German waste of resources??

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Kingfish
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Re: German waste of resources??

Postby Kingfish » 15 Nov 2012 18:16

phylo_roadking wrote:
I don't see how there could be any ambiguity in the intended role of Tirpitz. You don't arm a warship with 8x 15" guns so it can languish in a harbor, no?


Don't you??? :wink: Don't ask LWD, ask Alfred T. Mahan....


Sorry, you lost me there

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Re: German waste of resources??

Postby phylo_roadking » 15 Nov 2012 18:42

Alfred Thayer Mahan... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Thayer_Mahan

..responsible for the "Fleet In Being" concept/theory...that a fleet (or major fleet unit) influenced events out to the limit of its POTENTIAL combat radius ;)

Thus Home Fleet dominated the North Sea in WWII even if it never put to sea. Thus why the British had to attack the Italian fleet at Taranto even if it never pout to sea...and thus why the Japanese had to attack the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl harbour. To remove the potential threat they represented.

Tirpitz was an UNRESOLVED threat to the sea lanes until it was destroyed. As long as it never sailed it represented a potential threat in the way that Bismarck and so many other had in reality. The resources needed to fight the Tirpitz had to be held within reach of it, and many and frequent attempts had to be made to destroy it in its fjords...and huge intelligence resources were used to watch it, predict its movements from fjord to fjord, find it in short order if it moved...to make sure if it vanished from an anchorage it WASN'T loose in the sea lanes.

It's a bit like modern Terrorism 8O Create a "climate of fear" with one or two setpieces....and the authorities responsible for public order and safety HAVE to speed huge amounts of money and mobilise huge resources and create huge discomfort and inconvenience for people going about their everyday lives....to protect them! 8O Even if terrorists never set off another bomb ever again...they've created the FEAR that they will.
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Re: German waste of resources??

Postby Kingfish » 15 Nov 2012 19:34

phylo_roadking wrote:Tirpitz was an UNRESOLVED threat to the sea lanes until it was destroyed. As long as it never sailed it represented a potential threat in the way that Bismarck and so many other had in reality. The resources needed to fight the Tirpitz had to be held within reach of it, and many and frequent attempts had to be made to destroy it in its fjords...and huge intelligence resources were used to watch it, predict its movements from fjord to fjord, find it in short order if it moved...to make sure if it vanished from an anchorage it WASN'T loose in the sea lanes.


But the fact remains that Tirpitz was never designed and built with the goal of being just a "potential or unresolved threat".
Consider that her mission was the same as Bismark, to interdict the LOCs. Regardless of how many British ships, planes and Intel assets are tied up in keeping an eye on her, as long as she does nothing to interdict those LOCs she is a waste.

It's a bit like modern Terrorism 8O Create a "climate of fear" with one or two setpieces....and the authorities responsible for public order and safety HAVE to speed huge amounts of money and mobilise huge resources and create huge discomfort and inconvenience for people going about their everyday lives....to protect them! 8O Even if terrorists never set off another bomb ever again...they've created the FEAR that they will.


But the terrorists do not set off bombs just to instill fear among the masses. They have an overriding agenda that guides their actions, be it the release of political prisoners or overthrowing a government. If after two subway bombs their aims are not met then they've failed. By the same token, if Tirpitz drops anchor off Trondhiem, and the convoys get through, she fails.

BTW, regarding Mahan:
The primary mission of a navy was to secure the command of the sea. This not only permitted the maintenance of sea communications for one's own ships while denying their use to the enemy but also, if necessary, provided the means for close supervision of neutral trade. This control of the sea could not be achieved by destruction of commerce but only by destroying or neutralizing the enemy fleet. This called for concentration of naval forces composed of capital ships, not unduly large but numerous, well manned with crews thoroughly trained, and operating under the principle that the best defense is an aggressive offense.[10]

Note the bolded portion and compare that to the results obtained by Germany's surface fleet. Success or failure?

