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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. #31

    Default Re: Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

    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 communications were unreliable, radar on few ships and no aircraft and attack was by dropping bombs by visual means-there is no comparison between operations off Crete or Dunkirk and the North Atlantic's endless ocean wastes. Airpower was not any form of an option for blockade on Britain at any stage of the war-German aircraft were not available in numbers or capacity early on and later the air defense of Britain was the most effective in the world including the maritime approaches. One poorly designed carrier equipped with unsuitable aircraft such as the Bf109T (narrow track fragile undercarriage, short range and cramped poor visibility cockpit for launch and landing) wasn't going to change that even if the risk averse Kriegsmarine would have used it aggressively.

  2. #32
    kc1
    kc1 is offline
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    Default Re: Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

    I was under the impression that blitzkreig itself was based upon air power as mobile artillery, it seemed to have worked reasonably well. The Germans had Lorenz a blind landing system which enabled them to operate in foul weather when the RAF would have been grounded. The Germans had Knickebein navigation systems which seemed to work well in the night blitz over the U.K, so much so the Professor Jones was taken off other vital work to find a solution. Dive bombing was an effective way of attacking shipping and the carrier was to be equiped with Ju87 dive bombers.
    If U.K air defence was so effective why are there countless tales in peoples personal accounts of war in the Atlantic of being shadowed by condor aircraft, how did they manage to evade this air defence so often?
    I agree that the Atlantic is a big place but again how did the condors continually find the convoys if it was so hard? The visibility from an aircraft over a wide stretch of ocean is much greater than that from the conning tower of a uboot. An aircraft can cover a larger area than a ship in a shorter time using less resources and could afford to be lost at a higher rate than a intensively constructed submarine with its pressure hull and other specialised equipment.
    Again i would agree that the aircraft weren't available in the type and numbers because the choice was made to pursue the u boat option. But the Germans showed themselves time and again to be ahead of the game, the me262 jet aircraft could have been available 2 years earlier if Hitler hadn't dabbled and cancelled the development. Theres no reason to suppose the guided missile programme couldn't have been brought forward a couple of years making it ready in 1941 not 1943., a plane like the Liberator to carry it and trouble for Britains supply lanes.

  3. #33

    Default Re: Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

    Malta true, but that was because Malta was close enough for land based aircraft with no opposition. the atlantic could have been more troublesome as even if there were carrier based Ju-87s, they were slow, could have been picked off by other carrier aircraft, and the big problem. couldn't opperate in bad weather which is very common in the North Atlantic. while a U-boat was still operational, no matter what weapon

  4. #34

    Default Re: Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

    kc1,
    All your suggestions are based on 'What could have been if...' which you can say for any of the countries / forces / in the war. Things happened the way they did & that's that. To every innovation one side developed the opposing force found a counter or didn't...the Axis didn't do that often or well enough for very many reasons and they were defeated / annihilated / surrendered unconditionally; and given they were pure evil I'm very glad of that.

  5. #35
    ?

    Default Re: Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

    On the subject of U-Boats vs RN capital ships, I did read in a review of the German Navy that the Kriegsmarine were reluctant to accept that the magnetic detonators on their torpedoes we mostly duds; and that the Nelson was struck (North Sea I think) with Churchill on board by one of these non-detonating duds. Another "what if" - but one that was much nearer to actually happening. The same had happened with Prien in his Scapa Flow turkey shoot - well would have been if the bloody things had gone off. I show a U Boat tally of 5 light cruisers, 3 escort carriers, 3 full aircraft carriers and 2 battle ships - most of them early war. Germany was engaged in a war that it was ill armed for - it needed quick gains - a war of attrition in the east was something it couldn't afford.
    Cheers,
    Al

  6. #36

    Default Re: Nazi Aircraft Carrier Found

    Quote by alikat View Post
    The same had happened with Prien in his Scapa Flow turkey shoot - well would have been if the bloody things had gone off.
    A skillfull and daring raid of that there is no doubt but one thing it was never going to be was a turkey shoot - dud torpedoes or not. Most of the Home Fleet had set sail the previous night and the lookouts on U-47 completely missed seeing the 4 cruisers that were located in the western sector of the Flow. Prien made 2 attack runs while in Scapa Flow and on both occaisions targetted the same two ships, no more and no less.

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