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British vs. US Carrier Design in WWII


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#881 Kutscha

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:58 AM

Even if you think your enemy is trodden underfoot, always be prepared in case they rise up and thump you.


Exercise Tiger comes to mind.

#882 ickysdad

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 01:25 AM

How are you, mate? 'S been a while, hope things are going ok with you. :)

Some heavy units available in the summer of '44 would be the cruisers Hipper and Prinz Eugen- large, well balanced, heavy cruisers- pocket battleships Lutzow and Admiral Scheer and of course the mighty Tirpitz was still afloat until November.

To that you can add four light cruisers and twenty one destroyers, the Schnellboote force, the torpedoboots and the still numerous and deadly U-boats.

Worth keeping a few strike aircraft handy with that lot no further than the Baltic and Norway, less than a days passage away…:D


Things are going pretty good I must say,I have been debating,along with Indy, over on warships1 pertaining to wether or not Germany followed Treaty of Versaillies and AGNT 35 !!!! LOL!!!!

On heavy units of the KM ,well was Tirpitz really sea-worthy? Anyways I asked Stewart the question because remember the Allied bombardment force something like 6 BB's.


Oh we're only 26 replies short of a record..I just bumped up the "Best Fighter' thread which had 907 posts ,this one has 881.

Edited by ickysdad, 20 February 2012 - 01:39 AM.


#883 Flo

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:13 PM

And not just the Tirpitz! :D The KM forces were roughly handled and badly stretched, especially in the Baltic. But the same could be said of Allied equipment throughout the war. How many ships did we send to sea with knackered turrets, jammed lifts, defective main machinery, twisted hulls? We knew what could be achieved with half a ship and we planned accordingly.
The heavy Allied naval presence would undoubtedly have defeated any KM attack, but that would be cold comfort if the attack managed to cut the expeditionary force off. Combine it with a heavy counter attack ashore and a surge of Luftwaffe aircraft overhead and you have the ingredients for the heaviest Allied defeat of the war.
It didn't happen. But the potential was there. The Kasserine Pass was only fourteen months back, Exercise Tiger just three; the Allies had to be prepared for the very worst. The Axis had turned us over far too often already to risk showing them anything other than the utmost respect.

#884 Lightning

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:05 PM

...they made their position quite clear seventy years ago.
They decided to use Barracudas against the heaviest defended anchorage in Europe, in spite of large numbers of Avengers being available.


And, after repeated attempts, the Tirpitz remained afloat for several months until sunk by Lancasters. Also, when you read about the attacks, those defenses were very ineffective.

They sent a large number of Avengers to the Pacific. They sent almost as many Barracudas after them.


But the Barracudas experienced performance problems there and they were replaced by Avengers. It is significant to note that there were more Avengers on British carriers at war's end than there were Barracudas.

I'm easy on your overall assessment- the Avenger was a great plane, the Barracuda suffers from a terrible reputation.


I don't doubt that that "terrible reputation" was overstated, but not entirely so. There is just no way that the plane got that reputation without there being good reason. The Avenger never got a bad reputation--terrible or otherwise--and that was also for good reason.

I hope you've accepted at least some of the points I raised about the aircrafts' capabilities..


I have repeatedly said that the Barracuda was an effective airplane. I just maintain that the Avenger was, overall, more effective.

For example, if the main threat existed in the West, the RN would keep their best or most suitable strike aircraft to face it.


But they initially kept their Avengers in the West while sending their Barracudas to the Pacific. Did they therefore consider the greatest threat to be in the Pacific? They only sent those Avengers to the Pacific when the Barracuda began to exhibit performance problems there. As I said, "You can't have it both ways."

The possibility that the greatest threat was assessed to be in the East is the one your entire argument rests on....


And that's an argument that you haven't been able to refute. I never compared the relative gravity of the East vs West threats. What escalated the threat to, and the capabilities of, the RN carriers in the East was the degraded performance of the Barracuda. That happened. It was a real-world, real-war fact that can't be rationalized away.

Likewise your lengthy and unnecessary commentary on the Barracuda fan book. The point I was making was one on the nature of popularity- 'countless' reference's to the qualities of the Avenger are a thoroughly circular reinforcement of a preferred opinion. I offered a similar publication [note use of the singular] offering the same treatment of the Barracuda.


Popularity and reputation are not the same. Popularity is not based on recorded facts or history but more on emotional appeal. Popularity is much more fickle and fleeting than reputation. Reputations are earned. not so popularity.

"Preferred opinion"? Sounds like a far-reaching conspiracy of many people over many decades--and still going on! I don't think so.

Quite why the British origin of a pro-Avenger site should carry any more weight than a New Zealand, Canadian or American one escapes me.


It carries equal rate. It is also a ".org" (not ".com") site in the UK, so I don't agree that it is necessarily a "pro-Avenger site. If you cite one of those others that presents the Avenger in an equally negative light, I would certainly consider it, but for any such site (if you can find one), there are many sites and reference sources that contain less-than-complimentary comments and evaluations of the Barracuda.

Also, did the Canadians use the Avenger during the war? I know they were post-war users of the aircraft.

Surely you don't imagine a national bias in this discussion? (innocent)


And you don't?

However, the removal of it from one role, in one theatre, as the perceived direct result of a well known failing of the airframe could be used in the same manner as you use the withdrawal of far fewer Barracuda airframes.


