USS Aldebaran (AF-10)
USS Aldebaran, the lead ship of her class of stores ship is the only ship of the United States Navy to have this name. She is named after a star of the first magnitude in the constellation Taurus; the SS Stag Hound was laid down on 28 November 1938 at Newport News, Virginia, by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. under a Maritime Commission contract. The cargo ship served that shipping firm for a year before the Navy purchased her on 22 December 1940. Renamed Aldebaran, classified a stores ship, designated AF-10, she was placed in commission, in ordinary, on 26 December 1940. Comdr. Royal Abbott assumed command on 10 January 1941, Aldebaran was placed in full commission at San Francisco on 14 January 1941; the stores ship embarked upon her first Navy mission on 26 January, departing from San Francisco on a round-trip voyage via Pearl Harbor to Pago Pago, Samoa. Following her maiden mission for the Navy, Aldebaran remained at San Francisco until 29 March when she put to sea with a cargo bound for Hawaii.
The ship made a seven-day layover at Pearl Harbor between 5 and 12 April and returned to San Francisco on the 18th. Upon her arrival back on the west coast, she entered a civilian drydock at Oakland, California, to begin conversion to a fleet provisioning ship. Major modifications were completed by 21 October, finishing touches were added over the next three weeks. On 14 November, Aldebaran departed San Francisco on her way to San Diego. Following a three-day stay at that port between 16 and 19 November, she got underway for Hawaii; the ship discharged cargo at Pearl Harbor during the last six days of November and, after an overnight stop at Maui, headed back to the west coast on 1 December. Aldebaran arrived at San Francisco on the 6th. On the following morning, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and plunged the United States into World War II; the ship embarked upon her first wartime voyage on 17 December. Over the next six months, Aldebaran completed four round-trip runs carrying provisions and passengers between San Francisco and Hawaii.
She concluded the fourth of those Pearl Harbor shuttle assignments at San Francisco on 6 June 1942. Her next assignment took the ship beyond Hawaii to the South Pacific, she stood out of San Francisco on 23 June, stopped at Pearl Harbor early in July, spent the remainder of the summer of 1942 making calls at ports on the South Pacific circuit. Aldebaran visited Samoa, New Caledonia, Espiritu Santo before returning to San Francisco on 23 September; that first wartime series of port calls in the South Pacific established a pattern of operations for her that endured through the next 20 months. Aldebaran loaded cargo at San Francisco and embarked upon long, circuitous voyages that took her back to New Caledonia and Espiritu Santo. In May 1944, during the run back to the west coast from Espiritu Santo, Aldebaran was diverted to Hawaii to load cargo bound for the Central Pacific, she arrived in Pearl Harbor on 24 May, took on her cargo, returned to sea on the 29th. The ship entered Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands on 5 June and spent six days issuing fresh and frozen provisions to ships about to assault the Mariana Islands.
She stood into that port on the 18th. Aldebaran spent the next nine months carrying provisions to ships at forward bases in the Marshalls and Carolines, her most frequent ports of call were Eniwetok in the Ulithi in the Carolines. At the conclusion of each supply mission, she returned to either Pearl Harbor or San Francisco to load additional cargo. On 29 March 1945, Aldebaran arrived in San Francisco to complete the last of her resupply missions to ships in the anchorages in the Central Pacific atolls. On 10 April, she departed San Francisco for Pearl Harbor where she spent the period 16 to 21 April fitting out for a new mission, replenishing the fast carriers and their screens at sea. Aldebaran arrived in Ulithi on 2 May. There, she reported for duty with part of the underway replenishment group, she joined the rest of Task Group 50.8 at sea. The stores ship spent about five weeks at sea replenishing the warships engaged in the Okinawa campaign before putting in at Guam on 13 June to reload. For the remaining two months of hostilities, Aldebaran provided logistics support for the carrier task groups making air strikes on the Japanese home islands, returning periodically to either Guam or Ulithi to restock her larder.
