Author Topic: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau transferred to the Netherlands  (Read 108 times)

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Scharnhorst and Gneisenau transferred to the Netherlands
« on: January 04, 2021, 09:39:07 PM »
Many of you have probably heard of the Dutch 1047 battlecruiser design intended to defend the Dutch East Indies from Japan.  The thinking was that Japan was the greatest threat to Dutch interests, that Japanese aggression would be met by USN and RN battle fleets, but that IJN heavy cruisers, light cruisers, destroyers and sea plane carriers would still be available to support an invasion of the Dutch East Indies, even with their battleships and carriers tied up with the Americans and British. 

The current Dutch Fleet was woefully incapable of defending against even this type of force, the answer, battle cruisers.  They would provide an overmatch for the heavy cruisers Japan would have to rely on and hopefully would discourage aggression against Dutch interests in favour of easier targets.  Initially the preferred option was the French Dunkerque design but eventually the 1047 battlecruiser evolved along concepts provided by Germany.  Though similar in appearance to the Scharnhorst these never laid down ships were quite different as the Dutch never had full access to the German design.

A thought crossed my mind when I recalled the incomplete Hipper Class Cruiser, Lutzow, was sold and transferred to the Soviet Union in 1940, what if fearing Dutch built ships would not be ready in time, the Netherlands purchased Scharnhorst and Gneisenau from Germany?

Germany would likely not have given up such powerful ships, but then again they were not very good sea boats, they were out gunned by everything the RN had and they were using up crews that could be better used on cruisers, submarines and additional Bismarck Class and following design battleships. Japan was not yet Germanies ally and the Netherlands were not yet their enemy.  Even if Germany was already planning to invade they could probably assume that following armistice that they would get the ships back.

End result Scharnhorst and Gneisenau delivered, modified and commissioned into the Koninklijke Marine, serving in the Dutch East Indies as planned, before Germanies invasion.  The ships are available when the Japanese invade, and assuming they survive the initial months of the Pacific war, continue to serve for the remainder of the conflict.

Best of all, it gets me out of building the Flyhawk Scharnhorst, my brother gave me for my birthday, as a Reich ship.  Time to buy some accessory 40mm Bofors and British radars me thinks.....

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
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Re: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau transferred to the Netherlands
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2021, 01:02:56 AM »
Scharnhorst sailing under the Coathanger? ;)
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