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Old 17th July 2017, 06:20 AM   #201
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Fascism was no more opposed than communism. What was opposed was continued Nazi aggression in Europe.

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Old 17th July 2017, 08:00 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Fascism was no more opposed than communism. What was opposed was continued Nazi aggression in Europe.

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That has to be true. Fascism flourished in Portugal and Italy, then in Spain, but these countries at first abstained from aggression in Europe (although they perpetrated it in Africa); and consequently remained unmolested by the Entente powers, or other European democracies.
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Old 18th July 2017, 01:52 AM   #203
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I didn't know until recently that there was a Spanish division on the Russian Front. I don't think that is given much publicity nowadays. That was in addition to the Italian and Rumanian and Croatian and Waffen SS troops from Belgium and Holland and, I think Norwegian troops, and of course Finland troops, which I did know about.
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Old 18th July 2017, 01:57 AM   #204
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The division included Portuguese as well.

And then there were the SS volunteer units, which came from all over the place.
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Old 18th July 2017, 04:30 AM   #205
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I didn't know until recently that there was a Spanish division on the Russian Front. I don't think that is given much publicity nowadays. That was in addition to the Italian and Rumanian and Croatian and Waffen SS troops from Belgium and Holland and, I think Norwegian troops, and of course Finland troops, which I did know about.
Prior to these fascists' participation in the Nazi invasion, none of their countries had been at war with the USSR, except Finland which had been the victim, not the perpetrator, of aggression in that earlier conflict. These anti-Soviet interventions were done by puppet governments, responding to German pressure, or by individuals who were particularly attracted by Nazi aggression and triumphalism.
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Old 18th July 2017, 09:40 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I didn't know until recently that there was a Spanish division on the Russian Front. I don't think that is given much publicity nowadays. That was in addition to the Italian and Rumanian and Croatian and Waffen SS troops from Belgium and Holland and, I think Norwegian troops, and of course Finland troops, which I did know about.
The Spanish or Blue Division was a German Army division manned by Spanish volunteers and to which the Portugese Legion was later attached.

The Norwegian unit was a unit of Norwegian, Danish and Swedish volunteers with the German SS. It was not a part of the Kingdom of Norway's military.

These units can be looked at in a similar way as the French Foreign Legion.

The Romanian, Italian, Croatian and Finnish units were part of those country's actual armies serving as allied forces with Nazi Germany.
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Old 19th July 2017, 01:58 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
The Norwegian unit was a unit of Norwegian, Danish and Swedish volunteers with the German SS. It was not a part of the Kingdom of Norway's military.
The imaginatively named SS Viking division.
It included a couple of other countries volunteers as well.
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Old 19th July 2017, 02:27 AM   #208
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Hungarian forces were also involved in the invasion of Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union in 1941.

There was a John Amery, who was the son of the politician Leo Amery, who made a speech in the Norway debate in 1940 in the House of Commons telling Chamberlain "You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing, depart I say and let us have done with you. In the name of God go." This despite the fact that Norway was Churchill's responsibility.

John Amery went to Germany in 1942 to recruit British and Commonwealth prisoners of war to join the Nazi army. He was an appeaser and he was hanged after the war.

There were about 8000 Ukrainian migrants to Britain after the war, who lived in places like Wimbledon, and who all categorically denied they were fleeing war criminals. I don't think that matter was ever properly or thoroughly investigated. I'm beginning to think Churchill and Eden were Big Soft Things.
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Old 25th July 2017, 08:10 AM   #209
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I can't quite see how you can say there was appeasement when Chamberlain was involved in rearmament at the time.
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Old 25th July 2017, 08:26 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I can't quite see how you can say there was appeasement when Chamberlain was involved in rearmament at the time.
Who are you talking to, or to what statement are you responding?
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Old 27th July 2017, 02:54 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
John Amery went to Germany in 1942 to recruit British and Commonwealth prisoners of war to join the Nazi army. He was an appeaser and he was hanged after the war.
That's rather misleading. He was not charged with "appeasement" so whether he was an appeaser or not is not relevant to his trial or execution. Wiki relates that
Amery's sanity was questioned by his own father, Leo, but all efforts to have the court consider his mental state were unsuccessful. Further attempts at a defence were suddenly abandoned on the first day of his trial, 28 November 1945, when to general astonishment, Amery pleaded guilty to eight charges of treason. He was immediately sentenced to death. The entire trial lasted just eight minutes from start to finish.
So he confessed to being a traitor, not an appeaser, and his father dissociated himself from his son's ideas on the grounds of the latter's insanity. Your post names both father and son, and may give the impression that they acted together in a common enterprise, which is completely false.
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Old 27th July 2017, 03:04 PM   #212
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I can't quite see how you can say there was appeasement when Chamberlain was involved in rearmament at the time.
Because if you did any research you would know that the two ran side by side. Britain wanted to rebuild its defensive strength to discourage aggression while at the same time offering concessions to Nazi Germany to tie it into the normal process of international diplomacy. Both strands of policy were ultimately aimed at preventing war and if they had been dealing with a rational leadership the plan would probably have worked. Reading the Wages of Destruction by Adam Tooze and he points out that in 1936-37 Nazi Germany was seemingly the most reasonable of the dictatorships, given the actions of Mussolini, Franco, and the Militarists in Japan.
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Old 28th July 2017, 02:32 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Because if you did any research you would know that the two ran side by side. Britain wanted to rebuild its defensive strength to discourage aggression while at the same time offering concessions to Nazi Germany to tie it into the normal process of international diplomacy. Both strands of policy were ultimately aimed at preventing war and if they had been dealing with a rational leadership the plan would probably have worked. Reading the Wages of Destruction by Adam Tooze and he points out that in 1936-37 Nazi Germany was seemingly the most reasonable of the dictatorships, given the actions of Mussolini, Franco, and the Militarists in Japan.
I don't think that's quite correct.

