How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

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

Post by delcyros » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:51 am

technically:

15cm, true rapid fire triple turrets were fielded by the KM in the mid thirties. These had been the 5.91"/60 of CL NÜRNBERG, which achieved a cyclic rate of fire of 10 to 12 rpmpg (=5 to 6 sec.) as opposed to 6-8 for the K-class mounts. I don´t think they will be of any asset in the AA role.

Without changing to much I´d like to do something out of those:
[+] Provide the SCHARNHORST- and BISMARCK-class with all-DIESEL propulsion instead of high pressure steam turbines, which was intended for these classes. Cut´s down speed by 1-2 kts but nearly doubles the range effectively.
[+] buildt the HIPPERS to the original plans as a large CL with four 15cm/60 rapid fire triple turrets instead of four twin 8"/60.
[+] quit building CV´s and H-class
[+] buildt more dedicated, transport and support ships.
[+] provide more reserves for auxilary cruiser conversion and light crafts
[+] better funding of torpedo production for a larger stock of weapons
[+] give the KM authority to decide where to install it´s own radarsets -instead of the ones left over
[+] if possible, give the KM an independent, land based, coastal air arm with long range anti shipping aircraft like the Fw-200 or Ju-290 & Do-217 or Ju-188 and sufficiant funding to serve one long range Geschwader and another one for coastal services.

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RF
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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by RF » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:18 am

I don't really dis agree with much of the above post, except that I'm not clear on the point of having Hipper classe cruisers with 12 5.9 inch guns.
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delcyros
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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by delcyros » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:02 pm

The HIPPERs don´t have the range necessary to operate as an independent raider in the North Atlantic by using bases in northern Germany.
Historically, their design was demanding in to many directions. It received powerful guns (altough not powerful enough for dispatching a pair of WT cruisers), a full battleship sized firecontroll gear, equipment and provisions to stay at sea for very long. High speed, good seakeeping and adeaquate range- and in the end ended up beeing heavily overweight for a cruiser.
The to sensible high pressure steam propulsion is weight efficient but required constant maintenance and wasn´t really a good thing for a long range raider.

Originally, the HIPPER were much smaller. They had the same powerplant, and protection (I believe the exposed vitals of turrets and barbettes were less well armoured) but 12 x 5.91in, some 8.8cm AAA , multiple TT and somehow less buncerage. This fit´s exactly to what the KM needs for a unit which can easily dispatch off light forces up to a WT cruiser in home waters. Lower range and sensible powerplants are tolerable in coastal waters. The design will be lighter, cheaper and faster.
Funding of R&D for 8"/60 naval rifles are spend for something more useful, like improved 4.1", fully closed mounts with sufficiant splinterprotection or providing the FLAK forces of the Reichsverteidigung with naval 8.8cm AAA rifles.

Home forces:
1 x PBB (DEUTSCHLAND, flag)
2 x modernized PDN (SCHLESIEN & SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN)
11x CL (EMDEN, KARLSRUHE, KÖNIGSBERG, KÖLN, LEIPZIG, NÜRNBERG, HIPPER, BLÜCHER, PRINZ EUGEN, SEYDLITZ with LÜTZOW beeing sold to USSR)
DD´s, torpedoboats, E-boats, coastal submarines and minelayer
transport and support units

Raiding Forces:
4 x BB (SCHARNHORST, GNEISENAU, BISMARCK, TIRPITZ)
2 x PBB (SCHEER, GRAF SPEE)
submarines
naval long range maritime patrol wings
auxilary cruisers

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RF
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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by RF » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:31 pm

Again I don't really disagree but there are two salient points. The argument here about the original role of the Hipper classe is somewhat redundant, as what is really being asked for is an upgrade to the light cruisers. This could have been done, along with development of the spahkreuzer.

The other salient point is the lack of carriers for the raiding forces, you would need Graf Zeppelin and Peter Strasser as proper fleet carriers plus the four planned auxiliary carriers. Plus of course the spahkreuzer to act as scouts and torpedo carriers to sink merchant ships not worth using heavy shellfire on.
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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by celticmarine10 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:36 pm

The Kriegsmarine should have completed their carrier force. The Graf Zepplin (did i spell that right...?) was near completion, but kept getting moved to different ports. The Kriegsamrine would have done a lot better with a carrier force.
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RF
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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by RF » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:00 pm

And with no Herman Goering.
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Terje Langoy
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Post by Terje Langoy » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:29 pm

G´day all


Here´s an article; "Raeder vs. Wegener - Conflict in German Naval Strategy"

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... n15979337/

... hopefully it could offer some perspective on Admiral Erich Raeder and German naval strategy


Kind regards

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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by Thorsten Wahl » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:17 pm

The Allies systematically achieved an absolute air superiority about the Atlantic past 1940/41 and continuosly increase the density of air reconnaissance. Only border areas in the north are partly excluded from this.

Under such circumstances any attempt of a sortie of non air protected and air assisted reconnaissance became some kind of suicide mission.
Meine Herren, es kann ein siebenjähriger, es kann ein dreißigjähriger Krieg werden – und wehe dem, der zuerst die Lunte in das Pulverfaß schleudert!

delcyros
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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by delcyros » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:59 pm

I beg to differ in this question.

Task forces centered around a pair of BB´s, a Spähkreuzer and a carrier are waste of ressources in asymetric warfare. The KM is the inferior force in any conflict with the UK. Thus, in case it decides to threaten british Sealanes, it has to disperse british activities.

If the true goal of the operation were solely commerce raiding with a goal of interrupting Britain's supply lines, then I it appears that such a plan did NOT make sense. Sending out a Graf Zeppelin centered Task Force to roam the open ocean in search of individually-sailing merchant ships would have been futile indeed. What were the rest of the squadron supposed to do while one of their number searched and sank the occasional tramp steamer they jointly came across? Britain had a substantial numerical advantage in carriers and land based maritime patrol aircraft and as we must suppose, had an experience advantage, also.
Are the four to six Bf-109T aviable at any time able to provide air cover for the task force? I don´t think so. They may be useful in engaging a maritime patrol bomber but against a dedicated and coordingated attack with low time exposure, an air umbrella requires forces ten times that numerous to be effective.

But in 1941/42, ww2 had long since seen the introduction of convois and the only reasonable purpose to sortie that many capital ships as a group would be to overwhelm a heavily defended convoy guarded by heavy ships. A task force centered around Graf Zeppelin should include the twins preferably then (they are fast, too.). But still, this doesn´t make much sense to me. A Task Force is an attractive target and the RN would be offered the opportunity to overwhelm them by concentration of it´s forces.

A unified squadron made up of BC´s, CA´s and Graf Zeppelin would have been forced to spend the majority of their time between regularly scheduled meetings with supply ships to keep their bunkers full rather than aggressively running down every ship on the ocean to send to the bottom. When it comes to destroying merchant ships there was nothing that a carrier could do out on the wide Atlantic that a couple of Spähkreuzer on the loose couldn't have done equally well, except that Graf Zeppelin projects a larger effective fighting zone into the Atlantic with air ops.

On the other hand, if the strategical target was to send out forces onto the remote areas of Britains trade routes in order to attack trade AND disperse the Home Fleet, then it doesn´t need to be covered by carriers but instead could operate on a sole (like the raids of DEUTSCHLAND, GRAF SPEE, SCHEER and HIPPER) or dual base (like the cruises of GNEISENAU & SCHARNHORST or BISMARCK & PRINZ EUGEN). Realistically spoken, the German Naval Command had to reckon with the eventual loss of the ships sent out on such mission.

A single German raider located somewhere between Cape Cod and Liverpool would have been enough to paralyze shipping between North America and Europe and force the Royal Navy to send out massive search forces. This stretches the naval assets of the RN to ot´s very limits and fewer escorts would have been provided to compensate for this. This in turn may create conditions in favour of the raider. Raeder concluded that not all convois would have received warship escorts and some would be escorted by nothing more than armed merchant cruisers, which provided little else than navigational aid and radioed the position in regular intervals.

Let us hypothetically assume that the Germans decided to use TIRPITZ and SCHEER in such a capacity as planned for late 1941. Their appearence on the Atlantic would have forced the RN to send out large forces to search her. By this time, Renown & KGV were the only remaining fast ships of the RN, which could tackle them. In addition to these large units, The Royal Navy had the following CV´ s at it´s disposal:

1.) HMS Argus (14.000t. 20 Kts, 20 planes)
2.) HMS Eagle (22.000t. 24 Kts, 21 planes)
3.) HMS Victorious (23000t 31 Kts, 33 planes)
4.) HMS Audacity (11.000t. 15 Kts, 6 planes) -CVE-
5.) HMS Archer (16000t. 17,5 Kts, 16 planes) -CVE-

Other non avaiable:

1.) HMS Furious (22.000t 30 Kts, 36 planes) under refit (drydocked) in the US
2.) HMS Hermes (11.000t 25 Kts, 15 planes) in transfer, sheduled for drydocking in the UK
3.) HMS Formidable (23000t 31 Kts, 33 planes) under repair (drydocked) in the US.
4.) HMS Illustrious (23000t 31 Kts, 33 planes) under refit (drydocked) in the US.
5.) HMS Indomitable (23000t. 30.5 Kts, 45 planes) sea trials, working up

