Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The South Dakotas and the German navy

I am going to embark on a special post centered on two topics: The US South Dakota class of battleships and the Reichsmarine, the navy of Germany from the year 1919 to 1935. First up are the South Dakotas, a class of battleships that with the Colorados would form a modern new fleet of super battleships. Their planned armament was to be twelve 16 inch guns, a total that would have made them the most powerful battleships in the world!(atually, the Tosa class and Kii class of japanese ships would have had a similar armament, but with a less efficient layout.) These guns would be mounted in four triple turrets.And, you guessed it, were scrapped while still building as a result of the 1922 treaty. But before the treaty, the USN had clearly planned to be THE superlative force as far as battleships were concerned. Which brings us to our second subject, the navy which had tried to do the same thing ten years earlier and failed so disastrously, the navy of Germany. After 1919, the Germans were only allowed to keep two classes(with the exception of one ship of an older class that was allowed to sit and rot in port) what was left of their Pre-Dreadnought fleet, the Braunschweig class and the remains of the Deutschland class, Pommern having been sunk at Jutland. In the early twenties, the Germans were allowed to build new ships, but only if they were twenty or more years newer than an existing ship. And as it happened all of the battleships would turn twenty in the 1920s. So, the Germans theorized and procrastinated util in 1928 they finally laid down their first new ships, the new Deutschland class,  which would be a paradox in naval terminology, being something in between a heavy cruiser and a battleship, the Germans rating them as "Panzershiff"( armored ships) and the British calling them by the name that is usually used to describe them: "Pocket Battleships".  After the completion of these ships, the German navy, now under the control of the Nazis,was renamed again; it was now the Kreigsmarine. (PS. the Tosas and Kiis would have had ten guns, not twelve, thus nullifying my statement about them earlier in the post)

1 comment:

  1. wait a minute: 12 16" guns, mounted in 3 3-gun turrets ... something seems wrong ...

    Also, were they *triple turrets* or *3-gun turrets*? In other words, would the individual guns load/elevate individually, like the Iowas?

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