The British Response To Operation Sealion

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
Kitchener
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Re: The British Response To Operation Sealion

Post by Kitchener » 30 May 2013 23:24

phylo_roadking wrote:
Minelaying dates:-

1). 1/2 Sept. Minefield SW3 in the SW North Sea.
2). 5/6 Sept. Operation 'Walter.' - Dover Straits.
3). 6/7 Sept. Minefield SW0 - SW North Sea.
4). 8/9 Sept. Operation 'Hannelore' - Dover Straits.
5). 15/16 Sept. Operation 'Bernhard' - Dover Straits.
6). 28/29 Sept. Falmouth Bay.
7). 30 Sept./1 Oct. Operation 'Werner' - off Dover.


Details of the Operation to my mind involves the area of the field and the vessels involved. I never recorded the point of origin and don't feel inclined to bother researching it now. A supporting source, for what it is worth, is 'Hold The Narrow Sea' by Peter Smith.
Will it by any chance take another two pages to get the said names/identities of the vessels involved?
No, it should only take one sentence, as follows:

Obtain a copy of Peter Smith's book, open it at page 136, and read.

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phylo_roadking
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Re: The British Response To Operation Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 31 May 2013 00:03

Thank you. You're learning how it works here.

Now -
During the ten nights of German minelaying, either the RN would not have detected this at all, or if they did would have been drawn into a maritime Battle of Britain in which both sides would have suffered heavy losses. Mr. Roadking had not at the time of writing vouchsafed his ideas of what escorts the Kriegsmarine would (or could) have provided...
Firstly, you have not actually said what escorts the Kriegsmarine could provide...
Why would *I* vouchsafe a PERSONAL opinion - when you ALREADY KNEW to a limited extent what escorts the Kriegsmarine was intending to provide? 8O
D-9 Barrier D2 16.3 miles long. Laid by Togo, Stralsund, Schwerin, & Tannenberg, escorted by 4 torpedo boats & S-boats. 550 mines, 55 meters apart.

D-9 Barrier D1 5.4 miles long. Laid by 4 destroyers & 4 torpedo boats, escorted by S-Boats. 250 mines, 40 meters apart.

D-8 Barrier A2, 16.3 miles long. Same details as D2.

D-8 Barrier A1. Same details as for D1.

D-6 Barrier C2, 8.6 miles long. Laid by Roland, Konigin Luise,Preussen, and Grille, escorted by S-Boats. 400 mines 40 meters apart.

D-6 Barrier B3, 19.4 miles long, Laid by Togo, Stralsund, Schwerin, Schiff 23, Tannenberg, 6 minesweepers, 1 destroyer, & 4 torpedo boats. Escort unknown. 1200 mines 30 meters apart.

D-4 Barrier C3 8.6 miles long. Same details as C2.

D-4 Barrier B2 19.4 miles long. Same details as B3

D-2 Barrier C1a 2 miles long, Laid by 4 torpedo boats, 95 mines 40 meters apart.

D-2 Barrier C1 8.2 miles long. Same details as C2.

D-2 Barrier B1. 5.2 miles long, Laid by 4 destroyers & 4 torpedo boats, escorted by S-Boats. 300 mines, 32 meters apart.
By the way, the table from Schenk you want to check your details against is THIS one...and you should be able to add the extra detail on the escorts for each operation to your "list" ;)

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Kitchener
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Re: The British Response To Operation Sealion

Post by Kitchener » 31 May 2013 06:31

phylo_roadking wrote:Thank you. You're learning how it works here.

Now -
During the ten nights of German minelaying, either the RN would not have detected this at all, or if they did would have been drawn into a maritime Battle of Britain in which both sides would have suffered heavy losses. Mr. Roadking had not at the time of writing vouchsafed his ideas of what escorts the Kriegsmarine would (or could) have provided...
Firstly, you have not actually said what escorts the Kriegsmarine could provide...
Why would *I* vouchsafe a PERSONAL opinion - when you ALREADY KNEW to a limited extent what escorts the Kriegsmarine was intending to provide? 8O
D-9 Barrier D2 16.3 miles long. Laid by Togo, Stralsund, Schwerin, & Tannenberg, escorted by 4 torpedo boats & S-boats. 550 mines, 55 meters apart.

D-9 Barrier D1 5.4 miles long. Laid by 4 destroyers & 4 torpedo boats, escorted by S-Boats. 250 mines, 40 meters apart.

D-8 Barrier A2, 16.3 miles long. Same details as D2.

D-8 Barrier A1. Same details as for D1.

D-6 Barrier C2, 8.6 miles long. Laid by Roland, Konigin Luise,Preussen, and Grille, escorted by S-Boats. 400 mines 40 meters apart.

D-6 Barrier B3, 19.4 miles long, Laid by Togo, Stralsund, Schwerin, Schiff 23, Tannenberg, 6 minesweepers, 1 destroyer, & 4 torpedo boats. Escort unknown. 1200 mines 30 meters apart.

D-4 Barrier C3 8.6 miles long. Same details as C2.

D-4 Barrier B2 19.4 miles long. Same details as B3

D-2 Barrier C1a 2 miles long, Laid by 4 torpedo boats, 95 mines 40 meters apart.

D-2 Barrier C1 8.2 miles long. Same details as C2.

D-2 Barrier B1. 5.2 miles long, Laid by 4 destroyers & 4 torpedo boats, escorted by S-Boats. 300 mines, 32 meters apart.
By the way, the table from Schenk you want to check your details against is THIS one...and you should be able to add the extra detail on the escorts for each operation to your "list" ;)

Image
What extra details? There doesn't seem to be anything on here that wasn't on the original list my friend supplied in the late 1980s.

