KM Prinz Eugen Class (CB-1939)


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Germanic States Navy designers took the design of the Von der Tann class cruisers and enlarged it to take a fourth triple 8.2" turret. Among the old warships left over from World War One were the two Nassau class battleships that had been converted into training ships. Part of that conversion was the removal of half the armament of 11" guns, giving four twin 11" guns that could be used as the armament for a new ship. Rather than a battleships/battlecruiser type vessel the Germanic States designers decided to fit the guns to a Large Cruiser (CB designation) and added a fourth ship to the three ship Prinz Eugen Class. The barbette for the triple 8.2" was very close to that required for the twin 11" and the remedial work was done as part of the building process. The turrets and guns themselves were refurbished to increase elevation and range.

Laid down as the third ship of the class, the Moltke almost beat the Prinz Eugen into service. Having the main guns already built provided at least a six month saving in building time.

Having 11" guns throwing 300kg shells certainly livened up proceedings when the Commonwealth cruisers came into contact with the Moltke. The 8.2" shells on the other ships were nothing to sneeze at either. 150kg shells that were only beaten in size by the US Navy's 'super heavy 8" shell at 335lb. The twelve gun broadside of the German ships was slightly better than the 9 gun broadside of the American ships.

The first two cruisers completed, Prinz Eugen and Moltke, were heavily involved in the early battles in the North Sea and the taking of Norway.


Displacement 14,500 tons std, 19,200 full load
Length 715 ft
Breadth 78 ft
Draught 25 ft
Machinery 4 shaft mixed turbine/diesel propulsion
2 x Steam Turbines 80,000shp
2 x Diesels 35,000bhp
Speed 32 knots
Range 14,500 miles at 18 knots
Armour 5.9" side, 3.4" deck, 5.1" turrets
Armament 12 x 8.2" (4x3) or 8 x 11" (4x2)
12 x 5" (6x2)
12 x 37mm Bofors (6x2)
16 x 20mm (2x4 8x1)
Aircraft 2
Torpedoes 12 x 21" (4x3)
Complement 1850
Notes KM Prinz Eugen (1939)

KM Blucher (1940)

KM Moltke (1939)

KM Seydlitz (1940)

Launching the Prinz Eugen early 1938.

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