Jean Hood is an acclaimed writer and historian. She formerly worked as Information Officer at Lloyd's Register of Shipping, and has published widely on maritime and naval subjects. Her work typically focuses on human stories of conflict and tragedy, incorporating eyewitness accounts and detailed research to cast new light on historical incidents. Her first non-fiction book, Marked for Misfortune, concerned the wreck of the East Indiaman Winterton. She is also the author of Trafalgar Square, Come Hell and High Water (published in paperback as Wreck) and the highly-praised anthologies Submarine and Carrier. Her latest project, War Correspondent, accompanies a major IWM exhibition and was published in May 2011.
Military archaeology is amongst the newest academic disciplines and is also one of the fastest growing. The BBC TV series Dig WWII will be using this discipline to examine some of the most compelling stories of the Battle of the Atlantic, the Battle of Britain and the Battle for Europe to provide fresh insights and understanding into our dramatic fight for survival. There will be perilous dives onto a tank graveyard and a sunken U-boat; the recovery of a crashed Spitfire from a Northern Irish bog; and an exploration of the tunnels and bunkers on a D-Day beach. Each story has personal testimony from veterans who were there. The series is made by the same team who made Dig 1940 for BBC1, which achieved nearly 5 million viewers for its opening episode. Author Jean Hood looks into all these stories, revealing the scientific breakthroughs, such as DNA profiling that has allowed families to identify loved ones, as well as the dangers inherent in diving to 130 metres and digging in a peat bog, while providing broader discussion on the themes in the programmes within a wider framework of the war in Europe.
One hundred years have passed since the first flight from a warship, an appropriate moment at which to mark the audacity, courage, vision and determination of the men, and more recently women, who have crewed aircraft carriers or flown from their decks. Using her contacts with serving and veteran personnel from several navies, extracts from archived memoirs, official reports and published material, Jean Hood covers the full range of carrier experience. Told by all ranks, from stokers and admirals to air fitters and pilots, the stories range from dramatic accounts of combat, accidents and rescues to humanitarian missions and amusing anecdotes of life on board in war and peace; all put into context by the editor. A famous novelist's diary for Christmas 1914 recalls the first attempt at a bombing raid by naval aircraft; an inter-war staff officer watches in dismay as his admiral is catapulted upside down. The Taranto raid is told through the eyes of the Fleet Air Arm pilots who flew it and the fitter who waited for their return. A radio operator relives the day when vulnerable escort carriers confronted the Japanese Navy at Leyte Gulf, and the opening strikes of the First Gulf War come vividly to life through the words of two pilots and a flight deck co-ordinator aboard USS Saratoga. A stoker tells how he abandoned the sinking HMS Eagle, an Australian pilot looks back on his dramatic rescue after being shot down over Korea and a US bombardier navigator relates the incredible tale of how he survived a partial ejection. An Italian helicopter pilot and his team describe the night-time MEDEVAC of a mother and baby from the ship trafficking them to Europe. With its focus on the human aspects of carrier life and naval aviation, this wide-ranging anthology will appeal to veterans, serving personnel, historians and general readers.
Submarine' is almost certainly the first book to bring together eye-witness accounts from almost every navy that deployed submarines in WW2, and it is far more than an account of WW2 missions. With self-deprecating modesty, humour, pride, sadness and sometimes bitterness, submariners from Britain, Germany, the USA, Italy, France, the former USSR and Yugoslavia, Norway, Greece, Poland, the Netherlands and Japan describe every facet of operational submarine life, from firing torpedoes, the illicit distillation of alcohol, going to the toilet in heavy weather, rescuing a cat and how to treat appendicitis, to the terrifying experiences of being depth-charged, disposing of a bomb, escaping a doomed boat and planting charged beneath an enemy warship.