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Deutschland Class.Sucess or Failure?
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Hood

 
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Post subject: Deutschland Class.Sucess or Failure?  Reply with quote   (Liked by:0)  Like this post
With the damage inflicted by 3 British Cruisers to Admiral Graf Spee and the fact the ships were designed to out gun anything they could not out run and outrun anything they could not!
Classed as Pocket Battleships, or armoured cruiser's for commerce raiding, were they too under armoured and too slow to be effective against Warships?
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PostTue May 26, 2015 4:26 pm
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Flakstruk

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Graf Spee got unlucky that they came up against the only guy in the RN who'd put serious thought into how to engage a more powerful ship with several smaller ones.

It was a pretty vivid demonstration of how outclassed the KM was, the RN could move ships around to match any KM force concentration and make good any losses
PostTue May 26, 2015 10:28 pm
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kaiserinaliz

 

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Well the Scheer was the most successful commerce raider that was not a converted merchant vessel that the germans had.
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PostTue May 26, 2015 11:44 pm
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Hood

 
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kaiserinaliz wrote:
Well the Scheer was the most successful commerce raider that was not a converted merchant vessel that the germans had.

Yes I am not doubting that as commerce raiders they were but how effective were they against warships?
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PostWed May 27, 2015 8:10 am
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Hood

 
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Flakstruk wrote:
Graf Spee got unlucky that they came up against the only guy in the RN who'd put serious thought into how to engage a more powerful ship with several smaller ones.

It was a pretty vivid demonstration of how outclassed the KM was, the RN could move ships around to match any KM force concentration and make good any losses

Langsdorf should have finished off Exeter that was a mistake I think on his part for not doing this!!!
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PostWed May 27, 2015 8:13 am
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Flakstruk

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Hood wrote:
Flakstruk wrote:
Graf Spee got unlucky that they came up against the only guy in the RN who'd put serious thought into how to engage a more powerful ship with several smaller ones.

It was a pretty vivid demonstration of how outclassed the KM was, the RN could move ships around to match any KM force concentration and make good any losses

Langsdorf should have finished off Exeter that was a mistake I think on his part for not doing this!!!


The damage was already done. The RN had him hurt and cornered. They'd pay 3 cruisers for that.
PostWed May 27, 2015 8:21 am
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'Warspite'

 

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Post subject: Re: Deutschland Class.Sucess or Failure? Reply with quote   (Liked by:0)  Like this post
Hood wrote:
With the damage inflicted by 3 British Cruisers to Admiral Graf Spee and the fact the ships were designed to out gun anything they could not out run and outrun anything they could not!
Classed as Pocket Battleships, or armoured cruiser's for commerce raiding, were they too under armoured and too slow to be effective against Warships?


The problem is building a warship which is too specialised. This class was optimised as commerce raiders. OK until you meet something which is not commerce and which can fight back.

They were a tad too slow, under-armoured and under-gunned. They did not just fall between two stools, they fell between several. The only good feature was their cruising range thanks to the diesel engines.

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PostWed May 27, 2015 7:34 pm
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'Warspite'

 

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Hood wrote:

Langsdorf should have finished off Exeter that was a mistake I think on his part for not doing this!!!


It was not in his character. He had done enough to 'mission kill' HMS Exeter and he knew it. At that moment he was being harried by two very active torpedo-armed light cruisers who were dropping 112-pound 'projes' all round his ship and who had just killed several of his officers in the bridge area.

He was dealing with the targets on a 'threat by threat' basis. Exeter was no longer a threat.
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PostWed May 27, 2015 7:38 pm
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These ships, the last of the armored cruisers, did the best they could.
There was no heavy cruiser in 1939 that could have faced the British cruisers and won.  The Graf Spee was out numbered and got pummeled.
Even a Long-lance armed Japanese cruiser would only have won if it could hit with their torpedoes.
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PostThu May 28, 2015 1:42 am
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Langsdorf biggest mistake was falling for the British rouse of pretending they had a carrier force waiting for him outside the harbour.
If he had sailed out he may have been able to fight his way out. Instead he scuttled the Graf Spee.
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PostThu May 28, 2015 12:17 pm
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gaz01

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It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if this action had taken place later in the war. I think the Germans would have fought it out.

In WAS I find it difficult to use these ships. They are similar to the battle cruisers in being caught between two stones. Anything bigger turns up and they are usually in trouble. It's a gamble if these are the biggest units you pick in a fleet.
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PostThu May 28, 2015 3:32 pm
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They are difficult to use.  However, I find they have good synergy with the other German units, especially the R. Bismarck.  It puts a ton of gunnery dice forward without worrying about getting sunk by air on the dash for the center.
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PostThu May 28, 2015 4:30 pm
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BattleshipOverkill

 

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From what I've studied about them, they would have been on par or better than any heavy cruiser at the time but, way outclassed when up against a modernized or 3rd Gen. battleship.
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Il like using them in specific OOB (especially for "no BB" or convoy scenarii, for which the highest class is the cruiser, they perform billiantly (it's their role anyway)).
PostThu May 28, 2015 5:10 pm
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'Warspite'

 

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gaz01 wrote:
It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if this action had taken place later in the war. I think the Germans would have fought it out.



