Plan Z

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

Post by LWD » 09 Jan 2012 00:50

Paul Lakowski wrote: ...
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.
That may be but it's not all that relevant to what we were discussing (fuel consumption and activity in KM) that I see.
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.
There is considerable question as to whether it would have been possible even without the war. It wasn't simply that the effort was shifted to U-boats.
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.
While they might have been able to shift the effort that doesn't mean that they could have build equivalent tonnage and certainly not equivalent numbers. Again it wasn't just a matter of internal KM priorities.
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.
Is it? Without comparing things like cost per ton, slips, man hours per ton and such I think you get a very distorted "glimpse".
... Hitler changed all this by forcing the navy to follow treaty rules and conform to his demands for naval construction.
Really? Niether the twins nor the Bismarck's met the terms of the Treaty of Versailles although they nominally met the terms of the British German naval treaty which explicitly allowed more than the above treaty.

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mescal
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Re: Plan Z

Post by mescal » 12 Jan 2012 17:52

Paul Lakowski wrote: The commitment to coastal protection for fortress Europa consume the bulk of all German naval construction and a good deal of its operations.
That's certainly true, and it also burned a good deal of the bunker oil, but this was also true because there was not much activity of the 'main battle fleet' - which was quite small in the first place.
If one introduces a large battle fleet like the Z-plan in the picture, then the relative size of the main fleet vs coastal forces changes, because once you have "enough" coastal forces, there is no more need to increase their size.
There are thus two possibilities :
- either it is intended to start large operations with the main fleet, which will overturn the ratio of oil burned by coastal forces vs main fleet
- or it will sit in harbor, not altering the oil problem - but then, why build sucha fleet in the first place.

As an illustration of what kind of oil resources are required for active operations, during the first two months of Forager, the US Navy brought foward 4.5 millions barrels (715000 cubic meters) of bunker oil .
Admittedly, even the Z-fleet would have been smaller than the 5th Fleet, but it's quite illustrative of oil consumption during active large operations.
Olivier

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vladalex
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Re: Plan Z

Post by vladalex » 12 Jan 2012 21:15

Takao wrote: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."
That is reallity . Thank you for it .

If we remind a very important rule from WW2 " Who have the supremacy of the air will have the supremacy of seas" , and consider the problems of type " what happened if...and if...but not... but finally ... so if..." is only abstract dreams , my personal opinion is: KM was the opponent of UK's Fleet, but have not a powerfull fleet enough for this war, and have not an Air Fleet to protect his own navy in any actions .... looks without comment ...
Best Regards,
VladAlex.

nebelwerferXXX
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Plan Z

Post by nebelwerferXXX » 07 Apr 2012 02:31

Paul Lakowski wrote: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 Zerstorers
16 U-boats
If only Hitler was a sea-minded leader ? Then the program would be a reality.

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Re: Plan Z

Post by Paul Lakowski » 08 Apr 2012 03:52

nebelwerferXXX wrote:
Paul Lakowski wrote: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 Zerstorers
16 U-boats
If only Hitler was a sea-minded leader ? Then the program would be a reality.

At first glance it may be that simple but in order to change, Hitler must change his view of England/Empire. As long as he wanted a deal with the UK to stay out of his European slaughter campaign, nothing can change. All of his follow on actions would have played into Allied strategy of long term war of attrition,which german strategist had already concluded they could not win. A larger fleet would have lasted longer but not changed the out come. Direct attack on the UK was the only option and Admiral Wagner knew this back in the 1920s. So any first step needs to include him and develope his strategies.

What the pre Hitler building plan does shows is that a sizable surface fleet was possible especially when one realises the above Great depression fleet was to be finished in 1938 [although some elements would take longer] and a follow on
more expanded programe would have begun in 1936-38 time period.

As to the rest of the comments, they are themselves irrilevent. They are comparing a post war Allied historical persective of what did happened to a perwar situation where Germany chooses a different route. Every thing becomes possibe and nothing is impossible as long as they choose a different route. Sorry guys ,Apples and Oranges.

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H-44 battleship (141,500 tonnes)

Post by nebelwerferXXX » 08 Apr 2012 04:12

von Rundstedt wrote:An interesting design for the German Navy was the H.44 Schwerschalchtschiff. It would dwarf even the Yamato as it was projected to be 141,500 tonnes and carry 8 x 50.8cm guns in modern terms she would be bigger that the US Nuclear Aircraft Carrier John C Stennis.
Another waste of drafting resources for a German Naval architectural firm.
Last edited by nebelwerferXXX on 08 Apr 2012 09:29, edited 1 time in total.

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For comparison purposes

Post by nebelwerferXXX » 08 Apr 2012 04:37

nebelwerferXXX wrote:German 'Z-Plan'
(a) Six battleships of 56,000 tons;
(b) Two battleships (Bismarck and Tirpitz) of 42,000 tons;
(c) Three pocket-battleships of 31,000 tons, mounting 15-inch guns, with Scharnhorst and Gneisenau converted from 11-inch to 15-inch;
(d) Three pocket-battleships (Deutschland, Admiral Scheer, Graf Spee);
(e) Two aircraft-carriers (Graf Zeppelin, launched in 1938, plus one other);
(f) Five heavy cruisers (Hipper, Blucher, Prinz Eugen, Seydlitz, Lutzow);
(g) Forty-four light cruisers (of which six were already completed);
(h) Sixty-eight destroyers and ninety torpedo-boats;
(i) Some 249 U-boats-coastal, sea-going, and ocean-going.
For comparison purposes. Japanese shipbuilding plans:
Circle Four (six-year plan, 1939): all were completed
---2 Yamato-class battleships
---6 escort carriers
---6 cruisers
---22 destroyers
---25 submarines

Circle Five plan: partially completed
---2 super battleships
---3 aircraft carriers
---2 battle cruisers
---32 destroyers
---45 submarines

Circle Six plan: never completed
---super Yamatos

Plain Old Dave
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Re: Plan Z

Post by Plain Old Dave » 10 Apr 2012 02:34

Figured I'd jump in over here, being career Navy and all...

The Reich leadership never read Mahan, to my thoughts. If they had, they would have really planned for a well-dispersed global fleet; Plan Z in 1933 when Chancellor Hitler took over vice in 1939. There's another weakness to German naval power:

Wilhelmshaven.

Mine/blockade W'haven, and you completely neutralize the German Navy. But with a couple forward deployed Battle Groups, say maybe a CA/DD/DE battle group forward deployed to Argentina, another to Japan, and a third to Italy (each with screening U-boats), THEN you have a global force that could show the flag and support contingency ops worldwide. However, this apparently never occured to anybody in leadership except maybe Raeder and he was out-maneuvered by Göring and his uber-flashy Luftwaffe. Consider: which will impress political hacks with little if any military experience: flashy, impressive fighter airplanes or a clunky, slow battleship? There is still the problem of fuel oil to regularly deploy these task groups, though, even mitigated by forward basing them overseas....
Last edited by Dieter Zinke on 10 Apr 2012 11:44, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Göring is his name - not and never Goering !!!!

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LWD
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Re: Plan Z

Post by LWD » 10 Apr 2012 13:43

Plain Old Dave wrote:... The Reich leadership never read Mahan, to my thoughts. If they had, they would have really planned for a well-dispersed global fleet; Plan Z in 1933 when Chancellor Hitler took over vice in 1939. ....
That doesn't make any sense to me. A "well-dispersed global fleet" was not particuarly in Germany's interest in 1933 nor were they capable of it. Indeed the historical Z plan was rather ambitious and it was designed to be complete in the mid to late 40s. Even at that it wouldn't have been competative to the US or British fleets.

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Re: Plan Z

Post by Plain Old Dave » 10 Apr 2012 22:19

Wouldn't need to be competitive to tie up task forces. A shipbuilding plan started in 1933 would have resulted in at least 2 deployable battle groups for the USN/RN to hunt for. Less ships available for convoy escort duty.

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Galahad
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Re: Plan Z

Post by Galahad » 11 Apr 2012 00:52

--There are a few wee problems with this deployment.

--First, Germany would have to get approval from the host nation, and in the case of South American nations, that might be a problem. The US and the British Empire wielded a lot more powerful an influence--financial and otherwise--than did Germany, either under the Republic or under the Third Reich.

--Then you'd need support facilities. I doubt Argentina, for instance, had a drydock capable of taking a Scharnhorst, much less a Bismarck--and both of them were built about as soon as Germany had the capability of constructing them.

--Then you'd need little things like a complete stores shop, stocking things like spare parts for everything from turbines to 11" and 15" ammunition. That's a massive investment all in itself--at a time when Germany was spending itself into bankruptcy to construct what Hitler and his people actually did plan for. They had enough problems building them up for Wilhelmshaven.

--In short, you'd need everything that von Spee didn't have in WW I. And the moment you DID have it, you'd have a nice target to be attacked. Say with carriers. At a time when Germany was straining every nerve to be able to build up to protect Germany itself, you're asking for a massive diversion of AA and ammo and troops and planes (and all the support THEY would need) to the far side of the South Atlantic. Assuming you could put your base in Argentina. And if Britain wasn't able to do the attacking, the US certainly was by the time such a base came into existence.

--Then there is the problem that the moment you go to sea, the enemy KNOWS where you'll have to turn up sooner or later. All he has to do is park his forces off the approaches to your base and then what? You'll have to fight simply to get to port, or you'll be in the same position Langsdorff was in with Graf Spee--No base, low ammo and Germany a long, long way away.

--And if you put the base in Japan--assuming the Japanese would allow for a full battle fleet what they wouldn't allow for a few subs--then what will you do with it? What's it going to attack? You don't really have the range to operate alone in the eastern Pacific and there's really nothing else worth operating a fleet against. Except the Indian Ocean and East Africa. And to get there or back to your base many, many miles away, you'll have to go though the Straits of Malacca or Sunda--a few tight places easily blocked with mines and planes. And in the case of damage, what happens? It's a long way to Japan, a very long way. And the oilers you'd need for a fleet would be very vulnerable to subs, same as for the Japanese Navy.

--I could develop this in greater detail if I wanted to bother, but why bother? If the above isn't convincing, nothing will be. It's a nice idea in theory, but the practical side doesn't look very practical at all.

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LWD
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Re: Plan Z

Post by LWD » 11 Apr 2012 14:58

Plain Old Dave wrote:Wouldn't need to be competitive to tie up task forces. A shipbuilding plan started in 1933 would have resulted in at least 2 deployable battle groups for the USN/RN to hunt for. ...
But they did start a ship building plan about then. The first two ships being the twins. Germany wasn't exactly in a strong economic position in 33 and even the twins meant essentially voiding the treaty of Versailes. It also takes time to develop both designs and plans. Then theres the fact that Hitler viewed the British as a potential ally and could hardly count on holding Norway and France in a battle with the British which rather limits the deployability of said battle groups.

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US Navy ships

Post by nebelwerferXXX » 24 Feb 2013 06:57

mescal wrote: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.
It means that the USN did not suffer any single lost during in a year's time ?

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Re: Plan Z

Post by Ironmachine » 24 Feb 2013 08:43

nebelwerferXXX wrote:It means that the USN did not suffer any single lost during in a year's time ?
No, it means that the US heavily outproduced their losses.
However, losses were not high in 1943, at least not in the warship categories mentioned. Off the top of my head, the USN lost two cruisers (Chicago and Helena) and about 15 destroyers in 1943.

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mescal
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Re: Plan Z

Post by mescal » 01 Mar 2013 10:20

Actually, the USN lost 17 destroyers in 1943, but 15 to enemy action and 2 to accidental causes.
Thus considering only combat losses, you were spot on Ironmachine :D

A CVE was also lost in 43 (Liscombe Bay).
Olivier

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