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CV - Graf Zeppelin (1938)

CV - Graf Zeppelin (1938)

Graf Zeppelin
Originální název:
Original Name:
Graf Zeppelin
letadlová loď
Kódové označení:
Pennant Number:
Deutsche Werke AG, Kiel /
Založení kýlu:
Laid Down:
Spuštění na vodu:
Uvedení do služby:
Vyřazení ze služby:
1760 + palubní letecké křídlo / Air Wing Crew
Technické údaje:
Technical Data:
Standardní výtlak:
Standard Displacement:
23200 t
Plný výtlak:
Full Load Displacement:
33550 t
262,5 m
31,5 m
8,5 m
boky: 60–100 mm
letová paluba: 20–45 mm
pancéřová paluba: 20–60 mm
protitorpédové přepážky: 20 mm
kasematy: 30 mm
štíty kanonů: 30 mm
lodní můstek: 17 mm
16x kotel
4x parní turbína Satz BBC
147100 kW při ? ot/min
Zásoba paliva:
Fuel Load:
? t
62,6 km/h
14816 km při rychlosti 35,2 km/h
Výzbroj a vybavení:
Armament and Equipment:
16x 15 cm S.K. C/28 na lafetě Dop. MLC/36 (8x II)
- 1.840 nábojů
12x 10,5 cm S.K. C/33 na lafetě Dop. L. C/37 (6x II)
- 4.800 nábojů
22x 3,7 cm S.K. C/30 na lafetě Dopp LC/30 (11x II)
- 44.000 nábojů
28x 2 cm S.K. C/30 na lafetě ? (?)
- 56.000 nábojů
Nesená letadla:
Aircraft Carried:
- Fieseler Fi 167 A-0
- Junkers Ju 87 C-1
- Messerschmitt Bf 109 T-2
- Junkers Ju 87 E (plánováno)
- Messerschmitt Me 155 A (plánováno)
1) nedokončena

28.04.1940: stavba zastavena
13.05.1942: obnovená dostavby
30.01.1943: dostavba opět zastavena
DD.04.1945: potopena vlastní posádkou
25.04.1945: poškozena náložemi vlastní posádky
DD.03.1946: vyzvednuta Sověty
19.03.1947: rozhodnuto o zničení
18.08.1947: potopena

původ jména: Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August Graf von Zeppelin
PEJČOCH, Ivo - NOVÁK, Zdeněk - HÁJEK, Tomáš: Válečné lodě [4] Druhá světová válka (1. vydání, nakl. Naše Vojsko, Praha, 1993, ISBN 80-206-0357-3)
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The end of the Graf Zeppelin

The German aircraft carrier was captured by Soviet troops on May 24, 1945. Before that, however, the Germans managed to destroy the machinery, and the ship was towed away. However, there were disputes about its further fate. One version said that the ship was towed to Leningrad in 1947, but in the Gulf of Finland it struck a mine while being towed and capsized. Another version spoke of the ship capsizing with stolen valuables and a third version spoke of a practice target.

So what is the real version?

The version about the capsizing of the ship was indeed published. Baltic Fleet sailors literally claimed:"In 1946, while the ship was being prepared for towing to Leningrad, the commander of the rear detachment came to the command room and ordered additional loading of tanks and other heavy items onto the main deck and into the hangars. Due to the poor distribution of the cargo, the aircraft carrier capsized. It was recovered, but the damage proved very severe: machinery fell out of its stowage, the aircraft elevators destroyed firefighting equipment. To repair the ship would need enormous sums of money, and to retard the whole affair it was decided to sink the ship."[/i] Given the methods in the Soviet armed forces, this report was certainly fabricated.

Shortly after the surrender was signed, the Conference of the Victorious Powers (Potsdam Conference[/i]) took place on 17.02.1945-02.08.1945. One of the provisions was:"The surface ships of the German fleet capable of further service, including ships which can be put into a state of use at short notice, together with 30 submarines, will be equally divided between the three powers. The rest of the fleet will be destroyed."[/i]
The commission that began work on the division of the fleet ended its work on 06.12.1946. It agreed that:

  • more than 50%[/b:aaaa] of the German fleet had been sunk during the war,
  • 13% were sunk in bases during the surrender.

