KM Wurtemburg (BB-1923 (1940-mod))


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The Germanic States by treaty were allowed to complete the Wurtemberg for use in the Baltic to be part of the buffer Navy between the new Soviet Union and the rest of Europe. With a possible 4 battleships and 4 battlecruisers in service by 1925 the Soviet Navy had to be taken as a serious threat. The Germanic States required ships of force to counter the Soviet forces.

Last of the four Bayern class, the Wurtemberg was only 90% complete at wars end and it was not till 1921 that permission was given to complete the ship when the French and British forces failed to restore the Russian parliamentary system. The other three completed ships had been seized and ceded one to France, one to Britain and one to the USA.

With the Bayern class the Germans finally got to sea a ship more capable than its opposition. Unfortunately for the Germans by the time the first two Bayern's were complete, the British had completed ten 15" ships. The advantage of having put 16.5" guns to sea was far outweighed easily by greater numbers.


Displacement: 29,500 tons normal, 33,800 tons full load.
Dimensions: 620 x 101 x 30 feet
Machinery: 3 shaft, turbines, 50,000shp
Speed: 22 knots
Endurance: 8,000 nmi at 12 knots
Armour: 13.75" belt, 1.5" deck, 13.75"/7.1"/4.1" turrets
8 x 16.5" (4x2)
16 x 5.9" (16x1)
4 x 3.4" AA (4x1)
Torpedoes: 6 x 500mm (6x1 underwater)
Crew: 1200 (1300 as flagship)

Wurtemberg was completed to the same standard as the earlier Bayern class ships. The largest problem for the German designers was the lack of length between B and X turrets for new superstructures. The Bayerns had 184 ft between barbettes, while these ships equivalents in the British Navy, Queen Elizabeth had 244 ft and the R class had 208 ft, a clear advantage for modernising the ships.

The new superstructures and funnel gave the ship a true Germanic look when compared to the other rebuilt and newly built ships. The provision of the new 5.1" twin dual-purpose turrets for the secondary armament gave the ship a nice balance of armaments. The biggest problem with the short citadel, was the lack of space to get enough horsepower out of any new propulsion system for more than about 24 knots, where 26-27 knots would have been preferable. The increase of the deck armour to 5.1" was necessary after what Billy Mitchell did to the Baden.

Displacement: 31,000 tons normal, 35,300 tons full load.
Dimensions: 620 x 101 x 30 feet
Machinery: 3 shaft, geared turbines, 70,000shp
Speed: 24 knots
Endurance: 8,000 nmi at 15 knots
Armour: 13.75" belt, 5.1" deck, 13.75"/7.1"/4.1" turrets
8 x 16.5" (4x2)
12 x 5.1" (6x2)
12 x 37mm (6x2)
8 x 20mm (8x1)
Crew: 1200 (1300 as flagship)

Baden (1916) Tested to destruction by Britain. Sunk as target 1924.
Bayern (1916) To the USA, various tests carried out then target for aircraft.
Sachsen (1918) To France  - kept in service - scuttled at Toulon 1942.
Wurtemburg (1923) Lost May 1940, in Oslo Fjord, by fixed torpedo defenses.


Original drawings and stats from long, long ago.

Displacement 29,300 tons std, 34,800 full load
Length 590 ft (615 ft new bow)
Breadth 99 ft
Draught 31 ft
Machinery 3 x Diesels 50,000bhp
Speed 22 knots
Range 9,500 miles at 15 knots
Armour 13.8" side, 5.9" deck, 13.8" turrets
Armament 8 x 15" (4x2)

12 x 5.1 (10x2)

8 x 37mm (4x2)

48 x 20mm (9x4 12x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes nil
Complement 1450
Notes KM Wurtemburg



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