My plan for a successful Sealion

Since we haven't had one of these in a while, I thought it would be fun to shake things up a bit.

It is common knowledge on this forum that Germany after the Fall of France lacked the necessary airpower, amphibious and logistical capability to overcome British defenses in 1940 for a successful invasion of the British Isles. In view of this, I propose a start date of no earlier than the summer of 1945 to allow for adequate preparation. In the meantime, the OKW will take the following steps differently from OTL:

1. Destruction of the BEF at Dunkirk.

2. To keep the US out of the war and minimize its support for Britain as much as possible, no Battle of Britain (until 1945 of course) and no Battle of the Atlantic. The Luftwaffe pulls back to the defensive position it took after the OTL Battle of Britain and the U-boats stay in port. Japan will also be encouraged to avoid war with the US and will be told firmly that there is no possibility of German support if does attack the US. On the other hand, a strike south against the British, French, and Dutch empires while leaving the US alone is very much encouraged.

3. Maintenance of friendly relations with the Soviet Union, including acceptance of Stalin's offers of increased economic ties and his proposal for Soviet entry into the Axis alliance.

4. A Mediterranean strategy. Given the logistical problems pointed out in this thread, this will happen in two phases. In the first phase, lasting from the summer of 1940 to the summer of 1941 the Axis will adopt a defensive posture in North Africa. Using the aircraft saved from no BoB and no Barbarossa, control of the air over the area will be established and port capacity increased, together with the construction of a rail line to alleviate the supply problems which plagued Rommel in OTL. Malta is also neutralized and either starved into surrender or taken in the spring/summer of 1941. In the summer of 1941, Panzergruppe Afrika strikes east into Egypt to the Suez Canal. Once reached, it pauses there for as long as necessary to refurbish the Egyptian ports, and then continues into the Middle East with the ultimate goal of reaching the oil fields around late 1942-early 43. The rest of the Heer with the exception of those forces focusing on amphibious training and preparation digs in on the Soviet border just to make sure the STAVKA doesn't get any funny ideas and saves its strength.

5. Priority given to the Luftwaffe and in particular anti-shipping training and weaponry, such as the Fritz X guided bomb. With five years to prepare and experience gained from operations in the Mediterranean, the LW should be able to become reasonably proficient in anti-shipping operations by 1945. And by then Germany would be outproducing Britain in aircraft production considerably. Even in OTL, German aircraft production in 1944 (according to the Wikipedia article on WW2 aircraft production) was 40,593 (Murray in Strategy for Defeat on page 190 gives a slightly lower figure of 36,000) compared to Britain's 26,461, and the German total would have been considerably higher had it not been for the strategic bombing, which would have been far less severe without the USAAF. Again according to Murray on page 190 "Unhindered by Allied bombing, German production would have risen far higher and far faster. The target of 80,000-plus aircraft in production for 1945 gives an indication of the direction in which Milch and his planners were pushing." The oil for the expanded LW will come from increased purchases from the SU, the oil which isn't being expended on the Eastern Front, increased synthetic production (which could probably be done with a cut to ammunition production because of no Eastern Front) and the undamaged Ploesti, as going after both the synthetic plants and Ploesti was a USAAF idea. Also, according to the Wikipedia article on the ME 262's Jumo 004 engine, the first 004A version which was far more reliable than the eventual 004B version and was tested in late 1940 "used scarce raw materials such as nickel, cobalt, and molybdenum in quantities which were unacceptable in production." Perhaps with less AFV production the 004A could be used in substantial quantities and the ME 262 introduced in 1943 or so.

Have at it.
 
The destruction of the BEF might not make as much difference as you're hoping. ISTR that most of them were deployed back to France before it fell and captured then anyway.
 
Immediate problem:

North Africa is a pointless sideshow. Nothing is accomplished by focusing on it. Taking the Middle East as you suggest would cost too much in the way of resources, with too little reward in the short term.

Second, the invasion of the Soviet Union was not some incidental war. It is the CENTRAL conflict of Hitler's whole ideology. The acquisition of living space is the whole point of the wars. Pushing that off so long would be unnacceptable.
 
Since we haven't had one of these in a while, I thought it would be fun to shake things up a bit.

