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Ted Briggs


I am remiss in noting the passing last month of Ted Briggs. Briggs was the last of the three survivors of the destruction of HMS Hood at the Battle of Denmark Strait. Obits here and here.

Here’s an animated depiction of the loss of Hood, including an interview with Briggs:

More recent scholarship on the loss suggests that it may have been the cruiser Prinz Eugen, rather than the Bismarck, that inflicted the fatal blow.

…oh, Johnny Horton. The Bismarck was, prior to commissioning of HIJMS Yamato, “the biggest ship”, but it conspicuously lacked “the biggest guns”, which belonged to HMS Nelson and HMS Rodney (9×16″; five other ships also carried 16″ guns). And as to the claim of being “the fastest ship to ever sail the seas”, Bismarck had an operational speed roughly similar to that of Hood (29 knots, as Hood’s speed had dropped from 31 earlier in her career), and was notably slower than the German Scharnhorsts, the French Dunkerques or Richielieu, and the British Renowns.

I am also told that powdering a gator’s behind and filling his head with cannonballs is unlikely to produce positive outcomes.

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