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Thread: The Atlantic Conveyor "Carrier"

  1. #16
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    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!
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 03-19-2007 at 07:29 AM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  2. #17
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    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?
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 03-19-2007 at 08:02 AM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  3. #18
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    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!!)


    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.


    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.
    If you post idiocy, don't get upset if you are seen as an idiot.... I don't.

    Here endth the lesson.




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  4. #19
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    Default Re: The Atlantic Conveyor "Carrier"

    Quote Originally Posted by 1000ydstare View Post
    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!!)


    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.


    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.

    "Honi-Soit Qui Mal'Y Pense." :
    "Ill unto he who ill of it thinks."
    Edward III, Rex Britania, AD1348.

    "Wenn Schon, denn schon."
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    ^Uyraell^

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