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Request: H-Class H44 Battleship

Demon Lord Razgriz

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Does anyone have a really good pic of the H44 version of the German H-class Battleship? Perferably not a model.
 

Abraham Gubler

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These pictures were from the old www.warships1.com webpage that appears to be defunct.
 

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Jemiba

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According to Erich Groener and others, the H44 was purely a theoretical
development, and never meant to be realised. There is a drawing in Groeners
book, showing distribution, thickness and inclination of armour and positions
of armament (still the same basic configuration as in the Bismarck, so maybe
another evidence, that the H44 wasn't a "real" project.
Just drop a PM, if such a drawing is, what you're looking for .
 

red admiral

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http://www.geocities.com/alt_naval/h-44-design.htm

alt_naval's excellent photoshop is as close as you're going to get for a picture of H-44. In this she is alongside Bismarckk/Tirpitz to give an idea of scale.
 

Demon Lord Razgriz

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I was looking for something more like a 3D drawing of it or a Shipbucket-style Top & side view drawing.
 

Jemiba

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That's the drawing from Groeners book :
 

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Antonio

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The first photo from Abraham shows that work to turn this design into hardware existed. I always thought it was a pure paper project.

Anybody can tell me dates about when work started and when it was terminated?
 

Jemiba

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"I always thought it was a pure paper project."

Work on the "Projekt H" was ordered and begun in 1939, but soon stopped in october 1939, with not
much more, than the keel laid down. I have read sources, saying that the first two or three ships of
that class were begun, others only mention one. It seems, that not even the german navy high command
was very enthusiastic about these ships, maybe a rare glimpse of realism among them ?
Additionally, at this time, the points that made this design a quite outdated one, should already have
been realised even in Germany.
 

Abraham Gubler

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pometablava said:
The first photo from Abraham shows that work to turn this design into hardware existed. I always thought it was a pure paper project.

Anybody can tell me dates about when work started and when it was terminated?

The H class had several ships and despite the name they were of different designs. H39 was the ship laid down and detailed in the images I posted. It was 62,000 tonnes and armed with eight 40.6cm guns.

After construction was suspended thanks to the outbreak of WW2 six further designs, the H40A, H40B, H41, H42, H43 and H44 were prepared. Several of these ships had guns bigger than 40.6cm. The best info on all these designs is at:

http://www.german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/zplan/battleships/schlachtschiffh/index.html
 

Antonio

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Thanks Jemiba and Abraham.

Found some info at The Complete Encyclopedia of Battleships and Battlecruisers. Tony Gibbons. Ed. Salamander.

Battleship Design "H" (Other ships in class: J, K, L, M and N)

Two ships out a projected class of 6 received were laid down in the summer of 1939 (15-July-1939 for the first one and 15-August-1939). The work ceased few weeks later.

At 62,497 tons deep load it was placed between the Iowa and Montana USN battleships for comparison. In my opinion not a megalomaniac project for the Kriegsmarine. But USS Iowa was laid down 27-June-1940 and launched 27-August-1942. That means, considering a firmly decission to go ahead with the German battleships, the first units wouldn't have been ready for operation until late 1942 or early 1943. I think it was easy to anyone, by mid 1939, to see that those ships were not a decissive weapon for an inminent war. Besides, the first operations of WWII, gave the impression of an easy victory...then why going ahead with long term weapon programs?. A battleship, in fact is a highly concentrate of resources, I read that H Battleship required the same amount of high quality steel armour as 150 Tiger tanks.

Later German Battleship Designs. (Hitler inspired studies entering the realms of fantasy and ending out of reality)

Study H-41 1941 A Bismark derivative comparable in size to the Yamato
Study H-42 1942 A H-41 far heavy armoured version (98,000 tons full load)
Study H-43 1943 111,000 tons , standard!
Study H-44 1944 131,000 tons standard and 8x20in (508 mm) guns!!
 

Abraham Gubler

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pometablava said:
A battleship, in fact is a highly concentrate of resources, I read that H Battleship required the same amount of high quality steel armour as 150 Tiger tanks.

Try 1,500 Tiger tanks! ~50% of tank and battleship weight tends to be armour plate.
 

