Luftwaffe anti-shipping capability

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.
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phylo_roadking
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Re: Luftwaffe anti-shipping capability

Post by phylo_roadking » 14 Dec 2008 18:26

Actually - technically that's an interesting segment for other reasons too...

Juno wasn't sunk by the Luftwaffe - but by the Italians!
whilst destroying HMS Greyhound with a single hit
Greyhound wasn't hit and sunk by ONE bomb...but by three.
The Ju 87s also crippled HMS Fiji that morning, (she was later finished off by Bf 109 fighter bombers)
Fiji is actually a perfect example of the AA fire issue; she was left dead in the water by the initial attack...BUT only sunk later AFTER she exhausted all her AA munitions.

Hereward is a strange case, there is some contention as to her eventual fate. Certainly an attack by Stukas left here dead in the water...but her situation was confounded by Adm. Rawlings who decided not to turn back and take her in tow but instead to press on out of the area. She was last SEEN to be heading back to the coast of Crete...thus under her own power again, and fighting off continuing attacks - as one of the reasons Rawlings decided not to assist was that the coast of Crete was only five miles away.
There is however a different account by Bragadin that Italian torpedo boats in the area were closing in to finish her off when she exploded; the MAS boats then began rescuing survivors. If she required "finishing off" - then while the LW may have crippled her and continued to attack, she sank as a result of an explosion on board after the air attack had finished.

So from that list of ships - Greyhound, Fiji, Kelly, Gloucester and Kashmir were confirmed sunk by the LW. However - Fiji sank but only after she could no longer defend herself, the same fate as Gloucester, which was sent back into the area depleted to only 20% of her AA munitions. Hereward was certainly crippled by the LW, but there was no confirmation that her final death was a direct result of the continued bombing as opposed to the earlier damage she suffered.

kriegsmarine221
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Re: Luftwaffe anti-shipping capability

Post by kriegsmarine221 » 15 Dec 2008 08:19

any type of large HE bomb wouldve been able to do a lot of damage to an old battleship built during or before world war I.
the armour wouldnt be able to protect it against world war II bombs. the marat was hit by a bomb in the front and it sank.

german armour piercing bombs had the letters SD in front of the weight of the bomb. etc. SD 250

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Re: Luftwaffe anti-shipping capability

Post by mescal » 15 Dec 2008 11:52

kriegsmarine221 wrote:any type of large HE bomb wouldve been able to do a lot of damage to an old battleship built during or before world war I.
the armour wouldnt be able to protect it against world war II bombs. the marat was hit by a bomb in the front and it sank.
I doubt HE bombs would do the trick. I don't think it's related to the weight of the bomb as much as of the fuze trigger mechanism. Any HE bomb will explode outside the protected area, where it may still do some damage, but cannot sink the BB.

The Marat was first attacked and damaged on 16th sept. 41 by Rudel who used 1,000 lbs bombs.
Only on 20th sept did he receive the special Armor Piercing 2,000 lbs bombs.
These were used in the attack of the 21st which sank the ship.
Olivier

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Re: Luftwaffe anti-shipping capability

Post by Kurfürst » 15 Dec 2008 21:58

Some more information on Luftwaffe aerial torpedoes.

Apparently these were available before the war. As of January 1939, 76 F 5b and F 5W types were reported on stock. By the end of the year, this has risen to 129, and the level remained stable, with apparently only 12(??) being used up to the end of July 1940.

From August 1940, torpedoes were used in increasing scale, 22 in August, 70 in September, then the use slowed down (26 in October, 41 in November). Obviously anti shipping operations featured heavily in this period. So far they have seem to have use up stocks, and a result, stocks fell,but from October replacement torpedoes were regularly received and stocks were increasing/stable.

In March 1941 another 52 was used after a lull. April - August 1941 was relatively quit (56 torps used in the period). From September 1941, a monthly avarage of apprx. 50 torpedoes were used, and increasingly more in 1942 and 1943, peaking out in September 1942 at 223 aerial torpedoes used in a single month; during 1942, stocks were steadily increasing from 293 at the start of the year to 1010 by the end of 1942; by the end of 1943, 2662 aerial torpedoes were on stock.

