CLEARANCE: Top Secret
- Dec 16, 2007
- Reaction score
Well, arguably early carriers faced relatively low chances of detection at the distances they functioned from... and when they could be detected at long range it was usually by another carrier (at least in the Pacific). Of course, interception and anti-aircraft guns were still very important (and even showed superiority over torpedo bomber attacks).
In any case, they were benefiting from the second as well as the third option.
As for the first option... I remember reading an American simulation which showed that having widely spaced carrier (where only one was likely to be found and hit at a time) would've been much more effective for the Japanese... if Japan had built more smaller carriers or organised their carriers into forward and rear divisions... Midway might've been different. This may well be the case even if the smaller carriers were individually much more vulnerable and were also less efficient due to their smaller volume (i.e. fewer aircraft per ton of displacement).