Bismarck and Tirpitz in the Gulf of Finland

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mezsat2
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Bismarck and Tirpitz in the Gulf of Finland

Post by mezsat2 » 08 Jul 2020 14:18

Could not these warships have been utilized better by sinking the Baltic Fleet there
and then assisting the ground forces with pounding Leningrad?

Was this option ever considered by OKW? Is there a reason this would have constituted
an unsound strategy?

Thoddy
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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz in the Gulf of Finland

Post by Thoddy » 15 Jul 2020 10:42

Danger of submarines
"Meine Herren, es kann ein siebenjähriger, es kann ein dreißigjähriger Krieg werden – und wehe dem, der zuerst die Lunte in das Pulverfaß schleudert!"

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hucks216
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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz in the Gulf of Finland

Post by hucks216 » 15 Jul 2020 11:27

The German artillery was already pounding Leningrad so not sure what difference two battleships would of made. Plus it would be a bit of overkill to use two huge battleships for that when there were plenty of cruisers and destroyers who could of filled that role (but didn't due to the threat of mines and submarines).

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz in the Gulf of Finland

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 16 Jul 2020 00:05

Wehrmacht did not have much of a amphibious or combined warfare doctrine. There were a fair number or opportunities for littoral warfare, but few seem to have been taken advantage of. I'd think there be a lot of lapses of inefficiencies in using that sort of fire power in cooperations with ground forces.

paulrward
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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz in the Gulf of Finland

Post by paulrward » 17 Jul 2020 02:46

Hello All :

Historically, in WW1, the High Sea Fleet lost a number of cruisers and had several dreadnoughts and pre- dreadnoughts damaged in the Baltic by British and Russian submarines, torpedo boats. and mines. These
were losses they could ill afford, and had an impact on the Fleet as a whole. It is possible that, as the
majority of senior Kriegsmarine officers in WW2 were of course WW1 veterans, that the Kriegsmarine might
have acquired an 'institutional bias ' against sending large ships into the eastern end of the Baltic where they
would be vulnerable to such shallow water attacks. ( After all, look what happened to the Tirpitz ! )

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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thaddeus_c
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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz in the Gulf of Finland

Post by thaddeus_c » 18 Jul 2020 01:58

they damaged the Soviet fleet with air power and smaller ships, if they decided to use large surface ships maybe they could have sacrificed the WWI-era pre-dreadnoughts?

mezsat2
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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz in the Gulf of Finland

Post by mezsat2 » 19 Jul 2020 17:58

thaddeus_c wrote:
18 Jul 2020 01:58
they damaged the Soviet fleet with air power and smaller ships, if they decided to use large surface ships maybe they could have sacrificed the WWI-era pre-dreadnoughts?
Something could have been offered up for support there. Stories abound about how the guns of the Baltic fleet provided fire support for the beleaguered defenders and made a significant impact.

I would guess the hindsight 20/20 view is these magnificent warships seemed to have been wasted when they may have tipped the scales at Leningrad. Certainly, they'd have needed a good escort of minesweepers sub-killers to make it, although they definitely would have the advantage of air superiority there.

glenn239
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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz in the Gulf of Finland

Post by glenn239 » 04 Aug 2020 15:11

Has anyone ever looked at the feasibility of a KM invasion of the Murmansk region via Norway in 1941 or 1942?

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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz in the Gulf of Finland

Post by lupodimare89 » 20 Aug 2020 18:14

It wasn't submarines, the Gulf of Finland was likely one of the most mined place during the war. Germans begun heavily mining the Gulf, causing heavy losses to Soviets during the Tallinn Evacuation, and rather kept laying barrages to keep Soviet submarines at the bay (less successfully in 1942, absolute success in 1943).

Tirpitz actually led the "Baltenflotte" in 1941, hoping to intercept escaping Soviet ships from the Gulf to Sweeden, but this never happened and during one of different diversion operations the Finnish coast defense ship "Ilmarinen" sunk on mines. That was a dire warning bell to not get too much close into the Gulf.

Has anyone ever looked at the feasibility of a KM invasion of the Murmansk region via Norway in 1941 or 1942?
For most of 1941, the German-Finnish forces attempted to take Murmansk but only by ground ("Silver Fox") and soon Kriegsmarine was quickly invested in operating against the Arctic Convoy and whatever attempted amphibious operation at Murmansk would also face British naval opposition or counter-offensive from Archangelsk.

igorr
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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz in the Gulf of Finland

Post by igorr » 21 Aug 2020 02:52

All tasks (against Baltic or North fleet) germans will solve only at land. There was little landing operations on Baltic (Moonsund) and planning of landing on Rybachiy peninsula (never realized). There was no plans for using even destroyers, not say about bigger ships.

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Andy H
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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz in the Gulf of Finland

Post by Andy H » 21 Aug 2020 21:52

mezsat2 wrote:
08 Jul 2020 14:18
Could not these warships have been utilized better by sinking the Baltic Fleet there
and then assisting the ground forces with pounding Leningrad?

Was this option ever considered by OKW? Is there a reason this would have constituted
an unsound strategy?
Hi mezsat2

If the Russian Baltic Fleet had engaged in a fleet action against them, the Baltic Fleet would have been resting on the seabed in short order. So there 'better utilisation is mute' as the opportunity didn't arise.

You don't build expensive BB's to pound soil unless all other options are off the table.
Certainly in the siege of Leningrad the Germans had more than enough Artillery tubes (and air assets) and though the BB's shells would have made an impact, its hard to visualise them making a strategic impact.

Finally as others have stated, the Gulf of Finland wasn't conducive to large capital ship operations, given the prevalence of mines, the threat from submarines and the proximity to land air assets.

Regards

Andy H

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