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Old 2nd August 2017, 12:10 AM   #241
erwinl
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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
This ^

Whenever I see Henry talking about the German navy, I only think 'What navy? There was none!'

And even the u-boats could not have done a lot.
According to this source (Appendix A, Table 7, page 54 (which I suspect should have been called table 10, by the way)), there were only 29 u-boats active during june 1940. Which actually was the lowest number till that point in the war (and going lower from that point on, before finally rising again in march 1941). If we look at Table 11, page 57, we see that of the 210 u-boats active on december 1942, only 63 (30%) were actually on their station. The rest were in transit (22%) or at their base (48%).
So. From the 29 u-boats active in june 1940 we can expect about 9 to be actually present for operations.

Not a good basis for planning the greatest amphibian assault up to that moment, I think.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 02:59 AM   #242
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I agree that the senior officers in the German Navy were not as keen on an invasion of Britain as the German army and air force. I have never researched where the German battleship Bismarck was at the time, but it was a ship that was not to be underestimated. Also Admiral Canaris of the Abwehr it looks like now was one of ours, and he had the ear of Hitler at the time. It has also been said in the past that Corporal Hitler was more of an Army man than a Navy man.

All I know is that General Alan Brooke was expecting an invasion any time in September 1940, unlike many of the subsequent scholars writing about the matter in hindsight.

I agree with what this internet poster has said about the matter, even if he is not a scholar with modern data:

Quote:
It would have been a piece of cake. Without the RAF the British navy could not have stopped the Germans you need air superiority, the British navy would have been sitting ducks.

Do people who disagree think that the Normandy landings would have gone ahead if the allies had not had air superiority. I think not.

Spartan · 9 years ago

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Old 2nd August 2017, 03:26 AM   #243
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I agree with what this internet poster has said about the matter, even if he is not a scholar with modern data:
Why do you agree with the opinions of people who are not scholars and have no modern information, instead of accepting the informed (and contrary) opinions of those who are informed scholars?

That seems perverse.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 03:59 AM   #244
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I agree that the senior officers in the German Navy were not as keen on an invasion of Britain as the German army and air force. I have never researched where the German battleship Bismarck was at the time, but it was a ship that was not to be underestimated. Also Admiral Canaris of the Abwehr it looks like now was one of ours, and he had the ear of Hitler at the time. It has also been said in the past that Corporal Hitler was more of an Army man than a Navy man.

All I know is that General Alan Brooke was expecting an invasion any time in September 1940, unlike many of the subsequent scholars writing about the matter in hindsight.

I agree with what this internet poster has said about the matter, even if he is not a scholar with modern data:
Until August 1940, the Bismark hadn't been launched. She wasn't ready for service until the end of the year.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 04:06 AM   #245
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I agree that the senior officers in the German Navy were not as keen on an invasion of Britain as the German army and air force.
The Navy men likely appreciated that they were not going to be able to pull it off. Nothing like near certain failure to cause a loss of enthusiasm.

Quote:
I have never researched where the German battleship Bismarck was at the time, but it was a ship that was not to be underestimated.
She was in port, having only been commissioned on August 24, 1940. One ship wasn't going to swing the tide against the RN.

Quote:
Also Admiral Canaris of the Abwehr it looks like now was one of ours, and he had the ear of Hitler at the time. It has also been said in the past that Corporal Hitler was more of an Army man than a Navy man.
Every German leader since Arminius has been an Army man.

Quote:
All I know is that General Alan Brooke was expecting an invasion any time in September 1940, unlike many of the subsequent scholars writing about the matter in hindsight.
His unrealistic expectations notwithstanding, intelligence assessments from the time and assessments of the actual German capabilities show this fear to have been out of proportion to the actual threat.

Quote:
I agree with what this internet poster has said about the matter, even if he is not a scholar with modern data:

The Kriegsmarine lacked the ability to land and resupply an invasion force. Air superiority would not have helped there - the RN would have devastated the invasion ships, and the landing force would have run out of ammunition and fuel before they got more then a day from their landing areas.