Diplomacy has been described in the past as lying on behalf of your government. What is now described as appeasement by Chamberlain was in fact just diplomacy.

I agree that Chamberlain seemed to have attempted to split Musso in Italy from Hitler before the war. In 1935 Musso had protested about German rearmament. In one book Chamberlain is quoted as chiding Eden with regard to Musso that "You have missed chance after chance, Anthony. You simply can't go on like this." It was only with the fall of France that Musso finally threw in his lot with Germany.

There are people who think that Chamberlain's strategy was for Germany to invade Russia. That's what I believe as well. Chamberlain knew from our secret service that this was going to happen, if not from the public and House of Commons who only understood straight lines. Chamberlain wrote a memo in about 1937 insisting that the Spitfire was developed so that any ordinary pilot could fly it. That's common sense. Chamberlain encouraged radar for air defence.

In that World at War TV documentary Eden is quoted as saying that he visited the Home Counties in 1940 and that the British army had no tanks or anti-tank guns. That's a serious matter. The German army and navy were quoted as saying that they were against an invasion of Britain unless the Luftwaffe had air superiority which thankfully never happened.

This so-called appeasement policy is relevant to events today. This is from a Wikipedia about the matter:

Quote:
After the Second World War: politicians[edit]
Statesmen in the post-war years have often referred to their opposition to appeasement as a justification for firm, sometimes armed, action in international relations.

U.S. President Harry S. Truman thus explained his decision to enter the Korean War in 1950, British Prime Minister Anthony Eden his confrontation of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in the Suez Crisis of 1956, U.S. President John F. Kennedy his "quarantine" of Cuba in 1962, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson his resistance to communism in Indochina in the 1960s, and U.S. President Ronald Reagan his air strike on Libya in 1986.[46]

During the Cold War, the "lessons" of appeasement were cited by prominent conservative allies of Reagan, who urged Reagan to be assertive in "rolling back" Soviet-backed regimes throughout the world. The Heritage Foundation's Michael Johns, for instance, wrote in 1987 that "seven years after Ronald Reagan's arrival in Washington, the United States government and its allies are still dominated by the culture of appeasement that drove Neville Chamberlain to Munich in 1938."[47]

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher invoked the example of Churchill during the Falklands War of 1982: "When the American Secretary of State, Alexander Haig, urged her to reach a compromise with the Argentine's she rapped sharply on the table and told him, pointedly, 'that this was the table at which Neville Chamberlain sat in 1938 and spoke of the Czechs as a faraway people about whom we know so little'." [48] The spectre of appeasement was raised in discussions of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.[49]

U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair also cited Churchill's warnings about German rearmament to justify their action in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq War.[50]

In May 2008, President Bush cautioned against "the false comfort of appeasement" when dealing with Iran and its President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.[51]

Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali demands a confrontational policy at the European level to meet the threat of radical Islam, and compares policies of non-confrontation to Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler.[52]
Tibetan separatists consider the policy of the West towards China with regard to Tibet as appeasement.[53]
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Old 28th July 2017, 02:41 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
In that World at War TV documentary Eden is quoted as saying that he visited the Home Counties in 1940 and that the British army had no tanks or anti-tank guns. That's a serious matter.
It's rather critical to ask, at what point in 1940? It's well-known that a large amount of materiel was left behind in France after the evacuation of the BEF at Dunkirk, though rather less well-known that there were subsequent evacuations of forces further south that also resulted in abandonment of vehicles and guns. It's not surprising that the British army was short of tanks and guns immediately after suffering a major defeat in the Battle of France in which they lost a lot of them.

As far as I'm aware, as soon as possible after Dunkirk, the First Armoured Division was brought up to something like full strength with whatever tanks could be found, though many were initially lacking some fairly important equipment (for example, a lot had a main gun but no co-axial MG), and stationed in the south-east as the main counter-invasion striking force. Second Armoured was then equipped with whatever ragtag mixture of light tanks and Bren Carriers was left over and stationed in East Anglia in case of an attack north of the Thames. Depending on where you're referring to as the Home Counties (not a very exact geographical location), it may be that the army had no tanks or AT guns there because they were all concentrated where they might actually be needed.

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Old 28th July 2017, 05:24 AM   #215
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An interesting note is that the only division in Britain with a full complement of trucks and artillery pieces was the First Canadian.

And that only because the CO of their artillery regiment defied orders to load his guns and trucks back onto the ships that had just brought them to France.
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Old 28th July 2017, 07:31 PM   #216
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[quote=Henri McPhee;11937007]I don't think that's quite correct.

And which episode of 'World at War' do you base that on?

Quote:
Diplomacy has been described in the past as lying on behalf of your government. What is now described as appeasement by Chamberlain was in fact just diplomacy.
Ah so you now recognize this statement:


Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I can't quite see how you can say there was appeasement when Chamberlain was involved in rearmament at the time.
is nonsense?

