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German Destroyers of World War II, Gerhard Koop and Klaus-Peter Schmolke

German Destroyers of World War II, Gerhard Koop and Klaus-Peter Schmolke


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German Destroyers of World War II, Gerhard Koop and Klaus-Peter Schmolke

German Destroyers of World War II, Gerhard Koop and Klaus-Peter Schmolke

A total of forty-two destroyers saw service with the German navy during the Second World War, forty of German construction and two captured warships, all of the German ships produced during the period of Nazi rearmament.

I like the format of this book. Because the destroyers normally served together in flotillas, the authors provide a chronological account of the main naval actions that involved destroyers, before then moving on to the ship-by-ship histories. This greatly reduces the amount of repetition that would be required in a straight ship-by-ship account. A similar approach is taken to the technical details of the ships - instead of following the standard approach, with each class of ship given its own chapter, here Koop focuses on individual topics such as armament or machinery and traces the changes in them from the first post-First World War ships to the last wartime production.

Gerhard Koop, the author of the text, served in the German Army during the Second World War, and on occasion his wartime bias does creep into the text (his version of the Altmark incident will be rather unfamiliar to British readers). In contrast he is unusually willing to criticise the design of the ships, the way that they were used and the way that they were crewed, so we get an unbiased technical and service history of these busy (if rather accident prone and unreliable ships).

The excellent text is supported by a very good selection of plans and an even better collection of photographs of the destroyers.

Chapters
Introduction
Technical Data
Differences, Modifications, Conversions
Armament
Machinery
Flotillas, Flotilla Commanders and the Führer der Zerstörer
The Second World War
Individual Ship's Careers
Photo Gallery: The Zerstörer
Photo Gallery: Requisitioned Destroyers
Photo Gallery: Zerstörer Life
Camouflage Schemes
Conclusions

Author: Gerhard Koop and Klaus-Peter Schmolke
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 224
Publisher: Seaforth
Year: 2014 edition of 1995 original



German destroyer Z31

Z31 was a German Type 1936A (Mob) destroyer, which was completed in 1942 and served with the Kriegsmarine during the Second World War. She was constructed in Germany as part of Plan Z, and commissioned 11 April 1942. She spent much of the war in Arctic and Norwegian waters, taking part in the Battle of the Barents Sea on 31 December 1942. She survived the war, and was passed on to the French Navy as a war prize, serving under the name Marceau until 1958.

  • 2,603 long tons (2,645 t) (standard)
  • 3,597 long tons (3,655 t) (deep load)
  • 6 × water-tube boilers
  • 70,000 PS (51,000 kW 69,000 shp)
  • 4 × single 15 cm (5.9 in) guns
  • 2 × twin 3.7 cm (1.5 in) anti-aircraft guns
  • 9 × 2 cm (0.8 in) (1 × 4 and 5 × 1) AA guns
  • 2 × quadruple 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes
  • 60 mines

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El libro forma parte de una colección de títulos, escritos todos por el mismo autor, dedicada a los barcos de la Armada alemana durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

La edición en papel tiene 224 páginas y me ha parecido un estudio muy completo en el que se recogen multitud de datos técnicos y operativos de todos los destructores alemanes en servicio durante la SGM. El apartado gráfico también es muy completo y tiene algunas fotografías de gran calidad.

Comparado con su equivalente de la editorial Osprey, es un libro que cuesta alrededor del doble, pero que tiene una información mucho más detallada en todos los aspectos (series de producción, características náuticas, motores, armamento, sensores, modificaciones posteriores, etc.) y que destaca, sobre todo, por incluir una breve historia de la flota de destructores en su conjunto y de cada uno de los destructores en particular.


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El libro forma parte de una colección de títulos, escritos todos por el mismo autor, dedicada a los barcos de la Armada alemana durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

La edición en papel tiene 224 páginas y me ha parecido un estudio muy completo en el que se recogen multitud de datos técnicos y operativos de todos los destructores alemanes en servicio durante la SGM. El apartado gráfico también es muy completo y tiene algunas fotografías de gran calidad.

Comparado con su equivalente de la editorial Osprey, es un libro que cuesta alrededor del doble, pero que tiene una información mucho más detallada en todos los aspectos (series de producción, características náuticas, motores, armamento, sensores, modificaciones posteriores, etc.) y que destaca, sobre todo, por incluir una breve historia de la flota de destructores en su conjunto y de cada uno de los destructores en particular.


German Destroyers of World War II: Warships of the Kriegsmarine

This is an exceptionally detailed book about the German Destroyer fleet of World War 2.

It is split into defined sections:

First, we get an in-depth account of how the destroyer fleet was envisaged and what the Germans actually managed to create. This has some really interesting bits but overall is a little dry.

Then you get the ships statistics in minute detail with accompanying text.
So, if you ever lie awake at night wondering what boiler setup a 1936A destroyer had or which version of the 36mm This is an exceptionally detailed book about the German Destroyer fleet of World War 2.

It is split into defined sections:

First, we get an in-depth account of how the destroyer fleet was envisaged and what the Germans actually managed to create. This has some really interesting bits but overall is a little dry.

Then you get the ships statistics in minute detail with accompanying text.
So, if you ever lie awake at night wondering what boiler setup a 1936A destroyer had or which version of the 36mm antiaircraft gun had the highest muzzle velocity then this is the book for you.

This is followed by an overview of the naval actions that the destroyers were involved in.
This was very interesting and detailed.
It was surprising to read how many men died on these things just sailing around, not even fighting.
It obviously covers the “Narvik destroyers” but in very fine detail even covering the war-crimes investigations that followed. The insanity of war was really underlined when I read the ruling about when it is ok to kill ship-wrecked sailors.

Then each destroyer gets its own history from construction to testing to destruction.

Then there are photographs, diagrams of paint schemes and a summing up.

This book was very well written (a few spelling mistakes) and extremely detailed. If you are especially interested in this area or want a reference book for war-gaming or writing your own book then I cannot recommend this highly enough.

There are two caveats for the casual reader though.

1/
Destroyers work is seldom glamorous. They escort, lay minds, pick up survivors and deliver troops.
The Kriegsmarine destroyers, hemmed in by one of the world’s biggest navies and air forces, had a particularly drab existence.
So, rather than high sea adventure* you should brace yourself for reading a lot about just sailing around before getting sunk.

2/
There is a lot of (necessary) repetition.
Destroyers rarely worked alone and often showed up at the same events.
So, if you read the individual ships history, one after the other, you will get sick and tired of the poxy 1938 naval review and the day-trip to Memel.
Obviously it needs to be set out like this so the reader can easily access a full history on each ship.

A great book with some very niche detail including a small account on Hermes and ZH1.
This is purely concentrated on the ships rather than the human element.
There are some pictures and notes about life on board but it is quite brief.

* If you are looking for something related but with more flare I would recommend books on the Atlantis, especially The German Raider Atlantis or Under Three Flags: The Story Of Nordmark And The Armed Supply Ships Of The German Navy . more


Contents

These six ships were improved and enlarged versions of the Type 1934 and Type 1934A classes. Even though they were designed before the earlier ships were completed, the stability problem was partially fixed by reducing top-weight which allowed their full oil capacity to be used, their turning radius was slightly reduced and the bow was reshaped to reduce the amount of water coming over the bow in a head sea. These changes improved their seakeeping ability in comparison to the previous destroyer classes. They still retained the over-complicated and troublesome boilers of the earlier ships. [2] [3]

The first three ships built had an overall length of 123.4 meters (404 ft 10 in) and the later trio were modified while under construction with a clipper bow that increased their overall length to 125.1 meters (410 ft 5 in) all six ships were 120 meters (393 ft 8 in) long at the waterline. They had a beam of 11.75 meters (38 ft 7 in), and a maximum draft of 4.5 meters (14 ft 9 in). The Type 36s displaced 2,411 long tons (2,450 t) at standard load and 3,415 long tons (3,470 t) at deep load. [4] The destroyers had a metacentric height of 0.95 meters (3 ft 1 in) at deep load. [2] They were divided into 15 watertight compartments of which the middle 7 contained the propulsion and auxiliary machinery and were protected by a partial double bottom. Active stabilizers were initially fitted to reduce roll, but they proved to be ineffective and were replaced by bilge keels on all the destroyers except Z20 Karl Galster before April 1940. They had a complement of 10 officers and 313 enlisted men, plus an additional 4 officers and 19 enlisted men if serving as a flotilla flagship. [5]

