Plan Z

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Kriegsmarine except those dealing with the U-Boat forces.
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mescal
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Re: Plan Z

Post by mescal » 03 Dec 2011 16:02

In January 1943, the USN had one Essex class carrier, 39 cruisers (10 of them old Omahas) and 273 destroyers (104 of them old four-pipers)

In December 1943, they had 7 Essex class carriers, 45 cruisers and 373 destroyers.

If you want more details, you may have a look at the following threads :

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 3&t=149748
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 3&t=147340
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 3&t=161584
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Re: Plan Z

Post by Galahad » 22 Dec 2011 19:01

It's been interesting reading thru the various directions this thread has followed since I started it long ago. It certainly got off the point tho. Germany would have had problems fueling the massive fleet that was projected, regardless of the kind of fuel used. UNLESS it conquered the oilfields of the Soviet Union, and/or the Middle East.

If there's no war, then it has to buy the fuel on the open market--and the German economy was nearing a crash point when WW 2 started, because of a lack of foreign purchase credits to buy raw materials, such as petroleum.

So assuming it completed the Z Plan, it couldn't have afforded to send it to sea very often. And the fleet built would have been opposed by fleets that COULD go to sea as desired and which were as large as or larger than the German Fleet (the RN and the USN--plus the French Fleet).

And given the economics, it seems to me doubtful that the Z Plan could have been completed without crashing the German economy, or at least crippling it. The United States had the money and resources to build most anything it wanted back then, but Germany didn't.

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Re: Plan Z

Post by Paul Lakowski » 05 Jan 2012 05:51

The German war time 'fuel oil' consumption was 1/2 of what had been expected prewar. Its likely the estimates on fuel consumption for the Zplan were equally exagerated for policitical effects and the actual counsumption would have be 1/2 the projected figures.

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Re: Plan Z

Post by mescal » 05 Jan 2012 12:40

There was perhaps overestimation, but there was an order of magnitude between the fuel requirement of the real KM and those of the Z-plan fleet.
Thus, even if only 1/2 was required it's still nowhere near the possibilities of Germany to fuel this fleet.

Moreover, the less-than-expected consumption came in good part from the losses sustained by the KM in 1940 - the destruction of 12 destroyers, 3 cruisers, and the damages immobilising many other units strongly helped the KM to restore its oil stockpiles in the 2nd part of 1940.
But I think that a plan requiring to lose roughly 30 to 40% of the Z-fleet in the first year to fit the fuel constraints would not be well accepted...
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Re: Plan Z

Post by LWD » 05 Jan 2012 14:41

I suspect that another good chunk of the difference was because the KM was not as active as expected and at least some of that lack of activity was due to a lack of fuel. If the Z plan ships had been built the fuel consumption would likely not have changed all that much because Germany simply didn't have the additional fuel.

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Re: Plan Z

Post by Paul Lakowski » 06 Jan 2012 03:13

The german navy tripled its size in the first year of the war and easily topped out at over 500 vessels by then. It would continue to grow up to 1944 before it declined sharply due to allied air campaigns agains the coastal fleets, which gobbled up the bulk of the fuels supplies.

According to O'Hare etal in "On Seas Contested" , even with the massive growth in size of the German fleet they did not expericence much fuel shortage until after Barbarossa began and fuel started to be diverted to the Italian navy. The losses in Norway are example of selective facts since the Germans lost less vessels than the allies did in that campaign and only amounted to 1/5 of the invasion fleet dispatched.

read more here....

