Talk:Operation Sea Lion

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Note: discussion prior to 2007 has been moved to /Archive 1.

Operation Artus[edit]

I removed this for a few reasons:

  1. It wasnt a German plan, it was the name the German Foreign Ministry gave to Plan Kathleen simply to have something convenient to refer to it by
  2. Kathleen was the sketched out plan of how the IRA would assist in a German invasion (a German invasion plan also sketched out by the IRA). Kathleen was written for Stephen Hayes then acting Chief of Staff who sent it to Germany.
  3. The closest thing that exists to a German plan for invasion of british controlled land in Ireland is the Kurt Student plan 1941. It was never put on paper and remained a brainstorm in Students mind.

I've tried to describe why "Artus" is a bogus description creating a misleading impression in the minds of the reader on other talk pages. This has had little effect so ive taken to changing the detail myself. All the information on Kathleen is in the article I wrote on the subject. Please respond here before resurrecting 'Artus' again. Fluffy999 19:19, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Plans after May 1941[edit]

Kurt Leyman deleted the following twice:

In addition to the loss of the French fleet and the bitter fighting against the Soviets, the losses in personnel and materiel suffered by German paratroopers during the Battle of Crete, in May 1941, could not be replaced in time for the planned operation.

With edit comment:

Anyone who has done some research knows how irrelevant to Seelöwe - 1940 plan information concerning mid/late 1941 that information is.

Even though I am not the editor who added the above, I think the reverses that Nazi Germany faced to May 1941 are relevant to the question of what changed to make an invasion in that year impractical or impossible.

  • Is a summary of what changed from Fall 1940 to Spring 1941 to make an invasion impractical or impossible relevant to the article?
  • And if it is, is the above text a good summary?

I'm not delighted by the arrogant anyone who has done some research knows... The Wikipedia exists to provide answers for people who have not already done the research and, in fact, are doing that research here. patsw 02:12, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

I'd disagree. The situation in mid-1940 is not controlled by the situation in June 1941. That's why I deleted
" Germany's difficulties on the Eastern Front created an enormous drain on Germany—one that made a potential large-scale invasion across the English Channel a dangerous and costly gamble."
And "Germany's difficulties on the Eastern Front" were more a product of Hitler's incompetence than Seelowe. Trekphiler 22:06, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Legitimacy of this article[edit]

There may be some errors in this article. Firstly, the operation was not postponed on September 17, 1940. It was ended there after talks with Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, not with Grand Admiral Erich Raeder. Raeder was going according to plan with Reich Marshal Herman Goring, and Rundstedt was in charge of both the landing operation as well as the plans to capture London and Bristol. Therefore, I have changed these facts. Furthermore, I do say that this article is not of quality. Please see better quality articles from Britannica as well as World Book. Thank you very much. --Adasarathy 21:12, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

William Shrier in "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" quotes the German Naval War Diary on September 17th as saying "The Enemy Air Force is still by no means defeated. On the contrary, it shows increasing activity. The weather situation as a whole does not permit us to expect a period of calm... The Fuehrer therefore decides to postpone "Sea Lion" indefinitley." (p.773) Shrier footnotes this quote giving the ultimate source as the Fuehrer Conferences on Naval Affairs: Summary records of Hitler's conferences with the Commander in Chief of the German Navy. Shirer also quotes a Fuerherbehefel, a formal directive, dated October 12 as saying "The Fuehrer has decided that from now on until the spring, preparations for Sea Lion" shall be continued solely for the purpose of maintaining political and military pressure on England." (p.774, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich). So while there is not yet any paper definatley saying what date Hitler gave up the ghost of invading England, it appears that September 17th is when the rot certainly set in and really no further thinking on the plan continued.Yanqui9 (talk) 18:19, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
I'd agree there was no definitive ending point but 17th September serves as a good cut-off. Lord Cornwallis (talk) 23:30, 18 April 2009 (UTC)


Ok. I just created an infobox--Adasarathy 21:35, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

New rating[edit]

I rated this as a B because it now contains virtually no factual errors, and matches the checklist. If you disagree, please comment on my talk page. --Adasarathy 21:38, 24 May 2007 (UTC)


The second paragraph of the introduction and the first paragraph of the 'Background' section are almost identical; there is simply some word rearrangement. Perhaps this could be rewritten? Omniarch (talk) 08:50, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm in charge here[edit]

I'd say head of HDV & Bomber Command (before Harris) should be included. Trekphiler (talk) 19:32, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Check external links on main page[edit]

Check Links

Gaius Cornelius (talk) 13:28, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

You're the bomb[edit]

This offers a source for German lack of AP bombs. Trekphiler (talk) 13:26, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Edvard Beneš[edit]

What did Edvard Beneš do to help or hinder Operation Sealion? Why is he in the infobox? Binksternet (talk) 17:55, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I'd guess that it was becuase he was the leader of the Free Czech forces who made up a portion of the defenders of Britain. Not sure he should be in the infobox, though. Lord Cornwallis (talk) 18:09, 25 February 2009 (UTC)


There are far too many people mentioned in the Commanders box. Only the operational heads of the armed forces should be mentioned (Commander of the Royal Navy's home fleet,Commander of the Army in South East England, Fighter Command and Bomber command -- and the German equivalents). For example Churchill was not in command because he was a civilian in HMG not a member of the armed forces. Bomber Harris was not AOC-in-C of Bomber Command (until early in 1942), I don't know about the others, but someone who know what they are doing needs to check them very carefully if those two are anything to go by. --PBS (talk) 11:31, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Should it read home counties under objective rather than 'home country'? Difficult to check as the cite note is not very useful, führer has an umlaut BTW. If someone has the source for this directive (or a link to it) could they improve it perhaps? Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 23:28, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
no the objective is stated (by the Germans) as the elimination of the home country, Hitler on the Doorstep, Egbert Kieser, Arms and Armour 1997, page 274.Slatersteven (talk) 23:41, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. Coincidence then that the home counties were the potential counties involved, at least for the initial invasion plan. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 23:50, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Combatants in infobox[edit]

It seems odd to list Poland, Free France, and Czechoslovakia and not Canada, Australia and other Dominions, which had more significant forces in the UK and also had independence in foreign policy after 1931. What do others think? Grant | Talk 05:07, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

That infobox needs work, for sure. Binksternet (talk) 14:40, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Given that there was no fighting, and its rather hard to determine who would have (for example the French are doudtfull) perhps its best to use those forces who made contributins to the BOB.Slatersteven (talk) 19:01, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Proposed change[edit]

Hi guys, in the spirit of being bold I'm going to hide the latter part of the infobox for a trial run...

I don't think we should list troop numbers and commanders for a battle that never happened. Remember, infoboxes are only meant to summarize an article, they don't have to be filled out completely, the briefer they are, the better. Plus it's unreferenced ;)

Any thoughts on this, cheers. Ryan4314 (talk) 18:36, 20 December 2008 (UTC)


Given that tehre was no fighting there were no beligerants, and moreover this is conjectual at best. I propose its removed, and mention of contingents moved to a section of the artciel named likly paticipants.Slatersteven (talk) 19:37, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

I completely agree that it's a bit superfluous to list belligerents when operation actually didn't take place (as I pointed out some time ago in edit summary of a very minor edit), but may be we should ask somewhere on WikiprojectMilitary history first? BTW it seems that articles on other cancelled operations don't use infobox too...(Just some I picked by chance).--ja_62 (talk) 22:24, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
p.s.:It seems that there also exists template Operational plan, which is, in my opinion, much more proper for operation which didn't materialise.--ja_62 (talk) 22:24, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
I have started a discusion at [[1]].Slatersteven (talk) 14:35, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. MilborneOne (talk) 20:05, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Sealion or Sea Lion?[edit]

Operation SealionOperation Sea Lion

  • Sealion is not the conventional translation of Seelöwe, while Sea Lion is. Most references are to the two-word form.   -- Evertype· 10:25, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Previous move discussion[edit]

  • Sealion or Sea Lion? The article is inconsistent. Wikipedia calls the animal a sea lion, so shouldn't the title of this article be consistent? What do English language sources call the operation? Cyclopaedic (talk) 12:21, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
  • The Germans called it Seelowe. So a direct translation of that is Sealion, but most of teh soources (English language) seems to call it Sea Lion. I susgest the former (as it is closer to the german name).Slatersteven (talk) 12:29, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
  • The direct translation of Seelowe is sea lion, not sealion. The article should be moved. Binksternet (talk) 15:52, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree, the article name is wrong. Quite a 'howler'.Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 02:29, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Bear in mind that words are often compounded in the German language, one of my favourites is Luftkissenfarhzeug, literally 'Air cushion travelling machine', yep, a Hovercraft! Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 02:56, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree; Seelöwe translates as Sea Lion (even for the animal). The article should be moved. -- Evertype· 10:03, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Continued move discussion[edit]

