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  • Plan Z Matures

    Dear All,

    I've always been intrigued by the possibilities of the German Plan Z for the Kriegsmarine, so without further flowering up of the question: If Plan Z would have come to pass, how in your opinion would it have altered the course of the war, had the European war broken out in 1941/42? Obviously an expanded KM would not have gone unnoticed by the Royal Navy and others so there is that to consider as well, but from a naval warfare point of view, would Germany have been any better off with a larger surface fleet including at least one carrier and several more Tirpitz type battleships?

    I'm guessing no, that in the long run despite some rather interesting and challenging clashes with the Royal and U.S. Navies, such a force would ultimately have ended in eventual German defeat......what do my fellow ACG's think?
    HONNEUR ET FIDÉLITÉ

    "Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won." - Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.

  • #2
    More RN assets would have been tied up in home waters, that's for sure. But I'm not sure whether that would make much difference, since the Japanese never really seemed inclined to fight it out in the Indian Ocean (barring a few raids of varying scale). Considering what was needed to contain the Italians in the OTL, all the RNs post-WWI capital ships would most likely be concentrated in Home Waters, along with the first of the Lions.

    Here's a thought. With the naval threat at home, would Rodney and Renown have been sent East into such an exposed position?
    Diadochi Rising Wargame:
    King Pairisades I of the Bosporan Kingdom

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Anacreon View Post
      More RN assets would have been tied up in home waters, that's for sure. But I'm not sure whether that would make much difference, since the Japanese never really seemed inclined to fight it out in the Indian Ocean (barring a few raids of varying scale). Considering what was needed to contain the Italians in the OTL, all the RNs post-WWI capital ships would most likely be concentrated in Home Waters, along with the first of the Lions.

      Here's a thought. With the naval threat at home, would Rodney and Renown have been sent East into such an exposed position?
      Thanks for the reply.

      Don't want to sound like a knit picker but do you mean Repulse and Prince Of Wales? HMS Rodney & Renown both survived the war and went to the breakers yard in '48 (or thereabouts).
      HONNEUR ET FIDÉLITÉ

      "Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won." - Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Dogsbody67 View Post
        Thanks for the reply.

        Don't want to sound like a knit picker but do you mean Repulse and Prince Of Wales? HMS Rodney & Renown both survived the war and went to the breakers yard in '48 (or thereabouts).


        That's what I get for posting from the pub! Thanks for the correction.
        Diadochi Rising Wargame:
        King Pairisades I of the Bosporan Kingdom

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        • #5
          Plan Z for the most part was the Kriegsmarine planning to fight WW 1 over again. A battleship based navy was the last thing Germany needed.
          Had they not decided on the near infinite stupidities in design that the Graf Zeppelin had the Germans might have ended up with a decent carrier based navy but that isn't what the top naval brass wanted.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
            Plan Z for the most part was the Kriegsmarine planning to fight WW 1 over again. A battleship based navy was the last thing Germany needed.
            Had they not decided on the near infinite stupidities in design that the Graf Zeppelin had the Germans might have ended up with a decent carrier based navy but that isn't what the top naval brass wanted.
            Agreed, but what a magnificent white elephant it would have been (setting aside the Nazi future it would have been constructed to fight for). It seems almost flippant to say, but U-Boats (and E-Boats) aside, I get the impression Germany was literally out of her depth when it came to naval policy and war aims.
            HONNEUR ET FIDÉLITÉ

            "Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won." - Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Dogsbody67 View Post
              Dear All,

              I've always been intrigued by the possibilities of the German Plan Z for the Kriegsmarine, so without further flowering up of the question: If Plan Z would have come to pass, how in your opinion would it have altered the course of the war, had the European war broken out in 1941/42? Obviously an expanded KM would not have gone unnoticed by the Royal Navy and others so there is that to consider as well, but from a naval warfare point of view, would Germany have been any better off with a larger surface fleet including at least one carrier and several more Tirpitz type battleships?

              I'm guessing no, that in the long run despite some rather interesting and challenging clashes with the Royal and U.S. Navies, such a force would ultimately have ended in eventual German defeat......what do my fellow ACG's think?
              None of Germany's naval plans existed in a vacuum. They were clearly and painfully obvious to everyone with eyes. Had the RN learned of a vastly accelerated German Naval building program, they would have simply accelerated their own plans and passed naval appropriations bills in Parliament to counter them, as was done in the pre-war days of WWI. "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction."
              "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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              • #8
                I've followed perhaps a dozen of these 'Plan Z' threads in the past decade. The vary in details but the bottom line is the the German build a fleet just right for 1926 or maybe 1932. While the Brits have a fleet 15 to 20 years advanced with six to eight modern aircraft carriers vs two or three resembling the Graf Zepplin. The battle resembles those of the Pacific where one or the other sides carriers were absent or degraded. Think of the death ride of the Yammoto. Plan Z would be a even bigger waste than the plan for the High Seas fleet or Tirptz.