Hostilities ceased on 15 August 1945, but Aldebaran continued replenishment-at-sea operations during the initial stages of the occupation of Japan. She was present to Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945 when Japanese officials signed the surrender document on board Missouri. For the remainder of 1945, Aldebaran provided logistics support for forces occupying Japan and her former conquests. On 17 January 1946, the stores ship departed China, on her way back to the United States, she arrived in Seattle, Washington, on 31 January and entered the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard a week for a two-month repair period. Aldebaran began preparations for her last voyage to the Far East. On 22 April, she put to sea bound for Japan; the ship reached Yokosuka on 8 May and, from there, continued on to Tsingtao and Okinawa. On 15 June, Aldebaran departed Okinawa to return to the United States, her ultimate destination was the east coast. After a stop at San Pedro, Cali
A convoy is a group of vehicles motor vehicles or ships, traveling together for mutual support and protection. A convoy is organized with armed defensive support, it may be used in a non-military sense, for example when driving through remote areas. Arriving at the scene of a major emergency with a well-ordered unit and intact command structure can be another motivation. Naval convoys have been in use for centuries, with examples of merchant ships traveling under naval protection dating to the 12th century; the use of organized naval convoys dates from when ships began to be separated into specialist classes and national navies were established. By the French Revolutionary Wars of the late 18th century, effective naval convoy tactics had been developed to ward off pirates and privateers; some convoys contained several hundred merchant ships. The most enduring system of convoys were the Spanish treasure fleets, that sailed from the 1520s until 1790; when merchant ships sailed independently, a privateer could cruise a shipping lane and capture ships as they passed.
Ships sailing in convoy presented a much smaller target: a convoy was as hard to find as a single ship. If the privateer found a convoy and the wind was favourable for an attack, it could still hope to capture only a handful of ships before the rest managed to escape, a small escort of warships could thwart it; as a result of the convoy system's effectiveness, wartime insurance premiums were lower for ships that sailed in convoys. Many naval battles in the Age of Sail were fought around convoys, including: The Battle of Portland The Battle of Ushant The Battle of Dogger Bank The Glorious First of June The Battle of Pulo Aura By the end of the Napoleonic Wars the Royal Navy had in place a sophisticated convoy system to protect merchant ships. Losses of ships travelling out of convoy however were so high that no merchant ship was allowed to sail unescorted. In the early 20th century, the dreadnought changed the balance of power in convoy battles. Steaming faster than merchant ships and firing at long ranges, a single battleship could destroy many ships in a convoy before the others could scatter over the horizon.
To protect a convoy against a capital ship required providing it with an escort of another capital ship, at high opportunity cost. Battleships were the main reason that the British Admiralty did not adopt convoy tactics at the start of the first Battle of the Atlantic in World War I, but the German capital ships had been bottled up in the North Sea, the main threat to shipping came from U-boats. From a tactical point of view, World War I–era submarines were similar to privateers in the age of sail; these submarines were only a little faster than the merchant ships they were attacking, capable of sinking only a small number of vessels in a convoy because of their limited supply of torpedoes and shells. The Admiralty took a long time to respond to this change in the tactical position, in April 1917 convoys were trialled, before being introduced in the Atlantic in September 1917. Other arguments against convoys were raised; the primary issue was the loss of productivity, as merchant shipping in convoy has to travel at the speed of the slowest vessel in the convoy and spent a considerable amount of time in ports waiting for the next convoy to depart.
Further, large convoys were thought to overload port resources. Actual analysis of shipping losses in World War I disproved all these arguments, at least so far as they applied to transatlantic and other long-distance traffic. Ships sailing in convoys were far less to be sunk when not provided with an escort; the loss of productivity due to convoy delays was small compared with the loss of productivity due to ships being sunk. Ports could deal more with convoys because they tended to arrive on schedule and so loading and unloading could be planned. In his book On the Psychology of Military Incompetence, Norman Dixon suggested that the hostility towards convoys in the naval establishment were in part caused by a perception of convoys as effeminating, due to warships having to care for civilian merchant ships. Convoy duty exposes the escorting warships to the sometimes hazardous conditions of the North Atlantic, with only rare occurrences of visible achievement; the British adopted a convoy system voluntary and compulsory for all merchant ships, the moment that World War II was declared.
