M-class light cruiser, "Kreuzer M". To much to ask for a small cruiser

Would you like to see the “Kreuser M” ingame?
  • Yes.
  • No.
0 voters
Where would you place this ship in the German techtree?
  • As a researchable techtree vehicle.
  • As a premium vehicle.
  • As a squadron vehicle.
  • As an event vehicle.
  • I said “No” in the first question.
0 voters

Hello everyone, today I wanted to shine some light on a interesting German light cruiser project.

This is the M-class light cruiser!

Original link: http://dreadnoughtproject.org/plans/KM_Kreuzer_M_1938/langsschnitt_obere_ansicht_aufbauten_aufbaudeck_oberdeck_100dpi.jpg

Important! This class of cruiser was never fully completed. Construction was started on two hulls, but were in the end canceled and scrapped. This suggestion is for one of the two hulls that were started on, that being “Kreuzer M”.



The M-class Light Cruiser started it’s life in Early 1936, with the start of the German planned re-equipment and expansion of the Kriegsmarine, known as the “Plan Z”. One problem the Germans had with their older Light Cruiser designs was that they were not able to fulfill their commerce raider role, mainly because of the short range the older cruisers had. So the main thing the M-class had to be able to do was to fulfill this role.

Like the earlier light cruisers had, the M-class would get a mixed propulsion system consisting of diesel engines for slower cruise speed and steam turbines for high speed. Due to the limited size that comes with Light Cruisers, this did mean that limitations had to be made to the armament and armour.

Long range was not the only requirement for the class. Top speed was also very important, and the ship had to be capable of this high speed without limiting the armament and armour of the vessel. On top of it all, the ships were also not going to be very large, and so the limited displacement created a lot of problems. And so some doubtfull decisions were made.
The biggest of which was that both turbines were to be placed in one common compartment and all smoke funnels were trunked into one fore and one aft funnel. Which did mean that if one was taken out this would greatly reduce the performance of the vessel. In the end the design was pushed so far to the limit that the idea of improving the AA armament by replacing the 88 mm guns to 105 mm onces was seen as unreal, and would require weight saving to be done elsewhere, such as removing the spotter aircraft.

During further development of the design, serious flaws became apparent, including the weakness of both the main battery and anti-aircraft armament, as well as the insufficiently thick armour protection.
The typical German stepped arrangement of the bridge and decks also wasted space and was deemed impractical. The crew spaces were also not suitable for long range missions.

In order to fix most of these flaws a heavily modified re-design was made of the M-class, which increased the size of the ships slightly, and would have allowed the anti aircraft weaponry to be increased and fire controll for these guns could also be improved.

With a projected construction time of two and a half years, the orders for the ships were given out.
Based on the original design:

  • The contract for M was assigned to Deutsche Werke in Kiel under the construction number 263.
  • N followed at the Kriegsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshaven, as number 129.
  • O, construction number 606, was assigned to Germaniawerft in Kiel, but on 8 August 1939, the contract was transferred to the Kriegsmarinewerft.
  • P was also assigned to Germaniawerft, under number 607.

Based on the heavily modified re-design:

  • Q was assigned to Schichau in Danzig.
  • R was awarded to the Deutsche Werke.

In the end only the keels for M and N were laid down in 1938. But the construction was soon halted on the 19th and 21st of September 1939, respectively. Both hulls were soon broken up on the stocks thereafter.





The initial design for the M-class borrowed mostly on current British and French ships. The M-class was overall a continuation of the older triple-turret light cruisers. Where the M-class had the same machinery arrangement and similar dimensions but twin gun turrets instead of the triple gun turrets. These twin gun turrets where of the same type fitted on the Bismarck-class battleships. This new arrangement and design made the M-class look much more like the Light Cruisers of the French and British navy.

The belt armour was made up of two strips of armour plates, an upper strip and a lower one that ran more on the waterline. The upper strip was 30 mm thick, and the lower one 50 mm.
The deck was 20 mm thick, and would connect to the upper belt strip by a 35 mm thick plate that ran at an angle.

The turrets had 30 mm of armour on the front and 20 mm on the sides, rears and roofs.
Ammunition elevators were protected by 30 mm plates, and the citadel had 100 to 50 mm sides, 50 mm roof. With the communication tubes being protected by 50 mm plates. At last the fore bulkheads were going to be a 20 mm thick.

Original link: http://dreadnoughtproject.org/plans/KM_Kreuzer_M_1938/zwischendeck_panzerdeck_plattformdeck_stauung_100dpi.jpg



While work on the first M-class cruisers started as early as November of 1938, the outbreak of the second world war put a stop to the ships. Work was not going to continue on them either, so all the used material was scrapped, and sadly that was the end of the M-class.

In the end the M-class cruiser was way to complicated, and asked to much for such a small ship. Even if the ships were to have been finished, they would have most likely proven to be very expensive to operate, and weak to enemy fire. Their speed might have made them good Destroyer Leaders, but even then something like a British Town-class light cruiser out-guns the M-class by a huge margin.



Ingame this class of cruiser sits at an awkward spot. While the armour is roughly the same as other German light cruisers, it’s weaponry is in certain areas lacking. The primary 150mm guns have about the same firerate then the 15 cm/60 SK C/25 found on the other German light cruisers. But in total the M-class only has 8 guns, where the other German light cruisers have 9. On top of that the Nürnberg also has a faster firerate then the M-class.

It’s secondairy weaponry however is much worse then that found on the other German light cruisers. The M-class does have two quad torpedo launchers which will help it out a bit, but torpedoes won’t save you from aircraft attacks.

One thing the M-class does have is speed. It is by far the fasted German light cruiser if it were to be added. But the fact that the engines and smoke funnels all sit in one compartment makes it easy to put the entire ship dead in the water.

If the M-class were to be added into the main techtree, it would most likely be placed before or after the Leipzig. That is why I think the M-class would be much better suited as a premium, event or squadron vehicle. The fact that the M-class was never finished makes it feel like more of a premium/event/squadron ship too.

Be sure to let us know your opinion on where the ship should be placed in the techtree, in the poll above!



A simple drawing on the M-class

Specs for the Licht Cruiser M:
Displacement: 8366 tons
Length: 183 meters
Breadth: 17 meters
Draught: 5.42 meters
Max speed: 35.5 knots
Endurance: 8000 nautical miles

Upper belt: 30 mm
Lower belt: 50 mm
Fore bulkhead: 20 mm
Deck: 20 mm
Connecting plate between the deck and upper belt: 35 mm
Citadel: 100 - 50 mm
Communication tubes: 50 mm
Turrets: 30 - 20 mm
Ammunition elevators: 30 mm

4 x 2 - 150mm/55 SK C/28
2 x 2 - 88mm/76 SK C/32
4 x 2 - 37mm/83 KS C/30
2 x 2 - 20mm/65 C/30
2 x 4 - 533mm G7a torpedo tubes

An illustration of the M-class design, but things like the rangefinders and other small details do not match the original blueprint

That is it for the M-class, I hope you enjoyed reading this post! Be sure to give your vote in the poll above!

I hope you all have a nice day, and I’ll see you on the battlefield!



Information & specifications:

Extra information:


15 cm/55 SK C/28: Germany 15 cm/55 (5.9") SK C/28 - NavWeaps
8.8 cm/76 SK C/32: Germany 8.8 cm/76 (3.46") SK C/32 - NavWeaps
3.7 cm/83 SK C/30: Germany 3.7 cm/83 SK C/30 - NavWeaps
2 cm/65 C/30: Germany 2 cm/65 (0.79") C/30 and C/38 - NavWeaps