Dowding's Costly Blunder in the Battle of France - Page 13

November 27th, 2011  
Originally Posted by lljadw
That the German warships could leave(better :fly) for the Ostsee,was a good thing for Britain .As long as they were in the French harbours,they were a potential danger,in the Ostsee,they could do no harm,and,if I am not wrong,at least one of the ships was out for a long,very long time .(the Scharnhorst was out for 8 months)
Message from Roosevelt to Churchill:
The location of all the German ships in Germany (=the Ostsee) makes our joint North Atlantic naval problem more simple .
The French coast became a lot less usefull after the St. Nazaire Raid destroyed the Normandie drydock limiting the ability to repair damage to major units.
November 27th, 2011  
Whether the outcome was favorable is debatable and could not be known at the time.
Sinking these 3 ships would have been far more favorable and it is unbelivable that they didn't. Ultra had little to do with it, it is a long trip and they could see the ships with air reconaissance, radar and optically from the coast. They sent hundreds of planes to try to sink them and they failed, they had no capital ships or submarines in the area, even though they had bombed the ships in Brest and knew they could break out into the Atlantic or the Channelat any moment.
It was definitely not intentional, otherwise they would not have sacrificed the 6 Swordfish, dozens of other planes shot down by the German planes covering the ships and AA and a very badly mauled destroyer.
Not sinking these 3 ships is an inexcusable failure that damaged British moral and boosted German Moral.
Throughout the war, the ridiculous German navy bested the huge RN time after time:
1) A few dozen German submarines at the outset of the war sank an incredible tonnage of allied ships, including a British battleship in Scapa Flow!
2) The Germans incredibly kicked the British out of Norway and sank a carrier with cannon shells in the process.
3) German torpedo boats, etc, penetrated the sea of British ships in Dunkirk and sank several ships.
4) Bismarck and Prinz Eugen should have been promptly sunk by the huge fleet, instead of allowing it to sink the Hood and damage the Prince of Wales and nearlly escape to France.
5) The Germans unbelievably kicked the British out of Crete.
6) The Channel Dash.
In fact, the German navy defeated Britain, which was saved only by the US Liberty ships and the US navy escorts and US planes that greatly helped the British to win back the Atlantic.

The Japanese navy was far more powerful than the German navy but had to fight the Americans simultaneously. Yet Japan rapidly eliminated the British navy from the Indian Ocean. Sinking many capital ships, bombing Ceylon (the British PH) and causing the RN to run away all the way to Kenya to save its hide.
Only after the Doolittle raid, when the Japs relocated a carrier and some submarines they had in the Indian ocean to the Pacific to face the Americans, did the British could move troops, etc, from India relatively safely.
November 27th, 2011  
The bombing of Ceylon is another interesting case of British unpreparedness for war, years into the war. The Jap planes were seen flying over the coast long before they bombed the bases, but nobody thought of calling in the attack. In essence this attack was equivalent to attacking PH months into the war, which would have been suicidal.
November 27th, 2011  
The preparedness or the lack of it of a lot of these places we were down to the local commander of these places. Many of them thought that they were that far away from the war that it would never touch them. Also there were so many demands for equipment and personnel that there was not a a snow balls chance in hell of these places getting what they asked for. Now where there was heavy fighting much of the material and people got shipped there as this was at the time the main priority. It is very easy to say they should have done or that they should have been more on the ball, but a world war of this size takes a lot of feeding and some one is going to miss out.
November 27th, 2011  
We are talking months after PH and much closer to the Japs in Indochina than the attacks in Indonesia.
Somerville knew by decrypts that the Japs were comming and sent most of his fleet to the Maldives (before sending them to Kenya).
On April 4 , before being shot down a Catalina reported the attacking force 640 km from Ceylon, on april 5 the Japs attacked Colombo with only 125 planes (only 36 Zeroes) and were seen a half hour before the attack, but not reported.
The Japanese then sank the DOrchester and Cornwall 320 km south of Ceylon.
Then they attacked the naval base in Trincomalee and sank the Hermes (a carrier) and other ships near Batticaloa.
Like the Americans in PH, the British were very lucky that the Japs did not invade Ceylon and isolate India.

What s the point of having a navy and air force that cannot defend their own bases months into the war?
November 27th, 2011  

in your earlier post you listed some items

[1] You say a few dozen submarines caused a lot of problems, now if i remember rightly it was around 300 German submarines that were active at that time, and that were not all at sea at any one time. Also RN was patrolling all the oceans of the world and had to keep a large number of ships at hand in case the German Navy tried to come out in force. One of the big problems in the Atlantic was the speed of the convoys were governed by the slowest ship which was around 10 knots, nor did the Navy have enough ships to escort them all. If any one made a large difference here it was Canadians that did so much good work.

