Tirpitz instead of Scharnhorst in North Cape

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
User avatar
miro777
Member
Posts: 222
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 2:13 pm
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Post by miro777 » Sat Feb 11, 2006 4:57 pm

hey guys

my opinion is that the Tirpitz would have defiantly escaped
the weather and the radar problems are factors whihc really affected the Scharnhorst (she was a very wet ship) but not so much the Tirptiz

first of all the Tirptiz HAD a better crew than the Scharnhorst!
the Scharnhorst had just almost completly switched their crew.
they were not really an expiereinced crew yet.

If the Tirptiz, which was a great ship, wouldn't have fought back effectively, and even sunk the Duke of York, whihc she could have easily done, the the factor of the much thicker protection of the Tirpitz than the one of the Scharnhorst

this would have at least minimized the threat of torpedoes!

I then conclude, if the Tirpitzwould have fought that battle, she would have defianlty not be sunk, if not even sunk the DoY...

adios

miro
Die See ruft....

User avatar
Gary
Senior Member
Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:37 pm
Location: Northumberland

Post by Gary » Mon Apr 17, 2006 4:32 pm

I doubt the 3 cruisers (Norfolk, Sheffield and Belfast) would dare to engage Tirpitz.
The Queen of the North was the biggest Battleship in Europe.
Not to be f**ked with :negative:
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

ufo
Supporter
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Rhu, Scotland

Post by ufo » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:35 pm

miro777 wrote:hey guys

my opinion is that the Tirpitz would have defiantly escaped
the weather and the radar problems are factors whihc really affected the Scharnhorst (she was a very wet ship) but not so much the Tirptiz

first of all the Tirptiz HAD a better crew than the Scharnhorst!
the Scharnhorst had just almost completly switched their crew.
they were not really an expiereinced crew yet.

If the Tirptiz, which was a great ship, wouldn't have fought back effectively, and even sunk the Duke of York, whihc she could have easily done, the the factor of the much thicker protection of the Tirpitz than the one of the Scharnhorst

this would have at least minimized the threat of torpedoes!

I then conclude, if the Tirpitzwould have fought that battle, she would have defianlty not be sunk, if not even sunk the DoY...

adios

miro
A few questions here:

The survivors reports from Scharnhorst as well as reports about life aboard Tirpitz after the war paint an exactly opposite picture :?: :!:
Scharnhorst’s crew was said to be far better trained and seasoned than Tirpitz'. Tirpitz especially suffering from withdrawal of well trained crew and getting green replacements.
May I ask where the statement about Tirpitz better crew comes from?

About the armour - Scharnhorst carried the thicker armour belt, about equal deck armour and a similar torpedo protection. Despite Tirpitz being more subdivided than Scharnhorst I can not see the enormous advantage Tirpitz should have had :?:
It might have taken more torpedoes than it took for Scharnhorst but there was no shortage.

When their sisters Bismarck and Prince of Wales fought it out, it looked fairly even to me! Why would Tirpitz have fared any better fighting the Duke with her superior Radar set?

A paper of the Seekriegsleitung looking at the quality of German warships one year into the war concluded that the problems with seakeeping have not yet been fixed from Panzerschiff D and E (the sisters) to F and G (Bismarck and Tirpitz)
And although being wet Scharnhorst did a good job in running for dear life when that was all that was left. They were after all faster than the Bismarck class.

So - in summary - I fail to see the great advantage Tirpitz would have had over Scharnhorst!


@Gary

When did British cruisers actually run away in the war? They might have done well in some places, messed things up in others but I struggle to find examples of them letting slip the enemy away.

Ciao,
Ufo

George Gerolimatos
Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 5:23 pm
Location: Illinois, USA

Agree with Ufo

Post by George Gerolimatos » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:50 pm

I agree with what Ufo said,
There is no basis for saying Tirpitz's crew was better than Scharnhorst's. Both ships were stuck in the Norwegian fjords with little chance for exercises, let alone action. In Jacobsen's book on Scharnhorst he mentions that not much of the crew of that ship was new; on the contrary, officers like Dominik (XO) had been with the ship since 1939.

I think British cruisers would have pursued, i.e., shadowed, Tirpitz. So what if Tirpitz was big? Norfolk and Suffolk did the same for Bismarck, right? The function of cruisers is not to engage superior vessels like BBs but to track them for other heavy units to engage them. With bad visibility and their superiority in radar the Brits would have had an easy time tracking Tirpitz.

In fact, I think it would have been even less likely for a ship like Tirpitz to escape than Scharnhorst, because the one advantage the Germans had in this battle was speed. With Tirpitz, you give away about 2 knots for an increase in firepower, but firepower doesn't matter if you can't hit your target! Scharnhorst managed a single ineffectual hit on DoY; what makes you think Tirpitz would have shot any better? She may have scored more damaging hits on the shadowing cruisers than Scharnhorst did, though. At night, clearly, German gunnery was nowhere near that of British vessels. Moreover, had Tirpitz sortied, then Fraser would have come out with some 2-unit combination, like DoY and KGV. Sending out Tirpitz would not have affected the outcome of the battle.
George G.

User avatar
Gary
Senior Member
Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:37 pm
Location: Northumberland

Post by Gary » Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:09 pm

I never said they would let Tirpitz get away.
I said that they would not ENGAGE Tirpitz the way they engaged Scharnhorst.

Norfolk and Suffolk did a sterling job of shadowing Bismarck 2 years previously but neither one of them, quite rightly, made any attempt to engage Bismarck.

As someone said in the 1960 black white Sink the Bismarck film

"We might as well throw crumpets at her for all the good it'll do".
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Post by Bgile » Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:48 pm

On a clear day, IMO Tirpitz would on paper have been more than a match for DoY due to her more powerful armament. The Germans inability to practise gunnery made even that a bit problematic. Even if we ignore that, under the prevailing conditions on that fateful day radar was everything and I have to agree with others that if Scharnhorst couldn't hit DoY effectively, then Tirpitz probably couldn't have done so, either.

I don't necessarily agree that if Tirpitz was there, Frazer would have just grabbed another fast battleship from his inventory. The other ships of the class were undoubtedly elsewhere for a reason.

User avatar
Gary
Senior Member
Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:37 pm
Location: Northumberland

Post by Gary » Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:04 pm

If Tirpitz had been there, I do not believe Fraser would go up against the Germans with DOY as the only heavy unit.
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

George Gerolimatos
Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 5:23 pm
Location: Illinois, USA

Just DoY

Post by George Gerolimatos » Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:20 am

Hi,
This has been an interesting discussion. I am not aware of the availability of heavy units for the British at the time of late December 1943. May I ask why you don't think the British would have had more heavy units to deal with Tirpitz? With their clear superiority in numbers an intelligence, it was relatively easily for the British, at this stage of the war, to concentrate enough forces in an area to overwhelm a local threat. To my mind, DoY clearly outmatched Scharnhorst. Wouldn't it have been prudent to have another heavy unit accompany DoY "just to make sure the job got done?" I mean, the Admiralty was fixated on Tirpitz. Wouldn't it have made sense to pit two heavy units against her, as had been done with Bismarck? Again, I'm not sure if KGV, Anson, or any other ships were available at the time.
George G.

User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
Posts: 3800
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

Tirpitz at North Cape

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:50 am

Ciao all,

after Bismarck chase, W. Churchill ordered that to manage Tirpitz it was mandatorely required that a 16 inch armed American fast battleship must have been with any Royal Navy modern battleship of KG V class in order to engage the Tirpitz.

No battlecruisers like Renown or Repulse allowed to be in the fight, after what happened to Hood, this was executed on May 27th immediately for Renown kept out of the Bismarck last battle.

More, they must have to had air coverage and superiority ( aircraft carrier task force in the area ).

This is not only proven but a request from Churchill to Roosevelt was issued requesting such a ship to be detached to Scapa Flow.

I think USS Washington was there for some time.

Just an input for your evaluations,....

Ciao Antonio :D

User avatar
Gary
Senior Member
Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:37 pm
Location: Northumberland

Post by Gary » Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:06 pm

I believe SoDak was at Scapa briefly (about 1942) also.
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Post by Bgile » Fri Apr 21, 2006 4:51 pm

George, my statement wasn’t based upon any knowledge of the actual situation at the time of the battle with Scharnhorst – just that I think the British had only 3 fast battleships at that time. With other operational commitments and overhaul and repair time, it usually takes several capital ships to keep one on station continuously.

