The Admiral Hipper-class was a series of five heavy cruisers of which three served with the Kriegsmarine of Germany in World War II, one was sold unfinished to the Soviet Union in 1940, and one was converted to an aircraft carrier but never completed. The lead ship, and thus the class, was named after Admiral Franz von Hipper.
The Admiral Hipper class ships, while comparable to heavy cruisers of other navies and considered[by whom?] handsome ships (indeed, the class bore great resemblance to battleships of the Bismarck-class), suffered from some problems and were thus unsuited for some[which?] of the circumstances of World War II. Designed as part of a larger Kriegsmarine (Plan Z), in practice they were required to perform either as commerce raiders or support units to other naval units and ground forces, proving themselves effective in the latter role. As commerce raiders, however, they were hampered by insufficient range, lacking the cruising diesel engines of the Deutschland class cruisers (sometimes referred to as "pocket battleships"). Additionally, their power plants were unreliable. Admiral Hipper was affected by machinery breakdowns in the Atlantic and North Sea, restricting her effectiveness. Prinz Eugen suffered engine problems during Operation Rheinübung after separating from the Bismarck, causing her to terminate her anti-commerce cruise.