The myth of lonely tiny island of 1940?

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OpanaPointer
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Re: The myth of lonely tiny island of 1940?

Post by OpanaPointer » 31 Jan 2015 11:59

That brings up the question of just how many Commonwealth and colonial troops were in Britain to help repel an invasion?
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Don Juan
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Re: The myth of lonely tiny island of 1940?

Post by Don Juan » 31 Jan 2015 11:59

It was a lonely, tiny, vulnerable island, that by accidental good fortune had the biggest navy and merchant fleet in the world.
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Re: The myth of lonely tiny island of 1940?

Post by MarkoZ » 31 Jan 2015 13:23

Britain was marginally the largest maritime power constrained by treaties restrict total tonnage,but it had to be,due to the fact that it had territory all over the globe. And had the UK enterred the arms race at the same time as Germany I very much doubt that the Wehrmacht would have faired so well in 1940.
But the point of the thread is that due to lack militarisation in the 1930's Britain was incredibly vulnerable in June 1940.
Off the top of my head apart from the 26 divisions in the UK there were 11 more scattered around the Middle East plus 7 Indian Divisions.5 Canadian ,2 New Zealand,2 South African,6 Australian. 1 Burmese ,1 West African 1 East African an that was your lot.so they could deploy 1 Australian,1 Canadian,1 New Zealand,and 2 Indian. These were used in Abyssinia and Egypt.
That because they needed 5 in India,and the Australians etc had their own defence to consider.
All from memory please correct me if I'm Wrong !

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Re: The myth of lonely tiny island of 1940?

Post by MarkoZ » 31 Jan 2015 13:35

On June 8th 1940 there were 72 Tanks(infantry and Cruiser) 54 2 pounder AT guns,460 field and 163 heavy guns available for the defence of Britain with 200 rounds per medium gun and 150 Rounds per heavy gun.

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Re: The myth of lonely tiny island of 1940?

Post by Urmel » 31 Jan 2015 14:43

Well it's a good thing then that on 8 June all the Wehrmacht had available for an invasion was a rubber dinghy, a retired Feldwebel, and two Alsatians. These would no doubt have employed Auftragstaktik (Sit! Fido, Sit! Ja, good dog.) to razzle-dazzle those Cruiser tanks, as well as Vorsprung durch Technik. So while it might have been a challenge to defeat an invasion on 8 June, even the hapless British army might just have managed.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

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Don Juan
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Re: The myth of lonely tiny island of 1940?

Post by Don Juan » 31 Jan 2015 15:57

MarkoZ wrote:Britain was marginally the largest maritime power constrained by treaties restrict total tonnage
But the Royal Navy was quite a bit more than marginally larger then the Kriegsmarine. The word "dwarfed" comes to mind.

Which prompts the question - was Imperial Japan in a better position to invade Britain in June 1940 than Germany?
"The demonstration, as a demonstration, was a failure. The sunshield would not fit the tank. Altogether it was rather typically Middle Easty."
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Re: The myth of lonely tiny island of 1940?

Post by MarkoZ » 31 Jan 2015 17:09

Britain had to counter the Japanese threat by deploying the 4 remaining r class Dreadnoughts to India,also three more modern Battleships to counter Italy in the Med.that left about 7 to cover the threat of the German heavies, Bismarck hadn't been commissioned by then.
This situation also forced Churchill to attack the Vichy Navy in Port to prevent its use by the Axis.

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Re: The myth of lonely tiny island of 1940?

Post by Urmel » 31 Jan 2015 17:46

Which German heavies were active in the period after Weseruebung?

Oh that's right, none in the period up to 21 October.

7:0 sounds like the result of Germany playing San Marino.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: The myth of lonely tiny island of 1940?

Post by phylo_roadking » 31 Jan 2015 18:36

Urmel wrote:Well it's a good thing then that on 8 June all the Wehrmacht had available for an invasion was a rubber dinghy, a retired Feldwebel, and two Alsatians. These would no doubt have employed Auftragstaktik (Sit! Fido, Sit! Ja, good dog.) to razzle-dazzle those Cruiser tanks, as well as Vorsprung durch Technik.
....and the French still to fight again and beat.
Although it took time to mobilize the resources of Commonwealth/Empire, it must have been very important for British to know that those resources existed. They made it possible to consider a long war against Germany and believe in the chance that such war could be won.
Durb...just remember how "narrow" the time window in question we had to get through was; from the Armistice with France until the weather at the start of October made invasion impossible until 1941. 13-14 weeks...

