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Hubert: A suggestion for the patch that isn't going to happen: Strategic Variables


BriantheWise
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Hubert,

First off, the game is great as it is. Second, I anticipate there will be no new patches, mostly because you said there wouldn't be. But, let me suggest this anyway. It echoes what Brad Tennant said in one of his posts, but I couldn't find it.

Third, I suspect it might not be too difficult to code as an option to the game, which is what it would be. An option. That being: Play with Strategic Variables.

Premise: When people had finally analyzed A3R to death, and had determined the optimum strategy to utilize, the designers added variables. I don't honestly remember the term they used, but it was like Uboats are more effective, or Turkey joins the war, etc. There were initially ten potential options for each side and they got to choose one, which was unknown to the other player until used. Some were benign, some opened up whole new strategies.

Question: Based on the game engine now, is it possible for players like Bill Macon and CvM to mod this into the game, or does it require programming changes on your part?

So now you know where I am going with this...

And this is somewhat how I would envision it happening:

1) Prior to the game beginning, players have the option to choose if this option will even be used. In key matches, probably not, since the game balance could possibly become skewed (and a whole new can of worms, suggestions etc. might be opened). But if it was...

2) There are say, ten variables/advantages that either side could get. These are listed, so that both players know what Could happen.

3) A ten sided computer die roles for each side and they get that variable/advantage.

4) To make easier for the programmer (you), they come into play automatically, generally to the advantage of the player, possibly not, depending on the intended strategy.

Now, Rambling, and I am hoping to receive posts on this (popular demand might make 1.07 happen?)

variables for the Axis:

By the way, the variations are supposed to be minor, just a shake up....

1) Germans continue with plan Z: Germans receive extra battleship.

2) No coup in Yugoslavia and becomes German ally after war is declared on Greece.

3) Turkey leans toward Axis. If Germany takes Sevastapol, Turkey becomes joins Axis (might be hard to code though).

4) Germany focus' on long range bombers. Begins with Tech 1 Bombers.

5) Germany signs neutrality pact with Sweden for iron. Receives 10 MMP's per turn, as long as Sweden is neutral.

6) Uboat research intensified. Uboats start with tech 2.

And so on...(I've got a billion of these. But no jets for Axis, not because it couldn't happen, but because it's a game breaker).

For the Allies:

1) Lowlands fear Axis, join Allies. (Probably too much of a change)

2) USA devotes more energy against Axis. Plus 20 MMP's per turn.

3) Soviets purge of Generals not so severe. Begins with one 4 point HQ.

4) French resistance is stronger than expected. France does not surrender until both Bordeaux (sp) and Paris are taken.

5) France consolidates it's armor. Lose one corp, receive an armor.

6) ASW efforts more effective. Receive plus one tech in Sonar.

And so on (I've got a zillioin of these!)

Now this is just my opinion, but adding these variables to an already solid platform makes for, well, not Strategic Command 2, but rather, maybe, Advanced Strategic Command.

Finally, Hubert, after all the support you have provided to this game so far, I would make this a type of expansion pack, and sell it, instead of as a patch. And then there is the expansion pack called World War 1....

Just my thoughts...

Echoing something Brad Tennant said.

Thanks.

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Brian Great thread.

Brad -- I mean Russ Benning! Great concept he's basing it on.

I think some of the details need to be gone over though.

For example: "2) No coup in Yugoslavia and becomes German ally after war is declared on Greece." Greece was very near to signing an agreement with Germany similar to Bulgaria's. Hitler didn't bother to keep Mussolini informed and he blew everything by invading her, which ignited Yugoslavia's coup. Greece and Yugoslavia were headed by monarchies related by blood. Additionally they both had common cause in watching Italy after Mussolini occupied the Albanian protectorarate in early '39.

In this case it would make more sense to have Germany and Italy are more cooperative with each other. Italy is not taken by surprise when Germany invades Poland and is slightly more well prepared for war. Also, Italy is aware of Germany's larger strategy and does not invade Greece, causing both Greece and Yugoslavia to sign Bulgaria type Axis treaties.

The treaties themselves might be made more specific as Bulgaria, unlike Hungary and Romania, only agreed to cooperate and not to send troops to Russia (and she didn't). Such a treaty could mean that Bulgaria, Greece and Yugoslavia only move their units with the Balkans -- let's say within their own borders and those of Hungary and Romania.

The rest of the list looks good. I can't go over any of it very closely at the moment but the Balkan item stood out immediately. Much as I like SC and Hubert's historical research I don't think that coups would simply have occurred out of context; it was anxiety over Italy and the invasions of her two southern neighbors that triggered it. Mussolini had been talking about absorbing those three countries since the twenties, so they weren't exactly filled with trust for him.

Good point about jet research, (paraphrased)...not that Germany couldn't have done it but because having them is a game breaker... Goes back to that earlier forum about jets and props being seperate categories both in research and as units. Not a biggie but something to consider. They really ought to be seperate.

[ January 10, 2003, 01:52 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Thanks, Jersey John

Great insights, and good fleshing out. So the variable could be that Yugoslavia joins the Axis, but all units must stay within borders....?

Similarly, when Bulgarians join the axis, they can only defend the balkan zone? Works for me, but I think that's a patch (movement restrictions of neutrals).

We don't want patches, though. Just added stuff.

Well, we want patches, but aren't going to get them, but maybe added stuff.

Smile

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Brian

A tough call, as you say the game is good in it's present form but there's no harm discussing might have beens and other variables.

I picture Hubert reading these endless entries and thinking about the changes he'd have to make to incorporate them and shaking his head quietly and . . . :D

Probably the main positive point is that guys like us have a place to write these things and express ourselves instead of hanging out in ginmills telling groggy eye'd fellow patrons things like "Every wonder what would have happened if . . ."

[ January 10, 2003, 02:18 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Right now there's no way to provide variants to scenarios, at least so they're a surprise to the players. You can of course mod a scenario to adjust research tech levels or adjust MPPs as a variant, but that becomes a new scenario.

I'd also like to see variants, which I prefered in the original 3R rather than the complicated research and diplomacy rules in A3R. Variants gave you that hidden ace-in-the-hole that could be played at an opportune moment. And you always had to worry about what the other guy had. It was simple, and allowed you to focus on the game and not the "other" stuff.

How Hubert might include variants in the game, and possibly allow them to be edited for mods, is the big question. Variants for 1939 and variants for 1944 are two different things, eh? One very simple possibility applicable for all scenarios is to randomly increase a tech level by +1 for each nation. Yeah, France might get L1 subs and you can't do much with that, but overall this would be a nice on/off option to spice up the game.

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Originally posted by Bill Macon:

How Hubert might include variants in the game, and possibly allow them to be edited for mods, is the big question. Variants for 1939 and variants for 1944 are two different things, eh? One very simple possibility applicable for all scenarios is to randomly increase a tech level by +1 for each nation. Yeah, France might get L1 subs and you can't do much with that, but overall this would be a nice on/off option to spice up the game.

I wouldn't recommend variants for anything besides the campaign scenario. Besides, just out of curiosity, who plays anything other than the campaign scenario?

I also don't agree with the idea of it being similar to a "card you can play at any time." In 3R, you had to know about it in advance; with the computer, you don't.

In my very first game with JollyGuy (we've probably played a dozen or more by now), I was the Axis and inadvertently moved the corps off of Hamburg while I was invading Poland. He decided it was too good to pass up, and took it with one of his French armies, sending me a note saying that he didn't know whether it was a trick or not. I replied that it wasn't, and that one thing was now sure: whatever our strategies had been up to that point, they'd been blown all to hell.

