Triplets, or the hull truth

This is the German Zerstörer (destroyer) Z9 “Wolfgang Zenker”. Or Z10 “Hans Lody”. Or perhaps Z11 “Bernd von Arnim”. Actually, there’s no way to really know, as all three ships wore the hull number “62” at least once in their respective careers. (“6” stands for “6th division” and “2” for the second ship.) All were of the Zerstörer 1934A class, laid down at Germaniawerft in Kiel in 1935, and launched the following year. A total of twelve were built, measuring 119 meters and capable of 36 knots. The main armament was five 12.7 cm guns, plus AA guns, torpedoes, mines and depth charges. Each was crewed by ten officers and 315 enlisted men.

“Wolfgang Zenker” and “Bernd von Arnim” were both involved in the Second naval Battle of Narvik on 13 April, 1940, where the Royal Navy dealt the Kriegsmarine a serious blow. By the end of the day, the two warships were sunk together with six other destroyers. The surviving crews were formed into a temporary unit, the Gebirgsmarine (“mountain navy”), and while it wasn’t trained for land combat, it still contributed to the German effort in the ensuing battle.

“Hans Lody” survived the war, and was taken over by the Royal Navy. She was scrapped in 1949.


Thanks to Axis History Forum member Polar bear for ID’ing the destroyer(s).


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