Germany get 1.75 to 5 on Washington treaty and keeps part of HSF

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
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Re: Germany get 1.75 to 5 on Washington treaty and keeps part of HSF

Postby Steve-M » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:56 pm

alecsandros wrote:... The main resource, which AFAIK, was not improvable or modifiable in a reasonable amount of time, was dockyard space to build additional capital ships. Launching 5 more capital ships pre-requires having 5 more dockyar-spaces for them, which AFAIK did not exist anywhere in GErmany. I guess anyone would choose 5 more Bismarcks


I didn't say anything about additional construction, let alone 5 Bismarcks. What I suggested is more or less what was historically built. OTOH, you seem to be suggesting that Germany has the capacity to do major reconstructions on 5 capital ships in addition to what was historically built.

alecsandros wrote:2 Bayerns and 3 WW1 battlecruisers...
Derfflinger / 27000 tons / Kongo / machinery up to 28kts, range up to 15000km at 15kts, fire control suite, AAA systems, torpedo defense.


I suspect you're being a bit optimistic with some of your numbers. Derfflinger is going to have to put on a lot more weight to be relevant in WWII, particularly in terms of deck plating. I'd reckon you're looking at a ~30,000 ton ship for Derfflinger and Hindenburg. As far as the Bayerns go, its a little more complicated. You'd obviously need to add a fair amount of weight and 32,000 doesn't seem totally unreasonable, but that will also serve to slow the ship down further. Given that and the relatively short/fat hull (which limits space for machinery in addition to being relatively inefficient for achieving speed), I'm not sure how feasible even 24 knots is. Remember, the QEs were longer, leaner, lighter ships with more power on tap, and 24 knots was about all they were good for.

Bearing that in mind, lets say you're up to ~150,000 tons of capital ship tonnage, versus 535,000 for the UK (carrier tonnage was distinctly separate, and if the Germans were smart, they'd invest in carriers anyway). Now you've got a slight problem: you don't have enough tonnage remaining to build S&G. Even the Panzerschiffe would be a problem, as they were capital ships as well by virtue of their 11" guns. Historically the Allies let things slide in that respect, but in the face of a belligerent Germany that's again on the rise, one which already possesses 5 capital ships, that's less likely to be the case.

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Re: Germany get 1.75 to 5 on Washington treaty and keeps part of HSF

Postby alecsandros » Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:28 pm

... I think it's very plausible to reconstruct 5 or 6 WW1 ships in 9 or 10 years (starting , say, with 1930, like other major powers did) with the available resources, then to build 5 or 6 new capital ships from scratch. It's completely different.

---

The S&G, like Bs and Tz could be launched after signing of the Anglo-German treaty - that if the Germans realy wanted to stick to the treaty... A matter which in reality they did not.

Anyway, considering they do stick to it, they would have S&G ready by mid-1940 instead of early 1939.

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Re: Germany get 1.75 to 5 on Washington treaty and keeps part of HSF

Postby Steve-M » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:01 pm

alecsandros wrote:... I think it's very plausible to reconstruct 5 or 6 WW1 ships in 9 or 10 years (starting , say, with 1930, like other major powers did) with the available resources, then to build 5 or 6 new capital ships from scratch. It's completely different.


How different it is depends on the scale/scope of the reconstruction. The complete overhaul required to bring 5 WWI vintage, coal powered warships up to WWII standards isn't the same as just popping on a couple AA guns and calling it all good. Such a reconstruction would require significant time in the yards to complete. Could it be done? Possibly. But...

alecsandros wrote:The S&G, like Bs and Tz could be launched after signing of the Anglo-German treaty


No, they couldn't. AGNA didn't change Britain's allotment under WNT/LNT; they unilaterally declared that Germany could build up to 35%, pissing off the rest of the Allies. Since you're already effectively starting at that ratio, that means no S&G, and no Bs and Tz as long as they keep their WWI rebuilds.

alecsandros wrote:that if the Germans realy wanted to stick to the treaty... A matter which in reality they did not.

