Operation Sealion

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
Richard Anderson
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Jan 2020 20:55

Knouterer wrote:
05 Jan 2020 13:12
What "first class LW air base network"???
Those in the fantasy world envisaged by all inveterate what iffers. :D

Elements of Stab and I./StG 1. were at Angers, a former French airfield, which suffered frequent flooding in spring and winter due to the close proximity of the Mayenne River and was wet year round; a Luftwaffe Bau-Batallion was requested sent in June 1940 and engaged in attempting to level and drain the field without success. It was abandoned by January 1942 and not reactivated until early 1944. The grass field was 1,100 x 775 meters. It did have some infrastructure, including dispersal areas, one and possibly two small hangers, and a couple of workshop huts, with the main accommodations in the adjacent Langlois barracks.

The rest of Stab, I., II., and III./StG 1. were at Saint Pol-Bryas, which was a 100 x 825 meter turf field with two small hangers and two workshops, but otherwise no infrastructure, although dispersal areas were later added.

Stab and I./StG 2. were at Saint Malo, which was a small (exact size undetermined) unimproved grass field with no known infrastructure.

II./StG 2. was at Lannion, which was a 695 x 640 meter turf field in Brittany. Major expansion and improvement including permanent infrastructure, paved runways, and dispersal areas began in fall of 1940, but were not completed until April 1941.

I./StG 77. was based at Maltot, which in 1940 was an unimproved grass field, formerly a farm field. It's grass surface was an irregular 1,000 x 640 meters and their was no infrastructure.
Stab and II./StG 77. were based at Broglie (often rendered "Brugy"), which was a smaller grass field, 1,000 x 165 meters with no infrastructure.
III./StG 77. was based at Argentan, another unimproved grass field, 1,000 x 365 meters with no infrastructure.

None were paved, none had any significant infrastructure. Otherwise, they were a "first class LW air base network". :lol:
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

histan
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by histan » 05 Jan 2020 22:51

None of these units would be used in the anti-shipping role.

In the usual shambolic way that the German's undertook their planning, it was only on 19.09.1940 the Luftflotte 2 held conferences concerning the support to be offered by VIII Fliegerkorps. It could only support the two corps of AOK 16 and indeed von Richtofen suggested that perhaps only one corps should land because he wasn't sure about supporting two! Needless to say his suggestion was rejected. Close air support to AOK 9 was assigned to I Fliegerkorps.

Any anti-shipping sorties would be flown by KG 4 based in Holland at Soesterbeg, Eindhoven and Amsterdam Schipol. According to Niehorster, on 09.09.1940 it had a strength of 79 He-111P of which 51 were serviceable and 30 Ju-88A-1, of which 14 were serviceable.

Medium bombers might fly two sorties per aircraft on strength per day, giving 218 sorties a day and based on figures given in previous posts sink no more than one RN destroyer. Most likely none, since they only used free fall bombs. Not dive bombers, no torpedoes, and no rockets.

The more I look into Sea Lion, the more shambolic it becomes.

Much useful information in AFD 090518-51 and AFD 090518-52, studies written for the USAAF, I think by Karl Klee.

Regards

John

Richard Anderson
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 06 Jan 2020 02:00

histan wrote:
05 Jan 2020 22:51
None of these units would be used in the anti-shipping role.
Well, aside from that III./StG 2. was rebuilding after the losses incurred in the Kanalkampf of July and August, while III./StG 61. and I. StG 71. were disbanded in July to provide personnel for the other units. The StG Gruppen were not in good shape in September 1940. Many experienced crews had been lost and all units were reorganizing and retraining.
In the usual shambolic way that the German's undertook their planning, it was only on 19.09.1940 the Luftflotte 2 held conferences concerning the support to be offered by VIII Fliegerkorps. It could only support the two corps of AOK 16 and indeed von Richtofen suggested that perhaps only one corps should land because he wasn't sure about supporting two! Needless to say his suggestion was rejected. Close air support to AOK 9 was assigned to I Fliegerkorps.
You mean they didn't just wing it? :D
Any anti-shipping sorties would be flown by KG 4 based in Holland at Soesterbeg, Eindhoven and Amsterdam Schipol. According to Niehorster, on 09.09.1940 it had a strength of 79 He-111P of which 51 were serviceable and 30 Ju-88A-1, of which 14 were serviceable.
The Stab and I. Gruppe were at Soesterburg, the Stab with He 111 P and I. with H. II. Gruppe was at Eindhoven with P and III. was at Schipol with Ju 88A. Curiously, after converting to Ju 88A since early spring 1940, by 15 January 1941 they were re-equipped with He 111H.
Medium bombers might fly two sorties per aircraft on strength per day, giving 218 sorties a day and based on figures given in previous posts sink no more than one RN destroyer. Most likely none, since they only used free fall bombs. Not dive bombers, no torpedoes, and no rockets.
Yep.
The more I look into Sea Lion, the more shambolic it becomes.
Except to the True Believers™.
Much useful information in AFD 090518-51 and AFD 090518-52, studies written for the USAAF, I think by Karl Klee.
Yep.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Knouterer
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 06 Jan 2020 10:59

