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leitmotiv
01-12-2008, 05:03 PM
Knowing as we do that Dowding had to cut the training period for RAF fighter pilots several times during 1940 to keep squadrons up to strength due to heavy losses, and knowing as we do that many replacements lacked almost any gunnery training, training in combat flying (squadrons were expected to indoctrinate trainees to fighter tactics themselves), and sometimes little or no air time in the very aircraft they were to fly in battle, can anybody make claims such as these about Luftwaffe fighter pilots? Come on, I dare ya....

MB_Avro_UK
01-12-2008, 05:46 PM
Hi leitmotiv,

Interesting post. I posted a similar thread.

The RAF were fighting for survival and not ready for war. Their integrated detection system i.e. radar was the best in the world at the time but radar did not shoot down aircraft.

From what I have studied, the RAF were forced to fly in many cases fighter pilots with almost no training. Most were killed very quickly.

The LW did not have this problem. Their fighter pilots were highly experienced and employed superb tactics such as the 'finger four' which is used today.

How the RAF managed to achieve such a decisive victory against the LW amazes me.

Imagine being a new pilot with next to no hours on a Spit or Hurricane and intercepting with your twelve man Squadron over 100 bombers plus fighters...

Did the Luftwaffe have 109 pilots with a couple of hours experience in a 109 during the BoB?

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

leitmotiv
01-12-2008, 07:15 PM
I know the Luftwaffe started harvesting the highly trained, ex-airline pilots who staffed their bomber schools as bomber pilots as a result of the casualties they were absorbing in the B of B, and this, paradoxically, was the beginning of the end of their bomber force because they could not replace these extremely skilled instructors.

Outlaw---
01-12-2008, 07:45 PM
As bad as it was for new British pilots, imagine how bad it must have been to be told that you could not use few things your aircraft did better than the enemy's, all the while over enemy territory.

At least the British fighters could always out-turn the 109s. The only significant advantages the 109s had was climb angle and dive acceleration (and top speed in the case of the Hurricane).

--Outlaw.

jensenpark
01-12-2008, 08:46 PM
On a kinda' different note:

I'm sure we've all read most or all the various BoB books from the Brit side...(fighter boys, duel of eagles, and so on)

Many talk about the stress, near breakdowns and breakdowns of RAF pilots.

I've never read a book from the German side describing the same issues - yet it must have been there same or worse...

Just a case of not many available books from the German side...?

Ratsack
01-12-2008, 09:18 PM
Whenever Steinhoff mentioned the Kanalkampf in Messerschmitts Over Sicily or in The Last Chance, he made the point the fighters never really recovered from the blood letting. I suspect he was internalising the loss of experienced comrades, because the Jagdwaffe definitely got stronger later in the war.

Steinhilpher doesn't seem to have enjoyed it too much, but then again, he got shot down.

I can't recall Galland's take on it, it's been so long since I read The First and Last. What I do recall of his descriptions is that they concentrated on the operational / managerial aspects of the problem. In fact, that's my main recollection of his book, other than that it was pretty self serving, but that's generally true of auto biographies.

Knocke wasn't involved, and of course Heilmann's book covers a much later period.

cheers,
Ratsack

Heliopause
01-13-2008, 03:59 AM
-I suppose some staffeln had there share of new recruits during the battle to fill up the gap. But these chaps had more then 10-20 hours flying time me think.

-I don't think it was common knowledge that a spit could outturn a 109. Some squadrons found that out sooner than others. Especially in the early days.

-There were more Hurricane Sqn's than Spitfire sqn's during BoB.

-Both forces suffered from this battle but a german crew would end up in captivity when they where shot down.

luftluuver
01-13-2008, 04:23 AM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
From what I have studied, the RAF were forced to fly in many cases fighter pilots with almost no training. Most were killed very quickly.
Do you know how many hours it took a British pilot to earn his wings and how much time they spent in a OTU before being assigned to an operational squadron?

There was pilots that had spent very little flight time 'in type'.

leitmotiv
01-13-2008, 06:05 AM
Galland in THE FIRST AND THE LAST, and others, mentioned the extreme stress of flying the short-legged 109 on, essentially, a strategic mission over a water barrier, and having to constantly watch for the red fuel warning light. Supposedly, many ended up in the Kanal, and others crunched-in on the coast unable to reach their bases. What was the figure for air time over London in a 109 without a drop tank---fifteen minutes? Does make you wonder why the LW didn't start a crash program to fit all 109s with drop tanks in the summer of 1940. II/ZG76 (the sharks) were using drop tanks under the wings of their 110s in the late summer because even the 110 lacked the proper endurance without drop tanks.

The Germans were more experienced but other factors, strategic and tactical, were screwing them up in their daylight offensive over the UK. Night would be another matter. In the fall/winter of 1940/41 they had it all their own way at night (the huge fire blitz on the City on 29 Dec) helped by KGr100 and KG26 pathfinders with the X and Y blind bombing devices.

Jokers who think using the 109 to hunt British fighters over London in BOB are going to be in for a shock. Still, many German pilots made huge claims in the B of B---like Wick, Galland, and Moelders.

Kurfurst__
01-13-2008, 06:25 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
What was the figure for air time over London in a 109 without a drop tank---fifteen minutes? Does make you wonder why the LW didn't start a crash program to fit all 109s with drop tanks in the summer of 1940.

They did, the droptank carrying Bf 109E-7 entered service in the end of August 1940, ie. before London, and was probably in development before the Battle even started. I guess the natural barrier to using it widespreadly was that the planes themselves were not around in numbers in time . There were some 20-30 E-7s around by the end of August, some 180 IIRC produced until the end of October (which would not equal them being issued to units!) and obviously it creates operational troubles if only three dozen can carry a droptank, while the rest can`t. Like yeah, the Squad leader tells the rest of his Staffel in older droptankless E-4s, 'OK guys, go home and make ready for the party, I`ll stay here for an hour or two.' In any case, it`s a difficult case to judge, as it`s utterly difficult to find pictures of E-7s that were taken in such a short period (September-October). The first accounts of droptanks refer to October, and the first photo, early November 1940 (by which time appearantly older models were being retrofitted to use droptanks).

Then of course, randevouing with the bomber formations, which often got to the designed place too late, also meant the aircraft had even less time that they were supposed to have in their mission profile.

luftluuver
01-13-2008, 08:02 AM
Got any photos of those E-7s in Aug?

leitmotiv
01-13-2008, 08:24 AM
Wonder why they didn't get out conversion kits to the non-E-7s, or was the job so complicated it could only be done at factory-level?

DuxCorvan
01-13-2008, 08:27 AM
109s had their sfs hardcoded. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

Kurfurst__
01-13-2008, 08:36 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Wonder why they didn't get out conversion kits to the non-E-7s, or was the job so complicated it could only be done at factory-level?

I guess they could do it at unit level (droptank system of the 109 was fairly simply, ie. air tapped from supercharger, lead into droptank, pressure driving fuel into the internal main tank through a line, with an observation glass section in the cocpit). But I doubt the units could do it without proper tools, proper refit kits and plans. It`s not just like improvizing stuff from scrap metal..

Or perhaps not and the converted aircraft we see were returning from the factory after repairs. In any case, the timeframe we`re speaking of IS very small - 2-3 weeks in early September in practical terms, the period big daylight attacks against London, waay to short for anything new becoming sufficiently widespread in use. But, they certainly thought about it before the problem arised, hence the E-7 in late August before range became a real problem.

JG52Uther
01-13-2008, 08:41 AM
Did the LW really think about it though? I think maybe they thought the RAF would fold like the other European airforces did,and the British would sue for peace,so drop tanks and such were not considered such a problem.

Kurfurst__
01-13-2008, 08:45 AM
I don`t think they thought about it in relation to the RAF, they just probably realized that their fighter/interceptors, originally conceived for a defensive role but now being much more used for offensive operations, needed the extra range and endurance.

The thing were not new, after all they just adopted the Ju 87R`s droptank which was around since 1939, when the 'Richard' entered production.

leitmotiv
01-13-2008, 08:52 AM
And the 110D with either the unpopular belly fairing tank or the wing tanks was available at unit level by the time of the April 1940 Norwegian operation.

leitmotiv
01-13-2008, 08:52 AM
Originally posted by DuxCorvan:
109s had their sfs hardcoded. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

Dam clevver furriners!

hop2002
01-13-2008, 09:19 AM
Knowing as we do that Dowding had to cut the training period for RAF fighter pilots several times during 1940 to keep squadrons up to strength due to heavy losses, and knowing as we do that many replacements lacked almost any gunnery training, training in combat flying (squadrons were expected to indoctrinate trainees to fighter tactics themselves), and sometimes little or no air time in the very aircraft they were to fly in battle, can anybody make claims such as these about Luftwaffe fighter pilots? Come on, I dare ya....

Well, there's Milch's comments about replacements having 10 landings in 109s, and never having trained with cannons. That was in late August.

I don't think many such pilots actually went in to combat, though.

What the figures show is that the RAF was expanding rapidly. Fighter Command aircrew (not all single engined fighter pilots) went up from 1200 at the end of June to 1796 by the 2nd November.

The RAF was obviously getting plenty of replacements through.

On the other hand, the number of Luftwaffe fighter pilots declined. On the 29th June they had 1,126 109 pilots present, 906 fit for duty.

By the 28th September that had fallen to 917 pilots present, 676 fit for duty.

Even by the end of the year they had not recovered strength, with 915 pilots present, 711 fit for duty.

So between the end of June and the end of September, the Luftwaffe was down 209 pilots. Wood and Dempster give Luftwaffe single engined fighter losses in July, August and September as 477 on operations, 41 not on operations.

In October they lost another 123 on operations, and 22 not on operations.

According to Christer Bergstrom, from late June to the end of the year they lost 499 pilots killed, missing and wounded. That figure fits quite well with 600 or so fighters lost to the end of October.

So, over the last 6 months of 1940 the Luftwaffe lost 500 or so pilots, and ended up with 210 less pilots than they started with. That means 290 or so replacement fighter pilots. In six months.

Certainly some pilots would have been promoted/retired/transferred from front line duty, but probably not many. The only conclusion is that the Germans were training very few new pilots.

Murray mentions this problem in Strategy for Defeat:


Not only had the
Germans lost many of their most experienced combat crews but by September
1940, the percentage of operational ready crews against authorized aircraft had
dropped to an unacceptable level. On September 14, Luftwaffe Bf 109 squadrons
possessed only 67 percent operational ready crews against authorized aircraft. For
Bf 110 squadrons, the figure was 46 percent ; and for bombers, it was 59 percent .
One week later, the figures were 64 percent, 52 percent, and 52 percent,
respectively

I suspect Milch's complaints about the poor quality of pilots being sent to the fron in August were heeded. The result, though, is that whilst the Luftwaffe probably kept up quality, they did so at the expense of quantity, ending up with a small fighter force that didn't have the numbers to fulfil the tasks they were given.

There's one further point about RAF low hours pilots. Dowding began the battle with a policy of rotating squadrons in and out of combat. It proved a disaster. New squadrons, with no experience of the battle, and little combat experience at all, suffered high losses on their first few missions.

In early September Dowding changed to a system of rotating individual pilots. Some squadrons in the north, well away from most of the fighting, were reclassified as "C" squadrons. They had only 5 or 6 experienced pilots, and received rookies direct from training. They then had to complete the training of these new pilots, before they were posted to combat squadrons in the south.

Certainly from September onwards the majority of the low type hour pilots would be sent first to these training squadrons, rather than to the front line.


Whenever Steinhoff mentioned the Kanalkampf in Messerschmitts Over Sicily or in The Last Chance, he made the point the fighters never really recovered from the blood letting. I suspect he was internalising the loss of experienced comrades, because the Jagdwaffe definitely got stronger later in the war.

Numerically yes, but possibly not in terms of experience. If you accept that the Luftwaffe kept their quality up during the battle, then it means that those high quality pre war pilots, who built up their experience over Spain, Poland, France etc were the ones getting shot down. (I believe Bungay mentions that only 3 of the fighter pilots captured by the British had been replacements, but I can't find the reference now)

That's certainly a view taken by Caldwell:

Most of the German pilots lost in 1940 were professional soldiers and airmen, with extensive prewar training....The number and quality of fully trained,professional combat leaders available to the Jagdwaffe began a definate, if at first imperceptible decline that fall, while the British were reinforced by successive waves of highly trained pilots from the occupied countries, the empire, and finally, America. The seeds of the total defeat of Germany's fighter force in 1944 were thus sown over the fields of Kent in 1940.


What was the figure for air time over London in a 109 without a drop tank---fifteen minutes? Does make you wonder why the LW didn't start a crash program to fit all 109s with drop tanks in the summer of 1940

What was the combat time the USAAF used in range planning? From memory it was either 15 or 20 minutes.

The thing is, the Jagdwaffe did a bit better over London than they had over Kent in August, when the battles were even closer to the Jagdwaffe bases. (That might not be obvious to a German pilot, though, because until mid September most of them believed they were winning, and that they were shooting down the RAF at a favourable rate)

Even in the Channel phase right at the start of the battle, when the RAF had much less experience and the fighting was even closer to the German airfields, Hooton gives the losses as 160 to the Germans, 109 to the RAF.

Drop tanks would have been essential for the Germans if the British hadn't had vital targets to protect in the South East. But in the summer of 1940 the most important targets in Britain were in the SE of England, and the RAF absolutely had to protect them. The Germans didn't need droptanks to reach Southampton or Portsmouth or Dover or London.

Even the east end of London is only 80 miles from the French coast.

Kurfurst__
01-13-2008, 11:29 AM
Originally posted by hop2002:
What the figures show is that the RAF was expanding rapidly. Fighter Command aircrew (not all single engined fighter pilots) went up from 1200 at the end of June to 1796 by the 2nd November.

The RAF was obviously getting plenty of replacements through.

The RAF was simply sending semi-trained pilots to combat units before they finished their training. Of what quality - well that was another matter. It really showed when the calander turned 1941. 6 week embryos of Fighter Command vs. said example of Knoke who had 1.5 years of fighter pilot training behind him. Robbing the cradle worked on the short term, but on the long term, it meant replacements suddenly dropped. Simply the Training schools were drained. It didn`t work for too long.

By 31st March 1941, the number of RAF fighter pilots actually dropped to 1702 from the 1796 in November.


On the other hand, the number of Luftwaffe fighter pilots declined. On the 29th June they had 1,126 109 pilots present, 906 fit for duty.
By the 28th September that had fallen to 917 pilots present, 676 fit for duty.
Even by the end of the year they had not recovered strength, with 915 pilots present, 711 fit for duty.

.. and 1204/1065 by 28 March 1941. How do you explain that sudden raise of 300 pilots and the stagnation of Fighter Command pilot strenght..? And it just continued to rise during the year.

Most were simply on leave during the winter of 1940 and enjoying a well-earned rest after France and England campaigns. All but 3 JGs were withdrawn in the Automn from the immidiate frontline areas, spending the winter in French bars, checking for possible contraband under french skirts. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Naturally, they were not 'on strenght' with their unit while doing that.


Originally posted by hop2002:

Wood and Dempster give Luftwaffe single engined fighter losses in July, August and September as 477 on operations, 41 not on operations. In October they lost another 123 on operations, and 22 not on operations.

Actually, during July/August/Sept, 398 of that 477+41 were attributed to enemy action, and this 398 included those planes that were shot up but returned to base where they were written off - ie. they brought the pilot back - some 15% of the whole.

In October, 104 were written off due to enemy action, again this includes the ones that returned to base with the pilot.


According to Christer Bergstrom, from late June to the end of the year they lost 499 pilots killed, missing and wounded. That figure fits quite well with 600 or so fighters lost to the end of October.

502 out of that 600 lost were attritbuted to enemy action, actually, again, including the ones that returned with their pilot too badly damaged to worth repairing. It fits well with 499 pilots lost indeed.


So, over the last 6 months of 1940 the Luftwaffe lost 500 or so pilots, and ended up with 210 less pilots than they started with. That means 290 or so replacement fighter pilots. In six months.

Certainly some pilots would have been promoted/retired/transferred from front line duty, but probably not many. The only conclusion is that the Germans were training very few new pilots.

It`s a very poor form of logic, which simply assumes that every pilot that was not present with the unit was lost. Actually it just means he was not with his unit at the time of the strenght report was made.

The theory of '290 or so replacement fighter pilots in six months' starts to bleed heavily as soon as you compare pilot number fluctation vs. actual losses. Ie.


29th June 1,126 109 pilots present, 906 fit for duty. (80%)
28th September 917 109 pilots present, 676 fit for duty. (73%)

Ie. 398 109s lost which should roughly equal the number of pilots lost, strenght reduced by 209 pilots.

Which would mean only about 190 pilot replacements arrived in 3 months, or about the training rate of pilots was just 65 per month. Quite simply NONSENSE, when others give the rate German pilot training in 1939 as 800 per month, montlhy fighter plane production was 3 times of that figure etc.

So how do you explain October/November/December? How do you explain the sudden boost of numbers in March 1941?

Certainly there was not much loss in action to replace in the Winter. Ie. October saw only 104 Bf109s lost to enemy action, perhaps 80 of that were actually brought down over England meaning a loss of the crew. November and December saw even less action, and less losses.

In the automn most JGs were withdrawn for a well earned rest and refit; Galland was back in Berlin and spent some time hunting with Goering, as did Moelders IIRC.

The simple case is that the strenght reports don`t tell you much about the loss rates and the pilot training figures. They are merely a snapshot of the time, and the number of pilots present is not only indicating combat losses, influx of new pilots but also leaves and such; these distort the picture considerably.

Bremspropeller
01-13-2008, 01:20 PM
By the time Britain got in trouble with aircrew-issues, Luftwaffe fighters flew close to the bombers at low speeds and high fuel consumption.

Link that with RADAR coverage and you have sitting ducks.

The Luftwaffe never kept the pressure on the RAF as the allies did, starting in 44.

There was no way the Luftwaffe could defeat the RAF in that half-hearted manner.


The Luftwaffe's loss was not caused by inadequate hardware, but by ***head-leadership.

luftluuver
01-13-2008, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Most were simply on leave during the winter of 1940 and enjoying a well-earned rest after France and England campaigns. All but 3 JGs were withdrawn in the Automn from the immidiate frontline areas, spending the winter in French bars, checking for possible contraband under french skirts. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Naturally, they were not 'on strenght' with their unit while doing that.
I didn't know that a pilot on leave was not on the books of the unit he was on leave from.

Capt.LoneRanger
01-13-2008, 03:06 PM
I don't know about the numbers but looking at the nature of the BoB is a good indication why the tide turned quickly against the German Luftwaffe:

Pilots in the RAF sometimes had little experience with their aircraft and maybe some of them were not well trained, BUT: Many of those who were shot down lifed to learn from their mistakes and were able to return to the airfront the larger portion immediately after being shot down.
If a German plane was shot down, that crew was likely to be dead or taken prisoner.


Besides that, morale is always a high factor. Maybe Dowding was not ready for war and a part of his pilots weren't either, but they were fighting for their lifes, to protect their families and their freedom.
Additionally, it wasn't only rookies manning Dowdings planes. There were many trained pilots from the US, Poland and other countries and let's not forget that many British aces with experience against the 109 were safed from the beaches of Dunkirk.

IMHO the situation of the RAF was not as critical as the British made and still make it look like. It was part of the information-war and there is no way to make people fight better than to show them their backs are at the wall.

Kurfurst__
01-13-2008, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by Capt.LoneRanger:
IMHO the situation of the RAF was not as critical as the British made and still make it look like. It was part of the information-war and there is no way to make people fight better than to show them their backs are at the wall.

Agreed. It`s was a good morale booster in 1940, it was good political booster for Churchill in 1945, and it made a good national saga after 1945 for a country bankrupt and rapidly loosing in global politics to the US and the USSR.

Xiolablu3
01-13-2008, 03:15 PM
Britain (Plus RCAF/RAAF/RNAF etc who are often overlooked) certainly gained a lot of merit in the world for being the ones that stopped Nazi Germany in her tracks.

I'm sure it was a big relief in the countries that Germany had already betrayed/over-run, such as Poland, France or the Czechs, as at least there was now some hope for them.

It was 'the end of the beginning'


What we have to remember as far as pilots go, is that Luftwaffe pilots had a lot of 'in-battle' training in the Spanish Civil war and vs low quality opposition (as far as aircraft quality and numvbers are concerned) when they invaded without any warning or proper declaration, into the Poland and the Czechs territory.

This gave them a chance to hone their tactics and train pilots before they met equal opposition. (Again, just talking about aircraft quality and numbers, not pilot quality)

The RAF were thrown against a tough enemy straight away and had to learn 'on-site', with no chance to develop more modern tactics like the Finger-four/Schwarm

Capt.LoneRanger
01-13-2008, 04:28 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
The RAF were thrown against a tough enemy straight away and had to learn 'on-site', with no chance to develop more modern tactics like the Finger-four/Schwarm

That is not correct. The RAF and the British Forces had direct experience against the German Luftwaffe from defending France. Therefore letting these experienced pilots and soldiers escape in Dunkirk is also refered of the first mistake in the Battle of Britain by many historicans and it was at that time clear to everybody except Hitler.

He thought giving Britain back their pilots and soldiers would convince Churchill to not enter the war officially.

But that is exactly what I mean by propaganda, cause in various historic books the survival of these pilots and soldiers was due to the clever British rescue operation, but Hitler himself gave the order to stop his forces off the beach.

MB_Avro_UK
01-13-2008, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Capt.LoneRanger:
IMHO the situation of the RAF was not as critical as the British made and still make it look like. It was part of the information-war and there is no way to make people fight better than to show them their backs are at the wall.


Agreed. It`s was a good morale booster in 1940, it was good political booster for Churchill in 1945, and it made a good national saga after 1945 for a country bankrupt and rapidly loosing in global politics to the US and the USSR. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Interesting replies http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif. But Britain was bankrupt because of WW2 and to a degree because of WW1 also.It took another 40 years for Britain to become a global economic competitor.

I'm not so sure about the propaganda angle.

The LW suffered unexpected losses against the RAF fighters.This is not propaganda.

The LW anticipated a short conflict based on their previous experiences in Europe.

Had the RAF been forced to withdraw from the battle it is likely that peace terms would have followed. Hitler would the have had a free hand in Europe.

But this did not happen. Today we are free to debate history.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Capt.LoneRanger
01-13-2008, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
Had the RAF been forced to withdraw from the battle it is likely that peace terms would have followed. Hitler would the have had a free hand in Europe.


That is very unlikely. Hitler had planned WW2 long before it began and what some hairless people still repeat 60 years after this brown era ended, is the fact that there was 0% unemployment when Hitler was leading Germany.

That is a fact. Yes, but not the whole truth! The workes were financed by Hitlers Regime. This was great for his propaganda but it was really bad for his finances. By the time the war started Germany would have been financially bankrupt.
Hitler was no great leader, he was a popstar and he knew to handle the masses. Hitlers only hope for survival was the offensive and that would have continued no matter what. IIRC it was also mentioned in Hitlers "Mein Kampf" that he was not planning to rule the world, but simply to avenge his pains from WW1 and make the world fear him.

MB_Avro_UK
01-13-2008, 05:59 PM
Thanks Capt. Lone Ranger.

Ulrich Steinhilper in his BoB book 'Spitfire on my Tail' gives some interesting insights into the attitude of the German people in the 1930's regarding Hitler.

And Steinhilper did not approve of Galland. He stated that Galland did not want radios in the 109s as it would slow their speed.Galland said that radios were not needed in WW1 so why now?

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

leitmotiv
01-13-2008, 05:59 PM
Halifax and some of Chamberlain's old cohorts in the Cabinet were ready to cut a deal with Hitler in 1940. Had Winston not asserted himself and forced Halifax to concede the Prime Ministership to him in May 1940, when Chamberlain fell from power, history might very well have taken a different, hideously disastrous, course. Even during the summer of 1940 there were rumblings and undercurrents in the Cabinet. Hitler offered a compromise peace without occupation. Britain could keep the Empire, which H believed was a civilizing force in the world (as we now know, H was a shameless Anglophile who read TOWN AND COUNTRY and other British magazines with relish). Churchill, rightly, was never going to put the fate of the Empire in the hands of another empire (right---he thought FDR was the leader of an Anglo-Saxon people---ignoring the millions of Irish, Germans, Italians, and others in the U.S. very hostile to the British Empire---Churchill ended up putting the fate of the Empire in the hands of the nascent American Empire, but that is another story). Had the RAF been driven out of the skies, Churchill might have had a showdown with those who wanted peace at any cost, and, perhaps, have lost. He solved the problem of Halifax by sending him into exile by making him ambassador to the U.S. in Jan 1941.

MB_Avro_UK
01-13-2008, 06:26 PM
Interesting post Leitmotiv,

The sending of Halifax to the USA as Ambassador soured relations between the USA and Britain.

Lord Halifax was a complete and total upper-class idiot. He wanted peace with Germany in 1940 to prevent damage to his Estate by German bombing.

US President Truman decided after WW2 on the basis of his experience with Halifax to impose costly loans on the British to help them recover from WW2.

Britain repayed the US loans finally in 2006.

Maybe Halifax did more damage to Britain than the Luftwaffe?

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

leitmotiv
01-13-2008, 06:31 PM
Holy cow---I didn't know the rest of the Halifax story about his riling the Americans. What a consummate dweeb!

MB_Avro_UK
01-13-2008, 06:41 PM
Churchill had big problems with Lord Halifax in 1940. And particularly during the Dunkirk episode.

Lord Halifax was a big player in the government and Churchill had to use all his political skills to overcome him.

It was a close run thing... Dunkirk was the defining moment for Churchill.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

JG53Frankyboy
01-13-2008, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
Thanks Capt. Lone Ranger.

Ulrich Steinhilper in his BoB book 'Spitfire on my Tail' gives some interesting insights into the attitude of the German people in the 1930's regarding Hitler.

And Steinhilper did not approve of Galland. He stated that Galland did not want radios in the 109s as it would slow their speed.Galland said that radios were not needed in WW1 so why now?

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Steinhilper gave also a report how noncombat ready were these replacement pilots and of september 1940 - his "example" was even not familiar with the variable propeller pitch system of the 109E .................

gkll
01-13-2008, 08:12 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Capt.LoneRanger:
IMHO the situation of the RAF was not as critical as the British made and still make it look like. It was part of the information-war and there is no way to make people fight better than to show them their backs are at the wall.



Agreed. It`s was a good morale booster in 1940, it was good political booster for Churchill in 1945, and it made a good national saga after 1945 for a country bankrupt and rapidly loosing in global politics to the US and the USSR. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Id agree with all that. Id be curious if we agree <why> it was (relatively) inconsequential?

I think so because of the naval side, there was probably a not very wide window when in Hitler's mind an invasion was possible... however this is speculation. I do know the Kreigsmarine thought it was not on. Not to dredge up <that> old discussion, why do you think it was not as consequential as the movies books games etc make out?

Ratsack
01-13-2008, 08:22 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Halifax and some of Chamberlain's old cohorts in the Cabinet were ready to cut a deal with Hitler in 1940. Had Winston not asserted himself and forced Halifax to concede the Prime Ministership to him in May 1940, when Chamberlain fell from power, history might very well have taken a different, hideously disastrous, course. Even during the summer of 1940 there were rumblings and undercurrents in the Cabinet. Hitler offered a compromise peace without occupation. Britain could keep the Empire, which H believed was a civilizing force in the world (as we now know, H was a shameless Anglophile who read TOWN AND COUNTRY and other British magazines with relish). Churchill, rightly, was never going to put the fate of the Empire in the hands of another empire (right---he thought FDR was the leader of an Anglo-Saxon people---ignoring the millions of Irish, Germans, Italians, and others in the U.S. very hostile to the British Empire---Churchill ended up putting the fate of the Empire in the hands of the nascent American Empire, but that is another story). Had the RAF been driven out of the skies, Churchill might have had a showdown with those who wanted peace at any cost, and, perhaps, have lost. He solved the problem of Halifax by sending him into exile by making him ambassador to the U.S. in Jan 1941.

Good post, Leitmotiv, and it highlights the problem with 'history' as concocted by technical enthusiasts with narrow interests and narrower focus. As you point out, the BoB was never just a military problem. The entire point of the exercise - from the German point of view - was to get the British to stop fighting. As somebody put it, Hitler was like the gambler who has just won big, and wants to get up from the table.

Unfortunately, people talking about the BoB nearly always assume that the question of how to get the Brits to come to terms was just a matter of air superiority. The real point is that the Germans had a range of options open to them in mid-1940, most of which required air superiority of some degree. One of the most important of these options - and some people argue that it was in fact the REAL option the whole time - was diplomacy reinforced with military force. The idea was that the Germans would maintain the diplomatic offensive by offering 'reasonable' terms, while demonstrating the ability to finish the job militarily if the Brits didn't come to the table.

It was not a foregone conclusion that the Germans would be unsuccessful.

cheers,
Ratsack

Kurfurst__
01-14-2008, 03:34 AM
Originally posted by gkll:

Id agree with all that. Id be curious if we agree <why> it was (relatively) inconsequential?

I think so because of the naval side, there was probably a not very wide window when in Hitler's mind an invasion was possible... however this is speculation. I do know the Kreigsmarine thought it was not on. Not to dredge up <that> old discussion, why do you think it was not as consequential as the movies books games etc make out?

I guess because in reality, nothing really changed. The Luftwaffe lost about as many planes as it did in the Battle of France, Britain`s industry, ports and infrastructure was bombed heavily.
The Germans were on one side of the Channel. The Brits on the other. Neither could cross it.
Same as in July 1940.

The more books and primary sources I read on it, the more it seems it was largely about putting political pressure by threatening with an immidiate invasion.

Try the USAF Numbered historical studies site. There`s a very interesting paper compiling German memos of meetings at the time in the summer about 'Seelowe'. If anything, that kinda sweeps any doubt away just how 'serious' Seelowe was meant. Off the top of my head, there`s a record of a meeting where they discuss, around July 1940, that it would be better to postpone the whole thing to 1941, and there were growing concerns of the Russian bears doings in the East. Even well into August, the Heer and the Kriegsmarine were bickering about wide/narrow landing front; the whole thing reminds you of ubi an ubi discussion, back and forth, back and forth for weeks and months on the same issue. That is in a month before they were supposed to cross the channel, and even the basics weren`t agreed on yet.. perhaps von Rundstedt`s summary of Seelowe was the most fitting, he considered the whole thing 'a joke'.

Capt.LoneRanger
01-14-2008, 04:10 AM
Originally posted by gkll:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Capt.LoneRanger:
IMHO the situation of the RAF was not as critical as the British made and still make it look like. It was part of the information-war and there is no way to make people fight better than to show them their backs are at the wall.



Agreed. It`s was a good morale booster in 1940, it was good political booster for Churchill in 1945, and it made a good national saga after 1945 for a country bankrupt and rapidly loosing in global politics to the US and the USSR. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Id agree with all that. Id be curious if we agree <why> it was (relatively) inconsequential?

I think so because of the naval side, there was probably a not very wide window when in Hitler's mind an invasion was possible... however this is speculation. I do know the Kreigsmarine thought it was not on. Not to dredge up <that> old discussion, why do you think it was not as consequential as the movies books games etc make out? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Kriegsmarine was never ready for anything. As the Luftwaffe the Kriegsmarine was the unliked stepchild for Hitler, as beyond the Operation Seenplatte the Marine had no effective use for his military operation.

Even when it was clear the Kriegsmarine was a vital part of the military operations against Norway and England or to stop supplies to Europe and Africa he failed to see the consequences. Instead of building on the experiences of the German Kriegsmarine and despite of the fact that the Marine allready knew they needed a swimming airbase to effectively strike England and supporting success in the Mediterranian, Hitler only supporter the submarines for the real fight and gigantic ships like the Bismark, that were known to be tactically inefficient, but payed out a great deal in the propaganda.

He also completely underestimated the importance of England as a gigantic fixed aircraft-carrier for the allied forces, as he never expected the importance of the air forces (and a lot of his WW1 veterans didn't either, as MB_Avro_UK allready pointed out).

FI-Skipper
01-14-2008, 04:31 AM
I did my A-Level History study on BoB last year so I think i'll throw in a couple of conclusions I was able to draw.

TMDE by Stephen Bungay was indispensible during my study and from what i've read n the forums many on here have read the book and really enjoyed it aswell.

I think it was in TMDE that it said about "Target Saturation". This was the theory that the LW put so many aircraft into the sky in such a small space, it was extremely hard to keep track of all the aircraft. As such, the RAF pilot had maybe 11 other comrades not to shoot at and over 100 targets while the LW had the opposite. Whether this had an impact or not, i'm undecided but it's certainly an interesting idea that the large formations actually worked against the LW

leitmotiv
01-14-2008, 07:22 AM
Originally posted by Ratsack:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Halifax and some of Chamberlain's old cohorts in the Cabinet were ready to cut a deal with Hitler in 1940. Had Winston not asserted himself and forced Halifax to concede the Prime Ministership to him in May 1940, when Chamberlain fell from power, history might very well have taken a different, hideously disastrous, course. Even during the summer of 1940 there were rumblings and undercurrents in the Cabinet. Hitler offered a compromise peace without occupation. Britain could keep the Empire, which H believed was a civilizing force in the world (as we now know, H was a shameless Anglophile who read TOWN AND COUNTRY and other British magazines with relish). Churchill, rightly, was never going to put the fate of the Empire in the hands of another empire (right---he thought FDR was the leader of an Anglo-Saxon people---ignoring the millions of Irish, Germans, Italians, and others in the U.S. very hostile to the British Empire---Churchill ended up putting the fate of the Empire in the hands of the nascent American Empire, but that is another story). Had the RAF been driven out of the skies, Churchill might have had a showdown with those who wanted peace at any cost, and, perhaps, have lost. He solved the problem of Halifax by sending him into exile by making him ambassador to the U.S. in Jan 1941.

Good post, Leitmotiv, and it highlights the problem with 'history' as concocted by technical enthusiasts with narrow interests and narrower focus. As you point out, the BoB was never just a military problem. The entire point of the exercise - from the German point of view - was to get the British to stop fighting. As somebody put it, Hitler was like the gambler who has just won big, and wants to get up from the table.

Unfortunately, people talking about the BoB nearly always assume that the question of how to get the Brits to come to terms was just a matter of air superiority. The real point is that the Germans had a range of options open to them in mid-1940, most of which required air superiority of some degree. One of the most important of these options - and some people argue that it was in fact the REAL option the whole time - was diplomacy reinforced with military force. The idea was that the Germans would maintain the diplomatic offensive by offering 'reasonable' terms, while demonstrating the ability to finish the job militarily if the Brits didn't come to the table.

It was not a foregone conclusion that the Germans would be unsuccessful.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Exactly. There has been a great deal of good research done on the crucial decision to reject the Hitler peace offer---the kick off for a lot of it was research done by David Irving before he turned into a neofascist mad dog. It was he who "discovered" Hitler's obsession with the British, which should have been plain to all historians if they read MEIN KAMPF. There is an interesting looking book on the subject of the peace offer published by John Lukacs in 1992 titled: THE DUEL: HITLER VS CHURCHILL 10 MAY-31 JULY 1940. I never read it, but Lukacs is a sage observer of WWII-era Europe.

Anything could have happened from May 1940 onward. If Halifax had been PM, he probably would have urged suing for peace after the fall of France. In which case there probably would be hardly a Jew, Pole, or Slav left in Europe and the east now.

leitmotiv
01-14-2008, 07:35 AM
Originally posted by FI-Skipper:
I did my A-Level History study on BoB last year so I think i'll throw in a couple of conclusions I was able to draw.

TMDE by Stephen Bungay was indispensible during my study and from what i've read n the forums many on here have read the book and really enjoyed it aswell.

I think it was in TMDE that it said about "Target Saturation". This was the theory that the LW put so many aircraft into the sky in such a small space, it was extremely hard to keep track of all the aircraft. As such, the RAF pilot had maybe 11 other comrades not to shoot at and over 100 targets while the LW had the opposite. Whether this had an impact or not, i'm undecided but it's certainly an interesting idea that the large formations actually worked against the LW

This looks like a highly dubious contention on the part of Bungay in the light of the literally thousands of fighters and bombers the 8th Air Force was able to simultaneously operate over Germany by 1945. The biggest problem the LW had in the B of B regarding coordination was the inability of their bombers to talk to their fighters by voice radio. There was the notorious incident on Adler Tag when the Gruppe of Bf 110s escorting the spearhead bombers received a recall signal, the bombers did not, and kept on going. The Bf 110 leader was doing stunts by the KG2 leader's Do 17 trying to get him to realize he was to turn back and failed. KG2 plowed on alone and was bloodied.

hop2002
01-14-2008, 02:48 PM
The RAF was simply sending semi-trained pilots to combat units before they finished their training. Of what quality - well that was another matter. It really showed when the calander turned 1941. 6 week embryos of Fighter Command vs. said example of Knoke who had 1.5 years of fighter pilot training behind him. Robbing the cradle worked on the short term, but on the long term, it meant replacements suddenly dropped. Simply the Training schools were drained. It didn`t work for too long.

By 31st March 1941, the number of RAF fighter pilots actually dropped to 1702 from the 1796 in November.

I don't think so. Look at the establishment of fighter command. By November they had more fighter pilots than authorised. The figure wouldn't keep climbing past authorised strength.


and 1204/1065 by 28 March 1941. How do you explain that sudden raise of 300 pilots and the stagnation of Fighter Command pilot strenght..?

Well, the rise in Luftwaffe strength is easy to explain because the daylight fighting practically ended.

Foreman in the Fighter Command War Diaries lists Fighter Command claims per month (for all types) as 214 in November, 45 in December, 13 in January, 30 in February and 50 in March. Not hard to see how the Luftwaffe pilot strength could recover when the fighting tailed off so much.

As to RAF "stagnation", note that Wood and Dempster give established strength as 1727 on 2nd November, and actual strength as 1796. Fighter Command had 69 pilots more than authorised.


Most were simply on leave during the winter of 1940 and enjoying a well-earned rest after France and England campaigns. All but 3 JGs were withdrawn in the Automn from the immidiate frontline areas, spending the winter in French bars, checking for possible contraband under french skirts.

Don't be absurd. Pilots on leave are still on strength. And how do you explain the figure for the end of September? Had all the Luftwaffe gone on leave then, when they were still fighting the battle?


Which would mean only about 190 pilot replacements arrived in 3 months, or about the training rate of pilots was just 65 per month. Quite simply NONSENSE, when others give the rate German pilot training in 1939 as 800 per month, montlhy fighter plane production was 3 times of that figure etc.

But that's what the figures suggest. Pre war training figures don't really apply. One of the USAAF historical studies notes how the training schools were raided at the start of the war for pilots and aircraft, and how many of the instructors never returned to the training schools, preferring the glory of operations.


So how do you explain October/November/December? How do you explain the sudden boost of numbers in March 1941?

It's quite simple. In July, August and September Luftwaffe losses were higher than replacements. The number of fighter pilots declined by 209 to 917. Replacements could not keep up with losses.

In October, November and December the fighting was winding down, losses were lower, and replacements kept up. The number of fighter pilots declined by 2, to 915.

In January, February and March there was little fighting. Replacements made up the losses of the previous year, strength increased by 289. This indicates a higher rate of replacement than in the previous months, but there's nothing unusual in that. After the losses earlier in the year it's natural that the Luftwaffe would step up training somewhat.

What's amazing is that the Luftwaffe seem to have had problems with quality as well as numbers. I looked up what Steinhilper had to say, and he echoes Milch's comments about quality. From Steinhilper:


High also on the list of losses as the battle wore on were the replacement pilots. They simply didn't have the experience that we pre-war regulars had acquired. In our Gruppe at the beginning of the French Campaign we had thirty-six experienced pilots, none of whom had less than three years flying experience. Now we were getting replacements for the experienced pilots we had lost straight from Jagdfliegerschule (fighter school]. At that time we still tried our best to take care of these fledglings until they could accrue some experience.
Typical of these youngsters was a young Gefreiter who arrived in late September. His flying time was minimal - he had only fired a few shots at a ground target, had never flown on oxygen and still had no idea how to use his radio. We tried to increase their experience before they actually came along on combat missions by taking them up on patrols between missions. Then we would talk on the radio, climb to altitudes in excess of 8,000 metres (25,000 ft) and make them use oxygen. Of special importance was teaching them how to change the pitch of their propeller to get maxmum pull from the engine at high altitude. A flat pitch would allow the engine to rev up to its maximum so that the super-charger would deliver the maximum volume of air to the cylinders and produce optimum power; changing to a coarser pitch would have that engine power converted into more pull and consequently speed our rate of climb. It was vital they mastered this technique if they were to keep up in a battle-climb or at high altitude.5
After about ten hours of 'tuition' we would take them out over the Channel to shoot at shadows on the water or cross to Dungeness and shoot at a black medieval tower which stood there (the old Dungeness Lighthouse). Finally when we could not excuse them combat duty any more we would have to take them along with us. This became the case with the Gefreiter and so I took him as my Rottenhund [wingman]. We began our climb almost immediately after take-off and he was constantly using the radio to ask us to slow down so that he could keep up. It was obvious that he wasn't manipulating the pitch control with the skill of the more seasoned pilots to produce the same power as our machines. We tried to tell him what to do on the radio but to no avail. Eventually, about half-way across the Channel and at 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) Kuhle told him to leave the formation and return to base. He broke away but in his confusion he turned not for home but towards Dover. Kuhle realised what was happening and ordered me to give chase and take him home. I rolled out and soon overhauled him, just before we reached the balloon barrage at Dover. I had tried to raise him on the radio but he was in such a state of anxiety that he wouldn't or couldn't respond. Positioning myself in front of
him I rocked my wings, using the signal for him to follow me. He dutifully hung onto my tail and we were soon back at Coquelles. This was one of only two missions I missed during the whole of our time in the Battle of Britain.
As a result we decided that we would not take any more replacements on high altitude missions until we could give them more, much more, training. They were supposed to be replacements but in the event they were more of a problem for us than reinforcement for the squadron.

leitmotiv
01-14-2008, 03:08 PM
What is the title of this marvelous Steinhilper book?!

Ratsack
01-14-2008, 03:40 PM
It's called Spitfire On My Tail.

Ratsack

gkll
01-14-2008, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by gkll:

Id agree with all that. Id be curious if we agree <why> it was (relatively) inconsequential?

I think so because of the naval side, there was probably a not very wide window when in Hitler's mind an invasion was possible... however this is speculation. I do know the Kreigsmarine thought it was not on. Not to dredge up <that> old discussion, why do you think it was not as consequential as the movies books games etc make out?

I guess because in reality, nothing really changed. The Luftwaffe lost about as many planes as it did in the Battle of France, Britain`s industry, ports and infrastructure was bombed heavily.
The Germans were on one side of the Channel. The Brits on the other. Neither could cross it.
Same as in July 1940.

The more books and primary sources I read on it, the more it seems it was largely about putting political pressure by threatening with an immidiate invasion.

Try the USAF Numbered historical studies site. There`s a very interesting paper compiling German memos of meetings at the time in the summer about 'Seelowe'. If anything, that kinda sweeps any doubt away just how 'serious' Seelowe was meant. Off the top of my head, there`s a record of a meeting where they discuss, around July 1940, that it would be better to postpone the whole thing to 1941, and there were growing concerns of the Russian bears doings in the East. Even well into August, the Heer and the Kriegsmarine were bickering about wide/narrow landing front; the whole thing reminds you of ubi an ubi discussion, back and forth, back and forth for weeks and months on the same issue. That is in a month before they were supposed to cross the channel, and even the basics weren`t agreed on yet.. perhaps von Rundstedt`s summary of Seelowe was the most fitting, he considered the whole thing 'a joke'. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This mirrors my thoughts. BOB gets a lot of play, however the Kreigsmarine was battered from the Norwegian campaign and was certainly not up to supporting an invasion.

Makes sense that the Brits would play it up, however, wouldn't you? The air offensive however serious for those involved just wasn't and couldn't be 'pivotal'.

hop2002
01-14-2008, 05:04 PM
It's certainly true there were arguments between the German army and navy, the navy wanted to do as little as possible, the army wanted to land as many troops and supplies as they could.

That's just a reflection of the fact the German navy wasn't really up to the job.

But all the speculation about Sea Lion misses the point that Sea Lion was a plan that was to be be launched after the Luftwaffe had defeated the RAF and, through bombing, brought Britain to the point of collapse.

In reality the Luftwaffe failed at stage 1, so whether or not Hitler would have launched the invasion is a moot point.

As Karl Klee, who wrote the USAF study Kurfurst refers to, puts it:


Far from deciding the war through strategic air warfare alone, the Luftwaffe failed in its efforts to achieve the air superiority required from the outset by the German Supreme Command as the prerequisite for the invasion. With the experience since gained it is evident in retrospect that with the means available at the time no possibility existed to decide the war through strategic air warfare alone.

You can argue Hitler wouldn't have launched the invasion anyway, but no one can seriously argue the Luftwaffe didn't do all in their power to defeat Britain.

MB_Avro_UK
01-14-2008, 05:29 PM
Quote from Hop2002-

<You can argue Hitler wouldn't have launched the invasion anyway, but no one can seriously argue the Luftwaffe didn't do all in their power to defeat Britain.>

I think that this sums up the situation.

The BoB was not just a military conflict but had political undertones.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

leitmotiv
01-14-2008, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by Ratsack:
It's called Spitfire On My Tail.

Ratsack

Thanks, RS---I bought it!

What a larf. Was cheaper for me (in California) to buy it from Amazon UK than use Amazon US or one of their vendors!

Ratsack
01-15-2008, 08:21 AM
Welcome to the globalised economy, mate. There are lemons from your neck of the woods in the local supermarket here in Fremantle. Apparently they're cheaper than the locally grown variety, although I admit I can't work out how that can possibly be the case in light of the avalanche of the things falling on my back lawn every day.

Stranger than fiction...

Enjoy Steinhilper. He has a sharp knife out for Galland, which is a refreshing view from a German pilot.


cheers,
Ratsack

leitmotiv
01-15-2008, 08:56 AM
I just found out our best cuts of beef (filet mignon from cattle not shot up with hormones and antibiotics) go to Japan, and we get the dross. I used to do business with a Kiwi hobby shop because, for some reason, they always had choice aircraft kits from Japan which weren't even available in Japan! Enjoy the California lemons! At the rate we are plowing under our prime ag land for subdivisions, Cal fruit might become a novelty! I've always had a suspicion Galland was a bit of a weasel---kind of like Speer---always adjusted his sails for the direction of the wind.

Bremspropeller
01-15-2008, 11:40 AM
Enjoy Steinhilper. He has a sharp knife out for Galland, which is a refreshing view from a German pilot.

You'd propably love to read Meimberg's "Feindberührung" (Enemy Contact) - it's a shame it hasn't been out in English (so far...).

leitmotiv
01-15-2008, 12:01 PM
I'll get it. Do you know of a German language memoir by a Bf 110 pilot who flew in the Battle of Britain, B?

Bremspropeller
01-15-2008, 01:54 PM
Maybe "Falkenjahre" by Wolfgang Falck?

http://www.neunundzwanzigsechs.de/main.php

Look here for both of the boks, as well as Rall's autobiography.

leitmotiv
01-15-2008, 03:22 PM
Many thanks, B! Did Jabs ever write his memoirs?

Bremspropeller
01-15-2008, 03:27 PM
Jabs? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

leitmotiv
01-15-2008, 08:17 PM
Hans-Joachim Jabs---highest scoring Bf 110 ace of the B of B:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Joachim_Jabs

Rammjaeger
01-16-2008, 05:02 AM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Try the USAF Numbered historical studies site.

Got link?

Kurfurst__
01-16-2008, 05:26 AM
USAF Numbered historical studies

http://afhra.maxwell.af.mil/numbered_studies/studiesintro.asp

BTW, Ramm, Google would drop it out, too. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

PS : Check your mail!

MB_Avro_UK
01-16-2008, 06:44 PM
Originally posted by gkll:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by gkll:

Id agree with all that. Id be curious if we agree <why> it was (relatively) inconsequential?

I think so because of the naval side, there was probably a not very wide window when in Hitler's mind an invasion was possible... however this is speculation. I do know the Kreigsmarine thought it was not on. Not to dredge up <that> old discussion, why do you think it was not as consequential as the movies books games etc make out?

I guess because in reality, nothing really changed. The Luftwaffe lost about as many planes as it did in the Battle of France, Britain`s industry, ports and infrastructure was bombed heavily.
The Germans were on one side of the Channel. The Brits on the other. Neither could cross it.
Same as in July 1940.

The more books and primary sources I read on it, the more it seems it was largely about putting political pressure by threatening with an immidiate invasion.

Try the USAF Numbered historical studies site. There`s a very interesting paper compiling German memos of meetings at the time in the summer about 'Seelowe'. If anything, that kinda sweeps any doubt away just how 'serious' Seelowe was meant. Off the top of my head, there`s a record of a meeting where they discuss, around July 1940, that it would be better to postpone the whole thing to 1941, and there were growing concerns of the Russian bears doings in the East. Even well into August, the Heer and the Kriegsmarine were bickering about wide/narrow landing front; the whole thing reminds you of ubi an ubi discussion, back and forth, back and forth for weeks and months on the same issue. That is in a month before they were supposed to cross the channel, and even the basics weren`t agreed on yet.. perhaps von Rundstedt`s summary of Seelowe was the most fitting, he considered the whole thing 'a joke'. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This mirrors my thoughts. BOB gets a lot of play, however the Kreigsmarine was battered from the Norwegian campaign and was certainly not up to supporting an invasion.

Makes sense that the Brits would play it up, however, wouldn't you? The air offensive however serious for those involved just wasn't and couldn't be 'pivotal'. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

WTF?

Makes sense that the Brits would play it up?

And couldn't be pivotal?

Where are you from? The planet Mars maybe?

The Battle of Britain stopped the Nazis for the first time in WW2. With help from European pilots and the Commonwealth.

The Nazis suffered huge losses (and also the RAF). Do not try to diminish the sacrifices of the good guys against an evil tyranny!

I do not include the Luftwaffe aircrews as evil. The Nazi dictatorship was evil. Do not forget this please.

Best Regards,
MB-Avro.

leitmotiv
01-16-2008, 09:30 PM
The Germans consider the Battle to have been a continuous struggle from August 1940 until May 1941. Furthermore, the Kriegsmarine was actively supporting the operations against the UK with a long sortie of SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU in the winter of 1941, of HIPPER, and, of course, the famous BISMARCK and PRINZ EUGEN sortie in May 1941. The U-boat campaign reached a devastating peak in this period. The night Blitz hammered port cities like Plymouth and Liverpool. London was nearly brought to a standstill by the very effective 10 May 1941 raid.

If the Luftwaffe had been able to defeat Fighter Command or drive the fighters away from the south of England (this nearly happened, by the way), the Royal Navy would not have been able to operate in conditions of German air superiority. The late Captain Stephen Roskill, the RN official historian, was an anti-aircraft expert at this time, and he noted in the official history that the RN was incapable of adequate self-defense from air attack in 1940-41---as was devastatingly brought home by Crete in May 1941, and the sinking of PRINCE OF WALES and REPULSE by Japanese torpedo bombers in Dec 1941.

If the Germans had achieved air superiority over the invasion points, the super river crossing planned by the army might have succeeded. Hitler wasn't enthusiastic about an invasion unless it could be mounted under ideal conditions. He had decided in August 1940 to invade the USSR in the coming year. If the British had surrendered after the raids on London in early Sept 1940, he would have been pleased. The Luftwaffe was hoping for a repeat of the Dutch capitulation after the reduction of Rotterdam.

Anybody who doubts the German leadership meant business in the war against the British is in a dream world. The simple fact is that their methods didn't work: they tried a smorgasbord of bombing techniques between mid-August and early September. Despite the scattershot methodology, it was working. Hitler allowed himself to be diverted by Churchill's bold throw of the dice in bombing Berlin. Despite the lack of effectiveness of the raids, Hitler decided to try Sperrle's "Rotterdam" ploy and unleash the bombers on London. Here they lost the chance to win the battle in 1940, but they came close to winning before they diverted, and the winter/spring Blitz came close to wrecking the UK. Until the British sank the BISMARCK, the German surface raiders were seriously affecting their supply lines along with the U-boats.

The fact of the matter was that the British had a "damned near-run thing" which no amount of ex-post facto lawyering and "fact management" can dispute. The main impediment to their victory was Hitler's unshakeable determination to attack the USSR in 1941. If he had put the entire resources of the German armed forces into a systematic effort to take the UK, nothing could have stopped him.

One thing people forget is that Britain went from the shameful supine pacifism of the Oxford Union declaration in the mid-'30's (students affirmed they would never fight in a war to defend Britain), and the appeasement strategy of Chamberlain to near universal defiance during the Blitz. This was a gigantic psychological shift. Hitler thought the British had no stomach for war left after WWI, and that their collapse would occur eventually if he was patient. He did not feel the same sense of urgency he felt about knocking out the USSR before new weapons and reforms had transformed their forces from the rabble humiliated in the Finnish War. The transformation of the UK from pacifism and appeasement to defiance was one of the most unusual intellectual shifts in history, and completely unexpected.

gkll
01-17-2008, 08:05 AM
MB and Leitmotiv:

"If the Luftwaffe had been able to defeat Fighter Command or drive the fighters away from the south of England (this nearly happened, by the way), the Royal Navy would not have been able to operate in conditions of German air superiority"

No I don't believe this is correct, at all. However there was another entire thread or two on this very topic, Im pretty sure I made my position clear in that earlier thread.... to whit and vastly simplified;
- RN could absolutely operate under conditions of enemy air superiority, neither Germans nor Brits had shown much aptitude for sinking fast-moving and alert warships at that period in the war, +coverage from 10 group covered the channel for eg. a pullback from southern airfields did not mean no RAF anyways...
- with the RN still operable no invasion was possible, full stop,
- the Kreigsmarine was fully aware of this reality, hence the internal too and fro on a 'final plan'.

Also the RN has an immense tradition of aggressive action and would not stop at the loss of 20 or 30 destroyers and 10 cruiser eg when acting in defence of the home island, and would not commit until the actual invasion. I cant imagine losses even approaching the above BTW

Anyways sorry if you two have strong feelings on the 'pivotal' nature of BOB, and also seem to think that myself with two grandfathers involved in the war and a family history of military and civil service is somehow disrespectful of those who contributed to BOB. Not the case.

The other thread went a long time and had mostly sound analysis and info. So go look there.

Pluto8742
01-17-2008, 09:22 AM
Good posts Leitmotiv and gkll.

Someone made the point to me recently that the UK victory in the BoB might have actually extended the war. Had the RAF lost control and been forced to withdraw, the Germans might have attempted a landing. They might well have got a first wave ashore, but after that the subsequent waves would have been massacred at sea by the RN and the troops who had made it over would have been isolated and lost. The damage to the German war machine might even have beeen enough to scale back Hitler's ambitions. Who knows?

Cheers,

P8.

leitmotiv
01-18-2008, 05:38 AM
Unfortunately the RN was too short-handed in destroyers or cruisers to be able to afford a death or glory defense of the UK and defend the Empire. This is a very important fact which amateurs often ignore believing the RN was awash with warships---it wasn't. The pre-war studies had demonstrated the RN had enough ships to fight Germany or Italy or Japan, but not two at the same time, and three would have been a disaster. The Govt of the day realized the fleet could not be expended. The recent Norwegian fiasco had clearly demonstrated if the German Ju 87 and Ju 88 dive bombers wanted to destroy destroyers and frigates, they could. There was never any intention of making the UK the last stand of the Empire. The Govt was ready to go to Canada to carry on the war from there. The history of the B of B was clear beyond dispute that the Germans were successfully destroying the all-important Sector Stations in the southeast---although the poor ninnies had no idea how important they were to the working of the defense net. Only the shift to heavy attacks on the London docks in early September averted a disaster. This is not a matter of opinion, but is one of the central facts of the Battle. The Germans, despite their often unsystematic approach were succeeding in rendering the southeastern bases unusable.

For forum purposes, where facts are irrelevant, debate can be endless, cows can jump over the moon, and whales sport in the woods.

Ratsack
01-18-2008, 06:12 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
...and whales sport in the woods.

No.

They frolic.

Ratsack

leitmotiv
01-18-2008, 06:26 AM
Whales drive sports cars in the woods?

luftluuver
01-18-2008, 07:03 AM
The Kriegsmarine lost 1 heavy cruiser, 2 light cruisers, 10 destroyers, and 6 submarines, leaving the navy weakened during the summer months when Hitler was pursuing plans for an invasion of Great Britain.

Royal Navy

* 4 Battleships - Resolution, Rodney, Valiant, and Warspite.
* 2 Battlecruiser - Renown and Repulse.
* 3 Aircraft carriers - Ark Royal, Furious and Glorious-(Sunk 8 June - ship).
* 4 Heavy cruisers - Berwick, Devonshire, Suffolk-(Damaged 17 April - a/c), and York.
* 6 Light cruisers - Birmingham, Effingham-(Grounded 17 May, unsalvageable), Glasgow, Manchester, Sheffield, and Southampton.
* 5 Light Cruisers - Arethusa, Aurora, Coventry, Curlew, Enterprise, Galatea, and Penelope.
* 4 Anti-Air Cruisers - Cairo, Carlisle, Curacoa, Calcutta.
* ?? Minesweepers.
* 21 Destroyers. - HMS Acasta-(Sunk 8 June - ship), HMS Ardent-(Sunk 8 June - ship), HMS Bedouin, HMS Cossack, HMS Eskimo, HMS Punjabi, HMS Hero, HMS Icarus, HMS Kimberley, HMS Forester, HMS Foxhound, HMS Hardy-(Sunk 10 April - ship), HMS Hunter, HMS Hotspur, HMS Havock, HMS Hostile, HMS Gurkha-(Sunk 9 April - a/c), HMS Glowworm-(Sunk 8 April - ship), HMS Wolverine, HMS Zulu
* 17 Submarines.

The RN lost 1 ship sunk and one damaged due to a/c.

Almost all the destroyers sunk at Dunkirk were sunk while at rest.

gkll
01-18-2008, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Unfortunately the RN was too short-handed in destroyers or cruisers to be able to afford a death or glory defense of the UK and defend the Empire. This is a very important fact which amateurs often ignore believing the RN was awash with warships---it wasn't. The pre-war studies had demonstrated the RN had enough ships to fight Germany or Italy or Japan, but not two at the same time, and three would have been a disaster. The Govt of the day realized the fleet could not be expended. The recent Norwegian fiasco had clearly demonstrated if the German Ju 87 and Ju 88 dive bombers wanted to destroy destroyers and frigates, they could. There was never any intention of making the UK the last stand of the Empire. The Govt was ready to go to Canada to carry on the war from there. The history of the B of B was clear beyond dispute that the Germans were successfully destroying the all-important Sector Stations in the southeast---although the poor ninnies had no idea how important they were to the working of the defense net. Only the shift to heavy attacks on the London docks in early September averted a disaster. This is not a matter of opinion, but is one of the central facts of the Battle. The Germans, despite their often unsystematic approach were succeeding in rendering the southeastern bases unusable.

For forum purposes, where facts are irrelevant, debate can be endless, cows can jump over the moon, and whales sport in the woods.

"the most decisive battle of ww2?" and "did the americans (USA?) save UK from ....." are the threads that have previously bashed this topic to pieces more or less.

LOL on who is the amateur, and the jumping cows bit too... am I crushed or what?

If you think (it seems you do...) that weighing the value of the home islands against the fleet, the call would have been 'the fleet' you are naive to the extreme.


Sea against air in 1940 was not yet a done deal as it is today, cast your mind back to when the matter and the technology/tactics/weapons were still formative. The Japanese were the exception, very very very deadly, out of the box. However we are discussing Germans and Brits.

MB_Avro_UK
01-18-2008, 02:58 PM
Hi all,

I think that it's accepted that Hitler did not want war with Britain. The British Monarchy was closely related by marriage to Germany for instance. Indeed, the Royal Household name was Battenburg and changed to Windsor at the outbreak of WW1.

Also,in 1938 Hitler met with the then British Prime Minister Chamberlain. Chamberlain was a pacifist and conceded Czechoslvakia to Hitler in the vain hope of avoiding WW2.

Britain historically had little interest in Europe except when the balance of power shifted.The British Empire never included a European state.

The Battle of France in May 1940 perhaps gave Hitler the mistaken impression that the British were beaten after their withdrawl from Dunkirk.

But the contingent of the British Army in France only amounted to 10% of the allied forces available.

The fact is that the RAF supported by Commonwealth and other European pilots caused Hitler to end up fighting on two fronts.

And don't forget that Churchill had to fight on two fronts at home against the appeasers...Britain was a democracy of course!


Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

ouston
01-18-2008, 04:38 PM
Debate on this topic could indeed go on for ever although I always thought it was bears in the woods not whales but never mind.

Avro's point about appeasers is an interesting one. Had the Luftwaffe achieved air superiority over southern England (and I am not convinced they could have done) they would have been able to wreak enormous destruction. The night blitz was destructive enough - imagine if they had been able to fly over London and unload hundreds of bombers in daylight. That might have been enough to topple Churchill and force a negotiated peace without having to resort to an invasion. Sealion, as a previous poster says, was a non-starter when one looks at what it took the Allies to launch an assault in the other direction several years later, admittedly against a vastly more powerful defence.

There are historians who argue that the Royal Navy was the deciding factor and that they would have destroyed any invasion fleet. It is true the Luftwaffe did not have the anti-shipping capabilities they had a year or two later but I still think it would have been a close run thing if the Royal Navy had been forced to invervene. Simply the Battle of Britain was a contest the British could not afford to lose. It would most probably ended in a negotiated peace and quite possibly left the field free for a gigantic struggle between Stalin and Hitler. You could argue this happened anyway but Hitler would not have had distractions such as North Africa and Greece and the growing power of Bomber Command. How could the United States have intervened in Europe with an unsympathetic British goverment? Depending on the outcome of a German-Russian conflict Europe would have been either Nazi or Communist dominated. The Battle of Britain did not win the war but it stopped it being lost and made it possible for Britain and the United States to win the war in the west.

MB_Avro_UK
01-18-2008, 05:25 PM
Originally posted by ouston:
Debate on this topic could indeed go on for ever although I always thought it was bears in the woods not whales but never mind.

Avro's point about appeasers is an interesting one. Had the Luftwaffe achieved air superiority over southern England (and I am not convinced they could have done) they would have been able to wreak enormous destruction. The night blitz was destructive enough - imagine if they had been able to fly over London and unload hundreds of bombers in daylight. That might have been enough to topple Churchill and force a negotiated peace without having to resort to an invasion. Sealion, as a previous poster says, was a non-starter when one looks at what it took the Allies to launch an assault in the other direction several years later, admittedly against a vastly more powerful defence.

There are historians who argue that the Royal Navy was the deciding factor and that they would have destroyed any invasion fleet. It is true the Luftwaffe did not have the anti-shipping capabilities they had a year or two later but I still think it would have been a close run thing if the Royal Navy had been forced to invervene. Simply the Battle of Britain was a contest the British could not afford to lose. It would most probably ended in a negotiated peace and quite possibly left the field free for a gigantic struggle between Stalin and Hitler. You could argue this happened anyway but Hitler would not have had distractions such as North Africa and Greece and the growing power of Bomber Command. How could the United States have intervened in Europe with an unsympathetic British goverment? Depending on the outcome of a German-Russian conflict Europe would have been either Nazi or Communist dominated. The Battle of Britain did not win the war but it stopped it being lost and made it possible for Britain and the United States to win the war in the west.


Good reply http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

leitmotiv
01-18-2008, 05:33 PM
As usual, LL comes a cropper by using the internet instead of a library. One RN ship sunk by aircraft in the Norwegian Campaign! O the humanity, such pristine duncery!

leitmotiv
01-18-2008, 05:58 PM
P.S. "Whales sporting in the woods, cows jumping over the moon" is from Alexander Pope's famous The Dunciad---an appropriate choice!

Ratsack
01-18-2008, 07:31 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Unfortunately the RN was too short-handed in destroyers or cruisers to be able to afford a death or glory defense of the UK and defend the Empire. This is a very important fact which amateurs often ignore believing the RN was awash with warships---it wasn't. The pre-war studies had demonstrated the RN had enough ships to fight Germany or Italy or Japan, but not two at the same time, and three would have been a disaster. The Govt of the day realized the fleet could not be expended. The recent Norwegian fiasco had clearly demonstrated if the German Ju 87 and Ju 88 dive bombers wanted to destroy destroyers and frigates, they could. There was never any intention of making the UK the last stand of the Empire. The Govt was ready to go to Canada to carry on the war from there. The history of the B of B was clear beyond dispute that the Germans were successfully destroying the all-important Sector Stations in the southeast---although the poor ninnies had no idea how important they were to the working of the defense net. Only the shift to heavy attacks on the London docks in early September averted a disaster. This is not a matter of opinion, but is one of the central facts of the Battle. The Germans, despite their often unsystematic approach were succeeding in rendering the southeastern bases unusable.

For forum purposes, where facts are irrelevant, debate can be endless, cows can jump over the moon, and whales sport in the woods.

Further to this point, the other big problem for the Royal Navy was that France had surrendered. All of the pre-war calculations were based on France holding the Mediterranean against the Italian Navy. That went out the window with the fall of France. The effects of this were two-fold. Firstly, it meant that the Royal Navy itself had to contest the Mediterranean with the Italians. This cost ships. The second effect was much heavier, though less apparent to the first glance. This was that France's fall, combined with Italy's belligerence, effectively closed the Med to Allied civilian shipping. Britain still held the bottlenecks at Suez and Gibraltar, but the passage of the Med was too hazardous for routine traffic. This had an enormous impact on the entire course of the war, which is often entirely overlooked.

The cost to the British merchant navy was staggering. All supplies to Egypt had to go via the Cape or overland. All supplies of rubber and oil from the East Indies (i.e., Indonesia) had to go via the Cape. Oil from the Middle East had to go via the cape. Food, forces and ammunition from Australia and New Zealand had to go via the Cape. It cost the equivalent of 1,000,000 tons of merchant shipping, every year. It also cost the R.N., because they now had to escort this traffic.

At the time of the Battle of Britain, the Royal Navy was actually stretched to a degree that had no precedent in modern memory.

Cheers,
Ratsack

HellToupee
01-18-2008, 08:23 PM
RN would have no issues operating at night, air superiority would only hinder the RN during the day.

At night the battleship was king of the seas, not aircraft.

roybaty
01-18-2008, 08:37 PM
If Hitler didn't attack Russia, and defaulted on his treaty with Japan after Pearl Harbor on the grounds it was an unprovoked attack, AND fought a defensive war against Britain whilst consolidating the European Continent Britain would have been abandoned and defeated IMO.

Of course predicting the outcome after this is fantasy given the super powers would have been Germania, Russia, and the United States.

Discuss.....

luftluuver
01-19-2008, 04:41 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
As usual, LL comes a cropper by using the internet instead of a library. One RN ship sunk by aircraft in the Norwegian Campaign! O the humanity, such pristine duncery! So yee with the all these gospel books, what RN ships were sunk by a/c?

You are the one who said: "The recent Norwegian fiasco had clearly demonstrated if the German Ju 87 and Ju 88 dive bombers wanted to destroy destroyers and frigates, they could.". The Germans tried but did not have much success.

Oh dear, an internet book - http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/UK-NWE-Norway/

Von_Rat
01-19-2008, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by gkll:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Unfortunately the RN was too short-handed in destroyers or cruisers to be able to afford a death or glory defense of the UK and defend the Empire. This is a very important fact which amateurs often ignore believing the RN was awash with warships---it wasn't. The pre-war studies had demonstrated the RN had enough ships to fight Germany or Italy or Japan, but not two at the same time, and three would have been a disaster. The Govt of the day realized the fleet could not be expended. The recent Norwegian fiasco had clearly demonstrated if the German Ju 87 and Ju 88 dive bombers wanted to destroy destroyers and frigates, they could. There was never any intention of making the UK the last stand of the Empire. The Govt was ready to go to Canada to carry on the war from there. The history of the B of B was clear beyond dispute that the Germans were successfully destroying the all-important Sector Stations in the southeast---although the poor ninnies had no idea how important they were to the working of the defense net. Only the shift to heavy attacks on the London docks in early September averted a disaster. This is not a matter of opinion, but is one of the central facts of the Battle. The Germans, despite their often unsystematic approach were succeeding in rendering the southeastern bases unusable.

For forum purposes, where facts are irrelevant, debate can be endless, cows can jump over the moon, and whales sport in the woods.

"the most decisive battle of ww2?" and "did the americans (USA?) save UK from ....." are the threads that have previously bashed this topic to pieces more or less.

LOL on who is the amateur, and the jumping cows bit too... am I crushed or what?

If you think (it seems you do...) that weighing the value of the home islands against the fleet, the call would have been 'the fleet' you are naive to the extreme.


Sea against air in 1940 was not yet a done deal as it is today, cast your mind back to when the matter and the technology/tactics/weapons were still formative. The Japanese were the exception, very very very deadly, out of the box. However we are discussing Germans and Brits. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

i gotta agree gkll


if i remember correctly churchill stated he was ready to sacrefice the home fleet to stop sealion.

yes there were plans for the goverment to go to canada, but churchill was imo never going to leave. if even the rn couldnt stop the invasion he was going to die in englands defence.

he may of been a old man, but he had big brass ones.


the only question really is whether he could retain control of the goverment if the germans succeded in landing in force.



another point,, from what ive read the rn had enough ships in home waters to stop the invasion, if they were willing to accept the heavy losses. some experts believe just the locally based dd flotillas would of sufficed to wreck the "pigpile german armada", despite the lw.

MB_Avro_UK
01-19-2008, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by gkll:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Unfortunately the RN was too short-handed in destroyers or cruisers to be able to afford a death or glory defense of the UK and defend the Empire. This is a very important fact which amateurs often ignore believing the RN was awash with warships---it wasn't. The pre-war studies had demonstrated the RN had enough ships to fight Germany or Italy or Japan, but not two at the same time, and three would have been a disaster. The Govt of the day realized the fleet could not be expended. The recent Norwegian fiasco had clearly demonstrated if the German Ju 87 and Ju 88 dive bombers wanted to destroy destroyers and frigates, they could. There was never any intention of making the UK the last stand of the Empire. The Govt was ready to go to Canada to carry on the war from there. The history of the B of B was clear beyond dispute that the Germans were successfully destroying the all-important Sector Stations in the southeast---although the poor ninnies had no idea how important they were to the working of the defense net. Only the shift to heavy attacks on the London docks in early September averted a disaster. This is not a matter of opinion, but is one of the central facts of the Battle. The Germans, despite their often unsystematic approach were succeeding in rendering the southeastern bases unusable.

For forum purposes, where facts are irrelevant, debate can be endless, cows can jump over the moon, and whales sport in the woods.

"the most decisive battle of ww2?" and "did the americans (USA?) save UK from ....." are the threads that have previously bashed this topic to pieces more or less.

LOL on who is the amateur, and the jumping cows bit too... am I crushed or what?

If you think (it seems you do...) that weighing the value of the home islands against the fleet, the call would have been 'the fleet' you are naive to the extreme.


Sea against air in 1940 was not yet a done deal as it is today, cast your mind back to when the matter and the technology/tactics/weapons were still formative. The Japanese were the exception, very very very deadly, out of the box. However we are discussing Germans and Brits. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

i gotta agree gkll


if i remember correctly churchill stated he was ready to sacrefice the home fleet to stop sealion.

yes there were plans for the goverment to go to canada, but churchill was imo never going to leave. if even the rn couldnt stop the invasion he was going to die in englands defence.

he may of been a old man, but he had big brass ones.


the only question really is whether he could retain control of the goverment if the germans succeded in landing in force.



another point,, from what ive read the rn had enough ships in home waters to stop the invasion, if they were willing to accept the heavy losses. some experts believe just the locally based dd flotillas would of sufficed to wreck the "pigpile german armada", despite the lw. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Interesting points.

As I mentioned in a previous post, IMHO the BoB was as much political in it's conflict as military.

Hitler realised perhaps that Churchill was not popular within the Government. He was seen by many as a 'war-mongerer' within the British establishment and with a not perfect war record.

The Norweigan campaign driven by Churchill had been a disaster with a significant loss of Royal Navy ships and RAF aircraft.

If Dunkirk had been lost with no evacuation of British and French troops it is possible that Churchill would have lost power. The pacifists such as Lord Halifax would have triumphed.

Perhaps Dunkirk was more important politically for British survival than the Battle of Britain as it allowed Churchill to remain in power?

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

gkll
01-19-2008, 05:34 PM
Another interesting point, from the perspective of seeing into Churchill's mind, is his dispatch of an armored (brigade?) to North Africa in I think August 1940, how worried could he <really> be about invasion? Political threat yes, military? No... not a military threat.

I will have a look through my sources and see if I can prove/disprove luftluvver's number of ships. It wasn't large, I know that.

The point I am trying to make is that I don't agree that if the RAF had failed an invasion was <on>, I dont think so... however the RAF <didn't> fail so here we are. The possibility of an invasion attempt absolutely had the RN hopeful... come on boys, give it a shot, come on, its ok... hehheheheheh

S!all

Ratsack
01-19-2008, 06:22 PM
From Churchill's The Second World War, it's abundantly clear that Churchill himself thought they would see the Germans off if they tried to invade. He cites the probable size of the invading army, its rate of supply, and initial lack of heavy weapons. Against this he balanced the size of the fully equipped professional formations of the British army ready to meet the invasion. He says that he relished the possibility that the Germans might try. Here, I think he was playing to the gallery.

The professional opinions were much more ambiguous. General Sir Alan Brooke, who was in charge of the Home Forces at this time, was by no means sanguine that they'd repel a German landing. Indeed, it's worth reading the two volumes based on his contemporaneous diaries to get a clear picture of what the British senior professional soldiers thought. It's illuminating on a number of fronts.

It would not have been the first time Churchill was over confident, nor would it be the first time he sought to substituted bluster for substance.

cheers,
Ratsack

hop2002
01-19-2008, 11:02 PM
RN losses in Norway were 1 carrier, 2 light cruisers, 7 destroyers, 4 submarines. Of those, 1 cruiser and 2 destroyers were lost to air attack.

Those are pretty light losses for the RN, who started the war with 15 battleships, 7 carriers, 66 cruisers and 184 destroyers

German naval losses were actually higher than the RN's, with 1 heavy and 2 light cruisers, 10 destroyers and 4 submarines lost.

The Norwegian campaign inflicted light losses on the RN, it gutted the German fleet, which is one of the things that made Sea Lion impossible (Both Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were damaged in June 1940, and unfit for service until the end of the year)

As regards the RN being risked on invasion duties, a couple of months earlier over 40 destroyers (from memory) had been risked picking up soldiers from Dunkirk. 8 months later the RN risked 1 carrier, 4 battleships, 10 cruisers and 30 destroyers in an effort to save Crete. I think the UK came somewhere higher on the RN's priority list than Crete.

But there's no need for speculation. Naval History Net has all Royal Navy ship movements, day by day, at http://www.naval-history.net/xDKWW2-3900Intro.htm

Look at the entries for September, which is when the invasion was expected:



13 September

Battleship NELSON, battlecruiser HOOD, anti-aircraft cruisers NAIAD and BONAVENTURE, and destroyersKASHMIR, KIPLING, ZULU, SIKH, SOMALI (D.6), and ESKIMO were ordered from Scapa Flow at 0700 to Rosyth for anti invasion duties.

These ships departed Scapa Flow on the 13th and were joined at sea by destroyers JACKAL and ELECTRA, after refuelling at Scapa Flow.

Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO joined off Noss Head.

The British force arrived at Rosyth that same day.

This force joined battleship RODNEY, which had arrived at Rosyth on 25 August. Destroyers COSSACK and MAORI had also arrived at Rosyth on 25 August from other duties.

Destroyers MATABELE, ASHANTI, TARTAR, and PUNJABI had arrived on the 11th.

Destroyer BEDOUIN was undocked from the Scapa Flow floating dock at 1600/15th and proceeded to Rosyth at 1945 on the 15th.

Rosyth is about 450 miles, or 1 day at cruising speed, from Dover.

And that's just part of the home fleet. Another battleship, Revenge, was in Plymouth for anti invasion duties, and dozens of destroyers were stationed in the south.



Night 13/14 September

Destroyers CAMPBELL, GARTH, and VESPER were at sea during 13/14 September to bombard Ostend, but bad weather cancelled the operation.

Destroyers BROKE, WITHERINGTON, VANSITTART, BURZA, and BLYSKAWICA swept the French coast westward from Roches Douvres.

Destroyers HIGHLANDER, HARVESTER, BULLDOG, and BEAGLE swept the French coast from Cherbourg to Le Havre.

Destroyers MALCOLM, WILD SWAN, and VENOMOUS swept the French coast from Boulogne to Cape Griz Nez.

That's 15 destroyers out on operations in the Channel that night, not counting the others in port.

gkll
01-19-2008, 11:56 PM
Originally posted by hop2002:
RN losses in Norway were 1 carrier, 2 light cruisers, 7 destroyers, 4 submarines. Of those, 1 cruiser and 2 destroyers were lost to air attack.

Those are pretty light losses for the RN, who started the war with 15 battleships, 7 carriers, 66 cruisers and 184 destroyers

German naval losses were actually higher than the RN's, with 1 heavy and 2 light cruisers, 10 destroyers and 4 submarines lost.

The Norwegian campaign inflicted light losses on the RN, it gutted the German fleet, which is one of the things that made Sea Lion impossible (Both Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were damaged in June 1940, and unfit for service until the end of the year)

As regards the RN being risked on invasion duties, a couple of months earlier over 40 destroyers (from memory) had been risked picking up soldiers from Dunkirk. 8 months later the RN risked 1 carrier, 4 battleships, 10 cruisers and 30 destroyers in an effort to save Crete. I think the UK came somewhere higher on the RN's priority list than Crete.

But there's no need for speculation. Naval History Net has all Royal Navy ship movements, day by day, at http://www.naval-history.net/xDKWW2-3900Intro.htm

Look at the entries for September, which is when the invasion was expected:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
13 September

Battleship NELSON, battlecruiser HOOD, anti-aircraft cruisers NAIAD and BONAVENTURE, and destroyersKASHMIR, KIPLING, ZULU, SIKH, SOMALI (D.6), and ESKIMO were ordered from Scapa Flow at 0700 to Rosyth for anti invasion duties.

These ships departed Scapa Flow on the 13th and were joined at sea by destroyers JACKAL and ELECTRA, after refuelling at Scapa Flow.

Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO joined off Noss Head.

The British force arrived at Rosyth that same day.

This force joined battleship RODNEY, which had arrived at Rosyth on 25 August. Destroyers COSSACK and MAORI had also arrived at Rosyth on 25 August from other duties.

Destroyers MATABELE, ASHANTI, TARTAR, and PUNJABI had arrived on the 11th.

Destroyer BEDOUIN was undocked from the Scapa Flow floating dock at 1600/15th and proceeded to Rosyth at 1945 on the 15th.

Rosyth is about 450 miles, or 1 day at cruising speed, from Dover.

And that's just part of the home fleet. Another battleship, Revenge, was in Plymouth for anti invasion duties, and dozens of destroyers were stationed in the south.



Night 13/14 September

Destroyers CAMPBELL, GARTH, and VESPER were at sea during 13/14 September to bombard Ostend, but bad weather cancelled the operation.

Destroyers BROKE, WITHERINGTON, VANSITTART, BURZA, and BLYSKAWICA swept the French coast westward from Roches Douvres.

Destroyers HIGHLANDER, HARVESTER, BULLDOG, and BEAGLE swept the French coast from Cherbourg to Le Havre.

Destroyers MALCOLM, WILD SWAN, and VENOMOUS swept the French coast from Boulogne to Cape Griz Nez.

That's 15 destroyers out on operations in the Channel that night, not counting the others in port. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Nice summary, good info. Revenge was pouring shells into invasion harbors too. Must of been unnerving for the Germans, invasion prep underway, working on the barges... night falls, whats this?! 15 inch shells pouring into the harbor, destroyers firing starshell and lurking just outside.... the RN was active, active. Very unnerving especially when a minor blow could swamp the barges, never mind you have no navy to speak of.... you got the Brits shelling you with battleships <before> you even leave the harbor.

No it wasn't on, not at all, there could have been no invasion fall of 40. The Germans had a score of S-boats, 15 or 20 submarines of doubtful value against fast movers, 10 destroyers, and 2 or 3 cruisers. Oh the slaughter..... as I say the RN was waiting, hoping....

Crete is an excellent example of the RN getting the troops off, stopping resupply by sea, with no aircover and sustained attack by fliegercorps X (was it?). As i recall 6 cruisers and a score of destroyers sunk and much damage to other and heavy units, including Warspite. They did get the troops off (45,000? not inconsequential) and maintained sea control.

gkll
01-20-2008, 12:21 AM
Originally posted by Ratsack:

The professional opinions were much more ambiguous. General Sir Alan Brooke, who was in charge of the Home Forces at this time, was by no means sanguine that they'd repel a German landing. Indeed, it's worth reading the two volumes based on his contemporaneous diaries to get a clear picture of what the British senior professional soldiers thought. It's illuminating on a number of fronts.

It would not have been the first time Churchill was over confident, nor would it be the first time he sought to substituted bluster for substance.

cheers,
Ratsack

Yes those British generals what a fine lot. My general recollection is that the RN picked those poor chappies up off the beach at Dunkirk, Greece, Crete, supplied them in the desert as they got pummeled by Rommel, these are the fellas moaning about an invasion?

Monty was a good general, no doubt, perhaps the allies best, however many of the rest were true dunderheads. Criminal misuse of armor in N Africa by Auchinleck (sic), balaclava charges right into the 88s what a moron. Brooke I know nothing of, however he had nothing to fear the RN would have stopped any 'army' from landing.

I guess i am sharp on this because the 'air' guys just got no sense of the 'sea'.... an invasion is just so far from a doable thing. Its not close. Hops numbers for Norway match mine. The air was simply not dominant in 1940. The RN would not have been stopped, even if a wave got onto the beaches that would be the end of resupply, what did Brooke think he might be facing?

