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. NoMommsen Donor

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    Then you might understand it wrongly.

    Btw : how do you come to this understanding ??

    Before WW1 they were keen to battle the RN. ... and afterwards as well. The RN was always the yard stick they wanted to measured against and they wanted to measure themself against - best in direct 'competition' aka fight. A view burned into them by Tirpitz for decades and never truly overcome until 1945, maybe a couple of years earlier.

    Post-wWW1 the insight of the mistake to battle the RN came IOTL rather late and then 'only' about the method :
    NOT fighting battles of 'rows of iron knights'
    but
    fight for the sea-lanes in the vastness of the oceans​
    And though Behnke and Zenker seemed to honestly try to change such thinking and Gröner outright 'forbade' thinking of fighting Britain again ... it was done nevertheless, even if the targets had to be diminished according to the diminished means left for the german navy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  2. NoMommsen Donor

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    Well, you're advancing rapidly on your hunt for I-don't-know-what technological-'wonder'-navy rather dilatotory treating to ignoring political and with it - having an effect on your tech-dreams ;-) - financial history and developments. Faster than I'm able to answer to with checking and rechecking sources contrary to your kinda 'free-minded' handwaving of wished for conditions for your protagonists.

    Therefor pls see my comment(s) less as a critique as some additional infos for you to consider, at some points maybe info rather ... not so easy for you to approach, for the (hopefully) following V.1.0 after this one here which can - given its ... use of sources and counterchecking on OTL - be only a beta-version.
     
  3. NoMommsen Donor

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    Let me return to ... 1920.
    As I've already pounted you to : you should really think of the Kapp-Putsch conditions and their further effects/ripplings on the tissue of the timelines.
    see post #244
    esp. this 'line-of-butterflies' :
    no Brigade Ehrhardt - no Kapp-Putsch - no Organisation Consul - no assassination of Rathenau - - - what happens to Rheinland occupation - without Rheinland-occupation no black navy funds of OTL, no beginning of S-Boat development as IOTL - no kommunist Thuringia (?) - no take-over of executive powers by Seeckt as IOTL - no Beerhall-Putsch- etc.​

    Politically also 'interesting might be an info why Scheer rather easily left serving the navy :
    he aimed at the office of Reichspresident in 1921.
    According to the brand new constitution the election of a new Reichspresident was due in 1921/1922 as Ebert was elected from the National Assenbly only for the time until the new constitution would be enacted. Scheer had already worked up some support i.e. from parts of the DVP. However, fearing exactly something alike the Reichstag 'simply' prolongated Eberts hold on office by cheating on the brandnew constitution with a constitution-changing law for only just this occasion (no wonder that the constitution wasn't really trusted on, if their main-propagator cheated on it as soon as it was out). Hindenburg in 1928 wanted to secure Scheer as his 'heir'/successor in office.
    But prior to Scheer eventually died.

    Btw. his death by pulmonary embolism - a rather hard to predict and even harder to avoid-by-butterflies disease ... who will you prepare to follow him ? By now you haven't taken any steps in that direction. Hipper wont be able to follow, he dies also in 1932 after a 'long standing disease' of - unfortunatly - no further specification (at least known to me).
    For that you really should try to inform you about the Reichsmarine topbrass, whos positions were greatly affected by the Kapp-Putsch.
     
  4. NoMommsen Donor

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    And so I return once again to the year 1920.

    Building six - in number 6 - 800ts destroyers in 1920 ... sry mate but not gonna happen.

    In 1920 the navy barely had enough money for the coal to operate the minesweepers for their by treaty demanded sweeping operations in North Sea, Baltic Sea and Northern Ice Sea. And the goverment barely knew where to get any money from at all after 'discovering' that the vaults were empty and they sat on a Himalaya of debts (though 'only' domestic).
    During budget negotiations in early 1920 the then Reichswehrminister Gustav Noske - probably the most 'military-friendly' SPD-man of the time being sacked after the Kapp-Putsch by the SPD for 'counterrevolutionary behavior' due to his too military-friendly decisions - told the navy asking for funding the/a new cruiser (which IOTL became the "Emden") : "You want a big navy again ? Never again".
    The funds for the Emden were renegotiated later in 1920 after Noske was sacked and Otto Geßler, a liberal of - if there ever was - the 'Rathenau'-faction of the DDP (the somewhat more leftish liberal party aside the DVP) had taken the Reichswehr-Ministry.