  • Support - the animal is called a "sea lion". (talk) 21:56, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. The things about the animal and German are true Sea Lion seems to be used most commonly for the operation. —innotata (TalkContribs) 22:39, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Sea Lion is the form used in German Invasion Plans for the British Isles which is used as a reference in this article and also appears this way in Winston Churchill's memoirs (I inherited Vol I and III recently but Vol II is missing sadly). Page numbers can be provided if needed. I think this is a simple error that has gone unnoticed. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 23:37, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. "Sea Lion" is AFAIK the universal form of the name... Constantine 14:34, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment. Everybody's agreed, so grab the nearest admin and get it done. Clarityfiend (talk) 23:28, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Do we need an Admin? Should we wait for 'Oppose's (just in case)?! A bot picks up the redirects. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 23:35, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
We do because the correct title is a redirect, I will contact an admin. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 00:20, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

In fiction section[edit]

This is largely a trivia section which in my view should be deleted, in accordance with WP:MILPOP. The first sentence could be retained, and perhaps one or two examples, but only if there is cited evidence of their significance to the subject of the real Operation Sealion. Bedknobs and Broomsticks doesn't come close. Cyclopaedic (talk) 09:29, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

So can we have a list please, of what you object to? Whilst I can agree that Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a best only a passing refernace others are very relevant represeting as they do attitudes or assumptions. There is also the issue of simulations they have value if you wish to model the conflict, but are they truely part of popular culture.Slatersteven (talk) 15:57, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
All of it, as it stands. To remain, it would have to have cited justification of why each item adds to the understanding of the subject of the article. To quote WP:MILPOP:
"In popular culture" sections should be avoided unless the subject has had a well-cited and notable impact on popular culture. Any popular culture reference being considered for inclusion must be attributed to a reliable source for the article topic. Items meeting these requirements should typically be worked into the text of the article; a separate section for popular culture items, and in particular the following, should be avoided:
Compendiums of every trivial appearance of the subject in pop culture (trivia)
Unsupported speculation about cultural significance or fictional likenesses (original research)''
So to remain, each item needs a citation of a reliable source for the article topic (ie a book or other source about Operation Sealion) which explains the impact of Operation Sealion on popular culture. A sentence (appropraitely cited) about the alternative future fiction might be justified, but the list is not. Cyclopaedic (talk) 11:03, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Well [[2]] (one of the extrernal links) lists both SS-GB
and It Happened Here. So are these listed in an RS?Slatersteven (talk) 21:13, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
No. Those are links on a website, which is itself uncited and makes no attempt to explain the cultural significance of Operation Sealion. Cyclopaedic (talk) 19:29, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
Your argument loses me, I'm afraid. How does a work of fiction describe the cultural significance of Sealion, except by reference to what actually happened & contrasting what didn't? In other words, since SS-GB is showing by its very content how different Britain would've been than it was in fact, doesn't that by definition explain its significance? Or do I take you to mean SS-GB only qualifies if there's a source saying SS-GB itself had an impact? (If so, I defy you to demonstrate virtually any novel deserves a mention, including, perhaps especially, ones made into films, considering the changes typically necessary to make the transition.) TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 12:44, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

I think the people responding have missed the main objection of the original poster. The point is that it is contrary to the rules of Wikipedia to include long lists of every book, film, TV show, etc. related to the topic. An example or two is acceptable, but the list in this article obviously goes beyond that. (talk) 22:17, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Time is on his side[edit]

"Sandhurst wargame three years later"? Later than what? Than the planned invasion, or the book? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 12:44, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Later Plans...After the Invasion[edit]

As requested, I'll expand this section over the next few days, regarding the effect on the UK of the invasion, as it does seem a rather gentle affair as described here. It was meant to be a military 'elimination' and a 'vengeance' or 'final reckoning' occupation, of a brutality not yet seen (even in Poland). I'll use Shirer as my source, and try to give some indication of what would have become of Britain's working-age male population had they indeed been rounded-up and shipped-off to the Continent as slave labour, given that Hitler would probably still have been gearing-up for 'Barbarossa' at that time. (talk) 23:31, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

OK, I've put my little bit in. In view of the relative successes of bankrupted Britain and Democratic Germany after the war, there are still 'revisionists' here in the UK who think that the Nazi occupation would have been 'good for us if we had only known', or even fairly 'nice' - like in the Channel Islands. Just to put things straight :-). Can somebody a little better versed in 'Wiki' please check and correct my entry for the finer points of spacing, references etc, thanks. (talk) 20:56, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
To Morgan Hauser: Many thanks for your work, the section reads much better now. (252.237 above, but my ip keeps changing :-) (talk) 22:19, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Himmler's "desire to kill 80% of the British and French"[edit]

I seriously doubt whether this claim is real, and if it so whether it was anything more than an off-hand comment by Himmler. Even the downright apocalyptic Generalplan Ost, which was entirely prepared to deal with the "racially inferior" Slavs in Eastern Europe for the territories specifically earmarked for German settlement was more humane by comparison. Did the Nazis "Drang Nach Osten" suddenly turn into a "Drang Nach Westen"?--Morgan Hauser (talk) 08:05, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

I am a bit doudtfull but we need to see the sources. Can I ask the user who inserted this to provide the quote please?Slatersteven (talk) 13:23, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay. Here's the passage from Otto Bräutigam's book “So hat es sich zugetragen” (“This was the way it happened”). He describes a visit to the Wolf's Lair in Eastern Prusia which took place some time between 21 and 27 February 1943.
  • This is the complete chapter of “Himmlers Rassenwahn” in German:

“Nach der Rückkehr vom Kaukasus wurde ich im OKH sehr herzlich begrüsst. Der Generalquartiermeister stattete mir seinen Dank für meine Tätigkeit ab und hob besonders die gute Zusammenarbeit mit der Heeresgruppe hervor, über die der Feldmarschall berichtet habe.
Dann hatte ich längere Unterredungen mit dem inzwischen zum Obersten aufgerückten Leiter der Abteilung Kriegsverwaltung, von Altenstadt. Von ihm erfuhr ich erst die furchtbaren Einzelheiten der Niederlage von Stalingrad. Fünf Armeen seien vernichtet worden, die deutsche 6., zwei rumänische, eine ungarische und eine italienische. Diese Lücke sei nicht wieder zu schliessen. Von Altenstadt war äusserst pessimistisch und erklärte mir erneut, dass das Heer es allein nicht schaffen könne, wenn nicht von der politischen Seite starke Hilfe kome. Das Heer setze grosse Hoffnungen auf die Wlassow-Bewegung. Man könne den Russen nur durch den Russen schlagen. Ich versprach ihm, mein Möglichstes zu tun.
Aufgrund unserer freundschaftlichen Beziehungen hielt sich von Altenstadt für berechtigt, mir ein Schriftstück zu zeigen, das mich aufs Tiefste erschütterte. Es handelte sich um die Niederschrift über eine Unterredung zwischen Himmler und dem Generalquartiermeister, dem General Wagner. Dieser hatte die Niederschrift selbst diktiert.
Von Altenstadt gab mir das Papier erst in die Hand, nachdem ich ihm versprochen hatte, davon keine Abschrift zu machen und mit niemandem darüber zu sprechen. Heute fühle ich mich an dieses Versprechen nicht mehr gebunden, da es wie das ganze Dritte Reich der Geschichte angehört.
Himmler hatte sich dem General Wagner über seine russischen Zukunftspläne ausgelassen. er hatte ausgeführt, dass dieser Krieg die Herrschaft Deutschland über Europa herbeiführen würde. Der Sieg der deutschen Truppen sei Aufgabe des Militärs.
Aber nach errungenem Sieg beginne erst seine Tätigkeit. Dann gelte es, dieses Europa auch wirklich germanisch zu machen. Während früher die Nazipläne sich immer nur auf den 'gewaltigen Siedlungsraum' im Osten erstreckten, hatte sich Himmler diesmal zu meiner Überraschung ausschliesslich über den Westen geäussert.
Die Franzosen seien dekadent und rassisch minderwertig. Etwa 80% würden dem SD zum Opfer fallen, nur 20% würde das Leben geschenkt werden, und zwar solchen, die äusserlich germanisch wirkten und sich auch willig in das Germanische Reich einbeziehen liessen. Wahrscheinlich werde es sich hierbei um die Nachkommen der Normannen, Bretonen, Flamen, Burgunder und dergleichen handeln.
In der gleichen Weise werde er dann später auch mit den Engländern verfahren.
Anlass zu diesen Ausführungen Himmlers hatte die Bitte des Generals Wagner gegeben, die Russen, Ukrainer und so weiter zur Erleichterung der Kriegführung besser zu behandeln. Himmler hatte das rundweg abgelehnt und wollte offenbar seine Ablehnung damit begründen, dass er, wenn er schon die eben dargelegten Pläne gegen die Westvölker hege, unmöglich die 'minderwertigen' Völker des Ostens schonen könne.
Die in dieser Unterredung von Himmler bekundete Auffassung setzte allem, was die Führer des Dritten Reiches sich bisher auf dem Gebiete der Völkervernichtung geleistet hatten, die Krone auf. Ich malte mir aus, welch schreckliches Blutbad einem deutschen Sieg folgen würde und fragte mich allen Ernstes, ob unter diesen Umständen ein deutscher Sieg überhaupt noch wünschenswert sei.
Kann es für einen Deutschen, der sein Vaterland über alles liebt, Schrecklicheres geben als Zweifel daran zu bekommen, ob es für eben dieses Volk nicht besser sei, in diesem furchtbaren Krieg zu unterliegen als zu siegen? Was für Konsequenzen ergaben sich für meine Arbeit? Sollte ich mich zur Truppe melden? Aber kämpfen in einem Verbande, dessen Sieg infolge der Verbohrtheit unserer eigenen höchsten Führung sehr zweifelhaft geworden war und von dessen Sieg ich innerlich nicht mehr fest überzeugt war, dass er überhaupt erstrebenswert sei?
Da blieb ich doch wohl besser bei meiner gegenwärtigen Dienststelle, wo ich immer noch in der Lage war, unheilverhütend oder wenigstens unheillindernd zu wirken. Auch redete ich mir ein, dass das Gelesene vielleicht Hirngespinste Himmlers seien, die von Hitler nicht gebilligt würden, dass die Machtverhältnisse im Dritten Reich nicht konstant seien, da ja in der obersten Führung jeder gegen jeden kämpfte und schliesslich über allem ja noch ein Höherer schwebte, der einen solchen Frevel, wie Himmler dem General in Aussicht stellte, nicht zulassen würde.
Ich konnte mir sehr gut vorstellen, wie diese Unterredung auf den so anständig und vornehm denkenden General Wagner gewirkt haben muss. Ob nicht sein Entschluss, am 20. Juli 1944 mitzumachen, von dieser Unterredung wesentlich beeinflust worden ist?”