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Re: German waste of resources??

Postby phylo_roadking » 15 Nov 2012 20:01

But the terrorists do not set off bombs just to instill fear among the masses. They have an overriding agenda that guides their actions, be it the release of political prisoners or overthrowing a government. If after two subway bombs their aims are not met then they've failed.


Actually - no; inasmuch as yes they do have an agenda...but how they achieve that is to bring the powers-that-be to the negotiating table regarding whatever-it-is they want...by making the burden of security too expensive in both money terms and the disruption to normal life. Once the disruption caused by heightened domestic security reaches the point that it's worse and more intrusive on the average (voting) citizens' day-to-day life than the terrorists could be with violence....a government will negotiate. Because the burden of carrying on the required level of security is too great.

Check out my location; sadly, I know :( I and my fellow citizens are living in a "post- negotiation" Northern Ireland...but for years before that, the IRA could do FAR more to cause mayhem with a ten pence piece and public phone box than they could with a REAL bomb! 8O ONCE they had created the environment that a hoax may not be a hoax...the security forces HAD to react to a "hoax" call in the same way as they would to a REAL one.

But the fact remains that Tirpitz was never designed and built with the goal of being just a "potential or unresolved threat".


Was ANY "gun ship" designed with that in mind? ;) By WWII however, as we all know, they had ceased to be the striking force of "the fleet" as air power trumped them. In many circumstances they had become more useful in that way; if it wasn't for the spiralling number of large offensive amphibious operations to be escorted and supported in the last years of the war in BOTH hemispheres, the large capital ship might have faded into obsolescence even earlier.
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Re: German waste of resources??

Postby LWD » 15 Nov 2012 20:21

Kingfish wrote:
phylo_roadking wrote:Tirpitz was an UNRESOLVED threat to the sea lanes until it was destroyed. As long as it never sailed it represented a potential threat in the way that Bismarck and so many other had in reality. The resources needed to fight the Tirpitz had to be held within reach of it, and many and frequent attempts had to be made to destroy it in its fjords...and huge intelligence resources were used to watch it, predict its movements from fjord to fjord, find it in short order if it moved...to make sure if it vanished from an anchorage it WASN'T loose in the sea lanes.

But the fact remains that Tirpitz was never designed and built with the goal of being just a "potential or unresolved threat".

But neither was it built just to be scrapped or just to be sunk by RN fleet units. Indeed there is considerable question as to why the Bismarck's were built. A pretty decent case can be mad for it being: "So Germany will have a pair or world class modern battleships". If so they fullfilled that role while they were above water.
Consider that her mission was the same as Bismark, to interdict the LOCs.

Was it? You have a source that shows that was the one and only mission?
Regardless of how many British ships, planes and Intel assets are tied up in keeping an eye on her, as long as she does nothing to interdict those LOCs she is a waste.

But of course Tirpitz did sail a number of times and the mere threat of her sailing affect those LOCs didn't it.

... But the terrorists do not set off bombs just to instill fear among the masses.

Are you sure about that?
They have an overriding agenda that guides their actions, be it the release of political prisoners or overthrowing a government. If after two subway bombs their aims are not met then they've failed.

But what were their aims? In some cases it is publicity in others it appears that contrary to your assumption installing fear was the objective.
By the same token, if Tirpitz drops anchor off Trondhiem, and the convoys get through, she fails.

I disagree. She only fails if she performs no useful function and sitting in Trondhiem she was performing a useful function. Now that utility did decline as the war advanced but then so did her utility for anything else.
Note the bolded portion and compare that to the results obtained by Germany's surface fleet. Success or failure?

If you judge whether something was a waste by success or failure then the ultimate conclusion is that the Wehrmacht as a whole was a failure. No need to single out any one component or vehicle.

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Re: German waste of resources??

