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HMS Hood 1937 - Forecastle Deck

Here we can see the bow of HMS Hood, which was - long and fine:


HMS Hood 1937 - Forecastle Deck


This was for one simple reason - speed. Without a bow that was long, fine and sheared, Hood could not have attained her top speed of 32 knots. Only the hull form in the vicinity of A turret aft, would have been armoured - with the bow being soft. In retrospect, this arrangement was not adequate. Specifically, the deck area around the base of the two gun turrets and barbettes, was regarded as too thinly armoured, and was not thick enough to guard against plunging shellfire (although plans had been made, to thicken the armour in this area). Another point of interest, are Hood's breakwater arrangements - which were designed to protect the forecastle deck, from bow spray (as was encountered, when she pitched into heavy seas).

14/11/2017 | Nebula Hawk

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HMS Warrior 1860 - Sails and Rigging

HMS Warrior was not-so-unique, in terms of her sails and rigging - as she was a fully rigged, ship of the line (like HMS Victory), that could harness the power of the wind:


HMS Warrior 1860 - Sails and Rigging


Warrior's sails were used to push her through, the World's oceans and seas (but could also augment the power of her steam engine). Whilst only five sails are illustrated here, we shall use them to define the sails and masts, of a fully rigged ship. From bow to stern, bottom to top: i) Jib. This was rigged, between the Bowsprit and the Foremast. ii) Fore Topsail. This was at the level of the Fore Topmast (above the Fore Lowermast). iii) Fore Royal Sail. This was at the level of the Fore Royal Mast (above the Fore Topgallant Mast). iv) Main Topgallant Sail. This was at the level of the Main Topgallant Mast (above the Main Topmast). v) Spanker. This was attached with two spars, to the Mizzen Lowermast (the aftermost lowest mast). Warrior's rigging, was used primarily, to hold both her masts and sails in place (called standing rigging and running rigging, respectively) - but also had secondary functions, such as: making adjustments to the sails (to capture more/less wind), and for gaining access to, various higher-level mast platforms (as used by her lookouts). Her rigging, involved the use of ropes and blocks (containing one or more pulleys) - whose operation, was an art in itself!

15/05/2018 | Nebula Hawk | Web: HMS Warrior 1860 - Art Prints, Mug, Museum

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HMS Hood 1937 - Midships

Here we can see the midships area of HMS Hood:


HMS Hood 1937 - Midships


The hull form in this area, was protected by the thickest belt armour - of up to 12 inches. The idea was a simple one: important machinery (such as the boilers and engines), were enclosed in the thickest belt armour, so that warships like Hood, could take punishment under fire, and still maintain a manoeuvrable gun platform (aka the ability to fire their primary naval guns). Unfortunately, Hood's machinery spaces were considerably long (about 391 feet, 45.5 percent of her length), and she had been designed in a time, when plunging shell fire (which would penetrate the deck), had not really been considered. Hence, the midships deck armour was way too thin, and what armour there was (of up to 3 inches thick), was spread over too small an area! Such short comings, were not known to her sailors - who believed her to be the greatest warship in the Navy, and she was :) This view also best showcases Hood's secondary armament - her twelve 5.5 inch naval guns. These were designed to engage surface targets only, such as destroyers - which could have easily launched torpedoes at her. These guns, would also have supported the primary 15 inch naval guns (when in range).

15/11/2017 | Nebula Hawk

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HMS Warrior 1860 - Hull Form and Clipper Bow

HMS Warrior is considered to be 'one of the first' true ironclads (if not indeed the first) - as she was equipped with a hull form, that was made entirely of iron:


HMS Warrior 1860 - Hull Form and Clipper Bow


Warrior's hull form, made use of iron, both internally (such as in her bulkheads and frames) and externally (such as in her 4.5 inch thick belt armour). For 1860, this was a marvellous achievement - as all preceding warships, had only ever been constructed, with wooden hull forms (including their bulkheads, frames and armour). Despite this, Warrior still needed to be based upon the warships of the past (such as HMS Victory) - so Warrior's hull from, was essentially a wooden design, that was constructed in iron! As such, it was expected that her manoeuvrability, would be similar to that of previous ships of the line - so she retained their clipper bow (which improved her sea keeping).

14/05/2018 | Nebula Hawk | Web: HMS Warrior 1860 - Art Prints, Mug, Museum

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Hood - Life and Death of a Battlecruiser - Roger Chesneau - Part One

Something of a first for me - as I actually read this Battleship Book from cover to cover within a day and a half:


Hood - Life and Death of a Battlecruiser - Roger Chesneau


It helped that the book is on HMS Hood. It helped that the book is a good read. It helped that the book is packed full of so much information, that those pages just kept turning! I feel that this book really comes in three parts (although it's spread across six chapters): Genesis and Design, Peace and War, Death and Inquest. I shall now consider each of these in turn. Analysis One - Genesis and Design. HMS Hood was born from the Battleship race - specifically the need for speed (at the expense of armoured protection) that gave rise to the Battlecruiser concept. This book goes to great lengths to highlight the fact that HMS Hood was originally designed as a Battlecruiser (e.g. through it's use of design tables), and that on the very day that she was laid down (31 May 1916), that all work was suspended - owing to the Battle of Jutland, which had seen three such earlier Battlecruisers blown apart (after suffering magazine explosions caused through plunging shellfire). In all three cases, was the level of horizontal armour protection called into question. It is here that HMS Hood was transformed into something more akin to a Fast Battleship, as her deck armour was gradually increased (e.g. from 1.5 inches, to between 2-1 inches, to between 3-1 inches - the thicker armour was used closer to Hood's magazines). This book not only considers these developments, but also explains Hood's anti-torpedo protection, machinery (such as the Brown Curtis turbines and Yarrow oil-fired boilers), primary armament (including elevation increase), secondary armament (such as why it was not case-mated) and fire control (of primary, secondary and anti-aircraft guns). Analysis Two - Peace and War. HMS Hood was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 15 May 1920. World War Two started on 1 September 1939. This meant that HMS Hood spent most of her life as a Peacetime Warship of (just over) 19 years! The Peacetime chapter shows very clearly how the reputation of The Mighty Hood was earned, especially in the eyes of the public, who (even now) I feel, would be in awe of this stunning warship (if she sailed into port today). Much of this reputation was earned during the famous World Cruise (which saw HMS Hood travel over thirty-three thousand miles to bolster Britain's relationship with it's Empire). Even so, it is important to remember that HMS Hood was still a warship - which meant that her crew participated in regular gunnery exercises (by herself or with other vessels), as she sailed between the various ports of her World Cruise. Thus, when War broke out - was HMS hood (and her crew) available to participate in front line duties. Some of this was to become routine, such as: i) The various skirmishes into the Atlantic to intercept perceived threats (e.g. preventing the break out of smaller German warships). ii) Convoy duty (e.g. helping to protect Iron Ore en-route from Norway to Britain, and helping to protect the transport of troops from Canada to Britain). Some of this was absurd - such as when HMS Hood (and other British warships) were ordered to sink the entire French Naval Fleet at Mers-el-Kbir (North Africa). Whilst I understand the reasons behind this attack (fear of the French fleet falling into German hands), it seems totally crazy that allies would attack each other like this (when they should only have been concerned with defeating Germany). In any case, the book makes one point very clear (both through text and images) that Hood was heavily used both up-to, and during the early stages of World War Two, and as such - the usual polished ship-shape decks were soon covered with the grime of war.

27/10/2016 | Nebula Hawk | Web: | Read More: Hood - Life and Death of a Battlecruiser - Part Two

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Ironclad Warrior - Mug