Talk:British anti-invasion preparations of the Second World War

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Bison improvised armoured vehicle[edit]

does the Thornycroft Bison fit within the scope of this article? GraemeLeggett 09:12, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Absolutely - I was trying to find out more about this mobile pillbox. but I had not turned up much hard data. I suspect a mention would properly belong in a sub-section on airfield defence. Gaius Cornelius 00:52, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

theres one at Bovington if memory serves me right - the story of my camera being with the pram and not in my hands while I was there is not worth repeating. GraemeLeggett 10:12, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

confirmation here with pics [1] GraemeLeggett 10:15, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Great, would you like to write the section? Gaius Cornelius 21:40, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Ruck Machine Gun Post[edit]

This item is giving me some difficulty. There is a picture in Beaches, fields, streets and hills which William Foot identifies as a Ruck Machine Gun Post (figure 74 on page 154), this has embrasures pointing straight up. However, the Defence of Britain database identifies only three Rucks and this is not one of them. The DoBDB examples are:

William Foot identifies the example at Reighton as a Stanton shelter -- I dare-say that is correct because it does not appear to have any embrasures, but does have a large window at one end -- on the other had it is in a poor state. I have been to visit the one at Sandiacre for myself and will post some pictures soon, it looks just like the Reighton example but with a row of small windows which might be interpreted as embrasures.

Can anybody shed some light on this? Gaius Cornelius 01:06, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Have looked in William Foots book, the example at Reighton is not constructed from Stanton shelter sections. In the Mike Osbourne book `20th Century Defences in Britain, The East Midlands` on page 67 he shows the Ruck Pillbox at Sandiacre. (Palmiped 09:01, 9 June 2006 (UTC))

Image caption[edit]

"Image:British_Home_Guard_Improvised_Weapons.JPG", can we identify some of what these were meant to do. I see a simple projector, an improvised petrol bomb using celluloid film as the wick etc. GraemeLeggett 11:53, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

The image is from the Imperial War Museum in London. While I see what you see, the legend at the museum did not go into details. Gaius Cornelius 21:42, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Have looked in book `Secret Agent`s Handbook of Special Devices` published by the Public Records Office ISBN 1903365007 but none of the items shown are listed. (Palmiped 18:50, 21 June 2006 (UTC))

carriers[edit]

Added to the list of ships the Royal Navy would lay on the 13 [I think] aircraft carriers, some admittedly obsolete, that were knocking around with the home fleet in 1939-1940.

Wouldn't aircraft carriers have been counted as 'capital ships'. Thirteen seems like a lot. This was just the home fleet, the rest of the Navy had duties elsewhere. I guess that "I think" means "I don't have a cite". Unless it can be confirmed, I think it best to take it out. Gaius Cornelius 17:22, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Cost[edit]

What was the cost of these defences I have seen a figure of over £21 million quoted for all commands? Palmiped 16:04, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Ref- PRO: WO 199/48, 6a Palmiped 16:13, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

British Veterans of the Spanish Civil War[edit]

I notice that these guys are not mentioned in this article, i know they gave grenade throwing classes in hyde park before being coopted into the offical projects (Mi5 did not like them the pinko's). If i find anything i'll add it but its not area of knowledge. Great article people, keeping such information alive is EXACTLY the point of wikipedia, thanks for all the work.Hypnosadist 12:11, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Presumably you are refering to the likes of Hugh Slater and Tom Wintringham who returned to England after serving in the International Brigades of the Spanish civil war. While I am not sure that this is indeed exactly what wikipedia is about, I dare say they do deserve a mention somewhere. However, the right place is probably not in this article which deals with the broad sweep of events in Britain in 1940. Gaius Cornelius 18:30, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Home Guard seems like the place for them. There's a link somewhere on the Radio 4 History section to a programme on Winterton, Osterley Park and the Home Guard. Angus McLellan (Talk) 23:38, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Type 22 Pillbox at Gotham[edit]

Damage to the roof of the Gotham pillbox SK 523302 has exposed scrap metal including a bed frame, used as roof reinforcement- Photos of Gotham pillbox

Thanks, I have added a reference into the article. Gaius Cornelius 15:02, 16 July 2006 (UTC)


Article Length[edit]

Great article on an interesting topic but too long at present; at times it feels more like a list. Could you move some of the detail eg the types of pill box into a separate article? Nickhk 13:15, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the kind words. I was already considering lifting out the details of hardened field defences into a separate article, but I am still working on the article and I intend to the decision off for now. Other opinions welcome in the meantime. Is it acceptable to use show/hide in an article as in the example below - I know it is not generally done in articles? Gaius Cornelius 18:02, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Invasion scares[edit]

I have modified the introduction because it is easy to discount invasion scares when the feared invasion did not happen. The fear and the threat may have been no less real for that. Indeed, it is not unknown for even successful invasions such as the French-sponsored one by Henry Tudor on 1485 to be 'air-brushed' out of history by the winners who wish to appear legitimate.

If there had not been serious threats of invasion, there would have been fewer forts round Portsmouth, Martello towers, underground galleries at Dover, Tudor artillery forts, between Falmouth and Berwick; coastal castles at Dover, Carisbrooke and so on. This says nothing about the vast amount spent over the centuries on the Navy as a first line of defence. The threats were real; the fear was real otherwise they would not have spent so much money on averting them. The fact that the expenditure had the desired effect should not be taken to mean that it was always unnecessary. (RJP 20:29, 29 July 2006 (UTC))

Thanks for your contribution. You are basically quite right of course. What I was thinking of at the time of writing was the last serious threat of invasion by Napoleon and all the expensive fortifications etc that I think it would be fair to say were in case of a pretty much better safe than sorry investment. Of course, in WWII, the time of Napoleon was only 150 years hence, not centuries. Only one quibble, it is wrong to suggest that only British personnel were evacuated by Operation Dynamo. Gaius Cornelius 22:34, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Salve! In retrospect, what you say of invasion threats is true but the British government saw the threat from Napoleon III in the 1860s as serious. That is why it spent so much money on the defence of Portsmouth. Building a navy and fortresses requires time so that there is a large element of strategic deterrence involved. Given that, when no invasion happens, it can be hard to say how far the investment was effective and how far unnecessary.
I would have been wrong to say that only British troops were lifted off from Dunkirk. This will have been why I didn't think of saying it. I inserted 'British' into 'Most of the personnel were brought back to Britain' in order to make it clear that reference was not being made to all the Belgian and French troops who were left in the Dunkirk pocket. Without trying to go into reasons, the proportions of the members of those armies who were in the pocket and brought to Britain were much smaller. (RJP 23:21, 29 July 2006 (UTC))

Population moves[edit]

I was eight years old when WWII began, living in Hastings. A few years back I came across the copy of an instruction (in a book?) telling the civilian population that it was necessary to move as many people as possible away from the South Coast towns to lessen the casulaty rates in case of invasion. Our family moved away from the coast in May 1940, possibly in response to that injunction. There was, I believe, a cash payment to cope with the costs of that move. I wonder if there might be a way to include that. Peter Shearan 07:10, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your comments. Strictly speaking, Wikipedia is not the place for personal anacdotes; in theory at least it should be possible to provide a reference for everything. If you wish to record your memories for posterity — and I very much hope that you will — may I suggest the BBC website h2g2. If there is something to refer to, it might then be possible to include a note in wikipedia. Gaius Cornelius 11:29, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

The Royal Navy[edit]

Without British air superiority, the navy would not have been of much use in the event of an invasion. Enemy air superiority even local and temporary, is death to ships. Consider HMS Prince of Wales (1939) and HMS Repulse (1916). Consider also The Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway, or the key role of aviation in sinking the Bismarck. These aircraft were working well off the home shore. In most of these cases the air forces were rather weak and scanty and way out at sea. What would have happened in the narrow seas on the doorstep of the multitude of Luftwaffe stations in Belgium and northern France had the RAF been effectively confined to north of the Thames Valley.?

