Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

How Sealion could have been made workable?

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

  1. mikegb

    mikegb Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    6
    If the Germans could have added the Italian navy and the French navy to their strength they might have assembled a force theoretically capable of defending the invasion fleet and providing a reasonable amount of covering fire. I dont for one minute see this as a real pssibility but it is one method by which an invasion could have been made at least partialy practical.

    >>By 1940 the Italian Navy had four battleships, seven heavy cruisers, 14 light cruisers, 119 submarines and 120 destroyers.<< Spartacus Net (destroyer and subs seem too high)

    >>Major ships of the French Navy at the beginning of German attack in May 1940:[6]
    • modern battleships: 2
    • old battleships - dreadnoughts: 7
    • aircraft carriers: 1 (Béarn, and one planned)
    • seaplane carriers: 1
    • heavy cruisers: 7
    • light cruisers: 14 (and two in reserve)
    • big destroyers: 32 (Contre-Torpilleurs)
    • destroyers: 33
    • submarines: 77 (and two dozen in various stages of completion)
    • sloops and escorts: 65 (with over twenty in various stages of completion and several in reserve)
    Apart from these, there was one modern battleship advanced in construction; the second battleship, one aircraft carrier, numerous submarines and several destroyers were in different stages of construction.<< Wiki
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
     
  3. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
  4. mikegb

    mikegb Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    6
    I would agree the training of new crews would take years and assembly given the dispersion is impossible but in theory its the only way they could get an effective force in any kind of feasable time envelope.

    I know it wouldn't have worked as Villneuve found out composite fleets dont work in the best of times.

    They would have had to get past Gibralatar and its subs and the med fleet. As the French found out not easy.
     
  5. Englishman

    Englishman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1
    A large wargame was played out in the 1960's between the British and German military and all involved with the proposed Sealion operation.
    It acheived a German landing but the Germans could not supply themselves with what they needed.
    The result was a German surrender after several weeks on the South East English Coast.
     
  6. Englishman

    Englishman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1
    Best way to undermine England was by delaying the Invasion of the Soviet Union for a year and attacking Egypt, Malta and the Middle East.
    Increasing U-Boat production and useing the German Airforce to assist the U-Boats.
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    I think if you look up the parameters they created a set of assumptions that basically let the Germans land. The gamers were army types and not naval or airforce types. Besides it's not particularly difficult to tell who wins when it's a BB vs a barge. :)
     
  8. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    8,809
    Likes Received:
    371
    Location:
    Portugal
    By trailing waves alone, no matter the rest :)
     
  9. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    Yes there was. I mentioned it in one of the other many threads on the Sealion:headbash: :deadhorse: subject. Perhaps we really need all of them merged just to save time for those who would have to repost the same old information over and over.
     
  10. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    21
    I think they all can be consolidated into a single post: "No [insert preferred participle] way."
    The Mediterranean fleets are not a factor in this. There's no way to move the ships past Gibraltar. There were never any prospects for Hitler's getting control of the French ships, and there would be no crews for them anyway; the Germans can't even get enough trained men for their own heavy warships. The Italians will not send their fleet to help some other country while their own interests are to maintain their strength against the British in the Med. On top of all this, it does the Germans no good to have a fleet equal to Britain's. The invader needs command of the sea, not an equal match-up.
     
    Slipdigit likes this.
  11. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    LOL I agree. But I think it would be helpful just to have all the info in one place.And to stop these Zombie threads from being resurrected LOL. And especially since the originator of this thread has not been around since Mar of 2007 LOL.
     
  12. vakarr

    vakarr Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    2
    Operation Sealion (Unternehmen Seelöwe) – the Luftwaffe

    In October 1944, allied soldiers found a garage in Brussels full of hundreds of thousands of maps, dossiers, and envelopes – the plan for the invasion of Britain and Ireland in 1940. [1] This was Operation Sealion, which was called off because the Luftwaffe failed to gain air superiority over southern England. What if the Luftwaffe had won the Battle of Britain? Could the invasion have succeeded? Most experts think that even if the initial landing had succeeded the German armies in Britain would have been cut off from reinforcements and supplies (by the British fleet) and would have been forced to surrender. To some extent, though, this theory is based on false premises.

