Shōhō ,Akagi, Kaga, Sōryū, Hiryū and Ryūjō
Very important at the start of the war.
Later on the production capacity of the US showed up when they were churning out a escort carrier every two weeks. The American's had build 50 Casablanca class escort carriers and 45 Bogue class escort carriers by the end of the way. And there were other classes of escort carriers and there were the big fleet carriers.
Apparently everything is irrelevant unless its about a Stuka! TBH I'm completely baffled why someone would want to derail a thread with top trump statistic's about an aircraft of complete irrelevance to the bombing of these ships, because not only was it not an allied aircraft, it had been withdrawn from the western theatre at this point. Bombing in WWII was in general inaccurate. One specialist aircraft does not buck that trend. If the allies had Stuka's and tried to use them to attack these ships, the aircraft would have been annihilated.
Rudel flew over 2000 missions.
I'll say that again, 2000 missions. I think the odds of getting hit by anti-aircraft fire would be pretty high if you're flying that much. In early 1945 he lost his right leg when his Stuka was shot down, he rapidly recovered and went back into action flying a Fw-190D-9 in which he scored 9 kills thus becoming an air ace as well as already being an anti-tank ace.
The Stuka could still operate quite well over the eastern front right into the latter part of the war, the stukas of Kurt Kuhlmey's formation is held to have been pivotal in helping the Finnish army stop the Soviets at the Battle of Tali-Inhantala which saved the Finns from Soviet occupation.
Found this interesting thread on that...
Found this on Stuka's.
No unescorted aircraft would have been able to sink these ships, JG2 and JG26 had a covering force over the flotilla constantly.
Added to that, there were something like 50 support ships sailing with the battlecruisers and Prinz Eugen that were able to put up anti-aircraft fire.
I wish people would stop using wikipedia - if you are going to quote from it, at least attribute it as a source
Budiansky in Air Power describes the dedicated dive bomber as a technological dead end whose time had well passed by 1941.
Tactical airpower from then on was about the fighter-bomber, something the Germans started with their Jabos (bomb carrying Me109s), but the Allies developed to a higher level of sophistication.
The Allies never developed a dedicated fighter-bomber as such, but a lot of designs that started as interceptors proved to be formidable figher-bombers, for example the P-38, the Typhoon and the P-47. Design of fighters emphasised raw speed, which meant power which had a side benefit that payload could be increased - a P-47 could carry the same bombload as an A26.
Stukas persisted on the Eastern Front long after they had been rendered obsolete elsewhere because if the nature of the fighting there. The Soviets 'lacked imagination' - the Red Army offensives were massive, grinding and methodical based on massive concentration of firepower in the form of tanks, artillery, attack aircraft and wave-upon-wave of troops - a 'target rich environment' for any pilot.
The Stuka was not the A-10 of it's day, the A-10 was conceived and built as a ground attack aircraft, if anything it's lineage goes back to something like the P-47D.
Rudel was an exceptional pilot, but the battleship he 'sunk' was the Marat, which was at anchor and his bomb went down the funnel. Also the ship was not permanently put out of commission - 3 of her 4 turrets continued to function as an artillery battery and she was re-commissioned about 18 months later as the Petropavlovsk.
Which still supports my original contention that a well handled ship, maneuvering aggressively is a tough target to hit, even for a dive bomber. It was really only with the introduction of the Frtiz X radio guided bomb that the Luftwaffe began to have a serious impact on capital ships, but given these were often released from over 15,000ft it wasn't divebombing.
Success in the Pacific had something to do with divebombing, the type of bombs used ('proper' armour-piercing delayed action ones) and use of naval aviators (on both sides). The Luftwaffe was conceived to provided tactical support to the Heer, and took a while to build up any kind of anti-shipping / maritime capability.
Produced just at the end of the war. Single (piston) engined carrier aircraft capable of carrying an 8,000 lb / 3,600Kg payload.
8,000 lb was an average load for a B17 !
and more than maximum of most 'medium' bombers earlier on
B25 Mitchell 6,000 lb
nearly twice Wellington 4,500 lb / Heinkel He 111 4,400 lb
Ok, I'll qualify my earlier remark
The Allies never developed and deployed a dedicated ground attack aircraft during WWII.
The US Navy didn't deploy the Skyraider until 1947 - 19th March was the flight of the prototype according to this article.
Re the six carriers sunk by SPD's in the first year, it could easily have been seven or more
Problem with rockets was it slowed the aircraft down. If you are attacking at low level against a heavily defended target with air cover and a lot of AA, slow is what you don't want to be. If you read "The Big Show (Le Grand Cirque)" - Pierre Clostermann he describes very well, the risks in attacking such targets. Seeing the losses in other flights attacking with rockets, and also attacking targets flat out, the engine to the stops to try and survive.
I also thought that rockets weren't that successful in knocking out tanks.
I think spin stabilised rockets are much more accurate.
That said a ship is much bigger, and I could be mistaken but I think rocket attacks against ships were mainly employed when they were less well defended.
I seem to remember reading somewhere that the A10 isn't quite as useful as popular opinion likes to think of it, in recent conflicts. Its slow to get on mission, and in general they wouldn't be at low level they generally all stay at medium height away from any threats. And something like a fast jet has faster response time and more accurate with a smart bomb. Still a great jet though, and arguable has other advantages, doesn't need finished runways, lots of hard points, now has sniper pods and smart bombs etc. With some of these opinions its hard to know was it some pilots pushing their own aircraft over others etc.