Karl Heidenreich wrote:This is an objective issue, not to mention our favorite vessel but to think about which one was more successfull or wasn´t. Doing so having in mind that the warships accomplished the tasks they were design/built/operated for. Or don´t.
I´m going to mention some of them (but not all and not in any specific order). There may be a lot others.
SUCCESSFUL WARSHIPS: HMS Victory, IJN Mikasa, HMS King George V (WWII), USS Enterprise (WWII), USS Missouri (WWII, Korea, VN and Gulf War), HMS Iron Duke (WWI), USS South Dakota (WWII), USS Massachussets (WWII), HMS Conqueror (SSN at Falklands), HMS Dreadnought (pre WWI), U-47 (WWII), etc.
UNSUCCESFUL WARSHIPS: Bucentaure (French flagship at Trafalgar), DKM Graf Spee (WWII), Schanhorst & Gneisenau (WWI), IJN Yamato & Musashi (WWI), USS Arizona (WWII), HMS Hood (WWII), HMS Prince of Wales & Repulse (WWII), DKM Tirpitz (WWII), Richelieu & Jean Bart & Dunkerke (and all the WWII´s French Fleet for that matter), HMS Glorious (WWII), General Belgrano (Arg. Falklands), Potemkin (Russia), Suvorov (Russian flagship at Tsushima), Royal Oak (WWII), etc.
I think that what tends to get overlooked with questions like this is the human factor.
All of the ships mentioned in the quote were fine vessels for the period in which they lived. What is relevant to me is what their commanders did with them, how good were their crews?
I don't think Bismarck was a failure. The very existence of this website demonstrates that point. But Bismarck didn't have the opportunity to attack merchant shipping, it sank Hood instead. Given the opportunity it would have caused havoc with the North Atlantic convoys.
Neither was Graf Spee a failure. Langsdorf made a critical mistake in going to Montivideo, that was what caused the loss of the ship.
I don't also for example regard Lutzow as a failure. Its results may not be spectacular but it was a revolutionary design - for 1931.
On the other hand it could be argued that Kormoran was a failure because it didn't survive its engagement with Sydney.
Karl, I feel all these judgements are subjective not objective. We all have our favourite ships based on our personal tastes and predjudices.
One of my favourite ships was Titanic. A failure? Well, it wasn't really intended for ramming icebergs!
So far as the Kriegsmarine is concerned my favourite vessels are the hilfskreuzer and also (not strictly Kriegsmarine) the blockade runners, indeed of the latter the Italians had some very fine, and in terms of mission objectives, successful ships.