Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

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MarkN
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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by MarkN » 30 Apr 2018 19:24

Gooner1 wrote:
MarkN wrote: I see FSRs as a written document but little, if any, practical evidence that that document had any meaningful effect on changing attitudes.
You see the FSRs as 'proof' that such a change had already occured. And...
If there was a change from a small war mentality it happened 20 years earlier. How many of the senior officers in the British Army at that time did not have direct experience of Big War?
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Your question seems to ask about the experience of senior officers circa 1918-19. What relevance does that have to 1939? All of them had long since retired...
Gooner1 wrote: So you either believe that the British Army did not have a big war mentality even whilst they were fighting and winning a big war, or that they abandoned the mentality that they would have to fight big sometime after the Great War.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

You seem to have this rather simplistic idea that lots and lots of troops = big-war. It doesn't. A million Tommy Adkins fighting a million Zulus is still a small-war colonial policing effort.

The British took 2-3 years in the first war to work out how to do big-war successfully. They then repeated the same 20 years later.
Gooner1 wrote:
MarkN wrote: And yet they did exist.
One less thing for you to moan about then :D
Moan? You seem to have completely lost the plot. 8-)
Gooner1 wrote:
18 field divisions on the orbat is 'enough' to justify the existance of at least 6 corps level field commands and a pair of army level field commands. Perhaps even an army group (*****) level field command to sit at the very top.
Uh, huh. At the time of the Munich conferences the total number of divisions deployable to the Continent was two.
More evidence of a small-war mentality.
Gooner1 wrote: And with no political intention to send an expeditionary force of any size to the continent, forming corps and even army level field commands comes pretty close to gross insubordination.
Gross insubordination??? :lol: :lol: :lol:

You mean neglect of duty.

18 divisions on the UK based orbat pre-war. 31 on declaration of war with the duplication of the TA divisions and creation of 2nd Armoured Division. And not a single higher formation to command them. Even limited liability - which you seem to blame for everything - assumed a BEF of 5 divisions. Just that requires at least 1 higher level formation unless the plan was to send the divisions individually to serve under French command.

I Corps was formed by gutting Aldershot Command - intended. II Corps was formed by gutting Southern Command - unintended. III Corps was formed completely adhoc, as was IV Corps. No prior planning, preparation or training of anybody on how to command more than a single division deploying overseas to the same place at the same time - except that initiated almost entirely upon their own volition by Aldershot Command from 1938. I guess that was just "gross insubordination" on their part!

Post BEF...sudden explosion in the creation of Corps level commands. Quelle surprise!

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sitalkes
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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by sitalkes » 01 May 2018 05:54

When talking about potential Luftwaffe losses, you should state your assumptions
1. Has the Luftwaffe won the Battle of Britain and if so, what form does this take? (driven the RAF out of the south of England, just a local superiority, RAF shot out of the sky, RAF just taking a rest, gonna come back with lotsa Banquet bombers?)
2. What are the remaining forces available to both sides at the end/when the invasion begins?
3. Where are the British forces based?
4. What early warning do British forces get?
5. How many British airfields are in German hands and are operational as German bases?
6. What facilities and production sites have the Germans captured (eg if the Germans capture Southampton then that's Supermarine gone)?
7. What damage was done during the Battle of Britain to British air industries and their infrastructure?

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Tsofian » 01 May 2018 13:19

sitalkes wrote:When talking about potential Luftwaffe losses, you should state your assumptions
1. Has the Luftwaffe won the Battle of Britain and if so, what form does this take? (driven the RAF out of the south of England, just a local superiority, RAF shot out of the sky, RAF just taking a rest, gonna come back with lotsa Banquet bombers?)
2. What are the remaining forces available to both sides at the end/when the invasion begins?
3. Where are the British forces based?
4. What early warning do British forces get?
5. How many British airfields are in German hands and are operational as German bases?
6. What facilities and production sites have the Germans captured (eg if the Germans capture Southampton then that's Supermarine gone)?
7. What damage was done during the Battle of Britain to British air industries and their infrastructure?
1 There are three possible scenarios for the Battle of Britain
1) Historical
2) British defeated as they stay in their airfields and get destroyed
3) British pull north and are generally reconstituted by late September.

