Which was a bigger blow to the British navy: the sinking of HMS Hood (WW2) or the sinking of HMS Sheffield (Falklands War)?

Bigger British Naval loss?

  • Sinking of HMS Hood

    Votes: 20 76.9%
  • Sinking of HMS Sheffield

    Votes: 6 23.1%

  • Total voters
    26
Oct 2014
268
Poole. UK
#32
The sinking of the Atlantic Conveyer was used as an excuse for failing to equip British soldiers properly for years afterwards. The answer to kit shortages was always " it was lost when the Atlantic Conveyor went down" By my calculations, in order to fit all the "lost" items, Atlantic Conveyer must have been bigger than the USS Nimitz!
 
Oct 2014
268
Poole. UK
#33
Without a doubt it was the Sheffield. The British surface dominance of the North sea and Atlantic in the second world war was unmatched and never seriously challenged, the loss of the aging Hood was meaningless in strategic terms.
Whereas the British attempt at dominance of a small section of the South Atlantic in 1982was perilous and on a knife edge. The Sheffield was on the "gunline", protecting the exposed British task force, Britains only task force. It's loss opened a gap on the British anti air defence. Ships like the Sheffield, Ardent took hits so that the carrier invincible could survive. A couple of more frigates lost, and invincible is under genuine danger. Strategically this was the difference between winning and losing the war for Britain.
The UK was not short of Type 42 destroyers and Sheffield could be replaced quite quickly, had the Royal Navy lost a Type 22 frigate (Seawolf) then that would have been a much more serious issue. In 1941 the RN only had two KGV battleships in service, and it had a shortage of "fast" Capital Ships, I would suggest that her loss was at the time a more serious issue than the loss of Sheffield in 1982.
 
Nov 2014
1,594
Birmingham, UK
#34
The sinking of the Atlantic Conveyer was used as an excuse for failing to equip British soldiers properly for years afterwards. The answer to kit shortages was always " it was lost when the Atlantic Conveyor went down" By my calculations, in order to fit all the "lost" items, Atlantic Conveyer must have been bigger than the USS Nimitz!
Ha that has the ring of truth to it, what a godsend for the quartermasters and Whitehall accountants
 
Mar 2014
6,613
Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
#35
I'm going to go with the Sheffield as well, because its effects were felt in navies around the world. When a warship is lost not to flooding, but to fire, there are serious implications. The heavy use of aluminium in warships was already being curtailed by 1982, but unprotected gas lines still abounded, and fire suppression techniques and training were totally inadequate. In Canada, the loss of the Sheffield caused an uproar over the polyester working dress worn by RCN sailors at the time.

HMS Hood was avenged in a matter of days. HMS Sheffield changed how ships are built and manned to this day.
 
Oct 2014
268
Poole. UK
#36
I'm going to go with the Sheffield as well, because its effects were felt in navies around the world. When a warship is lost not to flooding, but to fire, there are serious implications. The heavy use of aluminium in warships was already being curtailed by 1982, but unprotected gas lines still abounded, and fire suppression techniques and training were totally inadequate. In Canada, the loss of the Sheffield caused an uproar over the polyester working dress worn by RCN sailors at the time.

HMS Hood was avenged in a matter of days. HMS Sheffield changed how ships are built and manned to this day.

ALUMINUM'S NOT TO BLAME FOR WARSHIP LOSS Sheffield was not an aluminium ship.
 

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,651
Australia
#39
This article is entirely misleading if not downright untrue.

"In addition, aluminum as used on ships cannot, under any circumstances, burn." No, it melts.Very nasty.

"On his return from the Falklands to Great Britain, James Salt, commanding officer of H.M.S. Sheffield, commented on BBC: ''Now, people have said aluminum catches fire. It doesn't, actually. It melts, or certainly deforms, and becomes soft at a temperature of about 600 degrees centigrade. (The melting point of aluminum actually is 1,220 degrees Fahrenheit.) Well, that is so hot that anybody in the vicinity would be stone cold dead, long before the aluminum had melted." Wrong. I have stood within a few metres of aluminum as it melted, dressed in standard action working dress and anti-flash gear. I am still here.

''People have said that it made it more difficult to fight the fires. I myself doubt whether this is true." Obviously never fought a fire then.
 
Apr 2018
589
India
#40
While dismissing the sinking of the Hood as an isolated incident, do you people consider the larger picture? I mean, what everyone in the Admiralty and Sir Dudley Pound was thinking? Yes there were grief, anxiety, sorrow but on top of all that, they saw a ghost had come back to haunt them from long past.

25 years sans 6 days before the day Hood went down, Indefatigable, Queen Mary and Invincible had blown up the same way, leaving survivors in single digits. They thought all the upgrades carried out on Hood had solved the problem. This was what Sir Dudley Pound referred to in his report first when he ordered the enquiry into the sinking of the Hood.

Why was it scary? Because the Grand Fleet could lose half of itself and Beatty's sqadron and still remain the master of seas but those days had long been past. Royal Navy had two more Battlecruisers which they couldn't ever hope to replace. Now the Navy suffered worse later and survived but they didn't know it back then. In short, the Royal Navy was looking into an abyss. And bear in mind, on 24th May, 1941 Britain was all alone, literally, in the world, facing extinction (that's what everyone thought).

I take that the situation was a bit more serious, than the sinking of the Sheffield in Falklands.
 

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