Op SEELOWE

Chef

LE
Thinking about it - entirely non-seriously - I’m slightly surprised that someone like Anthony Cumming or Sharkey Ward hasn’t started complaining that thanks to the RAF winning the Battle of Britain, the RN didn’t get the chance to smash the invasion fleet, which in turn enabled Hitler to continue with his plans (rather than have to abandon them because much of his army was drowned) and they thus extended the war for 4 and a bit more years and thus the RAF was responsible for [insert own preferred awful event(s) of 1941-45…
Presumably delaying the deployment of Sea Harriers by several years as well.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
I would imagine that the English Channel at its narrowest point wouldn't be the safest place for a U-Boat. Shallow, constricted and prone to tidal currents twice a day.

Fish in a barrel springs to mind.

The Germans tried to operate U-boats in the Channel from the outbreak of the war.

After losing three in a few weeks (10% of their total force!) to all the hazards you mention (plus of course the assorted minefields...) Doenitz ordered them to get out and stay out, and they didn't come back until the summer of 1944, trying to oppose Op NEPTUNE (where they lost sixteen in a few weeks for very little result)
 
based in, and recruited from, Bavaria.
Most informative. But I can’t help chuckling over the military mindset “a great success” . And Bavarians, my good god. They would have had more success using Wehrkreiss X let alone the people used to going to sea the K marine, would have been more logical. But I think you make my point, that the difference in technological know how gained in 4 years was almost the equivalent of The moonlandings in the 60’s. It was just unimaginable.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Thinking about it - entirely non-seriously - I’m slightly surprised that someone like Anthony Cumming or Sharkey Ward hasn’t started complaining that thanks to the RAF winning the Battle of Britain, the RN didn’t get the chance to smash the invasion fleet, which in turn enabled Hitler to continue with his plans (rather than have to abandon them because much of his army was drowned) and they thus extended the war for 4 and a bit more years and thus the RAF was responsible for [insert own preferred awful event(s) of 1941-45…
The "what if Germany does launch Sea Lion?" has been looked at a few times I've seen, some better than others.

The Kriegsmarine takes a kicking - but they had so little at that point, it's not that big a deal.

The Luftwaffe end up losing planes and pilots - arguable how critical that is but it's not going to lose the war in the short term.

About a hundred thousand German soldiers - having opened with the "harsh measures" to deter civilian resistance - end up dead or desperately trying to find someone to surrender to that won't introduce them to both barrels of a shotgun, the business end of a pitchfork, or just a half-brick and a drainage ditch ("No, Lieutenant, they Jerries was already 'anging from them lamp-posts when we found'em...") - again, not going to lead to a military collapse in Germany. This is mostly light infantry, of which they've (in 1940) still got sufficient to absorb the loss.

Probably the big direct effect is that - having committed and lost the Fallschirmjaegers to this - then after the British are hoofed out of Greece, there's no follow-up attack on Crete (they could just go by sea... except the seaborne landings were annihilated in real life, and they've just had proof that the night is scary and full of Royal Navy destroyers...). Not going to change the outcome of the war drastically.

The less tangible points are a clear defeat for Hitler's cunning plan - is that enough to undermine him? Probably not? - and the longer-term economic problem of losing most of Europe's available water transport, which will have a significant impact on the German war economy. "Less good for Germany" but hardly war-ending in any short timescale.

It might deter the Germans from committing to North Africa, instead telling Benito "your fight, your problem" - which actually frees up motor transport and other resources for Barbarossa, potentially compensating for the Luftwaffe's losses.. (Indeed, it might also reduce the enthusiasm of US support, since far from plucky little England fighting against the odds needing all the help we can get, we've just given the Hun a proper kicking, with Joe Kennedy, Charles Lindbergh et al complaining that it was unfair and war crimes and the US shouldn't support a bullying Britain...)

But it's hard to see how the likely tactical success of smashing Sea Lion, translates to dramatic war-changing strategic outcomes.
 
Thinking about it - entirely non-seriously - I’m slightly surprised that someone like Anthony Cumming or Sharkey Ward hasn’t started complaining that thanks to the RAF winning the Battle of Britain, the RN didn’t get the chance to smash the invasion fleet, which in turn enabled Hitler to continue with his plans (rather than have to abandon them because much of his army was drowned) and they thus extended the war for 4 and a bit more years and thus the RAF was responsible for [insert own preferred awful event(s) of 1941-45…

Spooky you mention this, as these very facts are currently being fed into the Royal Navy's "so-bullsh*t-as-to-be-entirely-laughable-but-believed-like-Gospel-around-the-Fleet" Book of Naval Apocryphal Stories 2022 edition.

Available soon from bookshops in Grenada.
 
Umm, we did win. Twice.

ETA I do apologise, if you're German your post does make sense.

having many German friends I like to think that the German people won the second world war, the defeat of the Nazi regime freed the German people from the mistake they made letting little Adolf and his friends lead a world class country close to extinction.
 
Great, now they're only outnumbered five to one.
German Surface combatants available Summer 1940
1642422935920.png


RN in home waters :


Plus from what I can gather from here..


About 20 MTB/MGB's
 

Chef

LE
having many German friends I like to think that the German people won the second world war, the defeat of the Nazi regime freed the German people from the mistake they made letting little Adolf and his friends lead a world class country close to extinction.
I certainly wish the German people well and see no point in giving the post war generations griff for past misdemeanors, sippenhaft is a German word after all.

Having said that their defeat in The Great War freed them from being under the Kaiser and they quite quickly found a replacement. So they had to be freed again.

The Germans do have form for this kind of thing. Mind you at least they have acknowledged their part in two world wars unlike the Japanese.
 
I certainly wish the German people well and see no point in giving the post war generations griff for past misdemeanors, sippenhaft is a German word after all.

Having said that their defeat in The Great War freed them from being under the Kaiser and they quite quickly found a replacement. So they had to be freed again.

The Germans do have form for this kind of thing. Mind you at least they have acknowledged their part in two world wars unlike the Japanese.
My Bold.
AH only got 30% of the vote the one time he stood for election and was not yet a war criminal.
Compare with T C Blair.
 
Anyone care to play out a scenario of the Germans stopping 10 miles short of Dunkirk, night-dropping of paratroops on RAF fighter stations, glider landing of pilots at dawn to bring back captured fighters, and extending the Dunkirk evacuation to further reduce the number of RN destroyers?
 

Chef

LE
My Bold.
AH only got 30% of the vote the one time he stood for election and was not yet a war criminal.
Compare with T C Blair.
As I understand it 'Mein Kampf' whilst not a good read was a fairly clear statement of intent. I take your point about 30% but that's politics for you.

TC Blair is still not a war criminal, the curse of innocent until proven guilty (which can't happen soon enough). There was also nothing in Blair's manifestos about racial purity, extra living space or seeking conflict.
 
I certainly wish the German people well and see no point in giving the post war generations griff for past misdemeanors, sippenhaft is a German word after all.

Having said that their defeat in The Great War freed them from being under the Kaiser and they quite quickly found a replacement. So they had to be freed again.

The Germans do have form for this kind of thing. Mind you at least they have acknowledged their part in two world wars unlike the Japanese.
True, quite agree, but the reparations at the end of WW1 showed that the Allies were a bit brutal and shortsighted.
 

Chef

LE
True, quite agree, but the reparations at the end of WW1 showed that the Allies were a bit brutal and shortsighted.
Was it Foch who said we'd merely got a twenty year truce?

I quite agree that with hindsight the reparations were exactly that although the German demands on the defeated Russians were harsher. Equally it would have been a brave politician who suggested sending aid to the Germans, post war, to bring them some stability and hopefully avert the second war.
 
Was it Foch who said we'd merely got a twenty year truce?

It's attributed to him yes..

 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
True, quite agree, but the reparations at the end of WW1 showed that the Allies were a bit brutal and shortsighted.

As compared to the indemnity the Prussians demanded from the French in 1871?
 

skeetstar

War Hero
The Germans tried to improvise.

