Conveyor" after loading the aircraft at Ascension Island, April 1982. The Vessel in the background is the North Sea Ferry "Norland"

photographs by Chief Petty Officer Bob Gellett. From http://www.btinternet.com/~philipbparker/CONVEYOR-FALKLANDS_1982-1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.btinternet.com/~philipbparker/acl_history.htm&h=504&w=698&sz=78&tbnid=POj5inLr9ldC3M:&tbnh=99&tbnw=138&hl=en&start=1&prev=/images%3Fq%3DAtlantic%2BConveyor%26svnum%3D10%26hl %3Den%26lr%3D%26sa%3DN

http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/a/af/180px-Atlantic_Conveyor.jpg

The stacked ISO containers provieded shelter from the wind.

http://www.naval-history.net/FpMNAtConveyorBurnt.JPG
The burnt-out hulk of "Atlantic Conveyor" as a tug
(believed to be "Irishman") prepares to take her in tow.

http://www.navyphotos.co.uk/cnvyr1b.jpg

http://www.britains-smallwars.com/Falklands/ac.gif

http://www.raf.mod.uk/falklands/images/cas010.jpg

http://www.raf.mod.uk/falklands/images/cas011.jpg

http://www.raf.mod.uk/falklands/images/cas014.jpg
The plastic bags are to protect the aircraft from salt erosion.

Good read www.raf.mod.uk/ falklands/1sqn_2.html

http://www.raf.mod.uk/falklands/images/cas017.jpg

http://www.raf.mod.uk/falklands/images/cas021.jpg

Panzerknacker
01-22-2006, 11:09 AM
Very very good pictures in here.

SS Tiger
01-22-2006, 03:34 PM
A bit more information,


The Atlantic Conveyor was a British merchant navy ship that was requisitioned during the Falklands War and sunk by an Exocet missile. Owned by Cunard, the 14,950 tonne roll-on, roll-off container ship was built along with six other container ships each named Atlantic and flown under different national flags for different companies.

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

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/Fr_exocet.jpg
Exocet missile

cpl condor
01-22-2006, 03:48 PM
Very nice pics, I never see that, thank you. :arrow:

1000ydstare
01-23-2006, 01:08 AM
SS Tiger wrote:

The Atlantic Conveyor was a British merchant navy ship that was requisitioned

The correct term is STUFT (pronounced stuffed) standing for Ship Taken Up From Trade. It is, strangly enough, a proper acronym.

From http://www.btinternet.com/~warship/Feature/falk.htm


Temporary Carriers

Such was the need to transport and operate aircraft in the Falklands, the Ministry of Defence requisitioned many merchant ships.
Whilst some were converted to hospital ships or troop carriers several were converted into basic aircraft carriers. The container ship Atlantic Convoyer was one such vessel. She had been laid up on the River Mersey but she and her sister ship Atlantic Causeway were taken to Devonport where they were hurriedly converted into 'harrier carriers'. However, the Atlantic Convoyer was one of the more unfortunate participants of the war. On May 25th she was struck by an exocet missile and was immediately evacuated as fire spread through the ship. Together with her loss was the destruction of 3 Chinook and six Wessex helicopters and the tragic deaths of 12 men, including several from the merchant navy. Other Royal Navy ships had some aircraft capability including the helicopter support ship RFA Engadine and the Assault ships Fearless and Intrepid ,which at one point during the campaign both successfully landed Sea Harriers on their helicopter flight decks.

http://www.btinternet.com/~warship/Feature/dharr2.JPG
http://www.btinternet.com/~warship/Feature/harr.JPG

Above: Two very different views of the SS Atlantic Convoyer. (left) The Atlantic Convoyer was converted into a temporary 'harrier carrier' thanks to the versatility of the Sea Harrier which has vertical takeoff and landing ability. As can be seen from the photograph the flight deck was shielded from the elements by walls of containers at each side.(right) The Atlantic Convoyer after it was struck by the exocet.

Eagle
01-25-2006, 01:04 AM
The Atlantic Conveyor was used as a contender ship, with Harriers as stores when the reinforcement of the aircraft carriers were necessary.

The mobilizations were realized by flights, taking off from the little Atlantic Conveyor's platform, and landing on the Hermes or Invincible.

Greetings...

1000ydstare
01-25-2006, 01:10 AM
No Eagle mate, they actually conducted limited Ops off them.

For CAP they only needed sidewinders, guns and fuel, with such a light load they were fully capable of VTOL. The ramps on the Hermes and Invincible were used to get the heavily loaded ground attack missions of the short deck!!!!

