The British Pacific Fleet, The Royal Navy’s Most Powerful Strike Force

The author followed a career in the Royal Navy with a period at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, as curator, before making a new career in writing about naval history. The Royal Navy assembled a Task Force that was sent to the Pacific at the ending of war in Europe. – Very Highly Recommended.


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NAME: The British Pacific Fleet, The Royal Navy's Most Powerful 
Strike Force
FILE: R2529
AUTHOR: David Hobbs
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Seaforth
BINDING: soft back 
PAGES:  462
PRICE: £16.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, World War 2, Second World War, naval 
aviation, Fleet Air Arm, aircraft carriers, strike force, Pacific

ISBN: 978-1-5267-0283-8

IMAGE: B2529.jpg6
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/mjbw7nd
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: The author followed a career in the Royal Navy with a 
period at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, as curator, before making a new 
career in writing about naval history. The Royal Navy assembled a 
Task Force that was sent to the Pacific at the ending of war in 
Europe. – Very Highly Recommended.

The Royal Navy had been tasked with vital work guarding convoys in 
the Indian Ocean and maintaining a presence along the coast of 
Malaya, but without the resources to do more. First priority went 
to the defence of the British Isles, the crucial Atlantic convoy 
routes, and the Mediterranean. As the war was ending in Europe, the 
US had come to think of the Pacific as its own theatre of war and USN 
Admirals were less than enthusiastic about seeing a British Fleet 
operating in 'their' waters. Some US politicians even went further 
and were looking to take over the commercial interests in the 
Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific of the European colonial powers. 
The political factions may not have changed their views, but the 
Admirals rapidly came to value the British ships as an important 
addition to their Pacific Task Forces.

The Royal Navy had to do more than just send out warships that were 
no longer required to fight the Germans and Italians. Considerable 
efforts were put into building up a major logistics capability in 
Australia. Ahead of their ships, spares and supplies were sent out 
and the facilities brought up to full operational capability to 
provide all of the support the task force would require to maintain 
its offensive capabilities. This meant that, when the ships arrived, 
everything was in place  for them.

The most important elements of this force were the carriers, but it 
was a balanced fleet with KGV battleships, cruisers, destroyers and 
smaller warships, together with submarines and a submarine depot 
ship. From nothing in August 1944, the British Pacific Fleet had 
rapidly grown six months later to open operations against Japanese-
held territories. By the of hostilities with Japan, the BPF was the 
most powerful fleet ever assembled for the Royal Navy. It also 
nicely complemented the USN fleet. In one area, it was vital. The 
armoured carriers were well accustomed to heavy air attack by the 
Germans and were able to operate close against the Japanese suicide 
squadron bases, where the unarmoured US carriers were very 
vulnerable. British carrier design also allowed the carriers to 
operate in conditions where the US carriers were vulnerable to heavy 
sea states. Where the US carriers continued to have open bows, the 
British carrier bows were faired in and could withstand heavy head 
seas. Therer was much innovation, including the use of the carrier 
HMS Unicorn as a maintenance, allowing aircraft to be flown to her 
for repair and servicing, freeing their own carrier for continuing 
operations. This provided a very high rate of operation for air 
groups.

The author has provided a comprehensive review of the build up of 
the BPF, its deployment and its commendable actions in the Pacific. 
The text is clearly based on extensive research and it ably 
supported by a very fine selection of images in illustration. 
Another very successful book to add to his portfolio.