The Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) origins were as the Naval Wing of the Royal Flying Corps in April 1912, but did not become a separate service until 1 July 1914. Its members created a dedicated arm of the Royal Navy with the intention of operating aircraft in support of the Fleet. On the outbreak of war in August 1914, the service expanded to include service on land, initially in support of the Royal Naval Division in Belgium, later providing support to the RFC and as one of the early practitioners of strategic bombing. However, The RNAS and the Birth of the Aircraft Carrier 1914-1918 traces the development and operational use of aircraft serving with the Fleet. It follows the selection and training of personnel and the struggle to produce suitable aircraft and weapons, including the evolution of the aircraft carrier.
The RNAS and the Birth of the Aircraft Carrier 1914-1918
How the RNAS developed air operations at sea leading to the successful aircraft carrier operations.The constant thread throughout the narrative is the operational history of the RNAS over the North Sea with both the Grand Fleet and Harwich Force. Commencing over Cuxhaven on Christmas Day 1914 and ending with two pivotal operations which determined the future of naval aviation, these pivotal operations dictated seaborne warfare to the present day.