The commanding officer at the Nore, Admiral Drax, was none too worried if his comments in the introduction to Grinnell-Milne's The Silent Victory are to be believed. Given the Luftwaffe's record off Norway and Dunkirk, I don't think there was any reason for the admirals to be unduly concerned. Analogies are fine, but there isn't an appropriate one. There would have been thousands of ships in the Channel, making finding a target easy, but finding the right one enormously difficult. The Luftwaffe's record on target recognition wasn't (as the survivors of Z1 and Z3 could testify) so very impressive. Not that the FAA or RAF were much better. Remarkably few warships were sunk by aircraft in the Channel, excepting only Dunkirk and the period around D-Day. Angus McLellan (Talk) 18:04, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, serendipity:

No doubt more if you care to look. Angus McLellan (Talk) 18:24, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

The article that started this storm in a tea-cup was printed in History Today, September 2006. Naturally I rushed out to buy a copy. This popular, but normally sober, journal does seem to have gone in for headline grabbing with a deliberately controversial article. Essentially it says that even if the RAF had beaten the Germans then the Navy would have been instrumental in doing so: this is pretty much what the Wikipedia article currently says and there is a note to the same effect in the Sealion article. Why this should in any way detract from the achievment of the RAF is as lost on me as it is on most other people. History Today cites as one example of Britain's sea superiority that the Germans had four minelayers to Britains 52 mine sweepers and 16 minesweeping trawlers! As for the danger of aircraft to ships, the German and Japanesse air forces were quite different. The Japanesse had planned and trained for naval warfare, but the Germans had no air launched torpedoes and no armour piercing bombs - conventional bombs would have litterally bounce off British capital ships and the smaller faster and more agile vessels would be difficult for straight-line bombers to hit. The ships that were hit at Dunkirk were essentially stationary. History Today is quite right in saying that most scholars consider that an undefeated Royal Navy made a German invasion folly — but we at Wikipedia already knew that! Gaius Cornelius 19:48, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your prompt and thought-provoking response. In Norway, the Luftwaffe was a long way from home; advancing and fighting at the same time. It had not had time to establish flying stations close to the scene of action. The case was rather similar though at a less extended range, in the southern North Sea in mid 1940. It was not so, in late 1940 when the time needed for the assembly of an invasion force and to suppress the RAF gave time to man the already-existing airfields and time for planning.

The point about the Luftwaffe's equipment is more telling. Though their range was short, its JU57s were tactical bombers suited to attacking small, un-armoured targets. That is what destroyers moving south from Harwich would have been. By late 1940, the Luftwaffe had had some practice in attacking ships and the time to reconsider tactics. Smaller vessels such as minesweepers would have been no match for the Bf 110s.

The capital ships were another matter. The lack of air-launched torpedoes, so far as it existed, precluded an attack such as that against the Repulse and Prince of Wales. However, the Luftwaffe found a way of air-launching V1s and torpedoes from the He 111. Given the incentive, it was capable of finding a way of doing the same with torpedoes, though would have been hard-pressed to do it in time for Seelöwe. The Kriegsmarine had a few submarine torpedo launchers of its own. It would not have been difficult to co-ordinate them with aerial recognisance to place them in a suitable position for causing damage, particularly with the battle fleet's destroyer screen disrupted by aerial attack.

Göring's limited view of the use of air power did get him into trouble. One fault was the lack of heavy bombers which was not relevant here. He had not thought through to the need for maritime use of the Luftwaffe so was rather surprised when the need presented itself but a few feints to bring the RN out or even attacks in harbour, would have greatly depleted its capacity to defend convoys so that Britain would have been brought down for lack of materiel

Yes, the invasion fleet was fragile but there was no need to expose it to an extent greater than that needed to bring out the British fleet. At this stage, Germany had no other enemy. It need not have set Barbarossa in motion and the USSR would not have interfered. It need not have declared war on the USA and that country would not have interfered beyond selling a few arms which would probably have been sunk in transit. That would have left the countries of the British Empire with no means of interfering owing to a lack of sea power and shipping. (RJP 10:51, 26 August 2006 (UTC))

British Army status[edit]

Could we please get some more detail of the Br Army preparations, the status of divisions manning, training, equipment, amount of armour, VII Corps etc etc? Buckshot06 07:54, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Map[edit]

I was looking for information on the remaining three red link stoplines and came across this. Does this qualify as fair use? Thanks, RHB 18:05, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

That map is not strictly a map of the stop lines - it shows the known locations of hardened field fortifications. Many of these fortifications do lie on the stop lines so that one can pick the lines out if you know what you are looking for. I cannot think why the map would qualify as fair use. Gaius Cornelius 14:21, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

GA Nom[edit]

Should it be passed through this seeing as its certified as A-class? RHB 13:27, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea to me! Gaius Cornelius 19:41, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

GA Result[edit]

There are 7 things that must pass before an article reaches GA status. I have reviewed it and the result is as follows:

  1. Well-written: Pass
  2. Factually accurate: Pass
  3. Broad: Pass
  4. Neutrally written: Pass
  5. Stable: Pass
  6. Well-referenced: Pass
  7. Images: Pass

Well done, the GA has passed successfully.

