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RE: OT: Operation Sealion

 
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RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/22/2012 8:37:09 PM   
ETF


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From: Hamilton Area, Canada
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quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca


quote:

ORIGINAL: Howard Mitchell

quote:

ORIGINAL: kg_1007
...
Yes, and the Germans had about 600 Ju52's in reserve and a para division (7th) and an Airlift div (22nd), scheduled to drop near Lympne. Pls note, very close to the coast and within full reach of the Me109's. Not to speak of the carnage the Lufwafe bombers would have brought to the Royal Navy in day light. And don't tell me it wouldn't have been possible, they demonstrated their capabilities well enough near Crete.

hmmm Carnage on the RN in the channel with very fast CA's and DD's & MTB's. IIRC the Germans were decent but certainly not trained Naval attack aviators. Nothing like the Japanese.....Did they have what 1 trained torpedo squadron..... There were successes but nothing overwhelming in the MED with 10's of convoys transiting the GAP (Sicily area) all the time.
Re. Airborne losses....
Crete what were the average loses. My source indicates at least 55%......gee in Crete with what air defenses for the Allies.

Sea Lion makes for fun sound bites and nifty what if wargame scenarios. IMHO it stood very very little chance of success. You literally would need divine intervention.


Oh by the way I'm not British. Oh wait I'm from Canada. I guess I am a colonial sympathizer :)


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(in reply to glvaca)
Post #: 31
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/22/2012 8:38:13 PM   
glvaca

 

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The perfect British prpaganda story
Let's see, British fighter of the period had 8x .303 calibre machine guns with a total firing time of a wopping 12 sec. They could hardly take an unarmored bomber down with this, and you seriously believe they could sink a barge?
Barges where actually reinforced with concrete bottoms, carried flak and light howitzers. Pontoons and ferry's were available in quantity with 88's and 37mm AAA guns.
You seem to forget that the Germans planned to lay extensive minefields and needed 10 days for this job. They had penty stockpiled and a large amount of minelayers in several flottilla's.
Not to speak of the FOW which you seem to forget and automatically assume the British high command would take such an important decision of having the complete fleet sail based on first reports, which could be false. If you really believe that by September 1940, the British had any spies capable of warning them of the fleet sailing you are dreaming. They didn't even know the invasion would be launched from the channel ports until late August after air recon found the barges assembling in the ports.

You dream sir!

(in reply to IronDuke)
Post #: 32
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/22/2012 8:49:01 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 18041
Joined: 2/2/2008
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quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca

The perfect British prpaganda story
Let's see, British fighter of the period had 8x .303 calibre machine guns with a total firing time of a wopping 12 sec. They could hardly take an unarmored bomber down with this, and you seriously believe they could sink a barge?
Barges where actually reinforced with concrete bottoms, carried flak and light howitzers. Pontoons and ferry's were available in quantity with 88's and 37mm AAA guns.
You seem to forget that the Germans planned to lay extensive minefields and needed 10 days for this job. They had penty stockpiled and a large amount of minelayers in several flottilla's.
Not to speak of the FOW which you seem to forget and automatically assume the British high command would take such an important decision of having the complete fleet sail based on first reports, which could be false. If you really believe that by September 1940, the British had any spies capable of warning them of the fleet sailing you are dreaming. They didn't even know the invasion would be launched from the channel ports until late August after air recon found the barges assembling in the ports.

You dream sir!

Warspite1

quote:

Let's see, British fighter of the period had 8x .303 calibre machine guns with a total firing time of a wopping 12 sec. They could hardly take an unarmored bomber down with this


Obviously not, that's why we lost the Battle of Britain....Why did He-111's stop flying unescorted from Norway again?



