Thursday, November 24, 2011


Months before Pearl Harbor the Navy began design studies that envisioned a quartet of giant new carriers intended to improve on the then-building Essex-class. The result would be the 45,000-ton Midway-class, the largest warships ever built for the US Navy.

It was an unusually hot summer in Washington, D.C., when naval planners gathered to tackle a thorny new project. Given a mandate to conceive a giant new class of battle carrier, heated round table discussions commenced in an atmosphere as scorching inside the bureau of ship as temperatures outside. No two people shared the same reactions to the encyclopedic masses of data on which judgments would be based.  At issue was not only the concept of how to configure the envisioned gargantuan 45,000-ton vessels, but debate if they were needed at all. The time was 1941. Though the United States was not officially at war disastrous events in Europe and Asia foretold that the thin thread of America’s neutrality would soon snap under the weight of Axis aggression. A year earlier President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration had fortuitously ordered an unprecedented naval treaties. If the United States were to become the fee world’s ‘Arsenal of Democracy’ it would need a strong modern navy to counter the sizable fleets of Japan, Italy and Germany.  Foremost in these fleets would be the large new 27,000-ton Essex-class aircraft carriers then under construction. Fast, tough, purpose-built ships embodying the very latest naval technology, the 24 Essex would become the backbone of the carrier task forces in the 1940s.

Due to the length of this extremely interesting article there is "two parts"...just click on the titles below:


I certainly hope you enjoy the article