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  #81  
Old 09-11-2017, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by SE25 exile View Post
My understanding of the Battle of Britain is this.

The LW was very successful in knocking out our airfields and destroying our planes on the ground, to the point where we were losing the battle. Then something happened to change all this. It was common practice for both the RAF and the LW to discard any unused bombs on their way back to their home airfield, and these were usually dropped in relatively underpopulated rural areas. On one occasion, a German pilot thought he was over such countryside, when he discarded his bombs, but in fact he was disorientated and was over a part of London in blackout. This was taken taken by Churchill, by design or otherwise as a change of protocol by the enemy, to bomb London, and the decision was taken to bomb Berlin in reciprocation.

Hitler then made the decision to further reciprocate and started bombing London and eventually, other cities in earnest, and this is turn changed the emphasis on focusing on British fighter airfields, and seemingly gave us time to re-group and replace losses. The result was a fightback that we won, and with victory in the air, this greatly lessened the prospect of a land invasion, and so Hitler then looked east and went for his former ally, the USSR.

I cannot remember the source for this account, and if you have some reason to doubt the content and/or the validity of the logic, it would be great to hear it.
I have posted some detail on this previously.

Your first point - no. The LW (certainly in Phase 3 of the Battle) were largely ineffective at putting our airfields out of action. Many were damaged and it strained our capabilities, but the German objective was to destroy them. They did not. They were hard battles at that stage and German losses outweighed our own, overall. Our ability to replace man and machine was superior to the LW too.

Actual impacts to us during this phase re out of action were, Biggin Hill (a sector Station) for 2 hours and two smaller airfields (out of 13) for a few days). This was a clear failure on the LWs objective.

At no stage were we really in danger of losing the Battle. That tipping point never came.

German intelligence though, suggested they had done enough. (Their intelligence was limited throughout the campaign). On that basis, they switched to industry etc. in Phase 4. This would have been a welcome respite for Fighter command though, yes.

The story you recount was in the film, and believe it did happen from recollection (but have not checked). If it was indeed true, I'm not convinced this alone created the tit for tat reciprocal bombing (see above).
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Stellavista View Post
Sheppey it is, then.
If they'd asked, I'm sure we would have given it to them!
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  #83  
Old 09-11-2017, 09:31 AM
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So many comments on here ignore the obvious fact that the war was fought in actual time that required a response as events unfolded not with the benefit of hindsight.



I am not at all convinced that any German invasion would have been via the English channel. We had radio stations and coastal information lookouts including my relatives on duty around the coast throughout the war.



My family including elder brother felt that East Anglia despite enormous English and American air power would be a possible invasion point.

Yes interesting, there is a perception that a lot of German air attacks were all SE England. But it is fascinating and equally as horrific that their bombers hit Glasgow and docks easily. German navy even pounded Scarborough.

I don’t agree that the Germans could not have easily invaded UK if they were focussed, they just saw Russia as bigger priority and then tide turned.
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:38 AM
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I don’t agree that the Germans could not have easily invaded UK if they were focussed, they just saw Russia as bigger priority and then tide turned.
Can you elaborate on your thoughts they could have invaded, if focused?

Thanks.
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by DE - Glad All Over View Post
Yes interesting, there is a perception that a lot of German air attacks were all SE England. But it is fascinating and equally as horrific that their bombers hit Glasgow and docks easily. German navy even pounded Scarborough.
Quite, Coventry, Liverpool, Bristol, and many others.

Interesting you say 'easy'. For a significant time, the LW was far superior to our Bomber Command in locating and targeting it's objective for its bomber forces.

This is because it employed radio direction finding and flare marking through its specialist Squadron, Kampfgruppe 100.

We eventually copied this in the creation of the 'Pathfinder Force', established in 1942. Like fighter tactics, again, we employed 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery', in replicating German doctrine.

Prior to this, Bomber Command was in danger of being disbanded in its then form, due to its dreadful results in locating and bombing its designated targets.
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:49 AM
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Personally I really doubt that is true.

Poland was much, much more vulnerable - flat terrain with a huge border to defend. Also, the Polish had mostly obsolete equipment.
The Czechs had modern equipment and a mountainous, fortified border.
The Czechs did indeed have a formidable army in 1938,some 40 divisions armed by the Skoda armaments works but they would have been unable to prevent the Luftwaffe destroying Prague and the other major cities.This fear led to the Low Countries and Norway capitulating in a hurry.Also remember the Czechs could still have fought after they were betrayed at Munich....

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Old 09-11-2017, 09:50 AM
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Can you elaborate on your thoughts they could have invaded, if focused?



Thanks.

Sorry “focussed” poor choice of word.

In early war years Nazis achieved pretty much every thing they set out to do (have you watched on history channel - Nazi mega structures ? ) I was in Berlin this year and from everything I read up on (you must if not done so already go to Museum of Terror) it comes back to this theme of a league table that Hitler wanted to eliminate. At top was Jews..... Bolsheviks.....LBGT, even German disabled people. People in the UK did not really feature, so I’m not convinced he had the same desire to break the UK as he did Russia.

