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Found 6 results

  1. This is going to be a bit of a historical write-up on ZG-3 “Hermes”, her background, her service and a few pictures for those that prefer something for the eye. Why that ex-Greek destroyer? Because she is in her form a unique ship. Germany only operated one destroyer in the Mediterranean Sea (and a good number of torpedoboats, although the line between DD and TB for the Germans was purely a question of what staff was on board, hence why the then ex-Italian Soldati-class were considered TBs), and it was one of the few Greek ships to fall into Axis hands. During her career she was without doubt the largest Kriegsmarine-operated warship in the Mediterranean, and one of the most active destroyers that Germany had during the entire war. Being only one and being deployed in a theatre that in the mainstream-view on history kind of ignored, she has been dropped under the table. An unfortunate fate, especially given her short but still busy life. Background The Greek Navy at the outbreak of WW2 was a mostly outdated Navy, which starting with the destroyers was to be modernized. Borrowing design elements from the British H-class destroyers, yet carrying German main weaponry and Dutch fire control equipment, she was the nameship of the most powerful class of Greek destroyers. The standard displacement was 1,350t which would go up 1,890t when fully loaded, and her 34,000shp machinery would permit a speed of up to 36kn. Four German 128mm (identical to those found on German destroyers), two quadruple 533mm torpedo launchers of British origin supplemented the armament, with four 37mm guns in single mounts and ASW being the final touch. Entering service on February 15th 1939 under the name Vasilevs Georgios I., she was damaged at her aft two years later by German dive bombers, and while being in a floating drydock to get repaired the entire drydock was sunk on April 20th 1941. Following the surrender of Greece the sunken ship, contrary to the German-Italian agreement which said that all captured ships would become Italian property, was integrated into the Kriegsmarine. Many repairs being necessary she was raised and repaired by workers of the Germania-yard. Those repairs, often being improvised in their nature, led to a few changes in her characteristics. The displacement rose to 1,414t standard and 2,088t full, which alongside the problems arising from previous bomb damage to the aft resulted in a lowered maximum speed of 32kn. The torpedo armament was modified to fit German torpedoes, whereas the artillery due to the German origin required no changes. Four 20mm guns were added for additional anti-air defense and throughout her service the older 37mm cannons, which proved unsatisfactory, were replaced by guns of the same caliber taken from Uboats. What was liked was her seakeeping, she was noted to be very smooth in her movements and having excellent turning capabilities, although when sailing against the waves she would take on a lot of water. She was recommissioned under the designation ZG-3 (which is short for Zerstörer Griechenland 3, Greek destroyer 3, with the 3 indicating that she was the third captured destroyer under the German flag) on March 3rd 1942. Under the German flag While the ship was commissioned in March, it took until June before she was deemed ready for combat. Although to spoil that part, there is no indication that she ever fired her main guns in anger. Interestingly enough she was at first called into service only as ZG-3, and only on August 22nd 1942 was she officially given the name Hermes. Considering how the Kriegsmarine stopped naming their destroyers with the outbreak of the war, this is a very unique event and definitely worth a mention. Hermes was deployed as a vessel for various tasks, or as the German saying goes as a “girl for everything”, and until the end of April 1943 she would be deployed over 50 times, escorting in total 74 merchant ships, eight troop transports and eleven other crafts such as netlayers and repair ships. Despite being alone in terms of nationality she was rarely alone on the water, during most of her trips she was accompanied by Italian destroyers, torpedoboats and occasionally by subchasers. Her only chance to see surface action was when Italian cruisers and destroyers were prepared for an expected movement of British reinforcements targeting Egypt. However, her order for assisting the Italians was recalled shortly before the operation began. Not facing surface ships did not exclude her from engaging submarines during her voyages, which happened twice during Hermes’ career. On November 16th 1942 Hermes spotted the Greek submarine Triton, and the assisting subchaser UJ2102 moved in for the kill. A similar fate struck HMS Splendid on April 21st 1943, although this time Hermes operated alone and had to sink the British submarine by herself. A more positive experience was granted to the German Uboats U-83 and U-97, who due to damage and the consequential inability to dive required assistance. Hermes escorted both of them back to port, former on August 18th 1942, latter on August 5th of the same year. As it was the case for many smaller German ships, Hermes would also be used for mine warfare. No less than three mine operations marked her career. Having plenty of experience escorting troop transports, she would eventually be used as a transport herself to quickly deliver troops and ordnance to Tunis. During her second run on April 30th 