Lack of German Aircraft Carrier

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Seawitch, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    Artist, others
    Location:
    London
    Home Page:

    Hi all
    I've pondered this quiet a bit, reading Doenitzes autobiography, I discovered that the German Navies lack of aviation boiled down to Goerings demand that 'anything that flies belongs to me'.
    I've seen a model of a German aircraft Carrier that never came to be, the 'Graf Spree' I'm sure it was.
    At least one Stuka unit was earmarked and got as far as being called Traeger gruppe (sp).... Carrier group.
    But was this really the reason that nothing happened in spite of events that showed air power at sea had become essential, I'm anxious not to end up in the political bin with this...LOL..was it plain lack of ambition, or for practical reasons...or really petty imperial attitudes in high places?

    Seawitch
     
  2. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    The German Navy had to rebuild post WWI on the sly. A carrier by and of itself is really vulnerable w/o a task force of DE's to run subs and Cruisers/BB's to assist in countering surface forces of opponents... so for them to build a carrier and Naval air arm they had to invest in a surface Navy to compete w/RN and USN starting from zero.

    And, in secret. Subs easier to conceal than carriers and in many ways as effective so long as the other side can't cover your operational areas with DE's and airpower.

    Even the Japanese had problems with the Treaty of Versailles wrt to surface limits of .6 (? CRS) of RN and USN limits - but they snuck their two 'super BB's through the system - but their carriers were not up to Yorktown/Enterprise/Hornet class CV's

    As far as 'vision' is concerned sometimes its better to be lucky than good.

    The USAAF believed in daylight bombing and designed and bought a/c to execute that vision - ditto the Navy. But it took great escort fighters to make Strategic Daylight Bombing work (and the luck of marrying a rolls merlin to a great US airfame)

    Regards,

    Bill
     
  3. Negative Creep

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
    THe German carrier was the Graf Zeppelin btw
     
  4. mosquitoman

    mosquitoman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Messages:
    2,990
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    student
    Location:
    Saffron Walden/Sheffield
    Home Page:
    could have been the Peter Strasser but I don't think that got very far in construction
     
  5. AV8

    AV8 New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    The carrier was built but not completed, spent a large amount of time tied up in a river, and was eventually towed to sea and sunk near the end of the war off Stettin, now Szczecin off Poland on 25 April 1945. She was refloated by the Russians and was used as a floating storage warehouse until being used in tests for effective armament against carriers on 16 August 1947. It has recently been rediscovered and its location is known.

    The Germans have never sailed an aircraft carrier since then.

    The Graff Zeppelin was launched in 1938 and was one of four planned carriers, but was never more than 80% complete. Goering said that anything that flew was under his jurisdiction, and Hitler never interveined to help his own armed services.

    People give a lot of reasons, but the ONLY real reason it was not sunk by the RAF is that work stopped before it became a danger to the Allies. Otherwise, it would have been sunk like the Tirpitz and Bismark. Any German capital ship that became a thorn was found and sunk, and there was nothing the Germans could do about it.

    They simply could not compete, ship versus ship, with the Royal Navy and persevere. The result of Jutland in WWI was the only instance in history of a navy sailing meekly into surrender with breeches open, and WWII's navy wasn't any better at confronting their counterparts successfully.

    When Hitler realized he wasn't going to be able to field several carriers, and he added the fact that the German carrier aircraft themselves were never really ready (Naval Bf 109T nothwithstanding), he wisely decided to forego the humiliation of having it sink with a boatload of top pilots and naval personnel.

    The Germans wasted enough resources in the war to have completed several carriers, but they KNEW the products would not survive long enough to be threats to the Allies. There was also the fight with Goering on who would control the carrier should it ever, in fact, become operational.

    Instead, they built large quantities of prototype aircraft that ALSO did nothing to help their war efforts. I speak of rocket planes and jet aircraft, neither of which helped Germany in the slightest in the end. They DID, however, take up vital production resources that COULD have helped by making useful war tools like strategic bombers and fighters with major faults corrected.

    Then again, if Hitler hadn't attacked the Soviet Union, he STILL might have won the war, who can say? We KNOW what happened, but the possibilities are interesting if he had made smart decisions. Such was not the case, as we all know. I, for one, am glad he was an incompetent, even if a charming one, mostly surrounded by incompetents.

    Sometimes, serendipity helps us. In WWII, it dictated that Hitler was an idiot. I'm sure the Allies had their own share of idiots of all nationalities, but at least we didn't 1) attack people without declaring war as at Pearl Harbor, or 2) try to wipe out an entire people in concentration camps as Jews in Germany, or 3) put our idiots in charge of the war as Hitler and his staff were.

    Germany and the Axis Powers made all three mistakes concurrently.

    Tough from which to recover before being defeated, and tough to live down after the extent of the barbarism was revealed after the war.
     
