Hi, there. Without too much smalltalk, I have a "story" regarding a different strory regarding the German KGM, its development and war envolvement. The baseline for "my story" (or AU, if you so prefer), resides on the fact that one of the attempted or intended assassinations on Hitler succeeded in late 1935, whereby General Rudolf-Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff together with two higher ranking officers of the Abwehr succeeds to kill in Berlin Hitler, Göring, and Himmler as well as four aides during a meeting in the Reichskanzlei by detonating a time bomb hidden inside a leather dcument case. After the following heavy fighting opposing the Wehrmacht to the SS, where Canaris and his secret service played a vital role, like Guderian and his armoured vehicle divisions, a new government is put up with General Erwin von Witzleben as Chancellor. Only nine months later, with thousands of emprisonments in concentration camps where until that point Jews had been incarcerated, the "Prussian part" of the Wehrmacht succeeds to eliminate the remaining nazi leaders like Goebbels and Heydrich. So far for the political part, let's not get into further details and instead concentrate on the changes operated in the German Kriegsmarine by the new government.
In mid-1936, the following ships existed already or were in the process of being built:
- Old Deutschlandklasse battleships: Schleswig-Holstein and Schlesien (both built in 1906 and obsolete in 1936)
- Heavy cruisers: Admiral Hipper, Blücher and Prinz Eugen (all laid down in 1935);
- New Deutschloand class: Lützow, Admiral Scheer and Admiral Graf Spee
- Six light cruisers (Emden.class, Königsberg-class and Leipzig-classes, all built under the old technical know-how)
- Destroyers Z1-Z4 (1934 class), Z5 - Z16 (1934a-class) and the construction of the six "Z17-class" destroyers was imminent
- A bigger and more capable type of destroyer was already planned, the Z-23 class (or 1936a) with 15 units in consideration
- Torpedoboote of the 1935-class: 12 built, T1 to T12
- Submarines: In 1936 the new Type VII class of submarines was being launched at several of the German shipyards
The year before, even fighting a bloody civil war, Germany had signed with the UK the so-called AGNA, or Anglo-German Naval Agreement, giving Germany more room to build bigger ships for its navy, which fixed a ratio whereby the total tonnage of the Kriegsmarine was to be 35% of the total tonnage of the Royal Navy on a permanent basis. It was an ambitious attempt on the part of both London and Berlin to reach better relations, since it had become obvious that the infamous "Versailles Treaty" could only lead to a seize of power like the one the nazis did, the results of which were clearly visible: another dictatorship, and one with the outspoken goal of destroying the URSS. And that meant war again for Europe...
The agreement with the UK allowed Germany to build up to 21 cruisers, 64 destroyers and in fact an unlimited number of submarines. What the agreement did not determine was how the fulfillment of the terms would be controlled and by whom and it did not prevent the German KGM from modernizing its existing battleships and thus immediately the German Admiralty ordered plans to be worked out to take use of the hulls of the two existing old battleships Schleswig-Holstein and Schlesien, adding new bows and sterns to improve their seagoing capabilities as well as the propulsion systems and obviously the weaponry.
One ammendment Berlin got from London shortly after the treaty was signed was to exchange the capability of building two cruisers for one aircraft carrier of about the same combined tonnage (2 x 15.000 tons = 30.000 tons). This is were the plans for building the "Graf Zeppelin" aircraft carrier began to take form. Germany had already seen the vital role of this new kind of ship and the fact that the UK in 1936 had a total of seven carriers and some more in different kinds of planning and/or building made the Germans eager to gain experience with such a kind of ship. This is how in 1936 plans began to be made to build a carrier to be named "Graf Zeppelin" with a gross tonnage of about 30 to 32.000 tonnes.
Last edited by Cargil48 on February 9th, 2019, 8:16 pm, edited 5 times in total.