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Germany still makes bad ships

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17 hours ago, EAnybody said:

 

No, I had to correct this in another post.

The USS Hornet (CV-8) was NOT built with deficient armor. It was a Yorktown-class CV, and very well protected.

The problem ship was the USS Wasp (CV-8), which was NOT the Washington Treaty's fault, but rather the designers and naval brass who CONSCIOUSLY decided to make a thin-skinned, unprotected CV in order to maintain the same aircraft complement as the Yorktowns, despite having 25% less tonnage to work with.  They absolutely could have built a scaled down Yorktown with 75% of the aircraft and the same protection, but instead they opted for a STRIPPED down Yorktown with no armor at all, and slower too.

 

Also, to make it clear:  the deficiencies of most of the ships built/designed after the Washington Treaty was signed were not in any way solely or even mostly the fault of the treaty.  They were naval architects design faults based on faulty navy leadership (in pretty much all navies).

People forget that no ship has a blank cheque when it comes to design - there's ALWAYS major tradeoffs.  Cost is a big one, as are shipyard capabilities, manufacturing capabilities, resource access, expected naval usage in strategy, etc. The truth is that most of the ships built post-Washington were bad designs, because the naval architects made entirely predictable mistakes in how those ships were to be used, and what kind of opposition they would face. Merely allowing them to build a bigger ship would have solved NONE of these problems.

Bismark, for example, was designed as primarily a commerce raider, which, by default, operates either alone or with a VERY few other ships. Yet her AA suite was deficient to handle that situation - the VERY ONE SHE WAS DESIGNED TO BE IN.

The Bismark herself should never have been built at all, in a rational world. The German navy was NEVER going to be fighting the RN (let alone the French as well) in another Jutland-style battle of heavyweights, with or without a Washington Treaty in place.  The Graf Spee and her sisters made far more sense, as did the Scharnhorst.  Open Ocean commerce raiding is best done by fast ships with mid-heavy guns and very modest armor - enough to hold up against 6" and 8" return fire only.  The very existence of the Bismark - a fairly standard fast battleship - is a strategic failure of the german navy to plan appropriately.

 

Heck, the USA should never have built the Iowa class. They weren't even partly done when it became blindingly obvious that their mission would be better served by building 3x as many Baltimores.  The Alaskas are even worse.  And both those classes have significant deficiencies that weren't fixed merely by getting to ignore the Washington Treaty.

 

Yes, sorry, you are right. I got hooked up on the "hornet' for some reason.

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On 2/21/2018 at 10:45 AM, Sventex said:

That "PC mad group of do gooders" stopped the Nazis and their Holocaust...

 

You really don't need to defend the Nazis.  You really don't...

OH Dear... did I upset you. The PC mad group of do gooders did not want another great war, I cannot blame them for that, I know perfectly well that the world stopped Hitler, its like the song "the coward of the county".... he was easy going till they went too far....

And I wasn't defending the Nazi's... not every German was a Nazi, they amounted to less than 5% of the people, there is a difference between those that voted for Hitler and those that belonged to the party... a BIG difference. So, I wasn't really defending Nazi's as you infer.... and I find that allegation offensive and suggest you retract it. Maybe you better read your history before making more offensive comments... my family had to suffer under the Germans in The Netherlands which, at the time, like Belgium, we were Neutral when Hitler invaded.

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17 hours ago, dseehafer said:

 

4: The Bismarck had the best overall AA battery among all battleships in the world when she was commissioned. True she was meant to be in a fleet, but her AA was by no means poor by 1941 standards. Her failure to shoot down any Swordfish came down to several factors, including the fact that Bismarck's AA battery and AA rangefinders were incomplete, but primarily due to the fact that the Swordfish's frame was wrapped in a cloth so most shells/shrapnel would just pass right through the plane. We know that Bismarck was hitting the Swordfish because several returned riddled with holes.

5: Bismarck had light armor?? Bismarck boasted 18,700t of armor, only the Yamato class boasted more! Further, Yamato's armor only made up 33% of her total displacement where Bismarck's made up a whopping 44%, more than any other battleship ever commissioned! Bismarck's rudder being taken out was not due to light armor, any other battleship in the world would have been vulnerable to that hit because the TDS didn't extend that far.

4 Good AA? A group a British Bi-planes carrying torpedoes in rough weather crippled her long enough to get the fleet in close to sink her.

