The battle of Britian was won By The Navy

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jonwilly, Aug 24, 2006.

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  1. The Fact the RAF held out prevented the Germans attempting an invasion, but if the RAF had failed then the Navy would have hammered the Krauts.

    Who really won the battle? The Germans. Just looking at their Plans for Sealion it's like amauter hour when compared to Overlord. For example, their Re-supply plans where laugthable. If I've got my maths right the Germans could be making one re-supply run every three days or so. Thats without intervention from the British.
  2. Must agree.
    Churchill had his day on this subject. Things looked bad to a country and military that had seen it's Field army outclassed and defeated in battle.
    My father came back from Dunkirk and he used to say We had nothing, if Hitler had come there was nothing we could have done.
    But he like so many forget that we had a outstanding navy, brought up in the tradition that sighting ment fighting.
    Hitler could have tried but I have never really believed he had a chance.
  3. Sea Lion was a bit of shambles, but by the time the invasion of Britain was on the table, the Nazi highcommand such as hitler and goering, were engaged in some sort of p1ssing contest with the military command.

    It was hitlers descison, i beleive, to change from smashing up the RAF to hitting the cities which allowed the RAF to get its breath and come up fighting.

    The Royal Navy would have seriously hampered the supply routes across the channel. Air and land power were the key to taking Europe, but sea power would have been essential to take Britain.
  4. I dont think it was solely the might of the RN as such, rather the weakness of the Kriegsmarine.

    Germany had a very ambitious shipbuilding programme, known as Plan Z, which had been due to deliver a substantial number of capital ships by the mid-1940s.

    Unfortunately for them, and luckily for us, the outbreak of hostilities several years earlier put paid to the plan as U-boat construction was subsequently given higher priority along with the Army and Luftwaffe.

    Things may have turned out differently if Adolf had had carriers and a few more battlecruisers to play with!
  5. It's all jointery. If the RAF had been smashed into ineffectiveness and could not provide air cover for the fleet then the fleet could not have operated in the narrow waters of the Channel without being smashed.

    Look at what happened at Crete and with Force Z. A fleet without air cover is a target waiting to be destroyed.

    The Nazi inability to defeat the RAF meant that they could not risk taking on the Royal Navy.
  6. In the full article in History Today, I was much taken by the quote from Prof Sheffield regarding the effectiveness of the Home Guard:

    "In fact the average age of the Home Guard was around thirty-five. And about half these men had served in World War One".

    However you do the Maths, this ends up with some 13 year old soldiers in WWI!
  7. Come on everybody: GROUP HUG!

    For once in my life I won't make the up diddly up dup comment or shout backs against the wall... lets face it we're a family who all need each other... and although we live that awful family, pained brotherhood... when it comes to push and shove... without a GROUP HUG we'd be squashed.
  8. When Eagle Day started on 13/8/40, it was because at that time the RN had withdrawn from the Channel due to air attack and, as you point out above, shipping could not retaliate against sustained air assault.

    The Luftwaffe assault was then meant to nullify airfields and ports in the South to prevent the RAF or RN from being anywhere near the invasion area. The Kreigmarine could then use their meagre resources to cover both flanks reinforced by minefields to help the landing force.

    As the air battle dragged on then assets were switched to the cities, it became apparent that the air threat could not be negated. Thus the Luftwaffe had to tell the Navy they couldn't guarentee air superiority over the Channel and the RN could have a field day.

    However, it should also be noted that had the Luftwaffe won, and the invasion gone ahead, Churchill was prepared to sacrifice the Home Fleet to disrupt it at all costs so the RN would have been committed wholesale even WITHOUT cover from the RAF as a last ditch attempt to stop the invasion. :wink:
  9. "In fact the average age of the Home Guard was around thirty-five. And about half these men had served in World War One".

    However you do the Maths, this ends up with some 13 year old soldiers in WWI![/quote)

    Surely the operative word here is 'average', which suggests a lot of old blokes, and a lot of young 'uns.
  10. Two words:

    "Air superiority"
  11. You're all forgetting the extensive resources the French would have been able to bring to bear .... as many as 200 engineers.

    Mind you, they'd probably have joined in with the Krauts.
  12. There is a very good disection of why sealion would have been a failure discussed in the book "A piece of Cake".

    Goes on about numbers of ships, troop transports (Rhein barges apparently) and how vunerable all that would be to a full on warship with or without air superiority.

    Seemed to make sense to me.
  13. The key issue here has always been not whether they could sucessfully make a landing, but whether they could actually sustain and resupply the front line of the assault forces.

    The more I've read into things over the years, the more I feel that despite the "dads army" impression of the home guard, the actual combat effectivness of large groups of locals, incredibly motivated (often suicidally so) and often WW1 veterans, would have had a suprisingly high chance of slowing and compicating the job of the german forces.

    a large number of civilians clearly had the attitude of "well, if I'm going to die I'll take one of the bastards with me"(strongly supported by propaganda too)

    thats before we figure in the Auxiliary units, taking out key targets and harassing the german rear.

    tied in with the navy and air force doing everything they could to prevent reinforcement (including the bomber force) and the probability that we would have gone with widespread chemical weapons attacks.

    It really would have been VERY messy, but theres little doubt we would have blunted and contained the attack - once it was stopped it would have only been a matter of time before we bled it dry through attrition and harassmant of resupply & reinforcement. Theres no doubt that the navy would have been vital for this.
  14. Exactly!!!

    The RN may well have put up one hell of a fight, but without air cover they would have been blow out of the water by the Luftwaffe, clearing the way for the Nazi's to cross the channel. What they would have been greeted by may well have rebuffed them, but that's for another day! :wink: