Ideal Rheinubung

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
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Karl Heidenreich
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Ideal Rheinubung

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:15 pm

While reading the thread in which the Japanese forgot about their interests in the Far East and come to help Raeder to fight the allies I began to think that, in order to change the Atlantic Theater outcome none of that is really necessary.
First thing to win is to shot Raeder and don´t let Lutjens get aboard Bismarck or anything that floats. Second, prepare a Rheinubung Operation which target is not to look for convoys and sunk humble transports but to produce chaos: real offensive thinking.
Look: If with only Bismarck and an 8" gun cruiser the British went amuk and had so many troubles, try to imagine the following:
1. Late July, early August 1941. Since May the U-Boats were recalled to replenish and reorganize in French ports.
2. A Northern Battlegroup is organized with Bismarck, Tirpitz as capital ships with PE and Hipper as escorts.
3. A Southern Battlegroup is prepared with Schanhorst and Gneisenau
4. At a given moment U-Boats and the two Battlegroups steam.

When that happens the British had to seal all the exits. If they had problems only with Bismarck, what can we expect? Pandemonium! Wherever the British run to the pursuit a U-Boat trap, the German capital ships hit and run, damaging surface units as cruisers, destroyers and the such, disabling the patrols the British had and by doing so choicing the moment to strike. If Bismarck and Tirpitz find Hood and Repulse, or Hood and PoW then the opportunities go in favour of the Germans. If Bismarck, Tirpitz, the Twins with PE and Hipper rendevouz and find KGV and Rodney it´s bye bye to the heavier units GB had in the Atlantic.
No need for Yamato.
It could have been done... And it didn´t need hindsight, just common sense.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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RF
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Post by RF » Fri Dec 29, 2006 5:10 pm

It certainly could and probably would have been done had not the Fuhrer moved on by launching Operation Barbarossa.
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Re: Ideal Rheinubung

Post by Summoner » Sun Dec 31, 2006 2:21 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote: It could have been done... And it didn´t need hindsight, just common sense.
And a bit of luck, methinks! :think: I'm not sure the British, and to a lesser extent the Allies, would have simply allowed Germany's capital ships to prepare for such an operation unhindered.

At the very least, more intelligence efforts would have been directed at gathering information about, and possibly sabotaging, the German capital ships you mentioned. It's also reasonable to expect more air raids directed at the ships. I'm not saying the British would have been successful in all of this, but even if they were, you would be seeing a little less of these efforts against the rest of the German war machine. It's interesting to speculate how this might have played out in terms of the overall German war effort. A few less factories bombed here, a few less trains bombed there....could that spell the difference between success and failure at Barbarossa? :think:

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Terje Langoy
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Post by Terje Langoy » Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:37 pm

Rather than deploying all the ships mentioned above, the Tirpitz and the Twins, along with the original force, I think the ideal Rheinubung could have occured just as it did when it did but with the addition of a single ship: the Graf Zeppelin.

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Gary
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Post by Gary » Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:30 pm

Hi Terje

I think I have to agree with you.

If you consider how effective the Skua's and Swordfish of the RN fleet air arm were.

A stuka was a better dive bomber than a Skua.

Graf Zepplin could have caused the British a few problems
(I assume the Graf Zepplin was intended to carry Stuka's?)
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Post by iankw » Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:14 pm

Sorry Terje, but if Graf Zeppelin had sailed in Rheinubung as and when it happened it wouldn't have been much use, except to provide an extra ship to take shells. It wasn't ready to function as a carrier in 41. There are many here who can explain why much better than I.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:22 am

I agree with iankw (Happy New Year by the way). Months ago there was a discussion about the GZ and her likely combat air group and the conclusion was that the German CV would not be a battleworthy match to RN ones.
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Post by iankw » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:04 pm

Happy New Year Karl, it's rare we agree but I am glad it happens occasionally. :D

Ian

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:38 pm

I´ve been reading the results of the polls the kbismarck site did, including the actual one in which the question is simple:
"Should Raeder have delayed the Bismarck sortie until the Tirpitz was ready?"
The answers are:
Yes 411
74.3%
No, the British would be much stronger by then 51
9.2%
Both ships should have been sent to Norway to act as a "Fleet in Being" 91
16.5%
Total: 566
100%
Curious that three quarters of the people that visit the poll are of the opinion that a scenario like this one would be more favourable to the Germans than the actual Rheinubung "planning".
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:42 pm

I still believe that a Bismarck + Tirpitz battlegroup is larger than the sum of it´s parts. If those two ships steam alongside two heavy cruisers and expecting to rendevouz with the Twins in mid Atlantic the British certainily would need US help.
If only Bismarck caused the conmotion it did, I can´t imagine the level of chaos of this Ideal Rheinubung.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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RF
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Post by RF » Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:05 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:I still believe that a Bismarck + Tirpitz battlegroup is larger than the sum of it´s parts. If those two ships steam alongside two heavy cruisers and expecting to rendevouz with the Twins in mid Atlantic the British certainily would need US help.
If only Bismarck caused the conmotion it did, I can´t imagine the level of chaos of this Ideal Rheinubung.
Had Hitler postponed Operation Barbarossa for one year and followed the Meditteranean strategy proposed by Raeder, in conjunction with the revised Rheinubung proposed in the quote, it would have had a decisive impact and would have deterred US help for Britain. Had Malta and the Suez Canal been seized by the Axis at the same time that this proposed Rheinubung started, the loss of the Meditteranean by the British could also have allowed Italian Fleet units to reinforce the Germans by entering the Atlantic, probably by using Spanish bases.