Same thing with the variants. One of the true tests of strategy is the ability to adapt to a change in circumstances. Yes, Turkey coming in on the Axis side would be a good variant, but I wouldn't make it contingent on the German player taking Sevastopol. I'm design it so that it will occur sometime within the first year of Germany and Russia going to war. And nobody knows when or if it will happen. You've got to adapt.

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As originally posted by Bill Macon:

I'd also like to see variants, which I prefered in the original 3R rather than the complicated research and diplomacy rules in A3R.

I was mostly situated the other way 'round and very much enjoyed the pre-combat turn where you would plan for research and diplomacy and intelligence activities and the like. ;)

Either way, the idea of variants is one that I have long favored, and it seems to me there is a simple method to place them in context:

You could divide all those that are possible (... BtW's zillion and even more!) into yearly possibilities, and have the random generator select from the specific groupings that are available and possible in any given timeframe.

And so, Yugo's time for emoting on center-stage would come and go, and so would First Winter in Russian Steppes effect, and Ethiopian reinforcments for the Italian desert command, etc.

But, you would also have a whole passel that might be enacted at ANY time, such as HQ Command malfunctions (... example: "Manstein is flabbergasted by Hitler's insane-man directives, all units under his sway are inactive for this turn only.") or -- sabotage in a Foe's factory complex, lose 10 MPPs immediately, etc.

This kind of approach would add almost INFINITE variety to each and every game, and still keep it within the realm of historical possibility. :cool:

And, even better, it would make every player aware, and constantly planning in ANTICIPATION, and so, all of these variables would slightly effect each person's strategical choices... one example of angst, from Brit perspective: "I sure hope Germany doesn't get the Z-plan in this game, because I DO NOT want to have to divert scarce resources to more naval builds."

These sorts of pop-up event variables could even be a toggle-on/off choice, so that those who prefer to play without distractions could do so.

And so, SC2 might not only offer expanded horizons in terms of the map and new units, but also in the way that "fate" or battlefield "confusion" could occasionally change a hopeless situation into a sudden triumph!

I repeat -- this kind of approach would expand the game parameters in such a way that the "If it's Tuesday this must be Belgium" syndrome would be exorcised once and for all! smile.gif

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This is just what I've been thinking for SC2, sorta of. Cut the randomness of tech advances to the minimum. Like we all know if you devote MPP to research you should get an advance in a reasonable amount of time (IRL),but still a little randomness. Incorporate a new category for research called "Intelligence/counter-intelligence for MPP investment. Here's the randomness factor for the game. Different events take place according to the amount of investment you/your opponent make, not always the same. The events will be editable. Things like "Top level German jet engine scientist defects to allies" if you make investment in jet aircraft soon(next turn) you enable an added 20% probability of an advance in Jets. Or "Allies break current Enigma code of Germans reveal U-Boat activity probable in" some region. And "underground activity in France has identified (certain units) in the area around Paris" reveals location of enemy units for that turn. Use your imagination this goes on and on. These events will display on the "Last Turn Summary" screen and may or may not be true depending on your opponents investment into counter-intelligence.

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France is not where the war should be contested! This game is supposed to have historical accuracy as well! The French were not in any position to defend against a Nazi Blitzkrieg style war. All-out France should fall like a fat lady that sat down too fast ;)

If you want to even the odds, after the fall of France give the British Strato-Bombers and level 2 fighters...Also the Russians fell even faster, so why would you give them anything? It's only till Germans were on the eave of capturing Leningrad/Moscow did they really begin to hold/defend.

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Liam

I have yet to see either the French or the Russians put up a solid defense against a determined German invasion, but there's no reason they couldn't have.

In the case of France the overwhelming majority of their generals were either sinile or incompetant. Their commander in chief didn't believe he should be bothered with a telephone and locked himself away in a posh villa to command a couple of million men in a semi-retirement mode. Various army commanders longed for the old days of breastplated dragoons and opted for horseflesh over motors and steel at every turn. Capable officers such as DeGaule and LeClerc (sorry for the spelling if it's wrong) were held back. An occasional competant general rose above the divisional level but usually that happened by accident.

