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Imperial German Navy is victorious in all naval engagements

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  • Imperial German Navy is victorious in all naval engagements

    All,

    What would it be like if the German Imperial Navy was victorious in all the Naval Battles during WWI?

    Dogger Bank - They sink 6 BBs of the Royal Navy, at a loss of two BBs and the AC Blucher.

    Justland - The sink all 4 BCs, 5 BBs of the Royal Navy at a loss of 3 BBs and 1 BC.

    Falklands - The surprise the British Navy at anchorage in the Falklands and sink they entire fleet.

    Would make it very difficult for the Royal Navy to claim superiority of the seas.
    Kevin Kenneally
    Masters from a school of "hard knocks"
    Member of a Ph.D. Society (Post hole. Digger)

  • #2
    Jutland had some potential....some. Dogger Bank had some as well for the Germans to have done better.

    Falklands.....they're ed! Battlecruisers versus armored cruisers isn't so much outmatching as it is an order of magnitude difference. The only way Von Spee's squadron survives is if the Brits screw up and head to a wholly wrong location, thereby allowing his squadron to forcibly recoal and move on somewhere else. That is all. Von Spee cannot possibly take on the force bearing down on him, and only by their errant move can he dodge them effectively.
    Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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    • #3
      Well, for a start, the phrase "there's something wrong with our bloody ships today" would have been used a hell of a lot more. .

      Also, what are those BBs doing at Dogger Bank?

      But even after all that, the Germans are still outnumbered. Using your numbers, at the end of 1916, the RN have 22 BBs and 5 BCs left to the German 14 and 4.
      Diadochi Rising Wargame:
      King Pairisades I of the Bosporan Kingdom

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kevin Kenneally View Post
        All,

        What would it be like if the German Imperial Navy was victorious in all the Naval Battles during WWI?

        Dogger Bank - They sink 6 BBs of the Royal Navy, at a loss of two BBs and the AC Blucher.

        Justland - The sink all 4 BCs, 5 BBs of the Royal Navy at a loss of 3 BBs and 1 BC.

        Falklands - The surprise the British Navy at anchorage in the Falklands and sink they entire fleet.

        Would make it very difficult for the Royal Navy to claim superiority of the seas.
        Gotta ask, does that also include the USN from 1917 onwards, because the German Navy never really ventured out after 1916, basically by 1917 the German Navy was pinned in their safe havens for the duration.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Kevin Kenneally View Post
          All,

          What would it be like if the German Imperial Navy was victorious in all the Naval Battles during WWI?

          Dogger Bank - They sink 6 BBs of the Royal Navy, at a loss of two BBs and the AC Blucher.

          Justland - The sink all 4 BCs, 5 BBs of the Royal Navy at a loss of 3 BBs and 1 BC.

          Falklands - The surprise the British Navy at anchorage in the Falklands and sink they entire fleet.

          Would make it very difficult for the Royal Navy to claim superiority of the seas.
          I dont see how the HSF would be able to achieve that ?
          At Jutland the germans fought valiently but were also INCREDIABLY lucky and got away with the bulk of their fleet intact.
          Even in your scenario loss of 3 BB ( assuming dreadnoughts and 1 BC ) would have been devastating to the HSF ! remember they have only 16 dreadnought BB at Jutland.The RN can build dreadnoughts faster than germans and even this ratio will not change the overall situation i.e HSF is bottled up in the North sea

          At Falklands they have no chance, unless you are also changing the RN ships involved ( esp the battlecruisers)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
            basically by 1917 the German Navy was pinned in their safe havens for the duration.
            Actually since 1914 except for some cruisers

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kevin Kenneally View Post
              All,

              What would it be like if the German Imperial Navy was victorious in all the Naval Battles during WWI?

              Dogger Bank - They sink 6 BBs of the Royal Navy, at a loss of two BBs and the AC Blucher.

              Justland - The sink all 4 BCs, 5 BBs of the Royal Navy at a loss of 3 BBs and 1 BC.

              Falklands - The surprise the British Navy at anchorage in the Falklands and sink they entire fleet.

              Would make it very difficult for the Royal Navy to claim superiority of the seas.
              For this to have happened, you'd have also to say that the British never recovered German code books and thus did not have access to German naval communications. Virtually from the outbreak of the war, British code experts had actual German code books in hand and were able to "read [the German's] mail".