  • (Here's an attempt of an English translation of the chapter “Himmler's Racist Mania”, sorry about the mistakes):

“After the return from the Caucasus I received a heartfelt welcome at the High Command of the Army. The Quartermaster General thanked me for my work and especially emphasised the good cooperation with the Army Group, which the Field Marshal had reported on.
Then I had long discussions with the head of the Department of War Administration, Johann Schmidt von Altenstadt, who recently had been promoted to Colonel. It was him who told me the shocking details of the defeat of Stalingrad. Five armies had been wiped out, the German 6th, two Romanian ones, one Hungarian and one Italian. This gap could not be filled anymore. Von Altenstadt was extremely pessimistic and once again declared that the Army could not make it on its own without getting strong help from the policymakers. The Army held high hopes for the Vlasov movement. We could only beat the Russians with the help of the Russians. I promised him to do the most possible.
Because of our friendly relationship Von Altenstadt felt himself justified to show me a document which shocked me deeply. It was the transcript of a discussion between Himmler and the Quartermaster General, General Wagner, who had personally dictated it. Von Altenstadt handed me the paper after I promised him not to make a copy of it and not to talk to anybody about it. Today I don't feel committed to this promise anymore as like the whole of the Third Reich it's a thing of the past.
To General Wagner, Himmler held forth about his future plans on Russia. He had explained that this war would lead to Germany's rule over Europe. The German army's victory was the job of the military.
But after the achieved victory his job would only begin. Then it was to make this Europe Germanic for real. While earlier plans of the Nazis had always referred to the 'enormous colonisation area' in the East, to my surprise this time Himmler talked exclusively about the West.
The French were decadent and racially inferior. About 80% would fall prey to the SS Security Forces, only 20% would be allowed to live, namely those of Germanic appearance who would be willing to be integrated into the Germanic Empire. Those would probably be the descendants of the Normans, Bretons, Flemings, Burgundians and the like.
In the same way he would later deal with the English too.
What brought Himmler's remarks about was General Wagner's request for better treatment of the Russians, Ukrainians et cetera, to make the warfare easier. Himmler flatly refused it and obviously tried to explain his refusal with the fact that if he had these plans against the Western nations which he had just explained, he couldn't possibly be easy on the 'inferior' nations of the East.
The views stated by Himmler in this discussion just topped everything the leaders of the Third Reich had accomplished in the domain of genocide. I imagined what a terrible bloodbath would be following a German victory and I asked myself in dead earnest if under these circumstances a German victory would be desirable at all.
Can there be a more terrible thing for a German who loves his country deeply than getting doubts if it wouldn't be better for his people to be defeated in this terrible war than to be victorious? What were the consequences for my assignment? Should I enlist in the army? But fight in an army whose victory had become highly questionable because of the blockheadedness of our own highest government, and of whose desirability of a victory I wasn't really convinced anymore?
It would be better to stay in my present position where I was still able to prevent or at least milden the evil. And I tried to persuade myself that what I'd read was perhaps only pipe dreams of Himmler not approved by Hitler, that the internal balance of power in the Third Reich was unstable, that in the highest levels it was dog eat dog and there was still one highest authority hovering above them all, who wouldn't allow such a sin which Himmler had announced to the General.
I could very well imagine how this discussion must have affected the decent and noble thinking General Wagner. I wonder if this discussion had a crucial effect in his decision to take part in the 20 July plot?”
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:37, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for taking the time to provide all this source material. Just when you think the sheer scale of these peoples' genocidal dreams couldn't possibly have been even more insane than you already knew...--Morgan Hauser (talk) 00:15, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Having read the above excerpt, I remain skeptical about this alleged plan. Not because I couldn't conceive the Nazis committing genocide on such a large scale -- several million people would disagree, if they had lived to see the end of WWII -- but because there are some points in this account which leave me suspicious:
  • First, Bräutigam states that he was not allowed to make a copy of the transcript between Himmler & General Wagner. And based on the fact I haven't heard of this document before now -- which, if it existed, should have made the news for the shock value alone. Maybe that transcript does exist, buried in an archive somewhere, but considering all of the attention scholars & journalists have given to the murderous legacy of the Nazis, I'd have expected it to have surfaced by now.
  • Now let's assume that the conversation did take place: Himmler did say what he did to General Wagner. Do we have any proof that this project was ever considered -- let alone seriously -- by the rest of the Nazi leadership? People say nasty, murderous things like that all of the time -- even people in power, whom we expect to be reasonable -- & at this point in the war Himmler was probably in a murderous mood. (Realizing that they had just screwed the pooch in a very big way & there was very little they could do -- if anything -- to fix things, the leadership was very likely becoming mentally unhinged.)
  • Lastly, while I am no expert in the field, the belief that 80% of the French & English peoples are subhuman doesn't seem to have any parallels outside of this incident. Racists just aren't that imaginative. Maybe there are fringe German writers who believe this -- but I'd be more inclined to believe this was a possible scenario if these fringe racist writers could be produced.
Now at this point I'm not saying we should remove the assertion, but it should be suitably qualified. Something along the lines of, "According to Bräutigam, Himmler spoke of plans to exterminate up to 80% of the British population." But definitely, unless some reliable experts on the Third Reich are found who treat this anecdote as believable fact, we shouldn't simply state this as unqualified & undeniable truth. -- llywrch (talk) 05:32, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I see Himmler's remarks as a simple excuse to ignore Wagner's proposals, and to add a certain shock effect never to bother him again with political suggestions. To talk about genocide in such a casual manner was to put the Army (Wagner) in his place and show him who really called the shots here: the SS. Because of that, you are right not to call this a "plan". ( (talk)) —Preceding undated comment added 11:12, 14 March 2011 (UTC).
The thing is, this section doesn't and didn't suggest much beyond referring to this alleged "Generalplan West" as the "intention" of Himmler personally in regards to these countries, not that he had it drawn it up in a memo and circulated throughout the German government, or that it met with anyone else's approval. Combining it with an undoubtedly off-hand quote by Hitler (Himmler's direct superior) about the "racial worth of the English lower class" implies otherwise however, and also needs modification.--Morgan Hauser (talk) 13:26, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

A missing entry for the fiction section?[edit]

Any reason that Phillip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle shouldn't be included? One of the background plot elements is the successful German invasion of Great Britain -- despite the desperate act of setting the English Channel on fire with petrol by a Churchill whose weakening grasp on reality resembles the real-world Hitler towards the end of war. -- llywrch (talk) 04:53, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

