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The_EURL_Guy

The Kriegsmarine's Greatest Gamble: The Channel Dash

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[XTREM]
[XTREM]
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The channel dash needs to come as an AXIS operation for us to play one day please. 

That would be awesome!

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[DAVY]
Players
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What is wrong with your maps? The national borders don't match reality either before, during, or after the war, and East Prussia is covered by sea.

 

I also find it rather strange that the Åland islands have been colored as part of Sweden, which has not been true for 210 years.

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[EINS-]
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3 hours ago, Miragetank90 said:

The channel dash needs to come as an AXIS operation for us to play one day please. 

That would be awesome!

i TOTALLY agree with you! it will be fun!

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[M-WAR]
Beta Tester
87 posts
6,343 battles

+1 for scenario:

 

A few things to add:

Op Cerberus was the Kriegsmarine's name. The Luftwaffe called their operation "Donnerkeil" (thunderbolt).

 

During the planing the Germans considered 2 options:

a) Leaving Brest at night and make the dash at day.

+ Depature will concealed

- High visibility during the riskiest part of the op

- High visibility for the RAF and Luftwaffe

 

b) Leaving Brest at day and go for the dash at night.

+ pass the Channel in concealment

+ no RAF air operations

- no Luftwaffe operations

- approaching the Channel during daylight will ruin any kind of surprise

 

So finally they went for a) since the Luftwaffe was confindent to protect the ships (which they did).

 

Due to the small numbers of Luftwaffe planes they had to organize some kind of rotation in which squadrons would land at another base (not the one they took off) to rearm and refuel and be up again for the next lag of the route.

Especially the nightfighters which covered the departure in Brest and the last part of the journey (dutch coast)had to redeploy from brest to the Netherlands to do their job.

 

Source: Galland, The first and the last.

 

Oh, and. I am not 100% sure, but I don't think JG 26 and other fighters on the channel coast had 109E by early 42. Prolly more  F4s. (Oh, and JG 26 had already gotten their first Fw-190s by that time.)

 

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Players
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Imo, one can hardly call it one of the Kriegsmarine's Greatest Triumphs...the mission was essentially a full retreat with the Gneisenau knocked out permanently just a month later and the Prinz Eugen severely damaged by a submarine torpedo. Scharnhorst did very little until being sunk at the Battle of the North Cape.

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[FURY-]
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I know it will never happen, but I would love a hunt for Bismarck scenario where you play either as a Bismarck or its escort consisting of a few ships and you have to play until you get overwhelmed by enemy to the bitter end, but before that you have some objectives to complete:Smile_izmena:

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[NWP]
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The "The British defenders jumped to their feet" hardly the British response was terrible (ships spotted and not reported for hours, slow response then) and contributed in a large part to the success of the operation. The element of surprise undoubtably helped, it was a victory for the Kreigsmarine just as Dunkirk was for the British.

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Players
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Cerberus is the German counterpart of Dynamo:

 

An act of desperation turned into a glorious success thanks to bravery and planning, and aided by the enemies hubris and ineptitude.

 

In both cases a retreat is not a victory.

 

Btw, Drachinifel recently made an excellent video about the Channel Dash for those interested.

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[BYOB]
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Spoiler

...the undisputed might of the Royal Navy...

How about no?

By early 1942 Royal Navy was dealing with massive problems, including ship shortages, losses, and the necessity to stretch itself further due to the Pacific War.

Up to 1942 it has lost 3 battleships, 2 battlecruisers, 3 carriers, 1 escort carrier, 14 cruisers, 62 destroyers. The Home Fleet was in Scapa Flow and the channel was defended only by light vessels and aircraft.

So it cannot be said that the Royal Navy was undisputed or even really able to intercept them with large surface vessels. And while the Dash was audacious, it wasn't a victory.

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[TOXIC]
Alpha Tester
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Sorry WG but this article was not as good as your normal standards.

The UK did in fact launch aircraft and it resulted in a Victoria Cross and the following mentions from both friends and enemies:
"The courage of the Swordfish crews was noted by friend and foe alike. Admiral Bertram Ramsay later wrote, "In my opinion the gallant sortie of these six Swordfish aircraft constitutes one of the finest exhibitions of self-sacrifice and devotion to duty the war had ever witnessed", while Admiral Otto Ciliax in the Scharnhorst described "The mothball attack of a handful of ancient planes, piloted by men whose bravery surpasses any other action by either side that day". As he watched the smoking wrecks of the Swordfish falling into the sea, Captain Hoffmann of the Scharnhorst exclaimed, "Poor fellows, they are so very slow, it is nothing but suicide for them to fly against these big ships". Willhelm Wolf aboard the Scharnhorst wrote, "What an heroic stage for them to meet their end! Behind them their homeland, which they had just left with their hearts steeled to their purpose, still in view".

The flight commander was one of the few people mentioned by name in Churchills "end of the war in Europe"-speech 1945.
I recommend reading about Eugene Esmonde's suicidal bravery here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Esmonde

 

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