Not much in real terms to help us survive invasion was going arrive from the rest of the Empire in just 14 weeks; in fact, we sent troops and armour AWAY from the UK in the last weeks of August!
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Re: The myth of lonely tiny island of 1940?

Post by durb » 02 Feb 2015 15:11

Hmm, still I think that for example Finland was more alone and more tiny in Winter War against Soviet Union in 1939/1940 than Britain against Germany in 1940.

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Re: The myth of lonely tiny island of 1940?

Post by sitalkes » 09 Feb 2015 05:06

I've finished entering the basic information for an Access 2010 Operation Sealion Database - it now includes all the land, sea, and air units I can find plus sundry other information such as equipment, variants, and locations. Land units are down to brigade (British)/regiment (German) level. The database is 124 Mb plus data files. You can download it from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_JIBY ... zAxMGl0VmM and the data files from https://drive.google.com/folderview?id= ... E5saEdKYXM. Locations are a bit vague as the land unit locations are usually are given for battalion sized units, not brigades. I don't have the names for all the RN formations or the Luftwaffe transport units but hope to find them eventually.

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Re: The myth of lonely tiny island of 1940?

Post by Andy H » 12 Feb 2015 15:52

durb wrote:Hmm, still I think that for example Finland was more alone and more tiny in Winter War against Soviet Union in 1939/1940 than Britain against Germany in 1940.
Hi Durb

It was a fact, that became mythologized beyond the reality of the time.
Equally the situation from the evacuation from Dunkirk in June'40 until the postponement of Sealion in September'40, is an apple and orange debate. There is no similarity between the state of UK Armed forces in June compared to September. Also in a variety of other facets, the British were in a far stronger state of affairs, so much so that any invasion attempt would have failed. Germany's invasion window, was within the first few weeks after Dunkirk, but though various delusional ideas and bad forward planning it could and would never happen.

Regards

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Re: The myth of lonely tiny island of 1940?

Post by durb » 13 Feb 2015 17:03

Britain was not small compared with Germany when one takes in account the size of population, the industrial output, the level of military technology etc. And there was the Royal Navy - if covered by Spitfires/Hurricanes, it could make any German landing operation quite difficult. The threat of Sealion was bigger than its actual execution. Germany could not attack rapidly over the sea in July 1940 - their troops were exhausted by the France campaign and needed rest and regrouping. The landing operation was also a largescale operation which demanded careful planning and organization - one could not just put men hastily in ships and sent them with Bf 109 cover to take Britain.

Lets look the Normandy invasion on June 1944 - it demanded lots of planning and preparation although Germans were already weakened at that point and Allied had taken the control of the skies over Western Europe. Was Germany in 1940 at any point able to launch an landing operation of same scale as the Allied did in Jun. 1944?

German air superiority in numbers was not too crushing in 1940 - had it been, the result of Battle of Britain would have been different.

Once no fast victory, fully mobilised Britain with Commonwealth/Empire resources turned out as an impossible enemy to win for Germany. One could win single battles against such "global enemy", but not get a decisive victory in war. At best just a stalemate position.

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Re: The myth of lonely tiny island of 1940?

Post by phylo_roadking » 13 Feb 2015 20:31

durb wrote:Britain was not small compared with Germany when one takes in account the size of population, the industrial output, the level of military technology etc. And there was the Royal Navy - if covered by Spitfires/Hurricanes, it could make any German landing operation quite difficult.
....and very few people seem to remember that for Hitler to order Sealion actioned, the Battle of Britain would had to have been "lost", as in at least lost local air superiority over the "invasion area".

The threat of Sealion was bigger than its actual execution. Germany could not attack rapidly over the sea in July 1940 - their troops were exhausted by the France campaign and needed rest and regrouping.


Not as exhausted by the campaign in France, nor as badly equiped, nor as in need of regrouping as the British Army was until around the end of July.
German air superiority in numbers was not too crushing in 1940 - had it been, the result of Battle of Britain would have been different.
See above...
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Re: The myth of lonely tiny island of 1940?

Post by tigre » 06 Jan 2020 01:45

Hello to all :D; something about................................

Aldershot 1940.

Source: https://auction.catawiki.com/kavels/164 ... chter-1940

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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