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This challenge was inspired by, and heavily plagiarized from, Mike Beninghof's article which can be found here.
When the Nazis came to power in 1933, they found that the Reichsmarine had an expansion program already quietly under way. However, the proposed fleet lacked aircraft carriers. Engineer Wilhelm Hadeler, the 36-year-old wunderkind of German naval architects, was tapped to draft a ship to fill this need, and he responded with a plan for a 22,000-ton ship carrying 50 planes. She would carry eight 8-inch guns in casemate mounts set rather low on the hull, later replaced by double mounts with 5.9-inch guns. While Hadeler’s design was somewhat backward in its heavy armament, he foresaw later developments by including a substantial anti-aircraft armament: 10 4.1-inch anti-aircraft guns (Germany did not produce a dual-purpose naval gun until very late in the war) and dozens of small-caliber automatic weapons.
The Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935 allowed Germany to build warships adding up to 35 percent of the total British tonnage in each given category, and this caused Hadeler’s design to be shelved. Instead, the Navy now wanted two aircraft carriers of 19,500 tons each, to equal the allowable treaty tonnage. The actual design came in at 23,450 tons. The anti-aircraft armament now became 22 37mm guns and seven, eventually raised to 28, of the same 20mm Oerlikon guns mounted on American carriers (the looming war was already being very good to Swiss arms makers).
Designing a carrier frustrated the new German team, who slipped a couple of engineers into the delegation visiting Britain’s “Navy Week” in 1935. They snapped pictures of the British carrier Glorious and even wrangled a tour of her near-sister Furious. Both ships had short flying-off decks in front of the main flight deck, something missing from Hadeler’s design. The British were already planning to give up this anachronism and mount anti-aircraft weapons there, but the Germans never realized this and fell into disagreement over whether their carrier should have this feature as well.
Some weeks later, this was settled when the Japanese agreed to give a tour of their carrier Akagi and access to their naval architects. Akagi had just been moved into Sasebo Navy Yard to remove her similar flying-off deck and extend her flight and hangar decks forward. Japanese engineers appear to have tried their best to help the Germans, handing over over 100 blueprints of Akagi and apparently of Soryu as well, then under construction in Kure.
With these lessons incorporated into the design, Flugzeugträger A began construction (German practice did not recognize “keel laying” as a significant milestone) on 26 December 1936 at Deutsche Werke in Kiel, taking over the slipway cleared three weeks earlier by the launch of the battle cruiser Gneisenau. Per German practice, she did not officially receive a name at first, and was later christened Graf Zeppelin in honor of the developer of airship travel.
Flugzeugträger B (following both Imperial and Weimar practice, the Nazi navy assigned letter codes to additions to fleet strength, and Ersatz or “Replacement” names to those ships replacing old units) began construction in 1938 at Germaniawerft, another private yard in Kiel, on the slipway vacated by the cruiser Prinz Eugen. German engineers planned to build her more slowly than Graf Zeppelin, to take advantage of any lessons learned from building the first carrier. Though never officially named, all understood that this second ship would be called Peter Strasser, after the head of the German Naval Airship Division who died while bombing England in 1918.
Unfortunately, construction of the Peter Straßer stopped in September 1939, due to the Germans allocating resources to some minor conflict in Poland. Yes, that's right... this marks the 75th anniversary of WWII. More importantly, it marks 75 years of not-a-ship.
The Graf Zeppelin was also never complete, and was used as a storage dump for stolen furniture, as well as a barge after it was captured by the Russians.
NO SIGN-UPS REQUIRED - Everyone is eligible!
To sign up all you need to do is join and win at least one game started between September 1 and September 30 with the following settings:
Maps: WWII Poland
Players per game: 3 (Three)
Game Type: Standard
Initial Troops: Automatic
Round Limit: Any
Play Order: Sequential or Freestyle *[See note]*
Spoils: Nuclear or Flat Rate *[See note]*
Special Gameplay: Fog of War (Trench Optional)
Round Length: Casual or speed
- Code: Select all
Nuclear and Sequential must go together (Silver); Flat Rate and Freestyle must go together (Gold)
Nuclear + Freestyle is not valid! Flat Rate and Sequential is not valid!
You need at least 900 points for the Challenge Achievement Medal
If you play 19 games or less then:
Each join (bronze token) is worth 1 point
Each win (gold or silver token) is worth 100 points
If you play 20 games or more then:
Each join (bronze token) is worth 1 points
Each win (gold or silver token) is worth 10 points
At least 3 wins are required from each type of game
The settings that must be present are WWII Poland, 3 player standard, Foggy, Chained, automatic, Sequential and Nuclear or Freestyle and Flat Rate
Please double check and make sure you have all these settings set.
The other settings are open.
Wins will still be counted until October 31.