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Could Operation Sealion really have succeeded?

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by GunSlinger86, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    In 1940 the Germans really didn't have much if any experience in using torpedo bombers furthermore they didn't have a good aerial torpedo. I'm not sure if they were using the Italian ones by that point but wouldn't think they had time to get large numbers of them. Certainly German aircraft would have been a threat to RN ships during that period (although night ops by the RN would negate a lot of that) but not as severe as some would think. Several of the early war losses even of ships at speed were impacted by either limited maneuverability or lack of AA ammo as well. Then there's the fact that the LW was rather overtasked with roles for Sea Lion.
     
  2. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    I had forgotten about this, but ran across the reference I was trying to remember just recently. CERBERUS was actually picked up by British radar. The Fairlight CH/CHL station located the German squadron off Le Touquet at a range of 38 miles (61 kilometers) at 1050 on 11 February. The Lydden Spout CH/CHL station took over plotting them from 1130 and then at 1219 they were picked up by the CH/CHL station at North Foreland at 17 miles (27 kilometers) and engaged by the 9.2" battery there for 17 minutes. So they were radar-tracked for an hour and forty-six minutes. Given the rate of advance of the German invasion fleet, the British radar would have had somewhere between three and six hours to pick them up and give the alarm. (Maurice-Jones, History of Coast Artillery, p. 235-236)

    BTW, the CH/CHL system from September 1940 was actually little changed by February 1942, 18 months later. About the only thing added was going from the primitive CRT display to the PPI display, which would matter very little in an early warning role.

    The German radar's analysis and reporting during NEPTUNE was hampered by the Allied deliberate program of attacks against the stations, electronic spoofing, and the window deception program (BIG DRUM, TAXABLE, GLIMMER, TITANIC, and MANDREL). There were no such plans in place by the Germans for Sea Lion.

    The number of German submarines actually available was miniscule.
     
  3. DerGiLLster

    DerGiLLster Member

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    What if Hitler had used all of his resources from Barbarossa towards Operation Sea Lion. I know the losses for the Germans would be at least greater than ten to one but would it have worked if Hitler had instead used all the resources from Barbarossa toward Sea Lion?
     
  4. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Wrong logic : the Barbarossa resources did not exist in the summer of 1940,but only in the summer of 1941, when the chances for a successfull Sea Lion were inexistent .Besides, Barbarossa resources are not Sea Lion resources : less tanks does not mean more destroyers .
     
  5. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    It wouldn't have mattered. You could have 2000 divisions, 100,000 tanks, 100 million tons of supplies and fuel, but it makes no difference unless they can be put across the beaches, then kept supplied with ammunition, water, fuel, food and medical supplies. The additional Luftwaffe assets might have allowed for temporary air superiority over the invasion beaches, I wouldn't bet my life on it, but it couldn't be maintained and cut off troops=killed or captured troops. Look at the Guadalcanal Campaign, all the naval and air battles around the island, when you cut to the chase, were about facilitating or hindering the reinforcement and resupply of the ground forces involved. The same issue would face the Germans. There weren't enough JU-52's to come anywhere close to provide aerial resupply in any meaningfull amount, and the size of the cargo was limited by the aircrafts door size. IMO, the Sandhurst Games were correct and the British Cl's, DD's and MTB's would have virtually destroyed the follow-on German shipping. However, if it didn't, the British ain't got no quit in them and would have used every ship at their disposal, regardless of the cost, to halt the invasion and cut off the German's. They'd have fought their ships till their decks were awash. A U-boat torpedoes a battleship, they'd run it aground in shallow water, port side firing on the channel and starboard firing on the enemy ground troops. The whole SeaLion idea is just a Germanophile's wet dream, they lacked the doctrine, training, sealift, navy. and a laundry list of other shortcomings from being able to pull it off.
     
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  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Especially after Norway Germany simply didn't have the navy to make Sealion a success nor were the results of the BoB sufficient.
     
  7. DerGiLLster

    DerGiLLster Member

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    What if Hitler never sent a single fighter, or bomber toward Britain and initiated the Blitz at all? What if instead of trying to invade the British Isles, they leave it alone and simply go after her colonial possessions. I understand this will not make the British surrender, but what if Hitler instead tried to focus on occupying Gibraltar? Would he then control the ME?
     
  8. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    He would be getting bombed daily/nightly in France and Germany with the bombers having even more escort...
     
  9. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Without the co-operation of the Spanish (which he tried desperately to obtain, but was never forthcoming), invading Gibraltar was a no go.
     
