-H.M.S. Hood Reference Materials-
ADM 229/20: DNC's Reports (1938-1939)
Updated 09-Mar-2007

This document is a modern transcription of Admiralty record ADM 229/20. The original record contains papers and correspondence related to the proposed reconstruction of several Royal Navy vessels, to include H.M.S. Hood. This extract contains only the Hood portions of the record. The original file is held at the The National Archives at Kew, London. This Crown Copyrighted material is reproduced here by kind permission of The National Archives.

Chainbar divider

- Pages 53 & 54-


(Copies to:-




(a). New Machinery. Controller decided that the argument for new machinery in this ship was a strong one on the score of subdivision and safety.

(b). H.A. re-armament. Controller examined the drawings and enquired where the 6 Mark 'M' pom-poms would be. D.N.C. said that only 4 were shown in the drawing, but there appeared no difficulty in providing two more mountings. D.N.O. queried the cost and D.N.C. stated that this would be re-examined and details available for C.N.S.'s meeting on the 9th.

(c). Increased protection. The two schemes, viz, extra deck protection on the upper deck or the main deck, were examined. Controller preferred the former.

The only other item discussed in some detail was the removal of the conning-tower and the reconstruction of the bridges. D.N.O. would wish to have an armoured director aft, if the present director over the conning-tower were removed.

The impression I received was that Controller thought the laying up of this valuable ship at the present or at any time in the near future on the score of policy.

(d). Extension of forecastle. Controller was not impressed that this was a very desirable alteration, but D.N.E., speaking from his experience, said he thought it was, and that when the ship was going at speed the crest of the wave seemed to come close to the present break.



- Pages 306-310 -

H.M.S. "HOOD".


A mass of papers dealing with work to be done to the above ship when taken in hand this year for refit is herewith. The situation summarised is as follows:-

D.02984/36. Controller called a conference to discuss "HOOD" under two headings:-

(a). What can be done prior to her large refit, and
(b). What are the proposals for complete reconstruction.

As a result, Yards were informed that 8 single 4" H.A. guns should be fitted at the expense of 2 - 5.5" mountings, that the total number of Mark M's carried was to be 3, and the total number of .5" machine-guns 4; that the submerged torpedo tubes were to be removed and submerged flats subdivided.

In principle the above work has been done, but the magazine stowage is incomplete.

Yards were also informed that during the refit at Portsmouth this year it was intended to fit 8 - 4" guns in 4" twin mountings, replace the upper 5.5" guns, fit H.A. directors, and instal [sic] H.A. calculating positions.

The other papers herewith discuss the following:-

Provision of a new 15" D.C.T. and fire control table and installing power control searchlights. Although the fire control table has been ordered, this work will not now be done this year.

D.01481/37. Herewith is the paper which has been resuscitated from time to time to consider big reconstruction. The latest phase of this situation is that Controller instructed me verbally to consider complete reconstruction. This has been done and a separate report to Controller is herewith, which it is presumed will now be put on record in D.03414/38 and that paper then put away.





1. In accordance with your verbal instructions, consideration has been given, without going into great detail, of the work that would be involved if H.M.S. "HOOD" were completely reconstructed to bring her up to date as far as possible, viz.:-

(a). Provision of new main and auxiliary machinery.
(b). Fitting eight twin 5.25" H.A./L.A. mountings in lieu of the existing 5.5" L.A. and 4" H.A. mountings
(c). Short range A.A. armament increased to 6 - M.Mk.VI. pom poms; 0.5" machine guns removed.
(d). Fitting D.III.H. catapult, aircraft and hangars as in "KING GEORGE V" Class."
(e). Removal of above-water torpedo tubes.
(f). Removal of conning tower and reconstruction of bridges.
(g). Modification to underwater protection by removal of tubes from the buoyancy space in the bulge, the oil fuel in the existing wing tanks being transferred to the buoyancy space.
(h). Provision of increased deck protection.
(i). Removal of 5" belt upper-forecastle deck.
(j). Modification of top portion of bulge to provide requisite stability.

2. When reconstructed as above, "HOOD" would possess the following main characteristics:-

I. Armament.

8 - 15" in four twin turrets.
16 - 5.25" H.A./L.A. in eight twin turrets.
6 - M Mk.VI. pom-poms.

The 15" magazines are situated above the shell rooms, instead of below as in all capital ships since "HOOD".

II. Protection.

Alternative arrangements involving approximately equal weight are shown on the attached drawings, D.N.C.1/A 365 and 366. In each arrangement the upper belt (5") is removed and the 2" splinter protection on lower deck is made more extensive. The arrangements differ as follows:-

Arrangement (A). 12" belt extended to upper deck, and the existing upper deck strengthened to provide the equivalent of 2½" over machinery spaces and 4" over magazines.
Arrangement (B). 12" and 7" belts remain as at present and the main deck is increased to 5" over magazines and 4" over machinery.

Arrangement (A) is preferred, as it gives better protection to the lower portions of the barbettes.

Underwater Protection. This remains as capable of withstanding a 500 lbs. charge in contact.

