To all German shipbuilding firms:
It is the consensus of the General Staff that a war with Great Britain is practically inevitable within the next decade. Being an island nation, the UK is a natural fortress that cannot be taken in traditional land offensive, meaning it must instead be starved into submission, via a naval and air campaign. Unfortunately, in the time available to us, we cannot match the strength of the of the Royal Navy, so must concentrate our available resources on destroying British mercantile shipping. Much of this will be accomplished by U-boats and aircraft, but the Reichsmarine is in agreement that a surface component is also needed. Regrettably, large, powerful vessels aren't an option, as these will be too easily countered by the numerically superior Royal Navy. Instead, a new type of vessel is required, a pure raider designed for no other purpose.
Besides having the speed and range required for lengthy operations on the high seas, such a vessel must be inexpensive enough to be built in the required numbers. This means sacrificing such things as armor, complex fire control arrangements, and limiting main armament to produce a reasonably cost effective design that won't tie down too many resources needed elsewhere.
With regard to speed and range, a 39-40 knot top speed is required to ensure being able outrun any RN cruiser by a comfortable margin, while a minimal range of 20,000 nm @ 17kts will be needed for this type of work. All of this needs to go on a hull displacing no more than 3-4,000 tons standard.
Main armament should be sufficient for fending off destroyers, and sinking merchant vessels, but not so heavy as to encourage ship captains to fight when they should run, particularly against enemy cruisers. To this end, an armament of 4x150mm guns in either four single mounts or two twin turrets is judged sufficient for the task. Torpedoes in either twin or quadruple mounts are also considered essential, and provisions for underwater or otherwise concealed tubes should be given consideration. AA armament needs to be sufficient for fending off aerial attack, so at least a moderate suite is required.
Lastly. due consideration should be given to either A: providing some means by which the unit can disguise itself as a merchant ship, preferably being able to appear as a number of different vessels by means of easily erected screens , and dummy funnels and masts, or B: If the latter option is judged impracticable, then reducing visibility via lowering the raider's silhouette, eschewing features such as tall aerial masts or fire control towers. Any measure which will aid in slipping through the British blockade will contribute heavily to the success and survival of the unit!
The initial order will be for 6-12 vessels, and if successful, The Reichsmarine is prepared to look at putting the design into as high production as machinery output will allow for.
We can't stop here--this is Bat country!
If it's close enough to cast a shadow, I think the flying house wins initiative.
Bronies are like the Forsworn. Everyone agrees that they are a problem but nobody wants to expend the energy rooting them out.
"That is a very graphic analogy which aids understanding wonderfully while being, strictly speaking, wrong in every possible way."