An unsinkable aircraft carrier is a term sometimes used to refer to a geographical or political island
that is used to extend the power projection
of a military force. Because such an entity is capable of acting as an airbase
and is a physical landmass not easily destroyed, it is, in effect, an immobile aircraft carrier
that cannot be sunk.
The term ''unsinkable aircraft carrier'' first appeared during World War II
, to describe the islands and atoll
s in the Pacific Ocean
that became strategically important as potential airstrips for American bomber
s in their transoceanic war against Japan
. To this end, the US military engaged in numerous island hopping operations
to oust the occupying Japanese forces from such islands; the US Navy Seabee
s would often have to subsequently construct airstrips there from scratch—sometimes over entire atolls—quickly, in order to support air operations against Japan.
were sometimes described as unsinkable aircraft carriers during World War II
, making Malta a target
of the Axis powers
. The US military is said to have considered Taiwan
since the Chinese Civil War
, the British Isles
and Japan during the Cold War
, as unsinkable aircraft carriers. In 1983, Japan
ese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone
pledged to make Japan an "unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Pacific
", assisting the US in defending against the threat of Soviet
bombers. US Secretary of State
General Alexander Haig
as "the largest American aircraft carrier in the world that cannot be sunk".
In arguing against production of the CVA-01
aircraft carriers, the Royal Air Force
claimed that Australia
could serve adequately in the same role, using false maps that placed Singapore 400 miles closer to Australia.
The island of Cyprus is also often described as an unsinkable aircraft carrier, in relation to the military presence of the United Kingdom there.
During the Second World War, the United Kingdom
gave some serious thought to building virtually unsinkable aircraft carriers from ice reinforced with sawdust (Project Habakkuk
). A model was made, and serious consideration was given to the project, with a design displacing 2.2 million tons and accommodating 150 twin-engined bombers on the drawing board, but it was never produced.
*Andaman and Nicobar Islands
*Mobile offshore base
*Spratly Islands dispute
*Tinian in World War II
*Territorial disputes in the South China Sea
Category:Political science terminology