WI Better Kriegsmarine in WW2

So in our world, the Kriegsmarine was never really able to compete with the British or American navies (The Soviet Navy is another story). However, what if, in an alternate timeline, the German Navy were up to snuff? When I say that, I mean large and powerful enough to almost match the British? How could it get to this point? How would the war play out differently?
 
It couldn't, the German navy plan was projected for 1945 when Raeder expected the war to start.

This means 6 years of buildup during which the Nazis will be hopelessley in debt (They needed to invade in 1939 for Polands Gold)

In the meantime the British and French would be building to match the threat.

The Lions would be roaring out of the slipways to face down the Germans along with more carriers.

Ironically this suggests 1939 was the best date for them.
 

Garrison

Donor
So in our world, the Kriegsmarine was never really able to compete with the British or American navies (The Soviet Navy is another story). However, what if, in an alternate timeline, the German Navy were up to snuff? When I say that, I mean large and powerful enough to almost match the British? How could it get to this point? How would the war play out differently?
Well then they can kiss goodbye to any chances of fighting a land war because post WWI Germany did not have the resources to build such a navy without sacrificing the build up of the Heer and the Luftwaffe. Attempting to do so is absolutely going to encourage British belligerence, the Royal Navy was the one branch of the military that wasn't starved of resources in the 1930s because being able to maintain control of the sea lanes was vital to Britain. I can't see the British being quite so forgiving of Nazi Germany's financial shenanigans if they are trying this and I think you can assume that the British will take a much tougher line on the Rhineland if so provoked.
It couldn't, the German navy plan was projected for 1945 when Raeder expected the war to start.

This means 6 years of buildup during which the Nazis will be hopelessley in debt (They needed to invade in 1939 for Polands Gold)

In the meantime the British and French would be building to match the threat.

The Lions would be roaring out of the slipways to face down the Germans along with more carriers.

Ironically this suggests 1939 was the best date for them.
It was about the best date, which is of course not the same as being a good one, but Hitler was desperate for war and saw his 'window of opportunity' closing.
 

iddt3

Donor
A Germany that blows up the Anglo-German naval agreement and prioritizes the Navy over the Army? I mean I guess France could use the Carriers when they're finally complete - they'll be in Berlin by then.

Germany over-invested in her Navy outside U-boats as it is, what you're proposing is going to result in Germany both antagonizing the UK even more than OTL, while being unable to beat France. Hell, they might not be able to beat *Poland*. They're starting from hideously behind, they don't have enough slips (the British can outbuild them), the economy is already overheated and resource bottlenecked, everything they do build is diverting from the Army and the Air Force, and, ultimately, the Navy is a strategic luxury, not a necessity.

I could also see this resulting in a coup as well, as the Army is *not* going to be happy about this.
 
The only use of the Kriegsmarine was as a tool to help an Axis alliance (Tirpitz was the best Axis weapon due to how many ships it kept away from Japan)
 
I mean large and powerful enough to almost match the British?

Basically impossible unless the British go full idiots and suddenly, for no good reason, stop building anything new or ordering anything new. The RN was planning for war in about 1942, by then the AFD carriers would be complete, all the KGVs would be in service and the Lions would be coming along nicely, as would more cruisers and destroyers, built on the bedrock foundation of the R and QE class ships and all the already existant vessels.

So whilst that's going on, the Germans enter a maaaaaaajor building program of their own, hamgstrung by a lack of yards, facilities, resources, manpower and money. And if they are still really trying, then the RN just keeps building, and as the years tick on, they just keep doing that. By 1945 you might see the R class decommissioned and in their place a Vanguard analogue as well as things like the Audacious and Malta class carriers, and yet more cruisers, destroyers and everything else. The QE's are now fully modernised to QE/Valiant levels, the Renown, Repulse and Hood are all modernised whilst the Lions are entering service and their successors are being planned, Fishers follies are second line carriers or training ships and relics like Eagle and Hermes are gone, in their place there's the light fleet carriers, a dozen of them, and yet more other CVs.
 
