I lost a reply to two people the first time so one at a time now. Another way of looking at it was that the British sacrificed armor and perhaps some firepower to get more speed on a battleship sized hull. The Germans sacrificed firpower and perhaps some armor to get the speed. One could argue that the German designs were really fast battleships but the Germans called them battlecruisers so I'll go with their designation. If that were the case why weren't they lableled battlecruisers by the Germans? Not really. They had no where near the firepower of a contemporary US battleship nor were they much faster than the newest US battleships. Much the same can be said of a heavy cruiser. Furthermore they fit well into the evolution of curisers. The RN's pre Washingtion treaty heavy cruiser designs were to have 9.4" guns and the Germans built some heavy cruisers between the wars with 11" guns. The Alaskas were scaled up Baltimores and fit well into the evolution of curisers in the USN. I would argue that the British got good service out of their BCs during the war as did the Japanese. Furthermore while Hood was unlucky so was Mutsu and at least Hood was engageing an enemy at the time. It's worth noteing that the rational for building the Alaska's included hunting down a similar class that the US though the IJN was building. As for commerce raiding combined arms proved very effective here as elsewhere when well executed.