Of course the Brits needed to play up the whole invasion thing, so I wonder if the Brit army types didn't have a clearer view... long and successful history of cooperation between the army and the RN, could they really not know?

hop2002
01-20-2008, 12:27 AM
Losses at Crete were 3 cruisers and 8 destroyers, iirc. Quite a few ships damaged as well, but those were the only ones lost.

It's worth pointing out that during the entire war the Luftwaffe never managed to sink a British battleship or carrier.

The Germans only had 4 proper battleships, and of those the RAF managed to sink 1 and damage another so badly in port it never became operational again. (The RN sank the other 2)

gkll
01-20-2008, 01:00 AM
Originally posted by hop2002:
Losses at Crete were 3 cruisers and 8 destroyers, iirc. Quite a few ships damaged as well, but those were the only ones lost.

It's worth pointing out that during the entire war the Luftwaffe never managed to sink a British battleship or carrier.

The Germans only had 4 proper battleships, and of those the RAF managed to sink 1 and damage another so badly in port it never became operational again. (The RN sank the other 2)

The luftwaffe might have got a battleship if they'd dangled such a juicy bait as a horde of river barges jammed iwth men and horses, moving at 3 knots, im not saying there couldn't have been bad luck...

Thanks for the correction i have a tendency to be lazy and not check figures. Maybe it was six cruisers and score of destroyers damaged?

Kurfurst__
01-20-2008, 03:56 AM
Originally posted by gkll:
Crete is an excellent example of the RN getting the troops off, stopping resupply by sea, with no aircover and sustained attack by fliegercorps X (was it?). As i recall 6 cruisers and a score of destroyers sunk and much damage to other and heavy units, including Warspite. They did get the troops off (45,000? not inconsequential) and maintained sea control.

Actually Crete is an example of the opposite. One curious thing about Crete was that even fighter bomber Bf 109Es sunk one British cruiser with their puny 250kg bombs. Apart from the heavy losses inflicted by comperatively few aircraft sorties on the RN which highlighted their vulnerability to air attacks, Crete also highlighted some other defects - they run out of AAA munition really fast, their AAA firepower was insufficent.

HC wanted to pull back the ships and leave the troops behind under the pressure of air attack; Cunnigham declined, and tried to evacuate as many troops as possible during the cover of darkness, even though this lead to further losses in a couple of days before the RN task force, or what was left of it, limped back to Alexandria. They left some 17 000 troops behind on Crete, or almost half the force behind, who spent the rest of the war in PoW camps. 9 warships were sunk and 18 damaged within a couple of days, the Royal Navy lost 1828 dead and 183 wounded. It was even worse than the carnage at Dunkerque less than a year before.

Doesn`t strike me as a successfull evacuation and 'maintaining sea control'. Crete was a catastrophic (at least from the British perspective) display of what air power can do, if properly employed.


Originally posted by hop2002:
It's worth pointing out that during the entire war the Luftwaffe never managed to sink a British battleship or carrier.

British battleships and carriers must have been either invincible, or very shy in the Luftwaffe`s presence then.

I think it`s the latter, since British BBs didn`t show much sign of invincibility during the war; U-boots sank 2 BBs and 5 carriers of larger size (amongst the 148 various warships), and the Luftwaffe had little difficulty sinking modern Italian battleships and older WW1 Russian dreadnaughts, like Warspite which they also wrecked several times, as they did Illustrious etc.putting them out of action for months. Neither the Japanese had a problem dealing with Prince of Wales and Repulse with air power only.

I think your statement is only technically true because the way you put it, narrowing it down to the Luftwaffe (which doesn`t seem to have been particularly after British capital ships) vs the Royal Navy`s battleships and carriers; but I don`t think there were too many such occasions, and even in those, the ships were blatantly on the loosing side.

luftluuver
01-20-2008, 04:14 AM
Originally posted by hop2002:
But there's no need for speculation. Naval History Net has all Royal Navy ship movements, day by day, at http://www.naval-history.net/xDKWW2-3900Intro.htm

But Hop, that is an internet source, so according to leitmotiv, is not a very good reference source. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif A library is the only good source that is worthy.


RN losses in Norway were 1 carrier, 2 light cruisers, 7 destroyers, 4 submarines. Of those, 1 cruiser and 2 destroyers were lost to air attack.

Those are pretty light losses for the RN, who started the war with 15 battleships, 7 carriers, 66 cruisers and 184 destroyers
leitmotiv was just blathering about how great the LW was vs ships and the LW certainly attempted to sink RN ships.

So what leitmotiv if I got the number slightly wrong, the point was the RN losses to the the LW was light.

gkll, the RN also turned back the 3rd wave, with heavy losses to the Germans, coming by ship to Crete.

luftluuver
01-20-2008, 06:01 AM
Fliegerkorps VIII

Headquarters Fliegerkorps VIII - General der Flieger Freiherr Wolfram von Richthofen

Unit Commander Equipment/Remarks
Kampfgeschwader 2 General-Major H.Reickhoff Do 17Z
Jadgeschwader 77 Major B.Woldenga Me 109E
Lehrgeschwader 1 Oberst F-K.Knust Ju 88A & He 111H
Sturmkampfgeschwader 1 Oberst-Lt.W.Hagen Ju 87R
Sturmkampfgeschwader 2 Oberst-Lt.O.Dinort Ju 87R
Sturmkampfgeschwader 77 Major Graf von Schonborn-Wiesentheid Ju 87R
Zerstöergeschwader 26 Oberst J.Schalk Bf 110C & Bf 110D

With some 280 bombers, 150 dive bombers, 180 fighters > 610 a/c

Yes, be sure HMS Fiji lacked AA guns.

Armament:
Twelve 6 inch guns (4 × 3),
eight 4 inch guns (4 × 2),
eight 40 mm Bofors AA (4 × 2) guns,
3 quadruple 2 pounder ("pom-pom") AA mounts, 12 20 mm AA (6 × 2) guns.
Six 21 inch (2 × 3) torpedo tubes

Yes be sure the Fiji ran low of AA ammo after fighting off for 2 hours the few aircraft sorties flown by the LW.

Xiolablu3
01-20-2008, 02:44 PM
Originally posted by gkll:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:

The professional opinions were much more ambiguous. General Sir Alan Brooke, who was in charge of the Home Forces at this time, was by no means sanguine that they'd repel a German landing. Indeed, it's worth reading the two volumes based on his contemporaneous diaries to get a clear picture of what the British senior professional soldiers thought. It's illuminating on a number of fronts.

It would not have been the first time Churchill was over confident, nor would it be the first time he sought to substituted bluster for substance.

cheers,
Ratsack

Yes those British generals what a fine lot. My general recollection is that the RN picked those poor chappies up off the beach at Dunkirk, Greece, Crete, supplied them in the desert as they got pummeled by Rommel, these are the fellas moaning about an invasion?

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Some of those 'chappies' inflicted hugely humiliating defeats on the Axis ...35,000 Brits/Canadians/Anzacs defeated 200,000 Italians in 1941...Read up on the desert war http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

'The British forces were greatly outnumbered, 35,000 compared to a total of 200,000, and only half of the British were combatants. Nevertheless at the end of 1940 they launched a counter-attack, Operation Compass. It was far more successful than expected and resulted in the surrender of the entire Italian Tenth Army and the advance of the Allies to El Agheila. The stunning defeat did not go unnoticed and fresh Italian troops together with German troops, the Deutsches Afrikakorps under Erwin Rommel (nicknamed "The Desert Fox"), were sent in to reinforce the remaining Italian Armies in western Libya. At the same time Allied units were withdrawn from the Western Desert to reinforce the Greek armies fighting the Axis invasion of Greece.'

I understand that the Italians were only 'fair weather friends' of the Germans, as with Romania, Croatia and Hungary, and that they gave up as soon as the pressure was on or Allied forces reached their borders, but its still an impressive victory...When ROmmel first attacked the Allied forces in the desert, the force had been much weakened to try and reinforce Greece...(The Germans were obviously far superior opponents than the other 'hangers on' of the European Axis, apart from Finland who were also incredible warriors.) You can tell who the main/serious opponents were in WW2 by finding out what they did when the war actually reached their borders....did they throw in the towel at the first sight of trouble on their own land or did they continue to fight hard?


Back on topic...

IMO a German invasion of Britian would not have succeeded, they would have had terrible losses, as seen in Dieppe when the Canadians tried a Recon in force.

DDay showed what it took to plan a REAL amphibious landing , 2 years of plaanig, and versus a very weakened German force, and even that was no way a sure thing...

Also, the RAF could have pulled its squadrons North, out of range of the German fighters, and kept attacking the Geramn bombers if losses on the airfields in the South grew critical.

The Battle Of Britian in the air was the main effort to get Britian to capitulate, all the land/sealion stuff was a bluff IMO. Hitler was not stupid enough to send his soldiers over the English Channel to get masscred on the beaches and in landing crafts by the Royal Navy and beach defences. It would have been Omaha beach times ten.

Ratsack
01-20-2008, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by gkll:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:

The professional opinions were much more ambiguous. General Sir Alan Brooke, who was in charge of the Home Forces at this time, was by no means sanguine that they'd repel a German landing. Indeed, it's worth reading the two volumes based on his contemporaneous diaries to get a clear picture of what the British senior professional soldiers thought. It's illuminating on a number of fronts.

It would not have been the first time Churchill was over confident, nor would it be the first time he sought to substituted bluster for substance.

cheers,
Ratsack

Yes those British generals what a fine lot. My general recollection is that the RN picked those poor chappies up off the beach at Dunkirk, Greece, Crete, supplied them in the desert as they got pummeled by Rommel, these are the fellas moaning about an invasion?
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Clearly, you haven't a clue what you're talking about, referring to General Alan Brooke as a 'poor chappie'. In addition, and to the great shame of the English-speaking world, you are not alone in not knowing anything about Brooke.

You could usefully start with the two volumes I mentioned above. They are:

A Turn of the Tide

and

Triumph in the West

both by Arthur Bryant, both based on Brooke's diaries. Brooke was CIGS from the end of 1941.

Ratsack

Von_Rat
01-20-2008, 11:59 PM
the RN also turned back the 3rd wave, with heavy losses to the Germans, coming by ship to Crete.


as far as crete goes, this is the only salient point regarding the issue of whether the rn could have stopped a invasion of britain.


the rn stopped any seaborn invasion of crete with no aircover while under heavy lw attack.

so what they took losses. nobodys saying they wouldnt take heavy losses in the channel also. but they would of stopped the invasion by sea, just like they did at crete.

and unlike crete they would be willing to accept total loss, just to stop the invasion.

gkll
01-21-2008, 04:42 PM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> the RN also turned back the 3rd wave, with heavy losses to the Germans, coming by ship to Crete.


as far as crete goes, this is the only salient point regarding the issue of whether the rn could have stopped a invasion of britain.


the rn stopped any seaborn invasion of crete with no aircover while under heavy lw attack.

so what they took losses. nobodys saying they wouldnt take heavy losses in the channel also. but they would of stopped the invasion by sea, just like they did at crete.

and unlike crete they would be willing to accept total loss, just to stop the invasion. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

These are the basic points I was trying to make.

K 'sea control' is when you deny the use of the sea to the enemy and use it instead for your own purposes. Is this not what happened? Losses were high, this shows the resolution of the RN, it points to even more extreme behavior one could expect if the invasion of the home islands was underway.

And attacking an invasion fleet is perhaps easier to do than pulling off an evacuation, especially given the training and aptitude of the LW between fall of 40, compared to after much useful experience in the med in early 41. ~12000 commonwealth troops not pulled off Crete, the other ~5000 were Greek. Commonwealth troops at the beginning of the battle were ~39000 commonwealth, of which 20,000 were 'combat ready'. So if they got off ~27,000 and left 12,000 it is not great agreed. Going from wiki, will look later in my books.

Ratsack Brooke may have been a fine fellow, im sure he was.... however Ritchie and Auchinleck, what do you think? Im not impressed. Rommel pummelled them good, repeatedly. Monty was slow, failed to follow up his advantages, but he did win, that counts. I remember a quote from his (self-serving) autobiography, interesting. He was briefing his boys on the battle plan for either first or second el alamein (sic) and one of them ('Pip' Roberts?) wanted to know who was going to 'loose' the armor.... Monty said there would be no 'loosing' of armor, at all. No more charges against the 88s as in previous times.

Monty had a lot of flaws but he arguably never lost a battle with the exception of Arnhem, a real debacle for sure. And by his lights he planned D-day, and that did in the end work. The americans never liked him, but his troops did, and he was keen and relentless on logistics and planning. Underrated by people outside the British isles, overrated by the Brits themselves?

Starting to ramble OT now, talk to you all.

MB_Avro_UK
01-21-2008, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by gkll:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> the RN also turned back the 3rd wave, with heavy losses to the Germans, coming by ship to Crete.


as far as crete goes, this is the only salient point regarding the issue of whether the rn could have stopped a invasion of britain.


the rn stopped any seaborn invasion of crete with no aircover while under heavy lw attack.

so what they took losses. nobodys saying they wouldnt take heavy losses in the channel also. but they would of stopped the invasion by sea, just like they did at crete.

and unlike crete they would be willing to accept total loss, just to stop the invasion. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

These are the basic points I was trying to make.

K 'sea control' is when you deny the use of the sea to the enemy and use it instead for your own purposes. Is this not what happened? Losses were high, this shows the resolution of the RN, it points to even more extreme behavior one could expect if the invasion of the home islands was underway.

And attacking an invasion fleet is perhaps easier to do than pulling off an evacuation, especially given the training and aptitude of the LW between fall of 40, compared to after much useful experience in the med in early 41. ~12000 commonwealth troops not pulled off Crete, the other ~5000 were Greek. Commonwealth troops at the beginning of the battle were ~39000 commonwealth, of which 20,000 were 'combat ready'. So if they got off ~27,000 and left 12,000 it is not great agreed. Going from wiki, will look later in my books.

Ratsack Brooke may have been a fine fellow, im sure he was.... however Ritchie and Auchinleck, what do you think? Im not impressed. Rommel pummelled them good, repeatedly. Monty was slow, failed to follow up his advantages, but he did win, that counts. I remember a quote from his (self-serving) autobiography, interesting. He was briefing his boys on the battle plan for either first or second el alamein (sic) and one of them ('Pip' Roberts?) wanted to know who was going to 'loose' the armor.... Monty said there would be no 'loosing' of armor, at all. No more charges against the 88s as in previous times.

Monty had a lot of flaws but he arguably never lost a battle with the exception of Arnhem, a real debacle for sure. And by his lights he planned D-day, and that did in the end work. The americans never liked him, but his troops did, and he was keen and relentless on logistics and planning. Underrated by people outside the British isles, overrated by the Brits themselves?

Starting to ramble OT now, talk to you all. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi all,

I respect Rommel but his success in North Africa misses a crucial point IMO.

Churchill depleted the British/Commonwealth troops in North Africa by almost half to counter the Balkan threat. At this point the Afrika Korps led by Rommel arrived and of course met with success.

Montgomery was a vet from WW1 and would only fight a battle if he was sure he could win. He had seen first hand the slaughter of British troops for no gain in WW1 and was not going to see the same in WW2.

Arnhem was a close battle. The plan was approved by the US. Had it been successful the US would have taken the credit but they dumped on Montgomery when it failed.

War is hell.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Ratsack
01-21-2008, 05:57 PM
Originally posted by gkll:
...Ratsack Brooke may have been a fine fellow, im sure he was.... however Ritchie and Auchinleck, what do you think? Im not impressed. Rommel pummelled them good, repeatedly....

Firstly, we are discussing the British professional opinion at the time of the Battle of Britain. It is Brooke's view that counts, not Montgomery's, or Auchinleck's, or Wavell's, and certainly not Rommel's. The relevance of the North African campaign is what, exactly?


Secondly, not one of the soldiers you mention is in the same class as Brooke, including Rommel. None of these was as central to the strategy of WWII as Brooke, and none of them had the strategic skills and the personal skills that allowed Brooke to do what he did.

Try reading the volumes I noted before. They contain narrative by the author (Bryant), but much more importantly, the narrative serves only to situate the many voluminous quotes from Brooke's diary entries, written at the time of the events in question. If you wish to see genius at work, read it.

Ratsack

leitmotiv
01-21-2008, 06:48 PM
Ratsack is dead right---Brooke's diaries are indispensable to understanding the strategic decisions made by the British under Churchill. A nasty brilliant man!

leitmotiv
01-21-2008, 07:00 PM
What all of you missed you can only learn by reading the studies of the Norwegian Campaign. First and foremost, the British were forced to evacuate all of their lodgements as they lost air superiority over them. The ground and sea forces could not cope with German air superiority. Furthermore, groups of ships without air cover were forced out to sea repeatedly. The sunk and damaged from air attack figures are not accurate. I will post the correct data from the RN Staff Study of the campaign. The RN depended heavily on the AA firepower of their C class AA cruisers and the sloops. All were defeated by repeated air attack. Crete is the model of what would have happened to the RN coming under German air attack without fighter cover. Modernized battleship WARSPITE was, by the way, put out of action off Crete by one hit from a Bf 109 fighter bomber carrying a 250kg bomb. Cruisers were even more vulnerable (see how easily the modern light cruisers FIJI and GLOUCESTER were sunk by aircraft bombs off Crete, and SOUTHAMPTON in Jan 1941---not to mention the famous crushing of armored deck carrier ILLUSTRIOUS by Ju 87s in Jan 1941 and her sister INDOMITABLE off Crete---Ju 87R-carried armor-piercing bombs severely damaged both of these ultra-modern ships). And, if you study the Cabinet histories, you will learn there was no intention to risk the fleet in a death or glory defense of the UK. The RN was so short of destroyers Churchill was literally begging FDR for 1918-era mothballed U.S. destroyers. The strength of the RN looks imposing to rank amateurs (MBAvro not in this category!), but, if you compare its strength to that it was in 1945, you will realize how slim the forces were to defend British convoys coming from all over the world, and operate in all the oceans of the world.

gkll
01-21-2008, 10:08 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
What all of you missed you can only learn by reading the studies of the Norwegian Campaign. First and foremost, the British were forced to evacuate all of their lodgements as they lost air superiority over them. The ground and sea forces could not cope with German air superiority. Furthermore, groups of ships without air cover were forced out to sea repeatedly. The sunk and damaged from air attack figures are not accurate. I will post the correct data from the RN Staff Study of the campaign. The RN depended heavily on the AA firepower of their C class AA cruisers and the sloops. All were defeated by repeated air attack. Crete is the model of what would have happened to the RN coming under German air attack without fighter cover. Modernized battleship WARSPITE was, by the way, put out of action off Crete by one hit from a Bf 109 fighter bomber carrying a 250kg bomb. Cruisers were even more vulnerable (see how easily the modern light cruisers FIJI and GLOUCESTER were sunk by aircraft bombs off Crete, and SOUTHAMPTON in Jan 1941---not to mention the famous crushing of armored deck carrier ILLUSTRIOUS by Ju 87s in Jan 1941 and her sister INDOMITABLE off Crete---Ju 87R-carried armor-piercing bombs severely damaged both of these ultra-modern ships). And, if you study the Cabinet histories, you will learn there was no intention to risk the fleet in a death or glory defense of the UK. The RN was so short of destroyers Churchill was literally begging FDR for 1918-era mothballed U.S. destroyers. The strength of the RN looks imposing to rank amateurs (MBAvro not in this category!), but, if you compare its strength to that it was in 1945, you will realize how slim the forces were to defend British convoys coming from all over the world, and operate in all the oceans of the world.

This rank amateur is well aware of most/all of what you say. I have yet to crack a book in this discussion (yes I know, lazy) however I could add detail additional, for eg the Brit anti-air control systems were worst in war, pretty much (2D instead of 3D), far inferior to American arrangements for example. And the guns were also not ideal, the double 4 inch was a good weapon, the pom pom was not bad although low velocity ammo, the quad 50s were useless, etc etc. However I like to stick to the broader brush generally, and for this consider how you interpret Norway: consider it from the RN point of view. The army said we must land, so they were landed. Then the army said 'time to go' so the RN gathered up the bulk of them and took them home. What more do you expect from the navy? They can't take and hold ground....

Agree North Africa is a distraction. Fair enough. So is Monty. However I am interested in both, and I type fast, so turn on your filter, mate

I would like proof the RN would not have been risked to stop an invasion. You are asking us to believe that the navy and the political command that spent ships and men at Crete for a far lesser objective, minuscle in comparison, would not have taken far greater risks in defence of the home islands. What were the 4 or 5 cruisers and ~30 destroyers (the ones detailed directly to 'anti-invasion') going to do if an invasion fleet was spotted, raise steam for Newfoundland? Don't be absurd. And the mechanics of the barges themselves, a bit of chop in the channel and they might not make it, at all, without help from the RN.

Norway was ships in narrow fjords at low speeds with no power of maneuver, like Dunkirk. How many ships sunk at speed under helm, in open waters? Not the same. Roskill abbreviated does not detail causes of loss, so I cant to be honest shed light further on how many lost to air without getting the detailed history out from the library. However if the link provided earlier is correct (it looks very professional) it is probably in there.

You 'air' guys, you are shown two situations where the RN operated at great risk <and> loss for lesser objectives, where the RN maintained sea control and largely accomplished objectives, and you see nothing to change a view that the RN could likely not stop an invasion, or even more extreme, would not try. Or perhaps you think that as soon as the destroyer numbers fell below some critical mass they would call it off and pack their bags for Canada. Criminy what do you need to protect commerce for if there is no country...? North Africa is a distraction, sure, so is all this talk of world wide committments of which i am fully aware.

The RN thought so little of the invasion threat they fought against the removal of destroyers from escort duty, this was the first 'happy time' for the u-boats, no coincidence. But what do you do first? Protect the Cape Town traffic, or maybe beat off an invasion first?

Both Norway and Crete are the <absence> of aircover, say BOB goes bad for the Brits, was not the plan to pull back and lean on 10 and 12 group to cover the channel? So the LW, still I argue not up to the speed of the Med in 41, going to do against spits, hurris <and> fast moving warships? The bulk of losses occur when inshore and moving slowly, not attacking an invasion convoy at full speed.

And what of the armored brigade or divisin dispatched to NA, wasn't that in August? <Who> was actually worried about an invasion? Maybe this Brooke fellow had bad nerves....?

Ratsack
01-21-2008, 10:57 PM
If you are, by your own admission, too lazy to actually go and do some of the necessary reading, then what's the point of continuing? Do you debate for the sake of arguing? Sounds like masturbation to me.

Ratsack

gkll
01-21-2008, 11:00 PM
Originally posted by Ratsack:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by gkll:
...Ratsack Brooke may have been a fine fellow, im sure he was.... however Ritchie and Auchinleck, what do you think? Im not impressed. Rommel pummelled them good, repeatedly....

Firstly, we are discussing the British professional opinion at the time of the Battle of Britain. It is Brooke's view that counts, not Montgomery's, or Auchinleck's, or Wavell's, and certainly not Rommel's. The relevance of the North African campaign is what, exactly?


Secondly, not one of the soldiers you mention is in the same class as Brooke, including Rommel. None of these was as central to the strategy of WWII as Brooke, and none of them had the strategic skills and the personal skills that allowed Brooke to do what he did.

Try reading the volumes I noted before. They contain narrative by the author (Bryant), but much more importantly, the narrative serves only to situate the many voluminous quotes from Brooke's diary entries, written at the time of the events in question. If you wish to see genius at work, read it.

Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sure for all my snippiness maybe I will read it, sometime, you didn't mean in the course of this thread did you? From your tone I wasn't sure.

I may shoot from the hip but don't assume as Leit is that I am a rank amateur. My knowledge of ww2 is spotty but in places very detailed. I can off the top of my head give a very nice summary of RN activity, strategy, tactics weapons, ships, for all of the war, no peeking. a reasonable summary of the Pacific war. Detailed history available for ww1. And the Napoleonic wars, And the Dutch wars, the armada etc etc etc. Leit starts tossing epithets around, it feels like he is sniffing at one of the colonials in the RAF during the war, irritating. Unfortunately as a Canuck the RN <is> my navy, just have to put up with it i guess. However I learn and listen as well as ramble, I heard you on Brooke. And now that I think back on the Monty books he has a fair bit to say on Brooke, I think he downplays him however

gkll
01-21-2008, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by Ratsack:
If you are, by your own admission, too lazy to actually go and do some of the necessary reading, then what's the point of continuing? Do you debate for the sake of arguing? Sounds like masturbation to me.

Ratsack

Oh I see. You're right and have nothing to learn, you can tell because im not cracking books when having a discussion. Do you head directly for the library if someone comes over for a beer and a chat, you know, exchange views?

I think you and Leit are absolutely and completely out to lunch if you think either:

- the RN couldn't have stopped an invasion after a bad run for the RAF in BOB, or,
- the RN wouldn't have been risked against the might ship killing Luftwaffe, at all.

So I see if I can change your mind. And I learn. I see you have nothing to learn however, good for you. You must be very old, very experienced, deeply steeped in your craft, a real Da Vinci eh?

Von_Rat
01-21-2008, 11:25 PM
You 'air' guys, you are shown two situations where the RN operated at great risk <and> loss for lesser objectives, where the RN maintained sea control and largely accomplished objectives, and you see nothing to change a view that the RN could likely not stop an invasion, or even more extreme, would not try. Or perhaps you think that as soon as the destroyer numbers fell below some critical mass they would call it off and pack their bags for Canada. Criminy what do you need to protect commerce for if there is no country...?


my thoughts exactly.



the usa was greatly concerned with the possiablity of british ships falling into german hands and brought pressure on the brits to make sure this didnt happen.

i think that concern is partly responsable for this b.s. myth that they would cut and run at the 1st sign of invasion.

as far as cabinet meetings go, if i remember correctly they decided not to use capitail ships to stop the invasion, because they werent going to need them. the local forces would suffice.

but that doesnt mean that they wouldnt be used if things went bad.

Ratsack
01-21-2008, 11:48 PM
Originally posted by gkll:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
If you are, by your own admission, too lazy to actually go and do some of the necessary reading, then what's the point of continuing? Do you debate for the sake of arguing? Sounds like masturbation to me.

Ratsack

Oh I see. You're right and have nothing to learn, you can tell because im not cracking books when having a discussion. Do you head directly for the library if someone comes over for a beer and a chat, you know, exchange views?

I think you and Leit are absolutely and completely out to lunch if you think either:

- the RN couldn't have stopped an invasion after a bad run for the RAF in BOB, or,
- the RN wouldn't have been risked against the might ship killing Luftwaffe, at all.

So I see if I can change your mind. And I learn. I see you have nothing to learn however, good for you. You must be very old, very experienced, deeply steeped in your craft, a real Da Vinci eh? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

For the revisionists out there, of whom we have no shortage. Here is what Brooke wrote on 27 June 1940 regarding the forces under his command in Britain:


The main impression I had was that the Command had a long way to go to be put on a war-footing....The more I see of conditions at home, the more bewildered I am as to what has been going on in this country since the war started. It is now ten months, and yet the shortage of trained men and equipment is appalling.... There are masses of men in uniform, but they are mostly untrained: why, I cannot think after ten months of war.

Hopelessly under equipped and almost wholly untrained. These were the guys that would stop the Panzers if they arrived. These are the troops with which Churchill would've met the Wehrmacht. While Winston may have been spoiling for a fight, I don't think his view weighs heavily in the balances against that of his professional advisers.

This is what Brooke recorded in his diary on 26 July 1940:


...went to see Dill [the CIGS at this time] at the War Officer at 3 p.m., and from there on to the Chiefs of Staff meeting. Main subject of discussion was the priority of use of fighters in the event of invasion. I came away feeling less confident....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 assure the safety of this island against invasion. This throws a much heavier task on the Army.

