Thirty years after the Navy had acquired its first airplane,
and only 19 years after it had acquired its first aircraft carrier, Naval Aviation faced the supreme test of war. When it
was called upon to carry the fight to the enemy, it not only carried out its tasks, but forged ahead to become the very backbone
of fleet striking power. If it had not already been shown in combat before the United States entered the war, all doubts as
to the potency of naval air power were removed by the infamous, yet skillfully executed attack on Pearl Harbor, when Japanese
carrier aircraft in one swift stroke eliminated a major portion of the Navy’s heavy surface power. That our own forces
had the kernel of a similar potential was demonstrated on a much smaller scale as carrier forces struck the first retaliatory
blows. The geographic position of the United States put it squarely between two wars that had little in common. Air operations
on the Atlantic side, except for participation in three amphibious operations, were essentially a blockade and a campaign
to protect ships delivering raw materials to our factories and war munitions and reinforcements to our Allies. In the Pacific,
it was a matter of stopping an enemy advance which, in a few short months, had spread over all the western and parts of the
south and central Pacific, and then carrying out the bitterly contested task of driving him homeward across the broad expanse
of an island-dotted sea. The country was hardly ready for either campaign. The Navy and Marine Corps air arms could muster
only 7 large and 1 small aircraft carriers, 5 patrol wings and 2 Marine aircraft wings, 5,900 pilots and 21,678 enlisted men,
5,233 aircraft of all types including trainers, and a few advanced air bases. But aided by its distance from the enemy and
fortunate in its industrial power, the United States built the ships, planes and equipment.
With only Great Britain left as a major adversary to
Europe, Hitler focused on destroying both their weapons and the country's morale.
Operation Sealion was to
include bombardments on both sea and land. Luckily, the Royal Navy was still much stronger than the German Kriegsmarine, as
they had larger fleet of ships, more experience with naval battles, and the ability to recover more quickly from attacks.
Thus, the British managed to keep control of the English Channel, and Hitler was discouraged from this path of attack. In
July 1940, the Luftwaffe (German air force) began the Battle of Britain with frequent air raids. These battles lasted for
about four months, continuing until October 1940, and is still remembered as the most intense period of daylight bombing.
The German attacks were designed to destroy buildings but also decimate British morale; some targets were hit upwards
of two hundred times. At first, radar stations and flight bases were targeted so as to damage the British planes, but then
the Germans turned toward British cities. This change of tactics proved ultimately advantageous for Britons, as it allowed
the Royal Air Force to recoup their air fleet and their bases. The strong British defense and their ability to recover quickly
discouraged Hitler, and he came to recognize that that he would never be able to establish full superiority over Britain,
whether by air, sea, or land.
Outside of the English Channel, the Battle of the Atlantic was being fought simultaneously;
it would stretch on until the end of the War. Perhaps one of the longest battles during the timeline for WWII, it consisted
of nautical campaigns resulting in victories and losses for both sides. One of the significant developments for the Allies
was the capture in May 1941 of an intact Enigma machine. This was a German device that encrypted and decrypted communications,
and it assisted the Allies greatly by allowing them to translate and understand German missives.
By knowing where
the Germans planned to be, Allied fleets could avoid the German U-boats (their submarines) and reach their destinations safely.
Another significant triumph for the Allies was the change in loyalty of the Soviet Union: they entered the war on the Allied
side in the summer of 1941, after Hitler turned on them. Additional support came from the United States, when they too entered
the war on the side of the Allies in December 1941.
Alongside the events occurring in Europe, similar battles were
being fought in Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Maintaining control of these areas was especially crucial for
the UK, as a number of their shipping routes depended on traversing the Suez Canal. When Italy entered on the side of the
Axis and declared war on France and Britain in June 1940, it immediately turned its attention to the control of the Mediterranean.
Italy began The Siege of Malta, a battle that lasted for nearly three years over an island fortress in the Mediterranean.
Despite several close calls, the British kept the base secure through 3 000 Axis raids.
by Brian Williams
The US 1st Army, V Corps had the mission of
securing the beachhead between Port-en-Bessin and the Vire River and to advance towards St. Lo. The Corps was to arrive in
4 stages with the 1st Division (with the 29th attached) leading the landings with about 34,000 men in the morning, followed
by another 25,000 men after noon. The 1st Division was a veteran unit which had served through the campaigns of North Africa
and Sicily. While for the most part, Normandy would be the 29th Division's first experience in combat. Two
American Regimental Combat Teams (RCTs) of four rifle companies each, were tasked with the initial landing (the US 29th 116th
RCT and the US 1st 16th RCT), followed by the remainder of the 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions. Fire support included
naval gunfire from the battleships, cruisers, and destroyers offshore, heavy bombing by B-24 Liberators, the 741st and 743rd
DD (dual-drive amphibious) tank battalions, several battalions of engineers and naval demolition personnel, and several howitzer
The beach at Omaha Beach sector was
about 7,000 yards long with a gentle slope that forms a crescent with bluffs located at each end. The
tidal range averaged about 300 yards between the low and high water mark. At the high water mark, the
ocean ends at a shingle that reaches up to several feet high. On the western part of the sector, the
shingle had piled against a seawall which ranged in height anywhere between 4 to 12 feet. Behind the
sea wall was a paved beach road from Exit D-1 to Exit D-3. At the middle of the beach, approximately 200
yards stands between the seawall and the bluffs. Near Exit D-1 stood a small number of villas and at Exit D-3 stood
the small village of les Moulins. At four points along the beach were small draws (or valleys) which
were thought to offer protected exits off the beach (these were actually heavily defended). At
Exit D-1 (the exit to Vierville), the draw had a paved road. The draws offered the only way for armor
to reach the high ground. Inland from the beach stood the three farming villages of St. Laurent, Colleville,
and Vierville with the hedgerow country beginning immediately behind the beaches.
The immediate objective of the Omaha
landings was to secure a beachhead between Port-en-Bessin and the Vire river and then to advance southwards
towards St. Lo. Another objective of the V Corps was link with the VII Corps to the east (via
the small town of Isigny). Isigny was a small town where the highway from Paris to Cherbourg crossed the Aure river.
This highway, as did most that were located near the beach, ran east to west. The Corps was also to
advance beyond the Aure river and towards the Cerisy Forest area to the south.
At 12:05 AM on June 6, 1944, three gliders carrying
an element of the British 6th Airborne Division silently cut loose form the their tow planes and drifted towards the Pegasus
Bridge, one of the few bridges that led over the Seine towards Normandy.
