HMS Hood

HMS Hood

HMS Hood (pennant number 51), the last battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy
Photographer: Allan C. Green 1878 – 1954 Restoration: Adam Cuerden Please credit both,
Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Monday 24th May 2021 will mark the 80th anniversary of the sinking of the battlecruiser HMS Hood, as a result of an action in the Denmark Strait with the German battleship Bismarck and Heavy Cruiser Prince Eugen.

The Hood received a number of heavy shell hits from the German ships and sank in 3 minutes, taking with her 1,415 officers and men. There were just 3 survivors. Thirty-eight of her crew had associations with Warwickshire including:

  • Birmingham
  • Coventry and . 
  • Kenilworth (Honiley)
  • Leamington Spa
  • Newbold-on-Avon
  • Nuneaton
  • Rugby
  • Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Tamworth
  • Warwick

Hood was avenged four days later when on the 27th May 1941 Bismarck was sunk by the combined efforts of the Fleet Air Arm’s Fairey Swordfish aircraft and the heavy guns and torpedoes of the Home Fleet. For many years the Hood was the largest and handsomest warship in the world. Her size and tonnage has only very recently been eclipsed in the Royal Navy by the new 65.000 tonne aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. The HMS Hood Association has an excellent website, which can be viewed here.

J F Willock May 2021