Remembering HMS Hood.

hms hoodWhite Ensign on HMS BelfastIn 1941 the biggest threat to the Atlantic convoys supplying England was the German Battleship Bismark. The biggest battleship of the war it out gunned the largest ships of the Royal Navy. The Prime Minister Winston Churchill said it had to be sunk at all costs, if it got out into the North Atlantic the Germans could decimate the convoys and starve Britain into surrender. When word was received the Bismark had sailed the Royal Navy sent HMS Hood and Prince of Wales to intercept and destroy. The ships made contact in the waters of the Denmark Strait and engaged. The Hood took a shell midships that penetrated to decks and exploded in the magazines below. The Hood disappeared in a ball of fire taking all but three crew members to their deaths. HMS Prince of Wales had to break off the attack and Bismark steamed on toward the Atlantic. Three Hood survivors only were picked up after the battle, a battle in which the pride of the Royal Navy was lost within three minutes. Bismark was eventually caught by planes from the Ark Royal and her steering damaged by their torpedoes. There has always been a question of who sunk the Bismark, the Royal Navy claim they sank her, the Germans claim they scuttled her? Whatever the truth, she never made it into the convoy routes and Britain survived to go onto Victory.

Just a few days ago the ships bell from HMS Hood was retrieved from the sea floor some 9000 feet below. The bell was found a distance from the wreck laying alone in the sand. It will now be restored, which will take approximately one year, then will be put of display at the Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.hms-wood-bell_3402938b

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, First Sea Lord, said HMS Hood had been “a magnificent symbol of the power of the Royal Navy in the interwar years”,

He said: “’The Mighty Hood’ is one of the greatest fighting ships in our nation’s long and glorious maritime history.

“That she was lost with her guns thundering in defence of the convoys that formed Britain’s lifeline is a tragic reminder of the high price that our island nation paid for survival, and for the freedom and prosperity we enjoy today.”

The Bell will be a wonderful symbol of pride and remembrance to the 1415 sailors who lost their lives defending our freedom. God Bless all those lost souls, your names are etched into the long history of the Royal Navy.  Bravo Zulu.

God Bless and keep reading.

About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
This entry was posted in HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges, military, The Royal Navy & Me, veterans and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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