It is common knowledge on this forum that Germany after the Fall of France lacked the necessary airpower, amphibious and logistical capability to overcome British defenses in 1940 for a successful invasion of the British Isles. In view of this, I propose a start date of no earlier than the summer of 1945 to allow for adequate preparation. In the meantime, the OKW will take the following steps differently from OTL:

1. Destruction of the BEF at Dunkirk.

2. To keep the US out of the war and minimize its support for Britain as much as possible, no Battle of Britain (until 1945 of course) and no Battle of the Atlantic. The Luftwaffe pulls back to the defensive position it took after the OTL Battle of Britain and the U-boats stay in port. Japan will also be encouraged to avoid war with the US and will be told firmly that there is no possibility of German support if does attack the US. On the other hand, a strike south against the British, French, and Dutch empires while leaving the US alone is very much encouraged.

3. Maintenance of friendly relations with the Soviet Union, including acceptance of Stalin's offers of increased economic ties and his proposal for Soviet entry into the Axis alliance.

4. A Mediterranean strategy. Given the logistical problems pointed out in this thread, this will happen in two phases. In the first phase, lasting from the summer of 1940 to the summer of 1941 the Axis will adopt a defensive posture in North Africa. Using the aircraft saved from no BoB and no Barbarossa, control of the air over the area will be established and port capacity increased, together with the construction of a rail line to alleviate the supply problems which plagued Rommel in OTL. Malta is also neutralized and either starved into surrender or taken in the spring/summer of 1941. In the summer of 1941, Panzergruppe Afrika strikes east into Egypt to the Suez Canal. Once reached, it pauses there for as long as necessary to refurbish the Egyptian ports, and then continues into the Middle East with the ultimate goal of reaching the oil fields around late 1942-early 43. The rest of the Heer with the exception of those forces focusing on amphibious training and preparation digs in on the Soviet border just to make sure the STAVKA doesn't get any funny ideas and saves its strength.

5. Priority given to the Luftwaffe and in particular anti-shipping training and weaponry, such as the Fritz X guided bomb. With five years to prepare and experience gained from operations in the Mediterranean, the LW should be able to become reasonably proficient in anti-shipping operations by 1945. And by then Germany would be outproducing Britain in aircraft production considerably. Even in OTL, German aircraft production in 1944 (according to the Wikipedia article on WW2 aircraft production) was 40,593 (Murray in Strategy for Defeat on page 190 gives a slightly lower figure of 36,000) compared to Britain's 26,461, and the German total would have been considerably higher had it not been for the strategic bombing, which would have been far less severe without the USAAF. Again according to Murray on page 190 "Unhindered by Allied bombing, German production would have risen far higher and far faster. The target of 80,000-plus aircraft in production for 1945 gives an indication of the direction in which Milch and his planners were pushing." The oil for the expanded LW will come from increased purchases from the SU, the oil which isn't being expended on the Eastern Front, increased synthetic production (which could probably be done with a cut to ammunition production because of no Eastern Front) and the undamaged Ploesti, as going after both the synthetic plants and Ploesti was a USAAF idea. Also, according to the Wikipedia article on the ME 262's Jumo 004 engine, the first 004A version which was far more reliable than the eventual 004B version and was tested in late 1940 "used scarce raw materials such as nickel, cobalt, and molybdenum in quantities which were unacceptable in production." Perhaps with less AFV production the 004A could be used in substantial quantities and the ME 262 introduced in 1943 or so.

Have at it.
1) As stated by Gun it doesn't matter too much, it was mostly captured OTL.
2) Very difficult to do, particularly with FDR as president.
3) Not going to happen unless you switch Hitler's brain with someone sane. Destroying the USSR was his obsession. He could sublimate it for a while when it was in his interest but not that long.
4) The planes GB lost during the BOB also go to the Med instead, it works both ways
5) The target of 80,000 would never have been reached strategic bombing or not. Germany simply didn't have the capacity to make so many.
 
The destruction of the BEF might not make as much difference as you're hoping. ISTR that most of them were deployed back to France before it fell and captured then anyway.
1) As stated by Gun it doesn't matter too much, it was mostly captured OTL.
Really? I've never heard of this. What's the source for this information?

