Operation Sealion

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
glenn239
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by glenn239 » 31 Jan 2020 19:26

Histan - any progress on determining whether or not different British formations exercising different invasion defense doctrines in different sectors might possibly cause unforced errors in a British response to a German invasion? Say if one division is pulling back to a containment line as per doctrine while another beside it is staking everything on a hasty counterattack as per doctrine, but with its flank now unexpectedly wide open? The history of the war is filled with examples of neighbouring units pulling back unexpectedly and otherwise not delivering key support at the key moment, is it not?

In terms of the excellent observations on Stuka production and such, I'd not suggested that Stukas reaching the frontlines between August and September 1940 would be straight from factory. I'd assumed that with about 50 per month unit production, there would be some sort of pipeline suppling aircraft at a rate of about 50 per month and the pilots to fly them at about the same rate. So, when the Stukas are pulled back from the battle in late August, they should receive about 50 replacements in the next month, plus whatever damaged aircraft are repaired?

Richard Anderson
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 01 Feb 2020 16:47

histan wrote:
31 Jan 2020 00:44
Stuka losses 13th to 18th August 1940:
13 August 1940 6 aircraft destroyed on combat missions 2 aircraft damaged on Non Combat Missions
14 August 1940 4 aircraft destroyed on combat missions
15 August 1940 7 aircraft destroyed on combat missions
16 August 1940 9 aircraft destroyed on combat missions, 3 aircraft damaged on combat missions, 1 aircraft damaged on a non combat mission
17 August 1940 no aircraft destroyed or damaged
18 August 1940 16 aircraft destroyed on combat missions, 6 aircraft damaged on combat missions

Stukas were flying during late August and September and suffered the following losses (destroyed and damaged) on non combat missions:

25 August 1940 1/StG 77 1 aircraft damaged (25%) landing accident
25 August 1940 III/StG2 1 aircraft damaged (90%) engine failure
28 August 1940 III/StG 1 2 aircraft destroyed (100%) mid air collision
30 August 1940 I/StG 77 1 aircraft damaged (20%) landing accident

2 September 1940 IV/LG 2 had a mid-air collision with 1 damaged (20%) and one destroyed (100%)
5 September 1940 Stab StG 1 1 aircraft destroyed (100%)
6 September 1940 2/StG 77 1 aircraft damaged (15%)
6 September 1940 8/StG 77 1 aircraft damaged (80%) engine failure
8 September 1940 1/StG 77 1 aircraft damaged (20%)
8 September 1940 1/StG 77 1 aircraft damaged (5%)
11 September 1940 2/StG 77 2 aircraft destroyed (100%) mid air collision
11 September 1940 3/StG 77 1 aircraft damaged (20%)
11 September 1940 3/StG 77 2 aircraft destroyed (100%) mid air collision
22 September 1940 IV/LG 1 1 aircraft damaged (40%) engine failure
24 September 1940 II/StG 1 1 aircraft damaged (70%) engine failure
25 September 1940 I/StG 1 1 aircraft damaged (50%) engine failure
30 September 1940 2/LG 1 1 aircraft destroyed (100%) engine failure
Perhaps a slightly different way to look at this.

As of the morning of 13 August, StG 77 had a total of 2 Stuka in its Stab, with both operational, and 115 in its three Gruppen, of which 98 were operational. I don't have the number of pilots on hand or operational, but I suspect it was around 91.

On 13 August, StG 77 did not participate in the major raaids on England, but was apparently busy transferring aircraft from one airfield to another. In the process, three got pranged, one while flying from Tonneville to Argentan, and two in taxi accidents, one was written off, one was repairable at depot, and one suffered unknown damage, but I suspect was totaled. However, all six crewmen were unhurt. One was II. Gruppe and the others were III. Gruppe.

There were no other losses until 16 August, when one aircraft of I. Gruppe suffered an engine failure during a local flight and force-landed with damage likely repairable at base. Neither crewman was hurt.

Curiously, while StG 77 was apparently doing nothing but local operations, StG 1, 2, 3, and IV. (St)/LG 1. were flying major combat operations against England on 13, 14, 15, and 16 August and suffering major losses, 22 write off and 11 damaged, some of the later probably not repairable. Losses were so severe that despite excellent weather on 17 August, no combat missions were flown...even by StG 77, which had flown no missions.

