|Armament||8 x 2 5.9"|
Med. and Lt. AA
|VTS Rating||(1) 2 8 2|
Göring was pleased with the seeming success of the flight-deck cruisers Graf Fitti and Seydlitz, but wanted to take the next step to a full-deck carrier still capable of ship-to-ship combat. When the fast P-class cruisers were being laid down, designers came up with a plan to convert one to Germany's first "real" carrier. Called a "Corsair Carrier", Pommern was designed with many medium-calibre guns and light bomber aircraft for raiding merchant shipping and light escorts, and high speed to escape from escorts stronger than she. Two small lifts and a single hangar deck could handle a reasonable number of the then-standard Arado "Seepferd" dive bombers. High bunker fuel capacity meant long-range independent cruising was possible, unlike many of the newer ships being built for the Kriegsmarine. Her cramped hangar space and small elevators (designed for the diminutive and highly compactable Seepferd bombers) meant that newer, larger aircraft couldn't be accommodated without a drastic reduction in air complement.
Pommern and her gunship sister Posen left Germany just days before the war started and sailed around the cape of Good Hope for commerce hunting. She eluded detection and damage from Allied ships, but was unlucky and unable to disrupt trade to any great extent. Her next mission was to ferry modern German carrier aircraft, destined ultimately for land bases in the Marshall Islands for co-operative training with the Japanese, from Diego Suarez to Bangkok. Mission accomplished, Pommern was sailing back toward the Andaman Islands when the Japanese started their Southeast Asian conquest. Discovering the French seaplane carrier Commandante Teste limping toward Ceylon, Pommern's aircraft sank her but alerted the powerful British hunting group in the area. Luckily for her a Japanese Striking Force met up with Pommern in the Indian Ocean and transferrred a newly promoted admiral Genda on board to direct flight operations as a liason officer. Pommern's aircraft found and sank the damaged British battlecruiser Hood, but an accompanying CV (Venerable)'s fighters took quite a toll. Nearly planeless, Pommern detached from the Japanese fleet to go it alone in hopes of reaching Diego Suarez to resupply. Encountering a small convoy in a storm, Pommern started shelling ships with her 5.9" guns when large shell splashes announced the presence of a battleship. The small American battleship Rhode Island was just on the other side of the convoy and began hitting Pommern at close range in the engine rooms with 14" shells. No match for battleship guns, Pommern was badly damaged and couldn't run. All her crew got off and scuttled the corsair carrier.