Immediate problem:

North Africa is a pointless sideshow. Nothing is accomplished by focusing on it. Taking the Middle East as you suggest would cost too much in the way of resources, with too little reward in the short term.
The cost is nothing compared to Barbarossa. As for what the gain would be, taking the oil of the Middle East would benefit the Axis greatly, as would denying it to Britain. Such an advance would also give encouragement to the parts of the Japanese leadership in favor of an anti-British strategy, which is important since the idea is to get as many people as possible into a common front against Britain, and could help precipitate the collapse of the British Empire.

Second, the invasion of the Soviet Union was not some incidental war. It is the CENTRAL conflict of Hitler's whole ideology. The acquisition of living space is the whole point of the wars. Pushing that off so long would be unnacceptable.
3) Not going to happen unless you switch Hitler's brain with someone sane. Destroying the USSR was his obsession. He could sublimate it for a while when it was in his interest but not that long.
While I don't necessarily agree, for the sake of argument let's then go with wiking's favorite standby of having him die of one of Dr. Morell's toxic injections in the period between the Fall of France and the Battle of Britain and being replaced by Goring, who was against invading the Soviet Union and very enthusiastic about Soviet trade.

2) Very difficult to do, particularly with FDR as president.
To eliminate American aid to Britain entirely? Yes. But it would make it much harder for Roosevelt to argue that Britain was in immediate mortal peril which it needed massive help to survive.

4) The planes GB lost during the BOB also go to the Med instead, it works both ways
I find it highly unlikely that they all would. In any case, Germany lost according to Wikipedia ~300 more planes than Britain did during the BoB, and much more importantly far more trained aircrew, meaning it's a definite gain from the German perspective.

5) The target of 80,000 would never have been reached strategic bombing or not. Germany simply didn't have the capacity to make so many.
Source? Murray certainly never says so and points out that the Japanese economy, which was a fraction the size of Germany's, managed to produce just 8,000 fewer aircraft (or 13,000 fewer going by Wikipedia's larger number) in 1944.
 
I have always thought the best way to get anywhere near a successful sealion is for Germany to spend 1941 building cheap escorts and transports. Then invade the soviet union with just the aim of smashing their army and getting a return to brest litvolk borders, while demanding the entire soviet surface fleet, and a suitable amount of repartations - i.e free oil and 100 T-34 tanks a month. The chances go from very very slim, to very slim.
 
I have always thought the best way to get anywhere near a successful sealion is for Germany to spend 1941 building cheap escorts and transports. Then invade the soviet union with just the aim of smashing their army and getting a return to brest litvolk borders, while demanding the entire soviet surface fleet, and a suitable amount of repartations - i.e free oil and 100 T-34 tanks a month. The chances go from very very slim, to very slim.
I actually did do a thread on the idea of a German-Soviet peace with Brest-Litovsk borders before. This is a different scenario though, in which the German high command takes the less roundabout route of deepening economic ties with the USSR and admitting it into the Axis to maintain a stable flow of essential commodities and a free hand in the west.
 
Why would Germany bother invading Britain if they were going for a long war. Unlike the naysayers here, I do think they would go Mediterranean strategy, and they would attempt starving Britain into submission with u-boats, arial mining, and the strategic bombing of port facilities (to go with the OP's demand that there is no BOB, let's presume then German strategic bombing begins in 1942.)

The original bombing campaigns would be a stalemate, as Germany's edge in aircraft in 1942 would not be significant compared to Britain (unless Britain takes the air offensive to Germany and loses a lot of pilots as a result.) By 1945, the main difference here is in production. Germany would be completely out-producing Britain, but neither would be in good economic shape at this point and it would be hard to see both sides wanting to continue. But, for the OP, they do. Germany would likely be able to gain air superiority around the channel and channel ports (as the ATL ME262 had a better range than the BF109 and it would not be suffering from weaknesses such as sudden-slow-down when landing, as fighting would be over British airfields, not German.) However, Germany could not press the advantage far north. Also, at this point, Britain would have more than a few American P51s and Meteors and soon Shooting Stars of their own. I don't think Germany can pull it off without weakening themselves too much to the point of risking Soviet invasion. Perhaps, they would gain air superiority over the channel ports, terror bomb them to boot, and fire V1s and V2s at London until they can get a simple armistice without concessions that ends the blockade. But, no invasion.
 