N.b interesting stuff yesterday on BBC radio about destruction of Coventry. Very funny when they interviewed a 95 year old air warden who said best thing for incendiary bombs was “cow-muck”

Jumping of train now - will check thread later.
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:53 AM
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always wondered if the Germans had invaded England how they would have coped against the vast resistance rebel groups that would have arisen, I really think they would have had their work cut out unless they resorted to Japanese style atrocities that would have been met with huge outcry and responses from our allies.
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by DE - Glad All Over View Post
Sorry “focussed” poor choice of word.

In early war years Nazis achieved pretty much every thing they set out to do (have you watched on history channel - Nazi mega structures ? ) I was in Berlin this year and from everything I read up on (you must if not done so already go to Museum of Terror) it comes back to this theme of a league table that Hitler wanted to eliminate. At top was Jews..... Bolsheviks.....LBGT, even German disabled people. People in the UK did not really feature, so I’m not convinced he had the same desire to break the UK as he did Russia.

Jumping of train now - will check thread later.

Thanks.

Okay, let’s suppose he had the iron will to invade GB.

How could they defeat Fighter Command & the Home Fleet to enable a secure transit and disembarkation on GB soil?

As without the above, they could not successfully invade, determination or not.

From an ideological pov, we know Russia was the enemy. The UK was not in this regard. That did not prevent Germany from putting all its air efforts into our destruction.
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  #90  
Old 09-11-2017, 10:08 AM
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[QUOTE=DE - Glad All Over;13935653]

Yes interesting, there is a perception that a lot of German air attacks were all SE England. But it is fascinating and equally as horrific that their bombers hit Glasgow and docks easily. German navy even pounded Scarborough.

I have mentioned ww2 censorship previously, we all hear about Coventry and the London docks but Hull took such a pounding that it was felt that morale would suffer if the British people knew about this fact.
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:11 AM
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Sheppey it is, then.
If they invaded Sheppey they'd probably have gone home again.
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:13 AM
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But it is fascinating and equally as horrific that their bombers hit Glasgow and docks easily.
Celtic Park leaving the floodlights on to guide the Luftwaffe was a bit rum.
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:17 AM
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always wondered if the Germans had invaded England how they would have coped against the vast resistance rebel groups that would have arisen, I really think they would have had their work cut out unless they resorted to Japanese style atrocities that would have been met with huge outcry and responses from our allies.
Maybe Germany could have just partitioned 6 counties or something. Hampshire, West Sussex, East Sussex, Kent, Surrey & Berkshire. Then they could carry on with gay abandon as that sort of thing is completely fine.

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Old 09-11-2017, 10:54 AM
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always wondered if the Germans had invaded England how they would have coped against the vast resistance rebel groups that would have arisen, I really think they would have had their work cut out unless they resorted to Japanese style atrocities that would have been met with huge outcry and responses from our allies.
The Germans would have reacted to any opposition in the same way as they did in the rest of occupied Europe with reprisals against the civilian population.Burning villages and shooting hostages in a ratio to Wermacht casualties.If anybody has been to Oradour Sur Glanne in France you would see the price of resistance.All the men were shot and the women and children burnt alive in the village church by the SS Das Reich for supposedly helping the resistance.....

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Old 09-11-2017, 11:01 AM
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an interesting read of a simulation of Operation Sea-Lion


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This is an interesting read from the CIA reading room.......an analysis of the planning, preparation and subsequent realisation that it was simply not on.

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Old 09-11-2017, 11:03 AM
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I think the idea of a heroic widespread British Resistance is a fantasy.

Britain is urbanised and small, theres not a lot of wilderness for a British Maquis to hide in.

The situation would be even more hopeless. How would the USA / British gov in exile support the resistance over the vast Atlantic? How on earth would Britain ever be liberated?
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:03 AM
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didn't Goring meet with Hitler during The Battle of Britain and plead with him to change the plans completely as the Luftwaffe had no answers to the Spitfires and Mustangs? Hitler dismissed Goring to carry on regardless?
Not aware of this, no. If there were remonstrations it would have been from the operational commanders of his Squadrons to Goering on the use of their fighters in being tied to increasingly close support of the Bomber Geschwader, as losses mounted. Thus negating their considerable strengths.

The performance of the Bf109e was more than a match for Spitfires, let alone Hurricanes (not Mustangs?). It was superior in several regards (fuel injected, heavier armament, more ammo) and undoubtedly better used tactically.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:17 AM
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Time for a new question?

1) If Czechoslovakia had refused to hand over Sudetenland in 1938, how would it have played out?

This one particularly interests me. Bear in mind that Czechoslovakia has a very good military, including high-quality tanks and good mountain defences. Germany was still not ready for war in early 1938.
That would have been a tough nut for the German military to crack. Far more challenging than Poland, in comparison. Certainly a delay would have been required from 1938, to mitigate the risk of failure or prolonged conflict.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:24 AM
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Tougher than France?
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:39 AM
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Tougher than France?
I think so, yes. As the Heer had learnt valuable combat lessons from Poland and implemented them in Fall Gelb. So, on that basis, yes, the experience gained in an assault on Czechoslovakia, should have translated as beneficial in France etc.
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