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Reasons to be grateful, Part III ....

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
I know many on ARRSE are aware that the Nazi invasion of Britain, code name - Unternehmen Seelöwe - OPERATION SEALION - was actually war-gamed at RMAS Camberley in 1974.
( If any Mod wishes to blend this into anyone of the earlier threads, please feel free.)

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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 :

A) Adolf Galland,
B) Admiral Friedrich Ruge

Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Foxley-Norris,
Rear Admiral Edward Gueritz,
C) General Heinz Trettner

and Major General Glyn Gilbert.


A) Adolf Galland -flew Messerschmitt Bf 109s during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. By the end of 1940, his tally of victories had reached 57. In 1941, Galland stayed in France and fought the Royal Air Force (RAF) over the English Channel and Northern France. By November 1941, his tally had increased to 96, by which time he had earned the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. In November 1941, Werner Mölders, who commanded the German Fighter Force as the General der Jagdflieger, was killed while a passenger in a flying accident and Galland succeeded him, staying in the position until January 1945. As General der Jagdflieger, Galland was forbidden to fly combat missions.

In late January and early February 1942, Galland first planned and then commanded the Luftwaffe's air cover for the Kriegsmarine Operation Cerberus, which was a major success. It earned him the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Over the ensuing years, Galland's disagreements with Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring about how best to combat the Allied Air Forces bombing of Germany caused their relationship to deteriorate. The Luftwaffe fighter force was under severe pressure by 1944, and Galland was blamed by Göring for the failure to prevent the Allied strategic bombing of Germany in daylight. The relationship collapsed altogether in early January 1945, when Galland was relieved of his command because of his constant criticism of the Luftwaffe leadership. Galland was then put under house arrest following the so-called Fighter Pilots' Revolt, in which senior fighter pilots confronted Göring about the conduct of the air war.

In March 1945, Galland returned to operational flying and was permitted to form a jet fighter unit which he called Jagdverband 44. He flew missions over Germany until the end of the war in May. After the war, Galland was employed by Argentina's Government and acted as a consultant to the Argentine Air Force. Later, he returned to Germany and managed his own business. Galland also became friends with many former enemies, such as RAF aces Robert Stanford Tuck and Douglas Bader. Adolf Galland died on 9 February 1996.


B) Admiral Friedrich Ruge - In World War II, he was a part of the Polish Campaign in 1939 and the North Sea-English Channel operations during 1940. From 1940 to 1943, he was stationed in France, rising through the upper ranks to become Vice Admiral in 1943. Sent to Italy in 1943, he served as Senior German Naval Officer until mid-summer. He was appointed as Naval Advisor to Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in November 1943 to supervise the defense of northern France from the predicted Allied invasion. He had no faith in land mines and artillery shells struck underwater, but the marine mines he wanted weren't available. In August 1944, he became the Kriegsmarine's Director of Ship Construction, a position in which he served till the end of World War II.

C) General Heinz Trettner - From the start of the war until December 1940 Trettner served as Staff Officer, Operations (Ia) in the Staff of the 7th Paratroop Division until 14 June 1939. He was later appointed Chief Of Operations in the Staff of the XI. Paratroop Corps (15 December 1940 to 6 April 1942), taking part in the airborne operation on Crete. He was promoted to Chief of Staff of the XI. Paratroop Corps, but on 4 October 1943 was reassigned to head formation and become Commanding Officer of the 4th Parachute Division (Germany), a command he held until 3 May 1945 when he surrendered to the US troops.

A short summary of the full transcript can be found on the University of Sheffield website HERE

http://mr-home.staff.shef.ac.uk/hobbies/seelowe.txt


On Remembrance Sunday - this was the bald, throwaway line that got me:

' In addition 7th Fallschirmjaeger Jaeger Div* landed at Lympne to take the airfield. '


This source shows the probable composition of the Airborne element


Airborne Formations​

7th Flieger-Division (Parachute): Generalmajor Richard Putzier (under Generalfeldmarschall Albert Keßelring’s Luftflotte 2). The division was assigned drop zones in the area of Lyminge—Sellinge—Hythe on the right wing of the 16th Army and tasked with the immediate capture of the high ground north and northwest of Folkestone. The division consisted of Fallschirmjäger Regiments 1, 2 and 3 commanded by Oberst Bruno Bräuer, Oberst Alfred Sturm and Oberst Richard Heidrich respectively, and the Air Landing Assault Regiment commanded by Oberst Eugen Meindl. All four regiments were to be employed in the operation.

