Destroyed in eight minutes

Among those killed in the Battle of Jutland in 1916 was one of the Royal Navy’s most promising officers. Michael E Haskew recounts the illustrious 33-year rise of Horace Hood and the minutes that led to his death

Shortly after 6:00pm on May 31, 1916, the Battle of Jutland was roiling toward its crescendo.

The enemy, 9,000 yards distant, were the battlecruisers of the German High Seas Fleet, which were taking severe punishment as HMS Invincible and her sisters Inflexible and Indomitable raced to support the First and Second Battlecruiser Squadrons: Lion, Princess Royal, Queen Mary, Tiger, Indefatigable and New Zealand.

The fog was thick, but the thrill of the moment made the conditions a secondary concern. “Your firing is very good. Keep at it as quickly as you can. Every shot is telling,” barked Rear-

Admiral Horace Hood, commander of the Third Battlecruiser Squadron. His encouragement was meant for Commander Hubert Dannreuther, perched high above, directing the 12in guns on the battlecruiser HMS Invincible. Vice-Admiral David Beatty, commander of the battlecruiser fleet and a friend of Hood’s, flew his flag on Lion.

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