Could Operation Sealion have worked?

But with German air supperiority, I would argue that Allied naval supperiority wouldn't matter that much - if any Royal Navy ship that tried to attack the German troop convoys got hit by torpedo planes, then maybe that would be enough to make the English unable to halt the German landing attempts - D-Day in reverse, anyone?

The Luftwaffe didn't have torpedo planes, they had a dive bomber, the Stuka

good for hitting static or slow moving land targets when there are no enemy fighters around

bad for hitting fast or slow moving sea targets when the RAF flies down from the Midlands and Western England en masse and there are quick and nimble Spitfires and Hurricanes picking off the slow moving, slower manuvering Stukas in droves while hundreds more of their fellows take out the Luftwaffe fighters who are somehow expected to both retain air support and the role of artillery...

hell, for that matter it is a bad aircraft to hit an anchored old rust bucket, outside a harbor, with no enemy planes around, something they tried to do and failed miserably at
 

trajen777

Banned
It would have been an extremely difficult operation but it could have happened. Here is one scenario

  • Move 80% of Italian air force – especially the air transport arm to France.
  • Utilize the paratroopers – including the Italian troops to drop onto airfields.
  • Seize the airfields and station Me110 (bad fighter but great tank buster) as well as me109’s there which allows for long term air support over England
  • Use gliders to drop anti tank weapons and heavy mgs onto the fields.
  • Use Sarin gas to hit Scrapa flow and all other airfields/ fighter command / troop concentrations / railways / support facilities / etc
  • Land German army in concentrated beach front
  • If the airfields can be held then the one of the key reasons for Germany for the German defeat – lack of fighter coverage over b=Brittan for extended periods goes away. Use Sarin for all approaching forces.
  • Continue to airlift and glider lift in forces

Still a risky endeavor – and ruthless but it could have worked.
 
It would have been an extremely difficult operation but it could have happened. Here is one scenario

  • Move 80% of Italian air force – especially the air transport arm to France.


  • The Italian air force in June 1940 had three squadrons and six flights of transport planes:

    http://www.feldgrau.com/iafoob.html

    I have not been able to find a source giving the strength of a transport squadron but bomber squadrons had six active planes.

    Add to this that Italy had significant forces in Africa, therefore effectively unavailable.

    There were approximately 1300 front-line combat aircraft available. The Luftwaffe had about 2000; but the combat record of the Regina Aeronautica was uninspiring.


    [*]Utilize the paratroopers – including the Italian troops to drop onto airfields.

    The Italians formed regiment-sized units of paratroopers only in 1942.

    At the time, the Germans had three paratroop regiments in the 7. Fliegerdivision and three glider-borne infantry units in the 22. Infantriedivision. All these had taken heavy casualties during the French campaign and would have to be rebuilt.

    [*]Seize the airfields and station Me110 (bad fighter but great tank buster) as well as me109’s there which allows for long term air support over England

    Assuming the British are so lazy as to not mine the airfields, the pioneers (who will presumably have to be dropped in by glider) are able to repair them without heavy equipment, and the Luftwaffe was able to fly in the fuel. Did I mention that the Luftwaffe only had 357 transports in total? (That is, including nonserviceable ones; I suppose they could have massed all their training planes and those on other uses)

    [*]Use gliders to drop anti tank weapons and heavy mgs onto the fields.

    See above about the shortage of transport. Presumably the glider trains of bombers are not going to be disrupted by the Royal Air Force and can release without significant error.

    [*]Use Sarin gas to hit Scrapa flow and all other airfields/ fighter command / troop concentrations / railways / support facilities / etc

    Assuming that the British cannot protect themselves, or more to the point retaliate. If the Germans were to use Sarin on Scapa, assuming for the moment that the plane even gets there, within twenty-four hours their airhead was going to be flooded with mustard gas. Lot shorter supply line there.

    Once the Germans use poison gas, all bets are off. Casualties are going to be high all round and the Germans can't afford them.

    [*]Land German army in concentrated beach front

    Using the Rhine barges that are slower than the currents in the Channel and can be swamped by a destroyer going past at 30 knots.

    [*]If the airfields can be held then the one of the key reasons for Germany for the German defeat – lack of fighter coverage over b=Brittan for extended periods goes away. Use Sarin for all approaching forces.

    See above about transport bottlenecks and retaliation. The Luftwaffe is getting overstretched, what with protecting the airhead and dropping poison gas on everything.

    [*]Continue to airlift and glider lift in forces

See above about transport bottlenecks.

Still a risky endeavor – and ruthless but it could have worked.
 
would have been an extremely difficult operation but it could have happened. Here is one scenario

  • Move 80% of Italian air force – especially the air transport arm to France.
  • Utilize the paratroopers – including the Italian troops to drop onto airfields.
  • Seize the airfields and station Me110 (bad fighter but great tank buster) as well as me109’s there which allows for long term air support over England
  • Use gliders to drop anti tank weapons and heavy mgs onto the fields.
  • Use Sarin gas to hit Scrapa flow and all other airfields/ fighter command / troop concentrations / railways / support facilities / etc
  • Land German army in concentrated beach front
  • If the airfields can be held then the one of the key reasons for Germany for the German defeat – lack of fighter coverage over b=Brittan for extended periods goes away. Use Sarin for all approaching forces.
  • Continue to airlift and glider lift in forces
Still a risky endeavor – and ruthless but it could have worked.
1. would the italians be able or willing to do this? would it help... after all the Italains did participate to a limited extent in the BoB with little effect?
2. Damaged in previous opperations so not the most effective idea.
3. Oh good so the British artillary gets to destroy some German aircraft on the ground.
3. An airlift of heavy weapons is possible but with the airfield under heavy artillary fire (logical British responce) you can expect heavy losses.
4. Was Sarin developed or in large scale production by now? I was under the impression it wasn't avalible until later in the war. Also what delivery system? Artillary is out (lack of range) and the German bombers have a rather limited range. Also Hitler wasn't preciesly keen on the use of gas in OTL.
5. Unless all the above work this results in a massacre as has already been discussed endlessly in this thread.
6. Aircraft opperating from a damaged 'strip with all supplies being flown in -with RAF inteferance- doesn't look that sustainable.
7. From the intensity of opperations needed to sustain these forces you will soon see a significant proportion of these aircraft needing serious repairs (engines wornout, etc). Add damage and losses from ground fire and Fighter Command and soon the avalible transports are gone.
 
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