    Most modern authors agree that the RAF was put under severe strain, and only the sudden switch by the Luftwaffe to area bombing of London saved the RAF from defeat. The RAF pilots were exhausted and most of the experienced pilots were dead. Their airfields were extensively damaged. The effects of bombing if the Luftwaffe had free rein may only be guessed – although not as numerous as the allied air forces at D-Day, their impact would have been significant. They would have been able to target oil refineries, industry and ports relatively unimpeded. The Germans would have been able to drop their parachute troops without interference, reinforce their airborne troops and resupply other troops from the air. Some people even say that an invasion would have been unnecessary, as combined with a blockade by U-Boats Britain could have been starved either into surrender or a negotiated peace.
    However Britain was an island nation that had not been invaded for a very long time – the British would not give up unless forced to. They may be compared with the Japanese, who when their home islands were threatened with starvation and invasion proposed to issue the entire population with weapons such as sharpened bamboo stakes. That level of fanaticism might not have been encountered by the Germans but the spirit behind it was certainly there – there were one million volunteers for the Home Guard, some of whom were armed with nineteenth century navy cutlasses (if they were lucky). Without a land invasion, it would have been possible for the British to replenish their supplies of aircraft and air crews and win back command of the air. Furthermore, Dowding had made preparations to pull 11 Fighter Group back to the Midlands if they looked like losing the battle. This would have placed the RAF fighters out of the range of the German fighters – only an invasion would have made air superiority permanent. Once the airfields in south-east England were captured and put back into usable condition it wouldn’t matter where the British based their fighters. Such a renewed defence by the British aircrews would also have been significantly less effective as it would to have been done without the benefit of early warning, as at that stage radar only worked when pointed out to sea, the only radar stations were on the coast, and there would have been little time for the Observer Corps to report an attack from airfields in Britain.[a] The most westerly beach landings were to be close to Tangmere, which was a sector airfield and if lost this would have severely disrupted communications between airfields, crews, and Fighter command in its sector (protecting Portsmouth and Southhampton). Six radar stations (all the ones in the south-east) and the airfields at Ford (near Tangmere), Lympne, and Hawkinge would also have been lost pretty quickly. A huge gap in the radar warning system would have been created, although most of the 11 group fighter airfields were on the outskirts of London so they would have been able to continue to operate if allowed by the Luftwaffe.*
    *John Ray, “The Battle of Britain”, Cassell, London, 1994, p53
    It has been suggested that The Luftwaffe’s 750 bombers and 600 Me109 fighters were insufficient for the job as they were expected to do too many things at once. After winning air superiority they were to maintain air superiority, be artillery for the ground forces, stop reinforcements from reaching the defenders by bombing railway lines, and terrorise the inhabitants of London into evacuating the city. These tasks are not mutually exclusive and in any case would be divided between the bombers and the fighters. They are also tasks that had been performed simultaneously in previous campaigns in Norway, France, the Low Countries, and Poland (instead of terror bombing of London there was Warsaw and Rotterdam). During the Polish campaign part of the Luftwaffe had to be left in Germany to defend the western front. The difference was that (in some cases) they had to fly longer distances to Britain, and perhaps had fewer planes for the task (due to losses in those campaigns).
    The RAF also had to perform multiple roles – bombing and strafing the invaders and the invasion fleet, protecting its airfields, shooting down German fighters. At the start of the Battle of Britain the RAF had 672 fighters (of which 570 were Spitfires and Hurricanes) while the Luftwaffe originally 1260 bombers, 316 dive-bombers and 1089 fighters. Night operations would not be attempted (the fighters only operated in daylight) or be rather ineffective as the navigation aids were so primitive. RAF coastal command was trained to sink ships but was spread all around Britain and was in small numbers – other British bombers were even worse equipped to attack ships than their German equivalents as they had no dive bomber capability. The British light bomber force had been shot down over France and all other British bombers of that period were terribly vulnerable to fighter attack.
    Still, the major problem would have been that the Luftwaffe also had to succeed at another, even more crucial role. The Luftwaffe would also have had to stop the hundreds of the Home Fleets’ small ships from interfering with the invasion and blocking reinforcements. It is said that the Luftwaffe would have failed, as it lacked sufficient training, experience, and equipment for such a mission, being equipped mainly with medium level bombers. Also, they only flew in daytime, while British torpedo boats and destroyers were accustomed to night operations.