http://navypedia.org/ships/germany/ger_index.htm


http://navypedia.org/retro_view/1940/germany_1940.htm


http://navypedia.org/retro_view/1940/un ... m_1940.htm

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Re: Plan Z

Post by mescal » 06 Jan 2012 10:44

Paul Lakowski wrote:The german navy tripled its size in the first year of the war and easily topped out at over 500 vessels by then
Yes, but there are some questions :
- how many were new constructions (as opposed to ships drafted to the KM, which were already fueled by German oil stocks pre-war) ?
- how many were oil burners (as opposed to coal burners, present in large numbers in the minesweepers, port defense vessels ..) ?
Paul Lakowski wrote:According to O'Hare etal in "On Seas Contested" , even with the massive growth in size of the German fleet they did not expericence much fuel shortage until after Barbarossa began and fuel started to be diverted to the Italian navy.
True enough, but one important fact which provoked or heightened the fuel shortage was the necessity to supply the Italian Navy.
And since the (fuel-burning part of) the Italian Navy was not larger than the difference between the (fuel burning part of) OTL KM and the (fuel burning part of) Z-plan KM, there is no reason to think that similar problems would not have occured had the KM grown to it Z-plan size. After all, the flag flown by a warship as little impact on its oil consumption.
(and it's also to be noted that the Italian Battle Fleet had a relatively limited activity during the war).

See the following quote from RAdm Voss
"This shortage of fuel developed importantly after the start of the war with Russia, because the Italian Navy asked us to provide 140,000 tons fuel oil a month. That was beyond our capabilities. Before this demand of the Italian Navy was nado, I submitted plans and suggestions on how to restrict the consumption of fuel in our Navy,so that we would be able to meet the more stringent demands of both navies."
"Operations and organization of the German naval supply system during world war II", p271-72.
Paul Lakowski wrote: The losses in Norway are example of selective facts since the Germans lost less vessels than the allies did in that campaign and only amounted to 1/5 of the invasion fleet dispatched.
There was the direct effect of the losses (ships sunk do not consume oil anymore), but there was also a larger indirect effect : with the level of losses, especially in destroyers and light cruisers (i.e. screening forces), any further large (i.e. Fleet) operation by the KM was impossible.
Thus the sinkings affected not only the consumption of sunk ships, but also the consumption of the remaining ships.



IIRC, there are some pages dealing with the problems of fueling the ships of the Z-plan in Tooze's Wages of Destruction but I do not have the book at hand right now.
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Re: Plan Z

Post by LWD » 07 Jan 2012 00:52

Paul Lakowski wrote:The german navy tripled its size in the first year of the war and easily topped out at over 500 vessels by then. It would continue to grow up to 1944 before it declined sharply due to allied air campaigns agains the coastal fleets,...
It continued to grow if you count "vessels" what if you count tonnage or ships?

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Re: Plan Z

Post by Paul Lakowski » 07 Jan 2012 09:00

The 1940/41 breakdown of historical shipbuilding was as follows.....

8 Zerstörer + 17 TBoot [1.2 million hp Turbine & 51,672 tons]`

36 MBoot + 44 Geleitboote [182,145 hp VTE & 67610 ton ]

2 BB completed & 1 CA completed [28,000 tons construction to complete including work on another CA and a CV]

50 RBoot + 47 SBoot [356,784 hp Diesel & 13,241 ton Composite = Wood and steel construction ]

18 coastal UBoats +169 Atlantic Uboats & 63 large Uboats [193,000hp Generator & 828,768hp Diesel & 219,830 tons ]

375 Landing ferry [93,400hp diesel & 36,325hp Petrol & 53,490 ton Composite ]

1 AOE fleet tankers + 5 Fleet tender [44,180hp diesel & 41975 ton including work on incomplete ships]

That’s about 836 new vessels between 1940 & 41 with about 410,000 tons steel and 66,000 tons composite construction. None of these new operated on coal, they operated on bunker oil except the diesel & petrol powered vessels.

The coal powered vessels didn't appear until mid war.

Looking at fuel oil tank capacity of these new ships that’s 17,030 tons plus 18430 for two Bismarck and Prince Eugen, but then again while the Bis etc would only sortie a couple of times a year the various escort and patrol vessels would sortie at least once a month if not more. As a matter of interest the diesel consumption for the new production amounts to over 38,000 tons, but Rboot/Sboot would sortie probably every week while Uboats would be maybe every season? [maybe 2400t x 50? vs 33,000 x 3?]. The commitment to coastal protection for fortress Europa consume the bulk of all German naval construction and a good deal of its operations.

