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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Graf Zeppelin aircraft carrier

Photos

Graf Zeppelin aircraft carrier:
Germany's Graf Zeppelin aircraft carrier
Bundesarchiv Bild 134-B0676
Graf Zeppelin aircraft carrier after launching in December 1938:
Germany's Graf Zeppelin aircraft carrier after launching in December 1938
US Navy photo
Graf Zeppelin aircraft carrier on the River Oder near Stettin:
Germany's Graf Zeppelin aircraft carrier on the River Oder near Stettin
Imperial War Museum MH 5812

Design

In 1933 the Wilhelm Hadeler drew up a preliminary design.4

In April 1940 the work on the Graf Zeppelin was suspended but was restarted in July 1940 / May 19424.1,4 In January 30, 19432 / 1943 it was stopped for the last time.1

Work started on the B but was never launched.1

The Luftwaffe never supported the development of the Graf Zeppelin and due to Göring they would have been the pilots of the carrier aircraft.2,4

Design Ideas Needed

In 1935 a German officer visited the HMS Furious during Fleet Week.2

A team was sent to Japan to inspect the Akagi.2

Aircraft

The aircraft that were initially to be used were the Bf 109B, Ju 87A, and the Fi 167.4

Ships

Graf Zeppelin

  • Manufacturer: Deutsche Werke at Kiel1,2, Deutschewerke4
  • December 28, 1936: Laid down.4
  • December 8, 1938: Launched1,2,3,4
  • April 24, 1945: Scuttled1

B, Peter Strasser

  • Manufacturer: Germania Werft at Kiel1,2

Usage

Never used in World War II.

 

Specifications

  Graf Zeppelin
Crew 1,7601,2,4
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 19,250 tons3, 23,200 tons1, 28,090 tons4
Displacement - 1937 26,931 tons2
Displacement - 1939 28,090 tons2
Length 820'1, 820' 3"3, 861' 3"4
262.5 m4
Length - Water Line 820' 2"2, 820' 3"4
250 m2,4
Beam 88' 6"1,3, 103' 4"2
31.5 m2
Draft / Height 18' 6"1,3, 23' 7"2,4
7.2 m2,4
Draft / Height - Maximum  
Flight deck 787' 5" x 88' 6"4, 790' x 88' 6"3
240 m x 27 m4
Performance  
Speed 32 knots3, 33.5 knots1, 34 knots4, 35 knots2
Range at 19 knots 8,000 nautical miles1,4
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 5.9"3,4, 5.9" twin mount1: 81, 163,4
150 mm L/55 C28 twin mount: 82
4.1"3,4, 4.1" twin mount1: 61, 103, 124
105" L/65 C33 twin mount: 62
37 mm3,4, 37 mm twin mount1, 37 mm L/83 C33 twin mount2: 111,2, 223,4
20 mm1,4, 20 mm C38 and 20 mm C38M: 281,2,4
Aircraft 403, 41 - 432, 424
Ju 87D Dive Bombers: 121
Bf 109F Fighters: 301
Armor  
Belt 3.5"2, 4"4
Casements 1.75"2
Deck 1.5"2, 1.5" - 2.5"4
Flight Deck 0.75"2,4
Engines  
Boilers La Mont boilers: 162,4
Shafts 41,2,4
Turbines Brown-Boveri2,4, Geared1
HP 200,0001,2,4
Oil 6,750 tons4
Aircraft fuel 70,000 gallons4

Sources:

  1. German Warships of World War II, J. C. Taylor, 1966
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  3. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
  4. The World's Aircraft Carriers 1914 - 1945, Roger Chesneau, 1986
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site