The Kaisers dreadnoughts

From the birth of the Dreadnought to the period immediately after the end of World War I.
Rafael
Junior Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:42 pm
Location: Paris (France)

Postby Rafael » Sun Sep 17, 2006 10:04 am

I have not read Olivier's book. can you recommend it? I have Steinberg's but I have not yet the opportunity to start with it. I have read Hurd's and, in my opinion, it is not worth. It does not provide anything you cannot find in other places is too one sided nad lacks perspective to say the least.

More interesting are Sondhaus "Preparing for Weltpolitik", Weir "Building the Kaiser Navy" and the little known Brezet "Le Plan Tirpitz" (in French). The last two are more focused on industrial, technical and purely naval matters (I mean less politics and grand strategy). Brezet's book is the only one I know that details the design process of the capital ships of the HSF. BTW, it breaks several myths, as the one that says that the 380mm battery of the Bayern's was a consecuence of QE's. Brezet shows how this move was decided before the Germans knew about the QE.

Now, I agree with you that the effectiveness of the HSF was impaired by geopraphical factors and that the USN was successful in developing without much threat from Britain due to the inability of the britons to put a real menace. But to me the paralellism in the REASONS why having a strong fleet between Germany and the US still remains.

I will challenge the idea that a Baltic strategy would not make Britain react. Considering that the Russians were building dreadnoughts and a powerful fleet, there was still the possibility of Britain considering the German Navy buildup as a threat.

I do not agree also with the statement that the HSF will be useless in a war with France. First, the French Navy enjoyed almost absolute freedom of movement during the Franco-Prussian war, if it accomplished nothing is more a case of ineptitude and lack of direction, but the opportinity was there. So the Germans needed a fleet to answer to this. Second, the world in 1914 was very different than in 1870. Specially, Germany was very different. I need to repeat here tha at that time Germany was NOT a pure landpower in the sense that a BIG part of its wealth came from overseas. The amount of damage that undisputed supremacy of a French fleet could made was much much bigger than in 1870.

It is undisputable that the way that Tirpitz directed the creation of the HSF was harmful for Germany. The question then is if there were ways to achieve the goal without provoking the British?

I do not believe a strategy of sending the battlefleet overseas would have worked. German bases in Africa and Asia proved too easily to seize. Morte important still, this strategy would need fundamental changes in the design of the warships of the HSF. These were optimized for North Atlantic Operations, making them able to operate on distant stations would require bigger and more expensive ships.

I can agree that Germany in the late XIX Century was in an impasse: second or third worl economy (depending on how you measure it), with a big and growing overseas trade, landlocked by geography and with powerful enemies (lets put aside for the moment the fact that this could have been avoided). The logic for developing a strong fleet was quite natural. I said that implementation failed because:

1. Tirpitz caused unnecessary (or excessive) rivalry with Britain
2. Ship design and quantities was hampered by funding (more than elsewhere I mean)
3. Germany developed "luxury" ships in the form of battlecruisers
4. The conduct of operations in 1914-1916 was inept. Even in Jutland one can argue there was a missed opportunity for the HSF. I should concede that after Jutland and the start of the submarine war, the HSF was doomed however

It is interesting to note that Germasn Naval expenditure was relatively small, not only compared to Britain and the USA but even with France and Russia (at least on certain years). In 1910 as an example, the total Naval Expenditure of the major powers was: Britain 40.4 MM GBP, France 15.0 MM, Russia 9.7 MM, Germany 20.8 MM, Italy 8.3 MM. The main issue of the HSF was, therefore, financial. Imperial Germany wass unable to provide the funds required for a true challenge to the RN!

I do believe than even TOTAL military expenditure in Germany, contrary to legend, was not greater than Britain's, so it was not only a question of priority of the Army.

The fact is that the tax system in Imperial Germany (the whole nature of the state in fact) was inadequate for a modern, growing, industrialized country.

I would say therefore that Imperial Germany had the motivations, the technique and the wealth to challenge the RN, even with the drawback of Geography. It failed because, ironically, it did not bet strongly enough!