The Type 1936s were powered by two Wagner geared steam turbine sets, each driving a single three-bladed 3.25-meter (10 ft 8 in) propeller using steam provided by six high-pressure Wagner water-tube boilers with superheaters that operated at a pressure of 70 atm (7,093 kPa 1,029 psi) and a temperature of 450 °C (842 °F). The turbines, designed to produce 70,000 metric horsepower (51,000 kW 69,000 shp), were intended to give the ships a speed of 36 knots (67 km/h 41 mph). [2] The first four ships were able to conduct full sets of speed trials before the start of the war and they handily exceeded their designed speed, reaching 39–41.5 knots (72.2–76.9 km/h 44.9–47.8 mph) from 72,100–76,500 shp (53,800–57,000 kW 73,100–77,600 PS). [6] They were fitted with a pair of 200-kilowatt (270 hp) turbogenerators plus two 80-kilowatt (110 hp) and a single 40-kilowatt (54 hp) diesel generators. [7] The ships carried a maximum of 739 metric tons (727 long tons) of fuel oil which gave a range of 2,050 nautical miles (3,800 km 2,360 mi) at 19 knots (35 km/h 22 mph). [2]

The Type 1936 ships were armed with five 12.7 cm (5.0 in) SK C/34 guns in single mounts with gun shields. One pair each was superimposed, fore and aft of the superstructure and the fifth mount was positioned on top of the rear superstructure. They carried 600 rounds of ammunition for these guns, which had a maximum range of 17.4 kilometres (19,000 yd), and could be elevated to 30° and depressed to −10°. Their anti-aircraft armament was made up of four 3.7 cm (1.5 in) SK C/30 anti-aircraft guns in single mounts, with 8,000 rounds of ammunition, and six 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns in single mounts, with 12,000 rounds of ammunition. The ships carried eight above-water 53.3 cm (21.0 in) torpedo tubes in two power-operated mounts amidships. [2] Four depth charge throwers were mounted on the sides of the rear deckhouse and they were supplemented by six racks for individual depth charges on the sides of the stern. Sufficient depth charges were carried for either two or four patterns of sixteen charges each. [8] Mine rails could be fitted on the rear deck that had a maximum capacity of sixty mines. [2] 'GHG' (Gruppenhorchgerät) passive hydrophones were fitted to detect submarines and an active sonar system was installed by the end of 1939. [9]

Z20 Karl Galster had a FuMO 21 [Note 1] search radar installed in 1942 and her anti-aircraft suite was upgraded several times over the course of the war. By the end, it consisted of six 3.7 cm guns and fifteen 2 cm weapons. [10]

Ship Builder [11] Laid down [11] Launched [11] Commissioned [11] Fate [12]
Z17 Diether von Roeder DeSchiMAG, Bremen 9 September 1936 19 August 1937 29 August 1938 Beached and destroyed during the Battles of Narvik, 13 April 1940
Z18 Hans Lüdemann 1 December 1937 8 October 1938
Z19 Hermann Künne 5 October 1936 22 December 1937 12 January 1939
Z20 Karl Galster 14 September 1937 15 June 1938 21 March 1939 Transferred to the USSR, 1946, scrapped, 1958
Z21 Wilhelm Heidkamp 14 December 1937 28 August 1938 20 June 1939 Sunk by torpedo during the Battles of Narvik, 10 April 1940
Z22 Anton Schmitt 3 January 1938 20 September 1938 24 September 1939

Z17 Diether von Roeder and Z19 Hermann Künne were two of the destroyers that escorted Adolf Hitler when Germany occupied Memel in March 1939. When the war began in September, Z21 Wilhelm Heidkamp and Z22 Anton Schmitt were still working up so only Z17 Diether von Roeder, Z18 Hans Lüdemann, Z19 Hermann Künne and Z20 Karl Galster were deployed to lay minefields off the German coast. They were soon transferred to the Skagerrak where they inspected neutral shipping for contraband goods and were joined there by Z21 Wilhelm Heidkamp by the end of the month. [1]

