Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Biggest mistake of the Kriegsmarine: not putting any aircraft carriers into service.

Discussion in 'Atlantic Naval Conflict' started by DerGiLLster, May 13, 2016.

  1. albanaich

    albanaich New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    4
    That observation only applies to US carriers. . . . . .. the British armoured carriers could take massive damage and still stay operational. At Okinawa the Kamikazie's literally bounced off them. In Mediterreanian the Illustrious and Indomitable took numerous hits that would of sunk any US carrier - and returned to war time service in a few months.

    The post war US 'Midway' class was modelled on the design principles of the Illustrious class.

    However, not withstanding the observation that more armour is better. The escort carrier as a commerce raider idea was never tried. The whole point of the German commerce raiders was that once cornered the larger number of British ships would always finish the battle. Escort carriers are cheaper and easier to build, and in numbers could of done far more damage than 'Pocket Battleships'
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,237
    Location:
    Michigan
    Actually a US carrier probably sustained more damage before sinking than any other ship in the war. With the possible exception of the Yamatos. If a carriers deck is penetrated it can be put out of commission and I don't know of any carriers that could reject the heavier AP bombs. In addition the Essex class carriers were from what I've read as survivable and as tough as the British carriers and the Midways were based on them from all that I have read.

    The problem with the Escort carriers is that while cheap they are slow and carry limited air groups. Breaking into the Atlantic would have been a real chore for German carriers. I don't see that the Germans ever even looked at building an escort carrier either so when would this plan have originated and when could it be put in service?
     
  3. albanaich

    albanaich New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    4
    Total bollocks. . . . .

    How many US carriers sustained 3 or more Kamikaze hits and remain operational?

    Official US Navy report and observations. . . .

    The damage experiences of several British carriers, which unlike our own were fitted with armoured flight decks, demonstrated the effectiveness of such armour in shielding hangar spaces from GP bombs and vital spaces below the hangar deck from SAP bombs. Accordingly, the CVB Class was designed with an armoured flight deck consisting of 3-1/2-inch STS from frames 46 to 175 with a hangar deck consisting of two courses of 40-pound STS between frames 36 and 192. Although none of the CVB Class carriers were completed in time to take part in war operations, the effectiveness of armoured flight decks against Kamikaze attacks was demonstrated by various carriers attached to the British Pacific Fleet. Reference (k) reports two such interesting cases. The VICTORIOUS was struck by three Kamikaze aircraft, two of which ricocheted off the armoured flight deck and over the side, causing no important damage. The third carried a bomb which detonated at frame 30 starboard at the butt of the 3-inch flight deck armour with 1-1/2-inch "D" quality (equivalent to HTS) steel. It does not appear that the Kamikaze actually struck the ship. The bomb detonation, however, depressed the 3-inch deck slightly but did not tear it open. On the other hand, the 1-1/2-inch "D" quality deck plating was ripped open over a total area of about 25 square feet. Two days were required for temporary repairs, at the conclusion of which the ship was fully operational. HMS FORMIDABLE was hit by two bombs, the first of which struck and detonated on the flight deck 9 feet to port of the center-line at frame 79, directly over a deep bent and at a juncture of three armoured plates. The armoured deck was depressed over an area 24 feet long and 20 feet wide. Maximum depression was 15 inches. Adjacent bents spaced 12 feet forward and aft of the point of impact were slightly depressed. A hole 2 square feet in area was blown in the 3-inch deck. Three fragments penetrated downward through the ship into the center boiler room. The damage in this boiler room, which was not described, temporarily reduced speed to 18 knots. The second bomb struck and detonated on the centreline of the flight deck at frame 94. The 3-inch deck and deep bent directly below the point of impact were depressed about 4-1/2 inches and one rivet was knocked out. However, the ship was fully operational within about 5 hours, including flight operations.
     
  4. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    555
    Most of the hits on Illustrious were outside the armored area, including a couple which went down the elevator well. The one which did hit the armored section of the flight deck penetrated it and exploded inside the hangar, so the enclosed hangar magnified the effect. US experts examining the ship while she was under repair considered than an Essex class carrier would have survived the same hits just as well, which seems reasonable since the armored deck does not appear to have stopped anything. Incidentally Illustrious never fully recovered from the damage and was no longer able to make her designed speed.

