Sea Lion 1941

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

Post by RF » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:24 am

alecsandros wrote: I am not at all that sure the US ARmy would be capable of taking on the Wehrmacht without Commonwealth support. The German forces would NOT suffer the attrition of 1942-1944 eastern conflicts, and by 1945 new and devastating war machines would be available... Even if they would establish bridgehead(s) in North Africa/Europe, they would be pushed into the sea...
If you reread my previous posts you will see that I do specify that both British Empire and Free French support on a large scale for the Americans is essential
for a successful US incursion into Europe and Africa.
Also a continuation of Barbarossa beyond Moscow will by definition cause the Germans attritional losses over a much wider front and a much bigger occupation area - an area of conflict simply too big for the Germans to manage. By 1943 and 1944 the scale of attritional losses I would expect to be greater than the actual, coupled with escalating logistical and supply problems. Even ''new and devasting war machines'' would have problems with the scale of operations involved and the frictional effects of distance.
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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by alecsandros » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:30 am

RF wrote:
If you reread my previous posts you will see that I do specify that both British Empire and Free French support on a large scale for the Americans is essential
for a successful US incursion into Europe and Africa.
Yes, I know. I was mainly reffering to the support of Great Britain, as a political unit. First of all, the Royal Navy, the RAF and Expeditionary Corps. All of those forces would not be present, or be present only in very small numbers.
Also a continuation of Barbarossa beyond Moscow will by definition cause the Germans attritional losses over a much wider front and a much bigger occupation area
Of course, but the russians would not be able to mantain a coherente defensive without massive Allied convoy support. Without it, the initial successes of Barbarossa would simply keep on going. The German advance would be stopped/delayed only by their own logistical problems. Yes, local strongpoints may last for months, or even years, but without a second/third front in North Africa/Scotland in 1941-42 (which would clearly be unthinkable for the US forces) the Germans would be able to concentrate the vast majority of their land and air forces in the eastern front. 1942 would be a turning point, with Red ARmy's equipemnt, logistical and raw materials at critical levels. The GErmans would seize the Caucasus oil fields, and rich iron ore deposits. Their supply of petrol, iron, bauxite and labor force would increase dramatically, and the western half of Russia would probably be "collonized" quite rapidly.

Again, I don't see how the Red Army could realistically threaten any part of this plan...

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by RF » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:34 am

alecsandros wrote:
RF wrote:
If you reread my previous posts you will see that I do specify that both British Empire and Free French support on a large scale for the Americans is essential
for a successful US incursion into Europe and Africa.
Yes, I know. I was mainly reffering to the support of Great Britain, as a political unit. First of all, the Royal Navy, the RAF and Expeditionary Corps. All of those forces would not be present, or be present only in very small numbers.

Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Northern & Southern Rhodesia, Kenya together with probably the greater part of the RN that would escape from an invasion of Britain would constitute very substantial forces; there would also be expatriate forces of the regular British Army plus Polish, Dutch and Norwegian forces as well.
Plus of course organised resistance movements in Britain and the other occuppied countries.

And thats before you consider the Free French forces.
Last edited by RF on Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by RF » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:53 am

alecsandros wrote: .... but the russians would not be able to mantain a coherente defensive without massive Allied convoy support. Without it, the initial successes of Barbarossa would simply keep on going. The German advance would be stopped/delayed only by their own logistical problems. Yes, local strongpoints may last for months, or even years, but without a second/third front in North Africa/Scotland in 1941-42 (which would clearly be unthinkable for the US forces) the Germans would be able to concentrate the vast majority of their land and air forces in the eastern front. 1942 would be a turning point, with Red ARmy's equipemnt, logistical and raw materials at critical levels. The GErmans would seize the Caucasus oil fields, and rich iron ore deposits. Their supply of petrol, iron, bauxite and labor force would increase dramatically, and the western half of Russia would probably be "collonized" quite rapidly.

Again, I don't see how the Red Army could realistically threaten any part of this plan...
I don't think that you fully realise the implications of a continental scale war that such a large area of conflict would encompass for a medium sized country like Germany. Apart from natural defensive barriers such as the Urals and the Volga there is no concept of a regular front line. Most of the battles would be inside the areas occupied by the Germans. It would be like the campaigns and battles within Serbia and the rest of occupied Yugoslavia in WW2 but magnified literally a thousand times over. It would be a peoples' war with local populations fighting each other as allies and enemies of the Germans. The opposition forces won't need Allied convoys or American lorries - they steal and capture their arms and equipment from the Germans and would be able for example to capture Tiger and Panther tanks from the Germans and use them against them. Yes, Russian forces in Siberia will have the backing of their own armaments industry and be able to draw the Germans ever further eastward. The Germans would become so bogged down that they would use up all of their reserves in trying to occuppy the Russian continent and overcome the opposition. The scenario would be similar to that faced by Salazar and Caetano when the Portuguese tried to retain their African empire of Angola and Mozambique - an unwinnable colonial war that uses up all the economic resources and almost bankrupts the economy. In this scenario I don't think that by 1945 or 1946 the Germans would be able to deploy any front line combat divisions anywhere in the West, let alone Africa - they would be tied down two thousand miles to the east and couldn't be pulled out.
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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by alecsandros » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:35 am

Hi RF,
Well, it depends on the initial premises of this hypothetical scenario. For example, the size and relative power the free British would retain.
I doubt the Royal Navy would be permitted to "escape", as the nazis were pretty ruthelss conquerors, and any attempt to "flee to safe havens" could be replied with mass executions/deportations. With this in mind, it's more likely the peace conditinons imposed on Britain would include the dismantling of their surface fleet.
Furthermore, would a Commonwealth exist without a Crown ? Would Nigeria still fight for the "free British", when seeing the Empire's demise ? Woulnd't Australia declare independence ? Etc.

Same case in Russia. Would the communists remain in power after losing Moscow and huge resources ? The anti-communist sentiment was very strong in many of the soviets... Many times the nazis were received as liberators, and I suspect this would increase as the threat of state-lead retaliation (via NKVD) would greatly diminish. And without the resources of the western Urals, the Caucasus, and the ones shipped by the British and Americans, I don't see how the communist state would manage to support itself. And I don't see either how or why the majoirty people leaving under communist terror would fight against the Germans... [allthough the atrocities of the SS woudl probably make them unsympathetic in some areas...].

Presuming a limitation of the German forces in the western part of the Urals, I would expect a slow collonization process, which would differ mainly from the one in western Europe by the poor development of Russia in those years. Yes, partisan movements would probably arise, and give problems to the occupiers. But this was common throughtout Europe... And the nazis weren't defeated by the partisans, but slowed down or hindered at best...

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by RF » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:51 pm

alecsandros wrote:Hi RF,
Well, it depends on the initial premises of this hypothetical scenario. For example, the size and relative power the free British would retain.
I doubt the Royal Navy would be permitted to "escape", as the nazis were pretty ruthelss conquerors, and any attempt to "flee to safe havens" could be replied with mass executions/deportations. With this in mind, it's more likely the peace conditinons imposed on Britain would include the dismantling of their surface fleet.
That assumes the RN and the other British forces would wait for an armistice - I don't think so, they would go to Canada and other British posessions...
Furthermore, would a Commonwealth exist without a Crown ? Would Nigeria still fight for the "free British", when seeing the Empire's demise ? Woulnd't Australia declare independence ? Etc.
The empire would still exist with the Crown in exile. Those colonies and dominions threatened by Axis countries would certainly continue the war in their own interests, especially if the US and Russia are involved
Same case in Russia. Would the communists remain in power after losing Moscow and huge resources ? The anti-communist sentiment was very strong in many of the soviets... Many times the nazis were received as liberators, and I suspect this would increase as the threat of state-lead retaliation (via NKVD) would greatly diminish. And without the resources of the western Urals, the Caucasus, and the ones shipped by the British and Americans, I don't see how the communist state would manage to support itself. And I don't see either how or why the majoirty people leaving under communist terror would fight against the Germans... [allthough the atrocities of the SS woudl probably make them unsympathetic in some areas...].
Whatever regimes or regimes exist in Russia, communist or otherwise, the conflict is likely to continue and escalate. Remember this would be an ideological war of racial extermination, with no Geneva convention. The SS were very good at turning potential allies into determined enemies because of the nazi ideology and this more than anything would escalate the conflict.
Presuming a limitation of the German forces in the western part of the Urals, I would expect a slow collonization process, which would differ mainly from the one in western Europe by the poor development of Russia in those years. Yes, partisan movements would probably arise, and give problems to the occupiers. But this was common throughtout Europe... And the nazis weren't defeated by the partisans, but slowed down or hindered at best...
They were defeated in Serbia, which liberated itself.... this would be a dirty war like nothing preceding it. The western occupied countries would be a nirvana in comparison to the conflict in the east.
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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by tommy303 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:08 pm

...much as Napoleon found out in 1812; the occupation of the enemy's capital (in his case Moscow) did not necessarily lead to the automatic fall of the enemy. As far as a German invasion of England goes, even if successful, might not lead to an armistice between England and Germany, as RF points out. To quote Churchill:
Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by alecsandros » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:24 am

I have to say this is a rather fascinating hypothetical evolution of history :D

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by RF » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:55 pm

Hypothetical certainly. But WW2 could have easily panned out that way.

Consider this. On 3 September 1939 the most logical outcome of the war that started in Poland would have been a quick defeat of Germany because the French Army would have attacked at full strength out of the Maginot Line from mid-September onwards, swept across the incomplete and inadequately defended Siegfried Line and occuppy the Rhineland to the north and Baden-Baden and western Bavaria in the south.
Who would have thought on that day that the actual outcome in 1940 would have happened? Such a scenario would sound more fantastic than the outline of this hypothetical thread.
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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by tommy303 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:05 pm

Exactly! The Germans had little more than a few reserves in the west. Their airpower, mechanized outfits and the bulk of their infantry were all in the east.

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by 19kilo » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:26 pm

Why does everyone here keep trying to make Nazi Germany work?!

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by RF » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:40 pm

Because that is the only way Nazi Germany could win.
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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by lwd » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:36 pm

Somewhere in the first couple of pages it seems like a German victory in Sea Lion II was assumed. Was there any convincing rational for this? In 41 the KM was as far as light units go still a shadow of it's rather anemic prewar self. Tirpitz and Graf Zepplin were mentioned but they weren't going to be available in time for an invasion in 41, indeed I'm nots ure Graf Zepplin would be available in 42. In the mean time British defences are stronger and the RAF is in relativly better position than the LW compared to 1940 when it found the RAF too strong to defeat. An invasion without air supremacy or even the ability to maintain air superiority over the invasion fleet nor sea control in the face of well designed and though out defences against what would now be superior forces just doesn't sound like a perscription for success to me.

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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by RF » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:46 am

lwd wrote: An invasion without air supremacy or even the ability to maintain air superiority over the invasion fleet nor sea control in the face of well designed and though out defences against what would now be superior forces just doesn't sound like a perscription for success to me.
It would be a disastrous failure and would never be contemplated.
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Re: Sea Lion 1941

Post by alecsandros » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:32 am

RF wrote:
lwd wrote: An invasion without air supremacy or even the ability to maintain air superiority over the invasion fleet nor sea control in the face of well designed and though out defences against what would now be superior forces just doesn't sound like a perscription for success to me.
It would be a disastrous failure and would never be contemplated.
As discussed above, it was possible to obtain and mantain supriority over the landing areas.
The invasion would be difficult to sustain logistically, but in difficulty lies the challenge for every great general.

Perhaps it would have succeeded - who knows ? BUt as it was, the operation was only an interesting idea, and not a real plan at all. [like operation Unthinkable for Churchill...]

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