KM Koenigsberg (CL/A-1917)


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The German designers were never very innovative. Despite having the British C class, with its inline armament, as a template for what future light cruisers could be, the Germans persisted with the unwieldly wing and broadside turrets and mountings on their ships. The German cruiser weapons available in the 19-teens were 5.9" and 8.2". Also used as a battleship secondary gun were the 6.7" weapons. So my mission, should I choose to accept it, (I know I am cheesy), is to develop a German inline armament cruiser.

Above is the typical German 'broadside' cruiser of the mid-war period. Carrying 7/8x5.9" guns, only five could be fired to either broadside. While this was the same broadside as the C class the Coln was a much larger ship.

The trick is then to figure what type of inline armament should be provided.
1. Twin turret forward, single between funnels, then three aft, for a six gun broadside.
2. Single chase gun forward, single between funnels, then three aft for a five gun broadside.
3. One twin turret forward, two twin turrets aft. Six gun broadside.
4. One twin forward, two singles between funnels, 3 singles aft, seven gun broadside.

So my thoughts on those are:
A: The more mountings you have the more magazines and shell handling equipment is required.
B:  Shell damage to one single mounting might only knock out one sixth/seventh of your armament where a hit on a twin turret can take out a third of your armament.
C: The less mountings you have the easier gunnery control is.
D: Turrets give a degree of safety for the gun crews that open mountings do not.

There are plenty of other pros and cons for those items, but that is the major items.

The German Navy has plenty of experience of twin turrets with cruiser sized weapons. From the twins on the armoured cruisers with 8.2", then the 6.7" turrets on the pre-dreadnought battleships. So providing turrets for fitting on light cruisers is not a problem. The weight problem is one that is hard to quantify. Would eight single mountings with their handling equipment weigh more or less than three twin turrets and handling equipment.

In one stroke, with the edition of twin 5.9" turrets, the old broadside cruiser disappears and a modern light cruiser takes its place. But that is modern in 1918. By 1935 the four of these cruisers, that had been retained by the new Weimar Republic Navy, were showing their age. With a new regime and increased spending on the armed forces these ships got a life extension refit.

The ships were only 12 years old when the first pair were taken in hand for modernisation. The latest K class cruisers were under construction and elements of that class were imported into the Dresden II class. The K class were similar in layout wit the one turret forward and two aft as pioneered by the Dresden class for the German Navy (that is in real life, in my AU the K's are a 2 forward and 1 aft). The intermediate class between the Dresden's and the K's were the Emden Class which were four twins. No thought was given to trying to fit aircraft handling facilities into the rebuilds as there was just not enough spare topweight margin available.

I can do an AA version (and will) but the armament is going to be three twin 5.1" mountings in a direct one for one replacement. I would like to send them to Italy for their rebuild, that way I can use the triple Italian 5.3" dual purpose mounting for a nine gun armament. I have already done one Dresden AA version, but I am not really happy with it. The four turrets are not ideally positioned.


Displacement 5,700 tons std 7,550 tons full load
Length 510 ft
Breadth 48 ft
Draught 20 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines, 32,000 shp (40,000shp after refit)
Speed 28 knots (30 knots after refit)
Range 5500 miles at 12 knots
Armour 2.4" belt, 2" deck
Armament As Completed 1918

6 x 5.9" (3x2)
4 x 3.4" (4x1)
Rebuild 1932
6 x 5.9" (3x2)
4 x 88mm (2x2)
4 x 37mm (4x1)
AA German
6 x 130mm (3x2)
10 x 37mm Bofors (5x2)
8 x 20mm (8x1)
AA Italian
9 x 135mm (3x3)
10 x 37mm Bofors (5x2)
8 x 20mm (8x1)
Torpedoes 8 x 19.7" (4x2) swapped out for 8x21" (4x2) then removed 1940 onwards as more electronics added.
Complement 560
Notes Dresden

Original German Dresden II cruiser.

Very good shot showing how the ships had their two single 5.9" mounted on the bow.


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