A 15" gunned Scharnhorst at North Cape

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Re: A 15" gunned Scharnhorst at North Cape

Postby dunmunro » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:41 pm

RF wrote:
dunmunro wrote:
If we replace all of Scharnhorst's historical 11in hits with 15in hits, then nothing changes. Additionally the proposed mods to fit 38cm guns to S&G would have increased their displacement, making them slower and probably worsening their already poor seakeeping qualities.


There were heavy hits on Norfolk I believe - if they had been 15 inch rather than 11 inch that ship could have been sunk?


No, because the hits were well above the WL.

You have to also consider that Scharnhorst would be replacing 9 guns with a higher rate of fire with 6 guns with a lower rate of fire and the net effect would be to reduce RoF to about half of historical and so the actual number of hits would probably be less than historical.

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Re: A 15" gunned Scharnhorst at North Cape

Postby dunmunro » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:43 pm

RF wrote:There is a further issue here - what if as well Bey had kept his five destroyers in close company and available to give torpedo attack support in any duel with DOY?


Bey's destroyers were already struggling in the prevailing weather and they would have slowed Scharnhorst to a crawl if they had remained in company with Bey.

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Re: A 15" gunned Scharnhorst at North Cape

Postby Dave Saxton » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:53 pm

Johannesson's destroyers were able keep company with the Scharnhorst steaming at 25 knots through the night of the 25th in the same weather. However, if Scharnhorst goes directly into the wind and seas the German destroyers won't be able to keep up.

Bey allowing the loss of cohesion with his force early on, was another factor in Scharnhorst's loss. Had there been destroyers with Scharnhorst then their radars could see ahead in compensation for Scharnhorst's lost radar and it would not have been operating half blind.
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: A 15" gunned Scharnhorst at North Cape

Postby Paul L » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:41 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:Johannesson's destroyers were able keep company with the Scharnhorst steaming at 25 knots through the night of the 25th in the same weather. However, if Scharnhorst goes directly into the wind and seas the German destroyers won't be able to keep up.

Bey allowing the loss of cohesion with his force early on, was another factor in Scharnhorst's loss. Had there been destroyers with Scharnhorst then their radars could see ahead in compensation for Scharnhorst's lost radar and it would not have been operating half blind.


This is probably why the best ships to escort a Panzerschiffe -is another Panzerschiffe.

To me that's the basic problem with the whole rearmament program. Heye had it right. Build at least a dozen Panzerschiffe, instead of all the destroyers cruisers and battleships.
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Re: A 15" gunned Scharnhorst at North Cape

Postby Dave Saxton » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:17 am

But they better be 30+ knot panzerschiffs.
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: A 15" gunned Scharnhorst at North Cape

Postby Paul L » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:54 am

Yes that should come from improved hull plus developing diesels instead of high temp/pressure turbines.
"Eine mal is kein mal"

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Re: A 15" gunned Scharnhorst at North Cape

Postby RF » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:25 am

dunmunro wrote:
RF wrote:
dunmunro wrote:
If we replace all of Scharnhorst's historical 11in hits with 15in hits, then nothing changes. Additionally the proposed mods to fit 38cm guns to S&G would have increased their displacement, making them slower and probably worsening their already poor seakeeping qualities.


There were heavy hits on Norfolk I believe - if they had been 15 inch rather than 11 inch that ship could have been sunk?


No, because the hits were well above the WL.


Hits don't have to be below the WL to sink a ship - internal explosions can take the ship apart or at least blow holes in the ships bottom and n the case of Norfolk my thinking was that a forward magazine detonation would have blown the ships bows off.

You have to also consider that Scharnhorst would be replacing 9 guns with a higher rate of fire with 6 guns with a lower rate of fire and the net effect would be to reduce RoF to about half of historical and so the actual number of hits would probably be less than historical.


Comment noted, however I would have considered by that time the rate of fire for the German 15 inch would have been improved from the time of Bismarck.
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15" gunned Scharnhorst at North Cape

Postby Terje Langoy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:56 pm

G'day, all

More Deutschland class vessels translates to no A.G.N.A. and a more likely intervention into German rearmament plans. Was it not so that a key paragraph of the Anglo-German treaty was precisely the abandonment of the Deutschland class?

15" guns or not, like the Bismarck was the Scharnhorst not mission killed once British forces showed up? Whether she can inflict damage would surely be a subset to the overall objective and this at a time when patience towards the larger surface ships are growing thin. She survives and comes back empty handed ... then what?

Tirpitz is out, Regenbogen an absolute disaster and now Ostfront fails too ... Are we sure the Scharnhorst did not embark on a make-it or break-it hell pass mission to justify her very existence? Surviving the frying pan only to be tossed into the fire?

