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  • #46
    Some questions, in the spirit of the great Plan Z what if....

    I assume the Kreigsmarine would maintian active operations while the force was being constructed. What impact would repairs have on German shipyard output?

    The carriers. I must admit ignorance of their main design points but British experience showed that if you are going to operate close to shore, i.e in the Baltic or North sea, then an armoured deck is essential to be able to survive attacks from land based bombers and their significantly heavier payloads, both in terms of total payload and weight of each munition.
    I suppose by '45 the Germans would have come up with a better fighter to use that the 109T. Can you imagine trying to land a 109 on a pitching flight deck? The thing was so fragile the gear had to be attached to the fuselage as opposed to the wing just to land on terra firma.

    With the German war effort geared so heavily towards naval construction the allies would, you would imagine, direct their bombing campaign against the industries supplying the shipyards. The bottleneck in any Battleship production is the construction of the guns. How many sites in Germany had the capability to construct the 20in guns Hitler wanted, or the several dozen 16in that he compromised on? How difficult would it have been to disperse the production of these beasts?

    Does Pearl Harbour still happen? If so the 8th USAAF takes up the strategic bombing of Krupp factories and shipyards and the Brits divert resources from Bomber Command to Coastal Command (yeah right, I know, as if the RAF would give up its baby, it's perceived raison d'etre).

    By '45, and with little action on the European ground front to distract them, the US have succesfully prosecuted their "Japan first" strategy. The US Navy now has the lions share of the battle hardened Pacific Fleet available for action against the Germans.

    On the 21st of February 1946, just as the last H Class battleship enters active service having successfully completed sea trials a lone B-29 drops the worlds first atomic bomb on Wilhelmshaven, a week later Kiel. Bugger......

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
      DoD, it's all to do with capital investment. The increases we see in production are due to those investments made five years or so earlier. That capital was only there because of the increasing restrictions on foreign exchange and private consumption (Nazi economic policy).
      I knew I shouldn't have slept through my AP Economics class.

      It just seems that the "capital" could be created by the German government for increasing industrial output artificially beyond what the market would normally support, even though this would have repercusions later on.

      Anyway, I feel like we are splitting hairs here. I believe that Germany could have increased its output in the 40's by a degree if it followed my stipulations; I may be missing the point (and if I am, please enlighten me. I really do want to figure out if I am completely ignoring a part of the puzzle), but it seems that in the aftermath of conquering France, the German economy would be better than it was historically if the Heer was not rapidly increased (more labour, a key factor of production) and German companies were able to trade with the nations surrounding Germany that would not be at war with (like the USSR, Yugoslavia, Greece, etc.) that would help secure more raw resources for industry.

      That would free up some of the demand on German industry by the gov't, allowing them to refocus on producing more capital, especially capital related to heavy industry that would be tied into producing parts needed for ships and aircraft. This would, of course, take time: if you are producing more parts for factories you a) arn't producing parts for ships and b) those new machines take time to set up, train workers for their use, etc.

      It just seems that more available labour, rising demand, and access to the raw resources would be enough to allow Germany to expand its industry.

      One way to get more steel in the mid to late thirties is to lift the restrictions of foreign exchange. But that will reduce investment and so production in 1943.
      I am not going to sit here and claim that by 1945 Germany would be outproducing the US when it came to carriers. Any expansion I have expressed would be on a very, very moderate scale. Most of the Kriegsmarine's expansion would have to come from the same industry it has had for a while, and this would take time and lots of investment by the German gov't. The Kriegsmarine way to optimistic plan for expansion had a set date of completion of around 1945/46. I believe a date like that could be me for the Kriegsmarine, with or without any noticable economic growth, but only if the Z-Plan (or Plan Z. I get contradictory names of the interwebs ) were trimmed down to the essentials and made use of plenty of conversions and ad-hoc measures to get the number of CVs it would need.

      Since this whole idea of having a Kriegsmarine capable of contesting the North Sea with the Royal Navy is a very long term goal (its no contest until the mid-40s at the earliest) I can't concieve how Germany couldn't take the steps to see output increase later.

