HMS Hood Wreck : An Examination of Hood’s Armor

HMS Hood Wreck : An Examination of Hood’s Armor

Battleships / World War 2

HMS Hood, a British battlecruiser that played a significant role in the First World War and the early years of World War 2.

One of the most striking features of the Hood was her armor, particularly her armor belt, which was one of the thickest in the Royal Navy.

Let’s examine the design and construction of the Hood’s armor. Moreover, compare its thickness with other ships of the era. Furthermore, discuss the upgrades that were made to the Hood’s armor during her service life.

HMS Hood vs Bismarck : The Royal Navy’s Tragedy on the High Seas

Designed in the early 20th century as part of a program to build a new class of battlecruisers for the Royal Navy. The design of the Hood’s armor was heavily influenced by the lessons learned from the Battle of Jutland in 1916, where several British battlecruisers were lost due to inadequate armor protection. The Hood’s armor was designed to provide maximum protection against enemy fire while also maintaining a high speed and maneuverability.

The armor belt of the Hood was the most heavily protected part of the ship. It consisted of a 12-inch-thick armor plate backed by a 4-inch-thick steel plate, making it one of the thickest armor belts in the Royal Navy at the time. The armor belt extended from the bow to the stern of the ship, covering the machinery spaces and the magazines. The upper deck was also armored with a 2-inch-thick steel plate to protect against bomb hits.

According to a recent NavWeaps article;

“It is clear from this information that Hood may indeed have become destroyed due to the action of a projectile which penetrated her belt. But a shell need not necessarily have penetrated the belt to destroy her. It might have gone over her armor belts. Or it might have gone under.”

International Naval Research Organization Articles – Loss of HMS Hood – NavWeaps

Comparison with Other Ships The thickness of the Hood’s armor belt was comparable to that of other battlecruisers of the era, such as the German Derfflinger and the British Queen Mary. However, it was significantly thicker than that of other battleships, such as the British Warspite and the American New Mexico, which had armor belts ranging from 10 to 12 inches thick.

Upgrades to the Hood’s Armor During her service life, the Hood underwent several upgrades to her armor to maintain her effectiveness in the face of new threats. In the early 1930s, her armor received modifications to improve resistance to shell hits. The outer layer of the armor belt increased from 4 inches to 6 inches. And the lower edge of the belt became extended. As a result, providing greater protection against torpedo hits.

Dispelling the Myth of the “Under Armored Battlecruiser HMS Hood”

In addition to these modifications, the Hood’s deck armor also became improved. The upper deck reinforced with a layer of 2.5-inch-thick armor plate. And a 1.5-inch-thick armor deck added to protect the machinery spaces and magazines.

Conclusion The armor of the HMS Hood was a key factor in her effectiveness as a battlecruiser. Its thickness and design became the result of lessons learned from previous battles. Jutland especially. And it provided the ship with a high degree of protection against enemy fire. While the Hood’s armor was comparable to that of other battlecruisers of the era, it was significantly thicker than that of other battleships. The upgrades made to the Hood’s armor during her service life helped to maintain her effectiveness in the face of new threats, and she remained a formidable warship until her tragic loss in the Battle of the Denmark Strait in 1941.

Battleships

HMS Hood Wreck : An Examination of Hood’s Armor

HMS Hood – Wikipedia

H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: H.M.S. Hood Today

The Wreck of H.M.S. Hood in 2001 (hmshood.org.uk)

To this day, the cause of the sinking of the HMS Hood during the hunt for the Bismarck is still disputed. – Warfare History Network

HMS Hood wreck found 60 years after sinking | UK news | The Guardian

WRECKSITE – HOOD BATTLECRUISER 1916-1941

HMS Hood Wreck : An Examination of Hood’s Armor