On this day, 30 years ago, today, the Royal Navy’s flagship, HMS Hood, was lost in the Battle fo the Denmark Strait, in a battle against the germna battleship bismarck and teh battle cruiser Prience Eugen.
HMS Hood exploded and sank in less than 3 minutes, taking with her the captain, Admiral Lancelot Holland, staff officers and a crew of 1415 men, 70% of whom were aged 18 yearas and younger.
Only 3 men suvrived, by the grace of God.
The British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and the battlecruiser HMS Hood fought the German battleship Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, which were attempting to break out into the North Atlantic to attack Allied merchant shipping (Operation Rheinübung).
Less than 30 minutes after the British opened fire, a shell from Bismarck struck Hood near her aft ammunition magazines. Soon afterwards, Hood exploded and sank within three minutes, with the loss of all but three of her crew.
Prince of Wales continued to exchange fire inflicting significant damage on Bismarck, but suffered serious malfunctions in her main armament. The British battleship had only been completed in late March 1941, and used new quadruple gun turrets that were unreliable. As result of serious damage to her bridge, Prince of Wales was forced to break off the engagement, laying down a smokescreen and conducting a tactial retreat.
The battle was considered a tactical victory for the Germans but its impact was short-lived. The damage done to Bismarck’s forward fuel tanks by Prince of Wales forced the abandonment of the breakout and an attempt to escape to dry dock facilities in occupied France, producing an operational victory for the British.
Incensed by the loss of Hood, a large British force pursued Bismarck resulting in her destruction three days later.