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What if the German Battleships where used in:

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by Hawkerace, Aug 12, 2007.

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  1. Hawkerace

    Hawkerace Member

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    Hello forums! Its one of those crazy "what-ifs" There is options of what could of happened:

    A: What if, the Battleships+pocketBBs(that means the SCHARNHORST,GNEISENAU,BISMARK,TIRPITZ, and continued on) marched into London harbor during the Blitz? Could they have added to the mayhem?


    B: What if, Barbarossa rolls along and the siege of Leningrad begins. The Battleships are used against the shores of this City.

    C: What if, All of the ships are arranged to support the conflict in the Mediterranean.

    D: If instead of hiding his ships and sending them alone to deal with the convoys or hiding them, Hitler and the Kriegsmarine had organized in one large group to run around shooting at the convoys.

    (please note that since all of this is "what ifs" I also im implying that the RN has not yet grasped a few of the Queens of steel and pulled them down to the sea)

    You can answer all or just one and there is no really rules to it. It could be flawed or flawless, I just want to see opinions from all over the map :D
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    A. Tirpitz and Bismark weren't operational during the blitz. Had the others tried it they would more than likely have been sunk. The combination of mines, RN subs, RN surface vessels, RAF, and shore batteries would have been more than adequate to the task.

    B. I believe there were extensive mine fields as well as shallows protecting Lenningrad. Cruising slowly off shore also offers a pretty good target for Soviet subs and aircraft.

    C. If the KM moves all it's major surface units to the Med the British would have been estatic. They could move theirs to Gibralter and bottle up and eliminate them thier.

    D. The convoys would for the most part have been able to avoid the "large group" while the British (and depending on date US) would have had a number of larger groups hunting it. The number of vessels combined with the speed of some of them would have meant finding and catching them would have been much easier. Range limitations on some of them would have also taxed Germany's at sea replenishment resources shortening the cruise(s).
     
  3. FramerT

    FramerT Ace

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    B. Helping in the siege of Leningrad ? Just more artillery pieces, making more rubble. IMO.

    The Prinz Eugen,Lutzow and Admiral Scheer operated in the Baltic in the last months of the war. Not against shipping, but lending their firepower to the cut-off men in the Kurkand Pocket.


    D. In my opinion, it would be a waste to have 5-6 battleships hunting one convoy. 5 battleships working separately they could hunt/find more targets.
     
  4. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Yes, the Baltic was crawling with mines, especially the Gulf of Finland. Truly no go seas.
     
  5. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    On D, the closest the Germans came was Operation Berlin with Scharnhorst and Gnesienau along with three support ships operating against convoys. Most of their success came against a single convoy they forced to break up and scatter.
    But, had the Germans tried a larger group the likelyhood is that the British and or US would have put battleship(s) escorts on convoys much as they did for Murmansk runs like the one that Scharnhorst met her demise against.
     
  6. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    For A- If they whernt sunk they would probably make Briatain surrender.
     
  7. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Why, Joe? How would two battleships make the UK surrender?
     
  8. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Well thats an easy one...

    They would swim on shore like the Prehistoric fish, with a force field around them ( like the aliens in Independence Day ) immune to all types of fire and would just blow everything up! :D

    Sorry Joe, I just couldn't help myself :D
     
  9. FramerT

    FramerT Ace

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    Maybe those two battleships were the ones with lazer guns.[​IMG]
     
  10. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    I think he means they would disrupt the supply to Britian enough to collapse the economy.

    To be truly usefull in the Atlantic the heavy ships would have to be closely coordinated with the submarines and Luftwafe reconissance. That is Raeder, Donetz, and Goering would have to drop their egos and put together a sustained plan to best use the the air, surface, and submarine forces together.

    By 'closely coordinated' I dont mean the varios elements operating in physical proximity. Rather their sorties, patrol areas, routes, timing, and attacks are all planned for optimal effect as a whole. This might mean the capitol ships would have to avoid easy combat sometimes, so the submaries could make a better kill. Or a sub skipper might have to make a difficult and unlikely attack to set up a situation for a surface ship many kilometers away. The Luftwaffe would have place a higher priority to reconissance aircraft, and costly air raids on ports an mine dropping missions would need to be done under the Kriegsmarine direction.

