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Biggest mistake of the Kriegsmarine: not putting any aircraft carriers into service.

Discussion in 'Atlantic Naval Conflict' started by DerGiLLster, May 13, 2016.

  1. green slime

    green slime Member

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    The grey point marked as "NEMO" is the Pacific Pole of Inaccessibility; that is, the point furthest from any known land mass in the Pacific Ocean.
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Good place for a party then...
     
  3. DerGiLLster

    DerGiLLster Member

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    Yes, I would be referring to that.
     
  4. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    How? 76 U-Boats were sent to the Med, 7 were lost trying and 62 got in, of which 61 were lost, with the last interned by the Spanish. They got there by going around from Germany and France through the Straits. Do you think the Germans were too stupid to not "just" build them at Mediterranean ports?

    The Italians built their own submarines. Are the Germans supposed to us them? Or build more Italian boats? How does that work? Do you know the history of Italian manufacture of German designs?

    Are all these "300" German-Italian submarines produced at the same time? How?

    How does your fantasy work?
     
  5. DerGiLLster

    DerGiLLster Member

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    Fantasy? You just exclaimed how they lost a good number trying to enter the ME from the straits. With the location of the ME, the uboats would not be as inhibited by the range and would have more cover from aircraft. It would be a tough situation for Britain.
     
  6. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but this is your fantasy starting point. Nobody speaks of the Germans "making 300 U-Boats", they speak of around 1,154 (including 50 coastal-type). The problem is, only 19 oceangoing U-Boats were operational on 1 September 1939. Which was the "Beginning". In the first 12 months of the war exactly 21 joined them. Another 75 in the second year. Another 162 in the third year. Another 211 in the fourth year. Another 222 in the fifth year. And another 108 in the last 9 months and then Germany was kaput.

    Notice that only 818 of the 1,154-odd completed actually were ever operational.
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I believe that he is talking about Dönitz's wish for 300 U-Boats instead of a surface fleet...
     
  8. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Donitz stated that 300 operational U-boats would give Germany enough of a force that would/could cut off effective transport of goods/foods to the UK and thereby force them to the peace table if available at the start of the conflict. The plan such as it was, was to not enter a conflict until 1942 or later, which might have made this a reality. After the conflict did erupt in 1939, Donitz maintained that the 300 number would indeed fulfill his prewar promise, but it could not because by the time he reached 300 the Allies had ramped up their ASW countermeasures.

    For Donitz to reach the 300 number by September 1939 that would require a prewar decision to allocate resources from other items, realistically the large surface ships under construction since you would need the shipyards/slipways. That would certainly provide the materials, but the space might not be enough to reach 300 in time. A further complication is the lead time to make a U-boat operational after construction. No seacraft required more training to properly operate than a submarine.

    As to construction in Italian shipyards, much the same plays through, Italy would have to choose between her surface fleet and submarine fleet. There is a further complication in that Italian submarines did not have a great war record and there is some indication that compared to German designs they were left wanting, not as maneuverable or as quick diving. Nor were they likely to simply build German designs since prior to 1939 they were not that close politically to fully integrate and Italian arms manufacturing was not keen to import German designs even after Italian models were proven wanting.
     
  9. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Dönitz was wrong of course :in march 1943 Germany had 400 U Boats which resulted in 45 patrolling in the N orth Atlantic . .To have 100 patrolling in NA, the total number needed would probably be the double = 800.And why would more UBoatfs patrolling in the NA result in more sinkings of merchant ships and not in more sinkings of U boats ?
     
  10. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but no. as of 1 March 1943, 226 U-Boats were operational with combat flotillas. Of those, 49 sailed on patrols...and 66 were still on patrols, which had sailed in February, returning in March, April, and May...so 115 were on patrol in the month of March. :cool:
     
  11. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    No = on early march 1943 the situation was the following :

    there were 400 Uboats

    52 for basic training

    119 for advanced training

    7 experimental boats

    222 front-line boats

    of which 182 "in the Atlantic "

    68 at base

    44 en route

    70 on combat patrol of which 45 were patrolling the North Atlantic convoy routes :'( = 11 % of 400

    Boats en route or at base or not operational .

    Source = Hitler's War Chapter IV note 29 referring to "Brennecke :Die Wende im U-Bootkrieg Ursachen und Folgen 1939-1943 P 367 .
     
  12. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, never mind, I should have realized when I posted:

    on the other thread that you of all people wouldn't have sense. I just in my sleepiness last night didn't recall you were posting similar nonsense in two different threads.

    So yes, as usual, your response is illogical, goal-post shifting, and poor use of sources.

    You are indeed very quickly getting yourself moved to the do not call list.
     
  13. RHP

    RHP New Member

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    So true. Not until the sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse did the Allies began to realize that the battleships were useless against the Carriers. One could argue that only Japan had put much faith in the prowess of Aircraft Carriers since the beginning of the conflict, and they were proven right again and again.
     