_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to glvaca)
Post #: 33
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/22/2012 9:00:19 PM   
glvaca

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ETF


quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca


quote:

ORIGINAL: Howard Mitchell

quote:

ORIGINAL: kg_1007
...
Yes, and the Germans had about 600 Ju52's in reserve and a para division (7th) and an Airlift div (22nd), scheduled to drop near Lympne. Pls note, very close to the coast and within full reach of the Me109's. Not to speak of the carnage the Lufwafe bombers would have brought to the Royal Navy in day light. And don't tell me it wouldn't have been possible, they demonstrated their capabilities well enough near Crete.

hmmm Carnage on the RN in the channel with very fast CA's and DD's & MTB's. IIRC the Germans were decent but certainly not trained Naval attack aviators. Nothing like the Japanese.....Did they have what 1 trained torpedo squadron..... There were successes but nothing overwhelming in the MED with 10's of convoys transiting the GAP (Sicily area) all the time.
Re. Airborne losses....
Crete what were the average loses. My source indicates at least 55%......gee in Crete with what air defenses for the Allies.

Sea Lion makes for fun sound bites and nifty what if wargame scenarios. IMHO it stood very very little chance of success. You literally would need divine intervention.


Oh by the way I'm not British. Oh wait I'm from Canada. I guess I am a colonial sympathizer :)


Canadian makes you suspect
To restate, just for clarity, my point is not that it would have succeeded or that it would have been easy. My point is that dismissing it out of hand as impossible is plainly wrong. It could have succeeded but the odds were against it.

An important point missed in this discussion is that the German Navy complained that Goring was persuing his own personal campaign because he believed he could defeat the RAF alone and settle the matter by himself.
The plan agreed by the different CINC's of the different arms, in August planned for a shift of bombing attacks just before the invasion towards the RN ports and ships.

10's of convoys crossing the Med all the time. LOL, in 1940? You dream sir.

Regarding para's, never said it would have been easy, did I?
And the RN suffered serious losses during the battle and then evacuation of Crete. Please lets agree to keep our facts straight, shall we?
The RN lost 3 Cruisers and 6 destroyers sunk, one CV and 3BB damaged (the Valiant only slightly), 6 cruisers and 7 destroyers damaged. In addition to numerous other vessels lost and/or damaged.
They indeed did not have torpedo bombers at this time (neither in Crete) but they had dive bombers like the stuka's and Ju88 which could be very effective.

(in reply to ETF)
Post #: 34
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/22/2012 9:03:59 PM   
glvaca

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca

The perfect British prpaganda story
Let's see, British fighter of the period had 8x .303 calibre machine guns with a total firing time of a wopping 12 sec. They could hardly take an unarmored bomber down with this, and you seriously believe they could sink a barge?
Barges where actually reinforced with concrete bottoms, carried flak and light howitzers. Pontoons and ferry's were available in quantity with 88's and 37mm AAA guns.
You seem to forget that the Germans planned to lay extensive minefields and needed 10 days for this job. They had penty stockpiled and a large amount of minelayers in several flottilla's.
Not to speak of the FOW which you seem to forget and automatically assume the British high command would take such an important decision of having the complete fleet sail based on first reports, which could be false. If you really believe that by September 1940, the British had any spies capable of warning them of the fleet sailing you are dreaming. They didn't even know the invasion would be launched from the channel ports until late August after air recon found the barges assembling in the ports.

You dream sir!

Warspite1

quote:

Let's see, British fighter of the period had 8x .303 calibre machine guns with a total firing time of a wopping 12 sec. They could hardly take an unarmored bomber down with this


Obviously not, that's why we lost the Battle of Britain....Why did He-111's stop flying unescorted from Norway again?



Funny, you can't dispute the core of the messge so you resort to other tactics.
I'm quite sure the British pilots found it much more difficult to attack the bombers while escorted, or am I wrong?
Besides, British sources are the ones who claim that British pilots couldn't shoot and had difficulty taking down bombers with the .303's. But I doubt you actually have read anything on the subject.

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 35
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/22/2012 9:15:19 PM   
Howard Mitchell


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glvcaa, are you actually claiming the Germans won the Battle of Britian?

_____________________________

While the battles the British fight may differ in the widest possible ways, they invariably have two common characteristics – they are always fought uphill and always at the junction of two or more map sheets.

General Sir William Slim

(in reply to glvaca)
Post #: 36
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/22/2012 9:28:55 PM   
glvaca

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Howard Mitchell

glvcaa, are you actually claiming the Germans won the Battle of Britian?


For CHRIST SAKE!
No, I'm not saying they won the battle of Britain as they did not achieve their objective, which was bringing the Brits to the negotiating table and have peace.
Secondly, they did not achieve in forcing Britain to surrender.

