German victory at Jutland

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
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Karl Heidenreich
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:53 pm

Why? and Why should they? Bismark had a very short carreer at the very beginning of WWII. Iowa served off and on up until the 90s. The Iowa class BBs surely have much more signifigance in US history than the Bismark did. They've also appeared in modern cultural settings more often than Bismark.
First of all:
US History is significant, I agree, to the whole world. It´s undeniable. But is not the ONLY history that matters. The position that the US has nowaday deserve more to the mistakes of others rather to an incredible strategic and cunning behaivor by the US. Mistakes that the US is trying to emulate right now, as a matter of fact, carving it´s path to decline.

Second:
Bismarck was a battleship that fought as one, as it was designed for. Bismarck perpetuated her name in History (not US History alone) for what she achieved at Denmarck Straits battle and the hunt the British gave to her. Bismarck success and demise was as a fighting battleship. She fired her guns against her equals and was fired upon by her equals... and a lot other vessels and devices. Naval History books will always have a chapter for Rheinubung and their participants.

Third:
Iowas never fired their guns at any other battleship, less to sink one of their... equal foes. Of course they are important to the US history. But Bismarck is more important to Naval History than all the Iowa sisters put together, because in WWII they did nothing worth than to be incredible big yachts for admirals and Douglas McArthur. Of course they were good gunnery plataforms for troops landing on Pacific Islands in WWII and for launching long range cruise missiles at Iraq. But they will never were baptised in the fire of real combat, being themselves at danger of being sunk by her contemporary adversaries, even having a chance or two of doing so.

So, Bismarck is more important than ANY Iowa in Naval History. And Yamato was more powerfull a Battleship than Iowa in Naval History.

So it was written... so it was done... with History as my witness.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Post by lwd » Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:41 pm

Ok, lets decompose this a bit.
Karl Heidenreich wrote: First of all:
US History is significant, I agree, to the whole world. It´s undeniable. But is not the ONLY history that matters.
No disagreements so far.
The position that the US has nowaday deserve more to the mistakes of others rather to an incredible strategic and cunning behaivor by the US. Mistakes that the US is trying to emulate right now, as a matter of fact, carving it´s path to decline.
Here you have devolved into opinion that is actually rather irrelevant to the topic at hand. Personally I would ascribe it more to luck than to mistakes or planning on the part of our leaders but that is also opinion and rather irrlevant to the point under discussion.

Second:
Bismarck was a battleship that fought as one,
Not sure what this means.
as it was designed for.
This applies to many other ships including the Iowas.
Bismarck perpetuated her name in History (not US History alone) for what she achieved at Denmarck Straits battle and the hunt the British gave to her. Bismarck success and demise was as a fighting battleship. She fired her guns against her equals and was fired upon by her equals... and a lot other vessels and devices.
Not much to dispute there.
Naval History books will always have a chapter for Rheinubung and their participants.
Perhaps, perhaps not. As far as the future of naval conflict goes the Bismark episode was a throwback and of little import. Truly it was intereesting but Bismark was doomed before she sailed the only question was when.
Third:
Iowas never fired their guns at any other battleship, less to sink one of their... equal foes. Of course they are important to the US history. But Bismarck is more important to Naval History than all the Iowa sisters put together, because in WWII they did nothing worth than to be incredible big yachts for admirals and Douglas McArthur.
Thus proving you know little of the what they did in the Pacific. Even if it were true if you are looking at say the history of naval design the Iowas are one of if not the most modern BBs the Bismarks were hardly in that catagory. The Iowa's also participated in quite a number of actions as to only a couple for Bismark. Indeed some of the activities they participated in were of significantly greater import to world history than the Bismark episode.
Of course they were good gunnery plataforms for troops landing on Pacific Islands in WWII and for launching long range cruise missiles at Iraq. But they will never were baptised in the fire of real combat, being themselves at danger of being sunk by her contemporary adversaries, even having a chance or two of doing so.
Defineing BB vs BB compat to be the only "real combat" is a stretch. It's not only BBs that provide a chance of sinking other BBs by the way. This was proven several times in WWII.
So, Bismarck is more important than ANY Iowa in Naval History.
No. Your arguement is far short of proof of your statement which is an imperfect reflection of my question. I questioned why a US citizen should be more likely to know about Bismark as opposed to the Iowas. For a US citizen Iowas are more important to US history and argueably to world history or even naval history. It is only when you get into the history of BB vs BB combat that a case can be made for Bismark being more important and that frankly is not an area that the average citizen has much interst in or need of.
And Yamato was more powerfull a Battleship than Iowa in Naval History.
Depending on your definiton of more powerful perhaps. More useful probably not, more likely to win a one on one duel again perhpas or not.
So it was written... so it was done... with History as my witness.
That wording speaks more of ego than logic. History hardly confirms the opinions you've stated.

