Spähkreuzer 1938-class Scout Cruiser

Displacement5,791 tons standard
Length475 feet
Beam45 feet
Draft15 feet
MachineryTwo MAN 6-cyl diesel engines
Speed36 knots
Range7,000nm at 17 knots
Armament3x2x150mm guns, 2x88mm anti-aircraft guns, 8x37mm anti-aircraft guns, 8x20mm anti-aircraft guns, 10x533mm torpedo tubes
Armor25mm belt, 25mm deck


This article refers to the entire Spähkreuzer 1938-class; it is not about an individual vessel.

ww2dbaseThe Spähkreuzer 1938-class scout cruisers, or large destroyers as some had classified, was a class of six ships planned for the German Navy. There were three sub-classes, 1938, 1939, and 1940, with the 1939 sub-class possibly featuring an amidships seaplane catapult, and the 1940 sub-class featuring a larger size, greater displacement, and larger powerplant. They were to have a single forward 2-gun turret and two rear 2-gun turrets, which was meant to give them greater firepower when falling back from their forward scouting positions ahead of the task forces which they would be assigned to. The first three ships were ordered in Feb 1941, SP1, SP2, and SP3 for the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft shipyard in Kiel, Germany; shortly after, they were renamed Z40, Z41, and Z42, replacing the Type 1936B-class destroyers that those names had originally intended for. In Dec 1941, orders were issued for the construction of the diesel engines for SP4, SP5, and SP6. Based on the assumption that these ships would be vital to the growing German Navy, rough plans were discussed for the launching of 16 additional ships of this class, to be named SP7 through SP22. The keel of SP1/Z40 was laid down on 20 Aug 1941, but work was halted after the shipyard suffered some damage during an Apr 1942 air raid. The entire class would soon be abandoned.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Nov 2020

Spähkreuzer 1938-class Scout Cruiser Interactive Map

Spähkreuzer 1938-class Scout Cruiser Operational Timeline

1 Feb 1941 The order for scout cruiser SP1 (later renamed Z40) was issued by the German Navy.
20 Aug 1941 The keel of SP1 (later renamed Z40) was laid down by the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft shipyard in Kiel, Germany.

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More on Spähkreuzer 1938-class Scout Cruiser
Ships of this Class:
» SP1
» SP10
» SP11
» SP12
» SP13
» SP14
» SP15
» SP16
» SP17
» SP18
» SP19
» SP2
» SP20
» SP21
» SP22
» SP3
» SP4
» SP5
» SP6
» SP7
» SP8
» SP9

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