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Marine Art Gallery

"Battleships of the Sea and Sky"

Description: A King George V class battleship of the Royal Navy (RN) is over flown by a massive Sunderland flying boat while escorting a convoy across the North Atlantic during the Second World War.

Medium: oil on canvas board 18x24 (1997)
Display: National Archives CAAA art show - 1998. CAAA traveling aviation art exhibit - Alberta locations (TAAE) 2002. RCAF display Okanagan Military Museum, Kelowna,BC 2003. Artist's collection.

Historical note:

SHIFT FROM THE BIG GUN SHIP FLEET
During the period from the end of WW I, where the big gun ship predominated in naval strategy, to the outbreak of WW II, the battleship still held the centre stage of naval power. In the early years of the war at sea those big gun ships of the surface fleets, were the key components of naval strategy. The RN capital ships, such as the KG V class, played an important role in subduing the threat posed by heavily armed surface raiders such as the German battleship Bismarck. Those surface raiders could have devastated whole convoys if they had been allowed to fall upon the unescorted merchant ships or even those with escorts of light warships such as destroyers and corvettes. The demise of the large German surface raiders as a direct threat after the sinking of the Bismarck and the rise of the aircraft carrier, torpedo bomber and submarine, caused the battleship's chief function to change within the new naval strategies that developed. Henceforth, the battleship was now used chiefly as a platform for large numbers of anti-aircraft guns or in naval gunfire support to amphibious operations with the massive firepower it possessed. The great battleships, designed and intended to dominate the war at sea, became supporting players in what was fundamentally a convoy and carrier naval war.

 

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