What were the Germans thinking when they started building the Graf Zeppelin? Considering the mindset of some naval theorists of the time, carriers were seen as an experiment that wasted money that was better used building battleships and cruisers. When they were saddled by the restrictions of the Treaty, Germany decided to focus on things like u-boats, which makes some sense when facing the battleship heavy Royal Navy. Build what you can to hit the enemy where he is weak. But the Graf Zeppelin seems really half-baked from the start. Japan, America, and Britain all had fairly mature carrier doctrines, but the Germans seemed to try to reinvent the wheel. Was the Graf Zeppelin a serious attempt with practical use, or just a Kriegsmarine fever dream to do the “popular” thing?