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Author Topic: III Reich Aircraft Carrier Projects  (Read 21545 times)

Offline pometablava

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III Reich Aircraft Carrier Projects
« on: March 21, 2007, 11:47:02 am »
A very nice article on Graf Zeppelin from Roy C. Nesbit can be found at Aeroplane's March 2007 issue.

a) In 1936, the keels of two carriers were laid down: Flugzeugtrager A (later Graf Zeppelin) and Flugzeugtrager B (latter Peter Strasser).

b) In addition, Grossadmiral Erich Raeder, put forward in 1938 a plan for four aircraft carriers to be built by 1945 (part of Plan Z) altough later it was to be reduced to two ships.

Any of this ships was never completed.

I understand that Zeppelin and Strasser were sister ships and that "1938 design" formed another class. Possibly a revised/enhanced/enlarged Zeppelin Class design or maight be a totally new design. Anybody has information or even drawings about this "1938 Flugzeugtrager" Class?

I have seen this books from John Baxter that are "what if" stuff but I would like to know if they are based upon real projects, anybody knows if I could  find the "1938 Flugzeugtrager" Class on it?

http://www.lonewulfmodels.co.uk/sub_category.php?c_id=26&sc_id=77#

Offline smurf

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Re: III Reich Aircraft Carrier Projects
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2007, 01:58:49 pm »
On the Warship Projects Discussion Board some time a go I posted this:
I've found an article by MJ Whitley in Warship vol 8 No 31 p153 1984.which may be the one I was thinking of, and a similar shorter story in Chesneau's Aircraft Carriers of the World.   Essentially it is a continuously developing design story, rather than separate designs being abandoned one after the other. The two accounts are not quite the same, but go like this:
1. No aircraft carrier or naval aviation under Versailles Treaty so no design work until 1930's.
2. Chesneau: German rearmament begins in 1930's. Hadeler draws up tentative design in 1933 for full-deck carrier about 30 aircraft relying on carrier designs of other nations, especially RN and Courageous "even to the extent of incorporating a double hanger and forward flying off deck"
"Meanwhile the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of June 1935 allowed Germany 35% of RN tonnage for each class. For carriers this was theoretically 42750 tons, but RN had not taken up quite all its 135000 tons for carriers under the Washington Treaty, so Hadeler's sketches were refined into a live project and two carriers at 19250 tons each were authorised." The design progressed through various levels with increasing[/size] displacement, Chesneau quoting 28000 tons std by 1939.
3. Whitley: "On 12th March 1934 Staff Requirements for a carrier were tabled: 15000 tons, 33kn, 9x150mm or 6(2x3) 203mm, cruiser scale armour, range 12000 miles, 60 aircraft, 1/2 with folding wings"
203mm sited aft for use against a stern chase found to be impractical [2x3 or 1x3 + 3x1 in casemates].
In April 1934 a carrier proposed for 1935 programme. Design task given to Hadeler, who studied Lexington and Courageous and had prepared a sketch design by June 1934. Demands for modifications - navy unsure of precise needs. Under Anglo-German Naval Agreement of June 1935 Germans inferred a right to build carriers forbidden by Versailles, but Hadeler had to recast his design (which had reached 24000 tons) so that 2 could be built in the 38500 tons available. Whitley speaks of then learning from Japan, changing proposals for a fore-deck Glorious style catapult etc and reaching a 12250 ton[clearly a misprint for 22250 ton] carrier with an actual full load displacement of 33550 tons, 33.8 kn on 200,000 hp, about 40 aircraft various schemes for 8 - 16 150mm LA or DP guns. By this time we are into the Graf Zeppelin design as often outlined. Whitley's article follows the design process thereafter in some detail.

So, C and W agree that the 19250 ton version arose from the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of June 1935. How real that was or whether it was a paper figure, is a bit doubtful, given the other departures from reality for battleships and cruisers.

There is a part 2 to Whitley's article (Warship vol 9, No 33 p29 1985) which deals with construction, fates, and some later carrier projects. Neither part gives original sources for the data, and there are no drawings of the early sketch designs. (Sketch may merely mean 'outline' and there be no serious drawings.)

The later carrier projects were either conversions: All were [renamed](unfinished Hipper class heavy cruiser Seydlitz [Weser]; French light cruiser hull De Grasse [II]; liners Europa - the big one 50000 gross tons ; Gneisenau [Jade] and Potsdam [Elbe]; also some rather far-fetched designs for hybrids in 1942 with big guns forward as well as flight decks, and no chance of being built. 
Only the Graf Zeppelin got really near to completion.  Her sister B is often called Peter Strasser but never officially so named.
For details:  the real ones German Warships 1815-1945 Vol One Erich Groener, revised Jung and Maass.
the hybrids  The Hybrid Warship    Layman and McLaughlin pp122ff
That's about it.