Thus, in total, the German Navy was left with 1 heavy cruiser and 1 light cruiser, 13 destroyers, 17 torpedo boats, 30 (!) submarines, 132 minesweepers, 17 escort vessels, 8 anti-aircraft ships and gunboats, 89 torpedo boats and 144 minesweepers.
In addition, the commission registered 2,100 auxiliary ships, which sparked discussions about their future fate.

All warships and auxiliary ships were divided into three groups:

  • Group A (unnumbered[/i]) included undamaged ships capable of sailing immediately.
  • Group B included all ships that needed repairs that would take no longer than 6 months.
  • And Group C included ships damaged, sunk or unfinished that would take more than six months to be commissioned by German shipyards - and included the Graf Zeppelin belonging to the Soviet Union.

In total, the Soviet Union thus received 155 military ships and more than 500 auxiliaries. The Trilateral Commission also agreed that all Group "C" vessels would be destroyed, sunk in deep water, or scrapped within specified time limits.

In late 1945, a new design bureau was established on German territory within the Soviet Union's sphere of influence to complete the German Type XXI submarines using German engineers. The People's Commissariat of the USSR Navy also explored the possibility of completing the heavy cruiser Talin ([i:aaaa]formerly Petropavlovsk, ex. Lützow[/i]) or its sister ship Seydlitz as a heavy cruiser or aircraft carrier. He was also interested in the possibility of repair and further use of the Graf Zeppelin aircraft carrier.

The end over these issues came on 19 March 1947, when together with the other former Allies it was decided to destroy the vessels of Group "C" by the end of 1947. The Navy command thus decided to conduct the sinkings as various military experiments. The sinking of the aircraft carrier was to be carried out in such a way as to gain as much knowledge as possible. Therefore, a special commission was formed under the command of Vice Admiral Yuri Fyodorovich Rall. It decided to sink the ship by a series of four different methods of bombardment, artillery shelling, torpedoes and charges. The commission was also tasked with preparing the entire operation. The Lützow and 13 submarines were to be the guinea pigs. By August 17, 1945, the ship was closely examined in Szczecin and found to be lying with a list of 0.5° to starboard. There were 36 holes in the side, measuring up to 1.5 × 1.0 metres, left by shells and shrapnel. The ship's propellers were removed from the shafts and laid on the deck. Overall, the ship was in a rather shabby condition.

To conduct sinking tests, the ship was towed to Svinoust. On 14 August 1947 at 14:45, four harbour tugs and the tug MP-44 escorted Graf Zeppelin, now bearing the designation PB-101.


When the ship arrived at the designated location on the night of 15.08.1947 to 16.08.1947, it proved impossible to dock the ship. On the morning of 16.08.1947, tests were started. The first series of explosions detonated the previously placed FAB-1000 aerial bombs (in the funnel[/i]), three FAB-100 bombs and two 180 mm artillery shells.
During the second series of explosions, another FAB-1000 was subsequently detonated on the flight deck.
The third series consisted of explosions of a FAB-250 bomb and two 180 mm artillery shells. During the fourth series, FAB-500 bombs were detonated on the flight deck (the bomb was placed at a height of 2.7 metres on a tripod[/i]), FAB-250 on the upper hangar deck, FAB-250 on the flight deck, and FAB-100 on C deck. It should be added that some of the bombs on the flight deck were recessed into the deck to simulate the kinetic energy of a falling bomb.

During the explosion of the first FAB-1000 bomb, the funnel was shattered, but the superstructure was not damaged by the subsequent pressure wave. No increase in pressure was observed in the engine room, and the nearby gun turret even remained intact! Of the three FAB-100 bombs, the ungrounded bomb did the most damage, as the pressure wave from the others went towards the hangar and open area. The artillery shells fired were responsible for minor other damage, with the anti-tank shells causing the most damage.

After this great "first series" of endurance tests, a second, namely an air raid, was ready. Initially, 39 crews of the 12th Guards Regiment, 8th Torpedo-Mine Division, and 25 aircraft of the Petlyakov Pe-2 type were selected for action.
Aircraft of the type Tupolev Tu-2 were not selected because they were new aircraft with inadequately trained crews.

