Possible Invasion of England

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Napoli
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Possible Invasion of England

Post by Napoli » 23 Dec 2002 05:47

How was this to ever be achieved if possible? Would the axis force been stong enough to be able to ever achieve such a thing?
All comments welcome as far as naval, land and air objectives. :D

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Christoph Awender
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Invasion of England

Post by Christoph Awender » 23 Dec 2002 06:43

Hello!
Would the axis force been stong enough to be able to ever achieve such a thing?
Simple answer: NO... thats why they didn´t do it.

The first stage would have been to destroy the RAF. This failed so the invasion was cancelled. The RN was always superior and would have made an invasion and the further supply of the troops impossible.

Christoph

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Post by kelty90 » 23 Dec 2002 12:30

With regard to the German potential for invading the UK, just as important as the "Battle of Britain" were the earlier battles in Norway around Narvik. While the "Battle of Britain" ended any hope of German aerial superiority, the Royal Navy sank so many German warships around Narvik that any hope the Germans had of invasion by sea was ended.
It is difficult, in retrospect, to see how anyone, even at the time, could take a German invasion threat seriously. I daresay that a total victory over the RAF would have changed the situation. But, there was no way the RAF would have been destroyed. At worst the fighters would have been pulled back out of Luftwaffe range and waited for the "big day". There would have been more than enough spitfires left to deny the Germans superiority over the Channel for long enough to allow a battleship or two to wreck the invasion fleet.

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Invasion of England

Post by Panzerrat » 23 Dec 2002 19:32

I don't think anyone could say for certain that this would have been an impossible task..... As it was the RAF were low on servicable Aircraft, demand had nearly outstripped production & the average life expectancy was 2 weeks for a new pilot. But when you have a Habitual drug user for the Leader of the Luftwaffe an invasion is bound to fail, switching Tactical Targets mid stream (out of frustration) was erroness as was the lack of full support of all requested resoarces for the task,Allocating Bf 110's for long range bomber escort & failure to listen to your commanders in the feild will also lead to disaster as it was witnessed so many times by the Wehrmacht....remember too this is the same Luftwaffe head who convinced Hitler that the 6th Armee at Stalingrad could be resupplied! his estimates for a daily supply to this army of 300 tons was a gross miscalculation, recent sudies have concluded that to keep the 6th resupplied adequatly 6000 tons daily was needed....
I will admit though....that i beleive a major contributing factor was a lack of adequate long range Heavy Bombers....this policy was set some years before the war....A large debate ensured over the Question & use of Heavy Bombers....1 side argued for pin point accuracy such as the JU-87 delivered, while the other side argued for long range Tactical Bombers for Industrial targets....as it was envisioned that the German Army would defeat the Enemy nations in the feild then a Tactical Bomber wasn't needed,So what the Luftwaffe ended up with were Medium Bombers with an Airframe that could "dive" at an angle of 35 degrees to deliver it's payload with some degree of accuracy....this is the main reason why Bomber like the He-111 can take so much punishment as a result of the "strengthened" Airframe
In short there are many none logistal & tactical reasons why this failed & they all rest on the head of Georing...

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Post by cybercat » 23 Dec 2002 19:41

There has been recent evidence come to light that operation Sealion was just a blind to take everybody's eyes off the forthcoming OP. Barbarossa. However, I reckon if we'd lost the battle of Britain then they might have had a go. Although I reckon they wouldn't have got very far even if they had landed in Britain - the whole population (apart from some of the aristocracy) would have resisted tooth and nail. German casualties would have been too high to make it feasible.

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Post by Panzerrat » 23 Dec 2002 19:49

Well...most Russian civilians fought tooth & nail too....but the Germans still had a go....ok ok So Hitler thought...kick the door in & the whole Russian house would collapse....point conceeded.....How important would conquering England have Been?....i think if they had it would have secured most of the north Atlantic & the Mediterrainian sea...Very important for denying Trade routes to the Soviet Union & securing your own!

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Gyles
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Post by Gyles » 24 Dec 2002 01:01

Hi. Sealion can't succede. For it to work the planning would have taken years.

Lets campare it to D-Day.

Hitler had four major problems he couldnt compensate for.

How are troops to be transported?
How will the Germans cope with contested air-space?
What is going to prevent the RN from interfering?
Once ashore, how will the German forces be resupplied?

Even with total air supremacy an invasion would have been next to impossible. Now, consider that
1) D-Day had been years in the planning with the combined efforts of both the British and Americans.

