Sea Lion 1941

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
Pandora
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Sea Lion 1941

Post by Pandora » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:51 pm

Hello all,
had Germany focused all her resources vs the UK in 1941 instead of invading Russia, could the UK be defeated before the end of the year?
what do you think?

Ken Thompson
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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by Ken Thompson » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:21 am

No they didn't have the sea lift capability and if they did the British would have bombed it before they could assemble it.

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by alecsandros » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:11 am

Ken Thompson wrote:No they didn't have the sea lift capability and if they did the British would have bombed it before they could assemble it.
There was another discussion on this strategy.
The answer is much more complex than that, and involves alot of "if... then..."
Like "if Hitler wouldn't have stopped the 7 tank divisions from devastating the Dunkirk forces, then 300.000 veterans would be lost, thus making an invasion more realistic" and "if Luftwaffe would have had correct priorities, regional air superiority (not supremacy) could have been achieved and mantained"

The German paratrooper force and it's logistic capabilities should not be underestimated at all, especialy if invasion of Crete doesn't take place (a reasonable assumption if the nazis would concentrate in the west, against GB)

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by Ken Thompson » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:14 pm

The question is about 1941 not 1940 so maybe we can call this Sea Lion II. The Germans were embroiled in helping Italy out in Greece and North Africa against those pesky British and that operation is interfering with their plan to invade Russia so they change their mind and at least look into Sea Lion part II. My assessment still stands in that the Germans will realize that any attempt to assemble an extemporized landing fleet of canal barges and harbor lighters would be pounded by the still powerful RAF. Remember that the RAF was doing harassment fighter sweeps over the continent by this time.

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by alecsandros » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:06 pm

Well, if they would start thinking about Sea Lion II in 1941, it would be a big failure. The only way I see the Germans having some chances of success would be to concentrate everything they had against GB starting with summer 1940. No more Greece, North Africa, or Barbarossa...

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by Pandora » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:52 pm

ok, I will give more details.
the idea was to launch Sea Lion II in the summer 1941, no invasion of Russia but North Africa and the Balkan campaign are executed more or less as historical. the Nazi-Soviet pact remains in effect and Russia stays neutral at least until mid-1942.

but what I was really thinking is if Germany could defeat the UK in 1941 (either by invasion of the islands or peace agreement), so Germany can take care of Russia later in 1942-1943.
The question is, can Germany hurt the UK enough in 1941 to put an end to the war in the West? USA also remains out of the war until after Pearl Harbor.

what do you think? wouldnt be a more intelligent strategy to try to end the war in the west instead to opening a second front vs Russia?

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by Ken Thompson » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:29 pm

Yes it would be more intelligent to finish the war in the west but not with Winston Churchill in power. The only chance they had was at Dunkirk and they needed a whole fleet of landing craft to get the army across which of course they didn't have and the had to deal with the RAF in the Battle of Britain first which of course was also a failure. It was a good thing for Germany that some very nervous generals distracted Hitler from the idea. Hitler's main objective of the war was to conquer Russia and he wasn't interested in these side shows.

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by alecsandros » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:55 am

Hitler was also hoping for some kiind of peace/truce with GB, even in 1941.
I don't see Sea Lion 2 happening without at least 1 year of preparation and continous attacks against RAF facilities in the south-east, summer 1940 - summer 1941.

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by srgt rock » Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:42 am

I think to put this question its proper prospective you must start by looking at the options the Germans had starting to be examined in the later half of September 1940. By that point, both OKM and OKH were looking towards the Med and to increasing the efforts to blockade Britain.

I would speculate:
1. The plan to demobilize some of the army division and return those workers to German industry would have happened
2. Increased production of aircraft esp. long range types such as Fw200 and Ju88.
3. KM iron allocations increased and additional workers to build and repair the fleet units.

I see Operation Felix carried out in February 1941. I do not think Hitler would let Franco off the hook as easily as he did if he was holding up his planned invasion of Russia to put down Britain.

There would then be KM and Luftwaffe bases in Spain by January. Gibraltar would have fallen. Portions of the Italian Fleet join the German forces in the Atlantic. The French would have gone ahead faster with the agreement to let Axis forces use Dakar. The Afrika Korps would have had greater air support and would have likely made its way to the Suez Canal. Malta starved out.

If you speculate at the effect of increased Luftwaffe efforts in the Atlantic to blockade just look at the increased shipping losses that occurred in early 1941 and think how much more they could have done during the long days of summer.

Finally, Bismarck would not have sortied alone. The KM could have waited until Tirpitz and maybe Graf Zeppelin were ready to sail.

Churchill does not survive a vote of no confidence. Britain might well have been ready to negotiate by the fall of 1941.

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by RF » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:21 am

I don't see a seaborne invasion in 1941 as being possible without firstly the strategy outlined in the last post being pursued.

And there is one other problem that the Fuhrer would obsess about. The fear that Stalin would try to stab him inthe back if he concentrated his land forces for an invasion of Britain.......
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by srgt rock » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:27 pm

RF wrote:I don't see a seaborne invasion in 1941 as being possible without firstly the strategy outlined in the last post being pursued.

And there is one other problem that the Fuhrer would obsess about. The fear that Stalin would try to stab him inthe back if he concentrated his land forces for an invasion of Britain.......
I agree that would be a VERY REAL POSSIBILITY.

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by Pandora » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:33 pm

RF wrote:And there is one other problem that the Fuhrer would obsess about. The fear that Stalin would try to stab him inthe back if he concentrated his land forces for an invasion of Britain.......
I think you are right here, but this is a hypothetical scenario in which I presume USSR stays neutral and Hitler decides to fight the UK. also Hitler doesnt need to concentrate all his land forces for an invasion of the isles. Germany invaded the USSR with 3.5 million men.

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by RF » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:10 am

Yes it is a hypothetical scenario, but to be a realistic scenario we have to take into account all the prejudices and paranoia that the Fuhrer was subject to. In reality the real reason for Barbarossa was Hitler's desire to get his blow in first.
For a Sea Lion in 1941 it isn't so much the number of troops used, or the overall deployment of men in both east and west, but the fact that a major part of the panzer and Luftwaffe forces would be away from the eastern borders and be unable to transfer quickly back. If Stalin were to attack, the point to do it logically would be a day or so after the Germans attempt to land in England.......
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by srgt rock » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:55 pm

Would an invasion have been necessary? I believe the loss of control of the Med and release of the Italian Fleet into the Atlantic would have toppled the Churchill government. If not, would not Rommel's forces been reinforced and the oil fields in Iraq and Iran been seized. The British might well have been willing to cut their losses.

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by RF » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:59 pm

It is a possibilty, certainly. The Churchill government falling is still an assumption however, what would matter is who replaces Churchill. King George VI was advised that the person he should send for as the new PM if anything happened to Churchill was the Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden (we know this from Cabinet records released under the thirty year rule) whose policies were the same as Churchills'. So was the Labour Party leader Clement Attlee. It is difficult seeing any of the senior leaders parlying for surrender, certainly while there was a possibility of US intervention.

The only person I could think of was the Duke of Windsor. But with the abdication crisis only a few years before, would he be a credible leader? I doubt it.

No I think Britain would fight on. The point of the fall of France would always be seen as the nadir of Britains' fortunes, not the loss of the Med.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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