  10. DerGiLLster

    DerGiLLster Member

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    British bombers in 1940/1941 would be hardly effective at hurting German industry. Given that the British had the advantage of defending their homeland, it would be a reverse Battle of Britain for them. Their fighters in 1940 had barely the range to even reach Germany one way, plus the Spitfires were in low numbers by then. Germany could easily improve anti-aircraft defense so there seems to be nothing for the British to gain, since the only thing that was effecting the Germans was their blockade but no invasion against Europe would have seemed likely.
     
  11. Honorius

    Honorius New Member

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    Depends on what you mean by succeeded.

    If you mean gain a lodgement. Yes without a doubt as the RN failed multiple times to stop the Germans from throwing the British off several Islands in the Mediterranean, from seizing Norway, and cutting the Axis SLOCs to North Africa till Allied Ground Forces were within artillery range of the Tunisian Ports. All those should have been easy tasks, but in each instant the Germans despite being massively outnumbered managed to pull off victories that were far more "impossible" than Seelowe. In each of these cases, the Luftwaffe effectively deterred the RN from turning the tide, and Ground Forces and the RAF/USAAF had to deliver the victory in North Africa.

    Now if you mean overrun the Island of Britain, that is a different matter and depends if the British, who would be commanded by the same officers who failed in North Africa, can avoid an operational shock that causes them to collapse.

    The Royal Navy despite its size is largely irrelevant. Lets see:

    Home Fleet, Royal Navy, 07.09.40

    We see several heavy units are out of combat due to needed repairs, two BBs are leaving for Operation Menace where they would both be put out of action for the rest of the year, and units are widely dispersed which makes delivering a concentrated blow to stop the landings pretty much impossible till after it has been underway for a few days.

    Now the date planned for was the 24/25 under the cover of night which due to the visibility in the channel and most RN ships lacking surface search radars, means the bulk of those forces are getting through. Best case scenario is that one of the convoys is stopped which equates to a division. Its not enough to halt the invasion. Also the bulk of these destroyers are WW1 ships with poor combat capability.

    Pulling from the appendices of Forczyk, Robert. We March Against England: Operation Sea Lion, 1940–41 (Kindle Locations 4638-4639). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition, we get the following OOB of Home Fleet which is the only fleet that matters here as all the others are tied up.

    Scapa Flow:
    Aircraft carrier HMS Furious (18 Swordfish, 6 Sea Gladiator, 9 Skua II)
    Battlecruiser Squadron (Vice-Admiral William J. Whitworth) Battlecruiser HMS Repulse
    2nd Battle Squadron (Vice-Admiral Lancelot E. Holland) Battleship HMS Rodney.
    1st Cruiser Squadron (Vice-Admiral John H. D. Cunningham) Heavy cruisers HMS Berwick, Norfolk,
    Destroyers: Douglas, Duncan, Eskimo, Isis, Maori, Mashona, Matabele, Punjabi, Somali, Tartar, Versatile, Vimy
    Destroyer-Escort HMS Eglinton
    1st Minesweeper Flotilla: Bramble, Britomart, Speedy, Hazard

    Methil, Scotland:
    Destroyers HMS Scimitar, Valorous, Vega, Verdun, Vivien, Watchman, Westminster (convoy escorts)

    These ships are essentially out of the fight, Fleet Command isn't leaving convoys undefended.

    Rosyth Command (Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Gordon Ramsey) :
    Rosyth :
    Battleship HMS Nelson Battlecruiser HMS Hood
    Light cruisers HMS Cairo, Naiad
    Destroyers HMS Ashanti, Bedouin, Cossack, Electra, Fame, Jackal, Kashmir, Kipling, Sikh, Winchester, Zulu

    Herbstriese deception had them chasing the Bismarck due to an intelligence failure on the British part.

    Dundee:
    9th Submarine Flotilla (Dutch): HNLMS O-10, O-13, O-21, O-22, O-23, O-24 Submarine HMS Clyde

