The six battleships of the H-class were the projected successors of the battleships Bismarck
Those ships, which would have been the core of the fleet build according to the Z-Plan, were mainly enlarged and improved versions of their predecessors. In difference to them, those ships were planned with commerce war in mind, therefore diesel engines were selected instead of the usual high pressure steam engine used by the German navy in those days.
Design of these ships started in 1937, and a total construction time of 50 months was projected to complete a ship of this class. All ships were scheduled to be completed by 1944. Only two of the ships were actually started, Schlachtschiff H
at Blohm & Voss, Hamburg on June 15th, 1939 and Schlachtschiff
at AG Weser, Bremen on August 15th, 1939. Construction was stopped on October 10th, 1939 as the focus in German naval construction switched to the construction of more U-boats instead of battleships. Up to this day, 1200 tons of steel was already used for the Schlachtschiff
, 3500 tons were in construction and another 12000 tons were already ordered. (Schlachtschiff
was still in an earlier phase of construction). In 1940, the used material was wrecked on the shipyard and used elsewhere.
For more information, see Schlachtschiff H