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Hood's Proposed 1942 Large Repair January 9, 2011

As a ship ages, its machinery and structure experience "wear and tear." The degree of wear and tear depends of course, upon the conditions under which the ship was operated, as well as the quantity and quality of maintenance received. Often, regardless of how wellmaintained a ship may be, deficiencies in its design and/or equipment come to light and must be addressed. As a result of any of these factors, modifications in the form of refits or repairs are periodically necessary. Hood herself was certainly no exception: she received some form of refit for nearly every single year from the time of her launching until the time of her loss. Of the approximately 20 more notable refits, most involved modifications to secondary guns, fire control and range finding equipment. The scope of the refits varied in size. Only one (1929-1931) was actually a major refit/overhaul. By the late 1930s, Hood, due to the poor condition of key internal components (i.e., engines) was once again in need of a major refit. It was also apparent that she was not up to the standards of the current generation of modern battleships. Thus, in late 1938, preliminary plans were discussed with Captain Walker and crew. Hood's key deficiencies and shortcomings were outlined and a rough plan was formulated. This plan was officially referred to as the "Large Repair." Unfortunately, detailed final plans were not created – only preliminary planning sketches were drawn-up. According to sources, the sketches were simply overlaid or drawn-over drawings of Hood in her then present configuration. Logically, the sketches showed an arrangement extremely similar to that of Renown following her 1936-1939 refit/overhaul. The whereabouts of these sketches is unknown and are they are believed to have been lost. Therefore, any attempt to draw a reconstructed Hood is hypothetical at best. The work (based on pre-war considerations) would have taken between two and three years to complete at a cost of as much as £4.5 million. Sadly, due to budgetary constraints and the fact that there were other ships in need of more immediate attention, Hood's refit was not scheduled to commence until at least Spring 1942. Proposed Modifications What follows is a list of the proposed work: New internal machinery and improved subdivision. It was desirable to upgrade and relocate engines and boilers. Alternatively, at a minimum the boilers would be replaced. Rearranged/remodelled torpedo bulges and side armour. Most likely the side bulges would have been extended to the top of the 7" armour belt rather than to the top of

Hood.5" Secondary Battery– Though the 5. not the least of which was the improvement in aerial surveillance radar. there were availability issues with the guns. This would include the removal of all existing weaponry and replacement with a total of 6 Mark M eight-barreled pom poms and lastly. Due to key considerations. this would not have been the case for Hood.).25" guns (same type as KGV) or 16 x 4.5" guns seem a more likely choice for Hood. The exact location of these guns would depend on the extent of modifications being carried out and available space for gun machinery and magazine .5" (same type as Renown). New funnels. The extension would retain the rough "V" shape but would instead. Although a typical arrangement for large ships of that time was 20 guns (ten twin barreled turrets situated on the starboard and port sides in clusters of three forward and two aft). Hood's stern was notoriously wet due to her overweight condition. the space they would have occupied would have gone to boats and/or possibly increased 0. She would have received updated radar. directors. Some Considerations We feel that due to certain circumstances. the Royal Navy had reexamined the need for aircraft aboard battleships and battle cruisers. etc. An extension was considered for the simple fact that it might help keep the quarterdeck a bit drier. extend to "X" turret. the ship would likely have also received updated 0.5" and 40mm antiaircraft batteries. under construction during this period. 5. (See "Some Considerations" below). Of course. Due to her internal arrangements.25" or 4. the forward superstructure would have been a "block" type similar to that of Renown. New superstructure and masts fore and aft. (See "Some Considerations" below) Improved antiaircraft (AAA) protection. It is possible that if aircraft were not used. the widely available 4. the addition of either 12-16 x 5. she would likely have been outfitted with just 16 guns in four turrets. Instead.5" machine guns and multiple 40mm mounts. Most notably. would likely have had changes made. Improved deck armour/protection over vital areas. Therefore. fire control tables. Extended forecastle deck. It was also a more standard round (Queen Elizabeth class. Removal of armoured conning tower and the 5" side armour. of the above list.25" were preferred. These would have been something similar to those on Renown as KGV funnels would have been too small. etc. Renown. it was decided to remove such equipment. dual hangars and Walrus seaplanes.the 12" belt. carriers. (See "Some Considerations" below) Upgraded fire control. Addition of a catapult. a few items would likely have been changed or possibly not implemented: Catapult/aircraft gear– By 1944/1945. the Queen Elizabeths or the King George Vs (KGV). comms.