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Post by Nellie » Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:57 pm

I agree with lwd, I am very interested to hear how Bismarck could be more important than the iowas in naval history. In that case her sister Tirpitz was more important, Bismarck was a threat in 4 days while Tirpitz was it in a couple of years and the allied had to be constantly prepared for an eventual outbreak from the norwegian fjord. With that i will say that it isn´t come up to wich ship who has made the greatest number of ship against ship engagements.

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Post by Bgile » Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:32 pm

Bismarck is historically significant because of her story.

Having said that, I disagree with the idea that because a BB has never fought another BB that makes it less powerful. One might as well say that HMS Dreadnought was superior to USS Iowa. Or, one could even use that logic to argue that HMS Victory is superior to USS Iowa. Or that USS Kearsarge was superior to HMS Warrior. They were contemporaries, but Kearsarge was involved in combat.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:56 pm

lwd:

If Bismarck´s history is as insignificant as you state here and Iowas are so important in the same sense I invite you, again, not to come to a Bismarck dedicated forum and go to a Iowa dedicated one.

And the fact that a Battleship fought against other Battleships is, perhaps, the MOST important event in such a vessel´s career. Battleships main purpose was to fought Battleships as an air superiority fighter plane main purpose is to defeat other fighters in order to stablish the desired air superiority (and then shot down the bombers and control the battlefield). Bismarck fought other battleships (and not just "one" in 4 days). Iowas never did that. Maybe they did a lot of important stuff, as I plainly agree before, as artillery plataforms at the landings, or escorting carriers and becoming AAA screens, or patroling... but the main object, mission or purpose wasn´t that. And I believe, and correct me if I´m mistaken, that the US would have won the Pacific Theatre even without them, which would hardly help them to become that important.

Thousands died at Rheinubung, not Americans, I agree, which is maybe why you considered it unimportant. But at Rheinubung there were a lot more casualties, let´s say, than at Pearl Harbor or at Omaha Beach. But even with the primordial sin of being Germans or British their place in History deserves respect which is something you ain´t showing. Aside from USS Arizona and others at Pearl no US BB crew paid so high a price as those on board Hood or Bismarck... and that´s undeniable.

But again, lwd, if you believe so highly about those ships in order to disagree with the undeniable fact that they were inferior vessels compared with the Yamato, and that Bismarck had nothing to do in that respect then you must go to an Iowa dedicated webpage and forum and then you´ll be happy.


Best regards.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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Post by lwd » Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:52 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote: If Bismarck´s history is as insignificant ...
I didn't say Bismark's history is insignifcant just that your statement that it was more important than that of all the Iowas was inaccurate.