I've made it quite clear that compressibility was a phenomenon that affected numerous fighters--P-38; P-47; P-51; Spitfire--to name several. It was not a "failing" in the airframe of any of these aircraft. There was no out-of-specification issue involved. Those planes were fully capable of performing as designed and built.

The Barracuda, on the other hand, experienced a loss of performance that made it unable to meet its design specifications. This is made obvious by the fact that they were originally expected to meet those specifications, otherwise, they wouldn't have been sent to the South Pacific in the first place. (Quite possibly, the RN Avengers would have been sent instead. :D)

Flo, we're not only repeating ourselves in individual postings but in multiple postings. We'll just have to agree to disagree. Just let me say that both airplanes played important roles in the winning of the war. It would be next to impossible for both to have contributed exactly equally--one had to have been the better of the two to one degree or another. It's just that we disagree as to which one that was.

Regards,

Lightning


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#885 dunmunro1

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:44 PM

And, after repeated attempts, the Tirpitz remained afloat for several months until sunk by Lancasters. Also, when you read about the attacks, those defenses were very ineffective.



The defences were based upon a combination of smokescreens, flak and fighters. The fact that Tirpitz survived multiple attacks by the FAA and RAF heavy bombers is a testament to the effectiveness of the defences, and I can't possibly imagine how you could think otherwise.

#886 stewartg

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:20 PM

I know that the Fulmar carried bombs during the Raid on Kirkenes...

I suspect that Brown's trials experience related purely to assisted TO.



Fulmars with bombs at Kirkenes? That's news to me, what's your source?

On the Firefly bombs problem, Brown says explicitly it occurred during arrested landings as well.

#887 Flo

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:55 PM

:D Lightning, you're missing almost every point I make. I thought it was my inability to put down my thoughts coherently- as I've said before, English isn't my first language- but some others seem to 'get' what I'm saying straight away.

And, after repeated attempts, the Tirpitz remained afloat for several months until sunk by Lancasters. Also, when you read about the attacks, those defenses were very ineffective.

The high value unit remained afloat, therefore the defences were extremely effective, right up until the RAF got bored p*ssing around and plastered the whole anchorage with Tallboys. The RN aircraft which hit with less ordinance on each successive attack didn't change, nor did the crews. An assumption that they were incompetent has to be weighed against the large number of hits and near misses scored against Tirpitz as she got under way in the first attack- a greater accuracy and hit rate than the IJN at Pearl Harbour, or the Luftwaffe against Grand Harbour in Malta. Since the attackers didn't change- if anything they grew stronger- the only reasonable conclusion is the defences became more effective.

But the Barracudas experienced performance problems there and they were replaced by Avengers. It is significant to note that there were more Avengers on British carriers at war's end than there were Barracudas.

Ah, lightbulb moment! You do know the replacement/substitution of Avengers was largely a paper exercise? The majority of the carriers who would operate them were still in European waters. I.e. the Eastern Fleet consisted of two Fleet carriers, consisting of two squadrons of Barracudas and one of Avengers, the latter operating off Saratogas deck. Aircrew were a rotation of various squadrons utilising the available decks.
As compared to the BPF, a different fleet of five Fleet carriers, (three additional) with completely new airgroups, including replacement Corsairs, Hellcats, Fireflys, Seafires etc.
Which should lead you back to my original point about aircraft moves- they happened constantly, for a variety of reasons. I don't believe either type was a replacement for the other. Nor do I believe either type was specifically held in reserve back in Blighty to support the Home Fleet. That point was intended to demonstrate where your reasoning and your speculation leads and how it's equally likely that the opposing view to yours holds true.

On numbers of one versus the other? The Light Fleets were four smaller ships. If the additional Light Fleets building at wars end joined the BPF they'd have equalled and eventually exceeded the number of Avengers in theatre. It still wouldn't change my contention that both were still in service.

Caveat- of course the transition from EF to BPF wasn't anything like that simple. Ships, personnel and even aircraft were moving between the two theatres before, during and (post war) after the formation of either fleet.


I don't doubt that that "terrible reputation" was overstated, but not entirely so. There is just no way that the plane got that reputation without there being good reason. The Avenger never got a bad reputation--terrible or otherwise--and that was also for good reason.

Agreed, but the 'good reason' is one of education, Lightning. The career of the Avenger is well known, that of the Barracuda relatively obscure. We no longer have that excuse. We now know that structural defects in the Barracuda were corrected, operating procedures were modified and that it had a better safety record than RN Avengers. We also now know that similar defects were discovered and corrected in the RNs Avengers.

I have repeatedly said that the Barracuda was an effective airplane. I just maintain that the Avenger was, overall, more effective.

Again, you're missing my point. In RN service it was less effective as a strike aircraft. Had the USN operated Barracudas and enjoyed less success with them, then your point about the considerable success enjoyed by the Avenger would be valid. Since they didn't, we have to consider an alternative service who operated both aircraft. Their experience, which is to say the real world, historical record, is at odds with your assessment.

But they initially kept their Avengers in the West while sending their Barracudas to the Pacific. Did they therefore consider the greatest threat to be in the Pacific? They only sent those Avengers to the Pacific when the Barracuda began to exhibit performance problems there. As I said, "You can't have it both ways."

I'm not, mate. The number of aircraft sent to accompany the Eastern Fleet was relatively small, enough for the RN to launch a series of Barracuda strikes against the Tirpitz throughout the Spring and summer.