1. Kampfgruppe “Meindl” was to land at Hythe, secure crossings over the Royal Military Canal at and west of Hythe and advance along the line from Hythe rail station to Saltwood to prevent any flanking moves by the British.

2. Kampfgruppe “Stentzler” led by Major Edgar Stentzler, the commander of the II. Battalion of the Air Landing Assault Regiment was to drop and seize the heights at Paddlesworth and hold off any counter-attacks.

These two groups would be timed to drop as the landing craft carrying 17th Infantry Division hit the beach near Folkestone.

3. Kampfgruppe “Bräuer” was to drop an hour later south of Postling. This enlarged group would consist of a complete parachute battalion, a parachute engineer battalion, the antitank company of FJR1, all of FJR2 and FJR3, and an extra battalion as divisional reserve.

Once landed, Kampfgruppe “Bräuer” was to take Stentzler’s group under its command and the combined force was to take Sandgate and the high ground west of Paddlesworth. FJR2 was to move north of Postling and guard against attack from the north while FJR3 was to secure the western flank with one battalion detached to capture and hold Lympe airfield for a later fly-in by 22nd Air Landing Division, possibly as late as S plus 5.

22nd Air Landing Infantry Division: Generalleutnant Hans Graf von Sponeck (under OKH control, but temporarily placed under the command of the 16th Army on 20 September 1940)


It is only when you envisage the mundane realities of what would actually have happened that the extent of our debt to that generation becomes clear.

Sadly ( or happily?) millions of younger Brits are of course blissfully unaware of all of this.

Lest We Forget......

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* I belive this is actually 7th Flieger Divn. 7 FJ wasn't formed till 1944.
 

ches

LE
Did the RN really have enough ships and assets to see of the Germans, at that time?

Without wanting to open up another Sealion 'what if' can of worms again, yes they did. Alongside RAF air superiority over the south coast any invasion fleet would have been battered to fcuk. Couple that with the lack of dedicated assault vessels/landing craft & the channels' propensity to have a lot of shitty weather the boxheads would have been earning their 25m swimming badges en masse.
 
Did the RN really have enough ships and assets to see of the Germans, at that time?
RN destroyers in home waters alone: 104.
German destroyers, total: 10

RN small armed craft in just the invasion area: 2,000.
German small armed craft, total: 217.

So the Germans are out numbered roughly 10:1.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
From Invasion 1940 by Peter Fleming (1958 ):

Operation Sea Lion, as planned and mounted, would have been doomed to failure, and had it been launched, could only have ended in disaster. Two questions remain:
  • Were there any circumstances in which during the summer of 1940, Hitler could have successfully attempted the invasion of England?
  • What would have been the probable results of a successful invasion on the subsequent course of the war, and what were the consequences of Hitler's failure to carry it out?

To the first, the only vaguely practicable answer is directly after Dunkirk, but even then it would have required months of German Joint planning & preparation which hadn't been carried out, and a very poor showing from the RN and the RAF, and failing that the "only British Armoured Division" would still be in UK, so good luck Fritz.

For the second, Egypt and the 8th Army would not have been an issue, Barbarossa would have been more successful, and Hitler might have beaten Stalin in 41. Then again he might not. The Yanks probably wouldn't have joined in over the Atlantic, and would have cleaned up in the Pacific in double quick time. For the serious conspiraloon whatabouterist, there is some talk of a double invasion of North America by Japan and Germany, but it's an impossible fantasy. What is fairly certain is that (following mass murder, genocide and looting) Europe would have been united under the Swastika, or (following mass murder, rape and looting) united under the Hammer and Sickle. The failure to either invade Britain or take her out of the war meant that none of the above came to pass.

I'm rather glad personally.
 
Without wanting to open up another Sealion 'what if' can of worms again, yes they did. Alongside RAF air superiority over the south coast any invasion fleet would have been battered to fcuk. Couple that with the lack of dedicated assault vessels/landing craft & the channels' propensity to have a lot of shitty weather the boxheads would have been earning their 25m swimming badges en masse.
I can’t see those Fallschirmjäger who actually made landfall being too pleased to have their backs to empty beachheads with no prospect of resupply (or rescue) either.
 