Separate thread about Luftwaffe (and RAF) plans for Sealion:

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=226227&start=60
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glenn239
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by glenn239 » 06 Jan 2020 21:23

Aber wrote:
05 Jan 2020 10:01
You're using the wrong metric, as you need to factor in the number of targets available. Therefore perhaps 60%+ of available targets, not 10 per formation.
So if Sealion is 100,000 ships strong then the RN attack gets to sink 60,000 because their quota is 60%?

glenn239
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by glenn239 » 06 Jan 2020 21:39

William_2018 wrote:
30 Dec 2019 13:37
Would the invasion only have to be partially enabled before it became successful? i.e. Would a full scale invasion even be necessary to achieve the same result with Britain capitulating early? e.g. France surrendered when only a fraction of the country had been invaded.
That's the question. Sealion as planned would have conquered Britain. Sealion as executed would have been a shambles. But just because Sealion would have become a mess doesn't mean that the invasion itself would be repulsed. A beachhead might be established and then contained by the British army, and then Sealion becomes just one of several different fronts in the war.

glenn239
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by glenn239 » 06 Jan 2020 21:49

Knouterer wrote:
04 Jan 2020 10:34
It is clear that even without enemy interference a whole lot of things would have to go just right for the invasion to have the slightest chance of success, and any delay or mishap would have thrown the whole thing into confusion.
If amphibious assaults were so easy to defeat then the history books would contain more examples of them being defeated. That is to say, if you are thinking that a confused and disorganised invasion automatically equates to a defeated invasion, you are quite wrong. It was possible that Sealion would become disorganized, delayed, confused, and still succeed in establishing a bridgehead.
This map from Schenk's book shows the planned progression of the barge convoy bound for Rye Bay (landing beach C) from Calais. The fifty transports (about 4,000 GRT on average) carrying most of the vehicles and artillery for this landing force (7th Infantry and 1st Mountain Divisions) would come from Antwerp.
The Antwerp stuff would hug the coast under the cover of coastal defenses until reaching Pas de Calais.
The barge convoy would assemble off Calais on S-1, which would take from 10h00 to 17h00, according to the German plans. In full view of interested parties on the cliffs of Dover with powerful binoculars and telescopes, weather permitting of course.
Yes, the assembly time was such that the chances of surprise would not exist. However, if the RAF attacked the buildup, it would be up against the entire Luftwaffe fighter force, and if the RN did so, it would be under constant air attack, and be engaged against the coastal artillery batteries covering the assembly area.

Summary - probably better to wait until the invasion moves towards Dover.
As the maps shows, the convoy, about 15,000 meters long, accompanied by minesweepers and Vorpostenboote, would then move SW, passing to the south of The Ridge, a dangerous sand bank in mid-Channel. Initially it would move against the current, but from S-time minus 9 hours (which would be about 22h00 German time and 21h00 British time (GMT plus 1h)) it would help them along. From about S-4h the tide would turn again but by S-2h the convoy would have reached the "starting line" (indicated by boats with different coloured lights) from where it would execute a 90° turn and head for the beaches, which the advance detachments in little wooden Sturmboote and rubber boats would hit at S-time, 07h00 (06h00 British time), about an hour and a half after high water (supposing the date to be around 24-26 Sept.).
That might have been the plan, but no plan survives first contact with the enemy....

glenn239
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by glenn239 » 06 Jan 2020 21:59

