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Divers find Hitler's aircraft carrier

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posted on Aug, 1 2006 @ 10:20 AM
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I had no idea that the Germans in WWII had an operational aircraft carrier.

Wow just think if Hitler had produced 10-12 carriers, the fight for GB might have been different.




The Times July 27, 2006

Divers find Hitler's aircraft carrier
By Roger Boyes

The location of the wreck of the Graf Zeppelin had been a mystery for more than half a century.

“We were carrying out soundings for possible oil exploration,” Krzysztof Grabowski, of the Petrobaltic exploration group, said. “Then we stumbled across a vessel that was over 260 metres (850ft) long at a depth of 250 metres.”

www.timesonline.co.uk...





posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by SIRR1
I had no idea that the Germans in WWII had an operational aircraft carrier.

Wow just think if Hitler had produced 10-12 carriers, the fight for GB might have been different.


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...

Where I do see 10-12 of those useful is in an attack to NY or some east coast target...ever thought that?



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 12:15 PM
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Given our record of disabling or sinking all of Adolf's big ships I can't see him ever achieving any operational aircraft carriers let alone 10-12



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 05:13 PM
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Aircraft carriers would have been much more useful to Germany than the few battleships they managed to complete. Bismark was lost because of an aerial torpedo (disabled the rudder, forcing the final confrontation), and never came within site carrier that launched the attack.

Germany was using it's ships as "commerce raiders," for which carrier aircraft would have allowed a much broader patrol/strike range than any battleship could hope for.

But German politics weren't up for it. The luftwafe didn't want to cede any authority to a naval airwing and refused to provide any naval aviation. And the head of the Navy was a submariner, and didn't want any resources diverted from U-boat production. They origianly planned on 4 carriers (which might have accomplished something) but only started work on two, and only one of them was ever launched (and it never came close to being operational).



posted on Aug, 5 2006 @ 10:02 AM
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I'm not an expert on this but it is a favorite subject of mine. I have a magazine article from 1983 on the history of the Graf Z and the article makes some interesting statements.

It does support what previous poster said; politics were against Graf Z. When Hitler lost faith in his capital ships then that spelled doom to the aircraft carrier.

Hitler probably would have used it to interdict convoys to Russia. Navalized ME-109's ("tragerflugzeug") would have been a problem on the ship because of it's weak undercarriage. Kriegsmarine Stukas could have been effective.

Article claims that german pilots trained on a japanese carrier. Does not say which one and I have not ever heard anything more on that subject. Maybe this is the forum to find out if somebodyelse has heard that.

Article claims that construction was delayed one time due to allied bombing of the yard that held the wood for the flight deck construction. Don't know if that was deliberate or not (to destroy Graf Z. material). I'd like to know if the allies were even aware of Graf Z.

It also says that Russians towed it from Stettin (I think) after the war where they had loaded it with "war plunder". The Graf Z. parted tow and sank. Wonder what Uncle Joe had stashed in it?

I will be excited to see pics of wreck. Maybe something cool can be salvaged from it. 250 meters is not too deep.

I'll give the details on the article when I get back home.



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 11:59 AM
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Ioseb_Jugashvili,

>>
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.


KPl.



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 05:23 PM
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Looks like Maverick and Goose were German



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 07:46 PM
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Interesting and yes, I agree, the dives to the wreck will make for a very interesting addition to WW2 history.

The Graf Zeppelin was an on/off project that was never completed and was certainly never operational in WW2.

In fact it merely represented yet another enormous and totally pointless squandering of effort and rare resources so typical of Hitler's German state back then.

The fact that inter-service politics (so often encouraged by the Hitler's simpleton and totally childish mania for his half-arsed understanding of a version of the theory of 'the survival of the fittest' ......ie the emergence of the strongest and most effective through 'struggle') wrecked the prospects not only of this a/c carrier but also of a credible and effective German Naval AF (which might have been a very useful adjutant to their surface and submarine fleet) really says it all about that ridiculous ideology.

As with almost all German arms in WW2 the 'jump' they had on most others in terms of modern machinery in numbers at the very start of the war was not continued (how could it be given their profound lack of resources and their ludicrously directionless and deliberately secretive and needlessly competitive management style which allowed what resources they did have to be frittered away so aimlessly or through a staggeringly wasteful degree of duplication of effort).