Unlikely. Experience at The Battle of the Barents Sea and the sinking of the Scharnhorst shows that - if anything - the Kriegsmarine's 'big' surface fleet was even more cautious towards the end of the war.

Its peak of aggression was probably the invasion of Norway and the First Battle of Narvik in 1940. The losses in Oslo Fiord and at the Second Battle of Narvik rather knocked the steam out of the big ships.

After that aggression was (mostly) confined to the U-Boats and the E-boats. Even Tirpitz only managed to shoot up a weather station, hardly the peak of offence!

For an exercise in pussy footing about try this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Barents_Sea

Barry
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The Pocket Battleship design that the Germans made was the pinnacle of "light cruiser" designs.  Like how the Armored cruiser became the battlecruiser, the Heavy/Light cruiser became the Pocket battleship.  The pocket battleship was a glass cannon design, though If the Germans could have added in about 1000-1500 more tons to give her some more secondary guns and better armor, they would have been more effective IMO.
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PostTue Jun 02, 2015 1:22 pm
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'Warspite' wrote:
gaz01 wrote:
It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if this action had taken place later in the war. I think the Germans would have fought it out.



Unlikely. Experience at The Battle of the Barents Sea and the sinking of the Scharnhorst shows that - if anything - the Kriegsmarine's 'big' surface fleet was even more cautious towards the end of the war.

Its peak of aggression was probably the invasion of Norway and the First Battle of Narvik in 1940. The losses in Oslo Fiord and at the Second Battle of Narvik rather knocked the steam out of the big ships.

After that aggression was (mostly) confined to the U-Boats and the E-boats. Even Tirpitz only managed to shoot up a weather station, hardly the peak of offence!

For an exercise in pussy footing about try this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Barents_Sea

Barry


KM often suffered from unsufficient Luftwaffe cover/support.
PostTue Jun 02, 2015 4:16 pm
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jimiski

 

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To answer the question I've had success with graf spee 6 out of 10 times when playing the battle of the river plate. Wink
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PostWed Jun 03, 2015 2:22 am
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'Warspite'

 

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CommanderSam wrote:
'Warspite' wrote:
gaz01 wrote:
It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if this action had taken place later in the war. I think the Germans would have fought it out.



Unlikely. Experience at The Battle of the Barents Sea and the sinking of the Scharnhorst shows that - if anything - the Kriegsmarine's 'big' surface fleet was even more cautious towards the end of the war.

Its peak of aggression was probably the invasion of Norway and the First Battle of Narvik in 1940. The losses in Oslo Fiord and at the Second Battle of Narvik rather knocked the steam out of the big ships.

After that aggression was (mostly) confined to the U-Boats and the E-boats. Even Tirpitz only managed to shoot up a weather station, hardly the peak of offence!

For an exercise in pussy footing about try this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Barents_Sea

Barry


KM often suffered from unsufficient Luftwaffe cover/support.


That still does not explain or excuse the generally timid handling of anything bigger than an S-boot or a U-boot by the Kriegsmarine. Time and again KM ships broke off when faced with equal or even less-than-equal opposition.

The KM surface fleet was at its boldest in 1940 but the high level of losses in Norway knocked its confidence - and the loss of Bismarck undermined it still further.

The boldest operation thereafter was Cerberus (running the English Channel with Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen) but even that was only attempted with unprecedented Luftwaffe cover. It also only took place because all three ships were in danger of being destroyed in French ports. RAF bombing was getting too persistent if not exactly accurate. It was bold but only succeeded because it was a level of boldness which the Admiralty and RAF did not expect. It was a very rare KM example of 'fortune favours the brave' or 'who dares, wins'.

Barry
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PostMon Jun 22, 2015 7:18 pm
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'Warspite' wrote:


That still does not explain or excuse the generally timid handling of anything bigger than an S-boot or a U-boot by the Kriegsmarine. Time and again KM ships broke off when faced with equal or even less-than-equal opposition.


As were their orders. They were told not to DARE lose a ship.

Quote:
The KM surface fleet was at its boldest in 1940 but the high level of losses in Norway knocked its confidence - and the loss of Bismarck undermined it still further.

The boldest operation thereafter was Cerberus (running the English Channel with Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen) but even that was only attempted with unprecedented Luftwaffe cover. It also only took place because all three ships were in danger of being destroyed in French ports. RAF bombing was getting too persistent if not exactly accurate. It was bold but only succeeded because it was a level of boldness which the Admiralty and RAF did not expect. It was a very rare KM example of 'fortune favours the brave' or 'who dares, wins'.

Barry


It wasn't a matter of the Kriegsmarine being bold, it was Hitler tying their hands because he had no faith in the navy at all, and was in fact terrified of naval operations. He didn't understand them. Add to that the Luftwaffe refusing to play nice with the other branches and it's honestly surprising that Germany had the success it did.

Want to picture something frightening? Imagine if someone who knew what they were doing had been in charge and instead of fostering rivalries between commanders had taken them in hand and built a unified command structure with overlapping goals. A German war machine that wasn't busy fighting itself or being ordered to do stupid things? War might have gone very differently. All things considered, we might have been lucky a nutbag like Hitler was in charge.


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