The Ultimate Series is a totally hypothetical Design concepts based on a 'what if' or 'what could have' principle.
The ultimate 'H-series' is based on the where development may have gone in German Battleship design if a number of real world events did not happen.( a 'what if' situation) In this you have to ignore certain events that lead up to WW2 that halted the development process.
Before we go on trip into fantasy land we should look at what actually existed and little focus that has placed on the timeline.
If you focus on design timeline of the Bismarck you will come to realization that the American designs indicated 14" main guns, so therefore the Bismarck was not designed to tackle the modern U.S. 16' inch battleships.
Germany's first response to the modern fast battleships of the USA was suppose to be the 'H39' laid down after the launch of the Bismarck.
Her main guns would have gone someway to equalize the existing differences but would have the armor extended the immune zone against the Americans?
As she would have been able to just pass through the Kiel canal the height restrictions associated that would have come into play. Contrary to published accounts the Germans did not desire a squat profile they were FORCED by their unique strategic concerns.As the operational immune zone started at 30,000 m increasing to their max range for the Bismarck this 'squat profile' restricted the visible horizon available which restricts viable gunnery range. You have to remember that radar is restricted by curvature of the earth and the height of the radar antenna at the top of the tower and it's transmitting power set the range. Still combat range is limited to visual range as target identification is required and spotting planes were NEVER used in any surface action of the War.
Fig 1 represents the H39 design as commonly published. The 3D modelling matches data.
From what is published the German 16" canon could seriously damage the armor of the US hulls at ranges under 25,000 meters, except the changes to the H39 hull armor still require or they would have to maintain a distance greater than 30,000 meters with the 2700lb super heavy AP shell.
What sort of armor would be required to resist this heavy weight shell? According to the information available from websites like Navweap.com charts, the side armor greater than 450mm to reduce immunity to 25,000 meters and deck armor of at least 215mm to safely get there.
Hull displacement would be approaching 180,000 tons and we would start to have problems like finding a port capable of docking a ship of that size. Hence the increase in size of further designs may have been a function more to do with 'known factors' than any madness of the High Command.
Initial designs of what I consider to be
a more realistic review. Starting with the design of the Drydock. The only completed one was the Elbe 17. So an design restriction starts with the dimensions of that dock. The only variable here is depth of draft. The North Sea close in to the German cost line would have required deep channels to be maintained to allow for year round navigation.
I still think that the 53cm experimental canon is the largest realistic option available.
To float the required armour array designed to with stand western 16 inch canons the following dimension results as follows:
350m x 57m x 14m displacement = just shy of 180,000 metric tons.
Shafts are protected by Skifs and the inner shafts are covered either side by the outer shafts and there are two sets of double rudders and engine arrangement as in pocket battleships using the MAN V designs stated to be under development. Dual purpose 128mm canon design based on the diesel engined Z destoyer class. Secondary is based on the 203mm canon as it clearly out classed the 150mm weapons historically fitted. AAA is a in cloesd turret design ; Quad 30mm. Personally I don't think it is too far fetch.
It was suggested that if I was seriously going to do this, "I better not forget the internal decking etc. so as far as the CAD programme will allow I have included as much decking/zones and armour arrays based on what I can research from historical records publically avialable which I put thru the best simmulation programmes in regards to penetration I could find.