Operation Sealion - summary of an exercise held at the Staff College, Sandhurst in 19

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  1. Operation Sealion - summary of an exercise held at the

    Staff College, Sandhurst in 1974.

    The full text is in 'Sealion' by Richard Cox. The scenario
    is based on the known plans of each side, plus previously
    unpublished Admiralty weather records for September 1940.
    Each side (played by British and German officers respectively)
    was based in a command room, and the actual moves plotted
    on a scale model of SE England constructed at the School
    of Infantry. The panel of umpires included Adolf Galland,
    Admiral Friedrich Ruge, Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher
    Foxley-Norris, Rear Admiral Edward Gueritz, General Heinz
    Trettner and Major General Glyn Gilbert.

    The main problem the Germans face is that are a) the
    Luftwaffe has not yet won air supremacy; b) the possible
    invasion dates are constrained by the weather and tides
    (for a high water attack) and c) it has taken until
    late September to assemble the necessary shipping.

    FJ = Fallschirmjaeger (German paratroops)
    MTB = Motor Torpedo Boat (German equivalent, E-Boat)
    DD = Destroyer
    CA = Heavy Cruiser
    BB = Battleship
    CV = Aircraft Carrier

    22nd September - morning
    The first wave of a planned 330,000 men hit the beaches
    at dawn. Elements of 9 divisions landed between
    Folkestone and Rottingdean (near Brighton).
    In addition 7th FJ Div landed at Lympne to take the airfield.

    The invasion fleet suffered minor losses from MTBs during
    the night crossing, but the RN had already lost one
    CA and three DDs sunk, with one CA and two DDs damaged,
    whilst sinking three German DDs. Within hours of the landings
    which overwhelmed the beach defenders, reserve formations
    were despatched to Kent. Although there were 25 divisions
    in the UK, only 17 were fully equipped, and only three
    were based in Kent, however the defence plan relied on
    the use of mobile reserves and armoured and mechanised
    brigades were committed as soon as the main landings were

    Meanwhile the air battle raged, the Luftwaffe flew 1200
    fighter and 800 bomber sorties before 1200 hrs. The RAF
    even threw in training planes hastily armed with bombs,
    but the Luftwaffe were already having problems with their
    short ranged Me 109s despite cramming as many as possible
    into the Pas de Calais.

    22nd - 23rd September
    The Germans had still not captured a major port, although
    they started driving for Folkestone. Shipping unloading
    on the beaches suffered heavy losses from RAF bombing
    raids and then further losses at their ports in France.

    The U-Boats, Luftwaffe and few surface ships had lost
    contact with the RN, but then a cruiser squadron with
    supporting DDs entered the Channel narrows and had to
    run the gauntlet of long range coastal guns, E-Boats
    and 50 Stukas. Two CAs were sunk and one damaged. However
    a diversionary German naval sortie from Norway was
    completely destroyed and other sorties by MTBS and DDs
    inflicted losses on the shipping milling about in the
    Channel. German shipping losses on the first day
    amounted to over 25% of their invasion fleet, especially
    the barges, which proved desperately unseaworthy.

    23rd Sept dawn - 1400 hrs.
    The RAF had lost 237 planes out 1048 (167 fighters and
    70 bombers), and the navy had suffered enough losses such
    that it was keeping its BBs and CVs back, but large
    forces of DDs and CAs were massing. Air recon showed a
    German buildup in Cherbourg and forces were diverted to
    the South West.

    The German Navy were despondant about their losses,
    especially as the loss of barges was seriously
    dislocating domestic industry. The Army and Airforce
    commanders were jubilant however, and preperations for
    the transfer of the next echelon continued along with
    the air transport of 22nd Div, despite Luftwaffe losses
    of 165 fighters and 168 bombers. Out of only 732 fighters
    and 724 bombers these were heavy losses. Both sides
    overestimated losses inflicted by 50%.

    The 22nd Div airlanded successfully at Lympne, although
    long range artillery fire directed by a stay-behind
    commando group interdicted the runways. The first British
    counterattacks by 42nd Div supported by an armoured
    brigade halted the German 34th Div in its drive on Hastings.
    7th Panzer Div was having difficulty with extensive
    anti-tank obstacles and assault teams armed with sticky
    bombs etc. Meanwhile an Australian Div had retaken
    Newhaven (the only German port), however the New Zealand
    Div arrived at Folkestone only to be attacked in the
    rear by 22nd Airlanding Div. The division fell back on
    Dover having lost 35% casualties.