Postby phylo_roadking » 15 Nov 2012 20:35

But neither was it built just to be scrapped


Of course not; but Mahan's theory meant that in port OR at sea, a battleship had "potential". A battleship wasn't redundant when it was tied up against a quay...

or just to be sunk by RN fleet units.


of course not...inasmuch as ANY fleet unit is a target to an enemy in time of war.

Indeed there is considerable question as to why the Bismarck's were built. A pretty decent case can be mad for it being: "So Germany will have a pair or world class modern battleships". If so they fullfilled that role while they were above water.


Quite correct; given Hitler's intentions as of, say, 1933-37 and the successful and early negotiation of the AGNA, I certainly can't see any of Germany's treaty-"permitted" number of hulls NOT being laid down...then.
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Re: German waste of resources??

Postby Kingfish » 15 Nov 2012 21:16

LWD wrote:But neither was it built just to be scrapped or just to be sunk by RN fleet units. Indeed there is considerable question as to why the Bismarck's were built. A pretty decent case can be mad for it being: "So Germany will have a pair or world class modern battleships". If so they fullfilled that role while they were above water.


If success is measured by that metric then there really isn't any reason to debate this topic, since every ship launched that didn't immediate sink is a success.

Was it? You have a source that shows that was the one and only mission?


OK, I'll play along. Why did the Germans build a +50T warship armed with 15" guns?

But of course Tirpitz did sail a number of times and the mere threat of her sailing affect those LOCs didn't it.


Unless I am mistaken, PQ17 was the only convoy that was negatively affected by Tirpitz's actions, and to be accurate the losses incurred came from air and sub forces.

But what were their aims? In some cases it is publicity in others it appears that contrary to your assumption installing fear was the objective.


Publicity brings recognition, and then your demands are heard, backed by threats if not met. This is a terrorist in the classic sense. The IRA, PLO, etc. Fear, just for the sake of fear, is the work of a psychopath. I may be splitting hairs here, but there is a difference. The former operate for a cause. The latter just wants to see the arms and legs fly.

I disagree. She only fails if she performs no useful function and sitting in Trondhiem she was performing a useful function. Now that utility did decline as the war advanced but then so did her utility for anything else.


Which brings up back to whether or not her construction was a waste of resources. In a way its similar to the debate whether or not to build to finish the Vanguard.

If you judge whether something was a waste by success or failure then the ultimate conclusion is that the Wehrmacht as a whole was a failure. No need to single out any one component or vehicle.


Well, they did start a war and...they lost. Success or failure?

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Re: Arctic Convoys??

Postby BDV » 16 Nov 2012 14:43

The KM was so successful in it's arctic route interdiction that its performance led to the dismissal/resignation of the KM honcho (Raeder) and the retirement of the surface component of the KM. Well, what was still floating at the time.
Pressé fortement sur ma droite, mon centre cède, impossible de me mouvoir, situation excellente, j'attaque. - Ferdinand F.

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Re: German waste of resources??

Postby Rob Stuart » 16 Nov 2012 17:54

But the fact remains that Tirpitz was never designed and built with the goal of being just a "potential or unresolved threat".
Consider that her mission was the same as Bismarck, to interdict the LOCs.


Bismarck and Tirpitz were intended to be the first two of six or eight battleships which were to fight the war expected to start in 1944. IIRC, their intended role was to fight the RN (or French) battlefleet and not interdicting the LOC. It was not the KM's fault that Hitler started the war five years too soon.

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Re: German waste of resources??

Postby Kingfish » 16 Nov 2012 18:43

Rob Stuart wrote:IIRC, their intended role was to fight the RN (or French) battlefleet and not interdicting the LOC.


No one is suggesting she was designed for commerce raiding, but rather that is the role the Germans gave her and her sister.

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Re: German waste of resources??

Postby Rob Stuart » 17 Nov 2012 15:51

The KM was so successful in it's arctic route interdiction that its performance led to the dismissal/resignation of the KM honcho (Raeder) and the retirement of the surface component of the KM. Well, what was still floating at the time.


