some commerce raiding madness:
The decision to build the O-class battleships as the successor to the Panzerschiffe was met with little enthusiasm in the SKL (command staff of the Kiregsmarine).
Thus, in the autumn of 1941, the previously cancelled P-class cruiseres were revived in form of the "Handelszerstörer" (trade destroyer) designs.
A high level of reliability, good seakeeping and high endurance were the main demands for this new class of Panzerschiffe.
Particular importance was laid on the endurance part: the estimated range was to be either a whopping 18000nm at 19kn, or 22000nm at 15kn!
In terms of armour, armament and speed, a similar design philosphy as with the Deutschland class was followed. The ships were to be armoured against 20,3cm hits at normal battle ranges. Armament consisted of either six 28cm in two triple, or four 38cm in two twin turrets.
Maximum speed of the different proposals varied between 31 and 33kn.
At least four designs of the Handelszerstörer were drawn up:
1. a 26.300t Diesel engined ship with 6x 28cm,
2. a ship as above, but with 4x 38cm,
3. a 21.000t ship with high pressure steam turbine propulsion and 6x 28cm,
4. a 28.000t mixed turbine / Diesel ship with 4x 38cm.
Unfortunately, I only had references to draw versions 1 to 3:
This is the 26.000t design. It was to be powered by eight Diesel engines on 2 shafts with 120.000shp for a maximum speed of 31 kn.
Same as above, but with 4x 38cm guns on a wider hull.
The turbine propelled 21.000t proposal is truly an oddball in this design line. Neither the required extreme range nor the high level of reliability could be expected from this layout. German high pressure steam systems were complex, prone to failure and lacked range.
Compared to version 1, it gained a speed advantage of 1kn.