KM Luchs (ESC-1935)


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Flottenbegleiter translates to Fleet Escort. Not convoy escort, though they were used in that role when necessary. These ships were built to undertake the roles of anti-aircraft and anti-submarine escorts to the large fleet units. Their roles were kept distinct by the absence of torpedoes. These ships were equivalent to the fastest frigates. The ships were designed for deep sea work and had a speed that allowed them to operate with the battlefleet. Long range was achieved by utilising diesel engines for the power plant. These were part of the extensive modernisation of the fleet undertaken by the Germanic States after 1934.

The Germanic States Navy built a series of these craft utilising the same hull and propulsion systems with slight differences in armament. Two of these vessels were laid down per year with the last of the class being completed in 1941. A new class was laid down with the updated weaponry then available.

These were very capable ships for their size, lots of AA guns for their primary purpose of Fleet Escorts. They proved very useful in the Norwegian campaign where their good AA armament helped to secure ports until such time as airpower could be provided.

Displacement 1,200 tons standard, 1,700 full load
Length 267 ft
Breadth 33 ft
Draught 13 ft
Machinery 2 shaft diesel engines 22,000ihp
Speed 32 knots
Range 9000 miles at 18 knots
Armament As completed

2 x 88mm/L56 (2x1)
6 x 37mm (3x2)
4 x 20mm (1x2 2x1)

refits to 1942

2 x 88mm/L56 (2x1)
6 x 37mm Bofors (3x2)
6 x 20mm (1x4 2x1)

Mines 24 when fitted
Complement 150
Notes KM Luchs

KM Falke

KM Leopard

KM Albatros

KM Greif

KM Kondor

KM Mowe

KM Seadler

KM Iltis

KM Jaguar

KM Tiger

KM Wolf


Quad 20mm Flakvierling mounting.


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