The destruction of the BEF might not make as much difference as you're hoping. ISTR that most of them were deployed back to France before it fell and captured then anyway.
That's not true at all. The vast majority of the BEF was evacuated, sans their weapons and equipment, of course.

But I will agree in the sense that if you're going to delay an invasion until 1945, then destroying the BEF in 1940 may not have all that much impact. That's plenty of time for Britain - helped by the Commonwealth - to rebuild her army.
 
The big issue with threads like this is that they always assume Germany can do whatever it does in a vacuum, and the UK or <insert adversary of choice> won't do anything. Utter nonsense of course - the UK is going to be doing a whole bunch of other things themselves, which may include:
  1. Faster development of jet aircraft - with the Germans just across the channel and building a hell of a lot more aircraft, the Luftwaffe is suddenly much more of a threat.
  2. Give the MAUD committee more resources - in OTL the project was subsumed into Manhattan, if the US somehow doesn't get involved the British will go it alone and given how prescient the MAUD report was (their proposed plan would have almost certainly worked first time in its entirety) it's going to work.
  3. Carry out proxy wars around the world - this is the classic British strategy for centuries whenever faced with a power dominating the European continent, use what was once called "the Cavalry of St George" to bribe other countries to fight the enemy of the day. That means building up the Soviets as a counterweight to the Germans and funneling money and weapons to the various resistance movements.
  4. Build up a powerful mechanised army to take on any German landing force. Realistically in OTL from the end of 1940 onwards any German landing force would probably have had fewer tanks and certainly had much less artillery than the defenders - by 1945 things are so unbalanced it just isn't funny.
  5. Massively improve the RN light forces - there is very clearly a German invasion threat, and equally clearly the Germans will be trying to use air cover to make up for a lack of naval support. That means VT fuses and radar-aimed AA guns, both of which were available by the end of the war in OTL. We might even see more of a push towards guided anti-aircraft missiles - LOPGAP and Brakemine were around about the end of the war, I think Brakemine even flew before the end of the war.
  6. Electronic warfare - the British were pretty good at this in OTL, if guided anti-shipping weapons become a big thing then it will get more of a priority than OTL.
The Germans will, of course, see all of these (well, maybe not the MAUD/Tube Alloys work which would almost certainly be in Canada) and react themselves. The issue is simply that you cannot assume that a change in German strategy will not be accompanied by everyone else reacting too.
 
I've been wondering how a feasible Sealion plan might look, and Operation Downfall ends up being the best comparison to Sea Lion, simply because of the scale needed to accomplish it. Germany will need to neutralise the Royal Navy and starve Britain of resources to keep the RAF on the ground as much as possible. 1945 is definitely the earliest you could do it (if I recall, wasn't that the date the Nazi leadership thought they'd be finished re-arming?).

But as noted by earlier responses, the invasion of Russia really was central to Nazi ideology. And an invasion of Britain would be massively costly on both sides (especially for the natives).
 
Peace with USSR to concentrate on Britain would mean war with USSR on Stalin's terms. Make no mistake, Russia too had plans to go West. Considering that STAVKA's planning took into account a complete overhaul and upgrade of the Soviet Military by the middle of 1942, if we have a german strict hands off policy, USSR could, until late 1944, continue to arm, train and support various communist underground political and partizan/rezistance movements (as in OTL) and start a push through the German occupied Poland and maybe Romania. (Through the Vienna Diktat Romania lost territory to USSR and Germany-backed Hungary. For help against Russia Germany promissed Romania the territories taken by Russia and maybe a renegociation with Hungary. USSR could offer the same deal in the opposite way.)
So by 1945 Germany's Seelowe would either be abandoned as the Soviet army advances from the East, fails and USSR attacks a weakened target, or it succedes and Germany is caught with its best forces on the wrong side of the English Channel.
 
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2. To keep the US out of the war and minimize its support for Britain as much as possible, no Battle of Britain (until 1945 of course) and no Battle of the Atlantic. The Luftwaffe pulls back to the defensive position it took after the OTL Battle of Britain and the U-boats stay in port. Japan will also be encouraged to avoid war with the US and will be told firmly that there is no possibility of German support if does attack the US. On the other hand, a strike south against the British, French, and Dutch empires while leaving the US alone is very much encouraged.
Oh dear. This will so not work. Leaving the US alone IS Japan's best option, but keeping the US out of the war if Japan takes the DEI and Malaya is probably impossible.
The US was building up its forces in the Philippines, MacArthur swore it would be defensible by spring of '42. So the US will continue to do that, and then build up naval and air assets and patrol vigorously. Eventually some Japanese ship or plane will attack US vessels and the war's on. But by then, the Philippines are a bastion of US strength, and right athwart the sea lanes between the 'Southern Resource Area' and the Home Islands.

