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 » 20 Apr 2018 12:32

Knouterer wrote:In that context, the 35th Infanteriedivision, which would land between Greatstone and Dymchurch, had been given a bloody nose by the British in May, according to a history of the division (Dörfler, Die 35. Infanteriedivision 1939-45, p. 19, my translation):
See, more academically dishonest responses and walls of text to deflect and camouflage.

In your previous response, you want the reader to consider the state of the 9 ex-BEF divisions in September - AFTER they have been rehabilitated, reorganised, brought back up to strength and requipped.

In this response, you want the reader to consider the Wehrmacht in it "bloody nose" state of May BEFORE having the same 3 months to recover!

Why not compare the state of 35th Infanteriedivision in May/June with the state of an ex-BEF infantry divsion in May/June or with the state of the defences between Greatstone and Dymchurch in May/June?

Knouterer, your knowledge of this subject is increadible. The amount of detail and information that you have accrued is for all to see on this forum. Don't ruin that by coming up with such daft and dishonest posts.
Last edited by MarkN on 20 Apr 2018 12:40, edited 1 time in total.

MarkN
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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by MarkN » 20 Apr 2018 12:38

Worth posting my general overview of the subject to avoid others thinking I'm coming at this from the perspective that the Wehrmacht would have walked an invasion. They wouldn't and they knew it. That's why it didn't kick off.

But to 'big up' the British capabilities in 1940 is just inaccurate, dishonest and daft. The British, across the board, only started to get on a par at the tactical level with the Wehrmacht 3 or 4 years later. Some commanders, in some circumstances, a bit earlier. The time frame was dictated upon the need to (re)learn how to think and do big-war. It needed wholesale changes in approach (mentality), organisation and training.

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Knouterer » 20 Apr 2018 13:04

MarkN wrote:
In brief, I've made a claim - which I haven't attempted to evidence because I believe anybody who has read up on the subject as you and gooner1 have - should recognise it to be accurate. The level of training, operational military competence and equipment holdings across the Home Forces as a whole was on a par with 12, 23, 46 and Beauman divsion and not the pre-war professional divisions.
Yes, I recognize you've made that claim. The problem is still that you have nothing much to back it up with.

From Tim Lynch, Dunkirk 1940, p. 91: "Establishment of an infantry battalion had been set at 21 officers and 752 other ranks with 50 Bren guns, 22 Boys AT rifles, 12 2-inch and 2 3-inch mortars. None of the digging divisions came close to these numbers. Among the battalions of 137 Brigade, for example, the West Yorkshires numbered 26 officers and 562 other ranks. They were equipped with a rifle and bayonet per man, 10 Bren guns and 11 Boys rifles, but no mortars of any kind. The story was repeated in other brigades. (...) Maps, compasses, binoculars, grenades, revolvers and other vital equipment were non-existent."

Since you recognize that I have studied the subject in some depth, perhaps you'll take my word for it when I say that the battalions of British infantry divisions and independent brigades in Southern England were much better equipped than that by September 1940. Better trained too. And of course those divisions had a full complement of artillery, or nearly so, in stark contrast to the "digging divisions".

Certainly British commanders at the time were often slow off the mark and inclined to follow laborious staff procedures, and lacked imagination and drive. With honourable exceptions of course.

But anyone who wants to argue that they were all irredeemably incompetent should have a closer look at what was happening in North and East Africa at the time, where British and Commonwealth troops, with minimal resources, were doing a pretty good job rolling up the Italians.
"The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it." Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

MarkN
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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by MarkN » 20 Apr 2018 13:35

Knouterer wrote:
MarkN wrote: In brief, I've made a claim - which I haven't attempted to evidence because I believe anybody who has read up on the subject as you and gooner1 have - should recognise it to be accurate. The level of training, operational military competence and equipment holdings across the Home Forces as a whole was on a par with 12, 23, 46 and Beauman divsion and not the pre-war professional divisions.
Yes, I recognize you've made that claim. The problem is still that you have nothing much to back it up with.
Correct.

