Seelöwe: British Defensive Measures - Naval and Air Ops

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 06 Jun 2007 14:41

To give everyone an idea of what these craft looked like:

Image

HMT (Her Majesty's Trawler) Duke

Image

BYMS 2211 at Sea, unknown date.

Image

BYMS 2211 showing Foc'sle armament.

Image

BYMS 2211 in Holland 1944, gives you an idea of the size.

Pictures from: http://www.mcdoa.org.uk/News_Archive_14.htm

All the best

Andreas

RichTO90
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Post by RichTO90 » 06 Jun 2007 14:53

Andreas wrote:To give everyone an idea of what these craft looked like:

Image

HMT (Her Majesty's Trawler) Duke
Gee, that looks just like a Vorpostenboote! Are you sure you havn't mixed up the pictures? They look almost exactly the same. :P :roll: :lol:

Which may be because the British trawlers had a long history of being converted into coastal auxiliaries, just as the Germans did with their KFK (Kriegesfischkütter). So when looking at the 140-odd converted trawlers and fishing cutters used by the Germans for the auxiliary M, V, and R-Flotille it is wise to remember that the British had also converted some 300-plus trawlers to minesweepers, ASW, and patrol vessels.

Of course if just the auxiliaries got engaged it would make for an interesting battle....a massive war between pygmies. :D

Walter_Warlimont
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Post by Walter_Warlimont » 06 Jun 2007 15:48

Andreas wrote:To give everyone an idea of what these craft looked like:

Image

HMT (Her Majesty's Trawler) Duke
Actually that is the HMS War Duke (FY-582)

Built By: Cook, Welton & Gemmill (Beverley, U.K.)

Launch Date: January 11th, 1917

Completed: April 21st, 1917

Taken Over By The Admiralty & Commissioned into The Royal Navy in June 1940 & Designated As A Minesweeping Trawler.

Displacement: 246 Tons

Became an Auxiliary Patrol Trawler in 1944

The Weapons on Board Must Have Been Installed in 1944, Because There is No Indication That She Was Armed in 1940.

Source: http://www.uboat.net

I can't even find anything on this BYMS 2211.

Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 06 Jun 2007 15:50


RichTO90
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Post by RichTO90 » 06 Jun 2007 16:07

Walter_Warlimont wrote:I noticed the same thing, except for the FACT that our Vorpostenboote were more heavily armed that those dinky winky Trawlers.

http://www.german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/ ... index.html
Well, let's see, more FACTS (it always must be true if you shout it :roll: ), the German trawler had either a new 8.8cm SK C/30 gun or one of the older converted L/45 guns with a maximum theoretical range of 15,500 yards at max elevation of 43 degrees, compared to the trawlers 12-pdr 12 cwt QF Mk V (which is almost certainly what is on War Duke) range of 11,750 yards at max elevation of 40 degrees. OTOH given that neither vessel is equipped with a director control or range finders then practical effective range for both is about the same....and a two to one advantage has a certain cachet to it as well....as well as the not so minor FACT that the British had no need to use their auxiliaries as anything other than the purpose they were meant for, seeing as how they had naval combatants they could rely on for that purpose. :roll:

And in this context the lighter weapons are little different, the German 3.7cm C/30 gun is almost as bad as the 2-pdr Pom-Pom, although the German 2cm would be superior to the British .303 and .50 machineguns (the 20mm Polsten did not become common armament until late 1941 and as it slowly replaced the Pom-Pom they were then fitted into the Coastal Forces craft. Of course the V-Boote was a patrol craft and not a minesweeper, so had a somewhat heavier armament especially later in the war when their AA armament was heavily augmented as it was in all German ships.

BTW, War Duke as a minesweeper was certainly armed with its 12-pdr when fitted out, since that was the device typically used to explode the mines once they were swept, war movies to the contrary, rifles weren't usually used to explode mines and her only other armament was two .303 Lewis guns. :) But armament did vary a lot and intially that was about all they did have, later 2-pdrs began to appear on the stern but that was about it.