      And sorry if I am going round and round the same point FM, I'm just trying to figure out whats preventing Germany from expanding its output in fields related to the Kriegsmarine's growth. I can usually grasp the basics of Macro Economics, but I did inherit a think skull from my father.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Fodder76 View Post
        I assume the Kreigsmarine would maintian active operations while the force was being constructed. What impact would repairs have on German shipyard output?
        I'm of the opinion that the Kriegsmarine's operations would, by necessity, need to be very cautious and conservative for the first few years. With the Graf Zeppelin being completed in mid-1941 at the very earliest, it would need to spend a while training crews, getting practical experience launching and recovering aircraft, etc.

        The U-Boats would bear the brunt of the fighting for the first few years imho, but if Germany were expanding its surface fleet it seems logical that they wouldn't be able to produce as many U-Boats.

        The carriers. I must admit ignorance of their main design points but British experience showed that if you are going to operate close to shore, i.e in the Baltic or North sea, then an armoured deck is essential to be able to survive attacks from land based bombers and their significantly heavier payloads, both in terms of total payload and weight of each munition.
        I suppose by '45 the Germans would have come up with a better fighter to use that the 109T. Can you imagine trying to land a 109 on a pitching flight deck? The thing was so fragile the gear had to be attached to the fuselage as opposed to the wing just to land on terra firma.
        I agree. The Kriegsmarine would need dedicated carrier aircraft (and ones under their control ). This is another reason for Germany's carriers to their time training and working out what exactly works and doesn't.

        With the German war effort geared so heavily towards naval construction the allies would, you would imagine, direct their bombing campaign against the industries supplying the shipyards. The bottleneck in any Battleship production is the construction of the guns. How many sites in Germany had the capability to construct the 20in guns Hitler wanted, or the several dozen 16in that he compromised on? How difficult would it have been to disperse the production of these beasts?
        The best bet would be for the Luftwaffe, not having castrated itself in the Blitz and not involved in a war with the USSR, setting up shop covering major German ports and the air over the channel and North Sea. The Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe would have to recieve priority over the Heer, so the Luftwaffe would need to maintain the ability to contest the skies of Europe, especially when fighting on home turf.

        Without Germany needing to send aircraft east, and without the US directly involved in the war with Germany (best case scenario there ) it seems that the RAF's bombing damage would be negligable to German industry. The worst thing for the Kriegsmarine I could imagine would be the RAF targeting the Kriegsmarine ships while at dock, where if they were lucky they could set production back by months.

        Well, the worst would be if the RAF was able to hit one of the ships at sea where Germany couldn't recover it, but that would be much more difficult to do if the ships were out training in the Baltic and not stationary in a port or drydock.

        Does Pearl Harbour still happen? If so the 8th USAAF takes up the strategic bombing of Krupp factories and shipyards and the Brits divert resources from Bomber Command to Coastal Command (yeah right, I know, as if the RAF would give up its baby, it's perceived raison d'etre).
        Germany's best (some would say only) bet would be avoiding war with the US at all costs. If Germany took steps in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor to condemn Japan's attacks or whatnot and didn't declare war on the US, it would be difficult for Roosevelt to declare war on Germany. The US people would want Japan's head on a platter, and Roosevelt would probably be able to increase aid to the UK but a direct intervention would be difficult to justify to the American people ("Look, I know Japan attacked us and Germany didn't do a think but condemn those attacks. But since Germany is clearly the bigger threat to the US, we're going to declare war on them and focus on defeating Germany first.")

        If the US were directly involved in 1940 onwards, German production of ships would be severely hampered because the bombing campaign could easily focus on leveling the shipyards, targeting related industries, etc. and would not rely solely on British produced fighters and bombers contending against the entirety of the Luftwaffe.

        Since the Luftwaffe would still be very strong at this point (no Blitz, no Barbarossa), the RAF and USAAF would both face a daunting prospect that might force them both to adopt the safer but less accurate night missions.

        Yet on the other hand AFAIK tha contemporary fighters in both nations arsenals had the reach to escort the bombers to and from, say, Hamburg.

        By '45, and with little action on the European ground front to distract them, the US have succesfully prosecuted their "Japan first" strategy. The US Navy now has the lions share of the battle hardened Pacific Fleet available for action against the Germans.
        I quite agree. If Germany is at war with the US and UK, then by 1945 all of their work up until this point would be of little consequence even without Barbarossa to distract them. It would turn into a stalemate, with the Allies unable to conduct a successful invasion of Europe (Germany would have the forces of well trained and equiped troops to actually throw them back into the sea) but Germany's Kriegsmarine nothing more than a small threat to the combined RN and USN.

