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GERMAN NAVY 

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VIEW SHIP OR CLASS BY NAME

Battleships
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Other German Photos

The History of the German navy, shown in dedicated pages to each of the German battleships, cruisers and destroyer classes.  

Battleships

Cruisers

U-Boats

Destroyers

Frigates

Torpedo Boats

Minesweepers

Tankers

Unidentified Ships

Commerce Raiders

Zeppelin Airships

 

Please use side navigational bar find class or ship of interest or use the table above. 

German Aircraft Carrier/ Russian Floating Base

1938-47

Graf Zeppelin / PO-101

The Flugzeugträger A (Carrier A) was laid down on 28th December 1936 at the Deutsche Werke shipyard, Kiel.  On the 08th December 1938, Flugzeugträger A was launched as the Graf Zeppelin with a projected completion date of late 1940.

Having had little experience with carrier construction, German designers and engineers were slowed by construction and design problems.  This, added with Görings reluctance to allow a separate air arm other than the Luftwaffe, eventually halted construction of the aircraft carrier in April 1940.  Graf Zeppelin, now laid up, had her artillery removed for use in coastal defences before she was towed to Gotenhafen.

In 1942 work was restarted on the carrier (having being moved back to Kiel in December 1942), as it was obvious at this time that the kriegsmarine needed a ship of this type to support its major surface units.  Graf Zeppelin was approximately 85% complete when work was once again halted in early1943 (work being stopped on Hitler’s orders after the Kriegsmarines poor performance during the Battle of the Barents Sea, 31st December 1942).  In April 1943 she was moved to Stettin where she remained until she was scuttled in shallow water on 25th April 1945. 

After the German surrender, Russian forces raised the Graf Zeppelin (at this stage the carriers fate becomes clouded, but what follows is believed to be the most accurate), renaming her the PO-101 (floating base 101) on the 03rd February 1947.  On the 14th August 1947 she was towed to Swinemünde and loaded with aerial bombs.  She was then used as a target and destroyed by shells, bombs and finally tordedoes on the 16th August 1947.

Contributed by Carl Proctor

Graf Zeppelin, Deutsche Werke shipyard, Kiel, 1940.

Graf Zeppelin.

Courtesy of David Walker.

 

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Members of the German Navy.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code  PGD016

 

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