5 Yes, but the armour was mostly missing where it mattered. One torpedo hit near aft jammed her steering.

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On 2/21/2018 at 5:37 AM, kiwi1960 said:

But to pick on Germany.... that is low.

 

58 minutes ago, kiwi1960 said:

OH Dear... did I upset you. The PC mad group of do gooders did not want another great war, I cannot blame them for that, I know perfectly well that the world stopped Hitler, its like the song "the coward of the county".... he was easy going till they went too far....

And I wasn't defending the Nazi's... not every German was a Nazi, they amounted to less than 5% of the people, there is a difference between those that voted for Hitler and those that belonged to the party... a BIG difference. So, I wasn't really defending Nazi's as you infer.... and I find that allegation offensive and suggest you retract it. Maybe you better read your history before making more offensive comments... my family had to suffer under the Germans in The Netherlands which, at the time, like Belgium, we were Neutral when Hitler invaded.

Oh dear, did I upset you?  Thar poor German Military of WW2, being picked on my mean ol’ Sventex.  I’m sure Hitler’s gas-soaked ashes are turning in whatever ditch he has for a grave.

Edited by Sventex

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2 hours ago, Sventex said:

 

Oh dear, did I upset you?  Thar poor German Military of WW2, being picked on my mean ol’ Sventex.  I’m sure Hitler’s gas-soaked ashes are turning in whatever ditch he has for a grave.

No, you didn't upset me that much, I know there are ignorant people out there and you just happen to be one of them. You did learn, you DID call them Germans now and NOT Nazi's. Well done.

Edited by kiwi1960

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3 hours ago, kiwi1960 said:

4 Good AA? A group a British Bi-planes carrying torpedoes in rough weather crippled her long enough to get the fleet in close to sink her.

5 Yes, but the armour was mostly missing where it mattered. One torpedo hit near aft jammed her steering.

 

There is a difference between good AA and the best AA. Bismarck had the best AA of any battleship in the world at her commissioning. That does not necessarily mean she had good AA. It just means that everybody's AA was pretty crap in 1941. Bismarck was the king of the turds, in that respect.

 

Mostly missing where it mattered? Armor doesn't stop torpedoes, TDS does. There wasn't a battleship in the world who's TDS extended to it's rudder area. Like I said, any other battleship in existence would have been just as vulnerable to that hit. Bismarck was crippled because it was an unlucky hit, not because she didn't have enough armor in that area. Also, the most important armor on a ship is the armor that protects the magazines and machinery spaces, and Bismarck was certainly not lacking in these areas. Her armor over these areas proved so strong that, despite the rest of the ship being thoroughly wrecked, she never suffered a magazine explosion and her machinery was still operational even as the order to abandon ship was given.

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21 hours ago, EAnybody said:

Heck, the USA should never have built the Iowa class. They weren't even partly done when it became blindingly obvious that their mission would be better served by building 3x as many Baltimores.  The Alaskas are even worse.  And both those classes have significant deficiencies that weren't fixed merely by getting to ignore the Washington Treaty.

I've found many times that as we look back upon history its blindingly clear and obvious from our vantage point.  Yet at that moment it was as clear as mud.

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30 minutes ago, Wowzery said:

I've found many times that as we look back upon history its blindingly clear and obvious from our vantage point.  Yet at that moment it was as clear as mud.

It was clear at the time, and the documentation about the discussions are on the record. The carrier battles of 1941 and 1942 (as well as the sinking of Bismark and Prince of Wales/Repulse) made it completely obvious that the BB was obsolete.

The Montanas were canceled for exactly this reason, and the Iowas were completed (as well as the Alaskas) mostly as a sop to certain admirals and the shipyards building them, not for any practical purpose.

There was serious discussion in 1942 about converting the Iowas to aircraft carriers, due to the CV losses. It was ultimately decided to convert Clevelands to the Independence class, mostly as a time issue. At that point, it was completely plain that BBs were going to be no more useful than a Baltimore CA.  They went ahead and completed them because they simply didn't want to cancel the half-done ships for political and economic reasons, but there was NO military justification for the Iowas or the Alaskas.

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2 hours ago, dseehafer said:

 

There is a difference between good AA and the best AA. Bismarck had the best AA of any battleship in the world at her commissioning. That does not necessarily mean she had good AA. It just means that everybody's AA was pretty crap in 1941. Bismarck was the king of the turds, in that respect.