Knouterer wrote:
05 Jan 2020 13:12
What "first class LW air base network"??? By mid-September both the Ju 87 and Bf 109 Geschwader were crammed together in the Pas-de-Calais region, because of their short range. As there were no real airfields there (except one or two small ones), and no time to build any, every more or less level surface of suitable size had to serve, including recently harvested stubble fields, which were muddy when it rained and dusty when it was dry.
The Luftwaffe had spent the entire summer building a large air base network in Northern France. German army doctrine for breakthrough operations in France had been that air support flies the maximum sortie rate possible. For Stukas, for example, you will find references to as many as 9 or 10 sorties per day.
Repairs and maintenance had to be carried out in the open, or at best in tents or barns. Of course the Luftwaffe could and did operate under such primitive conditions on many occasions all through the war; nevertheless, in a battle of attrition, as the BoB was, the RAF had a decided advantage in that it operated from "real" airfields with all the necessary infrastructure.
On the Steppes in minus 40 or severe rain or storms that all might matter. But, for a Sealion battle, what counts for maximum sortie rate is the distance of the base to the battle zone, speed of refuelling, speed of arming, speed of field repairs.
LW bomber units generally operated from real airfields, but those were further back from the coast.
Right, maybe 2 sorties per day for an operational twin engine some distance back from the coast. May 1 or 3 in some cases.

glenn239
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by glenn239 » 06 Jan 2020 22:03

Richard Anderson wrote:
05 Jan 2020 20:55
None were paved, none had any significant infrastructure. Otherwise, they were a "first class LW air base network". :lol:
Paved runways? Why not boarding lounges and duty free while they were at it? :^)

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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by glenn239 » 06 Jan 2020 22:35

histan wrote:
05 Jan 2020 22:51
None of these units would be used in the anti-shipping role.

In the usual shambolic way that the German's undertook their planning, it was only on 19.09.1940 the Luftflotte 2 held conferences concerning the support to be offered by VIII Fliegerkorps. It could only support the two corps of AOK 16 and indeed von Richtofen suggested that perhaps only one corps should land because he wasn't sure about supporting two! Needless to say his suggestion was rejected. Close air support to AOK 9 was assigned to I Fliegerkorps.

Any anti-shipping sorties would be flown by KG 4 based in Holland at Soesterbeg, Eindhoven and Amsterdam Schipol. According to Niehorster, on 09.09.1940 it had a strength of 79 He-111P of which 51 were serviceable and 30 Ju-88A-1, of which 14 were serviceable.

Medium bombers might fly two sorties per aircraft on strength per day, giving 218 sorties a day and based on figures given in previous posts sink no more than one RN destroyer. Most likely none, since they only used free fall bombs. Not dive bombers, no torpedoes, and no rockets.

The more I look into Sea Lion, the more shambolic it becomes.

Much useful information in AFD 090518-51 and AFD 090518-52, studies written for the USAAF, I think by Karl Klee.

Regards

John

The planning conference you are talking about assumed that Sealion would have reached the English shore and debarked in an orderly fashion as planned. We're assuming Sealion collided during the night with major RN forces and by dawn is sprawled out from one side of the Channel to the other. Something like 150 vessels are already sunk and another 1,500 or more are milling about the Channel in confusion with 75 RN warships on the attack within 10 miles of Pas de Calais. Over a thousand others have landed on the British shore with mixed results. Everything is utter confusion. Show me where the Luftwaffe plan was discussed for that contingency?

In the situation described, the Luftwaffe obviously would attack the RN in the Channel at dawn in an all out air sea battle in which the bulk of the Luftwaffe and RAF strength would be hurdled into the Channel at maximum sortie rate, all day. For example, if the RN in that battle came away with less than 1,000 Stuka attacks on their warships during the battle, they'd have been lucky.

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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by glenn239 » 06 Jan 2020 23:03

Richard Anderson wrote:
29 Dec 2019 04:02
The "narrows of the Channel"? Seriously, have you bothered to look at a map? Twenty-three miles, give or take, from Calais to Dover. The extreme range of German coastal guns barely reach one-quarter of the way.
I figure about 4 miles effective against DD's, harassment value out to 12 miles, up to about 12 miles effective vs. BB's. If/when 5.9" batteries were landed on the Dover side, 8 miles effective out of 23 against DD's (4 miles on each side).

Nope. The mine barrier program was supposed to be completed before the invasion launched. The KM correctly noted that the problem was the minefields would only remain effect so long as the British could be prevented from clearing them. That meant the covering forces, the Z-Boot and T-Boot needed to be much stronger, especially given they were an integral part of the minelaying force.
If the mine barrier is in place according to plan then the RN is unable to get at Sealion from the eastern side. If the mine barrier is not in place, then the T and Z boots allocated to it will not be trying to defend a barrier that does not exist.
The German minesweepers, the M-Boot and R-Boot, were actually tasked as escorts, troop transports for the coup de main forces, and minesweeping, at the same time, virtually guaranteeing none of the operations would be done well.
True, but also not relevant to the fact that RN targeting decisions and fire would be hopelessly confused in a night battle and many shells better thrown at steamers and barges will be aimed at R and M boats instead.
The Siebel ferries were actually tasked to transport II./Luftwaffe-Flak-Regiment 14, I./Luftwaffe-Flak-Regiment 26, I./Luftwaffe-Flak-Regiment 3, and I./Luftwaffe-Flak-Regiment 36, one each assigned to Transportflotte B, C, D, and E, thus separated, like their parent Flotte, by dozens of miles. They are departing in four groups from some dozen ports scattered across about 250 miles from Rotterdam to Le Havre.
So when the 37's and 88's were on the Siebel ferries in transit they were for decorative purposes only?
What "motor boat formations"? Each Flotte consisted of a number of Geleitzug (steamers towing unpowered barges) or Schleppverband (powered barges towing unpowered barges). Gelitzug 3 from Antwerp also had 14 "motor boats" as auxiliaries, IIRC transporting parts of the Brandenburg coupr de main force.
My understanding was that in the final version of the plan the western most German invasion convoy was composed of motor boats with the heavier elements in reserve.
Um, none of the U-Boot were tasked to watch British ports. They tried that with the Typ-II, VII, and IX in the Norwegian campaign and the result was pretty grim...for the Germans. The U-Boot were tasked as picket lines, 6 off Dover covering the minefields (such as they were) and 9 covering the western end of the Channel. Another 5 were tasked as pickets, without clearly defined locations insofar as I have found.
You're referring to the initial deployments and you seem to be assuming that the minefields the U-boats are scheduled to defend are in place for the purposes of U-boat operations, but not in place for the purposes of the RN counterattack? Which is it? Is the mine barrier in place or not? My comments assume 'not'.



What "wrong targets"? Let's say Geleitzug 1 out of Ostende is encountered...if the Germans achieved their plan, then that is 9 minesweepers, M1601-1609 (converted fishing steamers), escorting 15 steamers, each towing 2 barges and accompanied by 1 motor boat as an auxiliary.
Let's say 2 RN light cruisers and 12 destroyers encounter this force in fresh condition. In the course of a 3 hour battle assuming they have fire control radar and the coastal defenses do not interfere and that some of the steamers are able to evade by being warned by coastal radars, then something like 22 German vessels sunk of which about 10 are minesweepers, tugs and motor boats and 12 are steamers or barges.




No, not regularly. The "destroyers" regularly used were the aging Shakespeare-class (3), Scott-class (6), old R-class (1), old S-class (6), and especially the V&W-class (58) many of which were de-boilered to increase endurance. Some DD did do convoy duty. On a typical day, 16 September 1940, there were 8 DD: Veteran (left Harwich 17 Sep), Witherington (left Plymouth 16 Sep), MacKay (left Plymouth 15 Sep), Hurricane (left Liverpool 15 Sep), Winchelsea (left Liverpool 13 Sep), Warwick (left Liverpool 11 Sep), Witch (left Belfast 17 Sep), Wanderer (left Londonderry 16 Sep), 2 DE: Vivien (left Rosyth 16 Sep), Wolfhound (left Rosyth 15 Sep), and 1 TB: G.15 (NL) (left Plymouth 16 Sep) on "patrols, escorting convoys, etc".
Noted.
Generalizing the effects from two instances out of "about 15 such" is an invitation for analytical disaster.
So does invading Russia.
No, the RN warships do have radar, some of them at least. How do you "hide" a 3,500 ton steamer behind a 100 ton fishing boat minesweeper "escort"? What "smoke screens"? How do they generate them? Where is the planning for them? How does that affect the critical visibility component of the KM plan?
A 3,500 ton steamer is going to bolt for Pas de Calais as the RN approaches. It might have to cut its barges loose....now the KM doesn't have smoke generators?
Sure, if you assume the coup de main forces execute things perfectly when they transfer from their motorboats to Sturmboot, land on the beach, walk through the British beach defenses and those of the stations, and then capture them.
Check "The Big Book of British Army victories against Germany 1939-1941" and show me where it says the British army will perform so perfectly.
What "level bombing and 20mm strafing attacks at night" are those? Where is the planning for them? The practice for them? Who executes them? Against what?
Level bombers could attack targets at night. Even better if those targets were currently being illuminated with starshells by the coastal artillery you discounted.

