Aircraft carriers had a key part in the Second World War, yet somehow Germans failed to even finish building their only aircraft carrier, Graf Zeppelin.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
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Without Wings: The Story of Hitler’s Aircraft Carrier by Stephen Burke
Aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin would be the biggest ship ever built in Nazi Germany. It would also be the Fatherland`s only aircraft carrier, a main weakness in a nation about to enter a war on land, air and sea. 9 years later she had seen no action at all, and was sunk while being used as target practice. Graf Zeppelin could carry 42 aircraft; BF109s, the Fiesler torpedo-bomber and a converted Stuka dive bomber - an aerial force with a greater potential than British Sea Gladiators, Fairey Swordfish and Blackburn Skua fighter/dive bombers. The Cold War prevented any exploration of the wreckage, so it was not until 2006 that divers were able to locate her.
Danger`s Hour: The Story of the USS Bunker Hill and the Kamikaze Pilot Who Crippled Her
Historian Maxwell Taylor Kennedy (Robert F. Kennedy’s son) has examined interesting—material in his book on Japanese kamikaze pilots. His account focuses at the May 11, 1945, attacks on the American aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Bunker Hill, off the coast of Okinawa. While the subject has been covered before, for more than a decade there haven`t been many efforts to study the social, political and philosophical forces that yielded these grim final hours of the war. In his tale, Kennedy leaned on over 100 interviews with Japanese pilots and their families, conversations with Bunker Hill veterans and piles of National Archive reports.
The U.S.S. Copahee: the small aircraft carrier which carried Atomic bomb (Article no longer available from the original source)
The U.S.S. Copahee was a small aircraft carrier barely anyone has ever heard of. Mostly the Copahee moved aircrafts and troops. It was important work, but it`s what was loaded on board in 1945 that changed the world. It was the atom bomb later detonated over Nagasaki. As ships go, the Copahee had a short life, only 4 years. After WW2 it wasn`t needed anymore, and it was sold for scrap to Japan. What used to be a reunion that numbered into the hundreds was down to 9 men, all at least in their mid 80`s. But their memories of the Copahee and its crew and its historic mission are indivisible.
The Inferno: Aircraft carrier USS Franklin after an attack by a Japanese dive bomber
Navy photographer Al Bullock`s photos have been in numerous books, but he says the latest work his photos appear in is different because it puts the reader in the thick of the action. Bullock`s photos of the aircraft carrier USS Franklin after a March 1945 attack by a Japanese dive bomber are featured in "The Inferno." The author, Joseph Springer, talked to over 100 people who pulled through the attack that resulted almost 800 dead and 2,400 wounded. The Franklin, testing the experimental Tiny Tim 500-pound rocket, was hit by two 500-pound bombs, which caused a firestorm of exploding aircraft fuel.
Nazi Germany`s first and last aircraft carrier: Graf Zeppelin
Construction on the aircraft carrier "Graf Zeppelin" began in 1936: It was to be a prestige object for the Nazis and the 33,000-ton colossus was capable of 33 knots. The 1,720-man aircraft carrier could only hold about 40 planes, half as many as Allied equivalents, but it was heavily armored. Though the Graf Zeppelin was launched in December 1938, construction was never fully completed. U-boats took priority when WW2 began and it was sidelined and never saw action. As the war came to a close and the Nazi Wehrmacht foresaw their demise, demolition squads sank the carrier on April 25, 1945, just days before Adolf Hitler`s suicide.
Nazi Germany`s only aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin found
Divers have discovered the rusting wreckage of Nazi Germany’s only aircraft carrier, the Graf Zeppelin, near the Bay of Gdansk - solving one of the maritime riddles of the Second World War. When the Graf Zeppelin was launched in 1938, Adolf Hitler raised his right arm in salute to a warship that was supposed to help Third Reich to become master of the northern seas. But, when fleeing German troops scuttled her in April 1945, she had never seen service — a casualty of infighting within the Nazi elite and the changing tide of war. The Graf Zeppelin was scuttled in shallow water near Szczecin and it proved easy for the Red Army to recover her.
Veteran recalls attack on USS Frank (Article no longer available from the original source)
Joseph Vaughn became part of the crew on the USS Franklin, a new Essex-class aircraft carrier. It was a late entry into the war, but the ship packed a lot of action into the next 14 months. Before dawn on an overcast March 19, 1945, the Franklin was within 50 miles of the Japanese mainland. Fighter planes had been launched to sweep Honshu. The captain sent half the watch to go below decks to eat breakfast. They all were lined up to the mess hall when a Japanese pilot broke through the clouds and dropped two 500-pound bombs. "All those people in a line," said Vaughn, shaking his head. "That`s where they all got killed."
Project Habakkuk - Building an aircraft carrier out of Ice
Project Habakkuk was a WWII plan to build an aircraft carrier out of Pykrete (wood pulp and ice), for use against Nazi U-boats in the mid-Atlantic. Geoffrey Pyke conceived the idea while organizing the production of M29 Weasels for Project Plough. Steel and aluminium were in short supply, and he realized that the answer was ice, which could be manufactured for only 1% of the energy needed to make the same mass of steel and suggested that an iceberg be levelled to provide a runway and hollowed out to shelter aircraft. Naval architects had created 3 versions of Pyke`s original idea, which were discussed at a meeting with the Chiefs of Staff in August 1943...