However, what I DO claim, and which is supported by numerous British authors, is that for all intents and purposes, they did achieve a substantial measure of air superiority over the channel and SE of England.

Whether that would have been enough to guarantee the success of Sealion is certainly NOT the case BUT it was enough to make it possible, even if it would have been against the odds and would have certainly have been very costly. But it CERTIANLY NOT would have meant certain defeat either and the RN would have paid a serious price to try and prevent it too.

That's about the 10th time I'm writing this, so please stop twisting my words.

(in reply to Howard Mitchell)
Post #: 37
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/22/2012 9:34:44 PM   
Howard Mitchell


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quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca
.... Not to speak of the carnage the Lufwafe bombers would have brought to the Royal Navy in day light. And don't tell me it wouldn't have been possible, they demonstrated their capabilities well enough near Crete.


Unfortunately I do have to tell you that the luftwaffe would not have been able to deliver carnage aginst the Royal Navy. In 1940 it simply didn't have the airmen trained to attack warships. The proof of this is Dunkirk, where 9 of 56 Destroyers were sunk, no corvettes of 11 committed, no sloops of 6 committed, and 5 of 38 minesweepers committed. The Royal Navy could take these losses and still effectively carry out its mission. It did so off Dunkirk and it would have done so off invasion beaches in the UK as well. The luftwaffe would doubtless have inflicted damage, but not enough and not quickly enough to prevent the invasion fleet from having been savaged.

You must also remember that the Royal Navy would have operated effectively at night, and given a channel clogged with German invasion barges and tugs would have found easy pickings then as well.

I'm afraid I'm simply not convinced by your arguments. They mostly seem to amount to claiming that anyone disagreeing with you is biased.

The heads of the German armed forces in 1940, on the other hand, seem to have been more convinced by the arguments against an invasion being successful than those in favour of it.

_____________________________

While the battles the British fight may differ in the widest possible ways, they invariably have two common characteristics – they are always fought uphill and always at the junction of two or more map sheets.

General Sir William Slim

(in reply to glvaca)
Post #: 38
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/22/2012 9:34:47 PM   
danlongman

 

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"But I doubt you actually have read anything on the subject." -glvaca
I am not even in this one and you just threw your entire argument right out the window.
dan

(in reply to glvaca)
Post #: 39
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/22/2012 9:36:10 PM   
Howard Mitchell


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From: Blighty
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quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca
However, what I DO claim, and which is supported by numerous British authors, is that for all intents and purposes, they did achieve a substantial measure of air superiority over the channel and SE of England.


Rubbish.


_____________________________

While the battles the British fight may differ in the widest possible ways, they invariably have two common characteristics – they are always fought uphill and always at the junction of two or more map sheets.

General Sir William Slim

(in reply to glvaca)
Post #: 40
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/22/2012 9:37:55 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 18041
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca

The perfect British prpaganda story
Let's see, British fighter of the period had 8x .303 calibre machine guns with a total firing time of a wopping 12 sec. They could hardly take an unarmored bomber down with this, and you seriously believe they could sink a barge?
Barges where actually reinforced with concrete bottoms, carried flak and light howitzers. Pontoons and ferry's were available in quantity with 88's and 37mm AAA guns.
You seem to forget that the Germans planned to lay extensive minefields and needed 10 days for this job. They had penty stockpiled and a large amount of minelayers in several flottilla's.
Not to speak of the FOW which you seem to forget and automatically assume the British high command would take such an important decision of having the complete fleet sail based on first reports, which could be false. If you really believe that by September 1940, the British had any spies capable of warning them of the fleet sailing you are dreaming. They didn't even know the invasion would be launched from the channel ports until late August after air recon found the barges assembling in the ports.

You dream sir!

Warspite1

quote:

Let's see, British fighter of the period had 8x .303 calibre machine guns with a total firing time of a wopping 12 sec. They could hardly take an unarmored bomber down with this


Obviously not, that's why we lost the Battle of Britain....Why did He-111's stop flying unescorted from Norway again?



Funny, you can't dispute the core of the messge so you resort to other tactics.
I'm quite sure the British pilots found it much more difficult to attack the bombers while escorted, or am I wrong?
Besides, British sources are the ones who claim that British pilots couldn't shoot and had difficulty taking down bombers with the .303's. But I doubt you actually have read anything on the subject.
Warspite1

glvaca, I do not know why you are getting so snotty about it. Yes, like you I have read plenty - although based on some of your comments on Sealion, and indeed Midway, I suspect I have read more than you....

Why make silly remarks? I can and have disputed the core of the message - I cannot make that any plainer than I already have - so I do not need to resort to other tactics ? In any case I think it was you that resorted to other tactics e.g. so basically, if you believe Sealion was not possible, its because you are British and therefore biased - nothing to do with cold hard logic and facts

I think you are getting confused too over who won the Battle of Britain and the complete hash that the Luftwaffe made of that battle. As usual with these fantasy scenarios, you assume Goering would have made no mistakes and would have conducted the air battle perfectly.

Why bring Crete into it given the completely different situation? Was the Royal Air Force on hand to provide cover for the RN there or were they on their own? Despite being on their own and taking pretty serious losses, the navy did not let the army down. They would not have done had Sealion been ordered either. The destruction of the barges would have made the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot look like a close run thing....



_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to glvaca)
Post #: 41
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/22/2012 9:43:45 PM   
glvaca

 

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OK, I surrender. Sealion could not have happened even as an against the odds possibility. I see the error of my ways now, you have totally convinced me by your impressive sources.
Seriously, I don't see any point in continuing this.
Let's just agree to disagree and go and do more productive things

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 42
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/22/2012 9:50:20 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 18041
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
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quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca


OK, I surrender. Sealion could not have happened even as an against the odds possibility. I see the error of my ways now, you have totally convinced me by your impressive sources.
Seriously, I don't see any point in continuing this.
Let's just agree to disagree and go and do more productive things
Warspite1

Sounds like the first sensible thing you've said

_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to glvaca)
Post #: 43
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/22/2012 9:52:39 PM   
glvaca

 

Posts: 1109
Joined: 6/13/2006
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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca


OK, I surrender. Sealion could not have happened even as an against the odds possibility. I see the error of my ways now, you have totally convinced me by your impressive sources.
Seriously, I don't see any point in continuing this.
Let's just agree to disagree and go and do more productive things
Warspite1

Sounds like the first sensible thing you've said


Well, better late than never

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 44
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/22/2012 9:54:49 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 18041
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca


OK, I surrender. Sealion could not have happened even as an against the odds possibility. I see the error of my ways now, you have totally convinced me by your impressive sources.
Seriously, I don't see any point in continuing this.
Let's just agree to disagree and go and do more productive things
Warspite1

Sounds like the first sensible thing you've said


Well, better late than never
Warspite1



_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to glvaca)
Post #: 45
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/23/2012 12:03:18 AM   
IronDuke

 

Posts: 1572
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From: Manchester, UK
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quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca

The perfect British prpaganda story
Let's see, British fighter of the period had 8x .303 calibre machine guns with a total firing time of a wopping 12 sec. They could hardly take an unarmored bomber down with this, and you seriously believe they could sink a barge?


And what effect do you think eight .303 machine guns firing for 12 seconds at 60 men helpless on a barge would have? Or more to the point, exactly what threat did a barge pose with everybody aboard hit by machine gun fire? Who needs to sink it?

quote:

Barges where actually reinforced with concrete bottoms, carried flak and light howitzers.


Some would carry flak. Others would be sitting ducks. The idea that in a vessel built for the river, AAA defence could be effectively mounted is also a bit of a joke.

quote:

Pontoons and ferry's were available in quantity with 88's and 37mm AAA guns.


So, a ferry, with a couple of 88mm guns aboard is going to stop a destroyer with batteries of fore and aft 6inch guns (150mm). What effect on a barge full of men would a Pom pom have, or an Oerlikon cannon?

quote:

You seem to forget that the Germans planned to lay extensive minefields and needed 10 days for this job. They had penty stockpiled and a large amount of minelayers in several flottilla's.


A fair point here since the Royal Navy didn't have any minesweepers...

You also go on to talk about FOW and the Germans achieving tactical surprise. You don't think a few minelayers doing their stuff off the English coast is a giveaway, then?

quote:

Not to speak of the FOW which you seem to forget and automatically assume the British high command would take such an important decision of having the complete fleet sail based on first reports, which could be false.