If the French had been more well organized, less fatalistic and enforced some sort of retiremtent policy they'd have fared much better. Their defeat is always blamed on the Maginot mentality but that's idiotic. A good commander in chief would have incorporated the Maginot into a more sensible and active defense and ordered a few extra troops into the Ardennes instead of sipping wine and saying it was impassable to tanks (as his head obviously was to thoughts).

The killer was the Dyle Plan whereby the best French armies and the B.E.F. waddled ineffectually into Belgium and Holland with empty space defending their rear areas. On a game level almost everyone who plays this game is more skillful than that. Also, against a human the Allies never get a chance to wander into Belgium in that manner unless it's an obvious trap (as Manstein's plan was).

So, in this game the worst that can happen is the French (and usually the Poles) hold out a little longer with a human player handling the Allies; probably it should have been that way historically if the French had been paying pensions instead of salaries to those old generals of theirs.

In Russia the historical failsafe was the mud of autumn and the snows of winter. The Siberian reserves allowed a front-wide counter attack, but Zhukov didn't launch it till the Germans had their tanks and big guns stuck and with frozen motor oil and freezing soldiers, at that point in many places it was only a matter of disarming the half dead and lifting small arms from corpses. When the weather improved the German lines stiffened and even the heralded Siberian reserves were stopped cold and an entire offensive thrust was cut off and destroyed in the Rostov area.

Unfortunately there's no Russian mud or Winter in this game and one is needed. When Russia falls Germany doesn't have to worry too much about losing.

Hopefully Hubert will correct these shortcomings and more in SC 2 . Meanwhile I think there's some merit to helping the Russians a bit as they have to hold out at least in the Urals for there to be any game at all.

What I don't care for is the preemptive war idea. Stalin would never have done it because he'd have been ousted with the first major defeat in Poland. The popular People's War would not have been fought so fanatically if it were seen as a drive into Europe. The purge weakened Soviet/Russian army would have been chopped up the way it was in 1915-16-17 and Stalin would have gone the way of Nicholas the Second. And the old boy knew that perfectly well. That's why I think their setting should be 0% where they might enter very late and probably by then Barbarossa would have been launched.

Same for the U. S.. The American people didn't have the slightest urge to go fight in Europe, not even after Pearl Harbor. As Averill Hariman said on film in a World At War interview, "We all got together in the White House and the consensus was, we're in it now, but it isn't the war we need to be in! Then Hitler solved our dilemma by delaring war on the United States." F. D. R. had no hope of getting Congress to ratify an act of war against Germany. The attitude would have been, as Lincoln once put it, "Let's take one war at a time." So I'd have to give the U. S. a 0% entry level as well. Maybe it would have entered pretty late in response to massive U-boat damage to American shipping, as in WW I.

[ January 11, 2003, 05:49 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Having gotten into the above long winded posting -- see what happens when I don't post photos! -- I almost forgot why I came back in here.

This Forum was started on the alternative history idea by my friend Brian and, as Bill Macon so astutely pointed out, we can do much of that on our own with the scenario editor.

I've had a few ideas along those lines:

A lot of us complain about those two Atlantic U-boats that are just sitting there waiting to be hunted down and sunk by every human player, though the AI never does so.

Here's an alternative, the 1939 Naval Variant. The Germans launched two aircraft carriers in 1938 but never completed them because they decided on the U-boat program instead. One very realistic alternative is to remove the two subs from the Atlantic and the one in the Baltic, and replace them with two aircraft carriers, the Peter Strasser and the Graf Zeppelin. This actually was one of Germany's prewar choices and I think it's very sound historically.

BBs Bismark and Tirpitz had also been undertaken by then so a different approach might be one carrier and one battleship for those who think two carriers would add too much. This might also be the more likely possibility.

