German cruiser Admiral Graf Spee
Admiral Graf Spee was a Deutschland-class "Panzerschiff", nicknamed a "pocket battleship" by the British, which served with the Kriegsmarine of Nazi Germany during World War II. The two sister-ships of her class and Admiral Scheer, were reclassified as heavy cruisers in 1940; the vessel was named after Admiral Maximilian von Spee, commander of the East Asia Squadron that fought the battles of Coronel and the Falkland Islands, where he was killed in action, in World War I. She was laid down at the Reichsmarinewerft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven in October 1932 and completed by January 1936; the ship was nominally under the 10,000 long tons limitation on warship size imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, though with a full load displacement of 16,020 long tons, she exceeded it. Armed with six 28 cm guns in two triple gun turrets, Admiral Graf Spee and her sisters were designed to outgun any cruiser fast enough to catch them, their top speed of 28 knots left only the few battlecruisers in the Anglo-French navies fast enough and powerful enough to sink them.
The ship conducted five non-intervention patrols during the Spanish Civil War in 1936–1938, participated in the Coronation Review of King George VI in May 1937. Admiral Graf Spee was deployed to the South Atlantic in the weeks before the outbreak of World War II, to be positioned in merchant sea lanes once war was declared. Between September and December 1939, the ship sank nine ships totaling 50,089 gross register tons, before being confronted by three British cruisers at the Battle of the River Plate on 13 December. Admiral Graf Spee inflicted heavy damage on the British ships, but she too was damaged, was forced to put into port at Montevideo. Convinced by false reports of superior British naval forces approaching his ship, Hans Langsdorff, the commander of the ship, ordered the vessel to be scuttled; the ship was broken up in situ, though part of the ship remains visible above the surface of the water. Admiral Graf Spee was 186 meters long overall and had a beam of 21.65 m and a maximum draft of 7.34 m.
The ship had a design displacement of 14,890 t and a full load displacement of 16,020 long tons, though the ship was stated to be within the 10,000 long tons limit of the Treaty of Versailles. Admiral Graf Spee was powered by four sets of MAN 9-cylinder double-acting two-stroke diesel engines; the ship's top speed was 28.5 knots, at 54,000 shaft horsepower. At a cruising speed of 18.69 knots, the ship had a range of 16,300 nautical miles. As designed, her standard complement consisted of 33 officers and 586 enlisted men, though after 1935 this was increased to 30 officers and 921–1,040 sailors. Admiral Graf Spee's primary armament was six 28 cm SK C/28 guns mounted in two triple gun turrets, one forward and one aft of the superstructure; the ship carried a secondary battery of eight 15 cm SK C/28 guns in single turrets grouped amidships. Her anti-aircraft battery consisted of three 8.8 cm L/45 guns, though in 1935 these were replaced with six 8.8 cm L/78 guns. In 1938, the 8.8 cm guns were removed, six 10.5 cm L/65 guns, four 3.7 cm SK C/30 guns, ten 2 cm C/30 guns were installed in their place.
The ship carried a pair of quadruple 53.3 cm deck-mounted torpedo launchers placed on her stern. The ship was equipped with one catapult. Admiral Graf Spee's armored belt was 100 mm thick; the main battery turrets had 80 mm thick sides. Radar consisted of a FMG G "Seetakt" set. Admiral Graf Spee was ordered by the Reichsmarine from the Reichsmarinewerft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven. Ordered as Ersatz Braunschweig, Admiral Graf Spee replaced the reserve battleship Braunschweig, her keel was laid on 1 October 1932, under construction number 125. The ship was launched on 30 June 1934, she was completed over a year and a half on 6 January 1936, the day she was commissioned into the German fleet. Admiral Graf Spee spent the first three months of her career conducting extensive sea trials to ready the ship for service; the ship's first commander was Kapitän zur See Conrad Patzig. After joining the fleet, Admiral Graf Spee became the flagship of the German Navy. In the summer of 1936, following the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, she deployed to the Atlantic to participate in non-intervention patrols off the Republican-held coast of Spain.