    Getting back to the Germans, a small carrier wouldn't be any faster or less detectable than the Graf Zeppelin type, and it might be just as well for a ship operating in the open ocean, far from home bases, to have a reasonably sized air group.

    Prior to the Bismarck operation, most German ships were able to get out into the Atlantic and home again all right, so presumably carriers could also. This became progressively more difficult with the advent of radar and long-range patrol aircraft; by February 1942 (the Channel Dash) the Kriegsmarine gave up on operating heavy ships in the Atlantic. Meanwhile, Bismarck and Graf Spee illustrate the dangers raiders faced if anything did go wrong.

    A carrier could search a wide area for potential targets or threats, but sighting carrier-based aircraft would also give the enemy a rough idea of her position.

    Much might depend on British construction of additional carriers in response to the German program. Germany was not Britain's only concern; the RN would still want some number of modern battleships. On the other hand, a significant German carrier fleet was a clear threat to Britain and not much use in fighting her continental rivals.

    The Allies did not start using escort carriers to protect convoys until 1943, so there would be little need for German carriers to counter them. Carriers might provide useful support to the U-boats anyway, although it would take time to work out effective tactics (another argument for a training carrier early in the naval expansion process). Although the Germans couldn't know it, radio communications between carrier, aircraft, and submarine would expose them to Ultra and HF/DF.
     
    belasar and Takao like this.
  5. albanaich

    albanaich New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    4
    Come on guys. . . . .read the official documents and histories. . . . not the fantasy stuff.
     
  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,237
    Location:
    Michigan
    If the Germans used escort carriers at all like the allied ones then they are using slower ones and breaking out as well as escaping once detected become more problematic. If they want a faster carrier like the Graf Zeppelin then they aren't going to be cheap. If one wants cheap then the commerce raiders were quite productive for their cost and tonnage although the point at which diminishing returns were hit becomes an open question. There's also the question of how long a carrier can stay at sea. Delivery of ordnance and indeed even patrolling can consume significant amounts of resources.
     
  7. albanaich

    albanaich New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    4
    More bollocks. . . . .

    The US Navy conclusion was that British carrier design was superior and that US carrier design should be based on British principles.. . . .and post war US carrier design was.

    Simple. . . . . the historical evidence is overwhelming.

    How much more difficult for Americans to admit it.

    Otherwise, I agree with the observations on German escort carriers. . . . . .it's an interesting 'what if'

    Andrew
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,237
    Location:
    Michigan
    That the Midway class were based on British practice seams to me to be the "fantasy stuff". The Midway class was based on one of the Essex designs (9-G where the actual Essexes were 9-F). Since the Essexes were a prewar design that would mean that the design chosen for the Midways was also based on a prewar design can hardly be considered to have been based on British practice.
     
  9. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    37
    Not one Essex carrier sank from a Kamikaze attack, and they were hit. The ship was armored itself but the deck was wood.
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    9,401
    Likes Received:
    2,197
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    Yes, unfortunately most of your claims are just that bollocks...


    No, no it didn't. I also believe you only have the slightest of understanding as to what is encompassed by British carrier design principles. Hint: A lot more is involved than just the armored flight deck.


    Only partially. We kept the best, which wasn't much, and ditched the rest.

    Still, the idea of having the USS Forrestal as a participant in the Pacific War...That would be a sweet what if.


    Yes, yes it is. The Essex class soldiered on like the troopers they were, most until the early to mid 70s. While these supposedly "superior" British carriers were mostly razor blades by the mid-50's. Of course, there are outliers for each - The USS Lexington did not decommission until 1991, and HMS Victorious did not decommission until 1968.

    So, yes, the historical evidence is very overwhelming.

    How hard is it for you to admit that 1+1=3?
    How hard is it for you to admit that the sky is green and the grass is blue?
    How hard is it to admit to something that you know isn't true?
     
