Battlecruisers Rivalry: Rhinaun and Mackensen

Battlecruisers Rivalry: Rhinaun and Mackensen
Battlecruisers Rivalry: Rhinaun and Mackensen

As we said in the previous article, logically, the rivalry between battlecruisers should have ended on ships of the Tiger - Derflinger types. The British abandoned the further development of ships of this class and concentrated on high-speed battleships with 381-mm artillery, laying down five Queen Elizabeth-class battleships under the 1912 program (in fact, the laying took place in 1912-1913). Then it was the turn to replenish the main forces of the fleet with 381-mm battleships, and the program of the next, 1913, included five battleships of the Royal Sovereign class reduced to 21 knots. speed. And then the time came for the 1914 program, according to which the British decided to lay not five, but only four ships - three according to the Royal Sovereign project and one according to the Queen Elizabeth type. After the implementation of this program, the British fleet would have eight relatively slow-moving Royal Sovereigns and a fast vanguard of six Queen Elizabeths, while the total number of battleships with 381-mm cannons would have reached fourteen.


However, this did not happen: almost immediately after the orders for the construction of the above-mentioned four, which received the names "Rinaun", "Ripals", "Resistance" and "Edginkort", were issued, the First World War broke out. Of course, in 1914, no one could have imagined that long-term nightmare into which Europe would be plunged - it was believed that the war would end no more than six months or a year later, and therefore the ships of the 1914 program did not have time for it, so their construction was frozen … But … not at the same time.

The fact is that the Resistance and Edgincourt were going to be built at the state-owned shipyards of Portsmouth and Devnoport, and with the outbreak of the war, any preparation for their laying was interrupted immediately - the British prudently considered that they should focus on completing the many different ships located in a high degree of readiness. But two other Royal Sovereign-class battleships were ordered from private firms: Repals built Palmers in Greenock (near Newcastle), and Rhynown built Fairfield in Gowen (Glasgow). And the Admiralty did not stop work on them for some time, as a result of which "Repals" was nevertheless laid down, and several hundred tons of structural materials were prepared for "Rinaun". However, soon their construction slowed down due to the outflow of labor, and then it was stopped altogether.

Recall that at this time the Minister of the Navy, or rather, as it was called in England, the First Lord of the Admiralty was Winston Spencer Churchill, while the First Sea Lord Prince Louis Battenberg commanded the Royal Navy. Soon after the start of the war, a hail of criticism fell upon him (far from justified in everything), but it seems that the real reason for his resignation was that he bore a Germanic surname, and was almost a pure-blooded German. Accordingly, the post of First Sea Lord was vacant, and W. Churchill did not fail to recall his friend and teacher John "Jackie" Fisher. Despite his advanced seventy-three years of age, the admiral still possessed completely indomitable energy and his return to the position he held until 1910 was politically acceptable.

Once again becoming the First Sea Lord, D. Fischer developed the most vigorous activity, drawing the attention of the Admiralty to the lack of light ships - submarines, destroyers, etc. and all this was certainly correct and useful. But D. Fisher had an incomprehensible, irrational love for the battle cruisers of the British type, which he himself created - very fast and heavily armed ships with weakened armor. He was greatly upset by the refusal of the Admiralty from battle cruisers, and now, having come to power again, he was eager to resume their construction. This was very difficult, since members of the British Parliament had long proclaimed that battlecruisers as a class of warships had completely outlived their usefulness and the Royal Navy did not need it anymore. But when was John Arbuthnot Fisher stopped by any difficulties there?

Despite the fact that D. Fischer was distinguished by impetuosity and harshness of judgments, as well as more and more incontinence breaking through, he remained an excellent politician and very delicately chose the moment for his proposal, but its essence boiled down to the following. D. Fisher proposed to build two battle cruisers with a speed of 32 knots and the heaviest cannons available (at that time, obviously, it was about 381-mm artillery), while the armor protection had to remain at the level of the Invincible. Under normal conditions, such a proposal could not be accepted in any way, because there was no point in the construction of such ships - they did not have a tactical niche that they could occupy. In other words, there was not a single task for the solution of which the fleet would need just such ships. Only one person in the whole of Great Britain needed them - John Arbuthnot Fischer himself. Even Sir Winston Churchill, openly inclined to adventures - and then at first opposed them!

