Building H-class Battleships

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eadweard
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Building H-class Battleships

Post by eadweard » 06 May 2009 05:54

I found this recently and I thought it might be of interest to a few people here. From The German Navy At War, 1935-1945, volume 1: The Battleships by Siegfried Breyer and Gerhard Koop, page 60: "At a meeting of the Naval High Command on August 19 [1938], in the presence of Senior [sic] Admiral Raeder, the battleship question was again of major importance. It was not just a question of the six projected units of the "H" class, but also of the possibility of increasing the series. It was calculated two and one-third battleships could be built per year if the Howaldt Shipyards in Hamburg could be added to the program. A research study indicated that after the ships of the "H" class were finished in 1945, two more could be put into service by the end of 1946, three in 1947, two in 1948, three in 1949, one in 1950 and four in 1951, so that 21 battleships would be available at that time." Obviously, this figure does not include the Scharnhorst- and Bismarck-classes.

Dili
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Re: Building H-class Battleships

Post by Dili » 06 May 2009 21:45

Thanks. Hehe what a pipe dream. Bankrupcy after the first one?

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mescal
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Re: Building H-class Battleships

Post by mescal » 07 May 2009 09:37

That's worse than pipe dream.
It's really nonsense.

"Well, we still do not have any idea of what we would do with battleships, but hell! Let's build two dozen of them, we'll think later..."

More seriously, the battleship question for the Germans was NOT a question of numbers or building possibilities. It was a question of doctrine.

Germany once attempted a naval arms race with Great Britain, and was proven that it did not work. This building planning looks like the depth of strategic thinking in the Kriegsmarine did not go further than "OK, it did not work. So let's try again the same route but with bigger ships".


I think such "plans" to build so many big units were more a negotiation tool with the other services of the Wehrmacht to get a bigger share of the resources affected to the rearming than a real attempt to have all those battleships built.
Else it would be a complete madness from the top brass of the Kriegsmarine
Too many critical questions remained unanswered :
How would Great Britain, France and USA react ?
How would it be possible to build a balanced fleet with so much resources allocated to battleships ?
How would those ships be manned and fueled ?
and, last but not least,
What was the intended role of those battleships ?

The lack of documented and serious answer to those questions makes all this planning appear as pure nonsense.
Olivier

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Re: Building H-class Battleships

Post by nebelwerferXXX » 02 Sep 2010 02:10

21 H-Class battleships = RM 5,040,000,000, enough to build 876 Type XXI U-boats.
Last edited by nebelwerferXXX on 02 Sep 2010 07:01, edited 2 times in total.

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Baltasar
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Re: Building H-class Battleships

Post by Baltasar » 02 Sep 2010 05:23

A single Type XXI cost about 5,750,000 RM, according to wikipedia. However, that still doesn't mean anything really, as it does not calculates in the circumstances of 1944/45 vs the circumstances of the rather useless Z Plan.

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Zebedee
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Re: Building H-class Battleships

Post by Zebedee » 02 Sep 2010 07:30

I suppose they'd have made good harbour defences, because goodness knows where the fuel was going to come from to sail the things :)

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LWD
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Re: Building H-class Battleships

Post by LWD » 02 Sep 2010 13:43

When they addressed what could be built when what constraints were they looking at? Was it just slips? Certainly it appears that finnancial and at least some resource constraints were ignored or down played.

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bf109 emil
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Re: Building H-class Battleships

Post by bf109 emil » 02 Sep 2010 19:02

LWD wrote:When they addressed what could be built when what constraints were they looking at? Was it just slips? Certainly it appears that finnancial and at least some resource constraints were ignored or down played.
lets see 21 H-class battleships built in IIRC on 2 yards available at Blohm & Voss@Hamburg and another at Wilhelmshaven, Germany.and judging by the time it took Tirpitz to be constructed as keel laid 2 nov. 1936 and completed april 1 1939...some 2 1/2 years to manufacture...in peacetime...with the resources of the Reich backing...yah i can see the next 21 ships being completed within 25 years :lol: :lol:

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Re: Building H-class Battleships

Post by Zebedee » 03 Sep 2010 12:05

LWD wrote:When they addressed what could be built when what constraints were they looking at? Was it just slips? Certainly it appears that finnancial and at least some resource constraints were ignored or down played.
One has to have doubts about how 'serious' all this was in terms of practical planning - at the same time as the KM were coming up with these plans, the LW were also under the illusion that by the end of the 40s they'd be maintaining a fleet of close to 25,000 planes.... 8O

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Re: Building H-class Battleships

