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AUTHENTIC GRAF ZEPPELIN Instead of taking their current approach to representing historic warships, I advocate that WOWS would strive to represent historic ships following an "AUTHENTIC" approach. To be sure, I do NOT mean a "SIMULATOR" or "REALISTIC" approach, but an "AUTHENTIC" approach. For those that do not understand the difference between the concepts: · AUTHENTIC - "Conforming to an original and/or the real world so as to reproduce essential features". · SIMULATOR - "A computer simulation (or "sim") is an attempt to model a real-life or hypothetical situation on a computer under real world conditions". · REALISTIC - "Resembling or simulating real life (conditions)". WOWS is NOT striving to be REALISTIC and I do NOT advocate that WOWS should be REALISTIC. Instead WOWS can and should be AUTHENTIC in their approach to historic ships, because if WOWS is not even that, then one might as well start playing some fantasy space combat game and not a game featuring historic ships whose statistics and performance are based on essential features of the real world historic ships.A ship in WOWS can be both AUTHENTIC and GAMEPLAY BALANCED, the two are not mutually exclusive. THE REASON FOR THIS TOPIC I post this topic for the benefit of the WOWS developers and graphical artists who are involved with the re-design of the WOWS GRAF ZEPPELIN. When looking at the outward appearance and characteristics of the GAMESCOM GRAF ZEPPELIN it becomes clear that the definitive study on the GRAF ZEPPELIN published by author Ulrich H.J. Israel in 1994 titled "Flugzeugträger Graf Zeppelin" has been overlooked by the WOWS developers and graphical artists. That book is probably the best single source on all aspects of the ship and her armament. Because Ulrich Israel his book in is German and there is no English language translation of it I have made an effort to translate and present key parts of that source, combined with other excellent source material from authors such as Siegfried Breyer, Gerhard Koop, Manfred Griehl, Adolf Galland, the detailed book series "Die deutsche Luftfahrt" (which consists of 35 volumes) and many other sources into this single topic. My goal is to provide as much overlooked data on GRAF ZEPPELIN to the WOWS developers as possible in the English language so that it hopefully is used during the re-design process of the WOWS GRAF ZEPPELIN. It is my goal and interest to see GRAF ZEPPELIN, which from a military technological point of view was a truly unique ship, depicted in WOWS in an authentic manner. RELEASE DATE OF THE REDESIGNED WOWS GRAF ZEPPELIN It would be best to NOT AGAIN RUSH GRAF ZEPPELIN TO COMPLETION LIKE WAS DONE FOR GAMESCOM. Instead it is better to take the time to get the ship right and display it in an AUTHENTIC manner before release, because experience shows that WOWS ships rushed to stores are usually never authentically corrected in order not to "hurt" the feelings of customers which have already bought the ship. I have bought the ships during GAMESCOM on release date but I do NO want to see the redesigned GRAF ZEPPELIN rushed to completion again, take the time to get her authentic and right! AUTHENTIC GRAF ZEPPELIN An AUTHENTIC German aircraft carrier GRAF ZEPPELIN in a 1943-1945 configuration, which is the equipment state that WOWS representatives have stated will release the WOWS GRAF ZEPPELIN in, has some unique ESSENTIAL features which should be represented. These features will be described in the following topic. In WOWS increasingly we see more and more concepts to try and come up "national" characteristics for new ships and ship lines to try and make them