Why?

However, on 18 August, StG 77 does fly. StG I. with 28 aircraft flies against Thorney Island, II. with 28 against Ford, and III. with 31 against Poling. The results were effective, but none of the targets were of significant importance. The effect on StG 77 though was major. The Stabsstaffel of I. Gruppe was wrecked, one aircraft and crew, including the Gruppekommandeur, was lost and two were damaged, one badly, with both pilots wonded and one gunner killed. The rest of I. Gruppe suffered 12 losses, 11 written off. The damaged aircraft had both crew wounded and the extent of its damage was unknown. So 15 out of 28. II. Gruppe lost 4 of 28. III. Gruppe lost 2 and had 2 damaged.

After the Stukas were withheld from combat, StG. 77's problems did not end. It continued to lose aircraft damaged in accidents and on 11 September had a major training incident...two midair collisions that destroyed four aircraft (not two) of I. Gruppe and four, including two pilots. There were 7 other aircraft damaged 25 August - 7 September in training accidents in StG 77. On 19 October, StG 77. suffered another midair training accident, losing two more aircraft and all crew.

What was going on?
"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 » 01 Feb 2020 22:56

Hi Richard

StG 77 seems to have tasked with a mission on 13.08.1940

Extract from "Stuka Attack: The Dive Bombing Assault on England" by Andy Saunders Grub Street 2013
"[Time 18:30].....That force can only have been the assembled mass of Stukas from StG 77, eighty eight in total, that were headed for their airfield targets of Ford, Gosport and Thorney Island with no less than 173 Me 109 fighters and sixty Me 110.....In the case of the Stukas of StG 77 it was that same troublesome bank and fog that was the enemy as for the Stuka force a clear and uninterrupted of the target was essential for any dive bombing attack. Long before the English coast was reached it had become clear that meteorological conditions were way below the optimum requirements for any attack and the Stukas consequently wheeled about and returned home."

But then no mention of StG 77 until 18.08.1940

This is a good book using both correspondence with both English and German participants and has some good appendices.

Regards

John

Richard Anderson
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 01 Feb 2020 23:30

Yep, I know it well, but missed that in my write up. So I suspect you might see what was probably going on.
"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 » 02 Feb 2020 17:44

BTW, you reminded me that Saunders provides a very good summary of the missions and sorties for the crew of Stuka T6+KL taken from the intelligence report of its logbook. A typical aircraft of StG2 it participated in combat operations from 10 May to 16 August and its loss. The highest sorties achieved was 10 May when they flew 7. There were 14 days of multiple missions flown out of the 38 days where combat missions were flown, not including the last. There were 38 days in which combat missions were flown out of the 99 day period, including the last.

To summarize:

In the 14 days of multiple missions, a total of 40 sorties were flown, so 2.86 per day.
Overall, excluding its last mission, a total of 64 sorties were flown in 38 days, so 1.68 per day.
In its most intense period, 10-15 May, it flew 19 sorties in 6 days, so 3.17 per day.
"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 » 03 Feb 2020 00:10

Hi Richard

Looking at the disposition of the Stuka Gruppen in August and September 1940

August 1940
3 Stuka Gruppen Pas de Calais [not sure exactly whereabouts of III/StG 2]
8 Stuka Gruppen Brittany/Normandy

September 1940
1 Stuka Gruppe Netherlands
4 Stuka Gruppen Pas de Calais [not sure exact whereabouts of III/StG 2]
6 Stuka Gruppen Brittany/Normandy

No big redeployment or concentration in the Pas de Calais that I can see.

Given this deployment it becomes clearer why von Richtofen said he had difficulty supporting the two Corps of AOK 16 and suggested a landing of only one Corps.

