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On This Day… The Sinking Of The Hood

Written by: George Chittenden : 27 Jul 2019

It was on this day, 24th May back in 1941 when the pride of the Royal Navy, the HMS Hood was attacked and sunk by the infamous German battleship the Bismarck, killing 1,421 men. The Bismarck sailed from the Polish port of Gdynia just days earlier on May 18th, with a simple mission, head to the Atlantic and attack British convoys. She sailed alongside another German ship, the Prinz Eugene, and when they passed Norway the British spotted them. When the German ships sailed south down the Denmark Straits between Iceland and Greenland the British chose to attack. In the early hours the ships engaged each other. At a distance of thirteen miles apart they fired one-ton shells that travelled at 1,600 miles per hour and took almost a minute to reach their intended targets.

The HMS Hood

The HMS Hood

The battle lasted twenty minutes, and despite the fact that the Bismarck took a direct hit she didn’t sink. The HMS Hood wasn’t so lucky. She took a hit that penetrated her ammunition room and caused an almighty explosion that was so powerful it tore the ship in half. Only three members of her crew survived. The incident shocked the world and led to Churchill issuing his famous battle cry “Sink the Bismarck!”, and a fleet consisting of four battleships, two battle cruisers, two aircraft carriers, 21 destroyers and 13 cruisers was dispatched.

Are you already curious to discover what happened tomorrow? Have a great day.

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