Alternate history- no Barbarossa, Operation Sealion instead. - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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The Second World War (1939-1945).
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#14137401
Social_Critic wrote:Seems to me the Germans didn't need a navy to invade the uk. They needed a fleet of 20 thousand boats to cross the channel. These could be built easily. Once the Germans had a beach head the Brits would be toast because they had no armour.


I wish the Germans had military commanders like you! Tens of thousands of German soldiers and hardware sent to the bottom of the channel by the RAF and RN. The blow to German morale might have just won the war for Britain right there.
#14137407
I don't think the Royal Navy had the assets to maneuver in the Pas de Calais if the Germans had placed submarine packs in the entrances. The German Air Force would have been able to use French airfields, and the crossing for the first wave could have taken place at night, when it was very difficult for the British assets to see anything. The invasion would have been preceded by large bombing raids to tire the British air crews, and the night of the assault German paratroopers and gliders would have been used to land in strategic points and cut roads and bridges.

Furthermore, diversionary attacks could have been made along the coast using Italian forces and such. I checked the coast line and the water routes, and it's easy to see why Great Britain was always easy to invade, it's close to the continent and it lacks natural barriers. It's a piece of cake, and this is why the Normans had such an easy time conquering England.
#14137411
Social_Critic wrote:I don't think the Royal Navy had the assets to maneuver in the Pas de Calais if the Germans had placed submarine packs in the entrances. The German Air Force would have been able to use French airfields, and the crossing for the first wave could have taken place at night, when it was very difficult for the British assets to see anything. The invasion would have been preceded by large bombing raids to tire the British air crews, and the night of the assault German paratroopers and gliders would have been used to land in strategic points and cut roads and bridges.

Furthermore, diversionary attacks could have been made along the coast using Italian forces and such. I checked the coast line and the water routes, and it's easy to see why Great Britain was always easy to invade, it's close to the continent and it lacks natural barriers. It's a piece of cake, and this is why the Normans had such an easy time conquering England.


You realise that you're pretty much on your own with this one, right? A review of Wikipedia alone would provided you evidence that not only do most military historians not believe Sea Lion would have been a success, but high ranking German military offers were relieved when it was cancelled.

Furthermore, the scenario was war-gamed and the outcome suggests it would have not gone well for Germany -

In the 1974 wargame conducted at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst,[65] which assumed the Luftwaffe had not yet won air supremacy, the Germans were able to establish a beachhead in England by using a minefield screen in the English Channel to protect the initial assault. However, the German ground forces were delayed at the "Stop Lines" (e.g. the GHQ Line), a layered series of defensive positions that had been built, each a combination of Home Guard troops and physical barriers. At the same time, the regular troops of the British Army were forming up. After only a few days, the Royal Navy was able to reach the Channel from Scapa Flow, cutting off supplies and blocking further reinforcement. Isolated and facing regular troops with armour and artillery, the invasion force was forced to surrender.[66]
#14137427
Social_Critic wrote:Yeah we'll the Sandhurst boys hacked those simulations by assuming their ships were torpedo and dive bomber proof. A simple table top exercise shows a beach head can be established, the Royal Navy is blocked and then sunk, and the English resistance collapses once German armor can reach large ports in the South.


Do you have any credible evidence or sources to support your position?
#14137439
Smilin' Dave wrote:As I've recently outlined on the History Forum, that's actually a pretty unlikely to be successful. Even with a bigger navy, Germany can't support a bigger war effort in the Mediterranean.


Yes, Yes but Germans dont need 5 million troops in Africa, just enough to drive the British out of Africa, with the appropriate air support etc and we are assuming that Germany goes naval and starts building supply ships etc

This would be an even bigger logistical nightmare than a bigger North African front


Not if the Germans are allied with the USSR and Persia again I don think they would have needed that many troops. We are asumming Britain is blocaded at that point and Germany can send supplies across the canal.


I know how this scenario could have work theoretically in regards to the USSR, Tukhachsky and the Generals succeed in their plot and pop Stalin and become Germany's bitch.
#14137458
Any evidence? The Sandhurst war game assumed an attack in September using a barge fleet. I specified a 20 thousand boat fleet. Where would they get these? Everywhere in Europe. The Sandhurst game was also a single pass simulation. Such an exercise requires stochastic simulation including both weather and human decisions and performance. When you mentioned them I searched the literature and read the detailed scenarios, they describe a linear set of events, no probabilities, and factor in lousy German decision making together with brilliant and heroic moves by the defenders.

In modern lingo, this is said to be a hacked game. It means you load up with goody assumptions, got magic on your side, whatever it takes.

There's also another twist. Did anybody wonder what would have happened if the invasion had taken place in may 1941? The Germans could have devoted their resources solely to bombing British ports and rail yards, and focused on building a huge air fleet. New moon in late May would have given them cover, and the Bismarck and Tirpitz could have sailed to distract the Royal Navy.

I think that given the resources they devoted to Barbarossa, the Germans would have won. But they needed somebody who kept their bombers focused on British ports and rail. That was the key.
#14137618
Social_Critic wrote:Seems to me the Germans didn't need a navy to invade the uk. They needed a fleet of 20 thousand boats to cross the channel. These could be built easily. Once the Germans had a beach head the Brits would be toast because they had no armour.

Acutally they had at least one Armoured Division
[quote=Wiki]In June 1940 the British Army had 22 infantry divisions and one armoured division.[/quote]
You'll also see elsewhere in that article that the British had started to build fortifications, had a strong navy and could count on a decent show by their airforce.

I don't think the Royal Navy had the assets to maneuver in the Pas de Calais if the Germans had placed submarine packs in the entrances.

The Royal Navy had plenty of destroyers to spare, and using submarine packs in static defence would have made them easy to track and destroy.

the crossing for the first wave could have taken place at night, when it was very difficult for the British assets to see anything.

I'm quite sure the Royal Navy had operated at night, and in fact would have had considerably more experience of it than then German opponents in this scenario. The Luftwaffe would have had little experience in naval warfare at night, given they had limited experience against maratime shipping in general. The British also had this thing called radar... you may have heard of it.

Furthermore, diversionary attacks could have been made along the coast using Italian forces and such.

Pure fantasy. Italy was in no position to provide such support.

it lacks natural barriers.

...The Channel?

this is why the Normans had such an easy time conquering England.

This is a topic of another thread, but there was a small matter of England having to fight a separate invasion in the North before having to deal with the Normans. Or that it wasn't out of the question for William to have lost the Battle of Hastings.

The Sandhurst war game assumed an attack in September using a barge fleet. I specified a 20 thousand boat fleet.

The Germans have no means to build that fleet, we've been over this. The barge fleet was what Operation Sealion was actually slated to use, not some idiotic fantasy scenario in which German industry consists of a magic wand.

When you mentioned them I searched the literature and read the detailed scenarios

You miserable liar. Thompson_NCL posted the Sandhurst wargame reference at 12:50pm, and you replied at 1:06pm. You could not have possibly done the research you claim in less than 20 minutes, even if you already had the materials close at hand. I wager you haven't even done this research as of right now. You ought to apologise for such a ridiculous fraud.

In modern lingo, this is said to be a hacked game. It means you load up with goody assumptions, got magic on your side, whatever it takes.

Thompson asked you for evidence that the Royal Navy was treated as immune to airpower. You have provided no such thing.

There's also another twist. Did anybody wonder what would have happened if the invasion had taken place in may 1941? The Germans could have devoted their resources solely to bombing British ports and rail yards, and focused on building a huge air fleet. New moon in late May would have given them cover, and the Bismarck and Tirpitz could have sailed to distract the Royal Navy.

You know how you criticised the Sandhurst similuation as supposedly giving all the initiative and intelligence to the British? That's actually what you are doing, only with the Germans. At least the Sandhurst exercise didn't involve conjuring naval/air fleets out of nowhere...


