KM Bismarck (BB-1939)


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My style of Bismarck does not much look like or correspond to that other worlds ship class of the same name. I have tried to build a ship that is still essentially of Germanic breeding but with much more to it than a repeat of earlier times. Armour and armament reflect the Kriegsmarines desire to build ships that, while still powerfull, do not require other potential enemy navies to respond with even bigger ships.

The Bismarck class was under design as enlargements of the preceeding Scharnhorst class when an order for two large modern battleships was placed by Argentina. When shown designs of the new class the Argentinian Admiralty representatives said "Yes - we will take two please". This made it even more cost worthy for the Germanic States to build two for themselves as to build a class of four works out cheaper per unit. Two units were laid down in 1935 with completion times being expected in 1939-40 with the other two being slated for completion in late 1940 and early 1941.

Armed with what looked like a modest armament of 12 x 13.8" guns in four triple turrets, with a heavy secondary dual purpose armament the ships were built for long distance raiding and cruising. With the long forecastle for better seakeeping and sweeping lines the ships were magnificent looking vessels of power. The 13.8" weapon was an improved weapon over those fitted to Scharnhorst (which were upgraded to match) with longer barrels and a heavier set of shells. The number of rounds per gun were also increased from 120 to 200. The armour piercing shell went from 1500lb to 1763lb (800kg) which compared more than favourably to the British 15" shell at 1950lb.

The second Argentinian ship was not completed before wars start and was completed for the Kriegsmarine as the Ludendorf. Being the last of the class completed it took in all of the new systems available.


Displacement 49,500 tons std, 58,800 full load
Length 857 ft
Breadth 110 ft
Draught 32 ft
Machinery 4 shaft mixed turbine/diesel propulsion

2 x Steam Turbines 110,000shp

2 x Diesels 50,000bhp

Speed 32 knots
Range 12,500 miles at 18 knots
Armour 13" side, 5.9" deck, 13" turrets
Armament 12 x 13.8" (4x3)

20 x 5.1 (10x2)

20 x 37mm (10x2)

26 x 20mm (3x4 14x1)

Aircraft 4
Torpedoes nil
Complement 2150
Notes KM Bismarck

KM Tirpitz

KM Ludendorf




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