    Earliest possible date for laying down whatever new ship (even if 'only' the mentioned 800ts-destroyers, which would become IOTL the Type 23 and then 24 or in german the "Bird-of-Prey"-class and "Carnivore"-class Torpedoboats) would have been 1921. Regardless whatever 'black funds' the navy might be able to build up early on by the sell-out described in Chapter 19.
    As these ships would/should be operated by the official Reichsmarine openly they should be build and paid by the Reichsmarine by its official, publicized by the Reichstag approved budget. Anything built above such budget would veery quickly achieve NIACC attention, having the right to look deep into the books of the yard and the Navy and the Goverment as a whole.
    No chance for 'black funds' not to be discovered if used for some 'official' ships. Your 'fruit tarnsport' and 'tankers' for your ITTL MERSK and NDL ... nothing to object here. In these cases with some trustworthy yard-workers the 'hard points' would even be possible to slip pass the NIACC.

    Something else shortly about these black 'sell-out' funds :
    they have to be kept secret and clancestine
    they can only accumulated and transferred secretly and clandestine (what costs more ... strawmen et al)
    they still have to be quired, sell-out has 'just' started in 1919/1920 and would still be going on IMHO well into 1922 at least.


    Let me include a 'wee' list of OTL navy budgets covering the time so far covered by you
    Budgets are approved by the Reichstag for one year from 30th March of the first year until 30th March the following year.
    Onetime-expenditure includes purchase of new equipment, replacement of old or new at all, repairs, rebuilds and new constructions.
    Such amounts have to be approved for every single year, especially for any kind of shipbuilding. Never will/was the full amolunt granted but only a yearly rate (though the 'complete price' is recognizeed/negotiated in the according comitee).

    Navy budget of 1920/1921, approved March 1921
    Ontime expenditure : 59.476.125 (actually paid not at least due to inflation 73.266.491 RM)
    (including a first rate for the Emden of 25.000.000 of 1921 worth to be 'released' only afetr construction has begun)

    Navy budget of 1921/1922, approved March 1921
    Onetime-expenditure : 102.790.250 (actually paid 176.798.264)
    (includes 25.000.000 2nd rate for Emden of 1921 worth, but shortened to 10.000.000 later in 1921)

    Navy budget 0f 1922/1923, approved June 1922
    Onetime-expenditure : 117.442.000 (estimate of actual payment in 1923 597.784.000, actually payed as computed in 1924 7.029.987.415 before currency reform)
    (included 35.000.000 of 1922 worth, what was actually payed .... inflation)

    Navy budget of 1923/1924, approved June 1923
    Onetime-expenditure : 1.734.050.000 of early 1923 worth (the RT wasn't really able to follow the daily avalanching currency decline).

    Wasn't able to find a value reserved for the Emden for the 1923/24 budget.
    In the further budgets only what kind of amounts were included into Onetime-expenditure were listed within the RT-ducuments but not the precise number of the different amounts.

    Navy budget of 1924/1925, approved August 1925
    (couldn't find a proper estimation or negotiations data for a budget in 1924)
    Onetime-expenditure : 23.237.400
    (including a forth rate for Emden as well as a first rate for the "Möwe" (first, single 800ts-"Destroyer", laid down May'25))

    Navy budget of 1925/1926, approved January 1926
    Onetime-expenditure 32.467.370 (actually paid 43.872.414)
    (included last rate for Emden, 2nd rate for Möwe, 1st rate for "Königsberg" laid down April'26 as well as 5x1st rates for 5 further 800ts-destroyers (Type 23 torpedo boat or "Bird-of-Pray-class" in german) laid down Oktober to November 1925

    Navy budget of 1926/1927, approved March 1926
    Onetime-expenditure : 42.772.860 (actually paid 68.527.632)
    (included 3rd and last rate for "Möwe", 2nd rate for "Königsberg" and the 5 "Bird-of-prey"-boats, 1st rate for "Köln", "Karlsruhe" and 1st rates for further 6 800ts-destroyers of the "Carnivore"-class as well as a 1st rate for a "small T-Boat"
    These are extracted from the Reichstags protocols and especially their appendices as well as the official law publications (Reichsgesetzesblatt).
     
