How Carriers Fought

Carrier Operations in WWII

Lars Celander

A detailed examination of carriers and carrier operations in WWII, looking at the tools behind the major carrier battles and their evolution throughout the war.
Publication date:
August 2018
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Illustration :
21 b/w photos 7 b/w illus, 5 maps
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781612006215

Dimensions : 229 X 152 mm
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ISBN : 9781612008530

Dimensions : 229 X 152 mm
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Regular Price: £14.99

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• A comprehensive look at the art of carrier operations in WWII
• This book is unique in its approach to carrier operations, comparable to no other book that has been published
• Looks at everything from aircraft and flight operations, to life in the cockpit, strategy and execution of carrier operations, key battles, as well as the nuts and bolts of how carriers worked

In November 1921 the first purpose-built carrier was launched by the Japanese, followed a year later by the British launch of the Hermes. After WWI, battlecruisers were readily converted into aircraft carriers, with questions on how to handle the aircraft on the flight deck beginning to be raised and techniques of how to attack enemy ships beginning to develop. How Carriers Fought focuses on the HOW, not the what, when, or the by whom. It begins by examining the tools and the building blocks of carrier operations, looking at what life was really like in the cockpit for the pilots alongside the technicalities of navigation and communication. A world of tactical dehydration, amphetamine pills, and illegal smoking is explored, as well as the measures they put in place to reduce their risk of death on being hit.

This book goes on to examine the major carrier battles of WWII, from the Battle of the Coral Sea to the Battle of Leyte Gulf, with a focus on how the tools of carrier operations were employed during these battles. At the Battle of the Midway the debate of concentration vs. dispersion became relevant, as the Japanese decided to divide their forces while the Americans concentrated theirs. How Carriers Fought questions these tactics, exploring which worked best in theory and in practice. How were searches made, how many planes were used, what was the range and coverage of the search, and how many hits were scored and losses suffered?

The final section of the book looks at how carrier operations changed in major ways during the course of the war, as better technology and a better understanding of this new type of warfare allowed for quick advances in how operations were carried out. For example, the balance between fighter and bomber planes changed dramatically, with the US beginning the war with 20% fighters and ending it with 80% fighters. This book gives a comprehensive insight into carrier operations in WWII, with a focus on the Pacific War between the US Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy. A series of appendices expands on topics such as radar, landing on a carrier, radios and even carrier pigeons.


[I] never stopped being interested in what the author had to say.

Army Rumour Service

For the readers who are fascinated by the subject, I can recommend this work warmly.

After a few pages, it is obviously a much different and well-considered treatment by an author who wants to give us a unique view of what went into designing, building and outfitting the new capital ship, replacing battleships as the centrepiece of the fleet during the pivotal years before World War II.
Aviation News