An unusual Stuka

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by pampa14, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. pampa14

    pampa14 Member

    The Ju 87 C was a version of the famous dive bomber Stuka proposal to operate with German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin. The link below provides more information and pictures of this uncommon version of the Ju 87 Stuka. Hope you enjoy and I count on your visit.

  2. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

  3. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good day unnusual stuka.a great link.i had heard of the stuka often during the ww2.but never as a plane on aircraft carriers,great photo's.thank you for posing regards bernard85
  4. adamcotton

    adamcotton Senior Member


    I imagine that if Graf Zepplin had become operational then it wouldn't only have been the JU87 Stuka that would have been navalised. A version of the BF109 - the "T" - was designed and built for carrier use. Its main distinguishing feature was its extra long span wings, and tail hook. Messerschmitt test pilot Fritz Wendel flew one to destruction in a high altitude, high speed dive designed to establish its maximum diving speed - what today we'd call VNE.

    Attached link to a video of virtual BF109T landing on carrier.
  5. pminotti

    pminotti Junior Member

    Skua, Dauntless, Helldivers and Skyriders should have the same problems.
  6. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member

    Thanks for posting the very interesting information of the German aircraft carrier.

    The following can be found at

    There were two carriers in the plan of Admiral Raeder to build a balanced naval force and the first started construction in 1936 in Keil to carry 42 aircraft. It was launched in Dec 1938 and the aircraft component of Trägergruppe 186 with squadrons of JU87 and bf109 was ready in Sept 40 to embark. The completion date was to be July 1940. The ship had 16 heavy guns for defence against surface attack, heavy and light AA guns, and a modern fire control system.

    However, the German invasion of Norway in 1940 to protect its supplies of iron ore and minerals was a major setback to the completion of the ship. The fire control system had been already been sold to Russia, the Kreigsmarine had become responsible for coastal defence and moved the ships heavy guns to protect Norway, the other AA guns were diverted elsewhere. The ship was turned into a floating warehouse for hardwood, and then eventually scuttled by the Russians in 1947. Admiral Raeder documented this failure as "the cheapest sea victory England ever won".

    This episode of mis-management of assets is typical of the German side of the war and highlights several points:

    1. Hitler was forced to start the land war with a battle experienced army and airforce but before the navy was ready which needed another 5 years to complete its ship building programme.
    2. The use of heavy guns on an aircraft carrier is a major deviation from normal warship design where fleet protection against all forms of attack (air,undersea, surface) is provided by specialised warships.
    3. The German military command structure was fatally flawed in that Hitler was head of the armed forces and the government, and failed to exercise proper control of either.
  7. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I think I heard a rumor that after "the disaster at Midway the Japanese tried to "buy" the uncompleted German carriers and that was partly how the Germans actually found out how terrifically the Japanese had actually been defeated (I think the Japanese initially spun Midway as some great strategic victory??? or at least cast a veil over it all as much as poss? even locking up reporters and crews for one month or two afterwards?)

    Anyhow it kind of makes you wonder what sort of "allies of convenience" the Germans and the Japanese thought that they were as sharing technology and information between Germany and Japan was not a strong point (at least not until the very end of the European war - when there was an attempt to ship a lot of patents and tech spec to Japan in a small fleet of U-boats - by a few fanatics that wanted to somehow to "continue" the war).

    The links between German and Japan anyhow were a bit better before Germany invaded Russia, as that rather served to cut their links. I think Russia was quite helpful to the Germans and Japanese in this aspect of the war prior to Barbarossa?

    I'm surprised though that the Germans didn't demand the plans to the "zero" (though they would have thought it too flimsy by far). The Japanese "Val" was in some ways a modified version of something German engineered (not the Stuka - though the comparison is clear)

    I think that there was the thought that Japanese pilots might be shipped in to fly sorties over the southern UK during the war (perhaps even in Zero's maybe???) - Yamamoto* (& **) even went down to the boot of Italy to study Taranto (at some stage? Thanks to Italy - and Germany there!!! :eek: ) the Japanese did quite well against the antiquated under-strength scratch allied airforce in the Indian ocean as I recall ???

    The Japanese even flew planes off of their submarines, and I imagine that Hitler had plans to put V-rockets on to U-boats and sail the to the US to bombard US cities at some "future" stage of some "future" war.

    The German carrier idea though doesn't make a jot of sense. There wasn't much of Europe that the Germand couldn't reach with conventional land based planes and the allies seldom used carrier bourne attacks on Europe (the big exception I guess being the attacks on the Tirpitz (Norway) and the defences of the artic convoys?

    But to attack those Germany had the Condors and the U-boats and even her big surface ships at a push.

    A German carrier would have been sunk about 3-5 days out of port. Germany didn't have the destroyers or cruisers either to defend such a prime target...

    I think Hitler "imagined" that the UK would surrender, he'd demanded the British fleet with carriers intact and then wooo--hooo off to the US and Canada et al. and after Suez and the Middle East India and Australia next.

    (South America for desert anyone, they certainly had plans and "schemes" for there ;) )


    Ps. *
    An interesting addendum though here: "According to the chief of staff of the Combined Fleet, Vice Admiral Fukudome Shigeru, Yamamoto first discussed an attack on Pearl Harbor in March or April 1940. This clearly indicates that Yamamoto did not copy the idea of attacking a fleet in its base after observing the British carrier raid on the Italian base at Taranto in November 1940."

    ** or just "someone" (see post #9 below) in Japanese naval staff (history does not always seem to be very clear here ;) I thought Yamamoto "himself" though at Taranto was a bit of a "push")
  8. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member

    Hallo Ramilies,

    It may be true that the PH raid was not an original idea by the Japanese, but the Taranto raid by the British certainly proved that the technology existed to make it a practical proposition. And it was this demonstration that encouraged Yamamoto to approve the raid.
    Ramiles likes this.
  9. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Yes, I agree "CommanderChuff"

    It's sometimes proposed that the "British" "gave" Japan the idea (of PH) - like it was "our fault" ;) but I can't help "wondering" what the Italian's or Germans thought about the Japanese delegation's "fact finding" mission there?

    Did the Japanese "spin" this as their learning how to better defend their own ships in ports ? if so against whom? I think that the "Flying Tigers and/or Chinese air force has launched a small raid on Kyushu (for example? in 1938?)

    Or was there any sense "in the air" that the Japanese were "looking" more into the offensive potential for this tactic - and if so against whom?

    I guess potentially against ships of the Chinese fleet :
    But "slim" pickings there...

    And Yamamoto was known to be an "expert" on the Americans :
    And the US fleet was Japan's only real "competition" in the Pacific at that time. (Though at a push Hong Kong or Singapore might have been seen as potential Japanese targets for an anti-ship raid perhaps?)


    Has: "Lt Commander Naito Takeshi (who) was the Assistant Naval Attache in Berlin in 1940. After the British attack on the Italian ships at Taranto he specially flew down from Berlin to investigate the success of the operation.... "he was able to radio Tokyo the secret of the British shallow-water torpedo wooden fins to add buoyancy."

    But also: "The development of torpedoes for shallow seas began in around 1939, and IJN ordered to Yokosuka air group to research maneuver of torpedo attackers at shallow seas in September 1940. Even before Taranto IJN was conscious that there were many shallow ports around Japan as potential targets. They finally overcame the problem with trainings and additional wooden fins on torpedoes controlled with a gyroscope. "

    I'd love to see something about what the "powers that be in the axis" thought at this stage (just after Taranto) the Japanese really had in mind. (i.e. specially the flying of Japanese down from Berlin to investigate the success of the operation..." as showing a potential "ally" in great detail how your own fleet got tonked feels a bit masochistic (and very un-Italian i.e. not very macho or positive for Mussolini) to say the least ;)

    But I think that "PH" had to be kept a great secret (even from Mussolini and Hitler) by the Japanese - and even Hitler professed "surprise" on December 7th that Japan had carried out the attack:

    But I'm sure Hitler had been urging the Japanese to attack. And when the Japanese flew down to Taranto and started "asking detailed questions" there whoever was answering them or acting as a guide would probably have had an interesting time (i.e. trying hard not to look like they were working it out and not asking the Japanese what on earth they might have in mind ;) )

    It's like picking through sea shells on a beach, beach combing for something still intriguing after all these years :pipe:

    All the best,

  10. L J

    L J Senior Member

    That's an old but very questionable claim :eek:ne can claim the opposite = that the Zeppelin would only be useful after the defeat of France and that even than its utility can be question .
  11. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Hitler also was at no time convinced of a strong Battlefleet - contrary to Raeder. The losses of "Graf Spee", "Blücher" and "Bismarck" did their share to this assumption. Finally the Battle at the Barents Sea in Dec. 42 (OP Rainbow) marked the end of all major surface Operations for the German Navy. Last but not least even the Admirality had never a clear idea of carrier Operations. PH gave them a hint, but at this time the nessessary recources were badly needed for tanks, subs, cannons and even locomotives as OP Barbarossa started to consume nearly anything available like a sponge...
  12. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member


    Thank you for your comments. In any event we can be confident that the eventual use of the carrier Zepplein in any context would have met the same fate as all of the German navies fleet assets.

    The inventiveness of the British scientists to produce new weapons (Tallboy,Upkeep) and the willingness of the Government and military to use them really sealed the fate of the German aspirations for carriers and big battleships.
  13. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    This was perhaps why Britain really had to be defeated by Germany, her fleet commandeered/co-opted and look out rest of the world... :eek:

    Hitler knew that he was going to have to try to control the oceans with something more than U-boats one day, or build very long range bombers or intercontinental missiles.

    Either that or Russia was just the long way around and he was eyeing up a link up with Japan and invading Alaska and/or California at some stage. :pipe: He was building a 1000 year Reich after-all.... ;)

    But I suppose he might have stopped before then and made peace with the world and grown flowers and all that (at some point!). :salut:

    It's deeply into what ifs. I think that we can assume though that Hitler did "tend to plan ahead" - but he could switch priorities on the fly - and "confound those around him" which is one of the reasons why he was so difficult to work/negotiate with and why things like agreements with him never seemed to "stick".

    Still interesting to consider all thoughts though and I think a lot of these ideas are all questionable in the nicest possible way, as if Hitler was "the only one with the facts on what he was going to do" - I'd question them too! As I'm confused, and not too sure he was sure what he was doing beyond pragmatically trying to control the world and all that. :Hydrogen:

    All the best,

  14. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member


    Indeed, Mr Churchill made that very same point to the Americans on more than one occassion, pointing out that if Britain was forced to surrender the greatest fleet in the world (at that time) would have been at the disposable of the Germans. Even though there were plans in place to sail the ships to safe havens in Canada and US there was alwasy the risk that the fleet would be captured and used to take the fight directly to the Russians and then in turn to the States.

    The BoB had an awful lot more riding on a favourable outcome than many people realise.

    I am guessing that your avatar is presenting the great navy battle ship and you may have sea experience? The battle honours for the 30 year ship reads very impressively.


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