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Decision in the AtlanticThe Allies and the Longest Campaign of the Second World War$
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Marcus Faulkner and Christopher M. Bell

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781949668001

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9781949668001.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

The Fleet Air Arm and Trade Defense, 1939–1944

The Fleet Air Arm and Trade Defense, 1939–1944

(p.125) 5 The Fleet Air Arm and Trade Defense, 1939–1944
Decision in the Atlantic

Ben Jones

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter by Ben Jones examines the efforts of the Fleet Air Arm to assist in the defense of Britain's sea-borne trade, especially in the Atlantic and Arctic, between 1939–1944. It assesses early setbacks, the hunting for surface raiders, and the options considered to deploy aircraft at sea in defense of convoys. In the early war years, the Fleet Air Arm was thinly-spread and lacked the resources for trade defense. Due to a lack of other assets, the Royal Navy was forced to employ its escort carriers for a range of duties, rather than just trade defense, and the arguments with the Americans over their employment will be explored. Finally, the effectiveness of the Fleet Air Arm's aircraft in the anti-submarine role is assessed in terms of their design, the types of operations they undertook, and the weapons they carried. There is a comparison between the success of the escort carriers of the British and American navies in the anti-submarine role and an explanation of why the latter achieved greater success.

Keywords:   anti-submarine warfare, Battle of the Atlantic, escort carrier, Fleet Air Arm, merchant aircraft carrier, Royal Navy, U-boat

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