fighting ships of the world



"1934" type destroyers (1937)

Z1 Leberecht Maass 1939

Z1 Leberecht Maass 1939

Name Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Z1 Leberecht Maass 242 Deutsche Werke, Kiel 10/1934 18/8/1935 2/1937 sunk 22/2/1940
Z2 Georg Thiele 243 Deutsche Werke, Kiel 10/1934 18/8/1935 2/1937 sunk 13/4/1940
Z3 Max Schultz 244 Deutsche Werke, Kiel 1/1935 30/11/1935 4/1937 sunk 22/2/1940
Z4 Richard Beitzen 245 Deutsche Werke, Kiel 1/1935 30/11/1935 5/1937 surrendered 5/1945, to UK 12/1945, BU 1947


Displacement standard, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m

114.0 wl 119.0 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts



Deschimag geared steam turbines, 6 Wagner boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

oil 715

Endurance, nm(kts) 1825(19)


5 x 1 - 128/42 SK C/34, 2 x 2 - 37/80 SK C/30, 6 x 1 - 20/65 C/30, 2 x 4 - 533 TT (16), 4 DCT (18), 60 mines


Z1: 338

Z2 - 4: 315

Ship project history: Works over rigorous destroyer have begun in Germany in 1932. In reply to the French ships having 4-5 130mm or 5 138mm guns, 127mm calibre have been chosen: in the presence of 4 guns displacement should make 1500t. Under the personal order of admiral Roeder project have added with the fifth guns and have changed triple TTs with quadruple ones. As a result standard displacement has exceeded 2000t though officially declared made only 1625t. Order for the first 4 destroyers (type 1934) has been given out 1/4/1934, long before official denunciation of the Versailles limitation, which they considerably exceeded. In 1934-1935 12 more destroyers of type 1934 were orered.

The internal arrangement has been borrowed type 1923, and artillery placing repeated that on French leaders of Le Fantasque class. The considerable attention was given to the air defence weapons presented by new 37mms/83 semiautomatic guns in twin stabilized mounts.

Destroyers of 1934 type had all-welded hulls gathered on the cross-section scheme, high funnels and massive superstructures that led to considerable top weight. Ships had bridges with the rounded face, subsequently them have changed by rectangular ones. Seagoing capacities and manoeuvrability of the ships were valued as rather mediocre.

Prominent feature was machinery using steam with high parameters. Ships were equipped with Wagner boilers (70atm, 460C) and Deschimag turbines. Extreme unreliability of machinery significantly reduced fighting capability of the ships. Also destroyers were equipped with cruising turbines which have appeared unsuccessful and further were not fitted.

Auxiliary machinery worked on high parameters steam that has led to raised fuel rate and sharp decrease in an endurance. It was especially showed during capture of Narvik in April, 1940 and became a cause of loss of many ships.

Modernizations: 1937, all: hulls were strengthened, length was 114.4 wl 119.3 oa

early 1941, Z4: - 6 x 1 - 20/65; + 6 x 1 - 20/65 C/38

1941 - 1942, Z4: - 2 x 1 - 20/65; + 1 x 4 - 20/65 C/38

early 1944, Z4: stem was reconstructed, length oa achieved 121.3 m.

Naval service: Z1 Leberecht Maass and  Z3 Max Schultz were lost 22/2/1940 in the North Sea: former was sunk by mistake by German bomber, latter was sunk on British mines. 13/4/1940 in an Ufut-fjord out-of-ammunition Z2 Georg Thiele was blown up by crew.

Z4 Richard Beitzen was BU in 1949.

Z1 Leberecht Maas 1937

Ivan Gogin, 2008-14