Between August 1936 and May 1937, the ship conducted three patrols off Spain. On the return voyage from Spain, Admiral Graf Spee stopped in Great Britain to represent Germany in the Coronation Review at Spithead for King George VI on 20 May. After the conclusion of the Review, Admiral Graf Spee returned to Spain for a fourth non-intervention patrol. Following fleet manoeuvres and a brief visit to Sweden, the ship conducted a fifth and final patrol in February 1938. In 1938, KzS Hans Langsdorff took command of the vessel; these included cruises into the Atlantic, where she stopped in Vigo. She participated in extensive fleet manoeuvres in German waters, she was part of the celebrations f
HMS Penelope (97)
HMS Penelope was an Arethusa-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy. She was built by Wolff, she was launched on 15 October 1935, commissioned 13 November 1936. She was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat near Naples with great loss of life on 18 February 1944. On wartime service with Force K, she was holed so many times by bomb fragments that she acquired the nickname "HMS Pepperpot". At the outbreak of World War II Penelope was with the 3rd Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean, having arrived at Malta on 2 September 1939. Penelope and her sister ship Arethusa were reallocated to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron in the Home Fleet and arrived at Portsmouth on 11 January 1940. On 3 February she left for the River Clyde en route to Rosyth, arrived on 7 February and operated with the 2nd Cruiser Squadron on convoy escort duties. In April and May 1940, she took part in the Norwegian Campaign. On 11 April Penelope ran aground off Fleinvær while hunting German merchant ships entering the Vestfjord, her boiler room was flooded and she was holed forward.
The destroyer Eskimo towed her to Skjelfjord. Despite air attacks, temporary repairs were made and she was towed home a month later, she arrived at Greenock in Scotland on 16 May 1940 where additional temporary repairs were carried out, before proceeding on 19 August to the Tyne for permanent repairs. After repairs and trials were completed in August 1941, Penelope reappeared as'a new ship from the water line down', she returned to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron at Scapa Flow on 17 August 1941. On 9 September she left Greenock escorting the battleship Duke of York to Rosyth; that month she was employed in patrolling the Iceland–Faroes passage to intercept enemy surface ships. On 6 October 1941 Penelope left Hvalfjord, with another battleship, King George V, escorting the aircraft carrier Victorious for the successful Operation E. J. an air attack on German shipping between Glom Fjord and the head of West Fjord, Norway. The force returned to Scapa Flow on 10 October 1941. Penelope and her sister Aurora were assigned to form the core of Force K based at Malta and departed Scapa on 12 October 1941, arriving in Malta on 21 October.
On 8 November, both cruisers and their escorting destroyers sailed from Malta to intercept an Italian convoy of six destroyers and seven merchant ships sailing for Libya, sighted by aircraft at 37°53'N – 16°36'E. During the ensuing Battle of the Duisburg Convoy on 9 November off Cape Spartivento, the British sank one enemy destroyer and all of the merchant ships. On 23 November, Force K sailed again to intercept another enemy convoy. Force K received the Prime Minister's congratulations on their fine work. On 1 December 1941, Force K sank the Italian merchant vessel Adriatico, at 32°52'N – 2°30'E, the destroyer Alvise da Mosto, the tanker Iridio Mantovani at 33°45'N – 12°30'E; the First Sea Lord congratulated them on 3 December. On 19 December, while operating off Tripoli, Penelope struck a mine but was not damaged, although the cruiser Neptune and the destroyer HMS Kandahar were sunk by mines in the same action. Penelope was sent into the dockyard for repairs and returned to service at the beginning of January 1942.
