So HOW disasterous would Sealion be?

Ok so Sealion is attempted as per OTL proposals and despite the Luftwaffe not smashing the RAF (Hitler *really* wants England neutralized)...

Its going to be bad, pants wettingly bad ~ that's a given.

The question (to more knowledgeable heads than mine) just how bad in terms of men and materials lost?

More importantly what are the ramifications of the disaster?

Does old Adolf (and others in the Nazi hierarchy) suddenly develop terminal lead poisoning from a resurgent Heer?

How does the rest of the world (including Uncle Joe) react?

Oh and if this has been discussed please post a link to the relevant thread(s) ~ my search-fu may have been weak and missed it :)
Losses to the German army arnt going to be huge (as a proportion of the force). The losses to the paratroops could be crippling, however.
LW losses may well be heavier (as they desperately try and get air superiority, bomb the RN and support the army at the same time), which will hurt them (especialy if they have, in all likelihood, lost heavily in the transport planes and their very experienced pilots). Not so much a huge loss in number, but it will dilute the pilot pool.

The serious losses will be to the navy. Its likely that everything they have left floating will be either sunk or damaged. If they use u-boats in the channel they are likely to lose these too, its not the area of sea to be a u-boat in (and you are operating in the RN's prewar antisubmarine training area to boot!). However the really serious loss will be to personell. The KM didnt have the surplus of trained men it needed already, and the requirements of the barge fleet basically needs every sailor they have. not many of these will be coming back. This will heavily affect any replacement program post-sealion.

The effects on the British will be less severe. A lot more ships needing repair, some losses, but they have the force levels to cope with this.

I dont see the generals topping Hitler over this; they never liked the idea anyway, and in view of Hitlers win over France, its probably nothing much will happen.

Follow on effects? The probably loss of the paras means Crete gets butterflied. Its likely that Barbarossa goes ahead as normal - its on land, none of that nasty wet stuff in the way, and indeed would probebly be seen as a way to recover the army's presteige. Whether or not Germany still commits forces to the Med after that nasty water experience is an interesting point.

I cant see Stalin really caring either way, after all hes a land animal too.

It may be easier for Britain to get US help, as they will now be seen as having successfuly smashed an invasion attempt. Britains morale will certainly be higher.

Whether the Blitz goes ahead after LW losses is again a tossup; on one hand the LW sees a need to rebuild and recover, otoh its a way of striking at Britain. Could go either way, possibly depending on the LW's perceived performance during sealion.
The Germans get ashore with about 80 000 men or so, with 20 000 lost at sea and 20 000 returning to France. They advance a bit and are then stopped. After a week of vicious fighting, the Germans have no offensive ability left. It takes another two weeks before they actually surrender.

The Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine will spend a lot of their resources trying to save the stranded Heer.

Most, if not all remaining German surface units sunk or serverly damaged.
The barge fleet devastated, which has serious economic consequences.
The Luftwaffe losing 500+ planes and air crews trying to establish full air superiority, drop paratroopers, resupply and finally evacuate troops.
100 000 men lost, perhaps 200 tanks and 200 artillery pieces.
Entire 7. Flieger and 22. Luftlande-division lost except for a few evacuated wounded. Most of the Brandenburger commandos lost.
Several submarines lost trying to close of the Channel and in the final hours evacuate specialists.

The British are now safe, have blunted the best of the Heer and devastated the Luftwaffe and especially the Kriegsmarine. The British need not defend their home islands that much anymore. With the paratroopers out, Crete will remain in British hands. The British can also dedicate more troops to North Africa.
I'd say VERY. for a start the JU52 fleet is going to be crippled. Skilled glider pilots are very few in number, Jerries KM is decimated (hardly any surface vessels left). For the panzerwaffe they've lost a few hundred much needed Pz3's and 4s (Pz3 are converted into the StUG) and there are well over 50K German POW's that we now have employed clearing streets and planting crops (that spells the end of some of their best assault divisons including much needed gerbigsjagers). Not sure whether the U Boats would have deployed INTO the Channel-more likely on the flanks, but yup they'll lose some of them as well.
Ramifications on plans?
Hitler leaves Mussolini to fester in the Med-no relief for him at all. So Brits and Greece defeat the Italians in the Med. Mussolini toppled?

Finally despite the oath I think OKW would be having a big think about what to do with the Madman and his bum chums. (Remember that at this stage the Waffen SS has not reached its 36 Division peak)(well plus the Volksgrenadier divisions that were partially answerable to Himmler-these forming in '43/44).
couled hitler sue for peace or it couled go to churchill's head and he might try to chase the gremans into france (wich would be as bad for britian as sealoin for the german )
Effects on german economy will be also devastating, they will lost everything they considered for troops transports : from the famous river barges to the last small boats, and even fishing boats taken as far as Dantzig...
could Hitler sue for peace or it could go to Churchill's head and he might try to chase the Germans into France (which would be as bad for Britain as Sealion for the Germans )

Hitler wouldnt sue for peace, but Churchill wouldnt invade Europe either. He might have been reckless and even dangerous at times, but he wasnt bat shit crazy like Hitler. He also has the advantage that every man and his dog in the General Staff would tell him not to carry out such a stupid plan.
I would put Luftwaffe aircraft losses at 2000 or higher, with RAF losses substantially lower because the British aren't bringing up to 900 unarmed transports into a war zone to land paratroops and then resupply them.

Pilot losses, if anything, will be even more favorable to the British as anyone who bails out returns to base, if British, or gets a POW camp, if German.

Free of any possible invasion threat the British could deploy a much more substantial force to Egypt and the Middle East out of the 30 infantry and 4 armored divisions available OTL in the UK in January 1941. On the other hand this might force Hitler to make a much more substantial effort in North Africa as he was concerned that an Italian collapse in Libya would leave the British too much freedom of movement and a dozen divisions to use and now the British have much more.

Wild card! The pilots of the German Ju-52s were exceptionally good at their job, which is hardly surprising because when they weren't flying these planes to deploy paratroops they were the Luftwaffe's instructors! While these men are awaiting Sea Lion the training of new Luftwaffe pilots will be crippled and if heavy losses are suffered...
Hmmm interesting...

Losses for the Army less than I expected (in terms of manpower etc) but how about commanders? Any important figures likely to be killed/POW? For some reason I'm thinking Rommel would be there...

Japan would definitely be watching this with interest and maybe the US as well (from a doctrinal point of view re : amphibious assault).

Cant help but wonder how the minor Axis powers would react and of course Yugoslavia might look to the Allies for support.

So far I can see a definite hurt on Germany's economy, a crippled LW (pilot losses would be extremely difficult to make good before Barbarossa) and a dicier situation in the Med for Axis...

Its looking more and more like a good POD for a TL :)
Air Power

Germany dosn't get control of the air. It's forces on the ground take a pounding from the British. They arn't able the resist British bombing of Germany. They have few plains left of for close air support in the east. This benefits Russia.
It honestly depends on how quickly it comes apart for them. The plan called for 10... thats right 10 freaking divisions to be landed simultaneously; now the KM had NOTHING like the lift capacity to even possibly do this with even insane Nazi levels of disregard of individual lives (D-Day landed the equivilent of 4ish divisions at once if you count the paras)

If the KM goes forward with this for whatever reason they can't possibly land that many forces all at once... so lets say 4 regiments plus the parachute and air landing division (and that would be damn generous even by sept 1940. If the RN crushes them in the first wave, German losses are limited to just that basically a little under 3 divisions destroyed and or taken prisoner

If the Germans land in some strength due to POD's that make them go ahead with sealion in the first place (such as driving the royal navy out of the channel or establishing air superiority at least 30km inland) then again it depends on how quickly the RN cuts them off.... if one was a ballsy commander I would let them land as many damn troops as possible before letting the RN come in and crush their supply lines... RN capital ships where more or less immune to German aircraft in 1940

losing 10 or less divisions isn't really much of a game changer... the Germans fought on in spite of much larger debacles against stronger enemies (ie losing 250k men at Tunis or 22 divisions at Stalingrad, but kept on fighting for another two years without overthrowing their government or really giving up on the war effort or making serious peace overtures because they where impressed by the magnitude of their failure)


Alternatively you can consider Anzio and Solerno landings and the mistakes made there by people who already had experience with several amphibious landings and who had overwhelming air superiority and sea capability.
Considering that the RAF is still intact and presumably winning the BoB the causalities will be milited to the massacre of the first wave of landing craft and paratroop transports. After this casualties will drop down as it won't really be feasible for the Germans to continue.