    Sep 23rd 1400 - 1900 hrs
    Throughout the day the Luftwaffe put up a maximum effort,
    with 1500 fighter and 460 bomber sorties, but the RAF
    persisted in attacks on shipping and airfields. Much of
    this effort was directed for ground support and air
    resupply, despite Adm Raeders request for more aircover
    over the Channel. The Home Fleet had pulled out of air
    range however, leaving the fight in the hands of 57 DDs
    and 17 CAs plus MTBs. The Germans could put very little
    surface strength against this. Waves of DDs and CAs
    entered the Channel, and although two were sunk by U-Boats,
    they sank one U-Boat in return and did not stop. The German
    flotilla at Le Havre put to sea (3 DD, 14 E-Boats) and at
    dusk intercepted the British, but were wiped out, losing
    all their DDs and 7 E-Boats.

    The Germans now had 10 divisions ashore, but in many
    cases these were incomplete and waiting for their
    second echelon to arrive that night. The weather
    was unsuitable for the barges however, and the decision
    to sail was referred up the chain of command.

    23rd Sep 1900 - Sep 24th dawn

    The Fuhrer Conference held at 1800 broke out into bitter
    inter-service rivalry - the Army wanted their second
    echelon sent, and the navy protesting that the
    weather was unsuitable, and the latest naval defeat
    rendered the Channel indefensible without air support.
    Goring countered this by saying it could only be done
    by stopped the terror bombing of London, which in turn
    Hitler vetoed. The fleet was ordered to stand by.

    The RAF meanwhile had lost 97 more fighters leaving only
    440. The airfields of 11 Group were cratered ruins, and
    once more the threat of collapse, which had receded in
    early September, was looming. The Luftwaffe had lost
    another 71 fighters and 142 bombers. Again both sides
    overestimated losses inflicted, even after allowing for
    inflated figures.

    On the ground the Germans made good progress towards Dover
    and towards Canterbury, however they suffered reverses
    around Newhaven when the 45th Div and Australians
    attacked. At 2150 Hitler decided to launch the second wave,
    but only the short crossing from Calais and Dunkirk. By
    the time the order reached the ports, the second wave
    could not possibly arrive before dawn. The 6th and 8th
    divisions at Newhaven, supplied from Le Havre, would not
    be reinforced at all.

    Sep 24th dawn - Sep 28th

    The German fleet set sail, the weather calmed, and U-Boats,
    E-Boats and fighters covered them. However at daylight 5th
    destroyer flotilla found the barges still 10 miles off
    the coast and tore them to shreds. The Luftwaffe in turn
    committed all its remaining bombers, and the RAF responded
    with 19 squadrons of fighters. The Germans disabled two
    CAs and four DDs, but 65% of the barges were sunk. The
    faster steamers broke away and headed for Folkestone,
    but the port had been so badly damaged that they could
    only unload two at a time.

    The failure on the crossing meant that the German
    situation became desperate. The divisions had sufficient
    ammunition for 2 to 7 days more fighting, but without
    extra men and equipment could not extend the bridgehead.
    Hitler ordered the deployment on reserve units to Poland
    and the Germans began preparations for an evacuation as
    further British arracks hemmed them in tighter. Fast
    steamers and car ferries were assembled for evacuation
    via Rye and Folkestone. Of 90,000 troops who landed
    on 22nd september, only 15,400 returned to France, the rest
    were killed or captured.

    Operation Sealion - summary of an exercise held at the Staff College, Sandhurst in 1974.
  2. Hah! Thinking of attacking us with only 13 divisions! No wonder they lost the war.
  3. Do we need another thread on Sealion? The most recent one went to about 30 pages...
    • Like Like x 2
  4. No this is another promotional post for "Pathfinder magazine" Its is spam, i.e. automatically gebnerated material. OK it includes topics of general interest, but it also ignoreds the fact that some of these themes have been covered on other threads. I also find it distasteful that the this is putely to attract people to their magazine. No one in pathfinder magazine is engaging in the forum or showing any interest in the topic beyond posting their own article. They are effectively just trolling.