  5. NoMommsen Donor

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    ... still trying to catch up with you. Some ... questionable parts of yours
    ???
    ???
    You mean what was left from the war efforts ?
    Not going to happen.
    Germany was obliged to destroy and scrap whatever was left unfinished, the hulls, the engines and turbines, compasses and other nautical instruments, the speaking pipes the toilet pipings, even the pissoirs themself.
    Michaelis tried to get the allowance to reuse exactly the above named stuff :
    strictly forbidden by the NIACC and confirmed by the Conference of Ambassadors in Paris​

    Under the ToV Germany was forbidden to export or produce for export any kind of eventually military equipment. the Entente controlled every producer even only potentially capable to do so and allowed only explicitly named once to produce for german self-usage.
    IOTL they choose mainly companies, that prior neven had any experience wioth producing military stuff at all.

    Quite a challange for you to somehow change, M8.


    (more to follow)
     
  6. Gudestein Nobody wants a Notler

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    Please get it all out in the open. I will have to insert a chapter about the Kapp-Putsch, still happens but a bit different from OTL.
    I will go through your points in a larger response. It might take some time due to vacation and reading, but the sooner you comment, the better time to read.
    I disagree with you that the pre-conditions alone are not so different from otl. The fact that the Reichsmarine has the prestige it got ittl and is run by Scheer and Hipper who in this TL has clout to rival Hindenburg, that changes everything regarding German support.
     
  7. NoMommsen Donor

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    You asked for it.
    It seems you really overread the highlightened above. This is OTL, 'real time' events. The germans were obliged to scrap each and every ship, begun ship, parts produced for and parts begun to be produced for military ships unfinished at the end of the war.
    The germans were generally forbidden - by the Tov and its amendments by the ambassadors conference - to produce and export any kind of good, that might be seen as a potential weapon by the NIACC and IACC. The military equipment - including weapons, cars, belts, ammo, ships, guns, parts for guns even horse carts were to be produced only by explicitlx allowed companies and workshops to be determined by the IACC alone (and they often selected pretty much the most unsuitable companies, often companies that had never been a military supplier at all).

    You haven't given any reason why this ban should be lifted ITTL. ... at least for naval products such as ships.

    Oh, and ... btw ... what had happened to the remaining HSF ITTL at all ?
    • Still 'requested' to be interned (whereever) ?
    • How ent the interallied negotiations about their further fate ITTL ?
    • Would it still be scuttled (reason for surrendering and delivering even the oldest of ships to the hands of the Entente ... especially including now also a damn awfull lot of civilian harbour equipment as well swinning docks, landbased as well as swimming cranes, et.) ?
     
  8. NoMommsen Donor

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    FYI :
    There were quie some facilities alraedy present in Germany before and after war in this buisness :
    -The NDL owned one in Bremerhaven since 1869, using an unused small and older drydock and began to build a new one for explicitly this purpose in 1899
    -In 1913 Hamburg finally got its own Research facility that became operational in 1915, when there were rumors, that the NDL might close its Bremerhaven facility
    -Then there's the 'Prussian Research Institute for Waterbuilding, according earthworks and shipbuilding' founded in 1901, commencing its first towing tests in 1903. It is somewhat still in commission and usage by the FU Berlin in Berlin Tiergarten
    Rosa Röhre.jpg
    It was used to a large degeree - esp in its beginning - for the expansion of the imperial german navy
    -However, in 1906 the Navy built its own Marine Research Institute in Berlin-Lichtenrade with a new kind of towing-tank and measuring-system.
    unfortunatly it had to close in 1920 ... first due to lacking funds due to shortened budget by the navy, secondly due to lack of posts for personnel !
    Pls remember, that the navy had a ceiling of 15.000 men ... including civilian employees (that at that time was already quite 'streched' due to i.e. its land units as the brigades Ehrhardt and Loewenfeldt etc.).
    (However, here you might 'find' some sensible usage of the starting to come-in 'black funds' :
    make a strawman 'donate' money to turn the Lichtenrade facility into a 'civilian' Research institute, maybe also funding the other research institutes as they had due to lack of funds also shut down their operations to a large degree)​
    Also, as you should be able to see from above, it takes at least 2 years time to get even a "small water tank" operational.
    Erhmmm, ... you ARE aware, that IOTL the Bird-of-Prey as well as the Carnivore-class Torpedoboat took the better part of 18 months at least (only the 'prototyp' the "Möwe" needed 'only' 17 months) to come to water ? ... not even considering any testing at sea yet before being fully operational for navy-usage.

