Military Review

Deck aircraft in World War II: from Taranto to Midway. Part I

Deck Genesis aviation

November 14 1910 is considered to be the birthday of carrier-based aviation. On this day, the successful takeoff of an aircraft from the deck of a surface ship was first accomplished.

At the beginning of the 20 century, in connection with the emergence and development of aviation, the idea of ​​using airplanes from the decks of surface ships was literally in the air.

The initiator of the experimental flights from the deck of the ship was the captain of the 1st rank of the US Navy Irving Chambers, who in those days held the position of assistant minister fleet for supply. Having carefully studied all publications and materials on this issue, Chambers came to the conclusion about the real possibility of flying from the decks of surface ships and obtained permission from the fleet command to conduct experimental flights from the deck of the surface ship.

Replica of the Curtis Golden Flyer biplane (Photo by

Dedicated to the command of the US Navy, the cruiser CL-2 "Birmingham" with a displacement of 3750 tons was equipped with an inclined wooden platform over a tank of long 25 meters. The height from the edge of the platform to the water's edge was 11 meters.

The young pilot of the Curtiss company, Eugene Eli, whom Chambers found at an aviation exhibition in the city of Haytorp (Maryland), agreed to take part in dangerous experiments.

For flights, a single-engine (with a pusher propeller) Curtiss biplane was chosen, equipped with floats to be able to land on water in an emergency. The horsepower of the 50 engine was considered sufficient for a flight experiment.

Eli takes off on a Curtis Golden Flyer biplane from the inclined platform of the US Navy cruiser Birmingham CL-2 (Photo site

To fly 14 in November 1910, Birmingham, with an escort of four destroyers, headed for Chezapik Bay (Virginia), where he turned against the wind and moved at a speed of 10 nodes.
In 15.16, Eli’s biplane, running with a motor running at full power, along a short deck platform, disappeared behind its edge and, lightly touching the surface of the water, soared into the sky.

The radio operator of the cruiser "Birmingham" to the whistle and enthusiastic applause of the ship's command sent a radiogram to the command, informing the world about the birth of carrier-based aircraft.

The final stage of the experimental flights was already landing the aircraft on the ship. For these purposes, the US Navy cruiser ACR-4 "Pennsylvania" was allocated. A cruiser built an 36-meter wooden platform with an improvised aircraft braking system, consisting of sandbags and cables stretched across the landing platform.

18 January 1911, Eugene Eli, on a Curtis Golden Flyer biplane, made a successful landing on the wooden platform of the Pennsylvania Cruiser, anchored in San Francisco Bay.

Landing Eli on the Curtis Golden Flyer biplane on the platform of the Pennsylvania cruiser (Photo site

Attack of the Italian Navy base in Taranto

From the moment of its appearance, deck aviation in 1910 and until the beginning of the Second World War remained on the sidelines in the naval strategy of the leading maritime powers of the world. The events of November 1940 of the year forced maritime specialists to pay special attention to carrier-based aviation and its role in naval battles.

After the entry of Italy 10 June 1940 into the war on the side of Hitler's Germany, the base of the Italian Navy in the bay of Taranto, where the main forces of the fleet were concentrated, acquired strategic importance.

The idea of ​​striking the deck aircraft of the royal fleet (Fleet Air Force) belongs to Rear-Admiral Arthur Lumley to St. George Lister, who served in the air squadron based in Taranto during World War I and knew the characteristics of the harbor well. In the 1938 year, when Italy launched hostilities in Ethiopia, Lister commanded the Glories aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean with the rank of 1 rank captain and a plan to launch an air strike. The pilots of the Glories air group even received training for night torpedo and bomb attacks.

The Royal Navy began preparations for the upcoming air strike as early as August 1940. Aerial reconnaissance was carried out by well-trained crews of Grumman fighters Martlet Mk.I operating from the island of Malta. As a result, the defense system of the Italian navy's naval base was opened. Shallow depths were taken into account directly in the harbor of Taranto. Aviation torpedoes were equipped with stabilizers, allowing them to be used at such depths by reducing the depth of the torpedo when it was dropped from an aircraft. Using aerial photographs, the crews of the Fairy torpedo bomber Sourfish explored the location of ships at anchorages and landmarks for entering attacks. The interaction in the conditions of night attack was also worked out.

British fighter "Grumman" "Martlet" Mk.I in reconnaissance flight over the Mediterranean Sea (Photo site

The forces of the British fleet involved in the operation, according to the plan of the naval command, were divided into three groups. The main strike group consisted of two Eagle aircraft carriers with the Illustries and eight escort ships (four cruisers and four destroyers). The second group of 18 ships (including two battleships and four cruisers) provided cover for the attack air group. The third group is a demonstrative, striking against the communications of the Italian forces.
The attack line of the carrier group was set at a distance of 315 km from the enemy base.

