Who says it would be a supertanker? And any ship Iran takes could have British crew on it. I'm also reminded of the Hms Cornwall incident.
Did we choose Ww2? No. It was Hitler's choice to not answer our ultimatum. A similar situation in Ww2. Same in the Falklands. Others chose war over our wish for peace. We don't always have a choice. Ask Poland.
If someone takes our citizens abroad, that is a potential cause of war. Look at the yanks in Grenada. We still have responsibilities to commonwealth nations. Look at what happened (or nearly happened) in British Honduras,and what ultimately happened in Sierra leone.
It's worth having a look at the service history of HMS Ocean, before saying Britain has no need of such capability.
WW2 is a terrible example because
- The war in Europe did not necessitate any aircraft carriers other than the jeep carriers, which are decidedly not the concept of the current British carrier design and MUCH more close to what I wrote about using AEW helo + SM-6 from container ships in ARAPAHO II style
- The war with Japan happened because of colonies that the British do not have any more. It would have been 100% voluntary if the British had not controlled Malaya and Burma.
HMS Ocean's operational history isn't even close to justify its operational expenses. It certainly did not justify its procurement so far. The utility of the ship so far has been marginal and could easily have been had with a single civilian disaster aid ship.
Grenada was not a war with casus belli, not a declared war, it was simply a great power bullying a sovereign nation because it disliked its alignment with another country. It was a war of aggression. Again, the example does not in any case support the case for aircraft carriers. If you are concerned about a foreign country taking hostage British citizens, look at Iran 1979 as evidence for the complete, utter, decisive uselessness of having aircraft carriers.
You seem to be under the impression that 'violence works', you should check this new(?) warmonger strain of yours. It's nonsense.
Stuart, your choice of arguments and your reasoning appear to be exceedingly careless these days.
Is it? Why? We have returned to an era of state on state competition, and the best example of that, other than the Cold War, are the two world wars. I know of no other models we can use.
The British Carriers played an important role in the European war. They were of great Utility in the Med (they effectively broke the Italian fleet at Taranto, something I note you have glossed over with a thick brush),
The Italian surface fleet was of marginal utility lacking modern fire control and battleshieps that could cope with QEs. There was also next to no fuel available. The air attack did not break the escorts fleet, which was actually of some use.
Moreover, we live in teh 2010's, with 2010's aircraft ranges; nowadays you could strike Taranto with Typhoons that took off in Gibraltar.
BTW, the UK is allied with the nrothern half of the Med and other than israel there's negligible military power in the southern half. So the reality is that there's zero need for NATO aircraft carriers in the Med.
and they were used, IIRC, in the Torch Landings. Ive also got a feeling they were present at the landings in Sicily and Italy, though I wont swear to that. The jeep carriers also played an important role in blocking the channel against U boat attack. Granted the QE is significantly larger than a Jeep Carrier, but they do carry Helicopters, and there is no reason why they are unable to perform the same role, as well as being an LPH and a general all round aircraft carrier.
Yeah, there is a reason why a modern carrier like the QE is not going to be useful as the Jeep carriers were; there's but one or two of them. You#d need a dozen or more to protect the transatlantic convoy route alone. There were dozens of CVEs BECASUE they were chep designs, unlikewhat the UK buys nowadays.
In short, if we use WW2 as a model, there is no reason why a QE could not perform all the roles they historically had to do in the European war.
Oh, it could. Except it would be too few, far from necessary/decivsive and generally the WW2 naval scenarios make no sense in teh 21st century (or even only the 1950's).
There is also the point technology has moved on. Carriers can do rather more than they could in WW2, simply because the aircraft on them are more sophisticated. As I pointed out before, if we bought American standoff weapons, there would be the potential to attack targets around moscow from as far afield as the North Cape. Try doing strategic attack in WW2 with anything other than a B25 and you would be disappointed.
You could also do strieks on Moscow from a parking lot in Edinburgh. There's zero justification for a carrier in your lines. A CVBG needs to justify its expenses relative to land-based air power. That's where it fails. I could drive to work in a car with a chassis made of gold. This "cand o" thing is no justification.
Sorry, have a look against at its operational roles. 2003, hurricane intervention, taking part in NATO exercises in the Amphibious landing role. These are all capabilities we could no longer undertake if the QE's were withdrawn. In fact, Ocean was withdrawn so the QE's could be afforded. I think we would struggle to undertake any of those roles with the RFA's, which is about all we would have left.
The value of such humanitarian missions is tiny compared to CVBG expenses. Moreover, again there are VASTLY cheaper options. You could literally buy an old container ship, refurbish it, prepare it for some army helos and add a contianerised hospital and you#d have a more useful unit for such missions than an entire CVBG.
Sorry, but I think the arguments here are all based on the premise 'The carrier will not do' and hammering and bashing the arguments to fit, even though they dont make sense. The most hilarious thing about all of this debate, I never wanted the Carriers, never thought they would be even completed. But having them, is no reason to dispose of them because supposedly the nature of threat has changed. The nature of threat is ALWAYS changing.
There are reasons.
1) The expensive aircraft are not all purchased yet.,
2) Some of the needed escorts were not purchased yet.
3) Operational expenses can be avoided by getting rid of the white elephants.
Only the/some procurmeent costs for the CVs have been sunk so far.
You dont rerole the entire British Armed forces from land to sea and then back again based on a whim. It was done for a reason, and whilst I think those reasons made more sense 20 years ago, they are now present. Arguments for disposal to me take no notice of how mcuh its going to cost to rebuild the British Army, which is NOT going to happen.
I don't think the UK needs to enlagge the army. I don't say it should spend mroe than 1.5% GDP on the military.
The spending for CV capability has to compete with rate of return for government spending of many categories, not just land power.
Yeah, that kind of thinking is still popular. And evidence to the contrary absolutely will not change minds.
Most of the evidence proves that military interventions in distant places are a really terrible idea.
Except for Korea, Sierra Leone, Falklands, British Hondura's. And there is still the thorny issue of intervention in humanitarian relief, which is still a requirement for large parts of the globe Britain colonized.
Not sure Korea 50-53 should be called an "intervention". Anyway, the British were not decisive there, certainly not with carriers. The other interventions were of little to no use. The Falklands War was ridiculous.
What you are arguing for is more intelligent debate over foreign intervention. What I can tell you with some assurance is that lacking the toys wont stop the politicians intervening. It will just mean the way we intervene will be more and more improvised fashion, and undoubtedly more expensive in lives. I know, both my Grandfathers learned that lesson in the last one.
Show me how often the Dutch government has ordered cruise missile diplomacy while not having cruise missiles. Remind me, how often did the cruise-missile-equipped British government use cruise missile diplomacy? Oh, right, there's only a misuse of offensive military capability if there's such military capability.