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Victory at Sea Royal Navy fleet

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The Royal Navy of Great Britain was the world’s greatest navy at the outbreak of the Second World War. However, Britain went to war with mainly First World War-vintage vessels. Since the Royal Navy already possessed many powerful units, construction of the most modern designs was limited. This meant that at the outbreak of World War Two Britain had far more battleships than most other nations, but they had smaller guns than those built to the most modern ships.

Though the main battle force was kept concentrated in home waters, task forces were assigned to many distant areas, but the Royal Navy could not be strong everywhere. Although badly stretched, the Royal Navy lived up to its traditional ‘can do!’ ethos, fighting hard in all theatres.

In addition to the battleship forces, the Royal Navy maintained a handful of fast battlecruisers – some of them quite old – and aircraft carriers. These were backed up by a strong cruiser force and light forces including destroyers, motor torpedo boats (MTBs) and motor gunboats (MGBs).

The aircraft carrier became the main US naval asset during the war in the Pacific, which was very much a conflict between the air assets of opposing fleets. US carrier forces were hard-pressed early on but as the industrial might of the US was brought to bear, new carriers and air groups for them were deployed in such numbers that the enemy simply could not match their strength

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