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OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau

 
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OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 3/30/2020 4:39:06 PM   
Footslogger


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Nice Video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj-3ntOMLys

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 3/30/2020 5:27:14 PM   
alanschu

 

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Bonkers how many attacks were made (I understand).

Nice work by RAF to keep the ship neutralized.

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 3/30/2020 6:10:32 PM   
btd64


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Nice video. Thanks for sharing....GP

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 3/30/2020 7:22:39 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Footslogger

Nice Video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj-3ntOMLys


warspite1

Some hyperbole but generally a very well put together video - thanks for sharing.

One can't help but admire, regardless of politics and the wrongs of Nazism, the professional way - on a military level - the Germans went about war generally.

Operationally their achievement was impressive - but strategically of course it was a defeat.

The German admirals were seemingly never shy in handing out praise too (at least two V.C. were won thanks to German testimony).

Admiral Cilix:

"...the mothball attack of a handful of ancient planes, piloted by men whose bravery surpasses any other action by either side that day"

Eugene Esmonde V.C.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 3/30/2020 7:23:27 PM >


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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/12/2020 6:48:36 AM   
mosessan20


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Looks fine!

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/12/2020 7:33:13 AM   
Ian R

 

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quote:

Operationally their achievement was impressive - but strategically of course it was a defeat.


I'm not sure that is entirely correct, at least looking at the surface fleet in isolation.

Early war sea lane raiding activities kept many many more RN (and various dominion ships) tied up than raiders, who managed to sink a fair tonnage. For sure, there were losses - Graf Spee, Bismarck, and many AMCs, but you can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs (BC Hood, & CL Sydney come to mind).

The Scandinavian invasion operation was carried out effectively.

Later, the 'fleet in being' , consisting mostly of Tirpitz, Scharnhorst (before North Cape) and the Lutzow & Hipper (decommissioned in early 1943, with other vessels in various damaged states effectively decommissioned, or operating in the Baltic) tied down the RN home fleet, and attracted a not inconsiderable amount of air force effort that could have been applied elsewhere.

The U-boat war was however a strategic defeat, driven mostly by technology - the VLR B-24s, and the RN ability to re-route convoys around the U-boats based on code breaking - but also by superior OR.

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Ian R

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/12/2020 3:37:15 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ian R

quote:

Operationally their achievement was impressive - but strategically of course it was a defeat.


I'm not sure that is entirely correct, at least looking at the surface fleet in isolation.

Early war sea lane raiding activities kept many many more RN (and various dominion ships) tied up than raiders, who managed to sink a fair tonnage. For sure, there were losses - Graf Spee, Bismarck, and many AMCs, but you can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs (BC Hood, & CL Sydney come to mind).

The Scandinavian invasion operation was carried out effectively.

Later, the 'fleet in being' , consisting mostly of Tirpitz, Scharnhorst (before North Cape) and the Lutzow & Hipper (decommissioned in early 1943, with other vessels in various damaged states effectively decommissioned, or operating in the Baltic) tied down the RN home fleet, and attracted a not inconsiderable amount of air force effort that could have been applied elsewhere.

The U-boat war was however a strategic defeat, driven mostly by technology - the VLR B-24s, and the RN ability to re-route convoys around the U-boats based on code breaking - but also by superior OR.
warspite1

Well we can agree to disagree. I can't see that any of what you wrote negated my comment that this was a strategic defeat for the Kriegsmarine. In 1940 - following some limited success - Raeder had hoped he could use his surface ships to attack the sea lanes and that is what Gneisenau, Scharnhorst and Prinz Eugen were in France for.

But of course their position soon became untenable and far from being the hunters, they became the hunted, and it was eventually realised the Luftwaffe did not have the units to spare that were required to keep the Kriegsmarine safe. Hence exit three ships stage right, scurrying back to Germany to take up a defensive role as Hitler started to fret more and more about Norway and his northern flank.

Yes, the Germans were able to deploy most of the ships at some time or other as part of a fleet in being, and this kept the RN from reinforcing the Med or the Indian Ocean. But that was a bonus and not the point of the strategic withdrawal - and certainly not what Raeder had in mind for his big beasts.....


