It's important to remember that Britain was preeminent at sea. Her symbol was the HMS Hood, the largest and fastest warship in the world. She represented British naval power, and was the symbol of Britain's status as a world power.
She was also a great deterrent. Should trouble threaten, Hood's appearance was always pacific. And yet, the Hood had a fatal flaw -- deck armor had been sacrificed for speed. It was a bad trade, so bad that in her first and only major engagement, she was sunk by a salvo from the Bismarck. She left only three survivors.
More than her crews perished with the Hood. A whole era of naval supremacy was sunk as well. The world has never been the same." (B-O-T Editorial Review Board) [via]