The US has 12 CVs right now. The rule of thumb is that only 4 are deployed. You can surge more, and during wartime you can keep them out much longer, but you seldom have all of them available.

Antonio, that’s an interesting addition. I wasn’t aware of such an edict by Churchill, but I suppose it makes sense in view of what transpired at Denmarck Strait. The problem of course would be to get the US to commit those ships to that theater while in a desperate struggle with Japan. We know one or more of them were there from time to time for sure.

User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
Posts: 3800
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

Tirpitz and more

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Apr 21, 2006 5:09 pm

Ciao all,

Tirpitz story is a very complex scenario to depict.

British created a very complete set of actions in order to monitor and control that battleship.

Norway underground groups were acting one unaware of the other in order to ensure maximum control on Tirpitz and always informations to flow back to London ACIU ( Allied Center Intelligence Unit ).

The ship was never to be lost from been spotted and controlled, daily !

Than RAF air recognition efforts, the Chariots attack, X-Craft creation just to attack her, can provide the real importance to damage her as soon as possible to allow those crucial US and British ships to be used somewere else were needed and free the route of the Artic convoys.

Only Tirpitz was the ship able to provide problems on that strategic scenario.

No other KM ships were really taken as a serious problem.

In fact Lutzow plus Admiral Hipper were managed by light ships ( Operation Regenbogen on December 1942 ) and even Scharnhorst was managed without many problems ( North Cape December 1943 ).

When Tirpitz was out with escorts and air protection,.. on July 1942, .. than the PQ 17 disaster occurred,.. and it was only due to Tirpitz presence at sea.

That is why the US battleships when available were used,..to reinforce the protection with Aircraft Carriers and allow even with Tirpitz presence some crucial Artic convoys to succesfully sail to Russia.

A very interesting exercise is to create a table with all Artic convoy numbers and correlate it to Tirpitz availability and US ships plus Aircraft Carriers escorts,.. you will see clearly that one was disabling the other factor.

Leonce Peillard fantastic book on Tirpitz ( still the best on her ) is providing a very precise scenario thru Tirpitz life,..and all perfect correlations about the above.

Hope this helps your evaluations.

Ciao Antonio :D

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Post by Bgile » Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:28 pm

Wow, Antonio!

Thanks for the illuminating post. That really helps put things in perspective.

George Gerolimatos
Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 5:23 pm
Location: Illinois, USA

Great info, Antonio

Post by George Gerolimatos » Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:11 am

I also appreciate Antonio's comments.

Has anyone read anything about Churchill's plan to trap Tirpitz, which directly resulted in the PQ 17 disaster? I've a bit about this in Alf Jacobsen's account of Scharnhorst, where he talks about Operation "Cobweb," where an MI5 double agent, working in Iceland, leaked the info to the Germans that PQ 17 was about to sail. This is fascinating stuff, something that needs more investigation. Jacobsen cites the PRO, which opened these files only in spring 2003. The more I read about Churchill and the Admiralty, the more I wonder about their immense intelligence ability (of course, in this case their plans backfired). How much did these fellows really know, and what's more, when did they know it? The more I read the more I realize how far superior the British intel work was compared to the German.
George G.

User avatar
Antonio Bonomi
Senior Member
Posts: 3800
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Vimercate ( Milano ) - Italy

Tirpitz strategic value

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Apr 22, 2006 2:32 pm

Ciao Bgile, George and all,

Thanks :oops:

YES, I agree the Allied Intelligence and their direct connection with Warfare Operation was superior to the German one and mostly could count on Norway agents underfround direct control on that area.

Kalle Rasmussen group ( with Torstein Raaby and Harry Pettersen ), Leif Larsen, Bjorn Rohrolt, Egil Lindberg, Einar Johansen, Astrup Nillsen, Alvor Oopgard, and many more have been really key to enable good information and controls back to ACIU in London.

Never read that PQ 17 was supposed to be a trap for Tirpitz.

PRO last documents and Alf Jacobsen latest efforts are very good new infos on Tirpitz.

I am sure you are aware of Jacobsen last book on Tirpitz just been translated in English and published.

The intelligence on managing the Tirpitzs is key and in fact I agree is a very fascinating story, .. and it is another reason why it is my favourite ship.


Ciao Antonio :D

Post Reply