Having a "What if" moment.

Discussion in 'Full Scale' started by Knight4hire, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Knight4hire

    Knight4hire Active Member

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    200-300 U-Boats.... Could Germany have crewed so many so early in the war????

    Had Germany been able to apply a choke hold by sea, the only supply would have been by air.
    The US had a very hard time with the Berlin Airlift when it had started, and the Air Force was full of cargo planes after the war.
    It was not until large four engine cargo planes were put into service that sufficent supplys could be brought in to support Berlin.
    That was to supply only one city, I hate to imagine how much would have to be flown in to support the entire british islands!
    In 1940 the US trying to supply the Brits by air would not have been pretty.

    Also, early in the war, the US east coast was easy pickings for U-Boats.
    With 200+ boats, Germany could have sunk everything that left the east coast.
    Until the small yellow airplanes showed up.
     
  2. Jay Jennings

    Jay Jennings Well-Known Member

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    If you look at the crews of the surface ships, 2 Scharnhorst class crew approx 3338 for both, 3 Deutchland class crew approx 3210 for all and the crew compliment for the type VII U-Boat at 52 max, there is 125 uboat crews right there. Add the approx 4130 either on or training for the Bismarck class, there is about 80 more and the 3 Hipper class crews of approx 4100 total, another 80 U-Boats, it is entirely possible the Greman Navy could have manned that number of U-Boats.
    Just throwing the numbers out there,
    J
     
  3. Knight4hire

    Knight4hire Active Member

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    Das U-boot crews were something else.

    Now I am wondering how many of those you numbered would have passed musted and been able to man a u-boat.

    U-boat service was not for everybody. I thought that they had a high rate of washouts.

    But still that does put a lot more boats in the water, if thier production could have supported it.

    If I remember correctly, U-Boat production was always moving at it's max, thus Germany would have been hard pressed to put more boats inthe water any faster than they did.
     
  4. Anachronus

    Anachronus Well-Known Member

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    Considering what they were able to do with so few, even doubling that number would have had a big impact. No need for the full Z-Plan numbers.
     
  5. Jay Jennings

    Jay Jennings Well-Known Member

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    Well Knight, I can tell you from personal experience that sub training is hard and the life is notfor everyone. We were losing about 35% of submarine recruits up here, but that number has dropped due to a more stringent screening process. I suspect it would help that to the German people Submariners were heroes and very well respected. As far as production goes, I submit that if Germany wasn't building BBs and CAs and the German Navy had decided to concentrate their efforts on U-Boats, they would have been building more U-boats for the years leading up to the war and would have already had a large fleet available when they started the war.
    J
     
  6. Knight4hire

    Knight4hire Active Member

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    Just thought about my past experience with under seas personnel. Had a friend who served on subs during WW2. He had some interesting tales to tell. Also I had the experience of being on a very long flight sitting next to modern sub crew member. I have also crawled through the U-505 numerous times, and a number of US WW2 subs.
    I can see that being locked inside of a small tube would effect people. Being a flyboy, during some of our 12+ hour missions, that fuselage would seem to shrink in flight. And I had a cargo deck to walk around on. I can see where the tight confinds of a boat, would tend to drive folks cRaZy after a while.

    As for production...
    Just thinking about the logistics of converting the yards from BIG ships to sub production.
    Retraining the ships builders.
    It would have taken time, but I feel that yes, Germany could have had more subs. But not 200-300 subs.
    Yes, with the U-Boat crew being heros, yes, that would help to swell the ranks, but not enought to field 200-300 U-boats.
     
  7. irnuke

    irnuke -->> C T D <<--

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    I served aboard a SSBN. 99+ days underwater. But if your busy, it's just another job. We did have one kid crack about 1/2-way thru a patrol. I'll never forget this skinny 19 y.o., trying to open the hatch while we were submerged because he wanted OFF RIGHT NOW. He was hanging on the ladder with two 200+ pound chief's trying to pull him off. They weren't able to until the corpsman came up and gave the kid a sedative. He was put in restraints and a few days later (earliest we could break patrol) we surfaced and he was helicoptered off.
    As for Germany's building capability... remember that they were building U-boat components all over, then shipping them to the final yard for assembly. A diesel engine is a diesel engine. Piping is piping. The only unique skills are the hull fitters.
     
  8. Tugboat

    Tugboat Facilitator RCWC Staff Admiral (Supporter)

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    I'm with Jeff on all counts. Never had the hull closing in on me, unless you count the moment you wake up at 3AM to go start the reactor for a deployment and know you aren't coming back for 3 to 6 months. Once you get inside and get to work, it's another day at work, where's my morning coffee, b****es? :)

    Definately agree on the sub building. Parts is parts until you weld the hull sections together with the gear inside. It's way easier to go from big must-have-armor-plate-10"-thick ships down to U-boats, than to go the other way. U-boats were pretty straightforward to build. No worries about double hulls, massive pieces of machinery (apart from engines and generators).
     
  9. Knight4hire

    Knight4hire Active Member

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    Tug, you are talking about a much bigger boat.

    I will have to do some research on the building end because I am still not convinced.