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This is Not Another Operation Sealion What If

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  • johnbryan
    replied
    Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
    Enough Condors were shot down so that their mission stopped being to attack the convoys. Instead, they were ordered to shadow them and send radio messages about their course and speed.
    To further amplify. Taken from Wikpedia:
    The first four or five ships were taken into Royal Navy service as Auxiliary Fighter Catapult Ships, but later conversions were manned by merchant crews. The aircraft were manned by pilots from the specially formed Merchant Ship Fighter Unit, based at RAF Speke near Liverpool.

    In the two years that they were in service, only eight catapult launchings were made, and six enemy aircraft (Condors) shot down with the loss of one RAF pilot. Twelve CAM ships were sunk through enemy action.

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  • johnbryan
    replied
    Originally posted by Duke William View Post
    I think I would really be interested in just how many Hurricanes shot down Condors (Vs.) the other way around.
    Enough Condors were shot down so that their mission changed from solely attacking the convoys. Instead, they were ordered to shadow them, send radio messages about their course and speed and avoid attacking them. After all, there weren't that many Condors built in all of WWII.
    Last edited by johnbryan; 28 Aug 07, 13:18.

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  • Duke William
    replied
    Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
    Agreed. By 1941, British Convoy merchant ships were catapulting Hurricane fighter planes aloft on a one way mission to shoot down the FW Condors.
    I think I would really be interested in just how many Hurricanes shot down Condors (Vs.) the other way around.

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  • johnbryan
    replied
    Originally posted by salinator View Post
    The Condors were first used as anti-shipping bombers. Churchill called the the Condors "the scourge of the Atlantic. It was not until mid-1941 that the Condors were instructed to avoid combat to preserve their numbers. This caused a change in their role from bomber to shadowing convoys for the U-boats.
    Agreed. By 1941, British Convoy merchant ships were catapulting Hurricane fighter planes aloft on a one way mission to shoot down the FW Condors.

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  • Salinator
    replied
    Originally posted by The Purist View Post
    If I am not mistaken the LW did what it could to support the U-boat operations but lacked the aircraft with the range to do so in a sustained manner. The only aircraft with the legs to do so was the Fw-200 (?) Condor and they were too few in 1940 and early 41.
    The Condors were first used as anti-shipping bombers. Churchill called the the Condors "the scourge of the Atlantic. It was not until mid-1941 that the Condors were instructed to avoid combat to preserve their numbers. This caused a change in their role from bomber to shadowing convoys for the U-boats.
    Last edited by Salinator; 27 Aug 07, 21:58.

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  • johnbryan
    replied
    Originally posted by redcoat View Post
    On the 6 September 1940 the RAF's Fighter Command had 725 serviceable fighters and 1,381 pilots available, an increase of 150 planes and 200 pilots from the beginning of the battle in July.
    The Luftwaffe wasn't even coming close to winning the war of attrition

    On the 5 September Air Vice-Marshal Park commander of 11 Group spoke to his Chief Controller Lord Willoughby de Brooke " I know you and the other controllers must be getting worried about our losses" Park said "Well I've been looking at these casualty figures, and I've come to the conclusion that at our present rate of losses we can just afford it. And I'm damned certain the Boche can't. If we can hang on as we're going, I'm sure we shall win in the end"

    On the 7th September the Luftwaffe blinked, they bombed London
    Yup. The fact still remains that Fighter Command was stronger at the end of the battle than before, unlike the Luftwaffe. Lastly, nothing ever came to pass that compromised the ability and overwhelming power of the Royal Navy to interdict and destroy the German Invasion Forces in the Channel.

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  • copenhagen
    replied
    Without the kind of preparations that the Allies put into D day, the likelihood of Germany pulling of Sealion in late 1940 remains very very improbable.

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  • redcoat
    replied
    On the 6 September 1940 the RAF's Fighter Command had 725 serviceable fighters and 1,381 pilots available, an increase of 150 planes and 200 pilots from the beginning of the battle in July.
    The Luftwaffe wasn't even coming close to winning the war of attrition

    On the 5 September Air Vice-Marshal Park commander of 11 Group spoke to his Chief Controller Lord Willoughby de Brooke " I know you and the other controllers must be getting worried about our losses" Park said "Well I've been looking at these casualty figures, and I've come to the conclusion that at our present rate of losses we can just afford it. And I'm damned certain the Boche can't. If we can hang on as we're going, I'm sure we shall win in the end"

    On the 7th September the Luftwaffe blinked, they bombed London

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  • The Purist
    replied
    They did drop mines,...by air and sub. The British had minesweepers operating around the clock to keep the harbours along the western approaches open a free for navigation.