 

Mostly missing where it mattered? Armor doesn't stop torpedoes, TDS does. There wasn't a battleship in the world who's TDS extended to it's rudder area. Like I said, any other battleship in existence would have been just as vulnerable to that hit. Bismarck was crippled because it was an unlucky hit, not because she didn't have enough armor in that area. Also, the most important armor on a ship is the armor that protects the magazines and machinery spaces, and Bismarck was certainly not lacking in these areas. Her armor over these areas proved so strong that, despite the rest of the ship being thoroughly wrecked, she never suffered a magazine explosion and her machinery was still operational even as the order to abandon ship was given.

Where it matters is that was why she was sunk... in the end... same with the Graf Spee ... and all the others! They were designed and built under "Washington Treaty" specs.... compromises here, compromises there. It wasn't just the Germans, it was the Japanese as well, and the British... They had built two battleships under the terms of the Washington Treaty;
 

Quote

 

The Nelson class was a class of two battleships (Nelson and Rodney) of the British Royal Navy, built shortly after, and under the terms of, the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. They were the only British battleships built between the Revenge class (ordered in 1913) and the King George V class, ordered in 1936.

...

To comply with the limitations of the Washington Treaty, these ships were of an unusual design with many novel features. They are often referred to as the first treaty battleships. The Nelsons were unique in British battleship construction, being the only ships to carry a main armament of nine 16-inch (406 mm) guns. The most unusual feature however, and one that is immediately noticeable, is that these were all carried forward of the bridge.

 

You want a decent battleship? The Iowa class was built without the restrictions of any treaty, not one of the series was sunk! You can argue that the Yamato was also under no treaty yet she was sunk by aircraft! By the time she was sunk, Japan was already crippled, the Yamato didn't have adequate air protection and the US navy overwhelmed her with dive bombers and torpedo planes. 

My point is and always has been then treaty ships were crap... in sticking to the rules, they cut corners which affected the safety of the ship and crew.

Had the Bismarck been designed without the limitations, she would have had a decent "one ship AA protection", not counted as part of a flotilla.

Its a pity that Germany concentrated so heavily on building subs... but that is a matter for historians, I can understand the logic of it, just not accept it.

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1 hour ago, EAnybody said:

It was clear at the time, and the documentation about the discussions are on the record. The carrier battles of 1941 and 1942 (as well as the sinking of Bismark and Prince of Wales/Repulse) made it completely obvious that the BB was obsolete.

It doesn't seem that clear to me. The rough timeline of events is:

  1. June 1940, USS Iowa is lain down
  2. May 1941, Bismarck is crippled by what could be considered a lucky torpedo hit, and still requires significant gunfire from Rodney/KGV to put down
  3. December 1941, Pearl Harbor, followed by PoW and Repulse with weak escort being sunk by land based air attack, Repulse is an old unmodernized battlecruiser, PoW may be considered unfortunate
  4. February 1942, Battle of the Java Sea - all surface ships
  5. May 1942, Battle of the Coral Sea - first CV on CV engagement, largely ineffectual
  6. August 1942, USS Iowa is launched
  7. November 1942, 2nd Guadalcanal - battleship Washington sinks battlecruiser Kirishima (battleships appear very useful)

I would dispute how obvious it may have seemed. There is an 'inertia' factor, once you've lain down ships in mid-1940 (Iowa) to early 1941 (Wisconsin) and invested time, material etc. in them, months before Bismarck, let alone PoW/Repulse it's hard to throw all that effort away. Even if it were then immediately obvious, you can't go back in time and order Baltimore's instead - the class wasn't even designed until 1941.

21 minutes ago, kiwi1960 said:

Had the Bismarck been designed without the limitations, she would have had a decent "one ship AA protection", not counted as part of a flotilla.

Bismarck was designed with fairly loose restrictions if any. That's why she was 41,700t standard on a design aimed for about 45,000t vs. the 35,000-37,000 of a mostly treaty compliant KGV, Richelieu or North Carolina.

Even if larger she would probably have had about the same AA suite even if heavier, that's why the H-39 design has effectively the same 105mm battery and 37mm battery as Bismarck, even on a larger 52,600t design.

 

In general, while the Treaty did put limitations on ships it also limited most of their likely opponents. The more major issues for Treaty ships were design failings irrespective of tonnage, and misplaced design priorities. If North Carolina could mount 10x2 5in/38's on 37,000t there's no reason Bismarck couldn't have done similar if not better on her base displacement - they just wanted some (in my view pointless) 150mm guns instead.