Within fifteen minutes, the British paratroopers
inside landed and stormed the bridge with heavy casualties. The first landings in Europe were made. Around the
same time, pathfinders equipped with powerful lanterns dropped all over the Cotentin Peninsula. Alone, outnumbered, and often
in the wrong place, they were dropped to mark the way for the thousands of men coming in behind them. In England,
hundreds of transports prepared gliders with paratroopers carrying their body weight in food, supplies, and weapons. One witness
recalled the paratroopers “kneeling in prayer“ as they prepared for takeoff. Actually they were too heavy to stand.
They boarded the transports and prepared to drop over Normandy. By 2 AM Normandy was alive with antiaircraft
fire. Dakotas carrying the American 101st, 82nd and British 6th Airborne came under fire as soon as they hit the coast. Pilots
struggled to keep their unarmed and unarmored craft stable long enough to drop their stick of eighteen paratroopers. Some
drowned in Rommel’s flooded fields, some overshot the Peninsula and landed in the Atlantic. Twenty-five British paratroopers
landed inside the German Fifteenth Army Headquarters.
The rest were scattered all over Normandy. Miles from their
drop zones, alone and in ones or twos, then platoons and companies, the paratroopers started to accomplish their mission.
The Germans were confused by the landings, plus the landings of dummy paratroopers, and did not react in time.
82nd Airborne Division units liberated the first town in France, Sainte Mére Eglise, early in the day. A stick of troopers
from Company F had dropped on the town during a fire and was wiped out by the German garrison guarding the fire fighters.
The 101st Division’s medical unit was captured, but the paratroopers occupied the approaches to the beaches and started
fighting. Meanwhile, the 5,000 ships of the Allied landing force were traveling through passages in the minefields in
the English Channel. 2,000 ocean going ships, including old World War One battleships, modern cruisers, destroyers, torpedo
boats, and the ubiquitous LSTs, escorted 2,000 landing craft of many different types across the Channel. A few ships were
lost to mines, but they formed up offshore of the invasion beaches by 5 AM.
Colonel Walther Pluskat of the Wehrmacht's
352nd Infantry Division was roused by his commander and sent to what the Allies called Omaha Beach. From his vantage point
in his bunker, he could see the Allied armada offshore and made a worried call to his commanding officer, saying 5,000 Allied
ships were off the coast. “Don’t worry, Pluskat,” the CO responded, “the Allies haven’t got
that many ships.”
But they did and they were off the French coast. Bombardment began immediately, the 14"
guns of the USS Texas and HMS Warspite and the 12" guns of the USS Arkansas attempting to knock out the hardened casemates
of German artillery. Waiting soldiers could actually see the shells on their way overhead. Tactical aircraft targeted heavy
railroad guns and fixed heavy artillery more than a mile behind the beach. Rommel’s designs would not even be breached
by direct hits from battleship caliber guns. At Omaha Beach, lack of bomb and shell accuracy neither created shelter for the
Americans about to land nor knocked out the guns overlooking the area. At the other beaches, the Allies made progress.
At Utah only 200 casualties were suffered before resistance lessened and the troops moved inland. The British also faced minimal
opposition at Gold and Juno. The Canadians took many casualties in the first wave, but made additional landings and were off
the beach by early morning. Canadian armor was crucial, at one point driving over the dead and wounded to attack German positions.
US Rangers tasked with eliminating German artillery in the heights overlooking both American beaches took heavy casualties
climbing up the rock face of Pointe du Hoc, but despite later legends, located heavy guns inland and destroyed them. Only
a handful of the Rangers remained to hold Pointe du Hoc against the heavy counter attack that was coming. Omaha Beach was
the key. The link between the Americans on Utah and the Allied beaches to the west, if Omaha could not be held, the invasion
might fail. At 6:20 AM, US 1st Army Group Commander General Omar Bradley watched the first and the second waves go in at Omaha.
The men in the boats looked at the untouched church steeples and buildings beyond the beach and realized the air bombardment
and naval gunfire had not landed on target.
Operation Overlord was the phase
in the Western front of World War II that was fought in 1944 between German forces and the invading Allied forces. The campaign
began with Normandy Landings on June 6, 1944 (commonly known as D-Day), among the largest amphibious assaults ever conducted
when nearly three million troops crossed the English Channel and ended on August 25, 1944, with the liberation of Paris. Allied
land forces that saw combat in Normandy on D-Day itself came from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Substantial Free French and Polish forces also participated in the battle after the assault phase, and there were also contingents
from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, the Netherlands, and Norway. Other Allied nations participated in the naval and air
forces. Once the beachheads were secured, a three-weekly build up occurred on the beaches before Operation Cobra, the operation
to break out from the Normandy beachhead began. The battle for Normandy continued for more than two months, with campaigns
to establish a foothold on France, and concluded with the close of the Falaise pocket and the subsequent liberation of Paris
in late August 1944.
Admiral Graf Spee - Gallery
Before the thundering Boeings
and Airbuses hit the skies and made the world a smaller place, ships were the primary source for not only transportation,
but also exploration and fighting wars. The exact history of boats is difficult to pinpoint, but the Noah's Ark can
be cited as an example of how long ago they existed.
Famous ships can be broadly categorized on the basis of historical significance, war participation, and catastrophic
shipwrecks. From an American history point of view, the Mayflower is said to be the most significant, since it brought the
"Pilgrims" to Plymouth, starting from Southampton, England, in 1620. Another famous ship was the Spanish ship
Amistad, which had on board 53 slaves, who revolted and killed their captors on July 2, 1839. The ship's navigator was
spared so he could take the ship to Africa, but the ship reached Long Island, New York instead. The slaves were acquitted
after several trials and allowed a passage home to Africa.
The mighty Bismarck was the most powerful Nazi warship, which after being spotted by a reconnaissance aircraft,
was engaged by the Prince of Wales and Hood. It sank the Hood in a matter of minutes and then escaped into the ocean, where
it took a day and night of shelling by the three British ships, George V, the Rodney, and the Dorsetshire, to sink the German
pride and joy. The latest famous ships include the Nimitz class nuclear powered aircraft carriers such as USS Truman that
participated in the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina relief.
From an infamous shipwreck point-of-view, the "unsinkable" Titanic preceded all, which when sank on April
15,1912, and had only 705 survivors out of the total 2227 people on board. However, few remember the sinking of the steamship
Sultana on April 27, 1865, which left 1500 dead. The worst irony was that it had hundreds of Union POWs returning home after
the Civil War, on a ship that had no lifeboats or life jackets.