However, as we said above, the timing was excellent. First - the August raid of the British into Heligoland Bay, in which the support of the five battle cruisers Beatty ensured the destruction of three German light cruisers and victory in the battle. I must say that before the battle cruisers entered the battle, the British were not doing very well … Then - the defeat at Coronel that struck England in the very heart, where the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau destroyed the main forces of Admiral Cradock's squadron. And then - the triumph of "Invincible" and "Inflexible" at the Falklands, who, without loss and without serious damage to themselves, destroyed the elusive and victorious squad of Maximilian von Spee. These events glorified the battlecruisers of England and, as it were, confirmed the correctness of their concept.

And now, immediately after the Falklands battle, John Fisher invites Winston Churchill to submit a proposal for the resumption of the construction of battle cruisers for discussion by the Cabinet of Ministers. However, Sir Winston refused. He told his friend that these ships would divert resources needed for other, more important purposes, and still not be ready until the end of the war. Well, D. Fischer immediately found other arguments.

First, he said that the ships would surely be in time for the war, that the last time he built the revolutionary "Dreadnought" in just a year and undertakes to create the newest battle cruisers at the same time. Secondly, John Fischer drew the attention of W. Churchill to the fact that the battle cruiser "Lutzow" will soon enter service in Germany, which will be able to develop at least 28 knots, while England has no such ships. And, finally, thirdly, the First Sea Lord pulled out the "ace of trump" - the plan of the landing operation in the Baltic Sea.

As you know, the idea of this operation was utterly extravagant - according to the general plan, the Royal Navy had to overcome the German defenses of the Skagerrak and Kattegat straits and invade the Baltic Sea, establishing its dominance there. After that, British ships would have provided the landing of British or Russian troops on the coast of Pomerania, that is, less than 200 km from Berlin itself. John Fisher argued that for such an operation, the Royal Navy would need fast and heavily armed ships with a relatively shallow draft, which were not available.

The plan of the operation looked extremely attractive (on paper) and therefore D. Fischer's proposals were accepted. Just 10 days after the Battle of Falklands, the British government approved the construction of two battle cruisers.

In fact, of course, all of D. Fischer's arguments were not worth a damn. The Battle of Heligoland Bight certainly confirmed the indisputable fact that gigantic ships with heavy guns, such as battlecruisers, were capable of destroying light cruisers, but what of that? Battlecruisers were too large and expensive to deal with enemy light ships. Of course, no one would deny the usefulness of using battle cruisers as cover for light forces, well, the British already had as many as ten ships of this class against five (if you count together with the "Luttsov") in Germany! Without a doubt, the battle cruisers proved their excellent counter-raider qualities, but the fact is that after the sinking of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, the Germans ran out of armored cruisers designed to operate in the ocean. The Furst Bismarck was already completely outdated, the more or less modern Blucher was attached to battle cruisers, and the rest of Germany's armored cruisers were created as scouts for line squadrons and were not very well suited for ocean raiding. Of course, theoretically, there was still the possibility of sending them into the ocean, but to resist them there would have been more than enough British armored cruisers of the Warrior and Minotaur types, which surpassed the same Roon almost as much as the Invincible surpassed “Scharnhorst ". And this is not to mention the fact that the British could always send a couple of battle cruisers of the Invincible and Indefatigable types to communications, and they would still have a numerical advantage over the ships of the same class in Germany.

As for the "terrible" German "Luttsov", the Royal Navy had at least one ship ("Tiger"), which exceeded it in speed, and the other three "343-mm" British battle cruisers, if inferior to him, it is quite insignificant. In any case, "Luttsov" would have operated as part of a battle cruiser formation, which would have neutralized its "superiority", since any squadron is forced to rely on its slowest ship. And the need for a shallow-draft battle cruiser for operations in the Baltic Sea looks very strange - why? In order to "chase" the light forces of the enemy, the battle cruiser is excessively large and powerful, and the enemy's heavy ships will not enter shallow water - moreover, if we assume a battle with heavy ships in shallow water, then we need not speed, but armor protection. Why else? Fire support for the landing? So much cheaper monitors will perfectly cope with a similar task.

Even the most cursory analysis of such an operation led to the following - any attempt to break through the British fleet into the Baltic automatically led to a general battle between the German and British fleets - depending on the forces involved in the operation, the Germans would either approach the enemy from the sea, or transfer heavy ships to the Hochseeflotte Kiel Canal. Such an attempt by England would give the Germans what they dreamed of from the very beginning of the war - the opportunity to first exhaust the main forces of the British fleet (in this case, during the last breakthrough of the minefields blocking the entrances to the Baltic), and then, when the forces more or less equalize - to give a general battle. Accordingly, for such an operation, the British would have much more useful a pair of standard battleships than weakly defended and incapable of fighting in the line of a cruiser.

Nevertheless, the pressure and endless energy of D. Fischer did their job and he received a building permit. However, the First Sea Lord was well aware that he had won only the first round - after all, the project of a new large warship had to go through the stages of various approvals, which could “hack to death” this in every respect extravagant idea. But here the speed of construction promised by him came to the aid of D. Fischer. In other words, he, hiding behind the need to start construction as soon as possible (and he promised to build battle cruisers in just 15 months!) Had the opportunity to force the design procedure so much as to exclude from it to the maximum any approvals that would otherwise have been mandatory.

As a matter of fact, the very first "technical task" that D. Fischer gave to the chief shipbuilder d'Eincourt shows that the First Sea Lord perfectly understood the value of his "arguments" in favor of building battle cruisers. He demanded that d'Eincourt design a ship like the improved Invincible with the heaviest main battery artillery, 102 mm anti-mine caliber, 32 knots, and one of the main requirements was the maximum hull height at the stem in order to provide the ship with the best seaworthiness … Actually, the project was called: "Ocean battle cruiser" Radamantus "", and about the draft it was only said that: "reduce as much as possible." As you can see, it was only necessary to get the "go-ahead" for the construction of battle cruisers, the requirements for them for the Baltic operation have seriously lost their relevance.

D'Eincourt tried to satisfy the wishes of the First Sea Lord to the maximum, and the very next day he presented to him a sketch of the future ship - with a displacement of 18,750 tons and a speed of 32 knots, the battle cruiser had 152 mm armor belt, a 32 mm deck and armament from two twin-turrets 381- mm guns, as well as 20 102-mm guns. The battle cruiser turned out to be obviously weak, so D. Fischer, having familiarized himself with the project, ordered to add another 381-mm turret. This is exactly how the Rinauna project came about.


I must say that D'Eincourt did not like this battle cruiser, and he tried in every possible way to improve it, offering D. Fischer more protected options, but the First Sea Lord was relentless. Then the shipbuilder went for broke and offered to install another 381-mm turret - with such weapons, even a completely cardboard ship would still pose a serious danger for the German battlecruisers. But here, too, nothing came of it, because only 6 towers could be produced on time, but not 8, and D. Fischer left new battle cruisers with three main-caliber towers each and in every possible way accelerated preparations for construction. As a result, the ships were laid down just a little over a month after the start of the design, on January 25, 1915 - on the birthday of their "father", John Arbuthnot Fisher.

Some publications indicate that "Repals" and "Rhinaun" are battleships of the "Royal Soverin" type, completed according to a new design, but this is not the case. As we said earlier, the orders for the construction of the battleships "Ripals" and "Rhinaun" were received by the firms "Palmers" and "Fairfield", respectively. But only Palmers managed to lay the ship, but the firm could not build a battle cruiser - it simply did not have a slipway of the required length. Therefore, the contract for the construction of the "Repulse" -cruiser was handed over to the "John Brown" shipyard. All the materials prepared by the Palmers firm, which could be used in the construction of the ship of the new project, were also transferred to it. Rhinaun built Fairfield, but it appears to have been originally laid down as a battle cruiser.



As we have already said, the main caliber of the new British ships was represented by the 381-mm cannons, of the same type as those installed on the battleships Queen Elizabeth and Royal Soverin and representing a masterpiece of naval artillery. The only complaint about the "Ripals" and "Rhinaun" was the absence of the fourth turret, since, having only 6 main battery guns, the ships had difficulties with zeroing at long distances. But in general, the "big guns" of "Ripals" and "Rhinaun" deserve the highest praise.

But the return to 102-mm anti-mine artillery seems to be clearly a mistake. Without a doubt, the four-inch projectile was significantly inferior in the striking effect of the six-inch one - it was assumed that with one hit of the latter it was possible to disable a destroyer with a displacement of up to 1,000 tons. in a volley. But the number of single-gun 102-mm guns could not be increased indefinitely, and a solution was found in the creation of three-gun 102-mm installations. This theoretically ingenious solution, combined with a good location (out of five three-gun and two single-gun installations installed on each ship, four three-gun and one single-gun could fire on one side) ensured firing from 13 barrels on board - more than twice as many as battleships with a dozen 152-mm guns in casemates. However, the installations themselves turned out to be too heavy - having a weight of 17.5 tons, they, at the same time, were not equipped with power drives, so one could only sympathize with the gunners of these monsters.


