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Gearhead68

German CVs: Historic CV

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I'm hoping someone out there has a better memory than I do. I seem to recall a German CV that was actually completed, I remember a documentary about early CVs that included some video of it. It was basically a German version of the Langley: a converted cargo ship with the superstructure chopped off and a wooden flight deck installed. Was used to test and develop carrier operations to learn things like where elevators were best placed, how to stage aircraft and other such thing that would later be applied to a "real" carrier. Was never used in combat. Any of these prior statements to be taken with a grain of salt, as I can't seem to find anything about it online atm, but I do recall something about this in a documentary. Ideas??

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Supertester, Volunteer Moderator
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The only CV Germany had in ww2 was the Graf Zeppelin, and she wasn't fully ready for service by the time the war ended. No converted cargo ships for carrier training.

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The Brits did that when they built Audacity. They used a captured German diesel-powered 11,000 ton banana boat named Hannover belonging to North German Lloyd as a conversion base to experiment how to do escort carrier conversions. She actually served as a convoy escort on the Gibraltar run three times before she was sunk by a U-boat in a night attack, and her Martlets (Wildcats to you USN types) shot down and drove off several Lufwaffe aircraft that were scouting the convoys for the U-boats. The fighters (she had no Swordfish) actually spotted U-boats on the surface and forced them to dive,  A successfull proof-of concept that pushed the RN and USN into mass-producing or converting the type for convoy escort work.

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It could be a seaplane tender that you may be thinking of. The Imperial Germans may of had a few either operational or almost. Perhaps we’re looking for answers in the wrong world war.

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1 hour ago, Gearhead68 said:

I'm hoping someone out there has a better memory than I do. I seem to recall a German CV that was actually completed, I remember a documentary about early CVs that included some video of it. It was basically a German version of the Langley: a converted cargo ship with the superstructure chopped off and a wooden flight deck installed. Was used to test and develop carrier operations to learn things like where elevators were best placed, how to stage aircraft and other such thing that would later be applied to a "real" carrier. Was never used in combat. Any of these prior statements to be taken with a grain of salt, as I can't seem to find anything about it online atm, but I do recall something about this in a documentary. Ideas??

SS WestfalenThe Germans experimented in the 1930's with catapults on merchant ships for mail delivery (I take it they were developing catapults, possibly for Graf Zeppelin) There may have been a handling deck added to the ships, but no intention to recover the aircraft aboard. They had other seaplane tenders that may have been similar.

The Japanese converted the German Liner SS Scharnhorst into the aircraft carrier Shin'yō

Graf Zeppelin was actual launched, but never finished.

Flugzeugträger B, laid down, but never launched, in theory she might be August von Parseval in game, though I've seen the name Peter Strasser normally given to her.  August von Parseval may be the planned Flugzeugträger C or D though.

Seydlitz was mostly complete as a Hipper class heavy cruiser, was originally supposed to be a light cruiser, represented as Mainz in game, and got taken apart and began a conversion into a CV called Wesser, which is also in game.

There were also some liners that were taken under for conversion, but nothing ever came of them either.

 

 

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Thanks! It may have been something like the Westfalen mentioned by SgtBeltfed. I remember video footage of planes (something like a Fiesler Storch) taking off and landing, but it was a documentary from like 20 years ago.

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6 minutes ago, Gearhead68 said:

Thanks! It may have been something like the Westfalen mentioned by SgtBeltfed. I remember video footage of planes (something like a Fiesler Storch) taking off and landing, but it was a documentary from like 20 years ago.

Westfalen used seaplanes, so it's not likely to be her.

But, if we're talking the Fiesler Storch, that could have been anything with a flying off platform, could be a barge, or something in the French Navy postwar, as they were also a user of it. That thing could take off from just about anything or anywhere.

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Hitler was convinced that CV's would never sway the war.  By the time they realized the potential of CV's the German manufacturing was so devastated they couldn't produce any.

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