Restored Fairy "Suordfish" Mk.I in Flight (2012 year) (Photo by site

The main striking force of the Igla and Illastries air groups were the Fairy torpedo bombers Suordfish Mk.I (Swordfish). The triple torpedo bomber, adopted by the deck aviation of the royal fleet as early as 1936, carried a single 457-mm torpedo or a sea 680-kg mine, or a suspended fuel tank per 318 liters on the ventral node. On 4's underwing nodes, bombs could be suspended in 250 or 500 pounds. The total weight of the torpedo bomber load could not exceed 730 kg.

Torpedo "Fairy" "Suordfish" Mk.I (Fig. Site

Machine-gun armament included two 7.7-mm Vickers machine guns (one synchronous in front of the cockpit, the second in the back of the cabin on the turret). 750-strong piston engine "Pegas-30" from the company "Bristol" allowed to develop the maximum airspeed of only 222 km / h (cruising speed was 193 km / h). The practical range of the flight was 879 km, and the practical ceiling 3260 meters.

Deck aircraft in World War II: from Taranto to Midway. Part I

Flight training torpedo bombers "Fairy" "Suordfish" Mk.I in Scotland (1940 g.) (Photo site

Two days before the operation, an accident occurred in the “Igla” fuel system damaged by the breaks of the bombs. Three Fayre torpedo bombers, the Swordfish, burned. The aircraft carrier remained in Alexandria, and the surviving five torpedo bombers relocated to Illastries. In the shock air group there was only one aircraft carrier.

11 November in 18.00 Illustries, leaving the main forces of the British fleet, accompanied by a ship escort headed for Taranto. On board was the 21 torpedo bomber "Fairy" "Suordfish" Mk.I. Eleven of them were armed with 457-mm aircraft torpedoes, and the rest with bombs and flares. All aircraft were equipped with additional outboard fuel tanks.

In 20.40, the first shock wave of the 315 torpedo bombers Fairy Suordfish Mk.I (half of which were armed with torpedoes) started with “Illastries” located at a distance of 12 km from Taranto.

The second wave took off in 50 minutes. One of the “Suordfish” of this wave lost the outboard fuel tank after takeoff and returned to the aircraft carrier.

Torpedoes "Fairy" "Suordfish" Mk.I sent to Taranto (1940 g.) (Photo site

The two groups of torpedo bombers, commanded by lieutenant commander Kenneth Williamson and J. Hale, were all 20 low-speed biplanes against the main forces of the Italian fleet.

The air defense base in Taranto included anti-aircraft artillery batteries and barrage balloons. As a result of the last storm, most of the balloons were damaged, and the anti-torpedo nets were not installed at all.

The plan of strikes against the Taranto base (Fig.

When flying up to Taranto, the Fairy torpedo bombers Suordfish split into three groups to strike at their intended targets. The attack of torpedo bombers was a complete surprise for the Italians. The barrage they opened was ineffective (only one attacking aircraft was shot down).

The main purpose of the British were the battleships - the main striking force of the Italian fleet. Skillfully using light bombs and rockets, the light coming from the burning oil storage, the torpedo bombers attacked the Italian ships against the backdrop of the lunar path. Night attack slow-moving torpedo was successful. Of the nine torpedo-blasted "Fairies" "Suordfish" torpedoes achieved their goals five.

Torpedo attack "Suordfish" (Photo site

With the rising of the sun, a disappointing picture opened before the Italians. The newest battleship Littorio (with a displacement of 35000 tons), after hitting three torpedoes, was forced to throw itself ashore. The battleship Conte di Cavour (with a displacement of 23622 tons) sank as a result of a successful torpedo attack.

The sunk battleship "Conte di Cavour" (Photo from the book by A. Patients "Aircraft carriers. Illustrated Encyclopedia", 2013

The battleship "Cayo Duilio" also landed on the shore after receiving a torpedo from the "Suordfish".

Damaged battleship "Kayo Duilio" (Photo site

The battleship "Littorio" was in the repair of the 4 of the month, and the "Kayo Duilio" - restored almost 6 months. The battleship "Conte di Cavour" was lifted, but its repair was delayed, and until the end of the war he was not commissioned. During the air raid, a cruiser and one destroyer, port facilities, were damaged.

This result was achieved with minimal losses from the attacking side. The British lost only two torpedo bombers from 20 who took part in the night attack. The crew of one torpedo bomber was killed, and the second, led by Williamson, was captured.

In the second hour of the night 12 November 1940, the first 18 surviving torpedo bomber “Fairy” “Suordfish” was spotted by the radar of the aircraft carrier “Illastries” and landed on deck.

Torpedo "Fairy" "Suordfish" Mk.I (Photo from the book A. Patients "Aircraft carriers. Illustrated Encyclopedia", 2013)

“Fairy” “Suordfish” Mk.II at the air show in Yowilton, United Kingdom (11.07.2015) (Photo from

For the first time in stories combat operations deck aircraft struck at the enemy's naval base. The night attack of the aging and low-speed torpedo bombers “Fairy” “Suordfish” Mk.I (457-mm aircraft torpedoes were armed only with 11 from 20 airplanes) caused significant damage to the Italian fleet. The initiative in the war in the Mediterranean passed to the English fleet. The attack on the Taranto base showed the capabilities of carrier-based aviation and aircraft carriers as strike ships of the fleet.

