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.