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German FK cruiser designs

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<tr style="vertical-align:top;"> <th colspan="2" height="30pt" style="background-color:#B0C4DE;text-align:center;vertical-align:middle;font-size:110%;">Class overview</th> </tr><tr style="vertical-align:top;"><td>Operators:</td><td> 22x20px Kaiserliche Marine</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align:top;"><td>Preceded by:</td><td> [[Cöln class cruiser #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Cöln-class cruiser]]</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align:top;"><td>Succeeded by:</td><td> Emden</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align:top;"><td>Completed:</td><td> 0</td></tr>

The German Imperial Navy (Kaiserliche Marine) created a series of fleet cruiser designs—designated Flottenkreuzer—in 1916 to follow the [[Cöln class cruiser #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Cöln-class cruiser]]s ordered in 1915. They were initially intended to favor high speed for reconnaissance over the heavier gun armament of the Cöln class, though by the final iterations, they were as powerful as the earlier class. The design staff ultimately drew up five different designs: FK 1, FK 1a, FK 2, FK 3, and FK 4. The proposals ranged in size from Script error: No such module "convert". to Script error: No such module "convert". designed displacement and were armed with a main battery of between five and eight Script error: No such module "convert". guns. Each proposed design grew in size over the preceding draft, as the weaponry and propulsion systems were increased. None of the designs were built, owing to shifting construction priorities in the German Navy in the last year of World War I.

FK 1 and FK 1a

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By 1916, thirteen German light cruisers had been lost in the course of World War I. To replace them, the Kaiserliche Marine ordered ten new cruisers of the [[Cöln class cruiser #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Cöln class]].[1] The next design, under the provisional name FK 1, or Flottenkreuzer (Fleet cruiser), was prepared in 1916. The design, which emphasized the reconnaissance role and high speed over combat power, was based on the British [[C class cruiser #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.C-class cruiser]]s at the request of Kaiser Wilhelm II. A modified design, named FK 1a, was a slightly larger vessel.[2]

FK 1 was Script error: No such module "convert". long at the waterline and Script error: No such module "convert". long overall. The design had a beam of Script error: No such module "convert".; its forward draft was Script error: No such module "convert". and the aft draft was Script error: No such module "convert".. The ship would have had a double bottom of approximately 52 percent of the length of the hull, and fifteen watertight compartments. The hull was constructed with longitudinal steel frames. As designed, the ship would have had a displacement of Script error: No such module "convert"., with a full load combat displacement of Script error: No such module "convert".. The modified FK 1a was slightly larger, at Script error: No such module "convert". long at the waterline and Script error: No such module "convert". long overall. The modified design had a beam of Script error: No such module "convert". and a draft of Script error: No such module "convert".. The ship's hull would have been constructed as in FK 1, with the same number of watertight compartments and extent of double bottom. As designed, the ship would have had a displacement of Script error: No such module "convert"., with a full load combat displacement of Script error: No such module "convert"..[2]

Both designs would have been powered by two sets of Marine-type steam turbines that each drove a three-bladed screw Script error: No such module "convert". wide in diameter. FK 1 would have been equipped with five Marine-type oil-fired watertube boilers, while FK 1a would have had improved double-ended models. The propulsion system of FK 1 was rated at a maximum of Script error: No such module "convert". for a top speed of Script error: No such module "convert".. The improved engines of FK 1a were rated at Script error: No such module "convert". and a maximum speed of Script error: No such module "convert".. The designs carried up to Script error: No such module "convert". and Script error: No such module "convert". of fuel oil, respectively, which permitted a cruising radius of Script error: No such module "convert". at a speed of Script error: No such module "convert".. Both designs were equipped with three diesel generators that produced Script error: No such module "convert". at 220 volts. Steering was controlled by a single rudder.[2]

