MarkN wrote: The second point I have been making, as has Sheldrake, is that even the very best trained and equipped units were not up to the job. I'm not talking about whether private Smith could run 3 miles quickly or shoot straight, ore even whether there was enough rifles and bullets to go around - I'm highlighting the inability of battalion commanders and upwards (individually and in cooperation with those alongside) to out-think, out-manouver and overcome their opposite numbers in the Wehrmacht and whether they had the equipment (mainly comms) to effectively operate within larger formations.
The point is that all that wouldn't have mattered very much.
This is the key to why you and I are unlikely to find agreement.
On paper, British, French and German divisions were, in the round, evenly matched. It was the thought process of the decision-makers in each, and the ability of higher controlling formations to manouver effectively, that produced starkly differring results on the battlefield.
Knouterer wrote: All the British units on the coastline were required to do was to hold their prepared positions for as long as possible while inflicting the maximum number of casualties on the attackers. I think we can agree that the average British infantryman of 1940 was quite capable of doing that, even if led by green lieutenants and dithering battalion commanders.
More academic dishonesty.
"As long as possible
" could be 5 minutes or 5 years.
"Maximum number of casualties
" could be 1 sprained ankle or the entire force wiped out.
How long is long? How long is required to be considered effective? How short can be considered acceptable against the losses incurred?
How many is maximum? At what number does maximum equate to an effective degredation of the enemy force?
Your response is more geared to winning 'internet lollypops' - getting me to agree with you - than understanding history.
Knouterer wrote: The immediate counterattacking formations (brigades) a few miles behind the coastline would have to show some initiative, but basically they would just do what they had practiced several times already in exercises, following long-established orders. No surprises, no tactical brilliance required.
... and no guarantee of success or having any meaningful effect.
You may choose to believe that these counter-attacks would have been succesful, perhaps even decisive, but it is utterly impossible to know since they didn't happen. And the only meaningful examples that one can look to for guidance - British and French efforts in France - were absolute failures.
Knouterer wrote: The Germans on their side would execute no bold lightning strokes and breathtaking manœuvres. If everything went well for them and they broke through the coast defences, they would then advance straight inland, on foot or at best by bicycle, with a handful of tanks and SP guns in support here and there, and establish an initial bridgehead about 20 km from the coast.
British higher commanders would then have a week or ten days to drive them straight back into the sea before the divisions of the next wave made it across. All in all the fighting would have resembled April 1916 rather than May 1940 IMHO, with the difference that the Germans would be rather thinner on the ground. The 17th ID on the right flank for example would have to defend a front of about 20 km with its depleted forces, with large pockets of resistance (Folkestone, Dover) still in its rear.
This is turning into one of those legendary "WHAT IFs" that are impossible for anybody to ever prove as being definitive. By definition, every suggestion and point is possible, and nothing can be proven impossible.
Sealion didn't happen. Would Sealion have succeeded if initiated in September 1940? I doubt it. The reason it was first postponed, then delayed, then scratched altogether was because the Germans themselves had come around to the understanding that the risk was too great. But those risks were not based around concerns of how the Wehrmacht would perform once landed.
Was the British fighting formation of 1940 up to the job? Clearly it wasn't. It took neigh on 4 years of non-stop self-critique, experimentation and training before the British were up to speed. And even then, the evidence of Normandy in 1944 suggests that with almost complete air supremacy over the battlefield, they struggled against inferior forces.