Pearl Harbor

In 1941, the military-political leadership of Japan planned to go to war with the United States in the Pacific theater of operations. The US Pacific Fleet concentrated its main forces in the main military base Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands. He posed a serious threat to the plans of militarist Japan to seize vast territories and resources in the Asia-Pacific region.

The author of the idea of ​​delivering a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was Admiral Yoromo Yamamoto, Commander of the Japanese United Fleet, an adherent of naval aviation.

Admiral Onishi, who later became the organizer of the kamikaze attacks, was directly involved in developing the Pearl Harbor attack plan and organizing the preparation for it. Already in January 1941, the Japanese pilots began to practice bombing and dropping torpedoes under conditions similar to those in the Pearl Harbor Bay. All preparatory activities were carried out in conditions of the strictest secrecy and comprehensive camouflage.

The command of the Japanese fleet well studied the experience of the British when attacking the base of the Italian Navy in Taranto in the autumn of 1940, when, thanks to a well-developed plan, high-quality training and intelligence, a sudden attack of a small number of deck torpedo bombers, the main forces of the Italian fleet were put out of action.

According to the experience of the British for successful dumping of torpedoes in shallow water in the harbor of Pearl Harbor Oahu (on the fairway to 135 meters) aircraft torpedoes were equipped with wooden stabilizers, also by reducing the volume of the compressed air tank, the torpedo charge area was increased.

The airborne assault force was headed by Vice Admiral Tyuiti Nagumo, commander of the 1 air fleet. At the request of Admiral Onishi, all six squadron aircraft carriers of the Japanese fleet (Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu, Shokaku, and Dzuykaku) entered into it on which 420 aircraft were deployed.

The support unit led by Rear Admiral Guniti Mikawa included 14 large surface ships (including two battleships and two heavy cruisers).

Pearl Harbor attack plan by Japanese aircraft 7 December 1941 of the year (Fig. From the book A. Patients "Aircraft Carriers. Illustrated Encyclopedia", 2013)

According to the plan of the Japanese fleet command, a strike carrier-carrier connection, secretly reaching the line of attack of carrier-based aviation at a distance of about 230 nautical miles from the island of Oahu, is to deliver a massive air strike against ships, air defense facilities (primarily radars) and base infrastructure, sea aerodromes and US Army Aviation.

The main attack aircraft of the aircraft groups of the Japanese aircraft carriers were the AXI D3А1 carrier-based dive bombers (according to the Allies classification - "Val") and the Nakajima B5N2 carrier-mounted torpedo bombers (the Americans called it "Kate").

Aichi diving bomber D3A1 "Val" from the aircraft carrier "Akagi", 1941 (Fig. site)

The double deck diving bomber “Aychi” D3А1 first took to the air in the 1936 year and by the year 1941 was considered obsolete. It was an all-metal cantilever nizkoplan with a piston star-shaped engine with horsepower 1000, which allowed to develop a maximum flight speed in 386 km per hour at an altitude of 3000 m (cruising - 270 km per hour). The normal range of the flight was 1500 km, and the practical ceiling 8100 meters.

Aichi diving bomber D3A2 "Val" from the aircraft carrier "Soryu", December 7 1941 (Fig. site)

In front of the Aichi D3A1 fuselage, two 7.7-mm machine guns were simultaneously installed above the engine. In the rear part of the cab, another 7.7-mm machine gun was placed on the mobile unit, the fire from which led the radio operator. Under the fuselage of the diving bomb, one bomb weighing up to 250 kg was suspended. Two bombs on 60 kg were placed under the wings.

D3A1 "Val" dive bombers are sent to Pearl Harbor, 1941 (Fig. site)

The Aichi D3А1 dive bomber at the beginning of the forties of the 20 of the 20th century was considered one of the most successful aircraft of its class, despite its relatively small bomb load, the absence of armor protection and projected fuel tanks. “Aichi” dive-bomber D3А1 “Val” took part in the hostilities until the end of the Second World War, at the final stage already from the runway airfields as a kamikaze attack aircraft.

Aichi diving bomber D3А1 - replica (Photo site

Deck bomber torpedo bomber "Nakajima" B5N2 made its first flight in the 1937 year. It was a triple monoplane with a low wing.

Torpedo "Nakajima" B5N2 "Kate" from the aircraft carrier "Akagi" (Fig. Site

In 1941, he was considered the best torpedo bomber in the world. At the beginning of the war in the Pacific theaters, the deck torpedo-carriers B5N2 "Kate" were part of the air groups of most of the carriers of the imperial fleet and together with the Aychi divers, D3А1, "Vel" represented the main strike force of Japanese naval aviation.

