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  • #31
    Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
    Given the official German plan (in which you are well versed) to commit uboats into the channel in support of sealion, one would have to assume that the uboat arm takes significant losses as well.

    The RN will have the vast bulk of those 50 ex-USN destroyers coming into service post-Sealion. That will offset the Sealion losses to some extent. With the near annihilation of the Kriegsmarine, some destroyers earmarked for home defense can also be transferred to convoy defense.

    Furthermore the expansion of the uboat arm will be crippled in the short term by the near shut down of the German economy. All those lost barges will practically shut down the Ruhr and a big chunk of Germany's steel production. What little steel is produced will likely be reserved for the army.

    The net result would be a crippled uboat fleet with paltry reinforcements versus a damaged but reinforced RN.
    So I think we can agree that the Gemans suffer extremely heavy losses, and have a few different options ahead of them.

    1) Delay Barbarossa. The Germans might need to replenish arms, and Hitler would be furious about the 'failure' of his Generals. Goring would also face some displeasure, and loose more of his favored status. The German industry might use the intervening time to develop newer tanks (Panthers, Tigers) that, when Barbarossa commenced, the Germans would be capable of going head-to-head with the Soviet T-34.

    An effect of this might be for the U-boat operations to face actually less trouble in the aftermath (although they would have suffered during Sealion also). The destroyed British fighters/bombers and smaller craft (destroyers and such) would make the U-boat's job easier, at least for a while.

    2) Continue as usual. The Germans just shrug off the losses and turn their attention to Russia. Germans invade, and are defeated just that much quicker (less air-dominance earlier in the war, more Soviet planes able to fight back, etc.)

    3) Try again! Not likely, but Hitler was insane, so whatever goes. If he tried to do it again, I either see a rise in rebelious attitudes amongst the Army (and a possible coup), or he just attempts it again and looses even more men and material, this time before even reaching the English shore.

    It also weakens Germany's peace negotiations based of their relative strength, and makes Germany a possible target for Stalin later on.

    On a side note, and I hope this wasn't addressed before, would Churchill have used gas against the attacking Germans in Sealion? I remember reading somewhere that Churchill was preparing stockpiles of poison gas in case of an invasion. Just curious.



    Sealion? Lakecow. Streamtiger. Brookbadger?

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    • #32
      Originally posted by daemonofdecay View Post
      So I think we can agree that the Gemans suffer extremely heavy losses, and have a few different options ahead of them.

      1) Delay Barbarossa. The Germans might need to replenish arms, and Hitler would be furious about the 'failure' of his Generals. Goring would also face some displeasure, and loose more of his favored status. The German industry might use the intervening time to develop newer tanks (Panthers, Tigers) that, when Barbarossa commenced, the Germans would be capable of going head-to-head with the Soviet T-34.
      I think that to be unlikely. The Panther was developed in response to the T34. The Tiger was on the drawing board but it's development would continue at a slow pace as the German command would not see a need for it.

      The crippled German economy (no barges to move stuff) would struggle to keep producing the 50mm PzIIIs and short barrelled75mm PzIVs.

      The German introduction to the T34 would likely come in summer 42 when thousands of them in reformed Russian tank units cross the border and crush the PzIIIs in droves. The German line might stabilize on the Vistula but is more likely going to be on the Elbe.

      The uboats will be a total non factor. There won't be enough steel to build them.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
        I think that to be unlikely. The Panther was developed in response to the T34. The Tiger was on the drawing board but it's development would continue at a slow pace as the German command would not see a need for it.
        You don't think an enraged Hitler would demand the faster development of his wonderweapons and huge tanks that he seemed to have a somewhat Freudian fascination with?

        I'll agree about the Panther though, and but I think that by 1942 the Germans would have been ready to produce a few Tiger tanks. Not a war winning amount or any such nonsense, but a few allowed by an economy that lost a large number of barges.

        The uboats will be a total non factor. There won't be enough steel to build them.
        Wouldn't the Germans try to quickly replace the barges? It would take time, but given a year I imagine many of the barges would be back in operation. Of course, the resources to build said barges would decrease the German output of other material, and U-boats in particular due to the need for naval facilities to build the larger barges, etc.



        Don't just barge in!. . . *cricket*. . .

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        • #34
          Originally posted by daemonofdecay View Post
          Wouldn't the Germans try to quickly replace the barges? It would take time, but given a year I imagine many of the barges would be back in operation. Of course, the resources to build said barges would decrease the German output of other material, and U-boats in particular due to the need for naval facilities to build the larger barges, etc.
          Absolutely. It would be their #1 priority. However the Germany economy would have practically shut down in October/November 1940. I'd expect a recovery to mid 1940 levels by fall 1941. By the time the Kriegsmarine gets enough operational uboats (late 1942) to be more than a nuisance the Allies will have already won the battle of the Atlantic by default.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
            All this sealion talk has got me thinking about the consequences of Germany trying it. The outcome is undoubtly collossal failure for the Germans. But where does Germany go after failing?