    Nore Command (Admiral Sir Reginald Drax):
    Immingham/Humber (near Hull, on North Sea Coast):
    Light cruiser HMS Curacao
    Minelayers HMS Plover, HNLMS Willem van der Zaan [Dutch]
    Tyne (Newcastle):
    Light cruiser HMS Edinburgh
    Destroyers HMS Vanity, Witch, Wolfhound
    Harwich:
    Destroyers HMS Achates, Jaguar, Jupiter, Mackay, Malcolm, Windsor
    Sheerness:
    2nd Cruiser Squadron (Rear-Admiral Alban T. B. Curteis):
    Light cruisers HMS Aurora, Cardiff and Galatea
    18th Cruiser Squadron (Vice-Admiral George F. B. Edward-Collins):
    Light cruisers HMS Manchester, Southampton
    Destroyers HMS Campbell, Venetia, Venomous, Vesper, Veteran, Wild Swan, Wivern
    Destroyer-Escorts HMS Cattistock, Garth, Holderness
    Minesweepers HMS Salamander, Selkirk, Sutton
    Felixstowe:
    1st Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla (Commander Charles M. Donner): MTB 14, 16, 17, 18 [60-foot, BPB-type]
    10th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla (Lieutenant Charles F. Anderson): MTB 67, 68, 104, 106, 107 [Thornycraft-type]
    Southend (Thames Estuary):
    Destroyers HMS Vimiera, Vivacious, Wallace, Wolsey, Woolston
    Dover:
    Destroyers HMS Icarus, Impulsive, Intrepid

    Nore Command will mainly stay in the North Sea due to a successful German Deception Plan combined with British bias that designated East Anglia as the main effort and the Channel as a diversionary force. By the time they realize their error, it will be mid October which is too late to stop a lodgement.

    Only Dover's destroyers are likely to intercept and only if they get 2 hours warning from Coastal Command Aircraft during the afternoon of the 24th so it can move by night fall. If the Coastal Command patrols are shot down, Dover Command's first inkling will be from skirmishes between MTBs and other Auxiliaries with German M boats prompting it to deploy and report back to Harwich Command which won't deploy substantial assets till they have a better notion of what is out there as they had on numerous occasions deployed substantial Cruiser sweeps and found nothing based on Coastal Command patrol reports of German Convoys along the coast.

    During the build up for Seelowe, the RN only successfully intercepted one barge convoy at night, and sunk 3 ships while firing off all their ammo in the process with the rest of the convoy making it to safety.

    During Seelowe itself, the delays from when Harwich gets wind of the convoys' size, get steam up, and sail to contact means deploying for a daylight fight in the Channel which after the Kanalkampf, they were not allowed to operate in by day due to heavy losses unless Fighter Command could provide all out cover, which given the Invasion Day plans would not be forth coming as Dowding has his hands full with other problems.

    Moving on to the rest of the OOB for the RN.

    Portsmouth Command (Admiral Sir William M. ‘Bubbles’ James):
    Portsmouth:
    Destroyers HMS Beagle, Bulldog, Harvester, Wolverine, Volunteer
    Destroyer-Escorts HMS Atherstone, Berkeley, Fernie
    Minesweepers HMS Elgin, Niger
    4th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla (Lieutenant Commander Antony B. Cole): MTB 22, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34 [all Vosper-type]
    Submarines HMS Swordfish, Ursula
    Plymouth:
    Battleship HMS Revenge
    Light cruisers HMS Emerald, Newcastle
    Destroyers HMS Isis, Javelin, Kashmir, Kipling, Mackay, Westcott
    Falmouth:
    Submarine HMS Cachalot

    HMS Revenge is sitting in harbor till Bey's Task force of 7 DDs and 12 TBs are neutralized or leave the Channel as a spread of Torpedoes at the wrong spot can put her under quickly. OTL she stayed in harbor till Bey's task force left the Channel in mid-October and I see no possible changes to that. She is way to valuable and the Admiralty too cautious to risk her till they can be assured that she can operate within an acceptable risk by their standards, not ours formed by hindsight.

    Western Approaches (Admiral Sir Martin Dunbar-Nasmith VC)

    I'm only including them for completeness, but they are staying on Convoy Duties as Britain can't risk a major convoy getting hit, especially if they are fighting on their own soil, nor can they risk Submarines entering the Liverpool Operational Zone and torpedoing or mining the area at will as that would be bad business.

    Assigned as Convoy Escorts:
    Destroyers HMS Active, Amazon, Ambuscade, Antelope, Broke, Vansittart, Whitehall, Witherington, Wolverine, Worcester, Viscount; ORP Blyskawica, Burza, Garland Liverpool:
    Light Cruiser HMS Despatch
    Destroyers HMS Havelock, Sabre, Vanoc, Verity, Wanderer, Warwick, Winchelsea (convoy escort)
    Glasgow:
    Destroyer HMS Fearless
    Greenock/Northwest Approaches:
    Light Cruiser HMS Dunedin
    Destroyers HMS Anthony, Arrow
    Submarines Operating in or near Home Waters: HMS Porpoise, Sealion, Seawolf, Severen, Snapper, Sturgeon, Sunfish, Taku, Talisman, Tetrarch, Tigris, Tribune, Trident, Tuna, Upright, Ursula

    Part 1 of 2 due to length
     
  12. Honorius

    Honorius New Member

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    Part 2 of 2 due to length.