Torpedo "Nakajima" B5N2 "Kate" in our days - a replica (Photo site

The aircraft was equipped with a radial piston engine power 1000 horsepower. The maximum flight speed of the torpedo at the height of 3600 m was 378 km per hour, and cruising - 259 km per hour. The practical ceiling of the aircraft reached 8260 m, and the normal range was 1990 km.

Torpedo "Nakajima" B5N2 "Kate" torpedo attacks the American battleship "West Virginia", December 7 1941 g. (Fig. Website

The torpedo bomber was armed with a single 7.7-mm machine gun in the cockpit of the radio operator on the rotary unit. Under the fuselage of the aircraft was hung up one armor-piercing 800-kg bombs or three conventional 250 kg. Instead of aerial bombs on the ventral holder with a shift to the right, a standard 457-mm aerial torpedo could be suspended.

Mitsubishi A6М2 Reisen (the union code name "Zero") carried out the air cover of the bombers and torpedo bombers. "Zero" was one of the well-known and famous Japanese fighters of the second world war.

Fighter АХNUMXМ6b Model 2 from aircraft carrier "Akagi", Pearl Harbor, December 21 g. (Fig. From the book A. Haruk "Zero. Best Deck Fighter", 1941)

Single all-metal fighter made its first flight in the 1939 year. The 14 twin-cylinder piston engine with horsepower 950 (at a height of 4200 m) accelerates the fighter to a maximum speed of 533 km / h at a height of 6000 m. The climb time at 5000 m was 5 minutes and 56 seconds. The practical ceiling of the fighter was 10300 m, and the normal range of 1380 km.

Fighters А6М2 "Zero" of the aircraft group of the aircraft carrier "Akagi" in flight (Fig. site)

With a lightweight design, powerful engine fighters "Mitsubishi" A6М2 "Reisen" had excellent maneuverability and high efficiency in air combat. For their maneuverability, the Zero fighters paid the price for the complete absence of armor protection for the cockpit of the pilot and vital systems and aircraft components. The aircraft also had high inertia in roll and slow speed in a dive, but in capable and experienced hands it was powerful and formidable. weapon for the opponent.

Fighter "Mitsubishi" А6М2 "Zero" at the air show in California (USA) (Photo sites and

Fighter "Mitsubishi" A6М2 "Reisen" received powerful weapons consisting of two 20-mm cannons placed in the wings and two 7.7-mm machine guns installed in front of the cockpit. Small bombs (up to 30 kg) could also be suspended under the wings.

Airgroup of the aircraft carrier "Shokaku" before the Pearl Harbor attack (Photo from A. Patients' book "Aircraft carriers. Illustrated Encyclopedia", 2013)

On Sunday morning, 7, December 1941, the strike fleet of the Japanese fleet reached the line of attack 426 km north of Oahu. In 5.30, aircraft of the first wave began to take off from aircraft carriers under the command of captain 2 of the rank of Mitsuo Futida. It includes the 43 fighter jets; armed with 6-mm torpedoes, the remaining 2-kg armor-piercing bombs) to attack ships. In total, it was composed of 51 aircraft.

Explosions on the destroyer "Show" (Photo from the book by V. Beshanov "Encyclopedia of aircraft carriers", 2002)

In 7.15, the second wave in the number of 167 aircraft headed by Lieutenant Commander Shigekazu Shimazaki took off. 35 fighter "Mitsubishi" A6M2 "Raise" accompanied 54 bomber torpedo "Nakajima» B5N2 bombings arms to attack airfields and 78 dive bomber "Aichi" D3A1 with 250-kg bombs for attacks on ships.

At the time of the attack, there were more than 54 large surface ships (including 8 battleships, 2 heavy cruisers, 6 light cruisers, 29 destroyers) with open hatches and watertight bulkhead doors for the morning inspection.

Numerous anti-aircraft artillery of the base (almost 300 guns) was poorly prepared (ammunition was not always delivered everywhere, there were no fire calculations). Even the presence of radar on the island of Oahu did not allow the Americans to timely identify the approaching air enemy. On Sunday morning, he worked for training purposes only one radar, the operator of which took the mark of the approaching Japanese aircraft for their B-17 and did not promptly announce the alarm.

Fire on the battleship "Arizona" (Photo from the book by V. Beshanov "Encyclopedia of aircraft carriers", 2002)

The surprise factor Japanese aircraft was able to fully realize. Acting from different directions at low altitudes, dropping torpedoes from short distances especially distinguished pilots of the aircraft carrier groups of the aircraft carrier Kaga (sank the battleship Arizona, badly damaged the battleships Oklahoma and West Virginia) and Akagi (the damaged linkors sank Oklahoma "and" West Virginia ").

