Air Bombers rule the Waves To-day



Air Bombers rule the Waves To-day


An article written by Major J. G Struthers. He argues against the practicality of large battleships which can easily be destroyed by aeroplane, fast torpedo boats and submarines. He suggests that money would be better spent on aircraft and submarines than battleships.





One newspaper cutting on a scrapbook page


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AIR BOMBERS rule the Waves To-Day

The famous Wright aeroplane, with its engine of only 12 horse-power, which heralded the Air Age.

Who contributes this article, was one of the most successful of British war-time air aces.

Decorated in 1917 after 2,000 hours’ flying, he spent most of his time locating and destroying from the air enemy submarines. He writes with unrivalled knowledge of the vulnerability of surface and under-sea craft in air attack.

THAT one of the most wonderful creations of science, manned by the finest personnel in the world, the battleship, should be doomed is a tragedy.
The fact, however, must be faced and our losses cut at once. She has had her day, and a glorious one it has been, but the decline that began in 1914 has been rapid, and now the battleship is one of our greatest liabilities.
All surface vessels are vulnerable to attack from three dimensions : the air ; below the surface ; and on the surface – the danger being in the order given. The larger the vessel the more vulnerable to attack, and the mere venturing forth in war time of such a vast and costly fortress as a battleship is attended by such varied dangers as to be a nightmare to those responsible for her safety.

[underlined] Escape Impossible [/underlined]
ONCE the battleship was supreme ; now, relays of aircraft carrying tons of bombs and aerial torpedoes, super-speed skiffs capable of 75 knots and carrying torpedoes, and submarines would be on her track, each of them capable of sending the £7,000,000 masterpiece to the bottom. Escape from them all would be impossible.
What are you doing ? We continue to spend many millions on big ships while starving our vital defence, the air arm.


Major JG Struthers, “Air Bombers rule the Waves To-day,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 20, 2024,

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