German airborne invasion of Britain

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Alternate History Geek, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. Alternate History Geek Plattenite Railfan

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    I think we've all established by now that Germany, even with total air supremacy, could not have invaded Britain with its motley collection of river barges.

    But I think there's one aspect of the story that we're all forgetting here.

    With air supremacy, who needs barges? YOU CAN SIMPLY FLY TROOPS OVER THE CHANNEL!

    Had they gained air supremacy, what if anything would have prevented a WWII German AIRBORNE invasion of Britain?

    P.S. If we've gone over this before,just point me there with a link and give a short summary of why. DON'T flame me for not knowing of its existence.
     
  2. Herzen's love-child rootless cosmopolitan

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    How many airborne troops do you think the Heer ever had? Unsupported but by the air? For so many reasons, this is a non-starter.
     
  3. ModernKiwi 1% more

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    No. Much of the Ju-52 force that was needed had been badly shot up/destroyed in the Netherlands campaign.
     
  4. Alternate History Geek Plattenite Railfan

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    Ah, thanks. That was a much-needed clarification.

    But seriously, can't you just build more Ju52s?
     
  5. ModernKiwi 1% more

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    The Ju-52's were used in the May 1940 attack. Over 50% of the Luftwaffe's stock of Ju-52's was damaged or destroyed (the damaged ones mostly were eventually restored to service).

    When is your Operation MercuryOfDoom happening? July, August or September?
     
  6. wiking Well-Known Member

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    And airborne forces needed nearly 1 year to recover.
     
  7. CharlesMartell Well-Known Member

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    Take a look at the invasion of Crete.

    The Germans had huge problems subduing an illequipped
    Allied force far away from their bases of supply.

    Do you think paratroops in the British Home Islands
    would do any better?
     
  8. LostCosmonaut Comic Atomic

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    Add to this the fact that any of the surviving Ju-52s would be horribly massacred by the British air defenses, which are far more numerous and advanced than in the Netherlands.


    Also consider the fact that any paratroopers would have landed lightly armed and in an uncoordinated fashion, and the idea rapidly becomes a nonstarter.
     
  9. Cockroach Lagrangian Particle Tracking... Now in the Arctic.

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    To the OP:
    How many troops could the Luftwaffe move in any reasonable length of time? I bet it's only of the order of 10,000 or so. Do you really think that's enough to defeat the 300,000 plus the British had at home after France fell?

    What capacity to move artillary, trucks and tanks did the Luftwaffe have in 1940? Hint: Not very much... And if the Germans landed by air are short on guns, transport and armour they're not going to last long or go far.

    And, finally, how well did aerial resupply of the besieged forces in Stalingrad work out again?
    :rolleyes:
     
  10. ModernKiwi 1% more

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    Best case scenario (according to the all knowing Wiki) and assuming a September drop you are talking 225 Ju-52's each carrying 18 paratroopers. One wave = 4000 men.

    Second wave after the RAF have made some aces = 2000 men.

    I doubt you'd see a third wave.

    So 6000 men trapped without supplies and dependent upon Stuka support (with which they can't communicate properly).

    In other words, 6000 PoW.
     
  11. omega21 Keyboard Warrior

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    They would also have to overcome the problem of having the entire platoon's weapons dropped in one can that be blown off course - which would mean a parachute redesign so the troopers could be dropped with weapon strapped to them.
     
  12. LeX Well-Known Member

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    What I wondered was why you couldn't simply build up enough submarines and airplanes to achieve air superiority over both land and sea, then land a few divisions on a well-protected beachhead, and continue from there. Germany doubtless had some transports they could use, no? The main problem as I see it is how you're going to actually conquer even London. Look what happened when they tried taking Stalingrad. Germany probably can't land more than a few divisions in the short term no matter what it tries, and any more after that would be in bad supply. They might get a beachhead going but after that it'd just be a waste of time and indeed a matter of time before the British, with a heightened sense of morale, build a massive ground force and zerg rush the Heer.
    Also, the Germans will have very limited numbers of tanks and won't be able to use their blitzkrieg tactics to kick as much ass.
     
  13. The Red A virulent, ignorant bigot

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    Runs into problems after we consider the fact the British had these things called 'tanks' and 'artillery'.
     
