Derfflinger Class Battlecruiser

World War 1 Naval Combat

World War 1 Naval Combat

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SMS Derfflinger
SMS Derfflinger
Derfflinger class.  Easily distinguishable from earlier German battlecruisers by the all centreline turrets in two superimposed pairs forward and aft.  The original elevation of the guns was 13.5 degrees giving a maximum range of 20,450 yards but this was increased post Jutland to an elevation of 16 degrees and maximum range of 22,300 yards.

SMS Derfflinger
Built Blohm and Voss, Hamburg, laid down January 1912, completed October 1914, cost 56,000,000 Marks.

SMS Lützow
Built Schichau, Danzig, laid down May 1912, completed August 1915, cost 58,000,000 Marks

Size:
Length  690 feet 3 inches overall, beam 95 feet 2 inches, draught 27 feet 3 inches, displacement 26,180 normal 30,700 tons deep load.

Propulsion:
4 shaft Parsons turbines, 63,000 shp, 27 knots

Trials:
Derfflinger 76,000 shp = 28.0 knots
Lützow 80,990 shp = 28.3 knots

Armour:
12-4in belt, 10in barbettes, 11in turrets, 3-1in decks

Armament:
8 x 12in SKL/50 (4 x 2), 12 x 5.9in (12 x 1), 4 x 3.45in (4 x 1), 4 x 19.7in TT

Comments:
This class ship saw the introduction of the 12 inch gun to German battlecruisers which along with the superior layout more than compensated for the reduction in guns carried when compared with their predecessors.  Along with the similar Hindenburg they were the only German capital ships with flush decks and were considered excellent sea boats although the casemates were wet and they suffered from having tandem rudders.  Crew 44 officers and 1068 men.

World War 1 Service:
Derfflinger
Part of I Scouting Group
16 December 1914 bombarded Hartlepool.
24 January 1915 took part in the  Battle of Dogger Bank.
February 1915 repairs.
28 June 1915 turbine breakdown.
24 April 1916 took part in bombardment of Yarmouth and Lowestoft.
1916 took part in the Battle of Jutland.  Hit by 10 15 inch, 1 13.5 inch, 10 12 inch, 2 6 inch and 7 4 inch shells with 157 killed and 26 injured.  Took part in sinking of HMS Invincible and HMS Queen Mary firing 385 12 inch rounds.
October 1916 Repaired at Kiel.
Post WW1 interned and scuttled at Scapa Flow.

Lützow
I Scouting Group
24 April 1916 bombardment of Yarmouth and Lowestoft.
31 May-1 June 1916 sunk at the Battle of Jutland.  Took part in sinking of HMS Invincible

SMS Derfflinger with the heavy tripod mast that replaced the original pole mast after the Battle of Jutland and along with her near sister Hindenburg were the only German battlecruiser fitted with them, Lützow being sunk before the modification could be made.  The class are regarded as many people as the best battlecruisers of World War 1 with good protection and speed and adequate firepower. SMS Derfflinger
SMS Derfflinger

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