So, a different interpretation of the original plans.
Different color scheme aside, a few notes on the differences: Although shown differently, I made the turret base thicker, matching the original design for the triple 203mm-turret. The crane booms are thinner, matching the plans, although it is questionalble if they would have been strong enough. Also the catapults remain in the flat, basic form, they were noted as 'placeholders' on the original plans, as catapults to launch bombers would have yet to be developed. Overall, I decided to leave out any more details than necessary, including equipment that should have been added, like boats or additional rangefinders.
As for the retrieval of the planes: Since land-based bombers could not land on water, the cruiser carried a 200m inflatable landing strip with glass-fiber reinforced touchdown point. The whole landing strip would be towed via a torpedo-shaped submersible towing array, electrically powered and controlled via cable from the cruiser. It was connected via a 200m towing net with ropes to calm the seas in front of the strip.
So you think it was done without requisition from HQ as private idea?
I don't think it was that uncommon for private companies or individuals to submit 'suggestions', however, the Kriegsmarine was relatively hostile towards those and showed relatively little interest. (Given the fact that they recieved suggestions like this Bomberkreuzer, that is no surprise). The "Kleinflugzeugträger" by Dr. Dräger I did a while ago was of a similar origin, I think.
I would say that by 1940 there was not yet a need to keep people 'busy' at home to avoid the Eastern Front (it didn not start unitl 1941). However even at this point institutions and projects were shut down because of teh war effort, so submitting designs like those could have been a way to prove 'useful' and 'necessary' to contiue working. Of course with the war being so successful be 1940, it would have not been impossible either that these designs, however impossible they might been, were simply done by people who wanted to do their 'patriotic duty' and support their nation.
Any help and source material is always welcome.