Prince Eugane v AGS

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Paul L
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Re: Prince Eugane v AGS

Postby Paul L » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:05 pm

alecsandros wrote:
jabeque wrote:The mistake is to think that Hitler and Raeder knew (or should know) what would be the (naval) war.

Raeder made long-term plans. If they had guessed what the (naval) war would be, they would not have started it.

Lack of experience aside,
it was painfully clear that the Kriegsmarine could only wage a hit-and-run type of war, with commerce raiding (with surface ships) and Uboat war at it's core.

In that regard, the employment of long range heavily armed pocket battleships, equipped with reconnaissance planes and surface-search radars, was ideal , and could cause considerable disruption among enemy sea routes. The exploits of Admiral Scheer show quite explicitly how usefull such a ship was in the war.
The existence of Dunkerque didn't change much, as Dunkerque was a short range ship, and there were only 2 built. 2 units was hopelessly insufficient to cope with Atlantic warfare.


Agreed!
In the wake of NAZI power grab in the early 1930s, existing programs remained in effect, but were re-examined. The only thing all the factions could agree on was the war would be on the backs of the U-Boat fleet/ campaign. All efforts production efforts should be to maximise U-BOAT production. I recall Rossler reported plans to build 90 U-Boats plus another 90 once the war began, but Kaptain Doenitz demanded 300 U-Boat fleet!

Kaptain Heye suggested building a dozen big Panzerschiffe to run interference on enemy convoy escorts, to make it easier for U-Boats wolf pack to attack. Admiral Carls took it one step further arguing the U-BOAT fleet with Heye Panzerschiffe should be part of battle groups centered on an aircraft carriers and flotillas of Zerstroers to orchestrate these U-Boat wolf packs.

No where is there any mention of battle ships until Admiral Raeder steps in insisting on balanced "Tirpitz" fleet. It would appear Hitler stepped in at that point putting an end by demanding the KM be nothing more than a coastal defence fleet able to control the Baltic and sortie into the North Sea. In a desperate attempt to salvage "Reichsmarine Umbauplan 1932", he persuaded Hitler a small anti French fleet could be useful at that time.
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Re: Prince Eugane v AGS

Postby paul.mercer » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:43 pm

The Panzerchiffes offered substantial advantages over the Hipper class (long range, devastating armament that could destroy any contemporary 8" heavy cruiser before the heavy cruiser entered effective own gun range, far more reliable machinery, etc). This was the reason why Graf SPee, Scheer, Lutzow produced so many difficulties for the Admiralty: at any given time, there were a large number of convoys in the Atlantic , and only some of them coudl be given battleships for protection, and only a few hunter-killer groups could be given fast battleships at any given time .[/quote]

Gentlemen,
I can see why the RN would have been worried, especially if more had been built. The only ships that would be capable of catching and outgunning them would have been the KGV's, Hood, Repulse, Renown or failing that two 8x8" cruisers working together, although I suppose it might have been possible to hunt down their supply ships to stop them refueling.

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Re: Prince Eugane v AGS

Postby alecsandros » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:37 am

paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
I can see why the RN would have been worried, especially if more had been built. The only ships that would be capable of catching and outgunning them would have been the KGV's, Hood, Repulse, Renown or failing that two 8x8" cruisers working together, although I suppose it might have been possible to hunt down their supply ships to stop them refueling.


Yes, with the essential mention that the Royal Navy had multiple tasks to perform at the same time, and adding another task (hunting a Panzerchiffe or it's supply network) in the Atlantic would only strain an already heavily strained system.

The Royal Navy was expected to defend the home waters, cover convoys to and from Gibraltar, USA, South Africa, Suez, Malta, etc. Provide covering for possible landings , or evacuations (Norway, Dunkirq, Crete). Do battle with enemy fleet(s) in the Atlantic, Mediteranean, Indian and Pacific Oceans (implying battle with Kriegsmarine, Regia Maria, Imperial Japanese Navy).

If the KGM could bring 4 operational Panzerchiffs simultaneously in the Atlantic, that would be very very bad for the RN, especialy in the 1940 (when there were no KGVs operational).

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Dave Saxton
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Re: Prince Eugane v AGS

Postby Dave Saxton » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:20 pm

The undoing of the lone warship raider concept was the rise of naval air power during the war. This occurred post 1940. However, in the 1930's naval air power (as well as submarines) remained unproven.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: Prince Eugane v AGS

Postby Paul L » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:29 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:The undoing of the lone warship raider concept was the rise of naval air power during the war. This occurred post 1940. However, in the 1930's naval air power (as well as submarines) remained unproven.



