Operation Sea Lion: The Invasion Itself

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Die Kaiserin, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. ScrewySqrl The Nutty One

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    you might look into the 1974 Sandhurst wargame, which presupposes a successful initial landing - 330,000 men. It gives the Royal Navy the Stupids just to get the troops across, then assumes everything goes normally from there

    The Army has the whole situation in hand, with over 300,000 German men killed or captured, in 5 days

    edit:

    a report of the wargame:

    http://mr-home.staff.shef.ac.uk/hobbies/seelowe.txt
     
  2. sharlin Banned

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    For the 74 wargame didn't they basically have the RN all call in sick for the first few days with a dreadful case of 'can't be arsed' before someone in Whitehall yelled at them.
     
  3. Saphroneth Just don't ask me to write a normal world Banned

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    The Rhine is, essentially, an enclosed waterway. It's calm, smooth, and doesn't have much in the way of waves - except in the occasional flood.
    As such, for a Rhine River Barge to have any meaningful loaded freeboard would be actively wasteful. Maybe give it a foot - it's not like there'll be any problems, motor boat wash isn't a major thing they have to handle in the Rhine.

    The Thames (from which the Thames river barges come) is a rather less enclosed waterway - and Thames barges traded from the Thames itself out to northern Europe, and did so under sail. For them, being able to handle high weather was advantageous. As such, Thames barges had rather more freeboard, and they had leeboards specifically to avoid overturn.

    For the average Rhine barge to have significant loaded freeboard would be actively wasteful (so it will have to be generated - probably by not loading most of the barges very much, and that will impact stability.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  4. sharlin Banned

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    A very good point, at full load a Rhine barge would probably have a waterline level of just below the bottom of the painted white bit, which is as you said about a foot to the top. Thats 30cm or 12 inches which is perfectly fine in nice flat rivers like the Rhine, but anything resembling a choppy sea and they would have issues.

    Basically the Rhine barges as invasion ships = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTVPPTV-bQM And this is without the RN going 'Ahem...' before giving them a gentle tap on the shoulder with shells ranging from 20mm to 6 inch (the R class ship would have probably been Stuka bait) and the RAF going TALLY HO! (not whilst drinking lead paint or beaning themselves in the face with a cricket bat as some folks seem to think they MUST do in WW2) but strafing and bombing, and then the beach defences opening fire...

    Okay thats the new thing for the piniped. Ambitious! But Rubbish!
     
  5. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

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    So Germany will invade Britain on 3000 tonnes a day of supplies but The Allies needed 54000 tonnes a day to do the reverse.

    And even allowing for the reduced opposition, 3000 tonnes a day to Rommels forces in Africa was only achieved in three months out of 17 during the North Africa campaign - and that was when the ports were controlled.
     
  6. Meadow but see, when Meadow does that, Monthly Donor

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    Not quite, it's only 90,000 men or so - the first wave of the planned 330,000.
     
  7. Ultimate Paragon Banned

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    Germany would need naval superiority to have any realistic hope of succeeding.
     
  8. theirishdreamer Banned

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    hmmm

    So what causes the Germans to go ahead with Sealion?

    I was proposing the British go ahead with Operation Catherine over in the Operation Sealion and Case Green thread and would that be enough to get der Fuhrer to order the lunacy to go ahead? (Im trying to see what conditions are needed for Green, which was supposed to occur with Sealion in tandem).
     
  9. Michele Well-Known Member

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    The Luftwaffe doing a bit better in the months before september 1940, for instance. Enough to lull the German decision makers into believing that they have air superiority or nearly so. Oh, sorry, I have already said that, verbosely.

    Another idea might be a freak accident. The Cabinet has a work dinner, and half of them including Churchill die of botulin (that damn pork pie). It's not as if the British are surrendering for that, but there are signs of panic, Hitler decides this is a godsend like God having Frederick's enemies die, and gives the green light. The notion would be that the panic would spread and force the British government to sue for peace, not that the operation would work from the military POV.

    Or you can go back and create some much earlier POD. Many work on the evacuation of Dunkerque, for instance.
     
  10. theirishdreamer Banned

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    haha

    Yes apart from the Luftwaffe doing better, you somewhat elaborated on that point on a post or two :D

    But what do you think of something like Catherine as a POD for it? Keeping the KN mostly intact and reinforcing the view on air vs naval in Goering/Hitlers mind.
     
  11. Michele Well-Known Member

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    Seems awfully unlikely. Sorry.
     
  12. theirishdreamer Banned

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    hhmm

    No worries. Never hurts to ask after all.
     