My personal feeling is 2 is the least likely

2 Except for case 2 the forces available will be fairly comparable to the historical ones, although the Germans may have suffered fewer losses in case 3

3 The British are either in their southern airfields, case1 and 2, or reoccupy those fields upon invasion warning in case 3.

4 Every night the British have hundreds of small craft in the Channel. The invasion force is highly unlikely to get far out of port without being identified. Since the convoys are going to take almost a day to cross that should give at least 18 hours of warning. If photo recon detects the convoys forming up it may be two or three days of warning.

5 The Germans intended upon initially taking one airfield Lymne. The British intended all their threatened airfields to be set for demolition and any airfields not in operation had all sorts of junk strewn about their runways. All were within artillery range of substantial Royal Artillery assets. All had at least some defensive troops. The airfield at Crete was not destroyed because the Commonwealth CO mistakenly believed it needed to be preserved for incoming RAF aircraft.

6 I can see them knocking out facilities in Portsmouth and Southampton but I'm really not certain they will capture that facility or that city. The Normandy Campaign showed how hard it can be to take defended urban areas in the Second World War.

7 The Shadow factory system worked fairly well. But again it comes down to Luftwaffe resource allocation, as well as the case of the Battle of Britain as given above. Except for Case 2 the losses to aircraft production will be fairly close to historical. Plus if the RAF is driven north or wiped out the Luftwaffe should then concentrate on pre-invasion tasks like ground attack, rather than attacking resources allocated to an already defeated enemy.

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Gooner1 » 01 May 2018 17:03

MarkN wrote: Your question seems to ask about the experience of senior officers circa 1918-19. What relevance does that have to 1939? All of them had long since retired...
Ironside, Dill, Brooke? Not forgetting all the interwar CIGS with the exception of Gort, all of whom had extensive experience of the Great War in senior positions.
The British took 2-3 years in the first war to work out how to do big-war successfully. They then repeated the same 20 years later.
:roll: Fighting a war against a first-class enemy requires constant learning and adaptation. The Germans had an advantage in starting first.
More evidence of a small-war mentality.
That the British could only send two divisions to the Continent at the time of Munich? Clearly a big-war mentality would have enabled the Army to magick up the modern machine guns, mortars, anti-tank guns, anti-aircraft guns, modernized artillery, transport, tanks and uniforms. :thumbsup:

You mean neglect of duty.
Neglect of duty that the British Army didn't pursue it's own independent foreign and defence policy? :lol:
18 divisions on the UK based orbat pre-war. 31 on declaration of war with the duplication of the TA divisions and creation of 2nd Armoured Division. And not a single higher formation to command them.
Even limited liability - which you seem to blame for everything - assumed a BEF of 5 divisions. Just that requires at least 1 higher level formation unless the plan was to send the divisions individually to serve under French command.
The UK's six Home Commands and the two Districts were the higher commands. Aldershot Command was to form the Spearhead Corps for an Expeditionary Force.

And of the 18 divisions that supposedly existed in early '39 and the 31 from the Summer, the grand total of divisions that were fit to fight in France nine months after war was declared, and 15 months after the volte face on 'limited liability' was just 10.

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by MarkN » 02 May 2018 11:41

Gooner1 wrote:
MarkN wrote:Your question seems to ask about the experience of senior officers circa 1918-19. What relevance does that have to 1939? All of them had long since retired...
Ironside, Dill, Brooke? Not forgetting all the interwar CIGS with the exception of Gort, all of whom had extensive experience of the Great War in senior positions.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Gooner1 wrote:
The British took 2-3 years in the first war to work out how to do big-war successfully. They then repeated the same 20 years later.
:roll: Fighting a war against a first-class enemy requires constant learning and adaptation. The Germans had an advantage in starting first.
:roll: "Constant learning and adaptation". Indeed. But the small-war colonial policing mentality meant the British ignored that simple and sensible concept almost as soon as WW1 ended. Took until 1942 at the earliest to recognise the need to apply it once again.
Gooner1 wrote:Neglect of duty that the British Army didn't pursue it's own independent foreign and defence policy? :lol:
Creating a permanant corps HQ - or several - is not a foreign policy or even a defence policy matter. :roll:

