If Sealion was impossible, what were the British so worried about?

My grandparents were of the generation which experienced WW2 from start to finish. To the day they passed all of them and many people of the same age were convinced "If the Germans had landed in the UK that was it".
As others have pointed out ITT with hindsight we know different, but what I find interesting is while high level military chiefs would have realised what a disaster it would have been this was not disclosed to reassure the public.
I've always wondered if this was a deliberate if undisclosed policy in the knowledge the Germans would recieve the dam good kicking they richly deserved if they went ahead with sea mammal
 
People raised good points in this arguments, so rather than go back and argue things, allow me to add a few points of my own.

The Dunkirk evacuation was indeed a military miracle, done under severe duress with no prior planning and under heavy enemy fire. But it was also rushed, meaning the BEF literally had to drop all their weapons at the beach just to make room for the soldiers on the boats. They didn't even have time to sabotage it properly, which is why it all went to serve the German forces, primarily in civilian pacification and counter-insurgency operations.

Now, the BEF returning home meant the British still had all their experienced soldiers - but now the only fully armed and equipped division in Britain was a Canadian one. Sure, you had farmers and gentry with their hunting rifles, but if I were you, I'd want the military to be better equipped than that. The RAF was well prepared, but the Luftwaffe was (at the time) the biggest and most modern air force in Europe, if not the world. Of course, the British would be plenty concerned.

Add to that the points made about how 1939 to early 1942 was basically the Allies' "Oh shit" period, basically how the Axis seemed unstoppable across the globe (minor victories aside), and the British public (and quite possibly British high command) was overestimating the German strength and its capability of invading and conquering England, a first in almost 900 years. It left the British extremely rattled; WW1 had been fought on French soil, and had done untold damage to Belgium and northern France. What would happen to Britain if the Germans managed to land even a single brigade? Granted, the answer turned out to be 'well, not much; they couldn't land that many to begin with', but the panic factor was pretty damn high. Then there was the Blitz, which left vast swathes of death and destruction in its wake.
 
I seem to recall that British analysis of the German strength, particularly in the air, were overestimates before ULTRA began to help out.
some of this may have been German misinformation although they underestimated the RAF strength also.

Is it true that each misunderstood other so the Germans assumed the British were boasting and the British assumed the Germans were minimising?
Or is that just a good story?
 
this was not disclosed to reassure the public.
“Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?”
Experience in France showed that a collapse in morale could turn a setback into a disaster, and that it could spread between civilians and military. Given how febrile things were, I wouldn’t like to bet on the consequences of plastering Britain with detailed analyses of how victory was guaranteed if the Germans did come.

The biggest risk if the Germans somehow did make it ashore was an outbreak of panic, and if they did make it ashore and somehow kept going past the “guaranteed” deadline then what happens? Probably safer to stay vague on the whole topic.
 
I have colleagues whom I have war gamed with convinced that had the Germans gone ahead and dropped FJs in Kent, that Westminster would shit its collective pants and seek terms

Maybe if they managed it in May or possible June but even then Churchill rapidly got a grip and that moment had it existed (and I do not believe that it did) had well and truly passed
 
I have colleagues whom I have war gamed with convinced that had the Germans gone ahead and dropped FJs in Kent, that Westminster would shit its collective pants and seek terms

Maybe if they managed it in May or possible June but even then Churchill rapidly got a grip and that moment had it existed (and I do not believe that it did) had well and truly passed
What illegal substances are they taking to believe that a few hundred immobile light infantry would cause that? There are enough trained and equipped troops available to deal with them without much difficulty.
 
best way to explain it is to watch this video and the ending of it and try to put yourself in the shoes of the British people France and Britain were considered major Powers at the time and the Germans destroy the French in the matter of months fear gripped the entire country if Churchill had not been alive during this point the British government would have sued for peace
 
Also consider that it would have killed the Lend Lease program and the Churchill government, if the British said, "Don't worry, we don't need your help America! Everything is alright! Nothing to see here"

Remember Charles Lindbergh and Father Coughlin were actively campaigning on the idea that FDR and Churchill were trying to drag America into a war for the "rich bankers".
 
My grandparents were of the generation which experienced WW2 from start to finish. To the day they passed all of them and many people of the same age were convinced "If the Germans had landed in the UK that was it".
As others have pointed out ITT with hindsight we know different, but what I find interesting is while high level military chiefs would have realised what a disaster it would have been this was not disclosed to reassure the public.
I've always wondered if this was a deliberate if undisclosed policy in the knowledge the Germans would recieve the dam good kicking they richly deserved if they went ahead with sea mammal
My dad was a kid during WWII growing up in Ohio several hundred miles from the east coast of the US. They still had air raid drills. How much of this was a desire to make people feel like they were "part of the effort" as opposed to actual concerns about threat I don't know.
 
My dad was a kid during WWII growing up in Ohio several hundred miles from the east coast of the US. They still had air raid drills. How much of this was a desire to make people feel like they were "part of the effort" as opposed to actual concerns about threat I don't know.
Train the civilian population so that any who recruit into the army and deploy overseas have at least a basis for what to do in an air-raid maybe?
 

Khanzeer

Banned
best way to explain it is to watch this video and the ending of it and try to put yourself in the shoes of the British people France and Britain were considered major Powers at the time and the Germans destroy the French in the matter of months fear gripped the entire country if Churchill had not been alive during this point the British government would have sued for peace
A temporary peace until they are strong enough to fight again
 
What illegal substances are they taking to believe that a few hundred immobile light infantry would cause that? There are enough trained and equipped troops available to deal with them without much difficulty.
The collapse of the French Army, long considered to be good and did hold the lines in WWI for 5 yesrs, was shocking to many people.

As I said above, the best way to answer the OP's question is to delve into the National Archive and read the papers of the War Cabinet. Otherwise we would just be speculating here.

Another way would be to read through the contemporarous newspapers to get some ideas as to the feelings of the opinion leaders at material time.
 
Another way would be to read through the contemporarous newspapers to get some ideas as to the feelings of the opinion leaders at material time.
Wartime newspapers only printed what the Government permitted them to, they are not reliable sources for what the Government or people actually thought.
 
My dad was a kid during WWII growing up in Ohio several hundred miles from the east coast of the US. They still had air raid drills. How much of this was a desire to make people feel like they were "part of the effort" as opposed to actual concerns about threat I don't know.
In the US there was something of a panic after the attack on Pearl Harbour; people along the west coast started to mount air raid watches, expecting "jap attacks", causing the famous (infamous?) Battle of Los Angeles. Lockheed's factory in California was completely camouflaged into a suburb...
 
Wartime newspapers only printed what the Government permitted them to, they are not reliable sources for what the Government or people actually thought.
That is not an accurate description. The MOI ran censorship scheme collapsed in a few days and replaced by an organization organized by media industry. The HMG mostly focused on military sensitive materials.
 
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