GD Logo small.gif (6909 bytes)


Deutschland/Lutzow - Panzerschiffe


GD mini Logo.gif (2341 bytes)


GD mini Logo.gif (2341 bytes)

 Special thanks to Michael Emmerich of for the use of images and information in this section.

Panzerschiff Deutschland / Lützow in 1941

Deutschland is the German name for Germany


After World War I the Versailles Treaty limited the construction of new warships  in Germany. It was allowed to keep six old battleships of the Deutschland and Lothringen class, six small cruisers, 12 DDs and 12 torpedo boats.  According to Article 190 of the treaty, the battleships could be replaced 20 years after they were commissioned, but the replacement must not exceed 10000 tons.

Therefore, the first replacement was ordered in 1928, the Panzerschiff A which later got the names Deutschland and Lützow . The planing first went into two directions, a heavy armed and protected monitor for coastal defenses or a cruiser like ship with a larger range but less armor. Since France was the possible enemy in this days the second alternative was chosen to build a ship that could threaten  French merchant shipping. The concept of the new  Panzerschiffe was "faster than stronger enemies" (i.e. battleships except the British BC Hood, Renown and Repulse), "and stronger than faster enemies" (CAs and CLs), which was plausible in the days before the fast battleships.

In many ways, the Panzerschiffe introduced revolutionary techniques for ships of their size, they were Diesel powered to increase their operational range and hull was intensively welded to reduce weight. Although their official size was 10000 ts, their maximum displacement was about 50% higher.

All three Panzerschiffe, which were called "Westentaschen-Schlachtschiffe" - "Pocket Battleships" outside of Germany,  had the same basic design, their outer appearance was quite different, especially the design of the command tower.

All ships were used in the international sea patrols off the Spanish coast during the Spanish civil war and had different fates in World War II. The Deutschland was damaged several times during the war including a loss of both props and rudder. In 1940 the ship was renamed to Lützow to reduce the propaganda damage if a ship named "Deutschland " would be sunk.

In 1940 the two remaining Panzerschiffe (Deutschland /Lützow and Admiral Scheer ) were reclassified as Heavy Cruiser


Construction Data Dimensions Commanders
Laid down:     Deutsche Werke Kiel, 05.02.1929
Launched:     19.05.1931
Commissioned:     01.04.1933
Fate:     blown up 04.05.1945 (Swinemünde)
Costs:     80 Mio Reichsmark
Size (Max):     14519 t
Length (Total):     186,0 m (later 187,9 m)
Length (Waterline):     181,7 m
Beam:     20,69 m
Draft:     7,25 m
Crew:     619-951
KzS Hermann v. Fischel:     April 1933 - Sep 1935
KzS Paul Fanger:     Sep 1935 - Sep 1937
KzS Paul Werner Wenneker:     Oct 1937 - Nov 1939
KzS August Thiele:     Dec 1939 - Apr 1940
KK Weber:     14.04.1940 - 15.06.1940
KL Heller:     16.06.1940 - 08.08.1940
KzS Leo Kreisch:     31.03.1941 - Jul 1941
KzS Rudolf Stange:     Jul 1941 - Nov 1943
KzS Leo Kreisch:     Sep 1941 - Jan 1942
FK Bieserfeld:     Nov 1943 - Dec 1943
KzS Bodo-Heinrich Knocke:     Jan 1944 - Apr 1945
FK Ernst Lange:     Apr 1945 - May 1945



Armour and Aircraft

Engines & Performance

28 cm L/52 C/28:     6
15 cm L/55 C28:     8
8,8cm L/75 C/32:  
later replaced with 10.5 cm L/65 C/33  
3,7 cm L/83:     8
2 cm MG L/64:     8-10
53,3 cm Torpedoes:     8
Deck:     40 mm (max)
Belt:     80mm (max)
Command Tower:     150 mm
Turrets:     140 mm (max)
Arado Ar 196:     2
Shafts:     2
Engines:     8
Type:     MAN 9-cyl. diesel
Total Performance:     48390 shp
Speed:     28,0 kn
Range:     18650 miles at 15 kn

Operational History

January 1933   First trials.
01.04.1933   Commissioned, trials and training until the end of 1933.
09-23.06.1934   Battle and artillery drills in the North Atlantic, together with CL Köln.
13.12.1934-21.02.1935   Repairs and refits in Wilhelmshaven.
14.03.1935-19.04.1935   Engine endurance tests on a voyage to South America, the Deutschland sails 12286 sm in 32 days without any problem.
Summer 1935   Installation of a catapult and float plane.
19.10.1935-09.11.1935   Atlantic operations together with Admiral Scheer . Both ships meet CL Emden .
-Spring 1936   Repairs and refits in Wilhelmshaven.
06-17.06.1936   The Deutschland sails around Great Britain, followed by a visit of Copenhagen and battle training in North and Baltic Sea.
24.07-31.08.1936   Together with Admiral Scheer first operation in Spanish waters.
01.10-21.11.1936   Second Spain operation.
31.01-24.03.1937   Third Spain operation.
24.03-10.05.1937   Modifications during  refits.
May 1937   Forth Spain operation. Joint operations with Italian, British and American ships off the Spanish coast.
29.05.1937   While anchoring at Ibiza, the Deutschland is attacked by Spanish Republican aircraft, causing damages and several casualties.
30.05-12.06.1937   Send to Gibraltar, the death sailors are buried by the British military, but later transferred to Germany.
-July 1937   Repairs and training.
05.10.1937-11.02.1938   Fifth Spain operation.
24.07.1938-15.08.1938   Sixth Spain operation.
20.09.1938-20.10.1938   Battle training in the North Atlantic. Tests of the new Radar (Funkmess) equipment and joint training with U-boats.
06-26.02.1939   Seventh Spain operation and battle training in the North Atlantic.
17.04-16.05.1939   Battle training in the North Atlantic together with resupply ships.
August 1939  

Deutschland leaves Wilhelmshaven for the North Atlantic, multiple resupplies from the tanker Westerwald .

27.09.1939   New orders allowed commerce war.
October 1939   Deutschland sinks three merchants.
16.11.1939   Returned to Gotenhafen.
15.12.1939   Returns to Wilhelmshaven, renamed to Lützow .
15.02.1940   Reclassified as heavy cruiser.
07.04.1940   Operation "Weserübung":
Lützow  joins 5th Squadron after passing the Kiel Canal.
08.04.1940   Sails through the Great Belt.
09.04.1940   Reaches Oslo Fjord. In the battle of the Droebak Narrows, the Lützow was hit three times. After the destruction of the CA Blücher , Lützow takes command of the 5th Squadron.
10.04.1940   Enters Oslo. Later this day, the Lützow head for Horten for repairs but is then ordered back to Kiel without any escorts.
11.04.1940   Hit by a torpedo of the British submarine Spearfish , both props and the rudder are lost. The crippled ship is towed back to Kiel by the 17th Anti-Submarine and 19th Minesweeper Flotillas.
13.04.1940   Arrived in Kiel.
April 1940-Spring 1941   Repairs in Kiel.
12.06.1941   Sailed to Drontheim Fjord for torpedo practice.
12.06.1941   Hit by the torpedo of a single British torpedo bomber in the Eger Sound. The planed Atlantic mission has to be canceled. Lützow again goes into the dock.

January 1942  

Training in the Baltic Sea.

May 1942  

Transferred to Norway, first to the Lo Fjord (Drontheim Fjord) then to the Bow Bight (Narvik).

June 1942  

During a raid on a British convoy (together with the Tirpitz and other vessels), Lützow hit a sand bank near Storboenfeuer (Tjeld Sound) and is moved to Lo Fjord again.

August 1942  

Returns to Kiel for repairs.

December 1942  

Training in the Baltic Sea, after that the Lützow moves to Bow Bay and Kaa Fjord (Alta Fjord).


"Operation Regenbogen":  
Together with CA Admiral Hipper and the destroyers Richard Beitzen , Theodor Riedel , Friedrich Eckoldt , Z24 , Z30 and Z31 the Lützow attacks the British convoy JW 51B escorts east of Bear Island. The squadron disengaged after Admiral Hipper is damaged by British cruisers Jamaica and Sheffield and DD Friedrich Eckoldt is sunk.


Returns to Germany.


Transferred to Libau via Gotenhafen.

February 1944  

Used for cadet training.


Operation "Unternehmen Tanne West":  
Escorted by the torpedo boats T3 , T4 and T14 , the Lützow covers ore transports from Sweden.


In order to cover evacuation of German citizens from Riga, the Lützow and the torpedo boats T1 , T4 , T9 and T12 are send to Riga. Because of fuel shortages, the ships are ordered to enter the port of Libau to support the flak cover.


The Lützow is send to Gotenhafen to get additional antiaircraft guns.

September 1944  

Together with the CA Prinz Eugen , the destroyers Z35 and Z36 and the torpedo boats T1 and T8, the Lützow sails to Aaland Island to escort transports with German soldiers on board.


Lützow , CA Prinz Eugen , the destroyers Z25 , Z35 and Z36 and torpedo boats T13 , T16 and T20 support the German army at Memel and Sworbe.


Escorted by the destroyers Z28 and Z35 and the torpedo boats T13 , T20 and T21 , the Lützow supports the retreating German army with short bombardments at the Memel coast.

Dec. 1944-March 1945  

Further army support at Memel, Elbing and Danzig.

April 1945  

Returns to Swinemünde.


After several bomb hits, the Lützow sinks on her keel at the Mellin entrance at Swinemünde. The stern 28cm turret and several secondary and Flak guns are still working.


Fires at Russian positions at Diefenov with 28cm guns.


Large fire, the ship is scuttled.

Spring  1946  

The Lützow is salvaged in Swinemünde by Russian troops.


Lützow enters the Soviet fleet records.

July 1947  

The ship is ordered to be a experimental vessel for the weapons tests which started  20.07.1947 (like Graf Zeppelin some weeks later). Two days later Lützow is sunk.