The World's Aircraft Carriers 1914-1945 (Warships Illustrated 8)
By Roger Chesneau
Publisher: Arms & Armour Press 1986 64 Pages
PDF 54 MB
Aircraft first went to sea in 1913, a mere ten years after sustained, manned flight had first been successfully demonstrated by the Wright Brothers. True, the carrier concerned was an old cruiser and in reality acted as little more than a means of transport for its frail cargo, but its concept laid the foundations for what was literally a new dimension in maritime power. The First World War witnessed astonishing strides in naval aviation, so much so that by its close the layout of the aircraft carrier as it exists today had already been established and the roles for its aircraft had already been clearly defined: the evolution of the ship type over the last seventy years or so has been mainly concerned with changes of emphasis, technological improvement and, of course, a tremendous growth in both ship size and capabilities.
This volume takes a brief look at the development of the aircraft carrier from its formative years through to the close of the Second World War, by which time it had proved beyond all doubt its position as the most powerful and versatile asset a navy could possess. The year 1945 marked a watershed in the history of naval aviation in another sense, for towards the close of that year the first landing aboard ship by a jet-powered aircraft took place, an event wich would have far-reaching implications for carrier design. The illustrations reflect the expedient nature of the earliest ships, the use put in the 1920s to surplus capital ships hulls and the gradual crystallization of operating experience in the purpose-built carriers of the 1930s and 1940s.