Turning point of WW2 - Page 30




 
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December 7th, 2012  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Studies at Sandhurst say other wise, it is their opinion that even had the Germans landed in strength neither the Kriegsmarine nor the Luftwaffe could have stopped the Royal Navy from breaking into the invasion lanes and destroying supply barges and reinforcements.
In the end the Germans may have made it as far as London but starved of supplies the invasion would have failed.

Operation Sealion was always a non-event.
That study was a war game in 1974. The German umpires were Adolf Galland (air forces), Admiral Friedrich Ruge (naval forces) and General Heinrich Trettner (land forces). Their respective British counterparts were Air Chief Marshall Christopher Foxley-Norris, Rear Admiral Teddy Gueritz and Major General Glyn Gilbert.

As with any discussion, war game or study there are always a number of "what if's."

What if the German Army had destroyed or captured the BEF at Dunkirk? The defence of Britain would have been in the hands of the Home Guard, TA units, recruits and very few untried regular troops.

What if the Germans had not turned their attention to bombing London thereby seriously damaging or destroying Fighter Command as an effective force.

What if the Luftwaffe had then turned its attention against the Home Fleet.

I am not convinced that war games are true representations of what would have happened, there are too many "what if's."

I still firmly believe that the Battle of Britain was the turning point of WW2, in Europe at least.

But then again I'm not an expert.
December 7th, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
I would agree with most of that how ever lets assume for fun that the Luftwaffe gained the upper hand over southern England, this still would not have taken the RAF out of the picture it would simply have operated from bases further north and still have had major advantages over the Luftwaffe (operating over friendly territory and from bases closer than the Germans).
Further to this a large chunk of the Kriegsmarine was sitting at the bottom of Norwegian fjords which even had the invasion gone ahead would have seriously hampered German resupply and reinforcement.

I think if you compare the success of Operation Overlord to what was planned for Operation Sealion you would see that it never really stood any chance of success.

Obviously none of us can say for certain what would have happened but I seriously doubt that Sealion would have ever succeeded given the rather amateurish planning that went into it.
December 7th, 2012  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
I still firmly believe that the Battle of Britain was the turning point of WW2, in Europe at least.
Why? It had very little effect on the eventual dismantling of German military power. It was hardly vital for Germany to capture the UK - there were no scarce reserves in the UK that the Germans weren't able to get from elsewhere. There was no chance for Great Britain to threaten the European mainland in any meaningful way whilst the bulk of the Wehrmacht was in place. The turning point of the war in Europe was always going to be what happened when Germany clashed with the Soviet Union, which was almost inevitable. The Germans had one chance to KO the Russians during Operation Barbarossa and then Operation Typhoon. For various reasons they blew it. The Soviets won. Moscow was the true turning point of the European theatre of World War 2.

The only argument I can possibly see is that it gave eventual encouragement for the US to get involved. However, there isn't a chance in hell of an operation like Overlord succeeding whilst the vast majority of the Wehrmacht was situated in Europe. The turning point of the war in Europe was always going to be whoever won out of the Wehrmacht vs the Red Army/VVS.
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December 8th, 2012  
BritinAfrica
 
 
I didn't say winning the Battle of Britain dismantled anything. But according to you the Battle of Britain victory had no effect on the outcome of WW2 whatsoever? And the Blitz? As the RAF wasn't much of a threat was it just to keep Luftwaffe crews occupied so they didn't get bored?

No the Battle of Britain didn't influence the American people, Joe Kennedy an Irish American and very anti British, as US ambassador to the court of St James often aired his view that Britain was going to lose the war and should receive no aid whatsoever from the US.

Many studies state that America in particular FDR realised Britain was serious about fighting the war and not rolling over, was when the Royal Navy attacked the French fleet at Mers-el-Kébir. FDR realised Churchill will do anything to win.
December 11th, 2012  
Doppleganger
 
 
Hi

I don't recall me saying that it had no impact whatsoever, just that it very little effect in the greater scheme of things. This thread is to discuss turning points of WW2 and the BoB was not a turning point in any way. When I was at school I was brought up to have this opinion that in 1940 Great Britain stood alone and brought the mighty German Reich to a standstill in a thrilling air war that saved Britain from invasion. When I had more opportunity to look at the bigger picture, I realised that the BoB was just one relatively small aspect of a much bigger conflict. This was echoed in the War in Africa and D-Day. For a good while in the West, the impact of the Soviet Union in winning WW2 was largely brushed over by the Western Media, outside of military history circles. Public opinion in the West is still of the opinion that the US and the USA forces largely won WW2. It's a nationalistic opinion borne from patriotism and there's nothing inherently wrong with that. It's just that it is an opinion and happens to ignore the facts.