  14. Gunnarnz Well-Known Member

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    You're right, those are the two critical areas where superiority is needed. Unfortunately it's a far from simple business for Germany to achieve those things, especially sea superiority or anything but temporary air superiority. If they delay the invasion, that works more in Britain's favour than theirs. Any plan which seriously prioritised those factors pre-war would require something special in the way of PoD, and there's still the issue that the British would respond to what the Germans did in that time frame as well.
     
  15. Color-Copycat Well-Known Member

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    The Luftwaffe would still have to come out on top during the Battle of Britain, which strikes me as rather unlikely.
     
  16. Kome Dianaric Ship

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    Comparing this to Crete? A comparison to the Stalingrad or Berlin Airlift would be more apt, yet that would just be scratching the surface of what resources you would need to succeed.
     
  17. WSoxfan Well-Known Member

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    As many have said, this just won't happen. Given the fact that many british men would be joining militia units, you'd probably need 600,000 men(at the bare minimum, if everything goes right for the Nazis, and even then it's iffy if they could conquer it). Do you know how many transport planes you'd need to supply 600,000 men? In short, there is no way the Germans can supply from air only.
     
  18. MattII Well-Known Member

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    The problem you have there is that doing that requires more-or-less keeping the army as it is, and since Hitler later hopes to conquer the Soviets this is absolutely impossible.

    Some converted river barges were about all they had in the way of landing craft.

    You're expecting them to reach London? In 1940, even with the state the British were in, I doubt they could really have got out of Kent/Sussex.
     
  19. von Adler Generallöjtnant

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    First of all, as stated earlier, the Germans lost half of their air transports before the Battle of Britain.

    That is 256 lost in the campaign in the west, to add to the 86 lost in Norway. A grand total of 487 transport planes were commited to the offensive in the west 1940, so a little more than half was lost.

    The Germans at this time had two divisions capable of air landing - 7. Flieger-division and 22. Luftlande-division. Both were thoroughly roughed up in the Netherlands. The Dutch managed to load 1200-1350 captured German paratroopers (of both divisions) on to their own navy and the Royal Navy and ship them to Britain before the army surrendered - about 10% of the German force committed.

    With only ~250 transport planes, the Germans cannot drop both divisions, and cannot transport much, if any, heavy equipment. Without artillery and AT guns, the paratroopers will be at the mercy of the British reserves (which included a full armoured division) until thei can be reinforced by a naval landing.

    In short, the two German airborne divisions at the time are roughed up, have suffered heavy casualties and lack the air transport to land in one wave, and above all, to get supplies and heavy weapons across.

    And this is assuming total air superiority - which was pretty much imposstible, at any time the British could withdraw their fighters out of German fighter range, but still be able to operate over any landing area if they got too hard pressed, they never did, for a reason.

    If landed, they might fight a week, maybe even two, before having to surrender.
     
  20. Dan Please register to vote

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    One of my "too early in the morning before work thoughts":

    Scenario: Georing tells Hitler that the RAF has been neutralised. Because the RN is still a potent threat, Georing tells Hitler not to worry, the Luftwaffe will sort it.
    Using Modern Kiwi's figures, (because I'm too lazy to look up my own), and assuming that the first wave is sent during the night, the chances are that until the paratroops start dropping out the side, it will be thought of as another bomber raid. I don't think the British had much in the way of Nightfighting aircraft at this point, so assuming a 5% loss, (damaged and shot down), for AAA, that's 214 JU52's in the second wave. By now, Dawn will be coming up, and as the second wave comes in with some fighter, (most logically ME110 as "the RAF has been destroyed"), and Stuka support, another wave of 3600 troops takes off from France.

    By this point the RAF is aware and anything with wings and guns is moved down to take on the Luftwaffe.
    50% losses for both sides would sound reasonable. The Germans would end up with probably as few as 5000 troops of varying quality on the ground. No noticable air support. No supplies. No hope.

    In terms of butterflies: without German Paratroop success, would Britain form parachute forces, or would it be left for low quantity insertions of agents and commandos?
    Georing would be out of a job sooner and possibly wouldn't be around to face war crimes charges by the end of the war. You could have a more efficient Luftwaffe.
    Not sure about other butterflies yet, I need a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich before considering any more of those.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012