Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Controversial naval incidents on June 8ths

The eighth of June was an unlucky day for a couple of ships.

The doomed HMS Glorious photographed from the Scharnhorst
On June 8, 1940 the British aircraft carrier HMS Glorious was caught unprepared by the German battlecruiser duo Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Although escorted by a couple of destroyers, the carrier's main defensive weapon, its aircraft were unprepared and the British force was destroyed with heavy loss of life.

The USS Little Rock assists the crippled USS Liberty

27 years later it was the USS Liberty, an intelligence gathering converted Liberty Ship, that was dogged with bad luck when it was mistakenly (or so it is claimed, some doubt it was a mistake) by Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats during the Six-day War -- again with heavy loss of life, although the ship did not sink.
Both incidents were controversial at the time and have remained so. Even now survivors of the USS Liberty demand a proper investigation, although it seems clear that neither the U.S. government nor Israels are interested.

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