The Deutschland-class was politically very effective, and had a lot of combat potential; it was misused, though, and had a lot of shortcomings.
I am thinking of a timeline in which the German naval design department is not as badly screwed over by the post-Great War turn of events as it was IOTL, and thus manages to produce a better design for the Panzerschiffe that allows it, in turn, to become more effective in Herr Hitler's maritime adventures.
Specifically, what I want is:
- A displacement of between 10,000 and 15,000 tons standard - the Reichsmarine wants to at least look like it is keeping to the Versailles treaty.
- A main armament of six 11" guns in two triple turrets, as per OTL. However, the type of gun and the shells they fire can be modified.
- A top speed of 30 knots - faster than what was possible IOTL, so that the ships can keep pace with later cruiser types.
- A range of at least 9000 nmi at 20 knots - note that this is 1000 nmi less than what the OTL Deutschlandswere capable of.
- For this and the above point, the powerplant choice is up to you.
- Enough 5.9" secondary armament, so that the ships can handle a River Plate-style scenario where they have to fight multiple enemies on two sides at once.
- A minimum of 6 torpedo tubes, to be a credible threat.
- Enough armour to be resistant to at least 6" shellfire, and 8" shellfire at long range.
- At least two scout aircraft and the capacity to store both of them.
- Good seakeeping.
- The ability and space to be upgraded with whatever you want.