Beginning in mid-October and continuing through February 1940, the Kriegsmarine began using its destroyers to lay offensive minefields off the British coast on dark nights with little to no moonlight. The sisters (Z22 Anton Schmitt became operational in January) participated in five of the eleven sorties and their mines helped to sink a British destroyer and 121,348 gross register tons (GRT) of merchant shipping. [13]

Norwegian Campaign Edit

Z21 Wilhelm Heidkamp was the flagship for Group 1 for the Norwegian portion of Operation Weserübung in April 1940. The group's task was to transport mountain infantry to seize Narvik. The ships began loading troops on 6 April in Wesermünde and set sail the next day. [14]

On 9 April, Z22 Anton Schmitt and Z18 Hans Lüdemann landed troops at the entrance to the Ofotfjord while their sisters proceeded to Narvik and Elvegårdsmoen to unload their troops. Z21 Wilhelm Heidkamp sank an old coastal defense ship in Narvik harbor after an attempt to get her captain to surrender failed. All of the destroyers were short on oil fueling proceeded very slowly and only three destroyers had completed doing so by the following morning, although Z18 Hans Lüdemann and Z19 Hermann Künne were in the process of doing so when the five destroyers of the British 2nd Destroyer Flotilla appeared shortly after dawn. Caught totally by surprise, the initial torpedo salvo sank Z21 Wilhelm Heidkamp and Z22 Anton Schmitt and lightly damaged Z19 Hermann Künne. British shells also damaged Z18 Hans Lüdemann and crippled Z17 Diether von Roeder. The German destroyers unsuccessfully returned fire with several torpedoes passing underneath the British ships. [15]

On the night of 12/13 April, the Germans received word to expect an attack the following day by British capital ships escorted by a large number of destroyers and supported by carrier aircraft. The battleship Warspite and nine destroyers duly appeared on 13 April, although earlier than expected, and caught the Germans out of position. Z19 Hermann Künne was the first ship to spot the approaching British ships and alerted the other ships. The other operable destroyers (Z17 Diether von Roeder was still under repair in Narvik harbor) joined Z19 Hermann Künne as she fell back and engaged the British ships at long range from behind a smoke screen, inflicting only splinter damage they were not damaged by the British return fire. By the early afternoon, the Germans had exhausted most of their ammunition and the destroyers were ordered to retreat to the Rombaksfjorden (the easternmost branch of the Ofotfjord), east of Narvik, where they might attempt to ambush any pursuing British destroyers. Z19 Hermann Künne ' s captain misunderstood the signal and headed north into the Herjangsfjord where he ran the ship aground. She had fired off all of her ammunition, including practice and star shells her depth charges were rigged for demolition and they were set off once the crew had abandoned ship. A pair of British destroyers followed her into the fjord and put a torpedo into the wreck for good measure, breaking off her stern. [16]

Z18 Hans Lüdemann still had some ammunition and torpedoes left and took up position at the Straumen narrows with Z2 Georg Thiele to give the two other remaining destroyers time to scuttle themselves at the head of the fjord. The pursuing British destroyers initially engaged Z18 Hans Lüdemann, which had opened fire at a range of about 3 miles (4,800 m) to little effect. Her four remaining torpedoes were fired blindly, one of which was observed to pass under a destroyer and all missed. Shortly afterwards the British ships hit the German destroyer twice, destroying No. 4 and No. 5 guns and damaging No. 3 gun, the only ones that could bear on the British ships. Z18 Hans Lüdemann ' s captain decided to withdraw as she could no longer fight the British ships and beached the ship at the head of the fjord. He ordered her rigged for demolition and abandoned ship while Z2 Georg Thiele continued to fight. Several hours later, after the latter ship was destroyed, British destroyers approached and found Z18 Hans Lüdemann still intact, the demolition charges having failed. Following their orders to destroy all of the German destroyers, they torpedoed her wreck. [17]