Post by nebelwerferXXX » 11 Sep 2010 10:06

The April 1939 contracts: H-Class battleships
H-39...52,000 tons...July 1939...RM 240,400,000
H-40...52,000 tons...September 1939...RM 240,400,000
H-41...70,000 tons...RM 323,615,000 (estimate only)
H-42...96,555 tons (full load)...RM 446,381,000 (estimate only)
H-43...96,555 tons...RM 446,381,000
H-44...96,555 tons...RM 446,381,000
________________________________
Total: 6 ships...463,665 tons...RM 2,143,558,000

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Zebedee
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Re: Building H-class Battleships

Post by Zebedee » 12 Sep 2010 03:30

To put some context on the costing for April, 1939, German Naval Expenditure by year, (million RM, PPP):

1929 - 201
1930 - 198
1931 - 192
1932 - 187
1933 - 312
1934 - 497
1935 - 695
1936 - 1,161
1937 - 1,479
1938 - 1,756
1939 - 2,390

(p.251, Tooze, Wages of Destruction)

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Re: Building H-class Battleships

Post by nebelwerferXXX » 13 Sep 2010 03:44

nebelwerferXXX wrote:21 H-Class battleships = RM 5,040,000,000, enough to build 876 Type XXI U-boats.
A Research Study: H-Class battleships
6 ships...1945
2 ships...1946
3 ships...1947
2 ships...1948
3 ships...1949
1 ship....1950
4 ships...1951
______________
Total: 21 ships (1,176,000 tons)

Only a dream and never started

nebelwerferXXX
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Re: Building H-class Battleships

Post by nebelwerferXXX » 17 Sep 2010 08:04

German Navy's Expenditures:
1933 - RM 312,000,000...(32,000-ton Scharnhorst and 8 x 750-ton U-boats)
1934 - RM 497,000,000...(32,000-ton Gneisenau and 28 x 750-ton U-boats)
1935 - RM 695,000,000
1936 - RM 1,161,000,000
1937 - RM 1,479,000,000
1938 - RM 1,756,000,000
1939 - RM 2,390,000,000...September 1939...World War II in Europe
__________________
Total: RM 8,290,000,000...enough to construct '34' oil factories, '1,230' Panzer Mark IV tanks and '3,400' light machine guns.

Note:
Synthetic oil factory = RM 240-million
Panzer Mark IV tank = RM 105,000
LMG = RM 250

Granting that the Synthetic Oil Factories produced 800,000 tons per year is equivalent to 27,200,000 tons per year. More than enough to fuel Hitler's War Machine.

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bf109 emil
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Re: Building H-class Battleships

Post by bf109 emil » 24 Sep 2010 23:35

Granting that the Synthetic Oil Factories produced 800,000 tons per year is equivalent to 27,200,000 tons per year. More than enough to fuel Hitler's War Machine.
?? and so Germany is now short how many hundreds of thousands of tons of coal per year???

No use building oil factories to fuel a war machine if the war machine doesn't exist due to lack of coal to smelt iron and produce weapons, electricty, heat, fuel locomotives, etc.

p.s. not sure Germany had enough forced labor to build, yet alone employ in the production of synthetic fuel with the levels you assume...remember IG Farben needed the conscription of 10,000 slave laborers a day in order to use making Buna rubber and synthetic fuel...

The Role of Synthetic Fuel
In World War II Germanyhttp://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airc ... becker.htm

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Re: Building H-class Battleships

Post by nebelwerferXXX » 25 Oct 2010 07:14

nebelwerferXXX wrote:21 H-Class battleships = RM 5,040,000,000, enough to build 876 Type XXI U-boats.
The six battleships of the H-class were the projected successors of the battleships Bismarck and Tirpitz .

Those ships, which would have been the core of the fleet build according to the Z-Plan, were mainly enlarged and improved versions of their predecessors. In difference to them, those ships were planned with commerce war in mind, therefore diesel engines were selected instead of the usual high pressure steam engine used by the German navy in those days.

Design of these ships started in 1937, and a total construction time of 50 months was projected to complete a ship of this class. All ships were scheduled to be completed by 1944. Only two of the ships were actually started, Schlachtschiff H at Blohm & Voss, Hamburg on June 15th, 1939 and Schlachtschiff J at AG Weser, Bremen on August 15th, 1939. Construction was stopped on October 10th, 1939 as the focus in German naval construction switched to the construction of more U-boats instead of battleships. Up to this day, 1,200 tons of steel was already used for the Schlachtschiff H, 3,500 tons were in construction and another 12,000 tons were already ordered. (Schlachtschiff J was still in an earlier phase of construction). In 1940, the used material was wrecked on the shipyard and used elsewhere.

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