By Edwin Palmer Hoyt
Sunk through the Bismarck: The lifestyles and loss of life of the battleship HMS Hood
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Extra resources for Sunk by the Bismarck: The Life and Death of the Battleship HMS Hood
In conference with the consul and other authorities^ the admiral gained the impression that the situation was easing. After the strong display off the coast by the destroyers^ he could at least hope that no more British vessels would be attacked. At the end of the month Hood was off again^ headed for Gibraltar and then Malta^, and she kept going back and forth all that summer. In August^ Vice-Admiral Cunningham was succeeded by Vice-Admiral Layton as commander of the force. Hood continued in her duties^ the symbol of Britain's naval power^ to be shown to those along the Spanish coast who might be forgetful of British interests.
There were little tragedies. Ordinary Signalman Donald Charles Proctor died of peritonitis on 21 August. But there were 1^400 live and lively men aboard^ and some 90 officers to train them and make them ready for the ordeal that seemed now almost certain to be ahead. On 1 September Hood was at sea and at action stations at 0400 hours^ and then many times throughout the nervous day. On the third came news of the declaration of war against Germany. The captain announced it over the speaker system.
The cruiser had struck Hood on the starboard side aft and had caused a certain amount of damage. the There were no but there was a tremendous amount of agitation about it^ as there always was when an accident harmed one of His Majesty's vessels. The damage was put to rights at Gibraltar and later at Portsmouth; the rest of it was sorted out by the Admiralty^ in time for Captain Tower to take Hood back to sea that casualties^ year. She went to the Canaries and stopped Palmas for water, provisions and some 40 at Las leave.