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Germans succeed in preventing a Dunkirk evacuation

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  • Germans succeed in preventing a Dunkirk evacuation

    How would Britain react to a German encirclement and capture of its forces in Dunkirk ?

    Would the british sue for peace. If not How would the German conquest of Greece and Crete be affected ? How would it affect the Mediterranean and North African theatre ? Most of all would it Benefit the Germans in any way in Barbarrossa ?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Slim View Post
    How would Britain react to a German encirclement and capture of its forces in Dunkirk ?

    Would the british sue for peace. If not How would the German conquest of Greece and Crete be affected ? How would it affect the Mediterranean and North African theatre ? Most of all would it Benefit the Germans in any way in Barbarrossa ?
    I am not sure if Churchill would have surrendered even if the Germans captured the entire BEF in Belgium and France. There would probably have been a more drastic call for commonwealth forces to be shipped to England for defense and this would have had its major impact in the ability of Britain to engage in offensive operations in the Mediterranean and Africa. Perhaps Operation Compass would not have occurred or would have been delayed significantly. But in the long run, this would have not posed too much of a problem, since the Italian army was in no condition to really engae in a conquest of Egypt. Limited British flexibility regarding potential support for Greece and Yugoslavia, though, may have given the Yougoslav plotters pause to reconsider their plan to overthrow the Yugoslav government however. However, the ongoing failure of Italy to subdue the Greeks and the possibility of the Greeks pushing the Italians out of Albania may still have required the Germans to go into Greece in the spring of 1941, thus delaying Barbarossa.

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    • #3
      One possible, tho not certain, outcome might be a earlier evacuation of the remaining 100,000+ British soldiers in France. If evaced earlier they would be more likely to bring all the equipment with them, improving Britians defense slightly in the short run.

      Without a airbattle over Dunkirk the strengh of both the Luftwaffe & RAF may be a little better later in August.

      Worst case for the Germans would be the tank divsions are badly attritioned fighting the trapped BEF. With a weaker armored corps the subsequent battle southwards into France is slower and takes more infantry casualties.

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      • #4
        It would have been a harder fight, but if the whole BEF had been lost, then a stunning opportunity would have opened up for the Germans; to launch Sealion in early July. Taking the Channel "on the run", as it were.

        Imagine the whole of the Luftwaffe committed to a purely tactical role in support of whatever forces the Army can send over in a hurry, rather than loosing half their machines in a campaign they were ill-suited too. A bridgehead with no army to stop them probably would have brought Churchill to the table very quickly.
        "Why is the Rum gone?"

        -Captain Jack

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        • #5
          Crossing the channel is not the same as a river crossing!!

          What about the far larger number of troops in the UK ?

          The Ciefs of Staff advice to Churchill was that they could fight on successfully at that was at a time when they thought they would lose most of the BEF

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
            It would have been a harder fight, but if the whole BEF had been lost, then a stunning opportunity would have opened up for the Germans; to launch Sealion in early July. Taking the Channel "on the run", as it were.

            Imagine the whole of the Luftwaffe committed to a purely tactical role in support of whatever forces the Army can send over in a hurry, rather than loosing half their machines in a campaign they were ill-suited too. A bridgehead with no army to stop them probably would have brought Churchill to the table very quickly.
            You forget totally why the 'Battle of Britain' was fought. Germany had no proper landing craft of the D-Day type. Instead the plan was to to use tugs to tow unpowered barges at only a few knots across the channel. The English channel itself is a nasty bit of shallow water with shifting sandbanks and very vicious tides and currents. There's a reason why the last succesful invasion of England was in 1066.

            Because Germany's 'invasion fleet' was so amateur one single Royal Navy destroyer in the middle of that would cause carnage. The luftwaffe had to destroy the RAF, in order to be free to destroy the royal navy for 'Sea Lion' to have a hope in hell of working. Britains army only started mattering when the first jackboot hit the sand at Dover.

            Its also worth pointing out that the British resistance was in place at this stage with bunkers hidden around the country, assasination lists of potentical collaborators in place and trained saboteurs ready to die attacking German supply lines. Churchill had considered a succesful German landing and had plans to fight it, not surrender.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by peteratwar View Post
              Crossing the channel is not the same as a river crossing!!

              What about the far larger number of troops in the UK ?

              The Ciefs of Staff advice to Churchill was that they could fight on successfully at that was at a time when they thought they would lose most of the BEF
              The "Home Army", what about them? They might have kept the Germans out of the UK but the loss of the BEF would have put a different light on the later operations. Would the UK have had enough troops for Italy or the later Overlord? I think not.

