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'.