Graf Zeppelin vs HMS Ark Royal and Victorious

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Re: Graf Zeppelin vs HMS Ark Royal and Victorious

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:38 pm

Hiryu stroke Yorktown on two ocassions (first Kobayashi on the lead and then Tomonoga), the second one believing it was attacking a second carrier instead of the same one. On both ocassions the american damage control parties were able to stop the fires. Even after the second attack captain Buckmaster´s men were in the way to minimize the listing of the vessel and expecting an ocean going tug to take her to Pearl. That´s when a submarine came and slammed her with torpedoes.

Hiryu was lucky in getting Yorktown because Yamaguchi, in his desire to avenge the destruction of Kido Butai, approached insanely close to it´s prey. By doing so, yes, he destroyed Yorktown but managed to get destroyed also. It was much like a kamikaze strike rathen than an agressive attack. By destroying Yorktown Yamaguchi made sure the last of Kido Butai´s carriers got destroyed too.
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Re: Graf Zeppelin vs HMS Ark Royal and Victorious

Post by Tiornu » Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:12 am

If you're interested in GZ, you should join INRO immediately. ( http://www.warship.org/ ) They have a GZ article coming out soon, next issue, I believe.
Against this Graf Zepplin has 20 ME 155s, these being roughly matched in performance to the BF109G from which they are derived but with a heavier armament, and 20 Ju 87Es.
I know this is AH, but I think 109T's are a more likely fighter choice. The Stukas would be 87C's.
It may sound like I'm completely dismissing the Ju 87s, but because of their limited numbers, the number of British fighters and the armoured decks of Ark Royal and Victorious I doubt they would play any significant role in the battle.
Ark Royal doesn't have an armored flight deck. Victorious has one, but it won't accomplish anything against Stukas. Every Stuka bomb that hit a British armored flight deck managed to penetrate without the least difficulty.

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Re: Graf Zeppelin vs HMS Ark Royal and Victorious

Post by dunmunro » Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:07 am

Tiornu wrote:

Ark Royal doesn't have an armored flight deck. Victorious has one, but it won't accomplish anything against Stukas. Every Stuka bomb that hit a British armored flight deck managed to penetrate without the least difficulty.
That's assuming that a shipborne Stuka could/would use a 500kg bomb. Carrier operations may limit bomb weight to maximize range and/or to permit carrier take off.

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Re: Graf Zeppelin vs HMS Ark Royal and Victorious

Post by Tiornu » Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:26 am

No, a 250kg bomb would be enough.

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Re: Graf Zeppelin vs HMS Ark Royal and Victorious

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:50 am

To have a decent carrier force in the first half of XX Century a country will need at least 7-10 years to develop such a force with a proper doctrine. Just see what effort had the USN, RN and IJN to develop their own units. Germany could have built their GZ and could have developed naval worthy versions of their dive bombers and fighters (what about torpedo planes?) but that doesn´t imply that their force could have lasted one hour against a USN carrier division or a RN determined pilots.
The Germans must have began their development since the beginings of the 30ies (they could well had) with the building of several flatops (instead of the useless BBs). But by doing so Raeder would have need to be a genius, which was obvious he wasn´t. He saw big guns, as many did, and he saw his opportunity to avenge the fate of HSF and, for personal reasons or simple incapacity to do mental progress he doomed all German naval efforts to be a modern seaborne power.
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Re: Graf Zeppelin vs HMS Ark Royal and Victorious

Post by dunmunro » Mon Sep 01, 2008 5:08 am

Tiornu wrote:No, a 250kg bomb would be enough.
IIRC, the RN designed the AFD to resist 550lb bombs except those dropped at very high altitudes. IIRC, the stuka bombs that crippled Illustrious were 500kg bombs and that was the only bomb weight to ever penetrate the AFD:
"Illustrious was consequently considerably shorter than Ark Royal, and because the flight deck armour weighed 1500 tons, the second hangar deck was omitted to reduce the freeboard by 22 feet and preserve stability. The flight deck armour of the ships was penetrated only once - by an 1100lb (500kg) bomb which struck Illustrious during a concerted attack on her by German dive-bombers on 10 January 1941."
( http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/Ships/FORMIDABLE.html )

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Re: Graf Zeppelin vs HMS Ark Royal and Victorious

Post by Tiornu » Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:56 am

IIRC, the RN designed the AFD to resist 550lb bombs except those dropped at very high altitudes.
That's incorrect.
IIRC, the stuka bombs that crippled Illustrious were 500kg bombs and that was the only bomb weight to ever penetrate the AFD:
Illustrious was hit by 250kg and 500kg bombs. How instructive is it to say that only one bomb penetrated the flight-deck armor when only one bomb ever struck the flight-deck armor? Of the fifteen bombs that struck armored-box carriers in the Mediterranean, the flight deck defeated only one--an anti-personnel bomb dropped from a level bomber at low altitude.

