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The Derfflinger class was a class of three battlecruisers (German: Schlachtkreuzer) of the Imperial German Navy. The ships were ordered for the 1912Ð Ð†Ð â€šÐ²Ð‚Ñš13 Naval Building Program of the German Imperial Navy as a reply to the Royal Navy's three new Lion-class battlecruisers that had been launched a few years earlier. The preceding Moltke class and the incrementally improved Seydlitz represented the end of the evolution of Germany's first generation of battlecruisers. The Derfflinger class had considerable improvements, including a larger primary armament, all of which was mounted on the centerline. The ships were also larger than the preceding classes. The Derfflinger class used a similar propulsion system, and as a result of the increased displacement were slightly slower.
The class comprised three ships: Derfflinger, LÐ ÐŽÐ Ð‰tzow, and Hindenburg. All three of the ships saw active service with the High Seas Fleet during World War I. Derfflinger was commissioned shortly after the outbreak of war, and was present at most of the naval actions in the North Sea, including the battles of Dogger Bank and Jutland. LÐ ÐŽÐ Ð‰tzow was commissioned in August 1915, and participated only in the raid on Yarmouth before being sunk at Jutland. Hindenburg was commissioned into the fleet in May 1917, and saw no major action. Derfflinger and Hindenburg were interned at Scapa Flow following the armistice in November 1918. Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter, who was in command of the interned High Seas Fleet, ordered the ships to be scuttled in an attempt to prevent their possible seizure by the Royal Navy.
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