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What If: Germany captured enough territory to have enough materials to build capital ships.

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by HESH, Oct 9, 2020.

?

Could the Royal Navy fight off my full strength Kreigsmarine?

  1. Yes - on their own

  2. Yes - with the USN help

  3. No - not at all

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. HESH

    HESH Member

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    So title might be confusing, but I was wondering what would happen in the Atlantic if the German were able to manufacture the H-class battleships...
    And some of the other paper designs...

    What are your thoughts?

    My take on this...
    If Germany were to build 2 more Bismarck class battleships, 3 more Hipper class cruisers, a new escort destroyer type and a few carriers, then I think they would have been able to outgun the home fleet(Royal Navy), maybe not the USN.
    So my full Kreigsmarine would consist of 4 Bismarck class BBs, 3 Scharnhorst class BBs, 6 Hipper class CAs, 8 new CLs, 36 new escort DDs, and 2 or 3 CVs, plus a lot of Subs...

    I'd like to know your reasoning if you agree/disagree with my idea of fleet.
    Regards,
    HESH
     
  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    This is incomplete and nonsensical.

    Your wondering about the H-Class battleships, but don't include any in your line up, only 2 extra Bismarcks.

    You have 3 Scharnhorst class, yet there were only 2. Is the 3rd one of the planned O-Class battlecruisers?

    There were only going to be 5 Admiral Hipper class heavy cruisers. Although it was planned to build several more Panzerschiff to an improved design. Is this 6th heavy cruiser one of the improved Panzerschiff?



    This is also incomplete and nonsensical with regards to British and American naval forces...As it implies that they just sat on their hands and did nothing, while Germany spends several extra years building warships.

    Where are the British Lion-class battleships and the US Montana-class battleships? How many Essex class carriers have been constructed? What of British carrier construction? What of Allied escort ship construction?

    Much more work needs to be done on this for it to make sense.
     
    HESH likes this.
  3. HESH

    HESH Member

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    Fair points you raise, I shall reconsider my fleet.

    Regards,
    HESH
     
  4. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..as with all the ''if'' situations, there usually are counter ''ifs''':
    ...do they have the trained manpower for these ships and aircrews-- and still the manpower for everything else-Luftwaffe, Army, etc?
    more ships = more oil needed--more ammo,etc
    ...carriers = carrier aircraft = more time/$/effort/manpower/materials going into carriers and carrier aircraft.....training for deck landings
    etc all = manpower/effort/engineering/$/etc taken away from the other projects
     
  5. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The usual fallback for this type of What If is that the USSR has been defeated or was not attacked and remains neutral meanwhile supplying Germany with raw materials.

    The Graf Zeppelin's original air group was not that large, varying between 39 to 42 aircraft. Like the US, they had facilities setup for land-based carrier practicing. So that is not much of an issue. Fuel is more of an issue, hence the handwaving away of the Soviet "problem." So that the Soviets will in one way or another, solve the fuel issue. The Germans will work through their manpower issue the same way the British and United States did as they built up their vast armadas. Again, here the handwaving away of the Soviet "problem" helps a great deal.

    Of course, the Germans were all planning on investing heavily in their shipbuilding infrastructure, as IIRC, they had no drydocks capable of handling the H-Class in 1938-39.
     
  6. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

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    To be prosaic Germany simply did not have anything like enough welders to meet her total wartime needs let alone adding battle fleets to this.
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Neither did Kaiser in 1941 or any of the major shipbuilders. I doubt Winnie/Wendy the Welder of 1942-45 had been doing the same job in 1941.
     
  8. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Would Hitler have allowed females into welding jobs in 1941?
     
  9. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

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    Read the German Admiralty Archives - they were never able to hold onto the welders allocated to them as Hitler kept reallocating them . This is what hit the U boat build programme

    All combatant nations had manpower crises but the Axis worst of all.
     