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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 3:06:53 AM   
NigelKentarus


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Nice video

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 5:20:34 AM   
Ian R

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

Hence exit three ships stage right, scurrying back to Germany



I am not sure you can nominate the channel dash as a resounding British victory.

Anyway, a number of KGM surface ships went on raids at times up to late 1942 with varying degrees of success, even at times (42, early ?43) causing three of the new US fast BB (Washington, and later South Dakota, Alabama) to be deployed to the UK to bump up the numbers.

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Ian R

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 8:29:26 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

I am not sure you can nominate the channel dash as a resounding British victory.


And to be fair I said:

quote:

One can't help but admire, regardless of politics and the wrongs of Nazism, the professional way - on a military level - the Germans went about war generally.


quote:

Operationally their achievement was impressive


So I really don’t see where I suggested this was a British victory let alone a resounding one. It was nothing of the sort.

But don’t take my word for it; as Raeder himself said, it was a tactical victory but a strategic defeat. And as Cajus Bekker stated “The Channel breakthrough ended as a great tactical success. Yet nobody realised that, in vacating the French bases, the fleet had already begun its strategic defeat”.

As for the “varying degrees of success” enjoyed is concerned, sadly that wasn’t really the case was it? The only ‘success’ that was in any way “enjoyed” by Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, Lutzow or Hipper was actually caused by British mistakes in ordering the scattering of convoy PQ17 – and only indirectly by Tirpitz. Otherwise the ships enjoyed no success and, quite the reverse, were roundly beaten by superior forces at North Cape and simply embarrassed by smaller ships in the Barents Sea.

Damage to arctic convoys was the result of u-boats and aircraft, not the surface fleet. As I said earlier, while they did play a role as a fleet in being, this was not what they were designed for.


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 6/13/2020 9:45:04 AM >


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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 10:08:27 AM   
mind_messing

 

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quote:

One can't help but admire, regardless of politics and the wrongs of Nazism, the professional way - on a military level - the Germans went about war generally.


There was an interesting article I read a few years ago that explored the development of the KM from the context of naval design.

The essential thrust of the argument was that the Kaiserliche Marine design bureau was an elite group of designers that worked very well together.

The transition of Versailles into re-armament led to the breakdown of that design structure and a more fragmented approach to naval designs and a lack of an overall design strategy.

http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-044.php

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 10:17:12 AM   
Ian R

 

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Warspite, I realise the concrete is set on your view on this.

For any other readers who wish to understand how a motley bag of a BB, BC and a few heavy cruisers tied down not only the RN Home Fleet, but various heavy units of the USN Atlantic Fleet that were needed elsewhere, and a lot of RAF effort, you might google up the raiding cruise of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in January - March 1941 - Operation Berlin.

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 10:40:34 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ian R

Warspite, I realise the concrete is set on your view on this.

For any other readers who wish to understand how a motley bag of a BB, BC and a few heavy cruisers tied down not only the RN Home Fleet, but various heavy units of the USN Atlantic Fleet that were needed elsewhere, and a lot of RAF effort, you might google up the raiding cruise of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in January - March 1941 - Operation Berlin.
warspite1

Well when the Kriegsmarine and German naval historians suggest that Cerberus was a strategic defeat I take notice of what they have to say. Operating from France, the range and opportunity for these ships was greatly increased when compared with starting positions in Germany or even Norway. That ended with Cerberus. It was a strategic defeat.

As said, the fact that the German heavy units ended their days acting as a defensive fleet in being to guard against an invasion of Norway that existed only in Hitler's mind isn't in doubt.

Yes, units of the Home Fleet with assistance on occasion from the USN, were held at Scapa to counter a possible breakout isn't in doubt. The voyages of Graf Spee, Hipper, Scheer and the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau showed what was capable (although we can see with hindsight that in the context of the Battle of the Atlantic, the efforts of the heavy units of the Kriegsmarine proved massively disappointing when compared with the u-boats and even the auxiliary cruisers).

But the Home Fleet ships were also required not just to stop a possible breakout, but to provide cover for the Arctic convoys. As an offensive force to be used against the convoys, the surface ships of the Kriegsmarine were a total and utter waste of time - and it was only British error that gave them any real success against the convoys (PQ17).


