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  1. 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.
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