Reviewer's notes:

Well done to all involved - this is a really excellent article. My only suggestion for improvement might be that the opening and background section could have a few more references, but as these are probably given in the linked articles and are not the main content of the article, this is not a problem. Bob talk 13:41, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Missing italics in quote?[edit]

The Alanbrooke quote in the section Would the preparations have been effective? says 'italics in original' but it is all in italics! Which is the section for emphasis? Kim dent brown 14:22, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

In the original, the entire section was in italics so that is how I left it. Gaius Cornelius 15:12, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Zero Stations[edit]

Apologies if I missed it, but can we get content about the so-called "zero stations" into this article? I know there's one near where I used to live (here) but don't know anything more about them than the linked article says. Anyone able to enlighten me or point me to an article about them? Cheers Dick G (talk) 04:26, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Hmmm, just realised, are these the Operational Bases referred to in the Auxiliary Units article? Dick G (talk) 04:29, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Maunsell Forts[edit]

Should the Maunsell Forts be included within this article? – Zntrip 02:42, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

My understanding is that they were constructed a little later in the war when the invasion crisis had passed. Gaius Cornelius (talk) 09:29, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Burns victims?[edit]

"American broadcaster William Shirer recorded large numbers of burns victims in Berlin" Is "burns victims" (as opposed to "burn victims") a British usage that I'm not used to, or is it a typo? I'm loth to make even small non-obvious changes with a FA, especially the one on the Main Page. Nyttend (talk) 05:12, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't know if it's particularly British as opposed to non-British english, but it is the term in common usage as a plural at least (in my own experience and seemingly in the wider world). Badgerpatrol (talk) 05:16, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

But not in the "wider world" of the United States. I looked at first three pages of the Google link to the phrase "burns victims", and the references all seemed to be from the United Kingdom. Usage in the United States is "burn victim" ("burn victims" in the plural), whether the victim has one burn or many. In any case, all of us understand what the William Shirer sentence meant.--JGC1010 (talk) 04:11, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Quite possibly, I defer to your superior knowledge on the issue. But language used in the "wider world" as you put it (although note that India, which presumably has more English speakers than any other country, generally utilises British English I believe) is irrelevant to this article, which obviously falls under the remit of British English. As you say, the meaning is quite obvious to everyone anyway. Badgerpatrol (talk) 10:38, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I have worked with quite a few people from India. So, you're saying that I have the British to thank for the version of English I hear these co-workers speaking?--JGC1010 (talk) 00:18, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. And, one assumes, for the fact that those in your country speak English also. ;-) All the best, Badgerpatrol (talk) 11:22, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Older defences[edit]

Big topic; but it'd be worth adding something about the use and upgrading of 19th century fortifications, notably Portmouth harbour defences such as the Palmerston forts and Gosport lines. 213.249.221.34 (talk) 10:45, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Various sites were reused defensively in WWII because certain strategic realities of geography remain unchanged through the ages. However, to the best of my knowledge, which may well be faulty, "upgraded" would be a misleading term in this context – I don’t think there were any ancient fortifications that were reused as fortifications. Rather, updated uses were found for old locations and buildings, such as platforms for anti-aircraft guns; sites for modern bunkers (for example Pevensey Castle); or, as I think is the case for the Palmerston forts, as munitions stores. If that is indeed the case, including details in the article would be inappropriate because the topic is so minor in comparison to the bigger picture; a more appropriate place might be British hardened field defences of World War II or an appropriate stop line article. If there are any instances of ancient fortifications being reused, I would be interested to know about them. Gaius Cornelius (talk) 11:41, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Flooding as a Defence[edit]

Another addition, technically an older defence I suppose, is perhaps the plan to flood the Romney Marsh. The Romney Marsh was a likely target of invasion. In the event of invasion, the Royal Military Canal would be diverted and the marsh flooded, thus drowning the invasion force. I'm unsure whether similar preparations were made elsewhere in Britain, but it seems worthy of inclusion, especially since there doesn't seem to be any similar example in the article presently. There is a brief mention of some flooding to slow down tanks, but it doesn't seem to do the subject justice. Here's a source to get someone started :)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/83/a4967283.shtml