If you're going to presume that on top of getting more lenient treatment post WWI, that Germany is still going to cheat the heck out any agreement, there really isn't much else worth discussing. Throw in 5 WWI rebuilds, the Panzerschiffe, S&G, Bs and Tz, and you're up to 300,000+ tons worth of capital ships, or roughly Italy and France's WNT allotment put together. Would that change things? Yeah, it probably would.
Last edited by Steve-M on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Germany get 1.75 to 5 on Washington treaty and keeps part of HSF

Postby Steve-M » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:56 pm

double...

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Re: Germany get 1.75 to 5 on Washington treaty and keeps part of HSF

Postby alecsandros » Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:00 am

... After signing the Anglo German treaty , Britain started building 5 KGVs, 1 Vanguard, 5 Lions, in effect increasing own BB/BC tonnage to ~ 1 million tons (existing 530.000 tons already built + 450.000 tons new builds).

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Re: Germany get 1.75 to 5 on Washington treaty and keeps part of HSF

Postby Steve-M » Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:38 pm

alecsandros wrote:... After signing the Anglo German treaty , Britain started building 5 KGVs, 1 Vanguard, 5 Lions, in effect increasing own BB/BC tonnage to ~ 1 million tons (existing 530.000 tons already built + 450.000 tons new builds).


1. Construction of Vanguard only began after the war started, and only 2 Lions were ever laid down, both in 1939. More to the point, Britain wasn't planning on doubling the size of her fleet, which would be rather counterproductive to her aim of avoiding an arms race. Older BBs were on the chopping block, but the outbreak of war before even the first KGV was commissioned made any old treaty requirements/arms race concerns rather moot.

2. What exactly do you think the relevance of AGNA is under your hypothetical scenario, given that the German fleet is already at a 35 : 100 aka 1.75 : 5 ratio with the UK?

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Re: Germany get 1.75 to 5 on Washington treaty and keeps part of HSF

Postby Steve-M » Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:44 pm

Steve-M wrote:2. What exactly do you think the relevance of AGNA is under your hypothetical scenario, given that the German fleet is already at a 35 : 100 aka 1.75 : 5 ratio with the UK?


PS: Given that AGNA wouldn't make much sense in your hypothetical, that also means German tonnage isn't tied to UK construction in any case.

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Re: Germany get 1.75 to 5 on Washington treaty and keeps part of HSF

Postby alecsandros » Sat Mar 19, 2016 5:54 pm

... Historically Britain planned to replace many of her old battleships / battlecruisers with new builds - Lion, Vanguard, KGV.

The same would be done by Germany as well, with Bs/Tz proposed as obvious replacements for the modernised Bayerns.

I thought of AGNA as a historical landmark for capital ship construction. Perhaps it's not feasible to think of it in such a scenario.

However, with or without it, my observation is that 5/6 old ships and 2 new BCs and 2 new BBs could be squeezed into the required tonnage...

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Re: Germany get 1.75 to 5 on Washington treaty and keeps part of HSF

Postby Steve-M » Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:04 pm

alecsandros wrote:... Historically Britain planned to replace many of her old battleships / battlecruisers with new builds - Lion, Vanguard, KGV.

The same would be done by Germany as well, with Bs/Tz proposed as obvious replacements for the modernised Bayerns.


True enough, though this could presumably be offset by the Allies forcing Germany to stagger their construction to avoid periods where they could potentially greatly exceed their allotment. There's no reason to expect Germany could get away with replacing all of their WWI rebuilds in one fell swoop, thus doubling their tonnage just in time for WWII.