On 5 January, she left Malta with Force K, escorting the Special Service Vessel Glengyle to Alexandria, returning on 27 January, escorting the supply ship Breconshire. She left Malta, again with Breconshire on 13 February 1942 and an eastbound convoy aided by six destroyers, Operation MG5, returning to Malta on 15 February, with the destroyers Lance and Legion. On 23 March, she left Malta with Legion for a further convoy to Malta. Breconshire was hit and taken in tow by Penelope and was safely secured to a buoy in Marsaxlokk harbour, the whole operation was under the charge of Penelope's commanding officer, Captain A. D. Nicholl, of whose work the Naval Officer In Command, Malta expressed appreciation. Penelope was holed both forward and aft by near-misses during air attacks on Malta on 26 March. While in the island, she was repaired at the Malta Dry Docks. Day after day she was attacked by German aircraft and the crew worked to fix a myriad of shrapnel holes, so many that she was nicknamed HMS Pepperpot.
She sailed for Gibraltar on 8 April and on the next day was attacked from the air. She arrived in Gibraltar on 10 April, with further damage from near-misses; that day she received a signal from Vice Admiral, Malta, "True to your usual form. Congratulations"; the damage required several months at home after temporary repairs in Gibraltar. The ship was visited by the Duke of Gloucester on 11 April, who had laid down her keel plate; the duke visited Captain Nicholl in hospital. The First Sea Lord congratulated the ship on her successful arrival in Gibraltar; the question of Penelope's repairs had been reconsidered, it was decided to send her to the United States. She accordingly left Gibraltar on 10 May 1942, for the Navy Yard at New York via Bermuda, arriving on 19 May, she was under repair until September and arrived in Norfolk, Virginia on 15 September, again via Bermuda, to Portsmouth, which she reached on 1 October 1942. The King, at an investiture at Buckingham Palace, decorated 21 officers and men from Penelope as "Heroes of Malta".
Among their awards were two Distinguished Service Orders, a Distinguished Service Cross and two Distinguished Service Medals. Penelope arrived at Scapa Flow on 2 December and remained in home waters until the middle of January 1943, she left the Clyd
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller powerful short-range attackers. They were developed in the late 19th century by Fernando Villaamil for the Spanish Navy as a defense against torpedo boats, by the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, these "torpedo boat destroyers" were "large and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats". Although the term "destroyer" had been used interchangeably with "TBD" and "torpedo boat destroyer" by navies since 1892, the term "torpedo boat destroyer" had been shortened to "destroyer" by nearly all navies by the First World War. Before World War II destroyers were light vessels with little endurance for unattended ocean operations. After the war, the advent of the guided missile allowed destroyers to take on the surface combatant roles filled by battleships and cruisers; this resulted in larger and more powerful guided missile destroyers more capable of independent operation.
At the start of the 21st century, destroyers are the global standard for surface combatant ships, with only two nations operating the heavier class cruisers, with no battleships or true battlecruisers remaining. Modern guided missile destroyers are equivalent in tonnage but vastly superior in firepower to cruisers of the World War II era, are capable of carrying nuclear tipped cruise missiles. At 510 feet long, a displacement of 9,200 tons, with armament of more than 90 missiles, guided missile destroyers such as the Arleigh Burke-class are larger and more armed than most previous ships classified as guided missile cruisers; some European navies, such as the French, Spanish, or German, use the term "frigate" for their destroyers, which leads to some confusion. The emergence and development of the destroyer was related to the invention of the self-propelled torpedo in the 1860s. A navy now had the potential to destroy a superior enemy battle fleet using steam launches to fire torpedoes. Cheap, fast boats armed with torpedoes called torpedo boats were built and became a threat to large capital ships near enemy coasts.
