Origins of Force H

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Origins of Force H

Sunk at Narvik
Joined: 20 Oct 2005, 22:23

06 Dec 2017, 13:24 #1

Curious about the development of the "Force H" idea- ie a combined arms carrier/battlecruiser squadron or "task force". Did the RN develop this doctrine in the interwar years or was it a cobbled together idea that worked? Often come across this pic on the web..a coincidence or a record of actual exercises?

Cheers!

5780483562_8e81fb8244.jpg
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1Big Rich
Joined: 03 May 2006, 02:05

09 Dec 2017, 21:30 #2

Sunk at Narvik wrote: Curious about the development of the "Force H" idea- ie a combined arms carrier/battlecruiser squadron or "task force". Did the RN develop this doctrine in the interwar years or was it a cobbled together idea that worked? Often come across this pic on the web..a coincidence or a record of actual exercises?

Cheers!

5780483562_8e81fb8244.jpg
Hi Sunk,

You might try Moretz's The Royal Navy and the Capital Ship in the Interwar Period:  An Operational Perspective.    My copy is not readily available right now, or I would check it.

As an aside, while we often think of combined capital ship and carrier task forces as 'fast', Malaya was the flagship of Force H/The Gibraltar Force for a time, and Eagle operated with Warspite, Royal Sovereign and Malaya at Calabria/Punto Stilo.   The RN's use of escort carriers, particularly in the Indian Ocean later in the war also comes to mind. 

My own opinion is the RN was only handed the FAA back in 1937, and I think the Admiralty realized it was an inadequate weapon at the time.   So as a large navy on the strategic defensive, they were looking to use any tool available (in this case, carrier strike aircraft) to bring their smaller, faster enemies in range of their most destructive weapon (capital ship guns).

Regards,
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IcelofAngeln
Joined: 21 Nov 2010, 00:24

10 Dec 2017, 17:46 #3

"they were looking to use any tool available (in this case, carrier strike aircraft) to bring their smaller, faster enemies in range of their most destructive weapon (capital ship guns)."

Worked a treat with the Bismarck.
"There are four types of homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy."

--Ambrose Bierce
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ChrisPat
Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 22:19

10 Dec 2017, 18:14 #4

Not so well several times in the Med though.  Not losing two decks and thirty carrier strike ac would have helped too; I just checked and the Italian navy was very badly placed for battleships when Mussolini launched them into war.  Only the older pair of rebuilds were fully in service.
"Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, and scorn all other men"

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster himself."

"We take pride in the terminatory service we provide"
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Sunk at Narvik
Joined: 20 Oct 2005, 22:23

11 Dec 2017, 09:51 #5

1Big Rich wrote:
Sunk at Narvik wrote: Curious about the development of the "Force H" idea- ie a combined arms carrier/battlecruiser squadron or "task force". Did the RN develop this doctrine in the interwar years or was it a cobbled together idea that worked? Often come across this pic on the web..a coincidence or a record of actual exercises?

Cheers!

5780483562_8e81fb8244.jpg
Hi Sunk,

You might try Moretz's The Royal Navy and the Capital Ship in the Interwar Period:  An Operational Perspective.    My copy is not readily available right now, or I would check it.

As an aside, while we often think of combined capital ship and carrier task forces as 'fast', Malaya was the flagship of Force H/The Gibraltar Force for a time, and Eagle operated with Warspite, Royal Sovereign and Malaya at Calabria/Punto Stilo.   The RN's use of escort carriers, particularly in the Indian Ocean later in the war also comes to mind. 

My own opinion is the RN was only handed the FAA back in 1937, and I think the Admiralty realized it was an inadequate weapon at the time.   So as a large navy on the strategic defensive, they were looking to use any tool available (in this case, carrier strike aircraft) to bring their smaller, faster enemies in range of their most destructive weapon (capital ship guns).

Regards,
Thanks! Sounds right up my street (:
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