Now, presuming Germany was to keep a portion of the HSF fleet, IMHO, only Derfflinger and Hindenburg would make much sense to modernize to WWII standards. Moltke/Seydlitz were relatively inefficient in terms of turret layout, and thus tonnage spent. The Bayerns were too slow, and both they and VdT would be more limited in terms of deck space, which is an important consideration for things like AAA. As such, if Germany received dispensation to perform reconstructions, they could start with two ~30,000 ton upgraded battlecruisers, which I suppose is better than 0. Add three Panzerschiffe at ~45,000 tons, and S&G for 60,000 tons, and you're basically at the limit. Toss in Bs and Tz as nominal replacements for the WWI rebuilds, and if the timing is right, you could end up in a marginally better position than Germany historically was.

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Re: Germany get 1.75 to 5 on Washington treaty and keeps part of HSF

Postby alecsandros » Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:32 pm

Graf Spee and her sister ships were launched as 10.000 tons ships, and not battleships. They were not included in the Washington Treaty, AFAIK. They were launched as replacements for 3 pre-dreadnoughts, and later designated as heavy cruisers.

There were numerous WW1 historical rebuilds which did not proved successfull in WW2. However, it's expectations that matter the most. If one rebuilds a 1915 battleship , and hopes to make it as efficient and as powerfull as a 1939 battleship, chances are near zero.

If , on the other hand, one rebuilds some old ships in order to perform some clear function - convoy raiding , coastal bombardment to name a few - then things become realistically feasible.

Take Andrea Doria - one of the worst battleships of WW2. WIth practically zero contribution to the war in the Med, the ship was more target practice for British torpedo bombers, level bombers and occasionally for British 15" guns.

Take the same Andrea Doria, or a comparable reconstructed ship, and put it in Norway 1942, and things get drastically different. Or take Von der Tann, modernise it and make some raids in the North Atlantic, and then, if she survives, put it in Norway. That would tie down Repulse or Renown indefinetely just to keep her in check.

It;s the same with Baden / Bayern , Derfflinger and Hindemburg. Each one would require ample British forces to keep in Scapa Flow to counter a possible sortie.

====

By my calculation, the Royal Navy was pushing 1 million tons in 1937. It had 530.000 tons already built, 5 KGVs planned, 6 Lions and 1 Vanguard.
They would most likely replace old ships with new ships... Rodney/Nelson were realy crying to be replaced... Same for the R class.. largely unmodernised...

But in fact... they built 5 KGVs and nearly completed Vanguard while retaining everything, including R class and Nelson/Rodney.

Same thing would probably happen with this proposed HSF/KGM proposed fleet.

S and G would be finalised later, probably in 1940, as "replacements" for Derfflinger and Hindemburg. B and T replacements for Bayern / Baden.

--
All in all, in , say, mid-1941, Germany would have ~300.000 tons of capital ships afloat and nothing in the build(presuming nothing is lost in the first 2 years...), while Britain woudl have ~ 600.000 tons of capital ships, with 210.000 tons more in the building (3 KGVs, 1 Vanguard, 2 Lions)

So I tink it would be acceptable , at least from the British point of view, to let Germany go ahead with their building and replacement program, as they would be doing practically the same thing in parallel.

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Re: Germany get 1.75 to 5 on Washington treaty and keeps part of HSF

Postby Steve-M » Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:37 pm

alecsandros wrote:Graf Spee and her sister ships were launched as 10.000 tons ships, and not battleships. They were not included in the Washington Treaty, AFAIK.

If Germany is included in the WNT, then Graf Spee is a capital ship by virtue of its 11" guns. That means:
a. Germany can't build them.
b. Germany builds them as is, and accepts them as 30,000 tons worth of additional capital ship tonnage.
c. Germany builds improved Panzerschiffe with better protection against heavy cruisers.

Historically, Germany was limited to 10,000 tons, so the Panzerschiffe were the best they could do under the circumstances. However, if they could build better ships, it's a good move to do so vs. having 30,000 tons worth of capital ship tonnage invested in ships that are acutely vulnerable to heavy cruiser fire.

alecsandros wrote:However, it's expectations that matter the most.

