Improving the 'Graf Zeppelin' Aircraft Carrier - ship and class

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Amartus, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. HMS Warspite Well-Known Member

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    Some details on sinking Musashi:
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  2. thaddeus Well-Known Member

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    had tried to make point about guided munitions https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/earlier-guided-weapons-ww2-little-fritz-x.409286/ as they learned difficulty of hitting ships during Spanish Civil War, like all German projects it grew! (in complexity and size, they started work with SC-250 bombs which Condor could carry and ended with Fritz-X 6 times heavier and radio controlled)

    to the OP about Graf Zeppelin? my suggestion was and remains seaplanes/flying boats/helicopters(?), that is what was actually used by KM. probably better idea than GZ would be to equip their Dithmarschen-class tanker/supply ships with handling equipment and increase number of auxiliary cruisers (which could also handle them)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
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  3. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    Not sinking damage. Many of the torpedoes we see blast marks on the armor belt, but no unzip effect at all.

    Or count the blasted holes through which water poured.

    If you mean Musashi, observe the list progression and bows down progression as it plows itself under. If you mean Yamato, she was doomed before Aruga drowned those men in engineering.

    Bump and scrape war. Yes we do. The Russians LOST.



    1:16.10 Gorbachev to Bush. "We quit."

    The Germans with the U-boat wars tried blockade. They lost. The Russians also LOST. The Americans used blockade themselves. They won TWICE. (See above the cold war victory.) Reason? Ceaseless unrelenting flow strategy.

    Plan Rainbow 5; Pacific component. Courbet is overrated. Guess what the Keenan plan was?

    Stukas tried against WASP. How did that turn out? One must tailor the assistance to the size and type of problem. The center of gravity in the North Africa war is North Africa, so use of the Mediterranean Sea for Italy is the German naval problem. Denial does not get tanks and gas to Rommel. Italian freighters do. Since seagoing airpower is the coin of admiralty... Aquila makes a heck of a lot of sense. In fact if Italy starts turning every ocean liner or fast tanker she has or can get her hands on into CVs instead of building three useless battleships, things look very dicey for the allies. Sea control not sea denial. Italy's geography screams out for aircraft carriers.
    That is based on the Regia Marina's actual effective antishipping, convoy and ASW history which against the British and the Americans was rather good.

    Nope. The Japanese tried that trick of using carrier trained pilots in a general aviation campaign around that time in 1942 in the Solomon Islands. CACTUS slaughtered them. Germany's training base is too small to use these specialized pilots in meat-grinder tactics. The allies would breath a sigh of relief as the Desert Air Force wiped out German naval aviation. No pilots = useless carriers. The USN had a whole year breather when they were helpless because Marine and Army pilots killed the Japanese naval aviation and left Japanese carriers pilot starved and sitting at anchor while the USN rebuilt her own shattered carrier forces during 1943/44. THAT is something few realize about the Pacific war. .

    Germany needs the right kind of launch platform. An Avenger or a Privateer (BAT) is not cheap. Nor is it "easy".
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  4. edgeworthy Well-Known Member

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    Then there's how the British react in a crisis ... just because the ship is sinking is no excuse to panic!

    Its a film that encapsulates the class system and the British opinion of themselves.
    When one of the crew deserts his post in action the Captain considers that it is his failure alone.
     
  5. mack8 Well-Known Member

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    To add to the issue of carriers and their survivability to torpedoes, to expand on the japanese carriers Hiyo was hit by two torpedeos in 1943 but survived, Junyo took one hit in 1943 and again hit twice in late 1944, and a survived, Ryuho was hit by one torpdeos in late 1942 and also survived. I haven't looked yet at the japanese CVEs, but iirc some did survived torpedoing.

    Back to GZ, like it was pointed previously, a dual purpose gun would be another major improvement, fitting it with say 16 DP 12,7cm guns would be ideal. Also fitting much stronger light flak batteries (37 and 20mm guns) would be a good idea (same goes for all german ships really). But of course in OTL the german leadership was particularily adept at shooting itself in the foot, abandoning (or selling) completing ships that were almost ready (GZ and the two cruisers) being at the top of that list. Regardless what some say about GZ's impact (or lack of) if operational, certainly it did diddly squat in OTL, at least if operational it may contribute to inflicting some damage on the RN - oh and regarding the notion of an additional RN reaction to GZ being operational, i cannot see any other than perhaps some reshuffling of the carriers, because one, GZ was known to be built from day one (and likely Strasser too), two, i'm sure they knew when it was launched, and certainly they were expecting it to be operational operational in 1940. That it never was i'm sure it was a great relief for RN!
     
  6. BlondieBC Kaiser of Ozarks

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    Glide weapons easily can be done off any win engine bomber. Just depends on what size you design the warhead.

    Italy geography screams for land based naval aviation. If the Italians had had land based naval aviation the size and quality of Japan, the the UK would have been driven from the sea.

    You are too anti-raiding. You are using too much Mahan, and only selecting data that supports Mahan. For example, the USN pacific submarine campaign was effective enough to show that denial of sea lanes can defeat an Island nation. We could have, quite frankly, stopped after taking the Solomon Islands and simply starved the Japanese to death with subs. It would have just taken longer.
     
  7. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    It was a little more than just submarines, we also bombed the living daylights out of them, and a lot ships were sunk by mines laid by aircraft (B-29s in many cases).
     
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  8. Gunnarnz Well-Known Member

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    The point still stands, though - interdiction of their SLOC was slowly but surely depriving Japan of the ability to wage war (or indeed do much of anything else). Corbett would see that as a success of the strategy, and not care very much whether it was submarines, air-dropped mines, or hamster-powered doomwheels that were sinking the ships. The precise platform doesn't matter; the results do - and it was working.
     
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  9. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    The reason I mentioned the Avenger, the Privateer and the BAT is because this is the first recorded instances of operational WW II deployed aircraft, the Avenger from a carrier, and the Privateer from a land base, that used surface search and target illumination radars to find targets and then steer a bomb using a semi-active radar homing signal chase logic into a target.

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    Explanation: Use the airpower circles and see how aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean Sea were used or were supposed to be used. Pay close attention to the British examples and the one American example. The British used Courbet. Ramming that one vital convoy to Malta through was Mahan. That was WASP.

    I use Mahan because he works. He cited decisive battle as the means to eliminate the enemy fleet in being as a means to deny use of the sea; but the way to force decisive battle was blockade.

    I think you believe the Battles of the Atlantic were raids. These were attempted blockades. that failed. They produced decisive fleet battles (convoy actions) that destroyed the German U-boat fleets. The similarity to air campaigns is very striking, but these were naval campaigns.

    The US submarine campaign was a blockade. It was conjoint with decisive carrier battles (Marianas Islands/Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf) where the Japanese had to come out and fight or face starvation. It is arguable whether the threat of air bombardment or losing the oil forced the issue, but it was 100% Mahan applied. Deny the seas.
     
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  10. hipper Well-Known Member

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    Not to denigrate wasps contribution to Malta’s survival but her Part in the Pedistal Convoy was confined to delivery of Spitfires in operation Bowery in May, During Pedastal Wasp was bombing Guadalcanal.
     
  11. marathag Well-Known Member

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    And before the BAT, Avengers remote controlled TDR-1 Drones via TV

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  12. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    No Spitfires via WASP.. No Malta. So runs the propaganda. Why Wasp at all? She had a deck edge lift and an air group/division that was probably the best trained on earth at the time.

    Plus the British had no carriers of their own available to do the job required at the moment besides Eagle.

    HMS Ark Royal was sunk. HMS Argus was too slow (fly-off) and small (only 30 planes at the time and no ability to provide CAP and ferry.), and the other British carriers had no lifts that could handle the Spitfire VBs. Their wings could not fold to fit. Wasp with the deck edge lift did not have that problem. So she set off for Operation Calendar.

    I believe the British managed to bungle the results of Operation Calendar by allowing the majority (40) or the (52) Spitfires the Wasp ferried at such peril to be caught on the ground and bombed to destruction as soon as they reached Malta. Only 48 could fly off the carrier. 4 had to be pushed off as useless non flight worthy.

    But that is not the worst of it... The 48 Spitfires, as delivered, were assembled and serviced in England in such an appalling state that the following faults were present in many of them:

    The radios did not work, the external belly tanks that provided the extra fly off range for the short ranged Spitfires leaked and were essentially bombs. Aboard many of the Spitfires, the guns were improperly installed and could not function at all. This was American discovered at sea just passing Gibraltar and was not repairable because the Americans had not the equipment at the time. More on this fiasco below.

    The mission was carried forward anyway. Wildcats provided cover to the Spitfires as they made the Club Run.

    The British needed a fall guy for the resultant disaster. They fired Lt. General Sir William Dobbie for allowing the Spitfires to be caught on the ground (again, this happened before.). One mistake too many (officially). Actually something of a competent Fudd, for apparently he had managed his parlous posting as Malta's governor well enough for 2 years under these trying circumstances. He was convenient to blame. He should not have been relieved and scapegoated for it; though at his age he should have rotated out for health. He was simply exhausted. The blame for which Churchill impugned him properly belongs to the blokes who serviced the Spitfires in Britain before they were craned aboard Wasp.

    So... WASP had to try again. That one was Operation Bowery and this one is the operation for which Wasp is famous. Notably when the Spitfire VCs were delivered in the same appalling condition as the previous Spitfires when Wasp arrived at Glasgow Scotland; the infuriated Captain Reeves of Wasp took matters into his own hands and this time the Spitfires were serviced by the USN crew with parts requisitioned from RAF stocks before sortie.

    Even USN mechanics cannot fix everything. A Canadian pilot (a very good one) named Jerry Smith found that he had some kind of issue with his fuel lines, when he flow off for his club run to Malta. He was the first pilot to make a Spitfire landing on an American carrier. He would not be the last.

    Meanwhile the new governor, Lord Gort, had managed to do the necessary turnaround and dispersal measures to receive and protect the Spitfires the Wasp (~47) and HMS Eagle (~17) flew off. Again Wildcats provided CAP and escort. Gort at his end was aided by the speed run of RAF ground crew specially trained for this mission and Spitfire spare parts aboard the HMS Welshman; a fast minelayer that masqueraded as a Vichy French destroyer, Leopard. She reached Malta just ahead of the Spitfires. Apparently the Luftwaffe was lousy at ship recognition. She got through unscathed, though she was spotted twice.

    The upshot was when Axis air showed up this time to catch the RAF on the ground, the Spitfires were aloft. The Germans and Italians were massacred and that was the end of that nonsense, once and for all.

    Woodman, Richard (2000). Malta Convoys 1940-1943. London: John Murray. p. 320. ISBN 0-7195-6408-5.

    Woodman, Richard (2003). Malta Convoys 1940–1943. London: John Murray. pp. 322–324. ISBN 0-7195-6408-5.
     
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  13. NOMISYRRUC Get Your Trousers On, You're Nicked!

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    The Luftwaffe formed a gruppe stab, a fighter squadron and a dive bomber squadron for Graff Zeppelin in November 1938. They formed a second fighter squadron in July 1939. 2 more dive bomber squadrons and a second gruppe stab were formed in September 1939. A third fighter squadron was formed in October 1939, disbanded in December 1939 and reformed in February 1940.

    The Luftwaffe did not break this force up until late June/early July 1940 which is after work stopped on Graff Zeppelin.

    This webpage explains it more clearly than I can.
    http://www.ww2.dk/air/seefl/trgr186.htm
     
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  14. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    HMS Eagle and HMS Furious delivered a lot of Spitfires to Malta in 1942. USS Wasp was needed at the specific time she was because HMS Furious was getting a refit in Philadelphia from October 1941 to April 1942 and then needed to work up.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Club_Run

    USS Wasp made a huge contribution that Mr. Churchill acknowledged but she was hardly the only carrier involved.
     
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  15. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    She was the only carrier when it mattered. And on May 9, 1942 it mattered. It was that close. The British returned the favor.
     
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  16. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    [​IMG]

    General characteristics
    Class and type: Graf Zeppelin-class aircraft carrier
    Displacement: 33,550 long tons (34,088.4 t) (full load)
    Length: 262.5 m (861 ft 2.6 in)
    Beam: 36.2 m (118 ft 9.2 in)
    Draft: 8.5 m (27 ft 10.6 in)
    Installed power: 200,000 shaft horsepower (149,140.0 kW)
    Propulsion: 4 geared turbines
    Speed: 33.8 kn (62.6 km/h; 38.9 mph)
    Range: 8,000 nmi (14,816.0 km; 9,206.2 mi) at 19 kn (35.2 km/h; 21.9 mph)
    Complement: 1,720
    Armament:
    • 12 × 10.5 cm SK C/33 guns
    • 22 × 3.7 cm SK C/30 guns
    • 28 × 2 cm FlaK guns
    Armor:
    • Belt: 100 mm (3.9 in)
    • Flight deck: 45 mm (1.8 in)
    • Main deck: 60 mm (2.4 in)
    Aircraft carried:
    • Proposed complement of 52
    • A proposal: 30 fighters & 22 dive bombers
    • B proposal: 22 fighters & 15 dive bombers & 15 torpedo bombers
    General comments. This is still a raider carrier, designed to accompany a Bismarck and to operate as air defense eyes and protection. The 15 cm guns have been landed, the tertiary (aft storage) hanger added and the service elevator behind a crash barrier (fence) has been slightly moved. Notice the trap zone is incredibly small. Because of the 3rd elevator position the arrestors I had to split into two groups and zones. This was done for the Shoho and it worked but the Japanese were willing to use 3/4 of the flight deck for land ons. The Germans only get 1/3 length. I also extended the catapult stage about double the length. This allows for torpedo bombers.

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  17. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    Given the waters this ship will operate in, such a short trap zone is likely to result in a lot of aircraft/pilot losses. It also means your training cycle for pilots is going to be longer and a higher washout rate, as the margin for error in landings, even in calm waters, is markedly reduced. Neither is insurmountable, but I wonder about the Me-109T - will it stand up to what are going to be very hard landings?
     
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  18. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    Nope, it actually won't. Need a broad chord short stubby wing FW 190T. But given what the Germans built, it is either that bodge illustrated above, or they go back to the drawing board from the keel up. Their carrier is a mess. They should have talked to the Italians.
     
  19. thaddeus Well-Known Member

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    know the Fieseler was considered outdated but wonder how they would have fared operating biplane in the war? or what the hell biplanes, try the HS-123 also ...

    somewhat surprising they used DB water cooled engine for the former? they had the Bramo 323 available
     
  20. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    It's better than OTL but still realistically bad for a nation's firt carrier.