I wouldn't want to check the details in any case. I think I suggested to the chap to whom I replied that he could if he wished. As none of the theoretical operations took place anyway, following the cancellation of the whole Sealion project in the light of RN naval supremacy and the failure of the Luftwaffe, then the whole minelaying programme was nothing more than pie in the sky. A sort of Kriegsmarine dream of what they would like to do if they existed in a wonderful alternative universe.

Yet another case of plans exceeding capabilities, one of many.

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Re: The British Response To Operation Sealion

Post by Gooner1 » 31 May 2013 13:44

phylo_roadking wrote:
Kindly check the details of the Sandhurst simultation; the "invasion" wasn't defeated by the Royal Navy until the THIRD night...
Yes, it would have been quite rude and most unsporting if Sandhurst had told their German 'umpire' guests that they could go home the first morning because the Royal Navy had wiped the invasion fleet out during the crossing!

That's WHY level bombers won't be attacking the invasion shipping...
Another extraordinary leap in logic. Care to explain?

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Re: The British Response To Operation Sealion

Post by Kitchener » 31 May 2013 19:57

Gooner1 wrote:
phylo_roadking wrote:
Kindly check the details of the Sandhurst simultation; the "invasion" wasn't defeated by the Royal Navy until the THIRD night...
Yes, it would have been quite rude and most unsporting if Sandhurst had told their German 'umpire' guests that they could go home the first morning because the Royal Navy had wiped the invasion fleet out during the crossing!

That's WHY level bombers won't be attacking the invasion shipping...
Another extraordinary leap in logic. Care to explain?
Good afternoon,

An interesting point ( and a welcome break from theoretical mining) is that a reference made recently suggesting that RN destroyers in the Channel in daylight would be too busy firing at German aircraft is not quite in accordance with the facts. Apart from the WAIRS & the Hunt class destroyers, the typical RN destroyer had a low angle main armament, incapable of elevating sufficiently to engage aircraft.

Most of the destroyers of the period had a single 3 inch HA gun mounted in place of the after set of tubes, two two pounder pom-poms or quadruple 0.5 inch machine guns, and a variety of 'scrounged' light weapons, generally Lewis guns or Brens. These weapons were not particularly effective, and for defence against aircraft the typical destroyer relied on the skill of its skipper, combined with it's agility.

The main armament, usually four four inch or four point seven inch guns, was controlled by a gunnery director mounted on the bridge, which was connected to a transmitting station lower down in the ship. The TS was connected to a primitive computer, known as an Admiralty Fire Control Clock, into which was fed the speed and course of the ship, the speed and course of the target, the temperature of the gun barrels and the barometric pressure, among other things. The Clock would even allow for the spin imparted on the shell by the rifling, and completed calculations (range of enemy, elevation of each gun, and the necessary deflection) would be transmitted electrically to each gun. Once the guns were ready to fire, 4 gun-ready lamps would light in the TS, a fire gong would ring, and the director layer, responsible for keeping his sights on the target, would press the trigger.

This might sound long winded, but a competent gun crew could generally manage four rounds per minute.

Thus, not only would the main armament have been largely undisrupted by air attack, but, even with the ship making frequent course alterations, a steady, accurate, fire could be maintained.

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Re: The British Response To Operation Sealion

Post by Kitchener » 31 May 2013 20:47

phylo_roadking wrote:
Kindly check the details of the Sandhurst simultation; the "invasion" wasn't defeated by the Royal Navy until the THIRD night...


This is not quite correct, I fear.

The game is described in great detail in 'The Daily Telegraph Magazine' issue number 497, of May 17, 1974.

It states that the organizer, Paddy Griffith ( then a War Studies lecturer at the Royal Military Academy) ' made some adjustments to history, to give the Germans a better chance than most historians assume they had.'

It then goes on to describe the players and umpires in detail, and then explains the game in detail, and its outcome. There are some lovely pictures, sadly in black & white.

In the game, the barges assemble on the afternoon / evening of 21 September and ( thanks in good part to Paddy's tampering!) land the first wave of troops on the morning of 22 September. By the afternoon of 22nd, the British have established a defensive line (The Winston Line), and the Germans are trying to capture Folkestone.

At 1300 on 23 September, RN warships steam into the Channel, the Luftwaffe fails to locate ships from the Home Fleet off East Anglia, and the weather deteriorates. In a naval action off Cherbourg, the RN loses one destroyer, whilst the Kriegsmarine loses three destroyers and seven torpedo boats.

The Channel lines of communication are now cut, and the 60750 Germans ashore ( two thirds of the original force ) are unable to receive further supplies, nor the artillery which should have come with the second wave.

At a Fuhrer Conference on the evening of 23 September Hitler decides upon evacuation. The British are, apparently, astonished to learn from intelligence reports that German troops in Ostend, believed ready to cross, are disembarking.

By my calculations, Dawn ( say 0600 ) on 22nd to 1300 on 23rd is not three days.

As I said, Daily Telegraph Magazine Issue 497, of 17 May 1974.

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Re: The British Response To Operation Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 31 May 2013 22:49

What extra details? There doesn't seem to be anything on here that wasn't on the original list my friend supplied in the late 1980s
Just some minor extras if you look closely...
D-9 Barrier D2 16.3 miles long. Laid by Togo, Stralsund, Schwerin, & Tannenberg, escorted by 4 torpedo boats & S-boats. 550 mines, 55 meters apart.

D-9 Barrier D1 5.4 miles long. Laid by 4 destroyers & 4 torpedo boats, escorted by S-Boats. 250 mines, 40 meters apart.

D-8 Barrier A2, 16.3 miles long. Same details as D2.