  11. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,169
    Likes Received:
    849
    An example of selective Wikipedia quoting at its worst, bordering on dishonesty. The original, is Para. 4-27 of Franklin's damage report. The complete quote, without the jingoistic editing - "armoured" instead of "armored" is a dead giveaway - is:

    4-27 As a result of study of damage sustained by various British carriers prior to our entry into the war, two important departures from traditional U.S. Navy carrier design were incorporated in the CVB Class, then still under development. HMS ILLUSTRIOUS in an action off Malta on 1 January 1941 was hit by several bombs, three of which detonated in the hangar space. Large fires swept fore and aft among parked planes thereby demonstrating the desirability of attempting to confine the limits of such explosions and fires by structural sectionalization of the hangar space. On the CVB Class the hangar was therefore divided into five compartments separated by 40 and 50-pound STS division bulkheads extending from the hangar deck to the flight deck, each fitted with a large door suitable for handling aircraft. It is hoped that this sectionalization, in conjunction with sprinkler and fog foam systems, will effectively prevent fires from spreading throughout the hangar spaces, as occurred on FRANKLIN on 30 October and 19 March. The damage experiences of several British carriers, which unlike our own were fitted with armored flight decks, demonstrated the effectiveness of such armor in shielding hangar spaces from GP bombs and vital spaces below the hangar deck from SAP bombs. Accordingly, the CVB Class was designed with an armored flight deck consisting of 3-1/2-inch STS from frames 46 to 175 with a hangar deck consisting of two courses of 40-pound STS between frames 36 and 192. Although none of the CVB Class carriers were completed in time to take part in war operations, the effectiveness of armored flight decks against Kamikaze attacks was demonstrated by various carriers attached to the British Pacific Fleet. Reference (k) reports two such interesting cases. The VICTORIOUS was struck by three Kamikaze aircraft, two of which ricocheted off the armored flight deck and over the side, causing no important damage. The third carried a bomb which detonated at frame 30 starboard at the butt of the 3-inch flight deck armor with 1-1/2-inch "D" quality (equivalent to HTS) steel. It does not appear that the Kamikaze actually struck the ship. The bomb detonation, however, depressed the 3-inch deck slightly but did not tear it open. On the other hand, the 1-1/2-inch "D" quality deck plating was ripped open over a total area of about 25 square feet. Two days were required for temporary repairs, at the conclusion of which the ship was fully operational. HMS FORMIDABLE was hit by two bombs, the first of which struck and detonated on the flight deck 9 feet to port of the center-line at frame 79, directly over a deep bent and at a juncture of three armored plates. The armored deck was depressed over an area 24 feet long and 20 feet wide. Maximum depression was 15 inches. Adjacent bents spaced 12 feet forward and aft of the point of impact were slightly depressed. A hole 2 square feet in area was blown in the 3-inch deck. Three fragments penetrated downward through the ship into the center boiler room. The damage in this boiler room, which was not described, temporarily reduced speed to 18 knots. The second bomb struck and detonated on the centerline of the flight deck at frame 94. The 3-inch deck and deep bent directly below the point of impact were depressed about 4-1/2 inches and one rivet was knocked out. However, the ship was fully operational within about 5 hours, including flight operations.

    The thrust is also substantially different if reference is made to the FOREWARD, which summarizes the ACTUAL conclusions:

    1-1 This is a long report. An effort has been made to present a comprehensive summation of the many design and damage control problems which were disclosed or emphasized by the war experiences of FRANKLIN. In addition, various pertinent war experiences of other large carriers have been considered in this report.
    1-2 The damage sustained by FRANKLIN as a result of the actions of 13 and 15 October 1944 was superficial and is included in this report only for the purpose of rendering her damage history complete. The major damage sustained in each of the actions of 30 October 1944 and 19 March 1945 demonstrates the effectiveness of bomb hits when received by aircraft carriers during the extremely vulnerable period just prior to and during periods of launching strikes. The damage sustained on 30 October is a reasonably good example of what may be expected from a suicide plane crash and subsequent fire on a carrier having a full complement of planes on board which are gassed but not armed except for small caliber ammunition. Similarly, the damage sustained on 19 March may be considered as about the maximum to be expected from fires and detonations of large numbers of bombs and rockets on the flight and hangar decks when a carrier having heavily armed, fully fueled planes aboard is hit by one or more bombs properly placed.
    1-3 The latter two cases of damage to FRANKLIN illustrate thoroughly the ability of modern U.S. aircraft carriers to survive extensive damage from plane crashes, fire and heavy bombs. The basic design and construction of this class of carrier, which was developed prior to World War II and therefore without the benefit of war experience, is favorably reflected in the manner in which FRANKLIN absorbed heavy damage. Materiel alterations and improvements in damage control organization and technique during the war further increased the ability of this class carrier to minimize potentially severe damage. At the same time many lessons have been obtained from the experiences of FRANKLIN and other cases of war damage and results of this knowledge have been and will be incorporated in existing ships where feasible and in future design and construction.
    1-4 This report is based on the references, inspections of FRANKLIN upon her return to this country, and informal interviews with various officers attached to FRANKLIN by representatives of this Bureau.
     