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Re: Graf Zeppelin vs HMS Ark Royal and Victorious

Post by dunmunro » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:53 am

Tiornu wrote:
IIRC, the RN designed the AFD to resist 550lb bombs except those dropped at very high altitudes.
That's incorrect.
IIRC, the stuka bombs that crippled Illustrious were 500kg bombs and that was the only bomb weight to ever penetrate the AFD:
Illustrious was hit by 250kg and 500kg bombs. How instructive is it to say that only one bomb penetrated the flight-deck armor when only one bomb ever struck the flight-deck armor? Of the fifteen bombs that struck armored-box carriers in the Mediterranean, the flight deck defeated only one--an anti-personnel bomb dropped from a level bomber at low altitude.
The AFD did defeat kamikaze attacks armed with 250kg bombs, but the fact that the system failed against an opponent armed with 500kg bombs does not imply that it would fail against an opponent armed with 250kg bombs. The AFD was designed to stop RN 500lb SAP bombs dropped from 7000ft and would have stopped 250kg bombs dropped from lower altitudes and 500kg bombs from even lower altitudes, as many were. The JU87C was a reworked Ju87B, but was much heavier after navalization and I doubt that it could carry a 500kg bomb, especially from a carrier. The long range antishipping stukas used in the Norway campaign were limited to 250kg bombs due to the need to carry more fuel in a JU87b based airframe and powerplant, and the JU 87C was also substantially heavier than the B but with no more power. The AFD and armoured box was designed protect the aircraft/flightdeck and nearly did so on Illustrious, but even then it forced the Luftwaffe to bomb from higher altitudes to ensure sufficient velocity to pierce the AFD, with a subsequent reduction in accuracy, and this factor is seldom considered, but it certainly saved the ship, simply due to the operational restraints that it placed on the opponent.

Skua pilots could drop their SAP or even HE bombs from 1000ft on GZ confident that this would wipe out her aircraft and damage the flight deck, but JU87C pilots would have to drop their bombs from above 2000 meters to ensure success, and use AP bombs with less capacity and their accuracy would suffer accordingly.

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Re: Graf Zeppelin vs HMS Ark Royal and Victorious

Post by Tiornu » Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:11 am

The AFD did defeat kamikaze attacks armed with 250kg bombs, but the fact that the system failed against an opponent armed with 500kg bombs does not imply that it would fail against an opponent armed with 250kg bombs.
No, but the fact that an attack by a Stuka exceeded the design parameters does imply failure. The fact that kamikazes didn't defeat it implies nothing in the absence of Stukas piloted by 1944 Japanese zealots.
The AFD was designed to stop RN 500lb SAP bombs dropped from 7000ft and would have stopped 250kg bombs dropped from lower altitudes and 500kg bombs from even lower altitudes, as many were.
The armor was designed to defeat 500-lb bombs dropped by level bombers at 7000 ft or by divebombers (Skua released at 3000 ft from a 70deg dive, meaning that Stukas had heavier bombs dropped from a steeper dive).
The JU87C was a reworked Ju87B, but was much heavier after navalization and I doubt that it could carry a 500kg bomb, especially from a carrier.
The Germans set conditions for catapult-launching the Ju 87C, not only with a 500kg bomb, but a 500kg bomb and four 50kg bombs.
The AFD and armoured box was designed protect the aircraft/flightdeck and nearly did so on Illustrious
While it may be comforting to think the armor almost did what it was supposed to do, that simply isn't the case.
even then it forced the Luftwaffe to bomb from higher altitudes to ensure sufficient velocity to pierce the AFD, with a subsequent reduction in accuracy, and this factor is seldom considered, but it certainly saved the ship, simply due to the operational restraints that it placed on the opponent.
This is entirely without foundation.
Skua pilots could drop their SAP or even HE bombs from 1000ft on GZ confident that this would wipe out her aircraft and damage the flight deck
Not if they wished to survive. Pullout was accomplished by 1500 ft minimum to avoid blast etc.
JU87C pilots would have to drop their bombs from above 2000 meters to ensure success, and use AP bombs with less capacity and their accuracy would suffer accordingly.
Fiction.