    As we can see there is no 700 MTBs operational in Home Waters as often put out. There are 17 and the bulk are in the wrong spot to make an immediate difference. The Germans are bringing 7 Destroyers, 12 TBs, 20 M-boot 1935s, 21 S-boots, 30 R-Boots, and 50 Vorpostenboots (Not counting armed transports, minelayers, Sperrbechers, barges, etc) against a likely max initial RN response of 18 destroyers and 2-4 CLs which is stretching it for the RN given their working doctrine, orders, and intelligence capabilities. So the Germans would have local superiority.

    In order to stop Seelowe, the British need accurate intelligence reports on German Invasion Ports and then send Bomber and Coastal Command to hit them and keep hitting them till the Invasion Window passes. That was beyond their capability in 1940.

    Luckily for the British, the Germans lacked reliable intelligence as well with Admiral Canaris and others providing deliberate misinformation to Hitler which led him to call it off.

    But if launched, most likely course of action is the Germans arrive with almost complete surprise. The poorly trained Home Guard would have folded quickly and ran if not killed in place at the beaches which were poorly defended and lacked sufficient minefields and the ones they did have were more dangerous to them than the enemy as one bomb in the wrong spot can sympathetically detonate them all as happened OTL on 9/26/40.

    If the British attempt to use gas, which is utterly stupid, the prevailing winds would have blown it back in their faces and dispersed it to non-lethal concentrations. In addition the German troops have chemical warfare gear as standard and a far more efficient means of delivering lethal gas concentrations. Also a gas shell hitting a German Squad kills no one, a HE shell hitting a German Squad kills everyone and destroys their weapons. So if the British want to lower their artillery effectiveness, fine by the Germans.

    Due to Luftwaffe delayed action bombs on rail hubs, the British simply won't be able to mass a sufficient force to hit the lodgement for 2 weeks at a minimum and it will mostly compose Infantry as Brooke isn't deploying armor units till he knows East Anglia won't be invaded which means the main counter-attack as opposed to local counter-attacks won't be occurring till late October at the earliest.

    Here we run into another problem. The British Doctrine is for Brigade Level Attacks which aren't synchronized with all-arms. Compounding the problem is that British Tanks aren't given HE shells in this time period and are mechanically unreliable. This means British Counter-Attacks will be catastrophes that grind up their forces for no end and leave them vulnerable to the far more flexible and better-led Germans to counter-punch and seize more ground.

    Nor is the RN capable of cutting the SLOCs, they proved incapable of doing it in the Mediterranean which was far longer, they'll be even more incapable here.

    Nor is the RAF capable of cutting the SLOCs, they would be quickly ground down attacking the beach heads which requires them to drop down to light Flak envelopes and fly at low speeds, which is suicide and they just don't have the training, planes, or doctrine to do CAS. Also the Germans would have two RAF airbases under their control within the lodgement as well as two Chain Home locations which would lead to another problem...

    The loss of two Chain Home sites and a CHL site between Saltdean and Folkestone (Landing Area A was cancelled in the final plan as portable jetties were built in time for the landing to serve as artificial docks) would allow the Germans to tear a hole in the Radar Coverage of the Channel that the Germans can exploit. The Germans will also get working sets and will recognize that the Wooden Receiving Towers they often hit and destroyed, was the only thing they needed to take out to render the stations inoperable which means the Me-110s go after those receiving towers with a vengeance to knock them down. This in turn will collapse the entire air defense system and reduce Fighter Command to guess work based on observer corps sightings which gives them no Early Warning to prevent units being caught on the ground.

    At this point the British best hope is to contain the lodgement and settle in for a long winter and convince the US Congress to give them a massive shipment of arms to evict the Germans in the Spring-Summer Campaign Season.

    But with German Forces on the Britain itself, Congress is likely to write the British off especially if Franco and the Vichy French join the Axis as the perception would be that Britain is being partitioned, and its unwise to throw good money after bad. Not even FDR would under these circumstances intervene as he even he would think that the British are doomed and start looking to take British and Dutch Possessions in the Caribbean.

    Faced with that, the British would do a Peace of Amiens deal, exile Churchill, and institute a series of reforms and soul searching to avoid such a disaster from ever happening again.