Admittedly, pulling the Uboats back home would help keep the US out of the war (with Germany, at least), but it also means that the supply lines to Britain are unimpeded. Desperately needed aircraft and tanks are also not being shipped from Britain to the Soviets, so they are available for the MidEast or Far East.

3. Maintenance of friendly relations with the Soviet Union, including acceptance of Stalin's offers of increased economic ties and his proposal for Soviet entry into the Axis alliance.
Ha, ha.
Requires, as mentioned by others, Not-ler. OK, so if you get rid of Hitler, you MIGHT keep peaces with the USSR for longer. But the USSR is building up ITS forces, and will likely attack Germany when the current treaty runs out.
Also, what are you going to PAY the Soviets with, for all that oil and raw materials? Machine tools you desperately need for the ongoing war? Whole factories?
As for T-34s, without the war against the Soviets, are the Germans even going to realize that they NEED better tanks? Let alone buying them from Slavic untermenschen?
Again, this requires not only NotHitler, but NotNazis.

4. A Mediterranean strategy. Given the logistical problems pointed out in this thread, this will happen in two phases. In the first phase, lasting from the summer of 1940 to the summer of 1941 the Axis will adopt a defensive posture in North Africa. Using the aircraft saved from no BoB and no Barbarossa, control of the air over the area will be established and port capacity increased, together with the construction of a rail line to alleviate the supply problems which plagued Rommel in OTL. Malta is also neutralized and either starved into surrender or taken in the spring/summer of 1941. In the summer of 1941, Panzergruppe Afrika strikes east into Egypt to the Suez Canal. Once reached, it pauses there for as long as necessary to refurbish the Egyptian ports, and then continues into the Middle East with the ultimate goal of reaching the oil fields around late 1942-early 43. The rest of the Heer with the exception of those forces focusing on amphibious training and preparation digs in on the Soviet border just to make sure the STAVKA doesn't get any funny ideas and saves its strength.
Have fun with that.

5. Priority given to the Luftwaffe and in particular anti-shipping training and weaponry, such as the Fritz X guided bomb. With five years to prepare and experience gained from operations in the Mediterranean, the LW should be able to become reasonably proficient in anti-shipping operations by 1945. And by then Germany would be outproducing Britain in aircraft production considerably. Even in OTL, German aircraft production in 1944 (according to the Wikipedia article on WW2 aircraft production) was 40,593 (Murray in Strategy for Defeat on page 190 gives a slightly lower figure of 36,000) compared to Britain's 26,461, and the German total would have been considerably higher had it not been for the strategic bombing, which would have been far less severe without the USAAF. Again according to Murray on page 190 "Unhindered by Allied bombing, German production would have risen far higher and far faster. The target of 80,000-plus aircraft in production for 1945 gives an indication of the direction in which Milch and his planners were pushing." The oil for the expanded LW will come from increased purchases from the SU, the oil which isn't being expended on the Eastern Front, increased synthetic production (which could probably be done with a cut to ammunition production because of no Eastern Front) and the undamaged Ploesti, as going after both the synthetic plants and Ploesti was a USAAF idea. Also, according to the Wikipedia article on the ME 262's Jumo 004 engine, the first 004A version which was far more reliable than the eventual 004B version and was tested in late 1940 "used scarce raw materials such as nickel, cobalt, and molybdenum in quantities which were unacceptable in production." Perhaps with less AFV production the 004A could be used in substantial quantities and the ME 262 introduced in 1943 or so.
Fritz-X is a useful tool. But there are reasonably effective counter measures (e.g. jamming) available once the Allies realize they're necessary.
 