Each convoy consisted of between 30 and 70 unarmed merchant ships. Canadian, American, supplies were vital for Britain to continue its war effort; the course of the Battle of the Atlantic was a long struggle as the Germans developed anti-convoy tactics and the British developed counter-tactics to thwart the Germans. The capability of a armed warship against a convoy was illustrated by the fate of Convoy HX 84. On November 5, 1940, the German heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer encountered the convoy. Maiden, Kenbame Head and Fresno were sunk, other ships were damaged. Only the sacrifice of the Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Jervis Bay and failing light allowed the rest of the convoy to escape; the deterrence value of a battleship in protecting a convoy was dramatically illustrated when the German light battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, mounting 11 in guns, came upon an eastbound British convoy in the North Atlantic on February 8, 1941. When the Germans detected the slow but well-protected battleship HMS Ramillies escorting the convoy, they f
Solomon Islands is a sovereign state consisting of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands in Oceania lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu and covering a land area of 28,400 square kilometres. The country's capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal; the country takes its name from the Solomon Islands archipelago, a collection of Melanesian islands that includes the North Solomon Islands, but excludes outlying islands, such as Rennell and Bellona, the Santa Cruz Islands. The islands have been inhabited for thousands of years. In 1568, the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to visit them, naming them the Islas Salomón. Britain defined its area of interest in the Solomon Islands archipelago in June 1893, when Captain Gibson R. N. of HMS Curacoa, declared the southern Solomon Islands a British protectorate. During World War II, the Solomon Islands campaign saw fierce fighting between the United States and the Empire of Japan, such as in the Battle of Guadalcanal.
The official name of the British administration was changed from "the British Solomon Islands Protectorate" to "the Solomon Islands" in 1975, self-government was achieved the year after. Independence was obtained in 1978 and the name changed to just "Solomon Islands", without the "the". At independence, Solomon Islands became a constitutional monarchy; the Queen of Solomon Islands is Elizabeth II, represented by Sir Frank Kabui. The prime minister is Rick Houenipwela. In 1568, the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to visit the Solomon Islands archipelago, naming it Islas Salomón after the wealthy biblical King Solomon, it is said that they were given this name in the mistaken assumption that they contained great riches, he believed them to be the Bible-mentioned city of Ophir. During most of the period of British rule the territory was named "the British Solomon Islands Protectorate". On 22 June 1975 the territory was renamed "the Solomon Islands"; when Solomon Islands became independent in 1978, the name was changed to "Solomon Islands".
The definite article, "the", is not part of the country's official name but is sometimes used, both within and outside the country. It is believed that Papuan-speaking settlers began to arrive around 30,000 BC. Austronesian speakers arrived c. 4000 BC bringing cultural elements such as the outrigger canoe. Between 1200 and 800 BC the ancestors of the Polynesians, the Lapita people, arrived from the Bismarck Archipelago with their characteristic ceramics; the first European to visit the islands was the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira, coming from Peru in 1568. Some of the earliest and most regular foreign visitors to the islands were whaling vessels from Britain, the United States and Australia, they came for food and water from late in the 18th century and took aboard islanders to serve as crewmen on their ships. Relations between the islanders and visiting seamen was not always good and sometimes there was violence and bloodshed. Missionaries began visiting the Solomons in the mid-19th century.
They made little progress at first, because "blackbirding" led to a series of reprisals and massacres. The evils of the slave trade prompted the United Kingdom to declare a protectorate over the southern Solomons in June 1893. In 1898 and 1899, more outlying islands were added to the protectorate. Traditional trade and social intercourse between the western Solomon Islands of Mono and Alu and the traditional societies in the south of Bougainville, continued without hindrance. Missionaries settled in the Solomons under the protectorate, converting most of the population to Christianity. In the early 20th century several British and Australian firms began large-scale coconut planting. Economic growth was slow and the islanders benefited little. Journalist Joe Melvin visited as part of his undercover investigation into blackbirding. In 1908 the islands were visited by Jack London, cruising the Pacific on his boat, the Snark. With the outbreak of the Second World War most planters and traders were evacuated to Australia and most cultivation ceased.
