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anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/26/2016 9:28:24 AM
I have often wondered about the loss of this great ship and virtually all of her crew.It is generally accepted that she would be almost defenceless against plunging long range fire from a battleship.

And so it came to pass shortly after the engagement opened, that Hood was hit by several heavy shells-the last somewhere amidships-the shell tore down through the thin plating and exploded in a magazine- causing a cataclysmic explosion- which tore the great ship apart.

So OK-we know how Hood was lost; but what do we know about the circumstances surrounding her demise.

The British RN contingent was as follows :-
Battlecruiser HMS Hood (Flagship)=8 X 15"guns
New Battleship HMS Prince of Wales10X 14"guns
Heavy Cruiser HMS Norfolk-shadowing Bismarck and Heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen 8X8"
--"------"----HMS Suffolk----------------------"---------------------------8X8"guns
6 Fleet destroyers

IIRC-During the night at 0010 the shadowing cruisers lost contact with Bismarck and PE- after half an hour of waiting- Admiral Holland ordered an alteration to the course to a more northerly one- because he thought Bismarck may have turned back;this could only mean he was intent on bringing Bismarck to action-not his purpose- and increased speed to 27 kts-his destroyers could not keep up and were told to follow at best speed.When the cruisers did regain contact with Bismarck- Holland reverted to his original course at 0123; but now was not in a position to cut off the Germans and his destroyers were to all intents and purpose -lost.

At first light-a contact was made by POW's radar-still on a southerly course but Holland's approach would have be made with Hood's and POW' A Arcs closed-only their forward guns could bear-All POW's movement was controlled by VADM Holland ie .no independent manouevre allowed.

Neither Norfolk nor Suffolk were called up to support the capital ships, and the destroyers were somewhere over the horizon-all would have made a difference IMO

After some opening rounds where there was confusion as to which ship was targeting which enemy-Holland decided to make the turn to bring his broadsides to bear-it was at that point she received her fatal hit.

The Admiralty apportioned no blame on VADM Holland-it is my humble opinion that he was partially culpable for the loss of his ship.

What do you think???

Regards

Jim
---------------
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George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/26/2016 10:43:31 AM
Hello Jim, what sort of communication between HMS Hood and the support ships was going on just before the fatal explosion?

Had Holland delivered instructions to these ships and if so, what was said?


George

anemone
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/26/2016 11:06:50 AM
So far as I know George -no instructions were transmitted to either HMS Norfolk or Suffolk (but Holland intimated to PoW that the cruisers should be in the final attack)- who was 15 sea miles behind Norfolk, they continued to shadow Bismarck- despite action having commenced between the the capital ships', and were more or less spectators.Once naval action has commenced I would have expected Norfolk and Suffolk to have got into position and would have attacked Prinz Eugen, whilst Bismarck was engaging the two British capital ships

They could have attacked say Prinz Eugen-also an 8" gunned heavy cruiser-this would have been beneficial as she was firing at PoW. The destroyers were still 16 miles away- when Hood sunk.

Holland kept Hood in the van and was there to be shot at.Bismarck had just got Hood's range at 22500 yds, when she started her turn.

Had Pow been given independent manoueverability-she could have shot at Bismarck-having opened her A Arcs earlier.

PS 1 Ships were in sight of each other 0532-Hood was sunk at 0600-28 minutes to bring at least Norfolk and possibly Suffolk into action.

PS 2 Suffolk passed all info to Hood via coded radio signal

PS 3 2 Naval 8"naval gun-max.range 17 miles


Regards

Jim
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anemone
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/27/2016 6:45:00 AM
Further to the above I do believe VADM Holland's order to turn north at 0010 on the 24th May was an error. This order lost him bearing on the enemy,although it was a reaction to Rear Adm Wake-Walker's (CinC Shadowers) loss of contact; and although the weather was bad,even more extensive radar performance was required,Wake-Walker should have tried to close the distance to continue shadowing effectively, but he did not; and in the circumstances Holland was on a wild goose chase- which would cost him dearly

Regards

Jim
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Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/27/2016 9:31:01 AM
Incredibly sad ending for HMS Hood, she sank so fast,

it was almost as if Hood was destroyed by a futuristic weapon?