From Invasion 1940 by Peter Fleming (1958 ):

Operation Sea Lion, as planned and mounted, would have been doomed to failure, and had it been launched, could only have ended in disaster. Two questions remain:
  • Were there any circumstances in which during the summer of 1940, Hitler could have successfully attempted the invasion of England?
  • What would have been the probable results of a successful invasion on the subsequent course of the war, and what were the consequences of Hitler's failure to carry it out?

To the first, the only vaguely practicable answer is directly after Dunkirk, but even then it would have required months of German Joint planning & preparation which hadn't been carried out, and a very poor showing from the RN and the RAF, and failing that the "only British Armoured Division" would still be in UK, so good luck Fritz.

For the second, Egypt and the 8th Army would not have been an issue, Barbarossa would have been more successful, and Hitler might have beaten Stalin in 41. Then again he might not. The Yanks probably wouldn't have joined in over the Atlantic, and would have cleaned up in the Pacific in double quick time. For the serious conspiraloon whatabouterist, there is some talk of a double invasion of North America by Japan and Germany, but it's an impossible fantasy. What is fairly certain is that (following mass murder, genocide and looting) Europe would have been united under the Swastika, or (following mass murder, rape and looting) united under the Hammer and Sickle. The failure to either invade Britain or take her out of the war meant that none of the above came to pass.

I'm rather glad personally.

Right after Dunkirk?
You mean through the massive RN fleet, without all the planning and preparation that went into the September Scenario. With the French Army still in the field, and reorganising*. While the British are actually landing more troops in France. With your forces, including the Luftwaffe, utterly knackered and in need of rest and refit?

This hardly sounds like a better proposition than the September landings...


*Remember the French Army got its act together after Dunkirk and actually began to fight, albeit it was too little and far too late.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Right after Dunkirk?
You mean through the massive RN fleet, without all the planning and preparation that went into the September Scenario. With the French Army still in the field, and reorganising*. While the British are actually landing more troops in France. With your forces, including the Luftwaffe, utterly knackered and in need of rest and refit?

This hardly sounds like a better proposition than the September landings...


*Remember the French Army got its act together after Dunkirk and actually began to fight, albeit it was too little and far too late.
I did say "vaguely practicable", meaning the only time German forces MIGHT have been able to win due to a lack of preparedness IF the RN and RAF screwed the pooch, and even then, "good luck Fritz".

I think we're in furious agreement.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
Without wanting to open up another Sealion 'what if' can of worms again, yes they did. Alongside RAF air superiority over the south coast any invasion fleet would have been battered to fcuk. Couple that with the lack of dedicated assault vessels/landing craft & the channels' propensity to have a lot of shitty weather the boxheads would have been earning their 25m swimming badges en masse.
It would have solved a channel tunnel problem. You could drive to France over the German wrecked ships.
 
It would have solved a channel tunnel problem. You could drive to France over the German wrecked ships.

I have heard one of the more... Special ideas from a NAZI apologist and fanboy of using a bridge over the channel. The galloping loon saw a loading bridge like this one:


And decreed it was therefore possible to bridge the entire channel with such devices. Then the RN would no longer be able to sink all the transports and a steady stream of German supplies and Panzers could traverse the inconvenient puddle that is the channel.
He also suggested that U-boats could be used to tow disposable containers full of supplies. The Containers could be fabricated using Germany's massive concrete production industry.
Another high-light, if you can call it that, was the use of several thousand Fieseler Storch's to transport supplies, after all the Crabs couldn't shoot them all down.... right...
 
@jagman2 My post#2. why the funny? it was a serious question, not in any way meant to be funny.

The Royal Navy Home Fleet in 1940 was the worlds biggest war machine, bar non.


It was huge, state of the art and well motivated. Within 24 hours of an invasion atempt there would have been nothing alive in the Channel that wasn't British or fish.

Have a read of the link. Had it been necessary for the RN to stop anything moving across the Channel there wasn't anything capable of stopping them closing it down.