At dawn every ME-110 in the inventory of the German air force will presumably commence low level strafing and bombing attacks on any RN warship in the Channel.

histan
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by histan » 07 Jan 2020 00:43

Hi glenn239

I am afraid your knowledge of the capabilities of a 1940s vintage medium bomber bombing from medium altitude using free fall bombs is not very good.

A long thin target, like a bridge or a runway is almost impossible to hit. The Germans tried to drop the bridges in Warsaw during the Polish campaign and failed to hit a single one. Given that the location of a bridge is known and that it doesn't move, imagine how much more difficult it is to hit a fast moving ship.

Hence the use of dive bombers, torpedo bombers, and rockets in anti-shipping actions.

I think your Stuka sortie rates are also a bit high:

On 10 May 1940 StG 77 had a strength of about 120 aircraft.

In Junckers Ju 87 Stukageschwader 1937 to 1941 John Weal writes:

[13 May 1940] "In just five hours that day StG 77 alone flew more than 200 individual sorties" - that's 2 sorties per aircraft on strength. That's about right for a one hour sortie plus briefing and debriefing time and aircraft turn round and re-arming. If you want to stretch the day to ten hours then you might get three to four sorties a day.

Indeed, Weal also writes [1 June 1940 Dunkirk operation] - "In a series of raids lasting all day (some crews flying as many as three or four sorties)..."

As I understand what you are saying VIII Fliegerkorps will abandon its planned mission in support of AOK16 and timed to coincide with the landing of the troops (the same concept and timing used by the RAF Typhoon force on D-day), to sit on the ground until it is given the actual locations of RN ships to attack. Or that it will undertake some type of "naval" push CAS or armed recce - just flying aircraft into the channel looking for something to attack - where they will clash with all the other Luftwaffe aircraft that are also flying some kind of armed recce sortie in the same area. A real airspace management issue.

Still maybe the RAF fighters will sort that out - as we used to say "who says air defence isn't air space management"

Regards

John

Richard Anderson
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Jan 2020 01:40

glenn239 wrote:
06 Jan 2020 21:59
The Luftwaffe had spent the entire summer building a large air base network in Northern France.
Actually, they spent the summer operating the Stuka and Jagdgruppen out of unimproved grass fields, with improvised facilities, then spent the fall and winter doing improvements on some, before abandoning many of them as they moved East into more unimproved fields. Didn't you ever wonder why the operational rate of the Luftwaffe was so poor?
German army doctrine for breakthrough operations in France had been that air support flies the maximum sortie rate possible. For Stukas, for example, you will find references to as many as 9 or 10 sorties per day.
You do? Then provide them please.
On the Steppes in minus 40 or severe rain or storms that all might matter. But, for a Sealion battle, what counts for maximum sortie rate is the distance of the base to the battle zone, speed of refuelling, speed of arming, speed of field repairs.
Nope. Cold, rain and mud were issues on all fronts, but the issue in France in the summer of 1940 was alternating dust and rain. The same problem was encountered by the Germans in Greece in the spring of 1941 and ever summer in the East, as well as the Allies in Normandy in the summer of 1944...and they were flying off PSP fields. Dust affected visibility in take off and landing, affected engine performance, affected wear on other components, while rain could swiftly flood poorly drained fields, also severely affecting take off and landing.
Right, maybe 2 sorties per day for an operational twin engine some distance back from the coast. May 1 or 3 in some cases.
Doubtful. The same units usually managed fractional sorties per aircraft per day during the Battle of Britain, why should it change for the Battle of SEELÖWE?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Jan 2020 03:04

