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