              HP
              "Ask not what your country can do for you"

              Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

              you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Half Pint View Post
                The "Home Army", what about them? They might have kept the Germans out of the UK but the loss of the BEF would have put a different light on the later operations. Would the UK have had enough troops for Italy or the later Overlord? I think not.

                HP
                We'd have had 4 years to recruit and train them. Remember we never used conscription in the colonies (rightly... we didn't need any rebellions) but we could have increased our recruiting efforts massively. Many of the Indian races such as the Sikhs and Ghurkas take great pride in the history of fighting for Britain. Even now we only take something like 1 Ghurka from 100-odd potential volunteers into the Ghurka regiments. Maybe with a greater threat of Britain being invaded we'd have kept in Britain many of the men thrown away defending Singapore, Greece, Crete etc too?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Slim View Post
                  How would Britain react to a German encirclement and capture of its forces in Dunkirk ?

                  Would the british sue for peace.
                  In the book 'Five Days in London, May 1940' by Jon Lukacs, it is shown how Churchill convinced the British War Cabinet over a period of 5 days from the 24th to the 28th May, that despite the defeat of France and the possible total loss of the BEF, it was in the interest of Britain and the free world to continue the fight and not seek any form of peace treaty with Germany.

                  During the time Churchill was persuading the war cabinet of this course of action, the cabinet was informed that it was estimated that the number that could be evacuated from Dunkirk would probably only be around 40,000, it was only after the cabinet had agreed with Churchill to continue the war that the 'miracle' of Dunkirk took place

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by peter_sym View Post
                    You forget totally why the 'Battle of Britain' was fought. Germany had no proper landing craft of the D-Day type. Instead the plan was to to use tugs to tow unpowered barges at only a few knots across the channel. The English channel itself is a nasty bit of shallow water with shifting sandbanks and very vicious tides and currents. There's a reason why the last succesful invasion of England was in 1066.
                    They wouldn't have even have had the barges in early July, as it took time to transport them to the channel ports

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by redcoat View Post
                      They wouldn't have even have had the barges in early July, as it took time to transport them to the channel ports
                      Indeed. And a deadline of mid-September by which time the weather becomes too unpredictable to risk an invasion. Storms nearly ruined D-day and that was mid-June! You get some evil weather coming up the English channel. Its basically funnel shaped and very shallow so a mild Atlantic swell at Normandy can be steep enough to capsise a barge at Dover.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by peter_sym View Post

                        Because Germany's 'invasion fleet' was so amateur one single Royal Navy destroyer in the middle of that would cause carnage.
                        Not quite true. A long time ago someone posted a RN analysis that it would take 6 cruisers and 30 destroyers to stop the invasion.

                        It most certainly is true that the RN's crushing and overwhelming superiority guarenteed that any attempt at Sealion would have failed with very heavy German losses.

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                        • #13
                          Whilst Churchill and the War Cabinet may have been resolved to continue the fight would the rest of the country have stood for it knowing that the best of the British Army languished in German POW camps? Let's not forget that as the war progressed it was painfully clear that the British could do little to confront the Germans directly, at least not until 1943. Britain *may* have survived the crisis in 1940 but assuming the Germans don't try some madcap Sealion-esque venture I'd question whether a series of reverses a-la 1941 might have brought about some kind of collapse of national morale forcing a peace deal of some kind.
                          Signing out.

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                          • #14
                            Don't think there was any doubt about it. Not that I was aware of.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                              Whilst Churchill and the War Cabinet may have been resolved to continue the fight would the rest of the country have stood for it knowing that the best of the British Army languished in German POW camps? Let's not forget that as the war progressed it was painfully clear that the British could do little to confront the Germans directly, at least not until 1943. Britain *may* have survived the crisis in 1940 but assuming the Germans don't try some madcap Sealion-esque venture I'd question whether a series of reverses a-la 1941 might have brought about some kind of collapse of national morale forcing a peace deal of some kind.
                              I still have doubts that the loss of the BEF would have led to a British surrender, either by the government or the people. As Peter pointed out, the German would still have been incapable of launching Operation Sealion for the lack of appropriate landing craft. And although it is true the Germans managed a seaborne invasion of Norway with the assistance of paratroop forces, Britain still had the Royal Navy. As long as the Royal Navy was still ruling the seas, the British would never cave in. The main effect of the loss of the BEF would have impacted upon the ability of the British to engage in offensive operations in the Mediterranean and African theaters. There would have been no significant reinforcement of Wavell's forces in Egypt in the foreseeable future nor, probably, in East Africa. There may have been an impact in British industrial production as more men would have had to have been recruited into the army to replace the lost 300,000 of the BEF.

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