No Barbarossa AND Operation Sea Lion Oct 1941

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alecsandros
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No Barbarossa AND Operation Sea Lion Oct 1941

Post by alecsandros » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:42 am

Hello,

Reading around the web, I found a nice set of hypothetical scenarios. I wonder how one of them could have turned out...

Suppose Hitler would not pursue a separate peace with Churchill, and instead would focus on a realistic and comprehensive destruction of British continental forces.
Dunqerque would be occupied, with probably 60-70% of the 300.000 evacuees becoming prisoners of war.

WIth Barbarossa not planned, the resources poured in the east would be used in the Mediteranean. That means a huge amount of bombers and fighters sent to Italy and nearby islands, as well as in North Africa.

With Rommell doing what he did with a grossly under-equipped army, he might have obtained more success faster , provided he had air superiority.
Also, air superiorty would bring, in time, naval superiority, at least in the wters around Sicily, Sardinia, Crete, etc.

Without the miracle of Dunkerque , and with ROmmel better equipped, the situation of the British forces in Sept 1941 would look very dire.

====

IF by that time Germany would be able to produce (without taking to much losses from aerial bombardment by the RAF) sufficient quantities of landing barges AND transport planes, while stockpiling a credible amount of ammo, food, spares, etc, to launch a realistic ground offensive over the channell, then I think that Op. Sea Lion could have been a success, with early attacks in mid-OCt 1941, first aerial parradroppings in late Oct, and initial sea-crossings by mid-Nov 1941.

====

Of course, an interesting aspect would be IF the British decidents would still try to keep North Africa , Singapore, etc, while German intentions of invasion would be obvious... IF not, again, the war would be starkly different, but also the chances of a successfull land invasion of British islands would decrease toward zero...

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Re: No Barbarossa AND Operation Sea Lion Oct 1941

Post by Steve Crandell » Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:22 am

You are assuming Stalin does not invade Germany. I don't think that is necessarily a safe assumption.

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Re: No Barbarossa AND Operation Sea Lion Oct 1941

Post by northcape » Sun Oct 25, 2015 2:09 am

Steve Crandell wrote:You are assuming Stalin does not invade Germany. I don't think that is necessarily a safe assumption.
I think it is a safe assumption to some degree. Among the two biggest mass murderers of the 20th centuries, Stalin was more realistic than Hitler. As long as Germany was not involved into heavily fighting in the West, he knew that he would not have the capacities to invade Germany. However, if he saw that Germany would have a hard time in the West than he might have seized the opportunity. But actually I think your question mixes a hypothetical military scenario with an (impossible) political scenario - the latter is somehow a different discussion.

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Re: No Barbarossa AND Operation Sea Lion Oct 1941

Post by alecsandros » Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:22 am

Steve Crandell wrote:You are assuming Stalin does not invade Germany. I don't think that is necessarily a safe assumption.
Stalin did not have the capacity to invade anything of importance without massive foreign aid.

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Re: No Barbarossa AND Operation Sea Lion Oct 1941

Post by RF » Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:30 am

The basic flaw with this argument is that by October 1941 Germany would still not have the shipping sufficient to carry over the required full invasion force (which would have to be bigger than that planned in 1940) and also that Britain was much better armed than it was in 1940. October would be late in the year, with lengthening nights which further favours the British, particulary with radar on small ships as well as land based.

The Mediterranean strategy was proposed by Raeder, but the weak point are the Italians. Essentially to be a success such a strategy must push the British right out of the Med and Asia Minor, which I think would be unlikely. To take Gibraltar would require Spain to enter the war, which adds complications which further favours Britain (such as seizing the Canary Islands).

Without Barbarossa, the Soviet Union would be a growing potential threat which would have to be guarded against. At the same time the USA was becoming more hostile, with clashes with U-boats in the Atlantic.

Post September 1940 Sea Lion has no chance of success.
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Re: No Barbarossa AND Operation Sea Lion Oct 1941

Post by RF » Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:32 am

The basic flaw with this argument is that by October 1941 Germany would still not have the shipping sufficient to carry over the required full invasion force (which would have to be bigger than that planned in 1940) and also that Britain was much better armed than it was in 1940 ( the scenario of the entire BEF being captured at Dunkirk is a virtual impossibility - a large part of that force would have got away). October would be late in the year, with lengthening nights which further favours the British, particulary with radar on small ships as well as land based.

The Mediterranean strategy was proposed by Raeder, but the weak point are the Italians. Essentially to be a success such a strategy must push the British right out of the Med and Asia Minor, which I think would be unlikely. To take Gibraltar would require Spain to enter the war, which adds complications which further favours Britain (such as seizing the Canary Islands).

Without Barbarossa, the Soviet Union would be a growing potential threat which would have to be guarded against. At the same time the USA was becoming more hostile, with Lend-Lease and with clashes with U-boats in the Atlantic.

Post September 1940 Sea Lion has no chance of success.
Last edited by RF on Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: No Barbarossa AND Operation Sea Lion Oct 1941

Post by RF » Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:36 am

You could alternatively consider an alternative scenario.

Suppose in September 1940 Hitler signed up the USSR to the axis alliance instead of Japan.

This is feasible, in that the USSR could support Germany in the West while Germany backs the USSR in a full scale war against Japan, including sending Panzer and Luftwaffe forces to eastern Siberia.
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Re: No Barbarossa AND Operation Sea Lion Oct 1941

Post by alecsandros » Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:28 am

RF wrote:You could alternatively consider an alternative scenario.

Suppose in September 1940 Hitler signed up the USSR to the axis alliance instead of Japan.

This is feasible, in that the USSR could support Germany in the West while Germany backs the USSR in a full scale war against Japan, including sending Panzer and Luftwaffe forces to eastern Siberia.
it was conceivable, especialy as the Ribbentrop - Molotov pact was still in place.
However, the USSR did not have the capability to invade anything in 1940, 1941 or 1942. They only began accumulating invading technology AFTER Barbarossa started - and that via American and British help. Stalin could't support his troops , for lack of food, clothing, boots, ammunition... the officer corps lacked experience, and the overall state of the army was appalling.

On the other hand, Sea Lion was a plausible enterprise (if no Barbarossa happens), as well as a possible German-Italian conquest of most of NOrth Africa.

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Re: No Barbarossa AND Operation Sea Lion Oct 1941

Post by RF » Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:11 am

You have missed my point about Russian help.

Ground and ait forces, whilst numerous, would not be very effective as a back up to Sea Lion, but the Russians could offer substantial logistical support in the form of boats and shipping plus surface escort vessels, additional to what the Germans would have. This would be a different scenario to your point about Soviet capability of mounting a seaborne invasion on their own.

I might add that individual NKVD units in 1941 were very effective as elite troops (as they were in early Barbarossa) as opposed to the Soviet Army as a whole, which would be useful in the early stages of an invasion, backing up Waffen SS units.
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Re: No Barbarossa AND Operation Sea Lion Oct 1941

Post by alecsandros » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:46 am

RF wrote:You have missed my point about Russian help.

Ground and ait forces, whilst numerous, would not be very effective as a back up to Sea Lion, but the Russians could offer substantial logistical support in the form of boats and shipping plus surface escort vessels, additional to what the Germans would have. This would be a different scenario to your point about Soviet capability of mounting a seaborne invasion on their own.

I might add that individual NKVD units in 1941 were very effective as elite troops (as they were in early Barbarossa) as opposed to the Soviet Army as a whole, which would be useful in the early stages of an invasion, backing up Waffen SS units.
No, the red army would not be capable of "providing" anything meaningfull at the point of invasion.
Their lack of logistical means, primitive leadership and no relevant experience would make any attempt of cooperation useless.

May I ask what sort of boats and escort vessels are you reffering to ?

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Re: No Barbarossa AND Operation Sea Lion Oct 1941

Post by RF » Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:30 pm

You are focussing entirely on the army, overlooking naval forces, merchant shipping including river boats.
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Re: No Barbarossa AND Operation Sea Lion Oct 1941

Post by alecsandros » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:39 pm

RF wrote:You are focussing entirely on the army, overlooking naval forces, merchant shipping including river boats.
that is why I asked you the question above...

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Re: No Barbarossa AND Operation Sea Lion Oct 1941

Post by Paul L » Fri Oct 30, 2015 6:32 am

Germans already had sufficient shipping to launch a cross channel invasion by mid 1941. With 100 MFP & 240 Seibel ferries PLUS 1700 converted river barges -most motorized...and 150 merchant ships. The real problem would be lack of enough good escorts & destroyers etc [ 19 DD 47 TB & 100 M-Boot/aux ] . However they would have 5 surface raiders plus 280 U-boats to seriously dilute allied coastal defences /convoy escorts. Finally hundreds of fishing vessels had been taken in hand and were being converted to V-Boot to add to the existing 200 RB/SB.

http://navypedia.org/ships/germany/ger_list.htm


Even if the Germans don't succeed; the RN escorts would be decimated . The 1400 coastal vessels would do well but the 500 convoys would have to be covered by a force of 100 TB & ~200 DD/DE plus 280 Sloop / corvettes ...stretched thin.


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Re: No Barbarossa AND Operation Sea Lion Oct 1941

Post by alecsandros » Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:19 am

... I would go for Oct 1941, to have a larger number of transport planes and landing ships available.

1000 transport planes could deliver 12000 men with 2 weeks supply and significant equipment in one dark night. 24000 if they would manage 2 transports (and that's likely , as the night has 14 hours in October).

Night defense over southern Britain in Oct 1941 was powerfull, but in no way capable of stopping such massive aerial assault.

I would expect nightly transports over a period of 3 nights, each night brining another load of 24.000 men, fully loaded and equipped.

With ~ 70.000 men parachutted, the Germans woudl have a realistic chance of capturing a major southern harbor, while at the same time defending the outer perimeter from the sure-as-hell British coutnerattacks.

Daylight would require all available Luftwaffe fighters to provide covering over the invasion area. At least one grouppen permanently in the air, with another ready to join in 30 minutes. It wouldn't be much, but it would certainly lift morale of the troops on the ground, and would deter any quick response from the RAF (which would be required to plan and organise a large scale attack with serious fighter defence in order to bomb the invasion area defended by Me-109s and 110s).

===

Depending on how the parachuttists would attain their objectives, some Luftwaffe units may be relocated to captured airfields, while the invasion "fleet" (transporting mostly tanks, AA guns and artillery, with all necessary active and maintenance personell for them) would pass the channell in another dark night...

Of course, if the invasion halts British plans in the far east and North Africa, and all (or most of the) troops are called to defend the homeland, the chances of a successfull invasion , by any means in existence at the time, drop towards zero...

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Re: No Barbarossa AND Operation Sea Lion Oct 1941

Post by RF » Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:11 am

Paul L wrote:Germans already had sufficient shipping to launch a cross channel invasion by mid 1941. With 100 MFP & 240 Seibel ferries PLUS 1700 converted river barges -most motorized...and 150 merchant ships. The real problem would be lack of enough good escorts & destroyers etc [ 19 DD 47 TB & 100 M-Boot/aux ] . However they would have 5 surface raiders plus 280 U-boats to seriously dilute allied coastal defences /convoy escorts. Finally hundreds of fishing vessels had been taken in hand and were being converted to V-Boot to add to the existing 200 RB/SB.
Another option would have been delaying Rheinubung and having Bismarck, Tirpitz available to support the operation along with Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.
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