Regards

John

histan
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by histan » 25 Feb 2020 23:48

Looking for something else, I found this in the KTB of VII AK:

"Mitwirkung der Stukas:
2 Gruppen a 30 Flugzeuge (Wolkenhöhe 1500m, kein Nachteinsatz)
10 - 30 Min Angriffsdauer je Gruppe. Dann läßt moralische Wirkung nach. Also im Geschwader bis zu 1 1/2 Stdn rollender Angriff.
Vorgesehen:
1 Staffel gegen Dungeness
1 Staffel gegen Winchelsea
1 Staffel gegen Cliff End
zur Unterstützung 7 Division
3 Staffeln entweder gegen Hastings W oder geschlossener Einstz gegen Fairlight vor oder während der Landung."
KTB VII AK dated 18.09.1940

Stuka plan as of 18 September 1940

Glenn, with regard to British army.

Brooke, as CinC Home Forces defined the doctrine, not individual division commanders. By September 1940 his more mobile doctrine, replacing stop lines, was well established. Two front line Corps commanders, Montgomery and Thorne were aware of this, as would be their division and brigade commanders. Strangely, Montgomery's division and brigade commanders had been tested in battle, while not all of Thorne's had. Also, Williams at Eastern Command was an engineer and had been in command throughout 1940 and might still be be more of a "stop line" man.

Regards

John

daveshoup2MD
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by daveshoup2MD » 26 Feb 2020 09:04

T. A. Gardner wrote:
11 Jan 2020 06:04
This gives you a pretty good idea of what the crossing for a motorized barge would have been like say, from Ostend to the beachhead.



While that's a modern crossing (2010) the barge really is little different from the ones the Germans were going to use in Seelöwe. As you can see, whatever improvised defenses and weapons they mounted were going to be nearly worthless in a naval action. The barges are simply not stable enough. As the crossing takes sufficient time that the barge will be in daylight for part of the trip, air attack is possible. At night the RN could show up and create havoc.

Then there's the unpowered barges being towed. If your barge slips or breaks the tow-- a very real possibility-- you are utterly screwed. I doubt the tug is coming back for you to reestablish it. Now you're floating adrift among a bunch of other shipping and little more than a hazard to navigation. A collision is a real possibility particularly at night. Just one or two such collisions would create chaos in a convoy.
So long, sailing, sailing, sailing
Goodbye, farewell, my friend, no more sailing
So long, sailing, no more sailing
No more, farewell
Auf Wiedersehen to you...


in more ways than one.

Whenever someone tries to suggest SEALION had a chance, one wonders if they've ever spent anytime on a small craft in coastal waters in late autumn...

"

daveshoup2MD
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by daveshoup2MD » 26 Feb 2020 09:11

glenn239 wrote:
14 Jan 2020 22:32
That is to say, the Axis had sufficient land power to engage in a Sealion bridgehead campaign, the conquest of Gibraltar and Malta, the invasion of Egypt, all of these simultaneously.
And to get from occupied France or Italy to any of those destinations, across all that H20, the Axis uses ... what, again?

Richard Anderson
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 26 Feb 2020 19:13

histan wrote:
25 Feb 2020 23:48
Looking for something else, I found this in the KTB of VII AK:

"Mitwirkung der Stukas:
2 Gruppen a 30 Flugzeuge (Wolkenhöhe 1500m, kein Nachteinsatz)
10 - 30 Min Angriffsdauer je Gruppe. Dann läßt moralische Wirkung nach. Also im Geschwader bis zu 1 1/2 Stdn rollender Angriff.
Vorgesehen:
1 Staffel gegen Dungeness
1 Staffel gegen Winchelsea
1 Staffel gegen Cliff End
zur Unterstützung 7 Division
3 Staffeln entweder gegen Hastings W oder geschlossener Einstz gegen Fairlight vor oder während der Landung."
KTB VII AK dated 18.09.1940

Stuka plan as of 18 September 1940
Hi John, thanks that is actually very helpful and may be part of the "detailed" Fligerkorps VIII plan that Schenk refers to?

Anyway, I hope to have the solution to the mystery of the "missing" Stuka einheiten shortly. Will keep you posted.
"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

nota
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by nota » 19 Mar 2020 04:10

how much of the brits fleet was around the home islands
vs off on escort or some far away base like egypt in mid-late 1940

so being close and available to stop an invasion must be only a part of the fleet
vs refit/repair and not crewed or ready for action also
those first few days of an invasion what percent of the fleet was really on hand and ready

on aircraft the swordfish never had luck against a CAP [channel dash]
did the brits even have a dive bomber that was any good ?
yes they had good fighters and level bombers but both will not sink ships
midway showed the need for good divebombers and level bombers to be useless against ships

Aber
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by Aber » 08 Apr 2020 13:46

nota wrote:
19 Mar 2020 04:10
yes they had good fighters and level bombers but both will not sink ships
midway showed the need for good divebombers and level bombers to be useless against ships
The British are not relying on air power to sink the few operational naval ships the Germans had left after Norway.