            What would the consequences be if Germany had tried Sealion under the historical conditions in September 1940 and it failed.

            For the purposes of the discussion, assume Hitler orders the attack on September 10, 1940 and it goes in September 21 to 25. The consequences are:
            1) the German surface navy is obliterated
            2) the Luftwaffe loses 300 more fighters, 400 bombers and 100 transports with 80% of the aircrew KIA/captured
            3) the German first wave of 8 infantry, 1 mountain, 1 parachute divisions , 4 tank battalions and associated corps troops is destroyed in total (big chunk surrendering when they run out of supplies)
            4) the vast majority of the Rhine barges committed (1000 out of the 1200+) are lost and over 1/2 of the merchant ships are sunk as well

            The English would also take heavy casualties defeating the invasion. Say 4 cruisers, 20 destroyers, 100+ smaller auxillery ships sunk , 300 fighters and 200 bombers (most aircrew recovered though). Several infantry divisions would be badly mauled and many home guard unit destroyed.

            So its October 1940 and Sealion has just been decisively defeated. What next for Germany, Italy and the commonwealth?
            The worst losses for the Germans, in your scenario, would undoubtedly be their navy. The Luftwaffe losses equal approx. their actual losses for the rest of the year. The army losses, dependant on how many eventually got back (why couldn't the Germans also manage a "Dover"...?....)..... their losses would be, more or less, 9 divisions + the airborne units.

            This was approx. 5 % of the German army. With a comparatively smaller loss in heavy equipment as much of this would not have come in the first wave.

            Militarily, I believe this would not have influenced much on Hitler's plans for the Soviet invasion. When you think about it he might have needed more divisions to keep England occupied. The RN would have less capacity for anti-sub warfare after their losses (if not the U-boote also were annihilated).

            The worst loss might be the fact that those divisions assigned for the Seelöwe first wave attack were some of his best. Hitler might have grown more adamant at going for British positions elsewhere - than the soviet Union....
            Saving MacArthur - a book series - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ies_rw_dp_labf
            River Wide, Ocean Deep - Operation Sealion - https://www.amazon.com/product-revie...owViewpoints=1

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            • #36
              Losses to the transport aircraft & airbourne divsions would likely have been crippling. Anything on par with the losses in Holland would require a complete rebuild of the airbourne capability. Possiblly Hitler would have dropped airbourne ops from his plans in late 1940, as he did after the Greek/Crete campaigns in 1941.

              A more subtle question is the effect on the British army. Combat ops bring forward a different set of sucessfull leaders than building and training a army. A desperate battle in England would have boosted several generals to prominence who otherwise spent the war as capable but obscure divsion & corps commanders.

              Beyond that this brief battle would have supplemented the combat experince & leassons learned during the battle of France. After the summer 1940 campaign there was a considerable alteration of docttrine, tactics, & techniques in the British army. Although this went slowly and sometimes in the wrong direction. Another hard leasson of a week or two would reinforce the urgency for change as early campigns in Africa did not.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                All this sealion talk has got me thinking about the consequences of Germany trying it. The outcome is undoubtly collossal failure for the Germans. But where does Germany go after failing?

                What would the consequences be if Germany had tried Sealion under the historical conditions in September 1940 and it failed.

                For the purposes of the discussion, assume Hitler orders the attack on September 10, 1940 and it goes in September 21 to 25. The consequences are:
                1) the German surface navy is obliterated
                2) the Luftwaffe loses 300 more fighters, 400 bombers and 100 transports with 80% of the aircrew KIA/captured
                3) the German first wave of 8 infantry, 1 mountain, 1 parachute divisions , 4 tank battalions and associated corps troops is destroyed in total (big chunk surrendering when they run out of supplies)
                4) the vast majority of the Rhine barges committed (1000 out of the 1200+) are lost and over 1/2 of the merchant ships are sunk as well

                The English would also take heavy casualties defeating the invasion. Say 4 cruisers, 20 destroyers, 100+ smaller auxillery ships sunk , 300 fighters and 200 bombers (most aircrew recovered though). Several infantry divisions would be badly mauled and many home guard unit destroyed.

                So its October 1940 and Sealion has just been decisively defeated. What next for Germany, Italy and the commonwealth?

                I am surprised no one brought this up, so I will:

                An enraged Hitler is consummed by the need to strike back at Churchill. Barbarrosa planning proceeds until Rommel opens this opportunity for Hitler in North Africa. Hitler elects to reinforce Rommel and delay Barbarossa until 42.

                Hitler's attitute toward France thaws and in the neogiations of October 1940 with Petain, agrees to French concessions for help against the British in Africa.

                With the speedier replacement of Rommels tank losses and an extra Panzer Division, Rommel enters Cairo in late summer 1941.

