In Memoriam – HMS Hood

Today is a solemn anniversary which surprisingly hasn’t been marked in the media. On this day 75 years ago, i.e. 24th May 1941, the Royal Navy battlecruiser HMS Hood was sunk by the German Battleship Bismarck in the Battle of the Denmark Strait. Of a ship’s complement of 1418 only three survived the sinking of HMS Hood; it was one of the greatest maritime disasters of the Second World War. I’m not one for dwelling excessively on the past, but I think it’s a shame this event has not been better remembered. We owe a lot to people like the 1415 who gave their lives that day, so I’m glad I remembered in time to pay my respects.

image

4 Responses to “In Memoriam – HMS Hood”

  1. Bryn Jones Says:

    No, I hadn’t heard anything about this anniversary in the media, although perhaps less attention is being given to the 75th anniversaries of events in the Second World War at present because of the awareness of 100th anniversaries of events in the First World War.

  2. Anton Garrett Says:

    Gone inside five minutes. A shocking event.

  3. Grandson of Jim Says:

    71 of whom were ships boys, some as young as 15. For almost 10 years my grandfather has been working to ensure that they are not forgotten: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/defence/tribute-to-boy-sailors-who-died-in-the-war-to-be-unveiled-at-portsmouth-cathedral-1-3393022

  4. The loss of HMS Hood was a human disaster of the highest order and it’s definitely a pity that the moment hasn’t been much remembered today. I believe the wreck – a war grave – has been found. The story has always intrigued me: she was always upheld as being a ‘battlecruiser’, hence vulnerable to heavy enemy shellfire – but in fact had much the same thicknesses of armour as some of Britain’s First World War battleships, albeit in an incredibly complex layout thanks to ongoing revisions during and after construction. At the time her loss was thought likely due to a specific vulnerability shared by most heavy British warships of the day – insufficient depth of armour below the waterline over the magazines, meaning that in heavy seas a roll could expose the unarmoured hull to a plunging shell. Nothing could be totally proven by the Board of Enquiry who looked into her loss, but that was one of the possibilities, and it worried Home Fleet C in C Adm. Sir John Tovey sufficiently that he arranged for his battleships to be refitted with additional plating over the vulnerable areas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: