fighting ships of the world



Ersatz Yorck battlecruisers

Ersatz Yorck

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Ersatz Yorck   63 Vulcan, Hamburg 7/1916 --- --- sold incomplete 11/1919
Ersatz Gneisenau   250 Germaniawerft, Kiel --- --- --- cancelled
Ersatz Scharnhorst   246 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg --- --- --- cancelled


Displacement normal, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m


Breadth, m


Draught, m

9.30 deep load

No of shafts



Ersatz York, Ersatz Gneisenau: 4 sets Marine geared steam turbines, 32 Marine boilers

Ersatz Scharnhorst: 4 Marine steam turbines, 32 Marine boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

coal 4000 + oil 2000

Endurance, nm(kts)


Armour, mm

belt: 300 - 100, bulkheads: 250 - 100, deck: 80, turrets: 300 - 150, barbettes: 290 - 90, casemates: 150, CT: 350 - 100


4 x 2 - 380/42 SK L/45 C/13, 12 x 1 - 149/42 SK L/45 C/09, 8 x 1 - 88/45 FlaK L/45 C/13, 3 - 600 TT (1 bow, 2 beam)



Ship project history: Originally ordered in April 1915 as units of the Mackensen class, the design was altered in January 1917 in an attempt to produce a battlecruiser with 8 38cm guns using machinery already ordered. Appearance would have been quite distinct with the uptakes trunked into a single large funnel.

    The main armament was arranged as in Mackensen but the upper deck 15cm battery was lengthened to 126m with 6 guns from 'A' barbette to the CT, 4 by the mainmast and 2 by the aftermost barbette. The bow TT was retained with one on either beam aft of the boiler rooms and thus within the area of the torpedo bulkhead.

    Construction of Ersatz Yorck was halted after 1000-1100 tons of steel had been assembled.

Ship protection: The 300mm main belt ran from 3m forward of the fore turret to 3m abaft the after one and tapered to 150mm at the lower edge and 240-200mm at the upper deck. Forward and aft the armour stopped short of the ends and was respectively 120mm and 100mm. The barbettes were reduced to 170mm behind the battery armour and lo 120-90mm behind the main belt, while the turrets had 300mm faces, 250mm sides, 290mm rears, 250-150mm roofs. The armour deck did not extend outboard of the torpedo bulkhead amidships where it was 60-30mm with 50mm forward and 100-70mm aft. The upper deck was 25mm over the main belt and the forecastle deck 50-20mm over the battery. The torpedo bulkhead was 50mm increased to 60mm by the turrets, and continued as a 30mm splinter bulkhead to the upper deck.


Ivan Gogin, 2014