    The sinking of the Prince of Wales, Repulse, Bismarck, Yamato, and Mushashi, and the attacks on Taranto and Pearl Harbour showed how vulnerable to air attacks warships were during the Second World War. The anti-aircraft fire control system used by British warships in 1940 (HACS- High Altitude Control System) was inaccurate and this made them susceptible to air attack. [2] The British were aware of the threat and the commander of the Home Fleet stated that he would not be sending his capital ships into the channel should the Germans invade – it was more important to keep the fleet in being and to counter the threat from German surface ships. Although puny that threat was quite real, as the German navy planned to make a diversionary attack on the Atlantic convoys if the invasion went ahead – and in 1941 it took much of the Home Fleet (plus the Gibraltar squadron) to sink just the Bismarck (which almost got away).

    To hit small moving targets like ships you need dive bombers and torpedo bombers, and Germany lacked good torpedo bombers until 1941. In July 1940 the only operational airborne torpedo Staffel ready for action was 3/Ku.Fl.Gr 506 based at Stavanger, to be followed by 1./Ku.Fl.Gr 106 from mid-August based at Norderney (on the North Sea coast of Germany) – a total of about 30 aircraft. Between August and December 1940, this small number of He 115 floatplane torpedo bombers used about 160 torpedos sinking about eight ships totalling around 60,000 tonnes. The Italians offered many squadrons of aeroplanes to assist the attack on Britain – a few were accepted - perhaps some squadrons of Italian torpedo bombers might have helped, but the Italian aircraft weren’t involved until October.

    In terms of dive bombers, the Luftwaffe was much better off - most of the German bombers had this capability and there were 300 Ju 87 Stukas available. These Stukas were very successful against shipping. During the first phase of the Battle of Britain, Kanalkampf, ("the Channel Battles” 4 July – 11 August), they attacked convoys sailing through the English Channel. On 4th July they sank four freighters and damaged six others. As a direct result the Channel was closed to convoys and large warships withdrawn from the area. On 27 July two destroyers were sunk (one in Dover harbour) and two more damaged by the Luftwaffe. Consequently, the five destroyers stationed in Dover were moved to Portsmouth and there were no longer any destroyers based in Kent or Sussex (there were only five more destroyers in Portsmouth).[3]. Before they were withdrawn from combat 18 August, the Ju 87s sank a total of six warships, and 14 merchant ships. Between 1 and 10 November 1940, seven more merchant ships were sunk or damaged by Ju 87s, mainly in the Thames Estuary, for the loss of four Ju 87s. These figures show that the Luftwaffe was able to reduce the Royal Navy’s ability to react to the proposed invasion in south-east England, and at the very least they delayed any possible British naval response until the ships had sailed south from their northern bases. This would have allowed sufficient time for a channel crossing, making the German ability to reinforce and resupply their army the deciding factor in the campaign. Air superiority was vital for successful Stuka operations and if the Germans had won the Battle of Britain, the British naval casualties would have been much worse, and the reinforcements might have got through.

    Critics note that the Luftwaffe was unable to stop the Dunkirk evacuation (27 May -3 June 1940) or, despite ideal conditions, sink a significant proportion of the 39 RN destroyers involved. In fact, air raids stopped daylight evacuation from 1 June, and more than half the destroyers were hit. Six British and three French destroyers were sunk, plus 19 damaged, and a further nine large boats sunk. In addition, over 200 of the Allied craft were sunk, with an equal number damaged. That is a total of 28 destroyers sunk or damaged, plus over 400 other craft. This was despite a delay until 29 May for the first heavy air raid.
    The weather also prevented the attack for several days and by the time it was clear, the British were gone. German Air Force units were assigned to bombard Dunkirk, but the weather there was generally unsuitable for flying and during the nine days of the evacuation the Luftwaffe interfered with it only two-and-a-half days i.e. May 27, the afternoon of May 29, and on June 1. In contrast the weather for the proposed invasion date was good for aerial intervention.