    Worst case scenario is the British suffer an operational shock and organized resistance collapses rapidly causing the Government to flee and reinforcing the route which causes the British Isles to be occupied.
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    That's a bit much IMO. Some of those tasks may have theoretically been easy but there's a big difference between what's happening in the Med and what's happening in the Channel. Norway was a bit of a surprise and the naval part of the Crete invasion was defeated quite thoroughly. That's not to say they couldn't gain a lodgement but it's far from a given.
    That's absurd.
    Since they didn't plan on using the heavy units in the channel that part is essentially irrelevant, nor do they need a "concentrated blow" to stop the landings.
    Not really. Indeed there's a good chance that significant parts of it are still at sea when dawn comes.
    Not sure how you come to the conclusion that that is the "best case". Disrupting several of the convoys which IMO is likely is probably better for the defense than stopping one. Even WW1 DDs are pretty effective vs barges, tugs, and armed fishing vessels.

    ??? from what I've read that plan didn't involve Bismarck at all and was never actually put into operation. Had it been it might well have lead to the loss of the ships involved as the forces that would have opposed it were better armed and not scheduled to enter the channel in any case.
    Possibly but that's a huge leap of faith.
    And just where was that convoy and how long was it at sea? Note that most if not all the invasion convoys were going to be at sea for 12 hours or more.
    Or not. An actual invasion rather changes things doesn't it. Nor had the Luftwaffe shown all that much in the way of ability to sink or even damage warships operating at speed with a good supply of AA ammo.

    On the other hand if the Germans are going to use their uboats as planned to support the operation they will need to have pretty much stopped operating in the Atlantic for a couple of weeks prior to the invasion which might just free up those forces especially when the uboats are located in the channel.
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I don't think I've ever seen that number of MTBs quoted. In any case there aren't a whole lot of ships in the convoys that torpedoes will be all that useful against.
    Or not mostly or not. You are forgetting that there are several large invasion convoys that the German vessels have to protect. Then there's the fact that the mine layers and sweepers would be tasked with laying and sweeping mines indeed they would have had to have been doing that for a week or so before the invasion and likely incurred some significant losses in the process. Then you are ignoring the various armed trawlers and such that the British had (that seems to be where the number 700 comes from. See:
    Battle of Britain: The Naval Perspective
    Which also mentions that in early September the British responded to an invasion report with (as reported in the source above):
    No! Once the invasion is launched the ports are of rather limited import.
    Hardly. The preparations for the invasion were known and the British were looking for it with quite a few different assets. Further more they knew that if it was to be launched in 1940 it had to come before the end of October and earlier was more likely.
    Your assumptions don't appear very well supported to me.
    ???? You understanding of chemical warfare of the period appears rather limited to me. This is wrong on so many details it's not worth going through. Not that I think using gas was a good idea.
    That's counter to much of what I've read.
    When one looks at only one side of an issue it's easy to make mistakes. You are the very least are only presenting one side. Indeed that's an issue with both of your posts on this topic to date.
    You don't need many facts to leap to your conclusions do you. There are huge differences here and there were times in the Med when the RN did indeed do a pretty good job of closing them down.
    This ignores the fact that early on the Germans would have very little AA and even less ammo for it as well as the fact that the Luftwaffe was vastly over tasked for this operation and is being ground down itself. Whether or not the Germans could gain control of a couple of RAF airbases is an open question as is whether or not they would be operational before the German effort failed.
    That's almost totally misreading the mood in the US at the time. An actual invasion of Britain is far more likely to see the US actually entering the war.
     
  15. Honorius

    Honorius New Member

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    Norway was far closer to Britain than to Germany. It was the German's battle to lose and the British lost. That is a massive WTF, but operationally, the British panicked and ran.

    Crete, the RN failed to prevent an Italian Convoy from landing from Rhodes to reinforce the Paratroopers. It failed to maintain the SLOCs to Crete as well and fled.

    The less said about the RN's performance in the 1943 Dodecanese Campaign the better.

    Not at all. Units assigned outside the Home Waters are of no use unless the RN wants the Vichy French and Italian Navies to have free reign in the Mediterranean.

    Yes they need a concentrated blow. Historically for that time period the RN had a 1% accuracy score at hitting other targets as they failed to spend money on RPC like the USN and KM did. For the average RN DD with 600 rounds main gun ammo, no ammo hoists, open gun mounts, and few if non-existent 20mm or 40mm automatic cannons, they need mass in the right spot at the right time to stop the Invasion Fleets, and that is not possible given the intelligence capabilities they had in this time period.

    The 2nd and 3rd Echelons will be, but the 1st Echelons will be hitting the beaches at the crack of dawn and during daylight the Luftwaffe will be heavily flying CAS missions.

