Who sank HMS Hood?

The *Prinz Eugen/I] oil thread made me remember an old question which AFAIK has never been discussed here, though elsewhere it has. Which German ship struck the fatal blow on the not so mighty Hood?

Eugen did hit Hood early on, and started a pretty big fire. She is supposed to have adjusted to engaging Prince of Wales when the loss occurred, which is why any chance of her having fired the fatal shot is discounted. However, she fired several salvos at Hood before changing targets.

As the actual cause of the loss has not yet been ascertained, is it possible the fatal shot was in fact fired by the cruiser? The two possibilities are of course that the explosion was caused by the fire alluded to above, maybe due to the trunk doors being opened, perhaps by a shell?

In addition, British closed range before the loss, to about 15,000 yards. That makes deck penetration (the only feasible way a shot could get to the 15 inch magazines) less likely by the 38 cm SK C/34 naval gun of the Bismarck but its just at perfect range for plunging fire by the 20.3 cm/60 (8") SK C/34 of the Eugen, the Hoods deck armour was only 3 inches at maximum, while the penetration capability ay that range was 10 cm (4 inches).

I blame the Hood’s cordite handlers.

Hear’s adetailed analysis of this question, using some information which wasn’t available to the official boards of enquiry during WW2 such as the performance tables of Bismarck’s guns and survey information from Hood’s wreck. I’d recommend reading the whole thing, but otherwise:

[spoiler]It’s highly likely that Hood was destroyed when one of Bismarck’s shells detonated the aft magazine, as the official boards of enquiry concluded. Other theories, such as an explosion of Hood’s torpedoes, don’t really bear up to scrutiny. Hood’s famously weak deck armour is unlikely to be a factor in her loss, due to the shallow angle of fall of incoming shells. It appears that Hood closed the range sufficiently that plunging fire wouldn’t have been a factor, it’s far more likely the main belt was penetrated.

“The angle of fall of the incoming shells was only from 10.6° to 13.9°, which is a very high obliquity for deck penetration indeed. Graphs of German armor penetration for the 380mm shell (see previous page) stop at an obliquity of 20° and must be extrapolated to obtain any figure at all for an obliquity greater than this. Further, the best estimates obtained by such extrapolation seem to yield a total penetration capability of only about 65mm. The total thickness of deck armor protecting the magazines in this area, admittedly distributed amongst several layers, amount to approximately 120mm.”[/spoiler]

On a side-note a couple of years ago a colleague showed me a photograph he had been given by a relative who had served during the battle where HMS Hood was sunk. His relative had taken possibly the last photo of the ship before she was sunk.

My colleague had offered it to a museum for posterity but they said they weren’t interested for some reason.

Edited to add, he showed me a mobile phone capture of the actual original photo.

Would the exposed AAA ammunition been enough to cause the disaster?