The first seagoing vessel designed to launch the self-propelled Whitehead torpedo was the 33-ton HMS Lightning in 1876. She was armed with two drop collars to launch these weapons, these were replaced in 1879 by a single torpedo tube in the bow. By the 1880s, the type had evolved into small ships of 50–100 tons, fast enough to evade enemy picket boats. At first, the threat of a torpedo boat attack to a battle fleet was considered to exist only when at anchor. In response to this new threat, more gunned picket boats called "catchers" were built which were used to escort the battle fleet at sea, they needed significant seaworthiness and endurance to operate with the battle fleet, as they became larger, they became designated "torpedo boat destroyers", by the First World War were known as "destroyers" in English. The anti-torpedo boat origin of this type of ship is retained in its name in other languages, including French, Portuguese, Greek, Dutch and, up until the Second World War, Polish. Once destroyers became more than just catchers guarding an anchorage, it was realized that they were ideal to take over the role of torpedo boats themselves, so they were fitted with torpedo tubes as well as guns.
At that time, into World War I, the only function of destroyers was to protect their own battle fleet from enemy torpedo attacks and to make such attacks on the battleships of the enemy. The task of escorting merchant convoys was still in the future. An important development came with the construction of HMS Swift in 1884 redesignated TB 81; this was a large torpedo boat with three torpedo tubes. At 23.75 knots, while still not fast enough to engage enemy torpedo boats reliably, the ship at least had the armament to deal with them. Another forerunner of the torpedo boat destroyer was the Japanese torpedo boat Kotaka, built in 1885. Designed to Japanese specifications and ordered from the Glasgow Yarrow shipyards in 1885, she was transported in parts to Japan, where she was assembled and launched in 1887; the 165-foot long vessel was armed with four 1-pounder quick-firing guns and six torpedo tubes, reached 19 knots, at 203 tons, was the largest torpedo boat built to date. In her trials in 1889, Kotaka demonstrated that she could exceed the role of coastal defense, was capable of accompanying larger warships on the high seas.
The Yarrow shipyards, builder of the parts for Kotaka, "considered Japan to have invented the destroyer". The first vessel designed for the explicit purpose of hunting and destroying torpedo boats was the torpedo gunboat. Small cruisers, torpedo gunboats were equipped with torpedo tubes and an adequate gun armament, intended for hunting down smaller enemy boats. By the end of the 1890s torpedo gunboats were made obsolete by their more successful contemporaries, the torpedo boat destroyers, which were much faster; the first example of this was HMS Rattlesnake, designed by Nathaniel Barnaby in 1885, commissioned in response to the Russian War scare. The gunboat was armed with torpedoes and designed for hunting and destroying
The Royal Navy is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France; the modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century. From the middle decades of the 17th century, through the 18th century, the Royal Navy vied with the Dutch Navy and with the French Navy for maritime supremacy. From the mid 18th century, it was the world's most powerful navy until surpassed by the United States Navy during the Second World War; the Royal Navy played a key part in establishing the British Empire as the unmatched world power during the 19th and first part of the 20th centuries. Due to this historical prominence, it is common among non-Britons, to refer to it as "the Royal Navy" without qualification. Following World War I, the Royal Navy was reduced in size, although at the onset of World War II it was still the world's largest.
By the end of the war, the United States Navy had emerged as the world's largest. During the Cold War, the Royal Navy transformed into a anti-submarine force, hunting for Soviet submarines and active in the GIUK gap. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, its focus has returned to expeditionary operations around the world and remains one of the world's foremost blue-water navies. However, 21st century reductions in naval spending have led to a personnel shortage and a reduction in the number of warships; the Royal Navy maintains a fleet of technologically sophisticated ships and submarines including two aircraft carriers, two amphibious transport docks, four ballistic missile submarines, six nuclear fleet submarines, six guided missile destroyers, 13 frigates, 13 mine-countermeasure vessels and 22 patrol vessels. As of November 2018, there are 74 commissioned ships in the Royal Navy, plus 12 ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary; the RFA replenishes Royal Navy warships at sea, augments the Royal Navy's amphibious warfare capabilities through its three Bay-class landing ship vessels.