But yes, she did carry lots of other stores as well as aircraft. More ground attack and some of the ops, the Harriers bobbed over to Hermes or Invincible, were topped up with fuel and bombed up. On return they went direct to the Coveyor.

Think of her as an extra runway for the carriers.

Eagle
01-25-2006, 06:03 PM
No Eagle mate, they actually conducted limited Ops off them.

For CAP they only needed sidewinders, guns and fuel, with such a light load they were fully capable of VTOL. The ramps on the Hermes and Invincible were used to get the heavily loaded ground attack missions of the short deck!!!!

But yes, she did carry lots of other stores as well as aircraft. More ground attack and some of the ops, the Harriers bobbed over to Hermes or Invincible, were topped up with fuel and bombed up. On return they went direct to the Coveyor.

Think of her as an extra runway for the carriers.



Partner, as far as I know, all the combat missions, CAP, CAS or bombing, took off from the carriers. Only in the cases to defend the fleet, with a small range and a light weight could be possible a VTOL, but in a CAP where the aircraft needs to cover a large surface with external fuel tanks, the carriers were de only options... greetings.

1000ydstare
01-25-2006, 10:21 PM
Although Sea Basing may be seen as a transformational concept, and the notion of using cargo ships as aircraft carriers while allowing Air Force pilots to fly from them seems to support transformation, there is a historical precedent. During the 1982 Falklands campaign, Great Britain executed a version of Sea Basing to support Operation Corporate and its retaking of the islands. It did not do this in answer to any new doctrinal concept, but of necessity. Operation Corporate highlights the two topics important to the STOVL JSF's support to Sea Basing. The first is the use of non-purpose-built ships as aircraft carriers. The Atlantic Conveyor, a commercial container ship, was pressed into service as a transport for Harriers, helicopters, spare parts, fuel, ordnance, supplies, and equipment.22 The converted ship originally was not intended to launch operational missions, but it had two operational deck spots, one of which was manned by an armed Sea Harrier during transit from Ascension Island to the task force.

From http://www.usni.org or USN Institute discussing the merits of the JSF, and a need for STOVL. (V/STOL as was).

Eagle
01-25-2006, 10:30 PM
As far I understood your post, I can see that we are saying the same.

The Atlantic Conveyor could be a platform for armed harriers, only to defend the fleet with a short range of action requested, using a light scheme of weapons, but not as a CAP, where the Harrier need its external fuel tanks... and with them the capability of VTO was practically impossible.

1000ydstare
01-25-2006, 10:35 PM
Pretty much, but you haven't said that this post is wrong or has changed...


The Atlantic Conveyor was used as a contender ship, with Harriers as stores when the reinforcement of the aircraft carriers were necessary.

The mobilizations were realized by flights, taking off from the little Atlantic Conveyor's platform, and landing on the Hermes or Invincible.

Was she just a container ship, or did she conduct defence ops from her deck?

As you say, she couldn't launch long distance or heavy load attacks as the harriers couldn't get off of the deck.

1000ydstare
03-19-2007, 02:00 AM
Atlantic Conveyor was a huge ship, and would probably have given a Aircraft Carrier like radar return. Read my thread on her, she was also used as a Carrier, although flight ops were limited due to the Harriers having to VTOL - thus less ordance could be carried. The Harriers that were launched generally hopped to a carrier for rearming/fueling and then on to an attack or performed CAPs. Chinooks also operated from the Atlantic Conveyor.

(As anaside, the "ski jumps" on Hermes and Invincible were designed to assist heavily loaded Harriers in to the air.

Like Panzerknacker says, many air attacks weren't planned in detail which ships to hit. Ships were targetted as they presented themselves. The AA threat from the Royal Navy was quite strong, not to mention the Air to Air threat from the Harriers at the end of some very long outward journeys.

Fuel was always at a premium over the Islands. Britain, early on, pretty much denied the Argentines use of the airstrips on the islansd, by either direct attack or by interdiction.

Ref the two pilots that died Panzerknacker. I am aware they didn't die in a pub. What I am interested in is who took them down. There is no record of the Invincible being defending herself against the supposed attack directly.

Frigates in the area seem to have been pretty busy.

One point taht is confusing is that the pilots claim to have dropped bombs on a ship. Yet NO ship actually admits to have being dropped on!!!

Even if the pilots confused the flight deck of a Frigate with a Carrier, surely the Frigate would record the attack?

Could they have ditched the bombs when the other two pilots were killed? Flown home and hoped that no one would notice? After all they believed the exocet to have hit the Carrier.

Or maybe they admitted it on return, after all 50% casualties to a raid whilst not even able to see the target is pretty bad, and a "political" descision was made. Ie,

"did the Exocet get her?"

"Yes, nothing went wrong, and we got Atlantic Conveyor only 5 days ago in the same way"

"Right, realease that we got her, but big up the bravery of the bomber pilots, Missiles from 100K aren't brave enough"

Given the level of bonkers going on in the Junta at the time, it is hardly unbelievable. Also look at how the Americans have feted Jessica Lynch, yet other "less media suitable Heros" were glossed over.

32Bravo
03-19-2007, 07:27 AM
At San Carlos Water, they continued to go for the warships. They had little time over the water as they came in low and fast, had to choose a target and make good their escape. However, on the first day, within the sound, Canberra was sitting there like a great, fat, juicy, white whale, laden with troops and offering itself as a wonderful prize. As were the amphibeous landng ships. Yet, still, the pilots chose to take on the smaller frigates which were not only better able to defend themselves, but also expendable. It baffles me! I know it's easy to criticize, particularly form an armchair, but what was going on?

1000YS. I haven't read your post, as yet, but I will do....ta!

32Bravo
03-19-2007, 08:00 AM
I think the concept was first developed by the USN in the Pacific. They developed 'Jeep Carriers'. These were used as escort carriers. their principal function was to carry replacement aircraft, to replace combat losses.

Reading through the posts it appears to me, that the Atlantic Conveyor was carrying a fresh load of aircraft to be transferred to improvised land bases, once the landings had taken place. The reason for the ability for the Harriers to take off from the ship is obvious. There was no other way to unload them. They had kept an aircraft 'gunned-up' in transit, to give local, air protection to the ship and its escorts. Once in situ, they were taken from the ship to become involved in CAP during the landings. Hence there not being any Harriers on board when the ship was hit.

Prior to the landings, they would have sorted from the main carriers. However, there being limited room aboard the carriers because of their own complement of aircraft, the Harriers would most probably have returned to the Atlantic Conveyor when not in use. In effect, this would see the Atlantic Conveyor in the role of a floating hangar.

What do you think?

1000ydstare
03-19-2007, 08:46 AM
Pretty much.

Chinooks and helos also operated from her, and rested on her when needed (clearing precious deck space not only on Invincible and Hermes (for offensive air ops), but also Fearless and Intrepid (for offensive helo launched ground ops) and the ever more precious heli decks of QE2 and Canberra.

During WW2 Merchant men were also equiped with aircraft for defence. Fired off catapults and either returned to UK, or they had floats for reclaimation by the mothership.

It is not really a new idea, first used by the Royal Navy at the outbreak of WW2.

Merchant Aircraft Carriers were tankers and grain carriers, as these provided ships that could easily be unloaded of cargo (they carried cargo whilst operating as Carriers) without the need for damage to the flight deck. The flight deck was constructed over the top of hte deck, witha miniscule tower for ops. The air crew usually numbered barely 50 all told. Later on they were used to only transport aircraft as deck cargo. (No VTOL so no flights!!)

http://www.ww2ships.com/documents/images/doc0002-img016.jpg
The British Merchant Aircraft Carrier Empire MacKendrick

see also
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant_aircraft_carrier

Catapult armed merchantmen.
Vessels with aircraft mounted for defence, possibly some guns.

http://www.ww2ships.com/documents/images/doc0002-img017.jpg
British CAM ship Empire Darwin, with what looks to be a Spitfire on the cat, maybe a Seafire the maritime equivalant.

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

From http://www.navyhistory.org.au/the-catapult-fighters/


The Focke-Wulf Condors operated in conjunction with the U-boats, so it was vital to protect the convoys from the bombers. Churchill rather optimistically wrote in his memoirs, ‘By the use of fighter aircraft mounted in ordinary merchant ships, as well as converted ships manned by the Royal Navy, we soon met this thrust. The fighter pilot, having been tossed like a falcon against his prey, had at first to rely for his life on being retrieved from the sea by one of the escorts’.

It is evident that there could be only one answer to the problem of the Condors - the ships must carry their own fighter aircraft with them. Two methods of doing this were proposed by Captain M.S. Slattery, RN. One was ‘The fitting of catapults to suitable merchant ships’ and the second, ‘the fitting of the simplest possible flight decks and landing equipment to suitable merchant ships’. Both proposals were approved by the Admiralty and early in 1941 the work began on the conversion of the Hurricane aircraft to Sea Hurricanes for catapult operations. A prototype rocket fired catapult was also made and production started on over 50 more.