I have made no effort to support that claim and I have no intention of doing so because the effort would just be too great to be of any meaningful value. Thus, I do not encourage you to do either from the opposite direction.

What I also refuse to do is to cherry-pick some random piece of data that evidence my point in that, and that alone, minor context. It is academically dishonst. But that is what you did.

My claim was that the state (and thus the performace) of 12, 23, 46 and Beauman divsion in May/June are the benchmark for the state and likely performance of the Home Force as a whole come September. You chose to disagree with that by cherry-picking and naming 9 divsions that you know were already better prepared. That's academically dishonest. And does you great disservice. You have studied this topic to a quite impressive level. Why 'spoil' all that by quite deliberately comparing apples with oranges?

Your responses so far have done nothing to negate my original point. Nor have gooner1's. I may be wrong, but until the entire Home Forces are brought into the equation and exhaustive analysis thereof conducted, neither of us can claim the high ground.

Again, more evidence such as this (immediatly below) does NOTHING to deny the accuracy of my claim. It is just more camouflage and misdirection.
Knouterer wrote:From Tim Lynch, Dunkirk 1940, p. 91: "Establishment of an infantry battalion had been set at 21 officers and 752 other ranks with 50 Bren guns, 22 Boys AT rifles, 12 2-inch and 2 3-inch mortars. None of the digging divisions came close to these numbers. Among the battalions of 137 Brigade, for example, the West Yorkshires numbered 26 officers and 562 other ranks. They were equipped with a rifle and bayonet per man, 10 Bren guns and 11 Boys rifles, but no mortars of any kind. The story was repeated in other brigades. (...) Maps, compasses, binoculars, grenades, revolvers and other vital equipment were non-existent."
Knouterer wrote: Since you recognize that I have studied the subject in some depth, perhaps you'll take my word for it when I say that the battalions of British infantry divisions and independent brigades in Southern England were much better equipped than that by September 1940. Better trained too.
Generally speaking,I do. I know enough of the subject - albeit miniscule compared to your knowledge - to recognise that effort had been made to place the better prepared units in the likely front line or the designated counter-attack force. But what about everything behind them and all the myriad of non-brigaded 'scratch' units amongst them?

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.
Knouterer wrote: Certainly British commanders at the time were often slow off the mark and inclined to follow laborious staff procedures, and lacked imagination and drive. With honourable exceptions of course.
Understatement of the day.
Knouterer wrote: But anyone who wants to argue that they were all irredeemably incompetent should have a closer look at what was happening in North and East Africa at the time, where British and Commonwealth troops, with minimal resources, were doing a pretty good job rolling up the Italians.
Looking at North and East Africa only serves to evidence that Italian Generalship was infinitely worse than the British! As soon as an above-average German commander showed up, the picture changed. Rommel was no genius. Frankly he methods were a liability and Libya was the best place the Wehrmacht could 'hide' him given the main show coming up in the East. He performed 'miracles' directly due to the ineptness of the British Generalship opposing him.

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Knouterer » 20 Apr 2018 14:43

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. 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.

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.

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.
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MarkN
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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by MarkN » 20 Apr 2018 15:26

Knouterer wrote:
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.
Enough!

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.

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Gooner1 » 20 Apr 2018 15:42

MarkN wrote:Responses such as this lead me to believe you are now just trolling me. :roll:
You are somebody? No, try reading the FSRs (available on the net) or read them again with a less jaundiced eye.