2) All the deceptions had gone acording to plan.

3)Both had huge experience of amphibious operations both in Europe and the Pacific. Their troops werer very well drilled.

4)Total air supremacy was achieved. Allied fighters outnumberd the Luftwaffe over 20 to 1 on June 6. No German recce plans had made it to the British coast to survey invasion barges.

5)The Kregsmarine was extinct. So what you have is a situation where the Germans can do absolutly nothing from air or by sea to halt the invasion.

6) The Allies had a large resistance network to rely on hampering German rail transport and sabotaging depots. The local populace was fully behiond them 100%.

7) The RAF/USAAF had launched massive bombardments of the beaches just prior to the landings. They had available to them both long range fighters available for interdiction of Nazi field units and medium and strategic bombers. Their affect was devestating.

The WA were experts at logistics. They were able to keep their troops supplied once they landed.

9) Over 20,000 well equipped airborne troops had been dropped in the rear of the German lines. They succeded in sowing confusion and holding up reinforcments.

Despite all the preperation, firepower and massive numerical superiority available the landings were a real close run thing. Despite the planning any lightly armed troops are in danger of being driven back into the sea.

The Germans dont have any of the advantages held by the Alies prior to D-Day. You cant seriously compare the two. Their amphibious capability was less than pathetic, the RAF was still a major force getting stronger by the day (over 100 fighters produced a week-twice the amount of Germany's)), their surface navy was a joke and couldn't have held off RN batle groups. Stukas are good against unarmed merchant ships, but against a task force of BBs, DDs frigates all laying covering fire they wouldnt last long. Just look at the Norway debacle.

Heres two very good essays on the subject

http://gateway.alternatehistory.com/essays/Sealion.html
http://www.flin.demon.co.uk/althist/seal1.htm

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Napoli
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Post by Napoli » 24 Dec 2002 05:59

Thankyou all,
That was my original conclusion as I could'nt come up with any way that it might have happened in the time frame after France fell before starting this thread.
Even if with Italy's Regia Marina combined to this operation it still would have fallen short.
The only possibility if not for the Russian invasion may have been the total strangulation and destruction of economy over a long period to try to get the surrender of England, but may still not have worked in the end either.
Another may have been if a weaker head of Goverment may have been in place causing less moral and the fear of not knowing what was coming next, that also may have tipped the balance of surrender also.
But those two situations have nothing to do with Operation Sealion though.

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Post by Panzerrat » 24 Dec 2002 06:48

Gyles wrote:Hi. Sealion can't succede. For it to work the planning would have taken years.



Hitler had four major problems he couldnt compensate for.

How are troops to be transported?
How will the Germans cope with contested air-space?
What is going to prevent the RN from interfering?
Once ashore, how will the German forces be resupplied?

Even with total air supremacy an invasion would have been next to impossible.
Crete

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Napoli
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Post by Napoli » 24 Dec 2002 10:00

There would have been too many troops meeting them head on in a last ditch effort on English soil compared to Crete which stratigically would'nt matter as much, and really due to English naval strength was able to sweep the Mediteranean years later.
Didnt the Germans ward off massive para-trooper activities due to high losses on Crete? Even though they didnt know main reason was inteligence reasons?
No, any barge coming through the English channel would have been doomed to either cannon fodder or aerial attack, to try co-ordinating air and naval was not strong enough at the time.

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Post by Sam H. » 24 Dec 2002 16:27

If Germany had allowed the panzer to keep rolling at Dunkirk. Figure 90% of the BEF would have been lost.

This coupled with a RAF defeat in the battle of Britian - I think sealion had a possibility. This would have to be a staggering victory - a victory of such magnitude that the RAF would be as absent over the skies of the invasion fleet as the Luftwaffe was during D-Day.

Remember, the British were incredibly weak on the ground - and with the BEF completly destroyed as a fighting force and the RAF decimated - morale would be incredibly low.

The Royal Navy, while valiant and resouceful, could not have sailed into the channel without air excort - the Stukas would have had a field day!

The Navy alone could not have saved Britian.

Sealion required total air supremacy and a quick strike into the heart of England. If the panzer could roll, England would be lost.

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Gyles
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Post by Gyles » 24 Dec 2002 16:59

Panzerrat wrote:
Gyles wrote:Hi. Sealion can't succede. For it to work the planning would have taken years.



Hitler had four major problems he couldnt compensate for.

