The German Aircraft Carrier Graf Zeppelin

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Jeff Head, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. thunderchief
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    thunderchief Senior Member

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    Chuck's statement is complete BS , Zeppelin may not be best carrier of that time , but at least it didn't sink from one single torpedo hit like Taiho !

    Taiho is one of the worst examples of carrier engineering . In an effort to squeeze as many planes as possible on poorly designed and protected ship , they left tanks with aircraft fuel completely exposed to torpedo strikes and no easy way to ventilate fuel vapors . When torpedo strike from US submarine damaged said tanks they started to leak and flammable vapors started to accumulate all across the ship with no way to ventilate them . Finally , something ignited fumes and it was all over in a second .

    As I said , Zeppelin may not be best ship of that class , but it was still example of good and solid German engineering , and survived lot of fire power before finally sinking .
     
  2. Franklin
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    Franklin Captain

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    Admirals are the same all over the world, they all want their carriers. :rolleyes: And as big and as many as they can get away with. The Graf Zeppelin was part of a much larger and ambitious naval buildup of the Third Reich the so called "Plan Z". Which if fulfilled would have seen Germany deploying 4 carriers. But the war put a stop to those plans. I wonder why they went to war BEFORE their rearmement plans were completed.

    read more here:

    Plan Z - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Here is a couple of Wiki articles on the Graf Zeppelin, which i find to be very good. The first one talks about the Graf Zeppelin itself and it seasaw history. The second article talks about the Graf Zeppelin class of carriers and goes more into the technical details.

    German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graf_Zeppelin-class_aircraft_carrier
     
    #12 Franklin, Oct 27, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  3. Jeff Head
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    Jeff Head General
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    Actually it is not. Regarding the specific issues he compared...and comparing the Graf Zeppelin to other contemporary carriers at the time, those same comparisons of specifics hold up very well.

    That does not mean that the Graf Zeppelin could not have performed. It does mean, that as their first carrier, the Germans had a lot to learn about hangers, catapaults, anti-aiircraft defense, placing large caliber gun on carriers, etc., etc.

    The The US, the UK, and the Japanese all had almosty twenty years of carrier design under their belits by the early 1940s. Germany did not.
     
  4. Equation
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    Equation Lieutenant General

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    Had the Germans have enough raw materials, oil, and funding, I believe they would build a far more complete air craft carrier and learned a lot from the Graf Zeppelin. They have the engineers, scientists, and ship building project managers to do it.
     
  5. chuck731
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    chuck731 Banned Idiot

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    Actually, thunderchief is the one with the bullshit.

    Structurally taiho survived a torpedo just fine, retained her speed, remained in formation, returned to an even keel and only slight down by the bow, and resumed flight operation. The fuel system wasn't exposed to torpedo damage. It was behind a fairly adaquate torpedo defence system. So structurally Taiho was adaquately protected against torpedoes, and it's fuel storage was as as well protected as any aviation fuel storage on an carrier of that era.

    But any part of a torpedoed ship can be subject to violent shock damage as all parts of any ship hit by a torpedo flex and vibrate. If you think solid german engineering can make a ship immune to shock damage, You might want to look into crippling shock damage suffered by the Tripitz, that left her totally immobilized immediately and mobity reduced permanently. The shock damage was what caused Taiho to start to leak aviation gasoline into the machinery room for the forward aircraft elevator.

    What did her in was staggeringly inept damage control by a green crew which didn't attempt to patch the leak in her aviation gasoline storage, or pump out the leaked gasoline. instead they simply planked over the elevator machinery space where the fuel leaked to with wooden planks, allowing the big open pool of gasoline to form and emit vapor throughout the hangar deck. Later rather than vent the fumes overboard, the inept crew vented it throughout the ship using the ship's ventilation system.

    One only needs to look at the Shokaku and zuikoku, which probably lived through more hits than any other carrier in WWII, to see what damage resistance Taiho would be capable of in the hands of a competent crew. The hull and underwater protection of Taiho is a virtual repeat of the Shokaku, while the flight deck was much more strongly armored then the Shokaku.

    As to the toughness of GZ, how would you know? The proximal cause of most carrier loss has always been fire and secondary explosion of onboard fuel storage and munition, not the explosive power of the ordanance that hit it. GZ never even shipped a single drop of aviation fuel in her life, much less took a hit while gasoline is coursing through her aircraft fueling system. Such ordinance she shipped under Russian supervision would be a fraction of what she would carry and possible have in her hanger and deck if she saw service and real fighting. So on what basis do you say GZ could have survived a torpedo hit, structurally, or damage control wise, as the Taiho?
     
    #15 chuck731, Oct 27, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  6. delft
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    delft Brigadier

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    There was clearly a mismatch between the war preparations of Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe on the one side and Kriegsmarine on the other. Building ships their support and training crew just takes a longer time.
    Also the main target of German aggression was the Sovjet Union and that country was expecting to defend itself from 1942. Think of the production rates of fighter aircraft and tanks. Hitler just couldn't wait for the completion of Plan Z
     
  7. chuck731
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    chuck731 Banned Idiot

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    Warships are big capital investments that simply can't be turned out like muffins, or like WWII tanks, fighters and bombers.
     
  8. shen
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    shen Senior Member

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    The problem is their follow up classes of carriers deosn't get better, just more, what's the word I'm looking for, oh yeah bat shit crazy!

    Flugdeckkreuzer

    70,000t carrier with 32 aircraft, 11" guns, and wait for this....TORPEDOES.
     
  9. chuck731
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    chuck731 Banned Idiot

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    The Germans had a lot of crazy maglomaniac warship ideas during WWII. There was one for a 130,000 ton battleship with 22 inch guns. But many of these ideas were probably intended only to give design staff something to do so they won't be sent to the eastern front.
     
    #19 chuck731, Oct 27, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  10. TerraN_EmpirE
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    TerraN_EmpirE Tyrant King

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    H44 type for plan Z to rearm the German naval fleet and destroy the Royal Navy. I am convinced it was a real plan but Hitler was like a child. He had a short attention span and wanted quick results. Look at the battle of Britain the blitz worked the Luftwaffe had bleed the Royal Air Force white if it had kept up the English would have failed, but the Germans stopped they let off the pressure and turned back to Europe. After the Bismarck was sunk Hitler basicly locked up his own navy. Other then the u boats and commerce raiders the German navy was basicly a coast guard.
     
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