    Because the coordination capability of the RN is crap during this time period. Most of their surface vessels lack surface search radars and those are concentrated with the heavy units further north. They also have to get pass four Ceasar Mine Fields that would be laid 10 days before start of the landings and then have to fight past the invasion escorts which would take time and ammo and leave them open to the S-boots catching them in the flanks.

    Herbstreise was a radio deception operation by the KM which fooled the RN High Command who had yet to work out German Naval Enigma Codes or that Bismarck was still fitting out and doing training and the Twins were getting their Owies fixed. The RN just did not have accurate intelligence at this point.

    Not at all as the British High Command were all in agreement, including Churchill, that East Anglia was the main invasion point as it was excellent tank country and the Channel was a diversionary force to get them to prematurely deploy armor units. They did not have our hindsight or access to Hitler's Planning Conferences.
    Night of 9/10-9/11 1940 HMS Malcolm, Veteran, and Wild Swan intercepted a convoy off Ostend that was moving to the French Invasion Ports. They sunk one VP Boat, two trawlers, and a barge. The remainder of the convoy of 20 ships escaped.

    No the Invasion will not change the British mind on Doctrine and Strategy, not till its too late. They did not have god mode real time intelligence information. They can only act based on the information they been given and even then it depends on them being able to interpret it correctly.

    Also you demonstrate the common military analysis mistake of thinking effectiveness equals kills.

    The Luftwaffe needed to do three things to keep back the RN. 1 is to sink them which is a hard kill, the other is to damage them sufficiently they have to go for repairs which is a soft kill, and the last is to deter them from making a sortie which is a mission kill. This is what the Luftwaffe managed to do in Norway and the Mediterranean and in the Kanalkampf.

    In addition, if Hitler orders Seelowe to proceed, the Luftwaffe will start bombing the RN's home ports and mining them which would further disrupt any response they might make. Already Dover could only support 3 DDs due to damage.

    Donitz had no intention of helping Seelowe and was already ignoring Raeder and being given a pass by Hitler. Besides, he only has 20 operational U-boats in this time period and at most he might make 5 available, all Type IIs.
     
  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    So things have changed since then? Just checked the distances on Google and Berlin is closer to Oslo than Edinburgh is although not by much. Which also rather ignores the fact that Denmark was under German control at the time.
    ??? rather meaningless comment isn't it.
    And the KM surface force never recovered from it and indeed was pretty much a non player from that point on.
    More one sided analysis.
    Given the quality of your analysis to date I'm not going to take that on faith. Indeed it is very questionable.
    No they don't. Indeed they don't need to stop the invasion "fleets" to stop the invasion just disrupt them.
    Sources please.
    Have you looked at the distance they need to cover and the speeds the barges were capable of? Especially when you consider the tides and winds in the Channel. The follow on Echelons weren't even scheduled to cross until several days later were they?
    More one sided analysis. Even a single DD in amongst the invasion convoy will cause havoc. They don't need a coordinated attack indeed a series of small attacks may accomplish even more than a single large one. Then there's the fact that the plan for laying those minefields was rather questionable. Indeed form previous discussions there seams to have been insufficient mines to lay the planned fields. Then there's the limited mine laying capacity of the KM at the time and the fact that they are likely to gain some unwanted attention in the course of laying the mines and that the mine layers are also some of the mine sweepers required for not just the invasion but for ongoing sweeping operations leading up to the invasion (and I've seen translated KM documents claiming by early September they were already behind in these operations). By the way if the S boats are attacking the flanks of sorting British ships they aren't escorting the convoys are they?
    You have a source that indicates they thought the Bismarck would sortie during Sea Lion? I'm pretty sure they knew of at least one torpedo hit on the twins so wouldn't be expecting both of them to sortie. As it was the plan from what I've read involved some liners and the German CLs sortieing possibly twice and while they might have avoided the RN once the chance of them running into RN BCs and their escorts on a second or subsequent sortie was quite high and they would have had little chance against such a force.
    Sources please.
    Exactly. Big difference intercepting a convoy off the French coast near a friendly port and one approaching Great Britain.
    The fact that Dowding was considering pulling back 12 Group to retain it for use against Sea Lion seem to contra indicate this.
    Looks to me like you are the one making that mistake. Indeed if you really read and understood several of my comments you would see just the opposite.
    Not really. The RN operated in the Channel pretty much the entire war as they did in the Med and off Norway. Indeed they left a lot of sunken German ships in the waters off Norway.. They were more careful at times and did cut the commercial traffic through the Channel due to the "Kanalkampf" but that's a rather different matter.
    Ah just what the Luftwaffe needs is more dangerous casualty producing tasks. They are already way over tasked and under strength for the task at hand.
    Sources please.
     