That guys not only not using modern data, he's ignoring the data that was released 40 years before he wrote his armchair assessment.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 04:18 AM   #246
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
Whenever I see Henry talking about the German navy, I only think 'What navy? There was none!'
No no no! There was a German navy, at the bottom of the sea at Scapa Flow. That's why they built all those U-boats!

OK, ok, I'll get my coat.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 04:23 AM   #247
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
Every German leader since Arminius has been an Army man.
Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring disagrees.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 04:45 AM   #248
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring disagrees.
The Deutsche LuftstreitkräfteWP
(German: [ˈdɔʏtʃə ˈlʊftˌʃtʁaɪtkʁɛftə], German Air Force)—known before October 1916 as the Fliegertruppen des deutschen Kaiserreiches (Imperial German Flying Corps)[1] or simply Die Fliegertruppe—was the World War I (1914–18) air arm of the German Army, of which it remained an integral part
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Old 2nd August 2017, 04:48 AM   #249
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I agree that the senior officers in the German Navy were not as keen on an invasion of Britain as the German army and air force. I have never researched where the German battleship Bismarck was at the time, but it was a ship that was not to be underestimated. Also Admiral Canaris of the Abwehr it looks like now was one of ours, and he had the ear of Hitler at the time. It has also been said in the past that Corporal Hitler was more of an Army man than a Navy man.

All I know is that General Alan Brooke was expecting an invasion any time in September 1940, unlike many of the subsequent scholars writing about the matter in hindsight.

I agree with what this internet poster has said about the matter, even if he is not a scholar with modern data:
Highlighted
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But what are you going to do about it?
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Old 2nd August 2017, 04:54 AM   #250
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"
Do people who disagree think that the Normandy landings would have gone ahead if the allies had not had air superiority. I think not.
"

But "Spartan" seemed quite happy with the idea of the Normandy landings going ahead in a situation where the German navy had "71 destroyers, 11 cruisers, 5 battleships and an aircraft carrier" (from Dave Rogers' post) and the allies had, say, a bunch of subs and barges to screen the convoy.

You see, the thing with the Normandy landings (and others in '43/'44), the allies didn't just have air superiority (total on D-Day), but also a massive naval superiority (total for most, if not all, invasions).

You just need to look at Crete. The airborne part was the only bit that "successful", with air superiority, however the naval landing (which was half the troops transported) was a complete washout.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 04:55 AM   #251
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I have never researched where the German battleship Bismarck was at the time, but it was a ship that was not to be underestimated.
I was waiting for someone to prove their complete ignorance by suggesting that a ship that wasn't in commission until 1941 could be used to support Operation Sealion. Bismarck was in the Baltic from late September, where her crew were trying to figure out how to steer her. It's unlikely she could have got from there to the Channel without being intercepted by the five RN battleships that were stationed at Scapa Flow specifically for that purpose, and we know what just two battleships could do to her.

Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I agree with what this internet poster has said about the matter, even if he is not a scholar with modern data:
Do you for some bizarre reason think that ignorance is an advantage in trying to form sensible conclusions?

Dave
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Old 2nd August 2017, 05:07 AM   #252
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring disagrees.


Göring was head of state?

I should have been more specific, my bad.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 05:26 AM   #253
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
Göring was head of state?

I should have been more specific, my bad.
Well. There is also Karl Donitz. But that was only for 23 days.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 05:59 AM   #254
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
The Deutsche LuftstreitkräfteWP
(German: [ˈdɔʏtʃə ˈlʊftˌʃtʁaɪtkʁɛftə], German Air Force)—known before October 1916 as the Fliegertruppen des deutschen Kaiserreiches (Imperial German Flying Corps)[1] or simply Die Fliegertruppe—was the World War I (1914–18) air arm of the German Army, of which it remained an integral part
But the German air force was a separate part of the armed forces when Göring led their heroic supply of the encircled 6th Army at Stalingrad.

Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
Göring was head of state?

