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How Sealion could have been made workable?

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by leopold, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. STURMTRUPPEN

    STURMTRUPPEN Member

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    well sealion could ahev worked on these points
    germany could have built landing craft and troopships
    made more heavy bombers to destroy cities before the troops arrived
    and put tanks ashore to wipe out any troops in the area
     
  2. mikegb

    mikegb Member

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    The British still had 14 divisions seperate from the the BEF with these were very light on Armour, some what better on artillery and motorized with trucks taken from the large civilian motor pool. This represented between 130,000 and 14,000 men they would have provided a fairly effect counter attack force. There were still two fully equipped Canadian divisions that were later dispatched to France to try and keep them in the war.
     
  3. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    And yer still very ill equipped to take on the Werhmacht considering they had no experiences in the field of conflict
     
  4. AmonMauser

    AmonMauser Dishonorably Discharged

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    forget Sealion, they should have beefed up the V-2 program and reigned V-2's on England and maybe even figured out a way to direct them to strike airfields and naval bases.
     
  5. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    At the time of Sealion the V-2 program wasn't very much in the Leadership's minds, and anyway victory was just around the corner. Do your homework :rolleyes:

    Oh, and anyway in practice the results of the V-2 program didn't amount to much in terms of cost-effectiveness, that is, deaths caused by explosive tonnage, the Allied bombings were much more effective.

    Your interest in the Reich's vicarious victory has been noted.
     
  6. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Well, that's only fair because the Wehrmacht had zero experience at assaulting defended beaches. The German General Staff thought of the English Channel as simply another unbridgeable river to be crossed; that mistake would have been fatal to tens of thousands of Wehrmacht soldiers.
     
  7. marc780

    marc780 Member

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    Sealion could have been a huge strategic success even if only partially succesful. If the Germans had only managed to capture and hold a small portion of England, American help would have been made much more difficult or maybe impossible. The British would have been busy fighting the Germans and trying desperately to defend their ports and shipping lanes, with air and sub bases in Britain the Germans could have made this extremely difficult. If the British were cut off from their oil tankers and supply freighters, they would have nothing to fight with but what was already in Britain. And remember the British were disarmed by their own government long ago - they may have gotten a few rifle shipments from the USA but many of these were donated by American citizens and in a myriad of calibers, in everything from 30-06 to 30-30 to you-name-it. Thus many of the British Home Guard would have quickly been effectively disarmed after their first fire fight, having little or no ammo for resupply of many of their weapons.
     
  8. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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  9. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    In the other hand it might have provided a very much increased sense of urgency, prompting an immediate dispatch of US forces over to Great Britain, swamping any German beachead.
     
  10. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Member

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    marc780,

    I hate to tell you this, but the Royal Navy Home Fleet would have ensured that NIL german sea-borne troops would have set foot on a British beach.

    And they could EASILY have done that without firing a shot!

    EVERY barge would/could have been swamped by the bow-waves of the Home Fleet before they were half way across.


    John.
     
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  11. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    True.

    It was lunacy to try to use river barges as landing craft. They could never have crossed the English Channel without severe losses from the RN and RAF. The plan was to use tugs to tow them at 3 knots (!!??) across the Channel, meaning that most of them would have been exposed to daylight attack.

    Once beached it would have been nearly impossible to unload the few that would have made it, in any acceptable time frame. Even fewer would have been able to get off the beach in any kind of condition to be towed back across the Channel. So right away, the only means of resupplying the German troops would be gone, never mind the impossibility of getting supplies across the Channel in the face of Royal Navy opposition. Supplying the invasion forces by capturing a port would be out of the question because, even if the freighters could get across the Channel, the British would use aerial mining to close the captured ports.

    Sea Lion was a pipe dream of the sort that only an amateur could concoct.
     
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  12. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Member

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    DA,


    The thought that has always fascinated me is the final 100 yards or so of the 'SeaLion' landing. I try to imagine a tug with perhaps 2 barges full of sea-sick german peace-lovers after a 30 hour trip.

    The waves are 3 to 6 feet high on a good Pommie beach day, and the barges have NO engines. Thus the tug has to unhitch and PUSH the barge the final 100 yards or so and then go and get the other one and do the same. Then, when our german heroes are on the sand (pebbles/rocks) our gallant tug crew have to re-hitch the barges and head off for another load.

    Imagine all that on 6/6/44?

    The mind boggles!


    John.
     
  13. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    A very good point!

    I also have spent some time thinking of the details of beaching an unpowered river barge laden to the gunwales with troops, equipment and supplies. I've done some research on Rhine river barges and found some interesting things. Some barges today are powered and I read an account of one such river barge crossing the English Channel to a port in England. It had to be ballasted with 100 tons of sand in order to be stable enough to face the Channel seas, even in good weather. This left only about two-thirds it's normal capacity. The other two thirds would be made up of troops, equipment and supplies. These would be crammed into the hold, to be extracted through the hatch in the deck (River barges were not then equipped with any kinds of cranes or deck hoists). The troops, of course, would climb up a ladder, then climb over the side probably by means of a net.