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Re: Plan Z

Post by nebelwerferXXX » 07 Jan 2012 12:54

Paul Lakowski wrote:The 1940/41 breakdown of historical shipbuilding was as follows.....

8 Zerstörer + 17 T-Boot [1.2 million hp Turbine & 51,672 tons]`
36 M-Boot + 44 Geleitboote [182,145 hp VTE & 67,610 ton]
2 BB completed & 1 CA completed [28,000 tons construction to complete including work on another CA and a CV]
50 R-Boot + 47 S-Boot [356,784 hp Diesel & 13,241 ton Composite = Wood and steel construction ]
18 coastal U-Boats +169 Atlantic U-boats & 63 large U-boats [193,000 hp Generator & 828,768 hp Diesel & 219,830 tons]
375 Landing ferry [93,400 hp diesel & 36,325 hp Petrol & 53,490 ton Composite]
1 AOE fleet tankers + 5 Fleet tender [44,180 hp diesel & 41,975 ton including work on incomplete ships]

That’s about 836 new vessels between 1940 & 41 with about 410,000 tons steel and 66,000 tons composite construction.
Another very good information from Mr. Paul Lakowski. Thanks !

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Takao
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Re: Plan Z

Post by Takao » 08 Jan 2012 00:11

Well, what Paul Lakowski provides is information, whether it is "good" or not remains to bee seen. His horsepower numbers are essentially meaningless with regards to the ongoing debate about fuel, nor has he qualified what "tons" pertains to...Is it fuel capacity, armor, standard ship displacement, etc.??? So, no, I would say that Paul has not provided us with "good" information.

While one could say that Germany completed an impressive number of "vessels" - 836 - they built very few "ships". While the number of "vessels" might be impressive to those obsessed with numbers, the combat effectiveness of those "vessels" was very limited, and out on the open ocean, it would be infinitesimal. It would also be worthy to note that, during World War II, the US Army had more "vessels" than the US Navy, however the US Navy had, by far, the greater number of "ships". So, the number of "vessels" belonging to the Kriegsmarine during the first year of the war is essentially meaningless to their capacity to win a battle on the open ocean. Indeed the great majority of the vessels built were of limited range and combat effectiveness in "taking the war to Britain."

Further, simply look at the diesel fuel capacity of the projected H-Class battleships, 9,548 tons versus an Type IXB U-boat with a fuel capacity of some 165 tons or some 105 tons for a Type VIIC U-Boat. So, to "top off" an H-Class battleship, you could fill the tanks of about 58 Type IXBs. Then, Germany wanted to build 6 H-class battleships with the equivalent fuel capacity of 348 Type IXBs.

Finally,
Paul Lakowski wrote:The losses in Norway are example of selective facts since the Germans lost less vessels than the allies did in that campaign and only amounted to 1/5 of the invasion fleet dispatched.
The losses are hardly selective facts. The Germans lost one of their two heavy cruisers - reducing her number of heavy cruisers by 50%, Germany lost two of her six light cruisers - reducing her number of light cruisers by 33%, Germany would lose 10 of her 20 destroyers - reducing her number of destroyers by 50%, as well as, six U-Boats. Whereas, Great Britain, on the other hand, could more readily absorb and make good her losses. Great Britain would lose one of her 3 fleet carriers(33%), two of her some 45 light cruisers(4%), seven of her vast quantity of destroyers(I'll leave it up to Mescal to tell us how many were operational at the time), and one submarine.

The Krigsmarine could not afford this terrible exchange rate of warships and still expect to have a fleet left.

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Re: Plan Z

Post by Paul Lakowski » 08 Jan 2012 07:48

Takao wrote:
Finally,
Paul Lakowski wrote:The losses in Norway are example of selective facts since the Germans lost less vessels than the allies did in that campaign and only amounted to 1/5 of the invasion fleet dispatched.
The losses are hardly selective facts. The Germans lost one of their two heavy cruisers - reducing her number of heavy cruisers by 50%, Germany lost two of her six light cruisers - reducing her number of light cruisers by 33%, Germany would lose 10 of her 20 destroyers - reducing her number of destroyers by 50%, as well as, six U-Boats. Whereas, Great Britain, on the other hand, could more readily absorb and make good her losses. Great Britain would lose one of her 3 fleet carriers(33%), two of her some 45 light cruisers(4%), seven of her vast quantity of destroyers(I'll leave it up to Mescal to tell us how many were operational at the time), and one submarine.

The Krigsmarine could not afford this terrible exchange rate of warships and still expect to have a fleet left.

Takao; thanks for this good example of selective logic.

One can not hope to invade another country by sea with only Carriers ; cruiser and Destroyers. These vessels are for escort, not invasion. You need large amounts of bulk transport ships and landing craft to bring the supplies that are needed to push an invasion to success. These vessels mostly made the return trip without problem. But of course you don't see this, you selectively ignor that and focus on what you think is important, rather than looking at the larger picture.

Germany got the fleet that Hitler wanted them to get, a mostly coastal defense fleet that posed little threat to the UK. With a different approach , they would have built different ships.

Again, please read other sources.

This is a pretty good source.

http://navypedia.org/ships_index.htm

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Re: Plan Z

Post by Takao » 08 Jan 2012 16:14

The logic is not selective...

Without the necessary escorts, your transports probably will never survive long enough to get to shore, let alone make the return trip ,or keep the invasion force supplied :roll: :roll: :roll:
FYI, even given the level of German warships used in the German invasion of Norway, the German transports used during the invasion of Norway suffered greatly, with very few remaining afloat(although a few were later raised and repaired). Indeed, the only German transport, from Warship Group One, that remained afloat after the invasion was the Alster - captured by two British destroyers. :lol: :lol: :lol:

As for
Germany got the fleet that Hitler wanted them to get, a mostly coastal defense fleet that posed little threat to the UK. With a different approach , they would have built different ships.
Hardly, Germany got the fleet that she did because of the many treaties in force throughout the inter-war years, and that the Kriegsmarine, at the time, was "low man on the totem pole", when it came to German resource allocation. Not to mention the fact that the German Navy had to completely rebuild itself, and the German shipyards, of the time, were not capable of rapidly constructing large numbers of capital ships necessary for a rapid expansion of the Kriegsmarine. While Hitler's will did play it's part, it was not the be-all-and-end-all of German naval rearmament.
Paul Lakowski wrote:Again, please read other sources.

This is a pretty good source.

http://navypedia.org/ships_index.htm
Yes, it is a good "all-in-one" resource, and I have had it bookmarked not long after it came online, plus it beats digging out the old volumes of "Jane's". While it is great for ships lists, there is little else to the website. Still, I much prefer the "Die Deutsche Kriegsmarine 1935-1945" series by Siegfried Breyer, and his "Marine Arsenal Band" series

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Re: Plan Z

Post by LWD » 08 Jan 2012 19:45

Paul Lakowski wrote:The 1940/41 breakdown of historical shipbuilding was as follows.....
8 Zerstörer + 17 TBoot [1.2 million hp Turbine & 51,672 tons]`
36 MBoot + 44 Geleitboote [182,145 hp VTE & 67610 ton ]
2 BB completed & 1 CA completed [28,000 tons construction to complete including work on another CA and a CV]
50 RBoot + 47 SBoot [356,784 hp Diesel & 13,241 ton Composite = Wood and steel construction ]
18 coastal UBoats +169 Atlantic Uboats & 63 large Uboats [193,000hp Generator & 828,768hp Diesel & 219,830 tons ]
375 Landing ferry [93,400hp diesel & 36,325hp Petrol & 53,490 ton Composite ]
1 AOE fleet tankers + 5 Fleet tender [44,180hp diesel & 41975 ton including work on incomplete ships]
That’s about 836 new vessels between 1940 & 41 with about 410,000 tons steel and 66,000 tons composite construction. None of these new operated on coal, they operated on bunker oil except the diesel & petrol powered vessels.
But you stated the continued to grow through 44 and 41 was pretty much the peak strength of the KM at least in ships. I note that well over 600 of those vessels are "boats" and not "ships". Furthermore if you are talking warships the consturction during this period barely kept pace with losses. Furthermore the damage the major fleet units sustained combined with the changes in KM naval strategy meant that those ships were for less active than they might have been.

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Re: Plan Z

Post by Paul Lakowski » 08 Jan 2012 22:50

LWD wrote:
Paul Lakowski wrote:The 1940/41 breakdown of historical shipbuilding was as follows.....
8 Zerstörer + 17 TBoot [1.2 million hp Turbine & 51,672 tons]`
36 MBoot + 44 Geleitboote [182,145 hp VTE & 67610 ton ]
2 BB completed & 1 CA completed [28,000 tons construction to complete including work on another CA and a CV]
50 RBoot + 47 SBoot [356,784 hp Diesel & 13,241 ton Composite = Wood and steel construction ]
18 coastal UBoats +169 Atlantic Uboats & 63 large Uboats [193,000hp Generator & 828,768hp Diesel & 219,830 tons ]
375 Landing ferry [93,400hp diesel & 36,325hp Petrol & 53,490 ton Composite ]
1 AOE fleet tankers + 5 Fleet tender [44,180hp diesel & 41975 ton including work on incomplete ships]
That’s about 836 new vessels between 1940 & 41 with about 410,000 tons steel and 66,000 tons composite construction. None of these new operated on coal, they operated on bunker oil except the diesel & petrol powered vessels.

But you stated the continued to grow through 44 and 41 was pretty much the peak strength of the KM at least in ships. I note that well over 600 of those vessels are "boats" and not "ships". Furthermore if you are talking warships the consturction during this period barely kept pace with losses. Furthermore the damage the major fleet units sustained combined with the changes in KM naval strategy meant that those ships were for less active than they might have been.

Hi LWD

The pre war building plan was for an annual production of 24 destroyers + 48 Torpedo boats and 135 mineboot plus 100-200 U-boats. In addition to this all the large warships in the process of building, were to be completed. That was the 4 BB plus 5 CA and the GZ plus all of the fleet tankers and fleet tenders still in construction when the war began.

This didn't happen as Hitler demanded more and more U-boat production, faster and faster. All the ship yards had to retool for U-boat production and probably lost 1/4 of their output in the process, while some yards remained idle and others retooled.

So if they had stuck to the original plan all the resource funding and labor that went into the historical Coastal/U-boat fleet, would have flown elsewhere. If they had changed from building BB to U-boats, they could have made similar transition the other way. It becomes a question of funding labor and resource redirected into the same yards with different building plans. This is why the total tonnage in differing types of naval construction and investment in engine power is the first step in an attempt to get a glimpse of the naval force they could have ended up with.

Prior to Hitler’s intervention, the fleet building plan [1928-1932] was to complete by 1938 the following warships.
1 Aircraft Carrier.
6-8 Panzerschiffe
6 Kreuzer
44 Zerstroers
16 U-boats

It is noted that the above fleet was ordered by the Muller and Stresemann & Bruning etc regimes and already were ordering warships that were illegal under treaty rules [U-boats and Aircraft Carriers]. This also included a 400 plane fleet air arm.

That would mean that in 1936-38 another crop of warships would be laid down and nearing completion by 1940-42. Going on Grand Admiral Raeder’s basic strategy, this would have to include BB and more Panzerschiffe plus U-boats. Presumably another aircraft carrier would be order as well.

These pre Hitler regimes had already ordered the various service branches to operate a unified command under a “C-in-C leader” to avoid any unnecessary duplication of effort and to break whatever treaty they needed to break in the process provided they could disguise these efforts as well. Hitler changed all this by forcing the navy to follow treaty rules and conform to his demands for naval construction.

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