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Ditch Kriegsmarine, allocate resources to Luftwaffe

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  • Ditch Kriegsmarine, allocate resources to Luftwaffe

    ...would the war turn out any different? Good or bad? Why waste precious resources in a theater of war you absolutely cannot win? There were a lot of Kriegsmarine officers that would've made great pilots, while uboat crewmen could have been turned into ground crewmen, mechanics, security and even special ground combat elements like the Hermann Goering panzer division that fought in North Africa and Italy. The same for civilians who worked in the Uboat pens, or all of that skillful labor wasted building the Tirpitz and Bismarck could have been put to work on aircraft assembly lines.

    Think about it. Instead of a large U-boat fleet, a few dozen destroyers, a handful of light cruisers and a couple battlewagons the Germans could have solidified an air force that was already world class. More fighters, dive bombers, medium bombers and ground attack aircraft would've helped. But, perhaps, a large bomber force could have been created and maintain with the Kriegsmarine resources pooled into the Luftwaffe.

    Forget the sea, dominate the air and land.

  • #2
    Ditch what was, dollar for dollar the best strategic warfare investment the Germans made in the war?

    Without a u-boat threat hundreds, literally, of allied escort ships don't need to be built. ASW aircraft are not necessary. All that effort goes into other war supplies (landing craft, tanks and strike aircraft for example).

    Convoying ships made them safer in wartime, but at a cost in efficient delivery of their cargo over sailing independently:
    "... An analysis of United States coastal trade convoys was made, using the ships at sea during June 1943 as a sample. It was found that on the average a convoyed ship spends 43 per cent of its time in port and 57 per cent at sea. Of the time in port, 46 per cent is spent in waiting for convoys to form. Of the time at sea, 19 per cent could be saved by allowing the vessels to proceed independently at their rated loaded speeds. Consequently, if all these ships were routed independently, the same amount of goods could be transported within the shipping system in 69 per cent of the time required with convoys (which were rather small and had a cycle of about 5 days). Hence, the cargo carried by the convoyed ships was only 69 per cent of what could have been carried by them if they had been sailing independently."
    http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/...51/ASW-10.html

    Thus without a threat from the Kriegsmarine, we can assume that all the material required for Neptune/Overlord was delivered in roughly 70% of the time it took historically. So D-day could have been ready sometime between the spring and fall of 1943 (depending on when we consider shipments of material started in earnest).

    There were inefficiencies in the German naval strategy. But the better strategy was not in conceding the seas to the allies.
    Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

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    • #3
      Usually, this kind of question fall under the Alternate history section, so don't be surprised if your thread is moved there.

      KM was the sole arm to operate at strategic level. Less Subs mean UK more able to support USSR in war in the East opening days. It also allow RAF to attack German industry with more strength, probably partially negating Luftwaffe gains. More Commonwealth land forces are also available for North Africa.

      Overall if a sea power can affect a land power through blockade, a land power can almost do nothing against a sea power. This is why Germany was a mixed power (like France) even before WWI.

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      • #4
        Perhaps a change in KM's building program would have been more efficient? Converting the Tirpitz into U Boats could have been a more efficient use of resources? The problem with producing more aircraft is the growing lack of fuel for training pilots. The Luftwaffe had to transfer manpower to the Heer to make into Infantry Replacements. The KM also had to provide manpower as well. Many of the divisions rebuilt for the Ardennes Offensive were built from these resources. By the end the KM had several "Marine Divisions" as well.

        Pruitt
        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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        • #5
          The U-boat force was the most effective weapon the Germans employed in the economic battle that was WW2. I have read that it took 7 times the amount of resources to counter the submarine threat campaigned to build it, was literally the only chance to stalemate the Allies once the truly awesome economic power of the USA fully entered the war.

          Forgive me for not taking the time to provide the citations, the hour is late and I am growing tired (or just lazy) lol.
          If war is Hell, why was the Eastern Front so damned cold??!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Read about Operation Drumbeat which was the German counterpoint to Pearl Harbour - a U boat assault on American shipping on the Eastern seaboard which caught the US Navy completely unprepared and sank very large numbers if ships. That it did not do even more damage was not down to any rapid effective US response but due to the fact that the Germans were to allocate far too few U boats to it. They need to build more submarines not scrap them. They would probably have been better off putting the resources that went into Tirpitz and Bismark etc into U boats
            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MarkV View Post
              Read about Operation Drumbeat which was the German counterpoint to Pearl Harbour - a U boat assault on American shipping on the Eastern seaboard which caught the US Navy completely unprepared and sank very large numbers if ships. That it did not do even more damage was not down to any rapid effective US response but due to the fact that the Germans were to allocate far too few U boats to it. They need to build more submarines not scrap them. They would probably have been better off putting the resources that went into Tirpitz and Bismark etc into U boats
              Those two ships tied up the attention of much of the Home Fleet in the North Atlantic just by being. Your point of the German happy times along the US coast could have been a real defeat for the US/UK if the KM had deployed two or even three times the boats.
              "Ask not what your country can do for you"

              Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

              you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                Those two ships tied up the attention of much of the Home Fleet in the North Atlantic just by being..
                And what exactly would the home fleet have been contributing to the defeat of Germany otherwise?
                Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                  And what exactly would the home fleet have been contributing to the defeat of Germany otherwise?
                  Not being built etc. The very same argument you used for not building the Tirpitz and Bismark. Then again the Japanese still had a navy threatening large parts of the Empire that were left hanging out on the vine with out much protection from the RN and much closer to the tea supply as well.
                  "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                  Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                  you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                    Not being built etc. The very same argument you used for not building the Tirpitz and Bismark. Then again the Japanese still had a navy threatening large parts of the Empire that were left hanging out on the vine with out much protection from the RN and much closer to the tea supply as well.
                    No that doesn't work - most of the capital ships of the home fleet predated the German ships and those that were sent out to protect Malaya didn't last long against air power.
                    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                      No that doesn't work - most of the capital ships of the home fleet predated the German ships and those that were sent out to protect Malaya didn't last long against air power.
                      Both the German ships were also prewar designs and built prewar.
                      "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                      Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                      you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                        Both the German ships were also prewar designs and built prewar.
                        Not the point they were still later than most of the home fleet which would still have been built even if they had not
                        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                          And what exactly would the home fleet have been contributing to the defeat of Germany otherwise?
                          He shoots he scores! My point exactly! You cannot defeat the Germans simply by having a giant navy, sorry. You need to invade and start land campaigns. If the Luftwaffe was accordingly THREE or even FOUR times stronger. The U.S. and U.K. Strategic bombing campaign would simply become far too costly for the allies. They would have never invaded Europe without superiority of the air.

                          The allies can build all the ships they want, send millions of troops to the British Isles, but they're not going to cross the channel with the Luftwaffe in control.

                          Strategic bombing really hurt Germany in 43 and 44. You stop that dead in its tracks before it even gets rolling and you potentially have a different outcome to the war. Also, the Battle of Britain may very well have turned out differently. Luftwaffe could bomb shipping at will too, don't forget that.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                            Perhaps a change in KM's building program would have been more efficient? Converting the Tirpitz into U Boats could have been a more efficient use of resources? The problem with producing more aircraft is the growing lack of fuel for training pilots. The Luftwaffe had to transfer manpower to the Heer to make into Infantry Replacements. The KM also had to provide manpower as well. Many of the divisions rebuilt for the Ardennes Offensive were built from these resources. By the end the KM had several "Marine Divisions" as well.

                            Pruitt
                            Yeah but didn't a lot of those ships use fuel? How much fuel was put into that large U-boat fleet? Convert it to aviation fuel (yes its very possible) and ship it inland to Luftwaffe facilities. Send another air fleet to Rumania to protect German interests (oil fields) there.

                            Also, a lot of the manpower used in building worthless ships could've been used elsewhere. From transportation industry to riflemen, AA Gunners, coastal battery garrisons, etc.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Zowert View Post
                              He shoots he scores! My point exactly! You cannot defeat the Germans simply by having a giant navy, sorry. You need to invade and start land campaigns. If the Luftwaffe was accordingly THREE or even FOUR times stronger. The U.S. and U.K. Strategic bombing campaign would simply become far too costly for the allies. They would have never invaded Europe without superiority of the air.

                              The allies can build all the ships they want, send millions of troops to the British Isles, but they're not going to cross the channel with the Luftwaffe in control.

                              Strategic bombing really hurt Germany in 43 and 44. You stop that dead in its tracks before it even gets rolling and you potentially have a different outcome to the war. Also, the Battle of Britain may very well have turned out differently. Luftwaffe could bomb shipping at will too, don't forget that.
                              Do you really think the RAF and USAAF wouldn't have reacted differently and concentrated on their long range fighter programs?

                              Changing fuel oil into avn gasoline requires refineries, something that Germany didn't have in abundance. The LW could have but had few aircraft for attacking shipping and this also comes down to action and reaction.

                              Most shipping/ports were out of range of the LW in the UK. The RAF would
                              have reacted to those attacks as would the USAAF.

                              Try as you might, Germany could not have won even with your apparent wishful thinking.
                              "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                              Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                              you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                              Comment

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