Earlier German battleship losses causes them to win Battle of the Atlantic

Proctol

Banned
After the loss of the Scharnhorst in December 1943, Hitler in a rage wanted to order all remaining major surface vessels scrapped and their crews devoted to U boats. He was talked out of this. WI Hitler had had this rage & seen it through already with the loss of the Graf Spee in 1939, the Bismarck in 1941, or even late in the day in 1942 if Scharnhorst and Gneisenau had been lost in the Channel Dash. Having had 50 extra submarines in the Atlantic, 25 even, in March 1943 would have tipped the battle there in the German's favour, leading to a delay of a year in the D Day build up: with what results?
 
Once you've got the battleships why scrap them so suddenly, of course by 1942 there are barely a handful, Tirpitz being the only one if the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau are lost. The Tirpitz served well in the role as 'a fleet in being' which tied down Royal Navy forces in the European theater and kept them from being sent anywhere else.

Scrapping the remaining surface ships takes time, added on top of that recasting that metal for use in submarine construction. In the end, the Allies have the technological edge and German will be defeated.
 

Valamyr

Banned
Afraid' he's right, its too little, too late.

Lets pod further back. Doenitz' heavily submarine-oriented version of the Z plan, calling for a drastic halt to the construction of surface vessels in 1937, to gear up the fleet for the task ahead is adopted.

Instead of shiny battleships, Germany invests into a large, single-class, long-range seagoing submarine model to be mass-produced. In parrallel, the surface fleet is geared toward limited coastal operations, and troop transportation. IIRC, his plan also favored the construction of a substantial amount of small/mid-sized transport craft ("Crocodiles"), perfect to channel troops, and medium equipment, to either Norway or England.

His version would have been much more sound than Reader's. More importantly, large amounts of submarines can be assembled and made operational in mere months, whereas it takes years, many years, for large battleships to be useful.

As a reminder, in OTL, the Grand Admiral's Z-plan was prefered largely because of Hitler's quasi-obsession with the "prestige" brought by oversized battleships.
 
Valamyr said:
Afraid' he's right, its too little, too late.

Lets pod further back. Doenitz' heavily submarine-oriented version of the Z plan, calling for a drastic halt to the construction of surface vessels in 1937, to gear up the fleet for the task ahead is adopted.

Instead of shiny battleships, Germany invests into a large, single-class, long-range seagoing submarine model to be mass-produced. In parrallel, the surface fleet is geared toward limited coastal operations, and troop transportation. IIRC, his plan also favored the construction of a substantial amount of small/mid-sized transport craft ("Crocodiles"), perfect to channel troops, and medium equipment, to either Norway or England.

His version would have been much more sound than Reader's. More importantly, large amounts of submarines can be assembled and made operational in mere months, whereas it takes years, many years, for large battleships to be useful.

As a reminder, in OTL, the Grand Admiral's Z-plan was prefered largely because of Hitler's quasi-obsession with the "prestige" brought by oversized battleships.

Then Britain and the US build giant quantities of escort sloops and the uboats are all sunk. There is no way Germany was going to win the war navally. The resources of the RN were greater than anything Germany could hope to launch. If they tried, they would have to neglect the army which would get them stomped even worse.
 

Redbeard

Banned
If Hitler kills the surface Kriegsmarine only after Bismarck's defeat in May 41 (sunk by Hood?) the British will have large resources freed immediately (1-3 fast BB's, 1-2 CV's and numerous smaller ships). Forces big enough to make a differece in the Far East.

But before the resources saved on the surface Kriegsmarine can be turned into extra operational U-boats the battle of the Atlantic is long lost. Next there are those claiming (heated debate!) that the British were far from ever loosing the BotA.

If the PoD is Graf von Spee in December 39, the chance is bigger of some U-boats arriving before it is too late, but this also gives the British a chance to reallocate their resources accordingly. And no surface Kriegsmarine from December 39 will also mean no German invasion of Norway and Sweden is suddenly the dominant naval power of the Baltic. Even Denmark has a chance of blocking the Baltic entrances to Germany! I believe the iron ore supplies from Kiruna are in grave danger.

If we push the PoD further back we give the British a real good chance of in time building the escort fleet needed and not the OTL crash programme.

In short I think the big conclusion is that Germany has to win it's wars on land, and should focus accordingly! Anyway the chosen focus was much better balanced than in WWI and as events evolved the fleet in being role of the surviving Kriegsmarine tied enough RN resources in Europe for the British not to be able to reconquer back their Empire in the Far East. In that context you could say that Tirpitz cost the British their Empire!

Regards

Steffen Redbeard
 
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