25/07/01 - Day 24
More big discoveries
Rob White reports
We've been continuing our survey of the HMS 'Hood' wreck site - covering as much of it as
we can while the weather lasts.
We've had some more big discoveries - this is a gun rangefinder, quite similar to the ones we saw on the wreck of 'Bismarck'. Seen from above, it's heavily damaged, but not as battered as the German warship's: 'Hood' had little time indeed in her final battle to take much shellfire from her adversary before the lethal salvo that destroyed her so quickly.
Here's a torpedo - just one remnant of the stock 'Hood' carried, in compartments actually
inside the hull, rather than in tubes on the deck. That design caused major arguments
between the Royal Navy and the ship's designers - they feared 'Hood's own torpedoes could
even sink the ship if they blew up, sited as they were right on the 'strength
girder' that held her together.
Sometimes it's the human detail that hits home - here's a plate, just one of the
thousand's of "purser's issue" pieces of crockery, perhaps from a wardroom.
Ted Briggs, the last survivor of the three who escaped 'Hood', will be joining us today. If the weather allows him to come on board, we'll show him these new pictures before holding a service of commemoration for the crew of his old ship, just above where she has lain for 60 years.
More pictures of the Hood are available in our gallery section. Real video of the wreckage is also available here.