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Germany over-invested in her Navy outside U-boats as it is
I'd disagree.
The cheap Pocket Battleships cost the Allies far more to counter than the Germans spent on them, and that dial got turned to 11 for Tirpitz hiding out in Norway
But the cruisers, both light and heavy? not worth it.
 
Some improvements along the edges that'd help without taking a ton of resources:
6-gun K-class. Sure they're underarmed but at least the hull can be strengthened enough for Atlantic ops.
Don't use the high-pressure plants on the Hippers and DD's. Boom your availability goes way up.
When you start build TB's in the late 30's just go with Type 39's from the start not the Type 35's and 37's.
Have someone competent in charge of the subs.
Build Type IX's not Type VII's asap.
 

Garrison

Donor
Honest question, wouldn't the Type VII be needed to build up experience so the Type IX could be developed?
And of course without combat experience they won't know that the Type VII is inadequate, assuming it actually was. There's really nothing in the first couple of years of the war to suggest the Type VII fell short and I can't see substituting 40 Type VIIs for 40 Type IXs is really going to make a practical difference. You can make a better Kriegsmarine, you just can't make a good one without gutting the Heer.
 
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Oh and by say 42 more of the old WW1 cruisers would either be converted to AA escorts and done properly instead of rushed, the Dido's would be coming along and again all done with 10 x 5.25's. And by 45 i'd hazard a guess that the oldest active front line cruisers in the fleet would be the Leanders and Arethusas with the WW1 ships either gone or soldering on as AA cruisers before finally going in 46 - 47 at the latest. Same goes for the old destroyers, by 45 they're all gone and the oldest would be those commissioned in the late 20's and early 30's. And would you care to imagine how many frigates and sloops the RN's built to counter the German submarine threat. The answer is somewhere between 'yes' and 'ALL!'.
 
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Tough ask. I tried in a number of TL’s wethe the Germans made a lot of good decisions, but didnt manage to change it substantially from 1933. You need to start a little earlier and be very succesful in fooling the British response
 
Warning
Tough ask. I tried in a number of TL’s wethe the Germans made a lot of good decisions, but didnt manage to change it substantially from 1933. You need to start a little earlier and be very succesful in fooling the British response

That's a...generous way of putting it, considering past TLs and things you've written and the fact that you put the words 'General plan Ost' and 'humane' together in possibly the most poorly chosen combination of words i've ever seen apart from "Slavery wasn't that bad!" - https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...s-a-global-power.485406/page-28#post-20496403

Because dear god I still wonder what the hell you was thinking by writing that.

Basically this isn't a 'little change' or something, what the OP's asking for is a High Seas Fleet 2 electric boogaloo. And really unless the British act like they do in so many Nazi wanks, IE like they have no brain and act completely out of character in regards to their nation and its defence and naval supremacy views in the period, to do this would simply not be possible. The German econimy, already strained by that nasty Mr Hitler's demands needed money from abroad that they got by invading (because those nasty other countries wouldn't give it to the Germans, how mean of them!) So to do this you need a ground and airforce capable of doing the job, if you pour everything into the Kriegsmarine and not in a "Lets just have them build u-boats out of Krupps staal and Nazi coal, 300 should be easy by 1939!" (and again, you think i'm kidding here, another wehraboo suggested that), but to build battleships, cruisers, carriers etc to go toe to toe with the RN in a proper, stand up fight. Then the Germans won't have that army or airforce, and if they try building up, then naval treaties go out the window the UK throws the cheque book at the RN and says "indulge yourself." whilst the UK government and Admiralty thank the stars for what ever idiocy has come over the Germans for trying to challenge the RN at sea on the surface. The French are also very happy as they don't have to worry quite so much about the Luftwaffe or Heer. But alas this is that nasty Mr Hitler, if only those clean generals had been in charge eh?
 
