|BCN019||100th Anniversary of the Launch of HMS Hood||£10.95||Pre Order|
Issue Date: 22/08/2018
Issue Name: 100th Anniversary of the Launch of HMS Hood
Producer: Buckingham Covers
The next instalment in the Maritime series marks the 100th Anniversary of the launch of HMS Hood. Featuring a black and white photograph of HMS Hood, this cover is cancelled with our HMS Hood Ship’s Bell postmark at Clydebank where the launch took place. After the tragic sinking of HMS Hood in 1941 in the Battle of Denmark Strait with only three men surviving from the crew, the ship’s bell was recovered from the sea floor in 2015 and is now displayed at The National Museum of the Royal Navy.
100th Anniversary of the Launch of HMS Hood
On 22nd August 1918, the last battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy, HMS Hood was launched from shipbuilders John Brown & Company at Clydebank, Glasgow. Named after the 18th century Admiral Samuel Hood. HMS Hood was one of four Admiral-class battle cruisers; however, due to changes in ship design and due to limited resources, after the Battle of Jutland only HMS Hood was completed and was commissioned on 15th May 1920. These ships were designed in response to the German Mackensen-class battlecruisers and were going to be more heavily armed and armoured than the last battlecruisers in the Renown and Courageous classes. The Battle of Jutland forced the plans to be revised so that HMS Hood would have heavier armour; she was considered the largest and most powerful warship in the world for twenty years after construction. HMS Hood, nicknamed ‘The Mighty Hood’; her badge was a Cornish chough holding a gold anchor and her motto was Ventis Secundis (With the Winds Favourable).
HMS Hood was involved initially with flag and training exercises between 1920 and the outbreak of WWII in 1939; sailing around the world with the Special Service Squadron in 1923 and 1924 and attached to the Mediterranean Fleet. She was due to undergo a rebuild in 1939 but the outbreak of war meant that this could not be done. At the time of the announcement, HMS Hood was operating in the area around Iceland and over the next few months she engaged in hunting for German merchant raiders and blockade runners between Iceland and the Norwegian Sea. In 1940, HMS Hood became the flagship of Force H which was part of Operation Catapult, an operation which was meant to ensure the French Navy ships would not fall into the hands of the enemy. Afterwards, HMS Hood was dispatched to Scapa Flow and became part of the defence of the convoys. She would also help any defence against a possible German Invasion Fleet. In May 1941, during the Battle of Denmark Strait, the battleship The Prince of Wales and HMS Hood were ordered to intercept the German battleship Bismarck and cruiser Prinz Eugen, which were on route to attack convoys. On 24th May HMS Hood was hit by several German shells creating an explosion which caused the ship to sink within three minutes. Only three men out of the entire crew of 1,415 survived, the loss greatly affected the nation. The Prince of Wales had also been damaged and was forced to disengage though she had managed to hit the Bismarck three times. After avoiding detection for three days, the Bismarck was sunk on 27th May 1941. The site of the wreckage of HMS Hood was declared a war grave by the British Goverment in 2002. Permission was given in 2012 to recover the ship’s bell, and, after a failed attempt the bell was raised in 2015 and is now displayed at The National Museum of the Royal Navy.
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