Kriegsmarine 1947 World Tour
After the armistice at the end of 1943 German Kriegsmarine entered a phase of rapid expansion. Their failure during the war to achieve any significant naval feat with their surface force prompted an accelerated building program. A new battleship was built to replace the Bismark which was sunk during the war. This ship, built to the same design as the Bismark and the Tirpitz was named the Holtzendorff and entered service in 1946. The German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin was joined by the Peter Strasser and Manfred von Richthofen.
In 1947 the German navy undertook a goodwill tour around the world visiting their allies. The Three aircraft carriers, the Tirpitz and the Holtzendorff, joined by a number of destroyers sailed from Hamburg in October 1947. Their first stop was the Mediterranean where they visited Italy and Egypt.
After that they sailed around Africa to Japanese occupied India and after that Japan itself. The pictures with this article show the German flotilla in the Japanese Naval dockyard of Yokosuka.
After visiting Japan, the ships sailed for South America, first going to Chili and after that to Argentina. From there they crossed the Atlantic back to Germany. The trip was the end of the operational career of the three Graf zeppelin class carriers. From 1948 onwards they were relegated to training duties. Five new carriers of the much bigger Bodensee class took their place. These were optimised for the operation of jet aircraft like the Me-262T and Hs-132F.
The model started out from two 1/3000 scale Fujimi kits of the Yokosuka and Sasebo naval dockyards. It was expanded with scratch-built harbour parts and 3D model ships from Shapeways.The aircraft are 3D printed models from Shapeways.