The ˜Army' to which Brooke refers above is the same force of under-equipped, under-trained forces he mentioned in the first quote. At this stage, Brooke was in charge of Home Forces, and was engaged in planning discussions at the highest levels with both is RAF and RN colleagues. The view of the RN at that time, as recorded by Brooke at the time is rather different to the view you think is so self-evident, 67 years after the fact.

It must be very comforting for you to be so confident of your views, knowing that you will never be called to account for them, as opposed to those whose contemporaneous views I've enunciated for you.

Ratsack

Ratsack
01-22-2008, 12:57 AM
Just to recap, the Germans had one key strategic objective in Summer / Autumn 1940. This was to get the British to make peace. There were, broadly speaking, two ways to do that: either by diplomacy, or by force. It is important to understand that the two were not mutually exclusive.

Under the banner of diplomacy, there was Hitler's offer to guarantee the British Empire if the Brits gave the Nazis a free hand in Eastern Europe. There was also the work done in the U.S. to ensure America stayed out of the war, and to ensure that Britain's plight was seen as hopeless. A lost cause, not worth wasting American lives and treasure. There were also the attempts to encircle and eliminate British interests in the Mediterranean, by enlisting the other fascist, Franco. This was unsuccessful and Hitler, perhaps, met his match in Franco. A more disgusting pair is difficult to conceive of.

Under the banner of pure military force, there were again several options. The first was the invasion with which many posters in this thread seem to be obsessed. This would require control of the air, and the build up of a naval force to transport the army to Britain. It was, as has been pointed out here, problematic.

The second option was blockade. The Germans didn't have enough U-boats for the job in mid 1940, but they did have the Luftwaffe to help out. The idea was that the bombers would close the ports on the western side of the British Isles, as well as intercept shipping in the Atlantic. For this strategy to be really effective, it needed to be carried out in daylight, and therefore required air superiority.

The third option was a strategic bombing campaign. This was a conceptual muddle between a Douhet-inspired terror campaign against British morale, and a more ˜scientific' campaign against the bases of British war production. The Luftwaffe was well placed to conduct this campaign, having its bases just on the other side of the Channel. It also possessed good blind bombing aids (such as Knickbein). However, the best accuracy it could achieve at night was not sufficient to destroy specific factories, so it was a campaign that would best be conducted in daylight. This again required air superiority. This campaign, it is now possible to say, required far better intelligence support than the Luftwaffe then possessed, but that is a judgment of hindsight.

It is obvious that all three pure military options required air superiority as an essential ingredient. What a lot of people here are missing is that the diplomatic and military options were not mutually exclusive. In fact, they worked rather nicely together, and the fact that all three military options required air superiority as a prerequisite helped to maintain the credibility of all three options.

What the Germans were most certainly doing was applying a diplomatic offensive, leveraged (to use a particularly horrible modern management neologism) with military force. The military threat required air superiority, so the Germans set about a (rather leisurely) campaign to achieve that. It lent force to the diplomacy by making it clear that the Germans meant business and, if successful, gave the Germans the option of a purely military solution. Part of the diplomatic offensive was the destabilizing effect it would have on the British government. Chamberlain had just fallen. Halifax was the obvious successor. Churchill was in at the moment, but he as a long time outsider, and viewed as highly erratic. It was by no means certain that he'd be able to hold the Cabinet together.

The advice of his senior professional military advisers was that it was by no means certain that the RN could prevent a landing, and that the Army was not well placed to defend against the Germans. In those circumstances, the aerial battle that became known to the English-speaking world as the Battle of Britain, was absolutely critical.

The attempt to minimize its importance by this maundering about the RN and the Kriegsmarine simply underlines that people haven't understood either the strategic or the political context of the battle.

To underline and reinforce a point made earlier by Leitmotiv, the Battle of Britain was most definitely not a purely military affair.

Do we get it yet?

Ratsack

leitmotiv
01-22-2008, 01:09 AM
Exactly. For some reason we seem to have forgotten just how dire the situation was in 1940. Probably the best general history of the RN in WWII, Correlli Barnett's excellent ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY will give the reader an idea just how overstretched the RN was after Italy entered the war, and after the Germans had acquired the flanking positions in Norway and France to operate their U-boats.

Here is the official data on ships sunk and damaged by air action in Norway from the official RN staff study written at the time:

NAVAL OPERATIONS OF THE CAMPAIGN IN NORWAY, APRIL-JUNE 1940 (Whitehall Histories: Naval Staff Histories). Whitehall History Publishing, London, 2000. ISBN: 0-7146-5119-2

pages 164-67

Sunk or damaged by air

Battleship: RODNEY (9 April: slight damage from bomb---the battle fleet withdrew from proximity to Norway because it had no carrier with it, and no means to protect itself from air attack)

Aircraft Carrier: FURIOUS (18 April: turbines damaged by near miss---reduced the fleet to ARK ROYAL and GLORIOUS for the remainder of the campaign)

Cruisers: AURORA (7 May, damaged by bomb in Ofot Fjord), CAIRO (one of the very valuable C class AA cruisers) (28 May, damage bombs), CURACOA (another AA cruiser) (24 April, severe damage bomb), CURLEW (yet another of the specialist C class AA cruisers) (26 May, sunk by bombs, Skjel Fjord), ENTERPRISE (no date, damaged by near misses, Narvik area), GLASGOW (9 April, slight damage near miss), SOUTHAMPTON (9 April, slight damage from near miss; 26 May, slight damage from near miss, Narvik area), SUFFOLK (17 April, severe damage from bombs, arrived in Scapa Flow listing badly and with stern awash)

Destroyers: AFRIDI (3 May, sunk by bombs), ECLIPSE (11 April, damaged by bombs), Polish GROM serving under RN (4 May, sunk by bombs, Ofot Fjord), GURKHA (both AFRIDI and GURKHA were very valuable, big Tribal class destroyers, the best in the fleet) (9 April, sunk by bombs, off Bergen), HESPERUS (no date, slight damage from near misses, Narvik area), SOMOLI (another Tribal) (15 May, damaged by near miss, off Bodo), VANSITTART (10 May, damaged by bomb, off Narvik), WALKER (27 May, damaged by near miss from bomb, Narvik area)

Sloops (the only escorts with dual purpose, high and low angle main guns, 3 twin 4" mounts---not one British destroyer had effective high angle mounts in 1940, nor did any British ship have effective high angle directors until late in the war): BLACK SWAN (28 April, damaged by bomb), BITTERN (severely damaged by bomb and sank 30 April), PELICAN (22 April, severe damage from bomb)

Two things: (1) Note that the German aircraft were able to sink or damage six of the specialist AA ships the RN deployed to Norway, the C class AA cruisers and the BLACK SWAN class sloops, and (2) Note the number of ships sunk or damaged in Fjords or close to land---here the RN learned the danger of operating in confined waters---as they would be doing if they were trying to repel German invasion craft in the Channel or coastal waters.

leitmotiv
01-22-2008, 01:19 AM
French Navy (same source, same pages)

Cruiser: EMILE BERTIN (19 April, damaged by bombs, off Namsos)

Destroyers: BISON (3 May, sunk by bombs, during evacuation of Namsos), MILAN (23 May, damaged by bomb, Narvik area)

Xiolablu3
01-22-2008, 02:10 AM
But the Panzers have to get to the coast first Ratsack. With what were they going to tranport a Panzer III to the shore with in 1940? (Channel is 10 miles wide and rough when even slightly windy)

The Whermacht has to make it off the 'barges' and off the beaches too. There would be the entire British Army on the Bluffs with everything they could muster.

This is just my opinion, not trying to be a revisionist. Think what it took to perform DDday, and the German forces on the French Coast at that time were miniscule. (Wasnt there one experienced Whermacht division near Omaha, and that was it?)

All those guys who were picked up off Dunkirk would be itching to get some revenge on the German 'invaders' along with every Pole, Czech and French soldier who made it to Britian.

Also add all the ships which would be used to defend, how many German ships were used to try and stop the DDday landings, where there any at all?

Just my opinion, not trying to revise history http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Ratsack
01-22-2008, 02:12 AM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
But the Panzers have to get to the coast first Ratsack....

Please, Xio, read what I wrote above about:

a.) there being more military options than invasion; and
b.) it not being a purely military issue in any event.



cheers,
Ratsack

Xiolablu3
01-22-2008, 03:03 AM
Yeah I did mate, but at one point you did say 'These were the men who would be fighting the Panzers, these were the men who would be fighting the whermacht' as tho they would have no chance.

I was just making the point that the Panzers had to get there first.

hop2002
01-22-2008, 03:57 AM
Actually Crete is an example of the opposite. One curious thing about Crete was that even fighter bomber Bf 109Es sunk one British cruiser with their puny 250kg bombs.

Cruisers were certainly vulnerable to relatively small bombs. That was illustrated by the obsolete Skuas, armed with 230 kg bombs, which sank the German cruiser Konigsberg in the Norwegian campaign.


Crete also highlighted some other defects - they run out of AAA munition really fast, their AAA firepower was insufficent.

The difference between Crete and the Channel is that during the action around Crete the RN was operating from Alexandria, 400 miles away. That meant the ships couldn't replenish ammunition. In the Channel they would be only a few miles from port, and could replenish ammunition at will.

It was also only the destroyers and cruisers that ran short of ammo, the battleships were fine. However, when they reported to Cunnigham that they had "plenty" of AA ammunition left, the message was mistakenly transcribed, and Cunningham was informed they were "empty" of AA ammunition.


HC wanted to pull back the ships and leave the troops behind under the pressure of air attack

Who's this "HC" chappie? Admiral Cunnigham was in charge of the fleet, he ordered them north of Crete. After the initial operations, he told the Admiralty that operating north of Crete in daylight would cause further losses that would leave the Mediterranean fleet in a dangerously weakened position. The Admiralty responded that:


the Fleet and RAF were to accept whatever risks were entailed in preventing enemy reinforcements reaching Crete. If enemy convoys were reported north of Crete, the fleet would have to operate in that area by day, although considerable losses might be expected


They left some 17 000 troops behind on Crete, or almost half the force behind, who spent the rest of the war in PoW camps.

According to Barnett the RN evacuated 16,500 out of 22,000 troops. Another 1,000 made their own way out in small boats.

I believe all those who made it to the evacuation points were taken off, the prisoners were those who got to the ports too late or not at all.


9 warships were sunk and 18 damaged within a couple of days,

No, the losses were spread over 12 days, which is more than a "couple".

21st May Destroyer Juno sunk
22nd Destroyer Greyhound, Cruisers Gloucester and Fiji sunk
23rd Destroyers Kashmir and Kelly sunk
29th Destroyer Imperial, damaged on the 28th, was scuttled. Destroyer Hereward sunk.
1st June Cruiser Calcutta sunk.


Doesn`t strike me as a successfull evacuation and 'maintaining sea control'.

Then you need to look at what the RN was supposed to do. It was supposed to prevent a seaborne invasion of Crete. It did. Not a single German was landed by sea.

After the decision was made to evacuate, the RN was supposed to evacuate troops from Crete. Once again it did, despite the losses.


British battleships and carriers must have been either invincible, or very shy in the Luftwaffe`s presence then.

There's a third explanation. The Luftwaffe just weren't very good at sinking large warships.


I think it`s the latter, since British BBs didn`t show much sign of invincibility during the war; U-boots sank 2 BBs and 5 carriers of larger size (amongst the 148 various warships)
Right, so we've eliminated one of you proposed explanations.


like Warspite which they also wrecked several times, as they did Illustrious etc.putting them out of action for months.

I think that eliminates your second explanation. As you say, the Luftwaffe damaged large British warships on many occasions, they just never had much success sinking them.


and the Luftwaffe had little difficulty sinking modern Italian battleships and older WW1 Russian dreadnaughts,

Well, from memory the Luftwaffe sank 1 Italian battleship (and they needed glide bombs, unavailable in 1940). Also from memory they sank 1 Russian dreadnought in harbour.

Not exactly a brilliant record for 6 years of war, is it?


I think your statement is only technically true because the way you put it, narrowing it down to the Luftwaffe

The discussion is about whether the Luftwaffe would have been able to stop the RN destroying a German invasion fleet (and whether the RN would have risked their battleships to air attack).


(which doesn`t seem to have been particularly after British capital ships)

And yet bombed them so frequently.

leitmotiv
01-22-2008, 08:45 AM
Battleships did not have to be sunk to be put out of action. Off Crete, WARSPITE was hit by a single 250kg bomb lobbed by Bf 109, and incurred so much damage she had to be withdrawn to the U.S. for repairs, and was lost to the fleet for the rest of 1941. In the Norwegian Campaign, RODNEY received a glancing hit from an aircraft bomb, and this was enough to cause the heavy ships to be withdrawn out to sea out of range of the Luftwaffe. I have already noted how the two armored deck carriers were knocked out by dive bombers with armor-piercing bombs---the first in Jan 1941.

The mission of the fleet was to save Crete, not just prevent a seaborne invasion. Due to the heavy losses it sustained, the fleet had to withdraw, and Crete was lost. There was a huge quarrel between Winston and Andrew Cunningham who commanded the Med Fleet. Winston wanted the fleet to save Crete. AC informed him that would mean the ruin of the fleet. Finally, Winston gave in on the matter, but, in the meantime, the fleet lost the use of one precious battleship, which it could not afford, and of its only armored deck carrier, not to mention all the other warships sunk or damaged.

Another matter nobody has mentioned---mining. The Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine were very industriously mining British ports in 1940. While the menace of the magnetic mines had largely been neutralized by degaussing equipment, mundane contact mines could still sink or damage ships.

gkll
01-23-2008, 01:00 AM
I read back over the posts, opened up Roskill and read over the material on the invasion, and thought about Leits and Ratsacks arguments.

Ratsacks point i believe is that the Brits were advised there was a real threat by their professional soldiers, sailors and airmen. True. Churchill may not have believed this as a long term 'navalist' however Churchill by no means had a lock on the government. Also true. So the political pressure was real. Maybe... what I wonder is who amongst the Brit leaders at that time were <actually> worried about an invasion, air superiority or no? The British did not really allocate that many resources to RN anti-invasion duties in the first place (IMO), and they began returning destroyers to convoy duty in August. And they did in fact send a fine armored brigade with the best equipment in the country, off to North Africa, also in August. The words of the general staff report suggest caution and no guarantees, however actions as above suggest a somewhat more subtle view was held by at least some of the decision makers. The benefit of a good invasion scare to solidify the people's resolve cannot be underestimated, Churchill IMO was the type of leader to capitalize on such a thing, pump it up a bit. Ratsack suggests that whereas Churchill did not think much of the invasion threat, Churchill was sometimes bluster and hot air, and got the Brit military into trouble more than once by misjudging things. To this I suggest that Churchill's judgement was in fact correct, the German threat <was> bluff at that point, the Kreigsmarine knew it, and perhaps the Brits and others of us are rather lucky that Churchill was in charge at that point instead of say Halifax or Ratsack.

Leit makes a different case, he suggests directly that the RN would not be risked at all agaist LW air superiority. This is a different argument altogether, and one to which I am absolutely opposed. There will be no meeting of minds there, at all. There were many many problems for the Kreigsmarine, and to Ratsack as well (who is slightly ambivalent on this point I believe?) I echo Xio's question about how these fabled panzers were going to get across the channel. I look at this facet of the period from the same point of view as the 'revisionists' we have been hearing about, ie could the invasion have succeeded in the absence of Group 11? Corelli Barnett thinks not, in a letter to the Telegraph late 2006. So do many others. A quick google search with the terms 'RN invasion RAF' will pull up the whole debate as it played out in the UK just recently.

To provide a final perspective on this issue consider that the Kreigsmarine might have had a first class disaster even if the British had marked a channel and provided air and sea <support>. "I say chaps, you've missed your beach, yours is the one down the coast a few miles marked with the <red> flag.... BTW did you need a hand with sorting out that snarl of barges?, you'll come a cropper in this current if you're not careful..."

hop2002
01-23-2008, 03:06 AM
The mission of the fleet was to save Crete, not just prevent a seaborne invasion. Due to the heavy losses it sustained, the fleet had to withdraw, and Crete was lost.

Come on. The RN was not responsible for defending airfields or fighting off paratroopers. The RN was tasked with defending Crete from sea borne invasion, which it did. It was also there to evacuate the troops once the decision to abandon Crete was taken.


Another matter nobody has mentioned---mining. The Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine were very industriously mining British ports in 1940. While the menace of the magnetic mines had largely been neutralized by degaussing equipment, mundane contact mines could still sink or damage ships.

Ok, but British mielaying and minesweeping capability both greatly exceeded that of Germany. Throw mines in to the mix and you increase the British advantage.


To this I suggest that Churchill's judgement was in fact correct, the German threat <was> bluff at that point, the Kreigsmarine knew it, and perhaps the Brits and others of us are rather lucky that Churchill was in charge at that point instead of say Halifax or Ratsack.

I wouldn't say the German threat was a bluff, because the Germans were certainly planning in earnest. That's not to say that with hindsight Sea Lion wasn't far beyond their capabilities.

In all these discussions you have to take in to account the perceptions of the people involved. British (and American) intelligence greatly overestimated German capabilities (for example, Overy gives US intelligence estimates of the Luftwaffe in summer 1940. They believed the Germans had 11,000 front line combat aircraft, with another 11,000 in reserve, and were on target to build 26,000 in 1940. The actual figures by September 1940 were about 3,000 front line aircraft, no reserves, just over 10,000 combat aircraft built in the whole of 1940)

The Germans at the same time were underestimating British strength, production etc. Coupled with that the Germans were riding high after a string of successes, the British on the ropes after being driven from the continent.

Under those circumstances it's no wonder British sources were more pessimistic than the circumstances warranted, and the Germans more confident.

Ratsack
01-23-2008, 04:30 AM
I'll come back to the matter of German planning later, but just to amplify Hop's point about the apparent pessimism of the British commanders, it bears pointing out that it took the British some time to come to terms with German mechanized warfare. Their experience in the Western Desert doesn't inspire confidence in the idea that they could've defeated a landing.

This is not to say they were the bunch of nincompoops some suggest they all were. Every army that fought the Germans in WWII got a horrible shock at their first experience of the new warfare.

In any event, the landing itself is not the issue, as I have said before. If the threat of the landing loomed as a real possibility, the Brits may very well have made peace. The fact that it never did become a credible threat – because the Germans never won air superiority – decided the issue.

Cheers,
Ratsack

Kernow
01-23-2008, 06:36 AM
In his book, Lost Victories, von Manstein goes over the problems regarding an invasion of Britain following the fall of France in some detail. He was a corps commander at the time and would have been in the first wave. At his level they were certainly serious and more confident of success than probably any other part of the German armed forces.

I won't go all he has to say on the problems and possible solutions. He would have agreed with Brooke that Britain was virtually defenceless on land, and in Manstein's opinion this means no parallels can be drawn with the massive allied preparations and total air/sea superiority required 4 years later. Personally I think he might underestimate the problems of actually getting across the Channel in the face of the RN. He says the Kriegsmarine were the most pessimistic of the services because they were most aware of their own deficiencies when it came to an invasion. I suspect they were also the most realistic.

Nevertheless, Manstein makes a strong case for an invasion being feasible and indeed desirable from the German POV. The following is taken from his summary of the whole BoB/invasion discussion:

"Hitler now faced the problem of invading England. He was aware of the high degree of risk such an undertaking then involved. If the invasion were to fail, the army and navy forces taking part would be forfeit, and even the Luftwaffe would emerge very much weakened. At the same time the failure of an invasion would not, from the strictly military point of view, have irreperably impaired German military power. The more far-reaching effect would have been in the political field... Most of all though, a spectacular military failure of this kind would have gravely damaged the dictator's prestige, both in Germany and the world as a whole.

"This was the one danger the dictator could not afford to run. Just as his general attitude to the British Empire had always made him put any though of a showdown behind him, and just as his false appraisal of the British mind had encouraged him to hope that it would be possible to come to terms in the end, so did he now recoil from taking the risk. He wanted to evade the hazard of a decisive struggle with Britain. Instead of destroying her as a Power, he thought he could convince her of the need for settlement by trying - as he himself put it - to strike from her the last sword she might hope to point at Germany on the mainland of Europe.

"But by thus recoiling from what was admittedly a pretty considerable military and political risk, Hitler, committed his big error of judgement. For one thing was certain. If Hitler jibbed at fighting the battle with Britain at the hour most favourable to himself, Germany must sooner or later land in an untenable situation. The longer the war with Britain dragged on, the greater the danger threatening the Reich in the east must become."

luftluuver
01-23-2008, 07:26 AM
For a bluff.....

Order of battle - Unternehmen Seelöwe (Sealion)

(the planned invasion of the United Kingdom, Sep 1940)


Army Group A

Commander-in-Chief: Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt

Chief of the General Staff: General der Infanterie Georg von Sodenstern

Operations Officer (Ia): Oberst Günther Blumentritt



16th Army

Commander-in-Chief: Generaloberst Ernst Busch

Chief of the General Staff: Generalleutnant Walter Model

Operations Officer (Ia): Oberst Hans Boeckh-Behrens

Luftwaffe Commander (Koluft) 16th Army: Oberst Dr. med. dent. Walter Gnamm

Division Command z.b.V. 454: Charakter als Generalleutnant Rudolf Krantz (This staff served as the 16th Army's Heimatstab or Home Staff Unit, which managed the assembly and loading of all troops, equipment and supplies; provided command and logistical support for all forces still on the Continent; and the reception and further transport of wounded and prisoners of war as well as damaged equipment. General der Infanterie Albrecht Schubert's XXIII Army Corps served as the 16th Army's Befehlsstelle Festland or Mainland Command, which reported to the staff of Generalleutnant Krantz. The corps maintained traffic control units and loading staffs at Calais, Dunkirk, Ostend, Antwerp and Rotterdam.)



FIRST WAVE

XIII Army Corps: General der Panzertruppe Heinrich-Gottfried von Vietinghoff genannt Scheel (First-wave landings on English coast between Folkestone and New Romney) – Luftwaffe II./Flak-Regiment 14 attached to corps

17th Infantry Division: Generalleutnant Herbert Loch

35th Infantry Division: Generalleutnant Hans Wolfgang Reinhard



VII Army Corps: Generaloberst Eugen Ritter von Schobert (First-wave landings on English coast between Rye and Hastings) – Luftwaffe I./Flak-Regiment 26 attached to corps

1st Mountain Division: Generalleutnant Ludwig Kübler

7th Infantry Division: Generalleutnant Eccard Freiherr von Gablenz



SECOND WAVE

V Army Corps: General der Infanterie Richard Ruoff (Transferred from the first to the second wave in early September 1940 so that the second echelons of the two first-wave corps could cross simultaneously with their first echelons)

12th Infantry Division: Generalmajor Walter von Seydlitz-Kurzbach

30th Infantry Division: General der Infanterie Kurt von Briesen



XXXXI Army Corps: General der Panzertruppe Georg-Hans Reinhardt

8th Panzer Division: Generalleutnant Adolf Kuntzen – Luftwaffe Light Flak-Abteilung 94 attached to division

10th Panzer Division: Generalleutnant Ferdinand Schaal – Luftwaffe Light Flak-Abteilung 71 attached to division

29th Infantry Division (Motorized): Generalmajor Walter von Boltenstern – Luftwaffe Light Flak-Abteilung 76 attached to division

Infantry Regiment "Großdeutschland": Oberst Wilhelm-Hunold von Stockhausen

Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler Regiment: SS-Obergruppenführer Josef "Sepp" Dietrich



THIRD WAVE

IV Army Corps: General der Infanterie Viktor von Schwedler

24th Infantry Division: Generalmajor Hans von Tettau

58th Infantry Division: Generalmajor Iwan Heunert



XXXXII Army Corps: General der Pionere Walter Kuntze

45th Infantry Division: Generalleutnant Friedrich Materna

164th Infantry Division: Generalmajor Josef Folttmann



9th Army (General der Artillerie Christian Hansen's X Army Corps headquarters staff with the attached Luftwaffe I./Flak-Regiment 29 was in addition allocated to the 9th Army for use with the first-wave troops)

Commander-in-Chief: Generaloberst Adolf Strauß

Chief of the General Staff: Generalleutnant Karl Adolf Hollidt

Operations Officer (Ia): Oberstleutnant Heinz von Gyldenfeldt

Luftwaffe Commander (Koluft) 9th Army: (possibly) Generalmajor Maximilian Kieffer *

Division Command z.b.V. 444: Generalmajor Alois Josef Ritter von Molo (This staff served as the 9th Army's Heimatstab or Home Staff Unit, which managed the assembly and loading of all troops, equipment and supplies; provided command and logistical support for all forces still on the Continent; and the reception and further transport of wounded and prisoners of war as well as damaged equipment. It maintained loading staffs at Le Havre, Boulogne and Calais.)



FIRST WAVE

XXXVIII Army Corps: General der Infanterie Erich von Lewinski genannt von Manstein (First-wave landings on English coast between Bexhill and Eastbourne) – Luftwaffe I./Flak-Regiment 3 attached to corps

26th Infantry Division: Generalleutnant Sigismund von Föster

34th Infantry Division: Generalmajor Werner Sanne



VIII Army Corps: General der Artillerie Walter Heitz (First-wave landings on English coast between Beachy Head and Brighton) – Luftwaffe I./Flak-Regiment 36 attached to corps

6th Mountain Division: Generalmajor Ferdinand Schöner

8th Infantry Division: Generalleutnant Rudolf Koch-Erpach

28th Infantry Division: Generalmajor Johann Sinnhuber



SECOND WAVE

XV Army Corps: Generaloberst Hermann Hoth

4th Panzer Division: Generalmajor Willibald Freiherr von Langermann und Erlencamp – Luftwaffe Light Flak-Abteilung 77 attached to division

7th Panzer Division: Generalmajor Erwin Rommel – Luftwaffe Light Flak-Abteilung 86 attached to division

20th Infantry Division (Motorized): Generalleutnant Mauritz von Wiktorin – Luftwaffe Light Flak-Abteilung 93 attached to division



THIRD WAVE

XXIV Army Corps: General der Panzertruppe Leo Freiherr Geyr von Schweppenburg

15th Infantry Division: Generalleutnant Ernst-Eberhard Hell

78th Infantry Division: Generalleutnant Curt Gallenkamp



Airborne Formations

7th Flieger-Division (Parachute): Generalmajor Richard Putzier (under Generalfeldmarschall Albert Keßelring's Luftflotte 2). The division was assigned drop zones in the area of Lyminge"”Sellinge"”Hythe on the right wing of the 16th Army and tasked with the immediate capture of the high ground north and northwest of Folkestone. The division consisted of Fallschirmjäger Regiments 1, 2 and 3 commanded by Oberst Bruno Bräuer, Oberst Alfred Sturm and Oberst Richard Heidrich respectively, and the Air Landing Assault Regiment commanded by Oberst Eugen Meindl. All four regiments were to be employed in the operation.



1. Kampfgruppe "Meindl" was to land at Hythe, secure crossings over the Royal Military Canal at and west of Hythe and advance along the line from Hythe rail station to Saltwood to prevent any flanking moves by the British.



2. Kampfgruppe "Stentzler" led by Major Edgar Stentzler, the commander of the II. Battalion of the Air Landing Assault Regiment was to drop and seize the heights at Paddlesworth and hold off any counter-attacks.



These two groups would be timed to drop as the landing craft carrying 17th Infantry Division hit the beach near Folkestone.



3. Kampfgruppe "Bräuer" was to drop an hour later south of Postling. This enlarged group would consist of a complete parachute battalion, a parachute engineer battalion, the antitank company of FJR1, all of FJR2 and FJR3, and an extra battalion as divisional reserve.



