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What if the Germans used u-boats as a supply vessels in Sealion

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  • #91
    Originally posted by redcoat View Post
    It has to be remember that the Sandhurst war game deliberately factored out both the RAF and RN out of the equation, in order to find out the capabilities of the British army on its own to defeat the German forces if they landed in strength.

    The final finding of the war game was that even if the Germans managed to land a majority of the first wave, the British would still be able to defeat it due the capability of the British forces to build up their forces fighting the invasion far quicker than the Germans would be able to reinforce their invasion forces.
    No, apparently the 1974 Sandhurst wargame is exactly how any invasion of Sealion would have gone. It is not just a game, dependent on the views of the umpires: it is actual historical fact. There are no flaws in it, save that they neglected to explore the possibilities of U-Boat supply. The fact that the game was sponsored by a newspaper- either the Daily Telegraph or the Daily Mail, my sources don't agree- and that the newspaper or the participants might actually expect something a bit more juicy than "the barges sank in the channel" is irrelevant. They are experts, and we mere mortals must cower in awe of the experts' ruling.

    My point was that the Sandhurst games have the German invasion lasting from the 22nd to the 24th September. Expecting the PBI to last three weeks until the Bismarck is ready is perhaps asking a little too much; expecting the Royal Navy to wait three weeks to respond to the invasion is asking even more.
    Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt

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    • #92
      Originally posted by robcraufurd View Post
      EDIT: Apologies to michammer, I hadn't seen your excellent post before making this one. By the way, as you seem to have a good grasp on the naval forces, could you clear something up for me? I understood the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau WERE the German navy's "pocket battleships". Have I misunderstood, or are there more "pocket battleships" floating round somewhere?
      The "pocket battleships" were: Admiral Graf Spee, Admiral Scheer, and Deutschland (later renamed Lutzow, Hitler after the sinking of the Graf Spee was afraid of a ship named after Germany being sunk in battle). The Graf Spee was sunk scuttled by its crew after the Battle of River Platte off the coast of Paraguay in Dec 1939. They were later reclassified as heavy cruisers, though with 11" guns they were too heavily armed for a cruiser role.

      The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were classified as battleships. They had the same turrets as the "pocket battleships". There were plans to replace the turrets with the same ones as Bismarck and Tirpitz, but was never done.

      The Admiral Hipper was a heavy cruiser. I believe her sistership Prinz Eugen was available at the time. The other sister Blucher was sunk in the Norwegian invasion. The Lutzow was sold to the Soviets and the name given to the Deutschland, and the Seydlitz was converted in mid-construction, but was never finished
      Last edited by Salinator; 25 Nov 06, 21:04.
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      • #93
        Originally posted by salinator View Post
        The "pocket battleships" were: Admiral Graf Spee, Admiral Scheer, and Deutschland (later renamed Lutzow, Hitler after the sinking of the Graf Spee was afraid of a ship named after Germany being sunk in battle). The Graf Spee was sunk scuttled by its crew after the Battle of River Platte off the coast of Paraguay in Dec 1939. They were later reclassified as heavy cruisers, though with 11" guns they were too heavily armed for a cruiser role.

        The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were classified as battleships. They had the same turrets as the "pocket battleships". There were plans to replace the turrets with the same ones as Bismarck and Tirpitz, but was never done.

        The Admiral Hipper was a heavy cruiser. I believe her sistership Prinz Eugen was available at the time. The other sister Blucher was sunk in the Norwegian invasion. The Lutzow was sold to the Soviets and the name given to the Deutschland, and the Seydlitz was converted in mid-construction, but was never finished
        The only large unit available to the Germans by September 1940 (the last date possible for an invasion)was the Admiral Hipper*, all the rest were either damaged or incomplete.

        *In late September 1940 the Hipper attempted to go to sea on a mission, but suffered engine failure, and was forced to return to port for repairs
        Last edited by redcoat; 25 Nov 06, 21:39.

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        • #94
          Originally posted by robcraufurd View Post
          No, apparently the 1974 Sandhurst wargame is exactly how any invasion of Sealion would have gone. It is not just a game, dependent on the views of the umpires: it is actual historical fact.
          It was a wargame, so it cannot be a historial fact

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          • #95
            Originally posted by redcoat View Post
            The only large unit available to the Germans by late September 1940 (the last date possible for an invasion)was the Admiral Hipper, all the rest were either damaged or incomplete.
            My post was intended to fill out some info for robcraufurd, and to clarify a poster's reference to the Admiral Hipper as a battlecruiser.

            I am in general agreement with you and others in regards to the availability of Kriegsmarine major assets. The only one that I cannot place at this point is the Prinz Eugen.
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            • #96
              Originally posted by salinator View Post
              I am in general agreement with you and others in regards to the availability of Kriegsmarine major assets. The only one that I cannot place at this point is the Prinz Eugen.
              My bad. The Prinz Eugen was commissioned Aug 1, 1940, just 23 days ahead of the Bismarck. There is no way she would have been ready. I knew that the Prinz Eugen was commissioned before the Bismarck, but for some reason forgot that it was only by less than a month.
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              • #97
                Originally posted by salinator View Post
                My post was intended to fill out some info for robcraufurd, and to clarify a poster's reference to the Admiral Hipper as a battlecruiser.