Quote:
I agree that Chamberlain seemed to have attempted to split Musso in Italy from Hitler before the war.
who exactly are you agreeing with? Because I posted no such suggestion.

Quote:
In 1935 Musso had protested about German rearmament. In one book Chamberlain is quoted as chiding Eden with regard to Musso that "You have missed chance after chance, Anthony. You simply can't go on like this." It was only with the fall of France that Musso finally threw in his lot with Germany.
So I'm guessing the Pact of Steel is something else you haven't heard of? Italy and Germany made a formal alliance in 1939.

Quote:
There are people who think that Chamberlain's strategy was for Germany to invade Russia. That's what I believe as well. Chamberlain knew from our secret service that this was going to happen, if not from the public and House of Commons who only understood straight lines.
Utter nonsense, and yet again you provide no reference for this claim. Chamberlain's policy was to avoid war, they actually tried to get Stalin onside but failed because they couldn't offer to carve up Poland the way the Nazi's could. Have you forgotten that the Nazi's and Soviets were allies for two years? During which time Nazi Germany invaded France. Oh and a bit difficult for Chamberlain to know about Barbarossa, he was dead before Germany made that plan. If on the other hand you mean Hitler's general goal of conquest in the East, well anyone with a copy of Mein Kampf handy knew about that.

Quote:
Chamberlain wrote a memo in about 1937 insisting that the Spitfire was developed so that any ordinary pilot could fly it. That's common sense. Chamberlain encouraged radar for air defence.
And another unsourced claim.

Quote:
In that World at War TV documentary Eden is quoted as saying that he visited the Home Counties in 1940 and that the British army had no tanks or anti-tank guns. That's a serious matter. The German army and navy were quoted as saying that they were against an invasion of Britain unless the Luftwaffe had air superiority which thankfully never happened.
Do you have any other reference source than the DVD box set of The World at War you appear to have acquired recently? It was intended as a broad overview of events in the war and included much that was anecdotal. There was also a vast amount of information about the war which was still classified at the time it was made. It was a good programme in its time but its no basis from which to be making claims about appeasement or the conduct of the war.

Quote:
This so-called appeasement policy is relevant to events today. This is from a Wikipedia about the matter:
But is completely irrelevant to the subject at hand.
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Old 29th July 2017, 02:38 AM   #217
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It was Stalin who was the appeaser, and who signed a piece of paper with Ribbentrop with amazing complacency, and even stupidity, just because he didn't believe a word the British told him about proper warnings. Stalin had previously killed off 90% of his Generals and 80% of his Colonels. That was not good for any very efficient army. There was nothing Chamberlain could have done to help the Czechs, and not much Chamberlain, or Churchill, or Roosevelt, could do to help Poland.

With regard to the proposed German invasion of Britain, the German air force was all for it, but I think only amateur strategists and internet posters would think it would have been a good idea unless the Germans had air superiority. I agree the British Army mainly only had rifles after Dunkirk.

There is a bit about what one of Hitler's best Generals, Von Manstein thought about the matter on the Wikipedia internet:

Quote:
Main article: Operation Seelöwe

Manstein was a proponent of the prospective German invasion of Great Britain, named Operation Seelöwe. He considered the operation risky but necessary. Early studies by various staff officers determined that air superiority was a prerequisite to the planned invasion. His corps was to be shipped across the English Channel from Boulogne to Bexhill as one of four units assigned to the first wave. But as the Luftwaffe failed to decisively beat the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain, Operation Seelöwe was postponed indefinitely on 12 October. For the rest of the year, Manstein, with little to do, spent time in Paris and at home.[49][50]
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Old 29th July 2017, 03:34 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
It was Stalin who was the appeaser, and who signed a piece of paper with Ribbentrop with amazing complacency, and even stupidity, just because he didn't believe a word the British told him about proper warnings. Stalin had previously killed off 90% of his Generals and 80% of his Colonels. That was not good for any very efficient army. There was nothing Chamberlain could have done to help the Czechs, and not much Chamberlain, or Churchill, or Roosevelt, could do to help Poland.

With regard to the proposed German invasion of Britain, the German air force was all for it, but I think only amateur strategists and internet posters would think it would have been a good idea unless the Germans had air superiority. I agree the British Army mainly only had rifles after Dunkirk.

There is a bit about what one of Hitler's best Generals, Von Manstein thought about the matter on the Wikipedia internet:
Even if the Germans had had air supremecy (not just superiority) Sealion would still have been a disaster.

It probably would have been a disaster with air and naval superiority. They had no realistic plan.
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Old 29th July 2017, 04:34 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
It was Stalin who was the appeaser, and who signed a piece of paper with Ribbentrop with amazing complacency, and even stupidity, just because he didn't believe a word the British told him about proper warnings. Stalin had previously killed off 90% of his Generals and 80% of his Colonels. That was not good for any very efficient army. There was nothing Chamberlain could have done to help the Czechs, and not much Chamberlain, or Churchill, or Roosevelt, could do to help Poland.
Does criticising Chamberlain imply support for Stalin? You write as if there could only be one appeaser. But there were more than one. Stalin was desperately afraid of attack from Germany, for which he was unprepared, and did all kinds of things to avert or at least delay a Nazi onslaught. Not only did the British warn him prior to Barbarossa; so did his own intelligence services, and he didn't believe them either.

