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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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    Except, they wouldn't have, because of the lack of support vessels. They would've just ended up with more large surface boats fearing RN airpower, cowering in fjords, cursing that they had too few destroyers with proper AA batteries.

    Same effect (splitting the RN and overextending it's resources) could've been achieved with more submarines.
     
  2. freebird

    freebird Member

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    < quote name="steverodgers801 > You cant just build a carrier and add pilots, it takes years to train a carrier crew, including all the support personnel. The US took probably a decade to build up a competent force > /quote <

    Exactly, if they started the program after Hitler came to power in 1933, including at least 8 years design and build time, they could begin training for carrier operations in maybe 1941, if not later.

    How long would it take to build up the decades of experience that the British and Americans had developed?




    Correct


    The main difference was due to operating in the Pacific, not the A/C. itself, and also some early war British aircraft didn't have folding wings.
    The Illustrious hanger was about 85% of the size of the Yorktown


    No that wasn't the case, the Sharnhorst wasn't useless vs Glorious.
    The lesson was that capital ships needed some air cover, and couldn't face dozens of TBs without any cover
     
  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Ummm...Did you ever try to fold the wings on a Douglas SBD?
     
  4. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Works better on an Avenger. ;)
     
  5. freebird

    freebird Member

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    And I don't disagree that the US carriers could carry more aircraft, but it wasn't the 250% that some people claim
     
  6. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

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    Some years, but not 8.
    The big navys had experience with carriers operating slow biplanes with small bomb loads and regarded the carriers still as an addition to the battleships, not much more.

    The Germans had 1933 almost no experience with modern aircraft and no experience with tanks and a few years later, they were far superior to the french and british opponents.

    Their mistake was to build an all singing, all dancing carrier (is this the right expression?), one that could operate without escort ships therefore armed to fight cruisers. This was nonsens. What they then needed the most were carriers to protect their capital ships.
    The japanese Navy had such "limited" carriers like the Shoho/Zuiho. Fast enough to keep up with the modern german capital ships, but with limited aircraft capacity.
    Such ships could be built/converted until 1937/38 and the crews experienced enough in 1940 to operate some Me 109T and deal with Swordfishs, Skuas or Albacores. And with these lessons, they could start building proper carriers.

    But neither Raeder nor Hitler were able to predict what will happen, when newer, faster and much more capable aircraft will be available. But who was in the mid 30ies?
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    That would be dependent on year and British carrier. IIRC, in 1940 & 1941 the 250% more aircraft would most likely be true if we were looking at HMS Illustrious.
     
  8. WeeVeeJosh

    WeeVeeJosh New Member

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    Better idea: instead of building any battleships OR aircraft carriers, all those resources should have instead been spent on more and better U-boats. Lessons not learned from WW1.
     
  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    To which the British respond by building more and better ASW assets...

    I am always amused how some people think that the British will allow Germany to create what is basically an all submarine navy, without a counter British effort.
     
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  10. WeeVeeJosh

    WeeVeeJosh New Member

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    I don't know the change is actually enough to win the war for Germany, but I think it's still a better strategy. I also don't think the British spend fewer resources on battleships and aircraft carriers because the Germans aren't. More resources they spend on ASW the weaker they are somewhere else.

    Also, the British seriously underestimated the U-boat threat at the start of WW2.
     
  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The problem was that Hitler didn't plan on fighting Great Britain especially not in the early and mid 30's where the change would have to be made. If he's fighting France the KM construction plans make a lot of sense. They even have some value vs the USSR.. There's also some domestic politics that play a part. Note that the naval treaty he managed to negotiate with Great Britain was in direct conflict with the Treaty of Versailles, IF he goes heavy into subs early on he may not manage that and he'll set off alarms in Great Britain as well since they are the only obvious target of a massive submarine force.
     

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