Plan Z

From the Washington Naval Treaty to the end of the Second World War.
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RF
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Re: Plan Z

Post by RF » Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:14 am

I agree with you lwd, the Germans main failure was a lack of proper strategic planning, which continued right up to 1945.
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Re: Plan Z

Post by dunmunro » Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:58 am

VeenenbergR wrote:To Iwd: I understand all the comment you posted. I was provoking perhaps a little too much.

But intelligence, radar, oil and great production potential (together with the massive human resources) were superior over what Germany could mobilize. In my vision Germany in 1939 was a leading Power (100 milion inhabitants on 2 milliard people on the globe). Leading in (all) sciences, leading in medics (!) and leading in the professional military.
The road to war was the end of this dream.
The population of Germany on Sept 01 was about 80 million. The only areas of science that Germany led the world was in the fields of jet propulsion and rocketry, although the USSR probably had the lead in rocketry prior to 1939 while the UK was only a little behind in jet propulsion. Western medicine was ahead of Germany especially in antibiotic research and application.

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RF
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Re: Plan Z

Post by RF » Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:21 pm

Don't forget this was influenced by the negative impact of the nazis and Education Minister Berhard Rust on Germany's education system, coupled with the anti-semitism, which in the six years to 1939 turned Germany from having the best education and scientific research facilities and efforts in Europe into just about the worst....
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Re: Plan Z

Post by lwd » Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:41 pm

dunmunro wrote: ...The only areas of science that Germany led the world was in the fields of jet propulsion and rocketry, although the USSR probably had the lead in rocketry prior to 1939 while the UK was only a little behind in jet propulsion....
I think it's a bit more complex than that. Germany for instance did hold an early lead in radar. They just lost it once the war started. In some areas of chemistry they were also in the lead. When you get to jet engines it almost comes down to what parts you are talking about as to who is in the lead. This is considering science rather than engineering or production.

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Re: Plan Z

Post by RNfanDan » Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:23 pm

They also led in the field of genetics. Look where THAT got them....
Image

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Re: Plan Z

Post by VeenenbergR » Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:28 pm

To Iwd:

Germany was a "Land" Power. Their military, airforce and navy was focussed on that. That is why Germany did not start WWII with say 400 to 500 subs (they secretly could have assembled). Their airforce was short to medium range built to support the mobile tank forces and the enemy territory behind the fronts.
The army was indeed only for a (too) small part motorised and in most infantry divisions the powerfull artillery was horse-drawn. Germany could field 21 panzer divisions and 16 motorised divisions in the summmer of 1942 on a total of 207 divisions.

Germany did its job against the other land-powers but failed in seizing the Soviet Union. Its 180 divisions (supported by 60 weaker allied divisions) were too widely spread over 2000 miles when they nearly reached their 3 main final objectives: Leningrad, Moscou and the Caucasus (Baku). Their 3600 (2800 in the 1st line) plane strong airforce could be hardly seen in the sky when many were grounded by frost (fall 41) or lack of fuel (fall 42). Their low grade of motorisation was partly the cause for this, because critical fights for key points were done with only a few motorised divisions (like that of Borodino in october 41). If at Borodino where 3 times more motorised divisions (their were 2 divisions there) the Germans might have reached or surround
Moscou.

They not only planned not for strategical warfare (subs, fuel, long range planes) from the start on (and were severely punished for that), but also failed in the field itself when the moment was there (fall 1941 and fall 1942).

If they had only behaved civilized in the Soviet Union they well might have won the war. With the East freed of Stalin and then very near or in posession of the oil (Baku!!) or the Middle- East. Their whole force could have been assembled in the West. "Overlord" could never have succeeded against such a mighty defense of 300 divisions (instead of the 58 during Overlord), backed up by an integrated Luftwaffe of nearly 4-5000 planes of which at least 2500 sophisticated fighters.

The navy was fine but the surface ships were only needed to support the goals of the strategic sub fleet.
The 10 auxillary raiders, the 3 Panzerschiffe, 2 Scharnhorst (upgraded Panzerschiffe) and 2 Bismarcks were usefull, albeit the Bismarcks and Scharnhorsts better could have been exhanged for 200 extra subs. The Hippers were too expensive as assistants in convoy battles aiding other major warships.

No need actually for the 6 light cruisers and 40 destroyers. These could have best used in the Channel to attack the British convoys there or when bound for the Irish Sea.