Your responses are becoming ever more bizarre and ridiculious. I sense you are not taking this subject seriously and just trolling me. :roll:
Gooner1 wrote:
18 divisions on the UK based orbat pre-war. 31 on declaration of war with the duplication of the TA divisions and creation of 2nd Armoured Division. And not a single higher formation to command them.
Even limited liability - which you seem to blame for everything - assumed a BEF of 5 divisions. Just that requires at least 1 higher level formation unless the plan was to send the divisions individually to serve under French command.
The UK's six Home Commands and the two Districts were the higher commands.
Yep, the geographically based and immobile district & command' structure that mirrored the district & command structure used in India. A structure that did the job of internal policing of colonial dissent and uprisings.
Gooner1 wrote:And of the 18 divisions that supposedly existed in early '39 and the 31 from the Summer, the grand total of divisions that were fit to fight in France nine months after war was declared, and 15 months after the volte face on 'limited liability' was just 10.
So?

As I wrote earlier, I suspect you are just trolling as your responses do not seem to show any understanding of the subject matter.

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Gooner1 » 02 May 2018 17:00

MarkN wrote: :roll: "Constant learning and adaptation". Indeed. But the small-war colonial policing mentality meant the British ignored that simple and sensible concept almost as soon as WW1 ended. Took until 1942 at the earliest to recognise the need to apply it once again.
Blimey when did you decide to give up learning? See David French 'Raising Churchill's Army', quite an available source.
Much of what is relevant there also here: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/85a6/d ... feace9.pdf


And what do you call the Bartholomew Committee and report of Summer 1940 if not an example of constant learning and adaptation?
Except for you all roads inevitably lead back to your idée fixe.

For those interested in the report:
https://archive.org/details/FinalReport ... InFlanders

Yep, the geographically based and immobile district & command' structure that mirrored the district & command structure used in India. A structure that did the job of internal policing of colonial dissent and uprisings.
And that bit of circular logic is about the best evidence you have presented for British small-war colonial policing mentality, :D

The Home Commands were to provide the Corps headquarters. That had been the idea since 1901. I guess your idea is to turf the officers out of their quarters and force them to live in tents thereby creating a 'field' corps. :lol:

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by MarkN » 03 May 2018 19:42

Gooner1 wrote:
MarkN wrote: :roll: "Constant learning and adaptation". Indeed. But the small-war colonial policing mentality meant the British ignored that simple and sensible concept almost as soon as WW1 ended. Took until 1942 at the earliest to recognise the need to apply it once again.
Blimey when did you decide to give up learning?
That thought crossed my mind about you a good while back! :roll:
Gooner1 wrote:See David French 'Raising Churchill's Army', quite an available source.
Much of what is relevant there also here: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/85a6/d ... feace9.pdf
I read French's book many years ago and no longer have a copy. The paper I also read a good while back, but can still refer to it.
Gooner1 wrote: And what do you call the Bartholomew Committee and report of Summer 1940 if not an example of constant learning and adaptation?
I also have a copy of this report - albeit from a different Kew file so the 'extras' along with the file are different. For example, my copy also includes annexes with the recommended structure and formation for the 'new' brigades and divisions. It also has a set of papers giving feedback from the "Director's Meeting" held on 26 July 1940.

Amongst many other sources, those three play a large part in shaping my opinion. In the book, French goes into (if I remember well) great detail explaining how the British had conducted their "constant learning and adaptation" (as you put it) between the wars, but when tested, were found wanting. Why? Because they'd got it wrong somehow. And yet, when you read up on the doctrine, the FSRs, it's pretty good stuff. How come the disconnect between education (doctrine) and practical outcome?

In his paper, French writes in Part IV (the conclusion), "the fact remains that the army's ability successfully to practise mechanized, mobile, warfare in the first half of the Second World War was so limited as to cast doubts on the fact that it had learnt very much at all." So, lots of "constant learning and adaptation" but seemingly NOT learning the right thing. Why? French first mentions a resistence to Liddle Hart and Fuller's 'mechanized doctrine'. Why was there such resistence to mechanization? Was it only about donkey wallopers fears of being subsumed by the Tank Corps? French also reminds us of the political, social and financial constraints. But they only affect the scale not the mentality.