                Iraq, Iran, all Egypt errupt in revolt -- this time the Whermacht is better placed to support these native uprisings with men and material support.

                Turkey and Spain teeter toward the Axis...

                VM

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by E_Von_Manstein View Post
                  I am surprised no one brought this up, so I will:

                  An enraged Hitler is consummed by the need to strike back at Churchill. Barbarrosa planning proceeds until Rommel opens this opportunity for Hitler in North Africa. Hitler elects to reinforce Rommel and delay Barbarossa until 42.

                  Hitler's attitute toward France thaws and in the neogiations of October 1940 with Petain, agrees to French concessions for help against the British in Africa.

                  With the speedier replacement of Rommels tank losses and an extra Panzer Division, Rommel enters Cairo in late summer 1941.

                  Iraq, Iran, all Egypt errupt in revolt -- this time the Whermacht is better placed to support these native uprisings with men and material support.

                  Turkey and Spain teeter toward the Axis...

                  VM

                  Oh well, God loves an optimist.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by E_Von_Manstein View Post
                    I am surprised no one brought this up, so I will:

                    An enraged Hitler is consummed by the need to strike back at Churchill. Barbarrosa planning proceeds until Rommel opens this opportunity for Hitler in North Africa. Hitler elects to reinforce Rommel and delay Barbarossa until 42.

                    Hitler's attitute toward France thaws and in the neogiations of October 1940 with Petain, agrees to French concessions for help against the British in Africa.

                    With the speedier replacement of Rommels tank losses and an extra Panzer Division, Rommel enters Cairo in late summer 1941.

                    Iraq, Iran, all Egypt errupt in revolt -- this time the Whermacht is better placed to support these native uprisings with men and material support.

                    Turkey and Spain teeter toward the Axis...

                    VM
                    possible.. but while the Mediterranean becomes an Axis lake, in 1943-44, the Soviet Union takes Berlin...
                    "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
                      possible.. but while the Mediterranean becomes an Axis lake, in 1943-44, the Soviet Union takes Berlin...
                      You don't think that Hitler might have been able to delay Stalin from attacking him for at least a year or so?

                      Because if I remember correctly, the Soviet army was in no position to attack Germany in '41, and most likely '42 as well. By 1943, I could see the attack, but wouldn't Germany be in a position to retalliate?

                      Just wondering.

                      And then the Polish conquer Europe.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by E_Von_Manstein View Post
                        With the speedier replacement of Rommels tank losses and an extra Panzer Division, Rommel enters Cairo in late summer 1941.
                        Interesting but again logistics raises its ugly head: the port capacity available to the Axis in North Africa is too small for the axis to ever defeat the Commonwealth. See vanCreveld for an excellent discussion of logistics in NA. An extra panzer division is useless as the axis can not ever supply it.

                        A more likely outcome is that Britsish discover the AT effectiveness of their very own 3.7in AA gun in the Sealion battles and put that to use in the desert and shred DAK faster.

                        Also the British would gain a wealth of combat experience on how to destroy the German army in a successful Sealion defense. That combat experience would get transferred to NA. Some of the mistakes made by the British in NA don't get made.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by daemonofdecay View Post
                          You don't think that Hitler might have been able to delay Stalin from attacking him for at least a year or so?

                          Because if I remember correctly, the Soviet army was in no position to attack Germany in '41, and most likely '42 as well. By 1943, I could see the attack, but wouldn't Germany be in a position to retalliate?

                          Just wondering.

                          And then the Polish conquer Europe.
                          German success in the middle east could well have enboldened Stalin to "chip in" with an attack on Persia thus gaining east access to the Indian Ocean ... something the Soviet state was to try in vain 50 years later during the cold war.

                          And to the allied doubters, Stalin was no fan of Britain until Hitler attacked, and the initail sucess of Barbarossa was because Stalin thought the intelligence being passed was a British plot!

                          VM

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                            Interesting but again logistics raises its ugly head: the port capacity available to the Axis in North Africa is too small for the axis to ever defeat the Commonwealth. See vanCreveld for an excellent discussion of logistics in NA. An extra panzer division is useless as the axis can not ever supply it.

                            A more likely outcome is that Britsish discover the AT effectiveness of their very own 3.7in AA gun in the Sealion battles and put that to use in the desert and shred DAK faster.

                            Also the British would gain a wealth of combat experience on how to destroy the German army in a successful Sealion defense. That combat experience would get transferred to NA. Some of the mistakes made by the British in NA don't get made.
                            On the contrary, I AM considering logistics.... Rommel historically has two German divisions in NA. Up to two more could have been supported based on port capacity etc with a maximum effort directed to this theatre. So instead of pushing that pipeline to its limits, I simply said "one" and frankly, if Hitler had supported Rommel during the initial thrust by simply keeping enough tanks in the pipeline to keep the 2 divisions there at full strength -- forget the third -- that would have been enough!

                            VM

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