A glimpse into naval history

I’ve been writing fairly regularly, of late, for a US website, Navy General Board.

HMS Hood in Auckland harbour, New Zealand, 1924. The battlecruiser HMS Hood. Kinnear, James Hutchings, 1877-1946 :Negatives of Auckland shipping, boating and scenery. Ref: 1/2-015263-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23240158

It’s dedicated – as you might expect – to naval matters, a field I’ve been interested in for many years, largely because of people such as Admiral Sir John Fisher (1841-1919), inventor of the phrase ‘OMG’ – and also because of the engineering. That’s what I’ve been writing about, and this weekend there’s something new: a two-parter I wrote on HMS Hood, one of the most famous British warships of the early-mid twentieth century.

Why two parts? Well, I had a lot to say – and the story, anyway, breaks into two. First is the way this ship was designed at a time of rapid transformation in design philosophy- which had its sequel for Hood in an open spat between the Admiralty’s design office and the top admiral of the day.  You can read that here: http://www.navygeneralboard.com/britains-last-battlecruiser-designing-the-mighty-hood/

The other half of the story is why she blew up so suddenly in May 1941, minutes after engaging the huge German battleship Bismarck. It was a human tragedy. Some 1,415 men died, an appalling toll and a heavy blow both for the Royal Navy and for Britain. So what went wrong? I’ve put in my two cents worth here:

http://www.navygeneralboard.com/why-did-hood-blow-up-so-quickly-in-battle/

Go check it out!

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2017

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