I made a few threads for the UK-side of the operation:
And will probaly make a few others too (1st motMGBde+29th, 1st Armored, 1st Canadian, and "Other XIIth Corps stuff), if I find the time and energy.
Sonce we got sidetracked there lately, I will continue here with a non-related discussion.
I, on the other, am not so sure about that. Considering the other Operations the Germans pulled off, Seelöwe looks like a work of a bored subaltern. I suspect, neither the Heer nor the Kriegsmarine wanted to have ynthig to do with the crap, concluded that the LW would not be able to achive its goal, and even if it achieved it, Hitler would not give the go-ahead. If if all that is given, they still could whine about this and that, and postpone the whole Operation so long, that it isn't possible in 1940 anymore.Probably. However, my opinion is that the planning and preparation were real, but the realization set in that all the planning and preparation was likely useless, given the improvisational nature of the preparations, British naval superiority, and practical British air parity. The decision to delay/cancel was probably more rational than the decision to go forward though I suspect.
So, they did some work as an alibi, gave some work-threapy for the subalterns so they didn' got bored overmuch, and been done with it.
The whole spiel tooks to me like a Occupation Force, and not a Landing Force. The UK sues for peace after the RAF-FC is defeated, keep some troops ready to move into Kent and Sussex. Resistance will be minimal, speed is of essence. Plan accordingly.
As far as I remember, the 8th Army wasn't on hes best at Gazala either. If not for Bir Hakheim, a whole axis division getting lost and the initial resistance of one of the motBdes, the battle would have been lost in the first day. If i'm correct (it's some years since I did some detailed reading on the battle) th British reserves got only rolling around noon, some 10 hours after initial contact. (but I may be mistaken here, it's been some years)For sure, and you could easily take as a case in point the inertia that beset 21. Panzer on 6 June 1944
I'm however certain, that on 10th May it took the British and French to get moving into Belgium with the first elements.
There are some compications here.Or the New Zealanders and MILFORCE. They had a fairly straightforward set of mission orders with objectives all nearby - Lympne and Hythe were just 25 to 30 kilometers away, half the distance traversed by 21. Panzer - and well reconnoitered.
So given the British would almost certainly have about three to five days notice of the loading of the German fleet, 18 to 24 hours notice of its sortieing and assembly off the coast, 12 hours notice of it beginning the cross-Channel movement, and two to three hours notice of its probable landing sites, I suspect the inertia experienced by British units in SEELÖWE would be considerably less than that of German units in NEPTUNE.
Hythe was not under 1st London's controll, but directly under XIIth Corps, and the rest of Zone B was under 45th Division, still not under 1st London control. Even if we assume, the Folkstone-garrison was keeping 1st London somewhat in the loop, and infromation doesn't go up the chain to XIIth Corps first and than down to 1st London, the situation south of Dymchurch would be more concerning - even if 1st London knows about the exact situation to begin with. Then the situation gets complicated, when around 6 Btls of Fallschirmjäger start falling from the sky, a good hour after the initial landing. On top of 2nd London Bde and 1st LRB HQ. (and even in the area of the neighbouring division). After that, 1st London will lose contact with 1st QW and 1st LSC (contact goes through 2nd Lon Bde, even if the two Btls have wireless and can be reached from the Division Net), and even with the rest of 1st LRB (the companies did not have wireless 1940). Meaning: 1st LonDiv HQ will have no clue what is exactly going on, where everyone is, but only a vague idea.
Enter MILFORCE and 8th RTR. Neither is under control of 1st LonDiv, they will get info from 2nd NZ and/or XIIth Corps. XIIth Corps will probably have some idea what is going on with a few hour's lag (but not what is going on in 1st LonDiv's area, since 1st LonDiv, has no clue either), and than it has to pass word along to 2nd NZ and/or Milforce. I suspect, since 1st LonDiv will have no clue, what is going on, will send out patrols (Carrier- and if it exists MC Platoon of 2/5 Queens) from Ham Street to Canterbury, and maybe ask Milforce to contribute with its Recon Element, ie C Sqd/NZ Cav. After the Fallis fell from the sky. I would be extremly surprised, if C Sqd would leave Ashford earlier than two hours after the Main Air Landing. They would need around an hour to reach the "front" - which they don't know, where it is - so three hours after the MAL and four hours after the initial landing. And probaly run head first into an ambush.
Assuming, the wireless has the range to reach Milforce HQ, and they don't need to drive back to Ashford to report, it is at this point, that 1st LonDiv and Milforce get the info they need to start rolling. I assume here, that Milforce can (or will) act on its own, and don't have to get approval from 2nd NZ/XIIth Corps. And they can word pass along to 8th RTR and they can/will act on their own, and don't wait for approval from above.
Take some time to pass word along (a tanker will not report to the boss directly, but to some guy at the radio, who passes word along to his boss, who passes word along... and so forth) correlate the info, make a decision, pass word along to the troops, and for them to start rolling. Let's say, just an hour (Nagumo at Midway, for example got the info about the US carriers one hour after the message was sent). Milforce starts rolling four hours after the MAL and five after the initial landing. They (the leading element!) need around one hour to reach the front (probably they know where it is give or take a mile or so), so they probably don't run head first into an ambush. We have MAL+5 and S+6 now, and the trailing element of Milforce is still around an hour away. 8th RTR (or at least C Sqd with the Matilda IIs) maybe just reaches Ashford, and still have 1+ hours for the leading elements to reach the front.
That is all assuming 1st LondDiv is willing to/able to/aloved to contact Milforce, C Sqd/Nz Cav can start rolling MAL+2/S+3, and is able to give word via radio and don't have to drive back to HQ (that's another hour), and 8th RTR also starts rolling MAL+4/S+5. And there are no craters or debries from an air attack, there are no refugees clogging the roads (there will be some refugees, no matter of orders) and no roadblocks some overzealous HG put up.
Coordination between arms was never a strong point of the British - 1940 it certainly wasn't - so you can assume, Milforce will give it a try without 8th RTR, then C Sqd/8th RTR will give it a try without Milforce, and then Milforce and 8th RTR will give it a third (uncoordinated) try again.
There is at least a chance 1st LonDiv and Milforce have contact and each knows something, but that's not true for 2nd NZ. They will have to wait for info (and orders!) from XIIth corps, who in turn will have info on 45th Div area, maybe Folkstone and Dover, but nothing about 1st LonDiv. At least as long 1st LonDiv doesn't know itself. That would be probably no earlier than around MAL+3,5/S+4,5. Collating, passing word along, collating, passing word along, start rolling, and 2nd NZ starts rolling... around MAL+6/S+7. Maybe a bit earlier. Maidstone-Sellindge is around 27 miles (along the M20, if you take the byways, probably a bit more), so with 8mls/hour a bit more than 4 hours for the leading elements. Arrival around MAL+10/S+11, so... say around 1700, and the Kiwis still need 4-5 hours for the trailing elements to arrive.