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Sealion Launched and Fails - What Next?

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  • broderickwells
    replied
    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".

    Leave a comment:


  • Doveton Sturdee
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • nikolas93TS
    replied
    USSR could attack Germany only by or after 1942,very probably around 1944.

    Leave a comment:


  • Doveton Sturdee
    replied
    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!'

    Leave a comment:


  • Destroyer25
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • broderickwells
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Doveton Sturdee
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • The Purist
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gooner
    replied
    Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
    With the RN out of the Med, the Italians could have had a field-day.

    Why both with Greece when you can land troops in Palestine?
    Take Gibraltar, lock up the Med, and do as you please!

    The USSR could attack Germany, but there is another option; assume the leading roll in the Axis and go south, taking Persia, India and western China for the Soviet cause and leaving the Germans and Italians to cover his right flank by mucking around in that miserable desert... which the Red Army would be able to take away from them when the time came.

    Why attack the Nazis when they were weakened, and so many Imperialist Colonies were up for grabs?

    Leave a comment:


  • The Exorcist
    replied
    With the RN out of the Med, the Italians could have had a field-day.

    Why both with Greece when you can land troops in Palestine?
    Take Gibraltar, lock up the Med, and do as you please!

    The USSR could attack Germany, but there is another option; assume the leading roll in the Axis and go south, taking Persia, India and western China for the Soviet cause and leaving the Germans and Italians to cover his right flank by mucking around in that miserable desert... which the Red Army would be able to take away from them when the time came.

    Why attack the Nazis when they were weakened, and so many Imperialist Colonies were up for grabs?

    Leave a comment:


  • Admiral
    replied
    Erm...

    Them that can go back to whatever they wuz doin before?


    Leave a comment:


  • AdrianE
    replied
    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
    Britain would have had to rebuilt its RN and land forces, with priority on home defence. Morale would be very high, but other spheres may not supported.
    That was actually fairly unlikely. You are drawing on your game experience where the game engine gave the luftwaffe the antishipping capabilities of the 1944 USN. In reality, the LW had very little in its arsenal that could affact a RN heavy cruiser or battleship. They had no armour piercing bombs that could penetrate the RN heavies armour belt. They had a small number of torpedo planes but lacked torpedos (the KM controlled torpedos and wouldn't give the LW any). In any case they still hadn't yet solved the problems with their torpedos.

    RN losses would have been be heaviest in the auxilliaries, MTBs, MGBs and destroyers. At most one or two cruisers would be lost/severely damaged. The lend lease destroyers are arriving and will make good losses.

    With the KM surface fleet annihilated, the RN can transfer extra surface assets to the med.

    The biggest impact on the British would have been on the treasury, when the war department orders replacement shells for the navy to make up for the expenditures.

    Leave a comment:


  • strathnaver
    replied
    The USSR seeing a weakened west, a still occupied Poland, France the low countries, the UK trying to work out what next, a neutral USA decides to move west . HJow far they would get I am unsure . The Germans probably would have enough troops to put up a fierce resistance.
    The in December the IJN et al attack Pearl Harbour, Singapore Hong Kong . The US is now in the war and maybe they go for a Europe first strategy. If so the Germans find themselves between a pincer.
    But if it becomes a Pacific first strategy maybe the USSR gets to the English Channel. but thats a lot of ifs in there.

    Leave a comment:


  • michammer
    replied
    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
    Singapore is unlikely to have been reinforced, so losses there may have been smaller.
    Agreed.

    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.
    It is difficult to determine what would have happened in N. Africa. Would Wavell have still pulled 4th Indian out of the Desert and sent them to East Africa? I believe yes, as the 6th Australian Div could replace them as they did historically - except in a defensive capacity, not an offensive capacity. Wavell would, probably, have stayed put in Egypt on the defensive to protect the Suez Canal. Few, if any, reinforcements could have been expected from the UK - putting paid to any offensive.



    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.

    Would the battleships have been damaged? The whole N. Africa/Med campaign could be totally different. Would Malta have been besieged by the Italians alone? Would Crete fall? A failed Sealion would see the Fallschirmjager decimated.


    However, probably no Battle of Taranto, and thus perhaps no Pearl Harbour 7th Dec 1941. That would be a biggee.
    Taranto took place in November 1940 so there is a good chance it would still go ahead. Regardless of Taranto, the Japanese would still strike in the Pacific.


    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?
    I believe that sooner, or later, either Russia or Germany would have invaded the other.

    Leave a comment:

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