Cold Warriors: The Essex Class in the Cold War

Volkodav

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Obviously we are going to have to chain you a lap top .
No pressure but I need my fix.
I swear, I haven't forgotten this. I've just been very busy with a new job.
I know the feeling, gone from between jobs to literally working in a bunker with no reception, to having to relocate across the country. It doesn't even leave you with time to read other people posts, let alone write your own.
 

Foo Fighter

I came, I saw, I drank some tea (and had a bun).
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lordroel

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Obviously we are going to have to chain you a lap top .
No pressure but I need my fix.
I swear, I haven't forgotten this. I've just been very busy with a new job.
Well that is good, ore maybe you should not do so good.
However, we are very glad that he and others here like him, are indeed that good.
That is true, i can wait, i am waiting for other TLs to restarts, so this one can join them.
 

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February 13, 1959
Over the Ceram Sea


Lieutenant Colonel Dedy Iskander checked his calculations against those of his navigator. Everything depended on their navigation being accurate. If they were off by even a few miles, the odds were good that they would not have enough fuel to land safely back at base. If their calculations were correct, they should begin picking up the low-powered homing beacon from the KRI Gadjah Mada in the next few minutes. The old British and Dutch destroyer had been positioned in the seas below to provide a navigational checkpoint for the bombers and fighters to home in on.

Once the formation was overhead of the old ship, they could adjust their course accordingly to ensure that they all arrived over the Dutch airbase as planned. With just a little luck, they could plaster the base and put it out of service long before the coming invasion.

Far ahead of him, he saw one of the F-5s flash his lights and rock his wings, the signal to the rest of the formation that he had picked up the homing beacon. Almost as soon as he had seen the fighter signal, he began to hear the homing beacon himself. Listening intently to the signal, Colonel Iskander adjusted his course slightly to put the destroyer dead on his nose.

Three minutes after picking up the signal, the Indonesian formation streaked above the destroyer and made their final turn onto their attack vector. Ideally, they would have preferred to come at the target from different angles to keep the Dutch from vectoring all their fighters onto them, but their fuel constraints prevented that. Instead, they would bull straight in and rely on their fighters to defend them. Hopefully.
 

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February 13, 1959
Over the Ceram Sea


Colonel Rosesmin Noerjadin had picked up the homing beacon only a minute or so before the bombers did. As the commander of the fighter screen it was his responsibility to make sure the bombers got through to their targets. He was not optimistic of their odds for success. The range constraints were so tight that the mission was being flown at high altitude all the way in and out. The bastard Dutch would pick them up on their radar screens long before they could arrive over their target and the Dutch fighters would be up and waiting for them.

Not that they had a choice. If they didn't stay high, they'd never make it back to their own airbases. He would just have to hope that the F-5 fighters he and his men were flying would give them enough of an edge to survive the coming battle. Nervously, he checked his fuel levels again.
 

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February 13, 1959
Mokmer Airfield, Biak, Western New Guinea


Across the base, alarm klaxons sounded and frantic men ran to their assigned duty stations. On the flight line, crew chiefs hit starter switches even as their plane's pilots rushed from their ready room. The scream of jet engines filled the air as turbines began to spin. The cause for all this haste? Radar operators had detected a large number of contacts heading straight for the airfield.

Though the lesson had been taught to a different Air Force in a different war, Pearl Harbor had not been forgotten and the Royal Netherlands Air Force had learned their lessons well. Every available fighter was taking to the skies to defend their airspace. Of the squadron's dozen fighters, eight were flight ready. Of the other four, one was getting an engine replaced, one had lost hydraulic pressure on it's last flight and had barely made it back to base in one piece, the weapon's system in the third had failed and it's guns refused to fire while the fourth had developed a crack in the starboard wing, a testament to the age of the fighters and the hard service they had seen.

The maintenance officer for the squadron cursed aloud as he watched helplessly from the ground. He had warned his superiors that maintenance on their aged fighters was becoming a problem. Their planes were quite simply worn out. Now they would pay a price for that.
 

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February 13, 1959
Approaching Biak at 30,000 feet


Newly promoted Major Saleh Basarah scanned the skies around him with nervous eyes. They should be well within the detection range of the Dutch radars by now. And unless their operators were asleep, something he was fervently praying for, they had to have sounded the alarm. So where were the Dutch fighters? Unlike some of his comrades who scorned the Dutch as cowards, he was expecting them to come up and fight. And while his machine was far and away the better fighter, a good pilot could still give him hell in even a piston engined aircraft. That was a lesson that had been hammered home to him recently.

A month earlier, he had been tasked to perform a training mission to intercept a low flying infiltrator. That infiltrator turned out to be a P-51 Mustang. He had grinned at how easy it was going to be to "shoot down" the target. How wrong he had been! The ancient aircraft had slammed in and out of turns before he could react and would constantly cut and open up its throttle. The first time it had done so, he'd been caught flat footed and shot right past, only to hear a voice over the radio telling him he was dead. The shame of a near twenty year old castoff killing him had set his ears burning. He would not underestimate an enemy again.

So where were the fighters? His commanding officer in 12 Squadron seemed to think that the Dutch would come straight at them from their airfield and had argued that they should fly ahead of the strike to try and clear the path. But Colonel Noerjadin disagreed. He thought the Dutch would circle wide to try and dive on them from out of the sun. Saleh agreed with the Colonel. Which is why he understood what they were doing now.
While 11 Squadron had moved ahead of the formation, the planes of 12 Squadron had stayed mixed in with the bombers, flying close escort. The Dutch would almost certainly ignore the obvious fighter sweep and try to target the bombers following behind. But he and his comrades would be waiting for them, the wolves among the lambs.
 

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February 13, 1959
Off the coast of Biak at 40,000 feet


Captain Cas Baas said a brief prayer of thanks for that wonderful invention known as radar. Thanks to the radar on the island, and the Indonesians flying at such a high altitude, they'd had more than enough time to climb above the enemy formation and position themselves in a near perfect ambush to dive on them out of the sun. He could see the formation below him. And he could see fighters mixed in with the bombers. So the Indonesians expected them to target the second group instead of the first? Smart. But he and the men with him were smarter.

There were a dozen big lumbering bombers down there and he was under strict orders that every round he fired had better hit one. The fighters couldn't hurt the base, the bombers could. Over the radio he heard his squadron CO call out the orders: "On my mark, attack in pairs. Stay in formation and don't try to tangle with their fighters. Good luck lads, I'll see you all back on the ground. Mark."

The first pair winged over into their dives followed by the next two, then his pair. By that time he was too concerned with what was happening in front of him to care whether the last pair had followed. With his engines screaming, he pushed his Meteor to the edge of it's envelope. He'd already armed his guns before starting his dive and he waited as his target started to fill his gunsight. They were maneuvering now, jinking and turning, trying to throw off the attacking fighter's aim. But he would not be denied. His finger caressed the trigger and he felt the reassuring thunder of his guns as they spat out shells. Bellow him, sparks flashed from the wings of a bomber before the port wing folded up and collapsed, sending the bomber spiraling out of control.

Cas didn't even get the chance to celebrate his victory as tracers flashed past his cockpit. Snap rolling to the right on pure instinct, an Indonesian MiG flashed past. Jesus, that was close, he thought! Putting his head on a swivel, he brought his old fighter around in as tight a turn as he dared at this altitude. He wanted another bomber. Instead he heard a frantic, "Five, break left!"

Throwing his pane onto its wing he tried to escape whatever was coming at him. He was nearly too late. He felt his bird shudder as two shells slammed into his right wingtip. A quick glance at his instruments told him everything was still working. Another half second and those shells would have done a lot more than put a couple holes in his wing.

A MiG rolled across his nose and a half second burst sent a dozen shells into its belly. But whether he damaged or destroyed it, he couldn't be sure. Trying to check would kill him. He needed to find the bombers, but the fighters were keeping him occupied. Finally, he glimpsed them, and he rolled to intercept. But half of the first wave of Indonesian fighters had turned back towards them. And they would reach him before he reached the bombers. A sense of rage and shame at his failure to stop the bombers started to burn in him. He turned back into the furball, knowing it was his only option.
 

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February 13, 1959
Furball over the Ceram Sea


Major Saleh Basarah's cockpit was filled with the sound of his curses. He knew what to expect, where to look for them and how they would attack and still the fucking Dutch had shredded their formation. The first pair of fighters had flashed through before anyone could react and claimed a pair of bombers. The second pair had nearly as free of a ride and claimed one bomber destroyed and another damaged for their efforts. The third pair's attack had been partially disrupted with only a single bomber hit, though that one had gone down in flames. The fourth pair hadn't even damaged one of the bombers and one of them had been shot down by his wingman.

He was on the hunt for blood now. Three precious bombers had been lost and a fourth damaged. A full third of their strike force damaged or destroyed in seconds. The Dutch would pay for this. He had sent a few rounds at the lead ship in the third pair that dove on them before they were past, but he didn't think he hit him. As he soared past the final diving Meteor, he pulled his plane over to reengage and ended up on the tail of an expertly flown Dutch fighter. He had to remind himself that he had a big speed advantage over his straight winged opponent and forced himself to throttle down a bit. He didn't want to overshoot.

Twisting and turning across the sky, he danced with the Dutch Meteor in the most beautiful ballet known to man. It was a dance of death though. Only one of them could survive this dance, and he was determined to be the one that did. Finally, he got inside the Dutch plane when its pilot let himself bleed off too much energy in a turn. Saleh grinned under his oxygen mask as his finger brushed across the trigger. A one second burst and the Meteor exploded in a million pieces as explosive shells ripped into engines and fuel tanks. That was one bomber avenged.

Swiveling his head to maintain his situational awareness, he spied a lone Dutch fighter streak away from the furball and towards where the remaining bombers continued to lumber on towards their target. No, my son, you will not be bothering them again today he thought. Pointing the nose of his F-5 at the Meteor, he was surprised to see the enemy pilot turn back into the furball. But then his eyes caught more movement as he saw half of 12 Squadron turning back towards them. Ah, the better part of valor.

Saleh glanced at his fuel gauge, did some quick mental gymnastics and lit his afterburner. The kick as it lit off pushed him deep into his ejection seat. He would steal in behind the Dutch and make a fast, slashing attack and be gone before the other pilot ever knew what hit him. He just about had his shot lined up when felt his plane shudder from what he knew was a hit and he was forced to abandon his attack just to survive.

Going totally defensive for the moment, Saleh sent his plane into a dazzling display of aerobatics while he wondered where the fuck his wingman had gone and why he hadn't warned him of the approaching fighter. During one particular maneuver, when he was upside down, he glimpsed what looked like an F-5 falling towards the ocean far below. His wingman? He couldn't be sure. But whoever he was, Saleh avenged him. A Meteor, its pilot intent on his own hunt failed to see him and blundered across his nose. A second of gunfire as he flashed past and the Meteor was falling, wreathed in smoke and flames.

His own dogged pursuer was falling behind as Saleh used his speed advantage for everything it was worth. When he turned again, he could see only a single Dutch plane, limping towards Biak, smoke trailing from one of its engines. Surely this was not it? The Dutch must have more than a single obsolete squadron out here. Not that it would matter to him. The combat and the few seconds of afterburner he had used meant he had to start for home now if he didn't wish to swim part of the way.

When his squadron and their sister formed up again, Saleh counted noses and he was shocked at what he saw. Of the twenty-four F-5s that took to the air only an hour or so ago, he counted only ten. His commanding officer's was not among them. Several pilots reported damage that ranged from major to minor. He would need to alert search and rescue for those planes and pilots that would be unable to make it back.
 

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February 13, 1959
Over Biak


Shells burst all around them and sent shivers and shudders through the bomber as the formation made its bomb run. Though the technology had changed, the sight would not have been unfamiliar to the Eighth Air Force's bomb wings. Of the twelve planes that had began the mission, nine remained, and one of those was so heavily damaged it was certain not to make it back. It was amazing that it was still in the air at all. But there it was, in formation with its bomb bay doors swinging open with all the rest.

With a shudder, the four 250 kilogram bombs dropped free of their shackles to begin their long descent to the ground below. The bombs were not the only things falling. The increased drag and the wind ripping into the damaged bomber was too much for its tattered airframe to endure and the aircraft broke apart and began to fall to the earth. One, two, three parachutes blossomed from the stricken bomber, but no more. The bombs should be hitting any moment now.
 

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February 13, 1959
Over the Ceram Sea


Cas Baas had thrown himself fully into the fight after turning back into the furball and he claimed one more MiG shot down with another damaged. But it wasn't enough. The Indonesians had put three times as many fighters into the air as they had been able to. He had finally turned to run when he couldn't see any more friendly planes in the sky.

There were eight of us this morning. Now there's only me. He couldn't dwell on that, not if he wanted to survive. His machine needed all his attention. He'd been hit in the wings again and one of the hits had fodded his starboard engine. It was trailing smoke, but so far it hadn't burst into flames. The sluggish way his plane responded to his control inputs told him that the control cables were likely damaged as well.

