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Hilfsflugzeugträger Seydlitz (project)

The CA Seydlitz was laid down as construction number 940 on December 12th 1936 on the Deschimag Shipyard in Bremen as the forth CA of the Admiral Hipper class. Its previous name was Kreuzer K . Similar to the CA Prinz Eugen , Kreuzer K showed some modifications of the original CA Admiral Hipper design.

After the beginning of World War II, construction of the Seydlitz only proceeded very slowly. It was temporarily considered to sell the incomplete ship to the Russians, together with the also incomplete CA Kreuzer L and the CA Prinz Eugen , but in November 1939 this plan was rejected and only the Kreuzer L (now named Lützow ) was sold (and renamed as Petropavolovsk ).

In May 1942, the Seydlitz was almost completed with only the catapult, cranes, masts and flak equipment missing. The construction was stopped in June of 1942 and it was considered to modify the ship as an aircraft carrier, the project "Weser 1 ". Between the end of 1942 and spring of 1943, the main guns were removed, followed by the removal of the superstructure, until only the funnel was left.

As air attacks on Bremen U-Boat construction facilities increased during 1943, the ship was ordered to be transferred to Königsberg. This was finally done at the end of March 1944: After the Seydlitz was towed to Kiel, operation "Reiter" started on March 30th 1944. The tugboats Memmert , Rixhöft , Mövensteert and the icebreaker Pollux transferred the ship to Königsberg where it arrived on April 2nd.

In December of 1944, the Seydlitz was used as a barrack ship. While the Red Army closed up to Königsberg in the beginning of 1945, all usable ships and equipment were ordered to leave Königsberg and Elbing and move to the west, this did not include the Seydlitz anymore. On 09.04.1945 it was damaged by Soviet aircraft and scuttled the next day.

The Seydlitz was taken over by the Red Army at the end of the war. In 1946, the ship was raised by the ASS of the South Baltic Fleet and towed to Leningrad in March of 1947. It entered Soviet Navy lists 10.03.1947 but was removed on 09.04.1947 since it was damaged beyond repair. Some sources say that there is the possibility that parts of it were used as spare parts for the former CA Lützow which was damaged during the attack on Leningrad by German troops.

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  Thanks to:  D. Zhukov