    Even if we accept -the IMHO asb-ish - possibility of getting them started in 1920, there won't be any "sea experience" worth being incorporated any follow-on design to be laid down already in 1922.
     
  9. NoMommsen Donor

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    It was sure to raise suspicion with the Interallied Military Commission of control, as they would no doubt suspect that the wide barbettes and absence of a belt armor allowed future updates, but what were they to do. It did live up to any requirements, and even if imagined with a belt armor and 4x2 150 mm, the allies would hardly feel threatened. Further, the timing was right, the Dawes plan signalled a new phase of optimism, and the Interallied Military Commission of control would not be allowed to sour it without a formal breech.[/QUOTE]


    And ... if we are already speaking of 'shipdesign and - building' ...
    Do you have any idea how a ship designed for being a seaworthy ship and stable gun/fightingplatform at 13197 tons full load, 8676 tons ... 'light'( or standard) weight might act on the water if 'relieve' of 2600 tons ? ... not to speak of evenmtually somewhat heavier weather ?

    It will dance wobbly, bobbly up 'n down like a piece of cork.

    Just another reason for the NIACC/IACC to become supspicious, as I have already told you in post #254 ... what you preferred to simply ignore by wishfull thinking and some sophistic pennypinching.
    NIACC/IACC had the right to look into your plans already before even the first rivet would be prepared - and forbade it.
    They had the right - and executed it - to visit the buildings yards any time they wished and if they would find something they don't like - forbade it.

    NIACC/IACC would truly laugh about such a design submitted to them for approval, probably allow to start building it ... only to REALLY laugh at the germans when - after some 3000 tons of steel maybe used tell them :
    Did you really rendered us so dull and studip not to see into your scheme ? ... and now ...
    SCRAP IT Dude !​
    Ofc they also had the right to visit the Marineleitung or any other navy facility or supplier or potential supplier and search them for whatever documents, actual as well as intend4d or planned production designs as well as 'research' data they wanted.
    ... so much for the possibilities to 'secretly' trying to develop guns that large.

    I would really, REALLY recommend you to look closer into not only the navys financial possibilities but also of the OTL financial developments and politics of all of Germany.

    You seem to think, that ITTL all of Germany had no other wish, than rebuilding whatever navy super-Hero Scheer would like to have ...
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  10. NoMommsen Donor

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    FINE :D
    But ... tbh it would take a rather major rewrite of almost the whole of your TL so far. ... esp. with the considerations below :
    Sry, but the underlined .... remnants of a bovine males metabolism.

    To do as you claim you would need Scheer and Hipper to achieve something similar to Tannenberg and Gorlice-Tarnow together.
    But your heros achieved ITTL the exact opposite. They were framed BIG TIME and suffered a combined Tannenberg/Gorlice-Tarnow if I may remind you of your chapters 3 and 4 with loosing more than half of the german battlefleet in just one operation for nothing in return, neither sunk british ships nor any change to the blockade situation. In Army terms that would equal with having all of the western front not just lost but all their troops eliminated by then in a weeks time.
    Afterwards they managed to 'niggkle' the Brits and the US - making them even more angry than IOTL with handwavium built Battlecruisers. None of the actions were truly decisive, never really contesting the angloamerican rule of teh transatlantic sealine, making them more troublesome but far from 'cutting' them.

    All they achieved were some limited tactical victories to be estimated, esteemed and honored by the educated. ... but not a whole populace.

    The war on the sea - aside the shorttime threatening of british supply of intense submarine warfare - never played any role in the overall picture, especially not for the germans. The sea was always only a sideshow for the populace.
    They knew very well that this was a land war to be decided on the land.