Note: this is relating to F 5b and F 5W type aerial torpedoes only. Figures via "Der Lufttorpedo" by Friedrich Lauck.

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Re: Luftwaffe anti-shipping capability

Post by LWD » 16 Dec 2008 04:03

From:
http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WTGER_WWII.htm
Notes: The F5 was a low-performance Norwegian Torpedo developed by Schwarzkopf. Dropping speed was 75 knots from 50 - 80 feet (15 to 25 m).
Notes: The F5b was in service from late 1941 to the end of the war
F5W - This was the German designation of the Italian Fiume torpedo "W" and was used in large quantities before the 5b was available. Details are in the Italian torpedo section.

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Re: Luftwaffe anti-shipping capability

Post by Simon Gunson » 31 Dec 2008 10:25

The Me 264 Amerika bomber could be equipped with a pair of torpedoes mounted outboard of the engines. There were proposals that it could carry up to four torpedoes and it was intended to shadow convoys to call in He-177 aircraft.

Unfortunately the aircraft required a 2,400 metre take off run without RATO packs which made the mission improbable.

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Re: Luftwaffe anti-shipping capability

Post by Jarkko Hietala » 01 May 2010 15:52

Hello

Does anybody know where I can find more info about how many British ships Luftwaffe was able to sunk and damage during WW2?

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Re: Luftwaffe anti-shipping capability

Post by mescal » 01 May 2010 16:46

Hello,

I made last year a handful of posts showing the causes of losses for major warships.

For the cruisers, battleships & aircraft carriers, I just have a little of reorganization to do, and I will post the result here in a few days (the data are not on the computer I'm using right now).
I may alos be able to list all british destroyers sunk by the Luftwaffe, but it'll be a bit more difficult to list all the non-lethal hits by the Luftwaffe on DDs.

By crossing the data in this thread with those on this webpage, you may be able to have an answer - but here we're speaking of double checking hundreds of hits ...

I've no such systematic data for the merchant ships.
Olivier

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mescal
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Re: Luftwaffe anti-shipping capability

Post by mescal » 03 May 2010 09:22

Hello,

You will find below the data on the British warships sunk&damaged by the Luftwaffe.
The table only deals with the cruisers, battleships and fleet carriers.

There may be small errors or imprecisions, especially because sometimes in the Mediterranean ships were under attack simultaneously by the Luftwaffe and the Regia Aeronautica, but this should not change the overall picture.
LW_vs_RN.jpg
The list of ships hit is :
Battleships:
Rodney,Valiant,Barham,Warspite,Warspite,

Carriers
Furious,Illustrious,Formidable,Indomitable,Indomitable,

Cruisers
Southampton,Norfolk,Suffolk,Curacoa,Curlew,Effingham,Aurora,Sussex,Southampton,Carlisle,Orion,Perth,Gloucester,Naiad,Dido,Fiji,Calcutta,Arethusa,Cleopatra,Penelope,Trinidad,Arethusa,Coventry,Dehli,Ajax,Uganda,Carlisle,Aurora,Penelope,Sirius,Spartan


Regarding the destroyers, I currently only have data on the losses, not on all damage.
Below is a list of ships sunk by the Luftwaffe (the label "ITA?" means that the ship may have been sunk by Regia Aeronautica instead of Luftwaffe)

Destroyers
Valentine, Waterhen, Wessex, Whitley, Wild Swan, Wren, Wryneck, Codrington, Keith, Basilisk, Boadicea, Brazen, Dainty, Defender (ITA?), Delight, Diamond, Grenade, Greyhound, Hereward, Inglefield, Imperial, Intrepid, Havant, Ithuriel, Afridi, Gurkha, Maori,Mashona, Zulu (ITA?), Jackal, Janus, Juno, Kelly, Kashmir, Kingston (ITA?), Kipling, Lance (ITA?), Legion, Lively, Nestor, Panther, Cameron

Escort destroyers (incl. CTL)
Berkeley, Dulverton, Airedale, Derwent, Rockwood,
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Olivier

Jarkko Hietala
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Re: Luftwaffe anti-shipping capability

Post by Jarkko Hietala » 03 May 2010 16:43

Thanks!

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Urmel
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Re: Luftwaffe anti-shipping capability

Post by Urmel » 04 May 2010 20:46

You want to get yourself Soehnke Neitzel's "Der Einsatz der Luftwaffe über dem Atlantik und der Nordsee 1939-1945".
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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mescal
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Re: Luftwaffe anti-shipping capability

Post by mescal » 12 May 2010 15:07

Hello,

I've checked my data on the Royal Navy destroyers, and you'll find below a table which synthetize them.
Note that it's only a tentative summary, and not everything has been double-checked -- far from it, indeed.

For example, there remain many "??" labels. These represent the cases in which I have been unable to assess whether it was the Luftwaffe or the Regia Aeronautica which hit the ship (and in one or two cases, it may well be the Vichy France air force). (all of those "??" are in the Mediterranean).
It must also be noted that only the damage implying one or more months of unavailability are recorded here, and not all the actual hits.
The RAN and RCN destroyers are included in the figures below.
LW_vs_RN_DD.jpg
The grand totals for each column (that is, including all combat hits against all enemies but excluding noncombat damage) are :
Nb Sunk: 143 (it includes 3 scuttlings)
Nb Damage: 195
Sum Unav: 677

Here is a global table for reference:
RN_DD_dmg.jpg
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Olivier

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LWD
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Re: Luftwaffe anti-shipping capability

Post by LWD » 13 May 2010 13:07

The changing ratio of damaged to sunk each year is interesting. Any ideas what going on?
Where is Campbeltown accounted for or is she on these lists?
Thanks again for posting these charts. Very interesting info very nicely presented.

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Re: Luftwaffe anti-shipping capability

Post by mescal » 14 May 2010 13:09

Hello,

Even though I do not have any definitive answer for the evolving ratio of damage/sunk destroyers, some at least partial explanations come to mind:
- geographic factor: in 1939/40, most of the hits made by the Luftwaffe were in the North Sea and Channel, that is at a relatively close distance from a harbour and naval yard. So even a badly damaged ship was not far from a safe place where repairs could be provided. And moreover, the retreat of any damaged ship could be protected (at least in theory) by land-based airpower. Such was not the case for example in te Mediterranean in 42.
- tactical considerations : in 1941/42 in the Mediterranean, where the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica dominated the sky, the Royal Navy learnt that it was dangerous to shepherd a cripple back home - many ships where attacked and damaged while attempting to protect a previously damaged comrade. As a result, many ships badly damaged but which could theoretically be repaired where scuttled so as not to endanger the rest of the fleet.
- by the end of the war (from mid/late 43 on), the seriously damaged destroyers were often not repaired as this was uneconomical, so these ships appear as 'losses' in my tables, which 'artificially rises the efficiency level of the Luftwaffe.

And finally, there is probably the fact that the Luftwaffe learnt how and with which weapons to attacks enemy warships, and thus inflicted more serious damages as the war progressed.
However, the RN also learnt how to evade and protect its ships, so I'm very far from being able to quantify this effect.



The Campbeltown is listed as 'scuttling' in my tables, and as such does not appear to be a direct victim of the enemy.
(the other ships I have in this category are Thracian, scuttled at Hong Kong in Dec 41, and Rockingham, but this last one is a typo - she sank on a British mine after being withdrawn from front-line duty)
Olivier

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Re: Luftwaffe anti-shipping capability

Post by Jarkko Hietala » 18 May 2010 21:12

Reason why I'm interested Luftwaffe effectiveness of bombing British ships is because I'm working with my own what if scenario what could have happened if operation Barbarossa would have been postponed and majority of Luftwaffe planes would have been deployed to Mediterranean after summer of 1941.

I have all reasons to believe that using Stuka dive bomber at Mediterranean would have gave Germany best out of their dive bombers as British did not had any effective way to provide air cover for their transports or warships and even less if Malta would have been conquered with same way as Crete was taken. Stuka was very good dive bomber but its Achilles heel was vulnerability against fighters planes.

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