posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 11:59 AM
Your link says it never saw service...but in the fight for GB, it would have been a juicy target, and GB was so close to the Luftwaffe bases that
unless the germans were planning to attack Scotland or a northern target, it would have been pointless...
Actually the best ships Hitler had for the prosecution of BOB were long since in service in the form of the Wilhelm Gustlaf and her sisters. Despite
Winning Winnies defiant maunderies, the majority of GB already thought they had lost and a decent beachead with any of those ships in overload
configuration would have quickly brought the focus of the war to a new level as essentially the RAF would have come to the Luftwaffe and the
combination of sortie numbers, added combat attrition and fatigue would have spelt the end of Fighter Command.
Of course once 1941-42 rolled around, Hitler stuck his finger in the pie again by sending the U-Boats (which were the Kriegsmarines real war winner)
first north to Russia, then south to the Med and eventually IO.
All of which was effectively worthless given the results achieved and the boats lost.
That said, the RN sub force was an unsung bunch of pretty good drivers as well and thus the only real hope for Graf-Z in that threat condition would
have been as the centerpiece of a MASSIVE battlegroup. Which again, the Germans simply never built up in time to make a difference. Especially after
the battle for Norway, the Germans were down to something like 20 destroyers and 2 heavy cruisers past which, even additions from Italy and France
never really brought up to a level which would have made them competitive.
Add to this the utter inability of the Bf-109E to match U.S. landbased interceptors (even the Wildcat would have been a handful in tight maneuvering
fights) and the designated morte entitlement of the Stuka against any but a Russian fighter defense and you are more or less screwed for trying.
In fact, the only place I see the Graf Z as having /any/ effect would be down the canal to the Adriatic and thence out to threaten Turkey, Palestine
and maybe (given they don't mine it solid) the Black Sea/Caucasus.
Only in those conditions wherein you can more or less isolate any RN sortie from Alex with again, _land based_ supporting forces can you hope to use a
single deck as otherwise the **minimum** operational grouping is a pair with dual axis or stagger back tactics to maximize shock and ASST counter
targeting and/or putting at least one airwing overtop the lead carrier to provide a thicker OAB shield while using OPP strike to rapidly support the
insertion of troops to make the Brit fight for the ME a two-front war.
Of course most of this can be done with conventional capabilities or converted tankers etc. as well. It's just that Hitler got his sorry self so
deeply 'impressed' by the piddling lake that is the English Channel he never really recovered to an offensive mindset thereafter.
Where I do see 10-12 of those useful is in an attack to NY or some east coast target...ever thought that?
Not a chance. If only because they lacked the range to strike much beyond 100nm inland and thus could never have done a thing to our deep
infrastructure even if we didn't turn the East Coast into a much more formidibale 'East Wall' than the Nazi's West Wall ever was.
Hiter & Co. should have stayed in tight to England, gone to double capacity batteries and/or trailable snorkels early on (trading diesel capacity if
necessary) or even AIP systems as a functoin of simply slugging it out with Coastal Command until Britain was on her knees.
Even here the Graf Z couldn't hope to survive against Englands massed fighter and bomber forces.
The only real question being that of time since, as usual, 'better bullets win' and firing wireguided, swimout, torpedos using some of the advanced
acoustic gear developed for the later XXI/XXIII would have simply meant the Wolf Pack system was never needed and with the loss of that stupidity most
of what destroyed the UBoatwaffen operationally would simply never have happened.
Even with the pathetic VIIs and IXs the only reason Dumbass Doenitz didn't win was because he wouldn't stand up to Hitler while he had to guard his
back against Raeder and his further insistence upon micromanagement of his own resulted in piss poor EMCON and thus _zero_ opsec. Even before the
Brits were reading the Kriegs Enigma traffic they were Huff Duffing the Germans all over the bloody ocean.
I've said it before, I'll say it again:
THERE ARE FOUR LAWS OF FIREPOWER
1. Shoot, Shoot, Shoot!
The more you shoot the more you kill. Especially with the early crap torpedoes of all sides. Where you are limited in your total boat count, make
the damn cruises short and put a lot more effort into air-over-water support and particularly interdiction of the Brit 'Garden' mine effort.
2. Mass Fires Not Forces.
Saturating a given area only works if you don't redouble the sortie count against you as a given 'joint threat'.
3. Maneuver to Target _Never_ to Engage.
Which means you let them cross your triplines and you USE technology to avoid the periscope depth scenario. Even as you conserve battery power.
4. NEVER EVER Mix Your Targeting With Your Fires.
By making them a chatterbox of network comms while directly exposed to nearby opfor platforms able to exploit it. Thus exposing not only the shooter
to counterengagement but also the sensor technology, encrypts and signals modes to much too much 'direct sample' threat.
While this applies particularly to the UBoatwaffen, it equally means death to a CVA trying to play lone wolf in a big bad ocean.