H-class battleship, H-39 - Same idea but bigger Schlachtschiffe

Would you like to see the H-39 class in the Game?
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  • I don’t think the H-39 class should be added to the game
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H-class battleship, H-39 - Same idea but bigger Schlachtschiffe

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Note: Due to a lack of sources the development history will not be covered so much and in its stead I will mention more of her specifications in the Background


Background

The H class of battleship is not actually a singular class of battleship but a series of planned battleships for the Kriegsmarine before the Second World War, these ships were quite literally larger Bismarcks with the ship being focused on here, H-39 having 16" inch guns however her primary and secondary layout was the same as the Bismarck class. As for the story behind the H class, they were apart of Plan Z which was the plan to bolster the Kriegsmarine’s surface fleet, the plan itself was the successor plan from the previous plan X which was more of a draft followed by plan Y with plan Z succeeding plan Y. Plan Z called for the following: 90 torpedo boats, 68 destroyers, 22 scout cruisers, 13 light cruisers, 5 Heavy cruisers (just the 5 admiral hipper class ships), 15 Panzerschiffe (ships similar to the Deutschland class), 4 aircraft carriers, 3 battlecruisers (no this is not the Scharnhorst class, this is made up of the O-class), and 10 battleships. As the focus is on the H-39 for the H-class, plan Z called for the 2 Scharnhorst class, both Bismarck class ships, and then the other 6 would consist of ships of the H-class ships which were as mentioned previously was not a singular class of ship and if they were would make even the French look normal when it came to tweaking their designs for each ship of the class, H-39 design was basically a larger version of the Bismarck class with 16 inch guns like the other H-class ships would be designed. In terms of armament of the H-39 design was very similar to their predecessors with the exception of the main battery being 16" inch guns over the previous 15" inch guns, the secondary battery would be exactly identical with 12 150mm guns in twin turrets with 3 per side on the ship with 2 turrets located near the bridge superstructure, 2 turrets located more near the first funnel, and the last 2 more closer to the 2nd funnel. The AA battery would contain 16 105mm guns in the same twin mounts as found on Bismarck, in terms of AA guns the ship was planned to use 16 37mm and 24 20mm AA guns. To round off the weapons the H-39 would have unlike Bismarck or Tirpitz would have 6 underwater torpedo tubes in the bow even though every major naval power had seen the common sense to eliminate them from their own Battleships with the exception of the British who did remove them from many of their Dreadnought battleships but the designers decided to give their Nelson class the underwater torpedo tubes because why not. The ships would retain the 3 propeller arrangement which was in fact a design flaw as seen on what happened to Bismarck, the ship was to be powered by 12 MAN 9 cyl Diesel engines with 4 per propeller shaft giving them 165,000 shp giving them a designed speed of 30 knots, the ship also had 3 rudders in total with 1 main rudder alined with the keel and center propeller shaft and 2 smaller wing rudders. Armor would be similar to the Bismarck with 300mm for the main belt and 145mm for the upper belt, 220mm for the bulkheads, 385mm to 150mm of armor for the main turrets which is slightly greater than the Bismarck classes turrets, 365mm for the barbettes, 350mm to 200mm for the conning tower tower, 50mm to 80mm for the upper decks and 100mm to 120mm for the main armor deck, as well as 45mm for the torpedo bulkheads.

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History and Fate

Similar to the issue the French had where they had a limited amount of shipyards that were capable of building such ships, in the Germans case they only had 4 capable to building them, 2 ships would have their keels laid down under the designations Schlachtschiffe H and Schlachtschiffe J.

Schlachtschiffe H was laid down in mid July, 1939 while Schlachtschiffe J was just laid down in the beginning of September which would be the same month that Germany would invade Poland and as such work was suspended on both ships as it was viewed that the ships would not be completed until the war ended, in the end neither ship would come close to completion as resources were prioritized for the Luftwaffe as well as the Army. One caveat however was that the guns meant for the class would be built and used as costal guns with at least 10 guns made with a total of 7 being deployed in Norway, and another 3 used in Poland before being dismounted and used in France which appeared to have been later were scrapped but the guns in Norway had a different fate as only 3 of the guns would be scrapped while the other 4 were kept around of which one of these guns is open now as apart of a museum.

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Despite work on the ships coming to a complete halt in 1941 the design of the H-class would be revised now known as H-41 which was not to modify the existing design of the H-39 but as an improved design so no ships of the modified or subsequent designs which would follow a trend of being even larger than the last would ever be laid down or have any parts made for them making the H-39 class the most advance German battleships that were designed and began construction.


Specifications

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Displacement:

Standard: 52,600 Long tons (53,400 tons)

Full load: 62,592 Long tons (63,596 tons)

Length:

Water line: 266.0 m (872 ft 8 in)

Overall: 277.8 m (911 ft 5 in)

Beam: 37.0 m (121 ft 5 in)

Draft:

Standard: 10.2 m ( 33 ft 4 in)

Full load: 11.2 m (36 ft 9 in)

Installed power:

165,000 shp (123,000 kW)

Propulsion:

12 × MAN diesel engines
3 × shafts

Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h)

Range: 19,200 nautical miles (35,600 km) at 19 knots (35 km/h)

Crew count: 2,600 total

Radar systems:

4 x FuMO 27 radars

Armament:

Main armament:

8 × 40.6 cm (16.0 in) SK C/34 guns (4 x 2) (960 rounds total; 240 rounds per turret; 120 rounds per gun)

Secondary armament:

12 × 15 cm (5.9 in) L/55 C28 guns (6 x 2)

Dual purpose anti aircraft guns:

16 × 10.5 cm (4.1 in) L/65 C33 Flak guns (8 x 2)

Anti aircraft guns:

16 × 3.7 cm (1.5 in) L/83 C33 guns (8 x 2)

24 × 2 cm (0.8 in) C38 guns (6 x 4)

Torpedo tubes:

6 × 53.3 cm (21.0 in) underwater torpedo tubes (Located in the bow)

Armor:

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  • Main belt: 300 mm (11.8 in)
  • Upper belt: 145 mm (5.7 in)
  • Bulkheads: 220 mm (8.7 in)
  • Main turrets face: 385mm (15.2 in)
  • Main Turrets sides: 240 mm (9.4 in)
  • Main Turrets roof: 130 mm (5.1 in)
  • Main Turrets rear: 325 mm (12.8 in)
  • Main Turret Barbettes: (On the main deck): 365 mm (14.4 in)
  • Main Turret Barbettes: (Below the main deck): 240 mm (9.4 in)
  • Secondary Turrets face: 100 mm (3.9 in)
  • Secondary Turrets sides: 40 mm (1.6 in
  • Secondary Turrets roof: 35 mm (1.4 in)
  • Secondary Turrets Barbettes: 80 mm (3.1 in)
  • Dual purpose Turrets: 20 mm (0.79 in)
  • Forward Conning Tower: 200-350mm (7.9-13.8 in) (Forward conning tower had 350 mm (13.8 in) thick sides and 200 mm (7.9 in) for the roof)
  • Rear Conning Tower: 100mm (4 in) (Both sides and roof)
  • Main Deck: 100–120 mm (3.9–4.7 in)
  • Upper deck: 50–80 mm (2.0–3.1 in)
  • Torpedo Bulges: 60-45mm (2.4-1.8 in) ( Torpedo bulkhead had 5.5 m (18 ft) distance away from the hull with 40mm of armor, abreast of the turrets and further in the bow and stern the distance of the torpedo bulkhead was reduced to 3.25 m (10.7 ft) and in these areas the torpedo bulkhead was 60mm (2.4 in) thick to compensate for the reduced distance from the hull)

Aircraft carried:

  • 4 Arado ar 196 float planes

Main Gun Performance:

  • Maximum range: 42,800 m (42.8 km)
  • Muzzle Velocity: 810 m/s (2,700 ft/s)
  • Rate of fire: 2 rounds per minute

Main Gun Rounds:

  • L/4.4 m Bd Z Hb (AP) - 1,030 kg. (25 kg. bursting charge) Armour-piercing shell, rear fuse
  • L/4.8 m KZ m Hb (HE) - 1,030 kg. (80 kg. bursting charge) High-explosive shell, front fuse
  • L/4.6 m Bd Z Hb (SAP)- 1,030 kg. (45 kg. bursting charge) High-explosive shell, rear fuse

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Sources

Spoiler

Battleship H Technical Data

H Class Battleships

http://www.navypedia.org/ships/germany/ger_bb_h.htm

H-class battleship proposals - Wikipedia

40.6 cm SK C/34 gun - Wikipedia

40.6 cm SK C/34 gun | Military Wiki | Fandom

Germany 40.6 cm/52 (16") SK C/34 and 42 cm/48 (16.5") SK C/40 - NavWeaps

Image Sources

Spoiler

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/843087992725795063/

HITLER'S SECRET SUPER BATTLESHIP

Request: H-Class H44 Battleship | Secret Projects Forum

40.6 cm SK C/34 gun - Wikipedia

6 Likes

+1

1 Like

+1, this and it’s sister will be welcome additions.

1 Like

It would be nice, considering this is the path that Gaijin has chosen to go down. I believe the names that Hitler wanted for the ship were either Hutten (after Ulrich von Hutten) or Berlichingen (after Götz von Berlichingen), although Hindenburg is another possibility.

3 Likes

+1, Germany has fairly slim pickings for capital ships after WW1, especially in terms of anything meeting 16" capability, so H-39 feels somewhat necessary.

4 Likes

+1

Definitely needs to be added at the end of the tech tree, as battleships like the Iowa, Lion and Yamato will be quite a challenge for Bismarck Class ships to handle. So having the last and biggest ships ever to be laid down in construction be added that “might” be able to go toe to toe with those ships I mentioned will be a good addition to the german Navy.

It’s an interesting ship for sure and when other nations start getting their 406/410mm ships it will be a good addition to assist the Germans in keeping parity so a probable +1 from me when/if 406/410mm Battleships get added

3 Likes

Which book is that?

First seven pages are from:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/german-capital-ships-world-war/dp/0304357073
Last page is from:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/German-Naval-Guns-Miroslaw-Skwiot/dp/1848320809

3 Likes

I genuinely don’t understand why the protection scheme of H-39 is considered an improvement over the Bismark class despite the fact the armor schemes look to be the exact same except with the H-39 having thinner armor???

Suggestion passed to the developers for consideration.

1 Like