Warships (Major Navies)
The first years
of World War II had shown that British destroyers were ill equipped to deal with concentrated air attacks and the Royal Navy
suffered heavy losses as a result. In 1941 urgent consideration of the problem led to a naval staff requirement for a new
class of large fleet destroyer with High Angle (HA) twin guns and an HA control system. It was decided that this main armament
would be set forward in a superfiring configuration thus allowing all guns to engage a single target. Arcs of fire were increased
by setting the bridge structure further aft than normal. The proposed AA armament were eight 40/60 mm guns in twin mountings
set atop the middle and after deck houses to give all around, overlapping arcs of fire. These were to be supplemented by 20
mm guns positioned variously around the ship. Eight 21-inch torpedo tubes were to be carried in two quadruple mounts. A/S
armament called for two depth charge rails and four depth charge throwers to be fitted. A new feature was the first use of
stabilisers in a destroyer, allowing a steady platform for AA gunnery.
With these parameters accepted a sketch
design was submitted and approved in the autumn of 1941 and orders for sixteen ships (two flotillas) were placed under the
1942 programme. Considerably larger than the standard fleet destroyer, these ships were seen as a replacement for the Tribal
class which had already suffered very heavy losses. With an overall length of 379 feet they were two feet longer than the
Tribals and with a beam of 40 feet 3 inches were just over three feet wider. It was decided to abandon the usual alphabetical
naming of destroyer flotillas and name these ships after famous land and sea battles, thus these ships became known as the
1942 Battle class.
August 8, 2000, a crowd gathered at Charleston Harbor in South Carolina. They were there to watch the recovery of a vessel
that had been underwater for 136 years, a vessel that had been touted as the most important underwater archaeological find
of the 20th century.
The crowd was awaiting
the recovery of the H.L. Hunley, the Civil War-era submarine that is widely recognized as the first submarine to actually
sink a warship. While the excavation of the Hunley was an important and exciting event, the history of the ship is just as
intriguing and significant.
already boasted nearly 100 years of history in the United States, the first being used during the American Revolution, the
Confederate Hunley was the first submarine that could truly be considered a precursor to the modern submarine.
The story of the Hunley begins in New Orleans in 1862. Horace
Lawson Hunley, James McClintock, and Baxter Watson began work on a small submarine dubbed the Pioneer. Although the Pioneer
was tested in the Mississippi River, work on the small submarine was abandoned when the Union Army began to converge on New
Orleans. Hunley, McClintock, and Watson moved on to Mobile, Alabama, where they began to work with machinists Thomas Park
and Thomas Lyons. Another submarine, American Diver, was constructed and abandoned as too slow before the men began construction
on what would become the Hunley.
development and construction as "the porpoise," the Hunley lived up to her nickname; a sleek design with an appearance
years ahead of her time, the Hunley was a 40 foot long watercraft made especially for subverting and destroying Union boats.
The Hunley was a relatively small watercraft, with a hull height of only a little over four feet, designed to be manned by
a crew of eight - seven to turn the hand-cranked propeller, one to direct and steer her. At each end of the vessel were ballast
tanks that could be flooded by valves to allow the vessel to travel underwater or pumped dry by hand pumps when the vessel
needed to come to the surface. These ballast tanks were supported by iron weights that were bolted to the underside of the
Hunley; if the vessel needed to rise to the surface quickly, these ballasts could be dropped from inside the vessel. After
a successful demonstration, the Hunley was shipped to Charleston by rail and drafted into service by the Confederate Navy,
with decidedly mixed results; two test runs of the vessel claimed the lives of thirteen men, including her inventor, Horace
Undaunted by the Hunley's
less-than-stellar record, the Confederate Navy charged on ahead with plans for the vessel, and on February 17, 1864, the submarine
was employed in her first - and only - mission: the sinking of the USS Housatonic. The Union blockade of southern ports had
paralyzed the South, particularly the blockade on Charleston. The Housatonic, 1240-ton steam-powered warship, equipped with
a dozen large cannons, was employed in the blockade of Charleston Harbor. Confederate Naval Lieutenant George E. Dixon, along
with a crew of seven men who'd volunteered for the Hunley's first mission, attacked the Housatonic, and managed to
bring the ship down with a torpedo to the hull. The Housatonic and five of her crew were at the bottom of the harbor in a
matter of minutes; the Hunley was to meet a similar fate. The reasons for the Hunley's sinking are unclear. It has been
theorized that the torpedo that sunk the Housatonic also damaged the Hunley, as well, or that the torpedo actually misfired,
taking the submarine down along with the Housatonic. Whatever the reason, the submarine sunk in the Charleston Harbor with
all eight of her crew inside. Irregardless of her tragic fate, the Hunley proved to naval engineers that a submarine watercraft
could indeed be created for destruction of enemy ships, changing modern naval warfare forever. After her excavation in 2000,
the Hunley was taken to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center at the decommissioned Charleston Navy Yard, where the she now
rests in a specially designed water tank while she is under the process of conservation. In 2004, her crew, identified by
DNA testing, was laid to rest with full military honors at Charleston's Magnolia Cemetery.
Australian warship listing
The U-boat War skilfully chronicles the logistical issues
and technological gains that worked for and against the U-boats. Early in the war the Germans suffered from torpedo failures
that were incredibly similar to that of the Americans in the Pacific; the Germans solved their problems quickly while the
American sub crews suffered from defective torpedoes for nearly three years. German and Allied development of radar is examined.
Each side sought to gain a step in this critical technology which led to measures and counter-measures that would swing the
fight back and forth. When the Allies ultimately refined radar midway through the war, it took away the one element that the
U-boats needed most to be effective (and indeed, to survive); radar meant U-boats could not use cover of night for surface
attacks. Escorts could pinpoint a surfaced U-boat miles away, direct an attack. When the U-boat dived the escorts could strike
using Asdic to track it until the boat was sunk or driven to the surface.
Doenitz favored simplified design and
logistical answers to the problem of developing and constructing boats under the press of war. The Type VII was considered
his primary weapon. It could dive quickly, had a tight turning radius, and the small size was harder to detect by Asdic. However,
its dreadfully slow underwater speed and limited range were no match for experienced Asdic operators. With the entry of the
US in the war, the larger, longer-ranging Type IX, which could carry more torpedoes and fuel, began to surpass the Type VII
in sinkings. With the turning of the war in May 1943, it was evident that better designs would be necessary for success against
Allied convoys and hunter-killer groups; a "true submarine" was the only hope. The Type XXI U-boat, a larger, dramatically
more powerful design with more than twice the underwater speed of the earlier types, was recognized as the German answer in
the convoy war. But shipbuilding would be hindered by shortages and Allied attacks. Westwood pays out close attention to the
struggle for resources between the Army and Navy over steel and manpower.
