Battle of Britain

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Gen.Graf
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Post by Gen.Graf » 05 May 2003 22:15

Well first thing the RAF would be gone, nothing to shoot them down. Two they would just make more they didn't have a hell of a lot of Landing Craft either.

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Lord Gort
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Post by Lord Gort » 05 May 2003 22:16

Oh dear, I really have this urge to just blast away, Gen Graf, consider it my common courtsey and good manners which have refrained from pointing out how stupid militarily, logistically, and practically your post is.


You do know about Stalingrad dont you, and even their the Germans had the big condors.


Anyway, I leave it to the pleasure of anyone to tell our good friend how stupid an air supllied and launched imnvasion would be.

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Gen.Graf
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Post by Gen.Graf » 05 May 2003 22:20

I didn't say an air invasion was smart did I? I said that’s what would have happened. That would have been the safest way to get troops there and supply them so that’s what would have happened.

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Sam H.
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Post by Sam H. » 05 May 2003 22:21

Gen.Graf wrote:Well first thing the RAF would be gone, nothing to shoot them down. Two they would just make more they didn't have a hell of a lot of Landing Craft either.
Ok, EVEN IF the RAF was totally devestated, and EVEN IF Germany had the TIME to make another thousand Ju-52's, you still have an army lacking any mobility or firepower (no panzers, no heavy artillery, no troop transports), etc. The paratroopers at Crete got their nose bloodied by the British, and they had naval support bringing in supplies and reinforcements.

You basically have several thousand hightly trained but lightly armed troops against the entire British Army and home guard. What few tanks and artillery the British could muster would be more than enough to quash the invasion relatively quickly.

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Gen.Graf
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Post by Gen.Graf » 05 May 2003 22:27

The whole of the British army would have been almost destroyed before the invasion because the Luftwaffe would start on them. And I'm not saying just the paratroopers I'm saying training a hell of a lot of infantrymen to land with them. And think of the philological state of mind for all the British No one has managed to land troops on Britain in hundreds of years. The British would be scared shit less.

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Sam H.
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Post by Sam H. » 05 May 2003 22:36

Ok, now we want the Luftwaffe to not only gian control of the skies by DESTROYING the RAF (not just driving them from the skies and forcing a retreat back to northern England) and we want the Luftwaffe to DEVESTATE the British Army with tactical attacks concentrating on troops, tanks, etc.

In the history of war, I can not recall any attacks in which paratroop and airborne units were the sole ground units used to engage the enemy and conquer and hold territory. Typically, the airborne units are tasked with gaining surprise and creating confusion in order to take and hold strategic assets until follow-on units can relieve them.

Let's just put it this way ... if the Luftwaffe was to achieve such a striking victory as to destroy the RAF and have enough units to conduct airstrikes on the British Army to such a degree as to render it immobile and ineffective, then why not just use the barge fleet and trust the Luftwaffe to destroy the Royal Navy. If you have that strong a command of the air, sinking a half-dozen battleships, a dozen cruisers and scores of destroyers should be no problem.

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Lord Gort
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Post by Lord Gort » 06 May 2003 16:37

Maybe General, but logistically, militarily nerver in the history of warfare has an invasion of an enemey country taken place soley through airpower.


1. The German Luftwaffe did not have anywhere near the capacity to fly I'd say at least the 10 to 14 divisions needed for an invasion, that is hundreds of thousands of men.


2. The German Airforce could not in the course of 1940 been expected to destroy the RAF and the British Army.

And you crudley state that the British would be "scared shitless". Maybe but many were imbued with the want to give their lives to defend their country not to mention Chuchillsinspiring words.


At dinner in 1940 one churchills relatives, a young girl at the time said she didnt have a gun and couldnt shoot a gun, so how could she defend against the Nazis,

Churchills charecteristic reply was

"You can always go into the kitchen and get a carving knife".


Finally their is Stalingrad, even their, with the airfields intact and the Luftwaffe transport fleet augmented by the huge Fockewulf Condors the Airforce could not supply the sixth army.

If they could not supply the one army how were they supposed to have supplied the three armies envisaged for Sealion.



regards,

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Post by James Patrick » 06 May 2003 18:00