  6. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    23,053
    Likes Received:
    994
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Animal Control Officer
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    The air unit assigned to the "Graf Zeppelin" was TrGr 186 and was operational at the beginning of the war and later was incorporated into another unit. They used Bf 109C for training onto the Bf 109T, speacialized for the carrier. They usually flew escort for Ju 87C which were also designated Ju 87T and again specially designed for the carrier. In 1940 a Ju 87B-1 was modified into a Ju 87C-1 by equipping it with an arrestor hook, foldable wings and a jettisonable undercarriage.

    Opening day of the war, the Ju 87Cs of TrGr 186 along with LG 1 attacked the Polish Naval base at Hela. On May 10, 1940 II(J)./TrGr 186 shot down eight Dutch Fokker DXXIs.

    Regarding the Naval service and the Luftwaffe, there was some contention between Goering and Admiral Doenitz. On January 6, 1941 Hitler ordered I./KG 40 and its FW 200 Condors were under the command of the Commander of the Navy. To appease Goering, he ordered Kampfgruppe 806 be removed from Naval command and brought back under the control of Luftflotte 3 for bomber raids on England. Although Doenitz was initially happy with this he was soon disappointed because KG 40 only ever had about 8 Condors servicable at any time.
     
  7. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Messages:
    986
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    Niedersachsen
    @ AV8

    Some Themes are little more sophisticated!
    But from the general overview your report is very good!
     
  8. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    36,729
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Nightshift picker
    Location:
    A Swede living in Glasgow, Scotland
    Home Page:
    We all know the USN, FAA and IJN fighters, torpedo bombers, scouts and dive bombers, right? What would the Kriegsmarines own be? How far could they've had developed the Ju-87, it's not a Dauntless or Helldiver. What would have replaced it? And those Fw 190's and Bf 109's? If the Corsair had seen combat action in the Atlantic would they've had a chance? How far could they've deloped those for carrier operations and to take on the Wildcat, Hellcat and Corsair. IF the Atlantic would have seen as much carrier action as the Pacific, what was in the works?
     
  9. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,769
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    The Graf Zeppelin was almost completed (her wreckage has been found also by the way) and the Peter Strasser was laid down and later broken up.

    Below are some pics of the Graf Zeppelin.
     

    Attached Files:

    • gz.JPG
      gz.JPG
      File size:
      66.2 KB
      Views:
      145
    • gz2.JPG
      gz2.JPG
      File size:
      25.9 KB
      Views:
      142
  10. brickhistory

    brickhistory Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
     
  11. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    36,729
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Nightshift picker
    Location:
    A Swede living in Glasgow, Scotland
    Home Page:
    Nice looking girl.....odd shape on the flight deck though.
     
  12. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,769
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    I think she would have been a beautiful ship. Would not have survived very long but she was beautiful.
     
  13. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    36,729
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Nightshift picker
    Location:
    A Swede living in Glasgow, Scotland
    Home Page:
    Who's the "lady" to the right in the picture?
     
  14. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I think it was Leonard that had one great write up about this ship and why it was going to be a failure.

    I'm trying to find it......
     
  15. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    41,780
    Likes Received:
    519
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Doctor
    Location:
    Portsmouth / Royal Deeside, UK
    Home Page:
    If she had gone to sea she wouldn't of lasted very long (I suspect the Germans realised this - especially after the Bismark). Even with her onboard aircraft she would not of been able to survive very long (even with a task force). In my opinion the Germans made a sensible decision in not sending her to sea.
     
  16. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    36,729
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Nightshift picker
    Location:
    A Swede living in Glasgow, Scotland
    Home Page:
    How come??
     
  17. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Among the reasons were its lack of aircraft capacity, doctrine and tactics had to be learned from scratch and the need for it to operate in a task force (more targets being bunched up for mass destruction)
     
  18. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    36,729
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Nightshift picker
    Location:
    A Swede living in Glasgow, Scotland
    Home Page:
    Got ya.....cheers!
     
  19. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    Artist, others
    Location:
    London
    Home Page:
    Nice looking girls tend to have curves like that! :twisted: I wonder where the Broom cupboards....I mean hangers were?
    No, seriously, I've been astonished by this thread, I never realised it had got so far as launching a ship that only needed fitting out and a regime to go with it.
    Thanks everyone!
     
  20. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    7,731
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Student, Musician, Writer, Thinker, Shelf Stacker...
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria
    The Graf Zeppelin just died really because of in fighting aswell. Theres an article about it the carrier in Aeroplane, April this year I think. She was scuttled by the Russians in 47 after being a target drone.

    Also the Germans ended up using the Zeppelin as a storage area, sad really as it was rather beautiful.
     
Loading...
Similar Threads
  1. sunny91
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    1,271
  2. fly boy
    Replies:
    75
    Views:
    13,755
  3. sunny91
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    1,607
  4. freebird
    Replies:
    68
    Views:
    11,824
  5. rebel8303
    Replies:
    59
    Views:
    7,419

Share This Page