Aircraft over HMS Furious Postcard

As part of the post-World War I peace treaties to prevent a new naval arms race, the number of battleships and battlecruisers a nation was allowed to possess was highly regulated and many older ships had to be scrapped to meet these targets. For newer ships and those not yet completed there was an opportunity to convert them into a new type of vessel- the aircraft carrier. Experiments during World War One had proven that air power was the weapon of the future and the Royal Navy converted three battlecruisers, HMS Glorious, HMS Courageous and HMS Furious, into three large and for the time modern aircraft carriers. These vessels were to prove to be of far more utility to the navy than three more battlecruisers would have been and all three vessels remained in service at the outbreak of World War II, although it must be said they were looking rather outdated by this point! Today’s postcard depicts one of these early generation aircraft carriers, HMS Furious, in the late 1930s:

The origin’s of HMS Furious are very clear from her unusual shape, the bow clearly betraying that she was originally a battle cruiser and not an aircraft carrier. She was originally designed to allow aircraft to fly off from either the top deck, or the lower deck and the large tower to one side of the flight deck had not yet become standard practice:

Flying over the ship is an Avro Anson  which was introduced into service, dating this postcard to the late 1930s (1938 if the numbers in the corner of the card are a date):

HMS Furious was an outdated ship by the Second World War so she was used for ferrying aircraft and training wherever possible, freeing up more modern carriers to carry the brunt of operational service. She was scrapped in 1948 as part of the post-World War II drawdown of naval forces.

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