He didn't know how many planes they had shot down, all he knew was that they had gotten the worst of it. Seven planes shot down, only God knows if their pilots were able to punch out in time. He called the airfield on the radio to warn them that he was coming in damaged but there was no reply. He tried again. And again. And again. But still, the radio remained silent. An icy ball of dread began to form in his stomach. Did he even have an airfield to return to?
 

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February 13, 1959
Mokmer Airfield, Biak, West New Guinea


It was long minutes before anyone dared poke their head out of the slit trench that had been dug as an improvised bomb shelter. After the thunder of the exploding bombs, the base seemed eerily quiet. The alarm klaxon still sounded and the crackle of flames could be heard, but it still felt silent for all of that. That's when he could hear the moans and screams beginning.

The squadron maintenance officer climbed from his shelter and knocked some of the loose dirt from his uniform. Nearly forty bombs had hit the airfield. The control tower had taken a direct hit and was nothing more than a pile of rubble, one of the aircraft shelters had been hit as well. Fortunately, it had been empty at the time. Spying a jeep that appeared undamaged, he ran over to it and jumped in. He had to check the runway. If that had been damaged...

While he raced over the ground his eyes took in all that would need to be repaired. The airfield had been hit badly. From behind an explosion rumbled. Risking a glance, he saw a white hot fireball rising and cursed. One of the fuel dumps had gone up. He tried to recall which it was. He thought that one only held avgas for the base's Neptunes, but he wasn't sure. The main tank farm appeared to be undamaged. When he reached the runway, he retched in horror. It had taken two direct hits, one about a third of the way down, the other at about the halfway point.

That was when he heard the roar of a jet coming towards him. He looked up almost in panic before recognizing it as a Meteor. The pilot was coming in low and slow, trying to eyeball the runway. As it passed him, he heard a different note to the plane's engines. One was plainly spewing black smoke, but even the other sounded off. He would have waved the pilot off if he could, but already the stricken fighter was lowering his landing gear and turning to line up on the undamaged half of the runway.

The pilot set his plane down right on the edge of the runway in what looked to be an astounding feat of airmanship. But just as he set down, his starboard landing gear collapsed and the plane went into a ground loop and started to skid. He started to run towards the stricken plane along with everyone that had watched. Some men had fire extinguishers in their hands, some men had nothing at all. But they all ran to the same place.
The pilot must have been the luckiest man alive because his plane didn't immediately burst into flames when he crashed. He was pulled from the wreckage of his fighter coughing and retching from the smoke, but appeared to be otherwise unharmed. While the maintenance officer could only wonder what would happen now, he did know that his country was at war. And he knew who had won that war's first two battles.
 

Archibald

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Mig-15s vs Meteors - with the Dutch putting a valiant fight if not desperate. I loved every single word of it !
In the end however: Indonesia - Netherlands: 3 - 0

BRING THE HAWKER HUNTERS !!! And those pesky MiG-15s will suffer accordingly.
 

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Mig-15s vs Meteors - with the Dutch putting a valiant fight if not desperate. I loved every single word of it !
In the end however: Indonesia - Netherlands: 3 - 0

BRING THE HAWKER HUNTERS !!! And those pesky MiG-15s will suffer accordingly.
MiG-17s actually. The Shenyang F-5 is a license built MiG-17. So on paper, a match for the Hawker Hunter. I tried showing that the Dutch were the better trained force and they had the advantage of a radar guided intercept. But they were still outnumbered 3:1 by fighters and the Indonesians were trained enough that they weren't helpless in the air. But the Dutch still managed a 2:1 kill ratio
 

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Mig-17s vs Meteors... I feel bad for the Dutch pilots.
They actually did really well all things considered. As a rule, the Dutch pilots were better trained with a lot more time in the air, both in total and in type. But they were so heavily outnumbered, and some of the Indonesian pilots were every bit as good as them that, even though they shot down 18 aircraft, they still lost every last one of their operational fighters.
 

lordroel

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Mig-15s vs Meteors - with the Dutch putting a valiant fight if not desperate. I loved every single word of it !
In the end however: Indonesia - Netherlands: 3 - 0

BRING THE HAWKER HUNTERS !!! And those pesky MiG-15s will suffer accordingly.
That will take time, time the Netherlands does not have.
 

GTX

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Mig-15s vs Meteors - with the Dutch putting a valiant fight if not desperate. I loved every single word of it !
In the end however: Indonesia - Netherlands: 3 - 0

BRING THE HAWKER HUNTERS !!! And those pesky MiG-15s will suffer accordingly.
That will take time, time the Netherlands does not have.
Maybe they will need to call upon regional allies...
 

