By Edwin Palmer Hoyt
Sunk by way of the Bismarck: The existence and demise of the battleship HMS Hood
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Additional resources for Sunk by the Bismarck: The Life and Death of the Battleship HMS Hood
Thus when the three merchant vessels set out on the night of 21 Aprils //ooJ headed out for sea too. It was no coincidence. As morning came on the misty Vizcayan coasts the three merchant ships moved in line toward The challenge might not come in such heavy fog^ at least the merchant captains could hope for that^ for they were the exposed ones. When they reached the mouth of the Nervion and were ten miles off Punta de la Galea^ they were warned by the British destroyer Firedrake that Franco's warships were waiting for them.
Day and day out the major elements of the fleet were in those northern waters^ cruising^ watching and guarding. Sometimes it was the North Sea. Sometimes it was the North Atlantic. There came a bit of excitement on 25 September when the submarine Spearfish was reported to be badly damaged^ lying off Horn Reefs near the Dogger Bank and unable to dive. Her position was close to the spot where in 58 Admiral Beatty had encountered Admiral Hipper and fought the action that kept the Kaiser's Hochseeflotte bottled up for the remainder of the last war.
Cunningham took over the BattleCruiser Squadron with his flag in Hood. She left Malta on Wednesday^ 5 January3 and headed out to sea for practice with the 15-inch guns. Two days later she arrived in Palma de Majorca and the admiral took over his new command. Hood remained in Palma only a few days. She waited until Devonshire arrived from the port of Marseille with mail for the fleet and with Sir Norman King KCMG aboard. Sir Norman was HBM Consul-General3 destined for Barcelona^ and in order to make a suitable impression Hood 46 would take him there.