    If the several pertinant leaders cant get their act together on this the Reich still loses.
     
  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    If they weren't sunk it would be because they were lucky enough and smart enough to get back to a German controlled port before they were or they were interned in a neutral port.
     
  12. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    If they weren't sunk I think I'd summarly shoot the British commander of coastal defenses for the grossest incompetence in military history.
     
  13. John Dudek

    John Dudek Member

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    Agreed. The Thames Approaches were very heavily defended by numerous coastal batteries that would hit, sink and destroy any German Battleship incursions in these waters.
     
  14. Roddoss72

    Roddoss72 Member

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    If during the Blitz the German Naval Heavies were used to go up the Thames into London at night then all i can say is that though they would cause massive destruction but they would be destroyed the next day by the combined efferts of the Royal Air Force.
     
  15. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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  16. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    "Read the post above yours, and do not forget about the heavy minefileds laid exactly for that eventuality."

    Aside from the mines fields there is the problem of trying to navigate shallow waters at night. Its extremely unikely the Germans will have a pilot who is up to date on the currents and shoals of the Thames estuary. Also the Brits begain altering and concealing the navigation aids near the entry to hinder German submarines in placing mines. If the battleships dont hit mines they are likely to ground on a mud bank.

    Night wont be a lot of concealment anyway. The Brits had standing ASW patrols on the approaches to their harbors watching for mine layers. I also vaguely recall coastal batterys covering the Thames. Their lookouts and searchlights might be added to the German approach problem.

    I'd send the capitol ships out singly or in pairs on quick raids to catch and hopefully panic a convoy. The best defensive tactic when battleships or crusiers came into range of a convoy was for the cargo ships to scatter, so only a few could be pursued & sunk. Od course individual ships are more vulnerable to sumbarines or air attack. So, by having a sub pack in position and a bomber group on standby a repeat of PQ17 might occur.

    Another trick might be for the Luftwaffe to attack the escourting battleship a day before the German ships are expected to make contact. Its unlikely they will sink it. But, a torpedo hit or a hit on a turret or radar mast would place the Brits ship at a disadvantage in a surface encounter.

    The overall result of this would be a intolerable strain on the British escourt system. I suspect the German Adm Raeder intended something like this when he begain rebasing the German ships to the French Atlantic ports. As it was Goering did not want to cooperate with a necessary level of air reconissance and bomber support, and Donetz thought it better for the submarines to operate indenpendant of the surface ships.
     
  17. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I doubt that the German Navy could count on the Luftwaffe for much of anything in the 1940 timeframe. The Luftwaffe had given no, none, nada, consideration to the maritime patrol naval attack role for their aircraft. Outside a handful of Küstenflieger gruppen that were primarily for coastal patrol in near waters no units existed for this type of work.
    The handful of Fw 200C that existed and were pressed into this role proved extremely unreliable. It wouldn't be until late 1940 that even a handful of dedicated aircraft became available for maritime patrol. Even then, their operations were made completely independent of naval operations. Their support of U-boat operations was far more incidential than planned when it did occur.
    Outside the Fw 200 the Luftwaffe also lacked any really suitable long-range bombers for maritime patrol or attack. Certainly neither the Ju 88 of He 111 could operate out into the Atlantic. So, the question is what aircraft do the Germans use to attack convoys? Even the Fw 200 attacked shipping close to England or Ireland on the occasions when they did.

    Now, on the Thames thin: Even in 1940 the British had CD radar stations covering this estuary and most of the Southern England coast. The approach of Geman capital ships would be seen on these radars and allow coastal defense batteries plenty of time to respond.
     
  18. Roddoss72

    Roddoss72 Member

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    Hey i did not say my senario was perfect, i can see flaws in it as well but if they (The heavy units) tried doing that during the day they would have been sunk long before they reached the mouth of the Thames estuary, i used the night senario in conjunction with the diversion of the nighttime London Blitz, but what ever the senario the OKM would lose those four heavies.
     
  19. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    For an interesting study into what happens to heavy units at night in confined waters when confronted by numerous light units with torpedos I recomend reading the details of the battle off Samar up until the battle line opened fire.
     
  20. Roddoss72

    Roddoss72 Member

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    Whatever the result a bloodbath would ensue.
     
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