WI: no high seas fleet?

What if the Germans decide that they are never going to challenge the British Navy in an open bottle and that it makes no sense to waste money on a surface fleet and that is better
to spend that money on something else?

Well... What else?

What is better to spend the men and money on the ground forces? For each battleship or cruiser you can have a regiment of infantry armed to the teeth and you'd still be left with a ton of money. If money that was invested in designing battleship was invested in armored vehicles, could we have a functioning tank in service by 1914?

If no surface fleet was built, would building more and better u boots make sense?
 
What if the Germans decide that they are never going to challenge the British Navy in an open bottle and that it makes no sense to waste money on a surface fleet and that is better
to spend that money on something else?

Well... What else?

What is better to spend the men and money on the ground forces? For each battleship or cruiser you can have a regiment of infantry armed to the teeth and you'd still be left with a ton of money. If money that was invested in designing battleship was invested in armored vehicles, could we have a functioning tank in service by 1914?

If no surface fleet was built, would building more and better u boots make sense?
Dunno.

Submarines were a thing at the time, but no ship had yet been sunk by a self propelled torpedo fired by a submarine. So the actual effectiveness of submarines was only theoretical.

Armoured vehicles were a response to trench warfare. Although a very astute futurist could have predicted trench warfare by looking at the American Civil Wars and Russo Japanese War, the tremendous advantage that the defender had in 1914 was not understood by generals of the day who had great confidence in the ability of their troops to advance, no matter what.

German planners understood that the Royal Navy could blockade Germany into submission, so they needed a way to break the British blockade, but I can think of no practical was to achieve this even with the advantage of hindsight.
 
I mean, that upends the entire arms race that helped spark British involvement to begin with. Without the ship-building competition, you might not have a Britain fully driven to support France militarily, but rather a Britain that relies on French and Russian armies to keep the Germans in check (even after the Russian-Japanese War rather damaged that hope).
 
Ok.

Anyone here got idea how much a battleship/cruiser/destroyer cost at that time and what could be bought for that money/
I often make references on what if Germany went East threads that Germany didn't have a logistics system to go east. Due to the distances and due to Russian gauge rails Germany would have to make a major investment in advance to go East.

Quiet a few years ago I did a bit of research and concluded that if Germany built a bare minimal fleet (capable of handling the Russian baltic or French fleet with a sufficient margin that after a victory could then face the other) thry could establish a stockpile of railway tracks, locomotives and railway engineers etc to support a real Russia first campaign.
 
Not really - when the Fleet Laws were drafted, just leaving harbour was a fairly dangerous undertaking for a submarine. Their development curve from the turn of the century to WW1 is comparable to aircraft.
Agreed. Navies had submarines, but no experience using them, and no understanding of what they might actually accomplish.
 
Ok.

Anyone here got idea how much a battleship/cruiser/destroyer cost at that time and what could be bought for that money/

And without Hochseeflotte would the British even enter ww1?
You might need a book made out of paper to find those numbers.
I have manage to find a list of Germany's Naval Laws of the day online fairly easily, and what was authorized for construction, but only the ship types and numbers, not the construction costs.
 
I like the idea of Otto Kretschmer suggesting more uboats.

It make sense - France had world-leading submarines by the end of the 1890s and it would certainly give a good developmental edge for Germany to have a good base for any coming war.

Whilst if you look at the world ith predestination then you can say: What use are having a dozen submarines in 1905 when war is not coming until 1914? But who knows when war is coming?
 
What use are having a dozen submarines in 1905 when war is not coming until 1914?
Getting experience. Developing doctrine. Using the u-boats in war games to learn how they worked in the real world. The early boats could not do much. Germany was expecting the Royal Navy strategy to be a close blockade, which is one thing early subs could be useful defending against.
 
What if the Germans decide that they are never going to challenge the British Navy in an open bottle and that it makes no sense to waste money on a surface fleet and that is better
to spend that money on something else?