French then discussed the German command system and compares it to the British. He looks at it from a practical perspective and he is quite right - in my opinion - with the conclusions he draws regarding the practical implementation of command.

In the final sentence of the paper, French, using Montgomery, explains this as "'the army as a whole was given no clear doctrine on which to base its tactical training; senior commanders evolved their own doctrines; when you changed your commander you changed your doctrine." I believe Montgomery and French are correct. But does French offer an explanation why this was so?


What did you learn when you read these sources?

I learned that a large part of the reason why performance didn't match expectation and training didn't follow written down education (doctrine) was because the Army was instututionally biased towards a small-war colonial policing mentality.

French touches on this without going into detail, He wrote: "The British believed that continental military doctrines, which they thought were based upon prescriptive theories, were only of limited applicability to them because of the peculiar strategic circumstances of their island empire." This was paraphrasing what was considered as Sir George Milne's thinking. The words indicate the focus being on British flexibility over rigidly proscribed doctrine - where flexibility is perceived by the British as being of utmost importance due to the small-war colonial policing bias in thinking. In truth, it was often the flexibility of German commanders that made them so much more effective. The problem for British thought was not flexibility over proscription, but their institutional bias as to their fundamental raison d'etre.

Gooner1 wrote: Except for you all roads inevitably lead back to your idée fixe.
At least my idée fixe can be rationalised and evidenced. Your idée fixe is simply a denial of the evidence and the historical facts.
Gooner1 wrote: The Home Commands were to provide the Corps headquarters. That had been the idea since 1901. I guess your idea is to turf the officers out of their quarters and force them to live in tents thereby creating a 'field' corps. :lol:
Was III Corps formed from one of the Home Command HQs? If not, why not?

After the return from France and the rapid introduction of a number of new corps, how many were derived from Home Command HQs?

You have seeming learned that big scale = big-war mentality. I disagree. One can have a very large force but still emply them with a small-wat approach.

You have seeming learned that technological modernisation and mechanisation = big-war mentality. I disagree. One can still use a truck and tank instead of the horses and carts in a small-war manner.

You seem to have learned that having a big-war written doctrine = the practical ability of all to implement that big-war doctrine. I disagree. As did Montgomery and French.

Leaning how mechanization provides mobility and practising driving around the country does not equal the learning of a big-war mentality. Mobility and manoever are different concepts. I my opinion, a big-war mentality requires then knowledge and practical ability (learned over time through repeated experimentation, training and practise) of senior commanders being able to handle the manouevring of their divisions against a 'first rate' opponent - not just having the capacity to order them to get in their tracks and change position quickly and in gord order. The British were experts at the latter - as demonstrated repeatedly in their numerous retreats. The former, they failed at with equal regularity as their retreats. Bartholemew notes the need to separate the (administrative) GHQ function from the (operational) Army level HQ. The British went to France with a GHQ which had the ability to command administratively, very well I suspect, a small-war colonial policing skirmish. It didn't do so well against the Wehrmacht doing big-war.

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Gooner1 » 04 May 2018 16:57

MarkN wrote: What did you learn when you read these sources?

I learned that a large part of the reason why performance didn't match expectation and training didn't follow written down education (doctrine) was because the Army was instututionally biased towards a small-war colonial policing mentality.
I am quite astonished that you could read those and still come to the conclusion that the British Army had a small-war, colonial policing mentality.
The Bird Committee, the Kirk Committee, the four iterations of the Field Service Regulations are all focused first and foremost on fighting a first class opponent on the Continent.
After the return from France and the rapid introduction of a number of new corps, how many were derived from Home Command HQs?
The Home Commands were Army level commands by then, and indeed since the outbreak of the war.

You have seeming learned that big scale = big-war mentality. I disagree. One can have a very large force but still emply them with a small-wat approach.

You have seeming learned that technological modernisation and mechanisation = big-war mentality. I disagree. One can still use a truck and tank instead of the horses and carts in a small-war manner.

