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Kriegsmarine Destroyer

Z1 Leberecht Maas - Zerstorer 1934



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


Zerstörer Z1 Leberecht Maas of the Zerstörer 1934 class in 1937


The destroyers of the "Zerstörer 1934" class were the first four destroyers build in Germany after World War I.

Based on the same design principals as the torpedo boats, those ships showed some serious problems after completion, which was partly caused by the fast naval construction programs after 1933.  They were very bad seagoing ships, like most other German vessels they took over a high amount of water during heavy seas, making their forward artillery unusable. Further they showed a structural weakness since the hull started to bend in heavy seas and were burdened with heavy vibrations produced by the engines.

Their high pressure turbine engines caused many problems during operations, which were limited by the short range of those ships. The idea was to equip the ships with the newly designed high pressure turbines because this system seemed to have several advantages about normal turbine systems - at least on the paper. Test installations on land were very promising, but when installed on board on the destroyers, the engines rooms got very crowded making maintenance very difficult.

Like all other German destroyers, they were all equipped for mine laying which was intensively used during the first months of the war.

Most ships of this class did not survive the second year of the war, two of them were even sunk by own bombers, but in their few operational months, they did some successful mining operations near the British coast.


Construction Data Dimensions Commanders
Laid down:     Deutsche Werke Kiel, 15.10.1934
Launched:     18.08.1935
Commissioned:     14.01.1937
Fate:     sunk after bomb hits on 22.02.1940
Costs:     13,7 Mio Reichsmark
Size (Max):     3156 t
Length (Total):     119,0 m
Length (Waterline):     114,0 m
Beam:     11,3 m
Draft:     4,23 m
Crew:     325
KK Schmidt:     Jan 1937 - Sep 1937
KK/FK Wagner:     Oct 1937 - Apr 1939
KK Bassenge:     Apr 1939 - Feb 1940



Armour and Aircraft

Engines & Performance

12,7 cm L/45 C/34 :     5
3,7 cm L/83 C/30:     4
2 cm MG L/65 C/30:     4-6
53,3 cm Torpedo tubes:     8
Mines:     60
Shafts:     2
Turbines:     2
Type:     Wagner Geared Turbines
Total Performance:     70000 shp
Speed:     36,0 kn
Range:     1900 sm at 19 kn

Operational History

Named after KAdm Leberecht Maaß, the first killed flag officer in World War I

Part of the 9th destroyer division at the outbreak of the war, operating in the Baltic Sea near Danzig. On 03.09.1939, the Maas was lightly damages during a battle with Polish ships and coastal artillery. During a mining mission close to the British coast (Operation Wikinger) on 22.02.1940, the Maas was accidentally attacked by a German Heinkel He 111 bomber at the Doggerbank. During evasive maneuvers, the ship run into an unknown British  mine field. Sunk after bomb and mine hits.