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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 10:53:42 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing

quote:

One can't help but admire, regardless of politics and the wrongs of Nazism, the professional way - on a military level - the Germans went about war generally.


There was an interesting article I read a few years ago that explored the development of the KM from the context of naval design.

The essential thrust of the argument was that the Kaiserliche Marine design bureau was an elite group of designers that worked very well together.

The transition of Versailles into re-armament led to the breakdown of that design structure and a more fragmented approach to naval designs and a lack of an overall design strategy.

http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-044.php
warspite1

It's hard for all navies (and all services) to plan for the next war as Generals, Admirals and Air Marshals more ordinarily tend to plan for the last one....

For German naval designers post WWI the situation must have been just as difficult if not more so. What were they allowed to build, then what can they build within the rules but that gives them something more, then what can they build with only lip service to the rules then **** the rules, they're going for it.

What was the strategy? Who was the enemy? When was any war going to start? Where were they in the pecking order for resources? Add in the German penchant for design excellence (at the expense of practicality and numbers) and too many ships (of which they had too few in any case) started WWII temperamental, attention hungry and unstable




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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 11:07:54 AM   
Zorch

 

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My opinion (not that anyone asked) is that Scharnhorst & Gneisenau, and Bismarck & Tirpitz were a waste of resources. Germany's fate was not decided by surface raiders. The steel and manpower used in building them would have bought a lot of tanks, planes, guns, and U-boots. The disguised raiders like Atlantis represented a much smaller investment and were cost effective.

The new Allied capital ships used to contain the German ships would have been built regardless. And a few more fast BBs in the Pacific in 1942 would not have changed that war very much, IMHO.

The actual ship designs were a throwback to late WWI, with single purpose secondary guns and armor decks low in the ship. Their turbine engines had high fuel consumption and were less reliable than comparable Allied ships (need source). The sterns of the German CAs and 'pocket' ships had a tendency to break off when damaged. Did the larger ships have this same design flaw?

Hitler's surface fleet ambition (including Plan Z) was a megalomaniac's pipe dream that soaked up scarce resources and raised tensions with Britain. <end rant>


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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 11:50:07 AM   
fcooke

 

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I don't know Zorch - I would take a few more fast BBs in the Pacific in 42.

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 12:06:32 PM   
mind_messing

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing

quote:

One can't help but admire, regardless of politics and the wrongs of Nazism, the professional way - on a military level - the Germans went about war generally.


There was an interesting article I read a few years ago that explored the development of the KM from the context of naval design.

The essential thrust of the argument was that the Kaiserliche Marine design bureau was an elite group of designers that worked very well together.

The transition of Versailles into re-armament led to the breakdown of that design structure and a more fragmented approach to naval designs and a lack of an overall design strategy.

http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-044.php
warspite1

It's hard for all navies (and all services) to plan for the next war as Generals, Admirals and Air Marshals more ordinarily tend to plan for the last one....



In the case of the KM, it was less a case of planning for the last war and more a case of failing to learn the lessons from the last war.

There were some advantages from starting effectively from scratch, however. The ability to incorporate the latest developments directly into the design process, rather than as part of a post-completion refit, for example.

This wasn't done, for the most part. The best example of this is in secondary armament. Where it was used, it was done so excessively - the fire control problems outlined in the article, for one.

quote:

or German naval designers post WWI the situation must have been just as difficult if not more so. What were they allowed to build, then what can they build within the rules but that gives them something more, then what can they build with only lip service to the rules then **** the rules, they're going for it.


And so ended up in the age old trap of "perfect being the enemy of good".

quote:

What was the strategy? Who was the enemy?


Ineffective responses to those questions would suggest a lack of leadership at the strategic level.

quote:

Add in the German penchant for design excellence (at the expense of practicality and numbers) and too many ships (of which they had too few in any case) started WWII temperamental, attention hungry and unstable


Any serious student of history will know that the claim of German design excellence to be a myth.