But angular guidance speeds are very important for artillery firing at nimble and constantly changing course destroyers. In addition, a crew of 32 people was required to service each installation. Taking into account the fact that the calculation of the 381-mm turret was 64 people, the total number of mine artillery servants was almost equal to the calculations of the main caliber cannons.

The compact dimensions of the installation did not allow the calculations to effectively service all three barrels (although each of them had its own cradle) - the gunners simply interfered with each other, so the real rate of fire of the three-gun mount was only slightly higher than that of the two-gun. It is also worth noting the poor security of the crews - they stood completely open, having only shields, which, of course, could not cover 32 people in any way. All this together made the mine artillery "Ripalsa" nominee for the title "the worst mine action caliber of the Grand Fleet."

The 102-mm artillery system provided a 10-kg projectile with an initial speed of 800 m / s, which at an elevation angle of 30 degrees. allowed to shoot at 66, 5 kbt. However, according to the testimony of sailors, such a range was even excessive, since the fall of 102-mm squads at a distance of more than 40 kbt was no longer visible.

In addition to the aforementioned artillery systems, two 76-mm anti-aircraft guns and four 47-mm salute guns were installed on the "Ripals" and "Rinaun" during the construction. They also received two submarine 533-mm torpedo tubes with ammunition load of 10 torpedoes, located, moreover, very poorly - in front of the barbette of the bow turret of the main caliber.


The armor protection of the Rhinaun-class battlecruisers is not that insufficient, it is absolutely negligible. It is usually claimed that she was on the same level as the world's first battlecruisers - ships of the Invincible class, but this is not true, because, in fact, the Rhinaun was protected much worse than the Invincibles.


Descriptions of armor protection "Rhinauns" differ slightly in different sources. The basis of his body armor was a 152 mm belt 141 m long, which began in the middle of the barbette of the bow tower and ended in the middle of the barbette of the aft tower. Here, from the armored belt to the barbets at an angle to the diametrical plane, there were 102 mm of traverse, that is, they went from the side of the ship, closing on the barbets of the bow and stern towers (they are absent in the above diagram). At the same time, the side was protected by 102 mm of armor in the bow from 152 mm of the armor belt, and 76 mm in the stern. However, these additional armor belts did not reach the stem and sternpost, being closed by 76-102 mm traverses located respectively in the stern and in the bow. At the same time, the stern traverse was located perpendicular to the diametrical plane, but the bow was unclear, and possibly the same as the stern, but according to some other data, its armor plates converged from the left and right sides at about an angle of 45 degrees, which probably provided some the possibility of a ricochet of a large-caliber projectile when the projectile hits the bow of the ship.

As for the horizontal protection, it was represented by an armored deck, which had 25 mm in the horizontal part and 51 mm on the bevels. ("Invincible", respectively, 38 and 51 mm). The only advantage of "Rhinaun" was that in the areas of the turrets of the main caliber, the thickness of the horizontal part of the armored deck was increased from 25 to 51 mm. Outside the citadel (beyond 102 mm traverses), the Rhinaun's armored deck had 63 mm both in the bow and in the stern. The "Invincible" had such protection only in the stern, and in the bow the armor deck in thickness did not differ from that that protected the citadel (38-51 mm).

Thus, we see that the thickness of the armor protection of "Rhinaun" and "Invincible" seems to be the same thickness, and "Rhinaun" even has a slight advantage - why, then, its protection is worse?

The thing is that the Invincible belt had a height of 3.43 m, and the Rhinauna - only 2.44 m. At the same time, the Rhinauna power plant, of course, was much more powerful than the one that was on the Invincible. … And here is the result - if we recall the Invincible's booking scheme, we will see that the horizontal part of the armored deck was located significantly below the upper edge of the 152-mm armored belt.

Battlecruisers Rivalry
Battlecruisers Rivalry

At the same time, the horizontal part of the Rhinaun's armored deck was exactly at the level of the upper edge of the 152 mm armored belt, and even exceeded it in the area of the engine room! In other words, in a number of cases and taking into account the flat trajectory of German shells, they would first have to pierce 152 mm of the armor belt and only then reach 38 mm of the armored deck section (or 51 mm bevel). At the same time, the "Rinaun" did not have such a section - its shell, which passed along the same trajectory, immediately hit a 51 mm bevel or a 25-51 mm deck.


Thus, despite the formal equality of the thickness of the armor plates, the protection of the citadel at "Rhinaun" actually turned out to be even worse than that of the very first battle cruisers of the Royal Navy!

True, here it is necessary to mention one advantage of the horizontal protection of the "Rhinaun" - the fact is that, in addition to the armored deck, the "Rhinaun" received even reinforced protection of the forecastle deck - sheets of STS steel were additionally laid on it, which was almost the same homogeneous armor … In the area of the barbets of the bow towers of the main caliber, the forecastle had an insignificant 19 mm, but further aft, in the area of boiler rooms and engine rooms, it reached 28-37 mm. However, strictly speaking, all this did not differ much from the 25 mm upper deck of the Invincible.

In principle, if a heavy German projectile hit the forecastle deck, in the area of engine rooms or boiler rooms, then it would most likely detonate, and in this case there is some hope of keeping its fragments at the lower 25 mm armored deck (all the more so - 51 mm in the areas of the towers of the main caliber) was. But the problem was that the distance between the armored deck and the forecastle deck was as much as two interdeck spaces - a projectile hitting these "gates" would "safely" pass the upper level of horizontal protection and easily crush the lower one. The British themselves perfectly understood that they were doing something wrong, so they tried to somehow strengthen the sides above the armor belt, making them from two layers of 19 mm steel (total - 38 mm). But, of course, such protection gave hope only of repelling the fragments of heavy shells that exploded from hitting the water near the ship, and did not create any protection from the shells themselves.

In general, one can take a risk, arguing that as a result of the restrictions imposed by D. Fisher, the Royal Navy received two of the weakest battle cruisers in the history of British ships of this class. But the First Sea Lord alone could not be blamed for this - it must be stated that the shipbuilders had their hand in this. So, due to the rejection of the "reservation" of the side above the armor belt and additional protection of the forecastle deck, it would be quite possible to strengthen the armored deck to acceptable values, or to increase the height of the armor belt, which would have a very positive effect on the overall level of its protection.

Otherwise, the armor of the Rhinaun was also nothing outstanding - the turrets of the main caliber were similar in design to those installed on the Royal Soverin, but the thickness of the armor was reduced - the forehead of the turrets was only 229 mm (against 330 mm of the original). side plates - 178 mm (280 mm). The barbets were also protected with only 178 mm of armor (that is, like the Invincibles). The only advantage over the "Invincibles" was that behind the armor belt the barbets were thinned to 102 mm, while on the first battle cruisers - half as much, 51 mm. But this was more than compensated for by the disadvantage that, beyond 38 mm, the barbets also had only 102 mm, that is, in this area, the total protection of the feed pipes did not even reach 152 m … The bow conning tower was protected by 254 mm armor, the stern - only 76 mm, and the chimneys were also covered with 38 mm armor plates. This, in general, was all.


I must say that in the "Reservation" section, we did not report anything about the anti-torpedo bulkhead, but this is because it was not on the "Rinaun" and "Ripals". But for the first time in the British Navy, the ship received boules integrated into the hull structure. I must say that such a design, in the opinion of the admirals, provided no worse, and maybe even better protection than the anti-torpedo bulkhead: the resulting additional volume of the hull was used to store liquid cargo (including oil), despite the fact that it was divided into several compartments … As a result, although the bulkheads were 8-19 mm thick with conventional shipbuilding steel, their total thickness was 50 mm. Well, taking into account the fact that there was a liquid between them, absorbing the energy of the explosion, the effectiveness of such protection significantly exceeded the usual one, with an armored bulkhead. The boules also made it possible to reduce the draft of the ship, but I must say that here the British did not achieve too much success - if the Tiger's draft in normal displacement was 8.66 m, then the Repals and Rhinaun's - within 8, 1 m. The often quoted draft of 7, 87 m and so refers to an empty ship.

Power plant

The project was supposed to use a lightweight power plant with increased steam parameters, but due to the haste to build ships, it had to be abandoned. As a result, the machines and boilers were structurally similar to those installed on the Tiger, and this was not a good solution, because such a power plant was too heavy for its capacity. More modern boilers would free up at least 700 tons to enhance the same reservation … however, such an installation had its advantages, because the Tiger machines and boilers proved to be very reliable units.

