Key Point: Berlin's battleships didn't have a good chance against the Royal Navy. Nazi Germany might have good submarines, but their capital ships were too few in number.
April 1, 1939, was a red-letter day in the history of the reborn German Kriegsmarine for two key reasons. First, Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler presented the fleet’s chief, Erich Raeder, with an ornate, icon-studded Navy blue baton of office as the first grand admiral since the days of the Kaiser Wilhelm II. This was done with great ceremony and a gala luncheon afterward aboard the new battle cruiser Scharnhorst, anchored on Jade Bay in the former Imperial port of Wilhelmshaven. Second, the Kriegsmarine christened and launched the Third Reich’s newest and most modern battleship, the Tirpitz, on the same day. The Tirpitz, the last battleship the Third Reich would build, was the sister ship to the Bismarck. But the Tirpitz was heavier than the Bismarck. Moreover, it had the distinction of being the largest warship built in Europe up to that point in time.