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Aircraft Carriers

Listen to "Aircraft Carriers"

Aircraft Carriers are the ultimate tool of modern power projection. They are symbols of both naval strength and air superiority. This episode covers their history and their future:
  • 1840s: Balloon Carriers are invented
  • 1900s: Seaplane Carriers are invented
  • 1910s: Modern aircraft carriers are invented
  • 1930s-1940s: WWII (five major carrier battles)
    • Pearl Harbor: Japan's six carriers surprise the United States Navy
    • Coral Sea: Japan's three carriers engage America's two carriers (both lose one carrier)
    • Midway: America's three carriers engage Japan's four carriers and sink all four, with the help of codebreakers and reconnaissance. Considered a turning point in the Pacific War
    • Philippine Sea: America's sixteen carriers destroy or disable all but 35 of the 500 Japanese carrier-based aircraft
    • Leyte Gulf: America's seventeen carriers decisively defeat the Imperial Japanese Navy in the largest naval battle in history
  • WWII-present: US Carrier Strike Groups control the seas
For more information, read:
The Pacific War Companion by Daniel Marston
Jane’s Warship Recognition Guide
Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carriers (1921-1945) by Mark Stille
US Navy Bluejacket’s Manual

Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine