German Destroyers of World War II by Gerhard Koop

By Gerhard Koop

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Diesels had not achieved this at the time, the value aboard the pocket battleships being much greater. The high-pressure, hot-steam system seemed ideal for destroyers in view of their assumed role mainly in coastal waters, for (i) economic use of space, (ii) tolerance of pressure changes, (iii) rapid readiness for use, (iv) resistance to hits striking the ship, (v) reliability, (vi) low noise output and (vii) resistance to shock. In the event, however, the impetuous pace of development brought serious drawbacks.

Personnel at all levels lacked a well-founded theoretical knowledge of the machinery and the expertise to master it. The new boilers required the maximum technical understanding of procedures, for the automatic regulating installations did not necessarily respond appropriately to sudden increases in output, which then required manual intervention. The new system had a mass of extra piping and armatures and was very susceptible to breakdown in the vacuum (condenser parts), often resulting in salting up.

5. If Germany had naval bases on ocean coasts, the prospects for the success of an offensive naval policy against Britain/France would improve decisively. As long as we do not have our own bases, we have to resort to getting neutrals to collaborate and build up supply bases overseas. ‘6. Oceanic warfare requires the development of specific types of German naval unit and involving the mercantile marine in the aims of military policy. ‘7. I consider it certain that to develop the concept of oceanic warfare, linking all suitable means to this goal—to which I would add the heavy ships if necessary—would give us good prospects on the enemy trade routes.

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