How quickly did she sink, as quickly as USS Arizona??
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anemone
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/27/2016 9:45:01 AM
Dave- Hood sank seven minutes after blowing up-she was hit by a 15" shell which exploded inside a magazine- deep inside her- which tore her apart.
USS ARIZONA was also riven by magazine explosions and sank very quickly too.



Regards

Jim
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dt509er
Santa Rosa, CA, USA
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/27/2016 2:49:23 PM
A good video of the battle and Hood imploding.

[Read More]
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lennox
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Posts: 39

Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/27/2016 11:28:36 PM
HMS HOOD was party way through a t5urn when BISMARCK's shell hit her causing the explosion that tore her apart. HMS NORDOLK & SUFFOLK )Adm Wake Walker) were trailing the action , smart action rally as they were thin skins and very sinkable, if hit by German 15 inch rounds.
I think the CinC HOOD should have engaged by turning sooner . Also HMS Prince of Wales was tid to HOOD masking her rear 14 inchh turret,
---------------
" Rule of war 1 do not invade Russia Rule of war 2 do not invade China Rule 3 do not violate rules 1 &2

anemone
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/28/2016 2:38:39 AM
Thank you gentlemen for your replies-the question posed was -did you think VADM Holland was at least partly to blame for the loss of his ship-HMS Hood.

I appreciate that without all of the facts- this would be difficult-however I have given my verdict based on what evidence that I have; and have stated as much.


Regards

Jim
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anemone
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/28/2016 4:41:57 AM
Articles of War--Royal Navy

12. Every person in the fleet, who through cowardice, negligence, or disaffection, shall in time of action withdraw or keep back, or not come into the fight or engagement, or shall not do his utmost to take or destroy every ship which it shall be his duty to engage, and to assist and relieve all and every of His Majesty's ships, or those of his allies, which it shall be his duty to assist and relieve, every such person so offending, and being convicted thereof by the sentence of a court martial, shall suffer death.

13. Every person in the fleet, who though cowardice, negligence, or disaffection, shall forbear to pursue the chase of any enemy, pirate or rebel, beaten or flying; or shall not relieve or assist a known friend in view to the utmost of his power; being convicted of any such offense by the sentence of a court martial, shall suffer death.

14. If when action, or any service shall be commanded, any person in the fleet shall presume or to delay or discourage the said action or service, upon pretence of arrears of wages, or upon any pretence whatsoever, every person so offending, being convicted thereof by the sentence of the court martial, shall suffer death, or such other punishment, as from the nature and degree of the offense a court martial shall deem him to deserve.

A Doleful Thought

Regards

Jim
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Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/28/2016 1:26:23 PM
I'll bet Mothers of HMS Sailors really loved these proclamations!?
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George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/28/2016 1:42:04 PM

Quote:
Articles of War--Royal Navy

12. Every person in the fleet, who through cowardice, negligence, or disaffection, shall in time of action withdraw or keep back, or not come into the fight or engagement, or shall not do his utmost to take or destroy every ship which it shall be his duty to engage, and to assist and relieve all and every of His Majesty's ships, or those of his allies, which it shall be his duty to assist and relieve, every such person so offending, and being convicted thereof by the sentence of a court martial, shall suffer death.

13. Every person in the fleet, who though cowardice, negligence, or disaffection, shall forbear to pursue the chase of any enemy, pirate or rebel, beaten or flying; or shall not relieve or assist a known friend in view to the utmost of his power; being convicted of any such offense by the sentence of a court martial, shall suffer death.

14. If when action, or any service shall be commanded, any person in the fleet shall presume or to delay or discourage the said action or service, upon pretence of arrears of wages, or upon any pretence whatsoever, every person so offending, being convicted thereof by the sentence of the court martial, shall suffer death, or such other punishment, as from the nature and degree of the offense a court martial shall deem him to deserve.

A Doleful Thought

Regards

Jim
--anemone



Jim, just to be clear, whom have you accused of cowardice?


George

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/28/2016 8:31:03 PM

Quote:
A good video of the battle and Hood imploding.

[Read More]
--dt509er



dt,

There is no "good" video of Hood Exploding!

