Few historians have immersed themselves in their topics like bestselling, noted author Ernle Bradford. Specializing in the Mediterranean world and naval topics, Bradford was an enthusiastic sailor himself and spent almost thirty years sailing the Mediterranean, where many of his acclaimed books are set. He served in the Royal Navy during World War II, finishing as the first lieutenant of a destroyer, and afterward worked as an editor and correspondent for the BBC.
Now, his engaging series of military histories is available to a new generation of readers. When it was launched in 1918, the Hood, flagship of the Royal Navy, was the largest, fastest warship afloat and a symbol of British power, earning the nickname “the Mighty Hood.” Its mere appearance on the horizon was enough to intimidate would-be aggressors. But for all the Hood’s might, it had one fatal flaw: armor had been sacrificed for speed.
In its first major engagement, the Hood confronted the almost-legendary German warship Bismarck in a battle for supremacy of the Atlantic. A salvo from the enemy penetrated to the Hood’s ammunition magazine, destroying and sinking the British ship in an awesome fireball, killing all but three of its crew of 1,421 men and violently ending Britain’s mastery of the seas. But it inspired Winston Churchill’s vow to sink the Bismarck, and in time that vow was fulfilled. Bradford takes us on a thrilling journey through the birth and demise of one of the greatest ships of all time.