D-8 Barrier A1. Same details as for D1.

D-6 Barrier C2, 8.6 miles long. Laid by Roland, Konigin Luise,Preussen, and Grille, escorted by 2 T-boats, & S-Boats. 400 mines 40 meters apart.

D-6 Barrier B3, 19.4 miles long, Laid by Togo, Stralsund, Schwerin, Schiff 23, Tannenberg, 6 minesweepers, 1 destroyer, & 4 torpedo boats. Escort unknown (but not unspecified - "other destroyers and boats"). 1200 mines 30 meters apart.

D-4 Barrier C3 8.6 miles long. Same details as C2.

D-4 Barrier B2 19.4 miles long. Same details as B3

D-2 Barrier C1a 2 miles long, Laid by 4 torpedo boats, 95 mines 40 meters apart.

D-2 Barrier C1 8.2 miles long. Same details as C2.

D-2 Barrier B1. 5.2 miles long, Laid by 4 destroyers & 4 torpedo boats (35), escorted by S-Boats. 300 mines, 32 meters apart.
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phylo_roadking
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Re: The British Response To Operation Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 31 May 2013 22:58

phylo_roadking wrote:
Kindly check the details of the Sandhurst simultation; the "invasion" wasn't defeated by the Royal Navy until the THIRD night...

This is not quite correct, I fear.

The game is described in great detail in 'The Daily Telegraph Magazine' issue number 497, of May 17, 1974.

It states that the organizer, Paddy Griffith ( then a War Studies lecturer at the Royal Military Academy) ' made some adjustments to history, to give the Germans a better chance than most historians assume they had.'

It then goes on to describe the players and umpires in detail, and then explains the game in detail, and its outcome. There are some lovely pictures, sadly in black & white.

In the game, the barges assemble on the afternoon / evening of 21 September and ( thanks in good part to Paddy's tampering!) land the first wave of troops on the morning of 22 September. By the afternoon of 22nd, the British have established a defensive line (The Winston Line), and the Germans are trying to capture Folkestone.

At 1300 on 23 September, RN warships steam into the Channel, the Luftwaffe fails to locate ships from the Home Fleet off East Anglia, and the weather deteriorates. In a naval action off Cherbourg, the RN loses one destroyer, whilst the Kriegsmarine loses three destroyers and seven torpedo boats.

The Channel lines of communication are now cut, and the 60750 Germans ashore ( two thirds of the original force ) are unable to receive further supplies, nor the artillery which should have come with the second wave.

At a Fuhrer Conference on the evening of 23 September Hitler decides upon evacuation. The British are, apparently, astonished to learn from intelligence reports that German troops in Ostend, believed ready to cross, are disembarking.

By my calculations, Dawn ( say 0600 ) on 22nd to 1300 on 23rd is not three days.

As I said, Daily Telegraph Magazine Issue 497, of 17 May 1974.
Not correct; at 2150 on the night of the 23rd, "Hitler" actually decides to launch the "second wave", on the short crossings from Calais and Dunkirk only.

You're thus forgetting the attempt to cross the Channel on the 24th...

http://mr-home.staff.shef.ac.uk/hobbies/seelowe.txt
23rd Sep 1900 - Sep 24th dawn
The Fuhrer Conference held at 1800 broke out into bitter
inter-service rivalry - the Army wanted their second
echelon sent, and the navy protesting that the
weather was unsuitable, and the latest naval defeat
rendered the Channel indefensible without air support.
Goring countered this by saying it could only be done
by stopped the terror bombing of London, which in turn
Hitler vetoed. The fleet was ordered to stand by.

The RAF meanwhile had lost 97 more fighters leaving only
440. The airfields of 11 Group were cratered ruins, and
once more the threat of collapse, which had receded in
early September, was looming. The Luftwaffe had lost
another 71 fighters and 142 bombers. Again both sides
overestimated losses inflicted, even after allowing for
inflated figures.

On the ground the Germans made good progress towards Dover
and towards Canterbury, however they suffered reverses
around Newhaven when the 45th Div and Australians
attacked. At 2150 Hitler decided to launch the second wave,
but only the short crossing from Calais and Dunkirk. By
the time the order reached the ports, the second wave
could not possibly arrive before dawn. The 6th and 8th
divisions at Newhaven, supplied from Le Havre, would not
be reinforced at all.

Sep 24th dawn - Sep 28th
The German fleet set sail, the weather calmed, and U-Boats,
E-Boats and fighters covered them. However at daylight 5th
destroyer flotilla found the barges still 10 miles off
the coast and tore them to shreds. The Luftwaffe in turn
committed all its remaining bombers, and the RAF responded
with 19 squadrons of fighters. The Germans disabled two
CAs and four DDs, but 65% of the barges were sunk. The
faster steamers broke away and headed for Folkestone,
but the port had been so badly damaged that they could
only unload two at a time.
Twenty years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs....
Lord, please keep Kevin Bacon alive...

Kitchener
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Re: The British Response To Operation Sealion

Post by Kitchener » 01 Jun 2013 06:52

phylo_roadking wrote:
phylo_roadking wrote:
Kindly check the details of the Sandhurst simultation; the "invasion" wasn't defeated by the Royal Navy until the THIRD night...

This is not quite correct, I fear.

The game is described in great detail in 'The Daily Telegraph Magazine' issue number 497, of May 17, 1974.

It states that the organizer, Paddy Griffith ( then a War Studies lecturer at the Royal Military Academy) ' made some adjustments to history, to give the Germans a better chance than most historians assume they had.'

It then goes on to describe the players and umpires in detail, and then explains the game in detail, and its outcome. There are some lovely pictures, sadly in black & white.

