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German super-battleships

Discussion in 'Ships & Shipborne Weaponry' started by Sakhal, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Sakhal

    Sakhal recruit

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  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    They are known to the forum and you could try the search function using the term Z-Plan to see some threads already existing.

    In a nutshell they were little more than a mis-guided Nazi fantasy.
     
  3. von_noobie

    von_noobie Member

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    If i'm not mistaken did Hitler or some other Nazi party official not at one point mention something about a BB in the size range off 100,000 or several 100,000t?Read it some where just cant recall if it was a joke or a fact.
     
  4. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    The design with 20 inch guns would have come close I think, but a total fantasy.
     
  5. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    I read, I forget somewhere, that a part of the propulsion system was not canceled was finished and delivered in 1944?.
     
  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    There were a number of different "H-class" designs. Some of the early ones were fairly realistic some of the latter ones were paper studies that couldn't have floated in the harbors that were to build them.
     
  7. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Can't help thinking that the size of the effort, manpower, man hours and raw materials needed to create such a behemoth could easily loose you the war in trying to create it!

    And in the end what do you have? One ship, or at most a couple...that each can only be in ONE place at once! If it's in the Northern Approaches, you route traffic into the MID-Atlantic, and vice versa!

    And all you've created is a target big enough for 617 Sqn NOT to miss....
     
  8. Sakhal

    Sakhal recruit

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    133,000 tonnes was the displacement for the largest of the projected classes. It seems clear that Germany naval war effort was inefficient, due to a shortage in U-boat production and their weak surface fleet; however, building those monsters doesn't seem the right approach to fix the problem. Perhaps if they had the 300 U-boat that Doenitz asked for when the war started, things could have been different; instead, they started the war with only 23 units, even when the submarines were intended as the backbone of the Kriegsmarine. And in addition, some aircraft carriers would have benefited Germany a lot...
     
  9. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Hardly. At least a battleship had a chance of fighting its way throuh the GIUK Gap, just as Bismarck/Prinz Eugen did....but not a carrier, it would have to SNEAK its way through one of the most closely guarded stretches of ocean in the world.

    That's the problem with the Germans' plans for employing their naval forces; they had been intended for exactly TWO purposes...

    1/ fighting in the North Sea, and

    2/ commerce raiding...

    And unless they were REALLY lucky, or events favoured it...such as the Russian convoys putting Allied shipping into their easier reach...they'd have to do a litle of BOTH some time in the average trip!

    So what does a carrier get the Germans??? A capability to mount maritime recce bombing patrols into mid-Atlantic, right out in the Western Approaches? Instead, properly design an aircraft for it! FAR cheaper...

    The ability to raid parts of the UK not accessible from the COntinent??? What parts? They could reach Belfast to bomb it, and virtually any other part of the UK. What they DID need was a proper strategic bomber, not the kludges they came up with...
     
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  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The Kriegsmarine was hardly alone in that respect. Germany began construction of the Schwerer Gustav 80-cm gun in 1937, and was designing the P.1000 Ratte & P.1500(1,000 ton & 1,500 ton tanks respectively) in 1942.
     
  11. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Germany's obsession with huge guns and failure to design a plane big enough to carry a tallboy/grandslam class bomb, that would be a much more sensible approach to dealing with large fortifications with 1940 tech, is probably due to them having Mr Krupp intead of Mr Wallis, individuals do matter in engineering.

    IMO if one of the early H design had made into service the RN would be hurting, Bismark and Tipitz , for all their shortcommings where a huge headache and a ship no British BB could theoretically match 1:1 would be an even bigger one.

    I also believe the P.1000 and P,1500 were self propelled coastal defence/siege guns, as such they should be compared with the Karl and Gustav not tanks,still a waste of effort thoug one or two of them at the right place could give an invasion fleet a lot of problems, they could probably interdict a beach for hours until knocked out giving reinforcements time to come up.
     
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  12. Sakhal

    Sakhal recruit

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    But a proper strategic bomber needs a proper escort... which Germany couldn't provide at that time due to operational range shortcomings. If they had had aircraft carriers during the Battle of Britain their fighters would have been able to remain more time in the fight. Of course, aircraft carriers would need themselves an escort in such case, but I think that some flight wings from the very carriers, a certain number of U-boats and torpedo bombers, apart from the surface fleet, would be doing a great role.
     
  13. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    ...not at night it doesn't, and

    ...they got the range with the Bf109 as early as the E-7 and its centreline droptank - and arguably had a long range fighter in the Bf110...just not a GOOD one!


    ...you do not, repeat NOT, operate a carrier withi either the confines of a stretch of water like the English Channel...OR within reach of effective antishipping capability like the Fleet Air Arm - which was already operating two Swordfish squadrons in the south of England on land during the BoB...as well as the RAF's Beauforts etc...

    And a carrier's fighters CANNOT be in two places at once! They can't be flying CAP over their own carrier AND escort bombers...it's one or the other or split your (small) force...
     
  14. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Actually Carriers can operate close to land, provided they are either large enough, US or IJN CV's, or are in enough numbers like a late war Carrier Task Group (3 to 5 Carriers). Of course this was beyond Germany's capacity.

    More to the point the Z plan was not intended to fight WWII as we understand it but to fight WWIII as in Greater Germany and the New World (North & South America) In this (fantasy) scenario the RN would be captured, destroyed or in some way rendered a non factor in Germany's plans.
     
  15. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Ah, but I didn't say "close to land" ;) I said "within the confines of a stretch of water like the English Channel"....VERY narrow, sandbars and shallows galore, only one relatively narrow deep water channel I.E. no sea room for manouvering.

    The very same reason(s) why Adm. Forbes NEVER...despite all the opinions, legends and Sandhurst wargames...ever intended - and actively refused! - to bring Home Fleet into the Channel in the event of invasion in 1940 ;)
     
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  16. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Sorry I should have caught that distinction, and you are correct, (the Mods are not infallible, you just have to act like we are :))

    Carriers in the Channel would have been suicidal in anything but total air supreamcy. However as with USN operations in the Persian Gulf, they do find them in offly close quarters.

    As for Admiral Forbes, Had Germany gotten a secure foothold, Churchill would have kept replacing Admirals till the RN did go into the Channel with its Battlewaggons. Of course a a Reserve Ensign might have been in command. :)
     
  17. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    ...but I'll bet that during Gulf War I and II, Iraqi antishipping missiles were among the very first targets to be hit...if there actually WERE any! otherwise - at the minute, the USN is there to be seen, not necessarily to fight - if the time should ever come for fighting, they won't be ramming a carrier through the Straits of Hormuz on a point of honour!

    This was being discussed in some detail recently again here...they wouldn't ever need to; the RN made quite adequate anti-invasion plans with coastal craft and destroyers.
     
  18. ResearcherAtLarge

    ResearcherAtLarge Member

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    Because we all know that radar-guided fighters weren't invented until after the war!
     
  19. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Havn't been following this thread...but radar guided fighters? Gci stations in UK guided fighters to targets in ww2...or am I missing something? One such station is still in situ whats left of it near me at Comberton.. Protected Coventry and Birmingham areas. Not always successfully...Am I missing something?
     
  20. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    The US was working on guiding fighters from carriers from very early in the war.
    One German carrier would likely be of little use and even if the ship had been ready, there was still the question of pilots of which Goering would not allow the navy to use Luftwaffe ones and there was no training school yet for the navy beyond possibly sea planes. The North Sea is not the best place for carrier operations
     

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