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What happens to the RN if the UK falls to the Germans?

Discussion in 'Atlantic Naval Conflict' started by OpanaPointer, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I imagine ships were kept at the ready to evac the Royals to Canada or the West Indies, but what about the rest? Was there ever official planning for this eventuality?
     
  2. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I read in Dennis Showalter's, If The Allies had Fallen: Sixty Alternate Scenarios of World War II, that the U.K planned to send Churchill and other government officials to Canada, along with their money and as many soldiers as possible. They would operate similarly to the Free French, only with a considerably larger Naval presence. The book did not go into detail as to what the RN would do, but I believe the RN would try to disrupt German shipments of Iron Ore from Sweden ,or maybe lay mines on the Coast of France and Italy?
     
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  3. EKB

    EKB Member

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    The best informed individual was probably Admiral Dudley Pound. He died before the war ended and by that time the threat of invasion had passed.
    One of his biographers must have answered your questions. Also if Pound's adjutant wrote a memoir that might be a good place to look.
     
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  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    Provocative question. The UK colonies in the East, fearing Japan, would probably have accepted peace with Germany. Although I have no evidence, my thought is that the RN would probably have decamped to Canada and tried to disrupt German shipping. Since the German navy was not equipped to handle the RN, the RN would likely have carried on trying to stop German ships. I'm not sure how successful they would have been given the distances from their new homes.I know of no plans for the RN.. This is just guesswork on my part.
     
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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  6. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    I saw a review of that book. Doesn't sound as though it deals with your question.
     
  7. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    What about the British official history volumes on grand strategy- aren't they on Hyperwar?
    Used to have The Defence of the United Kingdom by Basil Collier which might have answered the question, or at least hinted.
    Might also be an answer in here somewhere, but don't have time right now to scour it myself-
    Royal Navy Orgnisation in World War 2, 1939-1945
     
  8. EKB

    EKB Member

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    For the Royal Family there was the Coats Mission and Operation Rocking Horse. What little I found doesn't seem to be well documented.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  9. harolds

    harolds Member

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    What RN? If Britain was defeated and occupied wouldn't it be over the dead body of the RN? Wasn't it the duty of the Home Fleet to make sure that didn't happen? So if Britain were successfully invaded it would mean that the greater part of the RN was on the bottom of the Channel!
     
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  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I'm just looking for plans.
     
  11. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    Churchill was extremely reluctant to discuss such eventualities, so not much detailed planning was done. He did say in his "never surrender" speech that "our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle". Britain had set the precedent of encouraging occupied countries to evacuate as much as possible of their government and military to carry on fighting.

    What they could actually do is another question. Based in Canada and the Americas, perhaps with an advanced base in Iceland, they could do little more than raid the periphery of occupied Europe - or occupied Britain. They could continue to interdict foreign commerce, although it would not be a tight blockade, and Hitler would have all the resources of Europe and perhaps Russia.

    As harolds said, the RN would presumably have suffered heavy losses in attempting to defend Britain, and they would be largely dependent on the United States for repair, maintenance, and equipment, particularly aircraft. The US had been willing to assist Britain when she was a "going concern", but would popular and political support continue if the war in Europe was for all practical purposes over and lost?
     
  12. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    [​IMG]

    British battleship HMS Malaya in New York Harbor, July 9, 1941.
     
  13. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    I doubt if you will find anything much. The Canadians and Americans DID make some plans, But as pointed out in post 11 it wasn't an that Churchill wanted to explore beyond the rhetoric. There were higher priorities in June 1940 than planning for defeat. It is also possible that for all the bluster, Britain might not have fought on if the Germans overran the British Isles.
     
  14. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I would think that planning-level RN personnel would have wanted to cover all bases. "Better to have a plan and not need it than to need a plan and not have it."
     
  15. harolds

    harolds Member

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    The government and royal family could have been taken out by aircraft instead of RN ship-probably safer considering the U-Boat threat!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  16. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    But would Queen Elizabeth fly?
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Given they found the analysis of "Unthinkable" I wouldn't be surprised if there's some plans tucked away somewhere.
     
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  18. EKB

    EKB Member

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    Looks like a foundation was laid by Winston Churchill with a massive wealth transfer from the UK to Canada (Operation Fish).
     
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  19. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Didn't 30 tons of gold get evacuated from one of the European countries in 1940?
     
  20. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    IIRC a British cruiser (one of the Town class?) evacuated Norwegian gold reserves. Also HMS Devonshire evacuated the royal family and government.
     
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