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                • #9
                  If what was planned by Adolf Hitler these are the numbers and when Plan Z was to have been completed.

                  The Z-Plan was Germanys fleet building program started shortly before World War 2.

                  In the mid 1930s a major discussion about a new fleet program started in Germany. There were two major opinions, what kind of program should have been chosen. One plan was focused on a large submarine fleet and a relatively small surface fleet for coast protection, this plan was preferred by the U-Boat fraction in the Kriegsmarine command. The other alternative was a mixed fleet of various surface ships and a much smaller U-Boat fleet, quite similar to the Imperial Navy in World War I or the British Royal Navy. In the end, this plan was chosen as the new fleet building program, after several modifications it was called the "Z-Plan".

                  According to this plan, the German Kriegsmarine should have grown to about 800 units, consisting of 13 battleships and battlecruisers, 4 aircraft carriers, 15 Panzerschiffe, 23 cruisers and 22 so called "Spähkreuzer" which were basically large destroyers. In addition to this many smaller vessels should have been build.

                  Those ships should have been build between 1939 and 1946, in this time, the personal of the Kriegsmarine should have been enlarged to 201.000 men and over 33 billion Reichsmark should have spend for building the new units.

                  This project never got reality. Its very questionable that the German industry would have had the resources for such a construction program and that the other European Nations would stood still and not react to this program. The realization of the Z-Plan started on January 29th, 1939. Two H-Class battleships were laid down, three months later Germany quit the the fleet treaty with England and the dream "No more war against Britain" was gone.

                  But only four months later Germany attacked Poland and work on all Z-Plan projects was stopped. During the next months, all incomplete ships of the Z-plan were scrapped and the material was used to build additional submarines.


                  What is interesting is that this grand plan still pales into insignificance of the Royal Navy, the Royal Navy could outbuild the Kriegsmarine.

                  Also Hitler would have to find the money somewhere as stated it would cost in new construction and modernization of existing ship would have cost 33 billion Reichmarks. Another thing is that Hitler would most likely not commit such a valuable expensive asset against the enemy.

                  Section in blue comes from www.german-navy.de

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                  • #10
                    2 things
                    1. My god look at that RN now also La Royale
                    2. The Point. Germany needs Panzers and aircraft not Battleships and Carriers. What the hell are they going to do with that navy. Don't mention that word. Building Plan Z means the Heer and Luftwaffe are on a vine and are not going to get you to Paris

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                    • #11
                      The short answer: Nazi Germany crashes and burns much quicker.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                        The short answer: Nazi Germany crashes and burns much quicker.
                        Yeah. If we want to be more flowery, we might ask, with what money and raw materials are they going to get that? Taking into account that in January 1939, Schacht wrote to Hitler, telling him to cut military spending or risk that crash within months.


                        Originally posted by johnbryan
                        None of Germany's naval plans existed in a vacuum. They were clearly and painfully obvious to everyone with eyes.
                        To put things in perspective, I have Ruge's Der Seekrieg here. He notes how the London Naval Agreement gave the Germans scope for

                        184,000 tons of battleships,

                        Among the other Cuckoo-kingdom-in-the-clouds Plan Z stuff he mentions:

                        10 50,000-ton battleships (500,000)
                        12 20,000-ton battleships (240,000)
                        3 10,000-ton battleships (30,000)
                        Total for battleships: 770,000.

                        Even in a later version that replaced the 12 medium battleships with 3 30,000-ton battlecruisers, the total is 620,000 tons. A tad higher than 184,000.
                        Michele

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                        • #13
                          I need to convince some of my friends to game this one sometime.

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                          • #14
                            I dont think a mature plan Z would have changed the outcome of the Atlantic War but having the war start a year latter would have allowed England, France and Russia the time they needed to re arm up to the German levels and maybe Blitzkreig would not been so succesful.

                            Death bed last words. Always pay the Legions, Septimius Severus.

                            http://www.greatmilitarybattles.com/...d_war_two.html

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ITALICA ONE View Post
                              I dont think a mature plan Z would have changed the outcome of the Atlantic War but having the war start a year latter would have allowed England, France and Russia the time they needed to re arm up to the German levels and maybe Blitzkreig would not been so succesful.

                              Death bed last words. Always pay the Legions, Septimius Severus.

                              http://www.greatmilitarybattles.com/...d_war_two.html
                              The Germans wouldn't have had the steel to build much else. While a dictatorship can arbitrarily fix the rate of exchange and the prices, unless there is a war on not even a dictatorship can spend much more than it earns without risking serious internal economic problems. The cost of the Z Plan that Michele has listed would not have been cheap and either the Heer or the Luftwaffe wore rags. And the fuel bill would have been astronomical, unless they were operating coal burners.

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