Jemiba

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".. H42, H43 and H44 were prepared"

Just one argument against this statement : For ships of that size, there weren't
any docks available large enough for their construction, so "preparation" in this
case could mean ordering steel, at best ! The construction of the 508mm guns,
that would have armed the H44 was never begun with, but design and construction of
the main armament was always the limiting factor in the construction of battleships
(that was the reason, that the last british battleship, the HMS Vanguard, was armed
with guns of WWI vintage !). And the last point : The H42 to H44 designs are regarded
as purely theoretical ones in all serious sources ! The best task, they probably
ever served, was to keep the engineers at their desks, and not at the russian front ! ;D
 

Abraham Gubler

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Jemiba said:
".. H42, H43 and H44 were prepared"

Just one argument against this statement :

Here's another argument. That's not what I said.

Abraham Gubler said:
...six further designs, the H40A, H40B, H41, H42, H43 and H44 were prepared. Several of these ships had guns bigger than 40.6cm. The best info on all these designs is at:

Designs were prepared, not actual construction preparation.
 

Antonio

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Try 1,500 Tiger tanks! ~50% of tank and battleship weight tends to be armour plate.

Thanks Abraham for your correction.

1,500 MBT instead a oversized battleship could really make a difference when you are involved in a war
 

Hoo-2b-2day

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There was no H44 design prepared - only a design study. a very simple answer to a the German Naval staff's question "how big would a battleship have to be to meet certain criteria which included massive horizontal armour to protect against aircraft bombs. This latter point being critical since the Luftwaffe had developed guided bombs (Fitz X which sank the Italian Roma) so the Allies were sure to respond with similar (and bigger) weapons.

The H44 was basically a lot of engineerring data, with no design outline, the drawing often described as a H44 are actually H39 scaled up the dimensions of the H44 design study to give a perspective.

If, as requested, the "H44" was to have 20" guns the layout could not have been as per the Bismarj style as the blast effect of such large weapons would be destructive to the superstructure and the personnel therein. had the H44 design gone ahead it would have been radically different in layout to anything Germany had built before - most likely all main weapons forward like the British Nelson or Japanese A140 design.

As for the effect on WW2, If the H44 had gone ahead, it would have required about 4 years R&D on the main weapons before any detailed design could be commenced (There were no suitable weapons of this size plus the issues of mounting them on a ship to be dealt with - the size and weight of the mounting were way way above anything attempted by Germany) plus preparing the production infrastructure and detailed design, the ship could possible be laid down around 1948-1950. based on building time calculated for the H39 it would have been at least 7 more likely over 8 years to build a "H44" - lets say 1956 - need I say more.

Finally beware of anything on the net relating to this topic as 99% is pure fantasy driven by people obsessed by big-ship-big guns rather than those would understand naval architecture and the reasoning that go's into ship designs.
 

Jemiba

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Sorry Abraham for this misunderstanding ! :-[

But Hoo-2b-2day is absolutely right, I think, The H41 to H44 weren't "designs" in common sense,
just studies. Perhaps it should be added, that these studies didn't come from the "K-Amt"
(construction department), but from the "Schiffsneubaukommission" (committee for new ships [?]).
And again "auf keinen Fall zur Realisierung vorgesehen" (definitely not intended for realisation) !
 

Abraham Gubler

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The German Navy design teams were also working on massive hybrid battlecruisers and aircraft carriers through the war. As Jemiba said mostly to keep the designers off the Russian Front. But I suspect as well because of the ship centric nature of elements of the German Navy leadership. The design and concept effort would have been much better spent working on the advanced submarines that Germany could have used to swing the Navy balance in their favour if they could have been fielded in time for WW2.
 

RLBH

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There's quite a good summary of the H Class saga here:

http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/academic/history/marshall/military/wwii/German.navy/german_hclass_bat.txt

I believe steelwork had started on the 1939 design (52,000 tons, 8 x 406mm guns), but never got very far. The remainder were, as has been said, concepts or at best feasibility studies. I doubt the later versions even had much more than a general arrangement drawing and some rough calculations.
 

Jemiba

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Best known the Ruhrstahl "Fritz X", free fall 1400kg radio guided bomb,
famous for sinking the Roma, and the rocket powered Henschel Hs 293
glide bomb, radio controlled and based on the 500kg SC500 bomb.
Just google and you'll find tons of material and, as usual, you'll find projects
for such weapons, for which even today military leaders would give their right
hand at least ... ;D
 

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