WI Graf Zeppelin was completed?

A nation's first carrier is pretty much always pretty ineffective. You need to make a ton of mistakes and develop a doctrine before they can be very useful, usually in the form of providing learnings for your 2nd and 3rd generation carriers. The KM is probably better off focusing on getting its own navally focused airforce with an idea towards maybe having carriers in the 50s or 60s but having aircraft trained for strikes against shipping now. Maybe do a little effort on escort carriers or very light carriers if you can get the British to buy off on the idea as mostly a form of disinformation.

I agree the KM would theoretically better suited by devoted to more long range maritime patrol aircraft/bombers. Something like a FW-200 but better. Something to scout out for U boats and occasionally attack unguarded merchant ships especially in the early war.
 
I agree the KM would theoretically better suited by devoted to more long range maritime patrol aircraft/bombers. Something like a FW-200 but better. Something to scout out for U boats and occasionally attack unguarded merchant ships especially in the early war.
Then we run into the Goering roadblock. Perhaps we could spin this by saying that the LRMP pilots are basically glorified transport hogs, and thus that they aren't needed to bolster the ranks of the elite fighter and CAS squadrons of the Luftwaffe?
 
Then we run into the Goering roadblock. Perhaps we could spin this by saying that the LRMP pilots are basically glorified transport hogs, and thus that they aren't needed to bolster the ranks of the elite fighter and CAS squadrons of the Luftwaffe?

The point that Fatso's clown club and many an air farce down to the present and which Billy Mitchell got right... is RIKKO.

The Japanese land attack bomber, a strategic air power platform was a swing weapon intended for either land attack of targets such as cities or industrial centers far beyond Battlefield Interdiction Mission range, or the anti-ship mission.

The US platform of choice if the bombs had been nails and the carrier bay had been pannier skedge sled shaped, would have been the B-17.

Little mistakes have huge consequences. An anti-ship strike air force at Clark air complex on November 30, 1941 would have given Roosevelt options.
 

The point that Fatso's clown club and many an air farce down to the present and which Billy Mitchell got right... is RIKKO.

The Japanese land attack bomber, a strategic air power platform was a swing weapon intended for either land attack of targets such as cities or industrial centers far beyond Battlefield Interdiction Mission range, or the anti-ship mission.

The US platform of choice if the bombs had been nails and the carrier bay had been pannier skedge sled shaped, would have been the B-17.

Little mistakes have huge consequences. An anti-ship strike air force at Clark air complex on November 30, 1941 would have given Roosevelt options.

Imagine the Kriegmsarine had a proper G4M equivalent and not just the Condor...
 
The Condor was actually no worse than the G4M as a structural aircraft. It was just used wrong in the LRMP role.
I've always been led to believe that the Fw200 had serious issue as a combat aircraft - difficulty in flying with less than 4 engineering, structural weakness in the fuselage, lower servicability because of maintenance issue, and so on.

Going back to carriers, it was a tyüically grandiose German plan to make their first carrier huge. Can't help thinking that a commerce raiding carrier based on a Deutschland class pocket battleship Hull would have been a more pragmatic way to go. What could Graf Spee have achieved with a couple of squadron's of Fieseler 167s?
 
I've always been led to believe that the Fw200 had serious issue as a combat aircraft - difficulty in flying with less than 4 engineering, structural weakness in the fuselage, lower servicability because of maintenance issue, and so on.
As opposed to a plane where if the smoking restrictions inside the cockpit were ignored, one could be guaranteed a flaming crash into the sea. and one had to be careful not to poke a pencil through its skin was not a "structural" problem and where tail control sideslip was a flight syllabus lesson / pilot / crew killer all by itself? Now it was easy to maintain.
 
I've always been led to believe that the Fw200 had serious issue as a combat aircraft - difficulty in flying with less than 4 engineering, structural weakness in the fuselage, lower servicability because of maintenance issue, and so on.

Going back to carriers, it was a tyüically grandiose German plan to make their first carrier huge. Can't help thinking that a commerce raiding carrier based on a Deutschland class pocket battleship Hull would have been a more pragmatic way to go. What could Graf Spee have achieved with a couple of squadron's of Fieseler 167s?
The Deutschland hull was too short to allow for effective take-offs. A Hipper hull would have been better - and even that is cutting it thin.
 
I remember reading about a Halifax that was engulfed in flames when the mid upper gunner had a fag. Early versions were also notoriously unstable in overload conditions. Still more useful than the Fw200. The Condors' successes were almost entirely down to Allied shipping being almost naked against air attack, not any positives in the design.

As for the Deutschlands: the Fieseler had a famously brilliant STOL performance. Also, Allied escort carriers operated Swordfish and Martlets without issue and these were also fairly short.
 
Further to my previous post about the Deutschland class panzerschiffe as the basis for a commerce raiding aircraft carrier:
The ships were 186 metres long and displaced 12000 tons or there abouts. USS Charger was 150 metres long and displaced 9000 tons. She carried thirty aircraft and could operate both Wildcats and Dauntlesses.

While it might have been techinically feasable to build these commerce raiding carriers, I don't think it would have been a realistic proposition due to the political infighting and the lack of a coherent vision for what the Kriegsmarine should actually be.
 
As for the Deutschlands: the Fieseler had a famously brilliant STOL performance. Also, Allied escort carriers operated Swordfish and Martlets without issue and these were also fairly short.
The Fiesler167 is interesting as a guaranteed flying coffin. It might recon, but for anti-ship strike? The F5 torpedo it would use had a drop failure of 30% and a true run failure of equal measure. The drop parameters and performance were worse than the miserable USN Mark 13. The bombs, SC 1000, SC 500, SC 50 were demolition bombs that could be dangerous. Dive bombing performance was "fair" on a par with the Swordfish, which meant it was dead meat if found / caught in a fighter infested environment.
 
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The Fiesler167 is interesting as a guaranteed flying coffin. It might recon, but for anti-ship strike? The F5 torpedo it would use had a drop failure of 30% and a true run failure of equal measure. The drop parameters and performance were worse than the miserable USN Mark 13. The bombs, SC 1000, SC 500, SC 50 were demolition bombs that could be dangerous. Dive bombing performance was "fair" on a par with the Swordfish, which meant it was dead meat if found / caught in a fighter infested environment.

I don't disagree with any of that, and the whole German torpedo saga is another layer of black comedy. However, Swordfish operated successfully away from land based fighters. The original plan for the Graf Zeppelins was for them to carry Arado 197 biplane fighters (before the advent of the Bf109T) and these would have been somewhat on a par performance wise with the Skua and Fulmar. Again, from a pure feasability stance, I see no reason why these couldn't have been operated from a possible commerce carrier.
 
I don't disagree with any of that, and the whole German torpedo saga is another layer of black comedy. However, Swordfish operated successfully away from land based fighters. The original plan for the Graf Zeppelins was for them to carry Arado 197 biplane fighters (before the advent of the Bf109T) and these would have been somewhat on a par performance wise with the Skua and Fulmar. Again, from a pure feasability stance, I see no reason why these couldn't have been operated from a possible commerce carrier.
Hmmm. How does that stack up with Date In Service against Seafires and Sea Hurricanes or Wildcats? The BF109T would have been dead meat against those three aircraft types, no matter what wehrbois might claim.
 
Hmmm. How does that stack up with Date In Service against Seafires and Sea Hurricanes or Wildcats? The BF109T would have been dead meat against those three aircraft types, no matter what wehrbois might claim.

For the first two years of the war, the majority of fighters fielded by the Fleet Air Arm were Blackburn Skuas, Gloster Sea Gladiators and later on Fairey Fulmars. The Martlet didn't get to sea with the Royal Navy until March 1942 when six were embarked on HMS Illustrious. Main problem seems to have been that these aircraft had originally been intended for the French Navy and lacked folding wings. The Hawker Sea Hurricane first went to sea in July 1941. Seafires made their combat debut in November 1942.

As for the Bf109T, in terms of pure performance it was roughly comparable with a 109E (which it was derived from), and so would have been superior to Sea Hurricanes and Martlets. It would undoubtedly have had an extremely low servicability rate, coupled with an astronomical accident rate. It would have been extremely challenging to try to operate aircraft with that undercarriage and that canopy from pitching decks.

However, I am not arguing for the 109T. I am suggesting that a sane and pragmatic leadership would have been less ambitious in the design and expectations of their first aircraft carrier. Given that the Graf Zeppelin was laid down in 1936, I will stick my neck out and suggest it would have been possible for a 16000 ton commerce raider carrier based on the Deutschland class hull to have been laid down in 1935 (using a smaller existing hull would have shortened the design process and made it much easier to find a slipway to build this thing), launched in 1937, and then commissioned in 1939 or 1940 with an air group consisting of Arado 197s and Fieseler 167s. I can then see it undertaking commerce cruises like Admiral Sheer, Graf Spee and the twins.

Wouldn't have affected the course of the war, and probably wouldn't have achieved too much, but would have been a far more reasonable option to fulfill Ovaron's dream of an operational German carrier.
 