1943 air attacks first sank the accompanying Italian destroyer and then turned their attention to the now alone ship. Near misses resulted in the loss of lubrication pumps, and her engines were forced to full stop as the shafts ground against the hose without grease in between. Surviving the attack, a tugboat pulled her towards her destination Tunis where work was started to restore the combat readiness. However, the collapsing front at Tunis meant that survival would not be possible and she would be blown up by her own crew at the harbor entrance as a blockship. This marked the end of ZG-3 Hermes, during her 431 day long career as the only German destroyer on the Mediterranean she would be outside of a port for 124 days. Not much is known about her conduct and the impressions she left on those that had the pleasure of meeting her, but it is said that the crews of the merchants held a high opinion on Hermes and her crew for the dedication they showed even if the escorting would go without notable events. Her service, while not being as remarkable as that of the legends such as Johnston or Hatsuzuki, demonstrated how monotone yet crucial the role of a destroyer can be. A role that in Germany was rarely granted to destroyers. Picture section Blueprint-like drawings of Hermes in decent quality are difficult to find. This is the best one I could dig up, although it is not showing the added 20mm weaponry and is likely showing her in her pre-captured shape. A front view from her deck towards the superstructure. Interesting to note are the aerial recognition stripes on her deck (or called candy cane camo) which are typical features of Italian ships. Given how Hermes spent most of her time alongside Italian ships, wearing their recognition marks to avoid getting bombed by Allied forces a la Leberecht Maass was a reasonable thing to do. Hermes during her trials in 1942. Note the empty AA platform, although around the rear superstructure you can see a 20mm gun. While only displaying a relatively small portion of the ship, this shot shows the typical German 128mm mounts and the 20mm gun mounted at the tip of her bow. Various pictures of Hermes. She is wearing a similar camouflage to the Italian destroyers and torpedoboats. Afterword Playing this game just like most of you do, the question “Would she fit in-game?” deserves a quick answer. And the answer is yes. Her specs would fit perfectly at T5 if you kept the 32kn speed, T6 if you decided to let her run around with permanently overloaded engines. T-22’s sad state would be good enough of a justification to do a swift replace, or if WG wants to make Hermes a T5 premium (which would be better than T-22 in basically every way). Hope you enjoyed this short overview over Germany's only destroyer in the Mediterranean Sea, if you got questions, feel free to ask. Cheers~ References "Die deutschen Zerstörer 1935-1945" written by Gerhard Koop and Klaus-Peter Schmolke "Z-Vor! Internationale Entwicklung und Kriegseinsätze von Zerstörern und Torpedobooten 1940-1945", written by Harald Fock "Marine Arsenal Band 46 – Beute-Zerstörer und Torpedoboote der Kriegsmarine", written by Dr. Z. Freivogel
  2. Hello! I thought this would be an interesting question. If it was already asked already, feel free to close the thread. A big factor concerning the Second World War was the Marine Nationale. Aside from a few skirmishes and battles here and there, they were mostly a non-factor in the entire conflict, neither supporting the Allies or Axis in large offensives. Nevertheless, they could've been a big tipping point prior to the massive scuttling in Toulon due to their relatively big numbers and good technology. While we can conclude that a full-on Allied Marine Nationale would've helped end the war faster, at least on the high seas, what about a fully loyal Axis Marine Nationale? What I mean is a Marine Nationale that is fully committed to the Axis cause. While that would definitely not work from a historical and political perspective, I'm mostly looking at this from a military perspective, so that is ignoring politics overall. While I'm also aware that the French had naval assets in the Pacific as well, I recall that they were very limited, so they probably wouldn't have too much of an effect on the war there. That is why I'm focusing on the Atlantic and Mediterranean theaters since the French Navy was very big in those sectors. XX For this question, I was either thinking around the time of France's formal surrender, which led to the creation of the Vichy French regime. Ignoring De Gaulle and the French French movement, lets just say that they have no naval assets and the French navy is mostly 100% fine with formally helping the Axis. If the Marine Nationale joined the Axis with French personnel and material, how would've that affected the British Royal Navy in terms of planning and logistics, especially if the French were working alongside the German and Italian navies in their operations? How would've that affected American planning when the United States Navy inevitably join the war effort after Pearl Harbor since they did have units in the Atlantic? Could the Axis overpower the Allies in Europe with the Marine Nationale on their side? If the war is won by the Allies, what do you think would be the fate of the Marine Nationale? After all, the Axis navies post-war were dissolved and their more important units were split up among the winners...with some small exceptions (i.e. the Andrea Doria-class battleships staying with Italy).