And that's an argument that you haven't been able to refute. I never compared the relative gravity of the East vs West threats. What escalated the threat to, and the capabilities of, the RN carriers in the East was the degraded performance of the Barracuda. That happened. It was a real-world, real-war fact that can't be rationalized away.

I'm not rationalising anything away, Lightning. I am demonstrating where your assumptions and sweeping statements are inconsistent with the evidence or can be interpreted in opposition to your view. What you see as self explanatory is anything but.
This is a great example of drawing a simplistic conclusion from the ashes of a highly complex decision.
No-one, least of all me, is challenging the disappointing performance of the Barracuda in the face of a combination of light airs, high temperatures and the requirement to deliver a long range strike at a target on the other side of a mountain range. Where we differ is that I don't think a planning process considering every possible permutation of equipment, threat, logistical support and about a hundred other factors is going to base it's conclusions solely on two successful strikes in an area unlikely to be revisited.


Popularity and reputation are not the same. Popularity is not based on recorded facts or history but more on emotional appeal. Popularity is much more fickle and fleeting than reputation. Reputations are earned. not so popularity.

So you know the reputation, in RN service, of aircraft that went out of service sixty years ago? (out of smilies, imagine a wink here!)

"Preferred opinion"? Sounds like a far-reaching conspiracy of many people over many decades--and still going on! I don't think so.

Lmao! Don't pretend to be coy, Lightning, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Change the markings on the fuselage and you know which airframe would be more popular.

It carries equal rate. It is also a ".org" (not ".com") site in the UK, so I don't agree that it is necessarily a "pro-Avenger site. If you cite one of those others that presents the Avenger in an equally negative light, I would certainly consider it, but for any such site (if you can find one), there are many sites and reference sources that contain less-than-complimentary comments and evaluations of the Barracuda.

Education, education, education. 'For every pro Mustang site there are many sites and reference sources that contain less-than-complimentary comments and evaluations of the P-38.' It's a true statement, but I disagree with the Lightning detractors. Not because I'm a fan of the aircraft (although I am) but because I actually know a little about the history and characteristics of both aircraft.
Lightning, we're going to have to agree to disagree here. We share an interest in the performance and history of warbirds, but I refuse to base my opinions on a popularity contest. It makes no sense. If I did I'd be forced to concede that the Nazis won the Second World War handily, excepting for the part where Ben Affleck single handedly destroyed those pesky commie Japs. :rolleyes:


Also, did the Canadians use the Avenger during the war? I know they were post-war users of the aircraft.

The aircraft is popular with most canucks. (innocent)

And you don't?

Not in this case- I consider both frames highly successful RN aircraft. :P C'mon Lightning, you know how highly I rate Hellcats. This isn't about which nation made the best 'planes, it's about the basic operational differences between two of my nations strike aircraft.

I've made it quite clear that compressibility was a phenomenon that affected numerous fighters--P-38; P-47; P-51; Spitfire--to name several. It was not a "failing" in the airframe of any of these aircraft. There was no out-of-specification issue involved. Those planes were fully capable of performing as designed and built.

Again, my point isn't about compressibility, it's about a popular perception forcing an incorrect assumption. See below.

The Barracuda, on the other hand, experienced a loss of performance that made it unable to meet its design specifications. This is made obvious by the fact that they were originally expected to meet those specifications, otherwise, they wouldn't have been sent to the South Pacific in the first place. (Quite possibly, the RN Avengers would have been sent instead. :D)

Actually, RN Avengers were 'sent', they operated off Saratogas decks in '43 and again in early '45. I'm not aware where the Fairey design was specified to be able to take off in zero wind conditions, with a full load, and strike across a mountain range. If that was the desired requirement, wouldn't it have had a two stage supercharger?


Flo, we're not only repeating ourselves in individual postings but in multiple postings. We'll just have to agree to disagree. Just let me say that both airplanes played important roles in the winning of the war. It would be next to impossible for both to have contributed exactly equally--one had to have been the better of the two to one degree or another. It's just that we disagree as to which one that was.

No mate, we're not! You claim one was better. You claim it was so much better it forced the withdrawal from service of it's rival. I'm making no such claim. I don't think it's unreasonable for me to claim that if the British had larger carriers both would have been carried- after all, at various points in the campaign the British had both aircraft in service. Both hit Sumatra, for instance. The RN had every intention of flying both against the Japanese mainland.
I'm at a loss to how I can make you see what I'm driving at.
Try this. Would you say the Avenger was better than the Helldiver? If so, why?


Regards,

Lightning


__________________


Mate, I'm sorry to labour the point, but you're completely missing what I'm saying! You're drawing a raft of conclusions that I believe are unsound and poorly reasoned, trying to defend against what you perceive as my attacks on the Avenger.
But my posting only addresses your contentions. I'm not attacking the Avenger, nor am I making any of my own, beyond the simple assertion that they were different kinds of aircraft. Their abilities overlapped. Perhaps if you try to imagine the Fairey as a half way stop between Helldivers and Avengers? It might let you see what I'm getting at.

Anyway, take care mate,

Speak to you soon.

#888 dunmunro1

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:55 PM

Fulmars with bombs at Kirkenes? That's news to me, what's your source?

On the Firefly bombs problem, Brown says explicitly it occurred during arrested landings as well.