Once landed, Kampfgruppe "Bräuer" was to take Stentzler's group under its command and the combined force was to take Sandgate and the high ground west of Paddlesworth. FJR2 was to move north of Postling and guard against attack from the north while FJR3 was to secure the western flank with one battalion detached to capture and hold Lympe airfield for a later fly-in by 22nd Air Landing Division, possibly as late as S plus 5.



22nd Air Landing Infantry Division: Generalleutnant Hans Graf von Sponeck (under OKH control, but temporarily placed under the command of the 16th Army on 20 September 1940)



Bau-Lehr-Regiment z.b.V. 800 "Brandenburg" (In Invasion of England 1940: The Planning of Operation Sealion, author Peter Schenk notes very little source material exists on the role of the "Brandenburg" commandos in the operation. Schenk reconstructed the probable missions of the commandos from what little exits in the records of the first wave divisions and the recollections of former members of the regiment.)



16th Army Area of Operations

A 131-man commando team with 50 light motorcycles of the 1st Company of the I. Battalion would cross the channel with the 35th Infantry Division"”one platoon with the division's advanced detachment and one with Panzer Battalion D. Another commando team from the I. Battalion with three reconnaissance tanks would also land with the 17th Infantry Division. Upon landing, the "Brandenburg" company would link up with a combat group led by Oberst Edmund Hoffmeister, the commander of Infantry Regiment 21 of the 17th Infantry Division. Composed of elements of the 17th Infantry Division, the 7th Flieger-Division, corps-level support troops and Panzer Battalion B, Hoffmeister's battle group would push up the coast to Dover. The "Brandenburg" company would assist by taking out British positions on the coast and along the Royal Military Canal as well as suspected artillery positions to the north.

Another commando team consisting of elements of the regimental intelligence unit and most of the 4th Company of the I. Battalion would land with the first wave and attack Dover directly to prevent the sinking of block ships in the harbor entrance and to neutralize the coastal batteries on the Dover heights. (An alternative to landing this commando team with the first wave troops might have been the use of about 25 fast motorboats, i.e., customs authority and police boats, under command of Korvettenkapitän Strempel. Author Peter Schenk notes that Strempel was never informed of his objective, but it was likely Dover.)



9th Army Area of Operations

The 11th Company of the III. Battalion was allocated to the 9th Army for first wave employment as follows: two commando teams of 72 and 38 men were assigned to the 26th Infantry Division and one commando unit of 48 men to the 34th Infantry Division. Mounted on light motorcycles, the first two commando teams were assigned the mission of destroying the gun battery at Beachy Head and the radio station to the north of it; the 48-man team's mission is not recorded, but is was probably a similar task.



6th Army

Commander-in-Chief: Generalfeldmarschall Walther von Reichenau

Chief of the General Staff: Oberst Ferdinand Heim

Operations Officer (Ia): Oberst Anton-Reichard Freiherr von Mauchenheim genannt Bechtolsheim



The 6th Army held the II Army Corps (General der Infanterie Walter Graf von Brockdorff-Ahlefeldt) with the 6th Infantry Division and the 256th Infantry Division, commanded by Generalleutnant Arnold Freiherr von Biegeleben and Generalmajor Gerhard Kauffmann respectively, in readiness for potential landings in Lyme Bay between Weymouth and Lyme Regis. Cherbourg would serve as the embarkation port for the 6th Army's invasion forces. The 6th Army was under the command of Army Group C (Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb), which had taken over this function from Army Group B (Generalfeldmarschall Fedor von Bock) on 11 September 1940.



OKH Reserves

These divisions, comprising the Fourth Wave, were to be designated on S-10 Day.



Submersible/Amphibious Tanks

Three battalions were allocated to the 16th Army and one battalion to the 9th Army. As of 29 August 1940, the four battalions, lettered A-D, totaled 160 PzKpfw III (U) submersible tanks with 37mm guns, 8 PzKpfw III (U) submersible tanks with 50mm guns, 42 PzKpfw IV (U) submersible tanks with 75mm guns, and 52 PzKpfw II (Schwimm) amphibious tanks with 20mm guns. The battalions were organized into three companies of four platoons each. **



Luftwaffe



Luftflotte 2 (cooperating with the 16th Army)

Commander-in-Chief: Generalfeldmarschall Albert Keßelring

Chief of the General Staff: Generalleutnant Wilhelm Speidel

Operations Officer (Ia): Oberstleutnant Walter Loebel



VIII. Fliegerkorps (dive-bomber aircraft): General der Flieger Dipl. Ing. Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen

II. Fliegerkorps (bomber aircraft): General der Flieger Bruno Loerzer

9. Fliegerdivision (bomber and mine laying aircraft): Generalleutnant Joachim Coeler

Jagdfliegerführer 1 (fighter aircraft): Generalmajor Theodor "Theo" Osterkamp

Jagdfliegerführer 2 (fighter aircraft): Generalmajor Kurt-Bertram von Döing



II. Flakkorps – Tasked with air defense of the English Channel coast and ports during loading and unloading of the landing craft, support of Army troops and protecting the transport fleets against air and surface attacks. This Flakkorps also controlled those Luftwaffe Flak elements attached to the corps and divisions of the 16th Army (see that Army's OOB).

Commanding General: Generalleutnant Otto Deßloch

Chief of Staff: Oberst Georg Neuffer



Flak-Regiment 6 (Ostende): Oberstleutnant Georg von Gyldenfeldt

Flak-Regiment 136 (Boulogne): Oberstleutnant Alexander Nieper

Flak-Regiment 201 (Calais): Oberstleutnant Adolf Pirmann

Flak-Regiment 202 (Dunkirk): Oberstleutnant Donald von Alten



Luftflotte 3 (cooperating with the 9th Army)

Commander-in-Chief: Generalfeldmarschall Hugo Sperrle

Chief of the General Staff: Generalmajor Günther Korten

Operations Officer (Ia): Oberstleutnant Karl Koller



I. Fliegerkorps (bomber and dive-bomber aircraft): Generaloberst Ulrich Grauert

IV. Fliegerkorps (bomber aircraft): Generalleutnant Kurt Pflugbeil

V. Fliegerkorps (bomber aircraft): General der Flieger Robert Ritter von Greim

Jagdfliegerführer 3 (fighter aircraft): Oberst Werner Junck



I. Flakkorps – Tasked with air defense of the English Channel coast and ports during loading and unloading of the landing craft, support of Army troops and protecting the transport fleets against air and surface attacks. This Flakkorps also controlled those Luftwaffe Flak elements attached to the corps and divisions of the 9th Army (see that army's OOB).

Commanding General: Generaloberst Hubert Weise

Chief of Staff: Oberst Wolfgang Pickert



Flak-Brigade I: Generalmajor Walther von Axthelm

Flak-Regiment 102: Oberstleutnant Otto Stange

Flak-Regiment 103: Oberst Alfred Kuprian

Flak-Brigade II: Oberst Erich Kressmann

Flak-Regiment 101: Oberstleutnant Johann-Wilhelm Doering-Manteuffel

Flak-Regiment 104: Oberst Hermann Lichtenberger



Kriegsmarine



Commander-in-Chief of Navy Group Command West: Generaladmiral Alfred Saalwächter (Responsible for operational direction of the "Sea Lion" light naval forces based in France and the Low Countries.)



Naval Commander West for Operation "Sea Lion" (also the Fleet Chief): Admiral Günther Lütjens (Responsible for the tactical control and protection of the four transport fleets. The Kriegsmarine began assembling the following formations for protection of the convoy routes: two destroyer flotillas at Le Havre and four torpedo boat flotillas at Cherbourg to protect the western flank and three motor torpedo boat flotillas at Zeebrügge, Flushing and Rotterdam to protect the eastern flank. Also, 27 U-boats under the direction of Vizeadmiral Karl Dönitz were arranged to reinforce the convoy protection formations. Finally, nine patrol flotillas, 10 minesweeping flotillas and five motor minesweeping flotillas would accompany the transport convoys during the actual Channel crossing. An additional three minesweeping flotillas, two anti-submarine flotillas and 14 minelayers were allocated to Navy Group Command West for supplementary support.)



Chief of Staff: Kapitän zur See Harald Netzbandt



Leader of Destroyers (also Chief of the 6th Destroyer Flotilla): Kapitän zur See Erich Bey – flagship: destroyer Hans Lody (Z 10).



Leader of Torpedo Boats: Kapitän zur See Hans Bütow



Commander of U-Boats: Vizeadmiral Karl Dönitz



Transport Fleet "B" (Dunkirk): Vizeadmiral Hermann von Fischel – transporting the first echelons of the 17th and 35th Infantry Divisions and the staff and corps troops, including Panzer Battalions B and D (less one company from the latter), of the XIII Army Corps.

Tow Formation 1 (Dunkirk): Vizeadmiral von Fischel (as well as being the transport fleet commander)

Tow Formation 2 (Ostend): Kapitän zur See Walter Hennecke

Convoy 1 (Ostend): Kapitän zur See Wagner

Convoy 2 (Rotterdam): Kapitän zur See Ernst Schirlitz



Transport Fleet "C" (Calais): Kapitän zur See Gustav Kleikamp – transporting the first echelons of the 1st Mountain Division and the 7th Infantry Division and the staff and corps troops, including Panzer Battalion A, of the VII Army Corps.

Convoy 3 (Antwerp): Kapitän zur See Wesemann



Transport Fleet "D" (Boulogne): Kapitän zur See Werner Lindenau – transporting the first echelons of the 26th and 34th Infantry Divisions and the staff and corps troops, including Panzer Battalion C, of the XXXVIII Army Corps.



Transport Fleet "E" (Le Havre): Kapitän zur See Ernst Scheurlen – transporting the first echelons of the 6th Mountain Division, the 8th and 28th Infantry Divisions and the staff and corps troops, including one company from Panzer Battalion D, of the VIII and X Army Corps.

Echelon 1a (Le Havre): Korvettenkapitän von Jagow (originally designated Convoy 4)

Echelon 1b (Le Havre): Kapitän zur See Ulrich Brocksien (originally designated Convoy 5)



Heavy Naval Units

The Kriegsmarine did not plan to employ its few remaining heavy surface units in the coastal waters of the main invasion area. Instead, they would be used for diversions to draw British naval forces away from the English Channel and tie down British troops away from the landing zones.



Two days prior to the actual landings, the light cruisers Emden (Kapitän zur See Hans Mirow), Nürnberg (Kapitän zur See Leo Kreisch with Vizeadmiral Hubert Schmundt, the Commander of Cruisers, aboard) and Köln (Kapitän zur See Ernst Kratzenberg), the gunnery training ship Bremse and other light naval forces would escort the liners Europa, Bremen, Gneisenau and Potsdam, with 11 transport steamers, on Operation "Herbstreise" (Autumn Journey), a feint simulating a landing against the English east coast between Aberdeen and Newcastle.*** After turning about, the force would attempt the diversion again on the next day if necessary. (Most of the troops allocated to the diversion would actually board the ships, but disembark before the naval force sortied.)

Shortly before the commencement of "Sea Lion," the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper (Kapitän zur See Wilhelm Meisel), on standby at Kiel from 13 September 1940, would carry out a diversionary sortie in the vicinity of Iceland and the Faroes.

The heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer (Kapitän zur See Theodor Krancke) would carry out another diversionary mission by raiding merchant shipping in the Atlantic. (It is doubtful this ship would have been available in time for the operation as she was undergoing extensive trials and crew training in the Baltic Sea following a major shipyard refit.)

The remaining German heavy surface units, the battlecruisers Scharnhorst (Kapitän zur See Kurt Caesar Hoffmann) and Gneisenau (Kapitän zur See Otto Fein), the heavy cruiser Lützow (Kapitänleutnant Heller – caretaker commander) and the light cruiser Leipzig (decommissioned) were all undergoing repairs for varying degrees of battle damage and were thus not available for Operation "Sea Lion."

In August 1940, the Kriegsmarine considered employing the pre-dreadnought battleships Schleswig-Holstein and Schlesien to provide artillery support for the landings, but ultimately rejected the idea.



SS and Police



Representative of the Chief of the Security Police and SD in Great Britain: SS Standartenführer Prof. Dr. phil. Franz Alfred Six (In a document dated 17 September 1940, SS-Gruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, the Chief of the SD Main Office, appointed Six to this post and dictated his mission: "Your task is to combat, with the requisite means, all anti-German organizations, institutions, opposition, and opposition groups which can be seized in England, to prevent the removal of all available material, and to centralize and safeguard it for future exploitation. I designate the capital, London, as the location of your headquarters as Representative of the Chief of the Security Police and SD; and I authorize you to set up small action groups [Einsatzgruppen] in other parts of Great Britain as well as the situation dictates and the necessity arises.")



NOTES

* Per Die Generale der Deutschen Luftwaffe, 1935-1945, Band 2 (Habermehl-Nuber) by Karl-Friedrich Hildebrand (Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück, Germany, 1991) Generalmajor Kieffer is listed as Koluft of the 9th Army and then Army Group A from 24 August 1939-28 February 1941. As such, it is not certain when he ceased Koluft duties with the 9th Army.



** The four panzer battalions (A, B, C, D) later formed Panzer Regiment 18 (I. & II. Abt.) and Panzer Regiment 28 (I. and II. Abt.) under the 1st Panzer Brigade, which was renamed 18th Panzer Brigade and transferred from the 1st Panzer Division to the 18th Panzer Division. Before the launch of Operation "Barbarossa" in June 1941, the Staff/Panzer Regiment 28 was disbanded while I./Panzer Regiment 28 became III./Panzer Regiment 6 (3rd Panzer Division) and II./Panzer Regiment 28 became III./Panzer Regiment 18 (18th Panzer Division).



*** Four convoys would be formed for the operation – Convoy I: the steamers Stettiner Greif, Dr. Heinrich Wiegand, and Pommern loading troops of the 69th Infantry Division at Bergen/offloading at Bekkervig, Norway; Convoy II: the steamers Steinburg, Bugsee, Ilse LM Russ, and Flottbeck loading troops of the 214th Infantry Division at Stavanger/offloading at Haugesund, Norway; Convoy III: the steamers Iller, Sabine, Howaldt, and Lumme loading troops of the 214th Infantry Division at Arendal/offloading at Kristiansand, Norway; Convoy IV: the liners Europa and Bremen simulating loading troops at Wesermünde and the liners Gneisenau and Potsdam loading troops at Hamburg/offloading at Cuxhaven.

Oops, forgot it is from the internet.

Kurfurst__
01-23-2008, 10:32 AM
http://afhra.maxwell.af.mil/numbered_studies/468155.pdf
http://afhra.maxwell.af.mil/numbered_studies/468156.pdf

Pages 236-239 from the first paper.

Kurfurst__
01-23-2008, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by hop2002:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Actually Crete is an example of the opposite. One curious thing about Crete was that even fighter bomber Bf 109Es sunk one British cruiser with their puny 250kg bombs.

Cruisers were certainly vulnerable to relatively small bombs. That was illustrated by the obsolete Skuas, armed with 230 kg bombs, which sank the German cruiser Konigsberg in the Norwegian campaign. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not only cruisers, Warspite was also hit hard by a JaBo 250 kger and was put out of service for the rest of 1941.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Crete also highlighted some other defects - they run out of AAA munition really fast, their AAA firepower was insufficent.

The difference between Crete and the Channel is that during the action around Crete the RN was operating from Alexandria, 400 miles away. That meant the ships couldn't replenish ammunition. In the Channel they would be only a few miles from port, and could replenish ammunition at will. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Maybe. Two things I wonder about. One being will the Luftwaffe do while they are sitting ducks in port, and how will they chase off the Luftwaffe, replenish at port, and harass German barges, destroyers and Uboots at the same time..?

Questions, questions. At Crete, IIRC a whole flottila of them was driven back by a single Italian DD, as the RN DDs were concerned about being out of AAA rounds, to much surprise of the Italians.


HC wanted to pull back the ships and leave the troops behind under the pressure of air attack

Who's this "HC" chappie?[/QUOTE]

A whole bunch of people actually, ie. HIGH COMMAND.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">They left some 17 000 troops behind on Crete, or almost half the force behind, who spent the rest of the war in PoW camps.

According to Barnett the RN evacuated 16,500 out of 22,000 troops. Another 1,000 made their own way out in small boats. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Then perhaps Barnett is manipulating his numbers a bit, as there were 15000 British, 7100 Australian, 6700 New Zealanders, and 11 000 Greeks on Crete when the Germans attack begun. Ie. 40 000 men. ~16k evacuated, not a shining record actually.

It would appear the Royal Navy cared about Greeks, Aussies and NZs as much as Barnett and you do.


I believe all those who made it to the evacuation points were taken off, the prisoners were those who got to the ports too late or not at all.

Oh come on, Hoppie, not mentioning the poor Commonwealth chappies who were good enough to die but not good enough to be taken on His Majesty`s ship is something that does not surprise me the least from you, but to see you pushing the line about how 17 000 Brit-CW-Greek troops out of 40 000 being stopped from reaching the ports by German paratroopers who lacked any kind of vehicles or heavy weapons, and were in pretty though situation themselves, being outnumbered and confined to a few 'hot' LZs... well that`s is some change in character, but I believe it was quite simply the air attacks which prevented the Royal Navy operating for any longer in the area.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">9 warships were sunk and 18 damaged within a couple of days,

No, the losses were spread over 12 days, which is more than a "couple".

21st May Destroyer Juno sunk
22nd Destroyer Greyhound, Cruisers Gloucester and Fiji sunk
23rd Destroyers Kashmir and Kelly sunk
29th Destroyer Imperial, damaged on the 28th, was scuttled. Destroyer Hereward sunk.
1st June Cruiser Calcutta sunk. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well to me it seems tha majority of losses occured on three subsequent days, you can split hairs if you want, I don`t give a damn. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif



<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Doesn`t strike me as a successfull evacuation and 'maintaining sea control'.

Then you need to look at what the RN was supposed to do. It was supposed to prevent a seaborne invasion of Crete. It did. Not a single German was landed by sea.

After the decision was made to evacuate, the RN was supposed to evacuate troops from Crete. Once again it did, despite the losses. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well those 17 000 British, Commonwealth and Greek troops captured on Crete might have an alternate opinion on that.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">British battleships and carriers must have been either invincible, or very shy in the Luftwaffe`s presence then.

There's a third explanation. The Luftwaffe just weren't very good at sinking large warships. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yup, that`s your latest line, but it`s a bit transparent and has only some nutty rhetorics for it.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">like Warspite which they also wrecked several times, as they did Illustrious etc.putting them out of action for months.

I think that eliminates your second explanation. As you say, the Luftwaffe damaged large British warships on many occasions, they just never had much success sinking them. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

As noted they weren`t particularly trying hard - quite simply RN capitol ships were not primary targets - but how about Jellicoe`s beached iron whale?


Well, from memory the Luftwaffe sank 1 Italian battleship (and they needed glide bombs, unavailable in 1940). Also from memory they sank 1 Russian dreadnought in harbour.

As far as glide bombs go, the Fritz X was basically a 1.5 ton standard AP bomb with guidance system attached. Of course it had better accuracy, but nothing else. The Marat blow up from a 1 ton AP bomb IIRC.


Not exactly a brilliant record for 6 years of war, is it?

Actually it`s funny to watch you boast about the 2 'sunken' Kriegsmarine BBs by the RAF during WW2 (took them a few years trying didn`t it..? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Gneisenau wasn`t sunk either, and both were hit while on anchor/in dock) and now this line about the 'not exactly a brilliant record for 6 years of war' if it`s the same thing from the other side, though with much less effort spent on.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I think your statement is only technically true because the way you put it, narrowing it down to the Luftwaffe

The discussion is about whether the Luftwaffe would have been able to stop the RN destroying a German invasion fleet (and whether the RN would have risked their battleships to air attack). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh..! And for a brief one second I though you were going on your usual, though admittedly surreal bashing of the LW`s anti shipping capabilities. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">(which doesn`t seem to have been particularly after British capital ships)

And yet bombed them so frequently. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>[/QUOTE]

Then I am sure giving a couple of examples of that would present no problem for you, so, would you kindly...?

leitmotiv
01-23-2008, 01:28 PM
The Luftwaffe's anti-capital ship capabilities were alive and well in the B o B period---as proved decisively by the Ju 87Rs which wrecked the brand new armored deck fleet carrier ILLUSTRIOUS in <span class="ev_code_RED">Jan 1941</span>, and handily sank the modern light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON in the same strike. This was on the high seas. Not only did British early-warning radar fail to provide adequate warning of the attack, but the Fulmars, the best RN fighter available until Sea Hurricanes in 1942, failed to disrupt the the dive bombers. If this was not indicator enough the RN was helpless against German dive bombers, ILLUSTRIOUS' sister, INDOMITABLE, was similarly wrecked in May off Crete. The Germans had the armor-piercing bombs available to severely damage or sink any capital ship the RN had available in 1940. This is a fact. Those too obtuse to recognize this matter are too silly for consideration!

ILLUSTRIOUS under Stuka attack at sea 10 Jan 1941:

http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/images/hmsillustrious7.jpg

ILLUSTRIOUS in Malta (background, center) after being severely damaged at sea, being further damaged in port by incessant Luftwaffe attacks:

http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/images/hmsillustrious9.jpg

Xiolablu3
01-23-2008, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
not mentioning the poor Commonwealth chappies who were good enough to die but not good enough to be taken on His Majesty`s ship


Mate, if you really believe this, then you do not understand the British at all...

Is it a joke that I am missing>??

Likening the Brits to the Nazis attitude?? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Kurfurst__
01-23-2008, 02:22 PM
Just look up the ratios of losses for UK/NZ/Aussie/Greek troops at Crete, would you..? There`s some indication that 'Brits first' was the policy when boarding ships, same thing at Dunkerque, the French could play the role of the rear guard, why thank you mon ami. Need to probe the a heavily fortified port of the Atlantikwall? Why, Canadians are the perfect choice.

Xiolablu3
01-23-2008, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Just look up the ratios of losses for UK/NZ/Aussie/Greek troops at Crete, would you..? There`s some indication that 'Brits first' was the policy when boarding ships, same thing at Dunkerque, the French could play the role of the rear guard, why thank you mon ami. Need to probe the a heavily fortified port of the Atlantikwall? Why, Canadians are the perfect choice.


Only you could come with that reason for what could be any of hundreds of different reasons for the casualty figures, Kurfy http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

In fact it was the British generals sending anyone of 'inferior stock' to their deaths to save their own soldiers skin! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Britain in fact didnt go to war to try and save Poland, it was just to try and save those Brits holidaying over there!

Why should we care about those 'untermenschen', we only care about our own! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

Of COURSE the French helped with the rear gaurd at Dunkirk, do you think they all wanted to run away back to Britian? No, they wanted to stay and fight the Germans some more in their homeland. If they WANTED to go back to Britain, they boarded the ships along with the British soliders. There was no British Captain of the ship with a pistol telling them 'Brits first, you're French?' nope, get back on the shore to die or I'll shoot you!'

If you can find me one French Soldier who was refused access to the ships at Dunkirk, then I will start to look at this claim more seriously.

French Troops rescued by a British Merchent Ship at Dunkirk :-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:French_troop_rescue_ship.png

gkll
01-23-2008, 03:03 PM
"Bluff" is a bad term. It was a mistake to use it, I retract it. What was in my mind was the concept that when you hold back something as a threat ('we will invade you, if necessary') then it must be a credible threat. If it becomes apparent, to the 'threatener', that it is not really on at some point, it moves into the realm of 'bluff'. If it entered Hitler's thinking somewhere in Sept that an invasion was not possible, it becomes a bonafide 'bluff'.

The Kreigsmarine must have known all along the thing was not a 'go' without serious risk of disaster, to the Kreigsmarine the whole issue needed to go away, we have heard they were relieved to have the prerequisite conditions for invasion include air <supremacy>, since this was never going to happen in fall of 40, they were off the hook. I believe the KM must have always, internally, seen the invasion prep as a 'bluff' of sorts, or <if ordered> a potential first class disaster.

However I admit "Bluff" was a bad choice of words.

Related slightly: fast forward to the Falklands and we see the RN again taking serious loss against the 'air' of Argentina. And without some very good luck with old bomb fuses losses would have been higher, much higher. However the RN still maintained sea control, landed the troops, kept reinforcements off the table, another day at the office. I don't know if they would have withdrawn if the Argentinians had realized and fixed the problem with the bomb fusing... somehow I just don't think so. However that is pure speculation. It is neat to consider some parallels in attitude and expectation though, the RN is a very old institution.

leitmotiv
01-23-2008, 03:18 PM
Falklands! That was a near run thing, and, as usual, a false analogy because the fleet did have air cover, albeit, the appalling Harrier, which was not available in sufficient quantity to actually achieve air superiority---hence, the large losses in ships. If the RN had had the fleet carrier ARK ROYAL, which had been sold for scrap in 1980 by another cackbrained Labour govt, with her state-of-the-art Phantoms, the Argies likely would have been wasted without landing a single hit.

I did my graduate work in the Fisher period of the RN, and, later, Bomber Command. I also come from a U.S. Navy family. I am hardly predisposed to trash the RN. Correlli Barnett and the RN official historian, Stephen Roskill, who was in the Admiralty as an AA specialist in this period, both point to the RN's incapacity to repel air attack satisfactorily in 1940 and 1941. Of course, if you believe you are more knowledgeable than a naval officer who was there at the time, and was a specialist in AA defense---then you are a typical silly Ubizoo animal! Bon chance!

luftluuver
01-23-2008, 03:41 PM
Oh dear, is Kurfurst huffin and puffin about about how crappy the Brits were and how uber his German Third Reich is? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Maybe your uber Germans Kurfurst could have taken some lessons from your despised Brits when your uberGermans pulled the 'bug out' from North Africa with the surrender on May 13, 1943 yielding over 275,000 POWs.

This evacuation operation had started on May 7, 1943. Allied focus was on attacking the German evacuation fleet as it crossed from Tunisia to Sicily and Italy. It is known that 897 Germans were captured at sea. The remainder are assumed to have drowned. Only 653 Germans are thought to have escaped to Italy.

MB_Avro_UK
01-23-2008, 04:32 PM
Hi all,

Great contributions if I may so http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif There is a divergence of opinion of course but some great sources of information mentioned.

Luftluuver posted a couple of pages ago the German Military units which were to take part in an invasion.

The following extract from his post is sinister and to mind mind puts things in perspective. We discuss military units but this lot were evil and God only knows what would have happened:



< SS and Police

Representative of the Chief of the Security Police and SD in Great Britain: SS Standartenführer Prof. Dr. phil. Franz Alfred Six (In a document dated 17 September 1940, SS-Gruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, the Chief of the SD Main Office, appointed Six to this post and dictated his mission: "Your task is to combat, with the requisite means, all anti-German organizations, institutions, opposition, and opposition groups which can be seized in England, to prevent the removal of all available material, and to centralize and safeguard it for future exploitation. I designate the capital, London, as the location of your headquarters as Representative of the Chief of the Security Police and SD; and I authorize you to set up small action groups [Einsatzgruppen] in other parts of Great Britain as well as the situation dictates and the necessity arises.")>


The last bit above is scary and I quote:

< and I authorize you to set up small action groups [Einsatzgruppen] in other parts of Great Britain as well as the situation dictates and the necessity arises.")>


The 'Eisatzgruppen' for those who are not aware comprised teams of murdering death-squads who would have toured Britain executing en masse. This was how they performed in Russia.


Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

gkll
01-23-2008, 05:07 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Falklands! That was a near run thing, and, as usual, a false analogy because the fleet did have air cover, albeit, the appalling Harrier, which was not available in sufficient quantity to actually achieve air superiority---hence, the large losses in ships. If the RN had had the fleet carrier ARK ROYAL, which had been sold for scrap in 1980 by another cackbrained Labour govt, with her state-of-the-art Phantoms, the Argies likely would have been wasted without landing a single hit.

I did my graduate work in the Fisher period of the RN, and, later, Bomber Command. I also come from a U.S. Navy family. I am hardly predisposed to trash the RN. Correlli Barnett and the RN official historian, Stephen Roskill, who was in the Admiralty as an AA specialist in this period, both point to the RN's incapacity to repel air attack satisfactorily in 1940 and 1941. Of course, if you believe you are more knowledgeable than a naval officer who was there at the time, and was a specialist in AA defense---then you are a typical silly Ubizoo animal! Bon chance!

Who are you talking to? Me I guess. Where did I ever say the Brits were any good at anti-air? Quite the opposite, their HACS was a miserable 2d affair, quite inadequate. I know and agree that the lack of dual purpose main armament for destroyers was a serious lack, the 5.25s had a rather low rate of fire, and slow training and elevation, and was a disappointment in the anti-air role, etc etc. If you missed my earlier comments on this, then <you> are a typical ubizoo animal, scarcely reading the 'opponents' posts before rushing to post a great glop of a rebuttal. My point is that the RN would have accepted the losses, as they did at Dunkerque, Norway, Crete. Why is this so controversial to you? I dont get it.

I think I have also made clear that 10 and 12 group would have been used for anti-invasion, to cover the channel, this was the plan, no? So you would have limited to reasonable air cover for the RN under any possible scenario.

In the end we remain diametrically opposed... with my sense being that without any air support at all the RN could have beaten off an invasion attempt, and/or resupply. You don't agree, at all, you stated earlier they would not even try, so there we are. EDIT <Correlli Barnett made his views clear on the chance of an invasion succeeding if the RAF was driven out of southern England, he said not. Letter to the Telegraph late 2006, google will find it for you very easily I am sure, I ran into it almost immediately. So perhaps there is not after all a direct link between poor anti-air capability and the ability of a navy to secure a sea area>

I admit your constant invoking of terms such as 'rank amateur' 'ubizoo animal''...as usual, a false analogy...' etc gets under my skin, so if that was your intent good on you! In response I would suggest that you seem to have nothing to learn and everything to defend, that seems a poor basis for discussion. However we are all live human beings, free on the earth, so you can make your own choices.

MB_Avro_UK
01-23-2008, 07:03 PM
Hi all,

The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) that withdrew at Dunkirk left behind their equipment.

(The BEF only comprised 10% of the French and Belgian forces BTW).

How many tanks,anti-tank guns and machine guns were available for the British defence in June to September 1940?

Very little.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Xiolablu3
01-23-2008, 09:05 PM
Just to go back to the accusations about Dieppe/Canadians being used as 'Cannon Fodder' and Dunkirk/French being 2nd choice on the beaches :-


The Canadians were chosen for the Dieppe raid because of their continous annoyance at being left out of other battles, they were sriously desperate for 'a crack at Jerry' and were totally 'up for' the Dieppe raid. Mountbatton, a Greek, was in fact the instigator and biggest supporter of the raid, Montgomery and most British Officials wanted it cancelled. It was an unfortunate blow for the brave soldiers on the Dieppe raid, but for every life lost at Dieppe, hard lessons were learned for the future.

On the Dunkirk beaches :-

'In nine days, more than three hundred thousand (331,226) soldiers "” 192,226 British and 139,000 French "” were rescued from Dunkirk'.

Hmm the figures dont seem to support your claims that the French were 'used' to let the Brits escape, now does it?. Nearly as many French escaped to Britian as Brits!


Only Kurfy with his 'Anti British' stance could come up with those reasons for casualty figures. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

gkll
01-23-2008, 09:28 PM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
Hi all,

The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) that withdrew at Dunkirk left behind their equipment.

(The BEF only comprised 10% of the French and Belgian forces BTW).

How many tanks,anti-tank guns and machine guns were available for the British defence in June to September 1940?

Very little.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

This will officially turn me into a broken record....

The above post by MB makes the dispatch of a brigade of the latest cruiser and infantry tanks, including a couple of dozen 25lb field guns and 50 or 60 2pdr anti-tank guns, to Africa, in August, all the more surprising. No? I see a hint into the minds of the decision makers here. This was before it could have been known how the air battle would turn out.
?

gkll
01-23-2008, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:

I did my graduate work in the Fisher period of the RN, and, later, Bomber Command. I also come from a U.S. Navy family. I am hardly predisposed to trash the RN.

Maybe we are just misunderstanding one another. I never thought you were trashing the RN, i didn't feel that or think it, Im not responding to that either.

I have expertise in capital ship design in the Fisher era, when studying ship designs Fisher's name comes up repeatedly as directly influential on many specific classes of ships, Im sure you know them. The RN needed (badly) a shakeup and renovation, and Fisher with considerable resistance managed to achieve that. The fleet as it entered WW1 owed more to Fisher than anyone. However it was a fleet with a logical error built into the design and or tactics for the battlecruisers and to a lesser extent the battleships. "Something wrong with our bloody ships today...". However in the end Fisher IMO would be considered a strong positive influence on the Service, however like Churchill sometimes great men of strong opinion can do harm as good, Ratsack alludes to this in the case of Churchill, and he is right IMO.

Rambling, <and> badly OT n all

leitmotiv
01-24-2008, 12:35 AM
This is all vanity! I am pleased as Punch to be fighting back to back with Kurfurst after we have torn into each other like junkyard dawgs for months. Heah heah.

Kurfurst__
01-24-2008, 02:18 AM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:

How many tanks,anti-tank guns and machine guns were available for the British defence in June to September 1940?

Very little.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Churchill describes it as having only very little harware after Dunkerque, which makes me a bit suspicious about it, wheter or not its just not another self serving line from the Great Leader Who Saved His Nation In the Darkest Hours and Was Running For Election BTW. Of course the BEF came back from France with little else than those funny Tommy steel helmets, their trousers, shirts and their trusty BRENs and SMLEs, but OTOH in the meantime I am sure Britain did not stop producing tanks, guns and the like. Look at the production of Matilda IIs for example, there were only something like a dozen sent to France and consequently, lost.. Every army has considerable amount of arms in storage, especially if it`s a small army with a considerable industrial background to it. And while immidiately after Dunkerque - at when the Germans were still quite busy in France, as large part of the French army was still very much intact, though fighting a hopeless battle - the equipment situation was grim, I have some doubts, but no figures to support it, that it soon improved considerably. After all, the Germans spent June fighting the French, July was about little more than skirmishing over the La Manche, and the air war didn`t truely start until middle August, by which time the Germans still didn`t have any serious plan of execution for an invasion, and it was a more or less done deal that Russia needs to be dealt with.


Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
< and I authorize you to set up small action groups [Einsatzgruppen] in other parts of Great Britain as well as the situation dictates and the necessity arises.")>

The 'Eisatzgruppen' for those who are not aware comprised teams of murdering death-squads who would have toured Britain executing en masse. This was how they performed in Russia.

Eisatzgruppen simply means action groups, in plural, and of course German always uses capital for nouns, be it Table, Washing machine, or Action Groups. It has no other meaning than that. Yes in Russia there were Einsatzgruppen, but not The Einsatzgruppen performing ethnical/racial cleansing, as well of course there were other Einsatzgruppen for anti partisan operations and other specific duties. Of course its the murdering pat which got the term a bad name, but it simply means a group with a specific task to perform, not something like a sort of an organisation, as much as any British Army 'Squad' is not neccesarily a 'Firing Squad'. Lame linguestics on alien, sinister German words IMHO, and perhaps, a bit of an intended demagogy from the original authors I presume. That security services - the SD was the counter-intelligence organisation, look up Venlo incident for example - would follow an occupation army to prevent/squash potential resitance cells, well, I guess thats just the normal manner of things.




Originally posted by Xiolablu3...Mountbatton, a Greek...

Great find, it`s a pity we had no movies yet about 'Lord Battenberg, the Greek'. The guv'nor would be great for this role - Arnie has not yet in a historical/costume movie, and he would be a great choice, he has that that 'Greek look' you know. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif


Originally posted by Xiolablu3

'In nine days, more than three hundred thousand (331,226) soldiers "” 192,226 British and 139,000 French "” were rescued from Dunkirk'.

Hmm the figures dont seem to support your claims that the French were 'used' to let the Brits escape, now does it?. Nearly as many French escaped to Britian as Brits!

Nice copy paste job from wiki. But sometimes, it helps to read to whole article, ie. a couple of paragraph below :

The British rearguard departed the night of June 2, along with 60,000 French soldiers. An additional 26,000 French troops were retrieved the following night before the operation finally ended. Two French divisions remained behind to protect the evacuation. Though they halted the German advance, they were soon captured. The remainder of the rearguard, largely French, surrendered on June 3, 1940. The next day, the BBC reported, "Major-General Harold Alexander [the commander of the rearguard] inspected the shores of Dunkirk from a motorboat this morning to make sure no-one was left behind before boarding the last ship back to Britain.

British first, Frogs, Kiwis, Aussies, Greeks, Canucks second, expect when it`s about assualting German concreate bunkers in France, when it is reversed. Not that its that much of a news or unique, even in the ancient times, all great horse nomads worked like that, Huns, Mongols, Avars, and even our tribes had this 'subdued tribes first and last' policy.

My pleasure leit'. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

stathem
01-24-2008, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Yes in Russia there were Einsatzgruppen, but not The Einsatzgruppen performing ethnical/racial cleansing, as well of course there were other Einsatzgruppen for anti partisan operations and other specific duties.

same difference

leitmotiv
01-24-2008, 09:10 AM
Cheers, K. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Kernow
01-24-2008, 09:58 AM
According to Lt Col Eddy Bauer, 'History of WW2,' the paper strength of the defence on Crete was 42 500 men, of whom 10 300 were Greek. The core was provided by the ANZAC force, 6540 Aussies and 7700 Kiwis. These had already been evacuated once by the RN, from Attica. I doubt the land force commander, Freyberg - a New Zealander - ordered all the ANZACs to hold the perimeter while all the Brits were embarked. It seems to have been too chaotic for any such favouritism, anyway.

But, whatever the actual numbers, I think a Greek, Aussie, Kiwi etc had a far better chance of a place on an RN ship out of Crete, than a Hiwi had of a place on a Luftwaffe transport out of Stalingrad.

SeaFireLIV
01-24-2008, 10:07 AM
One always knows that if he sees a long thread that it doesn`t get juicy until around page 4. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Kernow
01-24-2008, 10:25 AM
Originally posted by gkll:
... My point is that the RN would have accepted the losses, as they did at Dunkerque, Norway, Crete...

I think I have also made clear that 10 and 12 group would have been used for anti-invasion, to cover the channel, this was the plan, no? So you would have limited to reasonable air cover for the RN under any possible scenario...
This seems a fairly convincing point, although I'm reluctant to disagree with Leit' as he always makes a sound arguement and seems especially well informed on naval matters (I see why now). If the RN prevented any sea-borne invasdion of Crete (as I think was said earlier) they must surely have done as well or better in the Channel where both air opposition and weather would be less favourable to the Germans. What factor in Germany's favour, not present at Crete, would so overturn the result if events had been repeated in the Channel?

But did the RN stop all the sea-borne troops getting through? I've just read a source that says they only inflicted small losses on the German convoys for the loss of several ships, and that had they stopped all the sea-borne invasion forces the end result might well have been different. I've got some more detailed sources I can check, but, from memory, I thought some Mountain troops were landed by boat(in the far west?) early on in the operation.

BOA_Allmenroder
01-24-2008, 11:55 AM
What's left out in all of this is the practical matter of getting across the Channel itself.

The German Army viewed the crossing as a complex river crossing, not a major naval operation.

Hence there planned use of towed barges, presumably filled with troops, AFVs, ammo, etc etc across the channel: a water feature renowed for it's predictable calm seas whether in summer or early/late fall. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

Further, assuming a safe towing speed of 3 to 5 kts, it would take 4 to 5 hours incrossing, not to mention convoy assembly time.

And, since you'd probably want to land at dawn, that means a night crossing and a late D-1 afternoon assembly.

Assuming the Brits did not detect such an assembly, you'd still have to make the crossing.

Now, I'm no naval expert, but towed, flat bottomed barges, probably would capsize if broadsided with any appreciable wake or wave.

The Brits, having a thing called a Navy, with big, fast vessels (compared to towed barges) probably wouldn't even have to fire many shots. Just racing ahead of the barges at oh, so 20-25kts, in Destroyer and above sized craft, would probably create wakes big enough to swamp/capsize many of the barges.

stathem
01-24-2008, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by BOA_Allmenroder:
What's left out in all of this is the practical matter of getting across the Channel itself.

The German Army viewed the crossing as a complex river crossing, not a major naval operation.

Hence there planned use of towed barges, presumably filled with troops, AFVs, ammo, etc etc across the channel: a water feature renowed for it's predictable calm seas whether in summer or early/late fall. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

Further, assuming a safe towing speed of 3 to 5 kts, it would take 4 to 5 hours incrossing, not to mention convoy assembly time.

And, since you'd probably want to land at dawn, that means a night crossing and a late D-1 afternoon assembly.

Assuming the Brits did not detect such an assembly, you'd still have to make the crossing.

Now, I'm no naval expert, but towed, flat bottomed barges, probably would capsize if broadsided with any appreciable wake or wave.

The Brits, having a thing called a Navy, with big, fast vessels (compared to towed barges) probably wouldn't even have to fire many shots. Just racing ahead of the barges at oh, so 20-25kts, in Destroyer and above sized craft, would probably create wakes big enough to swamp/capsize many of the barges.

Exactly so.

With the caveat - it wasn't simply 20 miles.

To quote from Sea Lion by Peter Fleming,



The nine divisions of the first wave were directed on the following objectives:

1) Four divisions of 16 Army, embarking at Rotterdam, Antwerp, Ostend, Dunkirk and Calais, were to land in the Folkstone-St Leonards area

2) Two divisions of 9 Army, embarking at Boulogne, were to land in the Bexhill-Eastbourne area.

3)Three divisions of 9 Army, embarking at Le Havre, were to land between Beachy Head and Brighton.

The shortest of those routes is Calais to Folkstone (beaches) at 32 nautical miles.

Dunkirk to Folkstone is 52 nautical miles.

Rotterdam to Folkstone is 128 nautical miles.

Boulogne to Bexhill is 49 nautical miles.

Le Havre to Beachy Head is 78 nautical miles.

..at 5 knots, ignoring tides and currents...

and the barges had to go back and forth to re-supply the beachheads

and none of the above divisions were carrying artillery; the job of artillery was supposed to be done by the Stukas..who were also tasked with stopping the RN...

..and the Luftwaffe would be all but useless during the hours of darkness.

Capital ships north of about the Wash would be out of range of Luftwaffe fighter cover but under the umbrella of 12 Group (assuming 11 group is incapacitated). Even if they did nothing but steam around in this area, the Luftwaffe would be obliged to try to stop them; without fighter cover, in the teeth of FC. But when darkness comes...

BOA_Allmenroder
01-24-2008, 02:04 PM
I agree. And even assuming the Lufwaffe/escorts were highly successful and sank 70-80% of British warships steaming near said convoy streams, well, you'd still have several large Naval vessels, at near flank speed, with very large wakes, upsetting the barges.

MB_Avro_UK
01-24-2008, 02:26 PM
Hi all,

Contributers to this thread have asked if Churchill took the invasion threat seriously.

Churchill ordered the formation of 'commandos' to attack German troops after an invasion.

They were mostly civilians who had firearm experience and were to be based in bunkers within woods or forests. Gamekeepers and poachers were among those selected.They were to live off the land.

I visited one of these bunkers in Suffolk last year that had been restored to its WW2 condition and spoke with one of the 'commandos'.

Here's a BBC link:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/2833133.stm

The organisation was secret during WW2 and only in the past few years has it been revealed. It was not a propaganda stunt by Churchill.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Kurfurst__
01-24-2008, 02:28 PM
It is amazing that all these difficulties escaped the attention of senior career officiers - in cases blessed with decades of first-hand experience on naval operations - of the Kriegsmarine. They were, perhaps, oblivious to the facts that are so obvious even to us, armchair historians on a discussion board. And yet, these professional soldiers would embark entire divisions onto river barges, and send them over the Channel, trusting in the protection offered by the Luftwaffe in contested airspace, during the daylight, while being completely aware of the eventual result of overwhelming enemy naval superiority.

Or so the story of Seelowe goes in British history books on the Battle, a 'very seriously intended' operation on the one hand, that is descirbed as a 'certain to end up in a disaster' on the other. Two things that escaped appearantly only the minds of those who were planning and supposedly seriously determined to execute them.

Believeable story, isn`t it.. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

gkll
01-24-2008, 02:37 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
This is all vanity! I am pleased as Punch to be fighting back to back with Kurfurst after we have torn into each other like junkyard dawgs for months. Heah heah.

So the olive branch is snatched out of my hand, snapped over Leit's knee and then he whacks me in the head with it. Well there you go, it <is> difficult to interpret just words on paper, without seeing the face or hearing the tone.... this crackling ether is not the best communication forum methinks

MB_Avro_UK
01-24-2008, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
It is amazing that all these difficulties escaped the attention of senior career officiers - in cases blessed with decades of first-hand experience on naval operations - of the Kriegsmarine. They were, perhaps, oblivious to the facts that are so obvious even to us, armchair historians on a discussion board. And yet, these professional soldiers would embark entire divisions onto river barges, and send them over the Channel, trusting in the protection offered by the Luftwaffe in contested airspace, during the daylight, while being completely aware of the eventual result of overwhelming enemy naval superiority.

Or so the story of Seelowe goes in British history books on the Battle, a 'very seriously intended' operation on the one hand, that is descirbed as a 'certain to end up in a disaster' on the other. Two things that escaped appearantly only the minds of those who were planning and supposedly seriously determined to execute them.

Believeable story, isn`t it.. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Valid points http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

But the Germans could pick their invasion day according to the weather. All that was needed was perhaps a six hour 'window' of calm weather to launch the invasion.

There are many,many calm sea days in the Channel during summer/Autumn.

In 1066 the Normans successfully invaded Britain with a fleet of sailing ships and none was lost due to weather.

The Romans did the same 2,000 years ago without loss.

And Dieppe?

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

gkll
01-24-2008, 02:54 PM
"The invasion called for 140,000 men (9 divisions) to be transported across the channel in river barges. Many of the Baltic barges sank in coastal waters while being transported to France. The river barges were far less seaworthy. The landing would require another 20,000 trained seamen to man all the vessels to transport the 9 divisions across the channel. The plan called for it being done at night, the column of barges going single file, going down the channel, then simultaneously turning to shore and heading to their beaches. The plan was to land along 275 miles of coastline. A barge pulling 2 of the tugs could move 2-3 knots. The current might move at 5 knots and it was estimated that it would take 30 hours of travel to cross the channel. The barges had such a low seaboard that the wash of a fast travelling ship would sink them. The UK DD's could sink a lot of the barges without firing a shot.

A trial was run, during daylight, in France. One single main exercise was carried out, just off Boulogne. Fifty vessels were used, and to enable the observers to actually observe, the exercise was carried out in broad daylight. (The real thing was due to take place at night/dawn, remember). The vessels marshalled about a mile out to sea, and cruised parallel to the coast. The aramada turned towards the coast (one barge capsizing, and another losing its tow) and approached and landed. The barges opened, and soldiers swarmed ashore. However, it was noted that the masters of the boats let the intervals between the vessels become wider and wider, because they were scared of collisions. Half the barges failed to get their troops ashore within an hour of the first troops, and over 10% failed to reach the shore at all. The troops in the barges managed to impede the sailors in a remarkable manner - in one case, a barge overturned because the troops rushed to one side when another barge "came too close". Several barges grounded broadside on, preventing the ramp from being lowered. In this exercise, carried out in good visibility, with no enemy, in good weather, after travelling only a short distance, with no navigation hazards or beach defences, less than half the troops were got ashore where they could have done what they were supposed to do. The exercise was officially judged to have been a "great success".

Let's talk about resupply. There were only enough life jackets for the first wave. Resupply would have to wait for these same barges to make it back to France, be loaded, and then sailed back."


Above may be discounted by whoever does not trust internet sources. However I have heard these same things in different terms from other sources.

gkll
01-24-2008, 03:01 PM
On German invasion training.

"The beach at Paris Plage, near Le Touquet was chosen, although it was rather gentle and welcoming sloping sand instead of the shingle and steep beaches to be encountered in England. On 17 August a demonstration was laid on for the Army High Command and the 16th Army sailed from Boulogne to land there in brilliant, peaceful sunshine. In spite of these perfect conditions things did not go smoothly. Some barges ran aground too far out to unload to unload their troops, others had trouble with the unloading ramps and everything moved too slowly."
Marix-Evans 'Invasion!'

"And nobody knew how the great fleet of barges would have succeeded in landing. Here was another horribly complex operation that could never be rehearsed in full. Such small rehearsals as were made were not encouraging. Early in September 1940, Captain Puttkamer, Hitlers naval adjutant, reported that he had witnessed a recent exercise near Boulogne in which landing barges drawn by tugs had been thrown into complete disorder by the tide."
Robinson 'Invasion, 1940'

More reality on the German paper plans.

"The German navy worked out - on paper - a move that was brutally simple. A transport fleet approaches England, following the swept route that takes it parallel to the coastline and about ten miles out to sea. When its commander calculates that the fleet is opposite its landing zone, he orders every tug unit to turn right, simultaneously. (few tugs had radio. The order would be given by the blinking of green lights and by megaphone.) The tugs now are battling the falling tide.
Walter Ansel [Admiral U.S.N.] has made a study of this manoeuvre. His comment:

Imagine turning one hundred barge tows, three or four abreast, from column into line, off a hostile shore in the dark of night, with a raging power of three or four knots at your command!

The tows would take at least two hours to approach the shore, under fire all the time. To avoid grounding, each tug would have to release its barges well offshore; this would leave one underpowered barge chugging to the beach while the unpowered barge accepted what help it could find. One suggestion was that cutters or motorboats be lashed alongside the barge. Its final approach would be desperately slow and painfully exposed to shore artillery."

Robinson 'Invasion, 1940'

Took like 5 minutes to find these. Do not have the original sources, no.

leitmotiv
01-24-2008, 03:59 PM
I knew a Belfastine lawyer whose dignity had been injured by her Yank boyfriend. She was barred from entry into his London flat where he and another Yank (ex-German from Berlin who was also an ex-American football player) were gloating. She crashed down the door with a knife in her teeth, went over the Yank-German like a tank and had her boyfriend pinned on the floor in a blink of an eye. Only the quick-witted action by the Yank-German saved the boyfriend from a fate worse than death. Now she was a petite thing, not a workout queen with muscles. Consider what the Germans were facing if they ran into a couple million of her.

MB_Avro_UK
01-24-2008, 04:34 PM
Interesting posts gkll http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

So why was so much time and effort spent to make a massive invasion fleet?

Was it a propaganda stunt by Hitler?

Many people have swum across the channel. They have picked a good 'weather window'. The Channel is NOT the Atlantic.

I have crossed the Channel many times in a ferry. I have also sailed in a yacht in the Channel. The Channel is not a killer of small boats.

The decisive factor was the RAF in 1940 and NOT the weather.

The Luftwaffe for the first time in their history met a defensive system for which they were not prepared.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

gkll
01-24-2008, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
Interesting posts gkll http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

So why was so much time and effort spent to make a massive invasion fleet?

Was it a propaganda stunt by Hitler?

Many people have swum across the channel. They have picked a good 'weather window'. The Channel is NOT the Atlantic.

I have crossed the Channel many times in a ferry. I have also sailed in a yacht in the Channel. The Channel is not a killer of small boats.

The decisive factor was the RAF in 1940 and NOT the weather.

The Luftwaffe for the first time in their history met a defensive system for which they were not prepared.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Was it an elaborate propaganda stunt? No, I doubt it very much. I believe something much more subtle occured. With Hitler demanding, and the army going 'thats right! Thats right!" to everything the boss said, the navy was in the impossible situation of being the 'downer' boys. Go to a planning meeting. The army briefs the boss, things are going splendidly, X troops nearly in position, getting the supplies lined up, etc etc. Excellent. The boss looks across the room at the navy boys... his eyebrows go up. The navy looks down, they exchange glances. "well sir, we have a problem with these planned landing areas... we can't do that..." The bosses eyebrows go down, the army guys exchange knowing looks.... and the navy knows they have yet more bad news to come....

Sure the above never happened, but I think something like this dynamic was in play. We have heard elsewhere in this thread reference to the state of mind of the Germans at that point. A glorious victory.... France rolled up, the low countries, Poland. And on this victorious wave we have the navy, whining about 'tides' and 'logistics' and 'risk', who <cares> about the f**in RN....! we are the invincible blitzkreig Wermacht, who are these losers, they must be on some <other> team. etc.

So the navy did their best, they put everything in place that was physically possible, reading I did some time ago on the German invasion prep and I recall maximum effort being applied.

That does not mean at all that the Kreigsmarine ever really believed it was much of a plan. But how could they say that?

No the channel is not lethal to small boats. However river barges are not boats, they are river barges. Why I posted the above, to show the difference, the challenge. They could barely manage the things in their training exercises.

Not surprising, the allies spent years developing tactics and equipment to make landings a viable act of war against modern weapons.

It would probably surprise some here to know that I fully agree the achievement of the RAF was significant. It was IMO one of the earlier examples of leveraging technology to get tactical intell, and using the intell directly and effectively. Good job.

This whole argument, RN and RAF, is like some schemes of armoring ships, you got a couple sometimes 3 layers of armor over something vital like the engines. If the shell doesn't even get through the first layer (RAF)there is little to say about the second (RN). Even if the second might have stopped the shell all on its own, easily. This is not a problem, the 'silent service' is used to this, it goes back centuries. Wellington this, Wolfe that blah blah blah... par for the course, expected. However if it is denied that they (the navy) were in fact a solid second defense, well backs go up. That series of arguments in the Telegraph from late 2006 is interesting, I didn't know such things reached the public realm in the UK, us Canucks rarely have such things surface.

gkll
01-25-2008, 12:05 AM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
It is amazing that all these difficulties escaped the attention of senior career officiers - in cases blessed with decades of first-hand experience on naval operations - of the Kriegsmarine. They were, perhaps, oblivious to the facts that are so obvious even to us, armchair historians on a discussion board. And yet, these professional soldiers would embark entire divisions onto river barges, and send them over the Channel, trusting in the protection offered by the Luftwaffe in contested airspace, during the daylight, while being completely aware of the eventual result of overwhelming enemy naval superiority.

Or so the story of Seelowe goes in British history books on the Battle, a 'very seriously intended' operation on the one hand, that is descirbed as a 'certain to end up in a disaster' on the other. Two things that escaped appearantly only the minds of those who were planning and supposedly seriously determined to execute them.

Believeable story, isn`t it.. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I read this three times and I still can't discern your point exactly. <I think> you mean that you agree with Von Rundstedt who you mentioned earlier called Sealion a 'joke'. So you think it was propaganda....? Or what?

I can see clearly enough that you think BOB itself is a non-event, an artificial construct of Brit propaganda, however I am still not clear whether you think Sealion was a viable act of war in fall '40, say with 11 group knocked out and the radar in ruins.

Ratsack
01-25-2008, 12:29 AM
Originally posted by gkll:
...

