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At the start of WW2 Hood was in the home fleet with the job of patrolling for German blockade runners and raiders. She was assigned to Force H at Gibraltar after the fall of France in July 1940 and became Admiral Somerville's flagship. The British wanted the French to surrender their fleet in the North African port of Mers El Kabir, to ensure the Germans could not capture it. The French Admiral refused so Admiral Somerville was ordered to open fire. The French found themselves under attack from HMS Hood and the battleships Valiant and Resolution, as well as the Swordfish torpedo bombers or HMS Ark Royal. Three out of the four French battleships present were sunk or crippled with only the modern fast battleship Strasbourg escaping. After the attack Hood was sent back to home waters to help defend against a possible German invasion.
The threat of invasion soon wore off but Hood sortied twice in late 1940 to intercept the German Heavy Cruisers Admiral Scheer and Admiral Hipper, without success. In January 1941 she went her for what was to be her final refit, her machinery was in a poor state and needed to be replaced. However, the need for capital ships was desperate and it was decided to cut short Hood's refit until more King George V battleships were completed. It was in this state that Hood and the brand new battleship HMS Prince of Wales intercepted the German battleship Bismarck and Heavy Cruiser Prinz Eugen on 24 May 1941. Prinz Eugen had already detected the British ship with her Hydrophones, so were ready. The 2 British ships opened fire first but missed but Hood was very quickly hit by an 8 inch shell from Prinz Eugen, which started a fire amidships. The British ships tried to turn to bring all their main armament to bear but whilst turning Hood was hit again, this time by shells from Bismarck's fifth salvo. It is though that one of these most likely penetrated one of Hood's main magazines, as Hood exploded and split in two, and sank quickly, taking over 1400 officers and men with her, only 3 survived.
Trumpeter's HMS Hood kit depicts her as she appeared in her final battle against Bismarck. The kit is well detailed and should build up into a good replica of the 'Mighty Hood'.