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Sunk by naval gunfire from Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. HMS Audacity D Deliberately scuttled as breakwater. Sunk by Italian submarine Bagnolini. Sunk by Italian submarine Axum. Scuttled following Italian motor torpedo boat attack. Sunk by Italian submarine Ambra. Scuttled following Italian explosive boat attack.

Battle of the Java Sea.

The Achievement of the British Navy in the World-War

Sunk by naval gunfire from Sendai. HMS Stronghold H Sunk by naval gunfire from Maya , Nowaki and Arashi.

HMS Sturdy H Intentional explosion after ramming St Nazaire dry dock. HMS Venetia D These raids, conducted in bad weather, succeeded in reducing the oil supply of the Japanese Navy. A total of 48 FAA aircraft were lost due to enemy action and crash landings; they claimed 30 Japanese planes destroyed in dogfights and 38 on the ground.

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BBC - History - British History in depth: Trafalgar: The Long-Term Impact

Its role was to suppress Japanese air activity, using gunfire and air attack, at potential kamikaze staging airfields that would otherwise be a threat to US Navy vessels operating at Okinawa. The British fleet carriers with their armoured flight decks were subject to heavy and repeated kamikaze attacks, but they proved highly resistant, and returned to action relatively quickly. When a kamikaze hits a Limey carrier it's just a case of 'Sweepers, man your brooms'. Due to their good high altitude performance, short range and lack of ordnance-carrying capabilities compared to the Hellcats and Corsairs of the Fleet the Seafires were allocated the vital defensive duties of combat air patrol CAP over the fleet.

Seafires were vital in countering the kamikaze attacks during the Iwo Jima landings and beyond. The Seafires' best day was 15 August , shooting down eight attacking aircraft for one loss. Its most notable success in this period was the sinking of the heavy cruiser Ashigara , on 8 June in Banka Strait , off Sumatra, by the submarines Trenchant and Stygian. They seriously damaged the heavy cruiser Takao , while docked at her berth at Selatar Naval Base.

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Battleships and aircraft from the fleet also attacked the Japanese home islands. The battleship King George V bombarded naval installations at Hamamatsu , near Toyohashi ; the last time a British battleship fired in action. The BPF would have played a major part in a proposed invasion of the Japanese home islands, known as Operation Downfall , which was cancelled after Japan surrendered. The conflicting British and American political objectives have been mentioned: Britain needed to "show the flag" in an effective way while the US wished to demonstrate, beyond question, its own pre-eminence in the Pacific.

In practice, there were cordial relations between the fighting fleets and their sea commanders. Although Admiral King had stipulated that the BPF should be wholly self-sufficient, in practice, material assistance was freely given.

The fleet included 6 fleet carriers, 4 light carriers, 2 aircraft maintenance carriers and 9 escort carriers, with a total of more than aircraft, 4 battleships, 11 cruisers, 35 destroyers, 14 frigates, 44 smaller warships, 31 submarines, and 54 large vessels in the fleet train. Shortly before VJ-Day the squadron was involved in attacks against the Japanese mainland near Tokyo, two aircraft being lost but the aircrew rescued by a US submarine. The ship then withdrew to Australia. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Grumman Avengers on the way to attack Sakishima targets in support of the American landing on Okinawa.

See also: List of Fleet Air Arm groups. Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 18 July Archived from the original pdf on 13 December Retrieved 22 October Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. Retrieved 1 March Task Force British Pacific Fleet, — Fleet Air Arm Archive. Archived from the original on 16 December Retrieved 16 February Archived from the original on 3 March Retrieved 30 November Archived from the original on 4 March Archived from the original on 24 September Archived from the original on 2 July Retrieved 24 September Archived from the original on 19 June Department of Admiralty.

Department of the Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty. Department of the Permanent Secretary. Judicial Department. Historic fleets and naval commands of the Royal Navy. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. The closeness of the Western Front to Great Britain and the interaction between these soldiers and British civilians all had a brief but profound impact on domestic life and society.

In political and social, as well as economic and military terms, the problem for the British was whether even their immense resources could cope with supporting their Allies and Empire with money and equipment, while at the same time creating and using a mass army of their own, with its own demands for equipment and for men in the face of the inevitable accompanying heavy losses.

Although Great Britain had officially abandoned the gold standard at the start of the war, economic orthodoxy was that its international standing was linked to its gold reserves, which were set to run out in early ; technically, Great Britain was facing bankruptcy. Although the Allied offensives of had rocked the Central Powers, they were still undefeated. In December , Asquith was forced to resign and was replaced as prime minister by Lloyd George at the head of a Unionist-led coalition, with most of the Liberals following Asquith into opposition.

This greatly intensified the problem of British political-military relations: although Lloyd George was a dominating figure as a prime minister, he depended chiefly for his political support on London newspapers and on Unionists who also supported Haig and other generals who believed that the war could and should be won on the Western Front. Meanwhile the Germans, in reaction to their own failure to win decisively at Jutland, to the continuing blockade, and to the growing Allied strength on the Western Front, opted for the extreme measure of unrestricted submarine warfare once more, introduced on 1 February in an attempt to defeat Great Britain by cutting off its food supply.

The immediate consequence was that the United States entered the war as an Associated Power on the Allied side on 6 April The German submarine campaign failed against the strength of the Royal Navy and Allied sea power as well as the British ability to organise their economy and food supplies.