Well... What else?

What is better to spend the men and money on the ground forces? For each battleship or cruiser you can have a regiment of infantry armed to the teeth and you'd still be left with a ton of money. If money that was invested in designing battleship was invested in armored vehicles, could we have a functioning tank in service by 1914?

If no surface fleet was built, would building more and better u boots make sense?

The "no high seas fleet" situation does not equal "no surface fleet" - Germany can still make a handful of ships without going nuts with HSF. The actual and plausible enemies were France and Russia anyway, to handle them Germany needed as powerful army as possible, with as small navy as possible to contest either France or Russia, but no both of them in the same time.

So - make a small navy, rest goes to the industrial infrastructure, transport and army. Win-win situation for Germany, since it does not rub the UK in a wrong way, and army is more powerful once the war comes in knocking.
 
What is better to spend the men and money on the ground forces?
One of the issues is that ground forces need officers, and they did not have sufficient nobles to do so, expansion means they need to accept the sons of city merchants and that would course issue that they would rather not have.
 
One of the issues is that ground forces need officers, and they did not have sufficient nobles to do so, expansion means they need to accept the sons of city merchants and that would course issue that they would rather not have.
Perhaps, but there were lots of naval officers with Von titles. Some of those would be freed up.
 
I like the idea of Otto Kretschmer suggesting more uboats.

It make sense - France had world-leading submarines by the end of the 1890s and it would certainly give a good developmental edge for Germany to have a good base for any coming war.

Whilst if you look at the world ith predestination then you can say: What use are having a dozen submarines in 1905 when war is not coming until 1914? But who knows when war is coming?
It makes sense in another way actually. During the Franco-Prussian war, the Prussian navy accomplished nothing, while the French navy blockaded them.

So, investing in submarines as blockade breakers makes sense from that perspective. They would also be useful to have in order to sink potential invasion fleets. The Prussians had good coastal defences during the Franco-Prussian war, and outranged the French considerably. So, good coastal batteries to keep the enemy from landing, and subs to harass them further out is not an enormous leap.

Submarines are cheap, and even if you go through them like potato chips, sinking a dreadnought for the loss of 5 subs is a gain for you. Remembering that we aren't counting on a distant blockade, but a close one.
 
Basically the Dreadnought was such a technological advance, that it set all navies back to 0. All previous battleships were obsolete. Everyone getting back to scratch meant that suddenly Germany had a chance of getting parity with the UK (RN).

It's hard for them to resist that chance. Submarines may have been another chance of that, but that was new technology and not yet proven. At first they were no more than submersible torpedoboats. Even in WW2 that was still pretty much what they were.
 
Basically the Dreadnought was such a technological advance, that it set all navies back to 0. All previous battleships were obsolete. Everyone getting back to scratch meant that suddenly Germany had a chance of getting parity with the UK (RN).

It's hard for them to resist that chance. Submarines may have been another chance of that, but that was new technology and not yet proven. At first they were no more than submersible torpedoboats. Even in WW2 that was still pretty much what they were.

Germany has no beef with UK. Thus not playing the game (of burning the money and other resources in the battleships' race) is the only winning move.
Kaiser Willy was a fool to try to beat the UK in their game.
 
Germany has no beef with UK. Thus not playing the game (of burning the money and other resources in the battleships' race) is the only winning move.
Kaiser Willy was a fool to try to beat the UK in their game.

Kaiser Bill was a fool, but not for quite that reason. He wanted a fleet to indulge his daydreams of being a great admiral and naval architect, and Tirpitz managed to convince him that a fleet big enough to threaten the RN would convince the UK to ally with him. It was a combination of an oversized ego, something of an inferiority complex, and being easily steered by strong personalities. What on earth Tirpitz thought he was doing is anyone's guess - the man was intelligent enough to realise that the "risk fleet" theory he was peddling was garbage.
 
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