  12. albanaich

    albanaich New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    4
    The arguements of the Essex Class v Illustrious are well known. The essential point is that while the Essex Class hull could survive numerous hits the operational capacity of the ship was reduced to zero and it would more or less require a complete rebuild. The Illustrious, while the hull structure was permenantly damaged when it was hit was it still able to return to operational service relatively quickly. The same could be said of the Indomitable when it was bombed in Pedestal.

    It's a trade off between a strong ship that is difficult to build and repair when it suffers major structural damage but which remains operational and a weaker ship that can be wrecked and needs to be taken out of service. The USN, in its post - war designs followed the British design philosophy.
     
  13. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    37
    USS Ben Franklin, USS Bunker Hill, USS Enterprise, USS Wasp, USS Hancock, USS Ticonderoga, USS Lexington, USS Essex... All US carriers hit by Kamikaze that weren't sunk. I believe there were more.
     
  14. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,169
    Likes Received:
    849
    Sorry, but that "essential point" is not supported by any evidence. It was the Illustrious-class armored-deck carriers that were put out of service for extended lengths of time when suffering deck hits, precisely because the flight tank was an integral part of the ships structure. Illustrious was hit six times by 250 and 500-kg SAP bombs on 7 January 1941, two of which penetrated the armored deck - one through the deck edge exploding above the water, but the other penetrating and exploding above the unarmored hanger deck. Two others penetrated the unarmored aft lift, causing extensive damage. The result put her out of action for ten months as she "more or less require a complete rebuild". She did NOT "return to operational service relatively quickly" certainly not in the 48 hours that Hornet was repaired after Coral Sea.

    Yes, D. K. Brown noted "There is no doubt that the armoured deck saved her from destruction; no other carrier took anything like this level of punishment and survived." However, few carriers were sunk by bomb hits alone, and they were all CVE except Princeton, Hermes and Shoho, so I'm not sure his statement "proves" anything, given they were half the size of Illustrious and the American CV? Princeton suffered a single fluke bomb hit that any of the penetrations of Illustrious' deck could have reproduced - it wasn't armor that prevented it, it was luck.

    Furthermore, in D. K. Brown's analysis, the two kamikaze hits on Formidable would have been no different in result if striking an unarmored deck. The same for the single kamikaze hit on Indefatigable. It was only the single hit on Victorious where he assessed the armored deck as making a difference.
     
  15. green slime

    green slime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    577
    My grandfather's wooden shed withstood all the kamikaze attacks. Mostly because they weren't there where his shed was. It was well built, however.





    How did we get from the "biggest mistake of the KM" not building CV's to "My dad's CV is bigger than your dad's CV?
     
    George Patton and RichTO90 like this.
  16. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,169
    Likes Received:
    849
    No, the USN did not do anything of the sort. You need to do some reading. I would suggest Slade, Worth, Grove, and Friedman. The decision to armor the flight deck in the Midway-class design discussions actually preceded the design of the Illustrious. Following the Midway class however, the USN did not technically employ armored flight decks, rather, the flight deck replaced the hanger deck as the strength deck, which was necessary due to the increase in size of the vessel.

    Meanwhile, there was a hidden danger in the Illustrious-class use of a armored flight deck as a strength member, while employing a internal hanger and a deep hull girder as weight savings to meet treaty restrictions. Do you know what that danger was?
     
  17. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    9,401
    Likes Received:
    2,197
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    Because some people are insecure about the size of their aircraft carriers...You know...Smaller air groups and all.
     
  18. Rantalith

    Rantalith Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2016
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Kansas City
    I suppose next this thread will digress to the advantages/disadvantages of conventional carriers versus ski jump carriers
     
  19. green slime

    green slime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    577
    That would be a serious digression, given my grandfather's wooden shed had no skis; neither on, above, beside, below nor in it. In fact, it was never anywhere near snow at all, I'm afraid. As kids, we all jumped from it, though. Does that count?
     
  20. albanaich

    albanaich New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    4
    Like I said, the arguments are very well documented for those who care to read them. . . . . . . . not many even look up the Wiki page on the subject.
     

Share This Page