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Reasons to be grateful, Part III ....

Bluenose2

Old-Salt
Raeder is on record as telling Hitler in writing that it couldn't be done

This is well worth the read-
True, but as confirmed within that excellent document, he also conceded that he would consider it if certain conditions were met (after all, he had a career to maintain) mostly the destruction of the RAF but also the consolidation of the required transportation / equipment prior to Sept 1940.

Both of which were well beyond Germany's grasp in the time available. In effect, the Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine and Army all pointed at each other and said "we can only do it if they achieve their bits first and give us what we need to succeed in our bits". Little or none of which was remotely feasible. Inter-service rivalry at it's best.

The conclusion makes for interesting reading, albeit conjectural:

"When the time arrived for making a final decision, not one of the responsible authorities was ready to speak decisively against the operation, although all recognised the inherently serious objections; but all were privately relieved when the failure of air supremacy afforded a good reason for outwardly justifying the abandonment of the operation. The cancellation was materially facilitated by the fact that the Supremo Command at that time regarded the general military situation as particularly favourable."

Hitler later said on record he regretted being talked out of Sealion, but that was somewhat revisionist as he had long claimed pre-1940 that the British Empire was a potential global partner and polished our ego repeatedly. Admittedly, he had offered platitudes in an easterly direction too, and that made no difference when it came to the crunch.

I guess we'll never really know, but it is a shame their derring-do didn't actually get the better of them in 1940 as it would have only ended one way.
 

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