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KRIEGSMARINE DESTROYERS
(Zerstörer)

Kriegsmarine Destroyers
The destroyer Z28 equipped with radar and armed with four 15cm guns.

At the outbreak of the war in September 1939, the Kriegsmarine had only 21 destroyers at its disposal. The Norwegian campaign took a heavy toll on the German destroyer force that lost ten ships at Narvik and never fully recovered for the rest of the war.

The first series of destroyers were armed with five 12.7cm guns, while later ships carried four or five 15cm guns that provided more firepower but resulted in weight problems that affected their seakeeping ability. All of them were fitted with eight 53.3cm torpedo tubes in two quadruple mounts, and four depth charge launchers. They could also be equipped to lay mines and carried out several successful offensive mining operations early in the war (more than 2,000 mines were laid by destroyers along the east coast of England during the winter of 1939-40). In late 1940, destroyers began to be fitted with FuMO radar sets.

German Destroyers in World War II.

1935-1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 Total
Destroyers in service
at the start of the year
22
13
18
17
21
17
Destroyers launched
23
7
6
2
2
3
-
43
New destroyers commissioned
22
3
5
3
5
2
-
40
Destroyers lost
-
12
-
4
1
6
2
25

Note. The captured foreign destroyers ZH1 and ZG3 Hermes are not included.
________________________________________________________

Destroyer Classes:

  • Destroyers 1934 - 4 ships commissioned.
  • Destroyers 1934A - 12 ships commissioned.
  • Destroyers 1936 - 6 ships commissioned.
  • Destroyers 1936A - 8 ships commissioned.
  • Destroyers 1936A (Mob) - 7 ships commissioned.
  • Destroyers 1936B - 3 ships commissioned.
  • Destroyers 1936C -
  • Destroyers 1942 -
  • Destroyers 1944 -

    Destroyer Flotillas.

    Destroyers 1934
    Name Builder Laid Down Launched Commd. Fate
    Z1 Leberecht Maas Deutsche Werke,
    Kiel
    15.10.1934 18.08.1935 14.01.1937 Bombed northwest of Borkum
    22.02.1940
    Z2 Georg Thiele Deutsche Werke,
    Kiel
    25.10.1934 18.08.1935 27.02.1937 Scuttled in Rombaksfjord
    13.04.1940
    Z3 Max Schulz Deutsche Werke,
    Kiel
    01.01.1935 30.11.1935 06.04.1937 Bombed northwest of Borkum
    22.02.1940
    Z4 Richard Beitzen Deutsche Werke,
    Kiel
    07.01.1935 30.11.1935 13.05.1937 To Britain 1945

    Destroyers 1934A
    Name Builder Laid Down Launched Commd. Fate
    Z5 Paul Jacobi Deschimag,
    Bremen
    15.07.1935 24.03.1936 29.06.1937 To Britain 1945
    To France 02.02.1946
    Z6 Theodor Riedel Deschimag,
    Bremen
    18.07.1935 22.04.1936 02.07.1937 To Britain 1945
    To France 02.02.1946
    Z7 Hermann Schoemann Deschimag,
    Bremen
    07.09.1935 16.07.1936 09.09.1937 Sunk in the Artic
    02.05.1942
    Z8 Bruno Heinemann Deschimag,
    Bremen
    14.01.1936 15.09.1936 08.01.1938 Mined in English Channel
    25.01.1942
    Z9 Wolfgang Zenker Germaniawerft,
    Kiel
    23.03.1938 27.03.1936 02.07.1938 Scuttled in Rombaksfjord
    13.04.1940
    Z10 Hans Lody Germaniawerft,
    Kiel
    01.04.1935 15.05.1936 13.09.1938 To Britain 1945
    Z11 Bernd von Arnim Germaniawerft,
    Kiel
    26.04.1935 08.07.1936 06.12.1938 Scuttled in Rombaksfjord
    13.04.1940
    Z12 Erich Giese Germaniawerft,
    Kiel
    03.05.1935 12.03.1937 04.03.1939 Scuttled in Ofotfjord
    13.04.1940
    Z13 Erich Koellner Germaniawerft,
    Kiel
    12.10.1935 18.03.1937 28.03.1939 Scuttled in Ofotfjord
    13.04.1940
    Z14 Friedrich Ihn Blohm & Voss,
    Hamburg
    30.03.1935 05.11.1935 06.04.1938 To USSR 1946
    Z15 Erich Steinbrinck Blohm & Voss,
    Hamburg
    30.03.1936 24.09.1936 31.03.1938 To USSR 1946
    Z16 Friedrich Eckoldt Blohm & Voss,
    Hamburg
    14.11.1935 21.03.1937 28.07.1938 Sunk off Bear Island
    31.12.1942

    Destroyers 1936
    Name Builder Laid Down Launched Commd. Fate
    Z17 Diether von Roeder Deschimag,
    Bremen
    09.09.1936 19.08.1937 29.08.1938 Torpedoed in Narvik
    13.04.1940
    Z18 Hans Lüdemann Deschimag,
    Bremen
    09.09.1936 01.12.1937 08.10.1938 Scuttled in Rombaksfjord
    13.04.1940
    Z19 Hermann Künne Deschimag,
    Bremen
    05.10.1936 22.12.1937 12.01.1939 Scuttled in Herjansfjord
    13.04.1940
    Z20 Karl Galster Deschimag,
    Bremen
    14.09.1937 15.06.1938 21.03.1939 To USSR 1946
    Z21 Wilhelm Heidkamp Deschimag,
    Bremen
    15.12.1937 20.08.1938 10.06.1939 Torpedoed in Narvik
    10.04.1940
    Z22 Anton Schmitt Deschimag,
    Bremen
    03.01.1938 20.09.1938 24.09.1939 Torpedoed in Narvik
    10.04.1940

    Destroyers 1936A
    Name Builder Laid Down Launched Commd. Fate
    Z23 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    15.11.1938 14.12.1939 15.09.1940 Bombed in La Pallice 12.08.1944
    Decommissioned 21.08.1944
    Z24 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    02.01.1939 07.03.1940 26.10.1940 Sunk off Le Verdon
    28.08.1944
    Z25 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    15.02.1939 16.03.1940 30.11.1940 To Britain 1945
    To France 02.02.1946
    Z26 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    01.04.1939 02.04.1940 11.01.1941 Sunk in North Sea
    29.03.1942
    Z27 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    27.12.1939 01.08.1940 26.02.1941 Sunk in Bay of Biscay
    28.12.1943
    Z28 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    30.11.1939 20.08.1940 09.08.1941 Bombed by Soviet aircraft
    in Sassnitz Roads 06.03.1945
    Z29 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    21.03.1940 15.10.1940 26.06.1941 To USA 1945
    Scuttled in Skagerrak 1946
    Z30 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    15.04.1940 08.12.1940 15.11.1941 To Britain 1945

    Destroyers 1936A (Mob)
    Name Builder Laid Down Launched Commd. Fate
    Z31 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    01.09.1940 15.05.1941 11.04.1942 To Britain 1945
    To France 02.02.1946
    Z32 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    01.11.1940 15.08.1941 15.09.1942 Beached in Île de Batz
    09.06.1944
    Z33 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    22.12.1940 15.09.1941 06.02.1943 To USSR 1946
    Z34 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    14.01.1941 05.05.1942 05.06.1943 To USA 1945
    Scuttled in Skagerrak 26.03.1946
    Z37 Germaniawerft,
    Kiel
    1940 24.02.1941 16.07.1942 Decommissioned in Bordeaux
    24.08.1944
    Z38 Germaniawerft,
    Kiel
    1940 05.08.1941 20.03.1943 To Britain 1945
    Z39 Germaniawerft,
    Kiel
    1940 02.12.1941 21.08.1943 To USA 1945
    To France 1947

    Destroyers 1936B
    Name Builder Laid Down Launched Commd. Fate
    Z35 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    06.06.1941 02.10.1942 22.09.1943 Mined in Gulf of Finland
    12.12.1944
    Z36 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    15.09.1941 15.05.1943 19.02.1944 Mined in Gulf of Finland
    12.12.1944
    Z43 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    01.05.1942 22.09.1943 24.03.1944 Scuttled in Geltinger Bay
    03.05.1945
    Z44 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    01.08.1942 20.01.1944 - Bombed 29.07.1944
    Z45 Deschimag,
    Bremen
    01.09.1943 15.04.1944 - Scuttled incomplete

    Destroyers 1936C
    Name Builder Launched Commd. Fate
    Z46
    Z47
    Z48
    Z49
    Z50
    Deschimag, Bremen
    Deschimag, Bremen
    Deschimag, Bremen
    Deschimag, Bremen
    Deschimag, Bremen
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    Scrapped on slip
    Scrapped on slip
    Scrapped on slip
    Scrapped on slip
    Scrapped on slip

    Destroyers 1942
    Name Builder Laid Down Launched Commd. Fate
    Z51 Deschimag, Bremen 1943 02.10.1944 - Bombed 21.03.1945

    Destroyers 1944
    Name Builder Launched Commd. Fate
    Z52
    Z53
    Z54
    Z55
    Z56
    Z57
    Z58
    Deschimag, Bremen
    Deschimag, Bremen
    Deschimag, Bremen
    Deschimag, Bremen
    Deschimag, Bremen
    Deschimag, Bremen
    Deschimag, Bremen
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    Scrapped on slip
    Scrapped on slip
    Scrapped on slip
    Scrapped on slip
    Scrapped on slip
    Scrapped on slip
    Scrapped on slip

    Captured Foreign Destroyers
    Name Builder Launched Commissioned into
    the Kriegsmarine
    Fate
    ZH1
    (ex-Gerard Callenburgh)
    RDM, Rotterdam
    Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
    09.05.1940 11.10.1942 Sunk near Île de Batz
    09.06.1944
    ZG3 Hermes
    (ex-Vasilefs Georgios)
    Yarrow & Co., Glasgow 03.03.1938 21.03.1942 Bombed off Cape Bon
    30.04.1943
    Scuttled at La Goulette
    07.05.1943




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