Shackleton (talk) 13:13, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I think you are right. Most of the flooding plans I have heard about were fairly modest afairs. Thanks for the link, it is interesting in all sorts of ways, but only makes a brief mention of flooding as a defence. Gaius Cornelius (talk) 16:20, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it's rather a local subject, so google didn't yield many results. If I remember, I'll drop into the Canterbury library and see if they have anything on it. Shackleton (talk) 22:44, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Went to library, found a reference, but was in a hurry so didn't get publishing date. Also I'm rubbish at editing. Anyway, stuck in a line or two in the Coastal Crusts section.

Shackleton (talk) 15:47, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. When you do get a full reference, please add it "General references" section. Gaius Cornelius (talk) 16:54, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Did you mean This book? Gaius Cornelius (talk) 17:09, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Congratulations, but...[edit]

Congratulations to the editors of this article. Lots of great information... ...but there need to be far more citations of the information. 2-3 consecutive paragraphs in a row is too many. Please add to it before this article is nominated for removal as failing to meet FA criteria (running the semi-automated peer review wouldn't be bad either). 131.44.121.252 (talk) 18:40, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Last two section subtitles[edit]

Hi, Bravo to all the contributors for such a well-written, well-researched article. I have two small proposals for the end. At least based on the encyclopedias I use, I think that the subtitles "The threat recedes" and "Would the preparations have been effective?" do not have the formal tone that is often used in encyclopedias. Instead of "The threat recedes", might I suggest a subtitle that does not start with an article. The Wikipedia Manual of Style states that titles should not start with articles (e.g., instead of "The History of France", use "History of France"). Granted, the Manual is referring to article titles, but it seems that the principle could be extended to subtitles. For the rhetorical question at the end, could I suggest the simpler subtitle "Analysis" or "Historical analysis".Nazamo (talk) 18:46, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Hi, another few points about the second subtitle: "Would the preparations have been effective?". I argue that this subtitle is too long. The subtitle "Historical analysis" would be more concise. As well, professional historians do not usually devote time to "counter factual" discussions, like "Would the US forces in Hawaii been able to withstand an amphibious assault by Japanese forces in WW II", or "If it had not been rainy in 1415, would the French knights have won at the Battle of Agincourt, rather than being trapped in the mud". Historians don't spend time discussing these issues. In 1415, during the battle of Agincourt, it WAS muddy, and so the French knights DID get bogged down in the mud, and so that is the course of the battle. I would like to see a source indicating that reputable historians have discussed "Would the preparations have been effective."Nazamo (talk) 15:32, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
The subtitle includes details of what people thought at the time as well as the conclusions of historians. I suppose that “Effectiveness of the preparations” would avoid the question mark if there was a consensus that it is necessary to do so. However, I don’t find the section title objectionable, it makes it clear that the preparations were never put to the test and that the issue is, therefore, an open question.
Your reflections on mud at Agincourt are interesting. Is it not the case that historians must implicitly consider what would have happened in the absence of mud in order to conclude that mud was significant? Actually, I don’t think either of your examples is really analogous to this instance and while you are quite right that historians do not generally spend much time considering “what if” questions, they sometimes do, and in this case have. Looking up the Brian James 2001 reference and following up his citations may leave you more convinced. In any case, Wikipedia has its own standard for notability that goes beyond “what historians do”; apart from anything else, it is a question that most people would naturally want to be addressed. Finally, I offer featured article Operation Downfall as an example of a Wikipedia article that considers a similar “what if” question at some length – albeit with the benefit of more material. Gaius Cornelius (talk) 16:39, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Battle of Britain needs more impact info[edit]

There needs to be more about the affect of the Battle of Britain on the invasion preparations. The Germans lost control of the air battles when they switch from bombing airfields to bombing London and other non-military targets. This occurred due to either an errant or purposeful German Bombing of London that caused a British bombing of Berlin. Hitler than ordered major British cities to be bombed with special emphasis on wiping out London. This allowed the British to rebuild and enhance airfield defences and not lose more aircraft to night bombing raids. Because of Hitler's tactic change, there was enough British aircraft to fight the Battle of Britain in the first place. (talk) 22:13, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't think this really belongs here. This article is about the anti-invasion preparations whereas the events of and resulting from the Battle of Britain are reasonably well covered in the Battle of Britain article. Gaius Cornelius (talk) 14:08, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Check external links on main page[edit]