Travesty wrote:Yes, Yes but Germans dont need 5 million troops in Africa, just enough to drive the British out of Africa, with the appropriate air support etc and we are assuming that Germany goes naval and starts building supply ships etc

You obviously didn't read what I linked to - it has nothing to do with the number of supply ships. North Africa did not have the infrastructure to sustain a larger German force (insufficient ports, roads and rail) and German formations were short of trucks. So you can have all the ships you want, and they could even all arrive without being sunk... but the ports in Axis control won't be able to handle the influx of material and there will be no way to get it to the front.

Travesty wrote:Not if the Germans are allied with the USSR and Persia again I don think they would have needed that many troops.

You initially suggested an advance through the Middle East. Persia can't support the German army and you still haven't done anything about the enourmous distances involved or the lack of infrastructure. In fact you went so far as to suggest the USSR would be stupid for allowing the Germans to launch an invasion from its own territory, so I'm unclear why you think they would have ever allowed it even as allies.

Travesty wrote:I know how this scenario could have work theoretically in regards to the USSR, Tukhachsky and the Generals succeed in their plot and pop Stalin and become Germany's bitch.

A hypothetical which I've already pointed out is absurd. You're just making it worse.
#14137645
Fraud? Google and speed reading at 400 words per minute do wonders for this type of debate. The Sandhurst game was clearly described as a linear bullshit story. Hell it was Sandhurst 1974. I bet they didn't even know what the word stochastic meant in those days :D

Next time you get hot under the collar go drink a beer and/or take a short walk and remember there are some of us who do think a lot faster than regular folk.
#14137667
I don't agree. The key of course was to focus the Blitz on ports and rail. And not divert 3 million men to the Eastern front. This is kind of a bullshit discussion because you are tied to a preset Stance you won't change. Not being British I am very neutral in this discussion. Lets just say that given what I know about complex models the Sandhurst game sure looks simplistic and proves nothing. And I do think a shift in focus to an invasion in may or June 1941 would have been the key. I read a bit about the home guard in 1941, and they were being issued spears!! That would not have been too effective I think.

Also you mentioned the Brits had tanks and so on. Big deal, anybody knows the Germans made better tanks and as far as I could read a 2000 tank force landed in southern England would ave had the British running all the way to Edinburgh in one month. It was hopeless for them, face it. Only hitlers lack of sense and bad decisions allowed the British to escape becoming a German protectorate.
#14137861
Britain is actually a difficult place to invade there are very few suitable sites for invasion. The White Cliffs are not the place to come ashore. There were precious few places, and the Brutish had began fortifying the coast while it was a lot of low grade poor quality fortifications in general, it meant all jetties were either fortified and manned or destroyed. The Germans lacking any tank capable craft for landing on beaches had to secure Jetties or a Port to land heavy equipment and tanks. The Germans were desperately sort of shipping, which is why the planned on using barges. Extremely slow, Extremely vulnerable barges that would take many hours to cross from the embarkation ports. The gathering of barges was well monitored and any invasion sailing would have been detected. At sea slow moving barges, barely seaworthy (one decent storm would have destroyed the invasion without any British interference at all!) The Germans were desperately short of escort vessels, the German Destroyer force had got badly mauled in Norway, they had very few serviceable escort vessels, the British had plenty of destroyers available. British Destroyers throughout the war proved more than willingly to just outright sacrifice themselves whenever the occasion demanded it. A few destroyers and half an hour amongst the barges and they would be splintered. The Whole German plan was foolhardily wishful thinking at best, the barges were a massive weakness.

Destroyers are fast moving targets and pretty hard to take out from the air, the Luftwaffe lacked experience or equipment to be a potent anti marine force at this time, the sinking of destroyers engaged picking up troops at Dunkirk or Crete is a really different from Destroyers under way at sea. Given that the British would be more than willingly to take on the odds, it's not a matter of sinking some destroyers, but all. Given the length of the crossing time for barges which was like 20 hours, unable to be completed in daylight or night leaving the nighttime interception by destroyers a certainty where
the Luftwaffe would not be a factor.

