What if Adm. Marschall was in charge of Operation Rheinübung on board Bismarck?

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Peter89
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Re: What if Adm. Marschall was in charge of Operation Rheinübung on board Bismarck?

Post by Peter89 » 30 Oct 2021 17:52

glenn239 wrote:
30 Oct 2021 14:43

On the Artic route the Allies could send one convoy at a time and cover it amply with surface forces, similar to when they sent convoys to Malta. But in the Atlantic there might be 20 convoys at sea at once. There was no way to provide adequate cover, (well, at least until the US Navy started to weigh onto the scales after 1941).
glenn239 wrote:
30 Oct 2021 14:43

Masses of US Jeep carriers with fighters didn't help either.
This seems to be a common misconception - probably one of the biggest contribution of the Condors was the enforcing of CAM ships.
By way of comparison, British defenses against the Condor in the period 1940–43
saw 45 Condors destroyed in the air and on the ground, although flak and fighter
damage probably contributed to the loss of a number of other Fw 200s over water.
Surprisingly, the biggest eliminator of Condors was anti-aircraft fire from the
ubiquitous DEMS ships, which destroyed nine Fw 200s. In comparison, AA fire from
Allied warships escorting the convoys only shot down four Condors with any certainty.
FAA fighters from escort carriers claimed five Condors in 1941–43 and RAF fighters
from CAM ships claimed another three. The 35 CAM ships proved to be a wasteful
diversion of resources (accounting for the equivalent of two full RAF Hurricane
squadrons), simply to provide a single-shot burst of air cover for a convoy. Land-based
aircraft succeeded in intercepting at least 15 Condors, including eight by RAF Coastal
Command and seven by the USAAF. In 1940, British convoy defenses were unable
to shoot down any Condors but by 1941 about half the convoys that were attacked
were able to damage or shoot down at least one Fw 200.
Fw 200 Condor vs Atlantic Convoy 1941-43 by Robert Forczyk, p. 73.
glenn239 wrote:
30 Oct 2021 14:43
Once the US entered the war, the Atlantic campaign's ultimate outcome was not in doubt. But, the U-boats fought effectively up to May 1943, so it does not stretch the imagination that this period could have been extended by some amount.
IIRC I read it somewhere that Raeder wanted to establish a defense in depth by establishing German positions along Africa's nortwest coast and along the Iberian peninsula. This could effectively limit Allied landing options to France and the Low Countries, which could have been defended by the Wehrmacht indefinately.

Now as we talk about this, I started to reread the SKL KTB in May and June 1941. Would you like to have a copy?
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: What if Adm. Marschall was in charge of Operation Rheinübung on board Bismarck?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 31 Oct 2021 19:03

There was plenty of room to improve on the combined arms coordination front too though. For example, above you mention convoys being the bane of the U-boats (and AA made air attack problematic), but for battleships convoys were targets. With PQ-17, the threat of battleship attack broke up the convoy, which in turn allowed air and submarine attacks to score heavily.
Right or wrong this was the logic in deploying the capitol ships for raiding. Submarines, surface raiders, and the few aircraft available appeared to have rising success in the Atlantic from latter 1940. As the winter of 1941 passed it made sense to build on that to prepare for the return to focus on England in 1942 after the USSR was defeated.

As a former practitioner of littoral warfare I can see possible uses of the German surface fleet & associated airpower on the Baltic & Bothnian coasts. But Raeder & Co did not have the same tradition of littoral warfare I was trained in. If there were any advantages there they either failed to see them, or had no confidence they could exploit them.

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Re: What if Adm. Marschall was in charge of Operation Rheinübung on board Bismarck?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 31 Oct 2021 19:12

Peter89 wrote:
30 Oct 2021 17:52
... IIRC I read it somewhere that Raeder wanted to establish a defense in depth by establishing German positions along Africa's nortwest coast and along the Iberian peninsula. ...
There were inquires 1940-41 about allowing a German airbase in French territory, Morocco & perhaps Dakar. The French were reluctant and seem to have procrastinated on their response
... This could effectively limit Allied landing options to France and the Low Countries, which could have been defended by the Wehrmacht indefinately.
This leads to the question of what was the primary goal. A aggressive defeat of Britain in 1942, or a less outreaching defense.

glenn239
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Re: What if Adm. Marschall was in charge of Operation Rheinübung on board Bismarck?

