Cruiser: Hipper Class - Germany (Europe 1940)

Cruiser: Hipper Class - Germany (Europe 1940)

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Part Number:EU40_GECRU


Hipper Class Heavy Cruiser

Ship/ Class

Length

Beam

Disp.

Main Arm.

Speed

#

Date

Hipper Class

697’

71.5’

14,050 t

8x8”

32.5

3

1934

 

Hipper Class Cruiser

 

ID: Plastic cruiser gaming piece: Hipper class cruiser from the game Axis & Allies Europe 40.

 

The Story of the Hipper Class: The single-stack, 4-turret German heavy cruisers of the Admiral Hipper-class bore a remarkable family resemblance to their big brothers, the Bismarck-class battleships, even being confused for them from a distance (when their smaller size wasn’t immediately evident.)  Such a resemblance is hardly surprising, given that both were developed by the same people with much the same ideas of how a conventional but modern warship of a given size should be.  Both the Bismark and Hipper classes were, in fact, the first installments of the German Z-Plan, a program which would have led to the building of a full-orbed and well-rounded German fleet... This fleet was to have included all the conventional warship types of the day, announcing that the German Kriegsmarine (“battle navy”) had arrived to once again challenge the Royal Navy at sea, just as the German Imperial Navy had a generation before!  Thus, like the Bismark class, the Hipper class was built right up to (and beyond) the conventional limits of the day for a “heavy” or “treaty” cruiser, meaning 10,000 tons of displacement and 8” guns.  Like the Bismarks, though, the Hippers were secretly built significantly heavier than these limitations, leading to a more balanced and formidable 8”-gun cruiser than most of its contemporary rivals.  In the end, the war intervened before much of the Z-Plan was put into effect, and the large conventional war-fleet that the Hippers were built to be a part of never materialized.  Nevertheless, their formidable size and the solid firepower of its 4 double turrets carrying 8” guns would continue to prove a potential problem that the Royal Navy always had to take into account, forcing them to keep many of their own powerful ships (like their increasingly scarce County class cruisers) at home for defense, rather than sending them all to the Pacific to help their American allies.  In the famous Battle of the Denmark Strait the Prinz Eugen, a Hipper class cruiser was the Bismark’s only escort, and drew first blood against the “Mighty Hood!” 

 

Usage Notes: Use this piece for “Global 1939”  Variant as a cruiser unit.  Other German warships of interest may be: the Bismark class battleship, & the Graf Zeppelin class aircraft carrier.

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