It was a horrific tragedy, nothing good about it!
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Jim Cameron
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/28/2016 9:23:27 PM
Hood was not actually destroyed by particularly plunging fire. The range was only just over 7 nautical miles, which meant the German shells came in at a relatively shallow angle. Hood, however, had no real zone of immunity to 15" fire.
---------------
Jim Cameron

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Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/31/2016 10:04:44 AM
It's always sad to hear the survivors discuss the tragedy of the HMS Hood!
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George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/31/2016 3:47:08 PM

Quote:
It's always sad to hear the survivors discuss the tragedy of the HMS Hood!
--Michigan Dave



And only 3 of those I believe. Quite a loss for the RN and the families involved.

anemone
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/16/2016 5:44:27 AM
Thank you for replies gentlemen.

George I was not accusing any one of cowardice; but Winston wanted Adm. Wake Walker (Norfolk) ans Capt.Leach (PoW) court martialled for lack of of fighting spirit in not nor engaging Bismarck AFTER Hood sunk.

Jim -you are spot on re. the the myth of "plunging fire"-Hood was hit aft in the side by a flat trajectory 15" shell from Bismarck; which exploded in a an AA ammunition magazine- which blew up- touching off the adjacent Main armament magazine- which which blew off the entire stern section including X and Y turrets which sank almost immediately.

VADM Holland's major error- was his order to turn to a due north course- ten minutes after Suffolk lost contact with Bismarck at midnight; and he remained on that course for two hours- until advised that contact with Bismarck was regained; but by which time Holland had lost his original course advantage of crossing the enemy's T; and was now on catch- up wit the with the A arcs closed on both of his capital ships.ie. only the forward turrets could bear on the enemy.Naval historian Roskill agrees with this viewpoint

His rigid control of PoW,s movements was a mistake, as was he taking the van in the vulnerable Hood- was also a mistake IMO-his dispersion of his destroyers- when he turned north was also bad judgement-they were lost to the action altogether

No instructions to the shadowing 8" gun cruisers Norfolk and Suffolk to harrass the rear German ship was also a mistake.

The whole action IMO -was too cavalier by far !!!

Regards
Jim
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Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/16/2016 7:03:31 AM
After Bismarck sank even Hitler recognized that large surface warships may be a stretch on German resources,

and told Adm Karl Donitz that the resources would be better used creating more U-Boats!?

Regards,
Dave
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anemone
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/16/2016 10:34:26 AM
That may be so Dave; but we are talking about the "possibly" needless loss of a Royal Navy capital ship; and how that came about.

Regards
Jim
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Michigan Dave
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/16/2016 4:50:27 PM
Jim,

With all due respect to the tragic loss of HMS Hood & her heroic crew. Large Cruisers and Battleships, like Hood & Bismarck were not as important as other

types of ships notably Submarines, Carriers, & Destroyers !? Naval & Air Warfare was evolving at this time!

So the loss of Hood although terribly sad didn't hurt the Royal Navy in the big picture that much!? Another easy to see example was in the Pacific Theater where the IJN

sank all US Battlewagons at Pearl Harbor but missed the Carriers, & the USN was able to rebound fast using Carriers & Submarines!?

What say you?
Dave
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/17/2016 4:11:23 AM
I'd say you are right for the USN Dave; but not for the Royal Navy-it was a longer learning curve,however the "penny did drop" with the loss of Force Z ie. PoW and Repulse by Japanese aircraft in the South China Sea in 1942.Also the Japanese foray into the Indian Ocean in 1942 sinking two heavy cruisers and two light fleet carriers by naval aircraft attack.

However-I would like a viewpoint as to the loss of HMS Hood; but I do realise beggars cannot be choosers.

Regards
Jim
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Michigan Dave
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/17/2016 2:24:36 PM
Hi Jim,

My view point on British Vice Admiral Holland, Hoods Commanding officer, is that under the dire circumstances he was faced with he made fairly sound decisions! Of course in hindsight, which is always 20-20, we could say his attack strategy was flawed, and he needlessly put his ship in harms way? But Holland did not have this luxury, his goal was to delay & ultimately stop Bismarck, he had to decide quickly, just what to do? Actually his ship fired on Bismarck first! We wouldn't even be having this conversation had he mortally scored a hit on the pride of Germany's Navy! I don't envy his position fighting a newer faster better armored and armed Bismarck, knowing it was his responsibly not to let this terribly powerful Battleship escape into the North Atlantic to prey on Allied Navies! How can we question Admiral Lord Nelson's plea for all HMS Commanders, I believe it was something to the effect of; "A British Commander can't do wrong by putting his ship along side that of the enemy"! In other words aggressively attack the enemy! That is just what heroic Vice Adm. Holland did! I can't criticize him, he ultimately made the highest sacrifice any commander can make!

