Intended FJ role in Sealion

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phylo_roadking
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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 07 Jul 2009 23:37

...whilst the other two tank squadrons had only “I” Tanks Mark I.
Given the embarassment these so nearly caused Rommel, and that they'd be trundling down on paratroops without heavy AT weapons - it was impervious to anything the FJ could have mustered in 1940 anyway - it could very easily be enough 8O For what it was, the A.11 had almost double the armour of a Pz.II and nearly FIVE times that of a Pz.I

As the MILFORCE/NZEF operation was to be an armour-stiffened motorised infantry sweep crosscountry, looks fine for a 1940's environment.

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Gooner1 » 08 Jul 2009 14:04

phylo_roadking wrote:
Depends - would they be sent by train south as far as possible? :wink: Matildas were IIRC only supposed to do ten mile legs between maintenance intervals.
Ten miles? That seems extraordinarily conservative even for the peacetime army. Anyway it's only about 15 road miles (or about two hours) from Charing to Lympne. Anyway the order of march:

Adv. Guard Mob Tps: "C" Sqn. Div. Cav.
Main Gd: 1 Tp. 'C' Sqn. 8 R Tanks.
MILFORCE HQ.
Comd. Inf. & MG. Gp.
'C' Sqn. 8 R Tanks (less 1 Tp.)
H.Q. Inf. & MG. Gp.
32 A/Tk. Bty. (8 vehicles)
MG. Coy. (10 vehicles)
'C' Coy. 21 Bn. (7 vehicles)

At 10 vehicles per mile, the lead elements would be contacting the FJs before the tail has left Ashford.

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Gooner1 » 08 Jul 2009 16:28

phylo_roadking wrote: It was the 22nd Airlanding that was to move out once landed at Lympne and hold the line of the Canal. I'm not aware of any map for that given that the Canal was marked on maps of the area anyway :) and of course subsequent operations by the 22nd Airlanding reducing the pillboxes lining the north side of the Canal would just be a progression of combat-engineer operations down its length.
Yes that would make sense, not a bad plan .. on paper. And to be fair the British rather missed a trick with regards to the RMC, it wasn't until the 26th/27th September that a complete formation - the 31st Infantry Brigade Group - was specifically tasked for its defence.
...one of the vital objective for forces landing anywhere near Folkestone would be moving north-EAST to invest Dover from landwards. Therefore a certain percentage of the forces landing on the beaches at Romney Marsh would be expecting to pass through the 7th Flieger positions on their way towards Dover.
Quite cunning of the Brits. to have built a major military establishment in the way :D

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 09 Jul 2009 12:02

Ten miles? That seems extraordinarily conservative even for the peacetime army.
I was suprised when I read it a year ago. Graham Fletcher, who works at Bovington IIRC wrote the Osprey guide for the Matilda, wrote an artice for CMV based on the remarkable retreat from Belgium to formate for the counterattack at Arras. He had come across an account of the movement that threw some questions up about the famous pic of two Matildas burning in a wood. For years this has been captioned as them being destroyed by their crews near Dunkirk - but on research it turns out that...despite the huge wear and tear on the Matildas during that long crosscountry trip without maintenance...these were the ONLY two matildas lost during that trip - and had to be abandoned/destroyed after they bogged down during a shortcut through a wood that proved worse going than anticipated! :lol: Many miles and days away from Dunkirk...

But then again...if you think about it...the Matilda was an "Infantry" tank...and an "infantry" advance of ten miles a day in the face of an enemy would have seen infantry merrily sprinting across country against opposition... 8O Ten miles going for what the designers saw the Matildas as...infantry-supporting breakthrough tanks as per WWI...would have been pretty bloody good in most anticipated circumstances :wink: Funny how the Army's view of what the Matilda II could actually do and be used for changed after France in 1940.... :D
At 10 vehicles per mile, the lead elements would be contacting the FJs before the tail has left Ashford.
Hmmm, two hours :wink: ....if they left Charing and headed for the Folkestone/Hythe/Lympinge area ASAP after receiving some word of the FIRST drop at Folkestone...

