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HMS Hood

HMS Hood

Sank by the Bismarck on 24 May 1941. One of the shells fired from 13 miles away hit the Hood between the two funnels hitting the ammo storage hold. Sank within a few minutes with a loss of 1,419 of her crew,3 survived.

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It was one of those very unfortunate combination of cir***stances. Neither British ships had completed work-up. The Hood, designed 25 years previously, had recently completed a partial refit, but enhanced armour to bring her protection up to the standards needed to counter high velocity low trajectory fire was due to be fitted later. Prince of Wales still had builders workmen on board trying to complete the tuning of the armament prior to gunnery trials!
The fatal shell hit the Hood much further aft than her funnels and either entered the hull below water and below the armour belt and exploded directly in the magazine or it pierced the horizontal armour around the turrets.
Ironically the Prince of Wales was hit by seven shells, two of which failed to explode and the others causing minor damage. Despite huge problems with her main armament she managed to score three hits on the Bismark, one of which severed the delivery pipe from the forward bunkers in an inaccessable position, thereby forcing the German Admiral to abandon his mission and return to Brest. The damage also caused the Bismark to sink by the head and reduced her speed.
Fred
 

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Thanks for the input Fred. I guess one will never know the real story on where the shell hit, the history I am reading( a narrative by Lt Cmdr Jaspers,gunnery officer on Prinz Eugen )says the shell hit the the starboard side of the Hood near the waterline between the two funnels. The Hoods salvo, firing at 74,000 feet through the snow hit the Prinz Eugen.
 

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John, you absolutely correct when you say we will never know, but I have just read another account in British Battleships by Dr Oscar Parkes, a monumental work that contains in an introductory page that the book was commenced 1925; completed 1956.

"Hood opened fire - and shortly after was hit forward of Y turret. A great fire broke out, but Hood raced onwards, still firing. Then the magazines blew up and masts, funnels and structure hurled hundreds of feet into the air. Her bows tilted vertically and in four minutes only wreckage, smoke and flame remained. Three survivors were picked up."
I suppose the real situation was that with hindsight, it did not make sense to require a 25 year old battle cruiser to take on a new battleship.

Fred
 

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