Offline smurf

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Re: III Reich Aircraft Carrier Projects
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2007, 01:49:25 am »
Sorry, PS.  Weser, Jade and Elbe would all have been around 18000 tons design displacement. Europa (I) 44000, compared to Graf Zeppelin 28000 tons design;  33550 max, 23200 standard.  B about 1000 tons lighter than GZ.

Offline smurf

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Re: III Reich Aircraft Carrier Projects
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2007, 04:51:12 am »
If you can handle a bit of Russian, you can find most carrier drawings here:
http://www.wunderwaffe.narod.ru/WeaponBook/AC/Draw/
My Russian is not quite good enough to be sure which ones are strictly authentic, and which, if any, are 'artist's impressions'.  But the Russians did have Graf Zeppelin, and I guess access to German records.
On other pages on this site, some RN projects are drawn in greater detail than original sketches, which means the artists must have put in some of their own input.

Offline Sentinel Chicken

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Re: III Reich Aircraft Carrier Projects
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2007, 06:11:45 am »
What ship does this image represent?

Link: http://www.wunderwaffe.narod.ru/WeaponBook/AC/Draw/02.jpg

Appears to be some sort of escort carrier....I seem to recall reading that somewhere in the latter half of the war Himmler wanted a carrier of his own for the SS??

Offline Hood

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Re: III Reich Aircraft Carrier Projects
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2007, 06:31:00 am »
Sentinel Chicken, I'm afraid the picture is a WW2 British Escort Carrier, I think HMS Nairana.

Smurf, thanks from the info from Whitley, over on Warship Disscussion 3.0 I made a query about the 1930s German carrier designs. It does seem no further info will come out and that no drawings/sketches have survived.


Offline airman

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Re: III Reich Aircraft Carrier Projects
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2010, 07:07:51 am »
Graf Zeppelin !  :)
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Online Jemiba

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Re: III Reich Aircraft Carrier Projects
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2010, 08:39:48 am »
Not to be taken too seriously, I think .   ;)

15 cm twin turrets before and aft of the island, 10.5 cm AA guns on the left side of the flight deck,
the tower stolen from the "Graf Spee" ...  perhaps a reconstruction from a reconnaissance photo ?
"esorting U-Boat" really is a funny caption !  ;D
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: III Reich Aircraft Carrier Projects
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2010, 03:33:01 pm »
"esorting U-Boat" really is a funny caption !  ;D

Actually a very important role for the German Navy in WWII and one they would have put a carrier to use on if available. The British forces were able to sink many German submarines by interdicting their deployment routes through the North Sea and Bay of Biscay before they could make it to the high seas. Because Germany was geographically constrained there was no practical alternative to these sea routes. Since this was a major weakness a submarine escort forces were put into place to help them make it to the relative security of the high seas. Submarines survive via stealth and often overlooked by many observers is that stealth applies also to operational and strategic deployment issues not just tactical engagements.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Online Jemiba

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Re: III Reich Aircraft Carrier Projects
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2010, 11:38:41 am »
That's correct, during the final stages of the war, that probably was the most important
role of the German surface vessels, but as I understand it, here in this drawing the U-Boat
is escorting the carrier, not the other way round.
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: III Reich Aircraft Carrier Projects
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2010, 10:43:49 pm »
That's correct, during the final stages of the war, that probably was the most important
role of the German surface vessels, but as I understand it, here in this drawing the U-Boat
is escorting the carrier, not the other way round.

LOL! Touche!

Reminds me of the story of U-556 that in trying to borrow Bismarck’s band for its commissioning ceremony so offered to be their underwater escort. While offered in jest (they got the band) this same submarine had a perfect chance to sink the RN carrier before it launched the Swordfish aircraft that disabled the Bismarck causing it to be caught by the RN fleet. However this U-556 had expended all of its serviceable torpedoes so was unable to engage. They knew Bismarck was in trouble as all U Boats had been ordered to its defence but had to sit by and watch the ship they had “adopted” get sunk.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: III Reich Aircraft Carrier Projects
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2013, 06:25:06 am »

[IMAGE CREDIT: US Navy/Wikimedia Commons]

Quote
Description  The German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin after launching in December 1938.

Date            8 December 1938

Source         U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation photo No. 1996.488.037.060

Author         U.S. Navy (A503 FM30-50 booklet for identification of ships, published by the Division of Naval Inteligence of the Navy Department of the United States)
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline sgeorges4

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Re: III Reich Aircraft Carrier Projects
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2018, 09:42:47 am »
Any official or detailed drawing fo the FlugzeugtrÄger B(Peter Strasser seem to be a speculate name):

The only picture I can find in this book:


Offline Hood

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Re: III Reich Aircraft Carrier Projects
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2018, 03:35:07 am »
As far as I know the second Graf Zeppelin class carrier would have been identical to the first ship, probably including the 1942 modifications made to Graf Zeppelin (Atlantic bow, revised 2.4m wide bulges above roll keel).