The Battle of the Coral Sea 1942: The First Aircraft Carrier Battle in History
BLUFHow the Battle of the Coral Sea unfolded without real time ISR to inform decision making.
From a maritime perspective, the Battle of the Coral Sea, is important for numerous reasons however, most notably is its carrier engagements and that it was one of the first naval battles in which ships did not rely on line of sight, nor direct engagement with each other to conduct the battle. Signals intelligence provided information on how the Japanese intended to take Port Moresby and Japan's fleet was spotted by an Australian Air Force Catalina. Therefore, as a result, neither side had real time intelligence to go on to understand each others' movements. How did these naval forces function? They relied on the kinetic actions of air power to report visual sightings of the ships, an old take on a contemporary air power role - ISR. In our world of 'liquid surveillance' (Bauman, 2013) and with UAV capabilities like Triton conducting high altitude, long haul surveillance, could Australia ever see a repeat and be approached undetected?