    The Battle of Crete (20-31 May, 1941) is also cited as a Luftwaffe/Regia Aeronautica failure, as nearly all German attempts to reinforce the island by sea failed due to interference from the Royal Navy. This was despite German air superiority. After the island was lost, the Luftwaffe was also unable to stop the Royal Navy from evacuating the garrison. The worst case of the air forces’ ineptitude was when 83 bombs aimed at the destroyer Kipling missed even as she picked up 279 survivors from two sunken destroyers. The Kipling was able to return to Alexandria although damaged by near misses and a collision with one of the other destroyers. In addition, 200 bombs aimed at the anti-aircraft cruiser Naiad severely damaged her but didn’t sink her. In the latter case, though, the British ships had just sunk a German transport and the German pilots were trying to avoid killing their own troops in the water. A 3,000 strong Italian brigade with 13 tanks was transported by sea to Crete from Rhodes 27 May without loss.

    However, this is not the whole story and those two ships were lucky. The Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica sank 9 British ships (cruisers and destroyers) and damaged 18 more (including the battleship Warspite). On 23 May Admiral Cunningham, the local British fleet commander, signalled his superiors that daylight operations could no longer continue, but the Chiefs of Staff demurred. Some German troops and an Italian brigade plus tanks were landed by sea. The ships were able to evacuate the troops (28-31 May) because VIII Fliegerkorps was transferred to its start positions for Barbarossa before the battle finished.

    The Crete situation was also different to that of the English Channel in that the Channel is a relatively narrow passage and ships sailing into it could easily be seen and found even by troops on the shore. There would have been less room to manoeuvre for the RN ships, and plenty of warning of their arrival.

    In April 1940, during the Norwegian campaign, an attack by the Home Fleet on the German invasion force in Bergen was turned back by the Luftwaffe, “which sank the destroyer HMS Gurkha and forced the Home Fleet to withdraw northwards when their anti-aircraft measures proved ineffective. “German air superiority …led the British to decide that all southern regions had to be left to submarines and the RAF, while surface vessels would concentrate on the north.” (Wikipedia)

    It is not impossible then, that despite its difficulties the Luftwaffe could have succeeded at its many roles and contributed markedly to the success of the operation. As we shall see in part 2, in any case, the Luftwaffe wasn’t wholly responsible for ensuring the resupply effort, as they were to receive assistance from the army in keeping the Royal Navy at bay.

    To See Part 2, The German Army, Go here: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_JIBYcrqYoOTDVJYXJ2NzJCb1k

    To see part 3, the German navy , go here: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_JIBYcrqYoObzVtY1UtUExlaG8

    The RAF

    Bomber Command - July 10, 1940

    Battles - 52
    Blenheims - ~ 200 ("anti-invasion")
    Wellington - ~ 212
    Whitley - ~68
    Hampden - ~ 200
    Beaufort - 24

    BC (minus the Battles) was organised into 40 sqns of which 35 were operational, containing 467 serviceable a/c

    Bomber Command - Sep 13, 1940

    Battles - 64
    Blenheim IV - 222 ("anti-invasion")
    Wellington - 180
    Whitley - 84
    Hampden - 136
    Beaufort - 30

    Fighter Command June 4, 1940

    Fighter Command July 1, 1940

    Available/Serviceable*

    Blenheim - -/69
    Spitfire - -/200
    Huricane - -/348
    Defiants - -/26
    Gladiator - -/-

    Fighter Command Aug 11, 1940

    Available/Serviceable*

    Blenheim - -/60
    Spitfire - 374/245
    Huricane - 721/382
    Defiants - -/22
    Gladiator - -/2

    * including spares and reserves there were 334 Spitfire and 656 Hurricanes serviceable throughout England

    Fighter Command Sep 15, 1940

    Available/Serviceable

    Blenheim - -/47
    Spitfire - -/192
    Hurricane - -/389
    Defiant - -/24
    Gladiator - -/8


    The Luftwaffe

    Luftwaffe Jul 10, 1940

    Available/Serviceable

    Me-109: -/708
    Me-110: -/202
    Dive Bombers (Ju-87): ?/?
    Twin Eng bombers (He-111, Do-217, Ju-88): -/898

    Luftwaffe Aug 10, 1940

    Available/Serviceable

    Me-109: 934/805
    Me-110: 289/224
    Dive Bombers (Ju-87): 327/261
    Twin Eng bombers (He-111, Do-217, Ju-88): 1481/998

    Luftwaffe Sep 7, 1940

    Available/Serviceable

    Me-109: 831/658
    Me-110: 206/112
    Dive Bombers (Ju-87): 174/133
    Twin Eng bombers (He-111, Do-217, Ju-88): 1291/798


    Luftwaffe Transports

    June 30: Ju-52 - ~240, Gliders - ~ 20,
    July 31st: Ju-52 - ~400, Gliders - ~ 80
    These were just the Luftwaffe transports. The Germans had a large civilian fleet that could be conscripted at any time and there were sufficient of those craft to make up the numbers required for a full drop of the 7[SUP]th[/SUP] Parachute Division and its resupply.