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Re: Plan Z

Post by lwd » Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:00 pm

VeenenbergR wrote:...Germany was a "Land" Power. Their military, airforce and navy was focussed on that.
It's not clear to me that their navy was focused on anything.
That is why Germany did not start WWII with say 400 to 500 subs (they secretly could have assembled).
Why do you think so? That would require a huge amount of resoucres as well as either numerous slips or a very long time. All of this mitigates against secrecy. That's not even mentioning training the number of personel required.
...Germany did its job against the other land-powers but failed in seizing the Soviet Union.
They lost in North Africa and western Europe as well.
...If they had only behaved civilized in the Soviet Union they well might have won the war....
The Nazi's were fundamentally incapable of this. If they don't come to power everything changes.
... "Overlord" could never have succeeded against such a mighty defense of 300 divisions (instead of the 58 during Overlord), backed up by an integrated Luftwaffe of nearly 4-5000 planes of which at least 2500 sophisticated fighters.
Possibly and possibly not. The German airforce couldn't stand up to that of the western allies. Then there's the fact that Germany would have had a very larger border to defend so they could hardly have concentrated that force in Normandy. It would have been harder but hardly impossible to invade Europe.
... 2 Scharnhorst (upgraded Panzerschiffe) ...
That's a bit of disservice to them. The Panzershiffe were heavy cruisers the Scharnorsts were BBs.

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Re: Plan Z

Post by lwd » Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:02 pm

VeenenbergR wrote:...The navy was fine but the surface ships were only needed to support the goals of the strategic sub fleet.
The 10 auxillary raiders, the 3 Panzerschiffe, 2 Scharnhorst (upgraded Panzerschiffe) and 2 Bismarcks were usefull, albeit the Bismarcks and Scharnhorsts better could have been exhanged for 200 extra subs. The Hippers were too expensive as assistants in convoy battles aiding other major warships.

No need actually for the 6 light cruisers and 40 destroyers. These could have best used in the Channel to attack the British convoys there or when bound for the Irish Sea.
How would they have acomplished the invasion of Norway without the above?

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Re: Plan Z

Post by VeenenbergR » Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:04 am

to Iwd: For the invasion of Norway the Germans used almost all their warships. Only Leipzig and Nürnberg were left behind.
They lost heavily: the brand new Blücher (arguably the finest heavy cruiser then on the planet), 2 light cruisers, 10 destroyers, a dozen supply and cargo ships and some subs. The German subs which were present fired a lot of torpedo's on scores of British warships, but these all failed to explode. Lucky British (again?). The Luftwaffe carried out scores of air attacks with few results either. All in all the British were far more effective than the Germans. The German subs which were present were dearly missing on the Atlantic roads and therefore missing the chance to kill at least two dozen cargo ships.
Admiral Marshall then made up losses somewhat when he attacked the Glorious but missed his opportunity to finish the more dangerous Ark Royal!. As I followed all the many discussions attacking these carriers on this forum was risky to a certain extend: the chance to obtain a torpedo hit (even less than 20%) and the importance of keeping the 2 capital ships intact to influence the whole seawarfare in the North. Reader was in my opinion also right. Glorious being not a very important target either.

After the invasion Germany technically could do with the non-atlantic ships which were left over to guard the coast or escort German heavy units in the upcoming convoy battles in the Barentz Sea. So, in my opinion, no extra destroyers were actually needed. Still Germany built their Narvik destroyers which were possibly already in the shipyards.

Note: the Luftwaffe losses in the battle for Norway were also quite high. In effect they were high over Poland, Norway (high losses of the Ju52), Holland (notably here with over 300 planes, many of them the priceless Ju52, lost!) and France!!!
The Ju52 played a key role in the occupation of Norway. So Dietl his mountain troops were supplied and kept from surrendering. The Luftwaffe also paid a high prize which would have an impact in the Battle of Britain.

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RF
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Re: Plan Z

Post by RF » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:25 am

RNfanDan wrote:They also led in the field of genetics. Look where THAT got them....
One aside to this that gets no mention today is that it was discovered through some of these experiments conducted in the 1930's that nicotine smoked in cigarettes causes cancer, the ''popular'' belief being that that was discovered in the 1950's.
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RF
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Re: Plan Z

Post by RF » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:28 am

VeenenbergR wrote: They lost heavily: the brand new Blücher (arguably the finest heavy cruiser then on the planet)
The loss of this ship was of course entirely avoidable on the part of the Germans, as possibly some of the other ships.
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