[2] HMS Glorious was not sunk by cannon shells but by a a capital German warship

[3] I never heard of the German E Boats sinking British ships at Dunkirk as they did not have any bases in France at that time and would have had to make their way down from Germany.

[4] The Bismark and the Prince Eugen had split up long before the Bismark had been disabled by the Fleet Air Arm and the Bismark was the bigger prize

[5] Crete well these forces had been pulled out from North Africa to fight there and had very little of their heavy equipment with them, and personally speaking I think they should have stayed in North Africa and finished of the Axis Forces there before they had been reinforced by Germans.

[6] The Chanel dash, yes I agree it should not have happened but as I pointed out in an earlier post it was that fickle finger of fate that helped the Germans there. The Liberty ships yes they were great and built to a British design, but America had the man power to produce these things in great numbers.
You also mentioned about the British leaving the Pacific to the Americans, but what a lot of people don't know that there were two British Pacific fleets attached to the Americans including a number of Aircraft Carriers and they were also involved in the support of the Americans in their Island hopping campaigns. As the Americans were the main players the credit of this work has fallen to them.

Report showing that HMS Glorious was sunk by two German Pocket Battleships and not by cannon fire

Shortly after 1600 the two groups of ships sighted each other and action stations was sounded on Glorious and attempts were made to get some of her aircraft ready for action. The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau both increased speed to full and both opened fire at 1632 and 1646 respectively. Glorious was hit by Scharnhorst's third salvo at 1638, which penetrated the flight deck and exploded in the upper hanger starting a large fire which disrupted the attempts to get some aircraft airborne. Splinters damaged the boiler casing and smoke entered the air intakes, causing a temporary loss of steam pressure. A second hit was received which killed most of the bridge crew.
November 28th, 2011  
1) Fewer than 70 submarines on September 1, 1939
2) Cannon shells form a capital German ship.
3) Yet they did
4) My point is that the huge RN should have destroyed the Bismarck and PE, before they damaged the British ships (obviously, before they split). It is a shame that the Bismarck and PE could venture so far into open seas without being destroyed.
5) Sure there is always an excuse for a few paratroopers to beat a lot of troops and for a few Italian small ships to transport troops and equipment past the RN and for the RN to lose several ships to planes, because the planes had been evacuated (yet again the genius Churchill expected a lot of men without planes, tanks and with very little field artillery to defend the Island).
I am sure that you can also find an excuse why ALexandria after withdrawing the planes denied General Freyberg permission to disable the aerodromes that the Germans used to land their gliders full or paratroops.
November 28th, 2011  
Originally Posted by samneanderthal
Like I said if you think that I am an endless source of nonsense, why waste your time?
I think that deep inside you know these leaders were idiots but that everything you learnt could not be false so you're trying to sort out this inconsistency. I have some Russian acquaintances who experience the same feeling when discussing Stalin.
The only idiot here is you gungadin.

Originally Posted by samneanderthal
It takes more than a dumb guy for something like that to happen, the officer in charge could have busted the lock or contacted the originator of the response plan, or in the worst case, improvised..
Ok Einstein how do you propose they 'bust the lock" of a safe? With a safety pin perhaps? Or even better, call Inspector Gadget. You have watched far too many movie's and think they are real sunbeam.

Improvise? lololol

Originally Posted by George
The british were fully aware of the upcoming Dash, but let them get away with it to protect Ultra eavesdropping. It was the correct decision, the Dash had no big impact on the war's course.
As Churchill said George, "The truth is so precious, it must be protected by a bodyguard of lies."
November 28th, 2011  
When it is not being caught by surprise, it is the bad French allies falt or even an uncrackable safe (I suppose the dozens of safecrackers in Britain are not patriotic).
Well then it is perfectly justifiable that Britain's brilliant leaders keep losing time and again in WW I and II (despite huge resources, excellent troops, including lots from the colonies), they can always rely on the US to bail them out and ensure that they enter posterity as winners and heroes.
You probably know that even Argentina came quite close to beating them in the Malvinas, because of insufficient American help.
By the way, do you remember Crimea? where a woman saved the day when she realized that British Leaders did not care for the sick and wounded?
November 28th, 2011  
Originally Posted by samneanderthal
You probably know that even Argentina came quite close to beating them in the Malvinas, because of insufficient American help.
Would you please explain this!

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