    Notes
    [1] p158, “Don’t Panic: Britain Prepares for Invasion, 1940” Mark Rowe, Spellmount, History Press, Stroud, 2010

    [a] The Chain Home (CH) receiver towers were 240 feet (73 m) high and made out of wood. The transmitting towers were 360 feet (100 m) high and made out of steel. The receiver towers were hundreds of yards from the transmitting towers. A prototype was built in 1937 and handed over to the RAF. By September 1939 at the outbreak of war, 20 CH stations were operational. It seems incredible that wooden towers could not be destroyed, especially when the Germans had a radar early warning system in place along their border in 1938. See “The world of Radar” http://www.radar.org


    [2] F r e e U K - FreeUK Broadband -

    [3] [Kenneth Macksey Military Errors of World War Two Cassell, London, 2002, p43]

    References
    Chester Wilmot, The Struggle for Europe, Collins, Sydney, 1952, pp 24-51
    Barrie Pitt (ed), Purnell’s History of the Second World War, Phoebus Publishing, London, 1979, Vol 2, pp 216-224
    Peter Young (ed), World War II, Orbis Publishing, London, 1978, pp 241-258
    Operation Sealion
    http://web.archive.org/web/20070504051527/http://gateway.alternatehistory.com/essays/Sealion.html
    Operation Sea Lion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    BBC - History - World Wars: The German Threat to Britain in World War Two
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    Not quite correct. The Germans gained air superioity over Southern England or parts of it a number of times. They simply couldn't hold it or gain air supremacy.

