Apart from building couple of ships, there is some need of supply of fuel, building infrastructure, supply ships, maintenance and so one.
In case of fuel.
There were simply no “hard money” for purchasing oil for Kriegsmarine. Raider had “plan” of “organizing” and “keeping somewhere” as large oil as year usage of whole Germany.
There were no storage for such a numbers of oil, no source of money for oil, no plan how to organize whole thing.
So if whole fleet could be built they will be simply big
fleet in being” due to short of fuel.
Building aspect was similar.
There were “plan” of building 12 ships of “NeuePanzershiffe” class. Improved Deutschland with 30-34 knots speed ( depends on version ), and better armour.
There were capacity of building only 4 of them the same time, so it was plan to start next 4 after previous were launched. Any delay of first wave automatically delays rest. But still all 12 were planed to be finished in 1946.
Soon it was clear that it is impossible, so last 4 were cut.
Than was problem of production of heavy guns and mountings. Krupp was unable to produce the same time 15” for Bismarck, 16” for H39 and 11” for new P class.
But was able to produce 15 and 16 inchers the same time.
So another conception. Rearm Scharnhorsts to 15” guns, and available turrets from them will be used for first 3 of NeuePanzershiffe.
Soon it was clear that any rearmament will be impossible, as all shipyards were to be busy in new construction. No way of replacing turrets and rebuilding forward part of the ship to add buoyancy forward. So no 11” turrets available, so no artillery for 3 new ships, but still plan ( better to say “plan” ) of starting soon them. So source of next conception with 15” guns, with result of Ohne Panzer Quatsh ( “no armour nosense” ).
Soon in “plan” there could be seen both – 3 of OPQ, and 12 NeuePanzershiffe. Both of them were included.
Why? And what source of industrial power to produce them?
Something similar happen to H39. Next of class in place of launched first of them. Any delay – next delayed.
Problem of production of heavy guns and mountings + armour with the same time building of tanks and heavy guns for land forces.
Any problem was “omitted” by chief in sentence something like “if I was able to rebuild Germany for 5 years, industry should be able to rebuild Kriegsmarine for 5 years”. End of story.
How Germany was “rebuild” we know. For robbery and credit everyone can build autobahn and something like that. But for longer time it does not work.
But as “chief” stated “we must” so “we must”. For some time in “plan” was 6 H39 class battleships, 3 O class battlecruisers, 12 P class panzershiffe + 20+ light cruisers ~80 destroyers, 100+ submarines and so on.
How realistic it was – we know.
At best it was expected that H39 could be build for 50 months from laid down to start of sea trials.
Let’s say Raider gets all he wants ( say land forces are cut, Luftwaffe are cut and so on ), and all planed ships are build and had capability of being on sea ( planed about 7 oilers are too low for such a fleet ).
We forget fantasies, so no 6x H39 + 12x P class + 3x O class available in 1946.
Say with all possible involvement in 1946 Germans could have:
+ smaller vessels.
So 10 battleships, but 8 really dangerous.
Plan was to make task forces of 2-3 H39 with company of lighter forces. H39 to destroy escort, rest destroy merchants.
If such a force could break into Atlantic it will be problematic for sure. At last for short time, until fuel is depleted, as oilers are not available. Those available (+ planed) were good for single, say twin ships raids, not such a large forces!
Compare it to British plans.
Program year ……….. class ………… numbers
1936 ……….. KGV …………… 2
1937 ……….. KGV …………… 3
1938 ……….. Lion .…………… 2
1939 ……….. Lion ……….…… 2
1940 ……….. Lion ……….…… 2 + 1 Vanguard
1941 ………… 16” gunned …….2-3 + 1? Vanguard
1942 ………… 16” gunned …….2-4
+ of course numerous carriers, cruisers and about 8 to 16 destroyers per year
Delivery time of Lion class 42 months between sighting contract and ship delivered for Royal Navy.
KGV started 2 January 1937 delivered December 1940. 4 years including delay due to war start.
Bismarck started in middle of 1936, delivered in August 1940, with no some of fire control elements installed on ship. And construction of ship was accelerated after outbreak of war in cost of delaying other ships.
Available sleeps for building battleships were numerous ( about 10, have to check ).
Limiting factor of building battleships were production of heavy mountings. In 1938 it was 7 turrets per year. Next was armour production.
Needs of building more battleships were clear. So in 1939 it was accepted to expand production of heavy turrets to allow start of 3 battleships per years since 1940 or 1941 program ( 7, 8 and 9 ship of Lion/Mod Lion class ). Just before outbreak of war, even to 4 battleships per year. There were money for that.
As temporary measure it was decided to reopen ex Coventy Ordnance Works in Beardmore to allow modernisation of old 15” turrets. Vanguard was accepted before the war and 3 ship of 1940 program ( to be build the same time as 5 and 6 ship of Lion class ). It was expected that those Lions could be finished in early 1945, but Vanguard year before.
Next Vanguard could be started in 1942 program. Decision if that ship will be started was to be made later. In 1939 it was too early
So in 1946 available ships for British
Hood – heavy modernized.
Renown – heavy modernized.
Repulse – partially modernized ( possibly on disposal list – depends on situation )
Nelsons – 2 – partially/heavy modernized ( or in the shipyard during modernization )
Queen Elizabeths – 3 heavy modernized.
Queen Elizabeths – 2 medium modernized ( on disposal list, depends on situation if sold for scrap or at reserve )
KGV – 5 ships
Lion – 6 ships ( with 3-4 more as asdvanced as KGV and PoW historically in 1939, + some, no less than 6-8 in state as DoY, Anson, Hove historically )
Vanguard – 1 ready + possible 1 on building stage ( if 1 on building, that 1 Lion less )
So 12 – 14 new battleships + 3 rebuild battlecruisers ( to take care with Scharnhorsts )
and 5 – 7 older, slower rebuild. Not good enough to stay in fight against modern battleships, but with armament had to be counted.
All available at start of the war, with no fuel problems.
And with some ships so advanced that could be finished in 1-3 years of war.
Against 8 modern strong new + 2 Scharnhorts + 3 O + Deutschlands in 1945 clearly not strongest ships in they class.
No any plan of such ships in Germany, and even if planed, how to build them?
Clearly better proportion than historically, but still with British superiority.
Many depends on Germans movement.
See WWI. At the begin of War German fleet was less powerful than British, but not so much. Later month after month British supremacy was larger, and Germans waited for what? To be outnumbered?
In WWII no plan to use fleet. OK, to make raids, but no fuel, no oilers, no bases.
What what to do?
Stay and wait for what? To be outnumbered?