Shortly after I joined the Admiralty in March 1941, work began on fitting the catapults on suitable merchant ships. They were 75 feet long and rocket fired.

Not to be confused with Armed Merchant Cruisers (AKA Admiralty Made Coffins). Merchant men armed with WW1 (5in) vintage guns and used to fight as warships. Although outclassed, outgunned, outrun, outarmoured (they were often unarmoured) and to an extent outcrewed (crew were usually retirees and merchant men) by all war ships, they have a very fine history.

One sank an aux cruisers near Trinidad another, HMS Rawilpundi came across the German battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau as they attempted a brief sortie to the Atlantic. Despite being completely outgunned, and with no hope of victory, the Rawilpundi refused to surrender and was sunk by gunfire from the Scharnhorst.

Another, HMS Jervis Bay was the sole escort for a convoy, when it was detected by the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer. The Jervis Bay held off the Admiral Scheer for long enough for the convoy to scatter. Of the 37 ships in the convoy, 32 escaped. The Jervis Bay was sunk.

An Auxilery Cruiser means two different things also.

In Germany they were Commerce raiders, looking like the merchantmen, they carried hidden (not just covered, actually hidden behind doors etc.) armament to engage merchantmen. They were also equipped with torpedo tubes and armoured. These types of raider were used for centuries prior to the second world war.

Over the years, a common code of conduct developed for the commissioning and use of these vessels of war. Importantly, vessels must carry with them proof of their authorisation to raid commerce (such as a ‘letter of marque’) otherwise they would be considered to be pirates (and subject to execution on capture). In addition, they must adhere to a strict set of rules (known as the ‘prize rules’).

The prize rules require that merchant vessels are not sunk on sight, rather they must be ordered to stop and submit to a search for contraband (i.e. goods which are being shipped to the enemy and which may aid them in the war). If contraband is found the vessel can be sunk or seized (taken as a prize). The crew of a vessel must be taken to a place of safety, which is either on board another ship (such as the raider itself) or in lifeboats within sight of land and with good prospects of reaching land safely. Only if the merchant vessel offers resistance can it be fired on, and treated as a warship (the prize rules no longer apply). During the Second World War, ‘resistance’ included using the radio to signal for help.

Merchant raiders could be expected to outfight destroyers, and could be formidable adversaries even to larger ships if approached without proper caution.

In the Royal Navy they were referred to as "Q-Ships/Boats". These vessels first came on scene during the first world war as a method of fighting u-boats.

In outward appearance the ships look identical to normal merchant cargo vessels, however they carry concealed guns (usually under covers on deck, disguised as deck cargo). The ships carry light but bulky material (such as cork) in their holds to provide buoyancy if they are torpedoed, and they are un-armoured. They may also be fitted with hydrophones.

In WW1, sonar had not been invented, and neither had depth charges. The only realistic prospect for sinking submarines was by catching them on the surface, and Q-ships were an effective method of doing this.

They were aided by the prize rules (see above), which required submarines to stop and search ships before attacking them. Even when unrestricted submarine operations began, Q-ships were still somewhat effective as submarines carried few torpedoes, and there was a natural tendency for submarine commanders to try to conserve them by engaging with their deck gun whenever practicable.

The Americans also tried them in 1942, but they weren't as effective during ww2 and weren't deployed in great numbers.

Q-ships sailed alone in to waters thought to be inhabited by submarines. They waited until they were attacked (either by deck gun or torpedoes, relying on their improved buoyancy to survive), whereupon some crewmembers make a show of launching lifeboats and abandoning the ship in panic. When the submarine closely approaches the ship the disguise is dropped, the covers are thrown off the guns, and the submarine is engaged.

Uyraell
03-19-2009, 06:14 AM
Pretty much.

Chinooks and helos also operated from her, and rested on her when needed (clearing precious deck space not only on Invincible and Hermes (for offensive air ops), but also Fearless and Intrepid (for offensive helo launched ground ops) and the ever more precious heli decks of QE2 and Canberra.

During WW2 Merchant men were also equiped with aircraft for defence. Fired off catapults and either returned to UK, or they had floats for reclaimation by the mothership.

It is not really a new idea, first used by the Royal Navy at the outbreak of WW2.

