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Thread: Pocket battleships or U-boats?

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1979 View Post
    Not enogh time, the riverbarges needed 7 hours to get across at the narrowest point in the chanell, that means loading and unloading would be done under fire even if they only sail during daylight.
    Assuming the RN clears the channel running for home at 1 AM and loading begins at 2 Am, how long to load a barge with men and supplies? Does 4 hours sound right? Load at 2, sail at 6, unload from 1 PM-5 PM when the RN won't even begin to sorties till after 8 PM. The time was there, but so long as the RAD and RN remained a force in being the Germans could not invade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    The Luftwaffe could have delivered the killing blow to both the RN and RAF had the RN ventured south, they didn't and as long as they didn't the German's could not invade.
    Agreed.

    Goering made a tactical error in September 1940 by changing the primary targets from British airfields to British population centers; when Goering called off the attacks on British airfields, the rate of attrition for the RAF was greater than the rate of replacement for pilots and planes (by about a factor of 4 to 3). At this rate, all the Luftwaffe had to do was maintain attacks upon military targets, and the RAF would have been ineffective as a fighting force by the end of the year.

    But the Oberkommando der Luftwaffe (and Hitler) was getting impatient with the pace (or lack thereof) of Luftschlacht um Großbritannien, and decided to (hopefully) accelerate the capitulation of Britain through "terror tactics" by bombing British cities. Needless to say, it didn't work.
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

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    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    Given their lack of success in sea borne invasions - I think they'd be in bad trouble - look at how much trouble they had in Norway, and they had a traitor to get the defenses to stand down - still they lost their flagship. The British would have had some nasty surprises for them - I wonder if the old 18" Mk-1 rail gun wouldn't show up, along with some friends.
    Last edited by USSWisconsin; 20 May 12, at 02:03.
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  4. #49
    Senior Contributor 1979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Assuming the RN clears the channel running for home at 1 AM and loading begins at 2 Am, how long to load a barge with men and supplies? Does 4 hours sound right? Load at 2, sail at 6, unload from 1 PM-5 PM when the RN won't even begin to sorties till after 8 PM. The time was there, but so long as the RAD and RN remained a force in being the Germans could not invade.
    even if the tides cooperate with that timetable from 9pm to 12 pm the barges are still at sea.
    J'ai en marre.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Assuming the RN clears the channel running for home at 1 AM and loading begins at 2 Am, how long to load a barge with men and supplies? Does 4 hours sound right? Load at 2, sail at 6, unload from 1 PM-5 PM when the RN won't even begin to sorties till after 8 PM. The time was there, but so long as the RAD and RN remained a force in being the Germans could not invade.
    The barges were to be towed by tugs or ferry - 2 or 3 to each powered boat. Somehow these unpowered craft were supposed to beach themselves in the right position to unload (the powered boats couldn't help once they pointed them at the beach & cut the line) , unload properly & then somehow get dragged off the beach again & back into the channel. Then they have to be taken back into port & properly berthed to re-load. And that is just the ones coming from around Calais. The first wave included barges coming from Belgium & Holland. They would be at sea for 3 days. This all assumes that none of the barges sink & furtehr slow doen the process - over 20% sunk in practice runs for Sealion, and that was without anyone trying to sink them. Of course, in the actual battle there would be people trying to sink them during the day and at night, and from sea and air - it wasn't just the RN that launched raids on Channel ports at night during the sealion buildup.

    Given that the RN had hundreds of vessels (including dozens of ships destroyer size or unp) in the invasion zone alone they could patriol the channel all night. During 1940 (including the buildup to Sealion) RN forces including light cruisers regularly shelled French ports in the channel zone. One force including a battleship shelled Cherbourg (a proposed Sealion port). Anything on the water in the dark was at risk, especially something slow & lacking its own power that could be sunk by the bow wave of a fast moving destroyer. I suspect that the first thing those towing crews would be practicing is how to quickly cut a tow rope before your ship gets dragged down.

    All of that makes any predictions on unloading times impossible. Suffice to say that the Germans aren't going to be able to supply any force that is big enough not to get squashed.


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  6. #51
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    On the original topis, Germany needed a big enough surface fleet to dominate the Baltic & project power into Norway - both foreseeable objectives in the 1930s. That is going to require a modern surface fleet that can pack some sort of punch. It will probably need a few heavy cruisers, but not many. Anything bigger is a genuine waste of resources. More U-boats is definately more useful.


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    Quote Originally Posted by 1979 View Post
    even if the tides cooperate with that timetable from 9pm to 12 pm the barges are still at sea.
    Uhm no, depending on lift capacity, tug numbers and usage you can run alternating shifts in waves, so that as wave 1 is coming back on day 2, wave 2 is headed towards England..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    The barges were to be towed by tugs or ferry - 2 or 3 to each powered boat. Somehow these unpowered craft were supposed to beach themselves in the right position to unload (the powered boats couldn't help once they pointed them at the beach & cut the line) , unload properly & then somehow get dragged off the beach again & back into the channel. Then they have to be taken back into port & properly berthed to re-load. And that is just the ones coming from around Calais. The first wave included barges coming from Belgium & Holland. They would be at sea for 3 days. This all assumes that none of the barges sink & furtehr slow doen the process - over 20% sunk in practice runs for Sealion, and that was without anyone trying to sink them. Of course, in the actual battle there would be people trying to sink them during the day and at night, and from sea and air - it wasn't just the RN that launched raids on Channel ports at night during the sealion buildup.

    Given that the RN had hundreds of vessels (including dozens of ships destroyer size or unp) in the invasion zone alone they could patriol the channel all night. During 1940 (including the buildup to Sealion) RN forces including light cruisers regularly shelled French ports in the channel zone. One force including a battleship shelled Cherbourg (a proposed Sealion port). Anything on the water in the dark was at risk, especially something slow & lacking its own power that could be sunk by the bow wave of a fast moving destroyer. I suspect that the first thing those towing crews would be practicing is how to quickly cut a tow rope before your ship gets dragged down.

    All of that makes any predictions on unloading times impossible. Suffice to say that the Germans aren't going to be able to supply any force that is big enough not to get squashed.
    Hence my claims that as long as the RN ad RAF are a going concern, the invasion is a no go.

  9. #54
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Hence my claims that as long as the RN ad RAF are a going concern, the invasion is a no go.
    Yep, and neither of those was anywhere near being taken out of the equation.


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  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    - over 20% sunk in practice runs for Sealion,
    source ?
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  11. #56
    Senior Contributor 1979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Uhm no, depending on lift capacity, tug numbers and usage you can run alternating shifts in waves, so that as wave 1 is coming back on day 2, wave 2 is headed towards England..
    ok , but the figures i gave were for the shortest route : Calais-Dover

    The assault starting points were suppose to be :

    Rotterdam- 300 boats
    Antwerp - 300 boats
    Ostend- 200 boats
    Dunkirk 150 boats
    Calais -200 boats
    Boulogne-200 boats
    Le Havre ~-150 boats
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  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1979 View Post
    source ?
    On checking I overstated. It was over 10% not reaching the shore. I think the figure was in Schenk or Kiesler, but it is posted here too. The exercise was a good example of the sort of chaos that would have hppened if this thing had been scaled up as planned.

    Why Sealion is not an option for Hitler to win the war


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  13. #58
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    so, they sunk or drifted back to the sea ?

    as for the hundreds of vessels in the invasion zone , the Germans would also be escorted by a couple of hundred small boats ( r-boats, outpost vessels, converted minesweepers )
    Last edited by 1979; 20 May 12, at 15:13.
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    So 50% ashore as planned (25), most of the rest within an hour (18), 1 barge capsized (1), 1 lost its tow (1) and 5 left drifting close to shore and taking more than 1 hour to reach the shore.

    Even if we quadruple losses- 4 capsized or sunk and 24 damaged and drifting that is 11 ashore on time and 11 more within the hour. It is interesting to note that Sandhurst modeling the German plans estimated the Germans landed 90,000 troops day 1. Although the 1974 staff exercise had Germany defeated, the cost to the RAF from 22 Sep to 28th was estimated at 60% of pre-invasion numbers while German losses were about 30% of pre-invasion numbers. Assuming actual fighter exchange rates instead the RAF's fighter command suffers even more losses or the Germans suffer less.