You seem to have learned that having a big-war written doctrine = the practical ability of all to implement that big-war doctrine. I disagree. As did Montgomery and French.

Leaning how mechanization provides mobility and practising driving around the country does not equal the learning of a big-war mentality. Mobility and manoever are different concepts. I my opinion, a big-war mentality requires then knowledge and practical ability (learned over time through repeated experimentation, training and practise) of senior commanders being able to handle the manouevring of their divisions against a 'first rate' opponent - not just having the capacity to order them to get in their tracks and change position quickly and in gord order. The British were experts at the latter - as demonstrated repeatedly in their numerous retreats. The former, they failed at with equal regularity as their retreats.
Meh. That house of cards all collapses when one remembers that the BEF in 1940 performed far better in virtually every way than the French Army. Or will that just mean you now don't consider the French Army to have a 'big war' mentality either?

I think your problem is that you don't appreciate that the British Army was a small professional army, backed by a larger but still small and undertrained and underequipped volunteer force. It's growing pains are always likely to be more acute than those of the mass conscript armies on the Continent. Sure the Army could have focused more on higher level training and Corps level exercises - if, that is, they weren't short of the troops, the equipment, the training areas necessary but above all the political will to commit them to big war if the need arose.
Bartholemew notes the need to separate the (administrative) GHQ function from the (operational) Army level HQ. The British went to France with a GHQ which had the ability to command administratively, very well I suspect, a small-war colonial policing skirmish. It didn't do so well against the Wehrmacht doing big-war.
Yes the organization of GHQ was roundly recognised as being deficient. A partial defence is that the BEF would have expanded to two armies in a relatively short period of time. As regards the 'big war' performance of the commander, the OH is accurate and concise:

"In the fearful position in which his army was placed, with Allies on either flank whose support was crumbling hour by hour, he quickly perceived the probable outcome; he chose the course which alone offered any practical way to avoid disaster and allowed nothing to deflect him from it. All his major decisions were both wise and well-timed. His judgement, not only of what was needed at the time but of what would be needed in the days ahead, was never at fault. He foresaw that, if the French could not quickly close the breach in their front, the Allied armies in the north would be contained by the enemy and would be forced to fall back to the coast and attempt evacuation. He saw when Arras must be held and when it must be given up. He realised the importance of the Canal Line in his rear, days before it was attacked, and by the show of opposition which he improvised there he bluffed the enemy into a pause which gave him time to build a more solid defence. He saw the danger of a break in the Ypres front in time to avert it. He initiated the organisation of the Dunkirk bridgehead and the planning of partial evacuation before ever the policy of general evacuation was accepted by his own Government or by the French. Indeed, his sense of timing is apparent throughout the campaign and neither Cabinet suggestion nor French exhortation could persuade him to attempt operations which he considered ill-timed or impracticable."

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Gooner1 » 04 May 2018 17:02

MarkN wrote: What did you learn when you read these sources?

I learned that a large part of the reason why performance didn't match expectation and training didn't follow written down education (doctrine) was because the Army was instututionally biased towards a small-war colonial policing mentality.
I am quite astonished that you could read those and still come to the conclusion that the British Army had a small-war, colonial policing mentality.
The Bird Committee, the Kirk Committee, the four iterations of the Field Service Regulations are all focused first and foremost on fighting a first class opponent on the Continent.
After the return from France and the rapid introduction of a number of new corps, how many were derived from Home Command HQs?
The Home Commands were Army level commands by then, and indeed since the outbreak of the war.

You have seeming learned that big scale = big-war mentality. I disagree. One can have a very large force but still emply them with a small-wat approach.

You have seeming learned that technological modernisation and mechanisation = big-war mentality. I disagree. One can still use a truck and tank instead of the horses and carts in a small-war manner.

You seem to have learned that having a big-war written doctrine = the practical ability of all to implement that big-war doctrine. I disagree. As did Montgomery and French.