    Is it? Not from the information and discussions I've seen. Indeed even if the the LW "wins" the BoB the chances of a successful landing are very poor.
    I find the switch from "experts" to "authors" interesting. In any case there are several problems with this.
    1) The analysis is one sided. The LW was also under considerable strain and indeed if one looks at the number of servicable fighters over the duration of the BoB the LW lost their initial edge and never regained it.
    2) Again the available fighter strength over the period indicates that they were not winning at the time they switched targets. So the effect of the target switch is questionable.
    3) The RAF had a plan as you noted below to preserve enough strength to contest any German landing attempt. Furthermore there was little the Germans could do to counter this plan. Indeed they likely wouldn't even know what the British had done until it was too late.
    Again one sideded. The LW pilots were also exhausted and had suffered significant caualties as well. By the way I'd like to see a source for "most of the experienced pilots" being dead and similar sources for the LW.
    Were they? From what I've read none were ever out of service for more than 24 hours. Doesn't sound like extensive damage to me.
    In the event of Sea Lion the LW would have been heavily over tasked. They would have had to maintain CAP over the invasion fleet and the landing areas, be ready to repell any RN sorties vs the invasion fleet (a very difficult tasks in and of itself), provide close air support to the invasion troops, and interdiction further inland. Even without the losses sustained in the BoB it's not clear that they had the numbers to do this.
    Even without RAF interference (by no means a given) if you are dropping paratroops near important positons there's a decent chance you will encounter AAA. Big, low flying, slow planes equate to good targets. If one looks at the losses that were inflicted on the LW transport fleet in such engagements as Holland, Norway, and Crete and the attrition suffered there resupply by air is hardly a given.
    I don't see that the above has all that much impact on the battle of the Atlantic. Indeed given the call for use of the U-boats in Sea Lion their absence from the Atlantic for a couple of months and their likely attrition in the battle could result in the British being in even better shape than they were historically.
    Indeed, so they could be committed vs the invasion force. Such a committment by the way would mean that the British could choose the time and place and that the Germans could never meet the commitment with the majority of the LW fighters.
    The condition of the airfields wouldn't be the big problem. Movement of support equipment and supplies to them would be. Trying to operate them in range of British artillery could also be a significant problem.
    That's not quite correct of course. The radar worked other than when it was pointed out to see it was just that the Chain Home radars were all pointed out to sea. If British observers can see the planes taking off there might actually be more relative warning by the way and note that the Germans would suffer under similar but worse problems. Worse because they would have very limited AAA protecting their fields and what they did have would be under pretty significant ammo limitations.
    Would they? First the Germans would have to manage a successful landing. A task that would be very difficult (nearly impossible) then they would have to exploit essentially on foot. I don't see this moveing quickly at all.
    Not completely mutually exclusive but some what so. For instance lets take a look at just fighters. For each plane kept on CAP over the fleets/ landing areas a couple more are needed either in transit or being serviced to replace those currently on CAP. Considering there are three major landing areas only about 10% of the German fighter strength would be available at any onetime as CAP in one location. That of course is an over estimate as some would also have to be assigned to escort bombing raids and on duty to escort any naval strikes. This allows the RAF which would still have several hundred fighters by the way to concentrate against specific groups of German planes.
    Not quite. Strafing invaders would likely be a waste of assets and the airfields in use would likely be those outside the range of German single engine fighters. So the RAF duties narrow down to opposign the invasion and possibly providing CAP for RN units. In essence once the invasion is launched the LW becomes a reactive force giving the RAF the initiative.
    The numbers at teh start of the BoB are not the critical ones though are they? You've already noted that the Germans were down to ~600 single engine fighters. From what I recall after the first few weeks in August the British actually had more single engine fighters availabe pretty much for the duration of the BoB.
    I don't see that bomber command would feel restricted to daylight only operations vs the invasion force.
    If I were on a vessel of any size I'd wory about torpedo bombers as well. PLS note that the RN practice night attacks (Toronto illustrated that rather well). Furthermore it would take little time to consolidate coastal command if that was desired.
    Agreed.
    Correct again.
    This is very questionable. Taranto was a night attack that took the Italians by surprise. PH was also a surprise attack vs a fleet at port, minimally manned, and unprepaired. PoW and Repulse showed the vulnerability of minimally escorted capital ships without CAP and with rather light AA to well trained antishipping aircraft. Yamato and Musashi showed the impact of overwhelming numbers of attacking aircraft. Better is to look at the antishipping effectiveness of the LW off Norway and Crete where it was not impressive.
    The vulnerability was not just to planes but to torpedo boats and destroyers in such narrow waters. There was also the assessement (and most likely it was completely correct) that they simply wouldn't be needed.
    Said "diversionary attack" would have consided of one panzershiffe. The odds were against a succesful breakout on its part and a failure likely would have it facing one or more British battlecruisers with escorts. The feints across the North Sea by the German light cruisers and liners would also likely run into similar opposition.
    So successful that they had been pulled off that duty due to excessive losses as you note further down.
    The Stuka's were not very effective during this time vs warships at speed with adequate AA muntions. They also would hardly have been effective vs these ships at night. Given the numbers of ships involved while they would likely have inflicted some losses the impact would hardly be critical.
    ???? For some of the German invasion fleet the transit time was likely on the order of 24 hours from the port to the beach and that's under favoreable conditions. I don't see how the LW could have kept the RN off them for that long much less the several days it would take to unload them.
    Air supeirority which the Germans could not maintain. Certainly the RN would have sustained more casualties than they did historically but the cost to the German invasion force would have been much worse. Look what happened when RN DD's ran up against such a force of Crete.
    The RN ships would hardly be sitting ducks or badly overloaded as they were to a great extent off Dunkirk. Furthermore I'd like to know just what proposed invasion date you are using, certainly finding a period of several days in October with good weather is far from guaranteed in the English Channel.

    Which is also only part of the story. Note that several of the ships sunk including most if not all the cruisers were either out of AA ammo or almost so and that others had slowed down to pick up survivors or were overloaded with evacuees as at Dunkirk. Further note the absence of the RAF.

    Would there? If a squadron leaves say Plymoth at dusk to strike the invasion fleet who is going to spot it before it reaches said invasion fleet?

    I wouldn't trust to Wikipedia on this matter. The question is what mission was left for them in those waters? Certainly the RN continued operating around Norway and indeed around France for the rest of the war including some capital ship bombarment missions to the continent well after this date.

    If not impossible then the next thing to it. How was the army going to help by the way?
     
