[Daily article] August 17: HMS Formidable (67)

HMS Formidable was an Illustrious-class aircraft carrier ordered for the
Royal Navy before World War II. Transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet
as a replacement for the crippled sister ship Illustrious, Formidable’s
aircraft played a key role in the Battle of Cape Matapan in early 1941,
then provided cover for Allied ships and attacked Axis forces until the
carrier was badly damaged by German dive bombers in May. Assigned to the
Eastern Fleet in the Indian Ocean in early 1942, the carrier covered the
invasion of Diego Suarez in Vichy Madagascar in mid-1942 against the
possibility of a sortie by the Japanese into the Indian Ocean. The ship
participated in Operation Torch, the invasion of French North Africa, in
November, and covered the invasions of Sicily and mainland Italy in
1943. Formidable made several attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz
in Norway with the Home Fleet in mid-1944, and in 1945 attacked targets
in the Japanese Home Islands. After repatriating liberated Allied
prisoners of war and soldiers and ferrying British personnel across the
globe, the ship was placed in reserve, and finally sold for scrap in
1953.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

986:

Byzantine–Bulgarian Wars: The Bulgarians defeated the
Byzantine forces at the Gate of Trajan near present-day Ihtiman, with
Byzantine Emperor Basil II barely escaping.

1560:

The Scottish Parliament adopted a Protestant confession of
faith to initiate the Scottish Reformation and disestablishing
Catholicism as the national religion.

1943:

Second World War: The Royal Air Force began a strategic bombing
campaign against Nazi Germany’s V-weapon programme by attacking the
Peenemünde Army Research Center.

1980:

Two-month-old Australian Azaria Chamberlain was taken from her
family’s campsite at Uluru by a dingo, for which her mother was later
convicted of murder.

2008:

With the victory in the 4×100 m medley relay at the Beijing
Summer Olympics, Michael Phelps set the records for the most gold medals
won by an individual in a single Olympics (8) as well as total career
gold medals (14) in modern Olympic history.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

stevedore:
A dockworker involved in loading and unloading cargo.

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

  We now give more serious weight to the words of a country’s poets
than to the words of its politicians — though we know the latter may
interfere more drastically with our lives. Religions, ideologies,
mercantile competition divide us. The essential solidarity of the very
diverse poets of the world, besides being mysterious fact is one we can
be thankful for, since its terms are exclusively those of love,
understanding and patience. It is one of the few spontaneous guarantees
of possible unity that mankind can show, and the revival of an appetite
for poetry is like a revival of an appetite for all man’s saner
possibilities, and a revulsion from the materialist cataclysms of recent
years and the worse ones which the difference of nations threatens for
the years ahead.  
–Ted Hughes

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