I should have been more specific, my bad.
You said "leader", that's a bit malleable. He was Hitler's deputy until his testament showed he was not his successor.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 06:16 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
But the German air force was a separate part of the armed forces when Göring led their heroic supply of the encircled 6th Army at Stalingrad.
Göring didn't do much "leading". He had other priorities.
However, the argument with Zeitzler did not take place on the 24th, before the airlift began. It could not have. After Göring visited Hitler at the Berghof on the 22d, he departed for Paris in “Asia,” his luxurious command train. He spent the next four days—when he should have been organizing the airlift—visiting Parisian art dealers and galleries. 39 Von Richthofen was appalled. “I urge Jeschonnek and Zeitzler to report my views to the Führer,” he wrote in his diary on the 25th, “and to harness the Reichsmarschall, but he's in Paris!”
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Old 2nd August 2017, 06:29 AM   #256
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Göring didn't do much "leading". He had other priorities.
However, the argument with Zeitzler did not take place on the 24th, before the airlift began. It could not have. After Göring visited Hitler at the Berghof on the 22d, he departed for Paris in “Asia,” his luxurious command train. He spent the next four days—when he should have been organizing the airlift—visiting Parisian art dealers and galleries. 39 Von Richthofen was appalled. “I urge Jeschonnek and Zeitzler to report my views to the Führer,” he wrote in his diary on the 25th, “and to harness the Reichsmarschall, but he's in Paris!”
But then, he was an even more accomplished art connaisseur than aviator, witness his procurement of Vermeer's "Christ with the Adulteress".
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Old 2nd August 2017, 08:39 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
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But what are you going to do about it?
Maybe the uncommissioned Bismark stopped Chamberlain from reporting on German planning that started after his death?


Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
"
Do people who disagree think that the Normandy landings would have gone ahead if the allies had not had air superiority. I think not.
"

But "Spartan" seemed quite happy with the idea of the Normandy landings going ahead in a situation where the German navy had "71 destroyers, 11 cruisers, 5 battleships and an aircraft carrier" (from Dave Rogers' post) and the allies had, say, a bunch of subs and barges to screen the convoy.

You see, the thing with the Normandy landings (and others in '43/'44), the allies didn't just have air superiority (total on D-Day), but also a massive naval superiority (total for most, if not all, invasions).

You just need to look at Crete. The airborne part was the only bit that "successful", with air superiority, however the naval landing (which was half the troops transported) was a complete washout.
Indeed. Air supremacy (not just superiority) was vital to D-Day - the allies flew 14,674 sorties, whilst the Luftwaffe managed 319. However Naval supremacy was also vital.


Putting it in it's most blatant, the argument put forward by "spartan" is equivalent to saying that because the Allies needed air superiority to invade, it means that somehow a lack of ships would have been unimportant.

That is only *slightly* unfair to their argument.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 09:04 AM   #258
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I just think that scholars are underestimating the German Navy. Without air superiority the British Navy was a sitting duck, as was proved when the Japanese sank a British ship in the Pacific with the loss of a thousand sailors, and the Bismarck sank another British battleship with another loss of a thousand sailors. That's why many scholars now say battleships are obsolete.

Chamberlain, and even Churchill, did inflict damage on the German Navy during the Norway campaign which might have affected the later German invasion of Britain. From a Wikipedia about the matter:

Quote:
In April 1940, the German Navy was heavily involved in the invasion of Norway, where it suffered significant losses, which included the heavy cruiser Blücher sunk by artillery and torpedoes from Norwegian shore batteries at the Oscarsborg Fortress in Oslofjord. Ten destroyers were lost in the Battles of Narvik (half of German destroyer strength at the time), and two light cruisers, the Königsberg which was bombed and sunk by Royal Navy aircraft in Bergen, and the Karlsruhe which was sunk off the coast of Kristiansand by a British submarine. The Kriegsmarine did in return sink some British warships during this campaign, including the aircraft carrier HMS*Glorious.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 09:13 AM   #259
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Churchill was quoted once as saying the one thing that gave him the jitters during the war was the German Naval U boat menace. That is relevant to any invasion of Britain. From that source about the U boats quoted above:

Quote:
(l)* Blockade against England.* In August, 1940, a blockade was declared against England, which gave U-Boats complete and unrestricted liberty of action against all targets, with the exception of Irish ships.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 09:17 AM   #260
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
... many scholars now say battleships are obsolete.
They do say that. They say that triremeWPs are obsolete too.

Last edited by Craig B; 2nd August 2017 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 09:18 AM   #261
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I just think that scholars are underestimating the German Navy. Without air superiority the British Navy was a sitting duck, as was proved when the Japanese sank a British ship in the Pacific with the loss of a thousand sailors, and the Bismarck sank another British battleship with another loss of a thousand sailors. That's why many scholars now say battleships are obsolete.

Chamberlain, and even Churchill, did inflict damage on the German Navy during the Norway campaign which might have affected the later German invasion of Britain. From a Wikipedia about the matter:
How effective do you think air power would have been against the 70-odd destroyers in a night attack on the barges moving at walking pace?
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Old 2nd August 2017, 09:20 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
Churchill was quoted once as saying the one thing that gave him the jitters during the war was the German Naval U boat menace. That is relevant to any invasion of Britain. From that source about the U boats quoted above:
What has the Battle of the Atlantic (where U-boats attacked convoys of merchant ships) got to do with an invasion plan where the U-boats would have had to defend convoys of barges?

You might also note that Churchill was not quoted as saying he had jitters about an invasion.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 09:22 AM   #263
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The Nazi construction of landing craft suggests there was a serious intent to invade the UK. But any chance of a successful attempt would have required defeat of the RAF and RN first.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 09:24 AM   #264
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I just think that scholars are underestimating the German Navy.
No, I think you are overestimating the German Navy - which had lost almost half of its destroyers and a sizable portion of its surface strength in the Battle of Norway. The Kriegsmarine did not believe they could support Sealion.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 09:24 AM   #265
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I just think that scholars are underestimating the German Navy.
And I think that people who think the German Navy had the strength to force a Channel crossing simply can't count.

Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
Without air superiority the British Navy was a sitting duck, as was proved when the Japanese sank a British ship in the Pacific with the loss of a thousand sailors,
Two ships, actually, a battleship and a battlecruiser, but they didn't manage to sink any of the accompanying destroyers, which are a hell of a lot harder to hit.

Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
and the Bismarck sank another British battleship with another loss of a thousand sailors. That's why many scholars now say battleships are obsolete.
Do you ever read the nonsense you post? (1) This has ****-all to do with air superiority as no aircraft were involved, and (2) one battleship sinking another is nothing to do with why battleships are obsolete. You may also note that destroyers are decidedly not obsolete, and it's destroyers that would have massacred the German invasion fleet.

Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
Chamberlain, and even Churchill, did inflict damage on the German Navy during the Norway campaign[...]
Amazing. I always thought it was the Royal Navy and the Norwegian shore batteries that did all that.

Dave
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Old 2nd August 2017, 09:30 AM   #266
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
The Nazi construction of landing craft suggests there was a serious intent to invade the UK.
They didn't actually construct any, though, did they? They just collected together enough Rhine barges to look like an invasion fleet.

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Old 2nd August 2017, 09:58 AM   #267
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Exercise Tiger shows how vulnerable inadequately-escorted dedicated landing ships (not barges) were.

Sealion would have been far less favourable.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 10:03 AM   #268
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
They didn't actually construct any, though, did they? They just collected together enough Rhine barges to look like an invasion fleet.

Dave
700 of the largest type, according to Wiki, mainly used for transport, mine laying type tasks.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 10:30 AM   #269
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
700 of the largest type, according to Wiki, mainly used for transport, mine laying type tasks.
Ah, right. But they were far too late for Sea Lion, as they didn't start to enter service till April 1941. There may well have been a serious intent to invade Britain, but the means were never available.

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Old 2nd August 2017, 11:25 AM   #270
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Ah, right. But they were far too late for Sea Lion, as they didn't start to enter service till April 1941. There may well have been a serious intent to invade Britain, but the means were never available.

Dave
Also Operation Neptune used 4,000 landing craft, and 1,200 warships in a fleet of nearly 7,000 vessels

Significantly different scale
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Old 2nd August 2017, 11:45 AM   #271
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Ah, right. But they were far too late for Sea Lion, as they didn't start to enter service till April 1941. There may well have been a serious intent to invade Britain, but the means were never available.

Dave
Reading 'Wages of Destruction' and its clear from that any notion they could have produced those landing craft sooner or built a horde of U-Boats if they had scrapped the surface fleet plans are a non-starter, the Germans were pretty much short of everything.

One thing the book that struck as rather strange was that in 1936 Britain was threatening sanctions against Germany and even Chamberlain was strongly in favour. Nothing to do with the re-militarization of the Rhineland, it was the German threat to suspend loan repayments...
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Old 2nd August 2017, 12:41 PM   #272
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I have heard speculation that Chamberlain's terminal illness affected his negotiating ability at Munich.
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Old 3rd August 2017, 01:16 AM   #273
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
Without air superiority the British Navy was a sitting duck...
I will once again refer to Crete. The Axis had air superiority for that operation, and yet the RN still managed to prevent the naval landing portion entirely.
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Old 3rd August 2017, 02:20 AM   #274
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I wonder what would have happened had Hitler actually pushed the invasion forward.

It would have been an unmitigated disaster losing a major part of the army and most of the remnants of his fleet, with most likely the Luftwaffe being severly damaged too.

Would that have been enough to encourage Stalin to move west? Or Vichi France to attempt a rematch? After all the French had most of their fleet intact and could have offered the British a safe place to land.

Also, the major purges of the army had not really happened yet, so a military coup would have been far more likely.
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Old 3rd August 2017, 02:32 AM   #275
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A Soviet invasion west would run into the same problems invasions of Russia have, a massive supply line across hostile territory.
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Old 3rd August 2017, 03:31 AM   #276
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
A Soviet invasion west would run into the same problems invasions of Russia have, a massive supply line across hostile territory.
Stalin knew that through experience, not merely reasoning. He personally had experienced the Soviet collapse in Central Poland in 1920, and the precipitate retreat of the Red Army that followed, while in post as chief political commissar of the South-Western Front.

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Old 3rd August 2017, 06:32 AM   #277
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
A Soviet invasion west would run into the same problems invasions of Russia have, a massive supply line across hostile territory.
... and on the wrong rail gauge.
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Old 3rd August 2017, 08:45 AM   #278
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General Alan Brooke was told in his diaries that he discovered that the Home Fleet in the event of an invasion, had little intention of coming further south than the Wash. As destroyers were also being drawn off to Western Approaches, the naval defence in the Channel and southern waters did not appear to be able to offer the required interference with German landing operations........ Also in his diaries he wrote:

Quote:
The pilots of Fighter Command were putting up a performance for which they will remain famous throughout history. There were, however, grave doubts as to whether they could last the course...... I am seriously disturbed by the prospect of German airborne landings on the South Downs, to be carried out in combination with landings and destined to prevent the timely arrival of my counter-attacking forces.

It should not be thought that I considered our position a hopeless one...Far from it. We should certainly have had a desperate struggle and the future might well have hung in the balance, but I felt that, given a fair share of the fortunes of war, we should certainly succeed in finally defending these shores. It must be remembered that, if my diary occasionally gave vent to some of the doubts which the heavy responsibility generated, it was the one and only outlet for such doubts.
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Old 3rd August 2017, 01:57 PM   #279
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
But the German air force was a separate part of the armed forces when Göring led their heroic supply of the encircled 6th Army at Stalingrad.


You said "leader", that's a bit malleable. He was Hitler's deputy until his testament showed he was not his successor.
Goring had a long history of making extravagant promises that the failed to keep before the Stalingrad promise.
His "Leave it to me;the Luftwaffe alone can finish off all those Brits in Dunkirk"
is one example.
"And if one Alllied Bomb falls on Berlin, you can call me Meyer" is another.
Later, Hitler,in one of the very few times he admitted to a mistake;said he never should have believed Goring's Stalingrad promise given how ofter before Goring had made extravagant promises he failed to keep.
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Old 3rd August 2017, 03:22 PM   #280
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
A Soviet invasion west would run into the same problems invasions of Russia have, a massive supply line across hostile territory.
On the other hand assuming the Soviets massed their troops and supplies at the border in the same way the Germans did in June 41 they had a lot less ground to cover to reach Berlin than the Germans did to reach Moscow.

I suspect though Stalin would have been content to watch Germany and Britain batter away at one another for a while longer while the Soviet forces carried on their modernisation.
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