It's been awhile since I've read it, but I don't recall Sea Lion being in any way central to it. It's not like it's SS-GB. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 05:10, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia is so hilarious[edit]

So I happen to be browsing the Sea Lion article yesterday and I notice it has been edited to include some vulgar commentary. I make my own edit to highlight this with [[[ ]]] so that it gets the eye of one of the anonymous, secret, gatekeepers of Wikipedia. Sure enough, it is noticed, but I get a warning immediately asking me to stop vandalizing the site, while who knows how long the actual vandalism went on. And while the site's editing cabal is free to send me all the messages they like, I don't get the luxury of a 'reply to' button to get my commentary to the correct venue... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:36, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for spotting the vandalism, but you didn't repair the vandalism, and it appreared that you were just highlighting it for effect. Until you actually learn to edit competently on WP, includung using edit summaries, it would probably be best to just report the vandalism to the article's talk page instead. - BilCat (talk) 18:31, 24 May 2011 (UTC)


Are Peter Fleming and Derek Robinson really considered historians? Fleming was a journalist (mostly a travel writer) and Robinson is a novelist. -- (talk) 11:45, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Mr Fleming wrote a number of books on millitary history.Slatersteven (talk) 12:35, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
Yeah... that didn't answer the question. (talk) 22:21, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes it did, a historian is some one who writes about, and studies history.Slatersteven (talk) 22:32, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Moving link to wargame to page bottom[edit]

Having no external links in the main body of the text may be the official Wiki way, but, particularly in this case, the problem with moving the summary of the wargame link is that readers won`t then know that they can in fact click on it and actually read it in detail. Most will just think that`s a link to a book refrence so won`t even bother looking. Thus I think it`s a bad idea, though I personally am loathe to change it back because it`d just annoy me if someone then reverted it again.......--JustinSmith (talk) 13:01, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Hi- external links and citations are disallowed strongly on Wikipedia- see Wikipedia:CITE#Avoid_embedded_links. Yes, it may mean less people click on the detail, but this is true of any other reference, such as books, that people should also follow to get more detail. What about creating an article on the wargame? Are there enough reliable sources to do so? tedder (talk) 13:58, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Tedder, you`re not the frst person to remind me that Wikipedia is "anti" external links. Personally I don`t understand that attitude at all, the question should surely be, why are we here ? Answer : To inform and interest the readers. Everything else is subordinate, or should be. If I was reading the article on Sea Lion (and the postwar gaming of it) I`d be very interested to read the summary on that link, anyone would. In fact the positioning of this particular link is a classic case of Wiki policy clashing with readers interests. --JustinSmith (talk) 16:38, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

I found your talk page. I see that's a sticking point. A single article page isn't the place to tilt against the windmills, though. That's why I suggested writing an article about the wargame, which would describe it in much more detail for readers who were interested. tedder (talk) 17:42, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

I think a separate page might be worth doing Tedder, particularly now the link`s been moved !--JustinSmith (talk) 18:25, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Separate page "Operation Sea Lion : The Sandhurst Wargame", started 16 Aug 12.--JustinSmith (talk) 16:31, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

U Boats unsuitability for channel operations[edit]

I`ve heard elsewhere that U Boats weren`t suitable for operations in the realively shallow English Channel, but this sentence has been removed. The explanation being that "this is not true. Most U-boats in 1940 were of the coastal type that was meant for shallow waters".. But the most significant part for the initial sentence is the word "shallow". I grant that coastal waters tend to be shallower then open seas, but The Channel is only about 45m deep in the Dover area (which is the direction the English Fleet would have been steaming from, the U Boats were supposed to screen the flanks of the invasion force). I`m not an expert in submarine operations but I didn`t think submarines liked operating in shallow water, doesn`t it make finding and sinking them much easier ?--JustinSmith (talk) 12:44, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

What do RS say?Slatersteven (talk) 15:26, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
For the small Type II boats, 45m isn't outrageous shallow. USN S-boats operated quite safely in water about that deep (Lingayen Gulf), & they're much bigger (Type VII-sized); even a couple of fleet boats (1500 tons, 300+ft loa) did. (See Silent Victory.) I don't think the crews would be thrilled about it... TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 19:54, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

"I don't think the crews would be thrilled about it"
Is that because submarine`s aren`t really suitable, or at least aren`t operating at their best, in shallow water !
I`d have thought that the attacking ships would find it much easier to find the sub`s, quite apart from anything else the estimate of the depth (to set off the depth charges) must be significantly easier if the sub`s only have a choice of between 10m down and 45m down ! --JustinSmith (talk) 08:06, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Suitability of barges for use in the open sea[edit]

How come the following sentence has been allowed to stay in this article :

"Overall, the converted invasion barges proved surprisingly seaworthy and did well even in 4 to 5 force winds, taking on little water and demonstrating adequate handling characteristics in the waves."

There are countless references (including many from high ranking German Naval officers at the time) that do not support this surprisingly positive assessment of the barges sea worthiness. In the study papers at the end of Richard Cox`s "Sealion" David Shears maintains that most of the barges were without engines or at least incapable of making headway against the sea currents without tug assistance". He then quotes the German Navy as saying "they (the barges) were only seaworthy in seas up to Force 2, which meant that one sharp squall could swamp them and send them to the bottom". Lastly Admiral Ruge (in 1940 he was the Commodore of the German Navy`s minesweeping flotilla) categorically states "they (the barges) could stand nothing more than a light breeze"

Thus I have deleted the relevant phrase.--JustinSmith (talk) 17:31, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Try this

"Schenk claims the converted invasion barges proved surprisingly seaworthy and did well even in 4 to 5 force winds, taking on little water and demonstrating adequate handling characteristics in the waves. During one exercise, held by General Herbert Loch’s 17th Division, only two barges suffered damage to their bow doors in 6 to 8 force winds.[1]. But Kerigmarine officers believed that the barges were unfit for operations in anything others then seas up to Force 2". As the new sentence.Slatersteven (talk) 12:12, 11 December 2012 (UTC)


  1. ^ Schenk, p.70

Well the article does say that river barges were used, when actually river and coastal barges were used, and quite a high proportion of the barges were the latter sea-going type used for traffic along places like the Baltic sea coast. Also, the article doesn't mention the type of Siebel ferry that was so stable it was still being used after the war (about 150 built by September 1940) and was used to transport troops from Sicily to Tunisia.Sitalkes (talk) 10:47, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

For the Dunkirk evacuation, 48 lighters/barges were used to evacuate 4,726 men as well as 40 Schuits (shallow draft, powered barges of between 200 and 500 tons), which evacuated 22,698 men (page 126, Hitler's Armada, Geoff Hewitt, Pen & Sword Books, 2008). Sitalkes (talk) 23:43, 19 February 2013 (UTC) Some of the barges were towed Thames barges Stuart Hylton, Kent and Sussex 1940, Pen & Sword Books, Page 35 Sitalkes (talk) 01:50, 22 February 2013 (UTC) One formerly commandeered German river barge is preserved at Henrichenburg. Built in 1929, the Franz Christian has a 200hp diesel engine and capacity of 289 tonnes. After conversion into landing craft B 8 Pmot she stood-by in Boulogne for the invasion of England, before seeing active service in the Baltic from 1942 to 1945 (Schenk, 1990). An interesting sidelight is cast on how seriously contemporary British military authorities took the barge concept by the fact that 1,000 ‘dumb’ (i.e. un- powered) Thames barges or lighters, roughly similar to the continental river barges, were requisitioned in April 1942 to make up for a shortage of specialist landing craft for use in the ‘Second Front’ landing contingencies SLEDGEHAMMER and ROUND-UP. The British barges were to be fitted with stern ramps, and, like the German barges, towed and beached by tugs or launches. Some were reinforced internally with concrete. Subsequently 400 of these vessels took part in OVERLORD, largely as specialist craft and fitted with engines, wheelhouses and rudders. Landing Barge Vehicle (LBV).37, formerly the barge Zulu, even crossed to Normandy using sweeps (oars) and an improvised sail, following an engine failure. Barges were particularly valued because of their shallow draft, tough construction, and ability to rest on the bottom in tidal waters while still loaded. See: Barge variants included: Landing Barge Flak (LBF), Landing Barge Gun (LBG), Landing Barge Vehicle (LBV), Landing Barge Engineering (or ‘Emergency Repair’, LBE), Landing Barge Oil (LBO), Landing Barge Water (LBW), Landing Barge Kitchen (LBK), and Landing Barge Cable (LBC).

Tourists have been crossing the Channel in river barges safely in September and October for some time, it seems: The barges in the videos seem to all be of the smaller type (A1 – Peniche, 38.5 metres long and carried 360 tons of cargo, 1,336 available September 1940)

Watch these: – the Dutch barge Spica goes through Dutch canals and across the Channel to Portsmouth

65ft barge towed through heavy seas off Dover “50 ton of ballest would have helped the cavitation and steadyed her”

Dutch barge Anna at sea on a trip from Ely to Wisbeach in the Wash

Spits Barge crossing the Channel from Belgium to Leigh on the Thames


“Motoring across the channel in our Belgian spits barge 'Madorcha', september 2007, at this point just going over the sandbanks leaving Nieuwpoort Belgium, next anchorage; Liegh small ships, on the Thames. The crossing took us 15 hours, and then another 5 hours to Barking.

Our Belgian spits is standard gauge at 38m x 5.05m, with a 6-71 series detroit diesel/gray marine engine, we averaged 40l of diesel an hour on the sea at full throttle, compared to 20-25l p/h on the inland canals, thats pushing 65 tonnes of ship with 55 tonnes of ballast (125 tonnes gross), only just enough to avoid cavitation with the larger swells.

From Bocholt in Limburg, Belgium to Barking London, we used 1,500l of diesel!.. maybe time to consider a more efficient propulsion system, but the detroit makes a lovely growling scream, with massive torque for 165hp engine.

Proof it's possible to cross with safe precautions, to all the Belgians and Dutch who thought we'd never make it!” and Sailing the Dutch barge Cosmos across the Channel Sitalkes (talk) 23:24, 16 June 2014 (UTC), note how overloaded it is, and also it is open topped and just how low it's free board. is now compare to a Thames barge, a far ore substantial craft. I do not think anyone says they could not be used, only that (in the opinion of the Germany navy) they were only useful in light seas.Slatersteven (talk) 09:36, 17 June 2014 (UTC)


found in cancellation section "Both the British and the Americans believed during the summer of 1940"

the USA did not enter the war until 1941 so does it matter what the Americans believed (Fdsdh1 (talk) 18:10, 10 December 2012 (UTC))

Yes, as the Americans provided a fair bit supplies.Slatersteven (talk) 22:50, 10 December 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Head-it-behind (talkcontribs)
They didn't provide them supplies - Britain bought them - under Cash and Carry. They paid for them with Britain's gold reserves which by then had been transferred to Canada.
The terms effectively bankrupted the UK as when the UK's cash ran out the US government then demanded that the UK liquidate all its US assets before any US loans would be available - which is why the UK was in such poor financial straits after the war - and Lend Lease wasn't available until early 1941, and that was in return for the US gaining 99-year leases on British bases around the world.
BTW, Britain finally finished paying off its 1940-45 war debts to the US in 2006. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:19, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Luftwaffe didn't have armour-piercing bombs[edit]

The article states that the Luftwaffe did not have any armour-piercing bombs. Is that correct? I can find lots of information about the types of Luftwaffe armour-piercing bombs. [3] Furthermore, on 9th April 1940 (during the Norwegian campaign) British battleship Rodney was holed by a 500 kg aerial bomb which penetrated its deck armour but failed to explode. Anyway The only ships that the RN would send to the invasion area were light cruisers and destroyers (and smaller craft), which were mostly or entirely unarmoured (light cruisers are in any case only thinly armoured on their decks), so armour-piercing bombs would not be needed. Sitalkes (talk) 01:35, 15 February 2013 (UTC)Sitalkes (talk) 10:16, 13 February 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sitalkes (talkcontribs) 09:52, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

We would need to see dates that AP bombs came into service, your question seems to be based on OR.Slatersteven (talk) 12:14, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

What is OR? Check the Wikipedia page on the Battleship Rodney, it says its armour was penetrated by a bomb in April 1940, well before the invasion date. At the very least, a citation is needed to support the statement that there weren't any such bombs in September 1940. Sitalkes (talk) 02:16, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Bombs can penetrate (Lucky hit) armour even if they are not AP, you need a source saying it was an AP bomb.Slatersteven (talk) 11:18, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

The Rodney's deck armour was 4.375–6.375 in (111–162 mm) thick and it can be penetrated by an ordinary bomb without it shattering or exploding??? Then armour-piercing bombs aren't needed at all! I have asked about this issue on two WW2 forums, and so far nobody has found anything to support the contention that the Luftwaffed didn't have any armour-piercing bombs. On the Axis History Forum, the question has been viewed 55 times so far and nobody has even replied! some more links to more information about Luftwaffe armour-piercing bombs has been supplied. and There is a book at which probably has the definitive answer. Until somebody buys that book you should accept that the evidence shows that the statement "the Luftwaffe lacked armour-piercing bombs" is incorrect and requires at the very least a citation to support it.Sitalkes (talk) 22:36, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

I shall put an RS tag but the claim, found a source for the claimSlatersteven (talk) 23:10, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Well its curious that the only source comes from a discussion of Operation Sealion that is not footnoted. Why is this only mentioned in this context? Surely a lack of armour-piercing bombs would have made attacking French and Belgian fortifications as well as capital ships difficult? Levine doesn't provide a source for his comment and he says in the same sentence that there weren't ANY torpedoes. He says the Germans were only going to invade with 310 tanks against 800 British tanks. The actual figure is about 250 tanks in the first wave and four panzer divisions (1472 tanks at full establishment) in the second wave. The British figure inlcudes 64 "wheeled tanks" i.e. Guy Mk 1 Armoured Cars (and also 318 Mark VI light tanks, which had inferior armament to even a Panzer II). He also says the Luftwaffe didn't have any four-engined bombers and even if they did, were unlikely to produce them in any number. In fact the He 117 had so many problems because it had four (coupled) engines and even so the Germans built 1,169 of them. I think he may be a good source on other topics but not this one.Sitalkes (talk) 02:09, 20 February 2013 (UTC) ────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It is not entirely necessary to have armour-piercing bombs in order to sink ships by aerial attack. Using general-purpose bombs, a near-miss hitting the water very near a ship will stove in the hull plates and cause very large amounts of damage, significantly slowing and even sinking the vessel. All of this damage is done from bomb-initiated shock waves in water, not pieces of metal from the bomb. Binksternet (talk) 03:12, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Again lets lay of the OR, we say what RS say.Slatersteven (talk) 12:50, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

What is OR? "lay of the OR" sounds like the title to a poem. I have already pointed out that armour-piercing bombs were not necessary as the RN capital ships were not coming further south than Rosyth so there were only going to be unarmoured ships as targets (ordinary bombs could penetrate the thin deck armour of a light cruiser). The reference to armour-piercing bombs should be deleted, it is not relevant.Sitalkes (talk) 01:39, 22 February 2013 (UTC), Also a number of writers on the subject have stated that the RN might well have sent capital ships if the situation became desperate. I could name many occasions in war when something was done that someone had stated would not be done. We can (and do I believe) say the RN had said it would not commit capital ships.Slatersteven (talk) 11:57, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Churchill says in his "History of the Second World War" that Admiral Dudley Pound told the war cabinet that he would not take any capital ships into the channel unless (enemy capital ships were present)because he feared they would get sunk by aircraft and got the cabinet to approve this measure. For the situation to get desperate then the huge numbers of RN destroyers, torpedo boats and light cruisers would have to be sunk first and that can't happen according to everything else the article says. If they were sunk then the role of the RN would be to stay as a fleet in being and to evacuate people to Canada, not go down in a suicide attack. "At the end of the thirties Germans had well-known PC (Panzersprengbombe Cylindrisch) cylindrical armor-piercing bomb family, developed in 1937-1938 and equipped with a cast-steel body with a hardened cast-steel nose cone, filled with cast TNT and Amatol (60/40) mixture, or TNT and wax combined explosive charge. They were available in weights of 50, 250, 500 and 1000 kg and represented a standard armament of well known, standardized German level and dive-bombers (He 111, Ju 87, Ju 88, Do 17)." I have bought the book "German air-Dropped Weapons to 1945" but although it says there were some armour-piercing bombs in 1940 (page 71) this does not say much about the early war period and does not conclusively support either position. It does say that there was a device (Prallscheibe) that could be attached to ordinary bombs that would cause them to detonate beneath a ship rather than skipping off the surface of the water (Page 68, Wolfgang Fleisher,Motorbusch Verlag, 2004).I think I need a book about German war production.Sitalkes (talk) 03:27, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Keep looking.Slatersteven (talk) 11:29, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Well the US Army Technical Manual TM-9-1985-2 German Explosive Ordnance lists and describes in detail many types of German armour-piercing bombs and since apparently this is not a primary source then the phrase "did not have armour piercing bombs" should at the very least be changed to "may not have had sufficient armour piercing bombs in 1940" Sitalkes (talk) 23:41, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Can you provide the quote where the new source says the Germans has AP bombs in 1940?Slatersteven (talk) 12:04, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

This web site [4] states that the Germans dropped 1,000 kg armour piercing bombs on the Maginot forts in 1940, giving as its source Kaufmann, J.E. and H.W. Kaufmann. The Maginot Line: None Shall Pass. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997

From [5]: 14 October 1940 At 20.02hrs a 1400kg semi armour piercing bomb penetrates 32 feet underground into Balham tube station in South London. It explodes just above the cross passage between the two platforms causing debris partially to fill the tunnels where about 500 people are sheltering. Water pours in from fractured water mains and sewers. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), sixty-seven people in the station are killed - although some sources report 68 - and more than seventy injured.

