The betrayal of the Kaiserliche Marine and the resurrection of the Reichsmarine

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Gudestein, May 12, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 1: The sinking of Beatty's battlecruiser squadron

    Gudestein Nobody wants a Notler

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    Chapter 1: The sinking of Beatty's battlecruiser squadron

    Hipper sighted Beatty’s battlecruisers at 15:22 and turned his battlecruisers south at 15:45 before initiating fire at 15:48. Optimal conditions with an overcast cloud obscured the silhouette of Hipper’s cruisers and several hits were made with a hit that wrecked the Q turret on Lion and killing dozens of crew members including the turret commander*. 2 minutes later Indefatiguable begun taking critical hits and blew up at 16:04.The action intensified with the second battlesquadron entering range between 16:06 and 16:15, but the reversal of the odds did not save queen HMS queen Mary which blew up after salvos from Seydlitz as well as the Derfflinger at 16:26. HMS queen Mary was followed to its watery grave by HMS Lion at 16:28 when flash fire from the Q turret ignited the underneath magazine.

    The loss of HMS Lion did not prevent the remaining HMS Prince Royal, HMS Tiger and New Zealand from maintaining pursuit with HMS Barham, Valiant, Warspite and Malaya not far behind. With Lion out of the picture heavy and concerted fire was raining down on on HMS Prince Royal that was in close pursuit and the result of heavy damage on the bridge meant the signals from the 2nd light scouting cruisers were not relayed onwards. The fleets continued to run south at 16:40 when HMS Prince Royal received multiple hits and was slowed by a severe and worsening list to port. The pattern repeated itself and the German battlecruisers now concentrated on the lead HMS Tiger and New Zealand. HMS Tiger blew up at 16:52, while New Zealand sailed onwards despite receiving several hits from the German BC's. It was after the explosion on HMS Tiger that the high seas fleet opened fire on the New Zealand, ripping her apart over the next 7 minutes. We might ask ourselves why no orders came forth from New Zealand which became flagship after the loss of HMS Lion, as the battlecruisers were clearly being ripped apart, but it seems evident that damage to the bridge or communication systems were part of the earlier dame received on New Zealand.
    With two exploding ships between them it might be understandable that Evan-Thomas took some time realizing that what was dead ahead of him and closing awfully fast was the entire seas fleet, and it was only as he passed the smouldering and sinking parts of New Zealand approximately 8 minutes later that Evan-Thomas realized that a substantial portion of the high seas fleet was heading towards him. Should he have known? Under these conditions and in poor visibility, whith the intelligence briefing stating that Scheer's battleline was still in Wilhelmshaven***, one can perhabs appreciate that he did not turn tail, before he had an understanding of the situation. By then it was too late. The 4 ships of the 2nd battle squadron signaled to turn and initiated their turn at 1705, but with a closing speed of approximately 40 knots the Queen Elizabeth battleships entered into a knife fight with the main body of the high seas fleet while trapping destroyers and scouting cruisers between them. In the ensuing melee, the 2 of the 4 British battleships was destroyed with serious damage to the remaining two ships over the next 30 minutes, but not without dealing crippling damage to SMS Westfalen. The Markgraf and Kronprinz also took serious damage with each losing a turret and Kronprinz taking in water after a penetrating hit close to the waterline. Ultimately, Scheer stopped the pursuit as scouting forces, which had advanced to cut off the british forces, sighted the Grand fleet steaming south-east.

    When the Germans disengaged at 17:35 Beatty’s battlecruiser squadron had been annihilated and both the battleships Warspite and Barham had been sunk, and with them the commander of the fifth battlesquadron Evan-Thomas. The Germans in return had to leave SMS Westfalen behind with the British in pursuit, but there was no question that the Germans had reached their objectives on this day.



    *The POD, IOTL he was mortally wounded, but ordered the flooding of the magazine which IOTL saved the ship at 16.28.

    ** In OTL Evan Thomas saw Beatty’s battlecruiser squadron heading north between the battlesquadron at 16.48 and at 16.55 initiated their turn. With a closing speed of approximately 40 knots the difference in distance to the order to turn is about 12 km.

    ***An OTL mistake from room 40
    Edit: serious damage added to markgraf and Kronprinz
    second edit: Elaborated section of the maiming of New Zealand, absence of signals from Packingham on New Zealand and the slowness by which Evan-Thomas reacted to the situation.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  2. Gudestein Nobody wants a Notler

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    The following is created as a new TL. The idea of the WW1 intro is to create an environment were a very different perception of the Marine and how it performed the way it did is prevailing in the 1920-40's.
    I am not too well read in WW1, so please help out to improve it.
     
  3. Ramontxo Believes San Mames is Heaven Donor

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    Ok I don't want to derail this timeline and I will most probably enjoy it, but you have four QE battleships fighting the whole German Navy and two sinked and the other two severely crippled in thirty minutes while they only damage one German ship. In OTL the Warspite with the rudder jammed had to make two full circles putting her in the fire field of the german fleet she was hit more than 13 times holed 150 times and have "only" 14 killed and 16 wounded and return to base under her own steam. IMHO you should tone down that score. But it is tour tale and as I said I will enjoy it anyway
     
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  4. Ian_W Well-Known Member

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    It's Gudestein and you *dont* expect a German-wank ?
     
  5. Ian_W Well-Known Member

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    Tone down the pro-German bias by 85% or so.

    But given the judgement you have shown, write your TL, but make it a total Britain- and France-wank. Given what you have shown in previous timelines, this *should* compensate for your views.