  14. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    69
    The biggest reason for Sealion not succedding is that the barges were designed for rivers. The average wave height of the channel is greater then what the barges were designed for. Were just talking normal days, much less the nasty storms that are common. This means the barges could only sail on the calmest of days. The RAF was never in danger. The German fighters were too limited in fight time to be effective and while yes the RAF was tired, the Germans were paying too high of a cost in bomber pilots. Not only would the luftwaffe have to do ground support, they would also have naval interdiction, cap and air suppression to deal with. Norway is a perfect reason for suppporting the British victory in an attempt since the German would not have local air bases. Even if the paratroopers take airfields, you still have to fly in; repair crews, ammo , fuel and equipment. Also Paras are not equiped for sustained fighting. You are also switching air superiority with total domination. Just because the Germans have theoretical superiority over South England that does not mean they have eliminated opposition. What happens if the German lose too many barges in the first wave, how will they bring in reinforcements and supplies.
     
  15. vakarr

    vakarr Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yes we have all read Alison Brookes' essay but nobody seems to have tried hard enought to check the details. The barge thing turns out to be incorrect. Actually a good proportion of the barges were sea barges used for transport along the coast. Also, measures were taken to make the other barges more sea-worthy. If the invasion had happened on the last planned date (in September, the only date reasonably possible) , the weather was good enough to have permitted their use. Actually Norway is a perfect reason for supporting a British defeat since despite British naval superiority the Germans were able to move over 100,000 troops mainly by sea using improvised transports and land them successfully and simultaneously at six widely separarted locations with only a few months planning and minimal practice. In Norway, the German paratroopers were able to fly in and take air bases. As far as running out of supplies, the Germans only had to get about 15 km inland to reach some large towns that could have provided enough food and fodder to keep them going (one of those towns got an award for the effort they made supplying war marterials for the First World War and is a major distirbution centre). They would have arrived close to harvest time and would have treated the local populace roughly - there were plans to use the locals as forced labour to fix up airfields etc. So there may have been some ability to live off the land until the next wave arrived.
     
  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    From some extensive discussion of this over on the Axis history forum a number of sources do claim that the barges could have handled the channel crossing as long as a storm didn't come up. On the other hand the one test the Germans landed raises some questions as one barge was swamped by the soldier being transported when it came "too close" to another barge. Several other barges breached or otherwise hit the beach in such a way as to render them unrecoverable and to significantly hinder their unloading. However perhaps the biggest problem was their speed. The top speed I've seen on the barges was 6 knots. Since the powered barges along with tug boats were to tow a pair of unpowered barges and there are typically significant winds and tides in the channel as well as the impact of the swells on that speed to consider their "speed" as in progress toward the landing areas was likely to be significantly less than the said 6 knots. Looking at the map at:
    Google Image Result for http://www.historyofwar.org/Maps/sealion7_german_invasion_plan.jpg
    Some of the invasion routes were in excess of 120 miles the implication is that invasion fleet would have to have left port at least 12 hours before the invasion was to begin and more likely 20 to 30 hours. This gives the RN plenty of time to react and would allow them to hit the invasion fleet at night before a landing followed up by repeated attacks if necessary during the period of several days it would take the invasion fleet to unload.
    But those troops moved along protected routes (with respect to the RN anyway) and were attacking a neutral country. In essence the British were not aware that an invasion was underway until the invasion fleet was starting to unload. Very different from the scenario for Sea Lion. Furthermore consider the distance of RN units from the invasion fleet for Norway vs Sea Lion.
    Indeed and they would have been in serious trouble if they hadn't been relieved quickly. In fact didn't a couple of the landings run into serious problems? Also note that the Norwegians weren't ready to block the airfields while the British had plans in place to do so.
    Food and fodder is hardly the main supply problem though is it? Ammo particularly artillery ammo tends to dominate the logistical effort. Then there's the question of how quickly they could reach said towns and how much would be left there for them and how it would get distributed.
    How much of the local populace would still be there? Rough treatment of them would not necessarily help them in any case indeed it might have made things even more difficult for them. And talk about problems the "next wave" is going to have things even worse.
     
  17. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    the answer is :never,no way,impossible
     
  18. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    One exemple for those who think that the Germans could land with barges:
    Overlord was delayed by the weather,in june
    One of the Mulberries was destroyed by the weather,in june
     

Share This Page