    Man EVERY politician in 1919 to 1921 would have been happy to throw the navy completly under the bus for some wee relief of the ToV in whatever other regard.
    Nobody would stand in front of the Marineleitungs-building at Reichspietschufer and fight off Entente/IACC/NIACC controllers ... and eventual guarding soldiers.


    IF ... you truly wanted to achieve such a status for the navy you wish you would have to rewrite your Chapter 4 into its opposite : a complete elimination of Beatty as well as Jellico - or almost complete with maybe 10-12 british BS and 2-4 british BCs limping home heavily damaged but no loss aside repairable damage to the german ships.
    But with such a german win you probably would be tarred and featherd around here.:winkytongue:
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  11. NoMommsen Donor

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    Hi there :)

    Looking for some info of could-be-use for some idea of mine I 'just' came across some info you might find interesting in case of considering kind of a re-write of your scenario/TL (source : "Deutsche Marinen im Wandel, Publisher Walter Rahn, the chapter of Wulf Diercks about the personell of WW 1, page 257 about Hipper; found as a google books exerpt):
    Hipper, being an all-time 'practitioner' proud of having almost no time spent behind a desk (no Navy-staff or Marine-office assignment, no Naval academy training), untypically submitted in November 1914 a memorandum for an alternative strategic approach to the naval war :
    Cruiser Warfare with Large Cruisers
    (sounds familiar to YOU ?? ;))​
    It seems this was kinda 'elaborated' answer of Hipper (or ... maybe ... with ... some participation of his 1st admirals staff officer Raeder ...) to a proposal of one of his commanders, Cpt at sea Max Hahn. This memo proposed the use of the Large cruiser Squadron - or 'Reconnaisance' Squadron - for cruiser warfare against merchants in the western Atlantik. After break-through ... or -out north and northwest of Iceland it should cruise down south along the canadian and US-coast towards the caribbean and after unification with the Spee squadron massivkly threaten british sea-lanes, suppoerted/supplied by civilian colliers provided by the informal/intelligence network already established worldwide (and esp in south america).

    This would have led to a considerable relocation of british forces away from the northsea and thereby led to the wished/hoped for 'equalizing' of forces there improving the situation of the battlefleet in opposition to the then remaining british battlefleet.

    Aaand ... please keep in mind, already around the years change 1914 to 1915 there was a lively discussion going on with the german Navy between the HSF (Ingenohl), the Admirality (v. Pohl), the Marine Office (Tirpitz), the Navy Cabinet (v.Müller) as well as the chancellor, the CnC Falkenheyn and last but not least the Kaiser.
    Some discussion even heating up after the first declaration of a kinda USW in February 1915.

    Maybe ... some lever points for kinda ... reconsider/rewrite some parts ?​
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  12. Gudestein Nobody wants a Notler

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    Updated chapter 23 including the marine action during the Kapp-Putsch of TTL.,
    One of a number of edits to come.
     
  13. Gudestein Nobody wants a Notler

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    Before the expectations of a rewrite gets too high, I do disagree with the conclusions from this response. OTL the German fleet rusted in Wilhelmshafen. ITTL it fought and it contributed to the attempt to win the war. While Scheer lost many more tons of steel and sailors than IOTL, they also inflicted more losses on the British and there would be news of the efforts, struggle and spirited attempts throughout 1916-18. Not an objective success (this I agree with), but a major change in perception.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  14. Eternity Well-Known Member

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    Awesome. Just a request however. When updating can you link to the updated post please.

    Thank you :)
     
  15. Gudestein Nobody wants a Notler

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    Edits added in black in chapter 25 and 26. plan to go ahead now...If not exactly at a fast pace I am sorry to say
     
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  16. Gudestein Nobody wants a Notler

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    The edited post are threadmarked and numbered. You can see them in the index. Would that not work?
     
  17. NoMommsen Donor

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    Well, I named and outlined some principal, stuctural ... "shortcommings" at least or rathter flaws and error.
    I made some proposals, showed and hinted in directions where to look for some of the lacking background.

    You've made some minor, superficial, rather cosmetic changes and edits.

