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HMS Formidable
HMS Formidable

On this day 20 May 1941

Published: 20 May 2013

On this day 20 May 1941 Defence and evacuation of Crete

Battle Honour - awarded for Forces taking part in the defence and evacuation of Crete, 20 May - 1 June 1941. Awarded to FAA Squadron 805.

During the evacuation, Admiral Cunningham was determined that the "Navy must not let the Army down". When Army officers expressed concerns that he would lose too many ships, Cunningham said that "It takes three years to build a ship, it takes three centuries to build a tradition".

During the Battle for Crete, the aircraft carrier HMS Formidable was hit by two 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb) bombs that put her out of action for six months; two battleships, six cruisers and seven destroyers were badly damaged and another three cruisers and six destroyers sunk with the loss of over 2,000 men.


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