Your Favorite German Heavy Warship



  • What heavy German Warship is your favorite?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    Morning. Worsham.
    Bismarck. Not just for its elegant lines, but also for its short and exciting combat life.


  • '12

    Admiral Graf Spee

    I was a kid when I was given one of my first history books, the story of the Graf Spee and the battle of the River Plate.

    It was also an introduction to the treaty of Versailles which led me to further reasons of the war itself and deeper history.

    Yes, perhaps not exactly a ‘heavy’ warship even with such an impressive name as ‘Pocket Battleship’, but I believe it was the third heaviest class of ships that actually put to sea by the Kriegsmarine.  It certainly had a more glorious career and ending albeit shorter……than either of the other two sister ships I forgot to add



  • Admiral Scheer.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    H-class German Battleship 21" inch guns and 31 knots ( DKM Fuhrer)


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @MrMalachiCrunch:

    Admiral Graf Spee […] Yes, perhaps not exactly a ‘heavy’ warship even with such an impressive name as ‘Pocket Battleship’, but I believe it was the third heaviest class of ships that actually put to sea by the Kriegsmarine.  It certainly had a more glorious career and ending albeit shorter……than either of the other two sister ships I forgot to add

    I certainly consider the Deutschland class to have been heavy warships.  They were armoured, they had 11-inch guns (at a time when, by Treaty definition, any cruiser with guns larger than 6 inches was considered a heavy cruiser), and they were the size of a heavy cruiser.  And yes, they were indeed in the third tier of the Kriegsmarine’s operational surface-combat ships: the Bismarck class first, the Scharnhorst class second, and the Deutschland class third.

    I guess my own pick would be the Bismarck, for the reasons Wittman has stated.  But Graf Spee would probably be my second choice; its career was almost as dramatic as Bismarck’s.



  • If Graf Spee counts as a heavy, them my choice is Derfflinger. Fast, relatively powerful (for a BC), beautiful lines, and a better combat record than most heavy-gunned capitol ships of the 20th century, the number of which that can lay claim to having a hand in sinking not one but two of their own kind is a very exclusive class, indeed.

    Rob.


  • 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 '12

    The Koln is a good piece to play in War at Sea.


  • Moderator

    Tirpitz….  Took forever to sink,
    two bad Adolf was to impatient w Bizzy,

    Imagine the breakout with, Bizzy,Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, Graf Spee, plus supporting Destroyers and subs



  • @Deaths:

    Tirpitz….  Took forever to sink,
    two bad Adolf was to impatient w Bizzy,

    Imagine the breakout with, Bizzy,Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, Graf Spee, plus supporting Destroyers and subs

    I believe that Hitler had no knowledge of the Bismarck voyage until the ship had left port.


  • '12

    Too much time separated the completion of the ships.  Tirpitz was completed 5 years after the Graf Spee was completed and 2 years after the Graf Spee was sunk.

    A large fleet on fleet action would have been interesting but the Germans had their chance in the last war at Jutland and blew their chance.  Ship design, quantity, tactics and leadership.  2.5 out of 4 in WW I and barely 1 out of 4 in WW II.  Maybe 1/2 for design and 1/2 for tactics for sub warfare.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @MrMalachiCrunch:

    A large fleet on fleet action would have been interesting but the Germans had their chance in the last war at Jutland and blew their chance.  Ship design, quantity, tactics and leadership.  2.5 out of 4 in WW I and barely 1 out of 4 in WW II.  Maybe 1/2 for design and 1/2 for tactics for sub warfare.

