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War winning weapons

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Ably assisted by

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Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Of course if you're talking about technical innovations:


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Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
And even earlier this:


Which came as a bit of a surprise to some of my countrymen up by Culloden...
Yes, that winter cam was really handy.....
 
By all means tell me the cunning plan the Germans have for defeating the Allies and mounting a successful invasion? Remember the earliest you have all your toys in place is September. And I don't think that waiting longer is going to help (Lets mount the invasion in December! That sounds like a winner!)

Seeing as I've seen every plan known to mankind, include German submarines towing concrete containers to provide some level of re-supply. Remember German plans were for resupply every four-five days. You have to spent 24 hours crossing each way, plus load and unload times. So that's multiple 12 hour night time, with the never ending wave of RN ships landing on your head.

But first I'd like to discuss one fact you mention, Torpedo's and submarines. As is well know all the German Rhine barges were in removed from Germany and sent to the Channel ports to provide target practice for Bomber Command. Now the Rhine barges existed as they were a rather important part of Germany's logistical network, removing them would be like deleting the railways of the UK, it was goign to cause some interesting problems.
So Germany's peace time economy was in severe trouble. So much so that the production of Torpedo's had dropped to almost nothing. At the rate of use they were being fired off the Germans would have run out around late August.
So no Torpedo's for the Luftwaffe or the U-boats.

This didn't apply to the UK, indeed we actually had more submarines in the channel than the Germans did. Every night they watched the channel ports, as soon as the Germans set off, they'd break contact transmit a warning, and then return to slam spreads of torpedo's into the German barges.
We also had the Fleet air Arm and a carrier or two to play with.

Finally, we have the immortal BLACKBIRD. This was the message that admiralty would send. It told the receiving ships: Invasion Channel. Make best possible speed, and start blowing shite up!
Remember Cunningham's "It takes the Navy three years to build a ship. It will take three hundred years to build a new tradition. The evacuation will continue." There is no way the RN would not throw itself into that fight. At the outbreak of War they had some 400 Destroyers. We know in September 1940 there were 104 in Home Waters. We also know the Germans had 10 destroyers for Sealion. Odds of 10-1 sounds unhappy. Odds of 10-1 sounds even worse when you realise that's just the first wave! The German's would be facing odds of 10-1 every night (We're also assuming the Germans wouldn't take any losses).

On larger ships The Germans are in a slightly better position. They have parity with the ships in home waters. IIRC it was heavy Cruisers and above they reached parity. But once again BLACKBIRD sort of trashes that, as suddenly any British losses get replaced.

So in short you have on the German side:
No air force at night time.
Outnumbered
No Reinforcements
No torpedo's
Oh did I mention that you're also at about -5000 trained personnel to crew the barges. The Germans conducted a survey of every male in the Armed forces to find those with some aquatic experience (Going boating a couple of times a year on a German lake counted as experienced the Germans were so desperate). Even scraping the barrel like this they still came up at -5,000 crew.

As I said, if you have a cunning plan to win Sealion, please do advance it, as I've yet to see one that works, and doesn't get instantly crushed by the RN arriving with massive numbers of warships and murdering the Germans wholesale.

Remember the 1970's Wargame at Sandhurst where they had the actual people involved umpiring it, using the actual plans. Even when they tilted the deck so unbelievably in favour of the Germans (Right you British types are no longer allowed to us the RAF or the RN! That sort of basis) they couldn't get anything past a small self contained prison camp.
I have no cunning plan, I don't for one moment think they'd have been able to do it but...we don't know is the point. History and the bookies are littered with people who bet on a sure thing.
 
The British Tom, 1982.

Beat the Argentinians under very difficult circumstances.

Allowed Mrs Thatcher to win the 1983 General Election against an opposition that would take us out of NATO, which would have destroyed the western alliance.

So effectively by keeping Thatcher in place and Britain in NATO enabled the West to win the Cold War.
As the town that I live in seems to have been taken over by ******* Russians ( one word in my opinion ) I'm doubtful that we actually won the Cold War.
 
I have no cunning plan, I don't for one moment think they'd have been able to do it but...we don't know is the point. History and the bookies are littered with people who bet on a sure thing.

Normally I'd agree with you, but in this case it's just so totally unbelievable one sided, without serious bending of the laws of physics you can't make the two ends meet.
 
Normally I'd agree with you, but in this case it's just so totally unbelievable one sided, without serious bending of the laws of physics you can't make the two ends meet.
See my bombing campaign comments. Churchill gets the boot and a negotiated settlement, which lets us keep the Empire going and so on.