Some of the most intense fighting of the war occurred in the Solomons. The most significant of the Allied Forces' operations against the Japanese Imperial Forces was launched on 7 August 1942, with simultaneous naval bombardments and amphibious landings on the Florida Islands at Tulagi and Red Beach on Guadalcanal; the Battle of Guadalcanal became an important and bloody campaign fought in the Pacific War as the Allies began to repulse the Japanese expansion. Of strategic importance during the war were the coastwatchers operating in remote locations on Japanese held islands, providing early warning and intelligence of Japanese naval and aircraft movements during the campaign. Sergeant-Major Jacob Vouza was a notable coastwatcher who, after capture, refused to divulge Allied information in spite of interrogation and torture by Japanese Imperial forces, he was awarded a Silver Star Medal by the Americans, the United States' third-highest decoration for valor in combat. Islanders Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana were the first to find the shipwrecked John F. Kennedy and his crew of the PT-109.
They suggested writing a rescue message on a coconut, delivered the coconut by paddling a dug
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U. S. allies or partner nations. With the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches, it has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force. The U. S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, established during the American Revolutionary War and was disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter.
The U. S. Navy played a major role in the American Civil War by blockading the Confederacy and seizing control of its rivers, it played the central role in the World War II defeat of Imperial Japan. The US Navy emerged from World War II as the most powerful navy in the world; the 21st century U. S. Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in strength in such areas as the Western Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, it is a blue-water navy with the ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward deployments during peacetime and respond to regional crises, making it a frequent actor in U. S. foreign and military policy. The Navy is administratively managed by the Department of the Navy, headed by the civilian Secretary of the Navy; the Department of the Navy is itself a division of the Department of Defense, headed by the Secretary of Defense. The Chief of Naval Operations is the most senior naval officer serving in the Department of the Navy.
The mission of the Navy is to maintain and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. The U. S. Navy is a seaborne branch of the military of the United States; the Navy's three primary areas of responsibility: The preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war. The maintenance of naval aviation, including land-based naval aviation, air transport essential for naval operations, all air weapons and air techniques involved in the operations and activities of the Navy; the development of aircraft, tactics, technique and equipment of naval combat and service elements. U. S. Navy training manuals state that the mission of the U. S. Armed Forces is "to be prepared to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations in support of the national interest." As part of that establishment, the U. S. Navy's functions comprise sea control, power projection and nuclear deterrence, in addition to "sealift" duties, it follows as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, with it, everything honorable and glorious.
Naval power... is the natural defense of the United States The Navy was rooted in the colonial seafaring tradition, which produced a large community of sailors and shipbuilders. In the early stages of the American Revolutionary War, Massachusetts had its own Massachusetts Naval Militia; the rationale for establishing a national navy was debated in the Second Continental Congress. Supporters argued that a navy would protect shipping, defend the coast, make it easier to seek out support from foreign countries. Detractors countered that challenging the British Royal Navy the world's preeminent naval power, was a foolish undertaking. Commander in Chief George Washington resolved the debate when he commissioned the ocean-going schooner USS Hannah to interdict British merchant ships and reported the captures to the Congress. On 13 October 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the purchase of two vessels to be armed for a cruise against British merchant ships. S. Navy; the Continental Navy achieved mixed results.
In August 1785, after the Revolutionary War had drawn to a close, Congress had sold Alliance, the last ship remaining in the Continental Navy due to a lack of funds to maintain the ship or support a navy. In 1972, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, authorized the Navy to celebrate its birthday on 13 October to honor the establishment of the Continental Navy in 1775; the United States was without a navy for nearly a decade, a state of affairs that exposed U. S. maritime merchant ships to a series of attacks by the Barbary pirates. The sole armed maritime presence between 1790 and the launching of the U. S. Navy's first warships in 1797 was the U. S. Revenue-Marine, the primary predecessor of the U. S. Coast Guard. Although the USRCS conducted operations against the pirates, their depredations far outstripped its abilities and Congress passed the Naval Act of 1794 that established a permanent standing navy on 27 March 1794; the Naval Act ordered the construction and manning of six frigates and, by October 1797, the first three were brought into service: USS United States, USS Constellation, USS Constitution.
