Ww1 blockade of Germany

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Ultima770, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Feb 17, 2007
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    Straya
    The GF moved to Loch Ewe on the northwest coast of Scotland in September and in mid October the island of Mull off western Scotland and Lough Swilly in the north of Ireland. I don't know when Scapa Flow was considered safe enough, but I think the GF was away for the autumn.
     
  2. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Feb 17, 2007
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    Straya
    The Grand Fleet was based in Loch Ewe from 18 August and moved to Lough Swilly on October 16. They moved back to Scapa Flow on 4 November.
     
  3. Glenn239 Well-Known Member

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    Oct 25, 2012
    Assuming the squadron was found at all - there was no assurance it would be if ops are only in the worst (winter) months. The problem with shadowing in 1914-1918 was lack of radar and bad visibility on long nights in the North Atlantic in the winter months.

    If Germany imports enough nitrates and other vital resources, and prevents nitrates reaching the Entente, Germany can win the war.

    Lack of nitrates is one of the basic reasons why the Central Powers lost the war. The industrial production never met requirements, (esp. for Austria-Hungary) so shortfalls were taken from agricultural production, which then caused food shortages due to poorer crops, and this sapped morale.

    Keeping the US neutral is crucial, which is why a sea communication (rather than sea denial) strategy was better than relying on U-boats.
     
  4. Glenn239 Well-Known Member

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    Oct 25, 2012
    In 1920 in Germany they did consider converting the incomplete Mackensen and two of her sisters into a diesel-powered tanker with 18,500 ton dead weight capacity. Mackensen as a BC could travel 8,000nm at 14kt with something like 6,000 tons coal and oil, according to Wiki, about 1.25 tons travelled per ton of fuel consumed. Those kinds of endurance stats suggest that rather than completing as warships everything past about Bayern, the Germans could have converted them to other uses on the slipway. Convert Mackensen into an underway oiler and Hipper would have an oiler for at-sea refuelling as fast as any of his BC's.
     
  5. Glenn239 Well-Known Member

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    Oct 25, 2012
    So, just to add to the significance of the above. The High Seas Fleet by 1914 was going to fuel loads that were about 90% coal and 10% oil. The Konigs had 3 oil fired and 12 coal fired boilers. On the coal fired boilers, they'd spray the oil on the coals to increase the heat. If the German navy had been competent, one solution at the start of the war would have been to immediately take stock of the capital ships existing and the building programme and decide which ships to complete as warships, and which to convert to merchantment or tankers. This would take advantage of hulls that sat uselessly in port while Germany lost the war. In August 1914, a reasonable breakout of resources might be -

    Derfflinger, Lutzow - complete as warship.
    Bayern - complete as warship
    Baden, Salamis, Hindenburg - complete as oilers or fast cargo ships.
    Saschen, Wurttenberg, Mackensen Class - cancel, break up, and replace with new CL's or supply ships.
    Predreadnoughts (Wittelsbach, Kaiser Friedrich) - convert to oilers or fast cargo.

    The oilers would allow at-sea refuelling where oil was used for cruising and the coal was kept in reserve. Hipper's BC squadron (1916) of five ships, with an oiler, might consume 1,200 tons of fuel per day if not doing high-speed work. With 18,500 deadweight carrying capacity on a stripped-down Mackensen, that gives a working figure for the other ships if converted - 60% of tonnage could be used for tanking. One converted Kaiser Friedrich at 12,000 tons might therefore be about a 7,200 ton carrying capacity tanker capable of 16kt or 17kt, or 6 extra cruising days for Hipper's squadron, (1,700nm).
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  6. Ulenspiegel New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    The correct version is: That was not completely unreasonable given the perception of the nitrate situation by Germany's enemies. :)

    From a chemical point of view you work with some important misconceptions:

    1) The synthesis in industrial scale of a nitrogen source for agricultural applications was available since 1901. The production of calcium cyanamide allowed a cheap (in comparison to nitrate imports) supply in huge amounts. The issue was solved and understood as solved.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium_cyanamide

    2) You have to provide good arguments why almost all larger German chemical companies had the Haber-Bosch process running in 1913 or at least tested in technicum scale. In addition, some companies already ran the Ostwald process (oxidation of ammonia).

    It takes 5-10 years to translate a lab bench experiment into an industrial process. Why had the German industry without any motivation by the army developed two industrial processes that were not essential for agriculture?