Why Operation Sealion would always have failed

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
21,848
Location
Highlands
#1
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.
 

dannymcg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2016
Messages
2,540
Location
Cumbria UK
#2
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
 

Vladd67

Stake Holder
Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2007
Messages
2,950
#3
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.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
13,882
#4
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.
 

BigBadBob141

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
547
#6
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.
 

reiver33

Only Forward
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
1,515
Location
Dumfries
#7
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.
 

Edward M. Grant

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2015
Messages
368
Location
The Frozen North
#8
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.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
13,882
#9
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.
Resupply of men and materials would been a huge problem for the invading German forces.
 

paranoid marvin

Run VT Erroll!
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
2,128
#10
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 cĺose 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.
 

Similar threads

Top