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Mig-15s vs Meteors - with the Dutch putting a valiant fight if not desperate. I loved every single word of it !
In the end however: Indonesia - Netherlands: 3 - 0

BRING THE HAWKER HUNTERS !!! And those pesky MiG-15s will suffer accordingly.
That will take time, time the Netherlands does not have.
Maybe they will need to call upon regional allies...
Their allies don't have much in the way of combat power themselves. Australia is the best equipped, but they only have Sabres, though given the model they have, they are roughly at parity with the MiG-17. The FAA is nearly as obsolete as 322 Squadron was. The UK has the most combat power available in the immediate area, though the US is sending an entire Air Wing to the Philippines (honestly its more of a, "we're close enough to show we're interested, but far enough away to make sure we don't actually have to do anything" type deployment). A lot of firepower can be brought to bear. But does anyone actually have the will to do it?
 

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The question is: how far is the Karel Doorman, and does its sea hawks have sidewinders like they had at this time in our timeline?
 

uk 75

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The Menzies and Macmillan governments in Canberra and London in this period would have been seriously responding by building up forces in 1959.
RAF Javelins and Valiants to Singapore. Eagle, Ark or Hermes with Scimitars and Sea Vixens. Vulcans and Victors too.
 

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The question is: how far is the Karel Doorman, and does its sea hawks have sidewinders like they had at this time in our timeline?
The Doorman is still in the Netherlands, having recently completed her modernization. And yes, they still got their sidewinders.
The Menzies and Macmillan governments in Canberra and London in this period would have been seriously responding by building up forces in 1959.
RAF Javelins and Valiants to Singapore. Eagle, Ark or Hermes with Scimitars and Sea Vixens. Vulcans and Victors too.
Both Victorious and Ark Royal could be sent in relatively short order if needed to supplement Albion. There's also a couple of Venom fighter/bomber squadrons in the area along with a couple squadrons of Hawker Hunter fighters. They're also transferring an additional Hunter squadron into the theater. Of course, this was all before the air battle.
 

lordroel

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The Menzies and Macmillan governments in Canberra and London in this period would have been seriously responding by building up forces in 1959.
RAF Javelins and Valiants to Singapore. Eagle, Ark or Hermes with Scimitars and Sea Vixens. Vulcans and Victors too.
At this moment Indonesia is picking on the weaker of the countries that have holding surrounding them, can they go head to head with the British and would the Soviets back them in it.
 

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The Menzies and Macmillan governments in Canberra and London in this period would have been seriously responding by building up forces in 1959.
RAF Javelins and Valiants to Singapore. Eagle, Ark or Hermes with Scimitars and Sea Vixens. Vulcans and Victors too.
At this moment Indonesia is picking on the weaker of the countries that have holding surrounding them, can they go head to head with the British and would the Soviets back them in it.
Probably not, to both questions. The UK has a carrier strike group in theater, plus far more numerous assets than anyone else. And they can relatively quickly reinforce if needed. I mentioned it up thread, but the UK has up to 4 carriers all available to be sent if the need is grave enough (5 if they cancel Eagle's modernization and send her "as is"). That's a lot more firepower than the Dutch could ever hope to send. The most the Dutch can send is one carrier with an obsolete air wing (Sea Hawks for air defense and freaking TBM Avengers for strike), maybe a squadron of Hawker Hunters and a battalion of Marines for ground forces. Maybe up to a Regiment from the Army if they dip into their forces earmarked for NATO. Escalating to a general attack on British/Commonwealth forces would bring in the UK, AUS and NZ. And very likely the US would send forces into the theater as well.

Open Soviet backing in that scenario would almost certainly lead to a general NATO/WARPAC war in Europe. One that the USSR would lose once NATO decides to break out the tac nukes. A limited war against a dying colonial power half a world away is one thing. Attacking the UK is quite another.
 

lordroel

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The Menzies and Macmillan governments in Canberra and London in this period would have been seriously responding by building up forces in 1959.
RAF Javelins and Valiants to Singapore. Eagle, Ark or Hermes with Scimitars and Sea Vixens. Vulcans and Victors too.
At this moment Indonesia is picking on the weaker of the countries that have holding surrounding them, can they go head to head with the British and would the Soviets back them in it.
The most the Dutch can send is one carrier with an obsolete air wing (Sea Hawks for air defense and freaking TBM Avengers for strike), maybe a squadron of Hawker Hunters and a battalion of Marines for ground forces. Maybe up to a Regiment from the Army if they dip into their forces earmarked for NATO.
And even that will take time, especially if Egypt decides to feel sympathetic to the Indonesian cause and denies the Dutch passages to the Suez Canal.
 