Fulmars at Petsamo:

14. The fighter ' escort proceeded South
keeping to the West of the torpedo aircraft and
climbing above them.
They patrolled to the Southward of the target
area, keeping between it and the nearest aerodrome
some fifteen miles to the South. They
then acted in accordance with the general plan,
in which, if no enemy aircraft were encountered,
they were to assist the striking force by
attacking ground targets with bombs and
machine-gun fire, with the restriction that not
more than half their ammunition was to be
expended on ground targets.
http://www.ibiblio.o...zette/38300.pdf

Posted Image
From:Fairey Fulmar, 4+ Publication


I don't doubt Brown, on the Firefly's arrested landing problems, but all this meant was that aircraft would have to jettison their bombs prior to landing; of course this might not always be possible if a bomb hung up.

Edited by dunmunro1, 20 February 2012 - 08:06 PM.


#889 Flo

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:29 PM

I've just downloaded it. What a gem! How much detail? It's even got the aerial arrangements, right down to a description of the Mk IV AIs Yagis! Gods, I could have done with this when I was finishing my wee model off. Thanks again, mate. :D

Fulmars at Petsamo:


Posted Image
From:Fairey Fulmar, 4+ Publication


I don't doubt Brown, on the Firefly's arrested landing problems, but all this meant was that aircraft would have to jettison their bombs prior to landing; of course this might not always be possible if a bomb hung up.


:D Always fun if that happens when the diversionary field is weather bound!

#890 Lightning

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:58 AM

Hi Flo,

:D Lightning, you're missing almost every point I make.


That's because you are not making them. :D

The high value unit remained afloat, therefore the defences were extremely effective...


Read about the first surprise attack. And all those hits over several months against a stationary target, but the Tirpitz remained afloat?

You do know the replacement/substitution of Avengers was largely a paper exercise?


I know what I read, and that is that there were more Avengers than Barracudas on RN carriers at war's end. A "paper exercise" is not the same as "being on."

I don't believe either type was a replacement for the other.


Then you're saying that those Barracudas in the Pacific that couldn't perform up to their altitude and range specifications were kept on those carriers in addition to the Avengers that were brought in?

Again, you're missing my point. In RN service it was less effective as a strike aircraft. Had the USN operated Barracudas and enjoyed less success with them, then your point about the considerable success enjoyed by the Avenger would be valid. Since they didn't, we have to consider an alternative service who operated both aircraft. Their experience, which is to say the real world, historical record, is at odds with your assessment.


Not my assessment, the assessment of the Avenger vs the Barracuda as expressed by just about every account of the war that you can find. Flo, you know this is true. You're trying to complicate things to keep from acknowledging it

The number of aircraft sent to accompany the Eastern Fleet was relatively small, enough for the RN to launch a series of Barracuda strikes against the Tirpitz throughout the Spring and summer.


There must have been enough Avengers to support D-Day--the greatest and most important amphibious invasion in history. By the way, were any of those Barracudas used to support the invasion?

I'm not rationalising anything away, Lightning. I am demonstrating where your assumptions and sweeping statements are inconsistent with the evidence or can be interpreted in opposition to your view. What you see as self explanatory is anything but.
This is a great example of drawing a simplistic conclusion from the ashes of a highly complex decision.
No-one, least of all me, is challenging the disappointing performance of the Barracuda in the face of a combination of light airs, high temperatures and the requirement to deliver a long range strike at a target on the other side of a mountain range. Where we differ is that I don't think a planning process considering every possible permutation of equipment, threat, logistical support and about a hundred other factors is going to base it's conclusions solely on two successful strikes in an area unlikely to be revisited.


You're using a lot of verbiage to to obscure a simple fact of history. The Barracuda had poorer altitude and range performance than the Avenger, and this manifested itself in the Pacific. The Avenger was brought in to correct the problem. And before you make an issue of high density altitude in the area, consider this: That same density altitude can, and does, exist in all parts of the world from the Equator to the poles. It just exists at varying altitudes above sea level depending on temperature/humidity conditions. If the Barracuda could not operate at a given density altitude in the South Pacific, it could not operate at that same altitude MSL under standard conditions. No surprise that the Avenger could operate higher than the Barracuda in the tropics--It could operate higher than the Barracuda under any set of conditions, and the specifications stated in innumerable sources for the two aircraft clearly reflect that.

So you know the reputation, in RN service, of aircraft that went out of service sixty years ago? (out of smilies, imagine a wink here!)



Certainly! And not only of the Avenger in RN service but in the entire war! And we know it in the context of history based on information not available seventy years ago. Hindsight is, as they say, 20/20. The volumes of information that have come out during that time have only served to solidify the better reputation of the Avenger.

Lmao! Don't pretend to be coy, Lightning, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Change the markings on the fuselage and you know which airframe would be more popular



Up until now, you have disclaimed such a nationalistic bias. Not very objective. Shame on you! :)

I'm not attacking the Avenger...


I never thought you were. We are just disagreeing with each other, not launching attacks--At least I'm not.

Regards,

Lightning

#891 Lightning

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:12 AM

The defences were based upon a combination of smokescreens, flak and fighters. The fact that Tirpitz survived multiple attacks by the FAA and RAF heavy bombers is a testament to the effectiveness of the defences, and I can't possibly imagine how you could think otherwise.


The initial attack resulted in multiple hits, and the defensive AA fire was ineffective. It was a surprise attack, and an important part of an effective defense is vigilance so that surprise can't be accomplished. The fact that the ship survived so many attacks is more a testament to the ship's ability to withstand such attacks and to the Barracuda's inability to finish the job.

#892 Ricky

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:52 PM

The initial attack resulted in multiple hits, and the defensive AA fire was ineffective. It was a surprise attack, and an important part of an effective defense is vigilance so that surprise can't be accomplished. The fact that the ship survived so many attacks is more a testament to the ship's ability to withstand such attacks and to the Barracuda's inability to finish the job.


As far as I can tell the Tirpitz was attacked by the FAA five times.

The initial attack, Operation Tungsten, which surprised the defences and achieved multiple bomb hits and significant damage. During the subsequent refit the main guns were given AA capability

Goodwood I, II, III, IV were all less successful. On these occasions the defences were not surprised. Goodwood III managed 2 hits, but one was only a 500lb bomb and the 1,600lb bomb failed to explode (frustratingly, as it had successfully penetrated the armoured decks). Goodwood IV was undertaken in fog.

So we have similar missions, undertaken by the same aircraft in roughly the same numbers, similar crews, yet only one good result. What was the difference? Ignoring the fog for Goodwood IV, it was the defences. When they were caught napping, the Tirpitz was plastered. When they were ready, Tirpitz was rarely hit. There is no way those are ineffective defences. And that does make it harder to blame the Barracuda for being ineffective.

As an interesting comparison, the attacks by the RAF's No.5 Group were all mounted above the range of most of the AA defences, dropped 6-ton bombs, and it still took three goes to sink the Tirpitz. One bomb in the first raid punched right through the ship, and yet it was sailing under its own power within a month!
It took three Tallboy hits and several near misses to finally capsize (not even sink!) Tirpitz

The morale of the story?

1) The defences were effective against low/mid altitude attacks.
2) If you manage to hit the ship, it can take a good deal of punishment.
3) The Kriegsmarine were good at repairs.;)

#893 Flo

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:48 PM

Hi Flo,



That's because you are not making them.

:P
Not making them well enough...

Read about the first surprise attack. And all those hits over several months against a stationary target, but the Tirpitz remained afloat?

So the defences are ineffective, 'but the Tirpitz remained afloat'? Um, I'm confused, can you clarify what you're saying?

I know what I read, and that is that there were more Avengers than Barracudas on RN carriers at war's end. A "paper exercise" is not the same as "being on."
Then you're saying that those Barracudas in the Pacific that couldn't perform up to their altitude and range specifications were kept on those carriers in addition to the Avengers that were brought in?

All the aircraft were replaced Lightning. The Corsairs, Hellcats and Avengers included. Exactly the same as pointing out that the Saratogas airgroup in '45 comprised different aircraft to her airgroup in '44 or '43, even although some may have been the same, or similar, type.
Regardless of the abilities of the airframes, regardless of our discussion, the aircraft comprising any carriers airgroup were physically different year on year, deployment on deployment, sometimes month on month.
As funny as it is, Lightning, don't you think the joke's getting old now? Surely you can see what I'm saying?


Not my assessment, the assessment of the Avenger vs the Barracuda as expressed by just about every account of the war that you can find. Flo, you know this is true. You're trying to complicate things to keep from acknowledging it

No, Lightning, you're trying to complicate things. There is no 'versus', there never was. The only user of both aircraft put both to good use throughout their service career. The RN retired their wartime supply of Avengers before their Barracudas- does that 'prove' the Barracuda was a better aircraft? By your line of reasoning yes, that is unequivocal evidence that one was better than the other. I don't hold that view.

There must have been enough Avengers to support D-Day--the greatest and most important amphibious invasion in history. By the way, were any of those Barracudas used to support the invasion?

Why make such a sweeping generalisation? Do you know how many Avengers were used in support of the D-Day landings? Do you know how many Barracudas were? Do you know how many Allied strike aircraft were held in reserve in case the KM sortied? If you do, then please share the information. I'd find it fascinating, as would many others on here.
I don't know how many naval aircraft, in total or even in the broadest terms, were involved in supporting D-Day, much less a breakdown by type.
However, I can provide a small snapshot of some Barracuda tasking around that time.
812sqn, TBR night ops, Channel, June '44-early '45; 814sqn, TBR night ops, Channel, July '44- early '45; 817sqn remained in the Pacific, operating their Barracudas from land bases; 818 operating in India (this is to demonstrate the nature of deployment- what significant threat were they addressing?); 820 embarked Indefatigable, tasking included distant cover for D-Day, convoy escort, Atlantic and Norwegian Sea and of course, multiple attacks on Tirpitz; 821 sqn, TBR duties UK (possibly Scotland, I haven't managed to track them to any naval air station in England after equipping at Stretton ); 822 & 823 Southern India until September; 826 embarked Indefatigable until August, then embarked Formidable; 827 (first sqn equiped with the type) had a busy year, temporarily embarking on Victorious, Furious, Formidable then Furious again, in additional to TBR duties from various NAS in the UK; 828 2nd naval TBR wing, in the UK and on Implacable & Formidable; 830 Hatston, UK (although that far North it might as well be Iceland;)), temporarily embarked various carriers; 831 training and strike duties from Machrihanish and Hatston before deploying to the Eastern Fleet in June; 837 formed September '44; 841 formed February, spent the summer in ASuW strikes against Norway, disbanded November...and so on.
What I'm taking from the above (and the deployment of the more numerous 700 series squadrons) is that Barracudas were employed mainly on strike missions, primarily against enemy shipping. They were constantly moving, deploying, re-deploying, forming and disbanding. It makes no sense to me to say they were employed in one specific area, or to claim that they were in the process of retiring in favour of another type.
It's worth stating that the RNs Avengers were equally busy, operating mainly on convoy escorts. I can't tell you how many supported the landings, but there were 15 U-boats sunk in the Channel between June and the end of August, 13 of those by British and Canadian ASW ships. It's possible that Avengers supported some of those attacks. Sorry I can't be more definitive, Lightning. The accounts I've read focus on the beachead, where no ASW crew with an ounce of common sense would fly.




