Re: A traditional point of view
'1: She hadn't finished working up when she ran aground;
2: Arriving with less than 24 hours to spare to fuel up, carry out whatever repairs were needed; restock stores, etc.
3: Sea Hurricanes and Fulmars were dead meat to any escorting Zeros - which would have been present had the Japanese detected a carrier at the same time they detected Repulse and the PoW - even Spitfires with Battle of Britain veteran pilots later had great trouble with the Zero.'
1. And Victorious hadn't started working up when she went to engage the Bismarck. Indomitable wasn't particular worked up when she faced the Japanese the following year.
2. I presume as Indomitable's running aground was known about before Prince of Wales had left Freetown on the 7th the subsequent sailing from Cape Town wasn't delayed for a rendezvous that wasn't going to happen. Certainly the details of her war service indicate it was the intention to join Force Z up until her grounding http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-04CV-Indomitable.htm
3. In a pure fighter vs fighter engagement it wouldn't be great for the Hurricane and Fulmar, but considering PoW was essentially crippled by one torpedo hit on a prop anything they could do to break up the raids would have helped. Nor does it detract from my original argument that the RN were unaware of the dangers of ships being without air cover, they were they just didn't have any to spare for Force Z.