German destroyer Z27

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Nazi Germany
Name: Z27
Ordered: 23 April 1938
Builder: AG Weser (Deschimag), Bremen
Yard number: W961
Laid down: 27 December 1939
Launched: 1 August 1940
Completed: 26 February 1941
Fate: Sunk, 28 December 1943
General characteristics (as built)
Class and type: Type 1936A-class destroyer
Length: 127 m (416 ft 8 in) o/a
Beam: 12 m (39 ft 4 in)
Draft: 4.43 m (14 ft 6 in)
Installed power:
Speed: 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph)
Range: 2,500 nmi (4,600 km; 2,900 mi) at 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph)
Complement: 332
Service record
Commanders: Karl Smidt

Z27 was a Type 1936A-class destroyer built for the Kriegsmarine during World War II.

Design and description[edit]

Z27 had an overall length of 127 meters (416 ft 8 in) and was 121.90 meters (399 ft 11 in) long at the waterline. The ship had a beam of 12 meters (39 ft 4 in), and a maximum draft of 4.43 meters (14 ft 6 in). She displaced 2,543 long tons (2,584 t) at standard load and 3,543 long tons (3,600 t) at deep load. The two Wagner geared steam turbine sets, each driving one propeller shaft, were designed to produce 70,000 PS (51,000 kW; 69,000 shp) using steam provided by six high-pressure Wagner boilers with superheaters for a designed speed of 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph). Z27 carried a maximum of 791 metric tons (779 long tons) of fuel oil which gave a range of 2,500 nautical miles (4,600 km; 2,900 mi) at 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph). Her crew consisted of 11 officers and 321 sailors.[1]

The ship carried four 15 cm TbtsK C/36 guns, two superimposed in single mounts with gun shields aft, and one twin-gun turret forward of the superstructure. Her anti-aircraft armament consisted of four 3.7 cm SK C/30 guns in two twin mounts abreast the rear funnel and five 2 cm C/30 guns in single mounts. The ship carried eight above-water 53.3-centimeter (21.0 in) torpedo tubes in two power-operated mounts.[1] Four depth charge throwers were mounted on the sides of the rear deckhouse and they were supplemented by six racks for individual depth charges on the sides of the stern. Sufficient depth charges were carried for either two or four patterns of sixteen charges each.[2] Mine rails could be fitted on the rear deck that had a maximum capacity of sixty mines.[1] 'GHG' (Gruppenhorchgerät) passive hydrophones were fitted to detect submarines and an active sonar system was installed by the end of 1939.[3]

Construction and career[edit]

On 5 November 1942 the Z27 joined the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper on a sortie into the Barents Sea. They were accompanied by the destroyers Richard Beitzen, Friederich Eckholdt, and Z30. While searching for convoy traffic at the far end of the patrol line, Z27 was alerted to the presence of a tanker by the Admiral Hipper's float plane and set off in pursuit. Z27 then encountered a Soviet sub chaser, which she sank. Z27 then rescued 43 Soviet survivors from the frigid waters. Having disposed of the Soviet sub chaser, the Z27 then caught up to and sank the Soviet tanker Donbass (8,000 GRT) with three torpedoes.

Z27 herself was later sunk in the Battle of the Bay of Biscay, southwest of Ushant, along with the torpedo boats T-25 and T-26, on 28 December 1943 by the Royal Navy cruisers HMS Glasgow and Enterprise. The submarine U-618 picked up 21 survivors from Z-27, while U-505 rescued 33 men from T-25, including the commander, Korvettenkapitän Wirich von Gartzen. The Irish merchantman MV Kerlogue also rescued 168 from all three.


  1. ^ a b c Gröner 1990, p. 202–03
  2. ^ Whitley, p. 215
  3. ^ Whitley, pp. 71–72


  • Gröner, Erich (1990). German Warships: 1815–1945. Volume 1: Major Surface Warships. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-790-9. 
  • Koop, Gerhard; Schmolke, Klaus-Peter (2003). German Destroyers of World War II. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-307-1. 
  • Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945: The Naval History of World War Two (Third Revised ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-119-2. 
  • Whitley, M. J. (1991). German Destroyers of World War Two. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-302-8. 

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