Kenneth Macksey's "Invasion"

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Paul Spring, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Paul Spring should avoid chat, but doesn't

    Jan 1, 2004
    One of the first books on the subject of AH that I ever read was Invasion, by Kenneth Macksey. The book basically describes that most reviled of all AH scenarios - a successful Operation Sealion. The basic idea was that the invasion was actually launched early - in late July, right after the fall of France, before the British have a chance to properly organize either their land or air defences.

    Since the almost universal consensus seems to be that the scenario is either impossible or at least ridiculously implausible, I was wondering if anyone here had ever read the book. If anyone has read it, where do you think Macksey's scenario falls down?
  2. nandalf nandalf

    Jul 31, 2005
    I read it,a long time ago.My impression was that he made everything go right for Germany.One thing i remember is that he made the U-boats having the upper hand at closed waters of the English Channel,wich i believe would be oposite,but then i might be wrong.
  3. titulus regius Old enough to know better

    Jul 14, 2010
    I have only a hazy recollection of this book, think I 'read' it on an overnight transatlantic flight. As previously mentioned, I found the superiority of the submarines rather fanciful and unproven. After all, the major stumbling block to a successful Operation Sealion was the fact that Britain's sea defences, principally in the shape of the RN, were actually pretty well organised to deal with a cross channel flotilla, Luftwaffe or no Luftwaffe.
  4. JjeeporCreepor Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2010
    I seem to recall him also having the RN being somewhat timid in their response to the invasion, refusing to risk major units in the Straits of Dover because of the German minefields. Which tends to ignore that a) the light forces the RN already had in the Channel ports would probably be sufficient to massacre the ragtag German invasion fleet, b) the at-times suicidal aggression encouraged in RN commanders, as opposed to the relative caution displayed by German surface forces, and c) the fact that it was the invasion of Britain FFS - no point in keeping the Home Fleet intact if it then has to flee to Canada or somewhere...

    Having said all that, it was a good read, if deeply implausible. A lot of research had clearly gone into the depiction of the German invasion plans and the British defence schemes, even if everything was weighted to favour the Germans.
  5. galveston bay Donor

    Feb 9, 2009
    Cabool, MO
    That timidity struck me odd too, especially considering how many losses the RN took at Crete in 1941 in real life. Which is why I marked the book down as enjoyable fiction but flawed as a alternate history.

    In addition, prior to the sinking of the Prince of Wales and Repulse, no capital ship had yet been sunk by aircraft when free to maneuver and fully manned. Anything less than a full scale sortie by Home Fleet just seems completely implausable based on what they knew or thought they knew at the time.
  6. Andrew Hudson Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2007
    East London
    I read it a long time ago. Macksey is a bit like Tsouras in the it reads like an academic text although not riddled with footnotes like Tsouras's books