Either side could successfully ruin the other's flight deck and penetrate the hangar spaces with their standard weaponry and standard practice. However, GZ was much more vulnerable (operationally speaking) because of the ridiculous catapult system that accomplished little but to multiply the number of ways to put her air group out of action. I suspect, if she'd been completed, the catapults would have been removed or completely redesigned.

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Re: Graf Zeppelin vs HMS Ark Royal and Victorious

Post by RF » Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:31 pm

I was thinking in terms of June 1940 rather than specifically 1943, so radar and substantial escorts for the RN carriers are out. At this time there would be no prior carrier vs carrier battles, no prior carrier strikes to demonstrate their capabilities etc just a first time major action where neither side really knows what could happen. RN airpower would thus be nothing like that of 1943, while GZ is similary untried.

With respect to Raeder, there are several possibilities, particulary bearing in mind the rivalry with Goering. The most likely one could be that, just as Doenitz was left to get on with developing the U-boat arm without interference from Raeder, Raeder could have appointed a senior officer with (WW1?) flying experience to develop a naval air arm to spook Goering, and let this officer get on with it.....so operational carriers are built in tandem with the Scharnhorsts....
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Re: Graf Zeppelin vs HMS Ark Royal and Victorious

Post by dunmunro » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:30 pm

No, but the fact that an attack by a Stuka exceeded the design parameters does imply failure. The fact that kamikazes didn't defeat it implies nothing in the absence of Stukas piloted by 1944 Japanese zealots.

The RN's BCs were defeated by 11 and 12" APC shells at Jutland, does this imply a design failure? Should the RN have abandoned armouring its battle cruisers after this experience? Or does it imply that the armour was too thin and/or badly distributed and that the operational doctrine of the BCs was at fault? The AFDs forced the Stukas to launch short range attacks due to the need to carry 500kg bombs, and this limited their ability to attack RN ships and shipping in the presence of an AFD carrier.



The Germans set conditions for catapult-launching the Ju 87C, not only with a 500kg bomb, but a 500kg bomb and four 50kg bombs.

I am extremely skeptical that such aircraft could be made operational with that armament, given the airframe weight and available engine technology of the navalized version, and if so then the operational range would have been severely curtailed, to the point that the RN strike aircraft would have a significant range advantage.
The AFD and armoured box was designed protect the aircraft/flightdeck and nearly did so on Illustrious
While it may be comforting to think the armor almost did what it was supposed to do, that simply isn't the case.

The armour imposes restraints on the enemy's ability to carry out successful attacks. The Stuka's that were successful in striking the Illustrious had to drop their bombs at too low an altitude to sink the ship, those that dropped at higher altitudes in later attacks missed. The convoy which was being brought into Malta survived without loss as the enemy's attention was diverted elsewhere.

even then it forced the Luftwaffe to bomb from higher altitudes to ensure sufficient velocity to pierce the AFD, with a subsequent reduction in accuracy, and this factor is seldom considered, but it certainly saved the ship, simply due to the operational restraints that it placed on the opponent.

This is entirely without foundation.


It is not, since sinking the ship requires more than piercing the AFD, and can only be done by if the bombs are released from a higher altitude, which the enemy tried to do to Illustrious in later attacks.

Skua pilots could drop their SAP or even HE bombs from 1000ft on GZ confident that this would wipe out her aircraft and damage the flight deck

Not if they wished to survive. Pullout was accomplished by 1500 ft minimum to avoid blast etc.


Not against Illustrious, the JU87B pullout heights were much lower.

JU87C pilots would have to drop their bombs from above 2000 meters to ensure success, and use AP bombs with less capacity and their accuracy would suffer accordingly.

Fiction.


Sorry, but if the Stuka uses a 500kg bomb to ensure success it imposed severe range and performance constraints on it, and with a 250kg bomb accuracy will suffer if the drop height is increased to ensure penetration.

