Good morning Ashley and all participans of the actually filed thread "Kriegsmarine 1946".
Sorry for my late input for the discussion of this topic, but the research of the following informations took a lot of time. After contacting Gollevainen.he proposed to open a new thread and with a little different name. Direct inputs in the filed thread do not work.
As a former German naval officer, retiring from active service in 1997, I am highly interested in the historical development of naval technology (shipbuilding, weapons, electronics) of the KM and the allies of the period beginning after WW I. Therefore I followed the discussion of the thread "SEA LION-operations", later named “Kriegsmarine 1946” in all details. Due to the fact that some aspects of the discussion may be seen under a different viewpoint I started some research and the results may be of some interest.
The "Third Reich", when starting the planning of offensive operations against UK in 1939, tasked the navy to study the possibility of an amphibious operations against the island. Rearadmiral FRICKE and captain REINICKE prepared "Studie Rot (Study Red)." In this paper they proposed a landing zone at UK’s southcoast between Portland and Yarmouth.
A few month later the German Army prepared a separate paper "Studie Nordwest (Study Northwest)" written by a mayor STIEFF. He proposed the amphibious operation between the Themse’s estuary and the Wash area, landing there 40 divisions (a total of 300 000 men) in two waves plus a possible feint landing at Britain’s channel coast.
(Sources: a. Egbert Kieser: “Unternehmen Seelöwe, die geplante Invasion in England 1940”, pages 94-98, 106-110, published by Bechtle Verlag Esslingen, München 1987, ISBN 3-7628-0457-5
b. Several years ago I have seen a spezial journal, published by the construction office of the KM (Konstruk-
tionsamt der Kriegsmarine), which describes in details the development, capabilities and operational
experiencies in amphibious operations mainly of the UK and US navies. Fortunately the KM could not cut these
knowledge in steel!
The publication, classified secret, was terminated end of 1944. Unfortunately I do not remember the title of
For all members of this thread, living in the vicinity of Flensburg, northern Germany, You can see this periodical in the
library of the Naval Academy in Flensburg-Mürwik. The library is open for the public Tuesday afternoon.)
Based on these facts the assumption of Ashley in the AU by designing landing ships for an amphibious operation in 1946 becomes a more realistic value. Investigating the ship’s construction in details I would calculate the cruising speed of the landing ships at 16-18 kts with a max. speed of about 22-22 kts. Is this assumption realistic?
Based on this facts amphibious operations against the UK’s east coast in the Wash area may be possible with starting points from harbors and naval bases in Netherland and from German’ coastline of the Northsea. A feint landing ops against the south coastline of UK, performed by the MFPs and AFPs, starting from France’s channel coast, may be possible and realistic for this AU-scenario, too.
The following paragraph treats with some technical details of the different landing ships.
a. Type “Lübeck, Flensburg, Kiel and Travemünde: The searchlight equipment on the tower mast is to crowded, they interfere with each other in their turning angle. If the center searchlight is removed, the remaining ones can horizontally sweep about 270° and in every direction to searchlight can illuminate the same point or target area!
The turret masts of all landing ships appear to heavy. The diameter of them should be reduced of about 30% and one deck lower to minimize top weight and get a better stability.
b. Types Kiel and Travemünde: The shape of the funnels looks a little bit of the British construction style. At this time the
KM would design the ship’s propulsion exhaust system as one funnel with a sloped cap, see the proposed “Rostock-
c. The Travemünde landing ship is proposed without bow and stern gates and the shape of the bow is similar to the cruisers of the Japan’s Imperial Navy. Does exist special reasons for this facts? Which method should be used to land the heavy military equipment, tanks, artillery, etc., at the hostile coast?
d. In 1963 and 1976 I have seen in the archive of the Naval Academy in Flensburg a small model of a landing ship, larger than the MFPs. It is knbown that the KM has designed a lot of ships at the end of the war which remains paper ideas only. The model I have seen has some similarities with the old Soviet landing ship of the “MP 8 class”, but designed as a flushdecker and armed with 6x3,7cm AA-guns and has bow gates. (For comparison: MFP: 50m long; new type: about 70 m long)
e. The proposed auxiliary ships, i.e. “Bergheim” or “Pichelstein”, represents shipbuilding technology of the time short before the first worldwar! For amphibious operations against UK in this scenario I would say that the KM would have selected only merchant vessels of th most modern designs at 1946. For the shape and the capabilities of those supply ships refer to Gröner, Vol 3, p. 256-269 (Erich Groener “Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945, vol.3, published by Bernard & Graefe, Koblenz 1985, ISBN 3-7637-4802-4)
or Prager „Blohm + Voss“, p. 168 (Prager: „Blohm & Voss“, published by Koehler, Herford 1977, ISBN 3-7822-0127-2). The requested AA-armament for the auxiliaries should be at minimum to counter the air thread of this period of time
1-2 7,5cm/36 Sk C/34
2-4 3,7cm/83 Sk C/30 or the more modern 3,7cm/57 M42
4-6 2cm/65 with C30 or C38 gun carriage
I hope, this points wil create some interest to continue a discussion of a”Sea Lion”-operations under very different conditions