glenn239 wrote:
06 Jan 2020 23:03
I figure about 4 miles effective against DD's, harassment value out to 12 miles, up to about 12 miles effective vs. BB's. If/when 5.9" batteries were landed on the Dover side, 8 miles effective out of 23 against DD's (4 miles on each side).
Really? What do you base that on? The professional's whose business was firing the 155mm GPF at ships judged that against destroyers the probablity to hit from point blank to 5,000 yards decreased from 100 to 35 percent, from 5,000 to 10,000 yards decreased from 35 to 10 percent, from 10,000 to 15,000 yards from 10 to 3 percent. To its maximum effective range of 17,500 yards the chance decreased from 3 to nil percent.

What "5.9" batteries" are you referring to? Where do they come from? How do they get to the "Dover side"? The German 15cm divisional piece is a howitzer and the divisional batteries are neither trained nor equipped to engage ships at sea. The Heeres-Küsten-Artillerie deployed on the French side of the Channel were not part of the SEELÖWE invasion force.

If the mine barrier is in place according to plan then the RN is unable to get at Sealion from the eastern side. If the mine barrier is not in place, then the T and Z boots allocated to it will not be trying to defend a barrier that does not exist.
Except they have neither the ships, nor the mines, nor the time required to put the "mine barrier in place according to plan"...and the RN also had a large and well-trained and equipped mine clearing organization. So are unlikley to be "unable to get at Sealion from the eastern side". The problem is the effort to try to get the barrier in place required the Z- and T-Boot to participate, using their secondary mine laying capability in the usual German manner of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

So you have two end states possible:

1. The Germans keep trying to achieve the planned barrier right up to S-Tag and fail. The Z- and T-Boot are engaged laying mines.
2. The Germans give up on the planned barrier sometime before S-Tag. The Z- and T-Boot are not engaged in laying mines
True, but also not relevant to the fact that RN targeting decisions and fire would be hopelessly confused in a night battle and many shells better thrown at steamers and barges will be aimed at R and M boats instead.
Why would the RN, which had spent much of the last twenty years developing night engagement TTPs become "hopelessly confused"...other than because you want them to be?
So when the 37's and 88's were on the Siebel ferries in transit they were for decorative purposes only?
I see you are back at your usual game of ignoring the actual point. The effective range of the Flak 8.8cm firing from a stable platform at ground targets was 14,860 meters, roughly 9 miles, so call it 18 miles in diameter. They are in four separate groups so have, in theory a maximum range span of 72 miles. The initial frontage the Transportflotte cover is 250 miles. It is only in the final approach to the beaches that the frontage would decrease to something the very theoretical range of the 88s could nearly span...just under 80 miles.
My understanding was that in the final version of the plan the western most German invasion convoy was composed of motor boats with the heavier elements in reserve.
In all of the Transportflotte the assault element were carried in the Schleppverband, while the divisional combat and service support elements were mainly carried in the Geleitzug. E was unique in that rather than relying primarily on powered and unpowered barges they were able to accumulate a large number of small diesel and gasoline powered motorboats and motorsailors along with the barge tows. The problem was they had limited beach landing ability, unlike the barges.

Transportflotte E out of Le Havre consisted of:
Schleppverbandverband 5
Räumbootsflottille 1 (8 R-Boot, R17-R24)
Vorpostenflottille 4 (8 converted trawlers, V401-408)
Vorpostenflottille 13 (13 converted trawlers, V1301-1308)
Vorpostenflottille 20 (8 converted trawlers, V2001-2008)
Motorboot: 200
Motorsegler: 100
Schlepper: 25 (each towing two barges)
Geleitzug 4 (Le Havre)
Minensuchflottille 12 (5 converted trawlers, M601-605)
Dampfer: 25
Prähme: 50
Geleitzug 5 (Le Havre)
Minensuchflottille 14 (8 converted trawlers, M1401-1408)
Dampfer: 25
Prähme: 50

You're referring to the initial deployments and you seem to be assuming that the minefields the U-boats are scheduled to defend are in place for the purposes of U-boat operations, but not in place for the purposes of the RN counterattack? Which is it? Is the mine barrier in place or not? My comments assume 'not'.
I'm not assuming anything Glenn, I'm stating what was available, what the plan called for, and what the constraints were. The plan called for 21 U-Boot, but only 19 Typ-VII and IX were actually available...and many of those were already on patrol, were returning from patrol, or were preparing to go on patrol, so the only possibility to make up the numbers was to rely on the obsolescent Ducks, the Typ-II, which suffered badly in the Norway campaign. Also, by September, the Germans were coming to realize again that the Channel was a very dangerous place for U-Boot.