You're using a lot of verbiage to to obscure a simple fact of history. The Barracuda had poorer altitude and range performance than the Avenger, and this manifested itself in the Pacific. The Avenger was brought in to correct the problem. And before you make an issue of high density altitude in the area, consider this: That same density altitude can, and does, exist in all parts of the world from the Equator to the poles. It just exists at varying altitudes above sea level depending on temperature/humidity conditions. If the Barracuda could not operate at a given density altitude in the South Pacific, it could not operate at that same altitude MSL under standard conditions. No surprise that the Avenger could operate higher than the Barracuda in the tropics--It could operate higher than the Barracuda under any set of conditions, and the specifications stated in innumerable sources for the two aircraft clearly reflect that.

Pot, kettle. ;) And I don't recall saying anything close to that lot above. On the contrary, I've repeatedly noted and acknowledged the poor performance of the Barracuda under those specific circumstances.

'Reputation'...

Certainly! And not only of the Avenger in RN service but in the entire war! And we know it in the context of history based on information not available seventy years ago. Hindsight is, as they say, 20/20. The volumes of information that have come out during that time have only served to solidify the better reputation of the Avenger.

What we know is that the poor reputation of the Barracuda is based on early airframe defects and incorrect drills. What we also know is that a number of equally fatal airframe defects were present on early Avengers. And, of course, we know the Barracuda was routinely subjected to more extreme manoeuvres than the RNs Avengers. Therefore our opinion need not be constrained by popular books, national bias or the astonishingly challenged looks of the Fairey, but can focus on their history and performance. We know why both types were subject to fatal accidents, we know much of what they achieved in service. I'll accept your opinion of the two aircraft as measured and valid, but I can't see any reason to blindly follow popular books and wiki fanboys lead.
Put it another way Lightning. History isn't about popularity and it only describes democracy. A popular perception of something doesn't necessarily make it true. At one point most Europeans believed the world was flat!


Up until now, you have disclaimed such a nationalistic bias. Not very objective. Shame on you!

Shame for what, Lightning? Stating the blindingly obvious? Do you disagree with the contention that it is almost certain that popular opinion in the United States will favour an aircraft in American markings over one flying another nations colours? I try to avoid sweeping statements, but I think that one is reasonable enough. It's certainly more reasonable than accusing someone of buying into a fictitious conspiracy theory! ;)

I never thought you were. We are just disagreeing with each other, not launching attacks--At least I'm not.

(Ah, I'm out of smilies again. Big grin here.) You're disagreeing with what you think I'm saying, mate. It's massively wasted effort, since I agree with almost all of your points and even some of your conclusions. But you wouldn't accept 'apples to oranges', so I feel compelled to reply and attempt to clarify what I've said.

Regards,

Lightning


(Big grin.) Why am I experiencing deja vu?

Take care mate.

#894 Flo

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:51 PM

3) The Kriegsmarine were rather good


Corrected for you! ;) :D

#895 dunmunro1

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:47 PM

Some thoughts on the BPF and the FBII.

Things which I don't know:

Could the FBII use USN 500 and 1000lb bombs?
Could the Avenger carry UK 500lb bombs?


The watchword for the BPF was cooperation with the USN at a time when the UK was increasing dependent on Lend Lease supply. Additionally the BPF was forbidden to attack high value naval targets.

If the BPF was receiving US ordnance and aircraft directly from US ports (rather than through the UK) then the Avenger would have many advantages in terms of supply, where the FBII was dependent on a supply chain that was very tenuous, due to the competing demands on the UK's shrunken merchant navy. Since naval targets were off the table, there was no longer any compelling reason for the BPF to operate the world's première naval strike aircraft, since it was now forbidden to attack the very targets which it had been expressly designed to destroy. During the BPF's initial operations during ICEBERG I and II, it's primary mission was to support the Okinawa landings, not by providing close support for the landing forces, but instead by CAP and interdiction missions against IJN/IJAAF airfields to the south of the landing areas, and it seems unlikely that the precision bombing capability of the FBII would be markedly superior to the Avenger against airfields. Since the FBII was not required during ICEBERG, it was no longer feasible to use it during later operations against Japan proper, where high precision bombing could be used to much better effect, since there simply wouldn't be time to change the RN's fleet CVs back to the FBII, but had the war carried on into the fall of 1945, the BPF's newly arrived CVLs and their FBII squadrons would have had a chance to show their mettle.


Given these factors, we can see why the Avenger would be preferred to the FBII

Edited by dunmunro1, 22 February 2012 - 06:44 AM.


#896 Lightning

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 05:47 PM

Hi Flo,

So the defences are ineffective, 'but the Tirpitz remained afloat'? Um, I'm confused, can you clarify what you're saying?


