HMS Hood is destroyed by her adversaries,
the Prinz Eugen and Bismarck, when a massive explosion
breaks her in two on May 24 1941. By never having been modified,
the British battlecruiser lacked substantial horizontal armour
and had no defence against the plunging shells from the German
ships. Strangely, witnesses in the accompanying battleship Prince
of Wales report that the huge explosion, with a towering red
flame, carried no sound across the water. With the Hood
parted into two abaft the funnels, the front section continued
onwards, losing speed until the bows rose up and the vessel capsized.
Incongruously, a forward gun turret still fired a salvo. The stern
section, with its forward momentum, ploughed into the sea. In
her death throes, the ship's forward section stood vertical out
of the sea, before the whole, towering mass slid down, the bows
the last to be seen.
From her crew of 1,026 only 3 survived the catastrophe.