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2 hours ago, kiwi1960 said:

Where it matters is that was why she was sunk... in the end... same with the Graf Spee ... and all the others! They were designed and built under "Washington Treaty" specs.... compromises here, compromises there. It wasn't just the Germans, it was the Japanese as well, and the British... They had built two battleships under the terms of the Washington Treaty;
 

You want a decent battleship? The Iowa class was built without the restrictions of any treaty, not one of the series was sunk! You can argue that the Yamato was also under no treaty yet she was sunk by aircraft! By the time she was sunk, Japan was already crippled, the Yamato didn't have adequate air protection and the US navy overwhelmed her with dive bombers and torpedo planes. 

My point is and always has been then treaty ships were crap... in sticking to the rules, they cut corners which affected the safety of the ship and crew.

Had the Bismarck been designed without the limitations, she would have had a decent "one ship AA protection", not counted as part of a flotilla.

Its a pity that Germany concentrated so heavily on building subs... but that is a matter for historians, I can understand the logic of it, just not accept it.

Not sure where you got "Washington Treaty" specs. Bismarck and Tirpitz was designed around zero limitations to a treaty of any kind. The only limitation was docks, draft for channel and canal movement and size for docking. That's it.

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16 minutes ago, Azumazi said:

Not sure where you got "Washington Treaty" specs. Bismarck and Tirpitz was designed around zero limitations to a treaty of any kind. The only limitation was docks, draft for channel and canal movement and size for docking. That's it.

 

Ding ding ding!I Someone give that man a cookie!

 

To elaborate more on what Azumazi is talking about.... On June/18/1935 the Anglo-German naval agreement was signed in London. This agreement lifted all restrictions from Versailles or any other naval treaty on the basis that German policy on the seas would not be directed against Great Britain. The only restriction placed upon the Germans was that their fleet could grow no larger than 1/3 the size of the Royal Navy, meaning that Germany's navy could be no larger than 166,000t. There was no limitation on individual ship displacement, or armament, or anything. The only thing holding the Germans back was, as Azumazi said, the size limitations of docks, channels, canals, etc... Otherwise, if it were possible, Bismarck could have been a 150,000t monster with 20" guns and 60,000t of armor and they wouldn't have broken any rules (though, they wouldn't be able to build any more ships and would have to scrap all but 16,000t of their existing navy).

  • Cool 1

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31 minutes ago, dseehafer said:

 

Ding ding ding!I Someone give that man a cookie!

 

To elaborate more on what Azumazi is talking about.... On June/18/1935 the Anglo-German naval agreement was signed in London. This agreement lifted all restrictions from Versailles or any other naval treaty on the basis that German policy on the seas would not be directed against Great Britain. The only restriction placed upon the Germans was that their fleet could grow no larger than 1/3 the size of the Royal Navy, meaning that Germany's navy could be no larger than 166,000t. There was no limitation on individual ship displacement, or armament, or anything. The only thing holding the Germans back was, as Azumazi said, the size limitations of docks, channels, canals, etc... Otherwise, if it were possible, Bismarck could have been a 150,000t monster with 20" guns and 60,000t of armor and they wouldn't have broken any rules (though, they wouldn't be able to build any more ships and would have to scrap all but 16,000t of their existing navy).

I would argue the only other limitation was gun size due to them just getting the Machinery online for the 38cm guns and to go any larger would have delayed any vessel's being laid down hence the time frame from Bismarck's keel to the H-39's keel. Retooling doesn't take that long just if you are already producing a certain size you want to finish that order first before adjusting or else you get a delay between orders.

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On 1/15/2018 at 9:02 AM, Seniorious said:

Saying Germany makes bad ships is completely off the rocker. 
SMS Derfflinger-class and SMS Konig-class battleships took incredible beatings at Jutland, and also dished it out hard to the Royal Navy. Derfflinger sank a few with her sisters and still made it home. It was by any measure a loss at Jutland, but merely because of sheer numbers for Britain and tactical defeat. To say the ships weren't well designed is poorly construed. 
Scharnhorst herself, although quite a wet ship, had incredible speed for her tonnage.  She and her sister gave the Glorious no time to escape, even her DD screen was helpless. 
During North Cape, she was close to 12km to Belfast and her group, and was able to easily accelerate to top speed after giving them a heavy hand and gain distance again. 
Duke of York was sub 11km when she opened fire, but Scharnhorst was able to return fire right back and then put nearly 10km between them easily by going right back to her top speed. 
Bismarck herself, the story is well known how hard it was to sink her. Much like Scharnhorst, it took battleships, heavy cruisers, and destroyers working together to sink her. 
Hipper was rammed by a destroyer at full speed and simply went home to repair. I could go on and on...

I wish our ships in game were as tough as ships are in RL....

3 broadsides from a Reichlieu and down went my Alabama.....

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36 minutes ago, Azumazi said:

I would argue the only other limitation was gun size due to them just getting the Machinery online for the 38cm guns and to go any larger would have delayed any vessel's being laid down hence the time frame from Bismarck's keel to the H-39's keel. Retooling doesn't take that long just if you are already producing a certain size you want to finish that order first before adjusting or else you get a delay between orders.

 

Well sure, but that was not a limitation imposed upon them by the treaty. IF Germany had a 16" (or what have you) gun ready to go they were free to use it.

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7 minutes ago, dseehafer said:

 

Well sure, but that was not a limitation imposed upon them by the treaty. IF Germany had a 16" (or what have you) gun ready to go they were free to use it.

Oh definitely, and they did get the 40.6cm guns for H-39 made but I remember there was initially a delay as they produced 40 guns including 4 spare turrets but I could be wrong on the total number of guns. As I could have swore they made 16 for Bismarck and Tirp + 2 for testing, 6 guns for Gnei with 3 turrets made, 4 guns for the Soviets with 1 turret made, and 12 spare guns to be used for Scharn and the first O-class that was canceled. I could be wrong on that number though.

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Latecomer but if you want a historical example of a bad ship for Germany, just look to the light cruisers they built after Emden (their first "modern" CL since WW1) in 1930-40s. Could not handle heavy sea. Which meant those light cruisers were poor sea boat.

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1 hour ago, Hurlbut said:

Latecomer but if you want a historical example of a bad ship for Germany, just look to the light cruisers they built after Emden (their first "modern" CL since WW1) in 1930-40s. Could not handle heavy sea. Which meant those light cruisers were poor sea boat.

Germany made poor seaboats in general because they were designed operate in the less rough seas surrounding them. Eventually they learned that ships actually need to be able to sail everywhere....and added Atlantic bows to their ships. A bit late, and was only patch fix, but it helped. They were still pretty wet ships, but solid design. 
On the otherhand, the cruisers Nurn, Konigsberg, and Leipzig were decent designs. Germany operated on a fighting style of retreating fire, and those cruisers reflect it. 

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5 hours ago, Hurlbut said:

Latecomer but if you want a historical example of a bad ship for Germany, just look to the light cruisers they built after Emden (their first "modern" CL since WW1) in 1930-40s. Could not handle heavy sea. Which meant those light cruisers were poor sea boat.

 

That wasn't necessarily due to being a bad design, but rather due to the use of too much welding during their construction to save weight which made their hulls weak. It wasn't so much as a problem of them being poor seaboats (most light cruisers are poor seaboats simply as a consequence of being so long and skinny) but because their hulls were too weak to operate in heavy seas. Outside of their weak hulls, German light cruisers were exceptional light cruisers. Take for example the K-class which was built to compete with France's Duguay-Trouin... The K class had an extra gun, better guns as a whole, superior AA firepower, better armor, similar top speed and superior range... and all of that while still being some 1,000t lighter than the D-T. In short, had the Germans not been limited to 6,000t per light cruiser the Germans could have built the hulls much stronger and history would have remembered these ships much differently because aside from their weak hulls they really were superb little light cruisers.

 

Basically, for 6,000t Germany could have made a light cruiser equal to or better than Duguay-Trouin (or any other light cruiser in existence at the time) in almost every way, but have to weld almost the whole ship to conserve weight to fit soo much into so little. Or Germany could have made a good strong-hulled cruiser capable of operations in the North Atlantic by using more rivets and the like but she would not have been powerful enough to take on Duguay-Trouin. Germany chose the former over the latter.

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13 hours ago, Azumazi said:

Not sure where you got "Washington Treaty" specs. Bismarck and Tirpitz was designed around zero limitations to a treaty of any kind. The only limitation was docks, draft for channel and canal movement and size for docking. That's it.