    It's your TL.
    To cite Wilhem II. to Moltke the Minor late night 1st August 1914:
    "Now do with it what you want."​
     
  18. Gudestein Nobody wants a Notler

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    All of the comments are well received, also the suggesttions I didnt take.
    I see it so that you point to direct errors and misconceptions, they are to be corrected for sure and I hope I succeeded here.
    You also point to inconsistencies with OTL beliefs and policies, which are more soft "error" and where the disagreement is really whether or not they would be changed in this TL. By calling them out, you raise attention to them, and the reader can see it and judge for themselves whether this is the case. This is part of why I also appreciate the comments and suggestions I dont follow directly.

    The major disagreemnt I guess here is whether the changes so far would see a Reichsmarine focusing more clearly on a different strategy, in this case focusing on the navy of 15-20 years, rather than building the Emdens of OTL. And if having the commanders believing in this strategy at the helm from the onset is a major change or not. I think OTL decision making suggest that it is. It is also a disagreement on whether the efforts of the Imperial Marine would change the perception of its importanance. Allowing it the political backup it didnt have in OTL. I would think the marine of TTL is way more positively viewed ITTL, and that such perception would spill into real-politics.
    I hope we can somehow agree that the vision of what to achieve, the consitent leadersip, the patience and the political support does allow for a very different build-up of the marine, even if you think I come to these improvements too lightly. Maybe I will come with a better POD for it one day.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
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  19. Threadmarks: Chapter 27: The Locarno treaty

    Gudestein Nobody wants a Notler

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    Chapter 27: The Locarno treaty

    The agreement on the Dawes plan was to be followed by the withdrawal of French troops from the Ruhr in January 1925, but Streseman had already then decided to move ahead and easy French anxiety. The reasons to start the work was what was seen as unfair meddling in German affairs, principally the forced modification of German new light cruisers from 4x2 15 cm guns to 4x1*. To ease French anxiety, Streseman worked to implement what was to be known as the Locarno treaties. They mutually guaranteed the French, Belgian and German borders and was agreed in February 1925. Notably, they were also guaranteed by Britain and Italy. Thus the French made a second agreement which was to be followed by French withdrawal and a return to normality of the German Republic. While the 2nd acknowledgment of the loss of Alsass-Lothringen in addition to the Versailles treaty was a sour pill to swallow in Germany, the return to normality was a major opening for the Reichsmarine. The German politicians knew that the marine were not even allowed modernity up to the level of the Versailles because of the constant meddling by the Inter Allied Military Mission of Control, and had the dismissal of the committee promised directly before signing the Locarno treaty. France were not in agreement, but had little arguments to offer. German militias had been disbanded, the ships the Germans were building (under protest) were too aneamic to fight older ships as those of Sweden, Poland and the Soviet Union. Thus, despite rumors and in some cases knowledge that a normal level of technological development were continuing despite the efforts of the the Inter Allied Military Mission of Control, and France stood alone. Hence, when the treaty was agreed, it meant the withdrawal of French Forces from the Ruhr, and that the Reichsmarine could rebuild within what was at least claimed to be the limits of the treaty of Versailles.

    *IOTL the Emden was planned with 4x2 15 cm guns, but this was not allowed and she was designed with 6x1 15 cm guns. ITTL, she is designed for upgrades anyway and she is build with 4x1 15 cm guns. This makes a mockery of what is allowed for Germany and brings the behavior of the Arms control commission into center stage of German and International policy. Also, as per earlier updates, the Kapp- putsch has been suppressed with help form the Reichsmarine and the French arguments that Germany is not abiding the ToV and a threat is not given any credibility.

    There is an additional economic aspect of a earlier French withdrawal from the Ruhr which will benefit the overall German economy.
     
  20. Threadmarks: Chapter 28: Expansion and growth

    Gudestein Nobody wants a Notler

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    Chapter 28: Expansion and growth

    The German economy was to see continuous growth between 1925 and 1929 and the German shipyards were kept busy with military and domestic orders. 1926-27 was a time of orders for auxiliary ships and mine sweepers followed by the funding for the remaining 4 light cruisers in 1927. This time, saving ressources for future upgrades, they would be equipped with 4x2 150 mm guns from the onset.

    These years also saw a major piece of the puzzle falling into place regarding how a future anti-merchant war would conducted. The Reichsmarine implemented what was to be known as the Enigma coding machine and its own counter intelligence signal intelligence agency. Based on the experiences in WW1, its attention was equally divided into breaking the codes of other countries and into breaking Germany’s own codes.

