WI: Hitler launches Operation Sea Lion without air superiority?

WI Hitler tried land invasion without air superiority?

  • It would have been successful

    Votes: 11 3.2%
  • It would have failed

    Votes: 334 96.8%

  • Total voters
    345
What would have happened if Hitler launched an amphibious assault on the south coast of Britain without using the Luftwaffe first to try to take out military targets/air bases in Britain, the failure of which was the primary reason why Hitler didn’t attempt a land invasion?


Would he have been successful?
 
Operation Sealion is a topic that has been discussed quite literally to death. It was a bad idea. With air supremacy it was a bad idea. Without air supremacy…like I can’t say it was a worse idea since I can’t actually imagine it going worse than it would WITH air supremacy. That’s how bad an idea it is.

To sum the reasons why:
-the Channel is not a river, amd using river barges on them is a bad idea
-the region planned for invasion does not have port capacity to supply an army
-unloading men and supplies on beaches is really hard
-no reinforcements can be sent
-the British will have at minimum two days warning its coming and will know exactly where (once again don’t transport an invasion force with tug pulled river barges)
-the German fleet is just this side of nonexistent.
 
It would be successful, in so far as at least some of the troops sent to invade Britain would in fact make to British soil. These happy few would get to spend the rest of the war fairly well off, being reasonably well fed and not dreading being sent to the Eastern Front to fight the Russians.

For the overwhelming majority of the invasion force, however, the result would be rather messier and more fatal.
 
The Kreigsmarine ends up at the bottom of the sea.

People keep saying this. It's wrong. The Kriegsmarine would have suffered minimal to no loss in the event of Sealion, because it would have been safely tucked up in drydock getting stuck back together from the last time it picked a fight with the RN.
 
What would have happened if Hitler launched an amphibious assault on the south coast of Britain without using the Luftwaffe first to try to take out military targets/air bases in Britain, the failure of which was the primary reason why Hitler didn’t attempt a land invasion?


Would he have been successful?
An utter abject massacre.

The Germans were planning to use river barges opposed by the largest navy on Earth, whose entire existence is based around the idea that bad guys don't set foot on the home island.

We're not seeing German jackboots on Whitehall.
 
Napoleon likely would've had a better shot at success during the War of the Third Coalition... and that's saying something, as that mercifully-called-off plan likely would've resulted only in a sea full of soggy French corpses :rolleyes:
 
Germans get massacred, with the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine taking considerable losses, virtually the entire invasion force dead or spending the war in Canada, and a lot of the very important barges on the bottom of the Channel. UK gets a huge boost in confidence and FDR is better able to help with the UK not looking ready to fall anytime soon convincing Congress to allow DDs for Bases and possibly LL earlier.
 
It would be one of the most disastrous campaigns in the history of warfare. The RAF would defeat the Luftwaffe and obliterate the German naval forces before they even reached the English shore. A German defeat was an absolute certainty, that is why Hitler called it off.
 

whitecase

Banned
I've read We March Against England: Operation Sea Lion 1940-1941 and Peter Schenck's Operation Sea Lion on this topic.
 
It would be one of the most disastrous campaigns in the history of warfare. The RAF would defeat the Luftwaffe and obliterate the German naval forces before they even reached the English shore. A German defeat was an absolute certainty, that is why Hitler called it off.
When the same man who planned the Ardennes offensive called this off, then you know it's a bad idea.
 
I've read We March Against England: Operation Sea Lion 1940-1941 and Peter Schenck's Operation Sea Lion on this topic.
Conversely, I've read If Britain Had Fallen by Norman Longmate with a POD of the Luftwaffe keeping up the pressure on the RAF while also neutralizing the radar stations.

He also has the Royal Navy just... sit there and do nothing, and then only send a couple of ships as opposed to... you know... everything on hand at Scapa Flow. Handwavium, but to be fair it's not a history of Sea Lion itself but what the occupation would have been like based on the Channel Islands, OTL Continental Europe, and what planning/spitballing the Germans did.

An interesting read, but obviously the military element is forced. But it's still fun to see Winston Churchill die on the steps of 10 Downing using his personal revolvers against German troops until they take him out with a machine gun not recognizing him... somehow...
 
Was this Peter Schenk the German author who originally published a book on SeaLion saying that it could have succeeded (possibly...), but then came back a few years later to say (IIRC in a postscript added to a revised edition) that he'd done more research and now conceded that it wouldn't have done?
 
An interesting read, but obviously the military element is forced. But it's still fun to see Winston Churchill die on the steps of 10 Downing using his personal revolvers against German troops
Wot, no tommy-gun?

1649522937146.jpeg
 
Top