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EvyL

HMS Unicorn (I72)

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I'm not really that fond of carriers but there are those that oftentimes catches one's eye. Gonna revert back to the badpost mode.

This carrier actually caught my eye as its one of the unique ships out there and why not badpost the thing?

 

I PRESENT TO YOU HMS UNICORN (I72)

 

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oops wrong Unicorn

 

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... close enough...

 

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THIS carrier. HUEG ISLAND

 

Why the Brits would use a mythical horse-like animal for a name when they have Greek heroes and words like "Illustrious" is beyond me lmao

 

In the 30's, nobody ever really expected that the carrier would be a very absurd yet effective thing in naval slugfests, but when aircraft tech started evolving and the WNT prevented any battleships that were worth the risk of skirting the damn rules, it was clear that the carrier would be very necessary. It came to two thoughts that prevailed at most in regards to force projection: the battleship IS the force and the carrier can project battleship force ANYWHERE, and the Brits were kinda moderate in both camps, partly because they had gun ships and also they were slowly churning out carriers. It ain't really helping that British carriers weren't exactly fast and you know as well as they did that a carrier's force projection need her to put planes in the air and you can't just simply order that carrier that locked down a good chunk of sector back to port for more planes if they were lost and someone had a very brilliant idea: if the carrier cant reach the stuff she needs, then the stuff should reach the carrier. And repair the messed up planes in situ after delivery of replacement or spare aircraft. And with a flight deck so damaged planes that cant land in their mother carrier can land there. Basically a floating aircraft depot and repair ship for such stuff.

 

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I mean it looks like a light carrier, not something that has a workshop on deck to be lugging around planes all day long and eventually repairing them on-site

 

Cue the sound of tea being poured into a cup.

 

The Unicorn could pack about 33 planes in her wing and 80 in her bays and could run at 24 kts, had a very modest AA suite of a pair of 4.5 inch DP guns, some Oerlikons and 2 pdr guns to poke her with something to fight back with early warning radar and HACS (High Angle Control System) in the (unlikely) event of planes getting past the CAP and the escorts' AA suites. Aircraft she on in her WW2 life were Seafires, Fireflies, Swordfishes, Sea Hurricanes and Barracudas. She also had repair facilities aboard so if any aircraft isn't that messed up that she really needs to lug it back to base, she can make it work so meaning that having her around is a total godsend to a carrier task force.

 

NOTE: just because the Unicorn could overall carry nearly 120 planes, most of those aint hers since she's just there to drop it off in a supplying port or link up with the carriers to replace the ones they lost from enemy gunfire or some derp like ditching or deck accidents (if you think deck work was easy on carriers regardless of nation, think again). The only planes she has is those 33 planes in her wing.

 

About the carrier....

While she was still in the slipway, it was somewhat decided that she wouldn't have her full repair suite aboard because reasons and as she was intended to be, this carrier isn't supposed to be doing carrier duties despite her looks being practically a light carrier as proven on the lolwatwai's that happened during Salerno. Do note that her deck can enable planes to land rather than ditch if they were damaged and the carrier was nearby, but its another story altogether if you ask the lumpy thing to keep spamming planes like her colleagues. And here's the bit about them Seafires: while the Spitfire it was derived from was an excellent fighter whose only drawback was the range it had, the Seafire was sort of that... and it wasn't really made for carrier ops. REALLY. While having not that much trouble aboard big carriers like the Illustrious, putting the damn things on Unicorn was pretty much screams of "OH NO!" all around.

 

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Because line drawings are nice

 

The Unicorn was planned in 1939 but got pushed back in favor of more pressing ships to finish which had her with a late start as she was sort of done in 1941 and was fully ready at 1943, with delivery runs her forte as well as being the standby and support carrier for the few fleet carriers the UK had. Then came Salerno where she had to be one of the supporting air power in the area since the Regia Aeronautica still had really good fighters being aggressive... and derp started to happen as her limits of being a support and repair carrier came out. Launching repaired planes is one thing, behaving as a light carrier is another... and she had a lot of Seafire accidents and ditches that had contributed to the depletion of fighters in the area that two carriers had to be moved in to Unicorn's location just to provide fighter support. Then finally she was refitted and repaired as per her original duty: repair and service, and headed out to the East along with others led by the battlecruiser Renown.

 

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Interestingly, Illustrious was always there for this carrier. She was the respondents when Unicorn was having Seafire trouble at Salerno and she accompanied the carrier to the East. this is why she is her big sister

 

In the East, she pretty much excelled at what she was intended to do, prepping and repairing a crapload of aircraft during the stint of the group moving around in there while delivering planes as well as materiel, was nearby when Japan decided to surrender and eventually saw her days in reserve and eventually scrapping after the Korean War after a hectic day of saving planes, getting adopted by an army unit that she saved, and also running to save a light carrier colleague.

 

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I herd some liek lil sister types~

 

In-game wise, Unicorn will likely be as-is in 1943 but with a really small wing of 33 planes which the planes would likely be: a wing with 4 Seafires or Fireflies, a wing with 5 Barracudas that can be either torpedo or dive bomber or perhaps even both. The chances for Unicorn to work will likely bank on her being the British equivalent of the Saipan at her tier or enable her to repair her squadrons which means if the planes are severely damaged but are not shot down, they will still fly out at full health but this is just conjecture as carriers are still in the process of rework.

 

Derp.exe is now over

 

 

Edited by EvyL

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