When the British appeared at the harbor mouth they initially thought that they were being fired upon by coastal artillery in the smoke and confusion, but a reconnaissance aircraft spotted Z17 Diether von Roeder. The destroyer Cossack moved through the sunken freighters to investigate and opened fire at point-blank range. She set the German ship's stern aflame, but Z17 Diether von Roeder ' s return fire was devastating. The British destroyer was hit at least seven times that caused her to run aground. Other British ships returned fire, but the gunners had abandoned ship once their ammunition was exhausted and only the three-man demolition party was still aboard when a British destroyer approached. They lit the fuses and ran ashore and the depth charges blew her apart before she could be boarded. [18]

The sole survivor Edit

After a refit that prevented Z20 Karl Galster from participating in Operation Weserübung, the ship was sent to Norway for escort duties. Later that year she was transferred to France later as the flagship of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla (5. Zerstörerflotille), where she conducted anti-shipping patrols and laid a minefield in the English Channel with little success. [19]

The ship returned to Germany at the end of the year for a refit and was transferred to Norway in June as part of the preparations for Operation Barbarossa. Z20 Karl Galster spent some time at the beginning of the campaign conducting anti-shipping patrols in Soviet waters but these were generally fruitless. She escorted a number of German convoys in the Arctic later in the year until engine problems sent her back to Germany for repairs. The ship returned to Norway in mid-1942, but was badly damaged when she ran aground in July and did not return until December. Z20 Karl Galster participated in Operation Zitronella, the German attack on the Norwegian island of Spitzbergen, well north of the Arctic Circle, in September 1943. Plagued by engine problems, the ship was under repair from November to August 1944 and then spent the next six months on convoy escort duties in southern Norway when not laying minefields. [20]

Around March 1945, Z20 Karl Galster was transferred to the Baltic Sea where she helped to escort convoys of refugee ships and also rescued evacuees herself in May, around the time that Germany surrendered. [21] When the surviving German warships were divided between the Allies after the war, the ship was eventually allocated to the Soviet Union. Z20 Karl Galster was handed over in 1946 and renamed Prochnyy. The ship was converted into a training ship in 1950 and then became an accommodation ship in 1954. She was scrapped four years later. [22]


German Destroyers of World War II, Gerhard Koop and Klaus-Peter Schmolke - History

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The warships of the World War II era German Navy are among the most popular subject in naval history with an almost uncountable number of books devoted to them. However, for a concise but authoritative summary of the design history and careers of the major surface ships it is difficult to beat a series of six volumes written by Gerhard Koop and illustrated by Klaus-Peter Schmolke. Each contains an account of the development of a particular class, a detailed description of the ships, with full technical details, and an outline of their service, heavily illustrated with plans, battle maps and a substantial collection of photographs. These have been out of print for ten years or more and are now much sought after by enthusiasts and collectors, so this new modestly priced reprint of the series will be widely welcomed.

All the 40 or so German destroyers that saw service during the war are detailed in this book, including captures ships. Chapters range from their design and development, armament and machinery, to appearance differences, camouflage schemes and modifications. It also covers their careers and the many actions they fought, all illustrated with plans, technical drawings, maps, and a comprehensive gallery of photographs.

These publications each contain a wealth of data and information.

Marcator

This classic work which has been out of print for a decade, is widely regarded as the best concise history of the development, design details and careers of all the German destroyers of World War Two. An important source of information and is therefore well worth the money.

Maritime News

Gerhard Koop and Klaus-Peter Schmolke need to be commended for undertaking a project of this magnitude. Their efforts in researching the design, development and subsequent careers of the German destroyers of World War Two is a mammoth task. The result is an excellent, well designed and easy to read book with an abundance of detail, photographs, diagrams and information.
Anyone interested in German naval activities in World War Two should invest in a copy of this excellent book.

Warship World

[A]n unbiased technical and service history of these busy, if rather accident prone and unreliable, ships. The excellent text is supported by a very good selection of plans and an even better collection of photographs of the destroyers.

History of War

These superb books have been repackaged by Seaforth Publishing from the German language originals produced in the 1990s. Billed as concise, they offer an immensely interesting look at different types of vessels in Nazi service and cover the full aspect of these ships from drawing board to destiny. The individual ship histories are fascinating and there is a wealth of detail that should satisfy any bathtub admiral playing battleships with the soap and sponge.

