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  • Operation Sea Lion

    I believed the Germans would have taken Great Britain but Hitler (like usual) changed his mind on battle plans.

    An Airborne Operation (similar to the Operation Overlord) could have captured several important designations while Luftwaffe Bombers and fighter kept the RAF busy over London and elsewhere.

    The German Navy could have landed several elite units on the outskirts of upper Great Britain (disgused as allied merchants). They could have captured important ports for the docking of ships carrying panzers.

    It would have never happened since Hitler disliked his generals (especially from the Prussian order).
    VonMoltke

  • #2
    Eh?

    I don't believe the Germans had enough transport planes to drop the number of paratroopers or equipment that would have been required in such an operation. We are talking hundreds of transport planes here. And if German fighters were busy "keeping the RAF busy" over London with the bombers, then where's the escort for the transports? It would have required an incredible act of faith on the part of the men flying the transport planes to fly without fighter protection on the basis that the British were “bound” to send everything they had to defend London. Transports flying unescorted across hostile territory would have been cut to pieces in very short order.

    During the Battle of Britain, German planes once tried to attack the north of England by flying from Norway - on the assumption that the RAF would have its hands tied defending the south coast and that all the planes in the northern bases would have been moved south to counter attacks from France. They thought it would be a cakewalk. The German attack failed spectacularly and they were severely mauled enough not to try it again. What they failed to realise was that the northern Fighter Groups were still 100% intact - the planes had not been shifted southwards to reinforce the south coast, they remained in their operational areas.

    So, in the event that British fighters in the south were somehow "kept busy” by German bomber raids near London, there was still plenty of capacity in the RAF order of battle to send more planes from the north to counter any plans such as you describe - particularly once the RADAR picked up a nice fat juicy signal as the hundreds of unescorted transports flew over the coast. Once reports from the coastal spotters came in of a large formation of German transport planes – any German plans to somehow “distract” the RAF fighters would have gone out of the window – the RAF would have concentrated everything it had on taking down that invasion force.

    You forget that Overlord was achieved with TOTAL air supremacy on the part of the Allies. This was certainly not the case for the Germans in 1940.

    And then there’s the logistical problem - How are you going to keep those airborne troops supplied once they are on the ground? Remember that the paratroopers in Overlord were landed at night to secure the flanks of the invasion - and were destined to eventually link up with troops landed on the beach. German paratroopers in such a situation would be on their own with no support, no supplies - and no troops to link up with since you can't get away from the fact that Germany just did not have the required transports to get their army across the channel.

    As for German elite units landing by sea to the north – this is just pie in the sky. Again, how do you keep those troops supplied? Once the Royal Navy became aware of what was happening, that door would have been shut quicker than you could blink – and it would have been a simple task to eliminate those units on land. How are you going to get ships full of Panzers through a Naval blockade – particularly if all your air support is busy over London?

    The reason Operation Sea Lion didn’t happen was because firstly, it was not feasible, and secondly, Hitler had his mind on other things.

    Regards,

    Dr. S.
    Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

    www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

    www.tabletown.co.uk

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    • #3
      OP Sealion

      No, the Nazis were seriously deficient in landing craft (virtually none), amphibious doctrine and tactics, and I don't believe that even Hitler was truly committed to an amphibious op. In fact, I believe that he doubted its likellihood of success. Giiven his limited military experience, he was not prepared to risk a massive amphibious landing that may turn into a disaster, with large loss of manpower and equipment, never mind prestige. As for an airdrop, after Crete, the fallschirmjager were effectively grounded. Hitler was determined to win or lose with the ground-pounders.

      For these reasons, I find all the Chicken Littles, crying about how if the Brits lost the Battle of Britain, it would have been a disaster, rather comical. Certainly it would not have been cause for celebration, but they would still have been safe behind the English Channel. The more so with the British Fleet to scourge the Kriegsmarine .
      Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
      (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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      • #4
        Manstein in 'Lost Victories' says that the invasion should have been attempted. NOT because he believed they would win.
        But because it was the ONLY way to end the war on German terms.

        I must confess, I dont think an invasion in 1940 would have worked. The idea of even ONE British destroyer loose among the
        barges, makes me shudder.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Irreverent

          I must confess, I dont think an invasion in 1940 would have worked. The idea of even ONE British destroyer loose among the
          barges, makes me shudder.
          Of course Reader would have been too stupid to say “Hmmm the RN is about to enter the invasion area let’s get the transports in to port and out of the line of fire”.
          No he would have stood on the coast ringing his hands saying ‘Oh what to do? What to do?’
          Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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          • #6
            operation Sealion

            Operation sealion would have most definatly failed. The British homeguard was ready to take on any invasion force. The Army set up defences around the proposed invasion spots.
            Peter Williams

            "We're not lost private, we're in Normandy"-

            Lt. Richard Winters 101st 506 pir

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Irreverent
              Manstein in 'Lost Victories' says that the invasion should have been attempted. NOT because he believed they would win.
              But because it was the ONLY way to end the war on German terms.

              I must confess, I dont think an invasion in 1940 would have worked. The idea of even ONE British destroyer loose among the
              barges, makes me shudder.
              Let alone the destroyers. There would have been numerous cruisers and at least a few battleships to eliminated what ever cobbled together landing force the Germans could have mustered.

              Sealion could NEVER have worked.
              Lance W.

              Peace through superior firepower.

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              • #8
                There is enough evidence I think to support that Operation See Lowe was never seriously thought about as being practical or attempted.