A total of 156 P-50 trainer bombs were planned to be dropped, but in the end 100 of the 24 aircraft were dropped. 18 aircraft bombed in two groups, the remaining six aircraft bombed individually. The attack was provided by two Consolitadated PBY Catalina (from Lend-Lease[/i] vans), one of which guided the aircraft to the target and the other acted as a rescue aircraft. In addition, a large white cross measuring 20 by 20 metres with lines 5 metres wide was painted on the deck of the ship. Except for the three bombers that dropped bombs in an emergency, the others attempted to hit the immobile and defenseless carrier. Out of a total of 100 bombs, a full six (really only SIX![/i]) hit the ship. Five bombs caused minor dents (about 5-10 cm[/i]) and one penetrated the anti-torpedo plating, but did no more damage.

The third series of tests were to be carried out by surface forces, or the ship was to be shelled by cruisers with 180 mm guns. But because on 05 October 1946 the cruiser Molotov suffered an explosion in the gun barrel (23 dead[/i]), firing of these guns in the Soviet fleet was stopped.

For these reasons, a fourth series of tests were proceeded with, and these were torpedo attacks. The torpedo boats TK-248, TK-425 and TK-503 (all from Lend-Lease[/i] deliveries) and the Project 7-U destroyers Slavnyj, Strogij and Strojnyj were selected for action.

The fighters prepared for the first attack. TK-248's attack was unsuccessful, as one torpedo failed to explode and the other went under the keel. Only one torpedo from TK-503 hit the starboard anti-tank shell, but the hull itself was not damaged. The third boat did not fire a torpedo due to technical problems.

Of the destroyers (they fired torpedoes about an hour after the torpedo boats[/i]), only Slavnyj celebrated an accurate (one[/i]) torpedo hit, whose torpedo again struck the starboard side, near the first hit, where the antitorpedo plating was missing. With the watertight doors not lowered, Graf Zeppelin began to list to starboard as water began to enter. 15 minutes after the hit, the list was already 25° and she was also listing to port. In another 8 minutes Graf Zeppelin sank with a list of 90° to starboard and 25° to the bow on 18.08.1947 in position 55°48'00.00 "N 18°38'00.00 "E (another source states 55°48'00.00 "N 18°30'00.00 "E).

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Graf Zeppelin

Source: author's archive ...

CV - Graf Zeppelin (1938) - prototyp palubního letounu Junkers Ju 87 C-1

prototyp palubního letounu Junkers Ju 87 C-1
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Graf Zeppelin

Source: author's archive ...

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Graf Zeppelin

Source: author's archive ...

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Graf Zeppelin


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Graf Zeppelin

CV - Graf Zeppelin (1938) - Letecký snímek rozestavěné lodi v Gdyni pořízený průzkumným letounem RAF, 06.02.1942

Letecký snímek rozestavěné lodi v Gdyni pořízený průzkumným letounem RAF, 06.02.1942
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Graf Zeppelin
- photo from the test (FAB-1000 in the chimney)

Sources: Marine Arsenal, OW and MSiO and also the archive of the Ministry of Defence of the USSR + private archive

CV - Graf Zeppelin (1938) - FAB-1000 v komínu letadlové lodě Graf Zeppelin při sovětských testech odolnosti

FAB-1000 v komínu letadlové lodě Graf Zeppelin při sovětských testech odolnosti
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The Graf Zeppelin waited 60 years to be discovered.

On July 12, 2006, workers from the Polish oil company Petrobaltic discovered a shipwreck near the port city of Gdansk. Army divers were called in and confirmed that "99 percent of the ship is the Nazi aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin".

The ship could not be completed. It never engaged in combat and was seized by the Soviet Army in 1945.

The reason for the sinking remains shrouded in mystery to this day. According to one hypothesis, the ship struck a mine while travelling through the Baltic Sea. Historians also consider the possibility that the ship ended up underwater as a result of overloading while carrying a secret Soviet army cargo bound for the Soviet Union. A third possibility is that the Graf Zeppelin was used as a target for the Soviet Navy and deliberately sunk in 1947.

The expertise of military divers should show under what circumstances the Graf Zeppelin ended up on the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
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The nonsense about hitting a mine has long since been debunked, the ship was sunk by the Soviets after they had it in their possession and examined it in Leningrad. Facts don't include nonsensical fables of journalists, they belong in the discussion section of the forum where such a discussion took place.

The discussion about the discovery of the Graf Zeppelin aircraft carrier is here:
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