During the Norwegian campaign there was one brilliantly successful but now almost forgotten exploit by the Fleet Air Arm. On 10th April 1940 Skua dive-bombers flying from the Orkneys sank the German cruiser Konigsberg in Bergen harbour. Although this was the first time a major warship had been sunk by air attack, the word appeared to fall on stony ground in the Admiralty. Skuas were withdrawn from operations in early 1941 and thereafter the Fleet Air Arm had no specialist dive-bomber until the unsatisfactory Barracuda in 1943. But for the Germans and the Japanese the attack on Konigsberg was a textbook demonstration and later in the war both showed that they had read, marked, learned, and inwardly digested the lessen of.
In significant measure the Royal Navy’s inability to secure the initiative in the North Sea reflected the failure of the Royal Air Force to prepare for maritime war. The experience of 1914-18 had demonstrated that aircraft had a major role in naval warfare, in reconnaissance, anti-surface, anti-submarine strike, and fleet air defence, but the Royal Air Force did not develop effective aircraft or weapons between the wars. This was most significant in the field of ASW, where the standard patrol aircraft of 1939, the Anson, was less effective, in range and weapons, than the 1918 Kangaroo.