Graf zepplin and aircraft to be carried, thoughts?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by carpenoctem1689, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. carpenoctem1689

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    The graf zepplin was a german aircraft carrier, launched but never completed. It would have been a decent ship, but a single carrier would have been crushed in the theater, with RAF an RN aircraft attacking it the second they had the chance. However a single carrier launched before the war, and ready to go at the start could have posed a threat, as did the other elements of the Kreigsmarines surface fleet in the opening stages of the conflict. The carrier would have been equipped with the extended wing and carrier equipped Me-109T, and the Ju-87C, a carrier equipped, stuka with jettisonable landing gear and attachments for bombs or torpedoes. (some Me-109T's were built and would serve on short airfileds with a great service career, into 1944). Had the graf zepplin and and some other warships, preferably commerce raiders slipped into the atlantic on the first days of the war, they would have caused merry hell for the british...what are your thoughts?
     
  2. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The German aircraft carrier would have been a disaster for the them. Anyone can build a ship to carry airplanes, but there is far more to it than that. It takes decades to have a doctrine in place, extensive training to at least enable the pilots to land in one piece, and then actually learning how to fight a carrier war while avoiding being sunk yourself.

    The German planes were land based aircraft adapted for shipboard use. hardly a brilliant idea. The ship carried only a few of them, so if you factor in normal attrition, they would sooner or later run short of them mighty fast. Then escort vessels would be required to sortie with it, all of which would also be targets.

    Then factor in the enviornment they had to fly in. The North Atlantic in autumn. With no radar, on a foggy day, what are the planes going to do?

    Id say the Germans were wise not to procede with the project.
     
  4. toffigd

    toffigd Member

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    They weren't wise enough when they had started the project.
     
  5. JCS

    JCS Member

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    Didnt all Stukas have jettisonable landing gear?
     
  6. carpenoctem1689

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    No all of them didnt, maybe some later marks, but the C came up with the idea to allow them to avoid fighters with faster flight, and to be able to make a landing in water without flipping.
     
  7. carpenoctem1689

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    And the german carrier would have carried a number around 40, or above aircraft, ive heard 48. Thats about the number british carriers were embarking, more or less, because theyre armor and under decks required small complements.
     
  8. Lightning Guy

    Lightning Guy Active Member

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    Personally, I think landing a 109 on a carrier would have been an absolute nightmare.
     
  9. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    I'd agree with that. It's narrow undercarriage was bad enough on land (and killed/injured many pilots). I would imagine that on a carrier which was riding even light seas would have been a nightmare, if not impossible. I think it would have been an absolute death trap to land a 109 on a carrier.
     
  10. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    Me too. I can see many going into a ground loops, closely followed by a sea loop.
     
  11. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Seafires had the narrow gear too. They had their share of prangs, although they weren't all due to the landing gear. A few were though.
     
  12. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    that's annother point though- we had carrier tactics through use of them and bloody inventing them! the Germans were new to carriers, which showed........
     
  13. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I think I would rather shoot myself in the head than land a 109 on a carrier.
     
  14. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Call me a coward but I would have a mechanical defect and jump. Better odds of living than shooting myself or landing a 109.
     
  15. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good point Glider, bail rather than land. You might as well of just ditched in the sea if you were landing a 109 on a carrier it would be likely you would end up in the 'drink' anyway.
     
  16. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    It certainly would have been a widow maker. Scary thought to land a 109 on a carrier. It's scary enough on land!
     
  17. Chocks away!

    Chocks away! Member

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    If the Spitfire could do it the 109 could too. (I know i'm sounding like a baby :rolleyes: :oops: :evil: :drinking: )
     
  18. carpenoctem1689

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    No, you really dont. The spitfire, with some difficultly was forced into carrier operations, and evolved into an effective carrier-borne fighter, barring the many landing accidents. The germans, as was proven through the war, were very innovative, and im sure Willy Messerschmidt or one of his subordinates would have come up with some alteration or modification to make the Me-109 a somewhat effective carrier fighter.
     
  19. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The Germans didnt have the time to make the modifications.

    I wonder if there was a plan to use a carrier adapted -190?
     
  20. carpenoctem1689

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    That would have been very interesting. Though by the time they were considering such modifications, hitler probably had made his disdain for the surface fleet known, except ofcourse for his precious battleships that remained. So i doubt the 190 would have even reached a prototype stage, or even be submitted. though it would have been an interesting conversion, the 190 being rugged, wide-tracked landing gear, and good low-medium level performance.
     
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