Due to his strong posture on having a strong standing Navy during this period, John Adams is "often called the father of the American Navy". In 1798–99 the Navy was involved in an undeclared Quasi-War with France. From 18
The escort carrier or escort aircraft carrier called a "jeep carrier" or "baby flattop" in the United States Navy or "Woolworth Carrier" by the Royal Navy, was a small and slow type of aircraft carrier used by the Royal Navy, the United States Navy, the Imperial Japanese Navy and Imperial Japanese Army Air Force in World War II. They were half the length and a third the displacement of larger fleet carriers. While they were slower, carried fewer planes and were less well armed and armored, escort carriers were cheaper and could be built, their principal advantage. Escort carriers could be completed in greater numbers as a stop-gap. However, the lack of protection made escort carriers vulnerable and several were sunk with great loss of life; the light carrier was a similar concept to escort carriers in most respects, but were capable of higher speeds to allow operation alongside fleet carriers. Most built on a commercial ship hull, escort carriers were too slow to keep up with the main forces consisting of fleet carriers and cruisers.
Instead, they were used to escort convoys, defending them from enemy threats such as submarines and planes. In the invasions of mainland Europe and Pacific islands, escort carriers provided air support to ground forces during amphibious operations. Escort carriers served as backup aircraft transports for fleet carriers and ferried aircraft of all military services to points of delivery. In the Battle of the Atlantic, escort carriers were used to protect convoys against U-boats. Escort carriers accompanied the merchant ships and helped to fend off attacks from aircraft and submarines; as numbers increased in the war, escort carriers formed part of hunter-killer groups that sought out submarines instead of being attached to a particular convoy. In the Pacific theater, CVEs provided air support of ground troops in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, they lacked the speed and weapons to counter enemy fleets, relying on the protection of a Fast Carrier Task Force. However, at the Battle off Samar, one U. S. task force of escort carriers managed to defend itself against a much larger Japanese force of battleships and cruisers.
The Japanese met a furious defense of carrier aircraft, screening destroyers, destroyer escorts, proving that CVEs could appear to have the same striking power as full CVs. Of the 151 aircraft carriers built in the U. S. during World War II, 122 were escort carriers. Though no examples survive to this day, the Casablanca class was the most numerous class of aircraft carrier, with 50 launched. Second was the Bogue class, with 45 launched. In the early 1920s, the Washington Naval Treaty imposed limits on the maximum size and total tonnage of aircraft carriers for the five main naval powers. Treaties kept these provisions; as a result, construction between the World Wars had been insufficient to meet operational needs for aircraft carriers as World War II expanded from Europe. Too few fleet carriers were available to transport aircraft to distant bases, support amphibious invasions, offer carrier landing training for replacement pilots, conduct anti-submarine patrols, provide defensive air cover for deployed battleships and cruisers.
The foregoing mission requirements limited use of fleet carriers′ unique offensive strike capability demonstrated at the Battle of Taranto and the Attack on Pearl Harbor. Conversion of existing ships provided additional aircraft carriers until new construction became available. Conversions of cruisers and passenger liners with speed similar to fleet carriers were identified by the U. S. as "light aircraft carriers" able to operate at battle fleet speeds. Slower conversions were classified as "escort carriers" and were considered naval auxiliaries suitable for pilot training and transport of aircraft to distant bases; the Royal Navy had recognized a need for carriers to defend its trade routes in the 1930s. While designs had been prepared for "trade protection carriers" and five suitable liners identified for conversion, nothing further was done because there were insufficient aircraft for the fleet carriers under construction at the time. However, by 1940 the need had become urgent and HMS Audacity was converted from the captured German merchant ship MV Hannover and commissioned in July 1941.
For defense from German aircraft, convoys were supplied first with fighter catapult ships and CAM ships that could carry a single fighter. In the interim, before escort carriers could be supplied, they brought in merchant aircraft carriers that could operate four aircraft. In 1940, Admiral William Halsey recommended construction of naval auxiliaries for pilot training. In early 1941 the British asked the US to build on their behalf six carriers of an improved Audacity design but the US had begun their own escort carrier. On 1 February 1941, the United States Chief of Naval Operations gave priority to construction of naval auxiliaries for aircraft transport. U. S. ships built to meet these needs were referred to as auxiliary aircraft escort vessels in February 1942 and auxiliary aircraft carrier on 5 August 1942. The first U. S. example of the type was USS Long Island. Operation Torch and North Atlantic anti-submarine warfare proved these ships capable aircraft carriers for ship formations moving at the speed of trade or amphibious invasion convoys.