  3. Heyo, a month or two ago @MutsuKaiNi asked me if there were any designs for a German Atlanta. To my knowledge, no. But I promised to create one from scratch (so basically what WG did with a good number of Russian BBs, according to their Developer Diary), and it would be a waste if I just left it to rot on my hard drive. The entire background of this is a huge what-if. What if Germany had the time and resources to pull through their Z-plan? What if the war had not begun in 1939? What if Germany realized the need for dedicated anti-aircraft vessels? Now while one can argue the likelihood of all these events ever happening, they do in combination result in this thread. And here it is, what would be if Germany decided to convert one of their K-class cruisers into an AA cruiser? How would this take shape? What would be the most likely changes? If it is not obvious yet, I shall make it clear now: All the changes while based on actual events or ideas or concepts, have been merged in what is a product of my creativity. There was to my knowledge no plan to make something even remotely similar to this. To avoid confusion, I will imagine a fourth K-class ship and apply everything to her. I will give her the name Kassel. The K-class ships were named after German cities starting with K, and Kassel meets that criteria. Step 1: We un-suck the K-class The first few changes are rather obvious. We shall apply the refit that Karlsruhe received, that was also planned for all the other light cruisers not called Emden. Since we have moved the beginning of the war at some other point, this is a plausible step. What it does is adding bulges to the side of the ship, rearranging the searchlights, strengthening the hull and thus making her more seaworthy. Additionally Kassel would receive a 14mm upper belt and a 16mm upper deck, which would give splinter protection (and probably be useful against strafing aircraft, heh). Probably the most important change however is that Karlsruhe after her refit was capable of carrying the 105mm dp gun, which she did for the final months of her career. Since this gun will be the main armament later, enabling the ability to carry them is essential. A downside is that the speed drops to 30-31kn, and the cruising range is also going down. All of the things in this paragraph have been applied to a K-class vessel in reality, and are thus not fictional. For visualization, this is a plan of Karlsruhe after her refit. Step 2: We un-suck the K-class, round 2 We know that Köln (the only surviving member of the class after the occupation of Norway) would trade in her rear pair of torpedo launchers and her catapult. This will also be applied to Kassel, which will open up space for smaller arms and remove a fire hazard from the midship section. Since my drawing skills suck, I simplified the drawing by removing things such as lifeboats, cranes, etc. We do however keep in mind that they take up space. Step 3: We initiate the refit And now we are somewhere around 1942, the first units of the M-class are entering service, we still got those old K-class grannies around but thanks to their refit they can no longer keep up with the more modern vessels. What to do…? Smart idea, we turn them into an AA cruiser! The US has those fancy Atlanta class ships, and what they can do, Germany can do as well (not really, but anyway). And now we are entering the section where I start making things up, but will back the changes directly or indirectly. Our weapon of choice? The 105mm gun. Solid. This was the standard heavy AA weapon of the Kriegsmarine, being mounted on all heavy Cruisers at this stage, all Battleships and was also planned for future capital ships. The first step in our refit is now that the main turrets will have to go. As sad as it may be, there is no use for them on a ship which shall dedicate itself to AA duties. So begone! This would also include the rangefinders for the main armament, of which the one on the conning tower and the one on the rear superstructure would be removed to open up space for other equipment. Additionally there are also the two 3m rangefinders on the side of the foremast, which will be removed. These were initially serving the purpose of directing the torpedo armament and night fighting. However, as Kassel will be serving as an AA vessel her torpedo armament will be a weapon system which won’t be used regularly, so the room that we’d get would be well used on other equipment. Now there’s plenty of room to use. But an artillery gun can’t just be placed anywhere, a link to the magazines is needed to feed it with ammunition. That is thankfully covered, we still got Kassel’s main battery hoists. So three hoists per barbette, each delivering around 65kg of cargo every 7.5s (to reflect the RoF of the previous main guns). A complete round weights around 27kg, so we can be sure to transport two rounds with every hoist every 7.5s, so total supply per barbette is 48 shells every minute assuming that no hoist modifications take place. With that in mind we can say that each barbette can feed up to two twin mounts for a sustained output of 12 shells per gun and minute. Ready ammunition like it was usual would allow for the output to be initially higher. As for the placement, I went with this: Step 