  17. Honorius

    Honorius New Member

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    It comes up often enough.

    These DDs and Cruisers are spread out and not concentrated, your reading comprehension ability seems to be lacking.
    Again your comprehension fails, the point of bombing the Invasion Ports is to prevent the Invasion from happening in the first place.
    Which is why they placed the bulk of their defenses in East Anglia and not Kent as they had inaccurate information. German Forces hitting the beaches in Kent and Sussex would be slamming into sections, platoons, and an odd company or two in linear defenses with poor to non-existent artillery support. The French B Divisions at the Meuse had far better defenses than what the British would have and they lost.

    The Home Guard was poorly trained in modern warfare of the time period, had few support weapons, limited to non-existent mobility, unrealistic training, and lacked competent leadership. That is a recipe for disaster. The British would have been better off pulling these folks into the regular army rather than having yet another drain on their logistics.

    I'll leave out, how some of the commanders in Kent and Sussex were either Nazi Sympathizers who eventually got relieved next year and carted off to India or the Caribbean or were utter failures in North Africa.

    Your understanding is flat out wrong. I have chemical warfare training as an EMT-B (Yes we are trained in this in case of terrorist attacks using CW and to treat CS injuries). To use chemical weapons you need winds less than 5 mph, wind direction towards your enemy, and a square target zone. Check the weather in Southern England for that time period and tell me if a CW attack is feasible.

    It gets worse: Mustard gas needs 10 million parts per million to be debilitating and 100 million parts per million to be lethal. To achieve this in the weather conditions, the RAF and Army have to deliver 100s of munitions over a thin box per minute and sustain it for hours. Good luck with that plan. Especially as the soil in the area was often soft sand, so the dud rate would be high.

    If the British are stupid enough to rely on chemical weapons, they might as well toss in the towel.

    Irrelevant, its what occurred and ordinance disposal teams took a while to clear them and suffered heavy causalities in the process and are just written out of the story despite their invaluable contributions to keeping British Rail Working and Fighter Command Bases in operation, many of which were almost neutralized due to unexploded bombs.

    Without the rail roads, the British have to rely on a mix of civilian and military vehicles to move, and the civilian vehicles have no off-road capability.

    Address the issue. The British did not give their Matildas HE rounds and they had just a single coaxial MG. They were also mechanically unreliable and used in tank pure formations with inadequate support. We need only look at their performance in France and North Africa to see how that works. Without proper infantry and artillery support, they are getting chewed up by even Pak 36s in flank shots.

    This is no leap. The SLOCs to North Africa were far longer and the British had an unsinkable aircraft carrier right alongside it, and they proved unable to cut it till they basically overran the last North African Port.

    The Channel is far shorter, covered by heavy KM presence, a heavy Luftwaffe presence, and heavy artillery. Once the Germans get a lodgement, they will have artillery on both sides of the Channel and a secured day light convoy lane. At that point it falls to the RN's submarines to cut it, and that is iffy given their mediocre performance in the war.

    Flak was semi-permanently attached to every German Division and many of the barges would be carrying Flak Guns due to German Doctrine empathizing all arms attacks. Also the German plan was for Kampfgruppe Meindl to seize Lympne Air Field and the Luftwaffe Transport Force still had sufficient lift capability to deliver them and provide an aerial re-supply capability. Going by Crete, the British are simply unable to stop his force even if they had perfect knowledge of the landing and drop zones. Given the limits of Chain Home and intercept time, the RAF is unlikely to intercept the Iron Annies till after they dropped their paras, and be right in the teeth of their escorts or be forced off to deal with German Bombers.

    Given the poor defenses in Kent-Sussex area, the lodgement is a guarantee.

    You're totally misreading the US mood at this time. FDR and the US Congress are not yet sold on British ability to resist and the US Public is against getting involved and it would take the Germans openly declaring war on them after Pearl harbor before they willingly jumped in.

    Recent Historical Revisionism of US Politics pre-Pearl Harbor not withstanding, the US just didn't have a causus belli for war with Germany and the American Public did not want to get involved in yet another European spat that resolved nothing and got American blood spilled for nothing. Did that in WW1 and they did not want that mess again.

    FDR can get away with Armed Neutrality which he did in 41, but not outright open warfare, and if Hitler had not declared war, the US would have ignored him and went full bore against Japan with FDR's hands tied.
     