If you really want to know where the turning points for WW2 in Europe where you have to look east. The air war that swirled and eddied for 4 years over thousands of miles of Russian and Eastern Europe terrain makes the BoB look like a minor skirmish. Compare the losses suffered by the Luftwaffe on the Eastern Front and compare them with the BoB - there is no comparison. The armies that fought at D-Day and beyond on the Western Front numbered in the hundreds of thousands. The forces that raged over the Eastern Front were larger by a factor of 10. A general estimate is that the Soviets suffered 30 million dead in WW2, with over 8 million military deaths. 30 million... There is nothing in the BoB or any other Western European conflict that can get anywhere near that appalling figure.

So again, the BoB was not a turning point of WW2 in any way. Sorry, but the figures and the facts just don't support that opinion. We in Britain had no way to have any lasting impact on the outcome of WW2 until D-Day. By that time, the Soviets had already won in the east and the final outcome was just a matter of how far west the Red Army would get before the Allies stopped them.
December 12th, 2012  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Up until 1940 the Germans had it all their own way, Goring thought that the RAF was going to be a push over, it wasn't. Goring lost valuable and experienced aircrew, something that isn't easily replaced, Goring got the shock of his life and so did his aircrew. The BEF had left massive amounts of equipment at Dunkirk, British industry was working flat out tooling up and or manufacturing what was lost, something the Luftwaffe tried to prevent and were stopped thanks to the RAF.

I'm not arguing the fact that the Soviets didn't beat Germany to a standstill in the east, albeit with massive aid from Britain and the USA, I am arguing that the Battle of Britain had more affect on the outcome of WW2 then you give it credit for, the same goes for North Africa.

Operation Sealion was never actually cancelled, it was simply put on the back burner.
December 13th, 2012  
lljadw
 
SL again :the old myths never die
It was a non sequitur,from the beginning .
For SL to have a small chance,a lot of things were needed,and ,if ONE of them failed,it was over
1)The LW needed an air superiority in South East England=preventing the intervention of FC and BC.This failed : NO SL possible
2)The WM needed a transport fleet to transport men and material :there was no such fleet:NO SL possible
3)This transport fleet needed the protection from the KM;this was not possible :no SL possible
4)The WM needed on the first day to capture at least one intact harbour :this was not possible :no SL possible
5)The WM needed several weeks of good weather for the build up :as this was not possible in september,NO SL.
December 13th, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lljadw
SL again :the old myths never die
It was a non sequitur,from the beginning .
For SL to have a small chance,a lot of things were needed,and ,if ONE of them failed,it was over
1)The LW needed an air superiority in South East England=preventing the intervention of FC and BC.This failed : NO SL possible
2)The WM needed a transport fleet to transport men and material :there was no such fleet:NO SL possible
3)This transport fleet needed the protection from the KM;this was not possible :no SL possible
4)The WM needed on the first day to capture at least one intact harbour :this was not possible :no SL possible
5)The WM needed several weeks of good weather for the build up :as this was not possible in september,NO SL.
All true but I think BritinAfrica's point is that the failure to knock Britain out of the war was a turning point not the failure to launch Sealion.

Even if Britain an the Commonwealth could not have regained a foothold on the European mainland the fact that it remained in the war and required a German response throughout the world was always going to be trouble for Germany.
December 14th, 2012  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Absolutely correct Monty, that was the point I was making, you did a better job then I explaining it.

As I said, Sealion was never officially cancelled by Adolf, it was put it on the back burner and no doubt simply forgotten about.
December 14th, 2012  
lljadw
 
If Britain had been knocked out,the war (against Britain) would be over,and maybe/probably there would be a war against the SU .