Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
You need to play a total of 5 battles to post in this section.
dseehafer

Karlsruhe: The Kriegsmarine's only ocean-worthy front-line light cruiser

9 comments in this topic

Recommended Posts

4,717
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles

Greetings all,

 

   I'd like to do a thread highlighting the 1938-39 refit of the Karlsruhe. Why it was needed, what benefits it gave, and why Karlsruhe was the only Light Cruiser to receive the refit.

 

As many of you may know, the K-class light cruisers were extremely lightly built (85% of the hull was welded) and were poor seaboats. Even Germany's last light cruisers, Leipzig and Nurnberg, suffered from these same issues. These problems were such that it was eventually decided to limit these ships to coastal duties only. They were not allowed in the open ocean. That meant that Emden was the only German light-cruiser Germany had that was allowed to operate in the open-ocean, and she was mostly being used as a training cruiser! This was, of course, unacceptable and the Germans quickly drew up plans to refit and strengthen the cruisers to be able to operate in the open-ocean.

 

In 1936 Karlsruhe ran into a tropical storm in the Pacific while out on her 6th international cruise. She was severely damaged in this storm, so much so that she needed to be drydocked in San Fransico to undergo emergency repairs.

 

 

Karlsruhe after the storm with a heavy list, limping towards San Fransisco.

Image may contain: sky and outdoor

 

 

Karlsruhe in dry dock in San Fransico

Image may contain: sky, outdoor and water

 

 

 

These repairs were only temporary and she returned to Germany and was drydocked for permanent repairs and a major overhaul. Basically, they had to dry-dock her anyways, might as well go the whole 9 yards and give her the planned refit for the K-class cruisers while they're at it. War started before the other light cruisers had a chance to recieve their rebuilds

 

Karlsruhe's rebuild saw her widened from 15.2m to 16.8m. Her armor was stripped and replaced by the brand new Wotan-Hart armor. Additional armor was added as well. Her upper deck received 16mm of armor and her outer hull received 10-14mm of armor. This extra weight increased her displacement from 7,700t to 8,350t. Interestingly enough, her draft actually decreased slightly from 6.28m to 6.2m. Her AA battery was also strengthened by the addition of 4 extra 20mm mounts and by changing her single 88mm turrets to dual turrets. As a final touch, the Germans outfitted her with triangular funnel caps. This refit made Karlsruhe the only front-line light cruiser stable enough and strong enough for open ocean operations.

 

Before

RYsBi4H.png?1

 

 

 

After

khr1O82.png?1

 

 

Image result for light cruiser karlsruhe 1939

 

 

After refit

XrqKskD.png?1

 

Compare top-down view to her sister Koln below

eoY2RRz.png?1

 

 

 

 

Germany, however, was never able to take full advantage of Karlsruhe's new abilities... During the Invasion of Norway Karlsruhe was struck by two torpedoes from HMS Truant which disabled her engines, electricity generators, and pumps. Without her pumps, Karlsruhe was lost. Her crew was taken off by the torpedo-boat Grief which then put two more torpedoes into her. Even still it took a full 2 hours for Karlsruhe to finally sink. A review of the sinking concluded that, because it took so long for her to sink and because two more torpedoes were needed to do so, an attempt should have been made to tow Karlsruhe back to port. Further, her forward pumps had not been disabled, so they felt for certain that Karlsruhe could have stayed afloat long enough to be towed back to port. Karlsruhe's loss, they felt, was an unnecessary one. Once again, the Kriegsmarine found themselves without an ocean-worthy front-line light cruiser. In a desperate effort to make up for this, Germany began arming her latest destroyers with 150mm guns in an attempt to have some degree of  "budget" ocean-worthy "light cruisers". 

 

Very few pictures exist of the rebuilt Karlsruhe because of how short she lived, but what I have I will share...

 

Image result for light cruiser karlsruhe

 

Image result for light cruiser karlsruhe 1940

 

Image result for light cruiser karlsruhe 1940

 

Image may contain: sky and outdoor

 

i7Y9F9m.png?1

 

 

 

Photographed here the day before she sank

12189578_10206296175782442_3829906253403035296_n.jpg?oh=1f7ebe38cb34071a9f8e3bdf2fc8303d&oe=5AA7B069

  • Cool 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,847
Supertester, Members, Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters, Beta Testers
11,235 posts
1,928 battles

Like as not, her draught decreased because she was widened, thus giving her a larger buoyancy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beta Testers
101 posts
8,544 battles

Nicely put together and well written, thank you. 
This would make a good T VI premium ship, possibly. A upgraded Nurn with a more efficient AA suite. A thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,717
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles
1 hour ago, mr3awsome said:

Like as not, her draught decreased because she was widened, thus giving her a larger buoyancy. 

 

I figured that was the case.

  • Cool 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,717
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles
1 hour ago, MikeTheRipper12 said:

Nicely put together and well written, thank you. 
This would make a good T VI premium ship, possibly. A upgraded Nurn with a more efficient AA suite. A thought.

 

Well, having been sunk in 1940, her AA suite would be worse than Nurnberg's. She'd be more of a tier 5.  Boasting slightly better hitpoints and AA (4 more 20mm mounts) over Konigsberg while being slower and easier to hit in return. Konigsberg in-game already has Karlsruhe's upgraded armor, so the extra armor wouldn't mean anything.

 

I forgot to mention that the refit made Karlsruhe about a knot and a half slower.

 

Also, since there is already a ship in-game called Karlsruhe, its extremely unlikely.

 

However, Leipzig is still a very good candidate for a tier 5 premium cruiser.... 

 

Image result for leipzig cruiser

  • Cool 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
69
[LTNY]
Members
335 posts
4,045 battles

Amazing article.
Did I already commented about the bad luck of the Kriegsmarine?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
96
[HDR]
[HDR]
Members
1,174 posts
2,197 battles

Very well written @dseehafer, I enjoyed reading your post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Members
616 posts
3,326 battles
16 hours ago, dseehafer said:

Also, since there is already a ship in-game called Karlsruhe, its extremely unlikely.

Which is why we won't be getting a Tier IV Premium Emden, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,717
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles
2 hours ago, BrentD15 said:

Which is why we won't be getting a Tier IV Premium Emden, right?

 

Unfortunately, that is also likely the case. :(

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×