unique and interesting. For GRAF ZEPPELIN these "national" characteristics do not need to be made up, since the ship really was a unique design, the main points of which will be listed here. One thing to point out before we present the list is about the Hanger Deck space of GRAF ZEPPELIN, since this is usually overlooked when this ship is discussed. The GRAF ZEPPELIN was a very large Aircraft Carrier, the largest purpose built Aircraft Carrier up till 1942 and arguably up till the end of the war. The real world 1943 GRAF ZEPPELIN at 33,550 tons had 5515 m2 of Hanger Deck space, which was double that of the 36,000 tons LEXINGTON (2674 m2 hangar deck space) and the 25,500 tons ENTERPRISE (3195 m2 hanger deck space) had only 58% of the Hanger Deck space that GRAF ZEPPELIN (5515 m2) had. On 30 May 1942 the Supreme Commander of the German War Navy (Erich Raeder) ordered that the Air-Wing (including reserves) of GRAF ZEPPELIN in 1943 was to consist of 48x naval Me 109 G-6 (later designated Me 155 A-1) and 54x naval Ju 87 D-5 (later designated Ju 87 E-1). Given the Hanger Deck space on GRAF ZEPPELIN of 5515 m2 storing up to 102x Aircraft would certainly have been possible. The Hanger Dimensions are hard indisputable facts when you study the Hanger Dimensions of the Hanger Decks of GRAF ZEPPELIN, LEXINGTON and ENTERPRISE. In WOWS the LEXINGTON gets 72x Aircraft, the ENTERPRISE gets 96x Aircraft and the GAMESCOM GRAF ZEPPELIN gets 72x Aircraft. The ENTERPRISE in WOWS gets to use her RESERVE aircraft which were carried on board in a disassembled state, these RESERVE aircraft however the WOWS ENTERPRISE is allowed to use in a naval battle so there is NO reason to not also allow a redesigned GRAF ZEPPELIN to do that as well in WOWS then. Giving a re-designed WOWS GRAF ZEPPELIN the 102x Aircraft (including RESERVES) that were in real life ORDERED for her on 30 May 1942 and which her huge Hanger Deck space could store would be authentic. Balancing could be done for the 102x Aircraft GRAF ZEPPELIN, just as has been done for the 85x Aircraft KAGA and 96x Aircraft ENTERPRISE. Since the Tier 8 Carriers are also often as a result of WOWS Match- Making forced to send their Tier 8 Aircraft against the superb Tier 9 and 10 AAA of Cruisers and Battleships. Having a high number of reserve Aircraft makes both a 85x Aircrft Kaga and a 96x ENTERPRISE fun to play, in like manner a 102x Aircraft GRAF ZEPPELIN will be fun to play which is a good thing for a 50+ real world money ship. Based mainly on the excellent and most probably definitive GRAF ZEPPELIN primary source study published in 1994 by former Fregattenkapitän (Commander) of the DDR Volksmarine Ulrich Israel the following authentic characteristics for a WOWS GRAF ZEPPELIN can be listed. Since the book by Ulrich Israel is in German I have translated some of what is in the book into English to make this information available. Converting the authentic characteristics of the real world GRAF ZEPPELIN into WOWS requires making some compromises in order to let the WOWS GRAF ZEPPELIN both fit in with the other Tier 8 Carriers and still have the a decent balance between authenticity and game play, the following points are such a authenticity/game play balance compromise which would enable a unique and powerful but not overpowered re-design of the WOWS GRAF ZEPPELIN: In 1943 GRAF ZEPPELIN would authentically launch an IN-AIR Carrier-Group (Strike Force) consisting of: 6+8+8 = 22x Fighter-Aircraft (Me 155 A-1) and 8+8+8 = 24x Multi-Purpose-Aircraft (Ju 87 E-1). This authentic data can be translated into WOWS terminology which fits into the current Tier 8 Carrier design. An IN-AIR Carrier-Group for the re-designed