Leaning how mechanization provides mobility and practising driving around the country does not equal the learning of a big-war mentality. Mobility and manoever are different concepts. I my opinion, a big-war mentality requires then knowledge and practical ability (learned over time through repeated experimentation, training and practise) of senior commanders being able to handle the manouevring of their divisions against a 'first rate' opponent - not just having the capacity to order them to get in their tracks and change position quickly and in gord order. The British were experts at the latter - as demonstrated repeatedly in their numerous retreats. The former, they failed at with equal regularity as their retreats.
Meh. That house of cards all collapses when one remembers that the BEF in 1940 performed far better in virtually every way than the French Army. Or will that just mean you now don't consider the French Army to have a 'big war' mentality either?

I think your problem is that you don't appreciate that the British Army was a small professional army, backed by a larger but still small and undertrained and underequipped volunteer force. It's growing pains are always likely to be more acute than those of the mass conscript armies on the Continent. Sure the Army could have focused more on higher level training and Corps level exercises - if, that is, they weren't short of the troops, the equipment, the training areas necessary but above all the political will to commit them to big war if the need arose.
Bartholemew notes the need to separate the (administrative) GHQ function from the (operational) Army level HQ. The British went to France with a GHQ which had the ability to command administratively, very well I suspect, a small-war colonial policing skirmish. It didn't do so well against the Wehrmacht doing big-war.
Yes the organization of GHQ was roundly recognised as being deficient. A partial defence is that the BEF would have expanded to two armies in a relatively short period of time. As regards the 'small-war, colonial policing mentality' performance of the commander, the OH:

"In the fearful position in which his army was placed, with Allies on either flank whose support was crumbling hour by hour, he quickly perceived the probable outcome; he chose the course which alone offered any practical way to avoid disaster and allowed nothing to deflect him from it. All his major decisions were both wise and well-timed. His judgement, not only of what was needed at the time but of what would be needed in the days ahead, was never at fault. He foresaw that, if the French could not quickly close the breach in their front, the Allied armies in the north would be contained by the enemy and would be forced to fall back to the coast and attempt evacuation. He saw when Arras must be held and when it must be given up. He realised the importance of the Canal Line in his rear, days before it was attacked, and by the show of opposition which he improvised there he bluffed the enemy into a pause which gave him time to build a more solid defence. He saw the danger of a break in the Ypres front in time to avert it. He initiated the organisation of the Dunkirk bridgehead and the planning of partial evacuation before ever the policy of general evacuation was accepted by his own Government or by the French. Indeed, his sense of timing is apparent throughout the campaign and neither Cabinet suggestion nor French exhortation could persuade him to attempt operations which he considered ill-timed or impracticable."

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by MarkN » 05 May 2018 11:17

As I thought, you are trolling me...
Gooner1 wrote: I am quite astonished that you could read those and still come to the conclusion that the British Army had a small-war, colonial policing mentality. The Bird Committee, the Kirk Committee, the four iterations of the Field Service Regulations are all focused first and foremost on fighting a first class opponent on the Continent.
And I am quite astonished that you could read those and still and yet miss the the bit where French wrote (I'll post it in BIG letters for you this time to help your myopia):-
French wrote:... the fact remains that the army's ability successfully to practise mechanized, mobile, warfare in the first half of the Second World War was so limited as to cast doubts on the fact that it had learnt very much at all.
...and...
Montgomery, 1946 wrote:...the army as a whole was given no clear doctrine on which to base its tactical training; senior commanders evolved their own doctrines; when you changed your commander you changed your doctrine.
They had their committees, they wrote their FSRs, but institutionally they failed to understand and learn the right lessons from it all.

It seems that you're no longer disagreeing with my analysis that the reason for that institutional 'failure' to learn was a bias towards small-war colonial policing, you're just denying that there was any problem at all. You're not disagreeing with me, you're disagreeing with the British Army 1940-1944, Montgomery's analysis circa 1946 and French's analysis much later.
Gooner1 wrote:
Gooner1 wrote:The Home Commands were to provide the Corps headquarters. That had been the idea since 1901.

After the return from France and the rapid introduction of a number of new corps, how many were derived from Home Command HQs?
The Home Commands were Army level commands by then, and indeed since the outbreak of the war.
So, what you're now peddling is that the plan in time of need was for HQ Home Commands to morph into corps HQs - but as soon as war started, that plan was thrown out completely leaving no corps HQs and nothing to convert into them. Why would they do that?