Seaforth naval books have always been a welcome sight on my doormat and these titles entirely live up to the standard aficionados will recognise. I cannot fault them.

War History Online

Contents

In terms of armament, they were closer to light cruisers than the typical destroyer. The use of 15 cm (5.9 in) guns was atypical of destroyers which tended to have guns around 120–127 mm (4.7–5.0 in) in calibre. They were intended to carry two forward guns in a twin turret, but as the twin turrets were not ready in time, early class 1936As carried a single mounted gun forward.

Despite being powerful the ships were not without their flaws. There were problems with the reliability of the high pressure steam engines and seakeeping in rough seas due to the newly designed bow and heavy forward artillery.

The eight ships of the Type 1936A design (Z23 to Z30) were all laid down between 1938 and 1940. The seven destroyers numbered from Z31 to Z39 were classed as Zerstörer 1936A (Mob) they were laid down in 1940 and 1941 and were slightly larger and had some internal modifications (including engines that caused less trouble than with their predecessors) from the original design to shorten construction times.

The ships had an overall length of 127 metres (416 ft 8 in) and were 121.9 metres (399 ft 11 in) long at the waterline. They had a beam of 12 metres (39 ft 4 in), and a maximum draught of 4.38–4.65 metres (14 ft 4 in–15 ft 3 in). They displaced 2,543–2,657 long tons (2,584–2,700 t) at standard load and 3,519–3,691 long tons (3,575–3,750 t) at deep load. The ship's hulls were divided into 16 watertight compartments and they were fitted with a double bottom that covered 47% of their length amidships. [1] Their crew consisted of 11–15 officers and 305–20 sailors when serving as a flagship an additional 4 officers and 19 sailors were assigned. [2]

The Type 1936As were powered by two Wagner geared steam turbine sets, each driving a single three-bladed 3.2–3.35-metre (10 ft 6 in–11 ft 0 in) propeller, using steam provided by six high-pressure Wagner water-tube boilers with superheaters that operated at a pressure of 70 atm (7,093 kPa 1,029 psi) and a temperature of 450–480 °C (842–896 °F). The turbines were designed to produce 70,000 metric horsepower (51,000 kW 69,000 shp) for a speed of 36 knots (67 km/h 41 mph). [3] The ships carried a maximum of 835 tonnes (822 long tons) of fuel oil which gave a range of 2,600 nautical miles (4,800 km 3,000 mi) at 19 knots (35 km/h 22 mph). [4]

Armament and sensors Edit

The main armament of the Type 1936A ships was intended to be five 45-calibre 15-centimetre (5.9 in) TbtsK C/36 guns in a twin-gun turret forward and the three other guns in single mounts with gun shields aft of the main superstructure, but delivery of the turrets was delayed and all of the Type 36A class was delivered with four single 15 cm guns with one gun forward and three aft. Z28 was the sole exception as its armament was arranged with two single mounts fore and aft. Z23, Z24, Z25 and Z29 were later fitted with the turret. All of the Type 36A (Mob) ships except Z31 were built with the turret and that ship received one later. [5] The single mounts had a range of elevation from −10° to +30° while the guns in the turret could be elevated to 65°. The TbtsK C/36 gun fired 45.3-kilogram (100 lb) projectiles at a muzzle velocity of 835 m/s (2,740 ft/s) which gave them a maximum range of 21,950 metres (24,000 yd). [6] The hand-loaded gun had a maximum rate of fire of 7–8 rounds per minute and the ships carried a total of 480 shells for them. [7]

