“That the sinking of the Hood was due to a hit from Bosmarck’s 15-inch shell in or adjacent to Hood’s 4-inch or 15-inch magazines, causing them all to explode and wreck the after part of the ship. The probability is that the 4-inch magazines exploded first.”
– British Board of Inquiry convened in the aftermath of the sinking of the HMS Hood
As we near the release date for Walterson’s relaunched fleet of 1:700 scale Forces of Valor warships, we take our fourth close-up look at some of the ships you can expect to see. The Royal Navy’s Admiral Class Battlecruiser, HMS Hood (51), will forever be remembered as the ship that tangled with the Bismarck almost on an even basis yet, despite its promise as a viable combatant, suffered an ignominious fate on the morning of May 24th, 1941.
Just before 06:00 on May 24th, 1941, while Hood was turning 20 degrees to port to unmask her rear turrets, she was hit again on the boat deck by one or more shells from Bismarck’s fifth salvo, fired from a range of approximately 16,650 metres (18,210 yd). A shell from this salvo appears to have hit the spotting top, as the boat deck was showered with body parts and debris. A huge jet of flame burst out of Hood from the vicinity of the mainmast, followed by a devastating magazine explosion that destroyed the aft part of the ship. This explosion broke the back of Hood, and the last sight of the ship, which sank in only three minutes, was her bow, nearly vertical in the water.
Hood sank with 1,418 men aboard. Of the 1,418 crew, only three men – Ordinary Signalman Ted Briggs, Able Seaman Robert Tilburn, and Midshipman William John Dundas – survived; they were rescued about two hours after the sinking by the destroyer HMS Electra. Electra spotted a lot of debris, but no bodies.
The HMS Hood is expected to be resurrected from the ocean depth’s some time in May.