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German Z-Plan

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I'm just curious, there is a lot of information out there.  If the European war had started around 1945, instead of 1939, what would the German navy consisted of?

Aside from what they had in WW2, an additional 2 H class BBs, with 2 more on the way, perhaps the beginning of a follow up class starting.  At least, if not both Graf Zeppelin carriers completed, all 5 of the Hipper class heavy cruiser completed, perhaps a follow up started, and perhaps a follow up light cruiser class.  Add in a class of improved Deutschland raiders with heavier armament, armor and speed.  Destroyers I'm not that familiar with.

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Members, Beta Testers
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Wikipedia has a summary, but I think the fun "what if" of Plan Z usually ignores any reactive construction by the Royal Navy in response.  I'm not sure there's a scenario where the Kriegsmarine would have ever gained parity, and they'd still suffer from restricted geography just like in the previous war.

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Alpha Tester
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But where would they get the metal? Sure, they likely wouldn't have had as large a U-boot fleet for one, so there is...some metal.


And they would likely of still only of had 4 of the Hipper class cruisers as they sold one to the Soviets in Feb '40.


My guess is that they'd have about 6-8 battleships, up to three battlecruisers, 4-8 proper heavy cruisers, still the three D-Lands, maybe 1-3 improved D-Lands, maybe 10 (modern, turreted) light cruisers and a nice assortment of Destroyers.


Scharnhorst x2

Bismarck x2

H-39 x2

Maybe H40/41 x2


Maybe O-Project x1-3


Hipper x4

D-lands x3

"P" Project/Improved D-Land 1-3


K-berg x3

Leipzig x2

M-Project x1-6



And honestly...that's IF they could get the metal. If not, then 1 H39, 1 O-Pro if they felt like a battlecruiser was smart, and maybe some of the cruisers.


And yea, as Mesrith mentioned, (and the British WOULD) the British (and the US, French, Japanese, and Italians) would all be building bigger ships as well. If the war started in 1945 or later, the US would have Montana for sure. The British their late plans for Lion, the French'd have some monstrosity, who knows about the Italians, and the Japanese would likely have something that made Yamato look small.


Edited by TabbyHopkins

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Not sure I agree. Consider that many of these classes had "lessons learned" built into them. Had it started later, they would not have that information, and would be doing the same mistakes and having a similar learning curve, albeit with a bit more advanced technology. Materials, sources, and the ever increasing competition would still apply. 

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A better what if scenario would be if Doenitz had the 300-strong U-Boat fleet he wanted at the start of the war, before the Allies knew how to properly combat them.


This would have severely altered the course of the Battle of the Atlantic far more than a full fruition that the Z-Plan:



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Alpha Tester, Alpha Tester
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British Capital ships by 1945, without any changes based on foreign building:

- Up to 4 Lions, probably 2 ready 2 fitting out

- Vanguard 

- 5 KGVs

- Rebuilt Hood

- Rebuilt Renown

- Repulse being rebuilt

- Rebuilt Rodney

- Nelson being Rebuilt

- The Three rebuilt QEs


Heavy Cruisers:

 - 4 Rebuilt Londons (possibly 1 or 2 fitting out)

- 5 Rebuilt Kents

- 2 Dorsetshires (Perhaps 1 being rebuilt)

- York

- Exeter


Light Cruisers:

- 40/41, 41/42, 42/43, 43/44 & 44/45 Estimate Cruisers.  

- 11 Fijis

- 10 Didos

- 2 Edinburghs

- 3 Gloucesters

- 5 Southamptons

- 5 Leanders

- 3 Arethusas

- 2 Emeralds

- 3/4 Hawkins 

- 8 Danaes (As CLAA)

- Perhaps C class CLAAs. 



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