Hind sight is that building battleships for use as surface raiders was a very bad investment. They were always going to be out numbered; the British could afford the one to one trades (Hood for Bismarck). and would throw everything available at them to every time they sortied. Additionally any battle damage, even as limited as three hits from Prince of Wales could ultimately prove fatal. The limited number of available U-boats came close to finishing the British, so more might have been decisive. Note that the British respond to German “heavy ships” was building battleships and that this resulted in fewer anti-sub vessels and anti-surface raider cruisers. Instead of building battleships I propose the following as a much better investment. Note that I am including the “pocket battleships” since the British tended to over react and think of them as “heavy ships”. The as built German heavies were two battleships, two battle cruisers and three pocket battleships, or a total of seven. The battleship’s heavy guns have a long lead time so let’s start with them. Take Bismarck and Tirpitz’s sixteen 15 inch guns, eight turrets, and replace Scharnhorst and Gneisenau’s six turrets. This will make the two fast battle cruisers a major threat that the British have to respond to. This would make available four 15 inch guns, in two turrets, and eighteen 11 inch guns, in six turrets. Note that Deutschland, Admiral Graf Spee, and Admiral Scheer have eighteen 11 inch guns, in 6 turrets. Now take the 100,000 tons of steel used in the two battleships (50,900 tons each). Build four “Super Pocket Battleships” at 15,000 each. The Graf Spee’s are 12,000 tons each, with two engines giving 27 knot, so the additional 3000 tons can be used for one more engine and improving armor. Arm three “Super Pocket Battleships” with two each 11 inch gun turrets and one with two 15 inch gun turrets. Take 40,000 tons steel and build twenty U-boats. You now have two battle cruisers, three pocket battleships and four “Super Pocket Battleships” or a total of nine, and twenty more U-boats. Could this be enough difference to win the war for Germany?