HMS Hood

The Ship

HMS Hood, built by John Brown, launched 22/8/1918,was laid down in 1916 in response to Germany's Mackensen-class battlecruisers, none of which was ever commissioned. Although Hood's design was modified in light of the loss of the battlecruisers HMS Queen Mary, Indefatigable, and Invincible (flagship of Rear Admiral Sir Horace Hood) at Jutland, and she was modernized twice, her magazine protection remained one of her weak spots and she carried only 3-inch deck armor. Throughout the 1920s Hood was assigned to either the Atlantic or Home Fleets, and she completed a ten-month world cruise with Renown in 1923. In 1929 she began a two-year refit. After duty with the Mediterranean Fleet in 1936, she underwent a brief refit in early 1939 before returning to the Home Fleet.

After the outbreak of World War II, Hood saw action in a variety of theaters, including the North Sea, the chase of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, and convoy duty. Hood was in the attack on the French fleet at the Battle of Mers el-Kébir on July 3, 1940, and then returned to the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow. On May 22, 1941, Hood (Captain R. Kerr) sailed as the flagship of Vice Admiral L. E. Holland's Battle Cruiser Force, which included HMS Prince of Wales and six destroyers, to intercept the German battleship Bismarck and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. The four heavy units made visual contact at 0537 on May 24, and Hood opened fire fifteen minutes later. Bismarck and Prinz Eugen scored hits on Hood and at 0600 there was a massive explosion; the ship split in two and sank four minutes later. Prince of Wales quickly broke off the engagement, and destroyers later picked up three survivors from a total complement of 1,418 men. One of the largest warships in the world, Hood was destroyed exactly one week shy of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Battle of Jutland, the lessons of which had been so consciously applied to her design. Although a number of theories about the exact cause of her loss have been advanced, it is widely believed that plunging fire from Bismarck penetrated her weak deck armor to ignite one of her magazines.

My Postcards

Postally used 7 Sep 1926.
Postcard series: E. T. W. Dennis & Sons Ltd.


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