    If I am not mistaken the LW did what it could to support the U-boat operations but lacked the aircraft with the range to do so in a sustained manner. The only aircraft with the legs to do so was the Fw-200 (?) Condor and they were too few in 1940 and early 41.

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  • Carl Schwamberg
    replied
    Just a random thought...I wonder if the Luftwaffe would have been more effective dropping mines at night on the approaches to the British ports and aiding the submarines in attacking convoys?

    I understand Goering had little interest in this sort of thing. But under different & better leadership might the Luftwaffe been used effectively this way during a sustained antishipping campaign through th autum & winter of 1940?

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  • The Purist
    replied
    Unfortunately Conlin your record of the battle has been proven incorrect. More modern and balanced views (ie: less dramatic "barely hung on") and checks of the record show that Fighter Command never had fewer than two pilots for every available fighter and that by mid-Sep the RAF had more operational fighters than they did at the start of the battle (nearly 750).

    In the meantime, German fighter strength was draining away as losses exceeded production and pilot training fell behind losses. LW reports of damage to airfields prooved highly optimistic and, as Johnbryan noted, No 11 was never really close to defeat.

    Had the Germans continued they would eventually have had to call off the battle for lack of crews and aircraft to say nothing of the collapse in morale among the LW bomber crews.

    Originally posted by DW
    ...were marching up the steps of Whitehall...
    DW,....*Whitehall* is a very nice, broad avenue in the heart of London (many lovely statues and very fine pubs). There are not really any large quantites of steps to march up except in front of various government buildings such as Parliament, Scotland Yard, the Ministry of Defence and the like.

    Well,...over on Trafalgar Square there are a few to the north of Nelson's Column,...but that's about it.
    Last edited by The Purist; 23 Aug 07, 22:54.

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  • Conlin
    replied
    Britian had only 675 fighter planes (60 percent Hurricanes, 40 percent Spitfires) combat ready when the battle started. The Germans had 800 Messerschmitt 109's to protect their 875 two - engined bombers and 316 Stukas. They also had 250 Messerschmitt 110 fighters but they were 60 MPH slower then the Spitfires so they proved a great disappointment.

    Goring concentrated his fighters and bombers for an all assault on airfields and fighters in southern England. But they didn't know that the RAF's greatest strength was the newly developed radar which, by 1940, they had set up in two lines facing the continent. One line consisted of receivers on high towers that could detect high-flying aircraft 120 miles away. The other had a shorter range but could detect low-flying aircraft.

    The radar net, combined with the Observer Corps spotters on the ground, who tracked aircraft once past the coast, gave the RAF advance warning of approaching bombers and fighters. From the moment they took of from bases in western Europe, German aircraft were spotted on screen, their courses plotted. So the RAF had the advantage.

    In the days leading up to the start of the main campaign, Eagle Day on August 13, Stukas struck repeatedly at airfields and radar stations, on the 12th they knocked out a radar station but they still didn't understand how important radar was to the British so didn't concentrate attacks on the stations.The Stukas then later were withdrawn because the strikes showed that they were too slow and vulnerablefor long range attacks against Britian.

    On August 13 and 14, three waves of German bombers, a total of 1,500 sorties, damaged several RAF airfields but destroyed none. On the 15th the strongest effort was made when 800 bomber and 1,150 fighter sorties were launched. A 100 bombers escorted by Me 110s from Air Fleet 5 in Scandinavia, expecting to find the northeastern coast of Britian defenseless. Instead they pounced on by British fighters and lost 30 planes, mostly bombers, without a British loss. Air Fleet 5 never returned to Britian again.

    In southern England the Luftwaffe was more successful. In four attacks, one which almost penetrated London, bombers hit four aircraft factories at Croydon, and damaged five fighter fields. But the Germans lost 75 planes against the Brit's 34.

    On the 15th of August Goring made his first major error. He called of the attacks on the radar stations. But on August 24 he learned about the second key to the RAF defense - sector stations. These nerve centers guided pilots with the latest intelligence from radar, ground observers, and pilots in the air. He swithched to the destruction of those stations. Seven of those were crucial to the defense of southern England.

    From that day to Sept. 6 the Luftwaffe sent over an average of a thousand planes a day. They damaged five fields in southern England badly and hit six of the seven crucial sector stations so severly that the communications system was on verge of being knocked out.

