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Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Sorting old discs


Sorting out some old diskettes looking for "lost" documents, I found this picture of HMS Hood, taken on her 1924 "World Cruise" in company with HMS Repulse and a number of Light Cruisers. The days when we actually had a Fleet and the First Sea Lord didn't have remind the Cabinet Ministers that one ship cannot be in three places at the same time. This picture was taken apparently in Sydney Harbour, though I suspect it may have been just after she left the Heads.

HMS Repulse was, like the Hood, a Battlecruiser, lightly armoured, bigger than most battleships and much faster, they were supposed to be able to outshoot anything smaller and outrun anything more powerful. Both were to be destroyed in battles they were not designed to fight - largely the fault of a Parliament that was too parsimonious to spend the money needed to modernise them and a Civil Service that refused to allow them to be taken out of service for it to happen. An early example of too few ships being required to perform too many tasks.

But, in those far off days of the World Cruise of 1924 both ship's were new, full of confidence and regarded as the most powerful in the world - a fallacy even then.

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