Even with the addition of protection its likely she would have remained vulnerable to similarly armed warships. but less likely to happen – similar to the KGV class (Click to enlarge) 3. Hypothetical Profile Drawings of a Fully Refitted Hood 1. Location of shell rooms and magazines– This. The powder magazines would still have been situated dangerously over the shell rooms." would not have been fixed. The best possible refit. . This is because they would have obstructed the senior officer's cabins and baths if installed in standard fashion. If this were the case. the most likely place would be in banks of four per side on the forward Shelter Deck abreast the funnels and bridge. Extended Forecastle deck– This would only have been done if other modifications did not result in a significant reduction in displacement/increase in freeboard. In the case of Hood. Hood's "Achilles heel. If installed aft. we feel that it was unlikely for guns to have been installed in typical fore and aft clusters. they would either have to be individually situated and staggered (like Hood's actual final 4" guns were) or located somewhere else on the ship. What we feel would have been most likely – something similar to Renown (Click to enlarge) 2. If Hood sat higher in the water. there really would have been no need for the extension.stowage.

Another interpretation of Hood looking similar to Renown. which you can view by clicking HERE. courtesy of Dave Weldon (Click to enlarge) 4. courtesy of Monty Mills (Click to enlarge) Hypothetical Photographic Conceptions of a Fully Refitted Hood 1. Alt_Naval has another Renown type Hood. Alt_Naval's Hood refitted along the lines of Renown (Click to expand). Hypothetical Model/Miniature Conceptions of a Fully Refitted Hood . Alt_Naval's Hood refitted along the lines of the KGV class (Click to enlarge) 2. Here is another Renown style interpretation of Hood.

At worst. resources and finances would have been severely limited. we have not attempted such a drawing).Above . Belfast in London or many of the remaining American battleships. Hood would still not have undergone a full refit or a large repair. Hood would likely have had her engines repaired/updated. she would have been right back out on front line service. but highly unlikely.because of the extreme uncertainty involved. Her present status was brought about by her tragic end and the overwhelming loss of life associated with it. (Click either to view other photos) Additional Considerations It is possible that even had she survived her encounter with Bismarck. Conclusion . the proposed "Large Repair" was based upon pre-war considerations. As stated above. If that were the case. the Navy may not have been able to spare an important asset like Hood for a full three years. some slight modifications to her superstructure (weight saving attempts such as the removal of her conning tower for instance) and a significantly increased antiaircraft capability. After a refit of 1 to 2 years.M. With the war well underway.S. Resources would be diverted to building new ships and repairing damaged ones. Additionally. The simple truth is that although Hood was indeed a very well known ship in her day.Tony Ansell's interpretation of Renown-style refit / Below . she was not the icon that she is now.Roger Meadows' interpretation of a KGV-style refit. she may have looked something like a cross between her actual final appearance and one of the drawings shown above (Note. This is a romantic idea. Britain had newer and in many ways superior warships such as the KGV class and .Hood's Likely Fate What would have happened to a refitted Hood had she survived the war? Some people believe she would have been retained and later saved as a museum ship like H. Indeed.

which really deserved saving). all were paid off and ultimately scrapped. There were also some very famous battle-hardened veterans of two wars deserving retention . To an island nation with a long naval my opinion . combined with dire economic needs would have resulted in Hood coming to the same end as the other large British warships of her era.of course.ships such as Queen Elizabeth and Warspite (the one . Without exception. There will be others to take their places. . such ships come and go. Vanguard. This mindset.