In the game, the barges assemble on the afternoon / evening of 21 September and ( thanks in good part to Paddy's tampering!) land the first wave of troops on the morning of 22 September. By the afternoon of 22nd, the British have established a defensive line (The Winston Line), and the Germans are trying to capture Folkestone.

At 1300 on 23 September, RN warships steam into the Channel, the Luftwaffe fails to locate ships from the Home Fleet off East Anglia, and the weather deteriorates. In a naval action off Cherbourg, the RN loses one destroyer, whilst the Kriegsmarine loses three destroyers and seven torpedo boats.

The Channel lines of communication are now cut, and the 60750 Germans ashore ( two thirds of the original force ) are unable to receive further supplies, nor the artillery which should have come with the second wave.

At a Fuhrer Conference on the evening of 23 September Hitler decides upon evacuation. The British are, apparently, astonished to learn from intelligence reports that German troops in Ostend, believed ready to cross, are disembarking.

By my calculations, Dawn ( say 0600 ) on 22nd to 1300 on 23rd is not three days.

As I said, Daily Telegraph Magazine Issue 497, of 17 May 1974.
Not correct; at 2150 on the night of the 23rd, "Hitler" actually decides to launch the "second wave", on the short crossings from Calais and Dunkirk only.

You're thus forgetting the attempt to cross the Channel on the 24th...

http://mr-home.staff.shef.ac.uk/hobbies/seelowe.txt
23rd Sep 1900 - Sep 24th dawn
The Fuhrer Conference held at 1800 broke out into bitter
inter-service rivalry - the Army wanted their second
echelon sent, and the navy protesting that the
weather was unsuitable, and the latest naval defeat
rendered the Channel indefensible without air support.
Goring countered this by saying it could only be done
by stopped the terror bombing of London, which in turn
Hitler vetoed. The fleet was ordered to stand by.

The RAF meanwhile had lost 97 more fighters leaving only
440. The airfields of 11 Group were cratered ruins, and
once more the threat of collapse, which had receded in
early September, was looming. The Luftwaffe had lost
another 71 fighters and 142 bombers. Again both sides
overestimated losses inflicted, even after allowing for
inflated figures.

On the ground the Germans made good progress towards Dover
and towards Canterbury, however they suffered reverses
around Newhaven when the 45th Div and Australians
attacked. At 2150 Hitler decided to launch the second wave,
but only the short crossing from Calais and Dunkirk. By
the time the order reached the ports, the second wave
could not possibly arrive before dawn. The 6th and 8th
divisions at Newhaven, supplied from Le Havre, would not
be reinforced at all.

Sep 24th dawn - Sep 28th
The German fleet set sail, the weather calmed, and U-Boats,
E-Boats and fighters covered them. However at daylight 5th
destroyer flotilla found the barges still 10 miles off
the coast and tore them to shreds. The Luftwaffe in turn
committed all its remaining bombers, and the RAF responded
with 19 squadrons of fighters. The Germans disabled two
CAs and four DDs, but 65% of the barges were sunk. The
faster steamers broke away and headed for Folkestone,
but the port had been so badly damaged that they could
only unload two at a time.

Read the magazine article. The whole thing was sponsored by the Daily Telegraph, and took place over a 16 hour period.

Paddy himself had a first class honours degree from Oxford, and spent a year doing post-grad work at Lancaster University, where he organised a wargame based on a Napoleonic landing near Blackpool, supported by a rising by the Scots. A mate of mine, one Andy Holborn, was at Lancaster University, studying Politics with Strategic Studies & International Relations at the same time (whilst I was at Manchester, studying the rather more prosaic Modern HIstory), and was a member of the university's Jomini group, named after Antoine-Henri Jomini, sometimes called 'the father of modern strategy.'

My mate had the misfortune to command a unit of Scots irregulars in the game, and didn't do much more than build a defensive position on the River Lune, but he got to know Paddy quite well, and kept in touch with him until Paddy's death in 2010. Many of the rules later used in the Sealion game, according to Andy, were originally introduced in the Lancaster game. Paddy's doctorate was entitled 'Military Thought in the French Army, 1815 -1851' and he was a military, rather than naval, historian. He was, however, a major figure in the wargaming fraternity of the period.

Andy & Paddy talked from time to time about the Sandhurst event, Andy, like me,having an interest in Sealion, and the report in the Telegraph magazine is a correct account of what happened. Actually, the Hitler meeting ends with Adolf ordering the assassination of Churchill, which fails.

Subsequent accounts of the game, including Richard Cox's book, are interesting but inaccurate, and I understand that Paddy in later years was more than a little surprised that the whole exercise gained a degree of notoriety which it really did not deserve. Paddy was always quite open about the fact that he had altered the historical situation to bring the landings about, and was apparently perplexed that in some quarters the game seemed to have taken on the status of Holy Writ.

In short, it was an entertaining early wargame in which a few liberties with the facts had been taken, and nothing more than that.

As I said - The Telegraph sponsored the whole thing, so read their account in the magazine, which could no doubt be obtained by request at a decent library.

Kitchener
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Re: The British Response To Operation Sealion

Post by Kitchener » 01 Jun 2013 06:58

Kitchener wrote:
phylo_roadking wrote:
phylo_roadking wrote:
Kindly check the details of the Sandhurst simultation; the "invasion" wasn't defeated by the Royal Navy until the THIRD night...

This is not quite correct, I fear.

The game is described in great detail in 'The Daily Telegraph Magazine' issue number 497, of May 17, 1974.

It states that the organizer, Paddy Griffith ( then a War Studies lecturer at the Royal Military Academy) ' made some adjustments to history, to give the Germans a better chance than most historians assume they had.'

