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Battle of Britain 3

Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
Thank you Pteranadon for your valuable opinion.
As a young squaddie I bought both of the first two volumes of, Hitlers War on Russia, late 60's early 70's for edition two. The third volume was never published, but I would have been in BAOR by it's expected due date.
A couple of years ago I tried to buy old copies but silly prices where asked.
Strangely I can remember parts of what I read back then, yesterday and five mins ago are a mystery to me, getting old I will suggest.
Spin Doctors where not a known to factor to a young man back then and I do consider the books to be well written with extensive bibliography.
Still we live and learn.

john

John,

No problem. I have enjoyed reading his books. (I used to buy Landser occasionally as well when in BAOR) It is just when I think about the accuracy of , say, the dialogue he reports between German soldiers on Omaha beach that the alarm bells start to ring. He was a journo writing copy with more interest in telling a good yarn in the service of the Fuehrer than in the truth.

You raised a bigger point in the original post about the defence of Singapore. I don't think Singapore fell for want of ground troops. The key element was control of the air. In 1941 RAF Fighter Command adopted a policy of "Leaning into France". This was a replay in reverse of the Battle of Britain, but with the odds in the Germans favour. The RAF convinced themselves that they were winning an attrition battle with the Luftwaffe which, in fact they were losing 2-3:1 in aircraft and 6:1 in pilots. The aircrew included many of the survivors of the Battle of Britain, such as Stanford Tuck and Bader, both shot down before Singapore fell. Had the 450 modern fighter and bomber aircraft and crews lost over France in 1941 been available in Malaya in December 1941 there would have been no loss of Singapore nor of the capital ships of Force Z. The Japanese would have had a very bloody nose, and Britain would not have been humiliated in front of its Asian subjects.

In fact there is a damned good chance that these corners of the world would still be part of the British Empire.
 
I was unaware that Paul Carell was a Nazi Party member of high standing until you pointed out the Wiki entry, personal computers did not exist in our youth.
In 'Before the Dawn' by Jack Smyth V.C. covering the BEF and the loss of Burma, at the Battle of Sittang, he does say words to the effect that it was the domination of the air that proved the deciding factor in both defeats and Malaya/Singapore.
I don't really want to start the Malaya/Singapore debate again, but all the 'British' divisions where of only 2 Brigades without any tanks and the aircraft where mainly bi planes a few Brewster Buffalos and Bristol bombers being the exception until some Hurricanes came out with 18th Div which was originally on route to Mid East.
Percival took the rap for both the Army and the Civvy Establishment, he was only Commander Land Forces the third force,last in line of the defense of the Singapore Dockyard.
Yes the Humiliation that jap inflicted was deliberate and has been long lasting.

john
 

aghart

War Hero
John,


In 1941 RAF Fighter Command adopted a policy of "Leaning into France". This was a replay in reverse of the Battle of Britain, but with the odds in the Germans favour. The RAF convinced themselves that they were winning an attrition battle with the Luftwaffe which, in fact they were losing 2-3:1 in aircraft and 6:1 in pilots. The aircrew included many of the survivors of the Battle of Britain, such as Stanford Tuck and Bader, both shot down before Singapore fell. Had the 450 modern fighter and bomber aircraft and crews lost over France in 1941 been available in Malaya in December 1941 there would have been no loss of Singapore nor of the capital ships of Force Z. The Japanese would have had a very bloody nose, and Britain would not have been humiliated in front of its Asian subjects.
.

I agree, but the fact remains that the Chiefs of Staff believed in 1941 that the Germans would try again at attacking Great Britain but could not allow the huge fighter force kept at home to remain idle. The "Leaning into France" was in the circumstances the right thing to do. Any spare aircraft (and pilots) would have gone to the Middle East/ Malta/North Africa anyway. Hindsight can drive you bonkers, but the chiefs of staff could not send vital fighters half way round the world whilst only 21 miles of water separated Great Britain from the Nazi War machine.
 
John,

No problem. I have enjoyed reading his books. (I used to buy Landser occasionally as well when in BAOR) It is just when I think about the accuracy of , say, the dialogue he reports between German soldiers on Omaha beach that the alarm bells start to ring. He was a journo writing copy with more interest in telling a good yarn in the service of the Fuehrer than in the truth.

You raised a bigger point in the original post about the defence of Singapore. I don't think Singapore fell for want of ground troops. The key element was control of the air. In 1941 RAF Fighter Command adopted a policy of "Leaning into France". This was a replay in reverse of the Battle of Britain, but with the odds in the Germans favour. The RAF convinced themselves that they were winning an attrition battle with the Luftwaffe which, in fact they were losing 2-3:1 in aircraft and 6:1 in pilots. The aircrew included many of the survivors of the Battle of Britain, such as Stanford Tuck and Bader, both shot down before Singapore fell. Had the 450 modern fighter and bomber aircraft and crews lost over France in 1941 been available in Malaya in December 1941 there would have been no loss of Singapore nor of the capital ships of Force Z. The Japanese would have had a very bloody nose, and Britain would not have been humiliated in front of its Asian subjects.

In fact there is a damned good chance that these corners of the world would still be part of the British Empire.

While I agree with most of what you what you wrote I don't know about that. Remember the Indian independence movement was already well advanced pre-WW2 and surely other colonies would have been influenced (directly or indirectly) by an independent India?
 
"While I agree with most of what you what you wrote I don't know about that. Remember the Indian independence movement was already well advanced pre-WW2 and surely other colonies would have been influenced (directly or indirectly) by an independent India?"