Rafael

Tiornu
Supporter
Posts: 1222
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 6:13 am
Location: Ex Utero

Postby Tiornu » Sun Sep 17, 2006 4:25 pm

Well, now you have my attention! I have not heard of this Brezet book. Unfortunately I do not really read French, but that hasn't stopped me from buying French books in the past.
I am very interested in reading about how the Germans generated their design requirements. Specifically, I want to know where there concpet of the battlecruiser came from. The British story is well known, but the Germans obviously had their own view of things.
My understanding of the Bayern 38cm guns is that the Reichsmarineamt had determined that no one was pursuing a caliber larger than 14in, so although Krupp felt equal to the challenge of making a 16in gun, the RMA saw little advantage in it. They did not think it was worth exceeding 15in unless they went all the way to 18in. Thus they felt very secure with 15in guns and were bitterly disappointed to learn that QE had beaten them to the punch.
Thanks for warning me about Hurd. I have Sondhaus waiting on the shelf but haven't yet considered Weir.

Rafael
Junior Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:42 pm
Location: Paris (France)

Postby Rafael » Sun Sep 17, 2006 4:45 pm

I can scan Brezet's pages dealing with BCs and send them privately to you.

Alternatively, as I am living in Paris, I can buy the book and send it to you.

However, it is pretty expensive for a paperback (100+ EUR IIRC) and I am not sure I will be able to find it (it is a rather small low quality edition). I have not seen it lately in Le Musee de la Marine bookshop, but the publisher is not far from my home.

Just let me know.

Rafael

Tiornu
Supporter
Posts: 1222
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 6:13 am
Location: Ex Utero

Postby Tiornu » Sun Sep 17, 2006 6:42 pm

If you don't mind doing me a favor, please send an email to my screen name @alltel.net. I think I have located a copy for 45 Euros.

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:03 pm

From Campbell´s book: "Jutland, An analysis of the fighting". Chapter One:
From the British declaration of war on 4 August 1914 until Jutland little fighting was seen between the main fleets of Britain and Germany in the North sea, known respectively as the Grand Fleet and the High seas Fleet. The British were not willing to hazard their sea supremacy and the long range blockade of Germany, which were vital to them and their allies, by seeking a battle in unfavourable circumstances, as a major victory over the German fleet would not necessarily win the war, and a great disaster to the British fleet would certainly lose it.

The Germans did not realise that certain defects in British dreadnought battleships and battlecruisers, which are discussed on later pages and mainly concerned the ammunition, gave their own ships an individual superiority over their opponents of the same date, and did not wish to seek battle with the whole British fleet until the numerical superiority of the latter had been reduced by mines or submarines or by a successful action against an isolated part of the fleet. This was the Germans' great error of judgement; their chances of winning a fleet action were far better in the early part of the war than by mid-1916.

On 1 6 December 1914, when the Germans raided Scarborough, they had their best opportunity of defeating an important detached part of the Grand Fleet; the latter if concentrated, would have had twenty­two dreadnought battleships, and four battlecruisers against their fourteen and four. At Jutland the figures were twenty-eight dreadnought battleships and nine battlecruisers versus sixteen and five, respectively, and six of the British battleships had 15in guns compared with none in 1914. In addition, the Grand Fleet was short of destroyers in the early part of the war though the German destroyers in service in 1914 were far inferior to most of theirs at Jutland. Furthermore, the extremely valuable intelligence source provided by the deciphering of German wireless signals had not yet been developed. The origin of this was the German naval cyphers and other documents recovered by the Russians from the light cruiser Magdeburg wrecked in the Baltic on 26 August 1914.



He doesn´t state, easily, how worthless was the HSF as a weapon of war.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Tue Sep 19, 2006 4:20 pm

Rafael:
can agree that Germany in the late XIX Century was in an impasse: second or third worl economy (depending on how you measure it), with a big and growing overseas trade, landlocked by geography and with powerful enemies (lets put aside for the moment the fact that this could have been avoided). The logic for developing a strong fleet was quite natural. I said that implementation failed because:

1. Tirpitz caused unnecessary (or excessive) rivalry with Britain
2. Ship design and quantities was hampered by funding (more than elsewhere I mean)
3. Germany developed "luxury" ships in the form of battlecruisers
4. The conduct of operations in 1914-1916 was inept. Even in Jutland one can argue there was a missed opportunity for the HSF. I should concede that after Jutland and the start of the submarine war, the HSF was doomed however


"Germany developed "luxury" ships in the form of battlecruisers" :?:
As far as I recall those "luxury" ships were the ones that sent the British "luxury" battlecruisers to the bottom of the sea in Jutland: three of them as a matter of fact. The ships themselves were not redudant nor unnecesary, their misuse was.

