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Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

Article about: I think you greatly overestimate the state of airpower at the start of and early into the war-aircraft couldn't operate in bad weather, navigation was by dead reckoning, wireless communicati

  1. #21

    Default Re: Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

    1) Do you think the Allies didn't have submarines too?
    2) The RN was not 'despondent'; the Bismark was a threat, good fortune played a part in its sinking but the RN had superiority in numbers. Indeed it was bad fortune that the Hood was hit how it was; such is war.
    3) Though not sunk as suck the Tirpitz was out of action before it was sank by Tallboys.
    4) Very simply once the BoB had been lost Germany was never going to win. And once Russia was involved (and then the US) the only issue was when & how Germany would be defeated.

  2. #22
    kc1
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    Default Re: Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

    Without wanting to get into a slanging match

    1. How many submarines did the British have available against the Axis, the Italian fleet posed a much bigger threat than the German but was never handled properly. The British didn't have a fleet of submarines approaching anywhere near that of the German: number v's area to cover v's number of targets = small chance of locating target and attacking it. Their field of operation was limited to the Baltic, Norwegian coastal waters and the Med,all difficult waters to work in. Name any German capital ship that was hit or sunk by a British submarine. In fact other than Scapa and Courageous name any British capital ship sunk by uboot.
    2. Good fortune = luck not a good way to conduct military operations. The Home Fleet had to keep large numbers of vessels tied up in north Scottish waters to counter the threat posed by these German capital ships, vessels which were desperately required elsewhere both in the North Atlantic and the far east. Churchill himself said that the only thing he feared was losing the battle of the Atlantic.
    Numbers are not necessarily a guarantee of success, quality, training and morale play a part, look at the Italian navy's record in that department. If numbers play such an important part how was the channel dash possible, why weren't the German ships sunk and why was the navys and indeed airforces only counter to send men out in outdated swordfish on a suicide mission.
    3. If the Tirpitz posed no threat then why were so many efforts made to neutralise it.
    4.Germany could have forced a peace after the BoB by concentrating its efforts on the Battle of the Atlantic and starving Britain to its knees.Not necessarily just by uboat action or the capital ship sea raider but by concentrating it efforts into long range aircraft such as the condor. The British didn't have sufficient carriers to protect all convoys. Put the guided by wire missile available to the Germans in 1943 i believe, under wing of a condor, stand off, knock out the escorts and leave the rest to the uboats. The main reason that Germany was defeated, thankfully, was because it was a shambles run by people beyond their level of compentecy. Oh and Stalins willingness to sacrifice other peoples lives.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

    They didn't realise the Tirpitz was as badly damaged as it was.

    The rest of your argument is speculative at best, I think you need to read up on your subject a bit more.

    Check how many (irreplaceable) ships Germany lost during the Norway campaign.

    SS.Karlsruhe.

    Fortune unfortunately effects all operations. I never claimed it was the basis for any operation.

  4. #24
    kc1
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    Default Re: Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

    Always willing to learn so if you would be so kind to list any books that you've read detailing losses of German capital ships to British submarines or losses of German capital ships in the Norwegian campaign i'll order them from the library, thanks.
    The loss of HMS Hood was down to negligent British ship design and construction which still built ships with unarmoured decks having been shown the results of German plunging naval gunfire at Jutland in 1916. No luck involved just an inability to remove heads from sand.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

    HMS Hood was scheduled before the war started to be reconstructed/modernised from 1940 onwards as part of the programme that had included Warspite, Queen Elizabeth, Valiant and Renown-this of course was stopped by the outbreak of hostilities-all of the RN capital ships lost in the war (except Prince of Wales) were old ships that had not received the appropriate modernisation-the ones that did survived many heavy attacks from guided weapons, bombs, torpedoes, shells etc. Of all the world's navies the RN had the most battle damage/design experience after WW1 including shooting at the last Imperial German battleship design the Bayern used as a target ship post 1918 (that design was the basis for the Bismark class as the German naval constructors had no experience of battleship building from 1918 to the mid thirties when the 2 Scharnhorsts were built). That experience was put to good use in the design of the Nelsons and King George Vs as well as the older ship modernisations.

    As far as carriers were concerned the Germans had no experience in building or operating them whatsoever-the Graf Zep was the subject of constant redesign and revision while constructing-she was overpowered and short ranged as a result, her surface 5.9 " guns were totally useless and her aircraft handling systems inefficient-there was also the little matter of interservice rivalry over the aircraft and air crew between the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe who never really cooperated with each other unlike the RN and RAF (mostly). The same was true of the Italians and their attempts at a carrier force.