              Dogger Bank could well have turned out a major victory for the Germans if not for the code readers. IIRC, the German plan was to conduct a bombardement of the English coast by their BC fleet with the goal of drawing out Beatty's BC force and possibly a single detachment of British dreadnoughts in support. The High Seas Fleet's main body would be waiting just over the horizon in perfect position to ambush the British and reduce the capital ship disparity in one fell swoop. But Jellicoe was forewarned by the code readers and sortied much of the Grand Fleet in support of Beatty. It was by the narrowest of margins that the German trappers did not themselves become entrapped.

              I would agree with the poster above who said that, unless you change the British order of battle, the Falklands would not have turned out differently.

              As for Jutland, the wonder isn't so much how the Germans managed not to lose as it is the British managed not to win. Part of the reason was the differences in construction techniques between Britain and Germany. Germany built its ships to withstand heavy damage if sacrificing a bit of offensive capability; the British built their ships to hit hard and rely on speed and maneuverability to avoid being hit. Also, British safety practices as regards gunnery were notoriously lax. Scheer also had much better overall tactical control of his fleet (Hipper performed brilliantly) than Jellicoe did over his (Beatty was appalling). Unless Scheer was willing to sacrifice many more of his ships- and he was under orders not to do so- it's tough to see how he could have done much better than he, in fact, did.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mustapha View Post
                As for Jutland, the wonder isn't so much how the Germans managed not to lose as it is the British managed not to win. Part of the reason was the differences in construction techniques between Britain and Germany. Germany built its ships to withstand heavy damage if sacrificing a bit of offensive capability; the British built their ships to hit hard and rely on speed and maneuverability to avoid being hit. Also, British safety practices as regards gunnery were notoriously lax. Scheer also had much better overall tactical control of his fleet (Hipper performed brilliantly) than Jellicoe did over his (Beatty was appalling). Unless Scheer was willing to sacrifice many more of his ships- and he was under orders not to do so- it's tough to see how he could have done much better than he, in fact, did.
                Communication between different Grand Fleet units was abysmal. Beatty pretty much ignored his Queen Elizabeths and thus made over half his combat power irrelevant to the BC engagement at Jutland, he also neglected to give Jellicoe accurate positions of his force or the HSF, meaning that Jellicoe deployed his fleet more via guesswork than anything. During the night action most of the GF were unaware how close the HSF were, because the engaging units neglected to inform them.

                Another problem was that British armour-piercing shells tended to shatter on impact, rather than penetrating. Hipper himself admitted that this was all that saved the Germans from catastrophe.

                Safety in ammunition handling was mainly a problem with the battlecruisers, rather than with the Royal Navy as a whole. It had been a problem with the German ones, too, but after they almost lost Seydlitz to flash fires at Dogger Bank (only flooding the magazines saved her), they addressed the problem.
                Diadochi Rising Wargame:
                King Pairisades I of the Bosporan Kingdom

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Anacreon View Post
                  Communication between different Grand Fleet units was abysmal. Beatty pretty much ignored his Queen Elizabeths and thus made over half his combat power irrelevant to the BC engagement at Jutland, he also neglected to give Jellicoe accurate positions of his force or the HSF, meaning that Jellicoe deployed his fleet more via guesswork than anything. During the night action most of the GF were unaware how close the HSF were, because the engaging units neglected to inform them.
                  Agreed totally.

                  Beatty at Jutland was much like Stuart at Gettysburg.

                  Another problem was that British armour-piercing shells tended to shatter on impact, rather than penetrating. Hipper himself admitted that this was all that saved the Germans from catastrophe.
                  I had forgotten that but you're absolutely right.

                  I read an excellent book on WW I naval warfare ("Castles Of Steel") and the author made mention that the British had no idea just how bad their shells were until the comments made by German officers at a dinner with Swedish diplomats made it back to England. New shells were designed but arrived far too late to be of any use.

                  Safety in ammunition handling was mainly a problem with the battlecruisers, rather than with the Royal Navy as a whole. It had been a problem with the German ones, too, but after they almost lost Seydlitz to flash fires at Dogger Bank (only flooding the magazines saved her), they addressed the problem.
                  Also from that same book, the author describes gunnery in the Grand Fleet as almost a "cult". The quickest way to advance through the ranks in peacetime was to excel in gunnery- not only in accuracy but also in rate of fire. One of the ways to increase the rate of fire was to have the chain of materials necessary to fire completely open and unobstructed from the magazine all the way to the turret. It worked, but it left British ships hideously vulnerable to flash fires from turret hits travelling all the way to the magazine and causing catastrophic explosions. That is the scenario that led to the loss of three battlecruisers and at least one armored cruiser at Jutland.

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