Main problem was, people had been warning him of an attack in May, which was correct at the time; but the attack was postponed by a month because of the crisis in Yugoslavia, so May passed without incident, and Stalin's informants started predicting June, which by then was correct too. But the false alarm in May gave Stalin the opportunity to disparage his informants and ignore their warnings. Churchill specifically referred to the "Serbian Revolution" in his warning to Stalin, but this was fruitless.

Stalin ignored him too. He was unappreciative of British warnings, because the British had been taken by surprise by the recent German offensive against UK forces in Crete. If they're so damned good at foreseeing invasions, he observed, why couldn't they see one coming when they themselves were the target?

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Old 29th July 2017, 05:57 AM   #220
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
It was Stalin who was the appeaser, and who signed a piece of paper with Ribbentrop with amazing complacency, and even stupidity, just because he didn't believe a word the British told him about proper warnings. Stalin had previously killed off 90% of his Generals and 80% of his Colonels. That was not good for any very efficient army.
So Stalin makes a deal with Hitler and that's appeasement, but when Chamberlain does the same its not?

Quote:
There was nothing Chamberlain could have done to help the Czechs, and not much Chamberlain, or Churchill, or Roosevelt, could do to help Poland.
Actually there was a great deal they could have done. In 1938 the German army was nowhere near ready for war and had fallen well behind in its rearmament plans. Had the British and French appreciated how weak Germany really was things might have been rather different. As for Poland. Germany had stripped its defences in the west to mount the assault and the French did actually mount an offensive, but it was a half hearted affair and the opportunity was lost.

Quote:
With regard to the proposed German invasion of Britain, the German air force was all for it, but I think only amateur strategists and internet posters would think it would have been a good idea unless the Germans had air superiority. I agree the British Army mainly only had rifles after Dunkirk.
Again who exactly are you agreeing with? As other posters have pointed out this assertion that 'the British only had rifles' is simply incorrect.

Quote:
There is a bit about what one of Hitler's best Generals, Von Manstein thought about the matter on the Wikipedia internet:
And if you moved beyond World at War and Wikipedia you would find that most scholars who have studied Sealion have concluded it was never feasible. The Germans had no navy to escort it, no landing craft to deliver the troops and equipment and in fact the Wehrmacht could never agree on an attack plan. Sealion was an ad hoc affair, compare it to Operation Husky, or Overlord.
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Old 30th July 2017, 01:32 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Actually there was a great deal they could have done. In 1938 the German army was nowhere near ready for war and had fallen well behind in its rearmament plans. Had the British and French appreciated how weak Germany really was things might have been rather different. As for Poland. Germany had stripped its defences in the west to mount the assault and the French did actually mount an offensive, but it was a half hearted affair and the opportunity was lost.
That's baloney and lack of vision. The French High Command was in a bad state. The French troops were physically unfit. They were only interested in the Maginot line. Helping, or giving practical encouragement, to the Czechs or Poland was the last thing on their mind.

The fact is that there was an invasion scare after Dunkirk. General Alan Brooke, who knew what was going on, is on public and historical record as saying he expected a German invasion any day now in September 1940, even if Garrison's ancestors didn't understand what was going on.

I agree with you that opposed landings are not an easy task and that the German Army had some deficiencies, like having to use a lot of horse drawn transport.

It's just that the Germans were optimistic about defeating Britain in the same way as they were optimistic about defeating Poland and Russia and France, and they nearly succeeded. It was touch and go, and a close shave, whatever some scholars may say about it.

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Old 30th July 2017, 01:36 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
It's just that the Germans were optimistic about defeating Britain in the same way as they were optimistic about defeating Poland and Russia and France, and they nearly succeeded. It was touch and go, and a close shave, whatever some scholars may say about it.
No, the fact is that people at the time, lacking a full appreciation of Germany's naval weakness, underdeveloped anti-shipping aviation capability and complete lack of practical landing craft, thought it was a close shave. In the context of the time it's perfectly reasonable that they thought that, but looking back with a fuller understanding of both sides' strengths and weaknesses it's clear that there was never really a practical way Germany could mount an invasion with any chance of success.

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Old 30th July 2017, 01:42 AM   #223
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Henri, the World at War *was* groundbreaking, but it didn't have many of the sources that are now available. For example, we now have access to a lot of the Soviet information, and secondly the World at war was broadcast before the thirty year rule had come up.
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Old 30th July 2017, 01:52 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post

General Alan Brooke, who knew what was going on, is on public and historical record as saying he expected a German invasion any day now in September 1940, even if Garrison's ancestors didn't understand what was going on.

It's just that the Germans were optimistic about defeating Britain in the same way as they were optimistic about defeating Poland and Russia and France, and they nearly succeeded. It was touch and go, and a close shave, whatever some scholars may say about it.
Alan Brooke's concern and prudence do him credit, but he was wrong. As we now know. German optimism as regards defeating the UK and Russia was misplaced. As we now know. The scholars are right, because they have the benefit of hindsight, and access to data, unlike Garrison's ancestors.
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Old 30th July 2017, 03:39 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The fact is that there was an invasion scare after Dunkirk. General Alan Brooke, who knew what was going on, is on public and historical record as saying he expected a German invasion any day now in September 1940, even if Garrison's ancestors didn't understand what was going on.
Well I can't speak for my ancestors, but scare is the key word here. After the Blitzkrieg in France people were indeed afraid of invasion, how could crossing the Channel be an impediment to a force that had swept aside the largest in army in Europe?

