John Baxter's "Tragerflotten"

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von Friedt
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Re: John Baxter's "Tragerflotten"

Post by von Friedt » 17 Jul 2011 01:19

You could at least spell my name right...

von Friedt
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Re: John Baxter's "Tragerflotten"

Post by von Friedt » 17 Jul 2011 02:26

I probably should have put a smiley face or something after my last post to show that I was joking.

I agree that the idea of the Germans producing carriers in France or Leningrad is far-fetched. After all, they weren't even able to build torpedo boats in the Netherlands. When I bought the book and discovered that most of the carriers were produced outside Germany I had pretty much the same reaction as you. I thought it was ridiculous. I still do. The part of the book I liked was that which dealt with carriers produced in Germany. They are as follows:

4 Graf Zeppelin CVs, 28,000 tons standard, commissioned 40-43

Graf Zeppelin 40
Peter Strasser 41
Hindenburg 42
Mackensen 43

2 Wuppertal CVL, 10,800 tons standard, commissioned 1943

Wuppertal 43
Bochum 43

1 Seydlitz CVL, 17,000 tons standard, commissioned 1942

This is the ex-heavy cruiser of the same name.

1 Europa ACV, 44,000 tons standard, commissioned 1943

As I stated in a previous post, Europas' sister-ship Bremen was destroyed in an air raid March 1941.

2 Elbe class ACV, 18,000 tons standard, commissioned 1944

These are the passenger ships Potsdam (Elbe) and Gniesenau (Kiel). The passenger ship Gniesenau is not to be confused with the German battleship [battlecruiser] of the same name. Ironically the passenger ship Scharnhorst (not to be confused with the German BB of the same name), a sister ship of the passenger ship Gneisenau (not the BB) was converted into an escort carrier. By the Japanese!

Without getting too much into the WI's of German carrier development (that's another thread), this is the part of the book that I liked. I eventually grew to like the other parts of the book, but they must be taken with a grain of salt, in the realm of speculative fiction or fantasy.

All the same, if you have an interest in this subject, I would recommend the book. It's an interesting read.

von Friedt
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Re: John Baxter's "Tragerflotten"

Post by von Friedt » 17 Jul 2011 03:10

I believe I am wrong about the passenger ship "Bremen".

My copy of "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939" lists Bremen as "16.3.42 deliberately set on fire, burnt out, Bremerhaven; beyond repair, stripped to waterline; 52-53 remains of wreck broken up"

Wikipedia says "In 1941, the Bremen was set alight by a crew member while at her dock in Bremerhaven and completely gutted. A lengthy investigation discovered that the arson was the result of a personal grudge against the ship's owners, and was not an act of war. She was broken up in 1946."

This website http://www.relevantsearchscotland.co.uk ... remen.html says "Bremen caught fire while berthed at Bremerhaven March 16th 1942. It is believed this was an act of sabotage carried out by an unhappy crew member or anti Hitler Germans. The military had the burned out hulk of Bremen dismantled to the waterline so the steel could be used for munitions. Her remains were then towed to the River Weser to be destroyed by explosives." It also includes a neat picture of Bremen keeling over and burning.

This other website http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?133661 says "The German steamship Bremen SS was bombed and set on fire by British aircraft on March 16th, 1941, at Bremerhaven. She became a total loss."

The plot thickens.

My copy of "The Bomber Command War Diaries" doesn't list any raids on Bremerhaven for 16 March 41 or 42.

I know this is totally OT, but my curiousity has been piqued. Anybody know what really happened?

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: John Baxter's "Tragerflotten"

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 17 Jul 2011 13:50

Apology for the name spelling

I've not read anything about the Bremen fire. My first thought is always a ordinary industrial accident. Those are more common than most folk realize. Security services make their money & power by finding plots & attacks, so its not suprising the Gestapo would reach that conclusion, whatever the evidence.

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eadweard
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Re: John Baxter's "Tragerflotten"

Post by eadweard » 01 May 2012 20:44

Hey! Ya left me hanging - I always enjoy a good fairy tale! What were the six carriers built in Russia??

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PT Dockyard
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Re: John Baxter's "Tragerflotten"

Post by PT Dockyard » 11 Aug 2013 14:23

Does anyone have a copy of this they would like to sell or trade for?

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PT Dockyard
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Re: John Baxter's "Tragerflotten"

Post by PT Dockyard » 01 Aug 2014 18:56

Never mind. Found one. :thumbsup:

General Kranz
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Re: John Baxter's "Tragerflotten"

Post by General Kranz » 10 Apr 2021 10:07

Hello 👋
Although this discussion was over 7 years ago 8O
I am also interested in the book and wanted to ask where i might get one or if someone is willing to sell it to me.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: John Baxter's "Tragerflotten"

Post by Sid Guttridge » 10 Apr 2021 12:29

The book reminds of this on the history of the Royal Newfoundland Air Force, but without the sense of humour:

http://www.vintagewings.ca/VintageNews/ ... Force.aspx

Cheers,

Sid.

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PT Dockyard
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Re: John Baxter's "Tragerflotten"

Post by PT Dockyard » 10 Apr 2021 13:27

They are hard to find.
Over the past couple years, the author of the alt history book "Drake's Drum" put together an amazing series of Conway's-like appendices for the fleets in his book. There are many German carriers in this along with (my favorite) Italian and others. He also has information on the aircraft too.

I like the scenario posed in Tragerflotten books but these appendices are very nice as well.

https://www.drakesdrum.co.uk/fighting-ships

https://www.drakesdrum.co.uk/aircraft

Dave G

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: He posits the Kriegsmarine building a fleet of 32 aircraft c

Post by T. A. Gardner » 24 Apr 2021 22:52

Dave Bender wrote:
07 Sep 2010 01:05
What color is the sky on his planet?

The USA didn't even operate that many aircraft carriers during WWII (CV plus CVL).
They did if you count CVE...

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: John Baxter's "Tragerflotten"

Post by T. A. Gardner » 24 Apr 2021 22:59

For German carriers to make any difference they'd need at least four the size of Graf Zeppelin, preferably without the complex catapult arrangements, by early 1940 in service. With four carrying say a total of about 150 to 170 aircraft, they could have put the hurt on the RN bigtime. Without that minimum, Germany is really no better off than they were historically.

Could they build 32 carriers? No way. They couldn't have built 16. But four in 1940 with proper air wings using even the original aircraft envisioned for them would have mopped the floor against the RN and the motely and pathetic aircraft the FAA was equipped with.

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Re: John Baxter's "Tragerflotten"

Post by daveshoup2MD » 25 Apr 2021 01:56

T. A. Gardner wrote:
24 Apr 2021 22:59
For German carriers to make any difference they'd need at least four the size of Graf Zeppelin, preferably without the complex catapult arrangements, by early 1940 in service. With four carrying say a total of about 150 to 170 aircraft, they could have put the hurt on the RN bigtime. Without that minimum, Germany is really no better off than they were historically.

Could they build 32 carriers? No way. They couldn't have built 16. But four in 1940 with proper air wings using even the original aircraft envisioned for them would have mopped the floor against the RN and the motely and pathetic aircraft the FAA was equipped with.
Given the historical record of German capital ship construction at this point, to complete and commission four fast carriers, built as such, and have them operational with air groups worth name, by the beginning of 1940 would have required the equivalent in terms of shipyard time and resources necessary to build all three panzerschiffs, both battlecruisers and the majority of the ocean-going cruisers, based on tonnage and time alone.

What would you expect is going to escort these aircraft carriers?
Last edited by daveshoup2MD on 25 Apr 2021 06:41, edited 1 time in total.

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PT Dockyard
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Re: John Baxter's "Tragerflotten"

Post by PT Dockyard » 25 Apr 2021 02:02

Baxter is more of an aircraft modeler and he made this scenario to explore some possibilities there. His alt history has Germany and France aggressively pursuing carrier aviation and Germany capturing much of the French carrier fleet.

The books are a fun ride for someone like me that likes alternative naval history.

Dave

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: John Baxter's "Tragerflotten"

Post by T. A. Gardner » 26 Apr 2021 18:55

von Friedt wrote:
17 Jul 2011 00:49
I'm not going to argue in favour or against the authors suppositions. I'm just trying to explain what is in the book. Andy H posted that this isn't a WI (even though it is in the WI forum, but I guess it doesn't meet the criteria of picking a point of departure and then supporting your conclusions with reasoned arguement) so I will restrict myself into reporting what is in the book.

Interestingly enough, the first POD is that France develops a robust carrier wing pre-war and presumably after Mers-el-Kebir becomes a German ally, suppling the Atlantikflotte with ships, personnel and aircrew.

The 14 carriers built in France are as follows:

CV Moltke (Bearn) - reparation to Germany, sails thru the Channel during a storm in the summer of 40 and subsequently becomes the test-bed for German Naval Aviation.
Well, that is a virtual impossibility. The Bearn was at Martinique in the Caribbean when France fell picking up US manufactured aircraft for transport to France. The US interned her there and pretty much told the French if the carrier left it was going to the bottom. The French in Martinique were more than willing to comply with that order so... The ship's captain later ran the ship aground there on orders from the Vichy government.

Given the poor material condition of the ship in 1940 to begin with, and that deteriorating while interned, it's unlikely the Bearn would have been of any value to the Germans in any case.

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