  13. alfredtuomi Well-Known Member

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    most plausible reason for this to go ahead:the pharmacy mixes up the prescriptions and hitler gets the uppers while goering gets the downers.:eek:


    heh....it's just as likely as any other reason:cool:
     
    Finbarr the Fair likes this.
  14. MattII Well-Known Member

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    Except that Jeremy's vehicle had reasonable freeboard for its size, plenty of power, and was manoeuvrable enough to dodge channel shipping, now compare that to an underpowered, heavily-laden river-barge, and then add in the fact that they'll be getting shot at...
     
  15. USSManhattan Teacher and Writer of Things

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    REALLY minor quibble, but Churchill's death scene is actually from the book "If Britain Had Fallen" by Norman Longmate (http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1848326475?pc_redir=1403252839&robot_redir=1. OP might find it worthwhile to see a description of how Sealion could play out (even if it implausibly has a near-effortless German victory), but it's an interesting read if you're willing to turn off you brain when needed, especially when Longmate discusses the occupation of the Channel Islands.
     
  16. Riain Well-Known Member

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    The thing about Kenneth Macksey's book is that the invasion of Britain occurs in July before the fall of France. So while invading Britain half the French Army is rallying at the Wehrmacht's rear.
     
  17. ivanotter Well-Known Member

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    There is a quote somewhere:

    "I did not say they can't come, but I said they can't come by sea".

    The sticky part is of course to get anything meaningful across. Comparing Sea Lion to Overlord is ... <loss of words>

    Of course 1940 is not 1944, but the amount of tonnage to be moved is still huge.

    Even if RN is getting a beating by LW (which is not out of the question) and RAF is not impacting the battle in any major way (RAF bombing was not great due to lack of suitable machines) the logistics will still mitigate against any success.

    All of that said, if we turn to the OP, and land a sufficient huge force AND imagine that it is possible to keep the force (300,000 is a lot of logistics) supplied, then what?

    Brooke was not greatly optimistic as Battle of France left the cupboard rather bare.

    Old men with old rifles might be Volksturm instead.

    If we combine this with Dynamo never happened, we do have a case in point.

    Although not necessarily a good comparison, the war in Spain showed that it was possible to support Franco by air only (as the Republicans had the navy).

    So, IF somebody can get them across, it is not a given that Britain will do great.

    Ivan
     
  18. sharlin Banned

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    Aye Sealion could have gone ahead but there's so many if's, buts, maybes, X, Y, Z and FNNRK (I dunno either) as well as pre war PODs etc having to happen to make it plausable that it is just basically ASB unless you want to split hairs and go 'maaaaaaaaaaaybe if they did this, and then this, then this happened, and this, this too, oh and this, oh and we had this happen in 1936 that no one knew about, AND this..' then yes it might be plausable. But the reality is that if you go by OTL, and Hitler going LAUNCH DAS SEELOWE! (possibly whilst stomping around his office like the chap in this vid whilst some blond eyed, blue haired SS belt out the song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlZrFE0bmUw ) then it would be met with disaster, even if the Luftwaffle could force the RAF to pull back.
     
  19. Die Kaiserin Killer Queen of Trans-Terra

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    To be fair, If I had said a year ago Putin would invade Crimea, youd call it ASB or implausible.
     
  20. Michele Well-Known Member

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    Well, not ASB, but very implausible, surely. But that's a general problem with any alternate history. The fall of Norway in 1940 also was extremely unlikely. Nobody can really say "this surely could not have happened".

    Yet we can say what is unlikely, very unlikely, or sealion-like-unlikely. Then if there is a possibility of a reality check - like in the case of Crimea or Norway - we can only accept that check.
    If there is no such possibility, as with Eumetopias Jubatus... well, then it depends on our tastes. I usually prefer going with the chances, others might like going with the more bizarre story.

    As a general remark, note that the history of the early years of WWII already includes a series of unlikely lucky throws of the dice for the Germans. Hitler was a brinksman and a gambler, and he was lucky - initially, and in any case, luck is rarely a replacement for deeper pockets on the green baize. In the long run, pockets will win.
    Adding yet another one gigantic stroke of luck for the Nazies, at the level of four sixes with four dice, is an additional layer of unlikelihood, per se.

    Finally note that it is one thing to say that something is unlikely from a political and diplomatic POV, but not, technically and resource-wise, impossible. This would apply to Crimea. It is another kettle of fish to point out that something can't be achieved with the resources and forces at hand, regardless of the politics or other soft factors. This would apply to you know what.