KM Baron von Richtoften (CV-1941)


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The Richtoften class of four ships were the second keel up class put into production and carried forward all of the lessons learnt from the Graf Zeppelin type. Except one. They carried the starboard side 88mm directly on the superstructure rather than being all mounted off the side of the ship. The Navy designers put stops on the gun mountings that stopped them being able to be trained to port and interfering with the flight deck operations. The four ships were completed, one in 1940, one in 1941, and two in 1942. Operations with the two Graf Zeppelin Class carriers had proved that the Germanic States needed as many as possible ready for sea and battle. When it came to the first fleet operations in August 1940, the Germanic States only had three at sea and ready to take advantage of the disarray of the Royal Navy caused by the surrender of the French and the entry of Italy into the war. The Luftwaffe was having its own Battle of Britain at the same time. If the Navy could gain some control of the sea areas around northern Europe, then the chance of Operation Sea Lion going ahead and being a success would be greatly enhanced.

The designers had learnt from their first effort and all of the 'ship' features had been deleted with the aircraft handling features taking precedence. The 88m AA guns were the Flak36 mark as used on a different mount by the air force and army (also fitted eventually to Tiger tanks and other vehicles). The ship names were taken from WW1 fighter aces.


Displacement 29,700 tons std, 36,400 full load
Length 726 ft
Breadth 93 ft (hull) 122 ft flight deck
Draught 27.5 ft
Machinery 4 shaft mixed steam and diesel propulsion.
2 shaft Steam Turbines 90,000shp
2 shaft diesel engines 30,000ihp
Speed 30 knots
Range 9000 miles at 18 knots
Armour 1" FD, 2.6 side, 3.5" magazines
Armament 16 x 88mm/L56-36 (8x2)
32 x 37mm (16x2)
24 x 20mm (5x2, 4x1)
Aircraft 42
Complement 1800
Notes KM Baron von Richtoften

KM Ernst Udet

KM Erich Lowenhardt

KM Werner Voss

Old drawing I had for the Richtoften, which is where the idea for the twin 88 L/56 originated from.


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