You've just posted evidence that even if the Army leadership had the gumption to think big-war, their ability to deliver big-war was politically and resource restrained.
Correct.
However, the Army leadership - save for a few notable exceptions - did not have the gumption and thus (despite the existence of FSR II & III 1935) did just about nothing to school, educate and train that written doctrine into practical reality.
The army leadership, the CIGS Cyril Deverell and much of the Army Council, were sacked precisely because they were opposed to the Governments policy of limited liability.
You do realise that a TEWT stands for Tactical Exercise Without Troops? Ie. The formations that didn't exist didn't have to exist for the TEWT to be conducted. :roll:
Government policy was that these formations would never exist :roll: . So why should senior officers play imaginary games?
Inter-war, the TA existed - albeit unmobilized - and had to its account 12 infantry/motor divisions, a cavalry division and all manner of additional formation and unit level forces. Combined with the Regular Army's 5 and a bit divisions that's at least 18 divisional-sized formations on the orbat. And yet, not a single corps level field HQ let alone an army level field HQ. Why? Didn't anybody think that some of these divisions might be deployed to the same place, together, at the same time and thus need a higher coordinating and controlling HQ?
You know why. Government policy.

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Gooner1 » 20 Apr 2018 16:00

MarkN wrote: 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.
Just to pick out one of your most egregious nonsenses.
Dyle

" Fighting began on the front of the 2nd Division during the morning, where elements of the German 31st Division mad a small penetration across the Dyle in the sector held by the 6th Brigade. This was cleared up in the afternoon by counter-attack,

"Units of two German divisions succeeded for a time in pressing back some posts of the 2nd Royal Ulster Rifles, but a counter-attack by the 1st King's Own Scottish Borderers restored the position and drove the enemy out of the railway yards. North of Louvain the 1st Coldstream Guard were heavily attacked and their right company was for a time forced back. But here too a counter-attack in which light tanks of the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards took part drove the enemy out and completely re-established the front.

Escaut

"But on this occasion the enemy followed up so quickly that by four o'clock in the afternoon German troops not only reached but got across the Escaut at one point of the divisional front and the 1st Buckinghamshire had to counter-attack to drive them back over the river.

"The 1st Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry were brought forward and successfully counter-attacked to regain positions temporarily lost. On the 2nd Division's front the 8th Royal Warwickshire (temporarily under command and in the front line) also withstood a heavy attack which drove in their forward positions, and followed up with a counter-attack in which the commanding officer and second in command were both killed, without the position being retaken.

" The 1st King's Shropshire Light Infantry counter-attacked successfully at one point, and the 2nd North Staffordshire stopped another advance. The 3rd Grenadiers made two determined counter-attacks against a strong position which the enemy had won, losing so heavily that they could only form two companies at the end of the day. But the enemy, too, had suffered heavily from these counter-attacks, and when Grenadier patrols went forward again they found that he had retired across the river and our position was restored.

"The German penetration of the 44th Division's front reached Petegem (two miles south-west of Audenarde and a mile from the river), which was the centre of severe and confused fighting. German troops got there during the night of the 20th/21st. The 2nd Buffs counter-attacked at three o'clock in the morning, but failed to eject them. The 1st/5th Queen's were more successful, and by half-past seven Petegem was clear again. But in the afternoon the enemy returned to the attack. Two companies of the 1st/6th Queen's were isolated, and Battalion Headquarters and a third company held a nearby chateau grounds; what remained of the 2nd Buffs, the 1st/5th and 1st/6th Queen's withdrew to positions in the rear. The Queen's could only muster one composite company, and they were attached of the 5th Royal Sussex to stop further penetration. In the adjoining sector the enemy's advance had isolated a company of the 1st Royal West Kent, but they were freed in a counter-attack by other companies of the battalion which then went on finally to recapture Petegem and to clear it of the enemy.

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Gooner1 » 20 Apr 2018 16:19

MarkN wrote:
My claim was that the state (and thus the performace) of 12, 23, 46 and Beauman divsion in May/June are the benchmark for the state and likely performance of the Home Force as a whole come September. You chose to disagree with that by cherry-picking and naming 9 divsions that you know were already better prepared. That's academically dishonest. And does you great disservice. You have studied this topic to a quite impressive level. Why 'spoil' all that by quite deliberately comparing apples with oranges?
A truly bizarre claim which when refuted causes you to claim other peoples academic dishonesty! :lol: :lol:

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by MarkN » 20 Apr 2018 17:09

Gooner1 wrote:
MarkN wrote:Responses such as this lead me to believe you are now just trolling me. :roll:
You are somebody? No, try reading the FSRs (available on the net) or read them again with a less jaundiced eye.
It has become abundantly clear that not only do we disagree, but that we are on completely different wavelengths.