Why the hell does everyone seem to think the Royal Navy would help them? Germany didn't need landing crafts to get across the channel. All they had to do was use air transports to get the troops there. Then they would fly the supplies in. Now how is the Royal Navy going to stop that?
You're joking, right? I don't think you understand the type of airlift capacity you would need to conduct an operation like that. Even with C-130s, C-141s, and monster's like the C-5 and C-17, the US Airforce today would be stretched pretty thin trying to move a fully equipped division. Hell, even in Operation Restore Democracy (invasion of Haiti) the USAF had to scour the various airlift commands to get enough aircraft to drop two brigades of the US 82d Abn Div. It goes to show you how truly awesome the number of air transports the Western Allies had to conduct Operations Neptune, Market-Garden, and Varsity. At best, the German's would only be able to bring a small number of lightly armed troops and support would be a trickle. Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, the evacuation of Dunkirk wasn't a bunch of Tommies in their skivies trying to swim across the Channel. Operation Dynamo was a well executed withdrawl, and while it is true they had to leave their vehicles and heavy equipment behind, the majority of the BEF still withdrew with their small arms, light crew-serveds, and some light equipment. These were some of the finest regiments of the British Army, and IMO would put up stiff resistance even against a more conventional foe (let alone a small, light airborne/airland force). Compared to the highly complex operations of the Western Allies in the Med, NW Europe, and the Pacific, the planning for Operation Sealion was a joke. The German commanders either never took the thought of actually having to conduct the operation seriously, or were living in la-la land. IMO Sealion was nothing more than a pipe-dream.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 06 May 2003 18:18

Gen.Graf

Please read the other posts, and you will see that main arguement concerns the logistics of an invasion. Germany was ill-equipped for a seaborne invasion. They had almost nil amphib capability.

Andy

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David Brown
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Battle of Britain

Post by David Brown » 06 May 2003 20:01

Hello Andy H

I stand to be corrected on this one.

The Focke-Wulf FW200 Condor was in commercial operation in July 1937. Originally designed for Deutsche Lufthansa as a commercial transport aircraft, it was sold to several countries who were impressed with its capabilities, including Japan, Denmark, and Brasil.

The Blohm und Voss BV138 amphibious landing aircraft was operational by January 1940. They were intended to be ocean reconnaissance craft but ended up as transporter aircraft in the Norwegian campaign and were active in front-line service in the Arctic, Baltic, North Atlantic, and the Mediterranean right the way through to 1945.

I believe the Blohm und Voss BV142 was also operational in 1938.

I take the point of the deficiencies in the sea barges the Germans were going to use in the invasion of Britain, but this would not have been the only line of attack.

Just to make matters worse, here's another spanner, and this is not intended to annoy Royalists. How much of the Royal Navy's fleet would have been used up to move out all those who would have to flee mainland Britain (Monarchy - Churchill & other political leaders - military personel etc!), and how much more to ensure they received a safe passage?

I'm not trying to change the argument, just pointing out something that would have to be taken into account at some stage as we are working on the assumption that the Royal Air Force lost the Battle of Britain.

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Post by Erik E » 06 May 2003 22:34

In the history of war, I can not recall any attacks in which paratroop and airborne units were the sole ground units used to engage the enemy and conquer and hold territory
The attack on Sola airfield in Norway 1940 happened exactly this way!

Erik E

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Lord Gort
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Post by Lord Gort » 06 May 2003 22:34

Its obviously my ego, but I like to think I did not have an inconsiderable role in helping "correct you", God that sounds arrogant :D


Yes I suppose ships would have to be allocated for moving dignatiries, but I imagine they could have been thrown on a cruiser, and I know Churchill flew to America later in the war.



regards,

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Post by Andy H » 07 May 2003 00:37

Hi David

No need to correct you on the equipment you have listed though there numbers were small and there contribution would have been in line with that.

I would imagine (Guess) that as Gorty said maybe a Cruiser would be in dock say in Liverpool or Scotland awaiting any dignatories, if any invasion looked like being successful. Maybe sailing with a outbound convoy for the States, as a form of cover given that any U-Boats not in the Channel (See my earlier post) would be in the Atlantic looking to sink Merchant ships and not the escorts.

Andy

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Across The Channel

Post by Raed » 07 May 2003 07:14

Though I've found this opinion vehemently contested by a few British folks I've spoken to, I believe that had Hitler postponed Barbarosa and had not declared war on the US, then Britain would certainly have fallen. The argument is that the Channel is an amazingly difficult obstacle to contend with, however the Allies did it. Why would not the same feat be possible for the Germans?
Naturally, I am glad that the Germans lost WW2, however I am fascinated and amazed at how attainable total European domination would have been for Hitler if he didn't seem wrought by so many of the characteristics of a child with ADD.
Hitler could have accomplished all of his goals had he the patience to address them one at a time and, better yet, trusted his Generals to war planning as opposed to meddling in it himself.
I've often wondered if England and France would have laid off Hitler when Germany attack Poland if he'd had Ribbentrop privately assure both governments that they would be going after Russia next. Any thoughts on this, folks?

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Post by Sam H. » 07 May 2003 14:36

Erik E wrote:
In the history of war, I can not recall any attacks in which paratroop and airborne units were the sole ground units used to engage the enemy and conquer and hold territory
The attack on Sola airfield in Norway 1940 happened exactly this way!

Erik E
Then I stand corrected. Just the same, to capture and hold an airfield can hardly be compared to capturing and conquering the British Isles.

Are you sure no follow-on units were used to relieve the paratroop units once the airfield was secured?

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