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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

INFOGRAPHICS #16 and HISTORY #3: Battleships of WWII!

Written by D-Mitch

IJN Yamato in 1941. The ship, together with its sister-ship,
IJN Musashi, were the only super-battleships that saw action.
This article is devoted to the battleships, the most powerful ships to sail the waves and the pride of every navy from 1880 to the early '40s. These large warships with the impressive gun armament, the so-called "Castles of Steel" or "The Floating Fortresses", were a symbol of naval dominance and national might, and for decades the battleship was a major factor in both diplomacy and military strategy. The following image (compiled by iksanov) depicts individual battleships and battlecruisers of major battleship classes as they were in a specific year (camouflage, prior or after a modernization, etc.). The majority of them served during WWII with very few exceptions such as the España class battleship Jaime I (n.28) or the HMS Vanguard (n.2) that was commissioned in 1946 (I modified the original image because instead of Vanguard, it had the Sovetsky Soyuz-class battleship, a ship that was never completed and commissioned). Somebody can notice also that not all the battleship classes are included, such examples are the Conte di Cavour class of Italy, the New Mexico and Pennsylvania classes of the United States of America, the Ise class of Japan and many more classes of the United Kingdom. For a brief overview of all the battleship classes (ironclads, pre-dreadnoughts, dreadnoughts, battleships and fast battleships), including those that were never commissioned, you can read here (I noticed quickly that some classes are missing though such as the Espana class). About the individual battleships within the classes you can find them here where they are listed alphabetically. Please notice that the silhouettes have not been created by me but by anonymous users in the web (if somebody found an author or the authors please send me a message!)


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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

INFOGRAPHICS #15 and HISTORY #2: United States Navy aircraft carriers (1922 - today)

Original article (link) by Annalisa Underwood
Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division, U.S. Navy

The article was improved by D-Mitch, with the addition of information, images, table (original table before the corrections here) and with the inclusion of the escort aircraft carrier classes.

Text and map of the current U.S. Navy aircraft carrier museums by (the excellent!) Jeff Head (link).


The evolution of the United States Navy aircraft carrier from 1922 till present:

Evolution of the USN aircraft carrier. Image: Annalisa Underwood and James Caiella.
High resolution image here.
The U.S. Navy’s first aircraft carrier, USS Langley (CV-1), was converted from the collier USS Jupiter (AC-3) and recommissioned March 20, 1922. Langley had a displacement of 11,500 tons and measured 542 feet in length. She could travel at a speed of 15.5 knots (17.8 mph) and boasted a crew of 468 personnel. Though Langley was not the first ship with an installed flight deck or the first ship from which an airplane had taken off, her service marked the birth of the era of the carrier. She was also the sight of the first carrier catapult when her commanding officer, Cmdr. Kenneth Whiting, was catapulted from her deck.

USS Langley (CV-1) in 1927
In his book “U.S. Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated Design History,” Norman Friedman noted that the Langley did not have a hangar deck in the modern sense because aircraft were not stowed ready for flight. They were actually assembled on the upper deck, loaded into the single elevator, and then hoisted onto the flight deck. She was also equipped with two lift cranes, two flight-deck catapults, and carried 36 aircraft. And according to Norman Polmar in his book “Aircraft Carriers: A History of Carrier Aviation and its Influence on World Events”, the arresting gear on Langley consisted of “wires running fore and aft suspended about 10 inches above the deck” to which the hook of an aircraft would attach to slow the landing. He added that this system of fore-and-aft wires was used on U.S. carriers until 1929 when the Navy began developing a hydraulic arresting gear that could handle high-speed aircraft landings.
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