aircraft carriers/world war II?

how were aircraft carriers used in battle in world war II ?? what were their tactics and weapons. other important info is welcome :) thank you thank you

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    Aircraft carriers/world war II?

    Importance of Aircraft Carriers in World War II

    USS Shaw Explodes in Pearl Harbor 12/7/41

    The December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor marked not only the beginning of the war in the Pacific, but it was also a milestone in carrier warefare. The attack on Pearl Harbor was spearheaded by six Japanese carriers. These carriers steamed stealthly into posistion launching their planes from over the horizon; beyond the range of U.S. Naval radar. This gave the Japanese the pivotal element of suprise necessary to initiate such a daring invasion. The ability to amass a plethora of planes from "mobile airfields" unbeknownst to enemy forces proved devastating. This type of carrier based warfare would be repeated and its strategy refined throughtout the war.

    Doolittle launches off the USS Hornet

    Two important carrier involvements that stressed the importance of carriers in World War II following the attack of Pearl Harbor included the Doolittle raid and the battle of the Coral Sea. In an intrepid act of heroism Col. James "Jimmy" Doolittle lead a group of sixteen B-25 pilots on a daring raid of Japans' capital city; Toyko. Having steamed within 650 miles of mainland Japan, Doolittle and his "raiders" launched thier planes from the carrier Hornet. Doolittle's successful raid on Toyko provided the United States with a morale boost and stuck fear into the hearts of the Japanese. Having proved the importance as an offensive weapon the carriers would solidify thier offensive stance in the battle of the Coral Sea. This battle marked the first time in which agressors were unable to see each other. The era of air warfare upon the high seas had come of age. ------------------US Aircraft Carriers in World War II ------------Aircraft Carrier Tactics of World War II There was a great transformation in aircraft carrier tactics beginning in August 1942. Although naval warfare naturally favors the attack, in just a short time new weapons and technology radically improved the power of the defense. By 1944, US Navy carriers were seriously threatened only by kamikazes, essentially human-guided missiles, and even they failed to sink a single large American carrier.

    Aircraft carriers were first developed in the 1920s. In the years before World War II, there were two main schools of thought about naval aviation. The first was that carrier based planes would scout for the main battleship fleet, soften up the enemy fleet, and spot for the big guns of the battleships. Although it is now easy to see the flaws in this theory, at the time the vast majority of the navy's firepower came from its guns, with long range aerial ordnance accounting for only a small fraction of the total. The second theory, a relatively radical one, was that carrier aircraft would destroy everything afloat. (Hughes 88) Both of these theories proved to be extreme.

    When World War II broke out in 1939, little was learned about carrier tactics because Germany and Italy had no carriers to fight with. When the war with Japan started in December 1941, both Japan and the United States had little idea how the war would be fought.

    Japanese carriers made air strikes on US bases in late 1941, but it took until 1942 for combat between carriers. In 1942, carrier forces were split so that each carrier was escorted by approximately two cruisers and three destroyers. (Wukovits 39) These escorts surrounded the carrier at a distance in a circular "wagon wheel" formation. If the force needed to change direction, each ship would turn to the proper heading, maintaining the circular formation. This screen of escorts protected the valuable carrier with anti-aircraft fire. It would also fight off any surface ships which reached the task force and protect the carrier from submarine attack. (Hughes 88-90) The ships were manufactured so that their speeds were roughly comparable, and a carrier group could travel at about 30 knots.

    In 1942, naval aviators believed that an air strike from one carrier could sink two to three enemy carriers. Anti-aircraft defenses were weak. Because of this, carriers were dispersed in the theory that if the enemy could only find one carrier, they could only sink one carrier. Massing all the carriers in one screen would endanger them all unnecessarily. (Hughes 103) The US Navy kept their carriers within supporting distance. At Midway, the two carrier task forces were kept 25 miles apart - far enough away to make it unlikely that they would be be detected by the same scout plane, but close enough so that each group's fighter screen could support the other. (Lundstrum 323) In contrast, the Japanese would sometimes spread their carrier task forces out over vast stretches of ocean.

    Battleships were still

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  • 1 decade ago

    Throughout WW2, the role of the aircraft carrier and its use evolved.

    In the early days they were just seen as a supplement of the battle fleet. The use of the Swordfish biplane torpedo bombers from 825 Naval Air Squadron of the aircraft carrier Victorious was seen as just a way of slowing Bismark to let the battleships to catch her.

    The use of the Formidable in the battle of Matapan showed just what could be done when aircraft were used in close operation.

    However, the probable turning point was the massed attack on Torento to destroy the Italian fleet. This was the Inspiration for Perl Harbour.

    However it was the Americans and Japanese in the Pacific that developed the Aircraft Carrier as the major weapon.

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  • glenn
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Carriers carried several different types of planes. Fighters, dive bombers, and torpedeo planes, and spotting planes to locate the enemy.

    Carriers had no main guns, so their planes were their weapons. They kept away from the enemy, also moving forward, back and to the side so the enemy could not keep a fix on their location.

    Some fighters stayed over head as CAP (Combat Air Patrol) to keep enemy fighters off. Some fighters escorted attack planes to the enemy to protect them. Carrier battles were fought at under 200 miles distance because of the limited range of the planes.

    Optimally, the attack planes all arrived at the same time, the fighters pulled the enemy fighters off station, the dive bombers came in high, the torpedo planes in low. Usually they arrived in waves instead.

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