The war economy was not running at full
stretch at the beginning of the war, and the slack began to be taken up only when the war turned against Germany. This meant
that the Type XXI program would not overburden shipbuilding capacity if it were well planned, and the completion targets were
not set unrealistically high.... The pace of the program initially resulted in delays, and this, plus the strict completion
date of the first of the Type XXIs, led to her being unseaworthy, gaps in welding having wooden plugs.... The program had
approximately 50 per cent of German steel production devoted to it; the general priority in all matter was one which would
have delighted Doenitz four, or even three, years before, but was now a matter desperation.
Desperation being the
breeding ground for failure, the new, vastly superior U-boats saw very little action in the last stages of the war. Had the
Type XXI design been adopted and implemented earlier in the war, there is little doubt the Allies would have suffered great
Understanding why the war was lost, what events contributed to the defeat of the German U-boat arm, added
measurably to my knowledge. The U-boat War devotes several sections to specific convoy attacks and patrols--the exploits of
noted U-boat warriors--which make good reading, but it is Westwood's studied analysis of the tactics, planning, technology,
and logistics that elevates his book above mere war chronicle.
Welcome to NavWeaps Naval Weapons
Ships, shipbuilding, here and abroad
"ALL THE WORLD'S BATTLECRUISERS" DATA PAGES:
Imperial Japanese Navy Page
The Dunkirk evacuation,
codenamed Operation Dynamo by the British, was the large evacuation of Allied soldiers from May 26 to June 4, 1940, during
the Battle of Dunkirk. British Vice Admiral Bertram Ramsay planned the operation and briefed Winston Churchill in the Dynamo
Room (a room in the naval headquarters below Dover Castle which contained the dynamo that provided the electricity), giving
the operation its name.
In nine days, more than three hundred thousand (331,226) soldiers 192,226 British and 139,000
French were rescued from Dunkirk, France and the surrounding beaches by a hastily assembled fleet of eight hundred and sixty
boats. These craft included the famous "Little Ships of Dunkirk", a mixture of merchant marine boats, fishing boats,
pleasure craft and RNLI lifeboats, whose civilian crews were called into service for the emergency. These small craft ferried
troops from the beaches to larger ships waiting offshore, which were mainly large destroyer ships. Though the "Miracle
of the Little Ships" is a prominent folk memory in Britain (and a great morale booster for the time), over 80% of the
evacuated troops actually embarked from the harbour's protective mole onto the 42 destroyers and other large ships.
The British Eastern
Fleet (also known as the East Indies Fleet and the Far East Fleet) was a fleet of the Royal Navy during World War II and post
war until 1971. The Eastern Fleet was formed by order of the Admiralty on 8 December 1941 from the ships of the China Station
and the East Indies Station, with its Headquarters in Singapore. During the war, it included many ships and personnel from
other navies, including the Royal Netherlands Navy, Royal Australian Navy, the Royal New Zealand Navy and the United States
Navy. Post-war, the Eastern Fleet became the Far East Fleet and operated in all Far East areas including parts of the Pacific
Collected here are
documents from the 23 volume, 40 part, 25,000 page report of HEARINGS BEFORE THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE INVESTIGATION OF THE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES SEVENTY-NINTH CONGRESS which was released on
July 20, 1946.
The capture of Okinawa had elements of Iwo Jima all
over again, except it was larger and with more defenders. The landing force was larger than that at Normandy the previously
year. The number of defenders was underestimated, so the large invasion force was useful. The landing was almost unopposed
on the west-side middle of the island which was flat land with two air fields. Marines on the north edge and the army on the
south quickly occupied the two airfields and marched 6-miles across the island by day 2 and secured a stretch of 20-miles
north to south by day 6. There they ran into prepared Japanese defenses. Fighting continued for two months with progress measured
in yards most days.
Okinawa is a
long, skinny island located 450 miles and an easy flight distance from Kyushu, Japan; Singapore, China; and Taiwan (Formosa).
Naval air and B-29s made all airfields on Kyushu inoperable for that first week. British TF-57 held off air attack from Formosa.
Escort carriers provided combat air patrols over the island and ships nearby. The US 5th Fleet operated in support. The operation
began with the capture of a small island group, Kerama Retto, March 26-27, to act as ship anchorage, supply and repair facility
and seaplane base. An island 8-miles from Okinawa was occupied for use by army long-range artillery support for the invasion.
The assault on April 1 included 81,165 marines,
98,567 army, and 2,380 sailors from 77 transports and 187 LSTs. Troops landed almost unopposed and enveloped the airfields
by noon, a task which had been scheduled for day 4.
On day six : Troops confronted the prepared underground defenses. The first and largest "floating chrysanthemum"
kamikaze attack on warships. And Yamato, the world's largest battleship was detected making a run to Okinawa to attack
every day with one to 20 one-way flights between March 26 and the end of July. Ten mass kamikazes attacks were made, the first
on 6 April was of 355 planes. Conventional bombing took place throughout the battle. The second big attack on April 12 included
185 kamikazes, 45 torpedo bombers along with 150 fighters.
Yamato, 68,000 tons, 9- 18.1" guns with sufficient fuel for a one-way voyage to Okinawa, escorted by a squadron
of 8 destroyers and their flagship, light cruiser Yahagi, was detected. While a battleship force advanced to intercept, the
suicide force was attacked by 280 planes from 5th fleet ; Yamato, Yahagi, and four destroyers went under in less than 2-hours.
On April 8 a Marine fighter wing of 82 Corsairs arrived
; by April 15 radar equipped night fighters could help cover the fleet from dawn and dusk attack. Ie Shima island and airfield
was taken April 16-21. Attacks on Kyushu began from there on 17May. The 3rd Fleet withdrew to Leyte for rest and refit.
Hard fighting continued for two months until the southern
end of Okinawa was secured on 2 July. Mopping up continued until the island was surrendered 7 Sept. By the end of June, 100,000
construction troops were converting the island into an advanced base for the attack and invasion of Japan. 750 aircraft were
already based there.
The fleet lost
32 ships and craft with 368 damaged;
: 4,900 killed and 4,824 wounded ;
: 2,899 dead, 11,677 wounded..
: 2,789 killed, 20,130 wounded plus 26,000 non-combat casualties (shell shock).
