During WWII, did the Kriegsmarine have a surface fleet formidable as the UK and US

Poly

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
6,698
Georgia, USA
The German `pocket battleships` were deficient in armour protection and built to outrun anything they could not outgun. Hardly a philosophy for major fleet actions against the powerful navies of Great Britain and the U.S.A.
What did Fisher say about the pre-Dreadnought RN ?

To weak to fight, too slow to run away

Scrap the lot !
 

OpanaPointer

Ad Honoris
Dec 2010
11,643
Near St. Louis.
Yeah. But the Nazis broke with the past in various other ways like blitzkrieg warfare. Blowing scare resources on battleships instead of emphasizing u-boats was ludicrous in light of the experience of WWI.
I agree. But then there wasn't a whole lot of rational in their rationale.
 

Tercios Espanoles

Ad Honorem
Mar 2014
6,679
Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
I agree. But then there wasn't a whole lot of rational in their rationale.
There was a pre-war construction program in effect (Plan Z) that would have given Germany a more balanced fleet, built around ten battleships and four aircraft carriers by 1948. Such a force, if concentrated, was intended to provide a serious threat to the British Royal Navy, which, though about 50% larger, had worldwide commitments Germany did not have.

Plan Z disappeared with the outbreak of war. Only Tirpitz and Bismark, ordered under Plan Z, were completed. Other construction was scrapped on the stocks.

See Cajus Bekker, Hitler's Naval War, for a complete rundown of Plan Z, its goals and effects.
 
May 2015
1,061
The Netherlands
The Z-Plan makes sense as a long-term project and from the expectation of (a) gaining a large colonial empire in Africa and (b) an eventual war with the Unites States. However, the Germans didn't see or treat it as a long-term project and especially Raeder's plan to use the surface fleet to defeat Britain were completely dillusional. There must have been at least some prestige involved, but they didn't seem to have learned much from WW1. On the other hand they didn't expect war to break out in 1939 but much later, so that might explain their pre-war planning.
 
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Tercios Espanoles

Ad Honorem
Mar 2014
6,679
Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
The Z-Plan makes sense as a long-term project and from the expectation of (a) gaining a large colonial empire in Africa and (b) an eventual war with the Unites States. However, the Germans didn't see or treat it as a long-term project and especially Raeder's plan to use the surface fleet to defeat Britain were completely dillusional. There must have been at least some prestige involved, but they didn't seem to have learned much from WW1.
On the contrary. They learned from WW1 that if a surface fleet-in-being is sufficiently large, it can keep the enemy's larger fleets at bay for a good period of time. In the short wars Hitler envisaged, this was adequate. The Kriegsmarine didn't have to win a war, it just had to be big enough to not lose it.
 

zincwarrior

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
5,713
Texas
The German `pocket battleships` were deficient in armour protection and built to outrun anything they could not outgun. Hardly a philosophy for major fleet actions against the powerful navies of Great Britain and the U.S.A.
indeed
More importantly at the start of the war the US had 8 carriers.
 

OpanaPointer

Ad Honoris
Dec 2010
11,643
Near St. Louis.
On the contrary. They learned from WW1 that if a surface fleet-in-being is sufficiently large, it can keep the enemy's larger fleets at bay for a good period of time. In the short wars Hitler envisaged, this was adequate. The Kriegsmarine didn't have to win a war, it just had to be big enough to not lose it.
The Mahanian "Fleet In Being" concept. Sort of worked.