The Engineer Battalion 47 of VII Army Corps was designated as having responsibility for the "construction of seaworthy ferries out of auxiliary equipment, local supply and bridging equipment". What was unusual in this was that this task, requiring a good knowledge of matters maritime, was tasked to this particular battalion - based in, and recruited from, Bavaria.​
The engineers were nothing if not enthusiastic. They built rafts from pontoons, and were undismayed when half of these rafts sank while in harbour. Attempts to provide these rafts with power failed, because they broke up under the strain. Nonetheless, the Wehrmacht announced that these rafts would be towed behind the barges being towed by the tugs, and that the horses would be transported across the Channel on these rafts, saving the difficulties of loading the horses into the barges. One wonders what the horses would have made of this concept.​
The engineers turned their attention to pontoons used for crossing rivers. Even the most optimistic observer had to regard this as a failure. The open pontoons filled with water and sank. The iron beams holding the pontoons together snapped in waves, and the exercise was discontinued.​
One single main exercise was carried out, just off Boulogne. Fifty vessels were used, and to enable the observers to actually observe, the exercise was carried out in broad daylight. (The real thing was due to take place at night/dawn, remember).​
The vessels marshalled about a mile out to sea, and cruised parallel to the coast. The armada turned towards the coast (one barge capsizing, and another losing its tow) and approached and landed. The barges opened, and soldiers swarmed ashore.​
However, it was noted that the masters of the boats let the intervals between the vessels become wider and wider, because they were scared of collisions. Half the barges failed to get their troops ashore within an hour of the first troops, and over 10% failed to reach the shore at all. The troops in the barges managed to impede the sailors in a remarkable manner - in one case, a barge overturned because the troops rushed to one side when another barge "came too close". Several barges grounded broadside on, preventing the ramp from being lowered.​
In this exercise, carried out in good visibility, with no enemy, in good weather, after travelling only a short distance, with no navigation hazards or beach defences, less than half the troops were got ashore where they could have done what they were supposed to do.​
The exercise was officially judged to have been a "great success".​
Bear in mind that this ramshackle fleet, some vessels in which even had their own engines was going to be committed to a wide front. Landings were contemplated from Dover in the east to Portsmouth in the west. This was not just a quick trip from Calais across to the other coast which was well within sight. Some of these vessels would have been at sea for 12 to 18 hours. Destroyers and MGB captains would be in competition to see who could chalk up the most sinkings, the bows of the destroyers would be covered in 'kill' markings, it would have turned into a game for them.

And the Army didn't leave everything at Dunkirk, simply because it didn't take everything to France in the first instance, I'm happy to go back to my sources and get accurate data, but we still had 40% of our artillery stock in the UK, we had something similar in tanks, and oddly enough it was the better vehicles that had not been taken to France.

Sealion would have been a disaster for the Ted's. The only likely local successes would have been made by paratroopers who might have caused some trouble until they surrendered after 48 hours having run out of ammunition.
 
Sealion would have been a disaster for the Ted's. The only likely local successes would have been made by paratroopers who might have caused some trouble until they surrendered after 48 hours having run out of ammunition.

while most of your post can't be argued with, from the point of view of British assets, The Germans have proved their organizational ability with large scale Amphibious crossings at night, don't forget their skillful move across the straits of Messina from Sicily to Italy. All under the gaze of the Allies, and again admittedly later on in the war their move across the water to Northwest of the Port of Antwerp, hurriedly taken by Roberts 11 Armoured Division, the British failed to see the importance of the Scheldt approaches, while, The 11th slept, the Gerry acted and acted fast. All at a time, later in the war, when the Germans had taken a beating, unlike 1940, when the Wehrmacht was at it's height.
 
Port of Antwerp, hurriedly taken by Roberts 11 Armoured Division, the British failed to see the importance of the Scheldt approaches, while, The 11th slept, the Gerry acted and acted fast. All at a time, later in the war, when the Germans had taken a beating, unlike 1940, when the Wehrmacht was at it's height.
11 Div orders to 15/19H were to take Antwerp. They took the city. Had their orders been to take the port, no problemo.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
while most of your post can't be argued with, from the point of view of British assets, The Germans have proved their organizational ability with large scale Amphibious crossings at night, don't forget their skillful move across the straits of Messina from Sicily to Italy.

How well defended were the Italian beaches they were landing on? (Oh, right, a withdrawal, not an amphibious landing...)

We lifted 338,000 troops out of Dunkirk in a week - didn't mean we could pull off D-Day in 1940.
 

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