It works as a force multiplier for the Royal Navy doing patrols that frigates used to do. The total displacement of the Royal Navy is 408,750 tonnes; the Royal Navy is part of Her Majesty's Naval Service, which includes the Royal Marines. The professional head of the Naval Service is the First Sea Lord, an admiral and member of the Defence Council of the United Kingdom; the Defence Council delegates management of the Naval Service to the Admiralty Board, chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. The Royal Navy operates three bases in the United Kingdom; as the seaborne branch of HM Armed Forces, the RN has various roles. As it stands today, the RN has stated its 6 major roles as detailed below in umbrella terms. Preventing Conflict – On a global and regional level Providing Security At Sea – To ensure the stability of international trade at sea International Partnerships – To help cement the relationship with the United Kingdom's allies Maintaining a Readiness To Fight – To protect the United Kingdom's interests across the globe Protecting the Economy – To safe guard vital trade routes to guarantee the United Kingdom's and its allies' economic prosperity at sea Providing Humanitarian Aid – To deliver a fast and effective response to global catastrophes The strength of the fleet of the Kingdom of England was an important element in the kingdom's power in the 10th century.
At one point Aethelred II had an large fleet built by a national levy of one ship for every 310 hides of land, but it is uncertain whether this was a standard or exceptional model for raising fleets. During the period of Danish rule in the 11th century, the authorities maintained a standing fleet by taxation, this continued for a time under the restored English regime of Edward the Confessor, who commanded fleets in person. English naval power declined as a result of the Norman conquest. Following the Battle of Hastings, the Norman navy that brought over William the Conqueror disappeared from records due to William receiving all of those ships from feudal obligations or because of some sort of leasing agreement which lasted only for the duration of the enterprise. More troubling, is the fact that there is no evidence that William adopted or kept the Anglo-Saxon ship mustering system, known as the scipfryd. Hardly noted after 1066, it appears that the Normans let the scipfryd languish so that by 1086, when the Doomsday Book was completed, it had ceased to exist.
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in 1068, Harold Godwinson's sons Godwine and Edmund conducted a ‘raiding-ship army’ which came from Ireland, raiding across the region and to the townships of Bristol and Somerset. In the following year of 1069, they returned with a bigger fleet which they sailed up the River Taw before being beaten back by a local earl near Devon. However, this made explicitly clear that the newly conquered England under Norman rule, in effect, ceded the Irish Sea to the Irish, the Vikings of Dublin, other Norwegians. Besides ceding away the Irish Sea, the Normans ceded the North Sea, a major area where Nordic peoples traveled. In 1069, this lack of naval presence in the North Sea allowed for the invasion an
Sierra Leone the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa. It has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savanna to rainforests; the country has a population of 7,075,641 as of the 2015 census. Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a directly elected president and a unicameral legislature; the country's capital and largest city is Freetown. Sierra Leone is made up of five administrative regions: the Northern Province, North West Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and the Western Area; these regions are subdivided into sixteen districts. Sierra Leone was a British Crown Colony from 1808 to 1961. Sierra Leone became independent from the United Kingdom on 27 April 1961, led by Sir Milton Margai, who became the country's first prime minister. In May 1962, Sierra Leone held its first general elections as an independent nation. On 19 April 1971, Siaka Stevens' government abolished Sierra Leone's parliamentary government system and declared Sierra Leone a presidential republic.
From 1978 to 1985, Sierra Leone was a one-party state in which Stevens' APC was the only legal political party in the country. The current constitution of Sierra Leone, which includes multiparty democracy, was adopted in 1991 by the government of President Joseph Saidu Momoh, Stevens' hand-picked successor. On 23 March 1991, a rebel group known as the Revolutionary United Front led by a former Sierra Leone army officer Foday Sankoh launched an eleven-year brutal civil war in the country, in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Sierra Leone government. In April 1992, a group of junior army officers in their twenties overthrew president Momoh from power, their leader a 25 year old captain Valentine Strasser became the world's youngest Head of State. In January 1996 Brigadier General Julius Maada Bio returned the country to multi-party democracy and the 1991 constitution was reestablished. Bio handed power to Ahmad Tejan Kabbah after his victory in the 1996 Sierra Leone presidential election.