        And then the US would drop Fatman on Berlin. Game over.

        On the 21st of February 1946, just as the last H Class battleship enters active service having successfully completed sea trials a lone B-29 drops the worlds first atomic bomb on Wilhelmshaven, a week later Kiel. Bugger......
        Ha, you beat me too it. I wrote the above sentence before reading this part.

        I cannot agree more here: once the US enters the war on the British side, the clock starts ticking. Germany would need to get a conditional peace before the mushroom clouds start forming, end of story.

        Personally, I believe that Germany could have avoided drawing the US into the war if they (aka Hitler) had really understood the threat the US posed, in the same way they could have defeated the USSR if they had actually take a realistic assesment of what it would take to defeat a nation with so many more available soldiers.

        The US was an isolationist nation. After the attacks on Pearl Harbor the hatred was for the Japs, not the Germans, and its hard to imagine the US people rallying round to attack Germany so soon after being attacked themselves without some kind of provocation.

        Germany expresses outrage at the Japanese attacks, Hitler gives a speech or two on tv, etc. to help keep Germany from seeming like an immediate threat to the US. Roosevelt was no fool, but even he would find it difficult to join in a war without being provoked. Especially as Germany a) wouldn't have attempted the Blitz and be seen as killing civilians and b) the U-Boat campaign wouldn't be as major a threat as Germany wouldn't be able to turn out as many U-Boats as it did historically.

        That in turn might lead the parts of the US Government who actually recognized Germany's threat to believe that they could help defeat Germany just by sending the UK goods and materials it needed by falling back into the whole "Arsenal of Democracy" persona.

        And once Roosevelt dies its hard to imagine Truman being able to get America behind a war with Germany, especially as the "war" would have lasted for 5 years, most of which nothing really happened as Germany would be building up the Kriegsmarine and the UK would be limited to using the RAF to try and damage Germany as they wouldn't be able to free western Europe themselves.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by daemonofdecay View Post
          And sorry if I am going round and round the same point FM, I'm just trying to figure out whats preventing Germany from expanding its output in fields related to the Kriegsmarine's growth. I can usually grasp the basics of Macro Economics, but I did inherit a think skull from my father.
          Like I've posted before, it is what it is. A year ago I may well have agreed with you but after reading Tooze and combining that with other facts I'd come across I realised that the old idea that Speer galvanised a previously inefficient economy into a war powerhouse just had to be wrong. It would require not just irrationality but also gross stupidity and would leave one wondering just how the Wehrmacht expanded to the degree it did in the three or so years prior to the start of WW2. So what one sees is increasing state demands for strategic materiels as the economy is placed on a war footing (even before war starts), the realisation that there is a serious shortfall in the capacity of the economy to meet these demands, a large surplus of funds as a result of Government manipulation of public demand and foreign exchange dealings, and finally, investment of said funds in a number of large scale capital projects that start coming on line just as Speer takes control of armaments production. One might argue that these capital projects could have been started three or so years earlier but that would be at a time when the economy was still emerging from the slump of 1930-3 and available funds were required for other essential projects as well as ensuring that inflation didn't soar again. As I and others have posted previously, read Tooze, not only because he sets the record straight regarding the Nazi economic miracles but also because he reveals the rationale behind many of the Nazi's decisions that can sometimes leave one baffled (the cuts in panzer production in the winter of 1940-1 despite the decision to double the number of panzer divisions being one example).

          Anyway, be that as it may, let's move on (please!) to the Kriegsmarine c.1944 (in the DoD universe), production issues set aside for later, more focussed, threads.
          Signing out.

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          • #50
            Production questions aside, the Graf Zeppelin project was more liability than asset and a waste of resources(include the pocket ships also. Germany's best chance for defeating Great Britain in the early war years was with the subs.

            The GZ was a magnificent looking ship. I have not read much about the project but it seems the Germans did not have proper aircraft for the purpose. I have seen some discussion of fitting JU-87 and 109's for carrier use. Early on these may have been satisfactory. However even before the Allies achieved air parity I don't see the GZ operating effectively. Operating in the Northern sea zones it might have been able to attain a few victories. In the end the British would have hunted it down as it did the Bismarck. Or kept it bottled up and trapped.

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