With the impact of the German unrestricted submarine campaign, and heavy losses on the Western Front for no obvious gain, was the year of greatest strain and division for the British Home Front. Historians describe the British government "remobilising" its people for the war effort. This included punitive measures, increasingly used against dissenters, including the well-publicised imprisonment of a small number of conscientious objectors to conscription. A wave of British industrial unrest and strikes began that continued through into But a government commission of enquiry reported in July that although there was evidence of war weariness, the root causes of the strikes were costs, shortages and inequalities rather than ideological or revolutionary opposition.

British domestic propaganda was consolidated into a Ministry of Information in February In April , all men aged eighteen to fifty-one became liable for conscription, including in theory in Ireland, which resulted in major political disruption there; Canada had also introduced conscription. By the last few months of the war the British army was increasingly short of trained soldiers, and more reliant for its best fighting troops on the Western Front on the Canadians and Australians.

This had political implications both during the war and for the relationship between Great Britain and its Empire. The plan was to go onto the defensive on the Western Front in the face of an expected German attack following the collapse of Russia, wait for the arrival and build-up of a large United States army, and meanwhile make greater efforts against the Ottoman Empire.

For most of the war, military victory on the Western Front was measured more in casualties inflicted on the enemy than in terms of ground gained. Total casualty figures were not made public by either side during the war, and afterwards claims as to which side had won a particular battle were based on casualty figures that were highly politicised; this has presented major historical problems in answering even basic questions as to how many soldiers from each country were killed during the war, and in each specific battle.

British losses were lower in absolute terms; as a percentage of those who served; and as a percentage of the population, than those of any other major belligerent except the United States. Nevertheless, the effect of these losses on a Great Britain unused to mass land warfare was politically and psychologically devastating.

1660 - 1815

Among soldiers younger than twenty-five the death rate was about 15 percent, and over 20 percent for young upper-middle class officers. This has raised three large and closely related historical questions: how much British civilians on the home front knew about the fighting on the Western Front; what they thought about it; and how the troops themselves both endured the experience and eventually achieved victory.

But in broad terms the British public was kept well informed by successive governments of the nature of fighting on the Western Front, and had a realistic understanding of what it involved. Overall, British propaganda reflected a country in conversation with itself, including many local events, speeches and initiatives, rather than a firm policy imposed from the top.

Germany, with its proclivity for committing repeated war crimes and violations of expected norms , was also an almost perfect enemy for rousing British popular sentiment. The threat of a German victory in early played an important part in a renewed wave of British popular support for the war, which by its end may have been even greater than in The announcement of the Armistice with Germany on 11 November , which was taken to mean the victorious end of the war, came unexpectedly to most Britons, whether on the home front or the Western Front.

The reaction of soldiers on the Western Front was at first largely one of relief rather than celebration; much greater jubilation was recorded on the home front, but many people were simply onlookers. The most common response was that loved ones had survived and would now be coming home, or that their deaths and the wider public patriotic commitment had been validated by the victory. Politically, Great Britain emerged from the war victorious, and stronger than before. The biggest constitutional change and geographical loss for the British was the establishment in of the Irish Free State, meaning that from then on the country became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Financially, at the end of the war Great Britain was a net overseas creditor, although this included large debts owed by the Russian Empire on which the new Soviet Union later defaulted. The war was a major contributing factor to the dramatic decline of the Liberal Party, which never again formed the main party in a government. It was progressively replaced by the Labour Party as the representative of organised labour and trades unionism.

The extension of the franchise for the December general election included with some anomalies all men aged twenty-one or over, and women aged thirty and over who were householders or married to householders.

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By comparison with pre-war Great Britain, this marked the start of a new mass politics. Overall, in comparison to other democracies Great Britain remained socially and culturally a conservative but not backward-looking country. In terms of military achievement and power, the Royal Navy played a critical role as an instrument of the Allied victory. The surrender at the end of the war and later scuttling of most of the German war fleet removed the largest single threat to British security. British military technological achievements were substantial, including the creation of a powerful air force virtually from nothing in four years, and in inventing and introducing the tank as a new weapon of war.

The greatest British achievement was in creating, again from almost nothing, an army that within two years was able to fight on almost equal terms with the German army, seen for decades as the most powerful in the world, and within four years was able to win two decisive campaigns in widely separated and different theatres of war. Just as pre-war British society was simultaneously both homogenous and highly differentiated, so post-war generalisations about any one region or class can obscure a variety of particular cases.


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The traditional landholding aristocracy was severely weakened by the war and its effects, including through death duties a form of taxation on their estates. Many middle-class businessmen did well out of the war financially, but more generally the middle class felt their wartime loss of status and authority and feared for their future. The immediate impact of the war on the working class was that many civilians at home enjoyed temporary wartime improvements in their health and standards of living. Remarkably, the same was true of some soldiers even on the fighting fronts, a reflection of how very poor their pre-war quality of life had been.

The overall experience and effect of the war was to diminish the upper classes slightly, and to raise the working classes slightly, showing what might be possible in the future. The war also left a legacy of disability and distress for many working-class veterans, leaving in many cases a sense of bitterness, as well as pressure for reforms.

The longer-term British reaction to the war, which was to dwell on their dead and the weakening of existing social certainties, was not based on the size of their loss but on its nature. The war was one of the greatest British victories, and one of the most popular, but within a very few years of its end no British politician could describe a future war as anything other than a deeply regrettable evil, to be avoided if at all possible. Badsey, Stephen: Great Britain Version 1. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, ed. DOI : Version 1.