World War Ii

Airwar Over The Atlantic

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That summer with Repulse and Snapdragon^ Hood visited the Scandinavian countries again. In December with Repulse and five ships firom the First Light Cruiser Squadron she set sail on a goodwill trip around the world. They arrived in a dreadfial Capetown on 22 December in summer squall. The acting governor- general arrived on board to a 19-gun salute^ and the acting high commissioner came3 to 1 7 guns. They anchored Table Bay and all hands were given leave. The ship was opened to visitors3 this being one of the primary reasons for the voyage.

The ships that had been attacked the coast. also but not sunk had been attacked by Spanish submarines in violation of orders. But those that were sunk were not attacked by the Insurgents. 49 However^ Admiral Cunningham^ who knew better from agents ashore^ Hstened and said nothing. That was all his orders permitted him to do. Hood soon Spanish waters for Malta and other duties^ but she was back again with the admiral at the end of March. Palma was now the major base of operations of the Spanish Insurgent fleets and sixteen of Franco's naval vessels were in the harbour^, plus two Italian destroyers left and Ammiraglio Moriondo's flagship the cruiser Quarto.

More important than these heavy ships were the two battleships that were almost finished^ Tirpitz and Bismarck. Bismarck^ oddly enough^ was in the ways as Hood was undergoing her refurbishment. She was launched by Blohm and Voss of Hamburg on St Valentine's Day 1939^ and such was the glory preceding her that she was given the kind of send-off reserved for heroes. Admiral Raeder^ Goering^ Goebbels3 a clutch of generals^ political advisers and all the Nazi notables were on the podium as Hitler unleashed his oratory and declared that this marvellous vessel would recreate the spirit of the great Chancellor.

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