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.
Hood's usefulness had deteriorated because of advances in naval gunnery. She was scheduled to undergo a major rebuild in 1941 to correct these issues, but the outbreak of World War II forced the ship into service without the upgrades.
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.
Of the 1,418 crew, only three men survived. They were rescued about two hours after the sinking by the destroyer HMS Electra.