How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
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RF
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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by RF » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:17 pm

The above posts may have the element of benevolent hindsight but the alternative KM construction programmes outlined were realistic, especially in view of the British acceptance of Germany being allowed to build to 35% of the tonnage of the RN.
They were certainly more realistic than the Z Plan.
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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by ede144 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:46 pm

RF wrote:The above posts may have the element of benevolent hindsight but the alternative KM construction programmes outlined were realistic, especially in view of the British acceptance of Germany being allowed to build to 35% of the tonnage of the RN.
They were certainly more realistic than the Z Plan.
6 years for a 12000 man navy, tryingto cheat Versailles to. A Navy which got with only two realy powerful battleships the RN at the brink of defeat is not really bad. And all this with a political leader who did not understand how business works.


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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by Djoser » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:24 am

ede144 wrote:All posts are dreams with out link to the political realities. Regards
Ede
Most of Hitler's plans and actions were the product of a man living in a dream world, without link to the political/economic realities. No reason it couldn't have been done a little differently, with a better fleet being the result.

I do agree that the historical Kriegsmarine did pretty well against vastly superior opponents, at least in numerical terms.

I'm quite sure no one here would prefer that Nazi-controlled Germany won WW II, but the idea of an improved Kriegsmarine makes for fascinating speculation, particularly amongst those of us who are fans of realistic wargames.

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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by srgt rock » Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:26 pm

IMHO i would improve the KM by changing the man at the top with Admiral Carls. What Germany needed was a leader who would take the fleet he had an use it BETTER.

The war Germany fought was NOT the war the Z-plan envisioned. Time was the biggest factor the KM lost.

IMHO, better would be:
1. Shorten the training times of new units.
2. More and larger amphibious operations.
a. Type 35 ships use during the Norway invasion to transport troops and provide better ASW coverage in the Kattagat.
b. Use Emden in the Narvik task force to carry more troops, equipment and refuel the DDs
c. Aiding the air borne landing in Holland with small scale landings (you don't need any large units to do that)
d. Large scale amphibious landings in the Baltic and Gulf of Finland to help the army to capture Lenningrad.

3. Use the ships the KM had better:
a. Emden used operationally like Carls called for.
b. Seydlitz used as is as a training ship to replace Emden
c. Convert the Flensburg iron ore ships into MAC ships to give cover to the convoys around Norway and to train pilots
4. Finish GZ and convert other ships (including Trosshiff Franken) into carriers

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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by RF » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:55 pm

Djoser wrote: Most of Hitler's plans and actions were the product of a man living in a dream world, without link to the political/economic realities. No reason it couldn't have been done a little differently, with a better fleet being the result.I
I think this puts things very succinctly.

But Hitler overall had little interest in the KM; as a first condition to any improvement the KM has to be under its own leadership and not that of the fuhrer.
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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by RF » Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:05 pm

Djoser wrote: I'm quite sure no one here would prefer that Nazi-controlled Germany won WW II,...
This sentence could open up a whole myriad of tangential discussion.

Leaving aside the motivation for ''improving the Kriegsmarine'' which I have taken to be a purely academic consideration, I believe that if Nazi Germany had won WW2 then its continuing lifespan would have been a lot shorter than that of post WW2 Soviet Union. I don't think it would have outlived Hitler by very long (due to a lack of a successor of any calibre and the deterioration in education standards) and I don't think that Hitler would have lived more than a few years after victory.
The nazi regime would have fallen from within and the countries of western Europe and then eastern Europe would have regained independence. But the costs would be vastly greater.
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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by RF » Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:09 pm

srgt rock wrote:IMHO i would improve the KM by changing the man at the top with Admiral Carls. What Germany needed was a leader who would take the fleet he had an use it BETTER.
I don't disagree with any of the details of this post.

There are other things that could have been done as well - such as improving shipyard capacity and construction lead times, with improvements to labour productivity and allocation and utilisation of raw materials.
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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by Ersatz Yorck » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:35 pm

ede144 wrote: A Navy which got with only two realy powerful battleships the RN at the brink of defeat is not really bad.
I wouldn't say Bismarck and Tirpitz brought Britain to "the brink of defeat", far from it. Not even the submarines did that.

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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by Ersatz Yorck » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:40 pm

RF wrote: Actually if five improved panzerschiffe had been built instead of the five Hippers I think that they could make a heck of a difference - especially if they had worked in pairs, like the twins.....
Agreed. But the days of surface raiding would still have come to an end in 1941 or 1942 at the latest, and only 2 or at the most 3 of them would have been ready for use before then, assuming the same building times as the Hippers, so the impact would not have been all that great.

