WI: German Imperial High Seas fleet isn’t scuttled

In 1919, while the Entente was figuring out what to do with the remaining German Imperial fleet interned at Scapa Flow, Admiral Ludwig von Reuter ordered the fleet to be scuttled fearing the ships would be split amongst the winning powers of WW1. Let’s say, for the sake of this thread, that von Reuter never orders the scuttling of the fleet. Would the various ships (16 capital vessels and several dozen destroyers) have been given to the victors of the war in it’s entirety? In the very unlikely event that the British decided the Germans may keep a small portion of the High Seas Fleet, would that impact Germany’s outcome in WW2 with a somewhat stronger surface navy?
 
The ships were to be taken over but the mechanism for division had not been decided. Each claimant had different requirements.
US wanted Germany to retain a navy to counter balance GB. France wanted to restore her position by incorporating ex German ships. Italy wanted whatever she could get, Japan was interested in technology samples but not trophies. GB wanted to deprive everyone of the ships including herself.

GB set the tone. The division was to be in proportion to naval losses with GB taking the most. GB planned to scrap or scuttle her proportion but some at Admiralty advised taking over newest ships against continued US building.

There was a suggested list of numbers of ships going to each power but not named ships.

Any ex German ship except Baden or Bayern would be too old to warrant retention by WW2. Foreign built has an extra maintenance overlay and was not built to your requirements in the first place.
 
The Hindenberg and Derrflinger might find use somewhere. But save them and the Baden class ships, the rest are obsolete. France might want some to bolster her fleet though.
 
It might have been possible to tow the unfinished hulls of the battleships Sachsen and Württemberg and the battlecruisers Graf Spee and Mackensen to another yard and finish her there. Work was stopped on building capital ships as resources were shifted to U-boats. The estimate was that the Sachsen needed 9 months to be finished, the Württemberg and the Graf Spee 12 months, and the Mackensen fifteen.

That would be four more more modern capital ships, making a total of six.
 
The British division of the German fleet was based around wartime losses.
GB was to receive:
13BB, 4BC, 19 Cruisers, 81 Destroyers
France: 4BB, 4 Cruisers 14 Destroyers
Italy: 3BB, 2 Cruisers, 13 Destroyers
Japan: 1BB, 1BC, 2 Cruisers, 2 Destroyers
US: 1 Cruiser, 3 Destroyers.

The Brits, Japanese and Americans were looking at scuttling their allotments.

The French had a more complicated formula taking into account pre war fleet levels.
The French formula was:
GB was to receive:
9BB, 4BC, 18 Cruisers, 77 Destroyers
France: 6BB, 4 Cruisers 13 Destroyers
Italy: 3BB, 3 Cruisers, 11 Destroyers
Japan: 2BB, 1BC, 2 Cruisers, 3 Destroyers
US: 1BB, 1 Cruiser, 6 Destroyers.
 

MatthewB

Banned
US wanted Germany to retain a navy to counter balance GB.

Any ex German ship except Baden or Bayern would be too old to warrant retention by WW2.
Baden and Bayern would have been interesting as centrepieces of the Weimar Republic navy. Their modernization in the 1930s may encourage Britain to be more ambitious with the Revenge class upgrades.

It’s Germany’s submarine technology that should garner the most interest. The dreadnoughts armed with 11” and 12” guns are too obsolete to be of any use.
 
The Hindenberg and Derrflinger might find use somewhere. But save them and the Baden class ships, the rest are obsolete. France might want some to bolster her fleet though.

France kept a lot of obsolete ships for quite a while, so she might well be interested. Italy did interesting rebuilds, a Cavour-style rebuild on a Konig could be interesting.

That said, I propose the following: Ships are evenly divided among the victors, and then they play a poker game where the "chips" are ships.
 
Whatever happens to the fleet the numbers of battleships are 'normalized' during the WNT so its not going to make much difference in the great scheme of things with the exception that some German Technology is going to be more disseminated across those other nations.

But that is in the future!
 
A bunch of pretty obsolete,badly maintained and worn ships right before nearly two decades of low budgets and restrictions wouldn't have any important impacts. Most probably wouldn't survive much longer than in OTL anyways.
 
As I recall most of these ships were coal fired and designed only for short range operations. The rest of the world, mostly, had gone to oil fired at least for newer ships, and with the exception of France and Italy who might find use for some in the Med, the major value would be scrap and targets. The optics would, however, be worth salvaging. Especially for the US & UK who were not using the metric system, maintenance would be an even bigger headache as you'd need all sorts of new tools and so forth to make the spare parts.
 
A bunch of pretty obsolete,badly maintained and worn ships right before nearly two decades of low budgets and restrictions wouldn't have any important impacts. Most probably wouldn't survive much longer than in OTL anyways.
Alas, pretty much the definitive truth of this thread. When you put it all together, these vessels have mostly scrap value, crowned by a few salvageable items like guns for coast defense and optics. Never thought of the scuttling as simply a "statement", but it wasn't much more than that...
 
Even gifting these sometime after the WNT (at least lighter units) to China or South American countries isn't doing anyone a favor. Units that are already oil burning or can be converted relatively economically might make reasonable gifts or sales at scrap prices, and at least for spare parts Germany would be happy to have the work (not weapons or armor though). For countries already producing metric ammunition at the right calibers, guns for coastal forts make sense, for US/UK/Imperial countries, setting up special ammunition lines probably not worth it. Did France/Italy/Japan use the same calibers of ammunition, at least in part, for their own guns so their shells would fit?
 
Alas, pretty much the definitive truth of this thread. When you put it all together, these vessels have mostly scrap value, crowned by a few salvageable items like guns for coast defense and optics. Never thought of the scuttling as simply a "statement", but it wasn't much more than that...
Point, but it's a lot of scrap. Italy, in particular, might manage to at least complete the Caracciolo as a carrier, which would be a game changer for the Mediterranean in the following decades.
 
Even gifting these sometime after the WNT (at least lighter units) to China or South American countries isn't doing anyone a favor. Units that are already oil burning or can be converted relatively economically might make reasonable gifts or sales at scrap prices, and at least for spare parts Germany would be happy to have the work (not weapons or armor though). For countries already producing metric ammunition at the right calibers, guns for coastal forts make sense, for US/UK/Imperial countries, setting up special ammunition lines probably not worth it. Did France/Italy/Japan use the same calibers of ammunition, at least in part, for their own guns so their shells would fit?

I would expect anyone that received these units would regun them to their own local use. Italy did with the ships that she received and put into service OTL
 

MatthewB

Banned
The Guns might be useful for coastal defence.
Maybe for the Dutch East Indies? The Dutch are familiar with the German naval guns an ammunition so shouldn't be stretched too thin. Hmm..........but the Dutch were neutral so how do they get one?
 
Maybe for the Dutch East Indies? The Dutch are familiar with the German naval guns an ammunition so shouldn't be stretched too thin. Hmm..........but the Dutch were neutral so how do they get one?
Treaty prohibits sale of vessels. What about guns, slide, and turrets?
 
In the very unlikely event that the British decided the Germans may keep a small portion of the High Seas Fleet, would that impact Germany’s outcome in WW2 with a somewhat stronger surface navy?
The potentially really bad part for KM come WWII is that they would probably be allowed to keep the oldest Dreadnoughts rather than OTL pre dread ships....
(ie 4 Nassau class rather than 4 Deutschland-class battleships)

This could be bad as they then don't get replaced, potential even with clauses specifying replacement dates like WNT/LNT so cant build the PBs so are weaker come WWII.....
 
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