Best cruisers of WWII and the best use of cruisers

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VoidSamukai
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Re: Best cruisers of WWII and the best use of cruisers

Postby VoidSamukai » Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:02 am

I've heard that the German cruisers couldn't exceed 6000 tonnes. And with just 8 inch guns, they could classify as cruisers. Though maybe they could try and cheat a little... :lol:

But in all seriousness, I think politics also had influence on the ships. I mean, what better way to provoke fear into the allies' heart than build such a ship as the PBs. In retrospect, they were not the best choice, but for their time they were considered very capable. And service-wsie, they did acheive quite a bit.

Not the best cruisers, but there have been worse.

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RF
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Re: Best cruisers of WWII and the best use of cruisers

Postby RF » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:34 am

However what is important are range and endurance, which the panzerschiffe certainly had, better than the Aob's.

Politics was certainly a consideration in the development of the panzerschiffe - but where the Germans made a mistake was building the Hipper classe cruisers. Six panzerschiffe would have been far better than three of each of these ships.

Light cruisers generally can make the best raiders, examples can be seen from WW1, the SMS Emden for example.

However for commerce raiding I would done what the KM never really bothered to do - specially constructed Q-ships, light cruisers built as freighters, capable of 20 knots, powerful armament with guns below and above decks, proper fire control, some armour plating but above all else endurance.
Such vessels would be a nightmare to track down and destroy - they would just blow an AMC out of the water and single cruisers wouldn't be enough to guarantee destroying them.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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VoidSamukai
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Re: Best cruisers of WWII and the best use of cruisers

Postby VoidSamukai » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:25 am

Make that 6 improved Panzerschiffs. Maybe the D or P class, but anything with at least the same firepower and range, but also higher speed: the one thing I critise about the Deustchs. Have that, and why build the Ad Hipps?

The problem is that by WW2, commerce raiding had became much more difficult, since planes scouts could scan the seas and detect raiders. And a lone warships can be easily trapped and sunk, given the right choices and tactics.

The problem with such ships is that while it can take on an armed merchant ship, a destroyer and even possibly a light cruiser, anything larger than that will be quite a challenge for the ship. And in order to hide the guns, the ships would need to use them in castmate-like mounts, meaning that they could be possibly outranged by other ship's guns. Then there is the fact that these ships would be sitting ducks to aircraft. One escort carrier armed with some Swordfish or even fighters can sink or at least damage such a ship badly. And not all commanders are like that of Kormoran. If used properly, I can see these ships being useful to the German navy, but there are many problems with such a concept. I think that just using U-Boats would've been a better tactic, if only just.

Maybe try and have something like a submarine cruiser, with lots of 5.5inch guns, torps and great range. An I-400 only with powerful guns and speed, not space-consuming aircraft.

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RF
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Re: Best cruisers of WWII and the best use of cruisers

Postby RF » Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:33 pm

The point about a Q-ship is that it is hard to identify for any pursuer. If a carrier has to be diverted to deal with them, they are doing a good job.

The essence of a Q-ship is that it is expendable and that a fairly large number of them can be operated. It is unlikely as you say that it can sink a cruiser at long range in an open fight but the job of a Q-ship is to cause whatever pursuing warship to have to close the range for identification purposes. Also consider the opportunities offered if a warship encounters a Q-ship at night.

For the pursuing navy the problem will not simply be one of identification, but because the Q-ship is not a standard warship its firepower and range will be an unknown to the extent that an overwhelming force would have to be used against them. This in turn achieves part of the purpose of the Q-ships in terms of shipping disruption and deployment of forces to deal with them.

One point about submarines is that a surface ship has a much better search capability for targets and avoiding enemy warships. A sub only has its conning tower - a very limited viewpoint compared with a crows nest and scout planes a surface ship can have. Further the Q-ship can work in conjunction with subs and act as a supply ship for them.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Best cruisers of WWII and the best use of cruisers

Postby Steve-M » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:10 pm

RF wrote:However what is important are range and endurance, which the panzerschiffe certainly had, better than the Aob's.

No doubt, and that's the one point I had in mind when I said "akin to". Of course as you say, a Q-ship could be an even better alternative. However, if the Allies figured that out in advance, it could have been an even bigger issue politically than the Panzerschiffe.

VoidSamukai wrote:I mean, what better way to provoke fear into the allies' heart than build such a ship as the PBs.

That was the problem though; Germany couldn't really afford (both figuratively and literally) to provoke the allied powers, at least not in the late 1920's/early 1930's when these things were being built. It was a testament to German pride more than practicality.

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Re: Best cruisers of WWII and the best use of cruisers

Postby Paul L » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:12 am

Original Naval plan 1928/32 was for 6 improved PBS based on stretched Deutschland class with a third triple 11" gun turret. After Hitler & Raeder battled over this it morphed into 3 * 35kt BB with 6*14" guns -but Hitler changed that back to 11" guns and KM compromised with turrets able to handle 3 * 11C34 guns and later modified to twin 14" gun turrets. This order was caped off with 2 Kreuzers that started as improved Nuremberg [M class???] but then morphed into 5 triple 6" turret Kreuzers on enlarged hull, which seemed to morph again into Hipper class with 4 twin 8 Gun turrets plus torpedo bulges so they could in theory fill surface raider roles.
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VoidSamukai
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Re: Best cruisers of WWII and the best use of cruisers

Postby VoidSamukai » Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:24 am

Man. That is a lot of designs. My head is hurting now.

Wonder what would've happened if these ships were built


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