< Message edited by mind_messing -- 6/13/2020 12:09:57 PM >

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 1:20:33 PM   
Ian R

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

No you are wrong...

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ian R

No you are

warspite1

No you are



Someone is wrong. On the Internet.



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Ian R

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 1:22:15 PM   
RangerJoe


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Those ships were not a waste of resources since they kept a lot of Allied resources occupied. Think of those Allied ships in the Med and then later in the Far East. Think of Force Z with the Hood, Repulse, Renown, KGV, the Prince of Wales plus any other fast battleships finished and trained. Backed up with fast, modern CAs, CLs, and DDs with a few Aircraft carriers as well.

I understand that the stern of the Bismarck did break off, the stern was weak.

My understanding is that the Kriegsmarine was honorable early on, it did keep a certain element included in its ranks and then got them along with their families to safety when they had to.

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 1:41:35 PM   
warspite1


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warspite1

quote:

Add in the German penchant for design excellence (at the expense of practicality and numbers) and too many ships (of which they had too few in any case) started WWII temperamental, attention hungry and unstable


quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing
Any serious student of history will know that the claim of German design excellence to be a myth.


warspite1

The point I was trying to make was that the Germans went for excellence - I didn't say they achieved it and that was often their problem. So in the examples given the Hippers engines were temperamental, the PB's diesels took too much maintenance and their destroyers were top heavy. Trying to do too much - without first perfecting the technology - is often too big a hindrance - the British HACS is a case in point, the He-177 another.


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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 1:44:58 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

My opinion (not that anyone asked) is that Scharnhorst & Gneisenau, and Bismarck & Tirpitz were a waste of resources. Germany's fate was not decided by surface raiders. The steel and manpower used in building them would have bought a lot of tanks, planes, guns, and U-boots. The disguised raiders like Atlantis represented a much smaller investment and were cost effective.

The new Allied capital ships used to contain the German ships would have been built regardless. And a few more fast BBs in the Pacific in 1942 would not have changed that war very much, IMHO.

The actual ship designs were a throwback to late WWI, with single purpose secondary guns and armor decks low in the ship. Their turbine engines had high fuel consumption and were less reliable than comparable Allied ships (need source). The sterns of the German CAs and 'pocket' ships had a tendency to break off when damaged. Did the larger ships have this same design flaw?

Hitler's surface fleet ambition (including Plan Z) was a megalomaniac's pipe dream that soaked up scarce resources and raised tensions with Britain. <end rant>

warspite1

They may have been, but there was no question of the Germans not building them.... because that's what one did if one were to show they had a serious navy. Yes in hindsight they were a waste but then so were lots of ships that were either built or modernised or otherwise kept in service, because no one knew for certain what was needed should another war come.


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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 1:45:21 PM   
mind_messing

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

warspite1

quote:

Add in the German penchant for design excellence (at the expense of practicality and numbers) and too many ships (of which they had too few in any case) started WWII temperamental, attention hungry and unstable


quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing
Any serious student of history will know that the claim of German design excellence to be a myth.


warspite1

The point I was trying to make was that the Germans went for excellence - I didn't say they achieved it and that was often their problem. So in the examples given the Hippers engines were temperamental, the PB's diesels took too much maintenance and their destroyers were top heavy. Trying to do too much - without first perfecting the technology - is often too big a hindrance - the British HACS is a case in point, the He-177 another.



Your original point was around the professionalism of the German war machine under the Nazis. The link I posted provides evidence that it, in the context of naval design, it actually decreased from WW1.

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 1:52:54 PM   
warspite1


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Then you've missed the point entirely.

The professionalism of the soldiers, sailors and airmen in waging war with what they've got - and how they wage it - is a separate issue to what they have to fight with.

The Kriegsmarine won a tactical victory during Cerberus. It was aided by incompetence within the British command structure, but regardless, those three ships achieved their aim (despite Raeder predicting total disaster).



< Message edited by warspite1 -- 6/13/2020 1:54:37 PM >


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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 2:36:31 PM   
mind_messing

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

The professionalism of the soldiers, sailors and airmen in waging war with what they've got - and how they wage it - is a separate issue to what they have to fight with.


I'd disagree.