The Japanese lost 7,830 planes; the U.S. 768.
The ships sunk were mostly destroyer-sized radar picket ships. Capital ships were also targets and damaged, tho they
survived. For example, one kamikaze hit on Enterprise put her out of service for 48-hours. In planning for the invasion of
Japan, we must note that the kamikazes were delayed for 6-days and missed getting the thin-skinned transports loaded with
In the summer of 1942, the Japanese had to be stopped
in their drive to cut off Australia by severing the US shipping lanes.
So far in the Pacific War, the Japanese had destroyed the US battle fleet at Pearl Harbor; destroyed the US Asiatic
Fleet in the Philippines; sunk the combined Dutch, British, Australian and American fleet in the East Indies (Java); punished
the British fleet in Malaya and Ceylon and pushed the Indian Ocean fleet back to Africa; captured southeast Asia, the Philippines,
the resource rich East Indies, and many island chains for defense in the central Pacific, an outpost in the Aleutians in the
North Pacific, and Rabaul in the Bismarcks in the South Pacific. The southern advance on Australia by way of New Guinea
had been stopped by Admiral Fletcher at the Battle of Coral Sea and the eastern Pacific was saved at the Battle of Midway.
The Imperial Japanese Navy, even after the losses at Midway, still outnumbered the naval forces of the combined US Pacific
and the Australian fleets. The Japanese continued to progress south to isolate Australia.
America had established a Germany first policy. Eighty-five
percent of US military production, shipping and supplies was devoted to the Atlantic Theater against Germany, Italy, and their
allies, and to aid England and Russia. US troops had started to arrive in the United Kingdom. The Pacific Theater
was divided into North, Central, and South Pacific under command of the Navy (Nimitz) and the Southwest Pacific (Australia
to Philippines) under the Army (MacArthur). These areas shared the remaining 15% of war production with the China-Burma-India
Nimitz had two major war aims
. Protect Hawaii and the West
Coast of the US with Midway Island as his first line of defense.
. And to protect the shipping lanes to Australia.
The Australian sea lanes were a line from the West Coast and Hawaii to Samoa, Fiji, New Hebrides to Brisbane, Australia.
The Japanese move down the Solomons would allow them to control the Java Sea and threaten America bases in New Hebrides and
Australia itself. Fletcher had reacted immediately to the Japanese occupation of Tulagi where a seaplane reconnaissance
base was established and had turned back the invasion force coming around to the south side of New Guinea that faced Australia.
He then had to race north to the major sea battle at Midway. During this period, the Marine Corps had been building
up forces in New Caledonia south of the New Hebrides. When the Japanese started to build an airfield on Guadalcanal
across Savo Sound from their base at Tulagi, the United States felt it had to act before the airfield was completed.
The Solomons are a double string of eight main
islands and many small islands spread along 700 miles of ocean about 1,200 miles northeast of Australia. The island chain
runs northwest to southeast with Bougainville in the northwest, New Georgia in the middle and Guadalcanal in the southeast.
Fighting for New Guinea is going on 700 miles to the west. Guadalcanal is 92 miles long and 33 miles wide and 700 miles
southeast of Rabaul on New Britain. New Britain is part of the Bismarck Island chain which is a northwest extension
of the Solomons. The waters between the Solomon Islands is called The Slot. Immediately north of Guadalcanal at a distance
of about 20 miles is the 20 mile long Florida Island where the Japanese have established one of their several seaplane reconnaissance
bases in the Solomon Islands at Tulagi. The eastern end of the 400 mile long Slot is Savo Sound named for tiny Savo
Island. The entrance to Savo Sound from the east is Indispensable Straight leading to several narrow channels.
The entrances from the west are the north and south passages around Savo Island.
P.S. Lincoln Castle
The PS Lincoln Castle provided a service across the
Humber between Victoria Pier, Hull, East Yorkshire and New Holland, Lincolnshire from the Second World War to 1978.
She was a coal-fired side-wheel paddle steamer, launched on 24 September 1934 by William Gray of Hartlepool and completed
in 1940 by A&J Inglis of pointhouse, Glasgow. She arrived on the Humber in 1941 to complement the existing similar
ferries, the Wingfield Castle and Tattershall Castle. She was named after the Norman castle at Lincoln and is currently serving
as a restaurant under permanent dock in Grimsby. URGENT ATTENTION : PS Lincoln Castle, currently out of operation as
a pub in Grimsby has been offered to the UK's Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS) at no charge as no commercial
company has bid for her. She is in pretty good condition - not a wreck like many real or putative preservation projects. She
can be relatively easily repaired and reactivated as a pub where she operated as a going concern until the capital cost of
repairs and a retiring landlord owner meant the business closed in 2006. The PSPS are urgently assessing the support of PSPS
members (literally, financially and practically) as to whether to take on the project initially as a re-activated pub, but
not ruling out a long term return to operational service. A decision about whether to proceed will be made on the basis of
responses received by April 30th, 2010 as a deadline of mid-May has been set before moves to scrap the ship will be initiated.
The project will also need the support of non-members, the general public and/or other beneficiaries. Therefore if you are
a non-member and can help towards this project in any way, the PSPS needs to know urgently. Please contact the PSPS before
the end of April with your constructive views and whatever you might be prepared to pledge in support, financial and/or otherwise.
Non-members should probably best contact the PSPS Chairman Myra Allen through the "Contact Us" link on their website
at www.paddlesteamers.org . Unlike many projects, this one is completely realistic and urgently needs your support -
but if it is not forthcoming this perfectly good ship will probably be lost.
The military submarine USS LOUISIANA (SSBN 743) is the
4th United States Naval vessel to be named in honor of the 18th state admitted to the union, and is the 18th and last of the
Trident Submarines to be commissioned into the United States Navy.
The first ship named LOUISIANA, a sloop built
in the shipyards of New Orleans in 1812, played a key role in the defense of the city of New Orleans during the War of 1812.
From Dec. 23, 1814 to Jan. 8, 1815, the sloop ship LOUISIANA pounded the advancing redcoats, providing essential naval gunfire
for General Jackson's troops. When the British troops advanced far up river and beyond the range of the very effective
cannon fire of the sloop LOUISIANA, the ship's crew did not let the reduction of wind slow down their support of their
fellow countrymen. Crew members went ashore with long mooring lines and pulled their sloop up the river against the currents
of the raging Mississippi to re-engage the enemy. The LOUISIANA was credited with playing a key role in the victory over the
British and keeping the valuable seaport of New Orleans in American control.