The armament of both designs consisted of five 15 cm SK L/45 guns in single mounts, one forward, two abreast of the conning tower, and two in a superfiring pair aft of the rear superstructure.[2] The 15 cm gun fired a Script error: No such module "convert". shells at a muzzle velocity of Script error: No such module "convert"..[3] FK 1 and FK 1a were supplied with 500 and 650 shells for their main batteries, respectively. The guns had a range of Script error: No such module "convert".. Both designs were equipped with a pair of 8.8 cm SK L/45 anti-aircraft guns, mounted on the centerline amidships. The guns were equipped with 100 rounds of ammunition each.[2] These guns fired a Script error: No such module "convert". shells.[4] Both ships would have carried four Script error: No such module "convert". torpedo tubes mounted on the deck in swivel launchers. FK 1a was also equipped with 100 mines. Both designs called for a crew of 15 officers and 342 enlisted men.[2]

FK 2, FK 3, and FK 4

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Over the course of the design process that continued through 1916, the size of the projected cruisers increased as the navy added new design requirements. This resulted in the FK 2 design. The length increased to Script error: No such module "convert". overall and Script error: No such module "convert". at the waterline. Their beam increased to Script error: No such module "convert"., as did their draft, to Script error: No such module "convert".. Their displacement correspondingly rose to Script error: No such module "convert". at normal load and Script error: No such module "convert". at combat load, significantly greater than the original design. The FK 2 design was armed with five 15 cm SK L/45 guns and two 8.8 cm SK L/45 anti-aircraft guns. It was to carry the same 60 cm torpedo tubes in twin mounts as the earlier designs.[5] The design retained the same propulsion system as the earlier designs, but with an improved engine type and an additional boiler, which produced an estimated Script error: No such module "convert". for a top speed of 32 knots. Range was to have been 2,800 miles at 17 knots, as in the original design.[6]

The next iteration, FK 3, brought even more increases. Displacement rose to Script error: No such module "convert". normal and Script error: No such module "convert". full load, double that of the original FK design. Length was Script error: No such module "convert". at the waterline and Script error: No such module "convert". overall, and the beam was Script error: No such module "convert".. The armament was also augmented by an additional two 15 cm and 1 8.8 cm gun. Since the size of the ship had increased, a more powerful propulsion system was necessary; a third set of turbines was added, and the number of boilers was increased to thirteen. This produced Script error: No such module "convert"., for the same speed and range figures as in the previous designs.[5]

The final design, FK 4, was larger still. The standard displacement was Script error: No such module "convert"., and at combat load, this rose to Script error: No such module "convert".. The projected cruiser would have been Script error: No such module "convert". long at the waterline, with a beam of Script error: No such module "convert". and a draft of Script error: No such module "convert".. The armament was increased again, with an additional 15 cm gun. The ship's propulsion system would have included six coal-fired boilers and nine oil-fired models.[5]

Ultimately, none of these designs were ever built, much like other late-war German warship designs, such as the L 20 α-type battleships and the [[Ersatz Yorck-class battlecruiser #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Ersatz Yorck-class battlecruiser]]s. The German shipbuilding effort largely abandoned surface warship construction and instead focused on U-boat construction in the final years of the war.[6][7]

Notes

  1. ^ Herwig, p. 205
  2. ^ a b c d e f Gröner, p. 116
  3. ^ Friedman, p. 143
  4. ^ Friedman, p. 147
  5. ^ a b c Gröner, p. 117
  6. ^ a b Gröner, pp. 116–117
  7. ^ Weir, p. 179

References

  • Friedman, Norman (2011). Naval Weapons of World War I. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-84832-100-7. 
  • Gröner, Erich (1990). German Warships: 1815–1945. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-790-9. 
  • Herwig, Holger (1980). "Luxury" Fleet: The Imperial German Navy 1888–1918. Amherst, NY: Humanity Books. ISBN 1-57392-286-2. 
  • Weir, Gary (1992). Building the Kaiser's Navy. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-929-8.