Was it an elaborate propaganda stunt? No, I doubt it very much. I believe something much more subtle occured.

I agree so far.


With Hitler demanding, and the army going 'thats right! Thats right!" to everything the boss said, the navy was in the impossible situation of being the 'downer' boys. Go to a planning meeting. The army briefs the boss, things are going splendidly, X troops nearly in position, getting the supplies lined up, etc etc. Excellent. The boss looks across the room at the navy boys... his eyebrows go up. The navy looks down, they exchange glances. "well sir, we have a problem with these planned landing areas... we can't do that..." The bosses eyebrows go down, the army guys exchange knowing looks.... and the navy knows they have yet more bad news to come....

Sure the above never happened, but I think something like this dynamic was in play.

This is where we diverge, but probably not for the reasons you think. I've got to go now, but as I said before, I'll come back to the matter of German planning and the inter service dynamics.

The reason I am stressing this issue is because what actually happened in OKW, OKH, OKL, OKM and in Hitler's head is just so bizarre it almost beggars belief.

More later.

cheers,
Ratsack

luftluuver
01-25-2008, 02:28 AM
Originally posted by gkll:
I can see clearly enough that you think BOB itself is a non-event, an artificial construct of Brit propaganda, however I am still not clear whether you think Sealion was a viable act of war in fall '40, say with 11 group knocked out and the radar in ruins.
A excuse is needed because his super uber German Third Reich had their butts handed to them by his despised British and his much hated Supermarine Spitfire, with help from the lowly Hawker Hurricane.

HuninMunin
01-25-2008, 04:34 AM
Is that the same Reich wich devastated the British Army in a matter of weeks?

The Luftwaffe's defeat caused by the RAF was tremendous back then - because it was able to achive something unheard of until then - it survived the Third Reichs onslaught.
This gave hope to millions of opressed and conquered people.

By the numbers it was much more a draw then any decisive battle with a clear winner on the battlefield.

But it was a victory in the fight for freedom.
It was the sudden event of something surviving.
Thereign lies the importance of the RAF's success to hold out.

Now the actual invasion was an impossible undertaking - and it was called that by the majority of officers.
There was no way the Kriegsmarine could atempt a succesfull landing operation and by the month of September you have Hitler raging to take on the personal task it was all about for him - Russia.
Sealion was the most improbable operation the Wehrmacht ever was to carry out - and this view doesn't come from hindsight.
It was apparent to every single Kapitän and Leutnant.
Sealion was about one thing only - make apparent to Britain that it would be very much in their favor to lay down the arms.
Hitler was never obsessed with Britain in a way that he was f.e. with France ( retaliation for the Great War ) or Poland ( gain of lost earth )
or Russia ( Ideology ).
Sealion was to be the gun on Britains chest.
The big "or else".


I think the reason you are so afraid and reluctant to this thought is not some agenda you believe to see in other forum users.
In your eyes the fact that the dawning doomsday of England was probably only an illusion would belittle the effords of the RAF in that bloody summer.
It does not.
Those brave and in many ways poor young men died
to send a signal to the world.
And in my book this is an elevating thought.
Certaintly more meaningfull then counting inflicted damage.

hop2002
01-25-2008, 06:04 AM
Maybe. Two things I wonder about. One being will the Luftwaffe do while they are sitting ducks in port, and how will they chase off the Luftwaffe, replenish at port, and harass German barges, destroyers and Uboots at the same time..?

With over 60 destroyers, quite a few cruisers and several battleships I suspect they'd take it in turns returning to port.

And what is the Luftwaffe going to be doing? As well as doing what the Kriegsmarine cannot, and fighting the RN, it also has to keep the RAF suppressed, and provide tactical bombing support for the German army.

Somehow I think they'd have their hands full, too.


At Crete, IIRC a whole flottila of them was driven back by a single Italian DD, as the RN DDs were concerned about being out of AAA rounds, to much surprise of the Italians.

Driven back by a single destroyer? Of the two invasion convoys encountered, the first was smashed with most of the boats sunk (some escaped by fleeing north in the dark).

Titterton in The Royal Navy in the Mediterranean gives details of the actions regarding the second convoy:


At 1000/22nd, Force C (4 cruisers, 3 destroyers) was 25 miles south of Milo. Naiad (cruiser) was some way astern of the remainder, being heavily attacked by aircraft. Ten minutes later an enemy torpedo boat, the Sagittario, with four or five caiques, was sighted to the northward. The British destroyers gave chase, while the Perth and Naiad engaged the torpedo boat, which opened fire when within 8,000 yards but shortly broke off the action and retired behind smoke. Force C was by now running short of AA ammunition, and air attacks were incessant. It's speed was limited, owing to the Carlisle being limited to 21 knots. For these reasons Admiral King considered that he would jeopardise his whole force if he proceeded further north, and he therefore decided to withdraw to the westwards and ordered the destroyers to abandon the chase. A signal from the C in C which showed that this convoy, of which Admiral King had only engaged a part, was of considerable size, was not seen by him until 1100. During its withdrawal to the westward, Force C was continuously bombed for three and a half hours, the Naiad having two turrets put out of action and several compartments flooded as a result of near misses. Altogether it was estimated that during two hours 181 bombs were aimed at the Naiad. The Carlisle was hit, and her commanding officer, Captain T C Hampton was killed, but the shop herself was not seriously damaged.

He then writes that Force C met up with Force A and B, the Warspite was hit, and two hours later the cruisers Gloucester and Fiji were detached to support destroyers which had been sent to pick up survivors from the Greyhound. It was whilst on detached duty that Fiji and Gloucester were sunk.

Cunningham and the Admiralty both criticised King for not following the German convoy north, but acknowledged that King had prevented them from reaching Crete.

Breaking off the action as the enemy retreats is not the same as being "driven off".


Then perhaps Barnett is manipulating his numbers a bit, as there were 15000 British, 7100 Australian, 6700 New Zealanders, and 11 000 Greeks on Crete when the Germans attack begun. Ie. 40 000 men. ~16k evacuated, not a shining record actually.

Well, the "evacuation" doesn't count those men taken off early in the action. (there were men who had previously been evacuated from Greece and weren't part of the garrison of Crete.

George Forty in the Battle of Crete gives a figure of 13,800 killed, wounded and captured out of a total garrison of 31,800.


It would appear the Royal Navy cared about Greeks, Aussies and NZs as much as Barnett and you do.

Don't ascribe your view to others.


Well to me it seems tha majority of losses occured on three subsequent days, you can split hairs if you want, I don`t give a damn.

Well, you initially claimed the losses and damaged occured over a period of two days. The losses and damage occured on the following days:

21st May Destroyer Juno sunk
22nd Destroyer Greyhound, Cruisers Gloucester and Fiji sunk
23rd Destroyers Kashmir and Kelly sunk
26th Carrier Formidable and destroyer Nubian damaged
27th Battleship Barham damaged
28th Cruiser Ajax and destroyer Imperial damaged
29th Destroyer Imperial, damaged on the 28th, was scuttled. Destroyer Hereward sunk.
30th Cruiser Perth damaged
1st June Cruiser Calcutta sunk.

(I have added the ships damaged on days when no ships were destroyed, the list therefore isn't a complete list of damaged ships)

I make that ships damaged and destroyed on 9 separate days over a 12 day period, as against your claim:

9 warships were sunk and 18 damaged within a couple of days,


As noted they weren`t particularly trying hard - quite simply RN capitol ships were not primary targets - but how about Jellicoe`s beached iron whale?

Well, just from memory I know of 3 occasions on which Warspite was damaged by German bombing.


Actually it`s funny to watch you boast about the 2 'sunken' Kriegsmarine BBs by the RAF during WW2 (took them a few years trying didn`t it..? Wink Gneisenau wasn`t sunk either, and both were hit while on anchor/in dock) and now this line about the 'not exactly a brilliant record for 6 years of war' if it`s the same thing from the other side, though with much less effort spent on.

Well, it's still infinitely better than the Luftwaffe's record in sinking RN battleships, isn't it? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Truth is, of course, the Germans had only 4 battleships and kept them in port as much as possible, so not that much opportunity for the RAF. But perhaps you are right. If the RN had kept their capital ships in port all the time, rather than using them, the Luftwaffe might have had a better time of it.


Lame linguestics on alien, sinister German words IMHO, and perhaps, a bit of an intended demagogy from the original authors I presume.

Nice to see you giving the benefit of the doubt to the Nazis.

In fact the C in C of the German army, Walther von Brauchitsch, ordered that all able bodied males in Britain between 17 and 45 were to be interned and sent to the continent.

luftluuver
01-25-2008, 06:39 AM
Force C was continuously bombed for three and a half hours, the Naiad having two turrets put out of action and several compartments flooded as a result of near misses. Altogether it was estimated that during two hours 181 bombs were aimed at the Naiad.
Now that is some accuracy by Kurfurst's uber LW. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif Lucky the German submarine U-565 was around to finally sink the Naiad.


Apart from the heavy losses inflicted by comperatively few aircraft sorties on the RN
So 3 1/2 hours is few sorties by Kurfursts? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

hop2002
01-25-2008, 06:42 AM
It is amazing that all these difficulties escaped the attention of senior career officiers - in cases blessed with decades of first-hand experience on naval operations - of the Kriegsmarine. They were, perhaps, oblivious to the facts that are so obvious even to us, armchair historians on a discussion board. And yet, these professional soldiers would embark entire divisions onto river barges, and send them over the Channel, trusting in the protection offered by the Luftwaffe in contested airspace, during the daylight, while being completely aware of the eventual result of overwhelming enemy naval superiority.

Or so the story of Seelowe goes in British history books on the Battle, a 'very seriously intended' operation on the one hand, that is descirbed as a 'certain to end up in a disaster' on the other. Two things that escaped appearantly only the minds of those who were planning and supposedly seriously determined to execute them.

The difference between us and them is that we not only know German capabilities, we know the RN's, too. We also know the capability of the RAF and Luftwaffe, and what actually happened, rather than what Goering was assuring everybody was going to happen.

After all, we know that Goering's plan of smashing the RAF in a week, which he began in mid August, was an abject failure. The Germans didn't. All those senior career officers, oblivious to the facts that are so apparent to us, not just in theory, but in the historical record.

I've no doubt the Kriegsmarine didn't want their part of Sea Lion. But with the Luftwaffe and army ready, the Kriegsmarine cannot simply refuse to take part. Still, I'm sure they were relieved when, according to the KM war diary:


The enemy Air Force is still by no means defeated. On the contrary, it shows increasing activity. The weather situation as a whole does not permit us to expect a period of calm ... The Fuehrer therefore decides to postpone "Sea Lion" indefinitely.


What was in my mind was the concept that when you hold back something as a threat ('we will invade you, if necessary') then it must be a credible threat. If it becomes apparent, to the 'threatener', that it is not really on at some point, it moves into the realm of 'bluff'. If it entered Hitler's thinking somewhere in Sept that an invasion was not possible, it becomes a bonafide 'bluff'.

Sea Lion certainly became a bluff in September or October. But that was after the failure to win air superiority.

All the German planning required a Luftwaffe victory, because the Luftwaffe was required to fulfil so many tasks. It had to keep the RAF away from the German troops ashore and ships at sea. It had to keep the RN away from the German ships and beachheads. It had to keep RAF fighters away from its own bombers and transport aircraft, and it had to fulfil the role of flying artillery for the German army who would be short of real artillery. The lessons of the fighting up to mid September were that even concentrating on the RAF, the Luftwaffe was losing far too many bombers, and operations were severely restricted by the need to provide escorts to the bombers.

The withdrawal of Stukas from the battle due to losses sustained proved that the Luftwaffe could not fulfil their duties without air superiority.

But Sea Lion certainly did not start out as a bluff. It could perhaps be described as a contingency plan, in the same way that US plans to invade Japan in 1945 were a contingency. In both cases senior planners hoped that an invasion would not be necessary, that airpower alone would end the war.

The difference between the two cases is that against Japan airpower worked so well it ended the war without need for an invasion, against Britain German airpower failed and made an invasion impossible.


But did the RN stop all the sea-borne troops getting through? I've just read a source that says they only inflicted small losses on the German convoys for the loss of several ships, and that had they stopped all the sea-borne invasion forces the end result might well have been different. I've got some more detailed sources I can check, but, from memory, I thought some Mountain troops were landed by boat(in the far west?) early on in the operation.

Certainly there were no troops landed by sea early in the operation. There's a possibility some might have been landed after the decision to evacuate Crete had been taken, but I haven't even seen a claim for that.

Blutarski2004
01-25-2008, 08:07 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Now she was a petite thing, not a workout queen with muscles.


...... Maybe so, but she was a LAWYER!

Blutarski2004
01-25-2008, 08:35 AM
All this discussion about the LW versus battleships omits two questions.

How often did allied BB's appear in areas of contested airspace?

What were the principal LW operational targets? For example, if the aim of the operation was to deny supplies to Malta, escorting BBs would not have been a priority target.

- - -

The attack on the HMS Illustrious demonstrates that the LW (at least the "professional" LW anti-shipping units of 1941/42) was capable of making effective attacks upon allied capital ships. Illustrious was so badly damaged that she had to put into Malta for emergency repairs before she could return to Gibraltar. As it was, she had shipped so much water that it proved impossible to get her into drydock. Without question, putting into Malta was an act of desperate necessity to save the ship.

6 hits in a single 40 plane attack under combat conditions is highly accurate dive-bombing performance by anyone's standards.

leitmotiv
01-25-2008, 09:59 AM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Now she was a petite thing, not a workout queen with muscles.


...... Maybe so, but she was a LAWYER! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Absolutely! And, a mad dog feminist in the bargain!

thefruitbat
01-25-2008, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Now she was a petite thing, not a workout queen with muscles.


...... Maybe so, but she was a LAWYER! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Absolutely! And, a mad dog feminist in the bargain! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

A mad dog feminist lawyer, what a combo!!

was she a traffic wardern in her spare time http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

fruitbat

Kernow
01-25-2008, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by gkll:
However if it is denied that they (the navy) were in fact a solid second defense, well backs go up. That series of arguments in the Telegraph from late 2006 is interesting, I didn't know such things reached the public realm in the UK, us Canucks rarely have such things surface.

gkll, apparently the whole 'RN won the BoB' started with an article by a journalist, Brian James, in History Today magazine. Much of his article relied heavily on interviews and publications by the senior Maritime, Air and Land Warfare historians at the Joint Services Command & Staff college, Dr Andrew Gordon, Dr Christina Goulter and Professor Gary Sheffield.

Coincidentally, today I came across an article by Christina Goulter, with an introduction by Gary Sheffield, and - perhaps not surprisingly - it seems none of them ever claimed any such thing. I'll start with the main points from Professor Sheffield's introduction:

"... all three of us recognized that defeat of the Luftwaffe by the RAF's Fighter Command was a critical factor in preventing German invasion. Moreover, this victory was of enormous strategic, political and psycological importance for which fighter Command deserves full credit.

"However, we all believe, as did Churchill, in adopting a holistic view of Britain's defences in 1940. This must include... the role of Bomber & Coastal Commands, the RN, land forces, as well as Fighter Command...

"In truth, the notion that in John Keegan's view 'some 2500 young pilots had alone been responsible for preserving Britain from invasion' has long been disputed by historians. As far back as 1958, Duncan Grinnel-Milne made the case for the principle role of the RN in preventing invasion, and two years later Capn Stephen Roskill... argued for the primacy of 'lack of adequate [German] instruments of sea power'... Wg Cdr H R Allen, himself a Spitfire pilot... defined the Battle widely... and concluded the importance of the air and maritime dimensions had been respectively exagerated and underestimated.

"A particulary interesting take... a 1974 Kriegspiel... With British and German officers as participants... umpires icluding 1940 veterans Adolf Galland and Friedrich Ruge, the game supposes and invasion is launched before the Luftwaffe gains air supremacy (v Manstein thought they'd have a much better chance of doing so if thefight was over the Channel & invasion beaches rather than inland over 11 Gp bases, Kernow). The umpires' unanimous opinion was that the Germans would get some troops ashore... Eventually, the RN destroys the German second echelon in the Channel, condemning the invasion to failure. In 2003 a scholarly work on the RN contended that, 'from June 1940 to June 1941 the Home Fleet was the last line of defence in British strategy'... Thus, far from being a novel idea, the defence of Britain in 1940 has been a live topic of debate for at least 50 years.

"A response to Brian James' article and the media distortions has been published by the RUSI Journal and History Today and a copy... can be found on the RUSI Journal website. The response from Christina Goulter, the Air Warfare historian is reproduced below."

I'll have a go at that later.

---------------------------------

Hop, I've not forgotten about Crete. Admit my original impression was similar to yours: RN destroyed or scattered almost all attempts and couldn't have done much more. Lt Col Bauer says in his History that the RN didn't achieve a lot for the losses they took and that if they had stopped all sea landings the outcome would have been different... but he doesn't say who landed - then, it's a general WW2 history and not Crete specific.

MB_Avro_UK
01-25-2008, 06:30 PM
Good post hop http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

<But Sea Lion certainly did not start out as a bluff. It could perhaps be described as a contingency plan, in the same way that US plans to invade Japan in 1945 were a contingency. In both cases senior planners hoped that an invasion would not be necessary, that airpower alone would end the war.

The difference between the two cases is that against Japan airpower worked so well it ended the war without need for an invasion, against Britain German airpower failed and made an invasion impossible.>

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

leitmotiv
01-25-2008, 07:39 PM
I am a little incredulous at this insistence of planting a happy face on Crete. The Royal Navy stomped the attempt to land troops by sea, but, in the process, the ships were caught the next by by air units which inflicted more damage than was worth the price of this venture. The evacuation exposed the fleet to more damage. Crete was a disaster for the fleet---not my opinion but that of Andrew Cunningham who commanded the Med Fleet, and who resisted the defense of Crete tooth and nail until overruled by Churchill. What in the world did Crete achieve except to leave a lingering bad taste in the mouths of Kiwis for generations, and to litter the floor of the Med with sunk British ships, and fill the shipyards with damaged warships? Cunningham spent the rest of 1941 repairing the damage only to lose QUEEN ELIZABETH and VALIANT to Italian "mules," and permanently lose BARHAM to a German torpedo in the fall.

Xiolablu3
01-26-2008, 05:19 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
. What in the world did Crete achieve except to leave a lingering bad taste in the mouths of Kiwis for generations, .

Interesting, can you elaborate on this liet?

I have no knowledge of this, and little knowledge of the Crete saga.

Kernow
01-26-2008, 08:26 AM
Here are extracts from the main article I mentioned previously:

"... In attempting to explain what caused the German hierarchy to postpone, indefinately, their plans to invade Britain in the late summer of 1940, the historian's task is made comparatively easy by the existence of a number of unassailable facts. Most importantly, there is a clear causal connection between the Luftwaffe's failure to achieve air superiority and failure to force Britain into submission through bombing, coupled with a sustained assault on enemy ports by Bomber Command and aggressive anti-shipping and patrol work carried out by Coastal Command, and Hitler's decision to postpone indefinately and then cancel Operation Sea Lion.

"In order to prove the causal link between the RAF's victory... and Hitler's decision to... abandon plans to invade Britain, we must... begin with the Germans' own threat assesments and decision making in the months leading up to the Luftwaffe's air assault on Britain. Meaningful planning for an invasion did not commence until after... the French surrender off 22 June 1940. Prior to that... studies by the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe were dismissed by Hitler, who argued that the risks... were far too great. Up until the beginning of July 1940 Hitler and other leading party members remained confident of a political solution to the 'British problem'... Evident from a memo of 30 June by... Maj-Gen Jodl, Chief of the Wehrmacht's operations staff: 'If political measures do not succeed, England's will to resist must be broken by force'. Of particular importance... Jodl identified the elimination of the RAF as key to defeating Britain, and that an invasion would only be attempted as a last resort... dependent on the Luftwaffe achieving air superiority. Therefore, it is clear Jodl and others regarded invasion as a coup de grace after the Luftwaffe had rendered Britain defenceless.

"A Directive... 2 July... Hitler was also subscribing to the view that attaining air superiority was the most important prerequisite for an invasion, but Hitler's lack of enthusiasm for an amphibious landing was also implicit in his decision making: 'The Fuhrer and Supreme Commander has decided that a landing in England is possible, providing that air superiority can be attained and other certain... conditions fulfilled. The date... still uncertain'... But... plain that preparations... not gone beyond the planning stages. The Kriegsmarine... concluded an invasion would be a difficult and dangerous undertaking.

"... Another Kriegsmarine assesment... July, concluded it was inadvisable to launch Operation Sea Lion before 1941. But, more ominously for the Wehrmacht... unable to protect a Channel crossing from attacks by the RN... not only capital ships, but also the flotilla of 800 or so fast attack craft... By the end of July... von Brauchitsch and... Halder, agreed that the Wehrmacht could not carry out its part of Sea Lion 'on the basis of the resources furnished by the Navy'.

"By 31 July enthusiasm for the invasion was at a low ebb... Raeder informed Hitler that the Navy's preparations... could not be concluded before the middle of September... Also the day that Hitler issued... Directive No 17 instructing the Luftwaffe to commence its air assault on Britain. If the results of the air campaign were satisfactory, then an invasion would take place... after mid-September, but if the RAF could not be defeated, then preparations... would cease... 1 August a new Directive instructed the Luftwaffe to defeat the RAF 'with all means at its disposal'. What this decision making demonstrates is that Hitler and the Wehrmacht and the Kriegsmarine all regarded the Luftwaffe as the principal instrument for defeating Britain in 1940.

"... perhaps most striking of all is Jodl's belief that the RAF posed not merely a tactical or operational threat to Geraman aspirations in Europe, but that its very existence threatened Germany at a fundamental, strategic level... 'The war against the British air force must be the very first task in order to reduce and finally to stop the destruction of the foundation of our war economy'. In other words the successful outcome of the air campaign launched against Britain meant everything to the Germans. They saw a clear connection between the RAF's survival and Britain's survival, and that an intact Britain spelled the end of Germany's long-term ambitions. (Neglecting to subdue Britain being Hitler's 'big error of judgement' according to v Manstein, Kernow). In retrospect, with the full weight of evidence at our disposal, we know that this judgement was correct.

"The direct connection between the RAF's efforts and the German decision to postpone Sea Lion also cannot be easily disputed. Although the RAF as a whole lost 1535 aircrew... 10 July-31 October... the Luftwaffe lost 2662. Crucially... the Luftwaffe suffered the greatest losses in the month leading up to 15 September. It lost 1132 aircrew and 862 aircraft. While losses across all RAF Commands are difficult to discern... Fighter Command had 201 killed and 493 aircraft... lost. German intelligence... had sufficient material... to know that Fighter Command had not been beaten. (... Fighter Command was almost fatally weakened... not appreciated...) This partial intelligence understanding prompted Hitler to order the Luftwaffe to redirect its attacks... on the cities, especially London in the hope of delivering a finishing blow to British morale.

"For a week after the change in German strategy, preparations were still underway for an invasion. On 17 September... Hitler postponed Operation Sea Lion indefinately. In the intervening time... PRU revealed... 1600 invasion craft... between Boulogne and Antwerp... SIGINT revealed a new invasion support organization... on a high state of readiness. In light of these two major sources of intelligence, Coastal Command was tasked with continuous patrol work... in the Channel... Bomber command directed to attack the German occupied ports... Although post-war... research showed that only 10-12% of the German invasion fleet had been destroyed... Germans were sufficiently startled... to begin withdrawing... to German ports... Significantly... reports were sent to Berlin by both Wehrmacht and Naval High Command.

"Hitlers decision to postpone Operation Sea Lion also followed some of the Luftwaffe's heaviest casualties... over England...

"By 10 September, the Luftwaffe's High Command staff were reappraising the air situation, and concluded that Britain... would be able to hold out until either the Luftwaffe was destroyed or the US intervened... The significance of [this] assesment... should not be underestimated... Georing remained outwardly optimistic... Hitler and other senior command figures were more cautious. On 14 September Hitler stated that one of the reasons he had not officially cancelled Sea Lion was... to maintain the psychological pressure on the British...

"Thus, by the middle of September 1940, not only had the Luftwaffe failed to achieve air superiority, identified as the chief prerequisite of an invasion, but the British people refused to be cowed into submission.

"These basic facts, plus shows of force and tenacity by Bomber and Coastal Command, all fed into German decision making... While the RN had been a major concern to both the Wehrmacht and the Kriegsmarine... and remained an underlying deterent, the campaign, and arguably the whole war's, fulcrum was in the air".

Dr Christina Goulter

So:<UL TYPE=SQUARE>
Before the fall of France there were no plans for any invasion.

During July the Germans hoped for a political settlement, but started looking at an invasion.

Hitler, and others, were never enthusiastic about an amphibious invasion, but if air superiority could be gained it would 'on' as the final blow to a defeated enemy.

At the start of Aug the LW were ordered to crush the RAF by all means at their disposal.

By 14 Sep (or a little earlier) Hitler realized Sea Lion was 'off' but still hoped the psychological pressure might work. A few days later it was officially 'off'.

During Aug/early Sep an invasion was a real possibility. The LW's failure to defeat the RAF meant it never happened.

Whether Hitler would have given the order, had the LW succeeded, can't be certain, given his attitude to the British Empire and his initial lack of enthusiasm. Likewise, the success of the venture can not be knowable, but it must surely have resulted in very heavy casualties for the invasion forces and the RN. [and my guess is the invasion would fail - but much would depend on how much air superiority/supremacy the LW gained and how many weeks of good weather remained][/list]

MB_Avro_UK
01-26-2008, 06:32 PM
Hi all,

It seems from reading these posts that defeat of the RAF was paramount.

I suggest that the defeat of the RAF or their withdrawl to northern bases would have caused a political collapse for Churchill.

Luftwaffe Bommbers would have had a free target opportunity over the politically sensitive London area.

Churchill would perhaps have lost his position to someone such as Lord Halifax who was a pacifist and perhaps a German sympathiser.

Also, the invasion threat was real at that time.

Let's not forget that this was the first time that the Nazis had been stopped. The Nazis were not destroyed but it was a victory for Europe.

I sympathise with the LW aircrews who had to do a difficult job. But the RAF pilots did their best.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

gkll
01-26-2008, 10:14 PM
That RUSI site Kernow is quoting from also has a viewpoint from the navy and the army, read them.

Funny how we all read the same stuff and still see different things. Had Group 11 failed, had the Brits then <sued for peace>!, then I think that the RN types would have spent the next few centuries periodically writing bitter rebuttals to <that> Government decision. Sealion was not a viable act of war, the RN must have fairly quickly sorted this out. If this understanding hadn't made its way up the chain.... wow.

Ratsack quoted Brooke on the navy advice, who was this? and who else might have weighed in had it looked like the government was seeking peace? You have to think someone from the RN would point out that all was far from lost if the RAF was having a rough time in the south.....?

I have quotes establishing the RN destroyer captains view of a possible invasion, no apprehension but a real appreciation for the difficulties facing the Germans, and a sincere hope that they 'try it'. The RN knew, would they speak? and be listened to?

gkll
01-26-2008, 10:25 PM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
I suggest that the defeat of the RAF or their withdrawl to northern bases would have caused a political collapse for Churchill.


Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

The plan was for a withdrawl to northern bases. There was no 'defeat' of the RAF.

That said I am curious, you think the British government, <whoever it was>, would have ignored centuries of leaning on the RN as a 'sure shield'? They would have folded and sued for peace in the case of loss of Group 11? I don't have enough background in Brit politics to assess this, but my gut reaction is it seems unlikely.

If Halifax was some kind of fascist..... well there you go, that might do it