Aircraft Carrier: Graf Zeppelin - Black - Germany (Revised 2004)

Aircraft Carrier: Graf Zeppelin - Black - Germany (Revised 2004)

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Part Number:REV04_BGEAC

Graf Zeppelin Class Aircraft Carrier

Ship/ Class

Length

Beam

Disp.

Main Arm.

Speed

#

Date

Graf Zeppelin Class

861’ (262.5 m)

103’ (31 m)

33,550 t

42 aircraft

35

0

1942

 

Graf Zeppelin Class Cruiser

 

ID: Plastic aircraft carrier gaming piece: Graf Zeppelin class aircraft carrier from the game Axis & Allies Europe 40

 

The Story of the Graf Zeppelin Class: The story of the Graf Zeppelin is the classic story of a “might-have-been.”  The Graf Zeppelin would have been the first fleet carrier of Germany’s Z-Plan, an all-encompassing fleet build-up that would have given Germany an all-around, world-class navy with all of the contemporary ship types: battleships, light & heavy cruisers, destroyers and aircraft carriers.  As it would have been Germany’s first, undoubtedly they would have had much to learn about flight operations at sea, but given that the aircraft they were preparing for sea service, Me-109 fighters and Ju-87 “Stuka” dive bombers, the Graf Zeppelin’s potential as an instrument of sea-power projection is clear.  Events overtook such ambitious plans, however: while Hitler had promised his navy that they would have until at least 1942 to build up, war started 3 years earlier.  With too little time to catch up to the Royal Navy’s conventional fleet capabilities, the Germans were forced to shift their emphasis back to what had worked so well for them in the last war: submarine warfare.  Meanwhile, the army and Luftwaffe (German Air Force) were getting the lion’s share of the resources... and the Luftwaffe, led by the egotistical Herman Goering who saw naval air capability as a threat to his own power-base, was dragging its feet on preparing the aircraft for Germany’s new carriers.  Nearly finished, the Graf Zeppelin was never completed, and its unnamed sister-ship was never even launched, but rather scrapped on its slipway in order to make use of the materials to build more submarines.

 

Usage Notes: Use this piece for “Global 1939” and “Invasion of Italy” Variants as a carrier unit.  Other German warships of interest may be: the Bismark class battleship, & the Hipper class cruiser.

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