a reply to: andy06shake
Proficient at destroying carriers? Wow, you make it sound like they already have...
There are a whole lot of folks out there who know quite a bit more than we do who would disagree with you, and the others who agree with you.
Did you know that people have been criticizing aircraft carriers and their usefulness since virtually day one? Here in the United States Gen. Billy
Mitchell came out against them saying that large long range bombers would render the aircraft carrier helpless close in to shore against prepared
defenders equipped with bombers.
Didn't quite turn out that way...ever. Close calls a couple of times in the Med, during WWII, for the Brits with the Illustrious and Victorious, but
they survived. Look up the stories, epic! Then the US in WWII against navel bases such as Truk, and Rabaul in the South Pacific by lone, or paired,
aircraft carriers... Lexington during the opening days of the war, Saratoga and Illustrious later in '43, as well. Neither was damaged.
Lexington, Yorktown, and Hornet were sunk by aircraft from other aircraft carriers. Wasp was, indeed, sunk by submarine, but that was more a bit of
serendipitous luck on the part of the Japanese submarine commander than any plan on his part. I mean, blunder right in between an aircraft carrier
(Wasp), and a battleship (North Carolina), and get torpedos into both is luck, enhanced by skill.
Then later, Adm. Spruance lead a total suppression of said Truk by, you guessed it, aircraft carriers. Rabaul was the same result. Formosa. Even
Japan itself. ...and only one large carrier was lost--Princeton, in the entirety of those actions. Princeton wasn't even one of the Essex-class, it
was a light carrier built on a light cruiser hull. Several carriers, over the course were damaged, 'tis true, some badly...but the end result was
total destruction of the enemy air forces.
Other than kamikaze attacks that got through, I can only think of two other instance that a large US Navy carrier was even struck by aircraft bombs or
torpedoes...Lexington II by torpedo once, and Intrepid twice by torpedo.
USS Langley was, indeed, sunk by land based bombers in the early days of WWII, but she wasn't an aircraft carrier anymore, she had been down classed
to a aircraft ferry ship.
The British Royal Navy lost Glorious to surface fire when she blundered into two German Battle cruisers. Ark Royal was sunk by submarine. Eagle by
submarine, as well... Illustrious and Victorious were pounded to a fair thee well by the German Luftwaffe but survived, if only barely, to fight
Several escort carriers, very small carriers, were sunk by German U-boats in the Atlantic, but they were actively hunting for Uboats, not trying to
stay away from 'em...very occasionally the hunter does become the hunted.
Now the tech for attacking 'em has improved over the past sixty years since then. Obviously. But so, too, have the aircraft carriers and their
defenses. Do you honestly believe that the folks running the show for the various navies that have them, or will have them, aren't aware of these
super-duper carrier killers? Now I'm sure they don't discount them entirely, as that would indeed be foolish, but it's obvious that many really smart
folks feel there are still many places where a carrier, or ten, might prove extremely useful--like most everywhere.
I'm doing this off the cuff, from memory, so some of the facts may be a bit wrong... Sorry.