You're not discussing anything. You're just denying anything that disputes your preconcieved idee fixe. You're just trolling. :roll:
Gooner1 wrote: Meh. That house of cards all collapses when one remembers that the BEF in 1940 performed far better in virtually every way than the French Army.
I disagree.

The Bartholemew Committee and report barely scratches the surface when understanding the problems - hence why it came up with 'solutions' that were no better. Argueably, it was part of the problem itself since it was written by, and through the lenses of, those imbued themselves with a lack of understanding of big-war. It took another 3 years of major overhaul of the entire system, organisation and approach before the British Army was ready. The FSRs themselves barely changed because they were pretty much on the ball. It took 3 long years to lose the small-war colonial policing mentality and come out the other side with the ability to deliver what the 1935 FSRs described.
Gooner1 wrote: Or will that just mean you now don't consider the French Army to have a 'big war' mentality either?

More trolling. Or do you really believe that there is only one possible cause of not being as good as the Germans?
Gooner1 wrote: I think your problem is that you don't appreciate that the British Army was a small professional army, backed by a larger but still small and undertrained and underequipped volunteer force. It's growing pains are always likely to be more acute than those of the mass conscript armies on the Continent. Sure the Army could have focused more on higher level training and Corps level exercises - if, that is, they weren't short of the troops, the equipment, the training areas necessary but above all the political will to commit them to big war if the need arose.
I think your problem is that you haven't learned anything at all about the problem.

As you clearly are not making any effort to discuss this seriously, and are just trolling for kicks, I'll be bowing out now unless something peaks my interest.

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by sitalkes » 05 May 2018 23:23

Have you got links for the Bird and the Kirk committees? I haven't heard of them

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Gooner1 » 09 May 2018 10:54

MarkN wrote:As I thought, you are trolling me...
Oh don't be so pathetic.

When it comes right down to it, your belief that the British Army suffered from a 'small-war colonial policing mentality' requires the belief that battling the wily Pathan on the North West Frontier or fighting the IRA, or the Arab revolt had a greater impact on the thoughts and beliefs of the Army than the four years of carnage on the Western Front. It is absurd.

Gooner1
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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Gooner1 » 09 May 2018 16:48

sitalkes wrote:Have you got links for the Bird and the Kirk committees? I haven't heard of them
Not much on the web apparently. There is this on the Bird committee from the David French book. Raising Churchill's Army
In addition to the high firepower of the 'Bird' division there was an assumption that for every infantry division there would be a tank battalion.

The Kirke report, or its formal title, Report of the Committee on the Lessons of the Great War, is actually available to buy from the Naval & Military Press https://www.naval-military-press.com/pr ... great-war/

From the publishers blurb:
"The British Army is frequently criticised for not having learned the lessons of the Great War, and for ‘marking time’ between the wars and failing to pursue such developments as the arrival of the tank.
This concise report, then, is of uncommon historical interest in being the official findings of a high-powered committee of Generals which in October 1932 reported to the War Office on lessons learned from the 1914-18 conflict. Among the conclusions reached by the committee (which, as early as 1932, foresaw the possibility of a ‘second round’ fought with Germany), – were the importance of a centrally controlled War Department which would not delegate powers to local theatres; the necessity of a rapid expansion of Britain’s small professional army; the importance of keeping abreast of scientific developments relevant to warfare; training up an officer corps rather than allowing them to be killed early as cannon fodder; and the necessity of forming a national ‘non-party’ government. Brief though it is, this is an extremely interesting and important insight into military thinking among the Higher Command in the period leading up to the Second World War. Rare in its original printing just 125 sets issued."

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Sheldrake
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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Sheldrake » 09 May 2018 21:55

The trouble with both of these reports is that neither led to action. In the best British traditions we commissioned a report then found jolly good reasons for doing something else.

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sitalkes
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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by sitalkes » 10 May 2018 01:17

Sheldrake wrote:The trouble with both of these reports is that neither led to action. In the best British traditions we commissioned a report then found jolly good reasons for doing something else.
:D :D :D :thumbsup:

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