In 1997, the military overthrew President Kabbah. However, in February 1998, a coalition of West African Ecowas armed forces led by Nigeria removed the military junta from power by force and President Kabbah was reinstated as president. Sierra Leone has had an uninterrupted democracy from 1998 to present. In January 2002, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah fulfilled his campaign promise by ending the civil war as the rebels were defeated by military force with the help and support of Ecowas, the British government, the African Union, the United Nations. 16 ethnic groups inhabit each with its own language and customs. The two largest and most influential are the Mende; the Temne are predominantly found in the northwest of the country, the Mende are predominant in the southeast. Comprising a small minority, about 2%, are the Krio people, who are descendants of freed African-American and West Indian slaves. Although English is the official language, used in schools and government administration, Krio, an English-based creole, is the most spoken language across Sierra Leone and is spoken by 98% of the country's population.
The Krio language unites all the different ethnic groups in the country in their trade and social interaction. Sierra Leone is a Muslim-majority country at about 78%, though there is an influential Christian minority at 21%. Sierra Leone is regarded as one of the most religiously tolerant states in the world. Muslims and Christians collaborate and interact with each other peacefully, religious violence is rare; the major Christian and Muslim holidays are public holidays in the country, including Christmas, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha Sierra Leone has relied on mining diamonds, for its economic base. It is among the largest producers of titanium and bauxite, is a major producer of gold, has one of the world's largest deposits of rutile. Sierra Leone is home to the third-largest natural harbour in the world. Despite this natural wealth, 53% of its population lived in poverty in 2011. Sierra Leone is a member of many international organisations, including the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the Mano River Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, the African Development Bank and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Archaeological finds show that Sierra Leone has been inhabited continuously for at least 2,500 years, populated successively by societies who migrated from other parts of Africa. The people adopted the use of iron by the 9th century and by 1000 AD agriculture was being practised along the coast; the climate changed and boundaries among different ecological zones changed as well, affecting migration and conquest. Sierra Leone's dense tropical rainforest and swampy environment was considered impenetrable; this environmental factor protected its people from conquests by the Mande and other African empires. This reduced the Islamic influence of the Mali Empire but Islam, introduced by Susu traders and migrants from the north and east, became adopted in the 18th century. European contacts within Sierra Leone were among the first in West Africa in the 15th century. In 1462, Portuguese explorer Pedro de Sintra mapped the hills surrounding what is now Freetown Harbour, naming the shaped formation Serra da Leoa or "Serra Leoa".
The Spanish rendering of this geographic formation is Sierra Leona, adapted and, became the country's current name. Although according to the p
Battle of the River Plate
The Battle of the River Plate was the first naval battle in the Second World War and the first one of the Battle of the Atlantic in South American waters. The German panzerschiff Admiral Graf Spee had cruised into the South Atlantic a fortnight before the war began, had been commerce raiding after receiving appropriate authorisation on 26 September 1939. One of the hunting groups sent by the British Admiralty to search for Graf Spee, comprising three Royal Navy cruisers, HMS Exeter and Achilles, found and engaged their quarry off the estuary of the River Plate close to the coast of Uruguay in South America. In the ensuing battle, Exeter was damaged and forced to retire; the damage to Admiral Graf Spee, although not extensive, was critical. Ajax and Achilles shadowed the German ship until she entered the port of Montevideo, the capital city of neutral Uruguay, to effect urgent repairs. After Graf Spee's captain Hans Langsdorff was told that his stay could not be extended beyond 72 hours, he scuttled his damaged ship rather than face the overwhelmingly superior force that the British had led him to believe was awaiting his departure.