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How the KM could get to the point where it can almost match the RN? Basically you need either a civil war in Britain to prevent naval building for a good long while so the Germans could catch up at the pace they could manage or for someone else to sink a bunch of the Royal Navy and catch up that way, which basically means a war with the US or Japan
 

Garrison

Donor
Tough ask. I tried in a number of TL’s wethe the Germans made a lot of good decisions, but didnt manage to change it substantially from 1933. You need to start a little earlier and be very succesful in fooling the British response
In the real world there is no way you could build a fleet able to take on the Royal Navy and fool the British into not seeing it as a threat, its about as likely as 'secretly' launching a Saturn V...
 
the entire Kriegsmarine was a gigantic net negative for Germany in the 2nd world war

it's command staff was run by people who where 10x the nazi yes men of the army or even the luftwaffe, literal bumbling idiots; Karl Donitz had the mental capacity of a wet fart; the captains and crew members where all also giant blundering morons of the highest order, who where picked because of their own or their parents connection to the nazi party, not because of their ability to operate a warship. Every single ship they designed was a death trap piece of trash, say what you want about the ME-109 accident rate, and it had plenty HUNDREDS of uboats perished on their first sailing; at least the ME-109 was instrumental in effective air control early in the war for all it's flaws, the Kriegsmarine helped Germany strategically lose the war

it soured relations with the British and the Americans for absolutely no strategic purpose at all

it consumed vast quantities of high grade steel and other rare metals/construction resources that would have been far better used for matters of ground war; the strategic alliances with Italy and Japan should have been enough to handle naval pressure
 
it soured relations with the British and the Americans for absolutely no strategic purpose at all
That's an interesting point - what was the strategic purpose served by the Kriegsmarine? We can talk about the things it did - Tirpitz tying down the Home Fleet, the U-boats nearly closing the Atlantic, and so on - and accept that they were valuable, but was there any strategic goal that the Kriegsmarine was vital for? Or was it more a case of "we've got it, we might as well find a use for it"?

The reason I ask is that I can't honestly see anything any possible Kriegsmarine could have done to realistically affect the course of the war. Blockading and starving Britain would have been good, but it wasn't realistically possible. Same with closing the sea lanes to Murmansk, turning the Mediterranean into an Axis lake, and so on. Given all that, I find myself what it was intended to do... apart from keep thousands of people far away from the Eastern Front. Which the U-boat arm might have found preferable, given how things ended up going.
 
That's an interesting point - what was the strategic purpose served by the Kriegsmarine? We can talk about the things it did - Tirpitz tying down the Home Fleet, the U-boats nearly closing the Atlantic, and so on - and accept that they were valuable, but was there any strategic goal that the Kriegsmarine was vital for? Or was it more a case of "we've got it, we might as well find a use for it"?

The reason I ask is that I can't honestly see anything any possible Kriegsmarine could have done to realistically affect the course of the war. Blockading and starving Britain would have been good, but it wasn't realistically possible. Same with closing the sea lanes to Murmansk, turning the Mediterranean into an Axis lake, and so on. Given all that, I find myself what it was intended to do... apart from keep thousands of people far away from the Eastern Front. Which the U-boat arm might have found preferable, given how things ended up going.
uboat casualty rate was far more deadly than being an eastern front private in the heer
 
So in our world, the Kriegsmarine was never really able to compete with the British or American navies (The Soviet Navy is another story). However, what if, in an alternate timeline, the German Navy were up to snuff? When I say that, I mean large and powerful enough to almost match the British? How could it get to this point? How would the war play out differently?
What are you trying to achieve with this Uber KM?
If it’s to refight Jutland then it’s a nonstarter
If it’s to keep RN stretched thin on many fronts then maybe there is a chance
I’d say make a lot of merchant cruiser raiders , low cost and potentially much higher return investment
A huge “Fleet in bring“ force consisting of 2 Bismarck class ships , 4 scharnhorst class along with 16 destroyers lurks in Norway will force RN to keep a sizable home fleet
Rest of European coast use AirPower , small craft , coastal guns and armed trawlers for defence
Ditch the pocket battleships and all cruisers to compensate for 2 extra battleships ( as above )
 
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