Delaying the Invasion does not help. The British were outproducing the Germans 15,000 to 10,000 in aircraft and training many more pilots as well. Delay just makes the RAF much stronger comparative to the Luftwaffe which was losing ground during the BOB. The British Army was critical short of lots of heavy equipment after Dunkirk, delay to may 1941 and the British has basically totally re-equipped and organized and presents a much much harder for once the German army lands.

The Problems remain
(1) the RAF, due to the short range of the Luftwaffe fighters the RAF could always maintain a large reserve at will beyond the range of the Luftwaffe, it was impossible to eliminate the RAF as a threat to the invasion as the RAF would always choose to maintain a large reserve rather than commit everything to southern England before an invasion. The Luftwaffe could not, it was impossible to eliminate the RAF as a factor. In the Historical battle of Britain the Luftwaffe lost, no doubt it could do better with a more focused consist ant strategy but at best it was a pretty slow attrition at best, given the superior British production of aircraft and training of pilots, anything other than a temporary tactical victory seems unlikely. And no matter what the RAF had the ability to withdraw whatever strength it choose to reserve for the invasion threat as it planned to due. Any invasion would not be working from a situation of total air superiority, it was impossible for the Luftwaffe to achieve a substantial workable air superiority.

(2) the RN. The Royal Navy had a massive dominance over the German Navy, which was totally unable to stand up to the Royal Navy in direct confrontation. Capital ships are the headline, but the lower down the dominance is much worse for the Germans. In Destroyers the numbers are much worse, and for escort and interception, destroyers are going to be the critical thing.

(3) German transport ability, a shortage of escorts, a lack of purpose built tank landing craft , and landing craft generally, a lack of shipping, reliance on barges made the whole enterprise laughable.

(4) The British Army would outnumber any possible invasion force that could be transported. The Germans lacked means to easily transport and land heavy equipment, supplies have to be landed against the RAF and the RN, and where some port facilities have to be taken. Taking a large city without heavy equipment is hard work, look at Normandy, taking ports and cities was hard and took much longer than the Allies thought, with total air and sea superiority and control. it was only the experience built up over years that led to the various developments which meant in 1944 the Allies had a range of solution in landing heavy equipment on beaches and making ad hoc harbor facilities, but that was years of work and planning, which the Germans just didnt have.

An Naval invasion with limited air superiority in the face of near total naval superiority, by a force ill equipment, ill trained for naval invasion,lacking means to land heavy equipment, critically short of naval escorts and transports which is going to be outnumbered on landing has what chance of success?

Sure there are no end of what-if's that the Germans could have been better prepared, but they involve years of preparation and the diversion of resources from other areas.

North Africa is also much harder the Axis did not have the logistical capacity to deploy much more troops in North Africa while the Allies had much more. But even victory in North Africa would do almost nothing FOR the axis, and little to harm the allied cause. The Oil was a long way from the suez. The Axis lacked the logistical capacity to get OIL from the Persian gulf. It simply did not have the shipping, and even a small effort in the Indian ocean by the RN would have quickly destroyed what little shipping they could send ( and thats without bases like Aden would just dominate the Red sea , a long rough way through logistically impossible country to get a land force to assault Aden from the rear too) The Turkish railways were really really bad, and the Axis simply lacked the rolling stock in any event, To rail back oil from Persian Gulf would require years of building up infrastructure and massive investment of resources which would have to come from somewhere and leave the Axis weaker in some way elsewhere. It's a common alternate history theme the great southern "med" Axis strategy but it's built on a totally lack of understanding of logistics.

Invading India from Persia overland?!!?! The logistical infrastructure in tech region means anything more than a few diversions
would be very very hard work.
#14137864
Social_Critic wrote:Fraud? Google and speed reading at 400 words per minute do wonders for this type of debate.

You'll have no problem linking to your sources then. Let's see them.

Next time you get hot under the collar go drink a beer and/or take a short walk and remember there are some of us who do think a lot faster than regular folk.

I remember catching you out in a lie before, so rather than think you're some kind of genius I'm more inclined to think you are an incompetant liar.

