H.M.S. Hood (1918)

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H.M.S. Hood (1918)
Pendant Number: 51 (Mar 1920)[1]
Builder: John Brown, Clydebank
(Ship no. 460)[2]
Laid down: 1 Sep, 1916[3]
Launched: 22 Aug, 1918[4]
Commissioned: May, 1920[5]
Sunk: 24 May, 1941[6]
Fate: by Bismarck


Design Genesis

At the end of 1915 Treasury approval was granted for construction of an experimental battleship whose design would be based on war experience. What was desired was a ship with the armament and speed of the Queen Elizabeth Class battleship, of improved seaworthiness with a high freeboard uninterrupted by casemates for the secondary battery. Improved underwater protection was also specified, along with a shallow draught to minimise the possibility of underwater damage. Between November, 1915 and January, 1916 a number of battleship designs were prepared by the Director of Naval Construction (D.N.C.).[7] The designs were submitted to the Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet, Admiral Sir John Jellicoe in January for comment. He replied that the fleet needed other than escorts were battle cruisers, in light of the battle cruisers supposed to be under construction in Germany, three of which were believed to be capable of 30 knots and armed with 15.2-inch guns. The Renown Class battle cruisers were judged to be insufficient for fleet needs owing to their inferior armour protection. Consequently, the D.N.C. switched to preparing battle cruiser designs.[8]

On 7 April, 1916 design "B" was approved by the Board of Admiralty. On 19 April orders for three ships were placed with John Brown, Cammell Laird and Fairfields, and a fourth was ordered on 13 July. On 14 July the four ships were given the names Hood, Howe, Rodney and Anson, respectively.

On 2 September, 1916, Tudor (Third Sea Lord) minuted:

I do not consider vessels of the proposed modified design to be battleships, or even hybrids like the "QUEEN ELIZABETH" as they are fully capable of working with battle cruisers, and in my opinion the battleship proper should make up for reduced speed by augmented number of guns and even greater armour protection than now proposed.[9]

Construction

A battle cruiser was ordered on 19 April, 1916 from John Brown of Clydebank.[10] Laid down on 31 May, 1916, construction was immediately suspended following the Battle of Jutland, in which three British battle cruisers had been lost.[11] On 14 July, the ship was named Hood.[12] The ship was laid down again on 1 September.[13]

Service

Hood was re-commissioned at Devonport on 15 May, 1923[14] under the command of Flag Captain and Chief Staff Officer John K. im Thurn.

On 30 June, 1937, Hood straddled H.M.S. Protector during full calibre firing practice. A Court of Inquiry faulted Captain Arthur Francis Pridham for the mishap.[15]

Captains

Dates of appointment are provided when known.

Machinery

Generators

In 1916, it was approved that the ships were to be given eight 200 kw dynamos at 220 volts — four reciprocating, two turbo, 2 oil.[47]

Armament

15-in Guns

These are outlined in a post-war Technical History article.[48] The sights were said to embody all the improvements of the later designs, which might mean those employed in the Courageous class.

The turret sights switched back to telescopes from periscopes. The drift corrector was adjustable for angle of drift, but the means of doing so was still the peculiar practice of tilting the telescope arm receiver. The scopes looked out through the turret armour.

Range strips for full charge were graduated directly on the range drum. Three-quarters charge or sub-calibre were effected by metallic tape bands that were locked into place over these.

5.5-in Guns

The guns had armoured shields of 1.5 inches on the face and top, and 1 inch on the sides, weighing 4.25 tons.[49] The mountings were C.P. II.[50]

Torpedoes

Two Service Bar 21-in submerged broadside tubes forward undepressed (or perhaps depressed 2 degrees) and bearing 90.[51]

In 1923, the torpedoes were fired at intervals of 82, 79, 69 and 60 seconds.[52]

Fire Control

Range Dials

As of 1920, Hood was to be equipped with a four Range Dial Type Ds.[53]