Either side could successfully ruin the other's flight deck and penetrate the hangar spaces with their standard weaponry and standard practice.

I'll have to disagree with that, since I don't think the 250KG bombs that a JU87C would probably carry could do the job unless dropped at a higher altitude with a consequent reduction in accuracy.

The fact that an AFD carriers armour was defeated does not invalidate the concept of an AFD carrier, anymore than armour penetration of any kind invalidates the concept of any armoured vessel in the interwar period.

The small number of aircraft that an AFD CV carried in the early war period is not indicative of a restriction in aircraft capacity, but is, instead, indicative of RN operational doctrine, which is why Ark Royal only carried 54 aircraft at this time, a number exceeded by the AFD carriers when they changed their operational doctrine later in the war. If RN policy was to operate their CVs along USN lines, IE, maximizing aircraft capacity, the AFD concept could have been developed quite successfully to accommodate this, but the small numbers of aircraft carried by RN CVs was not a reflecttion on hanger capacity, but of the operational doctrine of the RN and the low priority of FAA aircraft production and aircrew training.

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Re: Graf Zeppelin vs HMS Ark Royal and Victorious

Post by Tiornu » Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:38 am

I just wrote out a lengthy response itemizing the inventions of fact, denials of fact, the irrelevancies, and attempts to change subjects. Then I asked myself "why?" It all seemed rather punitive in any case. So I trashed it and considered writing out a reading list to help you find actual information for yourself. I'm still stuck at "why?" So I'll try to sum things up quickly.
The British armored-box carriers are vulnerable to Stukas operating under normal conditions, even carrying the smallest bomb load with which they'd be dispatched on attack. I don't believe this is saying anything more than I've already posted, but I repeat it in case some readers lost track amid all the misdirection in your reponse.

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Re: Graf Zeppelin vs HMS Ark Royal and Victorious

Post by dunmunro » Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:52 pm

Anyways here's some data on the JU87C:

Junkers Ju 87C Technical Information
Origin: Junkers Flugzeug und Motorenwerke AG
Type: carrier-borne attack aircraft
Engine: 1,200hp Jumo 211D
Armament: three MG 17s, 500-700kg of bombs
Speed: 332km/h at 4,000m
Climb: 330m/minute
Ceiling: service ceiling 7,000m
Range: on internal fuel 510-580km (275 to 313nm)
Weight: empty 2,760kg, loaded 5,840kg
Wingspan: (full) 13.2m, (folded) 5m
Length: 11m
Crew: two
Users: (projected) Germany (Kriegsmarine)
( http://www.geocities.com/pentagon/2833/ ... cdata.html )

So the actual combat radius of a fully loaded Ju 87c would be about 100 to 125nm, or less than 1/2 the radius of a Skua equipped with a 500lb bomb. Here's an interesting website with info on the Skua:

http://freespace.virgin.net/john.dell/b ... n_skua.htm

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Re: Graf Zeppelin vs HMS Ark Royal and Victorious

Post by miro777 » Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:48 pm

So when you look at the scenario, everyone thinks that a well trained crew of British sailors with its aircraft crews, could beat a German crew.

I mean, the fact that they had 20 years more of training, doesnt mean that it's neccessaryly better.

What i mean is, that when the German pilots would get the grip of how they land and start, then the battle would be fought between the fighters, and there the quality of the planes and of the pilots would been the deciding factor.

If the Kriegsmarine would have taken the best Luftwaffe pilots to man their crews on board of GZ, then I see no huge difficulties for them beating the Ark Royal or the Victorious....

What do you think? or am I completly off here?
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Re: Graf Zeppelin vs HMS Ark Royal and Victorious

Post by Bgile » Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:57 pm

miro777 wrote:So when you look at the scenario, everyone thinks that a well trained crew of British sailors with its aircraft crews, could beat a German crew.

I mean, the fact that they had 20 years more of training, doesnt mean that it's neccessaryly better.

What i mean is, that when the German pilots would get the grip of how they land and start, then the battle would be fought between the fighters, and there the quality of the planes and of the pilots would been the deciding factor.

If the Kriegsmarine would have taken the best Luftwaffe pilots to man their crews on board of GZ, then I see no huge difficulties for them beating the Ark Royal or the Victorious....

What do you think? or am I completly off here?
Where is the training carrier which provides replacement aircrews for the GZ?

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