  18. Honorius

    Honorius New Member

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    Narvik was in easy reach from Scapa Flow and Denmark is Irrelevant to the British gaining a lodgement at Narvik and then sweeping south.
    No, you lack critical reasoning to understand the strategic situation.
    Tell that to the Hood and several convoys as well as the Soviets. I'm sure they'll appreciate that comment. If they weren't dead that is.

    It is correct though and you did not address the point.
    Given how you failed to address a single point, I'm going to have to ask you how disrupting a convoy stops the invasion? This is the goal of the British Military and its better for morale that the convoy is prevented from landing in the first place.
    The average speed is six knots, which means an overnight trip on the planned date of 24/25 of September which the historical forecast shows good invasion weather. So the landing will be hitting at dawn which is when the Luftwaffe will be making its support sorties.

    Your statement is utterly laughable and is not Royal Navy doctrine at the time. And given the German Escort Plan, visibility at night, lack of surface search radars by RN ships, smoke laying by the convoy escorts which involves more than just the S-boots by the way, the minefields, and the coordination and travel times, it is impossible for the RN to deploy enough ships in a coordinated manner, in the right places, to pull this plan of yours off.

    Also the Germans were behind schedule because they were building a stockpile of mines as a reserve for laying the Ceasar Minefields and the laying of them would have complicated RN intercept operations.

    No there is no difference, this was a Channel Engagement at night by chance, and the VP escort tied up the destroyers long enough for the bulk of the convoy to escape and get to their destination. Sending out unsupported DDs is a good way to lose them to massed escort forces.

    .

    Yes the source is Doctor Robert Forcyzk's We March Against England which was referenced earlier.

    The rest of your post is just failing to address the points and endless nitpicking arguments and posting fantasies of how you would fight Seelowe rather than focusing on how the British Military would have actually responded with the information they had available as well as the constraints they operated under.
     
  19. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Really? Again sources please.
    I think the shoe is on the other foot. Please also note that the German forces would also have been "spread out and not concentrated". That's likely of much greater impact as well.
    ??? So how is bombing the invasion ports after the first wave has left of great import. You are waxing incoherent.
    Sources please.
    And how comparable is it?
    The Home Guard would have had significantly better mobility than the Germans would have and were instituted because they were a very limited draw on the British logistics. The Germans would also have been rather lacking in support weapons.
    Well if that's true either your training or your understanding is somewhat lacking. There's certainly no requirement for a "square target zone"
    And you were the one commenting on me equating "effectiveness" with "kill". Mustard's greatest effect is not in causing fatalities it's in its persistence and abiity to irritate skin as well as lung tissue. The attacks don't have to saturate a large area just key points.
    RAF bases "neutralized" due to unexploded bombs? Which ones and for how long. From what I've read the Germans never put a fighter base out of commission for even 24 hours.
    And what would Germans have to oppose them? There was little artillery planned for the first wave nor much in the way of artillery ammo or transport. Likewise not much in the way of armor. So while HE rounds would have been useful they were hardly critical. Especially in the state the Germans would have been in at the time.
    Of course it is. Look at the forces involved and the other tasks they had to perform. There is no valid comparison here.
    There was no such thing as a "heavy KM presence" at that point in time. The LW was over tasked and outnumbered. The German invasion force had little in the way of heavy artillery and limited supplies of ammo for the artillery it did have. Their prospects of having a "secured day light convoy lane" were so minimal as to rate the term "nonexistent"
    And how much of that Flak was assigned to the first wave of the invasion forces? Much of the first wave was to leave its heavier equipment including artillery and transport for follow on transport. As for the barges they may have had some light AA but would have been lacking in AA gunners with any significant amount of training. They had to scrounge to find even minimally competent crew for the barges.
    Whether they can do so and get it in any sort of operating condition is another matter though.
    Again a very one sided analysis. They almost stopped the Germans at Crete and the Germans had significant advantages there which they wouldn't have had during Sea Lion.
    Dropping paratroops in an area with significant AA defenses is no picnic either.
    Not really. They have a chance of establishing a presence for a day or three that's about it. If you want to call that a lodgement you can but it's still possible the whole thing could end in disaster for the Germans before the end of the first day.
    Wrong again. I suggest you take a look at the Gallup Polls of the time.
    And again. FDR got away with "open warfare" even before PH. What do you think the "shoot on sight" order was? The people supported that by a considerable majority by the way. The pre war planning makes it pretty clear that the US wasn't going to even give priority to the Pacific. Again look at the Polls and read them carefully.
     
  20. Jaap Vermeer MDE

    Jaap Vermeer MDE Active Member

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    The German vessels for Seelowe
     

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