Wehrmacht History 1935 to 1945


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German destroyer classes were commonly known by the year they were designed in.

Destroyer Type 1936 C
Six ships of the Zerstörer 1936C class were requisitioned in 1942 and 1943; not one was launched, just two were begun. They were a comeback to the vulnerability to air attack of former German destroyers and would have utilised six new 12.8 cm Flak 40 guns (initially designed for the Luftwaffe) as multi purpose weapons in twin mountings. The number of lesser calibre anti-aircraft guns would have also been added to.

Destroyer Type 1938 A
In order to assist supporting larger German warships operating faraway from their bases, the evolution of large ocean going destroyers began in the late 1930s. These were the Zerstörer 1938A/Ac class ships. They would have had dual power systems to provide the means for lengthy endurance cruises. Twenty-four of these were in the making under Plan Z but the three that had been ordered were cancelled. The concept was progressed further into the Spähkreuzer, which was a large destroyer or Reconnaissance Cruiser in the German Kriegsmarine.

Destroyer Type 1938 B
The Ships of the Zerstörer 1938B class would have been small destroyers created to patrol and function in Baltic and seacoast waters, but would have had quite large operational range for such purpose, and would have also been put to use in the high seas. Twelve ships were requisitioned in the summer of 1939, but after the outbreak of World War Two, all those orders were recalled.


Z2 destroyer
Z3 destroyer
Z4 destroyer
Z5 destroyer
Z6 destroyer
Z7 destroyer


German Warships, 1815-1945: Major Surface Vessels.
ISBN-10: 0851775330

German Warships, 1815-1945: U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels.
ISBN-10: 155750301X

German warships of the Second World War.
ISBN-10: 0668040378

For a complete list of sources
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