III. Machinery and Speed.

The new machinery spaces will be subdivided as in recent capital ships, which would be a great improvement. With the same power as formerly, estimated speeds are 31½ knots standard and 30¾ knots deep.

3. Time and Cost. It is estimated that the alterations outlined in para 1 above will cost about £4½ millions and take about three years to complete.


- Pages 180-182 -


(1). Last large repair in 1931.
(2). New machinery.

From D.N.C.'s point of view it would be desirable to save weight by fitting new machinery and to have the machinery compartment smaller with the boiler rooms separating engine rooms.


(3). Protection.
Horizontal protection is not up to present standards.

(a). Should the 12" belt be extended up to the upper deck, the 280 and 200-lb. strakes being removed?

(b). If the above were done it would be proposed to increase the upper deck to the equivalent of [left blank].

(c). An alternative proposal to increase the main deck to the equivalent of [left blank] has been considered, but is not so desirable as it leaves the barbette bases weak.


(4). Underwater protection.
Propose to remove tubes. The weight thereby saved is necessary. Oil fuel would be carried in the tube space. The top of the bulge will require modification for stability reasons.


(5). H.A. Re-armament.
Present approved arrangements are 16 - 5.25", 8 - 4" and 3 Mark "M" pom-poms. Is the above to be altered into a 5.25" HA/LA armament with 6 Mark "M" pom-poms?


(6). Aircraft arrangements.
A D.IV.H. and 2 hangars can be provided if the H.A. rearmament is approved.

(7). Bridge arrangements.
The present bridge is out of date. The conning-tower, which is very heavy and never used, would have to be removed to provide requisite weight saving and stability.


(8). Extension of forecastle.
This is very desirable.

- Pages 112-114 -


Reconstruction of "HOOD"

The following notes are submitted:-

Item 1. Last large repair in 1931.
Cost of next large repair about £600,000 (excluding all alterations and additions).

Item 2. New Machinery.
It is desirable to save the weight gained by fitting new machinery and to adopt an arrangement with boiler rooms separating engine rooms.

Cost, about £1,625,000.
Time, not less than 3 years.

Notes. If machinery is to be renewed at all during the ship's life, now is the time. An alternative scheme might be to re-boiler only. (E in C has not been consulted).

Item 3. Protection.
Horizontal protection is not up to present standards. The following schemes are for consideration:-

(a). 12" belt extended up to upper deck, the 7" and 5" tiers being removed. Increase the upper deck to the equivalent of 2½" over machinery and 4" over magazines.

(b). Leave the 7" tier, remove the 5" tier and increase the main deck to the equivalent of 4" over machinery and 5" over magazines. This is not recommended as it leaves the barbette bases weak.

Time, about 2 years.
Cost for scheme (a) about £750,000, including armour.

Item 4. Underwater protection.
Propose to remove tubes as it is necessary to save this weight. Oil fuel would be carried in the tube space. The top of the bulge will require modification for stability reasons.

Time, about 2 years, including about 12 months in dock.
Cost, about £300,000.

Item 5. Rearmament.
The present approved arrangements are 12 - 5.5" [sic] L.A., 8 - 4" H.A., 3 Mark "M" pom-poms, the HA/LA guns proposed would be 12 - 5.25's or 16 - 4.5's , the magazine stowage being a difficulty. If new machinery or new boilers were fitted this difficulty would be less, in the former case we might get in 16 - 5.25", but supply would not be very good (See Item 7 re conning-tower).

Time, about 2 years.
Cost, about £1,000,000 for the 16 - 5.25 scheme.

Item 6. Aircraft arrangements.
A D.III.H. and 2 hangars can be provided, either with the existing secondary and H.A. armament or with the H.A. rearmament suggested.

Cost, about £180,000.
Time: Could be done during a large repair.

Item 7. Bridge arrangements.
The present bridge is out of date. The conning-tower, which is very heavy, would have to be removed to provide the necessary stability.

Time: Could be done during a large repair.
Cost: Depends on rearmament (D.C.T.'s) (Say £150,000).

Item 8. Extension of forecastle.
This is very desirable.

Time: Could be done during a large repair.
Cost: About £30,000.

Summary of Cost.

2. New Machinery £1,625,000
3. Protection £750,000
4. Underwater Protection £300,000
5. Rearmament £1,000,000
6. Aircraft £180,000
7. Conning Tower and Bridges £150,000
8. Extension of Forecastle £30,000
Add for defects and the usual alterations and additions £465,000

Note. If any of the above items are deleted, the total cost will be more than the above total minus the deleted items.



- Page 95 -

"NELSON", "RODNEY" and "HOOD" - Large Repairs and/or modernization.

Proposals for large repair and/or modernization of "NELSON", "RODNEY" and "HOOD" have been prepared and I understand that you wish to hold a meeting to discus them. I would propose that D.N.C., E-in-C., D.N.C. and D. of D. should attend from Controller's Departments.

2. In the meantime I attach a few notes which seem to me to present the broader aspects of the question and which can be developed at the meeting.

(Signed) F.T.B. TOWER
for Controller

1st March, 1939.