What deems as an irony in this thread is the following: "Germany and evil Kaiser Willy commit the mistake of building the HSF, a fact which enfuriated Great Britain because it was a defiance for her mastery of the sea lines and predominance." That´s like saying that the Japanese´s building of the Combined Fleet was ilogical because USA saw that as a menace or, better, that the Soviet policy of building the Red Banner Fleet was ilogical because that triggered a naval arms race with NATO.
Any nation or group of nations that aspire to predominance (Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Spanish, French, British, German, Russians, USA, Japanese and now Chinese) had became great by defying the current superpower: in some cases the duel favored the challenger and some times not. But the particular effort cannot be condemned as itself.
Once the British defy the Spaniards. The USA defy everyone (and I remember one John Paul Jones fighting the Brits). So, the fact that Germany´s strategic need of a fleet cannot be strikeout as an "unnecessary luxury" or a flaw in her policy or plain "warmongering". The only way that the German Empire had to not annoy Britain was not to build a fleet, do whatever the Brits dictated and stay as a second or third naval power as France or Russia. There´s no need to be Metternich to knew that such a humble policy would be of Britain´s delight. But the Germans were thinking in their own national interest, not British ones, as once the same britons did.
The problem with the HSF was not her building but the strategic talent behind her use and the tactical performance.
It´s only a matter of the talent of her commanders: Nimitz with only three aircraft carriers and a bunch of cruisers and planes faced and defeat a vast superior force at Midway. The German Naval High Command was unable to do the same in the 1914-1918 period, they didn´t grab the opportunity.
Were there chances? Most likely: John Campbell points to one ocassion, which is funny because is the only "if" he have in his book, one of the most detailed in what refers to Jutland.
But the HSF was not unnecesary, nor luxury. That´s nonsense: the fleet serves her nation´s aspirations and strategic needs as the US fleets does nowadays or the Red Banner Fleet did back in the 70-80s or the IJN in the 40s.

On the other hand I have been seeing everywhere this notion that WWI was a German-only fault, because the "German criminal behaivor launched a war of agression against the free countries of Europe":
It was a Serbian the one who shot an Austrian prince; it was Austria the one that mobilized against Serbia; it was Russia the one that mobilized against Austria; it was France that backed Russia... and it was only then when Germany mobilized against Russia. And England became involved when the menace of a German occupation of the Belgian Channel ports was declared. Back in 1914 there were no nazis and no evil dictatorship, just a bunch of highly corrupt and inneficient goverments in both sides: there was no great ideological and practical difference between France, Germany or England. If you´re looking for a true dictatorship that oppress their people then you was Russia, an "allied power", just ask Lenin.
No country did a great effort to avoid the war, nor Germany, nor France, nor England, nor Russia, nor Austria. The "criminal behaivor" was common in all the countries.
So, Kaiser Willy was not genius (I don´t regard him highly), he was dumb in many aspects... a Kurfurst Bismarck would had done very different I can assure, but he was as warmonger as any other European leader in 1914. But as always, the Germans lost so History was told in the allied way.
What I can say is that a German WWI victory would had aborted, twenty years later, a new form of goverment that the allies helped to give birth: the Nazi One.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
Gary
Senior Member
Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:37 pm
Location: Northumberland

Postby Gary » Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:21 pm

Hi Karl.

I sometimes wonder that if the Arch-duke had not been shot in Sarajevo in 1914 - TWO world wars might have been prevented.
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

Rafael
Junior Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:42 pm
Location: Paris (France)

Postby Rafael » Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:30 pm

Karl,

Wow, you are putting so many things in your last posting that it is impossible to give even the first idea of an approximation of an answer without saturating this forum and occupying all my available bandwith!

Well, seriously, I would like to have the time to discuss several of the things you mention, but I will stick to the one most directly related with the thread: battlecruisers!

What I meant with my comment on HSF battlecruisers is that it would have been far better for the Germans to push a bit their concept of BC and create a true fast battleship (they were pretty close in fact). I wonder what a fleet of 24-knot BBs could have achieved (as an example, Dogger Bank would have been piece of cake for them!)

HSF BCs were obviously very superior to British ones (looking at the results of their engagements) but in the long run they were not strong enough anyway.

I made a (admittedly rough) calculation and the Germans could have built a fleet of 25 fast BBs for the same tonnage and cost as the 21 BBs and 7 BCs they actually built (I am excluding here all ships after the four Bayern/Sachsen).

Regards

Rafael

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:44 pm

Rafael:
What I meant with my comment on HSF battlecruisers is that it would have been far better for the Germans to push a bit their concept of BC and create a true fast battleship (they were pretty close in fact). I wonder what a fleet of 24-knot BBs could have achieved (as an example, Dogger Bank would have been piece of cake for them!)

