Two Shōkaku-class aircraft carriers, Shōkaku and Zuikaku, were
commissioned by the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. They
participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Indian Ocean Raid, and
the battles of the Coral Sea, the Eastern Solomons, and the Santa Cruz
Islands. Their air groups sank two of the four fleet carriers lost by
the United States Navy during the war in addition to one elderly British
light carrier. Returning to Japan after the Battle of the Coral Sea to
repair damage and replace lost aircraft, they missed the Battle of
Midway in June 1942. After the catastrophic loss of four carriers during
that battle, they formed the bulk of Japan’s carrier force for the rest
of the war. Shōkaku was sunk by an American submarine during the Battle
of the Philippine Sea in June 1944 as the Americans invaded the Mariana
Islands, and Zuikaku was sacrificed as part of a decoy force four months
later in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, both with heavy loss of life.
Historian Mark Peattie called them “arguably the best aircraft carriers”
of the early 1940s.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
Swedish rebel and later national hero Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson
was assassinated in the midst of his rebellion against Eric of
Ferdinand VII abolished the Spanish Constitution of 1812,
returning Spain to absolutism.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish Catholic fraternal
organization, was founded in New York City.
Second World War: Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery accepted the
unconditional surrender of the German forces in the Netherlands,
northwest Germany, and Denmark.
Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of the
United Kingdom, following the defeat of James Callaghan’s incumbent
Labour government in the previous day’s general election.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
1. (usually figuratively) One who walks in the sky.
2. (specifically) A member of the Mohawk group of Native Americans;
especially one who is or was involved in steelworking on tall buildings
in New York City.
3. (by extension from the previous) Any ironworker working at a height.
4. One who walks along a skywalk or skyway.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The foundation of morality is to have done, once and for all, with
lying; to give up pretending to believe that for which there is no
evidence, and repeating unintelligible propositions about things beyond
the possibilities of knowledge.
–T. H. Huxley
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