For the first two years of the war, the majority of fighters fielded by the Fleet Air Arm were Blackburn Skuas, Gloster Sea Gladiators and later on Fairey Fulmars. The Martlet didn't get to sea with the Royal Navy until March 1942 when six were embarked on HMS Illustrious. Main problem seems to have been that these aircraft had originally been intended for the French Navy and lacked folding wings. The Hawker Sea Hurricane first went to sea in July 1941. Seafires made their combat debut in November 1942.

As for the Bf109T, in terms of pure performance it was roughly comparable with a 109E (which it was derived from), and so would have been superior to Sea Hurricanes and Martlets. It would undoubtedly have had an extremely low servicability rate, coupled with an astronomical accident rate. It would have been extremely challenging to try to operate aircraft with that undercarriage and that canopy from pitching decks.

However, I am not arguing for the 109T. I am suggesting that a sane and pragmatic leadership would have been less ambitious in the design and expectations of their first aircraft carrier. Given that the Graf Zeppelin was laid down in 1936, I will stick my neck out and suggest it would have been possible for a 16000 ton commerce raider carrier based on the Deutschland class hull to have been laid down in 1935 (using a smaller existing hull would have shortened the design process and made it much easier to find a slipway to build this thing), launched in 1937, and then commissioned in 1939 or 1940 with an air group consisting of Arado 197s and Fieseler 167s. I can then see it undertaking commerce cruises like Admiral Sheer, Graf Spee and the twins.

Wouldn't have affected the course of the war, and probably wouldn't have achieved too much, but would have been a far more reasonable option to fulfill Ovaron's dream of an operational German carrier.
1. The BF109T (heavier and less maneuverable and more underpowered than the E from which it derives) is on a par with a Hurricane. To claim it was a match for a Seafire or a Wildcat, even the miserable F4F-4 is a stretch.
2. Candidates for buzzcuts and flattopery?.


Slim pickings. But better hulls than a converted Hipper.
 
1. The BF109T (heavier and less maneuverable and more underpowered than the E from which it derives) is on a par with a Hurricane. To claim it was a match for a Seafire or a Wildcat, even the miserable F4F-4 is a stretch.
2. Candidates for buzzcuts and flattopery?.


Slim pickings. But better hulls than a converted Hipper.
Europa and Bremen would work well, I think; they have similar draught and beam to Kaga and are much longer, and have a similar speed of 27.5 knots to boot. How many planes do you think they could carry apiece?

OTOH, Oslofjord is too small IMO.
 
1. The BF109T (heavier and less maneuverable and more underpowered than the E from which it derives) is on a par with a Hurricane. To claim it was a match for a Seafire or a Wildcat, even the miserable F4F-4 is a stretch.
2. Candidates for buzzcuts and flattopery?.


Slim pickings. But better hulls than a converted Hipper.
Well, I never claimed it was a match for a Seafire, but...

Published performance figures for the Bf109T are as follows (data taken from "The Warplanes of the Third Reich" by William Green.
Maximum speed: 357mph at 19,685ft
Initial climb rate 3,346ft./min.
Service ceiling 34,450 ft.

So, having taken a trip over to WW2aircraft performance.org, I can fairly confidently state that when it comes to the F4F-3 (the version the FAA flew first), the 109 is 26mph faster, the 109 shades initial climb by 46 ft/min, and the 109 wins service ceiling by 3,450 feet.

The first Seafires were based on a Spitfire Vb airframe with a Merlin 45, so were the next level on from the 109E/T and not really comparable.
 
Well, I never claimed it was a match for a Seafire, but...

Published performance figures for the Bf109T are as follows (data taken from "The Warplanes of the Third Reich" by William Green.
Maximum speed: 357mph at 19,685ft
Initial climb rate 3,346ft./min.
Service ceiling 34,450 ft.

So, having taken a trip over to WW2aircraft performance.org, I can fairly confidently state that when it comes to the F4F-3 (the version the FAA flew first), the 109 is 26mph faster, the 109 shades initial climb by 46 ft/min, and the 109 wins service ceiling by 3,450 feet.

The first Seafires were based on a Spitfire Vb airframe with a Merlin 45, so were the next level on from the 109E/T and not really comparable.
The F4F-3 fought ZEROS to a standstill. What about that difference in performance? The F4F-3 had no self sealing gas tanks and its guns were crap. The BF109T actually has no technical edge in the vertical fight against a Wildcat.
 
The F4F-3 fought ZEROS to a standstill. What about that difference in performance? The F4F-3 had no self sealing gas tanks and its guns were crap. The BF109T actually has no technical edge in the vertical fight against a Wildcat.

Surely the service ceiling matters? Dicta Boelcke No.1: secure advantageous positions, i.e. higher altitude, before attacking.
 
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