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Greenlit: The Hood, Channel 4

The Hood w/t (1 x 60′) –  Documentary that follows an expedition to solve the last mysteries of HMS Hood: the greatest British warship of WWII.

The “Mighty” Hood was the pride of the British Navy for more than 20 years – revered around world as the largest and most powerful warship afloat. But when it met the German battleship Bismarck off the coast of Greenland on 24th May 1941, its end was shockingly swift. Although Hood opened fire first with her massive 15-inch guns it was Bismarck who struck the telling blows – hitting Hood at least twice and causing an enormous explosion and fire. Hood shattered hull sank in minutes and only three of its crew survived. 1415 were killed – the largest loss of life ever suffered in a British warship.

For decades, no-one was able to discover why the Hood sank so quickly. Two official Boards of Inquiry investigated but failed to explain the tragedy, and a 2001 expedition that discovered the wreck was largely inconclusive. This time, though, two of the world’s leading shipwreck detectives have returned to crack the puzzle of the Hood’s end.

The programme follows Deep Water Search and Recovery Expert David Mearns and Marine Archaeologist Innes McCartney through three dives in perilous conditions as they piece together evidence hidden nearly 3km beneath the ocean’s surface. It also highlights a recent effort sponsored by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, who volunteered the use of his expedition yacht, M/Y OCTOPUS, in an attempt to recover the Hood’s bell as a memorial to the ship and her crew. Along the way it tells the story of this epic battle, and pays tribute to the men who lost their lives on board.

Channel: Channel 4

Producer: Darlow Smithson

TX: Early 2013

Source: Channel 4 press release

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