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While Z.51 was a testbed for diesel propulsion, the Type 1944 destroyer was a production class of large, diesel powered destroyers. They were planned to have a revised armament, with six 128 mm C/41M dual purpose main guns, and an all-new anti-aircraft armament, with three 5.5 cm Gerät 58 intermediate calibre anti-aircraft guns and a close-in armament of 14 30-mm cannon in seven twin mounts, with eight torpedo tubes.[7][8]

Six of these ships (Z.52Z.56) were laid down in 1943, but none were completed, being abandoned and broken up on the slips.[7] A further two ships (Z.57 and Z.58) were abandoned before construction started.[8]

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