    On the other hand, a shadow of doubt was raised regarding the feasibility of the prevailing plans. Mitchell in the US had previously sunk a battleship with aircraft and the experience coming in from Odessa indicated that airborne torpedoes would become a serious threat for even future battleships. Added to this threat now came new aircraft capable of accurate dive-bombing such as the Curtiss P-6 and Junkers developed its similarly capable aircraft Ju-46 in Sweden. This increased the risk that even if Germany could build battleships to outrun those it couldn’t outfight it could still be crippled by an aircraft. From this time it became clear that Germany needed its own naval aircraft to protect its battleships and strike at enemy carriers and it needed improved anti-aircraft artillery to prevent the loss of dive bombers and torpedoes. In this way, the navy became instrumental in developing longer ranged AAA eventually settling on 20 and 30 mm for close range and 37 to 55 mm for intermediate range. The Reichsmarine has in these conclusions been heralded as front-runners predicting the requirement for larger AAA, but all of this was driven by the desire to hit dive bombers before they initiated their dive and torpedo bombers before they launched their torpedoes.

    Another technical development, unique to the Germans in the western world, stemmed from their desire to fight asymmetric battles with their superior for and developed weapons with distinct advantages. Thus, the Germans were eventually capable of obtaining information of the depth of the torpedo protection zone on the Admirals class and the Nelson class of battleships, and decided they would go for designing torpedoes as effective capital ship killers that could outrange their enemies. The result of this development

    was the development of exceptionally heavy torpedoes that were only matched by their Japanese counterparts. In contrast to the Japanese Oxygen driven torpedoes, the German was hydrogen peroxide driven and like the Japanese torpedoes, it had a close to 500 kg warhead.

    Another aspect of the German development was that they stuck to the upgrade capable philosophy. For aerial torpedoes, both a 45 and 50 cm type were developed and extensively tested in collaboration with the Soviet Union in Odessa*.

    By 1928 naval diesel technology had matured into highly economic and in some case cases high powered engines, which provided Germany with advantage in civilian and military ship construction.

    A lot of relatively legitimate shipbuilding activity would mask that a relatively smooth build-up of the Reichsmarine continued all into 1929 with the laying down of 2 new officially 10000 tons ships in 1928 and 1929 respectively and what was to be the template for Germany’s new fleet carriers and what can best be described as fleet support ships.

    The 10000 tons panzershiffe were officially made with 3x3 206mm guns (two front, one aft), 1x2 aft 150 mm guns and 8x1 150 mm guns, but would only pretend to maintain the weight reauirement, even before adding side armor (they featured an inclines 40 mm inner belt, partly made from structural steel) and engine upgrades which would come later. When fully upgraded with 3x2 283 mm guns, they would upset the naval orders as miniature battlecruisers, but for the moment they were considered an innovative design, but not out of the reach of what other naval designers could imagine. If these ships were devious, it was nothing like the liners Europa and Bremen. These large liners were designed as carriers first with a liner build within and on top of it. It was designed from a unique philosophy to support the naval raider campaign. And example of this was the torpedo defense zone which in the liner form were fitted as spacious cabins, but were in fact built within the hull and an inner layer of soft Wotan steel. When re-equipped as a carriers, a large proportion of the void would be taken up by fuel tanks.

    Their large size allowed the inclusion of a decent air group with a single hangar deck and a large one if a deck group was included. In the final form, this still allowed the installation of a very substantial fuel reserve (as a liner, but available space were used for cabins), so large that the carrier would be able to double as a refueling station to other naval vessels.

    The fleet support ships were similar if less ambitious. Designed officially as transports, partly for overseas fruit import or alternatively as oi/diesel tankers, they were designed for upgrades that would take their speed from 22 knots to 31 knots with which they would follow the naval task forces and provide refueling along the way. Upgraded, they would carry 15000 tons of oil for the fleet, and be littered with anti-aircraft artillery. This design represented a critical solutions to one of the fundamental problems the Germans faced in designing new warhips that fight the British with impunity as it allowed battleships to be designed with less fuel storage.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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