U. S. classification revision to escort aircraft carrier on 15 July 1943 reflected upgraded status from auxiliary to combatant. They were informally known as "Jeep carriers" or "baby flattops", it was
Anti-aircraft warfare or counter-air defence is defined by NATO as "all measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action". They include surface based and air-based weapon systems, associated sensor systems and control arrangements and passive measures, it may be used to protect naval and air forces in any location. However, for most countries the main effort has tended to be'homeland defence'. NATO refers to airborne naval air defence as anti-aircraft warfare. Missile defence is an extension of air defence as are initiatives to adapt air defence to the task of intercepting any projectile in flight. In some countries, such as Britain and Germany during the Second World War, the Soviet Union, NATO, the United States, ground-based air defence and air defence aircraft have been under integrated command and control. However, while overall air defence may be for homeland defence including military facilities, forces in the field, wherever they are, invariably deploy their own air defence capability if there is an air threat.
A surface-based air defence capability can be deployed offensively to deny the use of airspace to an opponent. Until the 1950s, guns firing ballistic munitions ranging from 7.62 mm to 152.4 mm were the standard weapons. The term air defence was first used by Britain when Air Defence of Great Britain was created as a Royal Air Force command in 1925. However, arrangements in the UK were called'anti-aircraft', abbreviated as AA, a term that remained in general use into the 1950s. After the First World War it was sometimes prefixed by'Light' or'Heavy' to classify a type of gun or unit. Nicknames for anti-aircraft guns include AA, AAA or triple-A, an abbreviation of anti-aircraft artillery. NATO defines anti-aircraft warfare as "measures taken to defend a maritime force against attacks by airborne weapons launched from aircraft, ships and land-based sites". In some armies the term All-Arms Air Defence is used for air defence by nonspecialist troops. Other terms from the late 20th century include GBAD with related terms SHORAD and MANPADS.
Anti-aircraft missiles are variously called surface-to-air missile and pronounced "SAM" and Surface to Air Guided Weapon. Non-English terms for air defence include the German FlaK, whence English flak, the Russian term Protivovozdushnaya oborona, a literal translation of "anti-air defence", abbreviated as PVO. In Russian the AA systems are called zenitnye systems. In French, air defence is called DCA; the maximum distance at which a gun or missile can engage an aircraft is an important figure. However, many different definitions are used but unless the same definition is used, performance of different guns or missiles cannot be compared. For AA guns only the ascending part of the trajectory can be usefully used. One term is "ceiling", the maximum ceiling being the height a projectile would reach if fired vertically, not useful in itself as few AA guns are able to fire vertically, maximum fuse duration may be too short, but useful as a standard to compare different weapons; the British adopted "effective ceiling", meaning the altitude at which a gun could deliver a series of shells against a moving target.
By the late 1930s the British definition was "that height at which a directly approaching target at 400 mph can be engaged for 20 seconds before the gun reaches 70 degrees elevation". However, effective ceiling for heavy AA guns was affected by nonballistic factors: The maximum running time of the fuse, this set the maximum usable time of flight; the capability of fire control instruments to determine target height at long range. The precision of the cyclic rate of fire, the fuse length had to be calculated and set for where the target would be at the time of flight after firing, to do this meant knowing when the round would fire; the essence of air defence is to destroy them. The critical issue is to hit a target moving in three-dimensional space; this means that projectiles either have to be guided to hit the target, or aimed at the predicted position of the target at the time the projectile reaches it, taking into account speed and direction of both the target and the projectile. Throughout the 20th century, air defence was one of the fastest-evolving areas of military technology, responding to the evolution of aircraft and exploiting various enabling technologies radar, guided missiles and computing (initially electromechanical analogue computing from the 1930s on, as with equipment describ