Rangefinders

The ships were to have three 15-foot Barr and Stroud Rangefinders dedicated to supporting torpedo control. That under the armoured hood in the T.C.T. was likely an F.T. 24 or F.T. 25 on an M.W. 1 mounting, based on the description that it could independently traverse 5 degrees on either side of the mean line. The other two were in hand-worked mountings with fields of view from 10 degrees to 170 degrees sited in a pair of splinter-proof towers abreast the funnels. All three featured Barr and Stroud's hand following mechanisms for transmitting ranges to the torpedo transmitting station as well as Evershed Bearing Indicators.[54]

Evershed Bearing Indicators

Hood had a very complete installation. I have made some inferences in transmitter/indicator designations, but it is not wholly clear.[55][Inference]

Main battery:

  • 1 transmitter in 15-in spotting top
  • 2 transmitters on fore bridge
  • 2 transmitters in 15-in Control Tower
  • presumably, indicators in all 4 turrets

Secondary battery:

  • 2 transmitters in 5.5-in spotting tops
  • 2 transmitters (indicators?) in 5.5-in control towers
  • 2 transmitters on fore bridge
  • presumably, indicators in all casemate guns

Searchlights:

  • 2 transmitters on fore bridge
  • 4 indicators on night defence position aft

Starshells:

  • 2 transmitters on fore bridge
  • presumably, indicators on those guns able to fire starshells

Mechanical Aid-to-Spotter

At some point, Hood was probably equipped with four Mechanical Aid-to-Spotter Mark IIs or Mark II*s:

  • one on each side of the foretop, driven by flexible shafting from the Evershed rack on the director
  • one on each side of the Gun Control Tower employing an electrical F.T.P. system.

As the need for such gear was apparently first identified in early 1916, it seems likely that these installations were effected well after Jutland.[56]

Directors

Main Battery

Hood was fitted with two tripod-type directors, one in an armoured tower and one in a light aloft tower. Both were to be fitted with double cam grooves and two rollers.[57] Each 15-in turret also featured an Open Director Sight.[58]

The turret Elevation Receivers were pattern number H. 24, capable of 30 degrees elevation. The Training Receivers were the double dial type, pattern number 9.[59]

Secondary Battery

Her 5.5-in guns were to be served by a pair of pedestal-mounted directors situated high on her forward superstructure.[60]

The mounts had 6-in P. XIII Type Elevation Receivers with electrical tilt correction capable of indicating 30 degrees elevation, Pattern V.E. 2. The Small Type Training Receivers were pattern number 20 on P1 to P4 and S1 to S4, whereas P4 to P8 and S5 to S8 had pattern number 21.[61]

Transmitting Stations

Dreyer Table

Hood had a Mark V Dreyer table.[62] It was probably the only one ever to go to sea.

Torpedo Control

The planned torpedo control equipment, c1918.[63]
Torpedo Control Circuits.[64]
Torpedo Control Circuits.[65]
Torpedo Control Evershed Equipment.[66]
Torpedo Control Navyphones.[67]

There is a wealth of information on Hood's planned torpedo control arrangements in Annual Report of the Torpedo School for both 1917 and 1918. I will slowly incorporate the material here, as it will be the subject of some discussion. This editor's view is that the torpedo control outlay in this ship illustrates a gross over-emphasis on the value of these weapons in ships with such large outfits of long-ranged guns. — TONY LOVELL, Editor.

In 1919, she was selected to receive one of the first nine Renouf Torpedo Tactical Instrument Type Fs manufactured by Elliott Brothers.[68]