This is not a valid point, because Hitler's demand that the surface fleet be scrapped was irrational. Donitz persauded Hitler to reverse this order and the surface fleet was not retired.


Rob

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Re: German waste of resources??

Postby Rob Stuart » 17 Nov 2012 16:09

A point not yet mentioned in this thread is that the Germans planned to build two aircraft carriers. One, Graf Zeppelin, was launched in December 1938, four months before Tirpitz was. Perhaps Graf Zeppelin could have accompanied Bismarck in May 1941 if its completion had been given priority over Tirpitz. I don't agree that the German surface fleet was a waste of resources, but if it could be shown that Graf Zeppelin could have been completed if it had been given priority over Tirpitz, then I would at least agree that the resources spent on the latter after 3 Sept '39 were not the wisest use of these resources.

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Re: German waste of resources??

Postby Takao » 18 Nov 2012 00:04

Actually Rob, it was to be four aircraft carriers. The Graf Zeppelin, aircraft carrier "B" to be completed on or after December, 1941, and the carriers "C" & "D", both to be laid down in April, 1941, and completed by December, 1944.

I would consider the completion of the Graf Zeppelin to be a "waste of resources." The Graf's catapult systems were both, overly complicated and inferior to the catapults of other nations carriers. By using a compressed air system, meant that the Graf could only launch some 18 aircraft before it had to spend about 75 minutes recharging the air flasks of the two catapults. Then it had the overly complicated trolley system to launch its aircraft.

While the german carriers would have provided the Kriegsmarine with a bit of naval airpower, it would be markedly inferior to whatever the British or the Americans could bring to the table.

All in all, the Graf Zeppelin would have been a fine "first" carrier back in the late-20's, from which the Kriegsmarine would have plenty of time to build on it's successes and correct it's failures. However, as a "first" carrier in the late-30's/early-40's, the Graf Zeppelin was woefully inadequate.

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Durch Skorbut zum Endsieg

Postby BDV » 18 Nov 2012 02:27

And what, pray tell was the reason for Adolf's ire?

The fine performance that that gold plated POS, the KM, turned out in blockading the arctic route. KM was "small"?!? We know from the dreadnought race that Germany's Navy was going to be "small" forever (the British aircraft carrier build-up schedule also supports this). The KM was a waste because it was not small enough. But there would be no big contracts for a coastal defense Marine, no big shiny toys for the deluded megalomaniacs atop KM or the Reich.

And the UBoots (as it bears repeating), exchanging exchanging warships crewed by dedicated volunteer force with creaky civilian ships, vast majority pre-war builds, carrying raw materials, crewed by blue collar civilians extracted from every corner of the world. When did the UBoots finish sinking the equivalent of the Norway's commercial fleet in Allied service? Late 1941? So, at that rate, Britain's own pre-war transport fleet would be kaput in about 1945?


And that is not an waste of scarce resources, industrial for sure, but more important of technically competent, dedicated troops - not necessarily easy to find in 1939-40 Germany, with a population that was not as technically literate as its Franko-Saxon opponents, nor as well motivated (except maybe France)? The UBoot waffe - forcing old british ladies to wait in line for their citrus fix ... and cutting pogue's tea allotment. Fantastically effective usage of 1000 UBoats and 40000 volunteer crew. Excuse me for not being impressed.
Pressé fortement sur ma droite, mon centre cède, impossible de me mouvoir, situation excellente, j'attaque. - Ferdinand F.

opportunity fleeting,
experience perilous,
and decision difficult.

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'B' carrier

Postby nebelwerferXXX » 18 Nov 2012 14:59

Takao wrote:it was to be four aircraft carriers. The Graf Zeppelin, aircraft carrier "B" to be completed on or after December, 1941, and the carriers "C" & "D", both to be laid down in April, 1941, and completed by December, 1944.

aircraft carrier 'B'. Peter Strasser ?


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