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Andy H
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by Andy H » 08 Apr 2020 19:47

nota wrote:
19 Mar 2020 04:10
how much of the brits fleet was around the home islands
vs off on escort or some far away base like egypt in mid-late 1940

so being close and available to stop an invasion must be only a part of the fleet
vs refit/repair and not crewed or ready for action also
those first few days of an invasion what percent of the fleet was really on hand and ready
Hi

Without digging through countless posts here, elsewhere and several books, they had more than enough and certainly given the ponderous
speed of the invasion barges, travelling at 3-4kts in many cases.
Also even when ashore the German logistical train would need to be working 24/7 (which obviously nullifies the LW) which again gives the RN plenty of time to interdict and destroy the German logistical train over a number of days/night.

Regards

Andy H

Richard Anderson
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Re: Operation Sealion

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 Apr 2020 00:34

I am more and more noticing a certain circularity in arguments here. Next time it might be helpful if you actually read the thread and the various other SEELÖWE threads. I'll give the canned response again.
nota wrote:
19 Mar 2020 04:10
how much of the brits fleet was around the home islands
vs off on escort or some far away base like egypt in mid-late 1940
The British Fleet in home waters as of 20 September had the following operational:
3 BB
2 BC
2 CV
8 CA
20 CL
75 DD
39 SS

Destroyers at Sea (patrols, escorting convoys etc )
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),
1 TB: G.15 (NL) (left Plymouth 16 Sep)

Submarines on patrol
17 SS: H.49, H.43, L.27, Clyde, Sunfish, Tuna, Taku, Talisman, Tribune, Cachalot, Porpoise, Utmost, O.9 (NL), O.22 (NL), O.23 (NL), Rubis (FFNL), Wilk (PO)

Disposition of other British Warships in the Atlantic
Halifax
3 DD: Restigouche (RCN), Assiniboine (RCN), Saguenay (RCN)

Gibraltar
1 BC: Renown (VA, Force "H")
8 DD: Gallant, Griffin, Encounter, Hotspur, Vidette, Velox, Wishart, Wrestler

Freetown (Force M, for Dakar landings)
2 BB: Barham, Resolution
2 CV: Ark Royal (24 Skua, 30 Swordfish), Argus (no aircraft, en route to Scapa)
3 CA: Devonshire (VA, CS1), Australia (RAN), Cornwall
11 DD: Inglefield (D3), Echo, Eclipse, Escapade, Faulknor (D8), Firedrake, Foresight, Forester, Fortune, Fury, Greyhound

Durban:
Royal Sovereign

Lagos:
1 CL: Dragon

Bermuda:
1 CL: Dunedin

Tortola:
1 CL: Caradoc

At Sea
1 CA Cumberland
3 CL: Enterprise, Delhi, Despatch
1 SS: O.14 (NL)
so being close and available to stop an invasion must be only a part of the fleet
vs refit/repair and not crewed or ready for action also
those first few days of an invasion what percent of the fleet was really on hand and ready
Yes, some ships were undergoing repair and maintenance, but all were "crewed" - a ship without a crew was not in commission. If the repeated argument can be made that Prinz Eugen and Admiral Scheer "could have" been used - even though there was zero planning for such an event - then I do not know why sauce for the goose isn't good for the gander? If the Germans "can" do it, why can't the British.
on aircraft the swordfish never had luck against a CAP [channel dash]
did the brits even have a dive bomber that was any good ?
yes they had good fighters and level bombers but both will not sink ships
midway showed the need for good divebombers and level bombers to be useless against ships
The British did have a dive bomber as well as torpedo bombers, but were no more likely to attack German ships at sea at night than the Germans were to attack British ships at sea at night with aircraft.
"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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