The facts though were very different. We have information about the real capabilities of the Germans that Alan Brooke would have sold his grandmother to get his hands on. The reality is the Germans were ill-equipped to mount an amphibious assault and if they had done so it would have ended in disaster.

It isn't just that the Alan Brooke and others lacked knowledge of German capabilities, they also lacked an understanding of the complexity of amphibious operations that they would slowly develop during the course of the war and with some painful lesson, like Dieppe, along the way.

Some of the German generals may have been optimistic in public and made grandiose statements after the war, but at the time we know, courtesy of records that Alan Brooke had no way of accessing, that there was endless arguing over Sealion amongst the various military branches of the Wehrmacht and they never really go past the point of simply massing troops in the coastal ports.
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Old 30th July 2017, 08:55 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Alan Brooke's concern and prudence do him credit, but he was wrong. As we now know. German optimism as regards defeating the UK and Russia was misplaced. As we now know. The scholars are right, because they have the benefit of hindsight, and access to data, unlike Garrison's ancestors.
I just think that's being an armchair admiral and armchair strategist many years later. There were very real concerns at the time about the German Navy and German Army and German air force, however weak later data suggests they might have been. It's a bit like now with dealing with half-mad communist fascists in North Korea threatening Los Angeles with oblivion.

This matter is discussed on the internet:

http://www.s134542708.websitehome.co...ion_plans.html

This is a quote from that article:

Quote:
Codeword Cromwell - Invasion Imminent.

In the first week of September reconnaissance of the Channel ports -Ostend, Le Havre, Flushing, Ostend, Dunkirk and Calais- had shown a substantial build-up of barges. At Ostend alone 280 had arrived during the previous week. Substantial numbers of motor-boats and larger vessels had also moved down the coast to the same area. Considerable numbers of bombers had just moved to airfields in the Low Countries and dive-bombers appeared to be assembling near the Straits of Dover. The moon and tide favoured a landing between September 8th and 10th. Everything pointed to an invasion. At 5.20 p.m on 7th September the Chiefs of Staff met. At 8.07 p.m. they decided to bring Home Forces to a state of "immediate readiness" and issued the word “Cromwell” meaning invasion imminent.

8pm on a Saturday night was not a good time to raise an alarm. Most duty officers at military commands were junior officers, who in the main had not been briefed fully on procedures. Many thought the signal meant an invasion had already begun. All over the country coastal artillery sites were manned, thousands of units put on steel helmets and waited for first sight of the enemy. Home Guard units were mobilised and manned their pillboxes and their improvised defences. The Beetle invasion warning network, just completed days earlier on August 26th, crackled into life and Operation Banquet was initiated whereby all flyable training aircraft that weren’t fighters were converted into bombers. Police rounded up trainee pilots, some barely able to fly, from pubs, dance halls and cinemas and as they reported back to their airfields they were shocked to see bombs being loaded onto their flimsy training aircraft. More than half of Bomber Command's medium bombers stood by to support Home Forces. Some Home Guard Captains sounded church bells, which they were only supposed to do on their own initiative if they actually saw more than 25 of the enemy, and other units, both Home Guard and the regular Army, thought the bells were confirmation of enemy troops in the area. Several East Anglian bridges were blown up by the Royal Engineers and there were more serious consequences when three Guards officers were killed in Lincolnshire when their vehicle went over a newly laid mine as they rushed back to their unit. As daylight dawned on the 8th* it was clear that Sealion had not been launched and gradually senior officers managed to restore sanity to the situation.

Indecision and Postponement.

With the failure of the German Air Force to defeat the Royal Air Force the German High Command became increasingly nervous about the chances of a successful invasion. Initially it was intended to invade in August but on 3rd September the High Command postponed Sealion to the 21st and then the 27th which would be the last time that year the tides would be suitable.
On 15th September the German Air Force launched a major attack to destroy the RAF. The Germans lost twice as many planes as the RAF. This signalled the end for Sealion. Hitler had it postponed indefinitely, while his attention was drawn towards the Soviet Union.

Conclusions

There a two schools of thought on how successful a German Invasion would have been had the RAF been defeated.

The first is that a German invasion, even with air superiority would have probably failed. In 1974 a wargame was played at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The wargame involved a number of senior military men from both sides including Adolf Galland the famous Luftwaffe fighter ace and Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Foxley-Norris. It presumed that* the Luftwaffe has not yet won air supremacy and utilised previously unpublished Admiralty weather records for September 1940.

Even without air supremacy the Germans were able to establish a beachhead in England using a minefield screen in the English Channel to protect the initial landings from the Royal Navy. However, after a few days, the Royal Navy was able to cut off supplies from the German beachhead, isolating them and forcing their surrender.

The second is that , with the Luftwaffe dominating British skies, they would have been able to target oil refineries, industry and ports relatively unimpeded. Combined with a blockade by U-Boats Britain would have been starved either into surrender or a negotiated peace with Nazi Germany.
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Old 30th July 2017, 09:14 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I just think that's being an armchair admiral and armchair strategist many years later. There were very real concerns at the time about the German Navy and German Army and German air force, however weak later data suggests they might have been. It's a bit like now with dealing with half-mad communist fascists in North Korea threatening Los Angeles with oblivion.

