Aircraft Carriers: A History of Carrier Aviation and Its Influence on World Events, Volume II: 1946-2006
In the post-1945 era, the aircraft carrier has remained a valued weapon despite the development of nuclear weapons, cruise and ballistic missiles, and highly capable submarines. At times, as in the early days of the Korean and Vietnam Wars and in the Falklands conflict, carriers alone could deploy high-performance aircraft to the battlefield. In other operations, such as enforcing the no-fly zones and the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, only carriers could provide the bases needed for sustained combat and support operations.
This second volume of Norman Polmar's landmark study details the role of carriers in the unification of the U.S. armed forces and strategic deterrence, fiscally constrained Great Britain, the development of British Commonwealth and ex-colonial navies, and the efforts of France and the Netherlands to rebuild their fleets. The role of the modern carrier-nine nations currently possess them-is discussed, as are the issues confronting nations that might acquire them. Chapters on the Soviet Union's effort to produce carriers are included for the first time. The development of both carrier planes and the many "oddball" aircraft that have flown from carriers-such as the U-2 spy plane-are also examined. Appendixes include comprehensive data on all carriers built and converted through 2006.
This volume is a valuable companion to the critically acclaimed Volume I, which covers aircraft carrier development and operations from 1909 to 1945.
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1 The Peaceful Years
2 Jets and Whirlybirds
3 Atomic Bombs Aboard Ship
4 The Wrong War
5 An Entirely New War
6 Concluding a War
7 The Cold War Navy
8 French and British Carriers at War
17 A War Lost
18 Carrier Controversies
19 New Directions
20 Carrier War in the South Atlantic
21 Lessons and Finances
22 The Russian Experience
23 Soviet Aircraft Carriers
24 Rehabilitation and Retaliation
9 The Suez Operation
10 The Super Carriers
11 New Carrier Concepts
12 Carrier Proliferation
13 New Ships and Planes
14 Carriers to Cuban Waters
15 Wings Over Southeast Asia Again
16 Escalation to Escalation
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