anchor chain

Hood Class

Saint Vincent

Line drawing of Hood Class

Displacement 41,000 tons
Armament 4 x 2 15"
Med. and Lt. AA
32 knots
VTS Rating   4   4   7

In "real life" the Hood was supposed to be the first in a series of such ships built just after WW I but the Washington Naval Treaty effectively limited the class to only one. Equipped with the same armament as the previous Queen Elizabeth class of battleships, the Hood was lengthened to increase speed, and at 41,000+ tons was the world's largest fast warship when built and remained so until the Bismarck came along in 1940. For her size she was lightly armored, having only the same weight of armor that her smaller QE-class BB's had, distributed over a wider area. Although she was not the first battlecruiser, she was the finest, and carried an aura about her that swelled the chests of British sailors everywhere with pride. By the time of her fateful battle with the Bismarck, however, that pride was misplaced as the Hood was much slower, and begged for modernization. Had war not intervened, the Hood was due for a makeover, mainly in her superstructure (see illustration above) like Renown.

In "Grand Fleet", however, British shipyards are churning out large ships aplenty just after WW I, and several Hoods are being built, along with her larger cousins Superb, Saint Andrew, and Saint Patrick. Due to Treaty limitations, only the Hood and her sister Saint Vincent are completed. St. Vincent became known as the "me, too!" battlecruiser, because, although carrying a "Saints" name, no one mentioning the "Saints" class of battlecruisers was ever referring to the Hood class, with their lesser size and stature.

Both battlecruisers were active during the war, but Hood was being overhauled in Britain when the war started. St. Vincent bombarded the vascillating French at Mers-el-Kebir and went along on the Taranto raid. While resting in Gibraltar, St.Vincent was damaged by Vichy French bombers in retribution. Not fully repaired when the Bismarck sortied, St. Vincent was sent along with the King George V and ran afoul of the German squadron off Iceland. Bismarck and Hindenburg concentrated their fire on St. Vincent and found their mark quickly. The resultant magazine explosion disintegrated St. Vincent and left only three survivors.

Hood's first duty after her overhaul was to accompany Insuperable, Prince of Wales, and Vigour to Singapore to "show the flag" to would-be Japanese troublemakers in the Far East. Caught in a maelstrom of Japanese torpedo bombers, Hood was lucky to receive only two torpedo hits in minor places, while P.O.W. and Vigour were swarmed. Escaping to Singapore with Insuperable's aircraft providing some protection, both ships patched themselves up and headed for Ceylon. A Japanese Striking Force was hot on their heels, though, and the German carrier Pommern, sailing with the Force, sent a "daisy chain" of dive bombers over "The Mighty Hood" and put the battlecruiser on the bottom.

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