    The RAF was getting torn up. Between August 23 and September 6, 466 British fighters were destroyed or badly damaged against the German's 342. Altough British produced more than 450 Spitfires and Hurricanes in August and September, getting them into squadrons took time. Besides , the real problem was manpower.

    During that period (August 23 - September 6) 103 RAF pilots were dead and 128 seriously wounded, one forth of those available. A few more weeks and the RAF would have been destroyed. But then Hitler changed the strategy from destroying the RAF for Sealion to take place to bombing Britian into submission. He changed the strategy out of anger.

    In addition to sector stations, Goring also was attacking the British air-armaments industry, which meant industrial cities were suffering substantial damage. Then on the night of August 24, ten bombers lost their way and dropped their loads on central London. Then the British Bomber Command then launched a reprisal raid on Berlin the next night with eighty bombers (the first time the German capital had been hit). Bomber Command followed up the raid with several more in the next days.

    Hitler, of course, was enraged and announced the he would "eradicate" British cities. He, foolishly, called of the strikes on the sector stations and ordered the mass (or terror) bombings of Brithish cities. Hitler didn't change the strategy just because he was furious, he also wanted to "try out" the idea Giulio Douhet, an Italian, came up with after World War I. Giulio argued the a nation could be froced to its knees by massive bombings against its centers of population, goverment, and industry. Such attack would destroy the morale of the people and war production, and achieve victory without the use of ground forces.

    The Luftwaffe's original strategy against British airfields, sector stations, and aircraft factories was a variation of highly succesful battles it had won in Ma and June during the Nazi conquest of Western Europe. This was pretty much the "Air force to gets air supremacy for said invasion/battle/operation" strategy. The second one was the "Bomb cities of said nation until said nation's leader ask for terms of surrender" strategy.

    So ten German bombers made the world's biggest mainiac/criminal change the outcome of the war. Am I missing something?? (Altough the Royal Navy problably would have intercepted the German Invading Force)
    Last edited by Conlin; 24 Aug 07, 10:13.

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  • johnbryan
    replied
    Originally posted by Duke William View Post
    Well, maybe it is indirectly, but not directly.

    So WHAT IF The Luftwaffe had continued on with their strategy that they were on from August 24th, 1940 - September 6th, 1940 & just continued on that course of action INSTEAD of starting the Bombing Blitz on London?????

    Would The Luftwaffe had won The Battle by Septmber 15th, 1940 as stated by Keith Parks some 25 Years Later on The 65 Year Anniversary of The Battle of Britain?????

    Or, do you suppose, that staying with that strategy that The RAF & England would have just kept fighting until The Huns were marching up the steps of Whitehall?????
    Fighter Command would simply have fed fresh squadrons from other groups into the fray. During the time in question, only one Fighter Command station, Biggin Hill had it's ability to operate aircraft limited to only one squadron and that was only for a period of 8 days until repairs were made to the station's infrastructure. Besides, concentrating Luftwaffe bombers strictly towards knocking 11 Group out of the war defeats the much greater purpose and goal of bombing British infrastructure, softening up possible beach heads, interdicting key road and rail junctions and bombing important war production plants. The Luftwaffe bombers can't be everywhere at the same time, Duke, as there simply aren't enough of them. The Allied Tactical and Strategic Airforces were several times stronger in 1944 than the 1940 Luftwaffe was and the Allies were largely unable to shut off the flow of German troops and equipment that flooded towards the contested D-Day beaches in Normandy.

    Then, there's also the Royal Navy to consider. Their means to defeat and destroy the German Invasion Forces has not been compromised by one iota. They are still out there, marking time and waiting for their turn. The Huns aren't going to march anywhere in Great Britain, especially "not up the steps of Whitehall", unless that is the route that they will march past towards their waiting POW cages for the duration of the war.

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  • This is Not Another Operation Sealion What If

    Well, maybe it is indirectly, but not directly.

    So WHAT IF The Luftwaffe had continued on with their strategy that they were on from August 24th, 1940 - September 6th, 1940 & just continued on that course of action INSTEAD of starting the Bombing Blitz on London?????

    Would The Luftwaffe had won The Battle by Septmber 15th, 1940 as stated by Keith Parks some 25 Years Later on The 65 Year Anniversary of The Battle of Britain?????

    Or, do you suppose, that staying with that strategy that The RAF & England would have just kept fighting until The Huns were marching up the steps of Whitehall?????

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