KM Frankfurt (CL-1917 (CLA-1938-mod))


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The Frankfurt and other Dresden II & Konigsberg II type cruisers were the last German cruisers designed and in producrion at the end of WW1. They were as good as their British counterparts except in the distribution of armament where the German ships still utilised broadside gun positions while the British cruisers of C & D types mounted their main guns on the centreline, an advantage to the British ships. The remainder of these types of cruisers (6) were allowed to be kept and/or completed by the Germanic States Navy from 1919-22. The first four ships acted as cruisers patrolling the Baltic for Russian fleet excursions out of the Gulf of Finland. These first line duties slowly passed up the line of cruisers as the new ships were completed and the Frankfurt (II) types were used more and more for training and other secondary duties.

The Germanic States Navy had been keeping a close eye on trends in other countries and had taken note of the Commonwealth Navies rebuilding the older WW1 cruisers into Anti-aircraft ships. The German Admiralty struggled to find a use for such ships till they saw the League of Nations usage of such ships around the Spanish coast during the Spanish Civil War. They had proved effective and this convinced the Germans to rebuild the older cruisers.

The Germans did have a small quandary in what type of guns should be fitted for such AA vessels. Turrets mounting 3.5" (88mm), 4.1" triaxial, and 5.1" (130mm) all vied for the main armament for these ships. The 88mm guns were discarded as being too small for a 'cruiser' sized vessel. The mounting of the 5.1" turrets would have required a lot of internal subdivision to get them mounted properly. Which left the 4.1" twin triaxial mount which was probably the best as a ship mounted AA system compared to the others. As shown above 5 mountings were fitted, 2 forward and 3 aft giving a useful 10 barrels that could be used to either broadside. One low angle and two high angle directors were fitted. The high angle directors could be used for some to all of the guns at one time but with only 2 directors, two targets at a time could be fired at. Over time more and more 20mm and 37mm light AA guns were fitted.


Displacement 6,300 tons std, 7,600 tons full load
Length 497 ft
Breadth 47 ft
Draught 20 ft
Machinery 2 shaft Steam Turbines 35,000shp
Speed 28 knots
Range 5000 miles at 12 knots
Armour 2.5" side, 2" deck
Armament 10 x 4.1" (5x2)

12 x 37mm (6x2)

26 x 20mm (3x4 14x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes nil
Complement 490
Notes KM Frankfurt


On patrol in the 1920's in the Baltic Sea.


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