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And even that will take time, especially if Egypt decides to feel sympathetic to the Indonesian cause and denies the Dutch passages to the Suez Canal.
Which, historically, they were prepared to. But the Dutch figured they would, so they never even bothered asking and just sent their ships around the Cape of Good Hope instead.
 

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That's a lot more firepower than the Dutch could ever hope to send. The most the Dutch can send is one carrier with an obsolete air wing (Sea Hawks for air defense and freaking TBM Avengers for strike), maybe a squadron of Hawker Hunters and a battalion of Marines for ground forces.

Dear God. To think a lot of European countries took a lot of critics post-1991 for massive cuts to their forces, leaving them with obsolete stuff in scarce quantity.
This is equally bad.
1959 Netherlands ! Wow.
Were they aware a Cold War was raging in ? Did they learned their lessons from the horrors of May 1940 ?
 

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That's a lot more firepower than the Dutch could ever hope to send. The most the Dutch can send is one carrier with an obsolete air wing (Sea Hawks for air defense and freaking TBM Avengers for strike), maybe a squadron of Hawker Hunters and a battalion of Marines for ground forces.

Dear God. To think a lot of European countries took a lot of critics post-1991 for massive cuts to their forces, leaving them with obsolete stuff in scarce quantity.
This is equally bad.
1959 Netherlands ! Wow.
Were they aware a Cold War was raging in ? Did they learned their lessons from the horrors of May 1940 ?
Yeah, it was honestly embarrassing. Dutch Naval Aviation was, to put it mildly, a joke. The Sea Hawks at least have Sidewinders to give them some kind of advantage, but yeah, TBF Avengers in 1959 as a front line strike option is ridiculous. Even Skyraiders would be a massive upgrade, with Skyhawks being better still.
 

lordroel

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That's a lot more firepower than the Dutch could ever hope to send. The most the Dutch can send is one carrier with an obsolete air wing (Sea Hawks for air defense and freaking TBM Avengers for strike), maybe a squadron of Hawker Hunters and a battalion of Marines for ground forces.

Dear God. To think a lot of European countries took a lot of critics post-1991 for massive cuts to their forces, leaving them with obsolete stuff in scarce quantity.
This is equally bad.
1959 Netherlands ! Wow.
Were they aware a Cold War was raging in ? Did they learned their lessons from the horrors of May 1940 ?
This is from a Dutch site about the Royal Netherlands Navy, you can see it going up and then going down.

On the left is the number of ships and of course at the below is the year.

mic-totaal-aantalschepen.jpg


And in 1960 they had this in their navy.

c997cb771e938ee06e69fa4c6847b4b9.jpg

18c33bc85839f01d7072c91c162dfcd7.jpg
 

Archibald

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That's a lot more firepower than the Dutch could ever hope to send. The most the Dutch can send is one carrier with an obsolete air wing (Sea Hawks for air defense and freaking TBM Avengers for strike), maybe a squadron of Hawker Hunters and a battalion of Marines for ground forces.

Dear God. To think a lot of European countries took a lot of critics post-1991 for massive cuts to their forces, leaving them with obsolete stuff in scarce quantity.
This is equally bad.
1959 Netherlands ! Wow.
Were they aware a Cold War was raging in ? Did they learned their lessons from the horrors of May 1940 ?
Yeah, it was honestly embarrassing. Dutch Naval Aviation was, to put it mildly, a joke. The Sea Hawks at least have Sidewinders to give them some kind of advantage, but yeah, TBF Avengers in 1959 as a front line strike option is ridiculous. Even Skyraiders would be a massive upgrade, with Skyhawks being better still.

Problems with Skyhawks: they would make Seahawk look ridiculous... even without sidewinders.

India kept its Seahawks well into the 80's, for frack sake.

Skyraiders would be awesome. And France can say for sure, from Algerian bush war ongoing experience: there are loads of them available at bargain prices.
After the Algerian war the French Skyraiders went fighting in Françafrique until 1974 (!) including in Djibouti, where they were replaced by... F-100 Super Sabres.

In passing, due to Arromanches and La Fayette inherent limits, the French Aéronavale had F4U Corsairs until 1964, when its pilots went straight to Crusaders.
Must have been one hell of a change !
 
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