                So in my crystal ball gazing some interesting "hypothesis" come to light.

                1) The Battle of Britain was less a prelude to invasion, but was designed to do several things.

                A) Inflict material losses on the British that would be hard to replace.

                B) Force the bulk of the R.A.F. on the defensive. If you are defending; it's hard to mount large scale offensive operations.

                C) It might accidently cause a collapse in British morale and they would surrender.

                2) The preparations for See Lowe was designed to do several things.

                A) Be a creditable threat tying down British Army units to the mainland.

                B) Keep the combat units in fighting trim rather than falling into the "garrison rut".

                C) Experminting with small amphibious operations say across large rivers instead of costal ones.

                One lingering question comes to mind if one supposes See Lowe was a serious threat. If the Germans were serrious about invading Britain why didn't the Kreigsmarine mass its submarines outside the British RN ports? It'd made it very hard for the RN to sortie out when you know you would have to run a guantlet.

                Or am I just :crazy:


                Cheers!


                Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

                "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

                What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

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                • #9
                  England was full of Canadians looking for a fight. The Germans wouldn' have stood a chance.
                  Better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to speakup and remove all doubt.

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                  • #10
                    Re: operation Sealion

                    Originally posted by panzerboy
                    Operation sealion would have most definatly failed. The British homeguard was ready to take on any invasion force. The Army set up defences around the proposed invasion spots.
                    Would that be the Home Guard that was armed with pitchforks and shotguns? Taking on battle hardened German troops. As for the army defensive preparations they consisted in large part of a few strands of barbwire and signs warning of fake mine fields.
                    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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                    • #11
                      Might of the Royal Navy

                      One other major hindrance for the invading Wermacht would have been the Royal Navy. True the German Navy never had the required transports, barges and support ships necessary to launch a successful invasion but it is also quite plausible that even if they had they would have met their doom not on the beaches but well before they even disembarked considering the German Navy was simply no match for the British fleet. Britain's powerful navy would surely have been brought into the English Channel and could have met the incoming German transports soon as they left the French and Belgian ports. Let's not forget that in 1940, the Germans still had a barely adequate U-boat fleet and air-power alone would not have been enough to knock the Brits off the high seas. Germany's surface fleet was no match to the Brits even with the addition of the Bismarck and the Tirpitz which surely would have been limited in the tight quarters of the English Channel. I also strongly believe that had the Germans launched an invasion of the British Isles, Roosevelt would have had no choice but to declare war on Germany since her staunchest democratic ally would have been clearly faced with annihilation!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Might of the Royal Navy

                        Originally posted by dbremen33
                        One other major hindrance for the invading Wermacht would have been the Royal Navy. True the German Navy never had the required transports, barges and support ships necessary to launch a successful invasion but it is also quite plausible that even if they had they would have met their doom not on the beaches but well before they even disembarked considering the German Navy was simply no match for the British fleet. Britain's powerful navy would surely have been brought into the English Channel and could have met the incoming German transports soon as they left the French and Belgian ports. Let's not forget that in 1940, the Germans still had a barely adequate U-boat fleet and air-power alone would not have been enough to knock the Brits off the high seas. Germany's surface fleet was no match to the Brits even with the addition of the Bismarck and the Tirpitz which surely would have been limited in the tight quarters of the English Channel. I also strongly believe that had the Germans launched an invasion of the British Isles, Roosevelt would have had no choice but to declare war on Germany since her staunchest democratic ally would have been clearly faced with annihilation!
                        I am always amazed that everyone thinks that the Royal Navy (RN) could survive in the Channel while under air attack. Look at what happened to the Prince of Wales, and Repulse. The slaughter would have been even higher in the channel where the RN could not maneuver and where there would have been more targets tied to a specific location. Also the RN would have had to come from their bases in northern Scotland which would have taken a couple of days giving the Germans time to clear the channel of their shipping and prepare a HOT reception for the RN. The losses among the RN would have rendered it useless even if any of it had survived.
                        Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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                        • #13
                          Re: Re: Might of the Royal Navy

                          Originally posted by tsar
                          I am always amazed that everyone thinks that the Royal Navy (RN) could survive in the Channel while under air attack. Look at what happened to the Prince of Wales, and Repulse. The slaughter would have been even higher in the channel where the RN could not maneuver and where there would have been more targets tied to a specific location. Also the RN would have had to come from their bases in northern Scotland which would have taken a couple of days giving the Germans time to clear the channel of their shipping and prepare a HOT reception for the RN. The losses among the RN would have rendered it useless even if any of it had survived.


                          The Repulse and Prince of Wales had no air support. Any RN sally into the Channel could count on massive support from the RAF in England.
                          Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Re: Re: Might of the Royal Navy

                            Originally posted by Tigersqn
                            The Repulse and Prince of Wales had no air support. Any RN sally into the Channel could count on massive support from the RAF in England.
                            Not necessarily. No invasion could have been attempted until the Luftwaffe had gained control of the air. There would have been some air support but not as much as would have been needed to protect the RN.
                            Even before the battle of Britain the Luftwaffe had managed to make transit through the channel a dangerous undertaking, and that was with an intact RAF. Also the RN would have been restricted to a comparatively small area of the channel which means that it’s ability to maneuver would have been reduced to nearly zero making them big fat targets.
                            Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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                            • #15
                              NO! The German Navy and Army were absolutely ignorant of amphibious ops (contested ones at least). With no landing craft, no doctrine and paltry knowledge of even the rudiments of amphib ops may well have been the most profound debacle in German military history.
                              Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
                              (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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