    Ship design at Jutland, definitely.  The German dreadnoughts at Jutland were, I believe, better armoured than the British ships: the were only intended for short operations in the North Sea area, with the crews living in barracks when the fleet was in port, whereas the British ships had to devote more space to crew accommodations because they their responsibilities for protecting the Empire might take them further afield for longer periods of time.  And the German gun turrets had better anti-flash shutters than the British, whose design weakness in that regard cost them dearly at Jutland.  Leadership at Jutland, maybe.  But quantity and tactics?  The British dreadnoughts at Jutland outnumbered the German dreadnoughts by a factor of almost two-to-one, a disadvantage recognized by the Germans long before the battle: the High Seas Fleet was trained to perform a 180-degree “battle turn-around manuever” (“Gefechtskehrtwendung”) in case it ever ran into the entire British fleet, and indeed it performed this maneuver twice at Jutland to retreat from the superior British numbers and avoid being cut off from its base.  As for tactics, the British battleship fleet successfully managed to cross the T of the German battleship fleet, which is tactically the best position for them to have been in.


  • '12

    CWO Marc, I always like reading your posts.

    When the British admiral exclaims “There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today” after two of his battle-cruisers blew up with ‘lucky’ hits you know there is a ship design issue.  But that was in regards to ‘battle cruisers’.  The full up British dreadnoughts compared well to the Germans counter-parts.  The was the sacrifice made in order to make ships go fast enough to chase the enemy down.

    As for tactics…a bit tongue in cheek so forgive me but…perfecting a 180 to run away does no impress me.  Yeah I know it’s actually a rather difficult feat and is by itself impressive but in the context of a military tactic that will win you battles on the sea that change the outcome of a war…it does seem to leave a bit to be desired for me at least.

    Number wise yeah the British did have more but the idea was the high seas fleet was to bait a portion of the British fleet into a battle.  Everything went according to plan and the Germans ran away only to sink their own fleet a year after the war was over.  The Germans I believe even failed to dump mines over when running away.

    So in Jutland the only thing the Germans had was ship design.  On average a bit better than the Brits and in the case of battle cruisers the british had fatal design flaws.  My scoring was not comparing directly to the British but just a general mark.  The Germans had enough quantity to make a threat of a fleet action possible in WWI, in WWII fleet on fleet action was never really a possibility unless 3-4 german ships makes a ‘battle fleet’, in my books that is not even a squadron.  In that context they get a 1 out of 1 for quantity in WW I even though the British had many more ships.  On the other hand the Germans had pretty much zero experience with large fleet engagements whereas the British did…albiet for the last war with outdated technology and tactics.

    Plunging artillery shells were new as were the range fro which they were now being fired from, from what I remember anyways!


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Yes, the “battle turn away maneuver” was from a purely technical point of view an impressive bit of ship handling, but in essence it amounted to retreating in the face of superior enemy numbers…and as you say, one doesn’t win wars by retreating from battle.

    I think the British heavy shells at Jutland had some performance problems due to inadequate quality control when they were manufactured, so that was another minus on their side of the table.

    Fast-forwarding to the Bismarck episode in WWII, we can see an echo of the tough construction of the German WWI dreadnoughts in the difficulty the British had to sink Bismarck by gunfire.  (Admiral Tovey at one point exclaimed in frustration “Someone get me my darts!” when he started running low on ammunition and the Bismarck, although wrecked, remained afloat.)  And Prince of Wales – virtually fresh from the builder’s yard, and not fully shaken down – had problems with her big gun turets which caused them to jam; as I recall, these were an odd side-effect of Jutland.  The disasters caused to the Grand Fleet at Jutland by inadequate flash protection caused the British to over-compensate in later battleship turret designs: their subsequent anti-flash shutters (at least in the KGV / POW class) became so elaborate that (until they worked out the teething problems) they had a tendency to jam.



  • Scharnhorst Class Battleship/Battle cruiser. Looks great. participated in many Naval engagements and caused significant worries for the allies. Particularly the British.



  • Morning, Worsham.

    My favorite German warship actually built was the Bismarck. One of the best battleships of the war.

    My favorite planned German warship was the H-44. The H-44 would have had double the displacement of the Yamato battleship. It would have had 20" guns; instead of the 17" guns found on the Yamato. It was planned to have 68 AA guns; compared to 24 for the Yamato. It also would have been by far the most heavily armored battleship Germany had ever built. The intention was to make it impervious to attack.


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