The Invasion of Britain

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Njaco, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    While researching some things for the "Battle of Britain" thread, I found a few things of interest about Operation Sea Lion including an OOB for the German forces. Also a map for Heeresgruppe A's objectves for the invasion.

    I posted just one part of the .pdf file and a few pics that I found.......

    Operation “Seelöwe” (Sea Lion) Order of Battle, mid-September 1940
    Army Group A
    Commander-in-Chief: Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt
    Chief of the General Staff: General der Infanterie Georg von Sodenstern
    Operations Officer (Ia): Oberst Günther Blumentritt
    16th Army
    Commander-in-Chief: Generaloberst Ernst Busch
    Chief of the General Staff: Generalleutnant Walter Model
    Operations Officer (Ia): Oberst Hans Boeckh-Behrens
    Luftwaffe Commander (Koluft) 16th Army: Oberst Dr. med. dent. Walter Gnamm
    Division Command z.b.V. 454: Charakter als Generalleutnant Rudolf Krantz (This staff
    served as the 16th Army’s Heimatstab or Home Staff Unit, which managed the assembly
    and loading of all troops, equipment and supplies; provided command and logistical
    support for all forces still on the Continent; and the reception and further transport of
    wounded and prisoners of war as well as damaged equipment. General der Infanterie
    Albrecht Schubert’s XXIII Army Corps served as the 16th Army’s Befehlsstelle Festland or
    Mainland Command, which reported to the staff of Generalleutnant Krantz. The corps
    maintained traffic control units and loading staffs at Calais, Dunkirk, Ostend, Antwerp
    and Rotterdam.)
    FIRST WAVE
    XIII Army Corps: General der Panzertruppe Heinric h-Gottfried von Vietinghoff genannt
    Scheel (First-wave landings on English coast between Folkestone and New Romney) –
    Luftwaffe II./Flak-Regiment 14 attached to corps
    • 17th Infantry Division: Generalleutnant Herbert Loch
    • 35th Infantry Division: Generalleutnant Hans Wolfgang Reinhard
    VII Army Corps: Generaloberst Eugen Ritter von Schobert (First-wave landings on
    English coast between Rye and Hastings) – Luftwaffe I./Flak-Regiment 26 attached to
    corps
    • 1st Mountain Division: Generalleutnant Ludwig Kübler
    • 7th Infantry Division: Generalleutnant Eccard Freiherr von Gablenz
    SECOND WAVE
    V Army Corps: General der Infanterie Richard Ruoff (Transferred from the first to the
    second wave in early September 1940 so that the second echelons of the two first-wave
    corps could cross simultaneously with their first echelons)
    • 12th Infantry Division: Generalmajor Walter von Seydlitz-Kurzbach
    • 30th Infantry Division: General der Infanterie Kurt von Briesen
    XXXXI Army Corps: General der Panzertruppe Georg-Hans Reinhardt
    • 8th Panzer Division: Generalleutnant Adolf Kuntzen – Luftwaffe Light Flak-Abteilung 94
    attached to division
    • 10th Panzer Division: Generalleutnant Ferdinand Schaal – Luftwaffe Light Flak-
    Abteilung 71 attached to division
    • 29th Infantry Division (Motorized): Generalmajor Walter von Boltenstern – Luftwaffe
    Light Flak-Abteilung 76 attached to division
    • Infantry Regiment “Großdeutschland”: Oberst Wilhelm- Hunold von Stockhausen
    • Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler Regiment: SS-Obergruppenführer Josef “Sepp” Dietrich
    THIRD WAVE
    IV Army Corps: General der Infanterie Viktor von Schwedler
    • 24th Infantry Division: Generalmajor Hans von Tettau
    • 58th Infantry Division: Generalmajor Iwan Heunert
    XXXXII Army Corps: General der Pionere Walter Kuntze
    • 45th Infantry Division: Generalleutnant Friedrich Materna
    • 164th Infantry Division: Generalmajor Josef Folttmann
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    and pics of the proposed landings along with the buildup of barges in Bolougne harbor.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Question.............



    How would they have gotten the tanks up the cliffs of Dover?????
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Dover does not extend the whole southern coast of England. They only extend about 10 miles, so you can get around on either side.
     
  5. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    The problem would have been getting through the wall of anti-tank gift shops in Eastbourne. :D
     
  6. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    Adler is perfectly correct, but in fact the Germans would have struggled to get anyone or anything ashore, as the did not have proper landing craft. And they had not planned to neutralise the Royal Navy. Nor did they have adequate forces for shore bombardment...
     
  7. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    ...and they certainly didn't have command of the air!
     
  8. tail end charlie

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    Dover is a port so you can get in and out but you are a sitting target on the route. Seelion depended on Germany having complete air superiority, without it it was a none started. I think the barges they used would sink in rough seas or with a near miss from a bomb or shell.
     