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...
Gooner1 wrote:
MarkN wrote:You do realise that a TEWT stands for Tactical Exercise Without Troops? Ie. The formations that didn't exist didn't have to exist for the TEWT to be conducted. :roll:
Government policy was that these formations would never exist :roll: . So why should senior officers play imaginary games?
And yet they did exist. :roll:

It seems your idee fixe has got the better of common sense! :lol:

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.
Gooner1 wrote: You know why. Government policy.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

My point is that the British Army entered WW2 with a peace-time, small-war colonial policing mentality / approach / thinking. You disagree with that completely. You believe that the British Army entered the war with a big-war mentality based upon (a) having a big army and (b) having FSRs that detail modern warfare concepts not colonial constabulary work. You then go on to argue that in fact the British Army did have a small-war colonial policing approach and had to since it was forced upon them as government policy to the extent of having anybody fired that didn't toe the line.

Strange? :lol:
Gooner1 wrote: Just to pick out one of your most egregious nonsenses.
Thank you for posting up evidence to support my point. :wink:

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by LineDoggie » 20 Apr 2018 23:02

Any wargaming/theoreticals on Sealion are worthless without 2 very important factors in Germany's favor

Destruction of the Home Fleet of the Royal Navy-

They would sortie en mass and rape the landing fleet worse than Drake did the Armada

Air Superiority and the destruction of the RAF-

Without absolute supremacy of the Air the landing fleet would face Fighters, Bombers, Torpedo Bombers round the clock with plenty of Loiter time over the UK coast where the LW had no such luxury
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Apr 2018 00:00

This is supposed to concern comparisons ... So, to compare.
LineDoggie wrote:Any wargaming/theoreticals on Sealion are worthless without 2 very important factors in Germany's favor

Destruction of the Home Fleet of the Royal Navy-

They would sortie en mass and rape the landing fleet worse than Drake did the Armada

Air Superiority and the destruction of the RAF-

Without absolute supremacy of the Air the landing fleet would face Fighters, Bombers, Torpedo Bombers round the clock with plenty of Loiter time over the UK coast where the LW had no such luxury
Amen.

Compare this to Op Husky, which had some similarities in size of landing force & area of coverage. Also the ground defense was a mix of good quality but partially rebuilt units recently evacuated by sea, and assorted understrength, undertrained, & underarmed units.

But the money was not with the ground forces. Item 1. above was reversed. The Axis naval force in the Med. were out of fuel and out numbered. The same disparity existed in the air. The Axis air grossly lacked the parity the RAF had over south England in 1940.

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Knouterer » 21 Apr 2018 15:21

LineDoggie wrote: Without absolute supremacy of the Air the landing fleet would face Fighters, Bombers, Torpedo Bombers round the clock with plenty of Loiter time over the UK coast where the LW had no such luxury
That would indeed have been a problem. In the most optimistic (for the Germans ...) scenario the LW, by maintaining its attacks on the RAF instead of going for London, could have forced Fighter Command to abandon most or all of the airfields of No 11 Group in SE England. But as Kesselring later admitted, completely destroying the RAF, or even just FC, was never a realistic possibility.

Let's assume (again optimistically ...) that the LW has 600 operational Bf 109E fighters and pilots left by the time the invasion is launched. The "Emil" could stay aloft for two hours when flying straight and level at economical speed - as when moving from one airfield to another - but for combat missions a maximum of 90 minutes is more realistic. Assuming that three missions per day is the maximum they could be expected to do, it follows that there would be no more than about a hundred fighters over the invasion front at any given moment (during daylight), let's say one understrength Gruppe of 25 for each of the four beaches.