They would throw up aerial recce and get things confirmed. The fleet could sail whilst the reports were being confimed. They are numerous ports down the western coast that could have staged the movement if required.

quote:

If you really believe that by September 1940, the British had any spies capable of warning them of the fleet sailing you are dreaming.


This bit made me smile. Where do you think the ports are that these barges are sailing from? Germany? These are all French and maybe Belgian ports. Who do you think lives by the seaside in France and Belgium, who do you think works in the ports? Were these people friendly to the German cause? Every port would have been awash with eyes who couldn't stand the Reich and would have alerted the British the minute it happened.

quote:

They didn't even know the invasion would be launched from the channel ports until late August after air recon found the barges assembling in the ports.


Where do you think the barges could have been launched from if not the channel ports? You make it sound like there are lots of possibilites, and it took the British ages to figure out which one was the right one. It was blindingly obvious where the Germans would have to come from. We didn;t look for the invasion barges in Oslo or Cadiz.

quote:

You dream sir!


Of, the irony.

Regards,
ID.

(in reply to glvaca)
Post #: 46
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/23/2012 1:21:34 AM   
gradenko_2000

 

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Even if every single RAF plane suddenly vanished from the face of the Earth at the commencement of Operation Sealion, it would have been fairly trivial to sink the barges with naval gunfire. Or sink them with the wake of a nearby passing destroyer, given how low in the water they would have been riding.

Even if they made it all the way across the Channel, the convoluted manner in which the barges were expected to make their landings would have made them very easy targets: "The plan was that this huge mass of towed barges would proceed in column until reaching a point ten miles from the landing beach, then wheel and steer parallel to the coast. When this was complete, the vessels would make a 90 degree turn at the same time, and advance in line towards the coast. This was to be carried out at night, and controlled and co-ordinated by loud hailers. There had been no chance to practise the operation, and there was less than one skilled sailor per vessel."

Even if the barges make it across the Channel and make their landings, there was no logistical plan in place for re-supply beyond dumping supplies at whatever beach-heads happened to be secure, and the plan to capture a port, Dover, involved landing para-troopers 10-15 miles north of the city, which sounds like a repeat of the Arnhem / Market-Garden debacle but 4 years in advance.

Even if the barges make it across the Channel and make their landings, and even if we grant that somehow the troops can draw supplies, they're going to be asked to clear out the fortifications without engineers and without artillery, since neither would be carried on the first wave.

The plan did call for the Luftwaffe to "act as artillery" for the landings, but between that, and keeping the RN out of the Channel, and suppressing rail-ways to prevent reinforcements from flowing south, and winning air superiority over the beaches, and terror-bombing London to cause logistical disruption due to roads choked by fleeing civilians, it would have been a very tall order indeed.

http://www.philm.demon.co.uk/Miscellaneous/Sealion.htm

(in reply to IronDuke)
Post #: 47
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/23/2012 2:02:33 AM   
danlongman

 

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From: Over the hills and far away
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I am new on here but have been lurking around for decades. Please allow me a couple of thoughts.
The only real thing I see making SeaLion viable in any sense is the incredible ineptitude demonstrated by the Allies during the
summer of 1940. RAF Fighter Command aside, nobody seemed to be able to do any thing right. Dunkirk was a miracle all right
but the Germans helped that one. I can almost picture the Royal Navy setting out to thwart the attack only to find out
somebody forgot to load the ammunition on board or the kids lost the keys to the battleship like the French lost the keys
to the fortifications at Sedan. During this time period and later the Germans seemed to be able to pull off some stuff
just through sheer Germaness and good luck. (Don't look at me I'm an Irish-Canadian.) A couple of years later they
implemented the "Channel Dash" which never should have happened... Just sayin'
dan

(in reply to gradenko_2000)
Post #: 48
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/23/2012 4:39:35 AM   
jazman

 

Posts: 364
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quote:

ORIGINAL: danlongman

I am new on here but have been lurking around for decades. Please allow me a couple of thoughts.
The only real thing I see making SeaLion viable in any sense is the incredible ineptitude demonstrated by the Allies during the
summer of 1940. RAF Fighter Command aside, nobody seemed to be able to do any thing right.


