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Saturday, 8 May 2010

German Aircraft Carrier WWII: DKM Graf Zeppelin








In 1936 Nazi Germany laid down plans to develop an aircraft carrier, which was actually launched in 1938. Progress on catapults and landing gear was far too slow, however, and as the war started and progressed other areas of Germany’s war effort took president over the completion of the Graf Zeppelin Aircraft Carrier.


The flat top was only ever 80% complete and because of bickering within the German high command, the Graf Zeppelin project ground to a halt during the important time of the war when she would have been needed. The ship did move from one Baltic port to another but was used mainly as a floating warehouse. The sole German aircraft carrier was seriously neglected when other nation’s aircraft carriers had displayed very good abilities. The British had remarkable success against the Italian Fleet in Taranto, sinking the Palo cruiser off of Crete and of course, crippling the Bismark and allowing the Royal Navy to close in and sink the battleship. Then the Japanese success at Perl Harbour displayed what results could be achieved with such fleets. The American success followed at Midway. It was an area where Germany dropped the ball during the Second World War.

As the war came to an end, Graf Zeppelin fell into the hands of the Soviets. She was used as target practice and sunk in 1947.


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