True. The ship was laid down in 1936 and I wrongly thought she was still under the treaty rules, she wasn't, but the fact remains that she was a "pocket battleship" and that is understandable, she and her sister ships probably didn't want to face the entire British home fleet like they did at the battle of Jutland. Hitler wasn't going to have his navy of battleships and carriers till 1945, sadly (not) for him, war was declared far too early before Germany was ready. If he had started his blue navy fleet 10 years earlier, then the out come of the war might not have happened the way history has it. 

At the very least, had they had their full quota of subs... England probably would have fallen.

Either way, she was a gorgeous ship... and Germany really knew how to build them... and I suppose at the end of the day, all ships have their limitations. Its as Rumsfeld said, you fight the war with the army you have, not the army you want..... (replacing army with navy in this case!)

 

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39 minutes ago, kiwi1960 said:

True. The ship was laid down in 1936 and I wrongly thought she was still under the treaty rules, she wasn't, but the fact remains that she was a "pocket battleship" and that is understandable, she and her sister ships probably didn't want to face the entire British home fleet like they did at the battle of Jutland. Hitler wasn't going to have his navy of battleships and carriers till 1945, sadly (not) for him, war was declared far too early before Germany was ready. If he had started his blue navy fleet 10 years earlier, then the out come of the war might not have happened the way history has it. 

At the very least, had they had their full quota of subs... England probably would have fallen.

Either way, she was a gorgeous ship... and Germany really knew how to build them... and I suppose at the end of the day, all ships have their limitations. Its as Rumsfeld said, you fight the war with the army you have, not the army you want..... (replacing army with navy in this case!)

 

 

Please tell me you didn't just call the Bismarck class "pocket battleships". :Smile_facepalm:

 

I hope you were talking about the Deutschlands. (Though, the label "pocket battleship" isn't correct for them either. Officially they were Armored Ships and later Heavy Cruisers. "Pocket battleship" was just what the British press called them.)

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14 minutes ago, dseehafer said:

 

Please tell me you didn't just call the Bismarck class "pocket battleships". :Smile_facepalm:

 

In what way is a 45,000t battleship pocket-sized?? If 45,000t is a pocket battleship then Britain and American were building 35,000t micro battleships by that logic.

Yes, YES they were! LOL... slip of the keyboard... I'm old, and consider German Battleships to be "pocket battleships" because its easier than saying what you did.

Pocket battleship = German!

(I hang my head in shame)

Leave me alone... :Smile_izmena:

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I'd just like to ask again, ignoring my derp on the comissioning dates of the Bismarck sisters, is how a combined taskforce of the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe would fare in an attempted invasion of the Isle of Wight right after Dunkirk and during the Battle of Britain. (Still assume the sisters are there, since they were complete, just not commissioned in our timeline.)

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24 minutes ago, TornadoADV said:

I'd just like to ask again, ignoring my derp on the comissioning dates of the Bismarck sisters, is how a combined taskforce of the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe would fare in an attempted invasion of the Isle of Wight right after Dunkirk and during the Battle of Britain. (Still assume the sisters are there, since they were complete, just not commissioned in our timeline.)

In my opinion, very poorly - to quote myself in another timeline, this is the outcome of the Norwegian Campaign on the Kriegsmarine:

22 hours ago, mofton said:

On the plus side for the British, the Acasta torpedoing Scharnhorst put her out of action until January 1941, and then a few days later the submarine Clyde torpedoed the Gneisenau with similar results. For 6 months Germany had no available battleships at all, which meant no major commerce raiding, and would certainly make any Sealion operation more difficult.

The tally of 10 destroyers, 2 light cruisers, 1 heavy cruiser sunk is considerable, the damage to other ships - Lutzow torpedoed and under repair until March 1941, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau as above, Admiral Hipper requiring a refit is also significant. In the last 6 months of 1940 only the Admiral Scheer launched a major sortie.

In addition to that, the Prinz Eugen isn't ready until early 1941, so there are zero available CA. Leipzig was never fully repaired post her 1939 torpedoing. That leaves Nurnburg and Koln, along with the Scheer as the only available 'big' ships, along with a greatly reduced cadre of destroyers. I am also dubious on the minesweeping ability of the Kriegsmarine in that period to clear decent channels through the barrages. 

It is then not just a case of invading the Isle of Wight, but of holding it. The British abandoned the similarly positioned Channel Islands in June 1940 when the writing was on the wall for France. They had no real strategic importance (though impeding Portsmouth/Southampton by holding the IoW would be more valuable) they were also pretty much indefensible. Providing supplies through the teeth of the Luftwaffe would have been a fools errand.