And the fact that a Battleship fought against other Battleships is, perhaps, the MOST important event in such a vessel´s career.
Perhaps and Perhaps not
Battleships main purpose was to fought Battleships .... Maybe they did a lot of important stuff, as I plainly agree before, as artillery plataforms at the landings, or escorting carriers and becoming AAA screens, or patroling... but the main object, mission or purpose wasn´t that...
No. The main purpose of battleships is to gain control of the seas and win wars. Certainly fighting other battleships can play a part in it but it is a means to an end and not the end itself.
And I believe, and correct me if I´m mistaken, that the US would have won the Pacific Theatre even without them, which would hardly help them to become that important.
Battle ships weren't war winning weapons for anybody in WWII so the fact that the allies would have won the war without the Iowas is hardly relevant. The fact that they played important rolls in WW II and on up through the 90s is.
But at Rheinubung there were a lot more casualties, let´s say, than at Pearl Harbor or at Omaha Beach.
According to Wiki Reinubung resulted in ~4,000 casualties while Omaha resulted in ~4,200 and Pearl Harbor ~3,500. All pretty close. So your wrong about "a lot more casualties".
But even with the primordial sin of being Germans or British their place in History deserves respect which is something you ain´t showing.
BS. Where did I show them any lack of respect.
Aside from USS Arizona and others at Pearl no US BB crew paid so high a price as those on board Hood or Bismarck... and that´s undeniable.
Undeniable it's unintelligable. If you mean percentage of crew fatalities Hood, Bismark, and Arizona did loose more than any other US BB. Other wise it matters little what ship they were on or where those who died payed the ultimate price. Of course it's not extremly relevant to the historical importance of the ships.
But again, lwd, if you believe so highly about those ships in order to disagree with the undeniable fact that they were inferior vessels compared with the Yamato,...
It is hardly undeniable. Several here have made good cases for thim being on a par or even slightly superior. So obviously you are wrong again.
...and that Bismarck had nothing to do in that respect ...
What are you trying to say here?
then you must go to an Iowa dedicated webpage and forum and then you´ll be happy...
You obviously don't understand me or what I am saying. However I see no reason not to continue frequenting this forum. And of course correcting your misstatments and faulty logic.

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Post by Lutscha » Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:55 pm

Well LWD, it's up to Jose to stop his ad hominem attacks, if he does not want to have his forum full of such.

I'm sure he does understand you but is unable to refute you, so attacking the person is what remains to "disprove" you and others.

I for one do not understand why people try to spread ahistorical views as facts when they know that they`re wrong.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:20 pm

lwd:
You obviously don't understand me or what I am saying. However I see no reason not to continue frequenting this forum. And of course correcting your misstatments and faulty logic.
I´m not going to waste more time with you and with your pal, Lutscha. Your answers are arrogant and prove nothing because you play with semantics. It´s plain clear to anybody else what´s my position and your inflexible and insulting stance. Again and again you try to destroy arguments that prove you wrong with retorics, nothing else. There is no physical way in which an Iowa could be equal or "superior" to Yamato, and historically there is no way in which an Iowa could claim a seat aside Bismarck. So, it´s pointless to continue not for lack of answers but because there seems to be no way to keep the record straight.

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Post by lwd » Thu Oct 25, 2007 3:28 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:.... Your answers are arrogant and prove nothing because you play with semantics. It´s plain clear to anybody else what´s my position and your inflexible and insulting stance. Again and again you try to destroy arguments that prove you wrong with retorics, nothing else. There is no physical way in which an Iowa could be equal or "superior" to Yamato, and historically there is no way in which an Iowa could claim a seat aside Bismarck. So, it´s pointless to continue not for lack of answers but because there seems to be no way to keep the record straight...
In order to prove a point or conduct a productive debate is is imperative that the premise be stated clearly and logic be applied in a rigorus maner. Perhaps if we get discuss an example in more detail why your statement
There is no physical way in which an Iowa could be equal or "superior" to Yamato
is wrong will be clearer. To that end I will start a new what if thread. I propose that in it I will define the initial conditions and "play" the part of the captain of the Iowa you "play" the captain of the Yamato. I will describe my initial tactics you can then try to come up with a counter tactic and so on.

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Post by FETSCHEM » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:58 am

I could not see the Germans inflicting a crushing defeat to the Grand Fleet. There were just too many British warships and too much firepower. The German rangefinders did not work well in severe battle conditions and lost most of their edge.
If the Germans inflicted numerous casualties if would be assumed that they lost ships themselves.
While almost the entire German fleet was at jutland the British retained the Queen Elizabeth, the Dreadnought, the King Edward VII class, the Agamemnons and the rest of the pre-dreadnoughts.
As well, there was the Renown, Repulse, Ramillies, Resolution, Courageous and Glorious and the flagship of the Royal Australian Navy, HMAS Australia.
The most important factor was that the British used their ships in a much more aggressive spirit. Its the men that will battles not the ships. Look to the battle of Calabria in July 1940.

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Post by FETSCHEM » Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:15 am

When the Iowas appeared the day of the battleship was over and really the US had no need for them. In action their 50 calbre main guns would have been a powerful force. But they never achieved the strategic importance of what the Bismark achieved. The Brismark took Force H away from the Mediterranean when they were badly needed during the Crete operation.
If Americans want to look at the ships of importance surely there are no better examples than the Enterprise, Yorktown and Hornet.

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Re: German victory at Jutland

Post by IronDuke » Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:31 am

If you stick with the actual ships involved in the real Battle of Jutland Germany cannot win. The reality is Scheer and the Highs Seas Fleet, not once, but twice, at Jutland was lucky to have avoided a smashing defeat: If Jellicoe had turned towards, instead of away from, the Highs Seas Fleet, on either of the two occasions at Jutland that Scheer blundered into the Grand Fleet, then did a 'battle turn' away from them, he must have been defeated badly.

As it was about eight hours after returning to Port the Grand Fleet was ready to put to sea again, in fighting condition. Scheer's smaller Fleet, by contrast, was totally unable to put to sea again for weeks and months due to the wrecked nature of a number of his ships, especially in the Scouting (Battle Cruiser) Force.

In fact the whole Highs Seas Fleet Idea was a disaster for Germany, since it made certain Britain, and her Empire, would be Allies of France and Russia against Germany in any major war and yet gave Germany no real compensating advantage when war came. That lost war, indirectly, led to Hitler and the Nazis and WWII.
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Re: German victory at Jutland

Post by Mostlyharmless » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:30 pm

I agree with previous posters that German victory was improbable. However, remember the discussion about using absolutes! I tried to produce a possible series of events leading to a German victory some time ago elsewhere (alternatehistory.com) and perhaps someone might like it (one obvious criticism is that it risks shipping between Germany and Sweden).

We assume that Scheer tries a little harder to assemble his forces for the decisive battle and prepares to sail with an extra scouting force (perhaps the light cruisers Strassburg, Stralsund, Kolberg, Augsburg, and an extra 20 to 30 destroyers) and we also assume that he falls ill at the last moment. He is replaced by the former commander-in-chief Admiral Friedrich von Ingenohl (it is not critical who replaces Scheer except that he should be slightly less aggressive and senior to Hipper). Before sailing, von Ingenohl stresses to his light forces that they must reserve their torpedoes as much as possible for enemy capital ships.