I'm not sure what kind of expectations the Germans could have at the time if the British already had fast, powerful ships like Hood and R&R (let alone what they could come up with in the future, even under treaty restrictions), coupled with the rise of air power. As a fleet in being, they could potentially tie up some resources, but that's only good for so much. Barring some pretty drastic reconstruction, they'd be fairly vulnerable to aerial strikes (AP bombs and torpedoes), which such forces were regularly subjected to. Also, given the above vulnerability, sorties against the British fleet where the vessels would get bum rushed by DDs would also be more hazardous.

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Re: Germany get 1.75 to 5 on Washington treaty and keeps part of HSF

Postby alecsandros » Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:36 am

... Observing the historical 1930s designs, my opinion is Kriegsmarine fleet was expected to conduct convoy raiding operations.

For that task, at the outbreak of war, they had 3 pocket battleships (re-labeled as cruisers), 3 heavy cruisers , 2 battlecruisers. And that was it.

Adding the rebuilds, they would have Derfflinger, Hindembrug, Von der Tann, which would be as fast as pocket battleships, but with smaller range [I don't think they could get them diesel engines], and with more powerfull artillery and armor. In effect, I think they could be given teh same range as Hipper class had.

Bayern and Baden could be kept in reserve until an opportune moment arived. That moment could be initialy expected to be Opearion Sealion. On cancelation of that operation, they could be moved to Norway, out of RAF attacks, and capable of stopping possible Arctic convoys.

---
The battlecruisers would be comparable to Renown/Repulse, which, by the way, did show their age throughout the war. But old as they were, they did serve well.

In fact, even the non-modernised R class did have their usefullness in the war - convoy defense, coastal bombardment.

---
Modernization could take anywhere from 2 to 4 years, and could include AAA, FC, machinery and some deck armour (though I doubt it).

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Re: Germany get 1.75 to 5 on Washington treaty and keeps part of HSF

Postby RF » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:47 am

alecsandros wrote:... Observing the historical 1930s designs, my opinion is Kriegsmarine fleet was expected to conduct convoy raiding operations.
.


That was implied in the plans, but in reality the strategic function of the KM in the 1930's was never really spelled out. The Z Plan was the closest to a detailed blueprint, but even here it was more wishlist than reality.
Hitler viewed the KM big ships as prestige objects, purely for show rather than combat, as he did not expect war with Britain or the USA.

That was as far as it got - and it was a missed opportunity. The approach of ''we'll build some ships, then we might find a role for them'' is not even a second best alternative to ''what do we want a navy for, who is it to fight and when, how do we build a navy that can win and how is it to win.'' Answer these questions - then build the vessels for the job.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Germany get 1.75 to 5 on Washington treaty and keeps part of HSF

Postby alecsandros » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:55 am

Well, looking at range of the pocket battleships and Bismarck and Scharnhrost battleships, they are intended for long range operations. And with Germany not having a collonial empire anymore, those long range operations could only be... long range attack missions.

The 8" and 6" cruisers, and the destroyers... are from a different movie.

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Re: Germany get 1.75 to 5 on Washington treaty and keeps part of HSF

Postby RF » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:18 am

The pocket battleship design was adopted from a late 1920's projection of the replacements for the first of the old dreadnoughts. The plans featured a straight choice given the Versailles weight restrictions - either a heavily armoured coastal defence monitor, or a longer range cruiser type vessel. Harking back to the experiences of the war between Prussia/Austria and Denmark in 1864 the Reichsmarine opted for the cruiser and equipped it with monitor type guns.

The vessel was intended to give Germany control of the Baltic and served as a prestige object, to boost Germany's morale and its status in the world following WW1.
Whilst its long, economical range made it eminently suitable for distant commerce raiding, I think that was an incidental to the prestige purpose, as around the early 1930's the prospect of Germany fighting another war with Britain within a few years was not a credible proposition even for the Germans. Remember this was before Hitler came to power - the army was limited to 100,000 men, had no tanks, heavy artillery or fortified borders and no air force.
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