German Navy's Aircraft Carrier

German Kriegsmarine 1935-1945.
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Troy Tempest
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Post by Troy Tempest » Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:11 am

Who knows what would have happened if the KMS Peter Strasser was also completed along with the KMS Graf von Zeppelin? A nicely rounded commerce raiding battle group of the two carriers, the Bismarck and the Tirpitz plus escorts.....hmmm!

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Post by Tiornu » Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:23 am

I think it's a bit of overkill for operations in the Baltic, and it would have been hopeless in the Atlantic.
I still wonder how things might've been different if the German navy had specialized in Baltic coastal/amphib operations instead of Mahanian nonsense.

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Post by Troy Tempest » Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:43 am

Hi Tiornu, why do you say it would have been useless in the Atlantic?

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Post by Tiornu » Mon Nov 13, 2006 3:11 am

The Germans themselves considered GZ inadequate for Atlantic operations.
Any sortie like the one you describe would entail a massive logistics effort after Rheinubung had established the futility of such things.
The Allied forces available by the time these German ships could be ready would be overwhelming.
The KM never had sufficient ocean-going escorts.

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Post by Andy H » Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:53 pm

Generalderpanzertruppen wrote:Who knows what would have happened if the KMS Peter Strasser was also completed along with the KMS Graf von Zeppelin? A nicely rounded commerce raiding battle group of the two carriers, the Bismarck and the Tirpitz plus escorts.....hmmm!

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and in what year are you proposing such a battle group?

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Post by Troy Tempest » Mon Nov 13, 2006 4:51 pm

Hi Andy, well, as it's purely hypothetical, I'm proposing the carriers would have been finished by 1940, along with the Bismarck and Tirpitz. Firstly they could have provided great cover for the invasion of England, and if that didn't work out, 1941 could have seen Atlantic duty, or in the Med, for the taking of Crete, Malta then Gibralter. Or even 1942, in the Fuhrer's sudden rush of pro-Japanese solidarity, they could have steamed round to the Pacific, via the Indian ocean! On the way they could wreak a little havoc around Australia, maybe join in with a combined operation to reclaim their former colony of New Guinea before powering out to the Coral Sea or Midway! Purely hypothetical of course.....

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Post by Tiornu » Mon Nov 13, 2006 5:20 pm

I think you'll need to add 2-3 years to your timetable. Keep in mind that the Germans had made serious miscalculations on the GZ hull and had to make significant alterations. Then there's the preparation time to learn how to use an aircraft carrier.

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Post by Troy Tempest » Mon Nov 13, 2006 5:52 pm

I know that Luftwaffe pilots were trained by the Japanese in carrier operations, take-offs etc, but do you know if any ships personnel were also trained on Japanese carriers, learning how to actually sail them? Or were any staff officers trained for operations by the Japanese?

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Post by Tiornu » Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:00 pm

The Japanese did not train any German pilots for carrier operations. Where did you hear that? The Japanese offered to provide the Germans with more carrier info, and the Germans turned them down. Oy!

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Post by Troy Tempest » Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:13 am

Sorry Tiornu! :oops: I had it in my mind that that was the case, but I have checked my meagre sources on the Toni's and can find no mention of it at all, I have already filled in my request for immediate transfer to the Eastern Front!

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Post by Andy H » Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:15 am

Generalderpanzertruppen wrote:Hi Andy, well, as it's purely hypothetical, I'm proposing the carriers would have been finished by 1940, along with the Bismarck and Tirpitz. Firstly they could have provided great cover for the invasion of England, and if that didn't work out, 1941 could have seen Atlantic duty, or in the Med, for the taking of Crete, Malta then Gibralter. Or even 1942, in the Fuhrer's sudden rush of pro-Japanese solidarity, they could have steamed round to the Pacific, via the Indian ocean! On the way they could wreak a little havoc around Australia, maybe join in with a combined operation to reclaim their former colony of New Guinea before powering out to the Coral Sea or Midway! Purely hypothetical of course.....

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The proposed usage during Seelowe would have been to draw away heavey fleet units from any proposed dash south. However the British had determined to defeat Seelowe with Destroyer Flotillas and a cruiser support. So I would propose that there effect on the actual outcome on Seelowe would have been zero. If they (the Germans) had headed south in direct support, then they would be heading for certain destruction. Be that by submarine, mine, land based aircraft or a naval engagement.

Getting the fleet into the Med would be an achievement in itself. Once in though, it would never leave. The Italians could have done with the AC's but the BB's weren't required in the Med, since Italy had enough of her own.

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Post by phylo_roadking » Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:46 am

Although....1941 showed the RN how vulnerable the idea of destroyer/cruiser flotillas were, around Crete, to air attack. And given that Seelowe wouldn't have been launched until air superiority was achieved, the RAF/FAA air cover element would have been sadly lacking. Whereas the land-based Luftwaffe in anti-shipping mode would have been as effective as ever. Seelowe would have been a three- or four-day naval battle of attrition, as the air war had been before, but the end would have been certain - what WASN'T certain was the amount of damage that would have been done to the invasion force and materiel itself; IF it had been attrited to the point at which the British Army's planned coastal defences (ha!) could have stopped it, fine....or even weakened it to the point at which the GHQ and other stop lines would in the end have halted it, fine....but THAT is something we'd only ever have known from the other side of the propesed event....
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Post by Paul Lakowski » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:27 pm