The key of course was to focus the Blitz on ports and rail.

Air raids were conducted on port facilities, however you'll find those were also where air defences tended to be strongest. Also fighter support was no available for attacks against the key naval bases in the north due to the range involved.

And not divert 3 million men to the Eastern front.

Diversion of land forces have nothing to do with your hypothetical scenario, unless your next piece of idiocy is to suggest they form a human chain across the Channel.

And I do think a shift in focus to an invasion in may or June 1941 would have been the key.

By that stage British forces have had a chance to replenish their stocks and rearm (not to mention Commonwealth forces building up). Also any work on fortifications would have continued. A delay of one year helps the British considerably more than Germany.

I read a bit about the home guard in 1941, and they were being issued spears!

You can provide me with a source for that too.

Also you mentioned the Brits had tanks and so on.

I guess in your "speed reading" you got confused, I said that, not Thompson :|

Big deal, anybody knows the Germans made better tanks

Not by a significant margin. In 1940 a significant proportion of the German tank 'fleet' was still based on the PzI and PzII or even the Czech derived 38t. Even the mediocre anti-tank guns and tanks in the British arsenal were more than a match for these.

Another consideration your "genuis" might like to consider is that the fortifications the British built would have been difficult for the Germans to take out with tanks. Only the Pz IV had a suitably large gun, and that was in short supply. The Pz III was optimised for anti-tank warfare and its 50mm gun would have been less helpful against earth and concrete bunkers. The problem is exacerbated by the Germans opting to deploy their heavy artillery in positions in Northern France in a vain attempt to bombard British ships.

as far as I could read a 2000 tank force landed in southern England

Realistically a large proportion of which would have actually sunk in the Channel due to being transported in crappy river barges.

I would also be curious how you got the figure of 2000 tanks, since all the tank divisions for Operation Barbarossa in 1941 amounted to about 3,000 tanks. I'm unclear how you thought that may tanks could be deployed by sea by Germany. Especially when the actual order of battle for Sealiononly included two panzer divisions, rather than the over a dozen you can see in Barbarossa. So where exactly did you read the 2,000 figure?
#14137868
Just a note on U-boats, at the critical period they had major problems with their torpedoes which much reduced their effectiveness. And a destroyer running at 30 knots zig zagging is more or less pretty much invulnerable to u-boat attack. Attacking fast moving ships is very hard in a slow moving u-boat, blind luck in being in the perfect spot and the target not zagging, Destroyers not engaged in stuff that slows them down are very very unlikely to be sunk by u-boats.
#14137896
Like I said, you are focused on not accepting alternatives to the flawed Sandhurst game, which is very flawed when viewed through a modern system dynamics lens.

I did mention several times the logical alternative was to use the Blitz to bomb ports and rail, and focus on this exclusively. This of course implies an invasion in late May 1941. The Germans had developed the techniques for air invasion (see Crete), and they would have had time to build sufficient tank carriers to cross the channel.

If we consider this a chess game for which we can prepare, the key ingredients would be air power - first focused on destroying ports and rail, later to protect the crossing and the beach head. The British fleet had to be boxed in where air power could sink it, therefore I would have placed resources on E boats which are quite capable against destroyers in the near shore environment.

When I think of it, the submarine force would sail into the western approaches to create a diversion and draw the British destroyers and cruisers out to the west :) and the mission to block the fleet in the North Sea and the Channel would go to the e boats and air power.

So the loose end is the construction of a small fleet of tank carrier vessels with a range of about 500 miles. I am still saying the 2000 tank figure would do it, transported in say 5 waves, with 30 % loss crossing. Need about 600 tanks per wave, 4 tanks per boat, 150 boats. Could the Germans build 150 to 300 long range LST boats in 9 months? This was the key.i don't have the answer, but I think the British had a very close shave and if the Germans had gone for them and forgot the USSR invasion they would probably have prevailed.
#14137904
The Crete comparison is pretty absurd. Air lifting a few thousand paratroopers is very different from air lifting the hundreds of thousands needed to invade the UK and capture a major port or airfield. Furthermore in Crete they enjoyed relative air superiority, which they could not over the Channel. Half those planes and gliders wouldn't have made it over the UK mainland.