4: Fine-tuning Now that is all nice and well, but there are a few more things to do. Next up is fire control equipment. We made room for a few fire directors. Using the AA fire director we got already, we can take two more and add them. One around the conning tower, a second one around the rear superstructure. The reason for having two at the rear is that there are six mounts, so to allow for split fire directing like the Germans loved to do two would be provided. An important thing to note here is that the AA fire directors will also be directing the torpedo armament. German warships allowed for the fire directors to feed different systems if needed, so if the torpedo armament is needed, an AA fire director will feed the data to the torpedo computing room and thus a torpedo firing solution will be generated. Also note that these rangefinders work just as well against surface units, however I decided to let one 5m rangefinder remain on the ship for ASu warfare. Kassel is shaping up already, though we are not done yet. There is obviously a lack of medium and small caliber AA armament. For that we have to look at what was given to Köln, Emden and Nürnberg starting 1944. Aside from the usual array of 20mm guns, there is also the 37mm M42 and the 40mm Bofors being adopted. The Bofors however was acquired through the occupation of several European nations, so given the scenario we are in right now the Bofors falls out. The 37mm M42 however remains as an option, and from what I can gather six twin mounts can be equipped, assuming that the German standards of gun mount placement do not change. As for the 20mm gun, following the German arrangement patterns we saw on other K-class vessels and some cruisers, there would be room for in total ten twin mounted 20mm FlaK38s. As a note for the picture, I only later on realized that the structure itself on which the catapult rested before remained on Köln, so I added it afterwards. I also made some smaller corrections and additions which include the crest, of the city of Kassel, a smaller platform around the two superfiring 105mm guns for the gun crew and corrected some smaller errors here and there as well as adding at least some sort of watermark. Dimensions: - 174m long, 16.8m wide, up to 6m draft Displacement: - 6,300 tons standard load - 8,000 tons full load Machinery: - 68,200shp or 1,800shp, depending on type of propulsion - 31kn speed under steam, 10kn speed under Diesel - 3,500nm under steam, 6,500nm under Diesel Armament: - Sixteen (8x2) 105mm/65 dual purpose guns - Twelve (6x2) 37mm M42 - Twenty (10x2) 20mm FlaK38 - Six (2x3) 533mm Torpedo launchers Conclusion: How likely would these steps be in reality? I'd say quite low. With the war breaking out in 1939 no extensive refits could be afforded by the Kriegsmarine, hence why only Karlsruhe was the only one to receive the refit. As there weren't that many The refit however does have a few changes whose impacts can't be estimated by me. If someone knows what would happen, feel free to let me know. For example there is a very noticable loss of weight above the waterline. The three 15cm turrets had a weight of around 410 tons. Their replacement with five 105mm twins means that a total weight loss of roughly 270 tons took place. Adding this to the removal of the catapult and two torpedo banks means that the lost tonnage is around 400 tons, if not more. This might result in an increase in speed and improved stability, as well as a longer cruising range. Also I am not sure how the hoists would be affected by this. Could their delivery rate be increased given the lighter individual load? In its role as an AA ship Kassel would outperform anything that was German. Plenty of long range triple A as well as a modern medium and short range suite would ensure close range defenses, although the medium and short range is by no means special. Fire control wise by refraining from using the tri-axial stabilized 3m rangefinders that Prinz Eugen for example carried there is a good deal of potential lost, maybe it would get replaced with more modern equipment, maybe not, I don't know. Against anything larger than a Destroyer Kassel would stand no chance. The armor being very thin for a ship in the 40s, and only standing up against Destroyer caliber fire and against strafing aircraft, and sort of surface engagement would be risky at best, suicidal at worst.
  4. LL_JuneBug

    M class Kruezer Gemany1938

    I have 3D modeled the M class light cruiser and 2d mapped it some years back for the book I published and donated the illustrations to Wikipedia. I was bummed a little bit that they haven't opted to put them into World of Warships. The Yorck is somewhat close, but it's not the same ship. Here is a 2d illustration that I made to use on Wikipedia, and for my book. I am working on making it more realistic and more detailed. here I started positioning the guns over the line drawings of the M class. on the bottom is the model of the Yorck. I outlined the guns in orange so view the model better. I made the model parts invisible with the outline to show better the positioning. The M class had a narrower hull and shallower draught. A fore projective angle. I am also modeling USS Nevada1943, and Andrea Doria from Giulio Casars hull and guns.