Let's say 2 RN light cruisers and 12 destroyers encounter this force in fresh condition. In the course of a 3 hour battle assuming they have fire control radar and the coastal defenses do not interfere and that some of the steamers are able to evade by being warned by coastal radars, then something like 22 German vessels sunk of which about 10 are minesweepers, tugs and motor boats and 12 are steamers or barges.
Glenn, please look at a map. Like the map Knouterer provided. The German "coastal defenses" cannot do a thing. If the RN engages the Schleppverband 3 at the point where the tide turns against them, then they are more than 15 miles from the french coast. Geleitzug 3, which is the "steamers" is coming from Antwerp and is far to the rear of the 15-kilometer long Schleppverband 3 convoy.
Noted.
You're welcome.
So does invading Russia.
Which has exactly what to do with SEELÖWE?
A 3,500 ton steamer is going to bolt for Pas de Calais as the RN approaches. It might have to cut its barges loose....now the KM doesn't have smoke generators?
The steamers are coming from Antwerp and are trailing Schleppverband 3...why are you having so much trouble absorbing this?

The size and composition of the German convoys required good visibility to maintain command and control. The visibility requirements were half moon or better, no fog, no rain...but then you've been told this over and over, so you'll probably just ignore it again.
Check "The Big Book of British Army victories against Germany 1939-1941" and show me where it says the British army will perform so perfectly.
Check what happened to the Germans when they attacked a prepared British defense at Tobruk in April 1941. And that was a combined arms attack from land to land rather than a half-assed amphibious assault.
Level bombers could attack targets at night. Even better if those targets were currently being illuminated with starshells by the coastal artillery you discounted.
No, they could not. The Germans had a single dedicated long-range maritime attack Gruppe, I./KG 40 and it was not part of SEELÖWE planning because of the vulnerability of the FW 200. The only other unit trained for maritime attack were the three medium bomber Gruppen of KG 30. I./KG 40 used low-level bombing, KG 30 used low-level and dive-bombing. Neither would be possible in the dark.

I did not "discount" coastal artillery, I stated its capability. Firing "starshells" or any other type of shell to a range of 24,000 meters was not one of them.
At dawn every ME-110 in the inventory of the German air force will presumably commence low level strafing and bombing attacks on any RN warship in the Channel.
You mean the Bf 110 of ZG 26. and 76? The under 200 of them serviceable? The ones tasked with duties like long-range escort for the bombers and dive bombers tasked to support the assault forces?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Richard Anderson
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Jan 2020 04:40

Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Jan 2020 03:04
I did not "discount" coastal artillery, I stated its capability. Firing "starshells" or any other type of shell to a range of 24,000 meters was not one of them.
BTW, with regards to "strarshells" I forgot to mention the most important aspect of using them, aside from firing them over something within the range of the gun in question, which is that you need to have a "starshell", i.e., illumination round, for the piece in question.

Now most of the German Küsten-Artillerie at this time were either 10cm FK18 Heeres-Artillerie Abteilungen impressed into the role or captured French 155mm GPF. The 10cm gun did not have an illum round in its inventory that I am aware of and AFAIK the French gun did not either (I know the American version, the 155mm Gun M1917 did not). The German Heer depended on the 10.5cm leFH for artillery illumination, the 15cm sFH 18 did not have them and neither I believe did the few 15cm sFK. In terms of the KM, the 8.8cm TbsK and UbTs had an illum round as did some of the 15cm SK. I know that by 1944 the Heeres and KM Küsten-Artillerie did have a few 15cm sFH deployed with batteries as illuminating guns, so I suspect they adapted the 15cm lg UbTs KL/45 illum round for firing from the howitzer, but that was four years later and a howitzer with much less range than the gun.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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