Graf Zeppelin Class Aircraft Carrier
Graf Zeppelin Class
861â€™ (262.5 m)
103â€™ (31 m)
The Story of the Graf Zeppelin Class: The story of the Graf Zeppelin is the classic story of a â€œmight-have-been.â€ The Graf Zeppelin would have been the first fleet carrier of Germanyâ€™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 Germanyâ€™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 â€œStukaâ€ dive bombers, the Graf Zeppelinâ€™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 Navyâ€™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 lionâ€™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 Germanyâ€™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 â€œGlobal 1939â€ and â€œInvasion of Italyâ€ Variants as a carrier unit. Other German warships of interest may be: the Bismark class battleship, & the Hipper class cruiser.