                I am in general agreement with you and others in regards to the availability of Kriegsmarine major assets. The only one that I cannot place at this point is the Prinz Eugen.
                Thanks for that: the various designations of battleships at this point always confuse me. I'm much happier when it's a simple choice between "two-decker", "three-decker", or "ironclad".

                Originally posted by redcoat View Post
                It was a wargame, so it cannot be a historial fact
                Originally posted by leopold View Post
                You have the basic right to disagree with the experts, but I'll buy their opinion over yours.
                For you, me and many other posters, it's just a wargame; for others, it appears to have taken on a totemic status.
                Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by redcoat View Post
                  I'm sorry, but if anybody seriously thinks that an invasion of Britain can be maintained by submarines, they know absolutely nothing about logistics.

                  According to the final German plan for Sealion, using the maximum available amount of shipping at their disposal, and no interference from either the RAF or RN, it would take the Germans a total of 11 days to land just over 200 tanks of all types and a mere 9 infantry divisions with no heavy equipment of note.
                  Yet you expect us to believe that the Germans could not only land enough troops in just a few days to overcome the defenses, but that they would be able to supply them using submarines travelling underwater.

                  No. its a totally insane idea and it won't work.
                  9 infantry divisions + 200 tanks is a loots of people and a loots of machinery. They also are attacking the beaches so they need to approach in a certain synchronized way.
                  Supplies do not need air to breathe and can be delivered to allready occupied stripe of beach.
                  If you do not agree with my numbers why don't you use the language of math and logic instead of words like 'insane' ,'nuts' etc??
                  Let me help you with guiding questions:
                  a) Do you agree or disagree that 300 tons per division per day are enough supply?? If so, then why?
                  b) Do you agree or disagree that 1450 troops daily are enough reinforcement for a 9 divisions force? If so, then why?
                  c) Do you agree or disagree with the possibility of the proposed way the subs
                  would transfer the cargo? If so, then why?
                  If you believe, you receive.
                  If you doubt, you go without.

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                  • #99
                    Originally posted by leopold View Post
                    9 infantry divisions + 200 tanks is a loots of people and a loots of machinery. They also are attacking the beaches so they need to approach in a certain synchronized way.
                    Supplies do not need air to breathe and can be delivered to allready occupied stripe of beach.
                    Indeed, but who unloads them and how long will it take ?
                    If you do not agree with my numbers why don't you use the language of math and logic instead of words like 'insane' ,'nuts' etc??
                    Let me help you with guiding questions:
                    a) Do you agree or disagree that 300 tons per division per day are enough supply?? If so, then why?
                    It translates to around 3,300 tons per day for the first wave
                    b) Do you agree or disagree that 1450 troops daily are enough reinforcement for a 9 divisions force? If so, then why?
                    At that rate I doubt it would keep up with the casualties suffered by the invasion force. However thats not the problem. In order to win, the invasion force needs to build up its forces quicker than the enemy can, not maintain its force while the enemy builts up its forces, that way is the way to sure defeat.
                    c) Do you agree or disagree with the possibility of the proposed way the subs
                    would transfer the cargo? If so, then why?[/QUOTE]
                    Even using a port like Dover (if captured in good order) it was estimated that only 800 tons a day could be unloaded using normal shipping
                    If the Subs could transport the amounts you suggest the difficulties in unloading and loading would slow the amounts to an insignificance

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                    • Originally posted by leopold View Post
                      They had pocket battleships and cruisers - enough to keep RN busy while evading direct contact.

                      The Bismark would have joined them shortly..
                      As has been mentioned by both Robcraufurd and Salinator, there were NO pocket battleships available in September 1940. The heavy cruiser Hipper and the Light Cruisers Koln and Leipzig were about the only "heavy" units available. Hardly enough to keep the RN busy.

                      Bismarck would NOT have joined shortly.

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                      • Originally posted by michammer View Post
                        As has been mentioned by both Robcraufurd and Salinator, there were NO pocket battleships available in September 1940. The heavy cruiser Hipper and the Light Cruisers Koln and Leipzig were about the only "heavy" units available. Hardly enough to keep the RN busy.

                        Bismarck would NOT have joined shortly.
                        Admiral Scheer could have been prepared in time if given enough prioirity.
                        Bismark and Prinz Eugene as well.
                        If the British could send Prinz of Wales on mission with workers still fitting her up than the same could be done for the above ships by the Germans.
                        If you believe, you receive.
                        If you doubt, you go without.

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                        • Originally posted by redcoat View Post
                          Indeed, but who unloads them and how long will it take ?

                          It translates to around 3,300 tons per day for the first wave
                          At that rate I doubt it would keep up with the casualties suffered by the invasion force.

