Why Operation Sealion would always have failed

  1. Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner He's a very naughty boy! Staff Member

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    Interesting video about why the planned Nazi invasion of Britain - Operation Sealion - could never really have succeeded, should it ever have been tried:



    It also goes to underline why the Battle of Britain was so important - by ensuring British superiority over British airspace, it effectively scuttled any possibility of an invasion happening.
     
    Dec 26, 2017
    #1
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  2. dannymcg

    dannymcg Justified and Ancient member

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    Interesting. Creaking up from my memory banks (did I read it in Churchills memoirs?) is something about the RAF being kept deliberately away from Dunkirk except for small patrols. This was to keep as many aircraft as possible for fighting off the dreaded Hun invasion.
    The Royal Navy was furiously arming trawlers with single launch torpedoes at the same time, their intent was to throw everything they possibly could in a last ditch effort against the German high fleet and invasion barges.
    It must have been a few weeks of great fear in the Admiralty
     
    Dec 26, 2017
    #2
  3. Vladd67

    Vladd67 Stake Holder

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    The trouble for the Germans was they only had barges, a large RN ship pulling a tight turn could have swamped them in the channel. Even if they had landed and made a beach head there was no way they could get enough supplies to continue the fight in any significant manner, it was a doomed plan.
     
    Dec 26, 2017
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  4. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

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    The Royal Navy at that time was by far the best navy in the world. The Germans by comparison had a far smaller surface fleet and no carriers.
     
    Dec 27, 2017
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  5. sknox

    sknox Member and remember

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    I dunno. I was able to pull it off playing Panzer General II. :)
     
    Dec 27, 2017
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  6. BigBadBob141

    BigBadBob141 Well-Known Member

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    There is a big, big myth about the RAF at Dunkirk.
    The soldiers on the beaches said where were the RAF when they were being bombed and strafed.
    There was not a plane in sight, from then until the Battle of Britain the RAF had a bad reputation.
    But the truth is they were anything but absent.
    Time and again the RAF meet and fought the Germans, but all this was done miles inland, well away from the beaches and out of sight and hearing of the soldiers.
    Their aim was to stop as many bombers as they could from reaching the troops, and they succeeded up to a point.
    There were even a few dog fights over the beaches but they were so high up they went unnoticed.
    So to say that the RAF did nothing is completely wrong.
     
    Feb 23, 2018
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  7. reiver33

    reiver33 Only Forward

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    The best the Germans could hope for was landing 3 divisions (taking 2-3 days to get everything ashore), plus the paratroops and air-landing division (another 2). Even assuming they had 'won' the Battle of Britain - forcing fighter command to pull back out of combat - both the RAF and Royal Navy would throw everything available into the proverbial fight for the beaches. However, as the navy was to learn off Crete, even the AA defences of modern warships offered scant protection against sustained air attack. In the confines of the English Channel their losses would have been hideous, and for either side it would have proved a Pyrrhic victory.
     
    Feb 23, 2018
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  8. Edward M. Grant

    Edward M. Grant Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Even if the British had stopped the invasion, they might have lost enough ships in the battle to then lose the war in the Atlantic against the U-boats.

    And even if the Germans did manage to land, Churchill had set up a whole network of saboteurs to do as much damage as possible behind the German lines. It would have been a heck of a fight on both sides.
     
    Feb 23, 2018
    #8
  9. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

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    Resupply of men and materials would been a huge problem for the invading German forces.
     
    Feb 24, 2018
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  10. paranoid marvin

    paranoid marvin Run VT Erroll!

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    There was never any realistic prospect of Germany invading England, although it suited both sides to make people believe the myth.

    The Royal Navy was there to dismantle any threat from the sea, and if by some slim chance some Germans got through, the RAF and army would have made short work of any bridgehead they attempted.

    You only have to look at D Day to see that any meaningful land invasion from the sea needs to be achieved with overwhelming superiority in land,sea and naval forces - and even then it was a c─║ose run thing.

    The only realistic way that Hitler could defeat Britain was by starving her into submission, and if he had concentrated on building bigger and better wolfpacks rather than super-sized battleships he may very well have succeeded. But there was never any way that a load of barges would have made it across even the narrowest gap between Britain and France.
     
    Feb 27, 2018
    #10
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