The Royal Navy wasn't screwed up, was it? I figure the RN would have come down der Kanal like a freight train, and even with heavy losses would have run amok.


_____________________________

BS, MS, PhD, WitP:AE, WitE

(in reply to danlongman)
Post #: 49
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/23/2012 4:53:36 AM   
danlongman

 

Posts: 396
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From: Over the hills and far away
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No I did not say that wouldn't happen, but a lot of things happened
that shouldn't have happened was my point. Nobody watching the Ardnennes,
nobody thinking the Wehrmacht could drive across it in summer just because
they couldn't do it themselves. Germany's invasion of Norway right under the
nose of the Royal Navy! The French Army falling apart in a month after
holding the Germans for four years the last time. None of these things "should" have
happened. I think Sealion would have been a disaster for many reasons but
a lot of funny things happened that summer....

(in reply to jazman)
Post #: 50
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/23/2012 9:05:47 AM   
Apollo11


Posts: 22582
Joined: 6/7/2001
From: Zagreb, Croatia
Status: offline
Hi all,

quote:

ORIGINAL: glvaca

No you can't, as I have backed up my claims with numbers. First the strength returns of the relative airforces. Second the shipping destroyed by bomber command. If you'd like, I can give you list of British formations, their equipment and training and their locations at different times of the battle. I can do the same for the Germans, including embarkation ports, and equipment. If you insist, I can list the location, name, ASW capability and mine clearing equipment of each RN ship and their time to travel towards the invasion beaches. Just to say, I'm pretty well informed.

Leo, respectfully, the German airforce was numerically superior, I doubt you will find any source claiming otherwise. On the other hand the Brits had a substantial reserve on planes to make good losses rapidly while the German could barely keep up with losses and actually say a decrease of frontline strength during the battle, only made good by new Gruppe being sent from Germany and transfered from Norway.
Secondly, proving that the Germans were numerically superior does not automatically mean I'm also claiming they won the battle of Britain. Those are quite distinct things.

What I do claim is that before the shift to London day light attacks, the Germans had achieved substantial air superiority in the Channel area which included the invasion beaches. This is actually acknowledge by several English works on the subject. In part this was due to the evacuation of the forward airfields in the SE of England and because fighter command preferred to fight over English ground to give their pilots the best possible chance of a succesful bail out.
Experienced fighter pilots was always a problem for the Brits at this stage. Please note, the use experienced. They had plenty of pilots, but without proper training in combat tactics they were sitting ducks and usually got shot down pretty quickly, not helped by the Vic formations used and often enforced by superior officers as opposed to the rotte and scharm formations of the Germans which were much more effective.

The main point that needs to be established is what constitutes winning the battle of Britain? Does it mean the totally destruction of fighter command? Or does it mean achieving some sort of air superiority over the Channel? And if so, to which degree?


Sorry... I was away from computer Sunday night but I see this morning that fellow posters answered your questions...


First of all I think that there is big misunderstanding here regarding "Battle of Britain" / "Sea Lion" - in other words - those two are connected and can't be looked separately!

Second of all we have to look at the timetable!


Thus, although the "Sea Lion" was ordered at July 16th by Hitler's directive #16 the actual implementation of it was not immediately possible - there were no assets ready for that at that time.

The first possible time for invasion would be early September (when tides are high BTW).

In the meantime the air "Battle of Britain" was raiging!


The success of air "Battle of Britain" was directly connected with "Sea Lion" - only German victory and achievement of air supremacy would allow "Sea Lion".

But, as we all know, Germans were utterly defeated in "Battle of Britain" despite "on paper" numerical superiority!


Also the numbers you quote for air strengths for British / Germans are from July 1940 (i.e. from the start of "Battle of Britain") and not from the time the actual "Sea Lion" supposed to happen (i.e. September) and they list all available aircraft (the actual number of serviceable aircraft was much lower)!





But this is what Luftwaffe looked like at the beginning of September 1940 (i.e. when actual "Seal Lion" might have taken place):





As for German air superiority over the channel by the end of "Battle of Britain" - the British finally grasped that it was simply not worth fighting for it - they had more important areas to defend!