Quite simple: The defenses were caught off guard (first deficiency). They took almost a quarter hour to "get it together" during which time they only shot down one attacker (second deficiency). Once they finally got organized, they had about 45 minutes to get ready for the second wave, but, when it arrived, they were only able to shoot down one of that wave (third deficiency). I'd call that ineffective.

The Tirpitz, after being attacked by 42 Barracudas (and accompanying fighters) in two waves and receiving 13 hits, remained afloat. (And for a long time, and after repeated Barracuda attacks, after that.)

All the aircraft were replaced Lightning. The Corsairs, Hellcats and Avengers included. Exactly the same as pointing out that the Saratogas airgroup in '45 comprised different aircraft to her airgroup in '44 or '43, even although some may have been the same, or similar, type.
Regardless of the abilities of the airframes, regardless of our discussion, the aircraft comprising any carriers airgroup were physically different year on year, deployment on deployment, sometimes month on month.
As funny as it is, Lightning, don't you think the joke's getting old now? Surely you can see what I'm saying?


No joke; not funny. Again simple: Barracudas had seriously degraded performance in South Pacific. Avengers did not. Avengers sent to take up the slack. If that were not true, we wouldn't be having this increasingly acrimonious discussion.

No, Lightning, you're trying to complicate things. There is no 'versus', there never was. The only user of both aircraft put both to good use throughout their service career. The RN retired their wartime supply of Avengers before their Barracudas- does that 'prove' the Barracuda was a better aircraft? By your line of reasoning yes, that is unequivocal evidence that one was better than the other. I don't hold that view.


Versus: "in contrast to."

Many Avengers (as well as Barracudas) were dumped at sea following hostilities. In the case of the Avengers, the Lend-Lease agreement called for affected US aircraft to either be returned to US hands or destroyed. In many cases the latter was cheaper and more practical.

Per me:

"There must have been enough Avengers to support D-Day--the greatest and most important amphibious invasion in history. By the way, were any of those Barracudas used to support the invasion?"

Per you:

Why make such a sweeping generalisation? etc, etc, etc.


Read that again. That's not a "sweeping generalization--It's merely an opinion. Had I said, "There were....," that would have been a generalization. The second part of my statement was a simple question--which you failed to answer--a simple "I don't know" would have sufficed. The fact that I asked the question indicates that I don't know either. I'm not embarrassed to admit it.

If you're not trying to complicate things, that "etc" to which I refer above surely doesn't show it. I asked you what time it was, and you answered by telling me how to build a watch--without mentioning the time. All well and good, and I am sure your information is accurate, but, in the American vernacular, you're "blowing smoke."

... but I can't see any reason to blindly follow popular books and wiki fanboys lead.


I wasn't there, but neither were you. The only way we--you and I--can ever find out what took place is to read the accounts of those who were. We do that by reading books, popular and otherwise, and, yes, even Wiki. As far as Wiki is concerned, it has its flaws, but it is useful, and I'd bet my bottom dollar that you have often referred to it--most probably during the present discussion.

Put it another way Lightning. History isn't about popularity and it only describes democracy. A popular perception of something doesn't necessarily make it true. At one point most Europeans believed the world was flat!


I believe I quite adequately addressed my feelings about the fickle, fleeting nature of "popularity" in my last posting to you. I guess you didn't read it.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by history's only describing democracy. That is obviously not true, as to which any reading of the history of the Third Reich will attest.

Shame for what, Lightning? Stating the blindingly obvious? Do you disagree with the contention that it is almost certain that popular opinion in the United States will favour an aircraft in American markings over one flying another nations colours?


I certainly do! There are posters right here in our forum--Americans--who have stated that their favorite airplane bore the Swastika. The Spitfire is a favorite of many American aviation fans. I myself love the Avro Lancaster, and my favorite WWI airplane is the Fokker D-7. My favorite WWII tanks are the German Tiger and the Russian T-34. So, you were not stating the "blindingly obvious."

I try to avoid sweeping statements, but I think that one is reasonable enough. It's certainly more reasonable than accusing someone of buying into a fictitious conspiracy theory!


It is becoming increasingly clear that you are not taking the care in reading my postings as I do of yours. Again, go back and read the posting in which I referred to that "conspiracy theory." Do the words "I don't think so" ring a bell?

You repeatedly refer to your sense of humor. Well the admonition "Shame on you" is almost always (at least in America) said in a "kidding" way. Loosen up a bit.

(Big grin.) Why am I experiencing deja vu?


It's not your fault, Flo, it's the nature of this thread. There seems to be a compulsion to keep saying the same things over and over again. "The arguments are the same. Only the wording keeps changing to protect the guilty."

Regards,

Lightning

#897 b0ned0me

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 05:54 PM

I no longer remember how I ended up in this thread. Yesterday I somehow got linked through to the thread or forum, and started reading from page one because it seemed like an interesting topic. It was an interesting topic, and it continued on for many pages - the forum software didn't make it clear how many, it just kept tantalizing me with the fact that there were a few more past the one I was reading.:o

Gradually, the discussion veered further and further from the initial topic, and the thread itself developed a sort of fascination for me. How much more of a trainwreck could it become? How large could the wall-o-text postings get? Could I make it past twenty pages? Thirty? As argument moved from the merits of the swordfish to the accuracy of the TBD flight manual, I developed a perverse determination to follow through to the very end - I had invested the time to read thirty-five pages, I would stick it through even if it went on to fifty (!!!) pages. When the thread briefly moved back on topic, I felt a strange stirring of joy at the prospect of a natural conclusion after seventy or so pages. But then, enter stage left an Albacore, pursued by a TBF! Further controversy rages! Now, at page 90, I have finally caught up.