Admiral Graf Spee had been at sea at the start of the Second World War in September 1939, had sunk several merchantmen in the Indian Ocean and South Atlantic Ocean without loss of life, due to her captain's policy of taking all crews on board before sinking the victim. The Royal Navy assembled nine forces to search for the surface raider. Force G, the South American Cruiser Squadron, comprised the County-class heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland of 10,570 long tons with eight 8" guns in four turrets, the York-class heavy cruiser HMS Exeter of 8,390 long tons with six 8" guns in three turrets, two Leander-class light cruisers, HMS Ajax and Achilles, both of 7,270 long tons with eight 6" guns. Although technically a heavy cruiser because of the calibre of her guns, Exeter was a scaled-down version of the County class; the force was commanded by Commodore Henry Harwood from Ajax, captained by Charles Woodhouse. Achilles was of the New Zealand Division and captained by Edward Parry. Exeter was commanded by Captain Frederick Secker Bell.
During the period before and at the immediate time of the battle, Cumberland was refitting in the Falkland Islands but was available for sea at short notice. Force G was supported by the oilers RFA Olna and Orangeleaf. Olynthus replenished HMS Ajax and Achilles on 22 November 1939, HMS Exeter on 26 November, at San Borombon Bay. Olynthus was directed to keep observation between Medanos and Cape San Antonio, off Argentina south of the River Plate estuary. Following a raider-warning radio message from the merchantman Doric Star, sunk by Admiral Graf Spee off South Africa, Harwood suspected that the raider would try to strike next at the merchant shipping off the River Plate estuary between Uruguay and Argentina, he ordered his squadron to steam toward the position 47 ° west. Harwood chose this position, according to his despatch, because of its being the most congested part of the shipping routes in the South Atlantic, therefore the point where a raider could do the most damage to enemy shipping.
A Norwegian freighter saw Admiral Graf Spee practising the use of its searchlights and radioed that its course was toward South America. The three available cruisers of Force G rendezvoused off the estuary on 12 December and conducted manoeuvres; the British combat instructions for engaging a pocket battleship with a cruiser squadron specified an attack at once, day or night. If during the day, the ships would attack as two units, in this case with Exeter separate from Ajax and Achilles. If at night, the ships would remain in open order. By attacking from two sides, Harwood hoped to give his lighter warships a chance of overcoming the German advantage of greater range and heavier broadside by dividing the enemy's fire. By splitting his force, Harwood would force the Germans to either split their fire, reducing its effectiveness, or keep it focused on one opponent, allowing the other vessels to attack with less fear of return fire. Although outgunned by Admiral Graf Spee and therefore at a tactical disadvantage, the British did have the upper hand strategically since any raider returning to Germany would have to run the blockade of the North Sea and might reasonably be expected to encounter the Home Fleet.
For victory, the British only had to damage the raider enough so that she was either unable to make the journey or unable to fight a subsequent battle with the Home Fleet. Because of overwhelming numerical superiority, the loss of all three cruisers would not have altered Britain's naval capabilities, whereas Admiral Graf Spee was one of the Kriegsmarine's few capital ships; the British could therefore afford to risk a tactical defeat. On 13 December at 05:20, the British squadron was proceeding on a course of 060° at 14 knots with Ajax at 34° 34′ South 48° 17′ West, 390 nmi east of Montevideo. At 06:10, smoke was sighted on a bearing of Red-100, or 320°. Harwood ordered the Exeter to investigate, she swung out of line and at 06:16 she signaled by lamp: "I think it is a pocket-battleship", Captain Bell ordered Flag N hoisted to the yard arm — "Enemy in sight". Admiral Graf Spee had s
An aircraft carrier is a warship that serves as a seagoing airbase, equipped with a full-length flight deck and facilities for carrying, arming and recovering aircraft. It is the capital ship of a fleet, as it allows a naval force to project air power worldwide without depending on local bases for staging aircraft operations. Carriers have evolved since their inception in the early twentieth century from wooden vessels used to deploy balloons to nuclear-powered warships that carry numerous fighters, strike aircraft and other types of aircraft. While heavier aircraft such as fixed-wing gunships and bombers have been launched from aircraft carriers, it is not possible to land them. By its diplomatic and tactical power, its mobility, its autonomy and the variety of its means, the aircraft carrier is the centerpiece of modern combat fleets. Tactically or strategically, it replaced the battleship in the role of flagship of a fleet. One of its great advantages is that, by sailing in international waters, it does not interfere with any territorial sovereignty and thus obviates the need for overflight authorizations from third party countries, reduce the times and transit distances of aircraft and therefore increase the time of availability on the combat zone.
