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  • German carriers

    What if in the 30s the German navy concentrared on Graff Spee class ships and a/c carriers.
    Wack tac mac hey.
    Regards.
    Grishnak.

  • #2
    Originally posted by grishnak View Post
    What if in the 30s the German navy concentrared on Graff Spee class ships and a/c carriers.
    My dear poster no offence to you but I don't see how germans could have dont that.Setting aside the fact it would have been a political disaster and would have led to british and french invading germany in 1936, germans simply DID NOT have resources to pursue an ambitious ship building program.Germans needed panzers and aircraft more urgently than battleships and AC, and even they were in short supply in 1939.Personally I think germany having a true blue water navy in 1939 fit to challenge the RN or even french navy is about as impossible as Joseph Stalin having a flotilla of flying saucers.

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    • #3
      I was thinking along the lines of no heavy capital ships,those being replaced by carriers thus retaining tha consraint of the same tonnage as actualy produced.As to that course of action leading to war in the middle 30s wasnt the thinking before Taranto and Pearl Harbour that big gun capital ships would be the decisive weapon in future navel warfare ,therfore a switch to carriers would lead to a de-escalation of tension.Further to th what if being that said ships would be at sea previous to the invasion of Poland.
      Wack tac mac hey.
      Regards.
      Grishnak.

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      • #4
        You may have something here...

        Originally posted by grishnak View Post
        I was thinking along the lines of no heavy capital ships,those being replaced by carriers thus retaining tha consraint of the same tonnage as actualy produced.As to that course of action leading to war in the middle 30s wasnt the thinking before Taranto and Pearl Harbour that big gun capital ships would be the decisive weapon in future navel warfare ,therfore a switch to carriers would lead to a de-escalation of tension.Further to th what if being that said ships would be at sea previous to the invasion of Poland.
        Building a light carrier on the hull of a panzership would allow a commonality of components.

        Ideally, the aircarft handling systems would have been liscensed from Japan.
        The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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        • #5
          Well, if the Germans built carriers on the design of the Graf Zeppelin they would have spent a great deal of time rebuilding them in the late 30's to make them usable.
          The flight deck system of the Graf Zeppelin using trolley catapult launched aircraft would have quickly proven a failure and would have required a major rebuild of the ship that would likely have lasted more than a year.

          Building a smaller carrier on a Graf Spree style hull would have been a mistake. Those ships are fairly small for their tonnage mostly due to the heavy armor and main battery. You'd end up with a pretty marginal light carrier as a result.

          In any case, what is your reasoning for them doing this? What would be the intend end use of such ships in a conflict? How would they be used and in what sort of strategy?

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          • #6
            An independence class carrier

            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
            Well, if the Germans built carriers on the design of the Graf Zeppelin they would have spent a great deal of time rebuilding them in the late 30's to make them usable.
            The flight deck system of the Graf Zeppelin using trolley catapult launched aircraft would have quickly proven a failure and would have required a major rebuild of the ship that would likely have lasted more than a year.

            Building a smaller carrier on a Graf Spree style hull would have been a mistake. Those ships are fairly small for their tonnage mostly due to the heavy armor and main battery. You'd end up with a pretty marginal light carrier as a result.

            In any case, what is your reasoning for them doing this? What would be the intend end use of such ships in a conflict? How would they be used and in what sort of strategy?


            good point- the advantage would have been range & speed. Ther trade off:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indepen...rcraft_carrier
            The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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            • #7
              I was unclear in the first post as i did not intend that the carrier should be built to same size as the Graff Spree type.The carriers would presumably be of the Graff Zepplin type.My change in timeline being that the Germans build the carrier arm of their intended new High Seas Fleet beforethe big gun capital ships of the intended fleet.The use of these three or four fleet carriers (supported by the panzer ships)being to attack convoys and support the U Boat arm in the Atlantic.Could they have put up a better show than the actual big gun ships.
              Wack tac mac hey.
              Regards.
              Grishnak.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by grishnak View Post
                Could they have put up a better show than the actual big gun ships.
                No.
                Кто там?
                Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
                Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

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                • #9
                  As the British found out, sending a carrier out without a strong anti-submarine defense results in the loss of the carrier. The Germans didn't have the destroyers that could do this.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by grishnak View Post
                    I was unclear in the first post as i did not intend that the carrier should be built to same size as the Graff Spree type.The carriers would presumably be of the Graff Zepplin type.My change in timeline being that the Germans build the carrier arm of their intended new High Seas Fleet beforethe big gun capital ships of the intended fleet.The use of these three or four fleet carriers (supported by the panzer ships)being to attack convoys and support the U Boat arm in the Atlantic.Could they have put up a better show than the actual big gun ships.
                    Given that they have one or more carriers of the Graf Zeppelin design their problem becomes two-fold:

                    1. The biggest strike a single carrier can launch is about 12 airplanes due to the limitations in trollies and catapult design. If the trollies get damaged there are few reserve ones and without them you cannot launch aircraft at all.
                    While this is probably not a deal breaker in 1939 -40 it is in 1941 -42. If a Graf Zeppelin or two ran into say the Ranger and a Sangamon CVL or two the Germans would find themselves overwhelmed in the air. 4 to 8 Me 109T are not going to stop a 30 or 40 plane strike from US carriers or the RN equivalent.

                    2. Maintaining the air wings. Given the pilot shortages the Luftwaffe has, that the Luftwaffe is insisting on retaining control of the aircraft on these carriers and, that the aircraft themselves by 1941 are pretty marginal the German carriers would be less than highly useful.

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                    • #11
                      Followed this question on a couple of other forums. The general conclusion one is led to is a German carrier, or two, or even three make little stratigic difference. One problem is the small size of the German designs, then there are the various pecularities, like the trolley for moving aircraft, and the compressed air catapult.

                      As raiders the general fire power of these is marginally little more than that of the big gun ships, and the carriers have insuffcient armored protection. getting caught by suprise by a couple of light cruisers spells trouble, caught by anything larger is the end. Since air reconissance by the carriers wing is only useful in daylight hours, and when the North Atlantic weather allows getting caught by a lighter ship with 12 or 15 cm caliber guns is a possibility.

                      The Graf Spee, or the Scharnhorst & Geisneau were well protected, so the Brits were not aggresively hunting them with smaller ships. It looks like the carriers, even with destroyer escorts, would be as nearly vulnerable as the disguised merchant cruisers.

                      My thought is the best use of the German carrier/s would have been within the North Sea and Baltic. On the North Sea a carrier & escorts could have sortied out to stalk and ambush British reconissance and ASW aircraft. By destroying a portion of those the carrier would aid the submarines and surface ships attempting to reach the North Atlantic. ie: If the Brits cant investigate the Norwegian fijords they have less warning of a sortie of a surface raider like the Scharnhorst or Bismarck.

                      In the Baltic a carrier might have added a small weight to German Army Group North as it advanced through the Baltic states in 1941. In the Arctic it might have added a few more aircraft to the harassment of the British convoys.

                      It makes more sense for Germany to focus instead on preparing larger more capable submarines and long range maritime strike bombers than investing in these mega ships like carriers & battleships.
                      Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 09 Dec 12, 19:44.

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                      • #12
                        I agree that the Graf Zepplins were crap so far as carriers of the era are concerned. However, with some tech transfer from Japan, some redesigning, and a little (ok a lot) luck, you might be able to break out into the Atlantic with 1-2 decently good carriers.....in 1940.

                        That's when they'd do the most good. England's got the lion's share of her best pilots and planes fighting the Luftwaffe over English Skies and the channel. They don't yet have all the tech in place to really hunt U-boats effectively (it's coming on fast though). And at this one juncture a CBG out in the North Atlantic would be terrifying. Suddenly the convoys are being hit harder and by threats from the air and under the sea. Planes and subs are natural partners....neither's attacks are particularly threatening to the other, they stay out of each other's way, and the planes function as scouts for the slower subs that don't have radar or masts to observe from.

                        That's what I'd do in this scenario. Go all out during the BoB. It's the best time to put surface combatants at sea....plus it could cause the Home Fleet to stay in close to home out of fear of (that word that shall not be mentioned).
                        Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by grishnak View Post
                          I was thinking along the lines of no heavy capital ships,those being replaced by carriers thus retaining tha consraint of the same tonnage as actualy produced.As to that course of action leading to war in the middle 30s wasnt the thinking before Taranto and Pearl Harbour that big gun capital ships would be the decisive weapon in future navel warfare ,therfore a switch to carriers would lead to a de-escalation of tension.Further to th what if being that said ships would be at sea previous to the invasion of Poland.
                          While the perception exists that this was an option for the Third Reich, the reality is far different.
                          First off as Terry (T.A. G) has already pointed out, the Germans conception of how to operate aircraft from a ship deck was painfully (and typically, as per many of their "systems") over-engineered; especially when viewed relative to the most efficient manner to get a "Flugzeugtraeger" into service...on a realistic timescale. Once the concordat (agreement) had been reached with the UK in 1935 as to tonnage proportions (obviating the Versailles limitations in the process), Germany started laying large keels, at full capacity.

                          With hindsight, they should have put this effort into ocean-going (Typ. VII/ Typ. IX) U-Boats, while laying down only the Hipper class keels...and at least twice the number of destroyers.
                          Admittedly, such an action on Germany's part would have required a degree of obsfucation so as to not "ruffle the feathers" of Whitehall.

                          As it were (IOTL), Germany went to war in 1939 with 57 U-Boats; a large (~60%) proportion of these were Typ.II, only suitable for service in "littoral waters"...i.e. the Baltic, North Sea and coastal areas.
                          Yes, I agree that the Two "Improved Baden's" (B & T) and the woeful twins (S & G) did keep the RN's Home Fleet "occupied" during their tenure.