Now everything goes as OTL until Hipper reports the arrival of the 5th Battle Squadron and the High Seas Fleet turns more directly towards Hipper and increases speed (around 16:15). ITTL von Ingenohl detaches his extra cruisers and destroyers to follow his original more Northerly course in the hope that a torpedo attack might slow Beatty's ships. Things continue more or less as OTL during the run to the North (I was tempted to add a Bayern class to the 3rd Battle Squadron and score a hit slowing one of the British 5th Battle Squadron but refrained). However, at around 18:00 Bödicker's cruisers report meeting Hood's battlecruisers and Strassburg reports Heath's 2nd Cruiser Squadron (Minotaur etc.). As off the Yorkshire Coast, von Ingenohl fears that the Grand Fleet is approaching and orders everyone to return to port. The German battle line turns together and vanishes out of sight of the 5th Battle Squadron. The battleships turn South East and Hipper nearer to due East, both to cover the German withdrawal and to seek battle with the reported armoured cruisers. Hipper's light forces are scattered and many have used their torpedoes but most follow the battlecruisers. The light forces originally sailing with von Ingenohl are now in two widely separated groups, one mostly around the retreating 3rd BS and the other forced East by Heath's armoured cruisers. Thus Arbuthnot is allowed to sink Wiesbaden undisturbed and fortunately escapes collision with Lion. Even if Warspite's steering breaks down, she does not suffer extra hits. Starved of information, Jellicoe orders deployment to the east at 18:15 as OTL and the two fleets are now both steering South East in almost parallel lines, with the Germans South of the British line.

Just after 19:45, the seven British battlecruisers, which have united and increased speed, are seen by Hipper's five ships which are almost directly ahead. The British ships are silhouetted against the sunset but the Germans have difficulty because of needing to look into the sun. Hipper is now convinced by Beatty's course that the Grand Fleet is present and turns South East to wait until the sun has set. At 20:10 he reduces speed to resume the action as Beatty also comes within range of the old battleships of Rear-Admiral Mauve's 2nd Battle Squadron, bearing almost due South from Beatty. Beatty's ships suffer severely as they cannot see Hipper's ships and engage Mauve's squadron. The British battlecruisers are forced back towards Jeram's battleships. By 20:45 Jeram can at least see gun flashes from Mauve's ships which started from a position to the East of the 1st and 3rd Battle Squadrons and are now left to the North of the main strength of the High Seas Fleet. As he is 4 knots faster, is able to close the range as the light fails. Thus at 2100, Jellicoe can see that his leading squadrons are heavily engaged. He has great difficulty in seeing the enemy in the twilight, partly because some of his destroyers also move to attack Mauve's ships and become involved in a battle with German destroyers. Thus he essentially allowed the action to develop.

By 21:10, Pommern had blown up and all the other pre-dreadnoughts were burning and starting to sink. The Grand fleet was now engaging them all at short range using search lights but could not see much beyond the fires and smoke. This was unfortunate because the German dreadnoughts had turned towards them and many now launched torpedoes aimed at the search lights. The German dreadnoughts also began to fire at the British ships and several turned on their own search lights. Ships on both sides suffered numerous hits. At such ranges armour piercing shells should defeated all armour but British shells still tend to explode on contact. The Germans also had the advantage of opening fire first, of their torpedoes arriving before the Grand Fleet could execute a turn and, critically, that the detached German light force which had been to the East of the Grand Fleet at sunset now arrived unobserved from the unengaged side to launch more torpedoes.

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Re: German victory at Jutland

Post by IronDuke » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:12 am

I think the only way Germany could have 'won' the war at sea 1914-18 would have been unrestricted Submarine warfare from the start and the building of many more submarines. However this would probably have brought the USA into the war sooner and this would not have helped Germany on land on the Western Front.

With hindsight, the best moves for the Germans would have been to have built up their Fleet only so far as they needed to to counter France and to have accepted a British Alliance, when it was on offer in the late 1890's. Had the German Kaiser had the wit to do that world history would probably have been greatly different...
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Re: German victory at Jutland

Post by RF » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:59 pm

IronDuke wrote:
With hindsight, the best moves for the Germans would have been to have built up their Fleet only so far as they needed to to counter France and to have accepted a British Alliance, when it was on offer in the late 1890's. Had the German Kaiser had the wit to do that world history would probably have been greatly different...
Ted
I did propose an alternative WW1 based on this premise a couple of years ago, in which Britain, Belguim, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Japan lined up against France, Russia, USA and Italy. Unfortunately nobody responded......
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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