The second ship named LOUISIANA, a
side wheel steamship, was commissioned in August of 1861. It was originally posted to the Union's North Atlantic Blockading
Squadron, and the LOUISIANA operated along the Coast of Virginia against Confederate blockades. The steamship LOUISIANA was
integral in the defense of Washington, D.C. in Dec. of 1862, where Maj. Gen. John J. Foster noted in his cruise journal that
LOUISIANA "had rendered most efficient aid, throwing their shells with great precision, and clearing the streets, through
which her guns had range." The ship was later was involved in many engagements off the coast and in the rivers of the
State of North Carolina. The second LOUISIANA was sacrificed to the sea on Christmas Eve, 1864, when she was towed, stripped
of essentials, and packed with explosives, to the base of Ft. Fisher in Wilmington, North Carolina, and detonated in an effort
to completely destroy the fort without much loss of life. The huge explosion had little effect, and it required Union forces
many more weeks to capture this essential Confederate stronghold.
The US Navy battleship LOUISIANA (BB- 19) was
the 3rd ship to carry the name. She was commissioned on June 2, of 1906, and the LOUISIANA was soon called on to serve, and
was sent to Havana on a Peace Commission at the request of the National Cuban president for help in putting down an insurrection.
In Nov. of 1906, the LOUISIANA carried President Theodore Roosevelt for a cruise to inspect the ongoing construction and progress
of the great Panama Canal. On December 16, 1907, LOUISIANA left Hampton Roads along with 15 other Battleships as the "Great
White Fleet", and embarked on an around the world cruise by then President Teddy Roosevelt as a means of warning against
hostile action toward the United States of American and positioning America to the world as a global naval power to be reckoned
with. This cruise served a duration of a little more than a year, and the fleet returned to Hampton Roads in Feb of 1909.
The LOUISIANA later saw duty in World War One as a training ship and later as a convoy escort. A collection of the silver
service from the battleship is on display, proudly, on board the submarine LOUISIANA.
The word battleship refers to ships that were built
for war between the 15th and 20th century. These ships had powerful guns, armor, and were mostly used in times when major
world powers were trying to expand their colonies and establish their trade routes. The word "battleships" is often
used interchangeably with "warships," which is incorrect. Warship is the category of naval vessels that are built
to fight wars, whereas battleships had typical specifications and belonged to a particular period of time.
earlier battleships used to make "castles" aboard ships, which were raised platforms used by archers, and later
they were strengthened enough to mount large guns. The British naval supremacy was maintained over the other rival naval powers,
such as France, Spain and Netherlands, for a considerable time due to constant improvements to their shipbuilding technology.
In the 17th century, a fleet would consist of two-decker, three-decker and four decker ships that later went on to be used
in the historical Napoleonic wars. The 18th century battleships used the revolutionary exploding-shell technology, which not
only resulted in the introduction of iron/steel armor, but also rendered other ships obsolete. The irony however, is that
even though British naval superiority was widely prevalent, the French were almost always the first to produce better versions,
such as the largest three decker Valmy, the first steam battleship Le Napoléon, or the first "Ironclad" La
Gloire. The last decades of the 18th century saw a number of experimental ships being built, which resulted in the induction
of the turbine engines that laid foundation for the "Dreadnought" class of warships.
During World War
I, the German and British battleships hardly left their ports, for they were considered too expensive to be sunk. They waited
for each other to attack first. Due to agreements such as the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, the production was cut down,
before the full-fledged arms race in preparation for the Second World War. Yamato and Musashi, the Japanese warships sunk
by American forces were two of the biggest battleships to be ever constructed.
Titanic Nautical Resource Center is dedicated to providing interesting and educational information on pertinent subjects relating
to the RMS Titanic (and her sister ships RMS Olympic and HMHS Britannic, nautical maritime, boating, and other things of the
for naval history ..... First and Second World Wars, campaign summaries and more.' Imperial War Museum, London
HMS Ark Royal, the last Invincible-class
light aircraft carrier to be completed, is the fifth ship of the Royal Navy named in honour of the flagship of the English
fleet that defeated the Spanish Armada. Ark Royal is slightly larger than her sister ships and during construction she was
fitted with a steeper ski-jump ramp, (twelve degrees, as opposed to seven degrees of the Invincible) to improve STOVL take-off
performance for the Harrier aircraft. She is currently the flagship of the active fleet.
formerly known as "Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson", was one of the best known shipbuilding companies in the
United Kingdom. Based in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, the company was responsible for some of the greatest ships of the early
20th century most famously, the RMS Mauretania which held the Blue Riband for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic, and
the RMS Carpathia which rescued the survivors from the RMS Titanic. As the name suggests, the company represented the combined
forces of three powerful shipbuilding families: Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson. The company has effectively ended all
shipbuilding and is now concentrating on ship design with just under 200 people employed.
of Normandy was the invasion and establishment of Allied forces in Normandy, France during Operation Overlord in World War
II. It covers from the initial landings on June 6, 1944 until the Allied breakout in mid-July. The invasion was the largest
seaborne invasion at the time, involving over 156,000 troops crossing the English Channel from the United Kingdom to Normandy.
Allied land forces that saw combat in Normandy on June 6 came from Canada, Free French Forces, the United Kingdom, and the
United States of America. In the weeks following the invasion, Polish forces also participated and there were also contingents
Greece, and the Netherlands. Most of the above countries also provided air and naval support, as did the Royal Australian
Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force and the Royal Norwegian Navy. The Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute
and glider landings, massive air attacks, naval bombardments, an early morning amphibious landing and during the evening
the remaining elements of the parachute divisions landed. The "D-Day" forces deployed from bases along the south
coast of England, the most important of these being Portsmouth Utah Beach was the codename for one of the Allied landing beaches
during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, as part of Operation Overlord on 6 June 1944. Utah was added to the invasion plan
toward the end of the planning stages, when more landing craft became available. Despite being substantially off course, the
U.S. 4th Infantry Division landed there with relatively little resistance, in contrast to Omaha Beach where the fighting
was fierce. Utah beach, about 3 miles (5 km) long, was the westernmost of the five landing beaches, located between Pouppeville
and La Madeleine. The Battle of Okinawa, fought on the Japanese island of Okinawa, was the largest amphibious assault in
the Pacific Theater.It lasted from late March through June 1945. The battle has been referred to as the "Typhoon of Steel"
in English, and tetsu no ame ("rain of steel") or tetsu no("violent wind of steel") in Japanese. The
nicknames refer to the ferocity of the fighting, the intensity of gunfire involved, and sheer numbers of Allied ships and
armored vehicles that assaulted the island. Okinawa had a prewar civilian population of 435,000, of whom an estimated 75,000
to 140,000 died during the battle. The Allies were planning to use Okinawa as a staging ground for Operation Downfall, the
invasion of the Japanese mainland. However, this need was obviated after a significant series of events which included the
atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet Union's declaration of war on Japan in August 1945. Japan surrendered
and World War II ended.