Maybe you can criticize him, but I can't!?
Be British Mate!
MD
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Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/17/2016 9:57:29 PM
Dave, I agree about Holland making sound decisions for the circumstances he faced. But, I don't see that the circumstances were seen as dire. HMS Hood was one of five capital ship the speed of Bismarck and one of five that was considered capable of fighting Bismarck. Unfortunately, only three were in both groups--Hood, King George V, and Prince of Wales. And the latter were brand new and Prince of Wales still had contractors working on the guns. Determining the best tactical way to fight Bismarck, does not mean they saw the situation as dire, tense going into a tough fight, but I don't think anybody thought Hood would be so quickly destroyed. Other than that I agree with the analysis and I too cannot find fault with Admiral Holland.

One other thing, Captain Ralph Kerr was the Commanding Officer of HMS Hood and not Vice-Admiral Lancelot Holland, who was in command of the battle cruiser squadron and was in effect 2nd-in-Command, Home Fleet.

anemone
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/18/2016 4:57:20 AM
Thank you gentlemen for your interest and comment-I myself bow out with an excerpt from Antonio Bonini's work published in 2006

"When a spotter atop Suffolk's main tower reported a big shadow which seemed to close in from the south, the British heavy cruiser immediately reversed course and sailed away. Having realized the mistake, she returned to the old course but was so far aft that it took nearly 3 hours to regain radar contact with the German ships (at 02:47 of May 24). Norfolk, on its own, was not able to keep radar contact, consequently for 3 hours the German ships remained out of any British radar range .

It was in this situation that the position change between the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen passed unnoticed by the 2 British heavy cruisers and was not communicated to the incoming battlecruiser formation (Hood and Prince of Wales). This force was coming in at 27 knots on a course of 295°. The escorting destroyers which, because of the rough sea and the speed, had found it difficult to maintain contact with the main units and were ordered by VADM Holland to follow at the best speed possible .

VADM Holland, on board the Hood, having not received any more precise information from Suffolk, became convinced that the German formation was trying to sail back into the Denmark Strait after having reversed course and consequently at 00:08 ordered the Hood and Prince of Wales together with the escorting destroyers to turn north on course 340°, reducing their speed to 25 knots .

At 00:30 Holland signaled again to Prince of Wales that, if before 02:10 the contact was not re-established, the battlecruiser group should take a course south, 180°, until contact was regained by the heavy cruisers. It was his intention to engage the Bismarck with the Hood and the Prince of Wales while the Norfolk and the Suffolk engage the Prinz Eugen (confirmed by Admiral Sir John Tovey Commander of the Home Fleet). This order was obviously not transmitted immediately by radio to either the Suffolk or Norfolk by VADM Holland (because of the radio silence of both British warships) and was never received by the heavy cruiser commanders nor by Rear-Admiral Wake-Walker thru any other communication channel.

At 02:03, while the brief arctic night was vanishing, the two German ships having changed their relative positions un-noticed, keeping the same course south, 170°, VADM Holland, concerned that the Bismarck could sail away south to the Atlantic ocean without being intercepted, ordered his two warships to change course to 200° at 25 knots. Now the course of the British ships was almost parallel to the German formation.

The Prince of Wales turned on her Type 284 radar (Leach asked permission to use his Type 281 radar, but was refused due to interference between the Type 281 and Type 284 on board Hood). The destroyers were ordered to continue to search to the north, for precautionary reasons, taking a position of 15 nautical miles one from each other.

It was only at 02:47 that Suffolk resumed radar contact with the German ships and transmitted their exact position, course and speed (course 220° at 28 knots). Consequently, Holland could again verify their position in relation to his battle group. The Germans were now 35 nautical miles (64,800 meters) to the North-West. It was not until 03:40 that VADM Holland ordered a change of course to 240° and only at 03:53 that he ordered an increase of the speed to 28 knots, both absolutely necessary to prevent an increase in distance to the German ships.