It then goes on to describe the players and umpires in detail, and then explains the game in detail, and its outcome. There are some lovely pictures, sadly in black & white.

In the game, the barges assemble on the afternoon / evening of 21 September and ( thanks in good part to Paddy's tampering!) land the first wave of troops on the morning of 22 September. By the afternoon of 22nd, the British have established a defensive line (The Winston Line), and the Germans are trying to capture Folkestone.

At 1300 on 23 September, RN warships steam into the Channel, the Luftwaffe fails to locate ships from the Home Fleet off East Anglia, and the weather deteriorates. In a naval action off Cherbourg, the RN loses one destroyer, whilst the Kriegsmarine loses three destroyers and seven torpedo boats.

The Channel lines of communication are now cut, and the 60750 Germans ashore ( two thirds of the original force ) are unable to receive further supplies, nor the artillery which should have come with the second wave.

At a Fuhrer Conference on the evening of 23 September Hitler decides upon evacuation. The British are, apparently, astonished to learn from intelligence reports that German troops in Ostend, believed ready to cross, are disembarking.

By my calculations, Dawn ( say 0600 ) on 22nd to 1300 on 23rd is not three days.

As I said, Daily Telegraph Magazine Issue 497, of 17 May 1974.
Not correct; at 2150 on the night of the 23rd, "Hitler" actually decides to launch the "second wave", on the short crossings from Calais and Dunkirk only.

You're thus forgetting the attempt to cross the Channel on the 24th...

http://mr-home.staff.shef.ac.uk/hobbies/seelowe.txt
23rd Sep 1900 - Sep 24th dawn
The Fuhrer Conference held at 1800 broke out into bitter
inter-service rivalry - the Army wanted their second
echelon sent, and the navy protesting that the
weather was unsuitable, and the latest naval defeat
rendered the Channel indefensible without air support.
Goring countered this by saying it could only be done
by stopped the terror bombing of London, which in turn
Hitler vetoed. The fleet was ordered to stand by.

The RAF meanwhile had lost 97 more fighters leaving only
440. The airfields of 11 Group were cratered ruins, and
once more the threat of collapse, which had receded in
early September, was looming. The Luftwaffe had lost
another 71 fighters and 142 bombers. Again both sides
overestimated losses inflicted, even after allowing for
inflated figures.

On the ground the Germans made good progress towards Dover
and towards Canterbury, however they suffered reverses
around Newhaven when the 45th Div and Australians
attacked. At 2150 Hitler decided to launch the second wave,
but only the short crossing from Calais and Dunkirk. By
the time the order reached the ports, the second wave
could not possibly arrive before dawn. The 6th and 8th
divisions at Newhaven, supplied from Le Havre, would not
be reinforced at all.

Sep 24th dawn - Sep 28th
The German fleet set sail, the weather calmed, and U-Boats,
E-Boats and fighters covered them. However at daylight 5th
destroyer flotilla found the barges still 10 miles off
the coast and tore them to shreds. The Luftwaffe in turn
committed all its remaining bombers, and the RAF responded
with 19 squadrons of fighters. The Germans disabled two
CAs and four DDs, but 65% of the barges were sunk. The
faster steamers broke away and headed for Folkestone,
but the port had been so badly damaged that they could
only unload two at a time.

Read the magazine article. The whole thing was sponsored by the Daily Telegraph, and took place over a 16 hour period.

Paddy himself had a first class honours degree from Oxford, and spent a year doing post-grad work at Lancaster University, where he organised a wargame based on a Napoleonic landing near Blackpool, supported by a rising by the Scots. A mate of mine, one Andy Holborn, was at Lancaster University, studying Politics with Strategic Studies & International Relations at the same time (whilst I was at Manchester, studying the rather more prosaic Modern HIstory), and was a member of the university's Jomini group, named after Antoine-Henri Jomini, sometimes called 'the father of modern strategy.'

My mate had the misfortune to command a unit of Scots irregulars in the game, and didn't do much more than build a defensive position on the River Lune, but he got to know Paddy quite well, and kept in touch with him until Paddy's death in 2010. Many of the rules later used in the Sealion game, according to Andy, were originally introduced in the Lancaster game. Paddy's doctorate was entitled 'Military Thought in the French Army, 1815 -1851' and he was a military, rather than naval, historian. He was, however, a major figure in the wargaming fraternity of the period.

Andy & Paddy talked from time to time about the Sandhurst event, Andy, like me,having an interest in Sealion, and the report in the Telegraph magazine is a correct account of what happened. Actually, the Hitler meeting ends with Adolf ordering the assassination of Churchill, which fails.

Subsequent accounts of the game, including Richard Cox's book, are interesting but inaccurate, and I understand that Paddy in later years was more than a little surprised that the whole exercise gained a degree of notoriety which it really did not deserve. Paddy was always quite open about the fact that he had altered the historical situation to bring the landings about, and was apparently perplexed that in some quarters the game seemed to have taken on the status of Holy Writ.

In short, it was an entertaining early wargame in which a few liberties with the facts had been taken, and nothing more than that.

Incidentally, even by your account, the RN cut the lines of communication on the 23rd, and the second wave is 'torn to shreds' on the morning of the 24th, so your three day reference is still incorrect. Not that any of this matters, this was simply an amusement set up by a gregarious, likeable (according to Andy) chap who enjoyed wargaming, and managed to find a national newspaper to sponsor this one.

As I said - The Telegraph sponsored the whole thing, so read their account in the magazine, which could no doubt be obtained by request at a decent library.

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Re: The British Response To Operation Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 01 Jun 2013 11:46

Without having read the complete report, I do indeed have the impression that the Sandhurst wargame was not particularly serious and certainly not based on a profound and complete analysis of the capabilities of both sides.

In any case, to get away from the somewhat unproductive minefield discussion (my personal opinion remains that all in all mines would have been a roughly equal hazard to both sides), I have been thinking a bit about what might have happened if the LW had concentrated its efforts on the RN in the days before the invasion attempt. I would assume that attacks against airfields would have continued as well, to give the RAF no chance to recover, and some preparatory attacks against coastal defences, army installations etc. would have to be carried out too in the same time frame.

It is clear that if Sea Lion had gone off, Portsmouth would have played a crucial role as a naval base. Dover was too exposed and within range of the German guns, and might also be captured early on (as a footnote, even if the destroyers were withdrawn, there were still some 70-80 RN vessels at Dover: minesweeping trawlers, auxiliary patrol vessels, a few MTBs, etc.). Plymouth was further away and considered vulnerable to mining.

Portsmouth was defended by some 40 3.7in and 4.5in HAA guns, plus LAA and whatever RN ships could contribute.
32 barrage ballons were deployed in the city and a further 24 across the Harbour in Gosport (932 Squadron Balloon Command). The RN may have had a few more tethered to trawlers. I would assume that there were smoke installations as well, although I can't find any mention of them.

The first serious attack on Portsmouth took place on 11 June, by 12 He111s (KG 55 and 51), escorted by a similar number of Me110s. Hurricanes intercepted. Two Heinkels collided in mid-air, the rest pressed on and released their bombs. The town suffered most (19 people dead, 26 seriously injured, scores of buildings destroyed or badly damaged). In the harbour, two barges loaded with ammunition and explosives were sunk and the French destroyer Savorgnan de Brazza sustained some splinter damage. A few bombs falling into the dockyard did only minor damage.

On August 12th, some 70-80 Ju88s flew through the gap in the balloon barrage at the mouth of the harbour and proceeded to bomb the dockyard and the southern part of the city. Some, deterred by the AA barrage, remained at a respectful altitude but others delivered their attacks from as low as 1000 feet. The battleship Queen Elizabeth (under repair) attracted some attention but was not hit, although a floating crane alongside was badly damaged. One bomb ripped up railway tracks and severed all the water, hydraulic, air and gas mains. Other dockyard installations were damaged as well although casualties were light: 3 dockyard workers killed and 17 injured. Again, the civilian areas took the brunt of the bombing. This raid cost the LW 12 Ju88s, although mostly brought down by fighters and not by the AA guns.

The next day, there were attacks on the Coastal Command airfield at Gosport and the Naval air Station at Lee-on-Solent.
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Re: The British Response To Operation Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 01 Jun 2013 13:07

(continued)
The third big raid on Portsmouth took place on the afternoon of August 24th when some 50 Ju88s dropped 250 and 500 kg bombs indiscriminately over the southern half of the city, killing 117 people with another 100 badly injured.
The mine and torpedo base at HMS Vernon was also hit and several buildings were destroyed. Damage in the dockyard itself was relatively light (9 bombs), although a direct hit on a shelter killed or injured 65 dockyard workers.
The destroyer Acheron was disabled by a direct hit to the stern.

On 26 August some 50 He111s escorted by over 100 Me109s and Me110s again attacked Portsmouth but this attack was broken up by RAF fighters and only a few bombs hit anything. One bomber scored a bullseye on Fort Cumberland, killing or wounding 14 Royal Marines.

On the night of 27/28 Aug., a small force of bombers dropped incendiaries on the city. Damage was minor.

September was relatively quiet by comparison. There were some four or five night attacks by small numbers of bombers. On the 24th Me109 fighter-bombers, after having dropped their bombs on the Supermarine aircraft factory at Woolston near Southampton, strafed the town.

This pattern (tip and run raids, mostly by night) continued until the end of the year.

(The information above is largely from Paul Jenkins, Battle over Portsmouth, 1986. Since the author is (or was) a Lieutenant Commander RN I presume his statements about damage to ships to be accurate - and he also provides maps showing were individual bombs fell)

What can we conclude? It certainly doesn't seem as if the LW was a mortal threat to the many ships in Portsmouth Harbour. Several large scale attacks managed to put just one destroyer out of action. On the other hand the AA guns and other defenses don't seem to have been very effective, except perhaps insofar as they prevented accurate bombing.
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Re: The British Response To Operation Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 01 Jun 2013 15:35

Without having read the complete report, I do indeed have the impression that the Sandhurst wargame was not particularly serious and certainly not based on a profound and complete analysis of the capabilities of both sides.

In any case, to get away from the somewhat unproductive minefield discussion (my personal opinion remains that all in all mines would have been a roughly equal hazard to both sides), I have been thinking a bit about what might have happened if the LW had concentrated its efforts on the RN in the days before the invasion attempt. I would assume that attacks against airfields would have continued as well, to give the RAF no chance to recover, and some preparatory attacks against coastal defences, army installations etc. would have to be carried out too in the same time frame.

It is clear that if Sea Lion had gone off, Portsmouth would have played a crucial role as a naval base. Dover was too exposed and within range of the German guns, and might also be captured early on (as a footnote, even if the destroyers were withdrawn, there were still some 70-80 RN vessels at Dover: minesweeping trawlers, auxiliary patrol vessels, a few MTBs, etc.). Plymouth was further away and considered vulnerable to mining.

Portsmouth was defended by some 40 3.7in and 4.5in HAA guns, plus LAA and whatever RN ships could contribute.
32 barrage ballons were deployed in the city and a further 24 across the Harbour in Gosport (932 Squadron Balloon Command). The RN may have had a few more tethered to trawlers. I would assume that there were smoke installations as well, although I can't find any mention of them.

