Bgile wrote:I can't imagine firing any rifle that rotated on recoil, and I've fired a lot of rifles. None of them did that, and I sure wouln't want to carry one that did.
I've never read anything that would imply German naval vessels for sale. As far as I know, they were built in anticipation of WWII. I'm not aware of any guns being produced for them in the USA.
Personal experience on an acquaintance course taught me the quirks of the Belgian FN. I got a swollen cheek from the bastard until I learned to handle it properly - we had been warned of this particular characteristic with the Service SLR as we knew it in the 1960s. I think it had something to do with the weapon having a heavy bolt/ejector mechanism and a very powerful spring behind it for the reload and it was this and not recoil which made the weapon jump.
On your last point I never heard of one on Germany's ships being offered for sale either, but then they had have time to prove themselves reliable and sea worthy, Sedlitz was given to the Russians as a sort of trade deal.
The problem with the thought that Germany's fleet was being built for WWII, is the war at the time these vessels were on the drawing board was simply not on the cards. From inception to launch takes a good five years and Hitler was not on the scene as leader until 1933.
The Graf Spee, the last of the Deutschlands had been laid down in 1932, Scharnhorst was to be laid down in 1934 and Bismarck in 1936. Hitler did not begin his cross border incursions until 1937 when he slunk across the border into Austria with a view to pulling out if there was anything of a protest from Britain and France.
WWII took Hitler completely by surprise, so it is hardly feasible that Germany was designing ships in the 20s and early 30s for a war which did not begin to gel until 1938-39.
I think the German heavies were show-boats, showcase items, but with very best which German technology could produce incorporated into their design in the form of guns, machinery and firepower and if the ships themselves did not sell or were not offered for sale, the German firms who made the parts will have gained marvelous spin-off sales on the strength of what these ships were capable of. That doesn't mean that they were not fine ships though.