If the Germans sent Wehrmacht units to the Canaries, with substantial Luftwaffe support, then seizure of Gibraltar could be undertaken, with Spanish entry into the war.

And if at the same time the Luftwaffe carried out an intensive strategic bombing against the British economy, then taken together I believe these moves would have been sufficient to win the war. Then Hitler could think about Barbarossa.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Post by Admiral-scheer » Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:55 pm

Well actually the Graf zeppelin would not ready for the suggested rheinbung. At the suggested time its was about 85% complete constrution would finish next year and one more year would be needed to train the crew.

Raeder and Goring had bitter fights over the carrier.Goring said that the aircraft ordered would be not be ready until 1944.Hitler told Goring to get the aircraft ready as soon as possible for the carrier, so Goring offered redesigned versions of the aircraft and insisted that the aircraft are still under Luftwaffe command, but with these special aircrafts, the graf zeppelin needed a new flight deck. By 1943 the carrier was almost finished but because of all the arguments, and fuss Hitler made Karl Donitz Grand Admiral and later President. The flak was transffered to Norway. It was scuttled in Poland, raised and sent to Leningrad by the Soviets and later was used for target practice (This is still a mystery),but they found a wreck sometime in the summer last year that appears to be the carrier.

The graf zepplin was planned to carry 20 Junkers Ju 87 dive bombers, 20 Fieseler Fi 167 torpedo bombers and 10 Bf 109 fighter planes.
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Post by longreach » Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:30 pm

hi karl you sure come up with some good ones,,,your idea is on the money.a battlegroup of Bismarck + Tirpitz+twins+2 heavy cruisers.used in an operation like that you came up with would change the course of the war(try a 100% loss of convoys that are intercepted(including naval escorts first),wearing down the british fleet.and then there is the convoys to russia,if the germans used the twins with light-cruisers escorts to intercept those convoys,while useing the bismarck+tirpitz+2 heavy cruisers to hit and run against british naval units in the north atlantic and convoys,add uboat to game and things turn bad for the russians,(60%-80%) loss of the convoys would put the russians in dangerous state.and things for the british navy wouldnt be much better,without stripping the Med and the far east fleet,and that includes commonwealth navys of heavy units,there would be very little chance of the british getting enough battlegroups together.A retired naval officer (Captain),I know had a talk about this,and we(he)came up with this idea,by stripping the rest of british fleets and then getting them together into these battlegroups,(3 groups with 3BBs +1 BCs + cruisers and destroyers in each group) plus a carrier group(2 or 3 carriers plus escorts)would be about the best way to stop the german battlegroups.1battlegroup to go after the twins.the other 2 battlegroups and carrier group to go after the main german battlegroup,if the british can find them and the british aircraft can cause enough damage to slow them enough for the 2 battlegroups close to gun range(1 battlegroup on either side of the german fleet)then everything goes to SHIT for the germans.but it would have taken the british atleast 6-12 months to get all the ships in place and hunting,and that doesnt add any losses to the brits from uboats.....THANK GOD THAT HITLER WAS AN IDIOT!!!!!!! :cool:

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Post by lwd » Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:36 pm

I don't see anything guaranteeing 100% casualty rates to convoys.

But lets take a look at this. When would this sorty occur?

From:
http://www.german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/ ... tions.html
Tirpitz isn't ready until 42. Not sure the twins are ever at full health after 41 but do you have them running up the channel to meet the rest of the fleet or sortieing independently? If so what happens if they get caught before they manage to meet up with the rest of the fleet.

Then there is the question of whether or not the rest of the fleet can get to see without encountering the British. Note that the British have more BB's now as well and the US is in the game with at least 1 possibly two CVs and some BB's not to mention numerous cruisers and DD's. The latters torpedos can be a serious threat. The endurance of the German units is also problematic as they will have to maintain pretty high speeds to avoid the allied naval units.

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Post by longreach » Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:43 am

hi again the 100% convoy destruction (russian bound convoys)the twins+CLs+uboats could easily destroy a convoy in fast order.the convoy PQ118,(57 ships)russian bound lost 31 ships to uboats and aircraft after they were ordered to scatter after the british thought the Tiriptz had put to sea.so i hope you can see how such destruction of convoys is highly possible when you have the twins+CL+uboats..and thats not including aircraft.but as we all seem to forget...the best layed plans last right up to the first exchange fire.

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