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Could The Germans Have Successfully Propagated Sealion Without Air Supremacy


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#261 Rich

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Posted Today, 03:40 PM

The problem in Sealion is that, even if the landing was defeated in detail as you outline, Germany’s strategic orientation would still be facing the wrong way from Churchill's perspective.  To best stand to win WW2, the British needed Germany to invade the Soviet Union and fail, and for the Americans to come into the war.  Sealion, for all its rediculous faults at the operational level, was neither of those two things.   Losing Barbarossa while gaining a Channel victory would be a very bad trade off for Britain indeed.

 

That is not what I was saying at all. Losing ten good divisions and the quality manpower they embodied, reduced the effectiveness of the Barbarossa forces that much more, and thus reduced the chances for its success even more.

 

Unless you think that Hitler would not carry out Barbarossa if Sealion failed?
 

 

 

If a bridgehead were achieved I’m in a minority of one – I think the British might have found it quite difficult, perhaps even impossible, to cut off SLOC.  Plenty of barges and scows to keep supply moving, and even worse once MFP and Siebel production really started to ramp up in 1941.  Generals like Monty would be able to field the corps level formations capable of crushing a bridgehead, but this would presumably take time.  So, a race between ever increasing KM amphibious kit versus the British army getting itself some of that Panzer Lehr stuff.  Far better for Britain that Hitler instead dives headlong into the woodchipper of Russia, it looks to me.

 

The major problem with that, which you have never twigged to, is that neither the Rhine and canal barges or the scows (motorsegler) were ever intended to "keep supply moving" because they could not do so. They did not have sufficient engine power, reliability, or sea-keeping ability - especially in the fall months - for regular cross-Channel runs. Nor did they have sufficient sea-going tugs to keep hauling them across. Keeping supply moving required the Dampfer, which was the collective name for all the odds and sods of seagoing ships (actually both steam and diesel powered). After extensive seach the Germans managed to assemble 164 of those suitable for use in the invasion. The problem with them is they were also the largest targets in the invasion. For example, of the fifty in Flotte E, ten were with the Vorausabtilungen, so likely would be lost or at least damaged in any British naval attack. Another fifteen were with the 1. Staffel, which was to sortie from Le Havre and follow the Vorausabteilungen. They were to divert east and land in Raum D in the event of an encounter with the Royal Navy...assuming they could get away. That would leave twenty-five, which were to load at Le Havre, but then follow the coast to take the "safer" Boulogne to Raum D route.

 

Flotte B had 57 to support the landings at Folkestone-New Romney, which placed them in the path of the 80 odd British cruisers and destroyers sortieing from Chatham, the Medway, and et cetera. They did not even have the screen of Z-Boot and T-Boot to protect them, so also likely would have suffered losses from them...and also the various British coast guns, given their anchorages would be well within reach.

 

Flotte C also had 57 assigned, but D had none, apparently depending on those assigned to E for sustaining the force. At least C likely did not have to worry about an RN attack on the night of S-1, although its anchorage was also well within reach of the British coast artillery.

 

I see you also continue to believe in the Siebel and MFP tooth fairy. :D

 

 

Of this list I find the dissolution of the paratroopers the most likely, since heavy losses on Crete did in fact cause Hitler to scale back this arm, and the FJ's would probably be wrecked in Britain no matter what the outcome.  I doubt the heavy U-boat losses or curtailment of Axis operations in the south, since the Italian navy had nothing committed to Sealion.  The KM itself could not be devastated for the same reason - that much of it was unavailable for Sealion.  You can't lose what isn't in the game.  Luftwaffe losses would certainly be heavier.  Should be plenty of other tank formations available for Africa if Barbarossa were off.  And, of course, if the Soviets are in the Axis camp then eventually the Italians might even get T-34's.

 

The loss of any significant number of U-Boot in Sealion could potentially cripple the service in 1941. The problem is to get the numbers required meant they would have to re-commit the Ducks, the Typ-II, which had been relegated to the expanding training program in the Baltic after Norway...so just like the training program for the Luftwaffe getting screwed by the commitment of the Ju 52 training establishment to combat, the U-Bootwaffe gets the same screwing. It gets worse if any of the few Typ-VII get sunk, as they likely will hanging around so close to the British coastline. So yes, that part of the KM gets potentially wrecked.

 

The rest of the KM gets wrecked for another simple reason...who do you imagine provided the thousands of crew for all those barges, scows, assault boats, and so forth? To get the personnel required to man them the KM was stripped of personnel. The training establishments based in Schleiswig-Holstein and Schliesen were stripped of personnel, as were the crews of Luetzow, which was in repair. Now a proposal to use personnel from Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Hermann Schoemann, and Sperrbrecher 4, which were also being repaired was rejected...but then who supplies the crews for all those Siebel and MFP? Naval personnel was a very finite quantity for the Germans, as was manpower in general. Just to get the numbers required to start also meant combing Heer ranks to get 7,000 personnel "knowledgeable in inland navigation, fisherman, raft crews, etc." :D Worse than the loss of ships in Sealion would likely be the loss of personnel.

 

So are you going to carry over your fantasy of the Regiamarina transferring from the Med to the Atlantic here as well?

 

I see you continue to assume that Barbarossa would be off permanently in Dolfies mind. Yeah, sorry, don't think so.


Edited by Rich, Today, 05:30 PM.

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#262 Rich

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Posted Today, 04:31 PM

How good was the Luftwaffe at delivering imagery the army was requesting?

Don't know, but there is a considerable body of photos they did take. See https://archaeologyd...5/downloads.cfmfor some samples. The problem was they did well at identifying physical obstacles such as the antitank ditches, wire, blocks, and some of the pillboxes, as well as the established coastal gun positions, but did less well with regards to the Emergency batteries, missing most of them. The result was proposed missions such as:

 

11./Bau-Lehr-Regiment z.b.V. 800 Brandenburg was to use two platoons, 110 men on m/c, landing with the 26. Infanterie-Division VB and immediately motoring off, bypassing Dungeness to destroy the coast battery and radio station to the north of it at Beachy Head. The problem with that was there was no coast battery at Beachy Head...and no "radio station" north of it. There was actually a Chain Home Low station there south of the supposed battery position, which by this point was well-defended against air attack (after the experience in August) that also made it pretty well defended against ground attack, but that wasn't the target. There were two batteries at Eastbourne, one at Langley Redoubt with one 12-pounder and one at the Wish Tower with two Mk II 6-inch, but neither was targeted.

 

Another 11. Kompanie platoon of 48 men was to land with the 34. Infanterie-Division VB to probably take out another coast battery apparently believed to be in the vicinity, of which there were actually four...Bexhill-on-Sea Battery with two 4-inch, Cooden Battery with two 6-inch, Norman’s Bay, 375 Batterywith two Mk V 4.7-inch, and Pevensey Battery with two 4.7-inch and two 75mm as AT defense. So maybe the located one of four.

 

Yet another Brandenburg detachment was tasked to assault a coast battery at Sandgate, which did not exist, while carefully bypassing Hythe, where there was one, two 6-inch guns of 340 Battery at the seafront of the Imperial Hotel. There were no other plans to take out any of the numerous batteries along the coast, aside from the harebrained schemes of direct attack on Dover.


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#263 Rich

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Posted Today, 05:29 PM

Maybe Rottingdean is worse? Just 550 meters of beach and when you land you are presented with a ten to fourteen foot seawall and/or cliff face, broken by a single boat ramp about six meters wide.

 

Of course, B, C, and D were no picnic either.


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