  10. HESH

    HESH Member

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    So there's been a lot of valid points raised...
    So for a start... Let's say production costs and materials aren't really an issue... So what's the constraints?
    I have to say I'm not sure what they exactly should be bit let's say size of the dry docks etc... Sure you can build new ones but that takes time... Therefore we have another constraint...
    We have time and space as constraints..

    My revised fleet consists of;
    1 H-class BBs, 4 Bismarck class BBs, 2 Scharnhorst class BBs, 2 Deutschland class CAs(Panzerschiffe), 5 Hipper class CAs, 6 new CLs, 36 new escort DDs (plus existing), and 2 or 3 carriers.

    I am assuming that the Germans are able to manufacture another Hipper class CA, and Takao, you criticise me on adding an extra Scharnhorst and Hipper... But ignore the Bismarck additions... Little confused there... But it did make me think so I'm glad you did...

    I have excluded a lot of designs, current ships and also the U-Boats from my calculations...

    I hope to write a better report on what the Germans could/should have added to their fleet in my opinion if they were given the chance.

    As for the USN and the RN sitting on their hands... Yes I didn't exactly think about what they would do, but I leave that up to your imagination...

    I think that to design and build a new battleship of the H-class size it would take 10-15 years... However I think the H-39 could have been completed in about 9 years, if they were to just upsize the Bismarck...
    So let's say the war continues back and forward for 9 years... The year is 1948...
    And Germany has a good supply of resources...

    If you don't mind, could I suggest that I raise a challenge to create a proposal for a fleet of which is then presented to the high command (judges)... This would have proper rules, if that would be preferred.

    Regards,
    HESH

    PS: Takao, I'm glad you gave me some criticism of my ideas, because I didn't really think it through properly...
    Also would anyone like to be a judge for the fleet proposal?

    And I probably forgot a whole lot of things...
     
  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    That is the historical outcome.

    As I said earlier, this type of What Ifs handwave away the manpower and resource shortages by either a quick victory over the SU or a neutral SU supply Germany with resources. Hence, the manpower saved with no Eastern Front is dumped back into Germany's manpower pool.
     
  12. HESH

    HESH Member

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    To be completely honest and fair, I left a lot of variables out so basically anything could happen, what the question should really be is "What would your complete Kreigsmarine fleet be by 1950? assuming the Germans conquer the Soviet Union/peace deal with SU."

    Regards,
    HESH
     
  13. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ....I've been in sheet metal fabrication for over 30 years--14 years in an engineering department--working with a welder that was very good ....it takes a long time to learn how to weld--even to just do less than a mediocre job....you can't just grab someone and teach them how to weld/etc...it takes a lot of hands on work....they wanted me to learn how to weld .....it's not easy ......and that was just basic, easy stuff

    ...can you teach someone? sure--but it takes time .......and discipline......it's not like making a cheese sandwich ....we had people that knew how to run the machines I did, but their work was sloppy --they didn't have the discipline to do it right ....
    ..welding takes patience/etc

    ....there are different materials and material thicknesses that use different settings/time/etc --you have to know how to set the machines for all of those--that takes hands on practice
     
  14. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Why 1 H-Class? When Gemany was already constructing 3 H-class battleships in 1939. Keels had been laid for the first two H-Class battleships, and material was being delivered to the building site of the third H-Class Battleship(To have been laid down in September, 1939, but cancelled with the outbreak of war). So, why would they scrap two to build 2 more of an inferior Bismarck design? Makes no sense.

    Also, the existing German destroyers were not capable of operating in the North Atlantic. So, you are only going to have the new construction.

    Sure, but why would they? When the P-Class Panzerschiff are superior in every way. Of course, they are larger, and will take somewhat longer to build.

