On 18 June 1935 a bilateral agreement between Great Britain and Germany, which set German naval strength at a ratio of 1/3 of the size of the Royal Navy was signed. Hence the Germans were allowed to maintain the fleet of the tonnage of 421,000 tons.
It enabled the construction of 5 warships, 2 -3 aircraft carriers, 5 heavy cruisers, 5 light cruisers and 28 destroyers. Soon after the agreement had been signed the construction of two battleships and two so-called “Washigton” heavy cruisers, provisionally named “G” and “H”. The cruiser “H”, later named Admiral Hipper was built in Blohm&Voss shipyard in Hamburg. The ship was laid down on 6 July 1935 and launched on 6 February 1937. On 29 April the ensign was raised.
The ship had 3 turbines made by Blohm&Voss, rated at 132,000 hp of design power. Superheated steam was supplied to the turbines at the pressure of 85 atmospheres and temperature of 450 degrees Celsius from 12 La Mont type boilers. The turbines were mounted in two rooms and the boilers in three. The fuel reserve was 3,050 tons (after the modernization 3,700 tons). The range was 6,800 NM at 19 knots and 3,000 NM at 30 knots. The maximum speed was 32.5 knots. The ship had three propellers of 4.10 m diameter (initially 4.32 m).
Electric equipment: Four generators driven by MAN piston engines, rated at 150 kW, four steam - driven generators rated at 460 kW, two steam – driven generators rated at 230 kW with 150 kVA alternators. The generators were made by AEG company. The total power output of the generators amounted to 2,900 kW.
The main armament consisted of eight SK L/60 C/34 203-mm caliber guns on C/34 lafettes in four two – gun turrets. The gun elevation was -10 to +37 degrees, range 37,440 m, rate of fire – 4 rounds per minute, ammunition reserve – 960 rounds, later increased to 1,260 rounds (160 rounds per gun). In German navy the main artillery turrets were designated by names, so from the bow were Anton, Bruno, Cäsar and Dora. The heavy anti-aircraft artillery consisted of twelve L/65 C/33 105-mm caliber guns on double, coaxially – stabilized C/31 lafettes. The elevation was –8 to +85 degrees, horizontal range 17,700 m, vertical range 12,500 m. The rate of fire was 160 rounds per minute. The ammunition reserve was 6,200 rounds.
The medium anti-aircraft artillery consisted of twelve 37-mm caliber L/83 C/30 guns on double C/30 lafettes. The elevation was –10 to +85 degrees, horizontal range 8,500 m, vertical range 6,800 m, rate of fire 160 rounds per minute, ammunition reserve 4,000 rounds. The light anti-aircraft artillery consisted of eight single 20-mm caliber L/65 C/30 guns on C/30 lafettes. The elevation was –11 to +85 degrees, horizontal range 4,900 m, vertical range 3,700 m, rate of fire 280 rounds per minute, ammunition reserve 24,000 rounds. The ship had also twelve 533-mm caliber torpedo tubes in three-tube assemblies. Twelve torpedoes were stored in special containers. G7a torpedoes with 300-kg of TNT warheads were used. The torpedo range was 5,000 m/44 kt, 7,500 m/40 kt and 12,500 m/30 kt. Additionally ships of this class could carry up to 110 EMC 1,135-kg mines. The mine rails were installed only for the time of operation, their total length was 58 m. Six depth charge racks were mounted on the stern.
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