German aircraft carrier

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by fly boy, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. fly boy

    fly boy Member

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    i have read on the web something about the germans having a carrier that held 109s and 87s is this true or just poo
     
  2. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Damn Interesting The Only Nazi Aircraft Carrier

    On August 16, 1947 she was towed out to sea and used for target practice by Soviet ships and aircraft. Aerial bombs were placed in her hangers, flight deck and smoke stack. Planes and ships then shot shells and dropped bombs on her to demonstrate how to sink a carrier, presumably American. After twenty-four hits the Graf Zeppelin stayed afloat and had to be finished off by torpedoes.

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  3. fly boy

    fly boy Member

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    wow i can't belive that
     
  4. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    There are two other accounts of what may have been the fate of the Graf Zeppelin.

    One is that she struck a mine left over from WW II and sank; the other is that she foundered in a storm as she was being towed to Leningrad.

    Wonder what really happened :?:

    TO
     
  5. Konigstiger205

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    Who knows?...I hate this kind of WW2 mysteries...I wonder what the Germans could have done with it if she would have been finished and operational during the war?...
     
  6. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Kinda sad, really; I hate to see anything get destroyed needlessly.

    They had also begun development of carrier versions of the 109 the 87. The 109 was to be the "T" model (for "Trägerflugzeug", or carrier aircraft) but, in the event, only a few were completed with the required carrier equipment (tailhook, catapult fittings, folding wings, etc.); the rest were completed as land-based aircraft, and shipped to Norway for the duration of the War.
     
  7. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I think one carier would have been next to useless... it would been a bomb magnet like the Bizmark or Tirpitz.

    Now if they had 3 or 4 in the Med, The Germans may have held on to North Africa. A lot more supplies would have got through to Rommel. Perhaps American Carriers would have been diverted from the pacific and the war in the Pacific would have been prolonged.

    Alas, it means nothing. There was a finite amount of recourses and capability. It's not just about the carriers but all the airplanes, crews, salors and support vessels.

    They did the right thing by not developing carriers. They could not have sustained proper deployment or recovered from losses.

    One carrier sunk represents a lot of assets on the ocean floor!

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  8. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Germans actually had a number of Carriers planned...all came to nothing. Firstly there was the Graf Zeppelin, then there was the conversion of the heavy Cruise Sedlitz to a Light Carrier. Then they had several schemes for merchant hull conversions, most famous of which was Europa. There were several other possibilities.

    The germans found the technical aspects of carrier design very challenging, particularly the aircraft handling characteristics and catapults for the carrier. They grossly overpowered the Graf Zeppelin, and as designed she devoted far too much weight and effort to surface gunnery, and far too little to AA defence.

    For service on the Carrier the Germans pre-war formed "Tragergescwader" 186, comprising Gruppe I with Ju 87T, and Group II with Me109Ts (essentially Me 109Es). They had toyed with the idea of a torpedo bomber (the AR 195) but had abandoned this type pre-war. They were working up the AR 167 (which is a remarkable little aircraft incidentally, eventually being passed to the Rumanians).

    By April the CV was about 85% complete. But the rapid victories in the west caused Hitler to reach the conclusion that "considering the probable developments in aircraft, CVs with planes with internal engines will not be usable anymore in this war". By May, all work on the carrier had stopped.

    After watching the tireless employment of carriers by the brits, and the success of the Japanese, the german attitude gradually changed, and work re-commenced, in early 1942. But in a report coinciding with this revival, the German admiralty noted:

    "A It will take at least until the summer of 1943 to complete the Hull, and the engines.

    1. Delivery of Auxiliary engines which either are missing entirely, or removed and installed ashore elswhere
    2. Installation of bulges to allow counterflooding in case the ship is damaged
    3. Increasing fuel bunkerage, to improve the endurance by a minimum of 25%

    B The total time necessary to complete the carrier is not so much dependant on completing the hull and engines but on completing, modifiying and pilot training for the use of the JU 87D and Me 109F types.

    The kriegsmarine estimated that the carrier would not be ready for operations until the winter of 1943 at the earliest.

