HMS Hood, Battle Cruiser, 1920


Warships of the Royal Navy Steam 1892-1917

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HMS Hood was the last battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy. It was known she suffered from limitations, but the advent of World War II postponed the upgrades she required. Hood had been built at a time when enemy shells came in low and hit a ship near the water line. But in 1941 shells were more likely to arch across the sky and fall onto the upper decks. The decks of the Hood had not been reinforced and therein lay its weak spot. She spent the first months of the war patrolling between Iceland and the Norwegian Sea. She was later involved in the destruction of the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir. In 1941, from Scapa Floe, she and HMS Prince of Wales were dispatched to intercept the German battleship Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prince Eugen that were attempting to break out from the Baltic into the Atlantic to raid allied shipping. During the Battle of the Denmark Strait (between Iceland and Greenland) Hood was hit in her aft magazine by a shell from Bismarck shortly after 06:00 on 24th May 1942. She exploded immediately and broke in half sinking within 3 minutes with the loss of all but three of her 1418 crew. The engagement was the first of a series over the next three days. As Bismarck approached the shelter of the French coast she was crippled by a torpedo from a Swordfish biplane off HMS Ark Royal after which heavy damage was inflicted by other ships of the Royal Navy with Bismarck sinking some 400 miles west of Brest on 27th May 1941.

Additional information

Weight 0.023 kg
Dimensions 44.5 × 33.8 cm