HSF BCs were obviously very superior to British ones (looking at the results of their engagements) but in the long run they were not strong enough anyway.

I made a (admittedly rough) calculation and the Germans could have built a fleet of 25 fast BBs for the same tonnage and cost as the 21 BBs and 7 BCs they actually built (I am excluding here all ships after the four Bayern/Sachsen).

Regards

Rafael


Very interesting, Rafael, but that can only be applied to whatever happened between the outbreak of the war and Jutland. After Jutland the Brits would had vast numerical superiority against HSF and, worse, they are launching a new class of BC that it´s, also, a new breed of Fast BB: the Hood Class.
But if the Germans could have posessed the 25 fast BBs by 1914-1915 then this discussions would probably be "what if the Brits had done this or that..." because earlier than 1916 the HSF, even with a mediocre commander, would have seek combat against the Grand Fleet.

Best regards.

P.S. John Campbell also rates the German BCs better than the British ones, at least until 1916.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:11 pm

Last week History Channel ran a documentary about the HSF sinking at Scapa Flow. The producers showed the sinking into the context of a big mistery (some kind of Oliver Stone´s conspiracy theory) in which the British were involved and so on.
Did somebody saw it and like to comment it?

Best regards.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7477
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Postby RF » Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:49 am

Gary wrote:Hi Karl.

I sometimes wonder that if the Arch-duke had not been shot in Sarajevo in 1914 - TWO world wars might have been prevented.


We can't be sure of that.

Given the tensions already in place in the spring of 1914, the two sets of alliances, the naval rivalry, the powder keg was there. Something else would have triggered it, not necessarily in 1914, but conflict would have come. And that conflict might have been worse, lasting longer than WW1.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7477
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Postby RF » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:12 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Rafael:
can agree that Germany in the late XIX Century was in an impasse: second or third worl economy (depending on how you measure it), with a big and growing overseas trade, landlocked by geography and with powerful enemies (lets put aside for the moment the fact that this could have been avoided). The logic for developing a strong fleet was quite natural. I said that implementation failed because:

1. Tirpitz caused unnecessary (or excessive) rivalry with Britain
2. Ship design and quantities was hampered by funding (more than elsewhere I mean)
3. Germany developed "luxury" ships in the form of battlecruisers
4. The conduct of operations in 1914-1916 was inept. Even in Jutland one can argue there was a missed opportunity for the HSF. I should concede that after Jutland and the start of the submarine war, the HSF was doomed however


"Germany developed "luxury" ships in the form of battlecruisers" :?:
As far as I recall those "luxury" ships were the ones that sent the British "luxury" battlecruisers to the bottom of the sea in Jutland: three of them as a matter of fact. The ships themselves were not redudant nor unnecesary, their misuse was.

What deems as an irony in this thread is the following: "Germany and evil Kaiser Willy commit the mistake of building the HSF, a fact which enfuriated Great Britain because it was a defiance for her mastery of the sea lines and predominance." That´s like saying that the Japanese´s building of the Combined Fleet was ilogical because USA saw that as a menace or, better, that the Soviet policy of building the Red Banner Fleet was ilogical because that triggered a naval arms race with NATO.
Any nation or group of nations that aspire to predominance (Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Spanish, French, British, German, Russians, USA, Japanese and now Chinese) had became great by defying the current superpower: in some cases the duel favored the challenger and some times not. But the particular effort cannot be condemned as itself.
Once the British defy the Spaniards. The USA defy everyone (and I remember one John Paul Jones fighting the Brits). So, the fact that Germany´s strategic need of a fleet cannot be strikeout as an "unnecessary luxury" or a flaw in her policy or plain "warmongering". The only way that the German Empire had to not annoy Britain was not to build a fleet, do whatever the Brits dictated and stay as a second or third naval power as France or Russia. There´s no need to be Metternich to knew that such a humble policy would be of Britain´s delight. But the Germans were thinking in their own national interest, not British ones, as once the same britons did.
The problem with the HSF was not her building but the strategic talent behind her use and the tactical performance.
It´s only a matter of the talent of her commanders: Nimitz with only three aircraft carriers and a bunch of cruisers and planes faced and defeat a vast superior force at Midway. The German Naval High Command was unable to do the same in the 1914-1918 period, they didn´t grab the opportunity.
Were there chances? Most likely: John Campbell points to one ocassion, which is funny because is the only "if" he have in his book, one of the most detailed in what refers to Jutland.
But the HSF was not unnecesary, nor luxury. That´s nonsense: the fleet serves her nation´s aspirations and strategic needs as the US fleets does nowadays or the Red Banner Fleet did back in the 70-80s or the IJN in the 40s.