The cost is nothing compared to Barbarossa. As for what the gain would be, taking the oil of the Middle East would benefit the Axis greatly, as would denying it to Britain. Such an advance would also give encouragement to the parts of the Japanese leadership in favor of an anti-British strategy, which is important since the idea is to get as many people as possible into a common front against Britain, and could help precipitate the collapse of the British Empire.
So this anti-British strategy on the part of Japan would keep the United States out of the how exactly?

And frankly taking the Middle East isn't that helpful for a number of reasons. First, its production was miniscule, barely 15 million barrels for the whole region IIRC. And most of that was in Iran. So, let's do a little geography and:

the distance between Cairo and Tehran is app. 1,200 miles. In order to get any gain from your foolhardy plan the Germans will have to conquer all of that. To put this into perspective the distance from Tobruk to Cairo, which the Germans were incapable of performing OTL is app. 500 miles. The distance from Warsaw to Moscow is about 785 miles. Think about those numbers for a second. Over TWICE the distance required to conquer just Egypt, going up against the defenses on the other side of Suez, and then advancing across open desert for hundreds of miles with no way to ship in more supplies. Do you really think Germany was capable of doing that. Again, they couldn't even take Egypt OTL.

While I don't necessarily agree, for the sake of argument let's then go with wiking's favorite standby of having him die of one of Dr. Morell's toxic injections in the period between the Fall of France and the Battle of Britain and being replaced by Goring, who was against invading the Soviet Union and very enthusiastic about Soviet trade.
You can disagree with it all you want, but you would still be wrong. Regardless, so where is Germany going to get the money to pay for this since you also have them building a railroad to nowhere, expanding ports in the middle of nowhere, and fighting a war over nowhere? Or do you think Stalin is going to let them keep having materiel for free out of the goodness of his heart?
 
A lot of this is fine - its alternate history

There was support for getting the USSR into the AXIS, which is what Molotov's mission was all about

People like Goebbels and Rosenburg WERE open to arguments, tho initially blinded by dogma. The latter shouldn't be seen to mean they could not be persuaded

In river-crossing terms, the Channel was huge but if it COULD be crossed, throwing a bridgehead across, it inverts much of the anti-Sealion bias

The Med strategy was far from pointless - it opens the door to Egypt, Suez, Iraq, Syria and the underbelly of the Caucasus
 
Keeping the US out of the war will be impossible if the Japanese stick to the original timeline. Once they attack Pearl Harbour, here comes the US. So you have to defeat the UK before that, in 1940-early 1941. Destroying the BEF is a good start, but you must also make sure the Luftwaffe sticks to attacking military targets (airfields, factories, etc) avoiding the diversion of eforts to bombing cities. But, even if you suceed in destroying the RAF (or at least cutting it down enough for an invasion), you'll still have to contend with the RN when trying to cross the Channel. Sure, it will suffer many losses, but I doubt any invasion barge or support boat would survive. Which would result in the german army ending at the bottom of the Channel, with maybe part of the 1st wave stuck in the UK, alone and with no reinforcements.
 
Keeping the US out of the war will be impossible.
Period. At very least Roosevelt would arm any country prepared to fight the Axis. Sooner or later though, some one is declare war on the USA, just as the Japanese and Hitler did.

Of course if Roosevelt is replaced, the Japanese allow their economy decline and Hitler keeps his gob shut the USA will stay out. That though is in the ASB department.
 
In river-crossing terms, the Channel was huge but if it COULD be crossed, throwing a bridgehead across, it inverts much of the anti-Sealion bias
No it doesn't. The reality is that even with a beachead the Germans have to actually supply their army, and they can't. No, I mean they literally can't. There isn't enough port capacity in the area of England to be invaded to supply the ten divisions they plan to send across, even if they are ALL taken intact, which they won't be. The Channel is really just the first of the problems that have to be overcome.
 
While I don't necessarily agree, for the sake of argument let's then go with wiking's favorite standby of having him die of one of Dr. Morell's toxic injections in the period between the Fall of France and the Battle of Britain and being replaced by Goring, who was against invading the Soviet Union and very enthusiastic about Soviet trade.
Disagreeing with reality don't make you fantasies right. Hitler was all about the destruction of the "Judeo-Bolshevik" state.

Also if Hitler dies and is replaced by Goring who don't go to war in 1941 against the USSR, the price of soviet trade will be higher and higher until the soviet sneak attack the germans in 1944 or so (especially if they try to launch a Sealion).
 
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