Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Honour the "Mighty Hood"

While the family slumbered from the roast turkey and the Boxing Day telly was remorselessly playing my paint brush feverishly worked away touching up the Airfix 1/1200 "Sink the Bismarck Set" HMS Hood. She was still the pride of the British fleet in 1941 when she met her demise (see below Luftwaffe reconnaissance shot):

The "old centurion" herself, the keeper of the seas for the Royal Navy, HMS Hood (see above and below): 

Still a graceful old lady, of over twenty three years old by the time she met her nemesis in the form of the KM Bismarck in the Battle of the Denmark Strait. Her rear turrets show below were atomised in that dreadful magazine explosion, which vaporised her stern works and sealed her fate.

Her 15" front turrets showed her teeth, but she scored no hits in the short battle with the KM Bismarck and PM Prince Eugen (see below).

Captain Leach of the battleship HMS Prince of Wales (PoW) watched with morbid fascination as the Hood was straddled by a well bunched salvo from the Bismarck (her fifth/sixth at the Hood which in battleship gunnery terms is extraordinary good shooting). Ominously he couldn't account for 'all' the splashes from the that last broadside which mean that 'something' had dug into HMS Hood. Leach had been keeping an eye on his C-in-C's ship as an earlier salvo from the 8" cruiser KM Prince Eugen had started a intense but "superficial" (above decks) fire amidships. The damage control parties had just managed to smoother this when the fateful salvo from the Bismarck landed. 

The Hood was seen to vent an inverted conical cone of intense heat and fire like that of a blowtorch aft of her funnels near her mast (engine vents being located there). This was the sign of an intense hidden conflagration deep inside her. Experienced sailors then knowingly watched the "Mighty Hood" with a deep sense of foreboding expecting the worst which materialise less than a minute later with a cataclysmic explosion which vaporised her stern and after turrets.   

Farewell to the great old lady,she left only three survivors, taking one thousand four hundred and fifteen souls with her.

Wikipedia, Warship.Org and HMS Hood Association sources: 


In particular HMS Hood Association:

Note: This is a very impressive and high quality web-site as you would expect from the ship's association. Well done and many thanks to them for putting it together to remember the 'Mighty Hood'.


Al said...

Cool model Geordie, some of the online underwater pictures of Hood are amazing eh?

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

Great post and a lovely paint job - I cant wait to start mine!

All the best,


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Hello Al, well put, the shattered remains of the hull tells a scary story in itself, especially when you consider 1415 souls went with her

Spooky as hell looking at her watery grave. Bill Jurens a forensic underwater maritime expert confessed it's a much speculation as science understanding "debris fields" of sunken ships and relating that to "what happened" on the surface

The wreck of HMAS Sydney did reveal that she was mortally hit by a torpedo though, meaning the German raider Kormoran must have been "very close" when she revealed her true colours

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

David I can "sense" your excitement :)

Happy modelling (at last)

Looking forward to see your results

Peter Douglas said...


Lovely job on the kit. I did see a TV show a while back where one of the three Hood survivors went down to see the wreck on a mini-sub and laid a wreath on the grave of his shipmates.


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Hello Peter

That was a very poignant programme

The chap was quite unassuming about it, but to survive by the intervention of fate, luck or chance, then to see where everybody else lay ...

Tim Gow said...

A nicely finished model and a lovely post - thanks for all the links. Following my two earlier conversion jobs, I really must build my third 'Hood' as that ship!

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

I quite agree Tim teh Hood is a must.

I was hoping that your Fletcher Pratt's wargame was going to feature the Hood and Bismarck

Paul said...

I want one now. Damn you all!

Need more armour posts (casual hint).

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Don't worry Paul it is one of my New Year's resolutions!