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 Naval Post-ACW to pre-WWII    
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Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1074

Marine Corps Flanders
Posted on: 12/1/2016 5:57:37 AM
I didn't realise, but all of the German Navy forces in Flanders came under the command of the Marinekorps Flandern (MKF).

This was quite the diverse command:

Initially 1 then 2 and in 1917, 3 divisions of Marines.
An aviation unit that in 1917 grew to ~80 aircraft.
A Uboat flotilla of 16 boats, in 1917 it split into 2 flotilla of 20 and 24 boats.
A flotilla of Torpedo boats, pretty bad ones as it turns out. In Feb 1916 a half flotilla of torpedo boat destroyers from the High Sea Fleet was stationed in Flanders.
Coastal batteries with about 40 guns of greater than 8" calibre.
Minesweepers and other cats and dogs.

If I can find any standout fault it would be with the A-class torpedo boat; 20kts and poorly armed, it wasn't much chop. I can't help but wonder what the 3 V class that went in Feb 16 could have achieved a year earlier.
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Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5958
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Marine Corps Flanders
Posted on: 12/1/2016 6:25:33 AM
The following may be of some use to you Riain


Quote:
The Naval Corps was a German military major unit in the First World War . The name was derived from the Belgian part of the country Flanders from where the corps was formed coastal protection. It was also responsible for the outgoing of Flanders operations of naval and air forces in the English Channel to the Irish Sea . Commanding Admiral was from its inception to December 1918 Ludwig von Schröder . As the protection force was the Naval Corps of kingdom troops , since there is neither the Prussian army belonged nor the Navy was subordinate'



[Read More]

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5303

Re: Marine Corps Flanders
Posted on: 12/1/2016 6:59:08 AM
There was an attempt at an amphibious landing in Belgium by the British, in 1917. Battle of the Dunes?

I think that it failed or was called off because of these German Marines.

Was the MKF infantry only used to protect naval bases and to guard the coast?

The naval portion used to cross the channel to harass the Brits but really that's about all that I know.


German marines



This is supposed to be one of the MKF motor torpedo boats. What made them so bad Riain?




Cheers,


George




Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1074

Re: Marine Corps Flanders
Posted on: 12/1/2016 2:06:13 PM
Only considering the destroyers of the Dover Patrol, not the Harwich Force, as the MKF adversary; in 1914 the DP had ~8 '30 knotter' destroyers made in 1898 or so and 12 Tribal class built between 1950-08. The 30 knotters were armed with a 3" and 5 x 2 1/4" guns and a pair of torpedos and could do about 25 knots in average conditions. The Tribals were armed with 5 x 3" or 2 x 4" guns and a pair of torpedos and could do 33 knots, the first RN destroyers to reach this speed.

When they captured the Belgian coast the Germans commissioned the A class torpedo boat/light destroyer, they were built in sections, transported to Belgium overland and assembled there, they entered service from the first half of 1915. The initial 25 A class TB were armed with a single 2" gun and a pair of torpedos and could only do 20 knots, so they could neither fight the Dover Patrol destroyers as they were drastically underarmed nor run away as they were drastically slower.

In contrast the V25 class destroyers which were deployed from Feb 1916, after a couple of engagements where the A class got flogged, were more like it: 3 x 88mm (3.5") guns (later up-gunned to 105mm - 4.1") and 6 torpedo tubes with 8 torpedos and were rated to 33-34 knots but actually pulled 35-37 knots. These are the sort of ships to go head on with the Dover Patrol.

Later on the A class got more speed, 25kts and then 28kts and for a while in late 1916 the High Seas Fleet deployed 2 flotillas of destroyers to Flanders for a couple of months, fighting the Battle of Dover Strait.

[Read More]
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Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 492

Re: Marine Corps Flanders
Posted on: 12/1/2016 5:37:23 PM
Not Marine Corps in the sense of the US Marine Corps or Royal Marine Artillery/Royal Marine Light Infantry, but Naval.

Kaiserliche Marine = Imperial Navy and all its assets were "Marine"

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 492

Re: Marine Corps Flanders
Posted on: 12/1/2016 5:56:19 PM

Quote:
Initially 1 then 2 and in 1917, 3 divisions of Marines.
--Riaindevoy


The Marine (Naval) division had a brigade of 1st and 2nd Marine-Infantry and a brigade of 1st and 2nd Seaman artillery regiments. It was renamed 1st Marine Division in September 1914 when 2nd Marine Division was formed with a brigade of 3rd Marine-Infantry and 3rd Seamen regiments and a brigade of 4th and 5th seamen regiments.

In 1917, there was a reorganization and the 3rd Marine Division was organized with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Marine-Infantry regiments taken from the other divisions.

It was a naval coast defense force. The divisions did not have field guns (they had larger fixed or semi-fixed coastal guns) nor field logistics. There job was security against a landing.

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1074

Re: Marine Corps Flanders
Posted on: 12/2/2016 4:33:49 PM
They certainly had a lot of security against a landing.



However by 1917 it wasn't enough since the British were prepared to conduct and landing with tanks in conjunction with an Army offensive, but the threshold of success to trigger the landing wasn't crossed.



Does anyone know at what level of command the Navy was able to exercise autonomy with deployments? IIUC the Kaiser more or less vetoed risking his battlefleet for much of the war, but at what level were the KM able to do stuff without his say so? I'd say at Uboat and small Torpedo boat flotilla level they were pretty autonomous but they were pretty miserly with fleet destroyer flotillas.
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Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 1923

Re: Marine Corps Flanders
Posted on: 12/6/2016 5:28:26 PM

Quote:
Does anyone know at what level of command the Navy was able to exercise autonomy with deployments? IIUC the Kaiser more or less vetoed risking his battlefleet for much of the war, but at what level were the KM able to do stuff without his say so? I'd say at Uboat and small Torpedo boat flotilla level they were pretty autonomous but they were pretty miserly with fleet destroyer flotillas.
--Riaindevoy


Riain,

If you really want to get into it, I'd recommend this book.

 [Read More]

Ryheul is a belgian historian, battlefield guide and archeologist specialised on the german forces in Belgium during WW1.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1074

Re: Marine Corps Flanders
Posted on: 12/8/2016 1:36:51 AM
I'll try and hunt that book up while the iron is hot, I'm reading Mark Karau's book and Admiral Bacon's book on the Dover Patrol.

Its one thing to see the German Navy's command structure and agree its disjointed but from Karau I'm getting what that means at 'The Front'. Von Schroder of the MKF is writing requests to people left and right; Tirpitz and the RMA, Ingenohl at the Admiralty Staff and Pohl at the High Seas Fleet and getting different answers from each one. When Pohl left HSF and was replaced by Ingenohl his answers to the same question changed when in the new command, no wonder the MKF didn't live up to its potential.

I was a bit surprised to see the Chief of the Admiralty Staff Pohl replacing the Commander of the High Seas Fleet Ingenohl. I would have thought head of the Admiralty higher than command of the biggest fleet.



UB 13 on the train to Antwerp for assembly.
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Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2771

Re: Marine Corps Flanders
Posted on: 12/8/2016 9:42:53 AM

Quote:
There was an attempt at an amphibious landing in Belgium by the British, in 1917. Battle of the Dunes?

I think that it failed or was called off because of these German Marines.

Was the MKF infantry only used to protect naval bases and to guard the coast?

The naval portion used to cross the channel to harass the Brits but really that's about all that I know.


German marines



This is supposed to be one of the MKF motor torpedo boats. What made them so bad Riain?




Cheers,


George




--George





George,

What class ship is that???
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5303

Re: Marine Corps Flanders
Posted on: 12/8/2016 10:15:23 AM
Dave, it's a photo of a German class of motor torpedo boat that Riain mentioned.

He also said that it wasn't a very effective boat.

Cheers,

George

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1074

Re: Marine Corps Flanders
Posted on: 12/8/2016 4:14:59 PM
I think it's a case of using the right tool for the right job. The A class were small, slow coastal boats armed with a 50mm gun and a pair of torpedoes, good for coastal patrol behind the teeth of the High Seas Fleet or the Baltic Fleet well away from the action. But on the Flanders coast, 60 miles from the Dover Patrol's destroyers without powerful units to do some heavy lifting their limitations became their defining quality.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1074

Re: Marine Corps Flanders
Posted on: 12/21/2016 2:49:34 AM
I didn't realise that in early 1916 the Germans conducted of 'sharpened' U boat campaign: all allied non-passenger vessels in the war zone were liable to be attacked without warning. This period had it's own 'Lusitania' moment on a smaller scale when U26 torpedoed a packet steamer Sussex, which didn't sink but about 50 people were killed including some Americans. Like the earlier period the 'sharpened' campaign was called off in late April and the Germans promised to be good.

The ending of the sharpened period was followed in the Flanders flotilla operating under cruiser rules where they stopped vessels on the surface and sunk those carrying contraband. This was found to be a worthwhile exercise so was continued until the unrestricted campaign of Feb 1917.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5303

Re: Marine Corps Flanders
Posted on: 12/21/2016 6:45:17 AM
Were they boarding every vessel that they found, Riain?

I presume that the crew were permitted to board life boats.

Also how far from the German coast line did these seizures take place? Were they just operating in the channel?

If so, how much success did the RN have in tracking the flotilla?

I'm wondering, if the RN was actively looking for them, whether they were intercepted while boarding a vessel looking for contraband. You know, caught in the act.

It seems like a risky operation for them.


Cheers,

George

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1074

Re: Marine Corps Flanders
Posted on: 12/21/2016 4:13:33 PM
I think that board and search was the go with cruiser/prize rules. The UB II class boats entered service in early 1916 armed with an 88 rather than a 50mm deck gun of the early UB boats, so were more suitable for this type of thing. I don't know if boats were caught in the act of boarding but at the time depth charges were either not in service or new and not widespread so simply diving could allow a uboat to escape.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

 Naval Post-ACW to pre-WWII    
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