At 03:19 the Suffolk transmitted one of her reports on the enemy. This was very useful for VADM Holland to evaluate the whole scenario. The Suffolk reported a battleship at 188° (from Suffolk) at a distance of 24,000 yards (21,900 meters) and one heavy cruiser at 185° at a distance 22,500 yards (20,500 meters). From this message it is clear that Suffolk was still reporting the Bismarck position as ahead of Prinz Eugen by1,400 meters (1,500 yards), without having realized that the two German ships had changed their own positions a few hours before.

The naval formations were now approaching on converging paths, but the British warships had lost their initial advantage. They could have cut across the course of the German formation establishing the best course and angle of approach to the enemy during the coming engagement" ( the classical “crossing the T ”). but Holland did not choose that option.


[Read More]


Regards
Jim

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Jim Cameron
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/18/2016 1:31:53 PM
It should be pointed out that the precise sequence of events leading to Hood's destruction remains conjectural. A hit in the AA ammunition storage which set off the aft magazines is suspected, but cannot be proven.
---------------
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/18/2016 8:05:45 PM
The biggest open question about the loss of the Hood in my opinion is whether the hit was extremely lucky or likely that such a critical hit would happen.

anemone
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/19/2016 6:41:39 AM
There is so much that is not on record-the thread is about VADM Holland's handling of this operation; and the decisions he took and those he did not take-a prime example is quoted below :-

"The naval formations were now approaching on converging paths, but the British warships had lost their initial advantage. They could have cut across the course of the German formation establishing the best course and angle of approach to the enemy during the coming engagement" ( the classical “crossing the T ”). but Holland did not choose that option."

Regards
Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Jim Cameron
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/19/2016 10:43:50 AM

Quote:
The biggest open question about the loss of the Hood in my opinion is whether the hit was extremely lucky or likely that such a critical hit would happen.
--Mike Johnson


Good question, and I would imagine, ultimately somewhat subjective. I suppose that I lean to simple bad luck having played a part, in that there were certainly any number of areas where Hood could have survived even heavy caliber hits. OTOH, I would also imagine that the likelihood of catastrophic damage would have increased rapidly with multiple hits.
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/19/2016 7:09:28 PM

Quote:
. . . Another easy to see example was in the Pacific Theater where the IJN sank all US Battlewagons at Pearl Harbor but missed the Carriers, & the USN was able to rebound fast using Carriers & Submarines . . .


Ummm, no, they did not. Arizona and Oklahoma were beyond repair. West Virginia, Nevada and California were resting on the bottom but were, all three, eventually returned to service. Maryland and Tennessee were slightly damaged and Pennsylvania, even less. So, even if you want to count West Virginia, Nevada and California as “sunk,” Maryland, Tennessee and Pennsylvania were most definitely not. And if you look at building programs it is fairly obvious that the USN was leaning towards a carrier as the principal striking force for the Navy before the Pearl Harbor attack. There was never some sudden awakening moment on 8 Dec 1941 of “geez, they sank the battleships, better switch to carriers.” The carrier fleet expansion was planned all along. Look up how many carriers were authorized versus how many battleships in the months leading up the US entry in the war.

anemone
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/28/2016 9:13:08 AM
Postscript

The loser usually gets the blame and VADM Holland is no exception to this rule.
He is remembered as an ambitious officer who suffered defeat despite his superior forces and his most significant mistakes are as follows IMO.:-

His order to turn north at 00.10 on 24 May-this lost him bearing on his enemy at the beginning of the battle-he had to approach with only his forward turrets
able to bear-his after turrets "wooden".

He ought IMO have involved his cruisers more directly in the action.

He kept Hood in the lead of the British force and handled the whole too rigidly-not allowing Pow independent movement.

He did not not engage Bismarck in the crucial first minutes of the action-due to the enemy ships being misidentified.

Regards
Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

richto90
Bremerton, WA, USA
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/28/2016 1:54:06 PM

Quote:
His order to turn north at 00.10 on 24 May-this lost him bearing on his enemy at the beginning of the battle-he had to approach with only his forward turrets
able to bear-his after turrets "wooden".


He had to. Holland likely knew full well the results of the Admiralty studies done in 1935 regarding the protection of British capital ships versus possible enemy armaments and recommended courses of action http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/official/adm1/adm1-9387.htm . Hood had zero immunity versus plunging fire from the German 38 cm/52 SK C/34. Her best chance was to close the range as quickly as possible in order to take the German fire at a flatter trajectory, while improving her on chances of hitting.

anemone
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/28/2016 2:15:05 PM
It is believed by some historians that Hood was hit aft in the side by a fairly flat trajectory 15" shell from Bismarck fired at a range c. seven miles; and exploded in an AA ammunition magazine- which blew up- touching off the adjacent Main Aft armament magazine- this cataclysmic explosion blew off the entire stern section; including X and Y turrets- which sank almost immediately. Hood was vulnerable at at any range IMO.

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Jim
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richto90
Bremerton, WA, USA
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/28/2016 3:51:13 PM

Quote:
It is believed by some historians that Hood was hit aft in the side by a fairly flat trajectory 15" shell from Bismarck fired at a range c. seven miles; and exploded in an AA ammunition magazine- which blew up- touching off the adjacent Main Aft armament magazine- this cataclysmic explosion blew off the entire stern section; including X and Y turrets- which sank almost immediately. Hood was vulnerable at at any range IMO.

Regards
Jim
--anemone


The angle of fall at the presumed 15,100 meter range was 10.5 degrees. Although that may seem a "flat trajectory" it was generated by an angle of elevation of c. 8.1 degrees. Indeed, that was exactly my point, Hood was vulnerable at any range, but Bismarck was not. Holland took the only possible course of action he could given his knowledge of the circumstances. Hood had to close as quickly as possible to have a chance of hurting her opponents, especially given her antiquated fire control.

http://www.navweaps.com/index_inro/INRO_Hood_p1.htm
http://www.navweaps.com/index_inro/INRO_Hood_p2.htm
http://www.navweaps.com/index_inro/INRO_Hood_p3.htm
http://www.navweaps.com/index_inro/INRO_Hood_p4.htm
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download;jsessionid=A4B5868232AD9244C872427D989E8D16?doi=10.1.1.202.317&rep=rep1&type=pdf

anemone
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 4/29/2016 5:14:09 AM
At 03:19 the Suffolk transmitted one of her reports on the enemy. This was very useful for VADM Holland to evaluate the whole scenario. The Suffolk reported a battleship at 188° (from Suffolk) at a distance of 24,000 yards (21,900 meters) and one heavy cruiser at 185° at a distance 22,500 yards (20,500 meters). From this message it is clear that Suffolk was still reporting the Bismarck position as ahead of Prinz Eugen by 1,400 meters (1,500 yards), without having realized that the two German ships had changed their own positions a few hours before. The naval formations were now approaching on converging paths, but the British warships had lost their initial advantage.

With the absence of hard evidence- the following is pure conjecture on my part- Holland could have turned on a westerly course at this juncture; and cut across the course of the German formation and thus establish the best course and angle of approach to the enemy during the coming engagement" ( the classical “crossing the T ”). but Holland did not choose that option.???

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Jim
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Michigan Dave
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 5/1/2016 8:52:44 AM
Jim,

Pure speculation on your part??
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anemone
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 5/1/2016 9:00:14 AM
Speculation ??-conjecture was my word -what's the difference Dave??

Regards
Jim
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Michigan Dave
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 5/1/2016 9:03:12 AM
Sorry Jim,

Virtually no difference!
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/14/2017 6:55:57 AM
I still believe that Holland was culpable in the loss of his flagship via his rigidity of command; and his almost cavalier attitude towards the other ships in his fleet-all six of his destroyers were despatched on a "wild goose chase"to look for Bismarck- when his present course would have sufficed-these were all absent when desperately needed in the final act.He IMO ought to have called in the 8" gun cruisers Suffolk and Norfolk to aid him in the final engagement-somewhere abaft the the German ships- to harry them.Holland just did not have a battle plan and he refused to use POW's radar and flatly refused to break radio silence.

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Jim
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Michigan Dave
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/14/2017 10:55:50 AM
Hind site is always 20-20 Jim!
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anemone
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Re: Loss of HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait-24 May 1941
Posted on: 3/14/2017 11:13:42 AM
I think you may have said that before Dave; and to be sure history can only be examined in hindsight- after the event.In this case I am laying some of the blame on VADM Holland for the loss of his ship.Tell me where my logic is not 20/20 in this case please, unless of course; you are endorsing my conclusions.

Regards

Jim
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