And it surprises me that you couldn't find the BYMS or YMS, hundreds were built by the USN from 1941-1945 with most of the transfers to the RN (which then became BYMS) being 1942-1943. All were armed with the standard USN 3-inch/50 gun. Of course they have little bearing in this argument.

RichTO90
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Post by RichTO90 » 06 Jun 2007 18:15

Walter_Warlimont wrote:I looked in the U.S. Navy Lists & could not find a YMS-2211.

Which kinda makes me wonder if it is a Boat that was built AFTER World War II, despite what the picture in the link given by Andreas says.
Sorry, it's a common confusion. The British typically referred to them as just 'YMS', since they kinda knew they were British. :lol: 'BYMS' was a USN designation that was used to distinguish the roughly 150 (out of a total Lend-Lease order of 255) that were transferred to British hands. In addition, although initially they were given hull numbers by the British running from 1-255, between December 1943 and April 1944 all were renumbered by adding 2000 to their existing number. Thus, '2211' was actually YMS-211, contracted for between 14 March and 8 June 1942, built by Robert Jacob Company, City Island, New York. She was launched 10 October 1942 and turned over to the Royal Navy 7 May 1943, serving with the 159th Minesweeping Flotilla out of Sheerness and Grimsby. In common with the other YMS she was armed with a 3-inch/50 and two 20mm as built (some YMS were additionally armed by Coastal Command with 6-pdr 'anti-E-Boat guns). She displaced 292 tons (deep load displacement was 335 tons), was 135.5 feet overall length, 24.5 feet beam, 7.5 to 8.5 feet draft, was powered by a GM two-shaft diesel at 1,200 BHP, running at a nominal 14 knots, and with with 19 tons of fuel oil aboard had an endurance of 2,500 nauticl miles at 10 knots. Her crew was 30, including usually two RNVR officers.

So no need for you to 'kinda wonder' if she served in World War II. Among other things she was assigned to ANXTF as part of NEPTUNE, sweeping for the invasion forces. :roll:

RichTO90
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Post by RichTO90 » 06 Jun 2007 20:16

Walter_Warlimont wrote:I did see The YMS-211 & wondered if there was a connection of some sort or not.

Thanks for that information Rich.
The ways of the RN are often mysterious. They also periodically changed pendant numbers for no apparent reason. Even better, I've never actually been able to figure out why the pendant codes don't correspond to the hull numbers? :wink:

Anyway, the YMS/BYMS were utilized to augment the original civilian trawlers and the later 'Admiralty' trawlers (MMS, Motor Minesweepers, AKA 'Mickey Mouse Sweepers") produced by British yards. So they actually fall outside the scope of this argument, I originally brought them up to compare the typical armaments of these classes of ships. However, in the same vein I did find that many of the later Admiralty trawlers were armed with 4-inch guns instead of the 12-pdr/3-inch guns found in the earlier classes. Those were usually QF Mark V guns so like the 12-pdr were a bit long in the tooth, but still very effective pieces (interestingly, many of the German 8.8cm pieces were also old, but most apparently were rebuilt to accept the more modern 8.8cm cartridge that gave them about a 3,000 yard gain in range over the old pieces).

And to reiterate, even if the 12-pdr had lesser range than the 8.8cm and marginally less punch, "quantity has a quality all its own". :D

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Post by RichTO90 » 21 Jun 2007 15:32

In the interest of furthering this discussion, here is the actual Fighter Command staff appreciation of their role in the defense against an invasion from AIR 41/16, The Battle of Britain, Volume II, Appendices and Maps, Appendix 16. Note that it implies quite firmly that the prinicipal defense would be conducted by the Royal Navy, with the RAF in support. That would tend to indicate that the Navy and General Staff were in fact planning for that, contrary to what leandros has implied at numerous points.
Invasion Tasks of Fighter Command (Memorandum compiled by Air Staff, Fighter Command)

(A) Preliminary Struggle for Air Superiority
1. The main feature of this phase is likely to be heavy enemy bomber and fighter attacks directed against aerodromes and aircraft factories and other objectives, designed to destroy the fighter squadrons on the ground and to draw them in the air into engagements against superior numbers.
2. This attack will be met by Fighter Command in accordance with the general principles on which it has been organized and trained for the interception and destruction of the enemy bomber and fighter force.
3. An important responsibility of Fighter Command in this phase is the protection of our Naval Forces and their bases against air attack.