And lastly, the winning of "Battle of Britain" meant just one single thing - defeat of RAF and establishing the air superiority needed for launching" Sea Lion" - Hitler was quite clear on that - he wanted elimination of RAF as a fighting force in order to invade!


As we all know the Luftwaffe was beaten in "Battle of Britain" and therefore the "Sea Lion" was canceled...


Leo "Apollo11"

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(in reply to glvaca)
Post #: 51
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/23/2012 11:25:19 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1686
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
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quote:

ORIGINAL: danlongman
No I did not say that wouldn't happen, but a lot of things happened
that shouldn't have happened was my point. Nobody watching the Ardnennes,
nobody thinking the Wehrmacht could drive across it in summer just because
they couldn't do it themselves. Germany's invasion of Norway right under the
nose of the Royal Navy! The French Army falling apart in a month after
holding the Germans for four years the last time. None of these things "should" have
happened. I think Sealion would have been a disaster for many reasons but
a lot of funny things happened that summer....


I think the point here is that at the beginning of the war, most of the combatants (on all sides) were amateurs, in modern warfare, apart from specialists such as Guderian, even many Germans were surprised at the success of the Ardennes attack. Most 'experts' would have agreed with the Allied assessment, only with hindsight does the error become obvious.

However, the British demonstrated that, at short notice, they could retain enough command of the Channel, to organise and carry out, the evacuation of 300,000+ men from Dunkirk, using mainly slow and un-armed vessels.

I suspect the German High Command, at all levels (including Hitler), knew that Sea Lion could not succeed, unless there was an almost complete political collapse in Britain and that the operation was prepared to take advantage, in the event that it occurred.

During the Falklands War in 1982, prior to the landings at St. Carlos, the Admiral asked one of the frigate captains to enter the Sound that night and 'sail around a bit'. It was not said, but both knew that the mission was to see if there were any mines, if there had been, the ship would be lost.

If the Germans had attempted 'Sea Lion' the RN would have entered the Channel, in force, with the older 'expendable' DDs leading, the possibility of minefields would not have stopped them. The Luftwaffe did not have the expertise in anti-ship bombing that they achieved by 1941, it would have been a vicious battle of attrition, which the Germans would have lost.

However inefficient the RAF may have been in hitting barges, the margin of success was so small for the Germans, that only small losses could have been catastrophic. They did not have the naval reserves necessary to maintain an offensive, unless there was a rapid collapse in Britain. I think Sea Lion would have been another 'Dunkirk' moment for Britain and, however much the war may have failed in other areas, this would have drawn another supreme effort.

One small thought, you're a Luftwaffe Ju87 pilot over the Channel during the Dunkirk evacuation, any ship you see you can bomb, they are all Allied, but if Sea Lion is launched, there are going to be ships of all shapes and sizes, going every which way, which ones will you bomb, it's not going to be easy.



< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 4/23/2012 2:04:32 PM >


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Post #: 52
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/23/2012 9:05:29 PM   
ETF


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Great topic guys. Learned allot about the Sea Lion operation. Brilliant minds on this forum no doubt.



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(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 53
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/23/2012 10:14:43 PM   
Banzan

 

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Talking about Ju-87s, only the older models could carry 500kg (~1102pound) bombs but lacked range, the R version had the needed range but could only carry a 250kg (~551pound) bomb. Dangerous to small/medium ships, but you would need a lot of hits from these to hurt a battleship.
With Walther Wevers death, the luftwaffe lost a strategic plan/view. Germany mainly build planes around the "blitzkrieg", but not for a strategic campaign. The Ju-88 for example was a quite good medium bomber design, but due the "tactical need" (and Ernst Udets obsession in divebombing) it was first ordered to be glide able (30degrees) and later to be dive capable (60degrees), turning a good desgin into someting much worse.

(in reply to ETF)
Post #: 54
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/24/2012 1:21:18 AM   
ETF


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Not to mention 500 pounders are pretty much useless against the armour of most battleships. All you could hope for were starting fires bad enough to disable the ship.

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Post #: 55
RE: OT: Operation Sealion - 4/24/2012 2:35:37 AM   
Aurelian

 

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_anti-invasion_preparations_of_World_War_II#Guns.2C_petroleum_and_poison

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