Disappointing Heavy Hipper – Admiral Hipper the Heavy German Cruiser in 23 Photos


Admiral Hipper was a heavy cruiser of the German navy. It received his name in honor of the admiral of the German fleet – Franz Ritter von Hipper. Admiral Hipper was laid in 1935, and on April 29, 1939, officially joined the Kriegsmarine.

Admiral Hipper had a smooth deck body in which armor plates added additional strength. The cruiser had a double bottom, which turned into a double board. The double bottom and double board occupied 72% of the length of the ship. Depending on the elements of the ship, the thickness of the armor began from 30 mm and ended at 160 mm. The length of the ship was 205.9 meters with a width of 21.3 meters.

Admiral Hipper

The Admiral Hipper was driven by three three-bladed propellers and three turbo-units produced by Blohm & Voss. All systems included three high, medium and low-pressure turbines, as well as high and low-pressure turbines for reverse. The total engine power was 132,000 hp. producing a maximum speed of 32 knots. The range of navigation at a speed of 19 knots was 6,800 miles.

The main armament included eight 203-mm guns which were located on the gun towers in the bow and stern of the ship. Anti-aircraft weapons consisted of six two-gun 105-mm anti-aircraft guns (SK C /33). They could hit targets at an altitude of up to 12,500 meters. The firing range for ground targets was about 17,700 meters.

Admiral Hipper landing troops in Trondheim. Photo Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-757-0038N-11A : Lange, Eitel : CC-BY-SA 3.0

Light anti-aircraft weapons included twelve 37-mm semi-automatic cannons (SK C /30). In addition, the ship was armed with eight 20-mm machine guns (Flak 38). Torpedo armament consisted of twelve 533-mm torpedo tubes. For auxiliary tasks and reconnaissance, 3-4 seaplanes were provided. The maximum allowable crew was 1600 people.

After entering into operation in 1939, excessive flooding of the bow of the cruiser with water was discovered. For this reason, Admiral Hipper was sent to the dock to fix the defect. In addition, during service, the cruiser was repeatedly upgraded. To increase combat power, the number of guns was increased. However, during the ships first operation near Norway the engines constantly broke down. This forced the crew to return to Germany for additional repairs.

Admiral Hipper wreck in Kiel, 1945.

During the Danish-Norwegian operation, Admiral Hipper headed Group 2, designed to capture the port of Trondheim. There, the cruiser entered into battle with the English destroyer Glowworm. During the battle, Admiral Hipper destroyed the Glowworm but received significant damage. After the delivery of the landing troops in Trondheim, it was forced once again to return to Germany for repair.

The cruiser took part in Operations Juno and Nordseetour and in the Barents Sea. After an unsuccessful operation in the Barents Sea, Hitler ordered the ship to be scrapped for metal, but the cruiser was instead sent to the reserve.

Model of Admiral Hipper.Photo Softies CC BY-SA 2.5

On May 3, 1945, during a British air raid on Kiel, the Admiral Hipper was seriously damaged and sank in port. Following the surrender of Germany, the cruiser was dismantled for metal.

(German Heavy Cruiser, 1939-1945) In Norwegian waters, during World War II. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.


Admiral Hipper cruiser, Norway 1942


Admiral Hipper during fitting-out. Hamburg, 1937.


Admiral Hipper Hardangerfjord Norway 1942


Admiral Hipper in 1939.Photo Bundesarchiv, DVM 10 Bild-23-63-24 : CC-BY-SA 3.0


Admiral Hipper in drydock in Brest


Admiral Hipper in Norwegian waters, circa 1942


Admiral Hipper loading mountain troops in Cuxhaven.Photo Bundesarchiv, Bild 101II-MW-5607-32 : CC-BY-SA 3.0


German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper in drydock


Heavy Cruiser Admiral Hipper


Heavy Cruiser Admiral Hipper in Wilhelmshaven


Heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper Kristiansand Norway 1942


Heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper landing troops in Norway in 1940.Photo Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-757-0037N-26A : Lange, Eitel : CC-BY-SA 3.0


One of Admiral Hipper’s three Arado Ar 196 seaplanes readied for launch in 1942


Photographed from the battleship Tirpitz. The heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper


The Commander in Chief of the Imperial German Battlekruisers, Rear Admiral Franz von Hipper and his staff.


The German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper, in 1939. The view was taken while the ship was being fitted out at the Blohm & Voss shipyards, Hamburg, Germany, in the spring of 1939. Note the hulk Amazone alongside (left).


Wartime recognition drawing of an Admiral Hipper class cruiser, produced by the Office of Naval Intelligence in 1942.

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Damaged Admiral Hipper in Port.
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