From: HMS Prince of Whales
HMS Hood has blown up
HMS Hood, considered the pride of the Royal Navy, was lost this day in 1941 during a brief battle with the German Kriegsmarine's DKM Bismark. 1415 men were lost in an instant. There were three survivors.
In the battle, HMS Prince of Whales was heavily damaged and was forced to withdraw. The Royal Navy eventually hunted down Bismark and she was sunk 3 days later.
Hood was sometimes called the most beautiful ship (if any weapon of war could ever be considered thus) in the Royal Navy, but she suffered from a serious design flaw: her decks were not sufficiently armoured, leaving her vulnerable to plunging fire. This flaw led to her demise. On the fifth salvo from Bismark, a 15 inch shell penetrated her deck abaft her stacks and exploded in the after magazine. The resulting blast tore Hood apart and she sank in about 2 minutes.
The three survivors were Midshipman William Dundas, Able Seaman Bob Tilburn, and Ordinary Signalman Ted Briggs.
In 2001, the wreck of HMS Hood was found, and a plaque in honour of her crew was placed beside her on the sea floor. Ted Briggs, the last surviving crewman, was given the honour of releasing the plaque. Mr Briggs died in 2008.
|HMS HOOD at anchor at Scapa Flow|
|Ship's crew, 1940|
|Last known photo of Hood, taken from Prince of Whales, 24 May, 1941.|
|The end as seen from DKM Prinz Eugen. Smoke from Hood's blast on the right, Prince of Whales making smoke on left.|