The rated power of the mechanisms was supposed to be 110,000 hp, the boosted one - 120,000 hp, while at the rated power and normal displacement (26,500 tons), it was expected to reach 30 knots, at afterburner - 32uz. In fact, "Repals" with a displacement close to full (29,900 tons) and a power of 119,025 hp. developed 31.7 knots, and "Rhinaun" with a weight of 27,900 tons and a power of 126,300 hp. - 32, 58 knots

Project evaluation

"Repals" completed tests on September 21, and "Rhynown" - on November 28, 1916, when both W. Churchill and D. Fisher had already lost their posts. As you know, the concept of the British battle cruiser did not stand the test of the Battle of Jutland, so the attitude of the sailors to the new ships was appropriate: they were given the status of "urgently in need of modernization" and, under this plausible pretext, were not included in the Grand Fleet. Under other circumstances, they would have probably been left at the wall until the end of the war, but the British categorically did not like that they, in fact, were left with three "343-mm" cruisers (the ships that preceded them with 305-mm guns were considered to have practically lost combat value) against four battle cruisers of the Germans. At the same time, the hochseeflotte was to receive the Hindenburg instead of the sunk Lutzov in the very near future, and in England they were sure that the first Mackensen was about to enter service. Therefore, the British considered that they still needed the "Repals" and "Rhinaun", and the newly built ships immediately set off for the first (but far from the last) modernization in their life, which was completed in the late spring of 1917 - they officially finished it earlier, but it was up to this time that work was carried out.

Therefore, it should be said that "Repals" and "Rhinaun" entered the fleet in the spring of 1917. I must say that the hasty modernization, during which the ships were added 504 tons of armor each, did not, of course, solve the problem of their security. The section of horizontal armor above the engine rooms (but not the boiler rooms) was reinforced from 25 mm to 76 mm. The armored decks from the bow tower barbette and up to 102 mm traverse (in the bow) and from the barbette of the aft tower to 76 mm traverse (aft) were reinforced from 25 mm to 63 mm. The deck in the stern outside the citadel was increased from 63 mm to 88 mm., The horizontal protection over the cellars of the main caliber towers was also strengthened, but not the armor, but the lower deck - its thickness was increased to 51 mm.

Without a doubt, these measures somewhat strengthened the armor protection of the Ripals and Rinaun, but, of course, it was "a little better than nothing." The protection of these two battlecruisers looked insufficient even against 280mm shells, let alone 305mm shells. In other words, they could fight the Seidlitz, Derflinger or (even more so!) Mackensen until the first hits in the areas where the key mechanisms (power plant, towers, barbets, main caliber cellars, etc.) were located, after which they were almost guaranteed to receive serious or even fatal injuries. Without a doubt, the German ships were vulnerable to 381-mm shells, but in general their armor protection provided much greater combat resistance than the armor of battlecruisers of the "Rhinaun" class.

In other words, during the war years, the British built two ships that did not meet their tasks at all.

But here's what is interesting … Years passed, and in the future, during the Second World War, "Ripals" and "Rhinaun" became one of the most useful ships in the fleet. However, there is nothing strange here. The very high speed they got "at birth" gave the battlecruisers a good modernization reserve - despite the significant increase in armor protection, they remained fast enough to fight modern cruisers. At the same time, most of the ships of Germany, which she could send to fight in the ocean - light and heavy cruisers, "pocket" battleships were "legal game" for "Ripals" and "Rhinaun", and thanks to the reinforced armor protection and very powerful 381 -mm guns, they remained extremely dangerous even for "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau". In fact, the only Hitler ships for which the Repals and Rhinaun were themselves "legal game" were the Bismarck and Tirpitz, but that was all. In the Mediterranean, they could not fight only with the latest Italian battleships of the Vittorio Veneto class, but they had the opportunity to evade the battle,in the Pacific would represent a worthy response to the modernized Japanese battlecruisers of the Congo class.

It can be stated that the flawed concept and the absolute inconsistency with the tasks set by the First World War did not at all make the Repals and Rhinaun useless ships, but this happened in the future and solely due to the emerging limitations of the naval forces, the presence of which was impossible predict in advance. In other words, "Repals" and "Rhynown", despite all their shortcomings, have done a glorious service to good old England, but the merit of their creators is not in this.

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