Above, the High Street collapses into the void, leaving a huge crater into which a No.88 double-decker bus, travelling in blackout conditions, plunges. Huge damage is caused to surrounding buildings, leaving them in a perilous state, some close to collapse.

The book "Royal Navy and the Battle of Britain" By Anthony J. Cumming p34 [6] Says that semi armour piercing bombs could be used against warships.Sitalkes (talk) 06:23, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

I have found definite statements that (a) the Germans developed armour-piercing and heavy bombs specifically to be used on warships prior to the war (b) armour- piercing bombs were dropped on the fortress of Liege in May 1940, causing the garrison to surrender (c) "large numbers of the newly developed mine-type and armour-piercing bombs were also delivered on targets in England" See pp 149 -151, The Planning and Development of Bombs for the German Air Force, 1925-1945, by H. Heitman (1955). By the way, There are lots of other useful books on Sealion and related topics on that page, including Operation SEA LION and the Role of the Luftwaffe in the Planned Invasion of England, by Karl Klee (1955)Sitalkes (talk) 04:16, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

This is an example of a bomb penetrating the deck armour of a British heavy cruiser in 1940- either it is an armour-piercing bomb or it wasn't and they weren't needed: During the night 17th/18th September 1940 the heavy cruiser HMS Sussex which was completing a refit in the Clyde and was lying alongside at the time, was hit by a bomb during an enemy air attack. A serious fire broke out necessitating the flooding of magazines. She is now resting on the bottom aft and the fire is out. Casualties were 12 wounded, 3 seriously. [Heavy cruiser SUSSEX arrived at Glasgow on the 2nd for a six week turbine repair. On 17 September was damaged in German air attacks on Glasgow when a two hundred and fifty pound bomb penetrated the deck. She was set afire by splinter damage and when the dock was flooded to extinguish the fire, SUSSEX heeled over in dock. Midshipman J. R. L. Cook was wounded and two ratings were killed. The cruiser was badly damaged. She was refloated in October and taken to Stephen's Dry Dock at Linthouse, Greenock. The cruiser had to be rebuilt. Heavy cruiser SUSSEX was repairing from November to 9 August 1942 at the Clyde. The cruiser arrived at Scapa Flow on the 4th 1942 for operations.]Sitalkes (talk) 05:27, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

The Luftwaffe also lacked aerial torpedo capabilities[edit]

The article states that The Luftwaffe also "lacked aerial torpedo capabilities". The Luftwaffe didn't make much effort in this area but they did have two types of torpedo bombers in 1940. Firstly there the He 59, of which 142 were built. It was used as a torpedo bomber in 1939 and as a reconnaissance aircraft in 1940. 18 December 1939 North north-west of rattray Head, the British fishing steamer Active (185 GRT) was sunk by an airborne torpedo launched by an He 59 (Ku.Fl.Gr 3./706). Secondly there was the He 115 Floatplane. The only operational airborne torpedo Staffel ready for action In July 1940 was 3/Ku.Fl.Gr 506 based at Stavanger, to be followed by 1./Ku.Fl.Gr 106 from mid August based at Norderney (on the North Sea coast of Germany) – a total of about 30 aircraft. Between August and December 1940, they used about 160 torpedos sinking about eight ships totalling around 60,000 tonnes. Thirdly there was the Fieseler Fi 167 of which 12 were operational with an experimental unit in 1940, although built for carrirer use they were used with a coastal naval squadron in 1942.

In my view the sentence saying that there weren't any armour-piercing bombs or aerial torpedoes shoud be deleted or at least changed to "The Luftwaffe had only a few squadrons of aircraft able to deliver torpedo attacks"Sitalkes (talk) 10:29, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Again we need RS for this.Slatersteven (talk) 12:16, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

What is RS? Is there a wikipedia page with these editing abbreviations? The above information all comes from the Wikipedia pages on those aircraft. At the very least a citation is needed.

Reliable source (And no Wikipedia is not RS).Slatersteven (talk) 11:17, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Firstly, the He 59: 1939 Film of an He 59 Better views of one shot down in 1940 The Encyclopaedia of Weapons of World War II by Chris Bishop Page 376 Includes a full colour picture. Armament included one torpedo. He 59E-1 “The E-1 was a torpedo bomber trainer similar to the D-1” Bomb-load included one torpedo “The twin engine double-winged He 59 was constructed during the time of secret military planing in 1930. It was designed as a torpedo-bomber with changeable wheel- or skid landing-gears” Aircraft of the Luftwaffe, 1935-1945: An Illustrated Guide By Jean-Denis Lepage, p 323: It was used… as a torpedo carrier,… anti-shipping craft it was used as a torpedo bomber Sitalkes (talk) 00:57, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

John Campbell (Campbell, N. J. M.; John Campbell. Naval Weapons of World War Two. Naval Institute Press, 1986. ISBN 0-87021-459-4) writes that Germany had hardly any aerial torpedoes in 1940; perhaps five were made each month, and half of these were duds. Instead, Germany purchased Italian aerial torpedoes, but not in large numbers. It was only in 1942 that the manufacture of aerial torpedoes was made a German priority. It's not about the aircraft, it's about the weapon. Binksternet (talk) 01:19, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

The article states "The Luftwaffe also lacked ... aerial torpedo capabilities" Even your quote disagrees with that. The best source appears to be "Luftwaffe aerial torpedo aircraft & operations in World War Two" by Harold Thiele, Hikoki, 2005 ISBN 1902109422, 9781902109428 and there is a summary from an anti-Sealion thread here:

Secondly, the He 115: The Encyclopaedia of Weapons of World War II by Chris Bishop page 377 Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 2002 ISBN 1586637622, 9781586637620 “The best such aircraft to serve with any airforce in World War II” Armament included one torpedo. It was flown mostly by kriegsmarine crews “In 1935, the German Reich Air Ministry (Reichsluftfahrtministerium or RLM) produced a requirement for a twin engined general purpose floatplane, suitable both for patrol and for anti-shipping strikes with bombs and torpedoes….The first prototype Heinkel flew in August 1937” Saw service with Küstenfliegergruppes 106, 406, 506, 706, 906, and Kampfgeschwader 200 “the torpedo was carried under the fuselage (blocking the bay doors).” About 500 were built. “By 1940 seventy-six aircraft were built in several versions”

Video of five He 115s on patrol in the North Sea sink a small ship: The C-4 was the torpedo bomber version Luftwaffe Torpedo Operations 1936-40 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sitalkes (talkcontribs) 02:10, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

If you do not (really) have access to a weapon you lack the ability to use it. But (in order to arrive at a compromise) how about.
"The Luftwaffe had an almost non-existent aerial torpedo capability"Slatersteven (talk) 12:35, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Hopelessly inadequate supply of aerial torpedoes. ;^)
Binksternet (talk) 22:57, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

River Wide, Ocean Deep (self-published by Fred Leander, 2011) says on page 208 that before the war, when the Germans acquired the license to build them, they bought 500 aerial torpedos from the Norwegians. Sitalkes (talk) 00:15, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Self Published Sources are not generally considered a relabel source. Also 500 is not alot, and that assumes they used none fr training and target practice (for example) we would need to know how many operational torpedoes they had in September 1940.11:18, 1 March 2013 (UTC)~~

Take care with the term "aerial torpedo". I remember seeing it in a contemporary British press source as referring to a weapon used against a land target. I have long wondered what it meant but possibly some form of glide bomb. Cyclopaedic (talk) 18:27, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

I think we haven't bumped into that definition here yet, so it isn't a problem. That definition is (mostly) archaic at this point, though older references will of course still carry it. I tried to explain it adequately when I was initially composing the Aerial torpedo article. Binksternet (talk) 18:46, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

500 is a lot more than "insignificant" or non-exisitent. 160 torpedoes sank eight ships totalling around 60,000 tonnes in 1940. Fred Leander is Norwegian so I think he's more likely to be right about Norwegian affairs even if he is self-published. Are you saying there was no difference between the torpedos used by aircraft and torpedos used by ships/submarines so no distinction should be made between them? Sitalkes (talk) 23:59, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