On the other hand I have been seeing everywhere this notion that WWI was a German-only fault, because the "German criminal behaivor launched a war of agression against the free countries of Europe":
It was a Serbian the one who shot an Austrian prince; it was Austria the one that mobilized against Serbia; it was Russia the one that mobilized against Austria; it was France that backed Russia... and it was only then when Germany mobilized against Russia. And England became involved when the menace of a German occupation of the Belgian Channel ports was declared. Back in 1914 there were no nazis and no evil dictatorship, just a bunch of highly corrupt and inneficient goverments in both sides: there was no great ideological and practical difference between France, Germany or England. If you´re looking for a true dictatorship that oppress their people then you was Russia, an "allied power", just ask Lenin.
No country did a great effort to avoid the war, nor Germany, nor France, nor England, nor Russia, nor Austria. The "criminal behaivor" was common in all the countries.
So, Kaiser Willy was not genius (I don´t regard him highly), he was dumb in many aspects... a Kurfurst Bismarck would had done very different I can assure, but he was as warmonger as any other European leader in 1914. But as always, the Germans lost so History was told in the allied way.
What I can say is that a German WWI victory would had aborted, twenty years later, a new form of goverment that the allies helped to give birth: the Nazi One.


What screwed things up for Imperial Germany was the Schlieffen Plan, coming on top of the naval rivalry with Britain. That was down to the Kaiser Wilhelm II's ego and arrogance.

Had Chancellor Bismarck's policies been continued after Wilhem II had become Kaiser in 1888 Tirpitz could have constructed the HSF on the basis of an agreed size with Britain, with Germany and Britain being allies in the face of colonial rivalry and competing influence with France and Russia, and potential rivalry with the USA.

It was the bellicose nature and navalist expansionism of Germany that led Britain into its historic alliance with France in 1904, extended to Russia in 1907. The German response to this was the Schlieffen Plan, in which Britain was dismissed as a continental land power.

Things would have been very different if Bismarck's legacy had been an alliance of say Britain, Germany and Japan, from 1902 onwards. The 1904/5 Russo-Japanese war could easily have involved Germany as an ally of Japan, with an almost certain fall of the Romanov dynasty at that time. Would France have intervened on Russia's side? NOT if it mean't war not just with Germany, but also Germany's ally Britain as well.

The legacy of such a situation could have been a Europe led by Britain and Germany, no WW1 (as Austria-Hungary would be on its own in dealing with Serbia - remember Bismarck's comment that the Balkans wasn't worth the bones of a single Pomerainian grenadier), no Hitler, no WW2, no Cold War and no European Union. The whole world could have been a far happier and more prosperous place.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:48 pm

RF:
What screwed things up for Imperial Germany was the Schlieffen Plan, coming on top of the naval rivalry with Britain. That was down to the Kaiser Wilhelm II's ego and arrogance.

Had Chancellor Bismarck's policies been continued after Wilhem II had become Kaiser in 1888 Tirpitz could have constructed the HSF on the basis of an agreed size with Britain, with Germany and Britain being allies in the face of colonial rivalry and competing influence with France and Russia, and potential rivalry with the USA.

It was the bellicose nature and navalist expansionism of Germany that led Britain into its historic alliance with France in 1904, extended to Russia in 1907. The German response to this was the Schlieffen Plan, in which Britain was dismissed as a continental land power.

Things would have been very different if Bismarck's legacy had been an alliance of say Britain, Germany and Japan, from 1902 onwards. The 1904/5 Russo-Japanese war could easily have involved Germany as an ally of Japan, with an almost certain fall of the Romanov dynasty at that time. Would France have intervened on Russia's side? NOT if it mean't war not just with Germany, but also Germany's ally Britain as well.

The legacy of such a situation could have been a Europe led by Britain and Germany, no WW1 (as Austria-Hungary would be on its own in dealing with Serbia - remember Bismarck's comment that the Balkans wasn't worth the bones of a single Pomerainian grenadier), no Hitler, no WW2, no Cold War and no European Union. The whole world could have been a far happier and more prosperous place.


