Operation Sea Lion 1974 Sandhurst Wargame

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Not James Stockdale, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. Ian Hathaway Well-Known Member

    Nov 8, 2012
    I'm interested to find out how people would assign the Fighter Command squadrons in this kind of scenario. Lets say the RN forces are coming from the Humber, Sheerness/Harwich and maybe from the west as well, how many squadrons will be needed to fly patrols?
  2. Coulsdon Eagle Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2012
    Coulsdon, Surrey
    It's not only Goering who has to worry about strategic overstretch. Fighters circling the Home Fleet on their way south will not be available over the beachheads. Neither will Me-109s & 110s appointed as escorts to the Stukas & Ju-88s, while the latter can't soften up the beach defenses. I don't have Macksey's book to hand but wasn't the issue of fighter cover an important point in the failure of the RN to stop the invasion in his fiction (written when the Sea Lion was still considered a good shot at Nazi victory)? IIRC he also had preservation of the capital ships to continue the fight overseas and as leverage with the USA as a reason why not every RN ship was present.

    FWIW this Board has changed many of my old views on the unspeakable mammal, and I too believe the RN would stop at almost nothing to stop an invasion. If they lost the Med and the Far East as a result, well Empires don't last forever.
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  3. Killer in Well-Known Member

    Sep 8, 2015
    I'm fairly sure almost all of the Isle of Wight is within long range artillery of the mainland. At least the viable Ports and those that are not are jisj targets for the fleet.
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  4. Killer in Well-Known Member

    Sep 8, 2015
    Going off what people have already said the RN seems to have sufficient firepower already in the Channel to stop the invasion, without major reinforcement
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  5. misterwibble Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2015
    This is the point when you get my hardest Paddington stare.
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  6. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

    Jun 27, 2014
    1123 6536 5321
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  7. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

    Jun 27, 2014
    1123 6536 5321
    The other thing that interests me is what the weather is doing - if the weather is overcast then the effectiveness of aircraft on both sides is going to be diminished

    The earliest I can see an invasion is Sept (probably later in the month) - looks like mixed weather during that period - I'll post the daily weather from the below web pages

    Ideal tidal conditions for a landing during the month were 10th -12th Sept and 23rd-25th Sept

    Found a good resource where a chap has detailed the weather as well as as many air activities as possible during the period of the BoB

    Sept 1940 starts on page 5 and I have taken the following information from this excellent link by a poster called Coast - none of this work is mine

    1st September 1940.

    The country was under cloudy patches for most of the morning with some sunny periods. Temperatures were a little higher than average, with the cloud burning off about midday giving way to fine and sunny conditions.

    2nd September 1940.

    Anti cyclonic weather starts with areas of early morning mist and scattered fog inland giving way to clear skies, which continued for the rest of the day. Temperatures were again higher than average. Cloud drifted in from the North Sea later in the afternoon in Northern England and Scotland.

    3rd September 1940.

    After early morning mist, especially in low lying areas, the south and southeast saw a warm and fine day with some haze in many Channel areas. In the north, most areas had low cloud and drizzle with scattered heavy falls along the northeast coast and southern Scotland.

    4th September 1940.

    Southern England was fine and warm, skies were mainly clear with occasional cloud. The Channel areas remained fine with good visibility. The north of England and most of Scotland had rain periods with some heavy falls and strong winds.

    5th September 1940.

    After a clear night, the morning period all over Britain was clear with good to excellent visibility and temperatures slightly above average. Cloud increased over the eastern coast north of East Anglia during the afternoon. The north of England and Scotland had 60% cloud cover, which increased during the afternoon although this was high cloud with no rain. The Channel areas remained clear and fine for most of the day.

    The day proved to be an ideal day for combat, the weather was clear with only a slight breeze. Conditions for flying were ideal, although Fighter Command were praying for rain and inclement weather. Dowding wanted some breathing space, some respite for the fighter airfields, especially those of 11 Group. Just a few days would relieve the pressure on the British pilots.

    6h September 1940.

    The fine weather of the previous days continued with the cloud in the north dispersing overnight and bringing fine weather to all areas. Temperatures were a little lower, but still slightly above average.

    7th September 1940 The start of the Blitz

    High cloud early giving way to light cloud but remaining fine throughout the south. Channel areas had early morning haze which quickly disappeared leaving clear skies. Temperatures were normal. The north had mid to high level cloud with good visibility.

    The British War Office and Air Ministry were advised that after consultation with the meteorological office that the tides and moon favoured a date between the 8th and 10th of September for the commencement of the German invasion. A meeting that was called by the British Chiefs of Staff and was to commence that day at 5.30pm to discuss whether or not the "Alert No.1" should be issued. At this stage, Dowding and Park had no idea as to the change in tactics that the Luftwaffe was to implement later this day.

    8th September 1940

    After a clear night, clouds developed over most of Britain and remained at 80% for most of the day. Although cloudy, the day remained dry with only far northern Scotland getting a shower or two. Temperatures were a little cooler because of the cloud cover but this cloud broke up late in the afternoon.

    9th September 1940

    Cloud overnight becoming showery with the thunderstorms in the east. Rain periods in the west while the north and Scotland remained cloudy but dry. Showers cleared from Channel areas by midday.

    10th September 1940

    Clear during the early hours but cloud moved in from the North Sea during the early morning and this gave rain over most areas during the day. The low cloud and periods of heavy rain over Northern Europe stopped any form of Luftwaffe air activity and any operations planned against England were cancelled.

    11th September 1940

    Heavy cloud cover dispersed overnight giving way to a fine day in most areas, occasional cloud and some local showers in the midlands and the north with the exception of the English Channel and south-eastern England where cloud continued.

    12th September 1940

    Cloud cover in all areas and showers turning to rain for most of the country. Low cloud persisted over the Channel areas and most of the south coast had showers that were heavy at times. The bad weather was another welcome break from the campaign on both sides.

    13th September 1940

    There was no sign in an improvement in the weather, and it remained unsettled with rain in all areas. In the south and east there were a few breaks in the cloud giving sunny periods. Over the Channel, the heavy cloud and rain gave way to lighter, higher cloud during the day. The weather was by now, severely hampering enemy operations.

    Weather conditions seemed to be closing in and with a deteriorating situation; it appeared that any chance of a successful invasion was out of the question if Hitler could make up his mind. Already, the date previously set for Operation Sealion, September 11th had been postponed, and Hitler had said that he favoured September 24th as the most likely date. But if the situation continued as it was, it would be an impossibility for the barges to cross the Channel should the expected winds, prevalent at that time of the year, accompany the heavy cloud and rain squalls.

    14th September 1940

    Again no sign in an improvement in the weather, and it remained unsettled with rain periods and thunderstorms in all areas. Over the Channel, the heavy cloud and rain gave way to lighter higher cloud during the day, but the showers persisted.

    15th September 1940

    The largest ever German formations over London and southeast, in two big raids. Mainly broken up by 24 Fighter Command Sqns operating on this day 70 years ago, since known as:

    Battle of Britain Day.

    Heavy cloud and rain periods overnight cleared and the forecast for the day was fine in most areas with patchy cloud. No rain was forecast but some areas had an odd shower. The fine conditions of the morning gave way to incoming cloud although it remained dry. Cloud was stratocumulus providing about 8/10ths cover at a height of 5,000 feet. Wind was slight and from the northwest.

    16h September 1940

    There were much cooler conditions coming in from the North Sea. Most areas had heavy cloud cover and rain in all districts that was heavy at times.

    17h September 1940

    Overcast with squally showers with drizzle and low cloud

    18h September 1940

    Conditions were similar to the previous day except that the low to medium cloud that brought the rain periods disappeared. The day was bright and clear although the squally winds would continue.

    19th September 1940

    Heavy cloud continued throughout the day and rain periods, heavy at times were experienced over much of Britain. The Channel areas had very low cloud base with early morning fog and mist patches in coastal districts.

    Waking up to a rather dismal and damp morning, it was obvious to many of the British pilots that it was certainly not going to be a day that one should be up there in that dull grey murk and they hoped that the Luftwaffe would see it in the same way. They were not going to be disappointed. Radar stations along the Channel coast were idle, the CRT screens blank.

    20th September 1940

    The morning was reasonably fair with scattered cloud with showers by midday, which continued throughout the day. It was another of those mornings where there was an abundance of blue sky and scattered cloud, but the radar screens at the south coast radar stations were totally clear.

    21st September 1940

    The day opened to scattered cloud although along the Estuary and the River Thames as far as London there was considerable haze. Once this cleared, most of the south was fine with scattered cloud but by midday cloud had started to build up. In the north there was cloud with sunny spells but it remained dry

    22nd September 1940

    The day opened to many fog covered areas and a mist layer remained for most of the morning period. During the afternoon visibility had increased lengthy sunny periods, but the heavy cloud rolled in late in the afternoon and many areas especially in the south experienced periods of rain.

    23rd September 1940

    Mist and fog patches in most areas giving way to a mainly fine day. Some patchy cloud, but mainly fine weather over most areas.

    24th September 1940

    Mist and fog patches were widespread in most areas especially over the French and British coastlines during the morning. Mist or haze was prevalent for most of the day, with high cloud clearing by late afternoon

    25th September 1940

    Overcast with thunder and rain generally, clearing later with showers in the South East.

    26th September 1940

    Generally fine, clouding up in the South later in the day

    27th September 1940

    Fair in the extreme south and southwest. Cloudy in the Channel with light rain over southern England.

    28th September 1940

    Generally fair but cloudy in the channel

    29th September 1940

    Generally fair all day with some cloud in the middle of the day.

    30th September 1940

    Fair with light cloud.
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  8. Mike D Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2013
    You must have missed prior IoW discussions. Have a search and you'll find it suggested as a serious alternative to Sealion.
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  9. sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    An invasion of the Isle of Wight in 140 is IMVHO a gift for the British. It just becomes a big prisoner of war camp for the survivors of any German invasion Force.
    There are No harbours let along ports on the Islands southern Shore. The best invasion beaches are within artillery range of the mainland (admittedly for big guns only) and even if the Germans land successfully and establish them selves on the Island their is still the problem of assembling a second invasion force to cross the solent and Spithead to reach the mainland,
  10. Barry Bull Donor

    Apr 21, 2008
    Hong Kong
    Source, preferably peer reviewed academic ones, please.
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  11. Stenz Don't judge the past by the standards of today... Monthly Donor

    May 18, 2016
    Leafy Southern Blighty
    Yeah, the IoW invasion was a desperate attempt by a USM-er to come up with a new edgy strategy for said USM. It was roundly rejected by all on the board, save a few.
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  12. steamboy Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2015
    Those few being the usual suspects of Wehraboos most of whom pop up in any thread re Sealion or any flavour thereof., I read the IoW invasion thing and it made me want to have a stiff drink. The denial of reality was STRONG with that thread.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  13. pjmidd Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2015
    ??? In 1940 ??? Later yes, but in 1940 the Germans had no radars in place outside Germany. Looking at line of sight says Radars that far North are not much use on detecting ships trying to enter the channel especially as the RN would be near the English coast.
  14. Ian Hathaway Well-Known Member

    Nov 8, 2012
    Yes in 1940, all along the French coast, look at reports for HMS Delight for 29th July 1940 for example.
  15. TDM Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2018

    1). its further from any Greman departure points than the suggested Sealion targets so all the problems of an invasion fleet travelling at 2-4kns and largely made up of unseaworthy river barges and pontoons, increase.

    2). it within range of the ship's guns at anchor in one of the major RN ports, as well as quickly within range of land based artillery.

    3). Once there they're trapped and can't get off, as well as concentrated in a small place

    one of the very few ways to make Sealion worse is to make it Wightlion
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
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  16. Barry Bull Donor

    Apr 21, 2008
    Hong Kong
    What if RN actually deploy a fast BB with escort to the Channel? It would be a bomb magnet, diverting German forces from escorting the invasion fleet against lighter RN forces.

    If the German refuse to take the obvious bait, then they face the risk of that fast BB eating the invasion fleet for breakfast.
    TDM likes this.
  17. fastmongrel Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    Lancashire UK
    Why bother they could have got the same response by sending an old not particulary valuable R class. It will still be a bomb magnet and still eat the invasion fleet for breakfast, well as its only capable of about 20 knots the German invasion fleet gets to survive till elevenses or even lunch.
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  18. Alanith Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2013
    "Sir! The enemy is very slowly gaining on us!"

    I also like how the pro-sealion side hasn't brought up their brilliant tactic to defend against Royal Navy vessels yet... which is in the event of the detection of an unknown vessel at night, the soldiers aboard should fire all their weapons at it. The Royal Navy wouldn't even need to sortie, because the invasion fleet is going to massacre itself.
  19. Stenz Don't judge the past by the standards of today... Monthly Donor

    May 18, 2016
    Leafy Southern Blighty
    I swear to god, if anyone mentions strapping field artillery to the decks of the barges...
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  20. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

    Dec 14, 2012
    "The English Navy is coming Sir."

    "Oh S...t"