    I implied that with my response.
    The design for the H-39 was already done, 2 keels were laid down with the 3rd to be laid down in September, 1939, and material for the 3 was being delivered to the respective shipyards - Not to mention that which had already been ordered. Of course, Germany continued to tinker with the H-class design resulting in increasingly larger battleships with the H-41, -42, -43, and H-44 designs(although H-42 through H-44 were paper projects only - like the United States' Tillman Ultimate battleship). It took slightly over 4 years to build the Bismarck. Building the H-Class should take about the same...With another 6-12 months for working up...So, about 5 years till one is combat ready. Implying, of course, that there are no delays in supplying the many components for the battleships.

    Don't worry, been seeing these for many years...and don't take the criticism too harshly, as most What If's do not take into account a great deal of things - Namely how the opposing side will react.(Because 6 H-39 battleships suddenly seems less imposing when faced with 6 Iowas & 5 Montanas).
     
  15. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    You took a test and welded two pieces of steel together, according to one "Wendy", who had been a nurse's aide, and, in 1942, became a welder at the Fore River shipyard in Quincy, Mass.
     
  16. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..the Thresher supposedly went down because of '''wrong'' type of weld/etc in the pipes....anyway though, you don't want some BootCamper welder welding ships --you need someone who knows what they are doing and is experienced
    USS Thresher (SSN-593) - Wikipedia
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
  17. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    And two or three CVs built to the specifications of the Graf Zeppelin would just be two or three more jokes looking for a place to sink.
     
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  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The Thresher did not sink because of the "wrong" type of weld. 5 other nuclear submarines suffered similar weld failures and did not sink. The weld failure was one of several in the chain of events that led to the loss of the boat.

    And yet it was these bootcamp welders that built the tens of thousands of vessels in the US Army, Navy, and Merchant Marine.
     
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  19. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    A lot of variables here. When does Russia surrender? What about the war in the West? Does the Pacific War happen as it did?

    Lets assume Germany reaches the A-A line as planned by the late summer/fall of 1942 and a rump Soviet Union is established from the Urals east..

    Russia has shipyards, but they won't be taken intact and have to be rebuilt, and then there is the labor issue. Germany did not intend to have Russians fill skilled labor but only as peasant labor, so between between rebuilding and labor shortages it may be after 1945 before they contribute significantly and then most likely light units (subs, e-boats and maybe escorts)

    Then Germany must repair the infrastructure to get Russia's natural wealth to German shipyards, this could take years to complete. A lesser known fact is how much Germany relied upon captured equipment to arm its ground forces and Luftwaffe. Polish, Czech, Austrian, French and Russian tanks, trucks, artillery and small arms to make up shortfalls in German production. Evan with Soviet defeat the need to standardize equipment would eat up much industry for years to come.

    Then there is the war in the West. U-boats, E-boats and aircraft will remain the cost effective build choice till Russian resources become available in large amounts, say best case 1945-46 before Germany can start building large units (cruisers and above).

    Next consider the Pacific War which altered naval strategy with the ascendance of the aircraft carrier. German military observers in Japan could not help but notice this.

    So Germany has 5 years give or take to add heavy units assuming the Allies don't get a lodgment in NW Europe ( a very big if), and they husband their surface units after the loss of Bismark/Graf Spee/Blucher. My guess, and its only that is, Tirpitz, both Sharnhorst's upgraded to 6 15 inch guns, 2 Panzerschiffes, 2 Hipper's and Graf Zeppelin completed. I have my doubts about any battleships since hardly any were built in 1945 by the allies, so I'm guessing 1 to 2 improved Graf Zepp's and 2 to 3 improved Hipper's and some 'fleet' destroyers. and possibly 1 or two light cruisers. Enough to give the RN a few sleepless nights, but going the same way as the High Seas Fleet a generation before.
     
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  20. HESH

    HESH Member

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    Yes as with all What If scenarios... There is a lot of variables... But if the Germans and the Soviets were not at war and therefore able to focus their full attention on the Western front... What would happen then?


    However I think that the simplest way to experiment with this scenario is consider that everyone has a good supply of materials... (Not a tremendous surplus but a small surplus).

    What Navy would be the strongest if the planned ships were built and how long would it take? List your own variables...
     

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