The avaiable RN carriers are a very inconsistent group by late 41. Their speed ranges from 15-31 Kts, all having individually less endurance, less protection, and with the single exception of HMS VICTORIOUS less speed than the german raiding force.
To cover the most lucrative areas for German naval interdiction ( West Indies, Western Approaches, and mid-Atlantic narrows) would thus have required at least 6 fleet carriers -- approximately twice the number of ships that the British had aviable. The committed serach forces of the Home Fleet need a fleet carrier, too. This leaves 2 CVE + the relatively slow and vulnarable HMS ARGUS and HMS EAGLE for patrolling. Strategically from a raiders perspective, it was more sane to send ONE or TWO ship on a raid than it was to send four or six...

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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by lwd » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:32 pm

celticmarine10 wrote:The Kriegsmarine should have completed their carrier force. The Graf Zepplin (did i spell that right...?) was near completion, but kept getting moved to different ports. The Kriegsamrine would have done a lot better with a carrier force.
Or not. The Germans had little experiance with carrier aviation and the CV they had under construction showed it. Having one carrier that was roughly the equivalant of a US CVL wouldn't have helped them much and would likely have been lost early in the game if they tried to use it aggressivly.

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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by dunmunro » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:39 pm

Let us hypothetically assume that the Germans decided to use TIRPITZ and SCHEER in such a capacity as planned for late 1941. Their appearence on the Atlantic would have forced the RN to send out large forces to search her. By this time, Renown & KGV were the only remaining fast ships of the RN, which could tackle them. In addition to these large units...


Plus Pow and Repulse, with DoY working up, and DoY began sea trials from August 1941 and commissioned in Nov 1941. In late 1941 both Illustrious (Oct) and Formidable (Dec) were working up following repairs in the USA.

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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by Tiornu » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:55 am

German cruiser design fell into a period of indecision after completion of the Leipzig design. Early studies in 15cm ships made little progress, so the next light cruiser (Nurnberg) was little changed from Leipzig. Eventually the "M" class evolved, but it was on the back-burner for some years. The design was made in 1934 to create a ship to counter Algerie, and while some thought went into mounting twelve 15cm guns, it wasn't long before everyone knew 8in guns were the way to go. Even a suggested 19cm compromise barely made a footnote.
All of this deliberation can obscure the fact that the fleet never actually spelled out what the ship was for, though it was specified for Atlantic operations. Designers then opted for turbines rather than diesels.
Ironically, the 15cm possibility arose again and almost affected the final units due to treaty restrictions.
I have to agree that the Germans "missed the boat" regarding carriers. If they wanted a carrier force, they needed to pursue that right out of the starting gate in 1935.

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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by Djoser » Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:22 am

If they had finished the Graf Zeppelin and sent her out with Bismarck, it certainly would have made it a lot more difficult to sink the Bismarck. It was so close to being finished anyway, why not put a little extra effort into it?

Had the Bismarck sunk the Hood, fought off the Swordfish attacks with naval air support, and returned successfully to port, it would have had a drastic effect on British morale. It might not have altered the course of the war significantly, but nothing much the Germans could have done would have.

Knowing as we do the desperation of the Royal Navy to take down the Bismarck alone, imagine the effect of a subsequent sortie with Bismarck, Tirpitz, Graf zeppelin, and maybe a few other ships. Especially if it happened after the loss of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse. If I had been in charge of naval construction, I would definitely have finished the carrier.

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Re:

Post by RF » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:59 am

Terje Langoy wrote:G´day all
Here´s an article; "Raeder vs. Wegener - Conflict in German Naval Strategy"
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... n15979337/
... hopefully it could offer some perspective on Admiral Erich Raeder and German naval strategy
Kind regards
An interesting article which unfortunately fails to go into any depth on the alleged German strategic thinking.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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RF
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Re: How would you improve the Kriegsmarine

Post by RF » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:03 pm

delcyros wrote:I beg to differ in this question.

Task forces centered around a pair of BB´s, a Spähkreuzer and a carrier are waste of ressources in asymetric warfare. The KM is the inferior force in any conflict with the UK. Thus, in case it decides to threaten british Sealanes, it has to disperse british activities.

If the true goal of the operation were solely commerce raiding with a goal of interrupting Britain's supply lines, then I it appears that such a plan did NOT make sense.
I don't see a coherent line of argument here. If a task force as outlined is merely a candidate to be despatched by a concentration of RN forces, how come that one raider on its own can achieve dispertion as opposed to its easy destruction?
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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