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dseehafer

What the Americans thought of Germany's Deutschland class

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Greetings all,

 

Stumbled across something many of you may find interesting, I know I did.

 

This is an entry in the "Journal of the Naval Engineering Journal June 23, 1933" with post war edits ( * )

 

"

Entered into service on April 1, 1933, the German battle ship "Deutschland" has been in the fleet for three months already. The photographs show that he has an elongated half-tank, stretching for 30 m from the bow, which gives the ship an elegant appearance. The superstructures are located very reasonably and do not interfere with the fore and aft trefoil towers, which could be with the limited dimensions of the ship. The chimney and the battle mast are not too high, the silhouette of the ship makes an excellent impression. Of course, on the basis of external forms you will not make serious conclusions, technicians and seamen know perfectly well that appearance and efficiency are far from the same thing.

We clearly do not have enough information (and there is no official information at all). On the trials of "Deutschland" is kept completely silent for six months. This is not surprising, no one expected Germany to inform the whole world about the important technical secrets of its navy. Maybe in the future we learn that "Deutschland" was equipped with diesel engines with a capacity of 56,800 hp. (the American horsepower is 1.0139 European). * Estimating the power of the engines "Deutschland" in 57590 hp, the author of the article was close to the truth (54000 hp).

Judging by the reports of the newspapers, the ship vibrates noticeably at full speed, and the engines produce a strong noise. We do not have data on the fuel reserves on the ship, and it is impossible to judge whether its range is really 10,000 nautical miles at a speed of 20 knots (* absolutely accurate figure) or these figures, like many steam vessels, are only theoretical. But it is obvious that the machines "Deutschland" justify themselves. It is inconceivable that Germany spent more than 3.37 million pounds sterling on the "experimental model" if it did not meet expectations. This consideration is confirmed by the fact that two more units of the same type are being built, and the third ship is scheduled to be laid next year.

In short, we have a ship with a displacement of 10,000 tons. This is not a battleship or a cruiser, but simply an "armored" ship. Undoubtedly, so far this is the best definition of the class. Armed with it as a battleship, it has a cruising speed as a cruiser, but still it is not both, and not another. Here is Germany's response to the Washington restrictions, and it's hard to come up with something more effective. In no country in the world is a ship with characteristics such as "Deutschland" built.

Politically, it would be unwise to demonstratively create ships of the same displacement, but greater combat power. France, which felt threatened, striving for a balance of armaments, laid two battleships 2.5 times larger than Deutschland's. The length of the armored ship "Deutschland" reaches 609 feet (185.62 meters), the width is 67.5 feet (20.57 meters), and the draft is 21 feet 9 inches (6.62 meters). The estimated speed of 26 knots, and the range of navigation, apparently enough for the transition from Hamburg to Hong Kong.

The main caliber is six 280-mm cannons in triple turrets. This weapon, in the most modest estimation, having high ballistic qualities, is not inferior to any modern weapons except for 381- and 406-mm. It is worth recalling that the British Admiralty proposed 280mm guns as the main caliber for its future battleships, since such weapons are able to satisfy all the requirements for ship artillery.

None of the heavy cruisers in the structure with a displacement of about 10,000 tons is able to withstand the well-aimed "Deutschland" gun salvo. The most important areas of ships of this class are not protected by armor, and the action of a 280-mm high-explosive projectile will be devastating. Of course, cruisers can respond with the fire of their 203-mm guns, but the German ship has the most vulnerable points armored sufficiently reliably, in any case, it can withstand much more hits than its "thin-skinned" opponents.

The only advantage of some cruisers is their speed. But one speed is not enough, and a reasonable tactic of warfare is needed. To correctly assess the importance of the emerging ships of the "Deutschland" type, their influence on the world naval policy, we need to present them as raiders. How can you resist the actions of such ships against the merchant fleet?

Light cruisers with a main caliber of 152 mm are of little use even for reconnaissance purposes. In bad weather conditions, they immediately lose their speed advantage. A ship like "Deutschland", developing the course of 26 knots, will easily overtake and destroy such a cruiser. Heavy cruisers with a displacement of 10,000 tons with 203 mm guns in this respect are not any better. They can evade the battle, but are they able to inflict significant damage on the enemy before they are destroyed? A comparison of the armor protection and armament of ships of these types answers the question posed.

Without exaggeration, we can say that the creation of "Deutschland" and similar ships completely changes the familiar strategy and tactics of war at sea, as well as many views on shipbuilding.

We can only enter this new path in order to get out of this unpleasant situation sooner! It's incomprehensible, but our country (the USA) is so constrained by the terms of the contracts that it is not able to build ships that could neutralize the actions of the enemy possessing ships like "Deutschland", even if they become an immediate threat. We have practically abandoned the right to self-defense, and just at the moment when it is necessary to have the appropriate forces to survive as a nation.

"

 

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Very cool read! :Smile_great:

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Got to love how the Americans took up an entire paragraph gawking at how sexy the Deutschland was! :Smile_teethhappy:

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5 minutes ago, dseehafer said:

 

Got to love how the Americans took up an entire paragraph gawking at how sexy the Deutschland was! :Smile_teethhappy:

 

We do like good lines.

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Very interesting read. Seems he was impressed by the ship and the shift in meta that eventually ended up not manifesting.

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44 minutes ago, dseehafer said:

Got to love how the Americans took up an entire paragraph gawking at how sexy the Deutschland was! :Smile_teethhappy:

 

Hindsightlewdness is 20/20...

 

Nice find.

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And a small intro into the English "Naval and Military Record, August 9, 1934"

 

"

In connection with the visit to Portsmouth by German ships in the English press, the question of the tactical properties of the armored ship Deutschland was raised. According to the editorial staff of the magazine, a number of British officers handled questions about this ship to the personnel of the German cruisers. The answers of the German officers made it possible to draw the following brief conclusions: the tests of the ship and the experience of its service in the operating fleet gave complete satisfaction to the German naval command and fully justified the hopes placed on it.

As for the range of firing of the main artillery, we had to confine ourselves to an approximate estimate given during the descent by the Minister of Defense. This range is supposedly three times the range of the 280-mm artillery of the German battleships of the old types, i.e. reaches 275 cab. (55,000 yards). This figure seems to the English magazine, dedicated "Deutschland" editorial, exaggerated.

Further, the magazine goes on to compare the tactical elements of this ship with the elements of the English battleship Queen Elizabeth.

As a result of the analysis of all tactical elements, the English magazine comes to the conclusion that "Deutschland" is built without a clear goal-setting and is an attempt to contain the greatest possible armament and speed in the Versailles standards of displacement."

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43 minutes ago, Big_Spud said:

Now if only it had a t h i c c stern that didn't fall off.

 

... with some help from a torpedo. (I know you know that, but I figured I'd specify for any innocent passer-by not "in the know".)

 

Besides, if it had a thicc stern the American's wouldn't have been raving over her good looks, now would they? ;P

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On 15/9/2017 at 2:28 PM, dseehafer said:

 

... with some help from a torpedo. (I know you know that, but I figured I'd specify for any innocent passer-by not "in the know".)

 

Besides, if it had a thicc stern the American's wouldn't have been raving over her good looks, now would they? ;P

 

OMG THIS :cap_fainting:

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