    The Norwegian campaign devastasted the relatively small German fleet-3 cruisers sunk, 12 destroyers as well and 1 of the 2 battlecruisers seriously damaged along with more cruisers and light units. There was no prospect of the Germans putting a balanced squadron to sea especially as the German fleet destroyers built after this were large but poor seaboats that suffered again from a limited range and too much gun armament.

  6. #26
    kc1
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    Default Re: Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

    No doubt stopped by the 10 year programme. Whatever the design of battleship Billy Mitchell showed them and the concept to be obsolete, the age of the aircrafts domination over the ship, whatever size had arrived. So if you took the idea of this carrier, rubbish though it may have been, sailing as part of the battle group with the Bismark providing air cover and preventing the damage to Bismark,then what would have been the result with Britains lifelines to the Commonwealth and the U.S.
    The Germans may have had no experience with carriers but they proved themselves quick learners, panzer arm from a standing start, blitzkreig its self, jet aircraft etc so theres no reason to suppose they couldn't have got the hang of carrier operations as well.
    I'd totally agree with you that the Norwegian campaign totally wrecked the German destroyer fleet as it was and put the fear of God up the Kreigsmarine which had the knock on effect that no way were they going to cross the channel without total air superiority which the Luftwaffe was unable to provide. In that respect the BoB was an important battle to have won, but it wasn't a war winner, it provided a breather and kept the Germans at arms length whilst some quick thinking was done and lots of blood sweat and tears from this countrys population got the military into a position were it was at least equipped to fight, even if alot of the equipment was second rate. Again the TR policy towards its navy was one of muddle and rivalry with ultimately water shy Hitler calling the shots. He never understood the navy or the sea, just like Napoleon in that respect.
    I still believe that had the Germans suitably equipped their Condors with anti shipping missiles then that could have been a war winner. I have read somewhere of the leader of an escort group signalling a convoy shadowing condor asking it to circle over head the other way because the crew was getting dizzy watching them, the condor duly obliged before leaving the convoy at dusk having spent all day sending the convoys position to uboats. The escort could do not one thing against it. There was no air support either ground or water based, nor was there sufficient to provide carrier cover to each convoy and keep something in reserve if Germanys capital ships broke out or just threatened to do so. Had the condor had 6 or 8 air to surface missles and had there been 2-3-4 condors then there would have been no convoy. The condor or similar required much less resources to build and operate, required no concrete pens to hide in and within reason could be dispersed making their destruction on the ground almost impossible. Again muddle and interservice rivalry along with admirals need to pose in big ships put paid to that.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

    The FW Condor was a poor combat aircraft, a rushed improvised conversion of a civilian airliner not suited to harsh operational use-this was typical of much German equipment either because the need was ignored (no long range heavy bombers) or because a war with Britain wasn't expected until 1944 when new designs would be in service.

  8. #28
    kc1
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    Default Re: Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

    Yes it was but it was there and had the range, it could have been adapted or developed like the nimrod concept. Had the resources used on u boats been put into the condor or similar long range aircraft and stopped supplies reaching the U.K for a relatively short period then this country would have been forced to arrive at an agreement with the German regime.
    The condor stands comparision with the British aircraft of the time such as the fairey battle, hampden and whitley. So much so that the design of the handley page hermes looks like a reversed engineered condor.

  9. #29

    Default Re: Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

    Quote by kc1 View Post
    Yes it was but it was there and had the range, it could have been adapted or developed like the nimrod concept. Had the resources used on u boats been put into the condor or similar long range aircraft and stopped supplies reaching the U.K for a relatively short period then this country would have been forced to arrive at an agreement with the German regime.
    The condor stands comparision with the British aircraft of the time such as the fairey battle, hampden and whitley. So much so that the design of the handley page hermes looks like a reversed engineered condor.
    the Germans had no choice but to put resourses into German U-boats, in 1939, the German Kriegsmarine had 26 surface combat ships and 43 U-boats, 22 of them operational while the royal Navy had 213 fighting ships. submarines were hitlers only option to isolate the UK islands, it was a Key to sucess, and it worked for over a year until anti-sub weapons became more advanced

  10. #30
    kc1
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    Default Re: Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

    mmm thats the whole point they did have the choice water or air they went for water. The casualty figures for R.N ships lost off Dunkirk and Greece/Crete to air power would have shown ships vulnerability to air power without air cover themselves. Look at the Malta convoy casualty loss rate, that wasn't down to surface ships or submarine action. This carrier would have given the Germans the option of providing air cover for their own already constructed vessels as well as an attacking strike force against any British group sent against them.

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