Ironically it might have been better if the Royal Navy had had to the dirty work as more Germans get involved,.


Considering that the RAF is still intact and presumably winning the BoB the causalities will be milited to the massacre of the first wave of landing craft and paratroop transports.

One of the conditions set for Sealion to take place was air superiority over the English Channel Red, so they either have knocked the RAF back and gained control of the air over the Channel or Sealion doesn't take place.

Perhaps we should consider the words of someone with a fair idea of the situation:

Winston Churchill said:
Here is where we come to the Navy--and after all, we have a Navy. Some people seem to forget that we have a Navy. We must remind them. For the last thirty years I have been concerned in discussions about the possibilities of oversea invasion, and I took the responsibility on behalf of the Admiralty, at the beginning of the last war, of allowing all regular troops to be sent out of the country. That was a very serious step to take, because our Territorials had only just been called up and were quite untrained. Therefore, this Island was for several months particularly denuded of fighting troops. The Admiralty had confidence at that time in their ability to prevent a mass invasion even though at that time the Germans had a magnificent battle fleet in the proportion of 10 to 16, even though they were capable of fighting a general engagement every day and any day, whereas now they have only a couple of heavy ships worth speaking of--the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau. We are also told that the Italian Navy is to come out and gain sea superiority in these waters. If they seriously intend it, I shall only say that we shall be delighted to offer Signor Mussolini a free and safeguarded passage through the Strait of Gibraltar in order that he may play the part to which he aspires. There is a general curiosity in the British Fleet to find out whether the Italians are up to the level they were at in the last war or whether they have fallen off at all.
Winston Churchill said:
Therefore, it seems to me that as far as sea-borne invasion on a great scale is concerned, we are far more capable of meeting it today than we were at many periods in the last war and during the early months of this war, before our other troops were trained, and while the B.E.F. had proceeded abroad. Now, the Navy have never pretended to be able to prevent raids by bodies of 5,000 or 10,000 men flung suddenly across and thrown ashore at several points on the coast some dark night or foggy morning. The efficacy of sea power, especially under modern conditions, depends upon the invading force being of large size; It has to be of large size, in view of our military strength, to be of any use. If it is of large size, then the Navy have something they can find and meet and, as it were, bite on. Now, we must remember that even five divisions, however lightly equipped, would require 200 to 250 ships, and with modern air reconnaissance and photography it would not be easy to collect such an armada, marshal it, and conduct it across the sea without any powerful naval forces to escort it; and there would be very great possibilities, to put it mildly, that this armada would be intercepted long before it reached the coast, and all the men drowned in the sea or, at the worst blown to pieces with their equipment while they were trying to land. We also have a great system of minefields, recently strongly reinforced, through which we alone know the channels. If the enemy tries to sweep passages through these minefields, it will be the task of the Navy to destroy the mine-sweepers and any other forces employed to protect them. There should be no difficulty in this, owing to our great superiority at sea.


Wasn't there also the issue with using Rhien River barges for the plan? Seems dangerous to the German ecnoomy, which already in 1940 was facing an economic crisis.
One of the conditions set for Sealion to take place was air superiority over the English Channel Red, so they either have knocked the RAF back and gained control of the air over the Channel or Sealion doesn't take place.

I agree, I was just going along with the OP where it said the RAF was still intact.
Wasn't there also the issue with using Rhien River barges for the plan? Seems dangerous to the German ecnoomy, which already in 1940 was facing an economic crisis.

You're right, it would have been a serious problem for the Rhines economy which was dependent on them.