Defeat of Britain

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R-Bob The Great!
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Defeat of Britain

Post by R-Bob The Great! » 04 Feb 2003 03:08

I have come to the conclusion that any invasion of england wouldhave ended in complete failure. I was wondering if Germany had any other means of defeating England. Overall UBoats did not have that much of an impact, sinking less than 1% of all allied atlantic shipping. Perhaps they could be forced to slowly starve by a limited uboat campaign and be pushed out of the mediterranean and india. Tell me your thoughts

Rbob

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peter_suciu
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Post by peter_suciu » 04 Feb 2003 05:55

If the Germans had bombed military targets instead of civilian population centers during the Battle of Britain that could have hurt Englands ability to wage war and could further convince the military to sue for peace.

The bombing of civilian targets gave the RAF the time to breathe and recover. Months of night time bombing could have taken their toll on the RAF and meant that the British might have lost control of the skies and thus been "invadeable."

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davethelight
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Post by davethelight » 04 Feb 2003 15:16

Well, from all accounts I've read, unless Germany developed long range fighters and heavy bombers that could reach any part of the British Isles, then the RAF could never be completely wiped out.

I've read that Fighter Command had made plans that if their losses became unsustainable in the south of the country then they would pull most of their units up to the far north, out of reach from German fighters and most bombers. That way they could preserve a large strategic interception force available should the emergency situation of a German invasion arise.
They could then smite the German invasion force and take a heavy toll on the Luftwaffe, even if it meant sacrificing most of this stategic defence group.
As long as they were able to repel any innitial German invasion attempts, they counted, and hoped, on the Germans not being able to quickly recover and attempt another invasion.

So, with this in mind, I think the only way Germany could have defeated Britain was if Hitler had decided to focus all his efforts on this goal and to shelve Barborossa until Britain was beaten.
Germany would then need to develope completely new long range aircraft, and would have to place great emphasis on their U boat fleet.

I think that if they had done this then Britain could have slowly been strangled and brought to the negotiating table by 1943 or 44.

With quadruple the number of U boats in action, and with large numbers of long range fighters and bombers to attack allied targets both in the Atlantic and on mainland Britain, I reckon the Brittish economy would gradualy crumble and Britain would have no choice but to negotiate, or face invasion, possible from Normandy on June 6 1944 (pun intended).

I envisage that with all Germany's resources committed to defeating Britain, they could have had a real chance at invading her by 1944, had they avoided war with Russia.

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Tim Smith
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Post by Tim Smith » 04 Feb 2003 16:23

Regarding the comments about the U-boat war, this was an opportunity missed for the Germans.

Reason was Hitler had never planned to fight Britain, and thus the U-boat force wasn't taken seriously before the war actually started.

The U-boat force started the war with only 57 boats, more than half of which were small coastal type II's which could only operate in the North Sea and only carried 5 torpedoes.

It took 18 months to build a U-boat, and so the number of operational U-boats actually declined between 1939-41. It wasn't until mid-1942 that there were enough U-boats (over 100) available to pose a severe threat to British convoys. Even that figure was only one-third of the number Donitz actually required to do enough damage to starve Britain out of the war.

Still, if Germany had built 80 Type VII U-boats instead of the Bismarck and Tirpitz, and those 80 boats had been available in July 1940, AND if Britain hadn't built more corvettes to compensate, then there would have been enough U-boats to defeat Britain by late 1942. Before 1942 the British Navy didn't have enough escorts to protect their convoys sufficiently, and the only reason Britain survived is because there weren't enough U-boats to take advantage of Britain's weakness.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 05 Feb 2003 00:51

The Royal Navy was under instructions during 1940 to mid'41 that if upon invasion all available ships would sail south and engage the enemy. Though many would be lost, enough would survive to wreck havoc in the landing area's, supply convoys etc to make what should be an easy German victory on land, more questionable.

Andy

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peter_suciu
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Post by peter_suciu » 05 Feb 2003 03:51

possible from Normandy on June 6 1944 (pun intended).
Cute...Harry Turtledove throws that kind of stuff...but seriously Normandy would be the last place to invade from, especially since it has limited ports for ships.

More likely the Germans would have invaded from Calais. That would be logical...and since the Germans expected the invasion to come at Calais, that would be the best place.

Actually launching from Dunkirk and Calais, with airborne troops coming from France would be the most likely.

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davethelight
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Post by davethelight » 05 Feb 2003 12:21

Who's Harry Turtrledove?

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