In mid-1920, it was decided that Hood should receive a Renouf Torpedo Tactical Instrument Type B[69] as well as three Torpedo Control Disc Mark III* and as many pairs of mounting brackets to be installed in her primary torpedo control position. She had no Mark III T.C.Ds..[70]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 36.
  2. Clydebank Battlecruisers. Footers.
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 41.
  4. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 41.
  5. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 41.
  6. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 41.
  7. Roberts. Battlecruisers. p. 55.
  8. Roberts. Battlecruisers. p. 56.
  9. "Design of Battle-Cruisers with Increased Protection." ADM 1/9209. Unnumbered folio.
  10. Roberts. Battlecruisers. p. 58.
  11. Anatomy of the Ship: The Battlecruiser Hood. p. 8.
  12. Roberts. Battlecruisers. p. 58.
  13. G.W.P.D.A. Date of Laying Down of HMS Hood.
  14. The Navy List. (April, 1925). pp. 246, 247.
  15. Pridham Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50. Book 9, f. 302.
  16. The Navy List. (January, 1921). p. 788.
  17. Tomkinson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 375.
  18. Mackworth Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/53. f. 53.
  19. The Navy List. (January, 1923). p.768.
  20. Taylor. The Battlecruiser Hood. p. 230.
  21. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  22. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  23. Reinold Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/377. ff. 218, 377.
  24. Taylor. The Battlecruiser Hood. p. 230.
  25. Reinold Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/377. ff. 218, 377.
  26. Taylor. The Battlecruiser Hood. p. 230.
  27. Taylor. The Battlecruiser Hood. p. 230.
  28. Patterson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50. Unnumbered folio.
  29. Patterson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50. f. ?.
  30. Taylor. The Battlecruiser Hood. p. 230.
  31. Binney Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/9. f. 412.
  32. Binney Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/9. f. 412.
  33. Taylor. The Battlecruiser Hood. p. 230.
  34. Tower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50. Unnumbered folio.
  35. Taylor. The Battlecruiser Hood. p. 230.
  36. Pridham Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50. Book 9, f. 302.
  37. Pridham Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50. Book 9, f. 302.
  38. Taylor. The Battlecruiser Hood. p. 230.
  39. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  40. Walker Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/12. f. 11.
  41. Glennie Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/92/166. f. 166.
  42. Taylor. The Battlecruiser Hood. p. 230.
  43. Glennie Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/92/166. f. 166.
  44. Kerr Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/137. f. 136.
  45. Taylor. The Battlecruiser Hood. p. 230.
  46. Kerr Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/53/137. f. 136.
  47. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1916. p. 120. More detail thereat.
  48. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. p. 36.
  49. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 4, Part 34. p. 18.
  50. The Director Firing Handbook. p. 144.
  51. Two degree depression cited in Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1915, p. 36, no depression indicated in Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1916, p. 35.
  52. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1927. p. 54.
  53. Manual of Gunnery (Volume III) for His Majesty's Fleet, 1920. p. 44.
  54. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 198.
  55. Anatomy of the Ship: The Battlecruiser Hood. pp. 18, 86-7.
  56. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. pp. 25-6.
  57. The Director Firing Handbook. p. 142.
  58. Anatomy of the Ship: The Battlecruiser Hood. p. 18.
  59. The Director Firing Handbook. pp. 144-6.
  60. The Director Firing Handbook. p. 143.
  61. The Director Firing Handbook. pp. 144-146.
  62. Handbook of Captain F. C. Dreyer's Fire Control Tables, 1918. p. 3.
  63. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1918. Plate 132.
  64. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. Plate 65.
  65. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. Plate 66.
  66. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. Plate 69.
  67. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. Plate 70.
  68. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1919. p. 119.
  69. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1919. p. 119.
  70. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1919. p. 113.

Bibliography

  • Admiralty, Gunnery Branch (1917). The Director Firing Handbook. O.U. 6125 (late C.B. 1259). Copy No. 322 at The National Archives. ADM 186/227.
  • Admiralty, Gunnery Branch (1918). Handbook of Captain F. C. Dreyer's Fire Control Tables, 1918. C.B. 1456. Copy No. 10 at Admiralty Library, Portsmouth, United Kingdom.
  • Dittmar, F.J.; Colledge, J.J. (1972). British Warships 1914–1919. London: Ian Allan.
  • Roberts, John (1997). Battlecruisers. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 186176006X. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1557500681. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
  • Roberts, John (1982, 2001). Anatomy of the Ship: The Battlecruiser Hood London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 085177900X. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
  • Johnston, Ian (2011). Clydebank Battlecruisers: Forgotten Photographs from John Brown's Shipyard. South Yorkshire: Seaforth Publishing, Pen & Sword Books. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
  • Taylor, Dr. Bruce (2005). The Battlecruiser Hood: An Illustrated Biography 1916-1941. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 1 86176 216 X.


Battlecruiser H.M.S. Hood
<– Hawkins Class Major Cruisers (UK) Kent Class –>