SMS / KM Hindenburg (BC-1917-40)


Return to main page:


An idea to speed up the building times of the Hindenburg/Mackensens, by taking the Derfflinger hull and fitting it with 3 twin 13.8".


With the two Derfflinger class (Derfflinger & Lutzow) under construction the next step for the High Seas Fleet was to match the later Lion and Tiger class ships that were under construction for the RN. The quickest way to continue to build more ships was to keep the same hull and dimensions and increase the armament size. The Derfflinger was armed with 8x12", the new ships were to be armed with 6x13.8". The two ships Hindenburg and Yorck were completed in 1916 just in time to join the HSF's assault on its jailer.

With the end of WW1 and the bite of the Versailles Treaty, Germany was allowed to keep two modern capital ship to counter the Soviet ships at Leningrad. The two Hindenburgs were the ships of choice. The two ships passed the inter-war years showing the flag and taking endless drills in the Baltic to ensure the Soviets knew they were there and waiting for them. In 1938 with the completion of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau the KM ordered the upgrading of the two old ships into modern looking capital ships.


The next two drawings are the upgrade versions I drew. The concensus of opinion is that the one with the aircraft was the better ship.

A lot of work was done to the ships to improve them. New deck armour, clipper bow, propulsion systems, dual purpose secondaries, lesser AA armaments. It was deemed that the ships did not have enough space to fit aviation facilities. The thought had been to fit a catapult on turret Caesar with one aircraft, but there would have been no service facilities and recovering the aircraft would have been a problem. The secondary armament of 16x4.1" on the tri-axial mountings was used as a dual purpose weapon even though it was thought to be too light to act as an anti-destroyer weapon. It was the lack of space between Bruno and Caesar turrets for everything that the KM would have liked to fit aboard that led to the lighter secondaries and no aircraft.

For those who think the 4.1" on its own may not be enough - here is a 5.9"/4.1" combination layout, with an aircraft.

Return to main page: