Defence of England (Kent) in 1940

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Glynwed
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Defence of England (Kent) in 1940

Post by Glynwed » 30 Aug 2005 15:10

Hallo,
I´m lookin for forces (division, number of men, equipment) which have to defend the East coast of England (Kent and East Sussex) in July - September 1940 (german sea landing Seelowe).

I´m looking for anti air landing obstacles (photographs, maps) in Kent and East Sussex too.

Have anybody some link or photo?

Thanks for any help!

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Agrippa
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Post by Agrippa » 30 Aug 2005 23:35

I have a few tidbits of information but nothing really comprehensive on the web.

Peter Fleming, Operation Sea Lion: British had 395 light tanks, 75 infantry tanks, and 33 cruiser tanks available as of June 8th, 1940. By August, there were 29 divisions and 6 armoured brigades, although all units fell short of their TO&E requirements.

I do have this link that has a few bits of information on the defenses in Dover.

Finally, I have saved some figures on US arms shipments to the UK between June and September 1940. Unfortunately, I neglected to record a source for them. I'll list them below if you would still like them.

- 785,000 .30 cal. Lee-Enfield rifles,
- 130 million rounds .30 ammo.
- 6 million rounds .30 cal. machine gun ammo.
- 900 75mm field guns
- 1,075,000 75mm shells
- 308 3" Stokes mortars
- 97,680 Stokes mortar shells
- 87,000 machine guns (various types)
- 25,000 BAR's
- 21,000 revolvers
- 1,000,000 revolver cartridges

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Steve
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Post by Steve » 02 Sep 2005 01:29

Not exactly what asked for but it all goes towards building up the overall picture.

On June 22 1940 the Army in Britain had 26 divisions of which 12 were were not fully trained or equipped and 13/14 which had seen action in France and lost most of their equipment. By September they had 29 divisions (includes 2 Canadian) and 8 independent brigades of which 6 were armoured.

General Allan Brooke responsible for Britains Southern coast wrote in his diary on June 26 "the more I see of conditions ar home, the more bewildered I am as to what has been going on in this country since war started..........there are masses of men in uniform but mostly untrained, why I cannot think after ten months of war"

On the 15 of September "it is hard at times to retain the hopeful and confident exterior which is so essential to retain the confidence of those under one and to guard against their having any doubts as regards final outcome"

There was no inter-service high command to co-ordinate the Army, Navy and Air Force. Brooke had no authority to give orders to the other services. After the war he wrote that "this system presented grave dangers". He also had feared that Churchill as Minister of Defence would have tried to co-ordinate the different commands himself using intuition and not logic.

From "The History Of World War 2" a magazine on WW2 published in the 70s

If the Germans had staged a landing it difficult to see any other outcome than a German victory with the British army probably sustaining huge casualties and being unable to inflict commensurate casualties on the German army.

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Michael Emrys
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Post by Michael Emrys » 02 Sep 2005 03:57

Steve wrote:If the Germans had staged a landing it difficult to see any other outcome than a German victory with the British army probably sustaining huge casualties and being unable to inflict commensurate casualties on the German army.


Depends on the timing. If by some miracle, the Germans had been prepared and able to launch their invasion in June or July, they might have met with some success. After that date, and taking actual stock of the capabilities of the two forces, their chances diminish very rapidly. Taking September as the most likely date, and assuming that the RN doesn't simply chew them to pieces in the Channel (a huge "if" right there), the Germans could at most have moved about a corps' worth of troops. By your own figures, the Brits had in excess of 29 divisions to meet them with, in prepared defenses. Even supposing only a fraction of that number greets the Germans in the first instance, that still pretty much assures that the Germans lose. The Alied experience at making opposed landings was that to ensure a secure lodgement, they needed to have a local superiority on the order of 3:1 for at least the first 48 hours. The Germans simply weren't capable of putting a large enough force ashore, let alone supplying them after they got there.

BTW, IIRC, the initial plan the Heer submitted envisioned landing two armies. In other words, 4-6 times the force the Germans were actually capable of landing even under the best conditions.

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redcoat
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Post by redcoat » 02 Sep 2005 12:41

Grease_Spot wrote:[Taking September as the most likely date, and assuming that the RN doesn't simply chew them to pieces in the Channel (a huge "if" right there), the Germans could at most have moved about a corps' worth of troops. By your own figures, the Brits had in excess of 29 divisions to meet them with, in prepared defenses. Even supposing only a fraction of that number greets the Germans in the first instance, that still pretty much assures that the Germans lose. The Alied experience at making opposed landings was that to ensure a secure lodgement, they needed to have a local superiority on the order of 3:1 for at least the first 48 hours. The Germans simply weren't capable of putting a large enough force ashore, let alone supplying them after they got there.


The final plan for the September landing, was 3 seperate beach-heads over a 50 mile front, with a maximum of 1 division per beach-head on S-Day itself, and a further air landed divison.
With no interference from the RN its was hoped that over an 11 day period this would be built up to 9 divisions in total.
Facing them on the South coast was a total 16 divisions and at least 2 Armoured brigades.
The German plan considered that the British wouldn't launch any major counter- attacks until the 5th day of the landing, however the British intended to counter attack as soon as the Germans landed.

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Glynwed
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Post by Glynwed » 02 Sep 2005 14:43

THANKS to ALL !!! :)

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Steve
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Post by Steve » 02 Sep 2005 16:03

The following is taken from a study on the diaries and autobiographical notes of Field Marshall Allenbrooke by Arthur Bryant. Allenbrooke was appoined commander of the home forces destined to meet the impending invasion on July 19th.

He wrote after being apointed " The unpreparedness of our defences, the appalling lack of equipment, and the deficiency of training and battle-worthiness in the majority of our formations. The idea of failure was ....enough to render the load of responsibility almost unbearable"

It is often said that the British Navy would be able to intervene in the event of a German invasion attempt making it probably impossible for the Germans to establish the necessary sea superiority to carry out an invasion. It would appear that this is another WW2 myth. (I recently had a suprise over Kursk)

Diary entry July 26th "The attitude of representatives of the Naval Commander brought out very clearly the fact that the Navy now realizes fully that its position on the sea has been seriously undermined by the advent of aircraft. Sea supremacy is no longer what it was, and in the face of strong bomber forces can no longer ensure the safety of this Island from invasion" and later "I soon discovered that the Home Fleet, in the event of an invasion had little intention of coming farther south than the Wash. As destroyers were also being drawn off to protect the Western Approaches the Naval defence in the Channel and southern waters did not appear to be ....able to offer the required interference with German landing operations."

"The British Battle Fleet could not follow them (German surface units) through the bottleneck between the Thames estuary and Dutch and Belgian coasts and the still narrower Straights of Dover without running risks from air attack that might destroy its command of the sea altogether"....................."The Straights of Dover had ceased to be a British naval barrier as in the first World War and become a German trap door. The enemy could invade from either side of it at choice".

It would seem that there would not have been a sorte by the British fleet as its commanders regarded this as suicidal if the Germans had command of the air. In the words of its own commander the British army was in very poor condition in July and most of it even in September would not have been fit to meet the Germans. If the German Airforce had established air superiority over the Dover Straights rather than attempting to destroy the RAF the army could well have established a beachhead. British attempts to eliminate the bridgehead would probably have been similar to attempts by the Red Army in 1941 to repel the invasion ie. masses of brave poorly equipped poorly trained and poorly led (at the tactical level) troops being cut to pieces by the highly professional German army.

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redcoat
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Post by redcoat » 02 Sep 2005 20:34

The fact that the RN did not intend to send its heavy units of the Home Fleet into the Channel is well known. They intended to fight the invasion force with light cruisers ,destroyers and even armed trawlers. This force was quite capable of overwelming the German naval force that was planned to defend the invasion fleet, of which the largest class of ship would be a Torpedo-boat.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 03 Sep 2005 23:11

The 6th Anti-Aircraft Division was responsible for the Air-Defence of Kent and other counties in SE England (the most probable landing area for the invasion). 1st AA Division covered London.

Regards

Andy H

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Glynwed
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Post by Glynwed » 05 Sep 2005 10:59

Thanks again. I found that very god link for pillboxes, obstacles and other fortified builds in england.
http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/specColl/dob/

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