Just a few thoughts

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Re: 15" gunned Scharnhorst at North Cape

Postby Paul L » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:45 pm

Terje Langoy wrote:G'day, all

More Deutschland class vessels translates to no A.G.N.A. and a more likely intervention into German rearmament plans. Was it not so that a key paragraph of the Anglo-German treaty was precisely the abandonment of the Deutschland class?

15" guns or not, like the Bismarck was the Scharnhorst not mission killed once British forces showed up? Whether she can inflict damage would surely be a subset to the overall objective and this at a time when patience towards the larger surface ships are growing thin. She survives and comes back empty handed ... then what?

Tirpitz is out, Regenbogen an absolute disaster and now Ostfront fails too ... Are we sure the Scharnhorst did not embark on a make-it or break-it hell pass mission to justify her very existence? Surviving the frying pan only to be tossed into the fire?

Just a few thoughts


One thought

AGNA was Hitler's political problem, not the KM's problem. AGNA & Hitler's FOUR YEAR PLAN, was Hitler's gamble that he could ignore #1 rule in TASKS FOR THE WEHRMACHT. That any German military action would lead to war with the rest of Europe and Germany had to have a 'reasonable chance' of winning such a war -or don't try in the first place!

Hitler gambled that Europeans would rather " hang separately than hang together".
"Eine mal is kein mal"

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15" gunned Scharnhorst at North Cape

Postby Terje Langoy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:16 pm

G'day all

I'm not so sure the A.G.N.A. ought to hold the description "problem" rather than solution to the Versailles restrictions - be it of a political nature or an armaments issue. The catalyst to war was the recapture of stripped territory, the polish corridor. If anything the Second World War definitely fits the unoffical title "the great backlash" more than anything. And I would consider it a tough demand to expect the Seekriegsleitung to plan for a Kriegsmarine vs the world. Perhaps a bit unresonable too, don't you agree?

Why not rephrase the question into this: was the Second World War inevitable?

As the Graf Spee incident clearly demonstrated the Deutchland class were not at all super weapons. Well armed and good range in the cruiser role, aye, but few in numbers and lacking of a logistic structure to really make good on their use. Indeed, the Dunkerque class had the Germans veering back towards traditional designs, succumbing to what Richard Worth would refer to as a Mahanian sort of mindset. Me thinks rather than looking at what the Deutchland class may accomplish in the war years, let's keep in mind what will be risked by continue building them. They were after all the reason A.G.N.A.came into being in the first place

I hold the belief that rather than changing the appearance of the Kriegsmarine, which seems to me evolving on a very natural and adequate, robust path, that one may achieve more by changing strategies and dispositions. Call me fanboy of Raeders thoughts. Cruiser warfare on the high seas until utterly defeated. Cerberus was a big mistake

Anyhooo ... This thread was about larger guns on a ship overrun in the dark night off North Cape in late 1943. And my input on that particular matter was a simple question: what would happen if Scharnhorst comes back empty handed?

Last nail in the coffin that is large surface ships operations or will she be given even more leash?

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Re: A 15" gunned Scharnhorst at North Cape

Postby Paul L » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:15 am

Well following up on TASKS FOR THE WEHRMACHT , Groner in 1928 was warning the entire German military/government that unless they were ready to fight a two year campaign of "continuous war" WITH ALL OF EUROPE- they had better be ready to back down from ANY ADVENTURE. Something Hitler clearly ignored and Germany/Europe paid the price.

After 15 years of rearmament , such a war might be possible UNDER THE RIGHT CONDITIONS.

His 1928 expansion of the Wehrmacht to 21 divisions and Naval plan 1932 plus the adoption of "Lufthansa" as the de-facto air-force, were just implemented to counter any possible -French supported- Polish invasion of German ;as they had attempted on Russia in 1920.

Even in view of that, Raeder order naval plan 1932 to build...
1 aircraft carrier
6 improved PBS
6 cruisers
plus flotillas of U-Boats & GTB.

The first step in building a fleet clearly directed towards the RN. Even though Groner threatened to cancel funding for the original PBS , unless Raeder could show how they could counter any French squadron raids into the Baltic.

When the Nazi took power -Kaptain Donitz demanded a fleet of 300 U-Boats and all KM agreed. However a colleague -Furbringer - warned that unless such a force was supported by the LW , the U-Boat fleet would be eventually driven underwater by growing allied ASW threat.

The surface fleet advocates proposed a dozen more larger Panzerschiffe to support Donitz fleet and counter this ASW threat, while Admiral Carls suggested the best way to support such a U-Boat war would be to organise battle groups with aircraft carriers & Battle cruisers + Panzerschiffe & flotilla's of Zerstroers [including fleet supply trains].

It was into this back drop that the grand admiral ordered the Panzerschiffe D.E.F.G.H.J changed into his "Tirpitz" style battleship programme to top it all off. Hitler kyboshed this in 1934 because this would upset his plans for a neutral UK. Raeder salvaged as much of this by convincing Hitler they would be an "ANTI FRENCH FLEET"....thus the legend began.
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