The Zerstörer 1934-class destroyers were a class of six destroyers that were the first built by Germany after World War I.


Based on the same design principals as Germany's torpedo boats, the Zerstörer 1934-class showed some serious problems after completion, which was partly caused by the fast naval construction programs after 1933. They were very bad seagoing ships - like most other German vessels they took over a high amount of water when in heavy seas, making their forward artillery unusable. They also showed a structural weakness since the hull started to bend in heavy seas and were burdened with heavy vibrations produced by the engines.

Their high pressure turbine engines caused many problems during operations, which were limited by the short range of those ships. The idea was to equip the ships with the newly designed high pressure turbines because this system seemed to have several advantages about normal turbine systems - at least on paper. Test installations on land were very promising, but when installed on board on the destroyers, the engines rooms got very crowded making maintenance very difficult.[1]


Like all other German destroyers, they were all equipped for mine laying which was intensively used during the first months of the war. Most ships of this class did not survive the second year of the war. Two of them were sunk by friendly bombers, but in their few operational months, they did some successful mining operations near the British coast.

Ships in class