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Bismark

An artists impression of the Dinsmark firing its guns on the Osean fleet during the Battle of Cresence Islands in 1942.

The BBS (Belkan Bundesmarine Service) Dinsmark was a massive battleship that served with the Belkan Reichsmarine during the First Osean Continental War (aka the Second World War).  As much a status symbol to Belka as a weapon, the ship was built in the late 1930s to try and obtain parity with other Navies around the world.  Indeed, the tried-and-true design of the ship along with its state-of-the-art fire control systems made it arguably one of the best Battleships ever built.



Construction

The keel was laid down for the Dinsmark on May 15th, 1937, and from there construction was fairly rapid, something that the Oseans were wary of after Belka had completed the three Belka-class Heavy Cruisers (known as "Pocket Battleships" by the press) and the two Sudentor-class Battlecruisers in a relatively short timeframe.  Within a year, the hull was completed and the ship began its trials, and with the weapons fitted on July 10th, 1938, the ship was christened the Dinsmark, after the man credited with unifying Belka in the late 1800s prior to the Osean War (aka the First World War).  The press officially reported that the vessel met the restrictions on tonnage imposed by the Oured Naval Treaty of no more than 35,000 tons, but in reality, the vessel weighed in at 50,300 tons, a justifyable lie in hindsight as Belka wasn't the only one that fudged their numbers when it came to reporting tonnage (the Union of Shiruba and Federal Republic of Erusea were guilty of this as well).  At the same time, it was boasted that the Dinsmark could go toe-to-toe with the best of the Osean Navy, and it wouldn't take long for the world to find out, ason January 1st, 1939, the First Osean Continental War began.


Service Life

The Dinsmark was considered a valauble ship, and so it was not to be used lightly, something that the Belkan Admiralty kept in mind as the war's first years went underway.  The Dinsmark was immediately the target of Osean efforts to sink it, but it managed to break out of its port at Anfang and into the ocean with escort from two Belkas (one had been sunk already), the two Sudentors and the Heavy Cruiser, Kronprinz Frederik.  From there, it was moved to the Cresence Islands to repair damage done to it by heavy deck-penetrating bombs dropped by Osean dive bombers.  Only skilled damage-control teams had prevented the complete loss of the Reichsmarine's Ace-in-the hole.  By March of 1940, the Dinsmark and its fleet were ready to disembark again, this time to engage the Osean evacuation fleet withdrawing troops from the coast of the Fato Federation.  The resulting battle cost Belka another Belka-class and damaged other vessels, but sank the pride of the Osean Navy, the Battlecruiser Invincible.  The Dinsmark's fleet continued on, but left behind the Dinsmark as it was leaking fuel and thus needed to return to Cresence for repairs.  The Osean fleet relentlessly pursued the Belkan Battleship and severely damaged it, but Belkan aircraft managed to save the stricken ship from being finished off; it would take two whole years to repair the damage done to the Dinsmark.

In 1942, the Dinsmark left port again, this time with an escort of four Destroyers and one of the Sudentors (the first was sunk a month prior) and the Aircraft Carrier BRS Waldreich, but this time ran into a large Osean naval task force dispatched to destroy the Reichsmarine.  The resulting battle was costly for both sides, mostly in carrier aircraft but nevertheless several ships were damaged.  Miraculously, the Dinsmark was untouched, and no ships on either side were sunk.  The ships made it out of Cresence to another port at Anfang, but the Oseans decided to switch strategies: they placed submarines at the exit of the harbor, which blockaded the Belkan fleet into the harbor.  They would remain here for the remaining five years of the war.

At the end of the war, the Belkan Navy was forcibly downsized, but they were allowed to keep the Dinsmark if only because the war had given the impression that battleships had been rendered obsolete (they weren't so lucky with Dinsmark's sister ship Hofffnung, which was sunk in 1944).

Even so, over the years the Dinsmark was upgraded with newer weapons and fire control systems, allowing the vessel to remain on par with Osea's own upgraded battleships of the Iowa-class.  These upgrades included refitting the ship with sixteen 15-inch guns in four quadruple mounts, the addition of Phalanx CIWS and the replacement of some of the secondary battery with cruise missile launchers.  This allowed the vessel to serve in the Belkan War for a few weeks, but in April of 1995, the Dinsmark took a hit from a cruise missile that rendered it non-seaworthy for the remainder of the war.  In 2015, the Dinsmark served as part of the Belkan Expeditionary Force sent to assist Emmeria, providing fire support for allied troops with its 15-inch guns and Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The Second Osean Continental War saw the Dinsmark being pressed back into service one final time, with additional upgrades in the form of chemical lasers as additional anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense (though they were quite capable of sinking smaller vessels the size of a Frigate when used at maximum power output).  The vessel's primary purpose was similar to the Anean Continental War in providing long-range fire support for ground forces, in one case bombarding the Osean capital city of Oured and wiping out an entire armored division almost single-handedly, as well as denying the intended retreat of Osean marines via amphibious transports, which were promptly sunk by the Dinsmark's new chemical lasers.  A month or so after the capture of Oured, however, Dinsmark and the rest of the Belkan 1st Fleet came under withering air attack, the Dinsmark barely escaping Oured's harbor with severe damage before retreating north for repairs.  The last deployment of the Dinsmark happened months later with Belka on the defensive; it an the Belkan 1st Fleet, now fully-operational again, were to bombard a coastal city that had been encircled by the Osean Army, trapping no less than 50,000 Belkan soldiers in the city.  The Dinsmark's skipper was only informed of this order once nearly within range to fire, and refused to fire on the city due to the risk of killing Belkan soldiers.  When threatened with a court-marshal by the political liason on board, he countered by having said liason confined to his quarters by MPs; according to Osean personel onboard nearby ships as well as pilots above, not to mention survivors of the Belkan 1st Fleet, the Dinsmark pulled ahead of the fleet and turned perpendicular to them, blocking the fleet's advance in a manner similar to the Yuktobanian Frigate Pitomnik five years ago, the skipper ordering the Rear Admiral in charge of the fleet to stand down and return to port.  In response, the 1st Fleet's Missile Cruisers opened fire on the Dinsmark, with Dinsmark refusing to return fire; after a withering barrage of gunfire and missiles, Dinsmark capsized and sank, taking its entire crew with it.  The horror of what happened made it back to other sailors, and soon, much of Belka's Navy was suffering a mutiny, with entire FLEETS defecting to join the Allied Forces.  There are some who say that this single action was one of the key reasons for Belka's final defeat.

After the war, Dinsmark was raised and repaired, as it was a hazard to cargo vessels operating in the area, a memorial being erected where it had sank to commemorate the actions of her crew; what bodies could be found and identified were returned to their next of kin, the others being intered in a mausoleum just outside of the city that is also the ship's namesake.  Today the Dinsmark is a museum ship, never again to fire a shot in anger.

Specifications

Class and Type: Dinsmark-class Battleship

Displacement: 41,700 tons standard, 50,300 tons fully-loaded

Length: 823 feet

Beam: 118 feet

Draft: 31 feet standard

Powerplant: 12 Wagner superheated boilers; 3 geared turbines; 3 three-blade screws developing 150,170 shaft horsepower

Speed: 30.01 Knots during trials

Range: 8,870 nautical miles at 19 knots

Compliment: 103 officers, 1,962 enlisted men

Armament (1944):

  • 8 × 15 in guns (4 x 2)
  • 12 × 5.9 in guns (6 × 2)
  • 16 × 4.1 in guns (8 × 2)
  • 16 × 37 mm AA guns (8 × 2)
  • 12 × 20 mm AA guns (12 × 1)

Armament (1995):

  • 16 × 15 in guns (4 x 4)
  • 12 × 5.9 in guns (6 × 2)
  • 8 x 20 mm Phalanx CIWS
  • 26 x Tomahawk Mk.I Cruise Missiles

Armament (2018):

  • 16 x 15 in guns (4 x 4)
  • 12 x 5.9 in guns (6 x 2)
  • 8 x Phalanx CIWS
  • 18 x Tomahawk Mk.IV Cruise Missiles
  • 4 x Chemical Lasers (2.5 Kilowatt maximum output)
  • 6 x Vogel Mk.II UCAVs


Armor:

  • Belt: 13 in
  • Turrets: 14 in
  • Deck: 3.9-4.7 in


Aircraft Carried (removed in 1950): 4 x Arado Ar 196 Floatplanes

Aircraft Facilities (removed in 1950): 1 x Double-Ended Catapult

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