Class 101 / 101A

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101A (Hamburg) class
Destroyer Schleswig-Holstein after conversion (class 101 A)
Destroyer Schleswig-Holstein
after conversion (class 101 A)
Type destroyer
units 4th

HC Stülcken son

Keel laying 1959 to 1961
Launch 1960 to 1961
Commissioning 1964 to 1968
Decommissioning 1990 to 1994
Whereabouts canceled
Technical specifications

4,050  t


133.70 m


13.40 m


4.80 m (standard)



  • four WAHODAG high pressure superheated steam boilers
  • two high pressure turbines
  • two waves
  • two oars
  • 68,000 hp

35  kn D182 at times 37  kn


see section armament

The class 101 / 101A ( also known as the Hamburg class after the type ship ) was a class of four destroyers of the Navy of the Federal Republic of Germany , which was built in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The units were in service until the mid-1990s and, with a displacement of 4,050 tons, were among the largest ships in the Navy at the time.


Planning and construction

As early as 1955, at the beginning of the German rearmament , under the name "Destroyer 55", the design of new German destroyers had already begun. The plan was to build twelve units of this class of destroyer. In the end, however, only four new buildings ( ZA - ZD ) were approved and commissioned .

Silhouette destroyer Hessen

In order to bridge the period until the first newbuildings were available, six US Fletcher- class destroyers from World War II were loaned out. They were put into service as Destroyer 1 to Destroyer 6 . The first new building, the destroyer ZA , was laid on January 29, 1959 at the Hamburg shipyard H. C. Stülcken Sohn. On March 26, 1960, it was baptized in the name of Hamburg and subsequently launched. Due to a gas explosion in the forecastle, the commissioning was delayed until March 23, 1964. The Hamburg was followed in October 1964 by Schleswig-Holstein , in July 1965 by Bavaria and in October 1968 by Hesse . The construction costs per ship amounted to 105 million DM , for the Hessians 134 million DM. After their completion, the ships formed the fleet destroyer class 101.


The ships were named after German federal states. Each of the names already had a tradition in earlier German navies. The first Hamburg was a Radkorvette during the Schleswig-Holstein survey . In the Imperial Navy , a small cruiser was called Hamburg . Schleswig-Holstein , Bavaria and Hesse were ships of the line of the Imperial Navy.

period of service

The units of class 101 / 101A formed the 2nd destroyer squadron in Wilhelmshaven. Until the formation of the squadron on April 1, 1965, the destroyers Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein were subordinate to the 1st destroyer squadron in Kiel. The destroyers were always based in Wilhelmshaven.

After the combat value increase carried out in the mid-1970s, it was reclassified to class 101A. Starting with the Hessen in 1990, the class 101 / 101A destroyers were decommissioned until 1994 and sold through VEBEG and then demolished. The class 101 / 101A was replaced by the new frigate class F123 (Brandenburg class), the four units of which were put into service from 1994.



The class 101 / 101A destroyers were 133.70 meters long and 13.40 meters wide. Its draft was 4.80 meters and the water displacement was 4,050 tons. The ships were extremely high with five decks and were therefore also called "high-rise buildings" in naval jargon.

Destroyer Hamburg still with three bow torpedo tubes and the open bridge

As part of the modernization to class 101A, the destroyers, which previously only had a relatively small control stand and an open bridge, received a closed bridge.

In the course of their service time, cracks repeatedly appeared in the superstructure of the destroyers, which could not be prevented even by adding expansion joints and reinforcements at critical points. When converting to class 101 A, the C-deck was closed between frames 63 and 67. In the area of departments IV to VI, around 15 t of lead ballast were installed for reasons of stability.


The propulsion of the ships of class 101 / 101A consisted of four WAHODAG high- pressure superheated steam boilers, which were fired with four rotary burners per boiler, and two turbine sets, each with one high-pressure and one low-pressure turbine. At the beginning, the high pressure side of the steam system was operated with a boiler pressure of 72 bar and a steam temperature of approx. 480 ° C. They generated around 80,000 hp and, in conjunction with a three-bladed propeller, brought the ship to a top speed of 38 knots. The plant components were thus operated at the limit of their material load capacity. With the conversion to class 101A, the boiler pressure was reduced to 64 bar and the steam temperature lowered to 450 ° C. At the same time, the highly cavitating three-bladed propeller was exchanged for a less cavitating five-bladed propeller. These measures led to a power reduction to approx. 68,000 HP and a speed of 35 kn. At the end of the service period, only two of the four boilers were still in operation on the individual units, with the exception of the "Schleswig-Holstein".


