TheMarcksPlan wrote:Depending on which version of an "Earlier T21" ATL we're discussing, it's possible for the Germans to have hundreds of boats at sea at once. The USN's downside scenario, after all, was based on the SU building subs as fast as the Germans and therefore fielding 2,000 boats.
As I've said from the start of this thread, IMO there's no feasible story in which the T21 alone can win the war. If the Red Army kicks the Ostheer's teeth in, there's nothing to be done at sea for the Nazis.
But given the common view that Hitler should have - and could have - avoided war with the SU, it might interest some to consider an earlier T21 in a no-Barbarossa context. And it's interesting to me, of course, to consider T21 in a post-Barbarossa context where the Germans have won in the East (as I think they should have).
In OTL 1944, Germany spent ~5% of its munitions budget on Uboats:
If there's no Eastern Front, moving just half of the of the ~half of German Heer munitions spending to Uboats - i.e. increasing Uboat share to 30% - would result in 6x the historical Uboat production. Speer's OTL program was for 30/mo in 1944; 6x that program is 180/mo.
Now of course the Allies would freak the F out over 180 T21's per month and start bombing anything with a whiff of Uboat. But even if they cut Uboat production in half that's 90/month or say 1,000 per year.
...which is an absolute nightmare for the Wallies.
Of course there are short/medium-term bottlenecks to expanded U-boat production such as shipyard space. But in the longer term - especially in a "No Eastern Front" ATL - Germany can expand shipyard space. Heck it nearly built enough shipyard space for all T21 final assembly under 20 feet of concrete. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentin_submarine_pens
The OTL Uboat campaign imposed ~10x the economic costs on the Wallies as Germany herself bore for Uboat production. https://web.archive.org/web/20080409052 ... aigns.html
Had T21 been merely as successful as T7/9 were until '43, the Wallies' economic resources edge would have disappeared against a thousand T21's.
The point isn't that the T21 was some wunderwaffe - it wasn't. It was simply the rational adaptation of 20th century guerre de course
strategy to 20th century realities.
The point is that the '43-'45 equilibrium in which submarines were decisively defeated is a historical anomaly. In every period besides '43-'45, the submarine enabled an inferior seapower to impose asymmetrical costs in conventional global warfare. Those asymmetrical costs would have heavily favored the USSR in the Cold War had warfare not turned into reciprocal nuclear holocaust. It was humanity's good luck, IMJ, that the brief interregnum between submersible and submarine coincided with Germany's defeat.