Which is all counterfactual and why I'm a big fan of "What happened?" and when looking forward, "What could happen?" but have never been keen on "What could have happened?" as it's too late, what's done is done.
 
but as @Listy and others have pointed out on previous occasions, the germans would only have been able, in 1940, to muster a small part of the force the allies eventually went in with, and there's no guarantee they would have been able to get any of them onto the beach. quite the opposite. they were dependent on river going barges that were far from suitable for the open sea and had to be towed. any amount of swell or the backwash from an RN big ship going at any speed and they would have been swamped. then having to repeat the exercise to keep them all supplied. as listy says, the plan was half baked to begin with. when you add in the logistical complications, they may have been able to get a small force on a UK beach, but with very little in the way of support arms or armour and then the complications of keeping them supplied.

I’ve long wondered if the real mistake the Germans made was in not invading (and you may wish to use the term ‘invade’ loosely) Ireland in 1940

I have little doubt they would have seen significant support, particularly in throwing us out of Ulster, and we would have found it difficult to dislodge them - it could easily have cost us the war at sea and crippled our ability to reinforce Gibraltar/Malta/the Med and east of Suez, and very possibly removed willingness of the US to intervene after Pearl Harbour
 
I’ve long wondered if the real mistake the Germans made was in not invading (and you may wish to use the term ‘invade’ loosely) Ireland in 1940

I have little doubt they would have seen significant support, particularly in throwing us out of Ulster, and we would have found it difficult to dislodge them - it could easily have cost us the war at sea and crippled our ability to reinforce Gibraltar/Malta/the Med and east of Suez, and very possibly removed willingness of the US to intervene after Pearl Harbour

Same problem that's currently afflicting the Irish, it's a bloody long way to Ireland from the continent.
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
I’ve long wondered if the real mistake the Germans made was in not invading (and you may wish to use the term ‘invade’ loosely) Ireland in 1940

I have little doubt they would have seen significant support, particularly in throwing us out of Ulster, and we would have found it difficult to dislodge them - it could easily have cost us the war at sea and crippled our ability to reinforce Gibraltar/Malta/the Med and east of Suez, and very possibly removed willingness of the US to intervene after Pearl Harbour

I would think there was little chance of them being able to establish a logistics link between the continent and Ireland. again, the RN would have had a huge measure of supremacy on the sea from either direction and would have been able to blockade the country pretty effectively. nothing in the Luftwaffe's inventory with the possible exception of the FW200 would have had the range to fly around England to get there, and you're not getting any amount of personnel and keeping them supplied in that manner I don't think. U-boats may have been able to creep through early in the war, but how much can you fit in one and still leave it effective to take on any attackers?
 
I would think there was little chance of them being able to establish a logistics link between the continent and Ireland. again, the RN would have had a huge measure of supremacy on the sea from either direction and would have been able to blockade the country pretty effectively. nothing in the Luftwaffe's inventory with the possible exception of the FW200 would have had the range to fly around England to get there, and you're not getting any amount of personnel and keeping them supplied in that manner I don't think. U-boats may have been able to creep through early in the war, but how much can you fit in one and still leave it effective to take on any attackers?

Hmm - give, say, 100 miles of air cover, submarines & MTB from Irish coast and Brest and that gap looks a lot smaller
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
Hmm - give, say, 100 miles of air cover, submarines & MTB from Irish coast and Brest and that gap looks a lot smaller

who's air cover? the ROIs? their submarines and MTBs?
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Hmm - give, say, 100 miles of air cover, submarines & MTB from Irish coast and Brest and that gap looks a lot smaller
It really, really doesn't. The RN would have been able to scupper any invasion O'fleet with what was kicking around in Pompey and Plymouth, which would have really annoyed the Home Fleet when they tipped up 18 hours later. Im not sure what land forces were stationed in Ulster in 1940, but I am certain that whatever was there would have been travelling south as soon as that cnut de Valera started squealing (in the unlikely event of Fritz making landfall mit alles von der kit).
 
who's air cover? the ROIs? their submarines and MTBs?

Tell that to Alan Thornton, an Irish pilot with a cunning plan!

On the 9th of January 1942 he, along with three others stole one of the four Irish Air Force's Supermarine Walrus'. Their plan was to then fly to Cherbourg and join the Luftwaffe.

A superlative plan with no flaws, I'm sure you'll agree.

Pootling along at 135mph they actually made it to Cornwall before they got spotted by a flight of RAF Spitfires. These Spits then escorted the Walrus to St Eval, where it was impounded and the crew arrested. Both the craft and the crew were hand back to Ireland, and Thornton got a sixteen month jail sentence.
The Walrus went through several prior owners, until it was restored and is currently in the FAA museum at Yeovilton.
 

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