HMS Hood.

By Andrew Norman

Printed: 2002

Publisher: Spellmount. London

Dimensions 16 × 24 × 2 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 16 x 24 x 2

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Item information


In the original dustsheet. Brown spine with silver title. Red boards.

  • F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feeling and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available.

The sinking of the battlecruiser HMS Hood, on 24 May 1941, dealt a major blow to the British Royal Navy. Like Titanic years before, Hood had seemed invincible and much of the hopes of the Navy rested with her as the nation entered the war with Germany. The epitome of British naval power, the 48,360-ton Hood boasted eight 15in and eight 4in guns – a formidably armed vessel that the Royal Navy had hoped could match German battleships. But in just eight minutes, after an encounter with Bismarck and her consort Prinz Eugen, HMS Hood blew up and sank to the bottom of the Atlantic, taking 1,418 men with her. Her sinking was met with disbelief both in the UK and around the world and left the Royal Navy seeming vulnerable.

Dr Andrew Norman explores the events leading up to the disaster and the legacy left in its wake, using research from the Royal Naval Museum and German naval records. In HMS Hood: Pride of the Royal Navy, he reassesses the possible reasons for the ship’s sinking in the light of the discovery of her wreckage in July 2001.

Review: Living close to Boldre, Hampshire where the official memorial of HMS Hood resides I have been at a bit of a loss to understand why all the fuss about the sinking of one ship in WWII. Obviously many lives were lost but this book clearly explains why this was so much more than just a hugely tragic event, 1,418 men lost. As one who had not lived through this period of history the book provides a clear guide to the importance of the Mighty Hood. It shows how she was the focus of the pride of the Royal Navy and why her sinking was such a setback to Naval hopes in the midst of the war.

There is an excellent combination of hard facts and personal memories, as well as a concise guide to the theories surrounding her sinking and why a definitive cause will never be found. There may be other places where deeper analysis is provided but for a clear introduction to the importance of this ship and the events that led to her loss I would highly recommend this book. The author clearly has a personal connection to both the people involved and the story itself. The book gives a real feel for the characters involved from Commanders to Signalmen. The many photos and diagrams are good and highly helpful. There is much to stimulate thoughts as the Navy once more invests in a few hugely powerful and expensive warships. But the main gift that the author gives is a highly readable and fascinating introduction to the significance of HMS Hood and her demise at a time when national hopes and fears were so intense.

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