Very true.
Yamishata had the captured the captured Brit/Indian troops line his route to the signing of the Surrender Agreement.
It was done to humiliate the British Empire, plain and simple.
Very effective and certainly not forgotten in what we called the Far East, South East Asia as it is now known.

john
 
Sorry, Dill was not the first Foreigner or British citizen buried in Arlington

for instance

Capt Angus Macintosh
Royal Horse Guards
Interred Oct. 13th, 1918

Maj Charles Henry Lyell
Royal Garrison Artillery
Interred Oct. 18th, 1918

Captain W F FITCH, MC
7th Bn., Suffolk Regiment
Interred Nov 1, 1918

Pte. James Schofield RMLI
HM Yacht Warrior
Interred Dec 23rd 1918

Lieut. Luigi Bartolucci Dundas
Italian Navy Attache
interred Apr.1, 1920

Arlington National Cemetery | Foreign Nationals
What's the score with them any idea how they were buired there?

Lyell was an Assistant Military Attache and his cause of death was given (in his Times Obit) as pneumonia. He was in his mid-40s, and an ex-MP (he stood down in 1917, ISTR to take up his post in the US), and the son of Lord Lyell.

Mackintosh was the son of The Mackintosh of Mackintosh and the son-in-law of the Duke of Devonshire. He had been an AMA at the embassy for a while - it was a bad week for AMAs... Not sure what his CoD was; he left a 2 week old daughter and died a month short of his 1st wedding anniversary (leaving a young child and not getting in the full year of marriage not being uncommon during the war, of course).

Fitch was at the Military Mission in Washington, and he died of pneumonia.

Schofield died of pneumonia - the day after Writer 3rd Class TH Symons RN and two months and a day after Deck Hand Herbert Thomas (Mercantile Marine), also of HMY Warrior, both of whom are also listed as victims of pneumonia. There are a further two sailors from HMY Warrior buried in Arlington - both died of flu - namely Deck Hand William Kennedy (died 13 Oct 18 ) and Deck Hand J Prowse (died 6 Jan 1919). And to round things off, a second Marine from Warrior, Elmer Darrock (died 19 Oct 18 ) is also buried at Arlington.

Bartolucci -Dundas was the Assistant Naval Attache (not the NA himself) and comes from an interesting family (who seem to have gone around using the name Dundas-Bartolucci). His grandfather was an Italian general; his dad was a landowner in Ireland (the Bartoluccis of Kilkenny...) and Italy. I think that he, too, died of 'flu, but am not sure.

(That'll teach you for asking...)
 
Actual invasion of Britain would have required the Germans to have been able to tackle Home Fleet on at least an equal footing. For that they'd need a decent expansion of the Luftwaffe and an enormous expansion of the Kreigsmarine.

So massive in fact that, even allowing for the USA not becoming involved, Tube Alloys could well have borne noisy fruit before they managed it.
 
So, Hitler achieves his objectives in Russia, taking Moscow and gaining the oilfields. This leaves him with 2000 miles of hostile border to guard. Let's say two coy strength units per mile - 2000 x 250 = 500,000 men.

He wants to transport the oil to Germany. Let's say two rail routes of 1000 miles each. A coy strength unit guarding every 5 miles (which would work out as 10 blokes patrolling that length of line at any one time) - 2 x 200 x 120 = 48,000 men.

A million prisoners. Put them to work bringing the farmlands back to use. Oversee at the rate of 1 soldier to 10 prisoners (effectively 1 soldier to 30 prisoners given that they need to be supervised 24 hours/day) = 100,000 men.

Control of towns and cities. Say another 100,000 men (figure plucked from air)

So far we're at 750,000 troops and we've not started on the local logistics, guarding of their MSRs, artillery, tank units and so on. Add in home leave and an allowance for sickness. Realistically, even thinned down to silly levels, Germany would need to allocate 2 million troops to Russia in order to make use of the oilfields - and keep them there for the foreseeable future. That's an increase on the number of troops that it took to gain the place.

So, back to the point I made in my previous post, BoB3 couldn't happen (certainly not in 1942, maybe in 1962) because the invasion force wouldn't have enough men. I suspect that they'd be lucky to raise 20,000 men and even then, not in the time frame required for an early spring invasion. Leave it later and the Yanks start arriving.

Thus, not Britain 1 - Germany 0 but match postponed or cancelled.

Plus the 2 -3 million or so to man the flak guns , guard the multitude of prisoners and foreign guest workers at home and manning the Atlantic Wall and occupied countries .
 

CliSwe

Old-Salt
Nazi Germany fell victim to the law of diminishing returns in WWII: Increased effort, over a plateau, yielded lower results than planned for. Even had they secured the USSR (won at Moscow, Stalingrad, Leningrad et al), they simply lacked the manpower to conduct any further land campaigns with any hope of success. Operation Sealion Mk2 would make no sense at all: they would be facing a stronger RAF Fighter Command than the force they were unable to defeat in 1940. And the non-existent land forces their Fallschirmjaeger were meant to overwhelm in 1940 = 26 divisions a year later.
Churchill in his history of WWII, remarked that his target for the British Army post-Dunkirk, was 48 divisions. Admittedly, Allan Brooke was much more flexible in his deployment of troops than Dill had been. But Brookey exerted more influence over Winston than Dill. I believe that his personality was more synchronised to Churchill's than that of his predecessor. "Action This Day" was a fascinating insight into the workings of both men's minds.

Cheers,
Cliff
 

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