The first serious attack on Portsmouth took place on 11 June, by 12 He111s (KG 55 and 51), escorted by a similar number of Me110s. Hurricanes intercepted. Two Heinkels collided in mid-air, the rest pressed on and released their bombs. The town suffered most (19 people dead, 26 seriously injured, scores of buildings destroyed or badly damaged). In the harbour, two barges loaded with ammunition and explosives were sunk and the French destroyer Savorgnan de Brazza sustained some splinter damage. A few bombs falling into the dockyard did only minor damage.

On August 12th, some 70-80 Ju88s flew through the gap in the balloon barrage at the mouth of the harbour and proceeded to bomb the dockyard and the southern part of the city. Some, deterred by the AA barrage, remained at a respectful altitude but others delivered their attacks from as low as 1000 feet. The battleship Queen Elizabeth (under repair) attracted some attention but was not hit, although a floating crane alongside was badly damaged. One bomb ripped up railway tracks and severed all the water, hydraulic, air and gas mains. Other dockyard installations were damaged as well although casualties were light: 3 dockyard workers killed and 17 injured. Again, the civilian areas took the brunt of the bombing. This raid cost the LW 12 Ju88s, although mostly brought down by fighters and not by the AA guns.

The next day, there were attacks on the Coastal Command airfield at Gosport and the Naval air Station at Lee-on-Solent.
The third big raid on Portsmouth took place on the afternoon of August 24th when some 50 Ju88s dropped 250 and 500 kg bombs indiscriminately over the southern half of the city, killing 117 people with another 100 badly injured.
The mine and torpedo base at HMS Vernon was also hit and several buildings were destroyed. Damage in the dockyard itself was relatively light (9 bombs), although a direct hit on a shelter killed or injured 65 dockyard workers.
The destroyer Acheron was disabled by a direct hit to the stern.

On 26 August some 50 He111s escorted by over 100 Me109s and Me110s again attacked Portsmouth but this attack was broken up by RAF fighters and only a few bombs hit anything. One bomber scored a bullseye on Fort Cumberland, killing or wounding 14 Royal Marines.

On the night of 27/28 Aug., a small force of bombers dropped incendiaries on the city. Damage was minor.

September was relatively quiet by comparison. There were some four or five night attacks by small numbers of bombers. On the 24th Me109 fighter-bombers, after having dropped their bombs on the Supermarine aircraft factory at Woolston near Southampton, strafed the town.

This pattern (tip and run raids, mostly by night) continued until the end of the year.

(The information above is largely from Paul Jenkins, Battle over Portsmouth, 1986. Since the author is (or was) a Lieutenant Commander RN I presume his statements about damage to ships to be accurate - and he also provides maps showing were individual bombs fell)

What can we conclude? It certainly doesn't seem as if the LW was a mortal threat to the many ships in Portsmouth Harbour. Several large scale attacks managed to put just one destroyer out of action. On the other hand the AA guns and other defenses don't seem to have been very effective, except perhaps insofar as they prevented accurate bombing.
You are of course assuming that the "many ships in Portsmouth Harbour" included lots of destroyers TO target??? Don't forget they patrolled by day as well as night, as well as their coastal convoy protect duties until convoys through the Narrows were halted...

Against this we should ALSO lay the following example(s)...
"But Dover was soon to suffer from a shortage of destroyers. The 1st Flotilla had just worked itself up to full efficiency when three of the G-class ships were taken away, to be repalced with escort destroyers with much inferior armament. There was disaster for the flotilla on, 20, 25 and 27 July when Brazen and Codrington were sunk by air attack and five others were damaged, leaving only Bulldog and Fernie in service... "
Brazen -
"Whilst escorting Channel Convoy CW7 in Straits of Dover came under heavy air attack.
Several near misses caused major structural damage.
Back of ship was broken."

Codrington -
"During Boiler Clean period at Dover alongside HM Depot Ship SANDHURST in Submarine
Basin damaged by air attack.
Bomb fell alongside and broke back of ship, which sank."

Boreas -
"Under air attack off Dover during passage to intercept E-Boats with HMS BRILLIANT. Disabled by near misses which also caused slow flooding aft. After repair proceeded at 17 knots using emergency steering, but in a subsequent attack hit in bridge area by two bombs and badly damaged. 21 fatal casualties and ship taken in tow to Dover."
(Not operational again until January 1941)

Walpole -
"Came under dive bombing attack at Dover and sustained damage to turbines."
(opeational again Mid-September)

Sandhurst -
"In action with E-Boats attacking convoy in Straits of Dover.
Came under air attack by Ju87 aircraft off South Foreland after being ordered to
withdraw. Near missed in initial attacks but then hit aft by two bombs which did
not explode.
Ship settled by the stern and lost way.
Vessel lightened by jettison of X and Y guns as well as Depth Charges.
No casualties on board and two aircraft were destroyed.
Initially towed into Dover."
(operational again in October)

And do we need the mention the example of Foylebank again regarding what bombers could do to naval vessels moored in harbour basins?

By the way...
The third big raid on Portsmouth took place on the afternoon of August 24th when some 50 Ju88s dropped 250 and 500 kg bombs indiscriminately over the southern half of the city, killing 117 people with another 100 badly injured.
The mine and torpedo base at HMS Vernon was also hit and several buildings were destroyed. Damage in the dockyard itself was relatively light (9 bombs), although a direct hit on a shelter killed or injured 65 dockyard workers.
The destroyer Acheron was disabled by a direct hit to the stern.
(The information above is largely from Paul Jenkins, Battle over Portsmouth, 1986. Since the author is (or was) a Lieutenant Commander RN I presume his statements about damage to ships to be accurate - and he also provides maps showing were individual bombs fell
Acheron -
July 20th "In action with aircraft 10 miles South of St. Catherines Point.
Sustained damage by nine near misses during dive bombing attacks."
(never operational again, she sank when hit a mine on her post-refit sea trials!)

The destroyer Acheron was ALREADY out of service and laid up awaiting repair in Portsmouth for four weeks prior to this attack...
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Re: The British Response To Operation Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 01 Jun 2013 16:08

Subsequent accounts of the game, including Richard Cox's book, are interesting but inaccurate...
As I said - The Telegraph sponsored the whole thing, so read their account in the magazine, which could no doubt be obtained by request at a decent library.
There's actually a much easier way of comparing the two, I'll return to this particular aspect in a couple of days.
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Re: The British Response To Operation Sealion

Post by Kitchener » 01 Jun 2013 17:35

Knouterer wrote:(continued)
The third big raid on Portsmouth took place on the afternoon of August 24th when some 50 Ju88s dropped 250 and 500 kg bombs indiscriminately over the southern half of the city, killing 117 people with another 100 badly injured.
The mine and torpedo base at HMS Vernon was also hit and several buildings were destroyed. Damage in the dockyard itself was relatively light (9 bombs), although a direct hit on a shelter killed or injured 65 dockyard workers.
The destroyer Acheron was disabled by a direct hit to the stern.

On 26 August some 50 He111s escorted by over 100 Me109s and Me110s again attacked Portsmouth but this attack was broken up by RAF fighters and only a few bombs hit anything. One bomber scored a bullseye on Fort Cumberland, killing or wounding 14 Royal Marines.

On the night of 27/28 Aug., a small force of bombers dropped incendiaries on the city. Damage was minor.

September was relatively quiet by comparison. There were some four or five night attacks by small numbers of bombers. On the 24th Me109 fighter-bombers, after having dropped their bombs on the Supermarine aircraft factory at Woolston near Southampton, strafed the town.

This pattern (tip and run raids, mostly by night) continued until the end of the year.

(The information above is largely from Paul Jenkins, Battle over Portsmouth, 1986. Since the author is (or was) a Lieutenant Commander RN I presume his statements about damage to ships to be accurate - and he also provides maps showing were individual bombs fell)

What can we conclude? It certainly doesn't seem as if the LW was a mortal threat to the many ships in Portsmouth Harbour. Several large scale attacks managed to put just one destroyer out of action. On the other hand the AA guns and other defenses don't seem to have been very effective, except perhaps insofar as they prevented accurate bombing.
You may be interested in a few further comments on the Sandhurst exercise, which rather demonstrate how much importance should be assigned to it:

According to the Telegraph account of events, on the afternoon of 23 September, '16th Destroyer Flotilla and several other ships steam into the Western Channel,' after which there is the battle off Cherbourg I described earlier. This is all well and good, except that on 23 Sept. Tom Halsey's DF16 was actually part of Nore Command, based on the East Coast, and to get to the Western Channel DF16 would have to steam through the Straits, presumably ignoring the barge trains in its path. The fact is, Paddy Griffith didn't worry too much about getting his naval details correct; he was a military historian, not a naval one, and he was interested in a land battle on the South Coast, not a naval battle.

I wonder it those who write so learnedly about the Sandhurst exercise really know how decisions were reached by the umpires? In the days before computers, the problem of simultaneous movement was solved as follows:

In the event of matters naval, the team handling RN forces were assembled in a room, decided their courses of action, wrote them down, and handed their instructions to a group of umpires in a separate room. The German naval team would be assembled in a third room, and would do the same at the same time. The umpires would then plot the two sets of orders on a master map/chart, and decide whether any opposing forces had come into contact. If indeed, contact had been made, the umpires would decide the outcome of the engagement, and the losses incurred, by the roll of dice, or the cutting of a pack of cards, and send notes to the two sides with the results. All vastly entertaining, no doubt, but the results should surely not be taken as holy writ!

The fact is that the exercise was given a spurious credibility it did not deserve simply because it was held at Sandhurst. It was held at Sandhurst because Paddy was a lecturer there. Paddy was an enthusiastic wargamer, and would quite happily have held an identical wargame had he been a lecturer at, for example, Lancaster University, or come to that, Leicester Polytechnic. In such circumstances, of course, without the cachet of the Sandhurst name, the exercise would, had it come to light at all, have been viewed as an entertaining diversion, and promptly forgotten about.

The four umpires, by the way, Galland, Gueritz, Foxley-Norris, and Ruge, were apparently wined and dined royally, and enjoyed the whole thing immensely.

I do not see any point in returning to this again. It was, in effect, an Avalon Hill wargame writ large (for those who remember Avalon Hill and their famous 'hexes' and cardboard counters!), and as such is amusing but sublimely irrelevant.

Still, anyone sufficiently interested in such a curio can read about it in the old Telegraph magazine I mentioned earlier.

As to your comments about air attacks on Portsmouth, the battleship 'Queen Elizabeth' was in Portsmouth from before the outbreak of war until 12 December, 1940, being extensively modernized. She was not hit by bombing. The short list of other vessels, five destroyers and an escort depot ship provided by someone else, does not seem particularly relevant. Warships do tend to get sunk in war, and on 16 September the RN still had 165 destroyers in service and a further 17 refitting. Walpole, by the way, was under repair for less than a fortnight, and even the depot ship Sandhurst (launched in 1905) survived the war, subsequently serving at Londonderry and then Greenock.

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