HMS Hood (pennant number 51) was the last battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy. One of four Admiral-class battlecruisers ordered in mid-1916, her design—although drastically revised after the Battle of Jutland and improved while she was under construction—still had serious limitations. For this reason she was the only ship of her class to be completed. She was named after the 18th-century Admiral Samuel Hood. The Admiral-class battlecruisers were designed in response to the German Mackensen-class battlecruisers which were reported to be more heavily armed and armoured than the latest British battlecruisers of the Renown and the Courageous classes. The design was revised after the Battle of Jutland to incorporate heavier armour and all four ships were laid down. Only Hood was completed, however, because the ships were very expensive and required labour and material that could be put to better use building merchant ships needed to replace those lost to the German U-boat campaign. Hood carried eight 42-calibre BL 15-inch Mk I guns in hydraulically powered twin gun turrets.
When war with Germany was declared in September 1939, Hood was operating in the area around Iceland, and spent the next several months hunting between Iceland and the Norwegian Sea for German commerce raiders and blockade runners. After a brief overhaul to her engine plant, she sailed as the flagship of Force H, and participated in the destruction of the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir. Relieved as flagship of Force H, Hood was dispatched to Scapa Flow, and operated in the area as a convoy escort and later as a defence against a potential German invasion fleet. In May 1941, she and the battleship HMS Prince of Wales were ordered to intercept the German battleship Bismarck which was en route to attack convoys in the Atlantic. On 24 May 1941, Hood was struck by several German shells early in the Battle of the Denmark Strait and exploded; the loss had a profound effect on the British. Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered the Royal Navy to "sink the Bismarck", and they fulfilled his command on 26–27 May. This impressive card was sent to me by my dear friend Maria.