Check Links Palmiped (talk) 00:59, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

British invasion plans for Norway?[edit]

This operation preempted Britain's plan to invade Norway for protective purposes. This statement is followed by a reference, but unless I've read it too quickly, only refers to the absence of such plans, supposedly being an excuse for the Nazis to invade Norway first. Could anyone shed a light on this? -- MiG (talk) 21:35, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

I think you should read it more closely. My reading is that the Germans did claim at the time that the British were going to (or were likely to) land in Norway and the subsequently found evidence that this actually was the case. However, their actual motivation at the time was to capture bases for their own use. Gaius Cornelius (talk) 13:04, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
I guess we're both right - the sentence just needs a slight bit of tweaking as it was a perceived plan. The current sentence suggests there is actual documentation that proves there were invasion plans, whereas the document cited just quotes the German defendants mentioning this as a reason to invade Norway themselves. -- MiG (talk) 23:58, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Grubbing up aerodrome runways[edit]

The Canadian tree grubber, assembled in Scotland, purchased by the army in WW2 to rip up aerodrome runways if an invasion took place and by Howie's to uproot trees in the park. It was hauled by a powerful Foden Trucks tractor, possibly via a pulley and cable system.
A detachable blade from the 'plough'

Could someone comment on this. It is from my article on Eglinton Country Park. Thanks.Rosser (talk) 14:39, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

I have removed the image of the blade from the article as I feel its inclusion gives undue prominance to this aspect of the topic. Currently, the tree grubber image is in commons and the blade is en:wiki; if the latter is moved to the commons it will be a simple matter to link the two images there. Gaius Cornelius (talk) 13:17, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Ironside?[edit]

What does Ironside refer to? The term is mentioned several times in the article but it's not in the dictionary and if you look for Ironside it is not clear what is meant in the article.--Soylentyellow (talk) 23:14, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

It is a reference to General Sir Edmund Ironside, Commander-in-Chief Home Forces. He is first mentioned in the section Field fortifications. Gaius Cornelius (talk) 00:27, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Sentance may need to be more clear[edit]

"In June 1940 the British Army had 22 infantry divisions and one armoured division"

By June 1940 am pretty sure that there was more than 1 armoured division in the British Armys order of battle. The 1st and 7th Armoured divisions had long well been activated, the latter under various names and at various stregnths since 1938, and i believe the 2nd Armoured Division had also been activated.

So a total of 3, with one serving abroad. If the information is available it should probably also be noted how many indy armoured/tank brigades were also available as they projected a large number of tanks and were pretty powerful formations (when used properly).--EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 16:12, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Just to confirm 1st Armoured Division formed at the outbreak of the war in the UK (Chappell, p. 12), 2nd Armoured Division was formed in December 1939 in the UK (ibid), 7th Armoured Division was formed in 1938 in Egypt and redesignated 7th Arm in Feb 1940(British Army website). 6th Arm was formed during 1940 but am unsure of its actual date(Chappell, p. 12) and weather it was before the date mentioned in the above quote.
Using the same book (British Battle Insignia) one makes out 27 infantry divisions, excluding divisions disbanded before or during June 1940, (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 18th, 38th, 42nd, 43rd, 44th, 45th, 46th, 47th, 48th, 49th, 50th, 52nd, 53rd, 54th, 55th, 56th, 59th and 61st) and 1 cavalry division in existant during June 1940 - although that does not comment on if they were at full strength or how well trained they were and of course they were not all based within the UK during this time.
So i think the sentance needs to be a bit more accurate and/or its meaning more clear i.e. if these are formations based within the UK etc--EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 18:30, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
In June 1940, excluding forces overseas, there was the:
1st, 2nd Armoured Divisions(Joslen, pp. 13, 16)
1st and 2nd Armoured Recon Brigade(Josln, pp. 146, 150)
1st, 21st, 23rd, 24th, 25th (reorganised as 2nd Motor Machine Gun Brigade half way through the year) Army Tank Brigades(Joslen, p. 195, 200, 201)
1st, 2nd (mentioned above) and 3rd Motor Machine Gun Brigades (Joslen, p. 210-212)
1st, 1st London, 2nd, 2nd London, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 12th,15th, 18th,23d,38th,42nd,43rd,44th,45th,46th,48th,49th,50th,51st,52nd,53rd,54th,55th,59th,61st,66th (Joslen, pp. 36,38,40,46,48,56,59,61,62,66,68,70,72, 74,76,78,80,82,84,86,88,89,91,94,96,97)
To summerise, 2 Armoured Divisions, 28 infantry divisions, 2 Armoured Recon Brigades, 4/5 Tank Brigades, 2/3 Motor Machine Gun Brigades
Then of course there was New Zealand, Austrlian, and Canadian infantry brigades - i have even read of some Indian ones too - not to mention further units abroad.--EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 08:26, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

RE:British police invasion preparations[edit]

I am intending to add a paragraph on the war time measures implemented by the British police. The only problem, is that I am not sure where to insert it without it looking out-of-place. It can all be sourced well, because the information is out of a book I am reading. Does anyone have any suggestions on where it should go? Thanks. Police,Mad,Jack (talk · contribs) 15:35, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Since I posted this question on the 5 May and it is now the 29, I am going to put the British police in the British Armed Forces section when I have time. After all, I did ask here first. Police,Mad,Jack (talk · contribs) 09:08, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I suppose the right place would rather depend on the character of the preparations, but I would think that it would belong in the Other defensive measures section. I look forward to reading your contribtion. Gaius Cornelius (talk) 16:21, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for replying. It is on the page now, if you wish to take a look. Police,Mad,Jack (talk · contribs) 21:49, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Introduction[edit]

Hello, I wonder whether the lead section could do with summarising the article just a little more, per WP:LEAD? This would then keep it looking up to standard with the more recent military history FAs such as [Military history of Australia during World War II]]. Bob talk 18:57, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Maps for stop lines?[edit]

Thanks for a great article. But it feels like it needs a map of the stop lines - either here or in the stop line articles. It's pretty hard for me to visualise where they run, and I'm a brit. 84.92.32.221 (talk) 15:20, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

I agree that they would be great and I would put them in if I could. Perhaps there is some map drawing expertise available elsewhere in Wikipedia? Gaius Cornelius (talk) 11:51, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Strength of the British Army in June 1940[edit]

"In June 1940 the British Army had 22 infantry divisions and one armoured division."

Where do these figures come from ? As far as tank divisions go they do not agree with what either Winston Churchill or J.R.M Butler quote--JustinSmith (talk) 21:07, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

I have to say that whenever I read the section (in this article) on the British Army I think it`s contradictory to such an extent that it`s almost meaningless. Could we not have some consensus and edit it to be more consistent ?--JustinSmith (talk) 17:43, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Picture of "Dunkirk"[edit]

I replaced the commentary. It does not have anything to do with Dunkirk, it is Veules-les-Roses in Upper-Normandy, 250km from Dunkirk. Same date, same place and same conditions here, easy to recognize [2]. Nortmannus (talk) 10:01, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

If the Battle of Britain would have been "lost".[edit]

I have a problem with this sentence (in "Would the preparations have been effective") :
While Britain may have been militarily secure in 1940, both sides were aware of the possibility of a political collapse. If the Germans had won the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe would have been able to strike anywhere in southern England
It`s implying that areas of this country would have been undefended from the Luftwaffe. As far as I`m aware nobody has ever suggested that RAF Fighter Command would have ceased to exist, it would simply have moved to operate from bases NW of London. As such its fighters could still have covered most of the south of England. I accept they would have taken longer to "reach the scene", but on the other hand the aircraft would have been higher (in altitude) when they finally made their interceptions and therefore in a better position to win any engagements.--JustinSmith (talk) 14:16, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Well there's no indication that the RAF would have moved north. Quite the opposite, it was cycling units from the north to the south all the time and never moved out even when under the greatest strain and airfields were out of action. Anyway, as it was cycling units through combat, there would not have been some vast, unused reserve of pilots and aircraft waiting in the north.Sitalkes (talk) 01:53, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

245 tanks = 4 panzer divisions??[edit]

"in terms of medium tanks, these numbers are the equivalent of three to four Panzer Divisions." Probably in 1944 but 245 tanks would be one panzer division in 1940. You are saying that a 1940 panzer division had only 60- 80 medium tanks (Pz III & IV) in the latter half of 1940. The number of panzer battalions/regiments in a panzer division did vary but this figure has to be incorrect. I am assuming that the Czech tanks count as light tanks but they were armed with 37mm guns and would defeat a Mk VI light tank so they should be really counted as mediums. It gives a false impression, it would be better to include the Mk VI light tanks in the British figures and just compare armoured divisions with armoured divisions.