Assuming the British could get organized - which was not a given in the early years of the war - there was nothing much to stop them from sending "big wings" of fighters along the coast from west to east and back again, attacking everything in their path, and follow that up immediately with strong attacks by bombers and torpedo aircraft on the German transports, which would be anchored in a double line parallel to the coast and would be almost defenceless (about one 20 mm gun per ship on average as far as I've been able to find out).

That would look more or less like this (average length of freighters 110 m, with 290 m between ships in a line for a total length of about 10 km, little smudges represent the barges serving as lighters to unload the ships):
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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Tsofian » 21 Apr 2018 16:49

Knouterer wrote:
LineDoggie wrote: Without absolute supremacy of the Air the landing fleet would face Fighters, Bombers, Torpedo Bombers round the clock with plenty of Loiter time over the UK coast where the LW had no such luxury
That would indeed have been a problem. In the most optimistic (for the Germans ...) scenario the LW, by maintaining its attacks on the RAF instead of going for London, could have forced Fighter Command to abandon most or all of the airfields of No 11 Group in SE England. But as Kesselring later admitted, completely destroying the RAF, or even just FC, was never a realistic possibility.

Let's assume (again optimistically ...) that the LW has 600 operational Bf 109E fighters and pilots left by the time the invasion is launched. The "Emil" could stay aloft for two hours when flying straight and level at economical speed - as when moving from one airfield to another - but for combat missions a maximum of 90 minutes is more realistic. Assuming that three missions per day is the maximum they could be expected to do, it follows that there would be no more than about a hundred fighters over the invasion front at any given moment, let's say one understrength Gruppe of 25 for each of the four beaches.

Assuming the British could get organized - which was not a given in the early years of the war - there was nothing much to stop them from sending "big wings" of fighters along the coast from west to east and back again, attacking everything in their path, and follow that up immediately with strong attacks by bombers and torpedo aircraft on the German transports, which would be anchored in a double line parallel to the coast and would be almost defenceless (about one 20 mm gun per ship on average as far as I've been able to find out).

That would look more or less like this (average length of freighters 110 m, with 290 m between ships in a line for a total length of about 10 km, little smudges represent the barges):
Great Map! It brings up a lot of interesting questions.

How will the German vessels find these positions? How close to being in the right place will they be? Will they even know if they are not in the correct location? Do the vessel commanders know where in the line they are supposed to be? If they get mixed up coming across the Channel is there any chance they can get sorted out. How will units that get seperated find out where their other components have gone to?

How will tides effect the anchorage? Will the bottom to able to allow the anchors to hold?

What are the chances that these vessels will cross minefields? What are the chances that the British would lay minefields longshore pretty close to where these anchorages are? The Germans no not have the resources (vessels or time) to sweep these areas before they bring in their transports.

The German fleet has very few heavy AAA weapons. The best equipped vessels are the M-35 minesweepers, with a pair of 10.5 cm DP weapons. If the fleet needed to be protected by shore-based 8.8 cm weapons they will need to be close inshore. If they are that close inshore they will be in artillery range of the British field artillery, at least until (if) the batteries are silenced or pushed back.

Any coastal guns, prewar existing, Emergency Batteries or Beach Batteries, even with limited fire control and other issues could not ask for a better target type. Stationary large targets with no armor loaded with ammunition and fuel will be highly vulnerable to HE rounds.

The British submarines would have an absolute field day with this. Anchored targets in line. Lack of KM ASW. Given by the success by Axis submarines during Torch under far less favorable circumstances I can see the RN submarines being very effective.

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Re: Sealion compared to historical amphib assaults?

Post by Knouterer » 21 Apr 2018 21:51

That's another major problem for the Germans - they were it seems almost completely unaware of the emergency batteries on the coastline. Here's a map from Schenk, with my additions, showing where the ships for Beach C would anchor. The crosses indicate where the batteries were (two 6-inch guns each). I did not indicate the Hastings battery because I didn't know where exactly it was at the time, but it was down on the beach below the cliffs, within easy range (3,000 m or so) of the "anchoring zone west for tow units".
Clearly, if just half of these guns were still in action by the time the transports dropped anchor, the latter would have a serious problem.
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