    The Italians also were working on carrier conversions as well (the Aquila and the Sparviero).

    With proper a/c and personnel, and some operational experience , a CV with an axis battlefleet would have been invaluable . however, it is quite unrealistic to suppose that the Axis could have produced even a small carrier task force as such. moreover, the carrier would have been a high risk target. The British had previously demonstrated their night strike capability earlier in the war (Bismarck had been hit in the dead of night, as had the Italians at Taranto and Matapan...this is a capability of the british CAGs often overlooked. By 1944, the british had all buit abandoned night flying, because it restricted the output of trained aircrew far too much. My guess is that the Graf Zeppelin would have been lost very quickly, notwithstanding the very impressive performance of her planned airgroups, if she had been completed in say late 1940.
     
  9. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    You are quite correct, comiso; it really was a waste of resources for the Germans to even attempt to build an aircraft carrier, let alone actually complete one. IMO, the Germans should not even have attempted to build a High Seas Fleet; all of their capital ships (Admiral Graf Spee, Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, etc.) had almost no effect on the ultimate outcome of the War. They should've instead diverted the resources "wasted" on the High Seas Fleet to the U-Boat arm, in particular the Type VIIC Type XXI's.
     
  10. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Generally true, but there is a quid pro quo here. No effort pre-war (ie approximately 1935-39) is going to bring about a change in production priorities by the Brits as well. For a start they dont have to lay down the KGVs (something like 150000 tons there alone) the never completed 16" class that followed them (about 80000 tons), and some of the carriers at least. Thats an awful lot of escorts....roughly 200, just by the tonnages, and roughly 100 if you just look at the crews. So the brits start the war with something like an additional 100-200 escorts.

    I havenet even mentioned the 60 or so cruisers that the brits laid down. they would still need some of these, but say half arent. theres another 60 or so escorts right away

    Type XXI were not ready until 1945, although laid down in 1944. Did you mean Type IXs perhaps.....
     
  11. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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  12. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I have no problem with them developing a high seas fleet. The Scharnhorst, Tirpitz, Bismarck, Gneisenau, etc......were fantastic ships. My issue is they didn't develop anything to support them. The Tirpitz and Bismarck were sunk all alone.

    Since we like to play "what if" here. Imagine the battle when they went after the Bismarck if there were also a cruiser and 4 - 6 destroyers around it.

    With no support, just like Comiso said, nothing but assets on the ocean floor.
     
  13. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Yup!

    How many U-boats could have been built for the partially completed Graf Zepplin?

    How many engineers could have had a more productive role in other areas?
     
  14. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Yeah, I know the Type XXI wasn't ready until early '45, but if the resources I mentioned above hadn't been "wasted" on the High Seas Fleet at the beginning of the War, the Type XXI's might've been operational a year earlier.

    As for the Type IX's, they had good range due to their increased bunkerage over the Type VII's, but they were slow to dive, and not nearly as maneuverable as the Type VII.
     
  15. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Theres an extensive thread in the archives about this.
     
  16. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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  17. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Anybody heard any rumors about trying to raise it? It would probably be prohibitively expensive, but there are a lot of crazier ideas out there.
     
  18. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I cant imagine that... at the most, they could cut off pieces of the superstructure. what a waste though, I'd rather see pieces of the Bismark.

    .
     
  19. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    But again, there is a Quid pro Quo. If the germans dont expend resources on surface fleet, that means a propoetion of those resources also spent by the Allies are now released for ASW research. The allies were close to helicopters, dunking sonars, MAD detectors, homing torpedoes, and a whole gaggle of countermeasuresares
    I have to differe, I dont see scrapping the surface fleet as being a positive move toward a maritime victory
     
  20. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

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    The main problem with the carrier was that Herman Goering did not want the naval aviation to be seperate from the Luftwaffe. The carrier got so behind track because of Goering's issues that it never was put into service. Their where also planes to use a version of the Fi-156 Storch for divebombing.
    I heard it was scuttled by the German, then raised bu the Soviets and used for target practice.
     
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