    For the RN the battle lost, temporarily knocked out or sunk 8 (of 17) cruisers and 10 (of 55) destroyers and an unknown number of MTB's. German losses were effectively total for surface combatants but only 1 u-boat. Barge losses were 65% and much less so for fast steamers and ferries. More importantly the Sandhurst exercise had the RN pull all of the carriers and battleships back becuase of the air/submarine threat.

    Given that post war staff exercises are highly suspect even given Gods of War panel of judges, the performance credited to the British Army ashore and the ANZAC's in particular is highly suspect. In real history in Egypt the Anzacs did not do so well on the attack and the affect of German paratroops on Crete was completely out of proportion to their numbers. Had the staff exercise had the army failing as I believe it should have based on how thise same formations performed a few months later (3 divisions with limited air support vs all or parts of 10 with extensive Stuka support) at least the coast of Southern England is lost, The RAF is effectively destroyed and the number of escorts for convoys in the Atlantic is gutted and England starves, or the channel fight s called off and the Germans resupply.

    But not all is coming up roses for the Germans. 10 elite divisions are gutted (RN abandons the channel fight) or destroyed (the RN presses the fight at the risk of UK starvation) , the Luftwaffe is wrecked with only about 1000 combat planes left in its inventory, the German surface fleet is gone, Rhine/Rhur/Oder etc river traffic is hammered with resulting massive economic disruptions crippling the German ability to recover from the losses, Norway is uncovered and Barbarossa is a non-starter for at least 2 years which means the Soviets still enter Berlin in 45.

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    Without going into the sloops and corvettes the british disposition in late sep goes as below:
    EAST
    SCAPA FLOW: Repulse, Furious,Berwick, Norfolk,Glasgow, Curacao ,Somali Eskimo, Matabele, Duncan, Versatile , Vimy ,Eglington.
    Tyne: : Nigeria,Kenia.
    Rosyth : Nelson , Rodney, Hood, Naiad , Bonadventure, Cairo,Maori, Sikh, Zulu, Jackal, Kashmir, Kipling, Ashanti, Bedouin, Punjabi, Tartar, Electra, Vortigern, Valorous, Vega, Verdun, Woolston .
    Humber:Manchester, Southampton, Birmingham, Jupiter, Jaguar, Kelvin, Watchman.
    Harwich : Malcolm ,Venomous, Verity, Wild Swan, Wivern, Worcester
    Sheerness : Aurora, Brilliant, Icarus, Impulsive, Intrepid, Campbell, Venetia, Vesper, Vivacious, Walpole, Cattistock, Eglinton, Holderness , Garth, Hambledon, Quorn, Vanity, Vimiera, Wallace, Westminster, Winchester, Wolsey.

    SOUTH
    Portsmouth : Cardiff , Beagle, Bulldog, Havelock, Harvester, Hesperus, Highlander, Vanoc, Viscount, Saladin, Sardonyx, Sturdy, Mistral ,Berkeley, Fernie.
    Southampton: Volunteer, Wolverine
    Plymouth: Revenge ,Newcastle, Emerald, Isis, Broke, Vansittart, Whitehall, Westcott, Blyskawica, Burza, Ouragan , Garland.

    WEST
    Liverpool: Vanquisher, Walker, Sabre
    Firth of Clyde Sheffield ,Keppel , Achates, Active, Amazon, Ambuscade, Antelope, Anthony, Arrow, Ottawa, Skeena , St Laurent.
    Belfast: Shikari, Scimitar, Skate

    On patrol : Veteran, Witherington, MacKay, Hurricane, Winchelsea, Warwick, Witch, Wanderer, (Atlantic)
    Vivien, Wolfhound, (North Sea )

    The big boys are out of german fighter range ( Scapa flow, Rosyth ) , Sheerness is large destroyer base on Kent, Portsmouth with the exception of Hms Cardiff also a large destroyer base in Hampshire.
    Plymouth on Devon has the lead ship of Revenge class BB , Town class cruiser, Emerald class cruiser, and destroyers.
    Last edited by 1979; 21 May 12, at 11:46.
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