Showing posts from October, 2018

Japanese Interwar Antiaircraft Guns (1916-1939)

The World War II ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy are often criticized for their inadequate air defense armament. Now, this critique is somewhat arguable for a variety of reasons, but this post is instead going to look at the more neglected subject of how Japanese air defense guns reached the point they were at when the war began. Popular military history loses a lot of context by focusing on wars rather than peacetime developments, and nowhere is that more true than in the subject of aircraft World War II. It must always be remembered that aircraft evolved rapidly over the interwar period and much of what they accomplished during World War II would have been impossible just a few years earlier. Contrary to popular belief, the major navies of the world were quite forward-looking when it came to aircraft, and this includes the matter of air defense. The Royal Navy introduced its first dedicated antiaircraft gun (the 12 pounder QF HA Mk 1) in 1913, and the Imperial German Navy and U

Does the USN Navy Need Smaller Aircraft Carriers… for ASW?

The Japanese helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH-181) alongside the USS George Washington (CVN-73) There has long been a sentiment among some that the fleet carriers of the United States Navy are simply too large, too expensive, and too few in number. Instead, they feel that the Navy should switch to building significantly smaller carriers. The official Navy response to this position is that the possibility has been studied many times and that for the same amount of money smaller carriers will result in a fleet with substantially less combat power. Personally, I am of the opinion that the official Navy position is the correct one and that the current large carriers are the superior option - but there may be an argument for a new class of small carriers focused on antisubmarine warfare. Since World War II, the USN has taken a combined-arms approach to ASW, with submarines, aircraft, and surface ships working together to counter the threat. Of these, submarines are arguably the mos