Daily Archives: May 24, 2015

Remembering the “Mighty Hood” and the Battle of the Denmark Strait

Friends of Padre Steve’s World
It has been another busy day in a busy Memorial Day Weekend as we have family from California visiting beginning tomorrow. Those of you who follow this site know that I serve as a Navy Chaplain and grew up in a Navy family. As such from an early age I became enamored with all things navy, especially the great warships and naval battles dating to antiquity.
I first became familiar with the story of the HMS Hood and the German Battleship Bismarck in 4th grade when I read C.S. Forester’s Classic “Sink the Bismarck” Not long after I saw the film by the same name.
The story is tragic. Hood and Bismarck were the greatest and most powerful battleships in the world in May 1941. Hood was the pride of the Royal Navy, and had been the symbol of that navy’s dominance on the high seas for over two decades. Bismarck was the great Leviathan of the German Kriegsmarine. Both were legendary in life and death.
Within a span of three days both of these great ships were at the bottom of the North Atlantic taking about 3500 of the approximately 3650 sailors serving aboard them to a watery grave.
The story has been told and retold but to me, this man who has gone down to the sea in ships, it never gets old.
Padre Steve+

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hms-hood-sinking11Artist rendition of the Loss of the HMS Hood

Seventy-three years ago today the “Mighty Hood” was sunk by the German Battleship Bismarck. It is an anniversary that I always mark. I first read about this battle in C.S Forrester’s little book Hunting the Bismarck which was used as the screenplay for the 1960 film Sink the Bismarck. This essay is in honor of the gallant HMS Hood and her crew.  It is fitting although the HMS Hood and her killer, the German battleship Bismarck were American. Both were great ships manned by gallant crews and the loss of both ships was tragic, especially from the aspect of the great loss of human life. May we never forget the sacrifice of these men and all others who have gone down to the sea in great ships.

hood-malta1HMS Hood at Malta

There are some warships and naval engagements which assume…

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