                          Imagine the utter chaos that would have been extant (from September 3 forward) if Doenitz had 100+ "blue water" subs available?

                          And now on to the pre-emption of the obvious rebuttal..."the German torpedoes didn't work properly, so where's the gain?"

                          Well, if you massively expand the deployed force (and by doing so, increase the numbers who achieve firing solutions, only to be foiled by poor performance of the primary weapon?), then this "issue" will receive attention in a far more "timely" manner then was per the historical.
                          Submarine actions in the historical "Wesseruebung" operation provide strong corroboration for the point I'm making here. Many, many "booten" gained solutions and experienced guidance/demolition failures. And from this, it was sorted. If you have the numbers at the onset of the conflict...50 or 60 experienced "dolphins" returning to base, bitching about their torpedoes?

                          In other words, it moves it all forward...and "Churchill's folly" off the coast of Norway, becomes a bloodbath of epic proportions. The potential existed in the OTL, but for the torpedo issue.

                          Also? The potientiality for the political fallout can not be overlooked...perhaps Churchill (as First Lord of the Admiralty) gets politically ostracized,if the attacks that failed historically (due to weapons malfunctions) actually succeed?

                          And that opens up a whole other kettle of fish, during such a pivotal moment in our recorded history.

                          It's also true that the absence of "Salmon & Gluckstein" might have had implications on how the RN approached operative matters vis-a-vis Norway. HMS Glorious would have lived...or would she have been torpedoed?

                          Bottom line? The RN was already short on Destroyers (at the time) and their ability to detect and destroy a sub that can crash dive to 250m and then exit the area on electric motors was non-existent.
                          That and also treble the historical fleet of "Hilfskreuzers" that were operating on the LOC's of the UK.

                          Winston Churchill would not survive this and the "war" (as we know it) would be far different.

                          And no, this is not "Deutschland uber Alles".

                          It makes no difference. Imagine the reaction in the USA if the UK was well and truly "going down", by the summer of 1940?
                          FDR would be there...Congress be damned.

                          And Germany would fail.

                          It would actually make it better for the USSR, if the USA is forced to intervene earlier than they did historically.

                          Make no bones about it, the perception of the global threat presented by Hitlerism was already well recognized in the White House and America would do whatever was required to continue their own inexorable march to their own global dominance/hegomony.
                          In my opinion? FDR played WSC like a fiddle; he destroyed the UK as a global power to the benefit of American corporate interests. Hitler and Stalin were mere "bit players" in this whole sordid story. America did not have the manpower...but they had something far better. Machines.

                          Lots of machines. Maybe they weren't quite as good as the German ones...who cares? You can't stop such a mechanism from it's ultimate purpose. Especially when such a unifying cause is presented before you on a silver platter. That reprehensible dick must have been rubbing his hands in glee the whole time. The records on the "Cold War" show the sad truth of the matter.

                          "Missle Gap"? Riiight...
                          Delivery capability? Gee I don't know? Who has a fleet of 700 B-47's when the USSR is still trying to get the Il-16 through IOC and weapons qualifications? I was poisoned by this bullshit during my upbringing but I'm seeing the realities now.

                          Back to the topic? WWII made the USA what it was during the 1950's-70's

                          And the advent of "gobalization" brought it down.

                          And here we sit in 2012...at least the Germans know enough to "stay in their own lane"; so do the Russians. The others are pissants...except for the Chinese.
                          The one big matter that is not looked at, is the fact that FDR (and the excessive "needs" of the "Cold War") sucked America's "conventional" oil supply dry in pusuit of the "national interests". Thus begat the current situation. Look at the millions of tons of JP4 expended during the 1950's and '60's, in the pusuit of "peace through strength". Look at the video's of the MITO (minimal interval take-off) exercises with all of those inefficient J47's sucking tons of jet fuel, as we practised for an evetuality that would never happen.
                          Want to place blame for the global warming phenom? Call SAC.
                          ]
                          "The number you have reached is not in service at this time" LOL!
                          48 trips 'round the sun on this sh*tball we call home...and still learning...
                          __________________________________________________ __________________

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                          • #14
                            What would a German carrier use for fighter aircraft? Everything that I have read about the Bf109 was that its narrow landing gear was tough on an airfield, what would it have been like on a pitching, rolling carrier?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by johns624 View Post
                              What would a German carrier use for fighter aircraft? Everything that I have read about the Bf109 was that its narrow landing gear was tough on an airfield, what would it have been like on a pitching, rolling carrier?
                              Would've been an adventure I wouldn't care to go on, that's for sure.
                              SGT, 210th MP Battalion, 2nd MP BDE, MSSG

                              Fervently PRO-TRUMP, anti-Islam and anti-Steelers!

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