Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Friday, July 17, 2020

HMS Furious: From Battlecruiser to Hybrid to Fleet Carrier

HMS Furious as Originally Completed

HMS Furious (1917–1948) started as a battlecruiser, became a hybrid ship with the capacity for launching aircraft, subsequently had a second flight deck installed, and was converted to full carrier configuration in 1925.

Ready for Full Air Operations, 1918

HMS Furious was a modified Courageous-class battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy (RN) during the First World War. Designed to support the Baltic Project championed by the First Sea Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Fisher, the ship was very lightly armored and designed with a main battery of only two 18-inch (460mm) guns. Furious was modified as an aircraft carrier while under construction. Her forward turret was removed and a flight deck was added in its place, such that aircraft had to maneuver around the superstructure to land. Later in the war, the ship had her rear turret removed and a second flight deck installed aft of the superstructure, but this was less than satisfactory due to air turbulence. Furious was briefly laid up after the war before she was reconstructed with a full-length flight deck in the early 1920s.

Final Configuration

On 19 July 1918 Furious launched the first carrier-based raid in history against the German airship base at Tønder, Denmark. During the Second World War she served in the Mediterranean, supporting Operation Torch and the defense of Malta.

Sources: St. Mihiel Trip-Wire, Wikipedia

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