Their anti-aircraft armament consisted of four 80-calibre 3.7-centimetre (1.5 in) SK C/30 guns in two twin mounts abreast the aft funnel. [8] The power operated mounts had a maximum elevation of 85° which gave the guns a ceiling of 6,800 metres (22,300 ft) horizontal range was 8,500 metres (9,300 yd) at an elevation of 37.5°. The single-shot SK C/30 fired 0.748-kilogram (1.65 lb) projectiles at a muzzle velocity of 1,000 m/s (3,300 ft/s) at a rate of 30 rounds per minute. [9] The mounts were stabilized, but their gyroscopes were undersized and could not cope with sharp turns or heavy rolling. [10] They were also fitted with five to ten fully automatic 65-calibre 2-centimetre (0.8 in) C/30 guns in quadruple and single mounts. [8] The gun had an effective rate of fire of about 120 rounds per minute. Its 0.134-kilogram (0.30 lb) projectiles were fired at a muzzle velocity of 835 m/s (2,740 ft/s) [11] which gave it a ceiling of 3,700 metres (12,100 ft) and a maximum horizontal range of 4,800 metres (5,200 yd). [12]

The ships carried eight above-water 53.3-centimetre (21 in) torpedo tubes in two power-operated mounts. Two reloads were provided for each mount. The standard torpedo for the Type 36B destroyers was the G7a torpedo. [13] It had a 300-kilogram (660 lb) warhead and three speed range settings: 14,000 metres (15,000 yd) at 30 knots (56 km/h 35 mph) 8,000 metres (8,700 yd) at 40 knots (74 km/h 46 mph) and 6,000 metres (6,600 yd) at 44 knots (81 km/h 51 mph). [14] They had four depth charge launchers and mine rails could be fitted on the rear deck that had a maximum capacity of 60 mines. 'GHG' (Gruppenhorchgerät) passive hydrophones were fitted to detect submarines and a S-Gerät sonar was also probably fitted. The ships were equipped with a FuMO 24/25 radar set above the bridge. [15]

The class, including the 36A (Mob), consisted of 15 ships. All were built in Bremen by AG Weser shipyard (part of Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG/Deschimag) apart from Z37, Z38 and Z39 which were built by Germania (Kiel).


Contents

The Type 1936A (Mob) destroyers were slightly larger than the preceding Type 1936A class and had a heavier armament. The class had an overall length of 127 meters (416 ft 8 in) and were 121.9 meters (399 ft 11 in) long at the waterline. The ships had a beam of 12 meters (39 ft 4 in) and a maximum draft of 4.62 meters (15 ft 2 in). They displaced 2,657 long tons (2,700 t) at standard load and 3,691 long tons (3,750 t) at deep load. The two Wagner geared steam turbine sets, each driving one propeller shaft, were designed to produce 70,000 PS (51,000 kW 69,000 shp) using steam provided by six Wagner water-tube boilers. The ships had a design speed of 36 knots (67 km/h 41 mph), and their maximum speed was 36.1 knots (66.9 km/h 41.5 mph). [1] The Type 1936A (Mob) destroyers carried enough fuel oil to give a range of 2,239 nautical miles (4,147 km 2,577 mi) at a speed of 19 knots (35 km/h 22 mph). The crew of the ships numbered 11–15 officers and 305–21 enlisted men, plus an additional 4 officers and 19 enlisted men if serving as a flotilla flagship. [2]

The Type 1936A (Mob) ships were armed with five 15-centimeter (5.9 in) TbtsK C/36 guns in a twin-gun turret forward and three single mounts with gun shields aft of the main superstructure. Their anti-aircraft armament varied and Z33 ' s consisted of four 3.7-centimeter (1.5 in) Flak M42 guns in a pair of twin mounts abreast the rear funnel and ten 2-centimeter (0.79 in) C/38 guns in two quadruple and two single mounts. The ships carried eight 53.3-centimeter (21 in) torpedo tubes in two power-operated mounts. A pair of reload torpedoes was provided for each mount. They had four depth charge launchers and mine rails could be fitted on the rear deck that had a maximum capacity of 60 mines. A system of passive hydrophones designated as 'GHG' (Gruppenhorchgerät) was fitted to detect submarines. A S-Gerät sonar was also probably fitted. [3] [4] [5] The ship was equipped with a FuMO 24/25 radar set above the bridge as well as FuMB 3 Bali, FuMB 6 Palau, FuMB 26 Tunis, and FuMB 31 radar detectors. [6]

