Week. Those ships were designed and built in response to the Lion class. Despite being 2-3 years newer they were armed with 12" guns rather than 13.5" guns, were a full knot slower in optimal conditions, the main armour scheme was extremely comparable (all or nothing my arse. The belt in Derfflinger was 3.9"-11.8" while Lion was 4"-9"). As with all German ships at the time, I'm willing to bet stores and crew quarters were dire compared to the RN standards, afterall they only needed to cruise into the North sea and pick a fight as opposed to policing the largest maritime empire the world has ever known.The Derflinger Class ‘Battle Cruisers’ were faster, 27kts vs 20kts, as well armed, 12” guns, and as well and often better (and better disposed) armoured , 12” vs 9-12” as many Battleships in the Home Fleet.
the ‘Battle cruiser’ as we built it, little armour, big guns, fast, were obsolete before they left the slips. The future was the ‘fast battleship’, big guns, all or nothing thick armour and fast. The pre war Derflingers, 1912/13 vote, were very much ‘fast battleships’ and pointed the way to the future.
Ultimately calling both types of ships "Battlecruisers" is misleading as they were designed to completely different rolls. The German ships were short endurance commerce raiders needing to be fast protected and sufficiently armed to defeat the light convoy escorts they expected to find, a task they would have done well. Their secondary roll was as fleet scouts during which they got chewed up and suffered horrendous damage. RN ships on the other hand were expected to be a quick reaction force to commerce raiders, fast and manoeuvrable enough to respond, sufficient range and crew endurance to stay on station for a good long time, and armed to ruin the day of anyone they encountered. As the Battle of the Falklands I mentioned above proves, they did that task spectacularly. Their secondary roll of fleet scouting was dubious not because of the ships' designs, but because of the politically connected shit-wit given command of the scouting formation. Had someone competent been in that roll from 1914, who had trained his crews properly, the German battlecruiser force would have had a short and exciting war as despite the heavier levels of protection, it wasn't up to stopping 13.5" and 15" shells our battlecruisers would have been chucking at them.