There is no single definition of an "aircraft carrier", modern navies use several variants of the type. These variants are sometimes categorized as sub-types of aircraft carriers, sometimes as distinct types of naval aviation-capable ships. Aircraft carriers may be classified according to the type of aircraft they carry and their operational assignments. Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, RN, former First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy, has said, "To put it countries that aspire to strategic international influence have aircraft carriers." Henry Kissinger, while United States Secretary of State said: "An aircraft carrier is 100,000 tons of diplomacy". As of April 2019, there are 41 active aircraft carriers in the world operated by thirteen navies; the United States Navy has 11 large nuclear-powered fleet carriers—carrying around 80 fighter jets each—the largest carriers in the world. As well as the aircraft carrier fleet, the U. S. Navy has nine amphibious assault ships used for helicopters, although these carry up to 20 vertical or short take-off and landing fighter jets and are similar in size to medium-sized fleet carriers.
China, India and the UK each operate a single large/medium-size carrier, with capacity from 30 to 60 fighter jets. Italy operates two light fleet carriers and Spain operates one. Helicopter carriers are operated by Japan, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Thailand. Future aircraft carriers are under construction or in planning by Brazil, India, the United Kingdom, the United States. Amphibious assault ship Anti-submarine warfare carrier Balloon carrier and balloon tenders Escort carrier Fleet carrier Flight deck cruiser Helicopter carrier Light aircraft carrier Sea Control Ship Seaplane tender and seaplane carriers Aircraft cruiser A fleet carrier is intended to operate with the main fleet and provides an offensive capability; these are the largest carriers capable of fast speeds. By comparison, escort carriers were developed to provide defense for convoys of ships, they were slower with lower numbers of aircraft carried. Most were built from mercantile hulls or, in the case of merchant aircraft carriers, were bulk cargo ships with a flight deck added on top.
Light aircraft carriers were fast enough to operate with the main fleet but of smaller size with reduced aircraft capacity. The Soviet aircraft carrier Admiral Kusnetsov was termed a heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser; this was a legal construct to avoid the limitations of the Montreux Convention preventing'aircraft carriers' transiting the Turkish Straits between the Soviet Black Sea bases and the Mediterranean. These ships, while sized in the range of large fleet carriers, were designed to deploy alone or with escorts. In addition to supporting fighter aircraft and helicopters, they provide both strong defensive weaponry and heavy offensive missiles equivalent to a guided missile cruiser. Aircraft carriers today are divided into the following four categories based on the way that aircraft take off and land: Catapult-assisted take-off barrier arrested-recovery: these carriers carry the largest and most armed aircraft, although smaller CATOBAR carriers may have other limitations. All CATOBAR carriers in service today are nuclear powered.
Two nations operate carriers of this type: ten Nimitz class and one Gerald R. Ford class fleet carriers by the United States, one medium-sized carrier by France, for a world total of twelve in service. Short take-off but arrested-recovery: these carriers are limited to carrying lighter fixed-wing aircraft with more limited payloads. STOBAR carrier air wings, such as the Sukhoi Su-33 and future Mikoyan MiG-29K wings of Admiral Kuznetsov are geared towards air superiority and fleet defense roles rather than strike/power projection tasks, which require heavier payloads. Today China and Russia each operate one carrier of this type – a total of three in service currently. Short take-off vertical-landing: limited to carrying STOVL aircraft. STOVL aircraft, such as the Harrier Jump Jet family and Yakovlev Yak-38 have limited payloads, lower perfor