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.
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
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.