The RN had 67 Destroyers, 6 Cruisers and upwards of 600 patrol craft on standby for the invasion, thats before the Cruiser Squadrons and Capital ships arrive from further north.
The RN's immediate response to the German crossing the Channel would have been brutal and would probably have ended Germany's war within weeks.
 
Last edited:
The Royal Navy Home Fleet in 1940 was the worlds biggest war machine, bar non.


It was huge, state of the art and well motivated. Within 24 hours of an invasion atempt there would have been nothing alive in the Channel that wasn't British or fish.

Have a read of the link. Had it been necessary for the RN to stop anything moving across the Channel there wasn't anything capable of stopping them closing it down.

The RN had 67 Destroyers, 6 Cruisers and upwards of 600 patrol craft on standby for the invasion, thats before the Cruiser Squadrons and Capital ships arrive from further north.
The RN's immediate response to the German crossing the Channel would have been brutal and would probably have ended Germany's war within weeks.

I think that a lot of people use modern day perceptions when looking back, hence they tend to see the RN as a small force, albeit with global reach, and the USN as the 300kg gorilla in the room.
They forget that by 1950, with the RN cutting its forces post war, and the US trying to increase its forces during WWII, the USN had only just about achieved parity. The RN before, and during, the Second World War was not the 300kg Gorilla... it was a herd of T-Rex's.
 
I think that a lot of people use modern day perceptions when looking back, hence they tend to see the RN as a small force, albeit with global reach, and the USN as the 300kg gorilla in the room.
They forget that by 1950, with the RN cutting its forces post war, and the US trying to increase its forces during WWII, the USN had only just about achieved parity. The RN before, and during, the Second World War was not the 300kg Gorilla... it was a herd of T-Rex's.

Indeed.

Modern perspective suggests a hundred or so Bryl Cream boys stopped the evil Nazi's in the skies over Dover. It was the RN that made crossing the Channel impossible by ship/boat.
Even if the RAF had been defeated the Luftwaffe wasn't good enough at sinking ships to prevent the RN ruling the Channel.
The Navy was prepared for invasion, to the extent that they has something like 160 minesweepers in the south to keep the way clear for the northern elements of the Home Fleet to get in to the fight.
The RN would have taken losses but the RN was never afraid of that. The Germans couldn't sink ships fast enough to prevent the German Army dying in the Channel.
In the face of invasion the RN was ready, willing and by far the biggest beast on the planet.


I think it was Jodl who said that trying to cross the Channel in the face of the Royal Navy would be throwing his men in to the mincer (or a quote very close to that)
Grand Admiral Raeder openly stated in writing to Hitler that the Kriegsmarine couldn't get the German Army across the Channel in the face of the Royal Navy
 
I think it was Jodl who said that trying to cross the Channel in the face of the Royal Navy would be throwing his men in to the mincer (or a quote very close to that)
Grand Admiral Raeder openly stated in writing to Hitler that the Kriegsmarine couldn't get the German Army across the Channel in the face of the Royal Navy

Spoilsports! That would have ended the war right then.

What I do find interesting is the image the RAF has drawn about the battle, and how they've managed to cement it into the popular folk history.
What's even more peculiar to my mind is that they've done so, when there was a far more important battle six months later, in which the RAF played an absolutely instrumental role, and one that kept the war on track. If it had gone the other way it may well have severely embuggered the war. Oh, don't misunderstand me, I doubt the Germans were ever going to win, but it would have made them a lot stronger and seriously crippled the Soviets.
Yet you have to dig quite a lot to find any mention of it, its almost as if the RAF are embarrased that it was a bunch of grubby blokes from training command that saved, if not the world, then at least the day.
 

QRK2

LE
Spoilsports! That would have ended the war right then.

What I do find interesting is the image the RAF has drawn about the battle, and how they've managed to cement it into the popular folk history.
What's even more peculiar to my mind is that they've done so, when there was a far more important battle six months later, in which the RAF played an absolutely instrumental role, and one that kept the war on track. If it had gone the other way it may well have severely embuggered the war. Oh, don't misunderstand me, I doubt the Germans were ever going to win, but it would have made them a lot stronger and seriously crippled the Soviets.
Yet you have to dig quite a lot to find any mention of it, its almost as if the RAF are embarrased that it was a bunch of grubby blokes from training command that saved, if not the world, then at least the day.

Habbaniyah?
 

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