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An interesting contrast between the damage to the flight decks of USS Bunker Hill (top) and HMS Formidable (bottom) after 550lb-bomb-carrying Kamikaze hits amidships.

On Bunker Hill, the exploding bomb and burning fuel killed 389 and put the carrier out of action for four months. On Formidable, the exploding bomb and burning fuel killed nine and put the carrier out of action for six hours. America’s Midway-class aircraft carriers which entered service in late 1945, did so with armoured flight decks.

Winston Churchill on the stern of the British battleship HMS Duke of York in August 1941. On the 9th of that month Duke of York had pulled into Placentia Bay on the southeast coast of Newfoundland, Canada. There the ship in the background, USS Augusta, was waiting with U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In America the press and public were told he was on a ten day fishing trip. This was the first of eleven wartime meetings between Churchill and Roosevelt.

As Duke of York had crossed through a vicious Atlantic storm Churchill passed the time drafting the Atlantic Charter. It detailed the goals and aims of the Allied powers concerning the war (which America had not yet joined) and the post-war world. It’s an interesting thing that in those bleak days Churchill had already grown sure of eventual victory. The Atlantic Charter became the basis of the United Nations, with Britain and America effectively vowing to succeed where the League of Nations had so clearly failed. Roosevelt warmed to Churchill, becoming far less opportunistic in his aid to Britain and evermore an ally.