Modifications Edit

A FuMB 4 Sumatra radar detector was added after completion and a FuMO 63 Hohentwiel radar was installed in 1944–1945 in lieu of the aft searchlight. In early April 1945, one 15 cm gun was transferred to her sister Z34 to replace a damaged weapon. About that same time her anti-aircraft guns were removed. When the destroyer was ordered to the German Bight later that month, they were replaced by weapons taken from the wreck of the heavy cruiser Lützow. By the end of the war, Z33 ' s anti-aircraft suite consisted of ten 3.7 cm gun in five twin mounts and a dozen 2 cm guns in one quadruple, two twin and four single mounts. [7]

Z33 was first ordered from Seebeckwerft (yard number 665) as a Type 1938B destroyer on 28 June 1939, but the Kriegsmarine cancelled the order in September 1939, re-ordering the ship from AG Weser (Deschimag) (yard number W1003) as a Type 1936A (Mob) destroyer on 19 September 1939. The ship was laid down at Deschimag's Bremen shipyard on 22 December 1940 and launched on 15 September 1941. Construction was slowed by shortage of manpower and materials and Z33 was not commissioned until 6 February 1943. [8]

The ship sailed to Norway shortly after she finished working up on 22 July. She took part in Operation Zitronella, the German raid on the island of Spitsbergen in September where she was hit by coastal artillery 33 times, killing 3 crewmen and wounding 25. [9] Z33 was one of the escorts for the battleship Scharnhorst during Operation Ostfront on 25 December, an attempt to intercept the British Convoy JW 55B that was bound for the Soviet Union. All of the battleship's escorts were detached the following day to increase the likelihood of intercepting the convoy and did not participate in the ensuing Battle of North Cape. [10] She remained in Norwegian waters through 1944. On 17 July 1944 Z33 was strafed by Vought F4U Corsair fighters of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm during Operation Mascot, an attack on the battleship Tirpitz, but only suffered superficial damage. [11] Beginning in October, the ship escorted convoys during Operation Nordlicht, the evacuation of northern Norway. On 27 December Z33 laid a minefield off Honningsvaag together with her sister Z31. The two ships laid another minefield off Hammerfest on 3 January 1945. [9] [12]

Z33 departed for Germany on 5 February, but ran aground in Brufjord two days later. The impact severely damaged her port propeller shaft and its propeller, knocked out both turbines, and caused flooding. [9] While under tow to Trondheim she was attacked by Allied Bristol Beaufighter fighter-bombers two days later while anchored in Førde Fjord. The destroyer was further damaged during the attack, but she and her escorts shot down seven Beaufighters, which later became known by the squadrons involved as the "Black Friday" airstrike for the heavy casualties that they suffered. [13] Once repairs were completed she sailed for Swinemünde on 26 March and arrived there on 2 April. Due to Germany's shortage of fuel the ship was laid up and saw no further combat. All of her anti-aircraft guns were removed shortly after her arrival. Before Z33 departed Swinemünde on 27 April to be decommissioned at Cuxhaven, her anti-aircraft weapons were replaced by guns taken from the wreck of Lützow. [14]

After the war Z33 sailed to Wilhelmshaven and was overhauled to keep her seaworthy while the Allies decided how to divide the surviving ships of the Kriegsmarine amongst themselves as war reparations. The ship was allotted to the Soviet Union in late 1945 and turned over on 2 January 1946 before departing for Liepāja, Latvia. [15] She was renamed Provornyy (Проворный, “Nimble”) and assigned to the Red Banner Baltic Fleet. She briefly became a training ship on 30 November 1954 before was reclassified as an accommodation ship on 22 April 1955. During 1960, Provornyy was badly damaged by a fire and sank at her moorings. She was refloated two years later and then scrapped. [9]


Conclusion

I will have to say that German Destroyer of World War II is the go to technical reference guide on German destroyers. The amount of information covered in this book on the subject is just shy of incredible. For a historian or the fan of this class of ship from German in the Second World War, this book has it all Data, individual ship history and an amazing collection of photographic references. The section on camouflage at the back-end of this book is invaluable to the modeler as it gives five pages of profiles to most of the camouflage schemes used on these ship. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject matter.

We would like to thank Pen& Sword Books Ltd for this copy for review.


Watch the video: Launch of German destroyers 1927 (May 2022).