                          However thats not the problem. In order to win, the invasion force needs to build up its forces quicker than the enemy can, not maintain its force while the enemy builts up its forces, that way is the way to sure defeat.
                          In all the battles of europe up to the fall of France the Germans lost ~60000 troops for ~3 and half months of fighting.
                          That translates to ~600 man a day with significantly larger forces involved than those that would oppose them in england. Therefore even this minimal number(1500 per day) will lead to ~3 additional divisions in the first month of the invasion.
                          The airlift by Ju 52 has much more potential than 60 flights a day.
                          In fact after superiority of LW is established in south england with the use of captured airports they can bring up to 5000 troops a day.
                          Don't forget - those would be well trained german soldiers and officers and not the home guard.
                          Originally posted by redcoat View Post
                          Even using a port like Dover (if captured in good order) it was estimated that only 800 tons a day could be unloaded using normal shipping
                          If the Subs could transport the amounts you suggest the difficulties in unloading and loading would slow the amounts to an insignificance
                          The loading (preparation) of the containers may be time consuming, but since it'll be done on the french coast there'll be no limitation on workforce to do it.
                          The unloading will be the process of opening the tubes lying on the beach and transporting their contents (cargo boxes) to the front line. Since such operation is not limited by some special equipment, than dozens of containers may be unloaded in parrallel by hand on the beach - what can slow them down?
                          The transport inland may require some additional effort, but the british will also need to transport their supplies by land so there the 2 forces are equal.
                          Captured british citizens may be used to speed the process as was often the case in german occupied teritories.
                          As to the Dover port estimates I'll appreciate a link that so I can understand what was the cause. A normal port of that scale usualy passes thousands tons of goods every day.
                          As the invasion progresses and the trawler - destroyer force gets a serious beating by the LW the transfer of the supplies may concentrate in the straits of dover area thus lowering the transprort time to 6 hours for both ends and providing a constant artillery protection from both sides of the channel. Considering that Germans had operational naval radar, only capital ships could stay in the straits and even then only until the LW starts attacking them en masse.
                          If you believe, you receive.
                          If you doubt, you go without.

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                          • I suspose it is here but I missed it, can anyone point me towards a detailed description of this Sandhurst game? Over the years I have seen some widely contradictory descriptions of it.

                            While we are at it are there any other detailed analysis of this hypothetical event? Legit historians please, not the Harry Turtledove type fiction.

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                            • Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                              I suspose it is here but I missed it, can anyone point me towards a detailed description of this Sandhurst game? Over the years I have seen some widely contradictory descriptions of it.

                              While we are at it are there any other detailed analysis of this hypothetical event? Legit historians please, not the Harry Turtledove type fiction.
                              This is the one I'm running off at the moment. I haven't had chance to read Richard Cox's book yet, but it's apparently fairly heavily fictionalised, leaning more towards the Harry Turtledove than the straight depiction.

                              If you've got access to it, the Ninth Naval History Symposium at Annapolis in 1989 produced a collection of essays called "New Interpretations in Naval History," one of which dealt with Operation Sealion.
                              Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt

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                              • Originally posted by leopold View Post
                                Admiral Scheer could have been prepared in time if given enough prioirity.
                                Bismark and Prinz Eugene as well.
                                If the British could send Prinz of Wales on mission with workers still fitting her up than the same could be done for the above ships by the Germans.
                                On the 15th September, while still fitting out, Bismarck is buzzed by British aircraft. Her AA guns fire over 300 shots without registering a single hit. Ironically, if you chose to send her out before she's finished, like the Prince of Wales, she may well have suffered the same fate.

                                That translates to ~600 man a day with significantly larger forces involved than those that would oppose them in england. Therefore even this minimal number(1500 per day) will lead to ~3 additional divisions in the first month of the invasion.
                                There's quite a big difference between blitzkrieg warfare and assaults against beaches and fixed defences.

                                In fact after superiority of LW is established in south england with the use of captured airports they can bring up to 5000 troops a day.
                                Don't forget - those would be well trained german soldiers and officers and not the home guard.
                                Don't underestimate the power of people fighting for their homes. The Russian militias in Stalingrad impose a heavy toll on the Germans, albeit at a high price to themselves.

                                providing a constant artillery protection from both sides of the channel
                                Nice to see that your U-Boats are able to land so much artillery that the invasion force can not only out-shoot the British defenders, but also have spare guns to defend the Channel.

                                As the invasion progresses and the trawler - destroyer force gets a serious beating by the LW
                                Nice also to see that the Luftwaffe, which is roughly numerically equal to the RAF, is able to fly air support for the pocket AND have time to perform anti-ship patrols in the Channel.

                                In fact after superiority of LW is established in south england with the use of captured airports they can bring up to 5000 troops a day.
                                It's a good job the British haven't got any forces who might be able to sabotage airfields and equipment, isn't it? Otherwise, your flow of supplies might be disrupted. Also, it's interesting to note that airborne resupply for Crete only works because the RAF have decamped to Alexandria- the equivalent of them retreating from Kent to Glasgow.
                                Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt

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