  5. So, one of the problems that Germany had at the end of the 1930's was that their Navy had 6 light cruisers and other than the last 2 being barley adequate to count as any kind of a serious sea going combat ship, it meant that they basically had 2 ships that they could use as light cruisers to accompany any larger capitol ships. Now mind you this was in the years that Admiral Reader and Hitler was making their Christmas wish list. You know 6 to 10 new Battleships, 6 new M class light cruisers, 12 new P class armored cruisers, 4 aircraft carriers, 24 destroyers, ext. LOL, If Germany could have built even half of that in 6 years with the Idea that they were going to start stuff in 1944 to 46, you know that Briton and France would have craped their pants and be building ships in reply. Then the Italians, Japan, America would have been hitting their yards with new ships. It might have not went on the scale of what the 1890 to 1910 arms race was, but it would have been a mini arms race. It might have made WW2 more interesting though if Germany did actually start the war with at least 4 to 6 Battleships, and somewhat of a larger fleet even though the British empire and France would have enlarged theirs also. Plus I dont know if the aircraft tech would have advanced at the same rate. I think a lot of things wouldn't have been as advanced until war caused it to have to be figured out. Anyway one of the idea's that German Ship Designers considered albeit not very seriously was to take the hull for Seydlitz and finish her into a Hipper class heavy configuration, except instead of mounting 8 - 203mm (8"guns), they proposed to mount 12 - 150mm (5.9" guns) in four triple super firing turrets. This would have solved the design issues of the M class cruisers completely. They would have been way ahead in the thinking of the Americans that made Cleveland's and Baltimore's from the same hulls. With a Hipper hull and the slightly lighter 15cm triple turrets, they could have carried much more fuel, supplies and ammunition for the main battery. they could mount extra AA guns, (although in 1938 no one realized, or had a lot of fear of planes yet). They would have had more range than the M class cruisers and would have been better protected, unless they thinned the armor belt to save weight. Either option would have gave them a far superior, but more expensive ship. They already had built 3 of these ships complete and were close to finishing the 2 last ones as heavy cruisers. They were dragging their feet on Seydlitz though because it was promised to the Russians under the non aggression pact that Daddy Hitler and Uncle Joe had with each other. None the less though lets say the Reader convinces Hitler that they can build more heavy cruisers later and that he would like to convert Lutzow to a medium/large light cruiser if you will and that it would be advantages to replace the K class with them or to augment future battlegroups. Hitler is in a good mood for a change and because at the time he doesn't foresee any serious strife in the near future he says ( If you think this is a good idea Admiral then it is ok to proceed. Admiral Raeder gets Goring drunk and gets him to divert a little of the Luftwaffe's money his way, along with slightly prolonging the M class cruisers construction. He gets a hold on like 4 submarines which totally pisses off Doughnuts, er (Doenitz). Dont worry he will get over it. So the next letter of the alphabet in line for light cruiser design is S, because the M,N,O, and P are scheduled, with Q, and R already selected. The Germans didn't always do this either but they were in a slight habit of naming the first, and or all ships of a letter class. For example the 3 K class were all K town names. L was Leipzig, but the second L class was Nuremberg, so hit and miss on that however the first M class cruiser was most likely to be Munich. So S. There are several towns with S. Admiral Reader had traveled through the small town of Schwanewede and was taken to the local people and countryside view there. so this name was selected for the first of the class. (note that the last sentence here is pure fabrication on my part for the story. I just wanted to establish a plausible story to establish a possible name for a fictitious ship.) So I present to you Der Kriegsmarine Shiffe: Schwanewede. Schwanewede crest The first ship of the class built with the hull and machinery of the 4th Hipper Class. This would make her resistant to 203mm shells. Launched in mid 1939. Germany classified her as a Light Cruiser but the English press wrote editorials that claimed that this ship was truly more of an overpowered light cruiser, and or an under gunned Heavy Cruiser. The French press claimed that Germany invented the Medium Cruiser, and should make their minds up. Here the guns and torpedo tubes are outlined in Orange and the front AA 37 single in Yellow. Here the same outline as seen from the top down view.
  6. Hello! I thought this was an interesting question to pose to the community. As you guys know, the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet at Scapa Flow was a great event in the waning hours of the First World War that eliminated a lot of warships. These ranged from little destroyers to grand battleships. For historical conjecture (I doubt this would've happened in real life), let's say that the Germans was allowed to maintain the ships that were heading to Scapa Flow in a disarmed state. Let's also say that the Nazi Party rises like it did in our timeline, but their new Kriegsmarine is bolstered by all of this old German equipment. If you were a German admiral looking at this fleet, what would you do with the ships? Would you scrap them all to make room for more advanced designs or would you upgrade them to help bolster the surface fleet? Also, how would keeping this fleet have affected German naval development during the Second World War? Here is a link to all the ships that were sunk at Scapa Flow during the scuttling: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scuttling_of_the_German_fleet_in_Scapa_Flow#In_captivity Thanks!
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