  9. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    And that sums it up...;)
     
  10. tail end charlie

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    If someone like Hitler tells you to come up with a plan then you come up with a plan, I dont think anyone actually thought it would work.
     
  11. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    I think the OKW thought it would work, but they had no idea what an amphibious invasion entailed. I think they saw it as a glorified river crossing, and had not really thought about the equipment and preparation necessary.
     
  12. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Couple of thoughts that popped into my head by looking at the map.

    1. There are no time lines. One phase line, no reinforce or resupply graphics. Looks like something a couple of Generals cooked up over drinks after a heavy dinner.

    2. The First Map, the more recent of the two with proffesional graphics, looks completely out to lunch. I don't think the Allies could've pulled of a landing covering that kind of frontage in 1944 (with Naval forces on the order of 20x the size of the Kriegsmarine and specialized landing craft and equipment AND air superiority). That looks like it is something on the order of 50 miles wide! Might as well put the whole German army on sailboats and tell them to head West. Get the same results.

    3. The second map is more professional, and hence more believable but still lacks a lot of information. Looks like two or three, at minimum, and as many as 5, Panzer divisions going across. How do they do that? How do they get supplied?

    I realize I'm nitpicking but invasions are all about the details. The first map looks like the result of a war game by some guys having heard the "Germans would do this". The second is more interesting but it is impossible to say who did it, could even be the Brits playing out a scenario.
     
  13. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    A couple of years ago, we had an extensive discussion about the German invasion of England.

    No one ever came up with a credible way for the Germans to successfully invade after the summer of 1940.
     
  14. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    That is very true as well.
     
  15. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    The Germans would have been swiftly (and bloodlessly) defeated
    set up a perimeter around Eastbourne seaside resort's sun loungers and wait for them to put their towels on them
     
  16. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I tend to agree that the whole thing smacked of unrealistic expectations and poor planning. But could it have been different? Possibly.....

    A number of pre-requisites would have been needed...

    1) Begin prepreations for cross channel attacks from the beginning of the war.
    2) Construction of proper landing craft agin from pre-war.
    3) Conserving the KM strength, and building up its strength warlier (eg the Bismarck and the Tirpitz, plus the two uncompleted Heavy Cruisers, rushed through and completed in the summer of 1940. A huge ask, but possible.
    4) Not deploying the limited stocks of magnetic mines so early. Build them up to a credible reserve asnd then use them enmasse to try and keep the RN out of the channel for as long as possible.
    5) Making the landings whilst the BOF was still under way, trying to swamp the defences and hitting the British whilst their army is in France. Alternaively holding back until air superiority has been gained .
    6) Not squandering the airborne asssets in Holland. instead, making a night time airborn assault en masse, say as a two div strength over southeast england, and then rapidly rushing say a further 3 or 4 divs by sea
     
  17. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    The reason the Germans didnt plan for a UK invasion is becasue they never thought the situation in 1940 was possible.

    No point wasting time on daydreams.
     
  18. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    This I like
     
  19. tail end charlie

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    Any determined resistance would be ended by setting up shop windows dressed with expensive clothes and decorations then nabbing them on Sunday afternoon as they mutter "das is schoen"
     
  20. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    It is certainly true that Hitler didn't see a need to invade Britain before 1939 - in fact, he didn't even think we would fight, and that wasn't a bad call post-Munich. Chamerblain's sudden acquisition of a spine must have caused a great deal of head-scratching in Berlin, as it it did elsewhere.

    Had the Germans got ashore, they would have won, no questions asked. The British had virtually no tanks, virtually no artillery and the stay-behind resistance planned would have almost certainly been ineffective.

    But winning the BoB wouldn't have put the Germans in a position to invade anyway. The RN still had to be dealt with, and that would have been a job for the LW because the KM wouldn't have stood a chance, even using their subs to the fullest extent. Plus the RN could pull forces in from the South Atllantic and Med without the Germans being able to do much about it. Then the extensive coastal defences in the south-east have to be destroyed - again, a job for the LW. And of course, they still have to keep the RAF/FAA beaten, or they will nip over the Channel and sink the barges at anchor.

    By this time, the winter is setting in. The collection of river barges cannot sail, as the winter weather in the Channel will sink them almost as soon as they leave port. It will be at least six months before they can get across, and by then Hitler wants to be in Russia. He will need those five panzer divisions to beat Uncle Joe, and suddenly See Lion is off...

    Really, the threat of invasion was barely even a threat. That's not to take anything away from the acheivement of the British forces in the BoB - heck, I'm a Brit myself and believe it was vertainly one of our finest hours - but the German invasion threat was never credible - it was fear of what could happen if they made it across the Channel that made the situation so urgent.
     
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