Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Not James Stockdale, Mar 8, 2019.
When the topic of German air deployable artillery came up earlier I was going to ask about their recoilless guns before checking their date of deployment.
Would 75mm or 105mm LG40 recoilless guns be of any use in engaging British strong points or armour if they could be brought into service in time?
@ rossw: The German recoilless rifles might be useful. The problem is the Germans had a lot of stuff "in development" some of which had the potential to be good, some mediocre, and some absolute crap. Because of their limited resources/economy they had to filter out the good from crap early on and they rarely did this. The USA had a lot of crap in development but they had the resources to waste. The Germans didn't, and on top of that their allocation of scarce materials was complete crap compared to what the USA was doing.
The UK does better is hardly an unrealistic proposal - between bad luck, bad choices of political leaders and circumstances beyond our control most of the 20th Century was basically a UK-screw with even our best or brightest moments (standing alone in 1940, for example) basically coming back to do us hard and dry later on.
Making things slightly better for the UK is hardly as unrealistic as a successful invasion of the UK by Germany, even if some of the 'Empire lives on' stories sometimes go a bit far.
I like the UK, but even I can say that some of those TLs are wanks. Anyway, this is more derails so I propose we try something else.
Would anyone who failed to push the attack on the gathering convoys of a Sea Lion be charged under the Articles of War and be treated much like an admiral Byng just without the execution, so they themselves be drafted as a penal troop to shorten their life expectancy ?
(Yes, I’ve been harping on about the Articles of War in my posts, 2/3 is a lot but I find the story ridiculous and important to understand British fighting culture).
Yes, I'd imagine that a refusal to attack any German build up would be treated as LMF (Lack of Moral Fibre) and would cause administrative action (removal from post, loss of flying pay, posting to Bernbecula as OIC Rock Counting for RAF pilots for example) to be taken although I doubt there would be jail or worse (I'm not aware of LMF cases being jailed in WW2 although I'm not going to claim to be an authority).
The UK didn't really have 'penal troops' as we'd know them (Sven Hassel/Soviet human wave candidates) and punishments postings, ironically, often put the convicted man in a safer place (such as the aforementioned stint on some Scottish island counting rocks) but with a severe stain on their reputation which was still seen by much of society as a fate worse than death. The closest example I can think of would be Conscientious Objectors ending up as stretcher bearers rather than "combat soldiers".
I'm not sure why you're quoting my post, Mike D. As your own quoting of my post shows, I wrote nothing that states the UK doing "slightly better" is, per se, unrealistic. I merely stated that I some the threads about the UK doing better are equally absurd (as Glenn239's posts) and that I'd appreciate folks taking the same energy to debunk some of these absurd threads posted.
Your implication that what I wrote meant that a thread where "making things slightly better for the UK is hardly as unrealistic as a successful invasion of the UK by Germany" is both illogical and silly. At best it's an inadvertant misreading. At worst it's a provocative and dishonest argument using the sort of goal post moving that Glenn239 used.
I think I made a mistake, I’m not saying they get a strike of nerves, I say they attack, have to return for some reason that isn’t viewed as acceptable (such as a gun being damaged) but is t grounds for LMF punishment, they would then proceed to the next book they could throw at them, the Articles of War, which to my knowledge carried life in prison for failure to do one’s best, but due to the dire situation would see them armed in an effective suicide posting.
My guess is not but only because I am assuming more than enough of the fleet would carry on and obliterate the German fleet that the few who turned back, assuming any did, wouldn't ruin the operation.
And then afterwards, given the political atmosphere, I think the higher-ups would be focused on celebrating the decisive victory rather than punishing a few moral failures.
That said I have to think being known as the destroyer captain who chickened out in the face of a barge fleet would spell certain doom for their future career and promotion prospects.
Edited to add -- let me just also add that barring actual legitimate breakdowns, torpedo/bomb hits, etc., I'm not seeing what would cause any RN ships to turn aside here. It's not like they are vulnerable bombers going into daylight raids over Germany where you've already seen half your friends shot down. This is a very proud navy with a very long tradition that is about to assert its command of the sea over a ragtag flotilla of hastily drafted civilian transports. Commanders who risked their ships off Crete and Dunkirk I cannot see are going to duck out of the line when the time comes to save the UK from invasion by such a pathetic foe.
I'm just proud that so many people enjoyed posting in this thread that there are more mod posts than OP posts.
It is a common trope on here that Sealion is a tiresome and unpopular topic, but the people who denounce it usually then go on to discuss it at great length.
Whatever happens, we have got
The Panzer IV, and they have not
Or so I can only imagine the so-called logic is.
We keep it tiresome and unpopular so that no one commits it in a TL.
Don't tempt Fate!
Some people could take this as a challenge. Be interesting to see any fans of the USM actually put in the work to plot out a scenario and expose it to reasoned critiques.
Why not write a believable ATL where the Germans get curb-stomped! And the let them try and nit pick it apart with hand waveum abnausiam.
The believable option is that German barge convoys creeping down the channel to Calais on S-2 get intercepted by the RN with casualties in the thousands. Sealion is then cancelled as the light units are used as rescue boats rescuing the survivors.
I would get at least one R class battle ship into the channel to provide some real oomph to the RN gunline. The muzzle blast alone from an eight 15" gun broadside would eviscerate any barges within a cable or two!! I wonder what the gun elevation would be for the optimum blast zone on the water?
The first Sealion thread I've had any input to. I've learned a lot - mostly that it is next to impossible.
15 inch shrapnel is what Resolution would use against barges - unless she's frightened of by 20mm fire
Apologies I've just read We March Against England: Operation Sea Lion, 1940-41 By R. Forczyk. the main point of which was that 20mm on barges would be useful to the German barges enabling them to push through against the RN.
It is a good book for summarising the invasion preparations - I had not realised that barge loading would start of S-10, the RAF might cause enough destruction by itself to cancel the operation
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