SMS Blucher Class (ACR-1909-10)


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The Blucher was a reduced version of the Nassau Class battleships, the 11" guns being replaced with 8.2". A few knots extra speed gave a modern armoured cruiser which was an advance over the previous Scharnhorst class. The Blucher would have been noticeably superior to the Invincible type 'if' the Invincible's had been armed with the 9.2" guns the British had leaked to the world. The ship was noticeably short on firepower when the Invincible's appeared with 12" guns. Possibly the weakest point of the design was the retention of triple expansion engines while the rest of the world was already moving on to turbines. The turbines being fitted in the same space would have moved the ship that bit faster that might have allowed it to escape its fate at Dogger Bank.

(From Wiki)
Class and type: Armored cruiser
Displacement: 15,842 t (15,592 long tons) (designed) 17,500 t (17,200 long tons) (full load)

Length: 161.8 m (530 ft 10 in) overall
Beam: 24.5 m (80 ft 5 in)
Draft: 8.84 m (29.0 ft)
Installed power: 31,562 ihp (23,536 kW)
Propulsion: 3 4-cylinder vertical triple expansion engines
18 marine-type boilers
3 screws

Speed: 25.4 knots (47.0 km/h; 29.2 mph)
Range: 6,600 nmi (12,200 km; 7,600 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
3,350 nmi (6,200 km; 3,860 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)

Complement: 41 officers 812 sailors - 1026

Armament: 12 21 cm (8.3 in) SK L/45 guns (62)
8 15 cm (5.9 in) SK L/45 guns
16 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK L/45 guns
4 45 cm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes

Armor: 618 cm (2.47.1 in) belt
14 cm (5.5 in) battery
18 cm (7 in) barbettes
618 cm (2.47.1 in) turret
825 cm (3.19.8 in) conning tower

With Blucher just starting construction in 1906, the second ship of the class was due to be laid down within 6 months, but was delayed for three months to allow changes to the basic design to allow for the knowledge gained from the Naval Attaches (who said Spies?) reports on the USS South Carolina with its superfiring mounts.

Going to superfiring mounts allowed for the same broadside with two less turrets. The saving in weight being used for both better armour and increased powerplant size. The chance was also taken to replace the triple expansion engines with the new turbine types.

Class and type: Armoured cruiser
Displacement: 15,500 tons standard, 17,500 tons full load
Dimensions: 572.5 x 80 x 29 feet
Machinery: 4 shaft, turbines, 45,000shp
Speed: 27-28 knots
Endurance: 6500 nmi at 12 knots
Armour: 7.1" belt, 2" deck, 7.1"/3.4"/2.4" turrets
8 x 8.2" (21cm) (4x2)
8 x 5.9" (8x1)
16 x 3.4" (16x1)
Crew: 40 officers, 800 sailors (1050 as flagship)

I am still thinking about what will happen to the ship during its service life. Being 2-3 knots faster than Blucher means it can keep up with the other cruisers at Dogger Bank and escape Bluchers fate. But what happens to the ship from there remains shrouded in mystery.




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