    For a start, reverse this "In the ensuing melee, the 2 of the 4 British battleships was destroyed with serious damage to the remaining two ships over the next 30 minutes, but not without dealing crippling damage to SMS Westfalen."

    "In the ensuing melee, SMS Westfalen was sunk, with 2 of the 4 British battleships receiving serious damage over the next 30 minutes"

    Then have Scheer cross their T or something, as the Brits try and recover the two slow and damaged ships.

    But I've read your timelines. Write the TL, but do it as a Britain-wank.
     
  6. Ramontxo Believes San Mames is Heaven Donor

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    Yes I do but respectfully placed criticism has always a place. I remember a soviet wank that was trashed by many people here (myself included). In fact while profoundly disagreeing with it I was enjoying it a lot and was very disappointed when the poster lose hearth and stop it.
     
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  7. Ian_W Well-Known Member

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    Really, it's Gudestein. I'm going to quote his TL.

    "In the ensuing melee, the 2 of the 4 British battleships was destroyed with serious damage to the remaining two ships over the next 30 minutes, but not without dealing crippling damage to SMS Westfalen."

    This is what he regards as reasonable.

    Him losing heart is a net plus for the board.
     
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  8. Ramontxo Believes San Mames is Heaven Donor

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    Let's agree on disagree.
     
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  9. Ian_W Well-Known Member

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    "In the ensuing melee, the 2 of the 4 British battleships was destroyed with serious damage to the remaining two ships over the next 30 minutes, but not without dealing crippling damage to SMS Westfalen."

    Go on. Defend that.
     
  10. Ramontxo Believes San Mames is Heaven Donor

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    I won't, I disagree with it and told so to the Author and then prepared to read the rest of his timeline to which this was only and introduction. Had I been as upset by it and as angry with the poster as you obviously are I would have just ignored it. And sorry to repeat myself but I just hope Gudestein follows this on, please.
     
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  11. trajen777 Member

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    Agree 100%. I might disagree with many TL but enjoy them. If I really don't like them then don't read them . I hope Gudestein keeps it coming .
     
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  12. Jukra Well-Known Member

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    The vulnerability of British battlecruisers in OTL Battle of Jutland was ASB, for starters, or the Battle of Denmark Straits... Massacre? Sure, but it's an ATL, not a doctoral thesis!
     
  13. CalBear Your Ursus arctos californicus Moderator Moderator Donor

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    Play the ball.

    Not going to remind you again.
     
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  14. Gudestein Nobody wants a Notler

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    This is actually the main point of the POD. Miscommunication brings the QE’s into a very close range encounter which is the only way we get to this kind of crippling scores. The British are severely outnumbered at very close range.
    And the ammo handling is as it was
     
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  15. Gudestein Nobody wants a Notler

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    I did in the comment above. 4 british ship in a close (the difference from OTL) range infight with the entire high seas fleet.
     
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  16. Gudestein Nobody wants a Notler

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    You are welcome. Ian_W seems he has a special role and obligation to attack the TL. He even missed the info in the title.;)
     
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  17. Gudestein Nobody wants a Notler

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    Summarizing the comments I have added damage to two König class battleship. With regards to British losses, the main point is that ittl the engagement is close range enough that the hits can penetrate and then the British ships had a tendency to blow up.
     
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  18. ElMarquis Well-Known Member

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    Aug 20, 2017
    Problem is that the QE's have pretty good optics and ranging, plus about five knots speed over the Hochseeflotte's battleship division. They plain aren't going to get caught in that close. These are oil-fired turbine battleships.

    The cause of the magazine detonations was that all the flash protection on the battlecruisers had been torn out and there were propellant charges stacked in the turrets and outside the magazines. This was Beatty's idiocy and did not extend to the rest of the fleet.

    Realistically, to bring down the 5th BS, you're going to need the 1 SG and the Bayerns plus the newest 30.5/L50 dreadnoughts, and prepare to lose a few of them to 15" shellfire.
     
  19. NHBL Long Time Member, CMII

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    I have to say that, IMVHO, losing two Queen Elizabeths would take a very close range encounter or extraordinarily bad luck. One--well, bad things happen...hits on rudders, torpedoes, even collisions in an attempt to avoid a torpedo attack--which would perhaps take out two. Still, in war, bad things happen. I'm interested in seeing where this goes.
     
  20. miketr Nuke Chucker

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    Aug 30, 2005
    The British and Germans dont fight as described. Ships will engage opposite numbers unless there are more shooters than targets or there is miscommunication.

    With Beatty dead command devolves to Rear Admiral Pakenham on New Zealand. There is nothing to suggest he is a fool so what he does at 16:40 what Beatty did and orders a 180 degree turn and falls back on Grand Fleet.

    You want the Battle cruisers and 5th BS to get into a brawl with HSF have Beatty die at 16:39. That creates command confusion on the British side. It will be a couple of minutes for RAdm Pakenham to take command. That will cause the British BCs and 5th BS to get closer to Scheer, call it 2,000 yards closer with a 5 minute delay on the turn order. This will actually allow Scheer’s lead squadron to get real gunnery action in vs the BCs. This doesn’t get 5th BS into the battle as they are so far to the rear.

    You need something else. Maybe Pakenham orders Even-Thomas to support him vs Scheer. Then something like one of the ships suffers enough damage to slow them down. The question is would Pakenham slow down his entire command to cover one cripple?

    Scarbough Raid is a better option for something like this, IMO.

    Michael
     
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