  14. RHP

    RHP New Member

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    All the navies (until the middle of WW2) were following the strategies of Alfred Thayer Mahan. Even in WW1, everyone was waiting for an all out war of the big guns. The Jutland did happen, but it didn't destroy any particular navy as everyone was expecting. Especially Britain was expecting to do the same to Germany what Nelson did to France.

    The only all out battleship on battleship war (I think) was the Russo-Japanese war of 1905, where the Russians were decimated.
     
  15. green slime

    green slime Member

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    19th June 1943, at table

    "Formerly I planned to construct the most powerful squadron of battleships in the world, and intended to name the two mightiest of them the Ulrich von Hütten and the Goetz von Berlichingen. I am now very pleased that I abandoned the idea. For, if we had such a squadron, we should be under a moral obligation to use it. Of what practical assistance could such a squadron be to-day? It would be condemned to playing the part of "the last of the knights in armour". Evolution these days has been so swift that it is now the infantry of the sea which assumes the prime importance. Apart from submarines, our greatest need is for little ships—powerful corvettes, destroyers and the like—these are the classes that carry on the fight. The Japanese to-day possess the most powerful fleet of battleships in the world, but it is very difficult to use them in action. For them, the greatest danger comes from the air. Remember the Bismarck."

    - Hitler's Table Talk 1941 - 1944
     
  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    A bit late with some of these but ...
    By the definition of operational that I'm familiar with you are incorrect. Boats en route would most definitely be operational unless they are en route to a repair facility. Like wise those at base unless they are in need of repair would be considered operational.

    Battleships were hardly useless against carriers. What the fate of Force Z showed was that CAP and adequate AA were needed to operate in areas where there would likely be opposing aircraft. World War 2 showed the importance of combined arms in almost all areas.


    Not from what I can see. Germany, Italy, and the USSR simply didn't have the resources to do so and didn't try. Finland wasn't participating in that area either from what I can see.


    Even if they were "waiting for an all out war of the big guns" it's not at all clear that the expectation was that anyone's navy would be destroyed. Although one could argue that the German navy never again challenged the RN so they were effectively neutralized. Wasn't that more or less what Nelson did to France?

    I'm not exactly sure what you mean by an "all out battleship on battleship war" but there were certainly other components to the Russo Japanese War. The Japanese victory at Tushima was of considerable import but so were a number of other battles both on land and sea.
     
  17. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    ...except that's pretty much because that's the fight he/they ended up with ;) In an ideal world, two battleship squadrons such as that should have been able to force the GIUK Gap by main force....given that at any point up to the sinking of the Bismarck the RN had to balance the need to protect convoys out in the deep blue from surface raiders with the need to keep enough strength in home waters to deal with them in the North Sea or GIUK Gap....and thus at the right moment in the great shell game Home Fleet at Scapa could have been just too weak to deal with a decently strong mass breakout attempt.

    In reality, its almost what happened in May '41 - various convoys forming up had to be stripped of their major surface unit escorts to send after the Bismarck. If those convoys had already sailed, or been just too far along their route...no reinforcements for the pursuers!

    But historically the "war in the narrow sea" was the one they ended up with against the Royal Navy in the main, apart from submarine warfare. Hitler's statement is wisdom after the fact.
     
  18. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    To be fair - isn't that exactly what the Bismarck....then the flotilla bottled up on Brest...THEN the Tirpitz in Norway did/were??? A "fleet in being" in the sense that the British had to devote HUGE resources to dealing with them - Brest for instance took the attention of Bomber Command en masse for three valuable months. And look at the resources expended over several years in trying to deal with Tirpitz.

    It was their potential if they sortied offensively that had to be planned for, prepared for....and ultimately neutralised. Whether a fleet, flotilla or single ship, the theory of a "fleet in being" was about potentialities, what it/they could do IF they sailed...and making an enemy expend huge resources countering them without them even having to actually sail.
     
  19. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm far from an expert on Mahan's theory, did he advocate a "fleet in being" as a means of sea control?
     
  20. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    IIRC yes....in that a fleet - or a major unit - sitting in a given location exerted its influence over the radius it could sortie in ANY direction. Thus in effect FDR sending the fleet to Pearl in effect doubled the effective area of U.S. control of the Pacific. Prior to that it was just a great semi-circle out from California ;)

    It didn't NEED to actually sail - its presence there forced the Japanese to plan on what to do, how to counter it, how it would effect THEIR plans if it should sortie from Pearl.

    Ditto the Royal Navy - it had to constantly planplanplan what to do in the event of a major KM surface unit sortie in an attempt into the North Atlantic convoy lanes. It had the very slight advantage that there was just a limited number of options the KM had at its disposal...

    BUT it also had to protect the convoys in the event that such a breakout was successful ;) Hence splitting their strength in Home Waters and sending major fleet units out with major convoys. IIRC after the sinking at last of the Tirpitz, in 1945 only the Rodney and technically the old Iron Duke...which let's face it was never ever going to sail again...were left at Scapa; nothing else needed to be kept there any longer.
     

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