A German panzer battalion in 1940 at full establishment was supposed to have 25 PzKpfw II, 53 PzKpfw III and 14 PzKpfw IV - a total of 92 tanks (or 368 per division). These were organised into an HQ of 2 PzKpfw III and 5 PzKpfw II, 3 medium companies of 17 PzKpfw III and 5 PzKpfw II each, and a support company of 14 PzKpfw IV and 5 PzKpfw II. That’s 67 mediums per battalion, so a four panzer bn division had 268 medium tanks. Sitalkes (talk) 02:05, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Three battalions of amphibious tanks were allocated to the 16th Army and one battalion to the 9th Army. As of 29 August 1940, the four battalions, lettered A-D, totalled 160 PzKpfw III (U) submersible tanks with 37mm guns, 8 PzKpfw III (U) submersible tanks with 50mm guns, 42 PzKpfw IV (U) submersible tanks with 75mm guns, and 52 PzKpfw II (Schwimm) amphibious tanks with 20mm guns. The battalions were organized into three companies of four platoons each.

There are also 64 Stug III’s, 54 Pz Jager 1’s and 20 Flammpanzer II’s with the first wave. With the second wave come 12 Sturmpanzer 1’s, 16 Flammpanzer II’s, and a regiment of Nebelwerfers. There were five regiments of Luftwaffe flak units with the first wave. Many of the flak guns were mounted on (mostly unarmoured but half tracked) vehicles and highly mobile.

4th & 10th Panzer Divisions had two panzer regiments (4 panzer bns, 300 tanks including 16 Pz1B). ) and 4 Schützen / Motorcycle bns 7th Panzer had one panzer regiment (3 panzer bns, 210 tanks, including Pzkpfw 38(t)) and 5 Schützen/Motorcycle bns. 8th Panzer had one panzer regiment (3 panzer bns, 210 tanks including 42 Pzkpfw 38(t)) and 4 Schützen / Motorcycle bns

If you include the Stug III's that makes a total of 954 medium tanks, and a total of about 1450 tanks plus 400 light armoured vehicles in the invasion force.Sitalkes (talk) 02:23, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Sitalkes (talk Sitalkes (talk) 01:54, 3 June 2014 (UTC)• contribs) 01:43, 3 June 2014 (UTC) 

Demolition of towers[edit]

Very interesting article, but I think there's a pertinent part of the preparations that is omitted entirely. I was vaguely aware of it before, but noticed it more clearly in the List of tallest destroyed buildings and structures in the United Kingdom: the demolition of landmarks that could guide enemy pilots to their targets. I am aware only of the three examples of the list, so far unable to discover more in a brief search, but others may exist and more may have been considered for demolition (if this article is to be believed). The three structures were all destroyed in 1939: the twin water towers of the Crystal Palace in London and the Tait Tower in Glasgow, which had been opened just the previous year and was visible over a huge area. They are probably isolated cases, but I believe they are conspicuous enough that a mention in the article may be warranted. Waltham, The Duke of 13:22, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

I've found another reference, regarding Abbey Mills Pumping Stations, in Great Stink#Legacy: "The building's large double chimneys were removed during the Second World War following fears that they could be used by the Luftwaffe as landmarks for navigation". There is also a relevant sentence in the building's article, though it is unsourced and gives a different reason for the demolition: "Two Moorish styled chimneys – unused since steam power had been replaced by electric motors in 1933 – were demolished in 1941, as it was feared that a bomb strike from German bombs might topple them on to the pumping station." Waltham, The Duke of 22:54, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Chemical warfare[edit]

17:26, 19 March 2016 (UTC)85.168.79.3 (talk)he section on chemical warfare mentions Paris Green... To my best Knowledge Paris Green is a greenish powder who was used as a Rodenticide and as a pigment for 19th century painters. Are you sure it's not a mistake? Arsenic compounds like adamsite or lewisite have been developped for chemical warfare, bu I have never heard of killing people with obsolete pigments....

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