Edit: BTW I am not so sure it would have been better to operate together, or with the limited number of ships available that it would have been practical.

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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by ede144 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:47 pm

Ersatz Yorck wrote:
RF wrote: Actually if five improved panzerschiffe had been built instead of the five Hippers I think that they could make a heck of a difference - especially if they had worked in pairs, like the twins.....
Agreed. But the days of surface raiding would still have come to an end in 1941 or 1942 at the latest, and only 2 or at the most 3 of them would have been ready for use before then, assuming the same building times as the Hippers, so the impact would not have been all that great.

Edit: BTW I am not so sure it would have been better to operate together, or with the limited number of ships available that it would have been practical.
It cost 9 month each to modify D and E to SH and GN. This would have been the time to get ships operational. in 1999

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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by ede144 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:58 pm

Ersatz Yorck wrote:
ede144 wrote: A Navy which got with only two realy powerful battleships the RN at the brink of defeat is not really bad.
I wouldn't say Bismarck and Tirpitz brought Britain to "the brink of defeat", far from it. Not even the submarines did that.
The RN thought different, if we see all the efforts to sink both.
I believe that UK was weeks away from defeat at ywo occasions. The first was just before Hitler stopped the Panzers at Dunkirk and the secomd in 41 after the Balkan campaign. At this time a Seelowe would have been possible.
With the start in Russia it was clear that Churchill got a his chance.
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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by RF » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:04 am

Ersatz Yorck wrote: Edit: BTW I am not so sure it would have been better to operate together, or with the limited number of ships available that it would have been practical.
I was thinking of convoy attack here, where ships scatter; a pair of panzerschiffe could account for the bulk of the fleeing ships by attacking on different flanks. Certainly I think this would have been the case in Scheers' attack on HX84 where only five merchantmen were sunk.
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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by Ersatz Yorck » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:28 pm

RF wrote:
Ersatz Yorck wrote: Edit: BTW I am not so sure it would have been better to operate together, or with the limited number of ships available that it would have been practical.
I was thinking of convoy attack here, where ships scatter; a pair of panzerschiffe could account for the bulk of the fleeing ships by attacking on different flanks. Certainly I think this would have been the case in Scheers' attack on HX84 where only five merchantmen were sunk.
Yes, that is undoubtedly so if considering a single attack. But would it be more desirable to have two single raiders operating in different areas instead of having two operating as a pair? Would it be better to have a continuous presence of at least one raider in the Atlantic or having two operating together and having stretches of time with no raider at sea at all? Not sure which would be best, but given the scarcity of ships, those are the choices that would have to have been made, and considering the unreliability of KM ships, there might not even have been a choice.

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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by RF » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:24 pm

But this argument could be applied to Scharnhorst and Gneisenau as well, would it not?

For North Atlantic operations 1939 to early 1941 a pair of panzerschiffe operating together to sink entire convoys plus weak escorts would draw a large number of cruisers and heavy ships to guard against/search for them, in turn requiring destroyer escorts, which helps other raiders (both regular warships and hilfskreuzer) operating alone further afield, but more importantly helps the U-boats as well as there are less destroyers out searching for U-boats.
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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:03 pm

It appears that the KM agreed with the thoughts expressed here that a pair of raiders would be more successful than a single raider against convoys, especailly if they scattered. However, I think history also shows that a single panzerschiff could be successful against a convoy, nonetheless.

Krancke would have been more successful against HX-84 had he not ran out of daylight. In the darkness he had to locate the scattering targets using radar. He thought he attacked 12 different targets but they attacked some targets more than once. When the convoy was discovered by his scout plane it was 80nm away. He had to decide whether to move in and stalk it through the coming night or attack as soon as he could get within range. He later defended his decision based on "who knows what tomorrow will bring?"

Meisel did the opposite when he discovered a convoy using radar in a heavy storm during the night of Feb 11/12 1941. Not knowing the disposition and composition of a possible escort force (it was unescorted), he decided to shadow the convoy with radar through the night and attack at dawn. At dawn he approached head on flying the white ensign. He was almost in the middle of the convoy before the British decided his answers to the challenges as to his identity were unsatisfactory. Meisel then ran up the KM ensign and opened fire with both guns and torpedoes. Meisel's score was initially 7 ships, but part of the strategy was hit and run and causing disruption among the enemy dispositions. The surface raiders success was not measured by tonnage directly sunk. The indvidual survivors suffered badly from the U-boats in the days to come as well.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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