Even so, the somewhat scatter-brained approach to German naval engineering (and military engineering in general) certainly counters your original claim of German military professionalism in a general sense.

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 3:14:49 PM   
RangerJoe


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Maybe some people were trying to keep away from the Eastern Front so they tried anything that they could to keep themselves away from there.

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 3:34:07 PM   
Orm


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I really dislike how the term 'strategic' victory is used. Once historians get a look of a battle that was deemed tactical defeat at the time it was fought, they easily change it to a strategic win.

BTW. Did you guys know that Cannae was a Roman Strategic Victory?

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 3:41:55 PM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

I really dislike how the term 'strategic' victory is used. Once historians get a look of a battle that was deemed tactical defeat at the time it was fought, they easily change it to a strategic win.

BTW. Did you guys know that Cannae was a Roman Strategic Victory?


It encouraged Hannibal into believing he could defeat Rome by remaining in Italy whilst Rome took the strategic approach of first destroying the base of Carthage's power which was provided by its Spanish colonies and then going straight for the jugular itself, Carthage. Fabius and Scipio, a strategic partnership made in heaven.

Alfred

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RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 4:03:53 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

The professionalism of the soldiers, sailors and airmen in waging war with what they've got - and how they wage it - is a separate issue to what they have to fight with.


I'd disagree.

Even so, the somewhat scatter-brained approach to German naval engineering (and military engineering in general) certainly counters your original claim of German military professionalism in a general sense.
warspite1

No, not at all. The performance of a soldier in the field is often linked to the equipment provided. But as with every walk of life, sometimes people out-perform what they have to work with, while other times they squander the advantage. I think you are confusing the two.

The Germans very often punched well above their weight.


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(in reply to mind_messing)
Post #: 28
RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 4:12:26 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 42856
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

I really dislike how the term 'strategic' victory is used. Once historians get a look of a battle that was deemed tactical defeat at the time it was fought, they easily change it to a strategic win.

BTW. Did you guys know that Cannae was a Roman Strategic Victory?
warspite1

Why is it important whether a strategic victory/defeat is called at the time or later? Are you suggesting that the Kriegsmarine - Raeder in particular - was unaware at the time that strategically the withdrawal from France was a withdrawal that adversely affected the German strategy of subduing the United Kingdom by interdiction of the sealanes?

Do you think that the fact that his ships did not end up at the bottom of the English Channel significantly lessened his disquiet about the turn the war was taking by the action?

Put it this way. The British - the RAF and the RN - would have been deeply embarrassed by Cerberus. But, after the shock, embarrassment and anger had subsided in the coming days, what do you think was their reaction to these ships no longer being based on the west coast of France where they could much more easily slip out into the Atlantic? Relief. This was a strategic defeat for Germany.


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(in reply to Orm)
Post #: 29
RE: OT: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - 6/13/2020 4:29:48 PM   
BBfanboy


Posts: 15471
Joined: 8/4/2010
From: Winnipeg, MB
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: fcooke

I don't know Zorch - I would take a few more fast BBs in the Pacific in 42.

Everyone is putting the German fleet as the sole reason for the deployment of USN fast BBs with the home fleet in 1942. There are a few other considerations:
- Operation Torch - the invasion of North Africa was planned for November 1942 and the fast BBs were needed to guard the invasion. Massachusetts is the only one I know of actually engaging during the invasion. I think CV Wasp was deployed for this too? Immediately after the Torch landings were deemed secure the USN BBs returned to the US for upgrades and Pacific deployment.

- the sudden expansion of the USN brought in a huge wave of raw recruits, and the veterans had to be scattered around the new ships coming to the USN. So overall crew experience was quite low and the deployment with the home fleet gave a chance to "work up" the crews in an environment of low air threat before they went to the Pacific.

- Pearl Harbour was still cleaning up the mess from December 7th, and may not have been ready to handle very many large vessels. Patching up the carriers alone must have taxed the shipyard a bit. Then there was all those cruisers that got banged up - Chicago, Honolulu, San Francisco, Portland, Minneapolis, Atlanta, etc.

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(in reply to fcooke)
Post #: 30
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