The world in the early 1900ies was a very dangerous place. Like today´s global problems, then there was a complete lack of leaders and talents from politicians to military commanders. Kaiser Wilhelm policies were harsh and defying common sense; the French and the Brits were no brilliant neither; the Russians had their most weak and foolish zar in their history; Austria was decadent and the Balcans a very good detonator.
The shooting of the Arch Duke was an excuse, if that didn´t happened then something else, in 1914 or 1915 would have triggered the war.
But RF is right about something: if just one country, be it Germany or France or Russia, would have give a step back no war would have happened.
The problem with Germany was that her leader, Willy, did everything to get in Britain´s path (which in principle was in her own right to do, but it wasn´t likely to be the wise thing to do). An alliance of Germany and Britain would have aborted WWI, then there wasn´t any chance of a WWII (no nazis neither), the commie vermin in Russia would have been defeated and the role of the US would have been limited by the existence of peacefull but heavily armed european colonial powers. I doubt that Japan would not attacked the Pacific in the 1940ies but that would have been a Anglo US-Japanese war only. The good thing is that both allies, Germany and Britain, would have been anticommunist (which is very good) and at the same time two of the most progressive societies in the world. A world peace assured.
And, if you think about it, a world peace could have been achieved after WWI if some idiot haven´t figured a way to have a Versailles Treaty.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
hammy
Senior Member
Posts: 288
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:52 pm
Location: by the Norfolk Broads , England .

Re: German naval mutiny/disinclination for further action 1918

Postby hammy » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:33 pm

Bgile wrote:I’ve been following this thread with interest. Please excuse the ignorance I’m going to show in my question – I am not very knowledgeable about the mutiny. I’ve read about Jutland and played simulations of it. It seemed to me that the Germans could have defeated the British fleet.

Is this premise incorrect?

Why were the German sailors so upset about going out and fighting the British again?


By 1918 the British Grand Fleet had been reinforced by the addition of the 6th Battle squadron , six or more American Dreadnoughts all the equal or better than the Konig class , but the U S task force in the North Sea also included large numbers of their new four funnel flush-deck destroyers ( "Caine mutiny" type ) .
By this time the British now had a squadron of proper Aircraft carriers and a useful force of aircraft and aircrews to man them . The British War emergency warship construction programmes had also delivered the remainder of the R class battleships ( x4 ) and two R class battlecruisers , large numbers of modern Light cruisers ( C and D classes ) and the new superior V+W Destroyers , as well as a whole mass of other types , which meant , among other things , that Britain now had enough warships in suitable types to commence using a general convoy system for the U-boats chief target .
The "Lessons of Jutland" in respect of Flash-tight ammunition supply between magazine and gun-breach had been implemented , the Heavy shells had been improved , and the problem of instability of british type cordite propellant had been recognised , but not solved yet .

In Germany meanwhile , few new major units had been delivered to the H S Fleet ( new Battlecruiser "Hindenburg" merely making up for the lost "Lutzow" ) except for the new battleships Baden and Bayern , equivalent to the British Rs . The Light cruiser replacement programme had kept going and that force had also been Up-Gunned , 10 or 12 of the 105mm main battery guns being exchanged for 6 , 7 , 8 or 9 x 150mm guns in each of the remaining active ships .
A few new , bigger , destroyers had also been delivered , but not of a very good type . The main "advance" in the HSF could be argued to have been the de-commissioning of a whole fleet of pre-war obsolete "ironware" , freeing valuable personnel and resources for more worthwhile war uses , not least of which was reusing much ex-naval gun stock in extemporised army Field carriages . ( a 105mm may have been a pea-shooter at sea by 1918 , but it was a very different story on land ) .
The HSF crews were not stupid , and could see that the 1918 Grand fleet lined up against them was probably DOUBLE the offensive force ( not in ship numbers , but in " wacking" power ) than they had faced at Jutland , whereas their own force , though partially rationalised , was only marginally more .
Realistically then , A full-force sortie against a 1918era Grand Fleet , except in som extraordinarily lucky circumstance , must have resulted in an utter defeat for the HSF.

You also have to bear in mind the Civil situation at the time , a period of Revolution in Germany as well as in Russia by the proletarian and educated classes against the unfettered capitalist and autocratic dominance which was much of the source of their troubles and personal misery . So , ordered to sail , up went the Red Flags .

It is difficult to get a huge amount of historical contributory fact into a post , but the above is the "crux" of the matter in my view .
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: The Kaisers dreadnoughts

Postby Bgile » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:58 pm

I posted that three years ago, but thanks anyway.


Return to “The Dreadnought Era (1906-1921)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron