Saturday, May 24, 2008
In Rememberance, HMS Hood
On this day in 1941, the British Royal Navy steamed into action in the Denmark Straits near Iceland hoping to prevent the German Battleship Bismarck from reaching the shipping lanes of the North Atlantic and wrecking havoc with the convoys that were all that stood between England and defeat.
England's finest battlecruiser HMS Hood and just completed battleship HMS Prince of Wales sighted the German Battleship Bismarck and it accompanying cruiser Prinz Eugen at dawn and opened fire. The English admiral elected to close the distance quickly to avoid plunging fire coming in on Hood's weak deck armor. Just as the Hood and Prince of Wales turned to bring all guns to bear a shell plunged into Hood's magazine setting up a tremendous explosion that completely ripped the ship apart. In less that 3 minutes all traces of the Hood were gone and there were only 3 survivors of 1415 men.
The Prince of Wales fought on for a while but being so new had difficulties and finally broke off the engagement leaving Bismarck to the North Atlantic and setting up the greatest sea hunt of all time.
Today we remember the most beautiful warship ever built and the 1412 men that perished so long ago fighting for the freedom of all of us.
The pictures above are a quick drawing I did depicting Hood, in the foreground, and Prince of Wales shortly before engaging Bismarck. I apologize for the poor quality of the drawing. It has been a long time since I have tried to do a pencil drawing and the scan was not great. I wanted to give you a sense of the appearance of the Hood and could not find a public image this morning.
The other picture is one I did for a scavenger hunt song title which was "Candle in the Wind".