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Sealion Launched and Fails - What Next?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle
    ...Oddly enough, a Sealion defeat may have found the Germans in a stronger position?
    Can't see it Nick. U-Boats were to be a major part of Sealion by deploying them *in* the Channel itself. Needless to say that the shallow waters and heavy operations by air and destroyer forces would cause heavy casualties.

    The KM would have been gutted right down to the motor launches used, the LW, while not suffereing the losses in the game (operations would have been broken off far, far, farrrrrr sooner) would still be heavy. The army itself would have been badly damaged but not crippled. The army deployed in the game was far beyond anything the Germans could have supplied with their available shipping and the port capacity of the southeast. Equipment losses would have prevented Barabarossa as it was but perhaps not cancelled it. Hitler may have been forced to scale back expectations in 1941 but he would probablt still have gone. Perhaps Africa recives only one full divisions and a battlegroup.

    The real pigeons would come home to roost in 1942 moreso than 1941, IMO.
    The Purist

    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
      Some very excellent points raised there .

      Singapore is unlikely to have been reinforced, so losses there may have been smaller.

      As for N Africa, judging just by the campaign we had fought, the RN had a real blooding, but the army fought and was used appropriately. It is the RN that could be of most concern, and how it would be rebuilt. Several major capital ships (Battleships) were lost or very heavily damaged, but could this be a Pearl Harbour (not the film) whereby the stage is set for a new era of naval organisation is set? Would it be better able to handle the U-boat menace.

      However, probably no Battle of Taranto, and thus perhaps no Pearl Harbour 7th Dec 1941. That would be a biggee.

      If the Nazis don't invade the USSR as a result, would the reverse happen. Probably not in the short term, maybe not in the long term. The Nazis may simply decide on keeping what they have, albeit a bijou version of Adolphs former dreams?
      If the Wargame referred to assumed an invasion attempt in September 1940, then it must in many respects have been divorced from reality, because in the real world the RNs anti-invasion dispositions did not involve the heavy ships of the Home Fleet at all.

      The only RN capital ship in the area was the venerable Revenge, at Plymouth. Nelson, Rodney & Hood were based at Rosyth, and were not intended to enter the southern part of the North Sea unless German heavy ships did, and we now know that in September 1940 the only German heavy ship fit for operations was Admiral Hipper, and even she had unreliable engines.

      Does this fantastical wargame identify which RN battleships were supposed to have been sunk or damaged by the way? I have never understood why some people think the RN would have sent battleships, battlecruisers, and heavy cruisers into the channel area to sink barges amd trawlers, when the task could have been accomplished much more economically by the many destroyers and smaller vessels already massed there. Isn't it rather akin to going duck shooting with tanks?

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Doveton Sturdee View Post
        If the Wargame referred to assumed an invasion attempt in September 1940, then it must in many respects have been divorced from reality, because in the real world the RNs anti-invasion dispositions did not involve the heavy ships of the Home Fleet at all.

        The only RN capital ship in the area was the venerable Revenge, at Plymouth. Nelson, Rodney & Hood were based at Rosyth, and were not intended to enter the southern part of the North Sea unless German heavy ships did, and we now know that in September 1940 the only German heavy ship fit for operations was Admiral Hipper, and even she had unreliable engines.

        Does this fantastical wargame identify which RN battleships were supposed to have been sunk or damaged by the way? I have never understood why some people think the RN would have sent battleships, battlecruisers, and heavy cruisers into the channel area to sink barges amd trawlers, when the task could have been accomplished much more economically by the many destroyers and smaller vessels already massed there. Isn't it rather akin to going duck shooting with tanks?
        I think the wargame rules were: we let them get ashore...
        because when they played it with RN interference nothing made it to the dry stuff.

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        • #19
          Has everyone forgotten that the Red Army was a joke in 1941? It had an extremely limited offensive capability. They simply don't have any good officers, not enough trucks, inadequate rail network, their tank force is still 90% obsolete models. Most of which will break down after traveling 100 kilometers or so.