Additionally I'd set the Russian and U. S. entry levels to 0% for the reasons I just finished beating to death in the above posting.

In the spirit of Brian's fine suggestion and Bill's excellent clarification, I think it's perfectly acceptable to do a little historical research and make your own alternative scenarios. If you're dealing with only one side, as I am here, you'll need to remove something before adding something else, and the two should be reasonably comparable (three subs for two carriers or a carrier and a battle ship is a bit of a gain, but I think it's acceptable). If you're not adding units and not removing anything to compensate, as in the case of, say a German Z-Plan scenario, then for the sake of play balance England and France ought to also be stregnthened as they'd doubtlessly have been aware something was going on across the Rhine and would have increased their own war preparation.

=== * ===

The input quality in these history areas has gone up a notch since the 11,000 series started posting. Which is good as we're all getting a better education while playing a fun game; something pac-man never quite accomplished. smile.gif

[ January 11, 2003, 06:00 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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In regard to the above posting about the German Aircraft carriers, I'm reprinting an excellent entry from JayJay_H that explains more fully what I described a bit earlier.

"On November 16, 1935, Deutsche Werke Kiel AG was awarded the contract for the first carrier which was given the construction designation "A". Design director for Germany's first carrier was Naval Chief Architect Dipl. Ing. Wilhelm Hadeler. Work on what would be later named Graf Zeppelin began only in December 1936 because the shipyard's spliways were full to capacity with battlecruiser Gneisenau, cruiser Blucher, four destroyers (Z1-4), four submarines (U13-16) and supply ship Franken. Graf Zeppelin was launched on December 8, 1938. When WWII broke out in September 1939, the carrier was 85% complete. Works however would be soon delayed and then halted in order to build badly needed submarines which had proved to be the most effective asset in the hands of the Kriegsmarine.

Towed to Gotenhafen first and then to Stettin, the carrier was deprived of her 15cm guns (became coastal batteries in Norway) and used as a floating warehouse. On May 13, 1942 Hitler ordered the carrier completed and the Zeppelin was towed back to Kiel where works resumed seven months later. "

"According to the builder, the carrier would be ready for sea trials in late 1943 but on January 30, 1943, Hitler suddenly decided to decommission all large surface units and the Zeppelin would never be completed. In April 1943, Zeppelin was again towed to Stettin where she was scuttled on April 25, 1945 to prevent capture by the Soviets. However the Russians did refloat the carrier in 1946, loaded her with war booty and in 1947 towed her to Leningrad. "

Graf Zeppelin class fleet aircraft carriers - The nearly identical 'Peter Strasser'

Peter Strasser had a short career. In the year between her sister's first appearance and her own, the "Happy Time" of easy German naval successes had passed, and the production of Allied warships had far surpassed the ability of the Germans to keep up. Peter Strasser's aircraft fought the Soviet Navy and scored multiple hits on the battlecruiser Tretij Internacional in the Baltic. When the Strasser headed North with the main German battlefleet to intercept a Murmansk-bound convoy, the Allied fleet was ready. Good Allied air cover prevented Strasser's aircraft from approaching the convoy, so they had to attack the nearest Allied ship or turn back. The ship below was a strange configuration of carrier deck and large gun turrets, and was reported by the German pilots as the Dutch Molucca. Though similar in appearance to the Dutch ships, these were actually the British Lion class of hybrid battleships with a more powerful armament and better armor, but with slightly fewer aircraft. The encounter ended in defeat for the Germans, and the damaged, planeless, and retreating Strasser could neither outfight nor outrun the British hybrids. In a sinking condition when the Lion caught up to her, the Strasser was sunk by 16" shells at point-blank range.

Thanks JayJay_H for posting such great and well researched material.

[ January 11, 2003, 04:20 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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To follow up on JJ's point about the French High Command I would like to post the following from William L. Shirer's excellent book "Berlin Diary":

"June 27th, 1940

The commanding officers of the German army are, for the most part, mere youngsters compared to the French Generals we have seen. The latter strike you as civilized, intellectual, fraile, ailing old men who stopped thinking new thoughts twenty years ago and have taken no physical exercise in the last ten. The German Generals are a complete contrast. More than one not yet forty, most of them in the forties, a few at the very top in their fifties. And they have the characteristics of youth-dash, daring, imagination, initiative, and physical prowess. General von Reichenau, commander of a whole army in Poland was first to cross the Vistula River. He swam it. All the big German tank attacks were LED in person by commanding generals. They did not sit in the safety of a dug-out ten miles behind the lines and direct by radio. They sat in their tanks in the thick of the fray and directed by radio and signalling from where they could see how the battle was going.

And, as was to be expected from youth. these young generals did not hesitate at times to adopt innovations, to do the unorthodox thing, to take chances."

In addition, if I recall correctly, General Gamelin's headquarters did not have or use radios, instead relying on dispatch riders.

In this vein, I agree with Liam that the French were doomed from the start. Shirer even mentions that the French Communists (a large faction in pre-war France) had orders NOT to fight the Germans.

Hubert has created a much more realistic France 1940 model,(in my opinion) than the old classic AH Third Reich, as its tightly packed hexes did not really allow the breakthroughs and exploitations that are attainable in SC.

Any way that's just my opinion for what its's worth and if it's wrong I will not be crushed.

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James "Trigger Finger" Boggs

Enough with the crushing! It was never my intention to crush anyone or insinuate anyone should be crushed! Liam is a great forum poster and it would be impossible to crush him, nor would I want to. He had an interesting point. My view is just that France should not be an automatic. Despite it's inept leadership the French Army fought very well in a hopeless cause.

What I was trying to say in response to his entry was yes, France was crushed historically but their commanders played a big part in their own demise. It didn't have to be that way and the game makes it possible for the French to put up a better fight. They usually do, with a human player at least. The AI handles things in an almost cowardly fashion, up and running for Paris as soon the Germans break through.

Great entry on your part and fine quote from Shirer. To me his three books, Risa and Fall of the Third Reich, Berlin Diary, and The Fall of the Third Republic are essentials.

In the Fall of the Third Republic he goes further on the role of communists in France and quotes Petain lamenting to (I believe) Franco "This is the result of twenty years of socialism."

[ January 11, 2003, 02:33 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Jersey John:

By way of clarification, your quoted material above relating to the German CV "Peter Strasser" refers to a non-existant ship. The story is part of a game or naval minatures rule set called "Grand Fleet". I am pretty sure Peter Strasser never existed as a part of the Kreigesmarine, except maybe as a concept.

The exact words you quote above can be found at: 64.124.221.191 - Admiral Fura****a's Fleet - in the Graf Zepplen section. The GZ story is really "alternative". It ends up fighting with the IJN in the PAcific! The Dutch hybrid BB/CV "Molucca" is also a part of this non- historical, but "might have been" grand fleet.

Suggest you visit the site, if you have not already done so. Its quite interesting with alternative WWII navies for all major and minor nations.

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My dear friend JJ:

You sir are the standard for class and decorum toward other posters and the fact that you took the time to post so excellent a response to Liam's post is further proof. I perhaps overreacted to the post following yours.

I have noticed a change in the forum lately and I really like it, so maybe I'm just overly sensitive to any perceived drift back to the recent days.

[ January 11, 2003, 02:57 PM: Message edited by: Jim Boggs ]

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Wachtmeister

Thanks for the clarification. I didn't find that material myself, it was provided by JayJay_H in an earlier and not very worthwile forum and I've brought it back here. I've also read contradictory information but can't find much credible material on this matter.

Graf Zeppelin / Peter Strasser Photo

Graf Zeppelin / Peter Strasser perspective drawing

Both the Graf Zeppelin and the Peter Strasser were launched in 1938, everyone seems to agree on that. Graf was worked on extensively but the sources I've seen regarding the Peter Strasser refer to it as being a half finished vessel at the end of the war, scuttled but the Germans and raised by the Soviets who tried towing it to Lenningrad but it sank en route. The above photo, used also in Janes Fighting Ships, is labelled Peter Strasser , the lesser constructed of the two, so I'd say it was definitely more than a phantom.

As JayJay_H's entry is primarily about the Germans employing the Peter Strasser's planes I felt the above account should be cited though it convlicts with the other, which is from a book on WW II Battleships and aircraft carriers.

It seemed possible to me that at least one of the half completed carriers could have been used as a floating air strip even lacking repair and hangar facilities and could have been sent on a local mission.

The point of the entry, however, still holds true as the ships were launched and were not completed as Germany chose to channel those resources elsewhere, into the U-boats. As a reasonable historical alternative the information is valid. Having launched the ships and done so much work on them before the invasion of Poland there's no reason why they couldn't have been completed and functional.

Also, I feel the account quoted from JayJay_H illustrates the sort of vacillation Hitler was notorious for with unfinished projects strewn in every direction. What a waste of resources.

The Scharnhorst and Gnesenau, for example, at 35,000 each were designed to carry 15" guns, yet 11" weapons were installed because they happened to be on hand and the two battlecruisers were never brought up the stregnth (resulting in the Scharnhorst's 1943 sinking at the hands of the KGV class BB Duke of York, with it's ten 14" guns; the 11" guns of Scharnhorst scored numerous hits that had no effect against a true Battleship. Scharnhorst herself took a lot of damage but, being unable to return in kind, was doomed from the start.

In any case thanks for the input. I agree with your view that neither ship was ever made truly functional but they did exist even if only as hulls with flightdecks waiting to be completed.

Hopefully JayJay_H will add something about his material on the two carriers.

The Dutch ships cited are similar to hybrid types employed by the Japanese after 1943. The aft turrets were removed from a few of the older battleships and replaced with half-legnth runways. Aircraft could be launched but couldn't land! The front half was still a functional battleship. I had no idea what the cited article was about but assumed it was Dutch vessels being converted out of desperation.

Late in the war Germany also planned to convert one of her heavy cruisers into an escort carrier (I think it was the Seydlitz, often erroneously cited as the second carrier instead of the Strasser). I don't know if the conversion project was ever begun. If it was, in typical vacilating fasion it was probably never finished. Had such an escort carrier existed in May '41 and gone out with the Bismark, shielding her from those biplane torpedoe bombers, well -- and another what-if is born! smile.gif

[ January 11, 2003, 04:17 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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And to My dear friend Jim Boggs

Thanks for the good word and it's mutual.

The forums have gotten better and the newer guys such as yourself, Liam, Genghis -- my apologies for not specifically naming others -- the 11,000s are responsible for it.

We've always had good contributors but it's better right now than it ever was before.

A truly collective effort and I hope it continues. smile.gif

[ January 11, 2003, 04:18 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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JJ:

Thanks for the additional information. Looks like both the GZ and the Peter Strasser were both launched, but neither were completed to the extent useful for any naval mission. I doubt either carrier had planes assigned, since this is the last step before a carrier becomes fully operational.

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Wachtmeister

Agreed, that's also my take on it.

Aside from which Goering was blocking naval efforts to train combat pilots. He was obsessed with controlling all air activity in the Reicht. If the ships had been ready, however, I think a way would have been found around the Luftwaffe's hinderance.

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The Bismark was intended as a N.Sea Raider, she was heading that way and she was also a sign of national pride. the Largest battleship in the Atlantic Ocean.. 10 or 15 subs in it's place would've been far more effective... though what would she have done in the Atlantic raiding unimpeded?

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