HMS Hood


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I'll have to check up on this one from time to time. I don't know if this search will be successful. One can always hold out some hope, but I'll wager they won't find much but scrap metal on the bottom if they find the wreckage at all. Magazine explosions don't leave much.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Did you see the article from ABC News, posted at the above site, that suggests "Titanic-type" steel was used in the Hood's construction --which contributed to the Hood's sinking?

According to the article, the HMS Hood was about the same size as the Titanic (860 feet long, 46,000 tons). It's steel came from D. Colville & Co. in Motherwell, Scotland, as did Titanic's.

Further, according to the article:

"Timothy Foecke, a metallurgist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md., said the ships’ steel–although state-of-the-art at the time–was “very strain-rate sensitive.” In other words, he said, like Silly Putty, it will stretch if pulled apart slowly but it will snap if it is pulled quickly. “If the Hood’s hull was disassembled very quickly by an explosion, then the steel may have indeed behaved very brittlely,” said Foecke, who conducted extensive tests on metal fragments from Titanic. William Garzke of the U.S. Society of Naval Architects in Arlington, Va., said tests on recovered segments of the Titanic showed the rivets and plates were liable to crack easily under pressure, in contrast to the much more flexible steel used today. “It is possible this was a factor in the sinking of the Hood,” Garzke said."

I had heard this before, i.e., that the Hood was not armoured nearly as well as it should have been.

The sinking of the HMS Hood was a monumental loss for the British, and particularly devastating given the manner of the loss.

". . . The battlecruiser’s bow and stern sank separately in two minutes even as her 15-inch guns blasted a final salvo at the enemy."
 
Hi Jan, IMO, the Titanic Steel thing is something of a red herring on this one...about the size of Moby Dick. Brittle steel fracture wasn't at all understood until the middle of the Second World War for one thing. However, the real issue was the ship's armour protection which was decidedly deficient, as you correctly pointed out.

The Hood was a type of ship known as a battlecruiser in that it combined the armament of a battleship but sacrificed armour protection in favour of speed. The problem nobody appeared to count on is that shells are far faster then any ship, and the Hood just wasn't protected against the heavy weapons of a capital unit. 15 inch shells for example. It was just such a shell fired from the Bismark which killed the Hood by penetrating the armour to explode in the magazine. The very best steel in the world would have been no protection against hundreds of tons of explosive shells and powder going KABOOM all at the same time.
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Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
J

Jason Bidwell

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The wreck of the HMS Hood was discovered yesterday, in 3000 meters of water. "The forward part of the ship - with the bow missing - was upside down resting on its deck." Identification as the Hood was confirmed by two sealed-off torpedo tube doors in the ship's side. They've already published some pictures, and you can see them at http://www.pbs.org/hood/news/updates/index.html
 
Quite an accomplishment. Frankly, I'm surprised there was much of anything left to find. Magazine explosions seldom leave much. I hope they have more photos in the near future.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Many thanks, Beverley, for that site. Those interested in warships will find valuable links on it, as well as the Hood story.
 
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