Post by glenn239 » 01 Nov 2021 17:07

Peter89 wrote:
30 Oct 2021 17:52
Now as we talk about this, I started to reread the SKL KTB in May and June 1941. Would you like to have a copy?
Sure! Just let me know cost and I'll fire some cash back in your direction.

glenn239
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Re: What if Adm. Marschall was in charge of Operation Rheinübung on board Bismarck?

Post by glenn239 » 01 Nov 2021 17:09

Peter89 wrote:
30 Oct 2021 17:52
IIRC I read it somewhere that Raeder wanted to establish a defense in depth by establishing German positions along Africa's nortwest coast and along the Iberian peninsula. This could effectively limit Allied landing options to France and the Low Countries, which could have been defended by the Wehrmacht indefinately. ?
A far sounder strategy than invading Russia, but up against the hurdle that Hitler was determined to start a land war in Asia.

PunctuationHorror
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Re: What if Adm. Marschall was in charge of Operation Rheinübung on board Bismarck?

Post by PunctuationHorror » 01 Nov 2021 18:25


Peter89
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Re: What if Adm. Marschall was in charge of Operation Rheinübung on board Bismarck?

Post by Peter89 » 06 Nov 2021 11:54

Good find!
glenn239 wrote:
01 Nov 2021 17:07
Peter89 wrote:
30 Oct 2021 17:52
Now as we talk about this, I started to reread the SKL KTB in May and June 1941. Would you like to have a copy?
Sure! Just let me know cost and I'll fire some cash back in your direction.
glenn, I did not mean to ask money for it from you. In my opinion, all archive materials should be free and digitalized by now.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Peter89
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Re: What if Adm. Marschall was in charge of Operation Rheinübung on board Bismarck?

Post by Peter89 » 06 Nov 2021 12:57

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
31 Oct 2021 19:12
Peter89 wrote:
30 Oct 2021 17:52
... IIRC I read it somewhere that Raeder wanted to establish a defense in depth by establishing German positions along Africa's nortwest coast and along the Iberian peninsula. ...
There were inquires 1940-41 about allowing a German airbase in French territory, Morocco & perhaps Dakar. The French were reluctant and seem to have procrastinated on their response
This is not entirely accurate. There were more than inquiries, there were a series of agreements - and the Vichy kept their promises. The problem lay in front of Hitler's door with his invasion of the Soviet Union. Even after the Dieppe raid, the Vichy wanted to increase their participation in the defense of Europe. They even shot back at the landing Allies during Torch. With Gibraltar in British hands, the passage of Vichy forces through the straits was effectively at Britain's mercy; thus, the Vichy would not risk their major surface units against Brits. On the other hand, when their best-guarded colony, the Levant came under attack, they engaged the Brits in surface vessel combat. In my opinion, it was not so much because of the lack of cooperative attitude from the Vichy side, but the lack of an anti-British coalition warfare vision from Hitler that ruined this cooperation.
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
31 Oct 2021 19:12
... This could effectively limit Allied landing options to France and the Low Countries, which could have been defended by the Wehrmacht indefinately.
This leads to the question of what was the primary goal. A aggressive defeat of Britain in 1942, or a less outreaching defense.
As there were no existing naval or aerial means of aggressively defeat Britain, and given Hitler's positive ideological disposition towards the British, I think he chose to defeat the British by rendering their naval blockade ineffective.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Peter89
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Re: What if Adm. Marschall was in charge of Operation Rheinübung on board Bismarck?

Post by Peter89 » 06 Nov 2021 14:16

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
31 Oct 2021 19:12
Peter89 wrote:
30 Oct 2021 17:52
... IIRC I read it somewhere that Raeder wanted to establish a defense in depth by establishing German positions along Africa's nortwest coast and along the Iberian peninsula. ...
There were inquires 1940-41 about allowing a German airbase in French territory, Morocco & perhaps Dakar. The French were reluctant and seem to have procrastinated on their response
Look, this particular piece has the full text of the Paris Protocols in English.

https://books.google.hu/books?id=8WXZAA ... page&q=892
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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