And the fact that aircraft carriers were such a political football for all the powers in the interwar years.I guess ergo the British treaty attempts to minimise the threat, and why the KM should not acquiesce.

I'm always reminded of

https://archive.org/stream/ReviewOfGerm ... 1/mode/2up
"Eine mal is kein mal"

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Re: Prince Eugane v AGS

Postby alecsandros » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:04 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:The undoing of the lone warship raider concept was the rise of naval air power during the war. This occurred post 1940. However, in the 1930's naval air power (as well as submarines) remained unproven.

True, but that required a large number of long-range aircraft or a significant number of aircraft-carrying ships, neither of which were in sufficient numbers before mid-1942 (B-24s, A/S PBYs and Short Sunderlands, a few serious carriers and a few escort carriers), and none of which were realy in abundance (and able to cover the larger part of the Atlantic ocean) before mid-1943 (good numbers of long range-patrol aircraft, mid-Atlantic gap largely closed, a larger number of actualy available carriers of multiple types in the Atlantic).

Therefore, powerfull actions by Panzerchiffes between Sept1939-June1942 (at least) were probable, and up until June1943 conceivable. But with 12 Panzerchiffes at the start of the war, it is possible that the Atlantic war would have been very different, and possible have another outcome, before end-1942...

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Re: Prince Eugane v AGS

Postby Paul L » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:41 pm

alecsandros wrote:
Dave Saxton wrote:The undoing of the lone warship raider concept was the rise of naval air power during the war. This occurred post 1940. However, in the 1930's naval air power (as well as submarines) remained unproven.

True, but that required a large number of long-range aircraft or a significant number of aircraft-carrying ships, neither of which were in sufficient numbers before mid-1942 (B-24s, A/S PBYs and Short Sunderlands, a few serious carriers and a few escort carriers), and none of which were realy in abundance (and able to cover the larger part of the Atlantic ocean) before mid-1943 (good numbers of long range-patrol aircraft, mid-Atlantic gap largely closed, a larger number of actualy available carriers of multiple types in the Atlantic).

Therefore, powerfull actions by Panzerchiffes between Sept1939-June1942 (at least) were probable, and up until June1943 conceivable. But with 12 Panzerchiffes at the start of the war, it is possible that the Atlantic war would have been very different, and possible have another outcome, before end-1942...


This is especially important since German Intel were reading merchant codes through 1943. The convoy pattern had been deduced by mid 1941 with signals intercepts through early 1944 , about 1/2 of all N. Atlantic convoys were detected . Only 1/4 of these convoys were attacked due to lack of assets [wolf packs] in the vicinity. A couple DOZEN PBC could rotate 1/2 dozen raiders during each of the best seasons [ heavy weather in the fall-spring].
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Re: Prince Eugane v AGS

Postby alecsandros » Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:59 am

Paul L wrote:

This is especially important since German Intel were reading merchant codes through 1943. The convoy pattern had been deduced by mid 1941 with signals intercepts through early 1944 , about 1/2 of all N. Atlantic convoys were detected . Only 1/4 of these convoys were attacked due to lack of assets [wolf packs] in the vicinity. A couple DOZEN PBC could rotate 1/2 dozen raiders during each of the best seasons [ heavy weather in the fall-spring].

Exactly !
Also, adding the newest surface-search radars and several floatplanes on each PBB , plus having sufficient secondary assets to create the necessary confusion at each sortie from the northern ports into the mid and south-Atlantic, would make life for the Royal Navy all the more difficult.

A 4-ship sortie through Denmark Strait (in a single route, followed by separation when reaching a mid-Atlantic point) in Oct-1940 would be potentialy catastrophic for the British supply lines. France was out of the war, thus only British fast heavy ships and torpedo-carrying aircraft carriers could be relied on to counter the raiders. Those were:
in Scapa Flow: HMS KGV, freshly commissioned for trials in Oct 1st 1940 (incomplete), HMS Hood, HMS Repulse, HMS Furious.
at Gibraltar: HMS Renown, HMS Ark Royal.
in the Mediteranean HMS Illustrious, HMS Eagle.
in the South Atlantic - HMS Hermes.

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Re: Prince Eugane v AGS

Postby RF » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:15 am

The one point with this is that the Norwegian campaign had depleted the KM's available ships for the fall of 1940. Only Scheer was available.

Running this as a hypothetical scenario - the Norwegian campaign would still have caused substantial losses and delays.
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