    But, here is another problem. A fully laden river barge draws from 5 to 9 feet of water; it would ground far offshore on a gently sloping beach and the debarking soldiers would then have to wade several hundred yards through the surf under fire. It's probably that many of these soldiers, carrying weapons, ammo, gear, and rations, would drown before they could reach shallow water. And there is that barge, without any bow ramp, sitting in the surf line, without any means of getting it's cargo offloaded, except to manhandle it up on to the deck and then shove it overboard hoping the surf washes it onto the beach. On a quickly sloping beach, the same barge would be likely to broach in the surf and swing broadside to the beach. Not exactly a good plan for supplying the assault troops.

    The Allies found out that beaching a loaded LST badly strained the vessel's structure even though it had been designed with beaching in mind. The resulting damage was such that the average LST could only stand 8-10 beachings before it was written off. How well will a river barge hold up to that kind of abuse? My guess is that pulling one off the beach, assuming it doesn't get washed up on dry sand once it is unloaded, would wrreck a fair percentage of the barges. Even if it were possible it would be slow and laborious to do so with tugs. So how are follow up supplies and reinforcing troops going to be landed?

    Read any of the action reports about US landings in the Pacific and one is struck by the need for reserve landing craft due to the attrition experienced in damaged an destroyed landing craft and vehicles. One is also struck by the need to get the landing craft onto the beach, unloaded, and backed off again, as rapidly as possible to avoid a glut of targets for enemy artillery and aircraft (and in the case of England, for the RN destroyers sitting a couple hundred yards off the surf line).

    Anyone who hasn't handled small boats under similar circumstances has no idea how difficult (actually impossible) it would be to use unpowered river barges to land assault waves on a defended beach. It's just not going to happen. The greatest problem I forsee for the Brits under these circumstances would be claering the beach of drowned German corpses the next day.
     
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  14. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    And how were those low freeboard barges designed for placid rivers and canals were expected to fare in the open sea? I suppose a fair number would become submersible - with no hope of resurfacing.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Member

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    DA,

    Another fact I found out only recently was that the 65 to 85 destroyers available at VERY short notice had 40 depth charges EACH (2600+) to make life miserable for our peace loving visitors.

    Just how would WW2 have panned out if they had actually tried it?

    John.
     
  16. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Member

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    ZA,

    Imagine THAT side on to the breakers on a sunny English day.

    HA!

    John.
     
  17. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    Yes but the title of the thread does say "How Sealion could have been made workable" any takers.

    v.R
     
  18. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Just remember, this occured in just 7 days. If the Luftwaffe at several times the strength of what was thrown at the British off Crete and at much closer ranges to their bases was thrown at an anti-invasion fleet the RN would have suffered near catastrophic losses repelling the invasion (which still is likely to have failed).
    But, a massive destruction / crippling of the RN is in itself a useful outcome for the Germans. The British have to have a navy. Their heavy losses must be replaced. For the Germans the losses represent an opening to make the U-boat war more effective or to catch up in naval construction.
    In fact, the Germans should have tried harder to draw the RN into fighting against aircraft given how pathetic their air defense abilities were to begin with.
     
  19. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Member

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    TAG,

    There is a HUGE difference between a fleet of RN ships charging about the English Channel at 30 knots making mince-meat of peace-loving german visitors to Englands shores. The Crete and Dunkirk examples are almost ALL of stationary ships, and the Luftwaffe dive bombers are NOT torpedo bombers. Two different things entirely.

    Royal Navy Captains are not generally stupid, and are unlikely to steer a straight course when confronted by a swarm of Stukas.


    John.
     
  20. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    John,

    The 85 Home Fleet destroyers and other light forces, including cruisers, were moved from Scapa Flow to Rosyth to be nearer the anticipated German invasion routes in the summer of 1940. In addition, 36 destroyers were stationed in the British ports nearest to the planned German invasion beaches with no other duty than to oppose an invasion force.

    Since the Kriegsmarine had less than 10 destroyers, and only a handful of cruisers, in commission in the autumn of 1940, it would have been very badly outnumbered and the planned "barriers" of U-boats, mine barrages, and long range artillery based in France, would prove useless in keeping the RN away from the highly vulnerable invasion craft.

    I shudder to think of the hapless German soldiers in the slow and unwieldy landing barges beset by RN cruisers, dozens of destroyers, and swarms of MGB's and other light forces. Just the confusion alone would seriously disrupt any cohesion the Germans might have been able to achieve, units would be scattered, barges would become lost, land on the wrong beaches, and blunder into the British beach defenses. Those that were not slaughtered outright by the RN, that is. I would think it not unreasonable for the Germans to lose at least half their force before the first barge gets into the surf. In my opinion it would be a miracle if any intact German forces managed to reach the high tide line.

    As for the impact on the course of the war; I would conjecture that it would be the virtual end of the war, although actual peace might be a long time coming. The German General Staff would lose the confidence of not only Hitler but the entire Wehrmacht. The KM would literally be wiped out except for those ships under repair or otherwise out of commission. Hitler himself, would suffer a political crisis and lose power within the Nazi hierarchy. He might even be deposed. Certainly he would not be able to invade the Soviet Union any time soon. In the Pacific, the Japanese, believing that the Germans would soon defeat the British would recieve a nasty shock, and would probably indefinitely delay their plans to attack the Southern Resources Area. The US would be greatly encouraged and would probably redouble it's efforts to meet Britain's material requirements. The consequences of a German disaster in Operation Sea Lion would be far-reaching and of inestimable value to the Allied war effort.
     

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