SMS / KM Hindenburg (BC-1917-40)
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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.
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