The remains of the ships after an air attack (Photo from the book A. Patients "Aircraft carriers. Illustrated Encyclopedia", 2013)

American aircraft could not provide decent resistance in the air and for the most part was either destroyed or damaged on the ground. A little more than a dozen of the Curtiss P-36A Hawk and Curtiss P-40B Kittihok fighters from the Hickam and Weller military airfields and the training airfield Haleiva (he was not subject to air attack) and a pair of SBD- 2 "DOWNTLESS", which in the group of 18 machines were sent from the aircraft carrier "Enterprise". As a result of a short-term air combat, before the destruction of their own, the side-gunner of one of the Dountless was able to shoot down an enemy plane.

American fighter "Curtiss" P-36 "Hawk" ("Hawk") made its first flight in the 1937 year to December 1941, the year was considered obsolete. It was a single-seat all-metal monoplane with carrying casing, hydraulically mounted landing plates and retractable landing gear along the wing chord.

Curtiss Fighter P-36 Hawk (Pic.

The two-row Wright R-1830-13 XHUMX horsepower engine provided the fighter with a maximum speed of 1050 km per hour at an altitude of 480 m (cruising speed - 300 km per hour) and a speed of 430 m per minute. Practical range and practical ceiling were respectively 762 km and 1300 m.

Curtiss fighter P-36, Hawaii, 1941 (Fig.

The armament of the Curtiss P-36A Hawk initially consisted of one 12.7-mm and one 7.62-mm installed synchronously in the fuselage. In later releases, the P-36 and the P-36C modifications in the wings additionally installed two 7.62-mm machine guns, and in the fuselage there were two 12.7-mm machine guns.

Curtiss P-36 "Hawk" at the air show, our days (Photo site

The Curtiss Fighter P-36 Hawk was considered an airplane with good control and maneuverability, but he could not compete with the Mitsubishi A6М2 Fighter Reisen. The four of the Curtiss fighters P-36 Hawk in the aerial battle over Pearl Harbor still managed to shoot down two Japanese fighters.

The American fighter P-40 "Kittihok" was the most famous and massive aircraft company "Curtiss" during the Second World War. It represented a further development of the P-36 “Hawk” model. The first flight of the aircraft took place in October 1938.

Curtiss fighter P-40 in the coloring of the end of 1941 g. (Fig. site)

On the Curtiss fighter P-40 The Kittyhawk, which was based on the island of Oahu, was equipped with an Allison V-1710-33 liquid-cooling engine with an 1150 HP. The maximum speed of the aircraft at an altitude of 4575 m was 571 km / h, and the climb rate at the ground 15.7 meters per second. The practical ceiling of the fighter reached 10000 m, and the practical range of 1170 km. Under the engine of the aircraft appeared characteristic "beard", which houses the combined oil and water radiator.

Curtiss Fighter P-40B Two Japanese D3A1 Vel Val 7 December 1941, which shot down in aerial combat, shot down in air combat (Figure

The armament of the Curtiss fighter P-40В, as on the model P-36С, was represented by two synchronous 12.7-mm machine guns and four wing caliber 7.62-mm. The plane also received a booking of the cockpit.

Curtiss P-40 Kitty Hawk, replica, our days (Photo site

In air battles with the Japanese Mitsubishi A6М2 Reisen fighters, the Curtiss P-40B Kittihok aircraft essentially lost in maneuverability, but surpassed them in firepower, possessing good survivability and a large margin of safety.

Link Curtiss fighters P-40 in flight, 1942g. (Photo site

Deck diving bomber reconnaissance "Douglas" SBD "Dountless" ("Fearless") on the first day of the war in air battles over the island of Oahu with Japanese fighters acted defensive side. The plane will show its shock capabilities later.

A double single-engine Douglas SBD Dwightless dive bomber, which is a nizkoplan with a fully glazed cabin and crew accommodation in tandem, made its first flight in 1938. On the first versions of the aircraft (SBD-2) there was still no crew armor and fuel tank protection.

SBD-2 “DOWNLESS” of the air group from the aircraft carrier Enterprise, Pearl Harbor, December 1941. (Fig. Site

The SBD-2 powerplant was a Wright R-1820-32 star-shaped engine with 1000 horsepower, developing maximum horizontal flight speed in 406 km / h and 444 km / h during a dive. The practical ceiling reached 8260 m. Due to the installation of additional fuel tanks in the wing consoles, the range of Dowtlessov of the SBD-2 modification with a bomb load increased to 2224 km.

Douglas dive bomber SBD-2 “Downtless”, replica, our days (Photo site

The aircraft’s armament consisted of two synchronous guns of 12.7-mm caliber mounted in front of the cockpit, and one located in the rear part of the cockpit of the gunner of the turret 7.62-mm machine gun. In practice, one of the synchronous large-caliber machine guns is often removed to facilitate the aircraft and to ensure greater flight range. A bomb weighing up to 726 kg could be suspended on the pylon under the fuselage; conventional or depth charges weighing up to 45 kg were suspended on two wing pylons. The vent pylon had a special bar which, during the dive of the aircraft, took the bombs down and out of the range of the propeller's circle.

Air combat of SBD-2 "Downlight" dive-bombers with Japanese fighters (Fig.

Sent for reconnaissance from the aircraft carrier Enterprise in the early morning of December 7 1941, 18, Douglas dive bombers, reconnaissancers Douglas SBD-2, Dountless over Oahu met with Japanese aviation attacking Pearl Harbor. Seven Dountless "were shot down or, after receiving damage, broke during landing. The Japanese lost with this two aircraft. The less maneuverable SBD-2 could not make a worthy competition in air combat with the Japanese Mitsubishi fighters A6М2 Zero.

The last Japanese aircraft left the burning Pearl Harbor base at 10.00. The attack was complete. After the attackers left the 4 drowned battleship, damaged the remaining 4 battleship. The 3 destroyer and minelayer were sunk, the 2 cruisers were badly damaged, a number of ships received minor damage. 188 aircraft were destroyed and more than a hundred were damaged. Losses in personnel exceeded 3500 people.
Japanese carrier-based aircraft losses totaled 29 machines (9 fighters "Mitsubishi" A6M2 "Reisen", 15 dive bombers "Aichi" D3A1 and 5 torpedo "Nakajima» B5N2) and 55 pilots. 109 aircraft were damaged. Most of the Japanese aircraft were shot down by naval anti-aircraft artillery fire. The crew of the Nakajima torpedo carrier B5N2 that fell into the water near the aircraft carrier was saved.

When the last of the planes returning from the aircraft attack, the Vice-Admiral Tyuiti Nagumo ordered the ships to board the Japanese aircraft carriers and ordered the ships to lie on the opposite course. The admiral refused to re-attack. At the time of the attack on the harbor of Pearl Harbor, there were no American aircraft carriers. Their whereabouts were not known and the response could have been expected at any moment. Reduced by one third due to the loss and damage to the aircraft groups of the Japanese aircraft carriers needed time for maintenance and replenishment of ammunition. The surprise factor has already been lost. By the time the Japanese aircraft re-emerged over Oahu, the Americans anti-aircraft artillery, having recovered from the initial shock, would have effectively resisted the attackers.

The most important result of the successful air attack of the main forces of the American fleet at Pearl Harbor was Japan’s gaining strategic superiority at sea on the very first day of combat operations and the possibility of conducting large-scale offensive operations in the Asia-Pacific region.
Deck and aircraft carriers reasserted themselves as the main striking force in the war at sea.

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Internet resources:;;;;;;;

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  1. sandrmur76
    sandrmur76 30 May 2016 07: 27
    Yes, aviation progressed rapidly in those days. It is not sad, but war is the engine of progress. good
  2. tlauicol
    tlauicol 30 May 2016 07: 46
    The first successful attack of the British deck torpedo bomber took place in 1915 against Turkish transports!
  3. inkass_98
    inkass_98 30 May 2016 07: 49
    Excellent thank you.
  4. igordok
    igordok 30 May 2016 09: 27
    Thank you.
    It seems that quite a few articles have been written about the attacks of Taranto and Pearl Harbor, I read this enthusiastically.
  5. code54
    code54 30 May 2016 10: 15
    Interesting! Honestly and did not know that “Fairy” “Swordfish” Mk.I was a triple !!! But the P-40 as for me, it’s still trough!
    1. DimerVladimer
      DimerVladimer 31 May 2016 12: 53
      Quote: code54
      But the P-40 as for me, it’s still trough!

      And our pilots praised the P-40. At that time, not a single car could compete with the P-40, except for the Yak-1
  6. Alexey RA
    Alexey RA 30 May 2016 10: 27
    On Sunday morning, only one radar worked for training purposes, the operator of which took the mark of approaching Japanese aircraft for its B-17s and did not announce the alarm in a timely manner.

    The operator could not announce the alarm. All that the radar operator could do was to transmit information about the coordinates, speed and approximate target size to the island’s air defense information center. And he did it.
    The ambush was that the center was practically empty: at the time of receiving information from the radar, it contained only the communications officer from the fighter aircraft of the airfield, Wheeler Lieutenant Kermit Taylor and telephone operator Private Joe McDonald's. And it was Taylor who decided not to sound the alarm, don’t cause tablet players from breakfast, don’t worry about the goal - this is B-17.

    By the way, one of the popular alternatives for P-X is "Taylor calls the tablet and orders the radar to conduct a circular search". The minimum required impact, hehe hehe.
  7. Dimon19661
    Dimon19661 30 May 2016 10: 48
    An excellent article, there should be more of these on VO.Avtor +.
  8. Verdun
    Verdun 30 May 2016 10: 53
    Thanks to the author for the article. The material presented in it allows those who are little familiar with the events of that time to get a fairly clear idea of ​​the attacks on Taranto and Pearl Harbor. Here in the comments they write about the rapid development of carrier-based aviation in that period. Yes, indeed it is. However, this circumstance did not prevent Swordfish, an aircraft that could be conditionally compared with the Po-2, which had become an anachronism even before the war, to remain in service with the British Navy and even win victories until the forty-fifth year. As for Pearl Harbor, many authors of materials on this subject either forget or are silent for some reason that the attack on the harbor was combined. It was applied not only by aircraft, but also by Japanese dwarf submarines, of which as many as six were operating in the Pearl Harbor area. For obvious reasons, it turned out to be difficult to determine how successfully they worked in the resulting meat grinder. And yet...
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 30 May 2016 11: 29
      Quote: Verdun
      As for Pearl Harbor, many authors of materials on this subject either forget or are silent for some reason that the attack on the harbor was combined. It was applied not only by aircraft, but also by Japanese dwarf submarines, of which as many as six were operating in the Pearl Harbor area.

      And who almost thwarted the surprise of the attack - remember the battle of EM "Ward". smile
      CAPTAIN OUTERBRIDGE. Yes, sir. The Executive Officer was on the bridge at the time. We made the attack and we dropped depth charges in front of the submarine. The first report was, "We have dropped depth charges upon sub operating in defensive sea area." I thought, "Well, now, maybe I had better be more definite," because we did fire and if we said we fired, people would know it was on the surface, because saying it was a sub and dropping depth charges, they may have said it might have been a blackfish or a whale. So I said, "We have attacked fired upon and dropped depth charges upon submarine operating in defensive sea area," so they would feel, well, he shot at something. We sent the message at 0653, the second one.

      If Outerbridge immediately reported that the EM not only dropped the GB through an unidentified contact, but also fired at the submarine that appeared on the surface ...
      1. Verdun
        Verdun 30 May 2016 13: 11
        Quote: Alexey RA

        If Outerbridge immediately reported that the EM not only dropped the GB through an unidentified contact, but also fired at the submarine that appeared on the surface ...

        When you analyze the events around Pearl Harbor, you involuntarily think about it - maybe those who claim that the American base in the Philippines was deliberately exposed may be right. Yes, it looks cynical. But from a political and economic point of view it is completely justified.
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 30 May 2016 14: 08
          Quote: Verdun
          When you analyze the events around Pearl Harbor, you involuntarily think about it - maybe those who claim that the American base in the Philippines was deliberately exposed may be right.

          In the Philippines - yes, the full impression is that the local forces needed to become sacrificial lambs.
          MacArthur asks for reinforcements with all his might - they send him from the USA per teaspoon per hour. Moreover, quite close (on the TO scale), on Oahu, there are 2 full-blooded divisions, one of which is the personnel division, of the old formation. But no, nobody touches them. Moreover, the Oahu garrison was strengthened throughout 1940 and 1941 (in terms of Air Defense and Army Air Forces).
          The plans of the Pacific Fleet are directly spelled out: no reinforcements are provided for the Asian fleet based in the Philippines. And the Pacific Fleet will come to the aid of the Philippines only after concentrating all its forces, including the landing forces (and first it will seize bases in the mandated territories). Until then, US forces in the Philippines should retreat to Bataan and keep the entrance to Manila Bay, and the fleet will supply them as far as possible.
          That is, the fleet will not move before the end of 1942. For in 1941 all the old Marines formations were disbanded, and in the new ones a mess was going on, staff shortages and lack of weapons were cleaner than in the Soviet mechanized corps of spring 1941.

          But it was smooth on paper - instead of limiting itself to Southeast Asia, IJN hit also Pearl Harbor.
    2. brn521
      brn521 30 May 2016 14: 19
      Quote: Verdun
      Swordfish, an aircraft that can be conditionally compared to Po-2

      Po-2 small training aircraft. Swordfish is a specialized deck aircraft designed for decent range and bomb load. A biplane means it should take off and land easily under adverse conditions - bad weather, a short runway, an aircraft carrier remade from a barge and dancing on the waves like a float.
      Quote: Verdun
      became an anachronism even before the war

      If you take into account the number of German aircraft carriers and carrier-based fighters, it’s a decent aircraft.
      1. Verdun
        Verdun 30 May 2016 15: 28
        Quote: brn521
        If you take into account the number of German aircraft carriers and carrier-based fighters, it’s a decent aircraft.

        What does the unfinished German aircraft carriers have to do with it? When I wrote about "Suordfish" as an anachronism, I meant its low speed and weak security. For a torpedo bomber, speed is critical. The faster you get close to the target, the less time it will take for anti-aircraft gunners to hit you. And after the torpedo is dropped, it is very useful to take your legs out of the fire and from the cover fighters, if any. I didn’t find it, but in the literature I did read exactly how one of the American pilots - volunteers spoke about the Suordfish in the sense that the technique is amazing, but the plane is definitely better!))
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 30 May 2016 16: 51
          Quote: Verdun
          What does the unfinished German aircraft carriers have to do with it?