No I am saying that A: its an SPS and thus may not be unusable as a source, B: having an mount before the war does nit mean that had that same amount in September 1940.Slatersteven (talk) 11:07, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

7- 800 Torpedo Boats?[edit]

The article suggests that the British had 7- 800 torpedo boats in 1940. Actually, they had very few, only three flotillas. The figure of 7 - 800 applies to 7 - 800 patrol craft of which about half were available at any one time, spread around the entire coast of Britain. These patrol craft consisted of various types of auxiliary navy motor launches used for things like delivering mail, air-sea rescue, harbour defence, customs policing, etc. The figure includes everthing from armed yachts to coastal boarding vessels, there was a huge variety of them all. They were all unarmoured and carried one or two guns of varying calibres but weren't anywhere near as nasty as a torpedo boat. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sitalkes (talkcontribs) 05:35, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

A daily average of 3,300 tons of supplies???[edit]

At full establishment, a German infantry division contained 17,000 men, 900 vehicles, and over 5,000 horses. However, it required only 300 tons per day of supplies. The figure of 3,300 tons applies to the entire first wave landing force of 11 divisions (9 by sea + 2 airborne). Page 65 "Hitler's Armada" Geoff Hewitt, Pen & Sword Books, Barnsley, 2008. Peter Fleming in "Invasion 1940" page 237 says that British intelligence calcualted that a German infantry division required 300 tons of supplies per day and the first wave of nine infantry and two airborne divisions would require 3,300 tons of supplies per day. This is not quite correct as the second airborne division was an air-landed division and would not have arrived until an airfield had been secured, thus it was not part of the first wave, and the figure should be 3,000 tons per day less supplies sent by air to the first airborne division.Sitalkes (talk) 23:15, 3 June 2013 (UTC) It should be noted that the figure of 300 tons a day is based on British intelligence estimates, not on actual usage. In the "Sea Lion vs Overlord" article it says "In 1940 / 41 the average German infantry division required 100 tons of supplies per day while engaged in combat. The average Panzer division consumed 300 tons of materiel per day when on the offensive." The actual figure varied according to supply line length but that is the only figure I could find specifically for 1940. The figures qouted on other web pages for 1941 and afterwards actually show infantry divisions consuming between 30 tons a day while inactive and 700 tons a day in heavy fighting (at the end of a long supply line on the Russian front). They also show panzer divisions consuming less than infantry divisions. Sitalkes (talk) 22:54, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Is this website RS? However other sites seem to say the same thing, can someone find some RS to confirm either figure?Slatersteven (talk) 12:37, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
An RS (it says 1,100 tons a day). By the way the article does note it's a British intelligence estimate.Slatersteven (talk) 12:42, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Van Creveld (Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton (1977, 2nd edition 2004)), says that the DAK panzer/motorised divisions used 350 tons a day, unfortunately I can't find a figure for infantry divisions yet though as the DAK divisions were all motorised it may not help directly. Certainly the figure of 1,100 must be an American estimate based on lavish US usage not on actual German usage, which was much less than the American (The Germans used 200 tons a day while retreating from Normandy is what the web sites say).Sitalkes (talk) 22:52, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

The source I provided says this is based on the Germans used (read the source).Slatersteven (talk) 23:05, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

I did read it. Your source is pretty much a primary source, and the RS guide says you are not supposed to use primary sources. Martin van Creveld is a world-renowned author on the subject and he says in Supplying War Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton Cambridge University press, 2nd Edn, 2004, page 153 "fast" divisions [i.e. divisions with motorised supply vehicles] used 300 tons a day in Russia. Page 159 an armoured division in Russia used 300 tons a day, other divisions 200 tons a day. Page 185 a motorised division of the DAK used 350 tons a day. Sitalkes (talk) 02:46, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

It is not a primary source, it was not written by the German army, also we are not talking about motorised or armoured division.Slatersteven (talk) 11:59, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Van Creveld gives 200 tons a day for non-armoured divisions. A typewritten document called the German Army Handbook released secretly during the war by the US Government is not a primary source? Hmm. Well it also says that it took 1,600 tons a day to support a UNITED STATES "division slice" plus two air wings (total of about 500,000 men). It also states (page VI-17 - VI-18) that the average useage for a german soldier in offensive fighting was 25-50 pounds per day, which (for 17,000 men) is 212-425 American tons per day. This web page actually gives a breakdown of a German infantry division's daily requirements and adds them up to 150 tons a day. Yours is the only source that gives such a large figure for a German division, while every other source says it was much lower. The same figure seems to fit an American division and the Americans were famous for the lavish supplies they sent their troops. The figure you have chosen is in any case given in your source as the very top of a range of possibilities.Sitalkes (talk) 03:33, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Sorry but random web pages are not RS, also It does not say in combat (your last source). Also what is 25 (the lowest estimative of daily use by one man)? x 17,734 (the numbr of men in a German division) I can tell you it's not 200, I suggest you check your maths. Slatersteven (talk) 12:29, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

As I understand it, there are 2,000 pounds in a US ton. 50 X 17,000 = 850,000. 850,000/2,000 = 425. Sitalkes (talk) 01:03, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

What? Why are you dividing the total tonnage by pounds? We are talking about tons used, that would be the number of tons used a day multiplied by the number of men.Slatersteven (talk) 11:15, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

1 man uses 50 pounds a day, not 50 tons a day. Multipy 1 man by the number of men in a division. You get 17,000 men. Multipy the number of men by the number of pounds per day each man uses by the number of men in a division and you get 850,000 pounds per day used by one division. Divide 850,000 pounds by the number of pounds in a ton (2000) and you get 425 tons used per day by a division. So much easier with metric measurements!!! OK so you want to muliply by the tons per day? That's each man uses 50/2000 = 0.025 tons per day. Multiply that by 17,000 men and you get 425 tons per day used by 17,000 men in one division. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sitalkes (talkcontribs) 00:09, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

My misread I misread it.Slatersteven (talk)

Was it a bluff, actual effects on war[edit]

As a strong case can be made for the whole thing to be a bluff, this should be mentioned somewhere, perhaps in its own section, explaining why and why not (even if that is like trying to read Hitler's mind).

Mention could also be made of the effects of Sealion on the North African and Atlantic fronts. Australian troops were diverted from the Middle East to the UK to act as an anti-invasion force. Large numbers of aircraft and troops were kept in Britain for at least a year afterward when they could have been deployed to North Africa, though a few tank regiments were sent even as invasion seemed immanent. Just a few of the squadrons kept in Britain would have saved Crete. The stationing of so many destroyers on the coast of Britain on anti-invasion duties is also said to have allowed surface raiders and the submarines in the Atlantic a free-for-all between June and September 1940.Sitalkes (talk) 04:57, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Let's see what reliable book sources say about that. Binksternet (talk) 05:12, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Von Rundstedt (Operation Sea Lion – The German Invasion Plans section (David Shears) – p. 160) and Galland (I actually heard him stating this in a TV programme on Sea Lion), amongst others, thought it a bluff, though it was more to put pressure on the British to come to terms as opposed to tying up British forces (which could have been used elsewhere).--JustinSmith (talk) 19:04, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

If the operation had seemed even remotely likely the British would have withdrawn most, if not all of her naval units as well as troops from around the world, and used them to stop any German invasion. As the ships and personnel stayed were they were, one can assume that despite what Churchill said in public, the British high command did not regard an invasion attempt to be credible. The Admiralty stated (secretly) that they would be prepared to lose all British naval forces to stop any invasion attempt. So even if the Germans did gain a foothold on mainland Britain they would have had their already dwindling surface forces annihilated. Then how do they bring in sufficient supplies to maintain an army fighting. They certainly couldn't have done it by air.
BTW, at the time, the Royal Navy had a destroyer force alone of around 200 ships, the Germans IIRC, 10 (ten) after Narvik. So to paraphrase Jervis on an earlier threat; "I do not say that they (the French) can not come, only that they cannot come by sea".
Invading a country like Britain, which had the world's biggest navy, was not in any way comparable to the previous German successes on mainland Europe. Presumably there were plenty of senior people in the German naval and army high commands who were well aware of this, even if Hitler was not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:50, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

German Army : Horse drawn ?[edit]

Something to the effect that the German Army was primarily horse drawn was added to this article then deleted as "vandalism". I seem to remember reading that in actual fact the German army did very much (though not necessarily primarily) use horse drawn transport throughout the war. In fact the German army wasn`t actually as mechanised as many people seem to think. In the Encyclopedia of Military Vehicles (Hermes, Pat Ware, p43) the approx numbers of soft skinned vehicles produced by the major combatants in WWII was given as follows :
USA = 3 million
Canada = 810,000
UK = 680,000
Germany = 500,000
Interesting......--JustinSmith (talk) 21:44, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