You have also failed to acknowledge the Germans lacked the ability to destroy British ports in the north where the majority of the RN was stationed and further hinge your argument on a diversion which we've no reason to believe the RN would pursue.

You have not tackled the fact Britain was out producing Germany in terms of aircraft and that delaying the invasion would have allowed more time for Britain to rearm and fortify. So the British position would actually be stronger in 1941.

And finally your entire argument hinges on your own layman opinion, whereas the rest of us can draw on the expertise of highly respected veterans, analysts and military historians. In short, if this were a game of chess you'd be in check mate right now.
#14138006
Huh, sorry if I disturbed a nest of learned fellows.

As I mentioned before, it seems to me the key was for the blitz to be focused on ports and rail. Think about it. I'm no expert but I do have a lot of experience in industry, and I don't see them building squat if their ports and rail transport are under constant attack for 9 months.

I didn't say I would send everybody by air. I have worked on air transported operations and I do realize how difficult it is to move heavy loads. But I think the Germans could have arranged an air drop of say 10k soldiers at say Kingsbridge, which is close to the sea and has good enough terrain for heavy gliders to land. And there are these really cute sheltered beaches nearby. So my move would be to spend 9 months bombing the bejesus of the British ports, blow their rail yards, I would add some bombing raids on coal mines, and of course focus on building lots and lots of planes. Then I'd send two forces, one air dropped with a sea borne elite division coming in the next morning. The site would be kingsbridge, and I'd try to land a total of 20 thousand men within 24 hours.

I'll have to look at maps to see where I would land a main force with say 100,000 men plus 2000 tanks, but evidently it has to be to the east of kingsbridge... I'm focusing on Brighton beach to Worthing beach.
#14138018
Huh, sorry if I disturbed a nest of learned fellows.

As I mentioned before, it seems to me the key was for the blitz to be focused on ports and rail. Think about it. I'm no expert but I do have a lot of experience in industry, and I don't see them building squat if their ports and rail transport are under constant attack for 9 months.


Much of the key industry was out of reach of German bombers, and of course we still had convoys coming from the US and the Empire. Interdicting the former invited US involvement in the war.

I didn't say I would send everybody by air. I have worked on air transported operations and I do realize how difficult it is to move heavy loads. But I think the Germans could have arranged an air drop of say 10k soldiers at say Kingsbridge, which is close to the sea and has good enough terrain for heavy gliders to land. And there are these really cute sheltered beaches nearby. So my move would be to spend 9 months bombing the bejesus of the British ports, blow their rail yards, I would add some bombing raids on coal mines, and of course focus on building lots and lots of planes. Then I'd send two forces, one air dropped with a sea borne elite division coming in the next morning. The site would be kingsbridge, and I'd try to land a total of 20 thousand men within 24 hours.


How is this much better than the Wargame? Britain still has the RAF, it still has the RN and with a years worth of rearming and fortification it's Army is far better prepared.

I'll have to look at maps to see where I would land a main force with say 100,000 men plus 2000 tanks, but evidently it has to be to the east of kingsbridge...I'll study the puzzle and get back to you later. Maybe I'll fly over to the uk this winter and drive around and ask the locals where they would have landed?


The majority of which end up at the bottom of the English Channel. Bravo. You've lost Germany the war.
#14138109
Social_Critic, you claimed to have done considerable research on this and have repeatedly tried to shore up your absurd numbers and assertions by claiming that you had seen it written elsewhere.

You are to provide your sources for your claims about:
- The Sandhurst Sealion exercise.
- Your claim that 2,000 tanks would have been available for a Sealion style landing.
- That the Home Guard were issued with spears in 1941.

If you can't do that, kindly get the hell out. There isn't really any point in addressing any of your subsequent claims, as they are all premised on the same supposed research you vaguely point to.

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