(B) Air-borne Invasion
4. The enemy may be expected to make attempts to land troops, light artillery, and possibly small tanks by air. Any large scale attempt of this sort might be expected to take place in conjunction with sea-borne invasion.
5. The primary aim of Fighter Command operating against air-borne invasion will be to destroy the enemy tank and troop carriers.

(C) Sea-borne Invasion
6. The sea-borne invasion may be regarded in three phases: -
(i) Assembly and embarkation at Continental ports.
(ii) The voyage.
(iii) The approach and landing.
7. These three phases will merge, and there may be a number of independent operations. The enemy, if he is to meet with any material success, must also continue shipments to maintain his forces where they have gained footing. The phase[s] can, however, be considered separately.

Assembly and Embarkation
8. Enemy activities in this phase will be the object of attack by both Bomber and Coastal Commands, and Fighter Command is required to do what is practicable to cover their operations. As the Command, however, will no doubt be engaged in intensive operations under (a) above, and as fighter ranges are so limited, it will normally be practicable only to cover the assembly and return of our bombers.

The Voyage
9. The enemy may chose the shortest routes and make the initial voyage under cover of darkness, or screened by weather or smoke. There will be areas and times, however, in which enemy transports will be engaged by our Naval Forces under circumstances in which enemy bombers may be directed against our ships.
10. The primary responsibility of Fighter Command in this connection will be protection of our Naval Forces against enemy bomber – particularly dive-bomber – attack, wherever this is within fighter range of our cost. Similarly, the Command must do what is practicable to support the operations of our bomber aircraft, attacking enemy convoys.

Approach and Landing
11. This will become temporarily the focus of the air battle, with the enemy probably endeavoring to land troops by air as well as by sea, covered by [?] bomber attacks against our defenses with strong fighter support. There may be more than one landing and therefore more than one battle, becoming main or subsidiary operations according to the scale of the enemy attack at each point.
12. The primary role of Fighter Command in such operations must be to destroy the enemy troop and tank carrying aircraft.
13. This must be subject, however, to the continued protection of our Naval Forces against enemy bomber attack within fighter range of the coast, since the enemy is unlikely to be able consolidate any landing if our Naval Forces can continue to operate freely against hi sea lines of communication.
14. Further tasks which Fighter Command must be prepared to undertake in connection with such operations will be, in order of their importance, as follows:-
(i) Fighter cover to be given to the Bomber and “Banquet” aircraft which will be attacking enemy’s convoys and landing craft.
(ii) Attacks by Cannon Fighters, wherever these can be made available, to be directed against the enemy’s barges and landing craft, particularly those containing armored fighting vehicles or guns.
(iii) Cannon fighters, if available, to be prepared to engage enemy tanks wherever these may succeed in making a successful landing from either air or sea transport.
(iv) Finally, fighter protection may have to be afforded to our own troops against the attack of enemy dive bombers, which may be operating in conjunction with a landing or covering a lodgment against our counter offensive.

14 September, 1940
BTW, the cannon armed fighters (Spitfire Mk II) available as of 29 September (the small number of Whirlwinds (2) and Beaufighters (5) are not included) were:

19 Squadron - Duxford - 16/1/1
74 Squadron - Coltishall - 16/0/2
266 Squadron - Wittering - 12/2/4
611 Squadron - Digby - 16/0/2

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Post by Gooner1 » 21 Jun 2007 23:28

Excellent find Rich!

Seems Fighter Command was totally on the ball as regards priorities, being well aware of the needs not only of the Navy but the Army too.

In all the speculation on Sealion I've never seen ventured the idea that Fighter Command would make
'(ii) Attacks by Cannon Fighters, wherever these can be made available, to be directed against the enemy’s barges and landing craft, particularly those containing armoured fighting vehicles or guns.'
:D

(i) Fighter cover to be given to the Bomber and “Banquet” aircraft which will be attacking enemy’s convoys and landing craft.
BTW do you know what "Banquet" aircraft would be?

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Post by RichTO90 » 22 Jun 2007 05:00

Gooner1 wrote:BTW do you know what "Banquet" aircraft would be?
"Banquet" was the plan to arm the primary flight trainers with bombs (and possibly poison gas) and commit them against a beachhead, along with the OTU.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 25 Jul 2007 16:00

Somebody asked earlier if the various lists were available for 10days later, September 25th 1940. Well yes they are. The various Red, Pink, Green etc lists were updated every week and listed every RN vessel's location or state of repair (accordingly)

I will add that these lists were made during the war and at the time and based on what was known by the RN at that particular time.

Regards

Andy

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 26 Jul 2007 14:43

Walter_Warlimont wrote:
Andy H wrote:Somebody asked earlier if the various lists were available for 10days later, September 25th 1940. Well yes they are. The various Red, Pink, Green etc lists were updated every week and listed every RN vessel's location or state of repair (accordingly)

I will add that these lists were made during the war and at the time and based on what was known by the RN at that particular time.

Regards

Andy
I must get a copy of those lists.
Well there will not be a actual list for the 25th but rather one that covers that 'week'

I have the much larger Nore Command lists but that has over 500 minor war vessels on it.

Regards

Andy

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Post by Walter_Warlimont » 26 Jul 2007 15:41

Andy H wrote:
Walter_Warlimont wrote:
Andy H wrote:Somebody asked earlier if the various lists were available for 10days later, September 25th 1940. Well yes they are. The various Red, Pink, Green etc lists were updated every week and listed every RN vessel's location or state of repair (accordingly)

I will add that these lists were made during the war and at the time and based on what was known by the RN at that particular time.

Regards

Andy
I must get a copy of those lists.
Well there will not be a actual list for the 25th but rather one that covers that 'week'

I have the much larger Nore Command lists but that has over 500 minor war vessels on it.

Regards

Andy
And were all 500 of those minor war vessels active & able to take to the sea in defence of England?

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 27 Jul 2007 16:47

And were all 500 of those minor war vessels active & able to take to the sea in defence of England
These 500 were in the Nore Command, roughly from the Thames estuary to the Hull/Grimsby area, if memory serves.

Ships that were undergoing long term repairs were detailed in the relevent coloured listings or were noted as on passage to a place of repair within this list. The nature of the repair isn't noted. So I would say that one can have a fair chance of saying that those vessels listed would be 'active & 'able', but it would not surprise me if various vessels were undergoing routine care/maintenance/repair whilst in port. Wheather you deem this as making the vessel 'inactive' or 'unable' would depend of your interpretation and the specific nature of any care/maintenance/repair being undertaken.

Also I would suggest that even if a vessel wasn't a 100%, then the nature of the threat would compel its usage unless its defects affacted its ability to contribute or was a burden to those operating or commanding it.

Regards

Andy H

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Post by phylo_roadking » 27 Jul 2007 18:20

In answer to the question of WHAT aircraft would be used for Banquet - in August 1940 the RAFs tiger moth trainers wre being hastily converted from trainers to "bombers" with the addition of external bombracks. Mostly done on Norfolk training fields, DeHavilland's oversaw most of the work with Major Hereward DeHavilland being very involved in instructing in low-flying. However, I believe from what I've read that there were preparations on hands all over the country for trainers of ALL types to be converted; the plan was that on the authentication of a Cromwell alert, local constabularies were to round up all RAF trainees from home, pubs etc and deliver them to their fields, where they were to fly all available converted aircraft to Advanced Landing Grounds for bombing up. These ALGs were to be manned by volunteer civilian fitters from RAF fields who were issued with field gear which they kept ready at home and likewise were to be delivered to the ALGs by the police.

It's not clear if the trainees KNEW about what was planned for them - obviously no matter what the level of protection provided by Fighter Command to GET them there, piloting a 90 knot Moth into a combat zone was a one-way flight.

Actually, the procedure was initiated once, during the invasion scare of 8th/9th Spetember, and trainees rounded up and delivered in various states of attire and inebraition to their airfields....!

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