Seaplane tender 'O'
The origins of design date to the year 1940, when the Luftwaffe began developing a seaplane tender class capable of operating in tropical climate. This had become necessary when the coastal area under German influence had grown significantly in the early war. The new K VII class was with 96m at the waterline significantly larger than the preceeding K VI class and would have been the largest seaplane tender class in the German navy. In overall appearance the class followed the previous designs with no significant difference. The power would come from two MAN 12-cyl. Diesel engine driving two shafts for a top speed of 22kn. Armamaent would only be a single 37mm twin at the front, although that would have increased during the war. Otherwise, there is little information available.
Only a single ship was ordered at some point between 1940 and 1942, the order given to the Schichau shipyards in Königsberg and begun under construction number 1554. An internal overview dating June 12th, 1942, list the ship as under construction with the numerical designation K71 (class VII, ship 1) and the provisorical name 'O
'. However, a list dating only a few months later on November 1st, only has Richthofen
(= ship 'K
') as the latest ship under construction. Apparently ship 'O
', together with L
of the previous class had been cancelled.
Any help and source material is always welcome.