I am current with the thread.

I can read no more.

I have come to terms with my weakness and am determined to move on to other threads and other forums. I have registered in order to make the statement that I will, finally, overcome my addiction and tear myself away from all this. I just wanted to say:

1 - Thank you all for introducing me to the Blackburn Shark, of which I was somehow unaware. This bundle of eccentric awesomeness made my day, especially since it might conceivably have soldiered on to do many of the things done by it's successor, an in an alternative universe the KM may have been humiliated at the hands of an even older biplane than the Swordfish

2 - Rarely in the field of internet pedantry has so much scholarship and research been expended in a single discussion thread by so few on such varied, eclectic and peripherally related subject matter. I'm exhausted just from reading through it. I has taken me much of two days to read this. I've eaten several meals, had a good nights sleep, been driven to drink, drunk all my beer, been to the supermarket, got more beer, drunk some of that, and gone through about 50kg of firewood - while more and more and more pages just kept coming. How do you all find the stamina and the time? And what happens when you get onto a topic you REALLY feel strongly about?:eek:

3 - Good luck to you all. May you finally achieve consensus. If I suddenly hear a blare of celestial trumpets, I will know what it has happened.

So long, and thanks for all the interesting reading.

#898 Flo

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:14 PM

This:

" If that were not true, we wouldn't be having this increasingly acrimonious discussion."


is not and never has been my intention. If you feel I'm attacking either your position or your person I apologise, unreservedly. I enjoy your posts. They're informative and often reveal flaws in my own reasoning. I've attempted to offer you the same service, particularly where I perceive logical inconsistencies. I may have missed a point you're making or developing- that is neither intended nor a result of not studying what you type. When I ask for clarification it's because I genuinely can't see what you're getting at, not some cheap shot at what you thought was a reasonable statement.

So peace, my friend. I don't agree with your reasoning, but hey, it's only the internets. I'm not going to chase you into an argument. The debate's been fun, for me at least. The whole thread has opened up an amazing number of new topics for me to consider. I'm glad to have been a part of it.

Take care, mate.

#899 Lightning

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:12 PM

Hi bOnedOme,


I no longer remember how I ended up in this thread. Yesterday I somehow got linked through to the thread or forum, and started reading from page one because it seemed like an interesting topic. It was an interesting topic, and it continued on for many pages - the forum software didn't make it clear how many, it just kept tantalizing me with the fact that there were a few more past the one I was reading.:o

Gradually, the discussion veered further and further from the initial topic, and the thread itself developed a sort of fascination for me. How much more of a trainwreck could it become? How large could the wall-o-text postings get? Could I make it past twenty pages? Thirty? As argument moved from the merits of the swordfish to the accuracy of the TBD flight manual, I developed a perverse determination to follow through to the very end - I had invested the time to read thirty-five pages, I would stick it through even if it went on to fifty (!!!) pages. When the thread briefly moved back on topic, I felt a strange stirring of joy at the prospect of a natural conclusion after seventy or so pages. But then, enter stage left an Albacore, pursued by a TBF! Further controversy rages! Now, at page 90, I have finally caught up.

I am current with the thread.

I can read no more.

I have come to terms with my weakness and am determined to move on to other threads and other forums. I have registered in order to make the statement that I will, finally, overcome my addiction and tear myself away from all this. I just wanted to say:

1 - Thank you all for introducing me to the Blackburn Shark, of which I was somehow unaware. This bundle of eccentric awesomeness made my day, especially since it might conceivably have soldiered on to do many of the things done by it's successor, an in an alternative universe the KM may have been humiliated at the hands of an even older biplane than the Swordfish

2 - Rarely in the field of internet pedantry has so much scholarship and research been expended in a single discussion thread by so few on such varied, eclectic and peripherally related subject matter. I'm exhausted just from reading through it. I has taken me much of two days to read this. I've eaten several meals, had a good nights sleep, been driven to drink, drunk all my beer, been to the supermarket, got more beer, drunk some of that, and gone through about 50kg of firewood - while more and more and more pages just kept coming. How do you all find the stamina and the time? And what happens when you get onto a topic you REALLY feel strongly about?:eek:

3 - Good luck to you all. May you finally achieve consensus. If I suddenly hear a blare of celestial trumpets, I will know what it has happened.

So long, and thanks for all the interesting reading.


What an absolutely delightful posting! I got such a kick out of reading it! You've nailed it! Not only that, but the humorous way in which you described your ordeal left me in stitches. You've got a talent that I sincerely hope we have not seen the last of.

Thanks for the few minutes of genuine entertainment. It has been the highlight of this whole torturous excursion into absurdity.

Best regards,

Lightning

#900 Lightning

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 01:39 PM

Hi Flo,

Back before you came to our forum, I, on several occasions, made the statement that, even though I will probably never get the privilege and pleasure of meeting any of our members in person, I nonetheless had come to look upon many of them as valued friends. You definitely fall into that category, and I'll be damned if I let this stupid thread change that!

Peace to you also, my valued friend.

Best regards,

Lightning




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