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fighting ships of the world

KRIEGSMARINE (GERMANY)

CRUISERS

ADMIRAL HIPPER heavy cruisers (1939)

Admiral Hipper 1941

Name Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Admiral Hipper 501 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg 6/7/1935 6/2/1937 29/4/1939 sunk 3/5/1945
Blücher 246 Deutsche Werke, Kiel 15/8/1936 8/6/1937 20/9/1939 sunk 9/4/1940

 

Displacement standard, t

14050

Displacement full, t

18210

Length, m

194.6 wl 205.9 oa

Breadth, m

21.3

Draught, m

5.80 mean 7.90 max

No of shafts

3

Machinery

Admiral Hipper: Blohm & Voss geared steam turbines, 12 La Mont boilers

Blücher: Blohm & Voss geared steam turbines, 12 Wagner boilers

Power, h. p.

132000

Max speed, kts

32

Fuel, t

oil 3050

Endurance, nm(kts) 6800(20)

Armour, mm

belt: 80 - 40, bulkheads: 80, deck: 30 + (50 - 30), anti-torpedo bulkhead: 20, turrets: 160 - 50, barbettes: 80, CT: 150 - 50

Armament

4 x 2 - 203/57 SK C/34, 6 x 2 - 105/60 SK C/33, 6 x 2 - 37/80 SK C/38, 10 x 1 - 20/65 C/38, 4 x 3 - 533 TT (22), 1 catapult, 3 seaplanes (He 60, He114, Ar196)

Sensors FuMo 22 radar

Complement

1600

Ship project history: Works on cruisers with 203mm artillery have been begun in 1933. It was supposed to create ships, capable to act both with battle fleet, and as commerce raider, and at the same time, not yielding on armament and protection to French heavy cruiser Algerie. From tactical and operational reasons combined diesel-turbine machinery, used on light cruisers, have refused in favour of purely turbine, on steam with high parameters. Main guns took places under traditional scheme in four twin turrets and was supplemented with strong antiaircraft and torpedo armaments. 203mm guns C/34 could deliver fire with 122kg shells on range up to 33.5km. This calibre was applied in Germany in first and last time.

Admiral Hipper (when laid "cruiser H", or "Ersatz Hamburg") and Blücher ("G", or "Ersatz Berlin") have been ordered late 1934, before official denunciation of Versailles Treaty, forbidding to Germany to build cruisers with artillery larger than 150mm calibre. A year later the order on Prinz Eugen ("J"), having some differences on an internal arrangement, has arrived. Seydlitz and Lützow ("K" and "L") were originally planed as light cruisers with 4 triple 150mm turrets, but in 1937 it has been decided to build them with 203mm artillery.

Hull form of the ships reminded applied on light cruiser Leipzig: with bulges, expressed bulb and internal belt included in providing of general longitudinal strength. Originally cruiser had almost straight stem (length oa 202.8m), but after trials of Admiral Hipper it have changed on clipper bow, remaining cruisers were completed in the changed kind. Armoured belt with 2.75m height and 80mm thickness was fitted raked at 12.5 outside, covering about 70% of hull length, and closed by 80mm transverse bulkheads. In an fore part the belt had 3.85m height and 40mm thickness, tapering at stem to 20mm; in aft part, respectively, it was 2.75m and 70mm, closed by 70mm transverse bulkhead. Horizontal protection was ensured by 30mm upper and 30mm lower decks. Later had 50mm slopes, connected with lower edge of main belt. Barbettes had 80mm thickness on all height; turrets had 160mm faces, 105mm raking front plates, 80mm raking sides and 70mm roof and vertical sides.

Machinery on high parameters steam differed by low reliability and insufficiency, that significantly reduced an endurance. On Admiral Hipper there were La Mont boilers (80atm) and Blohm und Voss turbine units, Blücher had Wagner boilers with natural circulation (70atm) and Blohm und Voss turbine units, Prinz Eugen had La Mont boilers (70atm) and Brown-Boveri turbine units, Seydlitz and Lützow received Wagner boilers with forced circulation (60atm), and their number has been moderated to nine, and Wagner-Deschimag turbine units.

On main artillery German heavy cruisers corresponded to foreign contemporaries, but had strong antiaircraft artillery (thus 105mm and 37mm AA guns took places in 3d-stabilized mounts) and torpedo arms. Developed fire control system of "battleship" type (3 main directors and 4 directors of an antiaircraft artillery) in full was never used, however ate considerable share of displacement. Prinz Eugen carried 4 seaplanes instead of 3, and also had the covered TT control positions.

Ship protection: 12.5-inclined main belt between inner barbettes was 3.75m high and 80mm thick. It was closed by 80mm bulkheads. Thickness of fore 3.85m high belt was 40mm, decreasing to 20mm fwd from "A" barbette; 2.75m-high belt with 70mm thickness protected aft part of ship and was closed by 70mm aft bulkhead of steering gear compartment. 30mm main deck was connected with lower edge of main belt by 50mm slopes, thickness of this deck increased to 40mm outside citadel. There was 30mm upper deck. Turrets had 160mm faces (with 105mm inclined parts), 70mm sides (with 80mm inclined parts) and 80mm roofs, barbettes had 80mm armor. CT had 150mm sides and 50mm roof. Underwater protection consisted of bulges and 20mm longitudinal bulkhead.

Modernizations: 3/1940, Admiral Hipper: + 2 x 1 - 20/65 C/38

1941, Admiral Hipper: + 1 x 4 - 20/65 C/38, 2 FuMO 40G radars

early 1942, Admiral Hipper: - 2 x 1 - 20/65; + 2 x 4 - 20/65 C/38

late 1942, Admiral Hipper: + 1 x 4 - 20/65 C/38

1943, Admiral Hipper: - 1 x 4 - 20/65

1944, Admiral Hipper: - 2 x 2 - 37/80, 3 x 4 - 20/65, 8 x 1 - 20/65; + 6 x 1 - 40/56 FlaK 28, 8 x 2 - 20/65 C/38, FuMO 25 radar

Naval service: Blücher was sunk 9/4/1940 by Norwegian 280mm and 150mm coastal guns and 2 torpedoes from coastal batteries in Oslo-fiord. Admiral Hipper was damaged 31/12/1942 in battle against British light cruisers Sheffield and Jamaica in Barents sea (one boiler room was destroyed) and was never repaired till the end of war. She was badly damaged by British bombers whilst in drydock in Kiel in April 1945 and sunk there by explosive charges 3/5/1945.

Admiral Hipper 1939

 

Ivan Gogin, 2008-14