The contribution of Royal Navy aircraft carriers and the Fleet Air Arm to Operation ‘Overlord’, 1944

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Abstract

This article examines the utility of naval aviation, specifically the contribution of the British naval air arm to Operation Overlord. It argues that while there were practical reasons for carriers not being present directly off the Normandy beaches, British naval aviation supported the invasion both directly (from ashore, and from carriers operating at a distance) and indirectly, over a long period. It was also performing a range of other roles in several theatres. Navies and naval aviation contribute to campaigns in a way that is different to land-based forces; understanding this requires a bigger map and a longer timeline.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-286
Number of pages22
JournalWar in History
Volume26
Issue number2
Early online date18 Sept 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • D-Day
  • Operation Overlord
  • Operation Neptune
  • Fleet Air Arm
  • Naval aviation
  • Aircraft carriers
  • Royal Navy

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