The British Pacific
Fleet was, and remains, the most powerful conventional war fleet assembled by the Royal Navy. By VJ Day it included four battleships,
eighteen aircraft carriers, eleven cruisers and many smaller warships and support vessels. Despite this, it was a dwarfed
by the forces that the United States had in action against Japan. While it is difficult to argue that that the British fleet
was critical to the war effort, it did participate in and protect the flank of the final Allied drive against Japan in 1945.
Following their retreat to the western side of the Indian Ocean in 1942, British naval forces did not return
to the South West Pacific theatre until May 17, 1944, when an Anglo-American carrier task force implemented Operation Transom,
a joint raid on Surabaya, Java.
The U.S. was liberating British territories in the Pacific and extending its influence.
It was therefore seen as a political and military imperative to restore a British presence in the region and to deploy British
military assets directly against Japan. The British government were determined that British territories, such as Hong Kong,
should be recaptured by British forces.
The British establishment, however, was not unanimous on the commitment
of the BPF. Churchill, in particular, argued against it, not wishing to be a visibly junior partner in what had been exclusively
the United States' battle. (The Australian and New Zealand forces that were active had been absorbed into US command structures.)
He also considered that a British presence would be unwelcome and should be concentrated on Burma and Malaya. Naval planners,
supported by the Chiefs of Staff, believed that such a commitment would strengthen British influence and the British Chiefs
of Staff considered mass resignation, so strongly held were their opinions. Some U.S. planners had also considered, in 1944,
that a strong British presence against Japan was essential to an early end to the war and American home opinion would also
be badly affected if Britain did not put itself in the line.
had proposed an active British role in the Pacific in early 1944 but the initial USN response had been discouraging. Admiral
Ernest King, Commander-in-Chief United States Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations, and alleged Anglophobe, was reluctant to
concede any such role and raised a number of issues, including the requirement that the BPF should be entirely self-sufficient.
These were eventually overcome or discounted and, at a meeting, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt "intervened to say
that the British Fleet was no sooner offered than accepted. In this, though the fact was not mentioned, he overruled Admiral
The Australian Government had sought U.S. military assistance in 1942, when it was faced with
the possibility of Japanese invasion. While Australia had made a significant contribution to the Pacifc War, it had never
been an equal partner with its U.S. counterparts in strategic decision-making. It was argued that a British presence would
act as a counter-balance to the powerful and increasing U.S. presence in the Pacific. When the BPF arrived at Sydney, its
new home base, in February, 1945, it was well received. The Australian government had prepared necessary facilities, supplies
had been stock-piled and civilian homes were available for crews to rest and experience home life.
of the BPF would not be straightforward. The Pacific War was a radically different operating environment requiring warships
to remain at sea for extended periods, without ready access to land bases. Britain had previously depended on land bases for
replenishment, and had to develop a fleet train to support its efforts at sea, far away from British bases. The effort made
by Britain and its Commonwealth partners in the final stages of the Pacific war did manage to repair British prestige and
At the outbreak
of war (as in World War I), the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) used auxiliary cruisers (converted merchant ships) and the Pocket
Battleship Graf Spee to both threaten the sea lanes and tie down the British Royal Navy. In mid-1940, Italy declared war and
the Italian vessels based in Italian East Africa posed a threat to the supply routes through the Red Sea. Worse was to come
when the Japanese declared war in December 1941 and, after Pearl Harbour, the sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse, and
the occupation of Malaya, Singapore, and the Dutch East Indies, there was an aggressive threat from the east.
reality when an overwhelming Japanese naval force operated in the eastern Indian Ocean, sinking an aircraft carrier, other
warships and disrupting freight traffic along the Indian east coast. At this stage, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff,
General Sir Alan Brooke wrote:
We were hanging by our eyelids! Australia and India were threatened by the Japanese,
we had temporarily lost control of the Indian Ocean, the Germans were threatening Iran and our oil, Auchinleck was in precarious
straits in the desert, and the submarine sinkings were heavy. The fear was that a concerted Japanese stroke could chase
the Royal Navy from the Indian Ocean, with dire implications for India, and that German success in the Caucasus and in Egypt
would threaten the Persian Gulf.
World War I was fought mostly on land, ships were a necessary technological development as they helped to acquire resources
and manpower. Commanding the sea allowed allies to prevail on the western front. “With more than two thirds of the earth’s
surface covered by water, it would have been unnatural for man to neglect this playground as an idea site for thousands of
battlefields…..” (Newman, Pg 204) Naval technology of the battleship prevailed during World War I. The
battleship during the war was a symbol of naval dominance and played a major role in military strategy. The term battleship
derived from the 19th century term “ship-of-the-line,” which was classified as being large in size, heavily-armored,
and carried large and small caliber guns. The “line” is in reference to the battle line ships formed in
order to attack the enemy’s formation of ships. British battleships were built with large guns and were able to
fire much quicker than the guns on German battleships. With time, modern designed battleships made several improvements
in gunnery and were effective in aiming at the enemy with a shooting range of over 10,000 yards. With naval technology improving,
it was important to stay ahead and therefore it was necessary to continually build bigger and better armored ships.
The quality of the battleship depended on the combination of armor protection, gun power and speed.
Another ship that was a result of advanced naval technology was the battle
cruiser. The first British construction of the battle cruiser was designed with much less armor than the battleship.
This was an advantage at war as it made the ship lighter and enabled them to move faster across the water. The purpose
of the battle cruiser during the war was to be better armored than the smaller ships of the sea, but fast enough to escape
larger ships that were fully equipped. In addition to battleships and cruisers, the introduction of the submarine was
one of the more important constructions in naval warfare history. Military submarines had several advantages when used
in warfare. Being an underwater vessel, the submarine was safe from the firing guns from surface ships. Submarines
were mainly used for defense as they were hard to locate under the depths of the water. Because of this, submarines
were able to navigate quietly while sneaking up on their enemy. Tactically submarines improved during WWI and were very
effective; they became an important and useful technological advancement in naval warfare. Aerial technology began in China
with hot air Balloons which were initially used for early military communication. Balloons were not effective
at war because they were large targets, clearly visible to the enemy, and unable to fly in foggy or windy weather conditions.
