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3 Comments | Vintage
Thanks to their armored flight decks, British fleet carriers were able to withstand kamikaze attacks quite well, only having to announce "sweepers, man your brooms" after the attack (or so the joke went at the time.) US fleet carriers had wooden flight decks (easily penetrated by bombs and kamikazes) with armored hangar decks (lack of an armored flight deck allowed for twice the size air groups compared to the British carriers.) Of course, the devil was in the details. US carriers took horrific damage from kamikazes but survived to fight another day – after months of repairs, however.
British carriers were beasts and in fact only one was sunk by aircraft in during the war almost all were brought down by torpedos. In fact as many were sunk by catastrophic mechanical issues as by aircraft.
[The Senior Medical Officer wrote:
At the time of the explosion I was making my way forward on the Boat Deck and was just aft of P3 pompom. An enormous sheet of flame extended some ten feet over the port side of the ship and fragments of aircraft passed overhead. The hot blast was distinctly felt, and I ran forward to the sickbay and arrived there just as the first casualties were arriving. Walking in front of me was a man with the back of his shirt smouldering and I patted out the flame with my flash gloves. Within a short while the sickbay was crowded with injured men. There were a few sick men in cots and they were turned out to make room for the more seriously injured. All cots in the sickbay were soon occupied and there were injured men lying in corners and in the gangway.](https://youtu.be/9FjwzPkagFU?t=142)
edit: from excellent write up here