TWO HOURS LATER those lead elements would be sitting on the Second Wave's drop zones just as they arrived...

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 09 Jul 2009 15:18

And to be fair the British rather missed a trick with regards to the RMC, it wasn't until the 26th/27th September that a complete formation - the 31st Infantry Brigade Group - was specifically tasked for its defence.
I think the answer is in the word "specifically" - since the RMC's pillboxes were built before that, I would assume SOMEONE was going to be in them, from whatever other units were in the area, or the Home Guard. I think that tasking of the 31st Brigade Group is more indicative of the whole British Army by that stage; almost fully recovered and re-equiped after Dunkirk. Ok, places on some divisional arty and AT rosters were still being filled by the "Amercian 7mm guns" - but at least they were full!...but increasingly, as August slipped into September and the Army came up to scratch again, and some units were posted abroad - you see those 75mm guns in anti-invasion positions at various places in the coast being left behind for replacement units as they took their places in the defence.

If you remember - this aspect of the Sealion issue - British Artillery..was dealt with a few months ago in the BoB WI thread.

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 25 Aug 2009 02:12

I'm able to update this thread with some more geographical data :wink: Remember this?
4/ there's a FIFTH drop marked there that he doesn't mention, behind the Dymchurch-Hythe Road and on the SOUTH side of the Canal!
Image


I was able to get someone to go and take some pics for me...THIS is the view UPHILL towards Lympne from that position! Now we can see the sort of escarpments the FJ are having to scale in full battle order, and possibly under fire from any defenders...

Here were are looking from JUST the other side of the RMC...in the trees at the bottom of the hills...UPWARDS towards the village of Lympne - the buildings on the slope...

Image


...and the airfield is on top of the plateau running from the edge of the village over to the left.

THIS pic makes a panorama with the one above. The airfield is JUST behind the top of the ridge...

Image


Looking at Google Earth...the First Wave parties would have to clamber in and out of TWO similar valleys - complete with all their equipment, their hand-drawn equipment trollies etc. - from where they were to drop behind Folkstone! 8O

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 25 Aug 2009 02:23

Here's a close-up view of that slope! Gooner, the RMC is in the line of trees at the bottom of the slope :wink:

These obstacles are NOT gentle rolling hills! 8O Imagine the "killing zone" a couple of even the RAF's airfield defence pillboxes and emplacements at the top of that slope - the edge of the airfield - could command!

Image

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by Gooner1 » 25 Aug 2009 17:19

Nice photos. Google Earth makes it over a kilometre from the Lympne ridge to south of the RMC. So the German paras are in for a bit of a hike under fire all the way. Assuming that is they can cross the RMC which was purpose built to provide perfect enfilade fire.

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 25 Aug 2009 19:15

The first two waves would drop BEHIND it; with the two units of the first wave hiking in from four or five miles to the right of those pics.

The detachment dropping on this side of the RMC would indeed be pinned down - the land from the RMC right out to the coast is as you can see VERY flat....I wonder if they were only intended as a diversion?

The one obstacle (sic) that THAT particular slope DOES throw up, however...is to the idea that the first two waves have to SURROUND the airfield and invest it before the glider attack on the field itself; that plan means infiltrating ALONG that slope to surround the field, then attack uphill! 8O

That's why I'd love to se a map of the period defences of the aerodrome; as the nearest Fighter Command dispersal field to the coast...it was bound to have had SOME defences facing South!!!

Maybe it's me....but it does lool as if that first mile/mile and a half of the RMC would need to be neutralised FIRST to allow the FJ freedom of action and manouver on the south "side" of Lympne airfield. If by some miracle the first two waves make it across country without any hostile contact...

1/ combat there is going to alert the defenders above;

2/ reading through the details I have - there's not exactly much TIME in the plan for the reduction of the RMC there and the opening-up of the FJ's options;

3/ ANY delay in clearing that stretch of the RMC brings MilForce/5th brigade down on the whole operation.

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16,000-man Fallschirmjager

Post by nebelwerferXXX » 20 Nov 2010 15:12

Markus Becker wrote:The 7th Fliegerdivision in Operation Sea Lion:

Image
Do the FJ in Operation Sea Lion have a 16,000-man divisional organization? Something like this.