Graf Zeppelin might have been a formidable - but totally solitary - ship had it appeared in 1939-41 (the war wasn't even originally planned to start until 1942 when the navy was expected to be ready) but after that it would have quite likely have been a victim of the fate that befell so many of the WW2 German arms projects.

Being a single solitary 'asset' I really don't think there is a single action in which it could have been the deciding factor - certainly not the BoB.
Perhaps that's harsh and it might have helped in one or two actions in the mediterranean but then how would it have even gotten there unscathed (or more accurately unsunk)?

IMO it just might have survived long enough to become a case of a fundamentally obsolescent piece of military kit being lashed-up as best as possible with no hope of replacement (certainly not in any numbers.....there was no sign of a 'fleet' of German a/c carriers) until inevitable destruction in the face of overwhelming allied numbers used in a superior appreciation of the use of naval air-power.

(mostly because by then the UK & USA had an excellent understanding - and most importantly a high level of experience - of the use of naval air going back several years.......which is not something that can not just be 'magic-ed' into existence simply with the possession of a new and untested solitary a/c carrier and crew.)



[edit on 7-8-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 04:32 AM
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Yeah, I herad about this on the radio. It's very interesting and I look forward to hear more.



posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 02:59 AM
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From the source.



The Graf Zeppelin was scuttled in shallow water near Szczecin and it proved easy for the Red Army to recover her after marching into the Polish port. According to an agreement with the Allies, German and Japanese warships should have been sunk in deep water or destroyed. The Russians repaired the ship, then used her to carry looted factory equipment back to the Soviet Union. In August 1947 Allied spies observed her being towed back to the Polish Baltic coast and then used for target practice at Leba by Soviet dive bombers. It appeared that the Russians were preparing for possible action against US aircraft carriers.


This part of the story struck me as odd although Im not saying that there isnt any truth to the matter.

If the soviets wanted a flat top why didnt they convert a Liberty ship ?
I know that there was a shortage of shipping but by that stage of the war the Uboats wernt a huge threate anymore.
Why did the Russians raise the Graf Zeppelin just to user to smuggle goods and be used as target practice ?

If the Russians wanted to counter US carriers the Graf Zeppelin would have hardly been in a state to do so.



posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 08:55 PM
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Xpert11,

>>
This part of the story struck me as odd although Im not saying that there isnt any truth to the matter.

If the soviets wanted a flat top why didnt they convert a Liberty ship ?
I know that there was a shortage of shipping but by that stage of the war the Uboats wernt a huge threate anymore.
Why did the Russians raise the Graf Zeppelin just to user to smuggle goods and be used as target practice ?
>>

Try: Massive cultural inferiority complex along with all consuming rage.

If the Germans sink her then they may also raise her and in any case have not 'lost' her. If the Russians sink her, then they have taken something away from the Germans and ruined it just for spite. Like a bully snatching a childs toy and smashing it under his foot. He doesn't want it, but by destroying it, he proves that noone else can have it.

Compare and Contrast:

The scuttling of the High Seas Fleet at Scapa Flow and the bombing of Ostfriesland by Mitchell for the psychology involved. While wars may begin and end on very noble words, the operative mentality of those who prosecute them is often Exceedingly Primitive.

If they also got to intimidate the U.S. by showing that they were capable of destroying American Carriers in a shootex fire power demo, so much the better.


KPl.



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 03:36 AM
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The Zepplin would have been useless to the Germans.....They always had England in range and a Carrier would have been too important to loose ,it would have spent the war in Leningrad helping the retreating Germans,in vain I might add



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 03:46 AM
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The only trouble with the Luftwaffe was that their wings were designed to generate an intimidating sound. When lifting off from carrier based locations, the slightest breeze was devestating.



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 08:52 AM
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Originally posted by bothered
The only trouble with the Luftwaffe was that their wings were designed to generate an intimidating sound.

You not making any sense....the Luftwaffe or "Air weapon" did not have wings,the Ju-87 or Stuka had wind-powered sirens("Trumpets of Jericho") on the wheel covers that wailed during dives to frighten its victims.




When lifting off from carrier based locations, the slightest breeze was devestating.

What!? the slightest breeze was devestating WTF!



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