This matter is discussed on the internet:

http://www.s134542708.websitehome.co...ion_plans.html

This is a quote from that article:

You are misreading what we are saying. It was reasonable at the time for the British to be concerned about an invasion. However we now know that there was no serious German plan for an invasion.

It is true that air superiority would have been vital for an invasion, which the Germans did not get, but which at least they were working on. However, Operation Overlord also showed that the Germans were nowhere near the naval supremacy needed for a landing and even if they did, they hadn't the logistics to keep such an invasion force supplied. It would have been a fiasco. With the benefit of hindsight, and wargames played out at Sandhurst - this is what we now know. As Garrison said below, this is not armchair generalship, but hindsight.
Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Well I can't speak for my ancestors, but scare is the key word here. After the Blitzkrieg in France people were indeed afraid of invasion, how could crossing the Channel be an impediment to a force that had swept aside the largest in army in Europe?

The facts though were very different. We have information about the real capabilities of the Germans that Alan Brooke would have sold his grandmother to get his hands on. The reality is the Germans were ill-equipped to mount an amphibious assault and if they had done so it would have ended in disaster.

It isn't just that the Alan Brooke and others lacked knowledge of German capabilities, they also lacked an understanding of the complexity of amphibious operations that they would slowly develop during the course of the war and with some painful lesson, like Dieppe, along the way.

Some of the German generals may have been optimistic in public and made grandiose statements after the war, but at the time we know, courtesy of records that Alan Brooke had no way of accessing, that there was endless arguing over Sealion amongst the various military branches of the Wehrmacht and they never really go past the point of simply massing troops in the coastal ports.
Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
No, the fact is that people at the time, lacking a full appreciation of Germany's naval weakness, underdeveloped anti-shipping aviation capability and complete lack of practical landing craft, thought it was a close shave. In the context of the time it's perfectly reasonable that they thought that, but looking back with a fuller understanding of both sides' strengths and weaknesses it's clear that there was never really a practical way Germany could mount an invasion with any chance of success.

Dave
Also, Henri, you seem to be relying on out of date sources.

Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Henri, the World at War *was* groundbreaking, but it didn't have many of the sources that are now available. For example, we now have access to a lot of the Soviet information, and secondly the World at war was broadcast before the thirty year rule had come up.
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Old 30th July 2017, 09:14 AM   #228
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I just think that's being an armchair admiral and armchair strategist many years later.
No, it's called having access to a wealth of information those expressing opinions at the time didn't have. you are entitled to your opinion, but since you seem resolutely determined to base it on a 40 year old documentary series and Wikipedia you are unlikely to persuade anyone else to take it seriously

Quote:
There were very real concerns at the time about the German Navy and German Army and German air force, however weak later data suggests they might have been.
See above. Also if you must have an internet based source for discussion about Sealion I think you will find this to be far more comprehensive:
https://www.alternatehistory.com/for...hreads.180901/

ETA: Also the 1974 war game made the assumption that the RN would not inflict major losses on the invasion force while it was at sea. They did this so they could play through the events of a landing, but they were fully aware that there was almost no chance that the invasion force would survive to get ashore after the RN engaged them.
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Old 1st August 2017, 04:00 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
No, it's called having access to a wealth of information those expressing opinions at the time didn't have. you are entitled to your opinion, but since you seem resolutely determined to base it on a 40 year old documentary series and Wikipedia you are unlikely to persuade anyone else to take it seriously
I just think our secret service at the time had access to little pieces of information about Hitler's proposed invasion of Britain which was never given to the public, or House of Commons, or the media, at the time. This was because it might have affected the attitude of the workers, or cause a loss of confidence, or even panic. It's all very well for scholars to talk now about modern data, and a what if scenario, but if the RAF had not scared the Germans off Britain would have been invaded. The Germans had U boats for a start which caused a lot of British losses until about May 1943.

There is some background to this on the internet:

Quote:
In the face of German air power, evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force was successful. In the United Kingdom there were only 80 heavy tanks, and they were obsolete. There were 180 light tanks armed only with machine guns. There were only 100,000 rifles to equip the 470,000 men of the Home Guard, although 75,000 Ross rifles were on their way from Canada.

The British Army had little chance of stopping the Germans if they had managed to get a large force ashore in June or July 1940.

However, as in previous invasion threats the main defense would devolve onto the Royal Navy and now the RAF. Britain’s Fighter Command had lost many aircraft and pilots in the Battle of France and could muster only 331 Supermarine Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes. But German indecision and a need to redeploy and refit the Luftwaffe gave Britain a decisive respite.

By September Britain had built up its armored forces to nearly 350 medium and cruiser tanks. Coast defenses were much improved. Strong reinforcements had arrived from Canada. However, General Sir Alan Brooke, Commander in Chief (C-in-C) Home Forces, on September 13 confided pessimistically to his diary that of his 22 divisions “only about half can be looked upon as in any way fit for any form of mobile operations.”

On August 11, the eve of Eagle Day when the Luftwaffe was to launch its offensive to gain air superiority over southern England, RAF fighter command had 620 Spitfires and Hurricanes and aircraft production was exceeding totals called for.
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Old 1st August 2017, 04:27 AM   #230
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I just think our secret service at the time had access to little pieces of information about Hitler's proposed invasion of Britain which was never given to the public, or House of Commons, or the media, at the time. This was because it might have affected the attitude of the workers, or cause a loss of confidence, or even panic. It's all very well for scholars to talk now about modern data, and a what if scenario, but if the RAF had not scared the Germans off Britain would have been invaded. The Germans had U boats for a start which caused a lot of British losses until about May 1943.

There is some background to this on the internet:

"In the face of German air power, evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force was successful. In the United Kingdom there were only 80 heavy tanks, and they were obsolete. There were 180 light tanks armed only with machine guns. There were only 100,000 rifles to equip the 470,000 men of the Home Guard, although 75,000 Ross rifles were on their way from Canada.

The British Army had little chance of stopping the Germans if they had managed to get a large force ashore in June or July 1940."
The problem is that the Germans had very little chance of getting a large force ashore. And then supplying it if they did.

The Home Guard was ill-equipped - because the weapons that had been intended for them had been re-allocated to the British Army. While there was a shortage of tanks, there was no shortage of small arms, ammo for the small arms, and while there was a lower concentration of artillery then what was normal for Commonwealth forces later in the war there was more then enough artillery to do the job of fighting a containment action, followed by driving an ill-supported force into the sea.

You also might be interested to know that U-Boats are something close to useless in supporting amphibious operations, save as a screen for the surface ships. And the RN is far more likely to have ignored any losses due to subs to get at the Kriegsmarine surface fleet then to have been kept away - you are ignoring the logistics of keeping a seaborne invasion going - all of which has to come across water, into a functioning port, and be delivered, while the RN is throwing everything but your pram at them.
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Old 1st August 2017, 04:40 AM   #231
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I just think our secret service at the time had access to little pieces of information about Hitler's proposed invasion of Britain which was never given to the public, or House of Commons, or the media, at the time.
Of course they did. I don't see anyone arguing that the Secret Service didn't.
I'm not sure what you're getting at with this.

Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
It's all very well for scholars to talk now about modern data, and a what if scenario, but if the RAF had not scared the Germans off Britain would have been invaded. The Germans had U boats for a start which caused a lot of British losses until about May 1943.
U-Boats operating int he open Atlantic are not the same as U-Boats operating as (presumably) a screen for an invasion force. They're not really designed for the latter.
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Old 1st August 2017, 05:06 AM   #232
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
It's all very well for scholars to talk now about modern data, and a what if scenario, but if the RAF had not scared the Germans off Britain would have been invaded. The Germans had U boats for a start which caused a lot of British losses until about May 1943.
I was going to reply, but I already said all that needs saying about this back in post #142; Germany never had anywhere near the capability it needed to invade successfully, which is something we know quite certainly now but which may not have been clear given the limited knowledge in Britain in late 1940 of exactly what resources Germany actually had.

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Old 1st August 2017, 05:07 AM   #233
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
U-Boats operating int he open Atlantic are not the same as U-Boats operating as (presumably) a screen for an invasion force. They're not really designed for the latter.
For example, Germany had plenty of U-Boats in June 1944, but failed completely to deny the use of the Channel to Allied forces.

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Old 1st August 2017, 05:15 AM   #234
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Nor did the Allies use submarines of their own much to support the invasion.

This signature is intended to irradiate people.
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Old 1st August 2017, 09:47 AM   #235
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There is an interesting opinion about all this on the internet with some FACTS and not just a war game. U boats and the German air force were a danger to the British Navy at the time. I agree that there is not much point in Germany attempting an opposed landing unless you intend to stay there. That was what was wrong with the Dieppe raid, and the American proposal for a cross channel invasion in 1942:

Quote:
johnincornwall
December 1st, 2015 04:21 AM

It's all good fun but it's just a game. It's a long time since I studied the RN but 17 heavy cruisers? Here is s rough summary of the Home Fleet in summer 1940:

Royal Navy[edit]

The light cruiser, HMS Aurora, that bombarded Boulogne on 8 September 1940
Although much larger in size and with many more ships, due to commitments against Japan and the defence of Scotland and Northern England the Royal Navy was not able to match the forces the Kriegsmarine could put into the North sea or the Channel. On 1 July 1940, one cruiser and 23 destroyers were committed to escort duties in the Western Approaches, plus 12 destroyers and one cruiser on the Tyne and the aircraft carrier Argus (I49). More immediately available were ten destroyers at the south coast ports of Dover and Portsmouth, a cruiser and three destroyers at Sheerness on the River Thames, three cruisers and seven destroyers at the Humber, 9 destroyers at Harwich, and two cruisers at Rosyth. The rest of the Home Fleet—five battleships, three cruisers and nine destroyers—was based far to the north at Scapa Flow.[14] There were, in addition, many corvettes, minesweepers, and other small vessels.[20] By the end of July, a dozen additional destroyers were transferred from escort duties to the defence of the homeland, and more would join the Home Fleet shortly after.[21]

At the end of August, the battleship HMS Rodney was sent south to Rosyth for anti-invasion duties. She was joined on 13 September by her sister ship HMS Nelson, the battlecruiser HMS Hood, three anti-aircraft cruisers and a destroyer flotilla.[22] On 14 September, the old battleship HMS Revenge was moved to Plymouth, also specifically in case of invasion.[23] In addition to these major units, by the beginning of September the Royal Navy had stationed along the south coast of England between Plymouth and Harwich, 4 light cruisers and 57 destroyers tasked with repelling any invasion attempt, a force many times larger than the naval escorts that the Germans had available

Dunkirk showed that the channel was hell even for destroyers, so the idea of heavy units wallowing around among U-boats and the Luftwaffe is fairly silly IMHO. Plus any British bomber-type aircraft would still be sitting ducks for the Luftwaffe fighters.

All good fun, but however 'expert', it's just their opinion.
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Old 1st August 2017, 09:58 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
There is an interesting opinion about all this on the internet with some FACTS and not just a war game. U boats and the German air force were a danger to the British Navy at the time. I agree that there is not much point in Germany attempting an opposed landing unless you intend to stay there. That was what was wrong with the Dieppe raid, and the American proposal for a cross channel invasion in 1942:
The source of your "opinion" there has no credibility - given that his claim to authority is being "johnincornwall".

The Dieppe Raid was not intended to create a foothold on the continent, it's problems had nothing to do with reinforcing an opposed landing.

Dieppe's issues started with the intelligence gathering (or lack thereof) during the planning stages, and were compounded High Command taking away supporting resources (naval ships for supporting fire and air support), the political need to get the Canadians stuck in, and a lack of appreciation of the shore conditions and its effects on both landing craft and tanks.
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Old 1st August 2017, 10:11 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
The source of your "opinion" there has no credibility - given that his claim to authority is being "johnincornwall".

The Dieppe Raid was not intended to create a foothold on the continent, it's problems had nothing to do with reinforcing an opposed landing.

Dieppe's issues started with the intelligence gathering (or lack thereof) during the planning stages, and were compounded High Command taking away supporting resources (naval ships for supporting fire and air support), the political need to get the Canadians stuck in, and a lack of appreciation of the shore conditions and its effects on both landing craft and tanks.
Indeed. And given Cunningham's comment about it taking the Navy three years to build a ship and three centuries to build a tradition, it is pretty sure that the RN would have intervened in force.

I note that johnincornwall does accept that the RN had stationed "a force many times larger than the naval escorts that the Germans had available"

Even if the Germans did land they had no way of supplying their troops. It was bad enough after D-Day even with the Mulberry harbours and DUKWs.
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Old 1st August 2017, 11:52 AM   #238
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To the best of my recollection, the entire strength in ships of destroyer or larger classes available to the Kriegsmarine in June 1940 comprised one heavy cruiser, two light cruisers and four destroyers; everything else was either damaged and under repair, refitting or sitting on the bottom of Narvik Fjord. Henry, your source lists 71 destroyers, 11 cruisers, 5 battleships and an aircraft carrier in home waters, all within less than a day's steaming of the invasion area - the German invasion fleet would have taken at least 24 hours to cross the channel, the strings of towed barges were so slow - which is enough to outnumber quite comfortably every German warship put together throughout WW2, even if they'd all been in commission at the same time. It's a little difficult to reconcile the numbers in your source with its assertions, but it's clear that at the very least the Navy could have had dozens of destroyers in amongst the barges.

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Old 1st August 2017, 05:03 PM   #239
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I just think our secret service at the time had access to little pieces of information about Hitler's proposed invasion of Britain which was never given to the public, or House of Commons, or the media, at the time. This was because it might have affected the attitude of the workers, or cause a loss of confidence, or even panic.
You think? Do you have any facts to back this up? The reality is if the British had been in possession of accurate information about the likelihood of a German invasion far from panicking they would have known they didn't need to hold back so many troops, ships and equipment for the defence of the UK and could have committed resources elsewhere.

Quote:
It's all very well for scholars to talk now about modern data, and a what if scenario, but if the RAF had not scared the Germans off Britain would have been invaded. The Germans had U boats for a start which caused a lot of British losses until about May 1943.
Its not modern data, its documentation from the period that was classified until decades after the war, as with other matters this has been explained to you repeatedly, on what do you base your refusal to accept this documentation? It's been explained that the Germans never had the means to mount Sealion and now you want to drag in the Battle of the Atlantic, which has absolutely nothing to do with appeasement. And are you suggesting that U-Boats could have somehow escorted and protected an invasion force from the RN?
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Old 1st August 2017, 05:13 PM   #240
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
To the best of my recollection, the entire strength in ships of destroyer or larger classes available to the Kriegsmarine in June 1940 comprised one heavy cruiser, two light cruisers and four destroyers; everything else was either damaged and under repair, refitting or sitting on the bottom of Narvik Fjord. Henry, your source lists 71 destroyers, 11 cruisers, 5 battleships and an aircraft carrier in home waters, all within less than a day's steaming of the invasion area - the German invasion fleet would have taken at least 24 hours to cross the channel, the strings of towed barges were so slow - which is enough to outnumber quite comfortably every German warship put together throughout WW2, even if they'd all been in commission at the same time. It's a little difficult to reconcile the numbers in your source with its assertions, but it's clear that at the very least the Navy could have had dozens of destroyers in amongst the barges.

Dave
The quote conveniently ignores the point that much of the naval losses at Dunkirk were suffered by ships that were at anchor or taking on troops out at sea, the Luftwaffe's poor rate of return on their attacks against stationary targets would suggest they aren't going to have a lot of luck against Destroyers flotillas moving at maximum speed and probably laying smoke and of course as you say the plodding invasion force would have taken so long crossing the channel there would have been nothing to stop the RN mounting a night attack, rendering Luftwaffe intervention moot.

There have been endless books written on the subject, but yet again Henri falls back on an internet quote that fails to offer any sources or accreditation.
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