Div HQ
parachute infantry regiment...3 battalions
parachute infantry regiment...3 battalions
A/L infantry regiment...4 battalions (with MGs, PAK guns and light vehicles)
A/L artillery regiment...24 x 75-mm light guns and 12 x 105-mm light guns
support troops

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by nebelwerferXXX » 03 Dec 2010 06:33

The landing zones were ideal to the 'Gigant' and 'Mammut' assault gliders.

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by The_Enigma » 03 Dec 2010 18:24

nebelwerferXXX wrote:The landing zones were ideal to the 'Gigant' and 'Mammut' assault gliders.
How many were available from the Spring-Autumn 1940? :P

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by nebelwerferXXX » 04 Dec 2010 03:37

Forgive me if I posted this from the book, Airborne Warfare 1918-1945 and it reads...

'...Although the Me 321 - Gigant, a mammoth glider capable of lifting a small tank, or 7.5-cm gun, or 200 men, which was expressly manufactured for the invasion of Britain, was stockpiled together with DFS 230s and miscellaneous airborne equipment in northern France, Student himself showed no personal interest in Sealion...'

For the Junkers JU 322 Mammut

'...From the planning for Operation Seelowe emerged the concept of the Grossraumlastensegler, the giant assault glider capable of lifting a Pzkpfw IV or more than 100 assault troops. The all-wood flying-wing proposed and built by Junkers was not a success. Tanks crashed through the floor and the flight characteristics were very poor and the Mammut programme (code-named Warschau-Ost) was abondoned in 1941...'

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Re: Intended FJ role in Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 04 Dec 2010 20:51

'...Although the Me 321 - Gigant, a mammoth glider capable of lifting a small tank, or 7.5-cm gun, or 200 men, which was expressly manufactured for the invasion of Britain, was stockpiled together with DFS 230s and miscellaneous airborne equipment in northern France, Student himself showed no personal interest in Sealion...'

For the Junkers JU 322 Mammut

'..., the giant assault glider capable of lifting a Pzkpfw IV or more than 100 assault troops. The all-wood flying-wing proposed and built by Junkers was not a success. Tanks crashed through the floor and the flight characteristics were very poor and the Mammut programme (code-named Warschau-Ost) was abondoned in 1941...'
Hitler maintained the figment of a renewed Sealion into 1941....and in turn the British kept up their full anti-invasion preparations through the spring /summer of 1941. Other outcomes of Sealion included the MFP barges of various types for dedicated amphibious landings...that didn't become available until VERY late 1940, and into 1941...

One thing that worth remembering is the LEAD TIME that developing an aircraft or tank took, even in wartime 8O "From the planning for Operation Seelowe emerged the concept of the Grossraumlastensegler"....but it was going to take a VERY long time to come to actual fruition. The unpowered (no need for developing full flight systems, tankage, engine installations etc.) Me321 for instance first flew on 25 February 1941...the Ju322 as late as April 1941. That's the first prototype of each 6-8 months after the need was identified...and that was only so quick because they didn't require the detailed work powered types required.

(Maybe some more time SHOULD have been put into the Ju 322! :lol:)
Last edited by phylo_roadking on 05 Dec 2010 02:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 16,000-man Fallschirmjager

Post by Peter H » 05 Dec 2010 01:47

nebelwerferXXX wrote:
Markus Becker wrote:The 7th Fliegerdivision in Operation Sea Lion:

Image
Do the FJ in Operation Sea Lion have a 16,000-man divisional organization? Something like this.

Div HQ
parachute infantry regiment...3 battalions
parachute infantry regiment...3 battalions
A/L infantry regiment...4 battalions (with MGs, PAK guns and light vehicles)
A/L artillery regiment...24 x 75-mm light guns and 12 x 105-mm light guns
support troops
At most 8,000 Fallschirmjagers deployed at Crete in 1941.Morever this included FJR3 and the Luftlande-Sturm-Regiment both being formed in the summer of 1940.I think you would be lucky to have 6,000 FJs available for Sealion.

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