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  • The Ersatz Yorck class was a group of three battlecruisers ordered for the Imperial German Navy in April 1915. The name derived from the fact that the lead ship was intended as a replacement for the armored cruiser Yorck lost to mines in 1914. They were a slightly enlarged version of the Mackensen-class battlecruiser, armed with 38 cm guns as opposed to the 35 cm weapons on the preceding design. The boilers would have been trunked into a single massive funnel. The three ships were originally ordered as part of the Mackensen class but the design was changed when details of the British Admiral-class battlecruisers became known to German intelligence. The vessels were ordered under the provisional names Ersatz Yorck, Ersatz Gneisenau, and Ersatz Scharnhorst. They were considered to be replacements for the armored cruisers Yorck, which had been sunk by German mines in 1914, and Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, both of which had been sunk at the Battle of the Falkland Islands also in 1914. As with the Mackensens, the three ships of the Ersatz Yorck class were never completed. This was primarily due to shifting wartime construction priorities; U-boats were deemed more important to Germany's war effort, and so work on other types of ships was slowed or halted outright. The lead ship, Ersatz Yorck, was the only vessel of the three to have construction begin, though she was over two years from completion by the time work was abandoned. With the hull incomplete, the ship could not be launched and towed to ship-breakers; as a result, Ersatz Yorck was broken up in situ.

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