WOWs GRAF ZEPPELIN is proposed which consists of 4+4+4= 12x (5+5+5=15x with AIR SUPREMACY Captain's skill) Me 155 A-1 Fighter-Aircraft and 5+5+5=15x Ju 87 E-1 (6+6+6=18x with AIR SUPREMACY Captain's skill) Ju 87 E-1 Multi-Purpose-Aircraft for a total IN-AIR strength of 27x Aircraft (33x with AIR SUPREMACY Captain's skill). This is still less than ENTERPRISE which has 36x IN-AIR Aircraft in WOWS. In WOWS game terminology the authentic GRAF ZEPPELIN 1943 IN-AIR Carrier-Group strength (Strike Force) would translate into 6x Squadrons total: 3x Fighter-Squadrons each with 4x/5x Me 155 A-1 = 12x/15x Me 155 A-1 and 3x Multi-Purpose-Squadrons each with 5x/6x Ju 87 E-1 = 15x/18x Ju 87 E-1. The size of 4x/5x (Me 155 A-1) and 5x/6x (Ju 87 E-1) IN-AIR Aircraft per WOWS GRAF ZEPPELIN Squadron is therefore not fully authentic but as close as possible when compared to the other Tier 8 Carriers in WOWS and as such a game-play compromise. GRAF ZEPPELIN would authentically have launched 5x Squadrons with 8x Aircraft per squadron, and 1x Group-Staff Squadron-Flight with 6x Aircraft. The authentic total launched by GRAF ZEPPELIN: 46x Aircraft. It is proposed that in WOWS the GRAF ZEPPELIN would only launch 27x Aircraft (or 33x Aircraft with the AIR SUPREMACY Captain's skill) in order to fit in with the other Tier 8 Carriers in WOWS. Authentically GRAF ZEPPELIN's 2x Fighter-Squadrons and 3x Multi-Purpose-Squadrons each consisted of 12x Flight-Aircraft and 6x Reserve-Aircraft. It is proposed for WOWS to make that 4x/5x (with AIR SUPREMACY Captain's skill) for the Fighter-Squadrons and 5x/6x (with AIR SUPREMACY Captain's skill) for the Multi-Purpose-Squadrons. Authentically GRAF ZEPPELIN's Group-Staff Squadron-Flight consisted of only Fighter-Aircraft: 6x Flight-Aircraft and 6x Reserve-Aircraft. It is proposed for WOWS to make that 4x/5x (with AIR SUPREMACY Captain's skill) for the Group-Staff Squadron-Flight. GRAF ZEPPELIN's 1943 authentic Total Aircraft strength: 54x Ju 87 E-1 and 48x Me 155 A-1 = 102x Total Aircraft. Of that number 8+8+6= 22x Me 155 A-1 and 3x8= 24x Ju 87 E-1 would authentically be IN-AIR and 26x Me 155 A-1 and 30x Ju 87 E-1 would be ON BOARD. That is the authentic real world data. The proposal for the re-designed WOWS GRAF ZEPPELIN (with the "AIR SUPREMACY" Captain's skill adding one more Fighter/Dive-Bomber Aircraft) is 3x Fighter-Squadrons with 3x4/5 = 12x/15x Me 155 A-1 Fighter-Aircraft IN-AIR with 36x/33x Me 155 A-1 ON BOARD RESERVES and 3x Multi-Purpose-Squadrons with 3x5/6 = 15x/18x Ju 87 E-1 Multi-Purpose-Aircraft IN-AIR with 39x/36x Ju 87 E-1 ON BOARD RESERVES. Since ENTERPRISE in real life had only 58% of the Hanger Deck space of the 8000 tons larger GRAF ZEPPELIN this is both authentic and workable in WOWS. Especially since the smaller ENTERPRISE in WOWS has 96x Aircraft (36x Aircraft IN-Air) and the KAGA has 85x Aircraft in total. So this proposal would give GRAF ZEPPELIN a maximum of 33x IN-AIR Aircraft and 102x Aircraft total, compared to ENTERPRISE with 36x IN-AIR Aircraft and 96x Aircraft total. The Supreme Commander of the German Armed Forces and the Supreme Commander of the German War Navy in 1942 ordered that torpedo bombers would be GRAF ZEPPELIN's main armament (when she was to be commissioned in 1943). The Me 155 A-1 was the naval version of the Me 109 G-6 Fighter-Aircraft and in 1942 it was ordered to supply GRAF ZEPPELIN with 48x of these Aircraft by 1943. It was designed to be launched from the GRAF ZEPPELIN catapults and specified to have foldable wings. The Ju 87 E-1 was the naval version of the Ju 87 D-5 Multi-Purpose-Aircraft (to be used in the roles of Torpedo Bomber, Dive Bomber, Smoke Laying Aircraft, Mine-Laying Aircraft, Reconnaissance Aircraft) and in 1942 it was ordered to supply GRAF ZEPPELIN with 54x of these Aircraft by 1943. It was designed to be launched from the GRAF ZEPPELIN catapults and specified to have foldable wings. Based on the real world information the AUTHENTIC WOWS GRAF ZEPPELIN Air Group setup should DEFINITELY be 3/3/0 (anti-capital-ship) with possible variants being 3/2/1 (all-round) or 3/1/2 (all-round) or 3/0/3 (anti-minor-ship) as alternatives to the authentic 3/3/0. All four options would be interesting to have as permanent options for the ship when the ship is re-released for sale. Releasing GRAF ZEPPELIN with an Air Group which can only fight Capital Ships (Battleships) well is to be avoided, since an Aircraft Carrier like every other ship in WOWS needs to be able to adapt to changing circumstances and Destroyers and Cruisers also need to be be targeted effectively for self-defence. GRAF ZEPPELIN's designed Top Speed in 1943: minimum speed 33.80 knots, maximum speed 34.25 knots. The re-designed WOWS GRAF ZEPPELIN should use these authentic values. GRAF ZEPPELIN was designed to be able to launch and land aircraft AT THE SAME TIME. This was probably the most UNIQUE feature of GRAF ZEPPELIN compared to other WW2 Carriers. If the WOWS programming code does not allow that, then adjust the processing times so that GRAF ZEPPELIN Aircraft can land and launch much faster. GRAF ZEPPELIN was designed to be able to launch 1x Fighter-Squadron and 1x Multi-Purpose Squadron AT THE SAME TIME and in HALF the launching time of other Carriers due to the 2x Compressed Air Catapults. If the WOWS programming code does not allow that, then adjust the processing times so that GRAF ZEPPELIN Aircraft can land and launch much faster. GRAF ZEPPELIN could authentically launch her Aircraft from her 2x Catapults without the need to turn into the wind as practically all WW2 Carriers had to do. This again translates into faster Aircraft launching times because GRAF ZEPPELIN could avoid the time consuming turning into the wind manoeuvres. GRAF ZEPPELIN was designed to be able to land 1x Squadron at a time even when Aircraft are being launched. If the WOWS programming code does not allow that, then adjust the processing times so that GRAF ZEPPELIN Aircraft can land and launch much faster. GRAF ZEPPELIN could have a faster rudder response and smaller turning circle than the GAMESECOM GRAF ZEPPELIN due her the 2x Voiht Schneider Shaft Propellers under the keel which could propel GRAF ZEPPELIN at maximum 4.5 knots IN ANY DIRECTION. The inauthentic 2x German War Flags painted on the Flight Deck of the current WOWS GAMESCOM GRAF ZEPPELIN should be removed and replaced with the authentic BRIGHT YELLOW bars which GRAF ZEPPELIN would have had painted on the Flight Deck. See details below. The wrong camouflage colours and pattern which is used by the WOWS GAMESCOM GRAF ZEPPELIN aircraft should be replaced with the authentic camouflage scheme and colours which the GRAF ZEPPELIN Aircraft would have had. See details below. The wrong Aircraft Markings and Emblems on the WOWS GAMESCOM ZEPPELIN (fighter) aircraft should be replaced with the authentic GRAF ZEPPELIN Aircraft Markings and Emblems. See details below. For the authentic lighting arrangements on GRAF ZEPPELIN I refer to the details below. The re-designed WOWS GRAF ZEPPELIN should get an authentic splinter camouflage scheme which should be similar to that of the 1942-1943 TIRPITZ, with which she was scheduled to operate together from her ordered berth at Faettenfjord, Trondheim in Norway. Images showing relevant TIRPITZ camouflage will be added to the topic. The 1939-era Fi 167 A-0, Ju 87 C-1, Me 109 T-1 were all outdated by 1942 and the German Air Force had no production lines for these aircraft and their outdated engines any more. The Air Force stated in 1942 that they would not build these aircraft and not equip GRAF ZEPPELIN with these aircraft. Instead the 1942-era Me 155 A-1 and Ju 87 E-1 were developed from then current models, weapons and engines. The torpedoes used by the Ju 87 E-1 were the 650-kg 450-mm German Torpedo Typ F 5 b (40 knot speed/2000 meter range) and the Italian Typ F 5 W (W for Whitehead-Fiume) (40 knot/3000 meter range). The main practical differences between the two torpedoes types were mostly Torpedo drop speed and Torpedo drop height. The 1942-era Ju 87 E-1 could be launched from the GRAF ZEPPELIN Compressed Air Catapult with a bomb load of at least 1000 kg (1x 1000 kg or 2x 500 kg), the older 1939-era Ju 87 C-1 would have been launched with 1x 500 kg and 4x 50 kg bombs. GRAF ZEPPELIN Aircraft would not take off under their own power from the Flight Deck as with most WW2 Carriers, but instead they were launched from 2x 21-meter long Compressed Air Catapults at a rate of 8x Aircraft per 3.5 minutes per Catapult at a speed from 0 km/h up to 140/155 km/h in 3 seconds, so 16x Aircraft would be launched in about 3.5 minutes. At the same time Aircraft could still land and be processed down to the 2x Hanger Decks due to the 3x 6.5 ton Elevators which could still be used when Aircraft were launched and landed. This in WOWS translates into faster Aircraft launching times, launching of 2x Squadrons at the same time and landing of Aircraft while launching. This makes the GRAF ZEPPELIN unique in WW2. German Aircraft used a special starter fuel mixture which allowed their Aircraft to heat their Engine Oil etc. temperature ready for flight in about 3 minutes. This saved both Aircraft fuel and precious time. On USA and other Carriers the Aircraft would have to run their Engines for 20+ Minutes in order to heat the Engine Oil etc. up for flight, wasting both valuable time and fuel. The German starter fuel mixture translates in faster WOWS launch times. Since GRAF ZEPPELIN was designed to also be able to operate alone, so in WOWS it would be authentic to give her 15-cm guns the same range as those of Tier 8 BISMARCK and TIRPITZ especially because she is so easy to spot in WOWS. The GRAF ZEPPELIN 15-cm guns were also intended to be used in an Anti-Aircraft role in case of a massed enemy Aircraft attack. The 15-cm guns would then be used in "Zonenschießen" (=Zone Fire) via "Sperrfeuer" (Barrage Fire). It would be authentic to let the re-designed GRAF ZEPPELIN use her 15-cm guns also in an Anti-Aircraft role. In WOWS the GRAF ZEPPELIN Commander can only be used on GRAF ZEPPELIN since there will be no other German Carriers in WOWS. It would make sense to therefore make that a Unique Commander, a possible name candidate is "Helmuth Brinkmann" the Commander of PRINZ EUGEN. In real life Captain (Kapitän zur See) Helmuth Brinkmann was chosen to command GRAF ZEPPELIN. The GAMESCOM WOWS GRAF ZEPPELIN has 2x Shields on the bow and an Eagle on the stern. In wartime not one single German War Navy ship went to sea with these, they were removed and kept ashore and were only to be used in peace time. So since WOWS is an arcade wargame the 2x Shields on the bow and Eagle on the stern should be removed. The Me 155 A-1 was armed with 1x MG 151/20 and the Ju 87 E-1 was armed with 2x MG 151/20. This was a 20-mm 750 RPM auto-cannon which could take down a fighter with only 3-5 direct hits. This weapon and the ammunition it used was harder hitting than any weapon used on the Carrier Fighters of other nations at the time and that should be taken into account when determining Damage Per Second for the Me 155 A-1 and Ju 87 E-1. Another key issue is that the Me 155 A-1, like the Me 109 G-6, would have all the armament in the nose. With nose armament is it much easier to hit an enemy target and fire accurately, that translates into higher DPM than wing mounted armament like on practically all USA fighters for example. Another key issue which translates into higher Hit Point Values for German Aircraft is that the 1942-era Me 155 A-1 and Ju 87 E-1 German Carrier Aircraft (like USA Carrier Aircraft) had both armour plating and self-sealing fuel tanks, while practically all Japanese Carrier Aircraft did not have this. Even the 1939-era Me 109 T-1 and Ju 87 C-1 had armour plating and self-sealing fuel tanks. GRAF ZEPPELIN had an armoured flight deck as well as some other interesting armour arrangements which I will add here when I have time to do so (To be continued...). GRAF ZEPPELIN RELIABLE SOURCES AND AUTHORS WOWS AND ULRICH ISRAEL'S GRAF ZEPPELIN STUDY CHARACTERISTICS OF AN AUTHENTIC 1943 GRAF ZEPPELIN An AUTHENTIC German aircraft carrier GRAF ZEPPELIN as she was scheduled to be commissioned on 1 April 1943 and scheduled to be ready for operations from December 1943 at the earliest and Spring 1944 at the latest some ESSENTIAL features which will be discussed in detail below as well as other relevant data. EDIT: PROPOSED WOWS GRAF ZEPPELIN AIR COMPLEMENT AND AIRCRAFT DATA GRAF ZEPPELIN FLIGHT DECK PAINTING GRAF ZEPPELIN FLIGHT DECK LIGHTING EDIT: GRAF ZEPPELIN AIRCRAFT CAMOUFLAGE AND COLOURS EDIT: GRAF ZEPPELIN AIRCRAFT UNIT EMBLEM EDIT: GRAF ZEPPELIN AIRCRAFT IDENTIFICATION MARKINGS GRAF ZEPPELIN AUTHENTIC AIR COMPONENT 1943 GRAF ZEPPELIN HANGER DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITY NO OUTDATED 1939-ERA Me 109 T, Ju 87 C NO OUTDATED 1939-ERA Fi 167 GRAF ZEPPELIN AUTHENTIC IN-AIR STRIKE FORCE EDIT: AIR FORCE ORDERED FIRST PRODUCTION SERIES OF 220x NEW Me 155 A-1 and 115x NEW Ju 87 E-1 CARRIER AIRCRAFT IN 1942 WOWS GRAF ZEPPELIN SQUADRON SETUP GRAF ZEPPELIN AUTHENTIC ORGANIZATION OF CARRIER-GROUP GRAF ZEPPELIN 1942-ERA Ju 87 E-1 MULTI-PURPOSE-AIRCRAFT GRAF ZEPPELIN 1943 AERIAL TORPEDO TYPES FOR Ju 87 E-1 GRAF ZEPPELIN 1942-ERA Me 155 A-1 FIGHTER-AIRCRAFT EDIT: HIGH-ALTITUDE FIGHTER Me 109 H, Me 155 B, BV 155 GRAF ZEPPELIN 1943 MAIN ARMAMENT: TORPEDO BOMBERS GRAF ZEPPELIN 1943 Ju 87 E-1 BOMB LOAD GRAF ZEPPELIN COMBINED LAUNCHING AND LANDING GRAF ZEPPELIN AIRCRAFT LAUNCHING GRAF ZEPPELIN CATAPULT LAUNCHING PROCEDURE GRAF ZEPPELIN ELEVATORS GRAF ZEPPELIN SPECIAL AIRCRAFT STARTER MIXTURE GRAF ZEPPELIN NO TURNING IN THE WIND GRAF ZEPPELIN AIRCRAFT ARMING AND FUELLING GRAF ZEPPELIN PROVEN TECHNOLOGY AND TRAVEMÜNDE GRAF ZEPPELIN ARRESTING CABLES GRAF ZEPPELIN ARRESTING CABLE TESTING GRAF ZEPPELIN 1943 TOP SPEED GRAF ZEPPELIN VOIHT SCHNEIDER SHAFT PROPELLORS GRAF ZEPPELIN OPERATING ALONE GRAF ZEPPELIN 15-CM ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUNS GRAF ZEPPELIN 1943 OVERPOWERED GRAF ZEPPELIN AUTHENTIC 1943+ HULL CAMOUFLAGE PATTERN GRAF ZEPPELIN DESIGNATED COMMANDER GRAF ZEPPELIN NATIONAL FLAG ON FLIGHT DECK GRAF ZEPPELIN - NO NATIONAL EAGLE ON STERN GRAF ZEPPELIN - NO NAME PLATE ON SHIP GRAF ZEPPELIN - NO COAT OF ARMS ON BOW MG 151/20 AUTOCANNON ON Me 155 A-1 AND Ju 87 E-1 COLLECTION OF RELEVANT DATA ON WOWS TIER 8 CARRIER AIRCRAFT JAPANESE NAVY WANTS TO BUY GRAF ZEPPELIN IN 1942 AERIAL TORPEDOES AND THE BRITISH, JAPANESE AND GERMAN WAR NAVIES 1941+ GERMAN AND JAPANESE NAVY COOPERATION 1940+ GRAF ZEPPELIN DETAILED HANGER DECKS ANALYSES GRAF ZEPPELIN COMPARED TO USA AIRCRAFT CARRIERS FROM 1936 TO 1945 GRAF ZEPPELIN ARMOUR ARRANGEMENT