How are troops to be transported?
How will the Germans cope with contested air-space?
What is going to prevent the RN from interfering?
Once ashore, how will the German forces be resupplied?

Even with total air supremacy an invasion would have been next to impossible.
Crete
OK
1) Whats the relevancy to the snippet?
2) Crete was a near disaster for the Germans and barely succeded. Thats in a situation of total air superiority and minimal, cut off uncoordinated allied forces. The correlation of forces in Sealion would be totally against them and heavily in the defenders favour. I could go into more detail if you like.

Sam H: Even with command of the air Germany lacked the amphibious vessels to transport an adequate force. The British army and Royal Navy have wargamed this scenario many times and every time by D-Day+7 the Germans are holding two/three collapsing beach heads. The two essays amoung many other sources show Sealion would be a disaster.

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Sam H.
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Post by Sam H. » 24 Dec 2002 17:29

But you can't underestimate the value of the proposed German victories on the will of the British to resist.

In this ATL we have the BEF anihilated in France and the RAF diven from the skies of southern Britian. The morale of the troops would be incredibly low - there would be few veteran solders available. In essence, the Germans would be landing a Veteran army and engaging a "peoples militia" ... discounting those surviving BEF troops, what veteran divisions were available to defend Britian in, say, late July to early August 1940? How many modern tanks and artillery pieces are available?

Ok - lets say Sea Lion fails.

Even if the invasion fails ... what are we talking about? 100,000 German casualties? The British lost more than that with the destruction of the BEF. Plus we have to consider that the Royal Navy would lose several major warships in its attempt to intervene in the English Channel - lets say two Battleships and a number of other craft are lost.

I say it was worth the gamble ... the upside is the end of British resistance and clear sailing for an invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 or 1942 (perhaps German spends 1941 conquering the Mideast and North Africa).

The down side is a German defeat, one in which the RAF and the Royal Navy also suffer grevious losses.

Politically, the defeat hurts Germany but does not destroy her hopes for victory, perhaps it even turns her to "total war" a few years earlier - the other side of the coin? Well, lets see, Spain joins the Axis, Perhaps Turkey as well. German is master of Europe, and American ... well, what could America do? Britian is out of the war, not much left to drag America into the war.

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Post by cybercat » 24 Dec 2002 22:06

Britain didn't drag America into the war. During 1940 and 1941 America presented itself as staunchly neutral. There was no feeling of alliance to Britain at that time notwithstanding the alliance later. America came into the war when America was attacked and not before.

You miss a big factor here. Although most of the other european cities crumbled and capitulated under Nazi bombing, the British will to fight the Nazis hardened under "the blitz". Britain took 40,000 civilian dead during the blitz of 1940/41 but instead of crushing the will to fight, if anything it stiffened morale and fueled British anger against the Germans.

True, the BEF left much of it's heavy equipment behind at Dunkirk but as this was the beginning of the war they were nearly as experienced in warfare as their German counterparts and the British Army has always been one of the best disciplined and trained armies in history. A small country like Britain didn't create the largest empire that the world had ever seen by having crap servicemen. Our only problem at that time was a lack of knowledge in fighting WWII, many of our senior officers were veterans of WWI and thought in those terms. They were soon replaced by more realistic commanders.

Let us not forget that the BEF was under French command in France and Belgium and couldn't be blamed for the resulting debacle that sent them into Belgium with 40 of the best French divisions, when the main thrust of the Nazi offensive was in the Ardennes and at the Meuse bypassing the Maginot line. Don't tar us Brits with French defeatism. My forebears would have made the Nazis sweat blood for every inch of ground and we would've been on our own territory, not somebody elses that didn't want to fight to protect their own country!

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Post by Napoli » 25 Dec 2002 04:53

Cyber, what Sam meant was once Japan has attacked America, does it
A: Begin the fight with Japan or....
B: Look to England's offer as a possible ally, as it now has the whole of the axis nations who suddenly declared war on it too.
In this situation, England has surrendered already but possibly its navy is intact and sets sail for escape to the America's. There is nothing really to fight for as far as Europe is concerned from an American perspective.
Germany and Italy would have no real objective in serious attacks on America also thus really ruling out a true war with America if they dont actually come to Europe in the first place.
Then...what could happen is both American and English navies kill off the Japanese threat earlier by 1943. By this stage Russia may have begun its offensive against Germany, and then America makes moves to enter the European theatre.
Thoughts on this from you guys?
:D

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