At the beginning, the armament of the class 101 destroyers consisted mainly of guns. The ships had four fully automatic 100 mm marine single guns in turret carriage (METL) L / 55 from the French company Creusot-Loire and eight Bofors 40 mm / L70 flak in marine double carriage (MDL) Mod 68 II / 62 Breda . There were also five 533 mm torpedo tubes (three in the bow, two in the stern) for torpedoes of the types G7a , Seal and Nixe . As ASW agent were 375 mm rocket launcher constructed eight-Bofors in two Vierling groups before the bridge further includes two stages for drain water bombs type Hagenuk . It was also possible to take a total of 90 sea ​​mines with you , which could be thrown using two launchers at the stern.

When upgrading to class 101A, a 100 mm tower, the Charlie tower, was expanded, as were the bow and stern torpedo tubes. Instead, the ships received two double launchers for Exocet MM-38 missiles against sea targets and two 533 mm anti-submarine torpedo tubes. For self-defense against missiles two zwanzigrohrige 105mm came chaff launchers of the firm Breda on board.

Electronics / guidance system

Possessed the destroyer initially only via mechanical fire control (M2 / M4, manufactured by Hollandse Signaalapparaten), they were in part of the modernization to the class 101A also with the already at the speedboat of the class 148 introduced PALIS equipped system and possessed thus a rudimentary carrying capability via link 11 . The weapon systems were not integrated.

The Schleswig-Holstein is from Iowa supplied, 1986

Class 101A used the following means of location:

  • Sea target radar system ZW, 3 cm, manufacturer: Hollandse Signalaalapparaten
  • Air target radar system DA, 8 cm, manufacturer: Hollandse Signalaalapparaten
  • Long range radar system LW, 25 cm, manufacturer: Hollandse Signalaalapparaten
  • Navigation radar KH-14, manufacturer: Kelvin Hughes
  • a sonar system 1BV2 with retractable dome, later a fixed dome
  • an ESM system

The electronic equipment also included various speech and writing radio transmission / reception systems in the UHF and HF frequency range.

Planned modernization

The ships should go through a further modification to class 101B. Various alternatives were up for discussion:

  1. Among other things, the installation of RAM starters instead of towers B and D, installation of a FL1800 EloUM / GM system, changes to the superstructure in front of the front chimney
  2. No dismantling of tower B, installation of the RAM starter in side position, installation of anti-submarine rocket launchers
  3. Expansion of tower B, installation of further MM 38 starters

As the ships no longer had any stability reserves due to the previous conversions, retrofits and retrofits, and the maintenance costs were constantly rising due to their age, the modification was not carried out.

Mission profile

The class 101 destroyers could be used in a variety of ways. In addition to the "classic" guardianship and fighting sea and air targets, the destroyers were also suitable for fighting against submarines and for laying mines.

However, by the end of the 1970s at the latest, their capabilities were considered obsolete due to the outdated electronics (electromechanical fire control systems, see above), as their ability to repel modern and fast aircraft in particular was assessed as increasingly inadequate. Only the retrofitted anti-ship missile armament corresponded to the state of the art until it was retired.


Class 101 / 101A
Surname Identifier Radio call sign Construction
Whereabouts photo
until 11/30/1981 from 01.12.1981
Hamburg D 181 DBZK DRAA 890 01/29/1960 03/26/1960 03/23/1964 02/24/1994 Canceled in Spain in 1998 Hamburg (D-181) at Pensacola.jpg
Schleswig-Holstein D 182 DBZL DRAB 891 08/20/1959 08/20/1960 October 12, 1964 12/15/1994 Canceled in Belgium in 1998 Schleswig-Holstein DN-SC-87-09440.jpg
Bavaria D 183 DBZM DRAC 892 02/15/1961 08/14/1962 07/06/1965 07/12/1993 Canceled in Denmark in 1995 German destroyer Bayern (D183) in 1975.jpg
Hesse D 184 DBZN DRAD 898 02/15/1961 05/04/1963 10/08/1968 March 29, 1990 Canceled in Portugal in 1991 Hessen (D-184) during Northern Wedding 86.jpg


  • Gerhard Koop / Siegfried Breyer: The ships, vehicles and planes of the German Navy 1956 until today . Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-7637-5950-6 .
  • Wolfgang Harnack: The destroyer flotilla of the German Navy from 1958 until today . Koehlers Verlagsgesellschaft, Hamburg 2001, ISBN 3-7822-0816-1
  • Zvonimir Freivogel: Marine-Arsenal, special issue Volume 21: The destroyers of the HAMBURG class. -The last of their kind- . Podzun-Pallas-Verlag, Wölfersheim-Berstadt, 2000, ISBN 3-7909-0713-8

Web links

Commons : Hamburg -class  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. a b c Koop / Breyer: The ships, vehicles and aircraft of the German Navy from 1956 to today. , P. 48ff.
  2. a b c Koop / Breyer: The ships, vehicles and aircraft of the German Navy from 1956 to today. , P. 50
  3. a b Koop / Breyer: The ships, vehicles and planes of the German Navy from 1956 to today. , P. 51
  4. a b Harnack: The destroyer flotilla of the German Navy from 1958 to today
  5. General data