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 atolls in the Pacific Ocean that became strategically important as potential airstrips for American bombers 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 Seabees would often have to subsequently construct airstrips there from scratch—sometimes over entire atolls—quickly, in order to support air operations against Japan.
Malta and Iceland 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, and the British Isles and Japan during the Cold War, as unsinkable aircraft carriers.
In 1983, Japanese 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 described Israel as “the largest American aircraft carrier in the world that cannot be sunk”.
In arguing against the 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 Australia 400 miles west of its actual location.
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.
There are reports China is also building a “unsinkable aircraft carriers” on Spratly Island reefs
The NATO’s Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier
Cyprus is also considered NATO’s unsinkable aircraft carrier. In the below video you can see how the island of Cyprus became divided through ethnic conflict and Western intervention.
Cyprus officially called the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia. It is the third-largest and the third-most populous island in the Mediterranean, located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, north of Israel, the Palestinian region of the Gaza Strip and Egypt, and southeast of Greece.
Starting as far back as 1571 when the Ottoman conquest changed the demographics of the island, all the way up until the 1974 invasion the Greeks and the Turks of the island never quite managed to live together in harmony.
This ethnic tension was made worse by the Cold War, and Cyprus became caught up in the world of geopolitics, in which it occupies an incredibly strategic position.
A United Nations peacekeeping force has been operating in Cyprus for over 50 years – the longest-running UN force of all time. Nicosia is the last divided capital city in the world.
As of yet, all attempts and negotiations to solve the dispute have failed. One can only hope that the situation is solved sooner rather than later, and without any further violence.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India is an unsinkable aircraft-carrier.