The Isle of Wight would be in very easy range of British air power while it's even harder for the Luftwaffe to intervene, Cherbourg to the southern IoW is 60 nautical miles. For comparison Calais to Dover is just 22 nm. Your sortie rate should drop considerably, time over target reduced etc.

The other problems with an invasion are that the southern coast of the Island is mostly cliffs and at best small rocky areas. It has short sections of easily defended beach. There isn't now, and wasn't in 1940 any kind of decent port on the Southern coast of the Island, capturing say Cowes, on the northern coast would be a major feat. The channel between the northern coast and the mainland is only 2.5 miles across, easy gunnery range, and it's shallow, with a small channel and mines. A paratroop attack on Crete worked, but Crete was 100 miles from Axis occupied Greece, and 350 miles from the British base at Alexandria.

Even if a successful foothold could be achieved, resupplying the island in the face of local air resistance from the RAF plus night time interdiction by the RN would make maintaining a force there incredibly difficult. The troops would need considerable resources, an 'air bridge' never really worked, notably failing at Stalingrad. Generating significant sea lift for a prolonged period in the face of the RN wanting to make overnight sweeps is probably going to be very difficult at best. The resources needed by the Allies for D-day were huge - Mulberry harbors, scuttling battleships as breakwaters, the Pluto project etc.

In short, I'd say there was insufficient maritime power, that the range probably made it more difficult for the Luftwaffe than an invasion around Dover, and that problems of supply in the event of a successful invasion would be huge.

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44 minutes ago, mofton said:

In my opinion, very poorly - to quote myself in another timeline, this is the outcome of the Norwegian Campaign on the Kriegsmarine:

In addition to that, the Prinz Eugen isn't ready until early 1941, so there are zero available CA. Leipzig was never fully repaired post her 1939 torpedoing. That leaves Nurnburg and Koln, along with the Scheer as the only available 'big' ships, along with a greatly reduced cadre of destroyers. I am also dubious on the minesweeping ability of the Kriegsmarine in that period to clear decent channels through the barrages. 

It is then not just a case of invading the Isle of Wight, but of holding it. The British abandoned the similarly positioned Channel Islands in June 1940 when the writing was on the wall for France. They had no real strategic importance (though impeding Portsmouth/Southampton by holding the IoW would be more valuable) they were also pretty much indefensible. Providing supplies through the teeth of the Luftwaffe would have been a fools errand.

The Isle of Wight would be in very easy range of British air power while it's even harder for the Luftwaffe to intervene, Cherbourg to the southern IoW is 60 nautical miles. For comparison Calais to Dover is just 22 nm. Your sortie rate should drop considerably, time over target reduced etc.

The other problems with an invasion are that the southern coast of the Island is mostly cliffs and at best small rocky areas. It has short sections of easily defended beach. There isn't now, and wasn't in 1940 any kind of decent port on the Southern coast of the Island, capturing say Cowes, on the northern coast would be a major feat. The channel between the northern coast and the mainland is only 2.5 miles across, easy gunnery range, and it's shallow, with a small channel and mines. A paratroop attack on Crete worked, but Crete was 100 miles from Axis occupied Greece, and 350 miles from the British base at Alexandria.

Even if a successful foothold could be achieved, resupplying the island in the face of local air resistance from the RAF plus night time interdiction by the RN would make maintaining a force there incredibly difficult. The troops would need considerable resources, an 'air bridge' never really worked, notably failing at Stalingrad. Generating significant sea lift for a prolonged period in the face of the RN wanting to make overnight sweeps is probably going to be very difficult at best. The resources needed by the Allies for D-day were huge - Mulberry harbors, scuttling battleships as breakwaters, the Pluto project etc.

In short, I'd say there was insufficient maritime power, that the range probably made it more difficult for the Luftwaffe than an invasion around Dover, and that problems of supply in the event of a successful invasion would be huge.

What about the Scharnhorsts as well? I was considering a literal all-in invasion, since this is before Hitler decided he wanted to see how fast his military could freeze to death in the Soviet Union. This would also hinge on Hitler staying the course on attacking just RAF bases when he had them on the ropes instead of deciding all the cities had to burn. I am curious how much the British had stationed on the Isle of Wight during that time peroid.

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