          Given that the "string bag" is a universal torpedo bomber-reconnaissance bomber. And for him, the primary were the range, the ability to carry a torpedo and the ability to place the required number of vehicles in hangars / work from decks on existing RN AB.
          The speed of the "string bag" in the mid 30s for a deck aircraft was quite acceptable. Especially considering that on ETVD he would have to work against the enemy without an AB.

          Another thing is that their Lordships slept through another generational change on the decks - and then they were forced to catch up with the departed train for a long time and tediously, completing the deck groups with "mind dreams" of their own design bureaus and gradually switching to American vehicles. The same British fighter Grumman Martlet MK.I - this is nothing more than another version of the American "wildcat" (model G-36A from a French order, shipped to Britain after the surrender of France).
          Quote: Verdun
          For a torpedo bomber, speed is critical. The faster you get close to the target, the less time for anti-aircraft gunners to get into you.

          He-he-he ... as the experience of "Bismarck" showed, the height was critical. "Avos" at their low speed could literally creep over the waves - and as they approached the LK, the air defense installations ceased to have enough descent angles.
          Quote: Verdun
          I didn’t find it, but in the literature I read exactly how one of the American pilots - volunteers spoke about the Suordfish in the sense that the technique is amazing, but the plane is definitely better!))

          This was not Swordfish. It was his granddaughter - "barracuda" (the son was "albacore").
          Beautiful design, but it is unlikely to ever replace planes ...
    3. yehat
      yehat 1 June 2016 15: 31
      you are not good at the topic. Swordfish was used not because there was nothing to replace, but because the torpedoes were poor and it was necessary to ensure their low speed of entry into the water, therefore, a low-speed and maneuverable flying aircraft was needed, obviously a biplane according to the scheme.
      Germans, Russians, Italians had no such problems
      and the Japanese even made torpedoes that could be dropped in shallow water.
  9. Mikhail Matyugin
    Mikhail Matyugin 30 May 2016 11: 53
    I agree with the above opinion - a beautifully illustrated article, but what is its novelty? the author retold the facts long known to those interested in aviation. What is the point of publishing?
  10. King, just king
    King, just king 30 May 2016 12: 03
    Let me go to the "author" of the article. "Alexander Bryukhanov", to take and arrange paragraphs and phrases from the indicated editions at the end of the "article", I think it does not give you the right to be called its author. Would write "compose" or "compiler", or something ...
    Yes, and the assembly is, you know, school, middle classes.
    1. AlexanderBrv
      30 May 2016 23: 06
      The purpose of this article is primarily to arouse the reader's interest in this topic. The literature list is intended for a more detailed study and immersion in the topic. As for the "authorship": from the history of the facts as well as the words from the song you cannot throw out, to what has left a noticeable mark will be addressed for so long and so much until it disappears from memory!
    2. The comment was deleted.
  11. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 31 May 2016 10: 08
    Good article and richly illustrated.

    Of particular interest is the take-off of a biplane from Birmingham. 1910 year!
    They took a chance. And it turned out to be a strategic breakthrough.
    1. DimerVladimer
      DimerVladimer 31 May 2016 16: 03
      Quote: voyaka uh
      Good article and richly illustrated.

      Of particular interest is the take-off of a biplane from Birmingham. 1910 year!

      The article between 1910 and 1940 is a void!
      And it would make sense to turn to the Washington Treaty of 1922 (Washington Naval Agreement) - Where did the heavy aircraft carriers begin to appear - the alteration of the already laid down hulls of the "Washington" battleships.
      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 31 May 2016 16: 44
        There, it seems, the total tonnage and total calibers for all countries were limited.
        And so they began to shoot guns and remodel battleships / cruisers for aircraft carriers?
  12. DimerVladimer
    DimerVladimer 31 May 2016 16: 47
    According to the "Washington Treaty", each of the parties involved was allowed to rebuild two large warships to be dismantled into an aircraft carrier.
    Accordingly, 7 new aircraft carriers were rebuilt from the LC.

    And it was the "Washington Treaty" that contributed to the rapid development of naval aviation.

    Aircraft carriers rebuilt from battleships and battlecruisers

    Aircraft Carrier Country
    Lexington USA (Lexington battle cruiser)
    Saratoga USA (Lexington-class battlecruiser)

    Korea Koreans (Koreas battlecruiser)
    Glories Britain (Battlecruiser Type Cruiser)

    Akagi Japan (Line cruiser Amagi type)
    "Kaga" Japan (battleship type "Tosa")

    Bearn France (Normandy-class battleship)

    Without studying this agreement, there is no understanding of why it was heavy heavy strike aircraft carriers that appeared.

    At the same time, the military did not understand why they were being imposed on them "incomprehensible ships without guns", not yet realizing at that time that aircraft carriers would become the most long-range and, therefore, the main weapon of the fleet.
  13. Volga Cossack
    Volga Cossack 31 May 2016 17: 36
    well illustrated. but alas, all the facts are known ....... for some generalization - thanks.