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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

“A Most Disagreeable Problem”

“A Most Disagreeable Problem”

British Perceptions of the Kriegsmarine’s Aircraft Carrier Capability

(p.169) 7 “A Most Disagreeable Problem”
Decision in the Atlantic

Marcus Faulkner

University Press of Kentucky

In the vast literature concerning the German attack on Allied maritime communications in the Atlantic theater during the Second World War, one particular factor has received little to no consideration – the potential threat that German aircraft carriers posed to Allied naval operations and the passage of maritime traffic in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. While ultimately the Kriegmarine never fielded an operational carrier, such a development could not be discounted at the time. This chapter addresses what the British knew about the German effort and what implications this had on British strategy, naval planning, and fleet deployments. In covering these aspects, this chapter by Marcus Faulkner fills an existing gap concerning the Admiralty's perception and contributes to understanding the complexity of the maritime threat Britain faced during the war. It also illustrates the problems involved in evaluating enemy military capabilities and intentions on the basis of a very limited intelligence picture. This in turn helps historians understand why the Admiralty remained so apprehensive of the Kriegsmarine's surface fleet until 1943.

Keywords:   Admiralty, aircraft carriers, Arctic convoys, Battle of the Atlantic, Graf Zeppelin, intelligence, Kriegsmarine, Royal Navy

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