phylo_roadking wrote:Although....1941 showed the RN how vulnerable the idea of destroyer/cruiser flotillas were, around Crete, to air attack. And given that Seelowe wouldn't have been launched until air superiority was achieved, the RAF/FAA air cover element would have been sadly lacking. Whereas the land-based Luftwaffe in anti-shipping mode would have been as effective as ever. Seelowe would have been a three- or four-day naval battle of attrition, as the air war had been before, but the end would have been certain - what WASN'T certain was the amount of damage that would have been done to the invasion force and materiel itself; IF it had been attrited to the point at which the British Army's planned coastal defences (ha!) could have stopped it, fine....or even weakened it to the point at which the GHQ and other stop lines would in the end have halted it, fine....but THAT is something we'd only ever have known from the other side of the propesed event....
Air superiority was not a requirment of Sealowe...that was political. Raeder had always said it was doable even up until second week in september provided the Luftwaffe bombarded the RN ports and Coastal RAF feilds prior to launch. Luftwaffe doctrine never ever required airsuperiority prior to attack, as long as they suppress the enemy long enough to gain forced entry that was enough. When Goering Hitler elected to go for London instead of filling Raeders requirement the whole thing became moote and it was obvious Hitler was favoring Goerings terror war instead of invasion. That was his choice.

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Post by Troy Tempest » Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:31 pm

Andy H wrote:The proposed usage during Seelowe would have been to draw away heavey fleet units from any proposed dash south. However the British had determined to defeat Seelowe with Destroyer Flotillas and a cruiser support. So I would propose that there effect on the actual outcome on Seelowe would have been zero. If they (the Germans) had headed south in direct support, then they would be heading for certain destruction. Be that by submarine, mine, land based aircraft or a naval engagement.
I don't know Andy, didn't the Luftwaffe effectively close the English Channel during daylight hours leading up to the start of the Battle of Britain? The Stukas & Ju 88's showed they were more than capable of taking the fight to the RN Destroyers, as they showed again in the Med, so I don't think that the destroyers would have necessarily been that decisive, especially if the Kriegsmarine had launched all her own remaining Z-boats and S-boats, so who knows?

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Air superiority was not a requirment of Sealowe...that was political. Raeder had always said it was doable even up until second week in september provided the Luftwaffe bombarded the RN ports and Coastal RAF feilds prior to launch. Luftwaffe doctrine never ever required airsuperiority prior to attack, as long as they suppress the enemy long enough to gain forced entry that was enough. When Goering Hitler elected to go for London instead of filling Raeders requirement the whole thing became moote and it was obvious Hitler was favoring Goerings terror war instead of invasion. That was his choice.
Paul, I thought the decision to bomb London and give up on the so-far successful strategy of attacking airfields, docks etc, was Hitler's, not Goring's? Didn't Churchill sucker the Fuhrer into bombing London after the accidental bombing of London by the Luftwaffe, in which Churchill launched an attack on Berlin, knowing full well that Hitler would respond in kind on London, thus saving Fighter Command and handing victory in the Battle of Britain over to the English?
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Post by Andy H » Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:57 pm

I'm not getting into the Seelowe debate fully, but only to the point you made about the German AC's & BB's possible involvement. The main bulk of the RN heavy fleet units remained at Scapa, and other northen bases. The RN intended to use DD & CA/CL's for the main intial anti-invasion role.

Thus getting back to your point, the role of a German AC/BB battle group in Seelowe. Its role would be purely diversionary, to draw off any possible surge south by RN heavy units.

As of 16/09/40

Vessels under repair or refitting are marked *

HOME FLEET (ADM CL Forbes)
2nd BS: Nelson (C-in-C), Rodney, Barham
BCS (VADM WJ Whitworth): Hood(F), Repulse (RA(D))
Aircraft Carriers: Furious, Argus
1st CS (VADM JHD Cunningham): Devonshire (F), Australia (RAN), Berwick, Norfolk, Sussex*, Suffolk*
2nd CS (VADM ATB Curteis): Galatea (F), Aurora, Cardiff
15th CS (RADM ELS King): Naiad (F), Bonadventure
18th CS (VADM LE Holland, RADM EN Syfret): Manchester(VA), Southampton(RA), Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh*, Fiji*
1st M/LS (RADM WF Wake-Walker): Southern Prince, Menestheus, Port Napier, Port Quebec, Agamemnon
1st M/SF: Bramble, Britomart, Hazard, Hebe, Speedy, Seagull*
Destroyers (RA(D) RHC Hallifax)
3rd DF (Capt P Todd): Inglefield, Duncan, Echo, Eclipse, Electra, Escapade, Isis
4th DF (Capt PL Vian): Cossack, Maori, Sikh, Zulu, Fame*, Fearless*, Foxhound*
6th DF (Capt C Caslon): Somali, Ashanti, Matabele, Tartar, Bedouin, Punjabi, Eskimo, Mashona*
12th DF: Keppel, Achates, Amazon, Arrow, Active, Antelope, Douglas, Ambuscade*, Anthony*
23rd Div: Cattistock, Eglington, Holderness, Quorn
Submarines (VADM Sir Max Horton)
2nd SMF (Capt GCP Menzies): Taku, Talisman, Tigris, Tribune, Tuna, Cachalot, Porpoise, Trident*, Triumph*
3rd SMF (Capt P Ruck-Keene): Seawolf, Snapper, Sunfish, H 49, Wilk (PO), Sealion*
6th SMF (Cdr JS Bethell): Sturgeon, Swordfish, Ursula, Utmost
7th SMF (under VADM(S)): Otway, Upright, H.31, H.32, H.33, H.34, H.44, H.50, O.9(NL), B.1(NO), Oberon*, H.28*, O.10*(NL)
9th SMF: Clyde, L.23, L.26, O.21(NL), O.22(NL), O.23(NL), O.24(NL), Rubis(FFNL), Severn*

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