Balloons were used for observation purposes only as well as gather information on the enemy while directing where to fire.
“The air was a strange, intangible, and unpredictable medium, much more difficult to observe and understand than the
The United States was late to support
aerial technology and aviation. The US navy did not purchase its first airplane until 1911, and soon after congress
granted the funds in support of military aviation.
that felt vulnerable to attack developed their military aircrafts much sooner, therefore the Europeans had many more trained
pilots and aircrafts than the United States. By 1912 France, Germany, Russia, Great Britain and Italy all had a significant
number of planes and aviators.
were ahead of the United States in that respect, none of the countries listed above had any aircrafts that were specifically
designed for war. They didn’t yet have the bombs or machine guns that were necessary for combat. The US
fell behind in using aerial technology for a few different reasons. One reason was that they didn’t feel as vulnerable
and were much less threatened by the other countries in the industrial world. In addition, the United States had a military
doctrine in place from 1914 until 1923. In order for US aircrafts to be constructed for military use, the doctrine had
to have stated that an aircraft’s purpose was for bombing and fighting. The doctrine included neither of these
things as it only stated that military aircraft missions were for strategic purposes and the examination and surveillance
of grounds only, not for air-to-air combat. When aircraft technology was developed it was for several different reasons for
example commercial use, passenger transportation and air patrol. Eventually though, airplanes became a dominant military
arm during combat. It wasn’t really until World War Two that airplanes were used for military purposes and that
aerial technology was advanced enough for airplanes to be a determining factor in the outcome of war.
Great air battles during World War Two involved innovative technology, and
the decisive use of strategic air power. With air power many new strategies of war evolved and enabled the military
to view the battlefield from an entirely different perspective.
bombing was one tool of air warfare used as its purpose was to cripple a nation or states ability to wage war. As a
result of an aerial attack fear is installed in the enemy breaking their morale and leaving them weary of another attack.
“The airplane is an incomparable tool of war, as a combat weapon, as a means of gathering information, as a transport
carrier of troops and supplies, as a destroyer of civilian centers and industry far behind actual battle lines. Where
air defense is inadequate or poorly organized, the military airplane has shown itself to be an irresistible weapon….”
The topic of the use of technology in war has a lot of significance
especially in developing a better understanding for the history of warfare. Throughout history, the technology used
for warfare has been both detrimental to us as a nation, as well as beneficial. Several of the technological advances
throughout history have helped aid us at war and enabled us to become a nation of mobilized force.
There is no doubt that technology helps ensure victory during
times of war, but it is with these advancements that we must take on the responsibility for what we’ve created.
I’ve gained knowledge of not only how technology affects war, but how our experiences at war help us determine what
new technologies we must create to benefit us when at war in the future; the two I’ve learned are interchangeable.
Researching technology and its influence on warfare
has given me insight on how far we’ve come in terms of how we use technology on land, in water, and air in order to
defeat enemies during battle. The tools that we have created in order to conquer our foes are the very tools that
have shaped us as an army, a navy, and an air force.
Most of us are familiar with the various words used
to describe different types of Navy ships, but few of us actually understand which terms refer to which ships, or what the
letters before each ship's name stands for. All commissioned Navy ship names begin with USS, which stands for "United
States Ship". Civilian, non-commissioned ship names begin with USNS, for "United States Naval Ship". There
are three basic types of Navy ships: aircraft carriers, surface combatants and submarines.
Attack And Ballistic Submarines
either of the attack or ballistic variety. Ballistic submarines, such as the Ohio class, act as launch pads for nuclear ICBMs.
Attack submarines are used in tactical missions, intelligence gathering operations and as cruise missile launching platforms.
There are 3 classes of attack submarines: the Virginia, Seawolf and Los Angeles classes.
Immense Aircraft Carriers
Aircraft carriers are
the behemoths of American defense, running over 1,000 feet in length. The U.S. Navy has the world's largest carrier fleet,
making our sea power unparalleled. Aircraft carriers bring fixed wing and rotary aircraft and fire power to wherever they
are needed around the globe. There are currently three classes of aircraft carrier: the Enterprise, the Nimitz and the Ford.
There has been only one Enterprise class aircraft carrier ever built. Currently, there are ten Nimitz class aircraft carriers
and only one Ford class, with two more planned for construction.
Surface Combatants Take Up The Slack
are the ships that assist aircraft carriers and submarines. They can also attack on their own. While there are many smaller
classes of ships used, the three major classes of surface combatants are the destroyers, the frigates and the cruisers. These
ships act as amphibious assault ships, aircraft carrier escorts, as well as auxiliary and civilian craft that provide missile
defense. Amphibious assault ships are the Marine Corps' equivalent to the Navy's aircraft carrier. There are two classes
of amphibious assault ships being used today: the Wasp and the Tarawa. Ticonderoga class guided missile cruisers are powerful
and versatile ships used in anti-submarine warfare, as well as for air and surface warfare.
Destroyers were originally known as torpedo boat destroyers. The Zumwalt and Arleigh Burke classes of destroyers
started out as deadly and agile attack ships which have evolved into significantly larger and far more deadly primary weapons.
Frigates are designed primarily to protect other ships, being smaller than destroyers. Their secondary function lies in anti-submarine
actions. All operational frigates are of the Oliver Hazard Perry class. One of the first sail powered frigates, the USS Constitution,
was operational from 1797 to 1881. In 1907, the USS Constitution began serving as a museum ship.
The versatility, power and accuracy of these ships continue to garner the respect and admiration of governments around
the world. In war and in peace keeping missions, these Navy ships are able to span the globe, halting terror and destruction,
often without firing a single shot, simply by their presence. The enemies of freedom know full well the deadly capabilities
of U.S. Navy ships and their crews.
The Roberts class
of monitors of the Royal Navy consisted of two heavily-gunned vessels built during the Second World War. They were the Roberts,
completed in 1941, and Abercrombie, completed in 1943. Features of the class, apart from two 15" guns in a twin
mounting (taken from two First World War era Marshall class monitors), were shallow draught for operating inshore, broad beam
to give stability (and also resistance to torpedoes and mines) and a high observation platform to observe fall of shot.
The A class was
a flotilla of eight destroyers built for the Royal Navy as part of the 1927 naval programme. A ninth ship, Codrington, was
built to an enlarged design to act as the flotilla leader. Two similar ships, Saguenay and Skeena were built for the Royal