[ Post a Response | The SteelNavy.Com Message Board ]
Treaty of Versailles - thanks for all the responses. Had been aware of.....
most of the "reasons" posted. Also aware of the long period to manufacture a big gun and how the order for the 11" was already placed when the Kriegsmarine decided on a "big ship" instead of another "Panzerschiffe" like Graf Spee. It would seem that the Germans were going to bust the 10,000 ton limit in the treaty big time anyway so that bigger guns should not have made much difference to anyone. I was second guessing that Krupp had the ability to do a 12" in time as the design and process had already been established. The 15" gun used on the Bismarck was NOT the same 15" gun put on the WW1 Baden and Bayern
Germany was not part of the Washington or London treaty. The 11" limit was part of the Versailles Treaty, the same with the 10000 t displacement limit. These were the limits for "armored ships", the limits for cruisers were 6000 t and 15 cm guns.
Graf Spee (Deutschland class) was clearly not a battleship, but a cruiser. The Reichsmarine used the allowed criteria for "armored ships" to design a large cruiser. The armor was on a typical cruiser level (for the 1920s), the belt was 60-80 mm, the deck 18-40 mm. The design was optimized for range to attack trade, therefore the Diesel engines.
Scharnhorst was a battleship - and the reason for using improved 11" guns was that they were faster available and it was thought that the ships would be more acceptable to Britain if armed only with 11" guns. They were designed to be able to refit them with 15" guns.
SteelNavy.Com Home Page