Merchant Aircraft Carriers were tankers and grain carriers, as these provided ships that could easily be unloaded of cargo (they carried cargo whilst operating as Carriers) without the need for damage to the flight deck. The flight deck was constructed over the top of hte deck, witha miniscule tower for ops. The air crew usually numbered barely 50 all told. Later on they were used to only transport aircraft as deck cargo. (No VTOL so no flights!!)

http://www.ww2ships.com/documents/images/doc0002-img016.jpg
The British Merchant Aircraft Carrier Empire MacKendrick

see also
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant_aircraft_carrier

Catapult armed merchantmen.
Vessels with aircraft mounted for defence, possibly some guns.

http://www.ww2ships.com/documents/images/doc0002-img017.jpg
British CAM ship Empire Darwin, with what looks to be a Spitfire on the cat, maybe a Seafire the maritime equivalant.

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

From http://www.navyhistory.org.au/the-catapult-fighters/



Not to be confused with Armed Merchant Cruisers (AKA Admiralty Made Coffins). Merchant men armed with WW1 (5in) vintage guns and used to fight as warships. Although outclassed, outgunned, outrun, outarmoured (they were often unarmoured) and to an extent outcrewed (crew were usually retirees and merchant men) by all war ships, they have a very fine history.

One sank an aux cruisers near Trinidad another, HMS Rawilpundi came across the German battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau as they attempted a brief sortie to the Atlantic. Despite being completely outgunned, and with no hope of victory, the Rawilpundi refused to surrender and was sunk by gunfire from the Scharnhorst.

Another, HMS Jervis Bay was the sole escort for a convoy, when it was detected by the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer. The Jervis Bay held off the Admiral Scheer for long enough for the convoy to scatter. Of the 37 ships in the convoy, 32 escaped. The Jervis Bay was sunk.

An Auxilery Cruiser means two different things also.

In Germany they were Commerce raiders, looking like the merchantmen, they carried hidden (not just covered, actually hidden behind doors etc.) armament to engage merchantmen. They were also equipped with torpedo tubes and armoured. These types of raider were used for centuries prior to the second world war.

Over the years, a common code of conduct developed for the commissioning and use of these vessels of war. Importantly, vessels must carry with them proof of their authorisation to raid commerce (such as a ‘letter of marque’) otherwise they would be considered to be pirates (and subject to execution on capture). In addition, they must adhere to a strict set of rules (known as the ‘prize rules’).

The prize rules require that merchant vessels are not sunk on sight, rather they must be ordered to stop and submit to a search for contraband (i.e. goods which are being shipped to the enemy and which may aid them in the war). If contraband is found the vessel can be sunk or seized (taken as a prize). The crew of a vessel must be taken to a place of safety, which is either on board another ship (such as the raider itself) or in lifeboats within sight of land and with good prospects of reaching land safely. Only if the merchant vessel offers resistance can it be fired on, and treated as a warship (the prize rules no longer apply). During the Second World War, ‘resistance’ included using the radio to signal for help.

Merchant raiders could be expected to outfight destroyers, and could be formidable adversaries even to larger ships if approached without proper caution.

In the Royal Navy they were referred to as "Q-Ships/Boats". These vessels first came on scene during the first world war as a method of fighting u-boats.

In outward appearance the ships look identical to normal merchant cargo vessels, however they carry concealed guns (usually under covers on deck, disguised as deck cargo). The ships carry light but bulky material (such as cork) in their holds to provide buoyancy if they are torpedoed, and they are un-armoured. They may also be fitted with hydrophones.

In WW1, sonar had not been invented, and neither had depth charges. The only realistic prospect for sinking submarines was by catching them on the surface, and Q-ships were an effective method of doing this.

They were aided by the prize rules (see above), which required submarines to stop and search ships before attacking them. Even when unrestricted submarine operations began, Q-ships were still somewhat effective as submarines carried few torpedoes, and there was a natural tendency for submarine commanders to try to conserve them by engaging with their deck gun whenever practicable.

The Americans also tried them in 1942, but they weren't as effective during ww2 and weren't deployed in great numbers.

Q-ships sailed alone in to waters thought to be inhabited by submarines. They waited until they were attacked (either by deck gun or torpedoes, relying on their improved buoyancy to survive), whereupon some crewmembers make a show of launching lifeboats and abandoning the ship in panic. When the submarine closely approaches the ship the disguise is dropped, the covers are thrown off the guns, and the submarine is engaged.
Spitfires were planned but never used in the CAM ship role. 50 Hurricanes (I, B from memory) were converted and allocated, of which less than 6 (from memory: I'd have to go back and re-read Hugh Popham's book on the topic, he was was the pilot assigned to the Micheal E, of which he survived the sinking, to be sent aloft against an FW200, later) were launched on actual interceptions.

However, until the arrival of the Escort "Woolworth's" Carriers the CAM ships did prove useful.

It is of note that there is no record of Spitfires seeing use in the CAM ship role.

Regards, Uyraell.