HMS Warspite 1940

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by airborne medic, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. airborne medic

    airborne medic Very Senior Member

    Hopefully this question isn't too stupid but I do not really know much about ships......or is it boats?

    The Warspite had a Swordfish aircraft which could apparently be launched from a catapult.......what happened at the end of the flight????

    Did they have to land on an aircraft carrier if one was in the area or land or ditch in the sea and hope to be recovered?????

    I'm sure one of the naval guys will know the answer to this.....and thanks in advance!
     
  2. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    It would of been a floatplane so would of landed on the sea near to the ship and then winched back onboard.

    And it is 'ships' - 'boats' are submarines.
     
  3. airborne medic

    airborne medic Very Senior Member

    Thanks...didn't realise Stringbags were equipped with floats...how many were made do you know?
     
  4. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Senior Member

    AFAIK the Swordfish was designed for interchangeable weel/float landing gear.
    W. Green reports users of the float version were n 700, 701 and 705 catapult flights and 700 squadron (FAA) and 202 squadron (RAF) at Gibraltar.
    That points to rather limited numbers probably less than 100.
     
  5. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    The problem was that the plane was slow with normal undercarriage and the extra weight and drag of the twin floats further reduced the speed and would use up more fuel.
    Hence not many manufactured.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  6. cally

    cally Picture Prince.

    Just to illustrate the thread and at the same time provide a picture of the floatplane variant of the Swordfish, here is one being recovered on to the Battleship Malaya.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Wow, never realised that the Swordfish could be fitted with floats as well as wheels. Now you mention aircraft being launched from Catapults, did the same apply to Hurricanes?
     
  8. MikB

    MikB Senior Member

    The problem was that the plane was slow with normal undercarriage and the extra weight and drag of the twin floats further reduced the speed and would use up more fuel.
    Hence not many manufactured.

    Regards
    Tom

    True, but still managed to sink a U-boat off Narvik.
     
  9. cash_13

    cash_13 Senior Member

    I can tell you a story related to me about one of the Swordfish on board HMS Warspite.

    They had many engine failures and problems with one of the planes and a few days after the end of hostilities in 1945 they was informed by the skipper to throw this particular Swordfish over board.......According to my stepfather who was leading stoker on Warspite they run up the engine and launched it over the side and he said to there amazement the old girl just lifted off and just flew out of site over the horizon.....he always said she's proberley still plodding along today......
     
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    cash_13
    They had many engine failures and problems with one of the planes and a few days after the end of hostilities in 1945 they was informed by the skipper to throw this particular Swordfish over board.......


    When did Warspite get it's Walrus ?
    How long was the Swordfish used for ?
    I haven't a clue but found these rather good photos.

    [​IMG]
    A 10648
    A Supermarine Walrus amphibious aircraft being hoisted on board HMS WARSPITE after a sweep in the Indian Ocean. One of the aircraft's crew is standing on the top wing. An ILLUSTRIOUS class aircraft carrier can be seen moored in the background. Alongside her is another vessel, possibly a hospital ship, and HMS LUDLOW. A cruiser is moored aft of these vessels and a motor cutter is making its way from this group of ships towards the camera.


    Lovely pic of one being launched.

    [​IMG]

    A 11027
    The Supermarine Walrus amphibious aircraft from HMS WARSPITE is catapulted from the ship at the start of an anti-submarine patrol off the Seychelles. An aircraft carrier can be seen sailing in the background.
     
  11. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    I didn't know aircraft as large as Stringbags were catapulted from Battleships/Battle cruisers.
    As for the Walrus, for some strange reason I have always liked this somewhat ugly aircraft. Maybe it was the Search and Recovery function.
    Catapult Hurricanes (as far as I am aware) were not recoverable. Launched from CAM merchant ships they were 'single use' and the chances of the pilot surviving were not good.
    But I stand to be corrected - as usual!
     
  12. Rav4

    Rav4 Senior Member

    I can tell you a story related to me about one of the Swordfish on board HMS Warspite.

    They had many engine failures and problems with one of the planes and a few days after the end of hostilities in 1945 they was informed by the skipper to throw this particular Swordfish over board.......According to my stepfather who was leading stoker on Warspite they run up the engine and launched it over the side and he said to there amazement the old girl just lifted off and just flew out of site over the horizon.....he always said she's proberley still plodding along today......

    The original drone :lol:
     
  13. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Boats- this can touch off the old sea dogs, the indignant reply aarrgh its a ship! One tried to explain to me one day - landlubber, his claim was a craft that can be put aboard a ship is a boat, longboat, whaler, jollyboat and after my eyes glazed over he asked got it? Dared not to say no- I said oh yes!




    swordfish_float-823-809.jpg



    Surprised ?



    supermarine-spitfire-float-plane-01.png



    Five aircraft were converted:
    • Mk I - R6722
    • F Mk Vb - W3760
    • Mk V - EP751 and EP754
    • Mk IXb - MJ892
    Supermarine did of course have experience of high performance seaplanes the last two S.5 and S.6 series of the High Speed Flight, winners of the Schneider Trophy.
     
  14. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    This morning was the 90th Birthday of one of our RBL Berlin Branch Members, Sydney Walsh.

    Some of our forum members are already aware that Sydney is a WW2 Naval veteran and joined up as a 17 year old in January 1940.

    I asked him about the boat and ship arguement and he quickly replied that anything smaller than a Destroyer was called a boat!

    Thanks to Cally, Sydney is now the owner of a framed A4 size coloured photograph of HMS Eagle, the aircraft carrier that he was on during Operation Pedestal, and which was torpedoed, with Sydney being slightly injured and being left in the water for several hours before his rescue.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  15. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    What is the definition of a boat versus a ship?

    The Historic Ships Committee have designated a vessel below 40 tons and 40 ft in length as a boat. However, submarines and fishing vessels are always known as boats whatever their size.
     
  16. airborne medic

    airborne medic Very Senior Member

    Wow, never realised that the Swordfish could be fitted with floats as well as wheels. Now you mention aircraft being launched from Catapults, did the same apply to Hurricanes?

    I think it was a once only flight and the pilot either had to bale out or ditch.......perhaps one of the air boys can confirm but did you have to volunteer for this duty????
     
  17. airborne medic

    airborne medic Very Senior Member

    Glad to see that my question has bought up some interesting facts, stories and pictures.....
     
  18. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    What is the definition of a boat versus a ship?
    The Historic Ships Committee have designated a vessel below 40 tons and 40 ft in length as a boat. However, submarines and fishing vessels are always known as boats whatever their size.


    Wills

    If you really want to blow your mind have a look at R v Goodwin in the Court of Appeal (Grant, 'What is a ship; R v Goodwin in the Court of Appeal', [2006] 2 Web JCLI) which was required to consider whether a jet ski was a ship. And they're well below 40 tons and 40 feet!!

    John
     
  19. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Ah, once the lawyers have got near it the smell of the ocean is masked by another nose, one less inviting than a day at the seaside!
     
  20. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    True, but still managed to sink a U-boat off Narvik.

    Mike,

    I was not trying to belittle the wonderful Stringbag, just point out the severe problems when fitted with two large and heavy floats.

    It was classed as outdated at the beginning of the war, but soldiered on much longer than its successor providing great service and going into the History books with several daring adventures such as Toranto and the Bismark.

    Regards
    Tom
     

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