          The Red Army attacking Germany in 1941 would be a big mess, even if Germany is weakened. The Red Army is incapable of coordinated offensive.
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          • #20
            Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
            I think the wargame rules were: we let them get ashore...
            because when they played it with RN interference nothing made it to the dry stuff.
            Fair enough. That is what happened in the (in)famous Sandhurst Sealion Wargame in the 1970s. The actual 1940 RN dispositions were altered in order to give the Germans a window of opportunity to get troops ashore. One of the organizers is known to have remarked something along the lines of ' having brought several eminent former German commanders over for the game, it would have been the height of bad manners to let the RN drown all their troops in the Channel on the way across!'

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            • #21
              USSR could attack Germany only by or after 1942,very probably around 1944.
              It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

              Косово је Србија!
              Never go to war with a country whose national holiday celebrates a defeat in 1389.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Doveton Sturdee View Post
                If the Wargame referred to assumed an invasion attempt in September 1940, then it must in many respects have been divorced from reality, because in the real world the RNs anti-invasion dispositions did not involve the heavy ships of the Home Fleet at all.

                The only RN capital ship in the area was the venerable Revenge, at Plymouth. Nelson, Rodney & Hood were based at Rosyth, and were not intended to enter the southern part of the North Sea unless German heavy ships did, and we now know that in September 1940 the only German heavy ship fit for operations was Admiral Hipper, and even she had unreliable engines.

                Does this fantastical wargame identify which RN battleships were supposed to have been sunk or damaged by the way? I have never understood why some people think the RN would have sent battleships, battlecruisers, and heavy cruisers into the channel area to sink barges amd trawlers, when the task could have been accomplished much more economically by the many destroyers and smaller vessels already massed there. Isn't it rather akin to going duck shooting with tanks?

                Regardless of the exact nature of ships sunk, many would be. This could still effect the Naval procurement plan, resulting in more cruisers and less destroyers. If the RN was as effective as many of us think it would be, German losses would be very much lower, as the reinforcements would not sale for England.

                Further it may well be in Britains best interest to allow a substantial enemy ashore before setting the RN on the supply routes, as far more damage could be inflicted overall. Militarily this is a viable option, but probably not a political one.
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                • #23
                  Naval Construction

                  Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

                  Regardless of the exact nature of ships sunk, many would be. This could still effect the Naval procurement plan, resulting in more cruisers and less destroyers. If the RN was as effective as many of us think it would be, German losses would be very much lower, as the reinforcements would not sale for England.

                  Further it may well be in Britains best interest to allow a substantial enemy ashore before setting the RN on the supply routes, as far more damage could be inflicted overall. Militarily this is a viable option, but probably not a political one.
                  Given the RN dispositions in September, 1940, the likely losses would have been at the smaller end of the spectrum (i.e., auxiliaries, armed trawlers, and destroyers) rather than cruisers. This may well have led to the cancellation of some of the later cruisers, such as the last three 'Fijis' and the 'Minotaurs' although probably not the 'Modified Didos', in favour of increased construction of sloops and destroyers, as these could be produced much more quickly. This, in turn, might well have strengthened the Atlantic escort groups earlier than was actually the case.

                  Sir Charles Forbes, as C-in-C of the Home Fleet at the time, was in favour of releasing many of the destroyers held back for anti-invasion duties for use as escorts, arguing that they could be recalled within 24 hours should the Sealion barges set sail. He believed that even if German troops landed the RN would sever their supply lines, making reinforcement and resupply impossible, and they would wither on the vine.

                  If the true weakness (amounting to virtual non-existence!) of the Kriegsmarine had been known to the British at the time, then his arguments might have carried more weight, but as you rightly say, however sensible this might have been militarily it was never acceptable politically.

                  It was probably partly, at least, a result of his expression of these views which led to his replacement as C-in-C shortly afterwards. As it was, the single benefit that Sealion gave to Germany was that, by keeping destroyers away for escort duties, the tonnage of merchantmen lost increased significantly during the period of the Sealion scare.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Doveton Sturdee View Post
                    Fair enough. That is what happened in the (in)famous Sandhurst Sealion Wargame in the 1970s. The actual 1940 RN dispositions were altered in order to give the Germans a window of opportunity to get troops ashore. One of the organizers is known to have remarked something along the lines of ' having brought several eminent former German commanders over for the game, it would have been the height of bad manners to let the RN drown all their troops in the Channel on the way across!'
                    I have heard rumours (probably somewhere on this forum) that Sandhurst also played it with the historical RN dispositions. I believe the results for the German side were "disappointing".

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