And see this.--JustinSmith (talk) 21:49, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

You're right. I can't source it, either, but I've often read that. The blitz obscures just how reliant Heer was on horses. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 17:24, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Military historian Geoffrey Wawro says that 85% of the German Army was horse-drawn in 1939, with virtually no change by 1944.[7] Historian Julian T. Jackson writes that the German invasion of France in 1940 saw the victory of an army "more dependent on horse-drawn transport" than the losing army which had more motorized units.[8] More to the point, Andrew Marr says that at the time of the Battle of Britain, when Sea Lion was being considered, the German Army "was poorly equipped for a seaborne invasion, was still reliant on horse-drawn transport..."[9] So, yeah, this fact is relevant. Binksternet (talk) 18:08, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

But a direct comparison with Operation Sea Lion is like comparing Apples with Oranges. Actually using horses may have reduced their logistical requirements because the invasion was due at harvest time and there was plenty of fodder around in undamaged, uninvaded England. A big step for the Allies in 1944 was PLUTO (pipeline under the ocean), which maybe the Germans didn't need so much, as they weren't so reliant on Petrol and Lubricants and their army wasn't even half the size of the one the Allies planned to eventually land. Overlord had eventually to support two million men, whereas Sealion was 800,000 at most. Overlord was part of a planned invasion hundreds of miles into France and Germany. Sealion only had to get 40 miles from the beachhead. In 1944, the Allies were using a lot more vehicles and everything they used was bigger and more specialised than anything used in 1940, and horses don't necessarily take up more space than vehicles. There's no doubt that there were plans to land substantial numbers of horses as part of the invasion, but (depending how many invasion waves you count I suppose) 80% of the invasion force wasn't horse-drawn, as it had a much higher mechanised proportion than the rest of the German army. Sitalkes (talk) 06:08, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Sorry do you have a source for the clam that 80% of the invasion t had a much higher mechanised proportion than the rest of the German army. By the way Harvest time (for hay) is in (usually) July. Also the Germans considered horses a weakness, and this tried to reduce their reliance on them for Sealion (but still considered they were over reliant after all possible reductions). As formulated Operation Sea Lion called for the transportation of 170,000 men, 57,500 horses (with 4,000 in the first wave), and 34,000 vehicles from the French coast to England. Slatersteven (talk

You misunderstand what I said, I agree that, generally speaking, the army was 80% horse drawn. For Sealion, the first wave included no mechanised divisions. The second wave included six motorised or armoured divisions. There are nine divisions for the first wave and eight for the second wave, so after the second wave lands, it is 6/17 or (including additional vehicles such as swimming tanks, armoured ex-French tractors and assault guns from the first wave) about 33% mechanised/66% horse drawn. OK all the other 16 divisions in subsequent waves are infantry divisions but the most important are the ones in the first two waves - if they get through then its all over for the British. Sorry I got the wrong figure for the total force, but your figure makes the comparison even worse, 170,000 men is only 8.5% of the forces used by Overlord!!!Sitalkes (talk) 05:23, 8 May 2013 (UTC) Schenk (p 183)says that the First Wave divisions were reinforced and better equipped than other units. The first echelons were to use captured vehicles or bicycles instead of horses. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sitalkes (talkcontribs) 01:37, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

This does not negate the claim that the German armies reliance on horses was a hindrance, indeed it emphasises it. The Germans considered it a major problem and tired to rectify it. To the extent on hoping to capture motor transport on the other side of the channel (it's self an outcome of the over reliance on horses).Slatersteven (talk) 13:14, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

You misunderstand what I said. The Germsns would have used equipment captured during and after the invasion of France and Belgium from the French and British. Horses may be a lot less efficient and slower than motor vehicles but for this invasion, when augmented by the captured vehicles, they may not have been such a disadvantage. They made the troops somewhat self-sufficient for their transport and even at walking speed they could have even ridden a horse to London in a day. You can ride a bicycle from London to Brighton in two hours (average time is 4-5 hours), run/walk there in less than 12 hours, and drive there in 1.5 hours. The short distance involved means that the logistical difficulties faced were possible to overcome with horse-drawn transport. You should also mention that the American armies at D-Day were more lavishly supplied than any other army in history and as the Americans contributed a large part of the D-Day forces a direct comparison with D-Day is not valid as far as logistical requirements are concerned. It's also not valid because the Allies faced many more defending troops with many more armoured divisions than did the German invaders. The German invaders also had smaller weapons, tanks, and other equipment than required in 1944. For instance, the Pak 36 37mm AT gun could be pulled by one man a short distance but by 1944 they were using 75mm and 88mm AT guns, which were much bigger and had to be towed. The ammunition had similarly grown in size.Sitalkes (talk) 04:52, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Source of operation sealion and the use of horses being an issue [[10]]Slatersteven (talk) 13:00, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Peter Fleming says on page 229 that the number of horses was reduced to 4,200 for the first wave (466 per division) and 7,000 for the second wave. This is a small enough figure for them to be left out of the intial landing (which did not include second echelon units needing horses like artillery) and brought in during the first two weeks along with the rest of each division (assuming the unlikly circumstance that it was possible to land the rest of each division without interference from the RN).Sitalkes (talk) 23:30, 3 June 2013 (UTC) A normal infantry division required 5,000 horses so the nine assault divions would have needed 45,000 horses The first wave using 4,200 horses means that they were only using 9.3% of the usual figure and the assualt divisions would have to be regarded as being highly motorised.Sitalkes (talk) 23:37, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Or considered (in effect) immobile (look at the German objective lines, they were only expected to push a few mils in land. I also note that on page 230 Fleming says that horses represented the only means of "motive power with which guns ans limbers could be brought...from the beach head." (and yes Fleming (on page 239) says that they would have complicated the assault on the beaches).Slatersteven (talk) 11:19, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
Germany never was able to become an entirely mechanised army during WW II, and they were still using large amounts of horse-drawn transport when the surrender was signed on Lüneburg Heath in 1945. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:54, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Tactical and Technical Innovations[edit]

A new section should be added called "Tactical and Technical Innovations, or else the following should be added to the equipment section. Operation Sealion would have been the first ever amphibious invasion by a mechanised army. The Germans had to invent and improvise a lot of equipment, such as the barges and amphibious tanks already mentioned. They also intended to introduce to the battlefield for the first time in German service the following:

1. Armour piercing Ballistic capped (tungsten-cored) ammunition (Pzgr. 40) for 37 mm Pak 36, which began to be replaced by the 50 mm Pak 38 in mid-1940. The 37mm Pzgr.40 would still have had trouble penetrating the Matilda II’s armour (see so the first echelon units replaced theirs with French or Czech 47mm guns. (Schenk p. 183) The Pak 38, which could penetrate a Matilda's armour, would probably have seen action first with Sealion as it would have been issued initally to the army's elite units, and all those units were in the Sealion force.

2. French armoured tractors (p. 183 Schenk). The Renault UE Chenillette was a light tracked armoured carrier and prime mover produced by France between 1932 and 1940 - over five thousand were built. They had a storage compartment that could carry 350 kg and could pull a trailer weighing 775kg – at total of about 1000 kg. It could climb a 50% slope. The armour was 5-9mm, enough to stop shell fragments and bullets. In addition to using them on the beaches, the Germans used them as tractors for anti-tank guns and munitions carriers, as self-propelled guns, and as armoured personnel carriers. There was also the Lorraine 37L, which was larger, of which 360 fell into German hands. In that vehicle, a load of 810 kilograms could be carried plus a 690 kg trailer pulled for a total for the combination of 1.5 tonnes. The use of these tractors by the first wave units was intended to reduce their dependance on horses.

3. 48 X Stug III Ausf B Assault Guns- 7.5 cm StuK 37 L/24, 50mm armour and improved suspension. (p. 185 Schenk)

4. Wire-dropping ‘Seilbomben', a weapon which Erprobungsgruppe 210 would have used to blackout the electricity network in the south-east of England had an invasion taken place in 1940. From: Messerschmitt Bf 110 Bombsights Over England: Erprobungsgruppe 210 in the Battle of Britain by John Vasco. The equipment for dropping the wires was fitted to the Me 110 areoplanes and tested. Basically it involved dropping wires across high voltage wires, and was probably as dangerous to the crews of the aircraft as it was to the British. It would have been used just before the invasion.

5. Panzer III F/G upgraded with more armour on the mantlet and progressively from 3.7 cm KwK 36 L/46.5 to 5 cm KwK 38 L/42

6. 72 Nebelwerfers (p. 184 Schenk) (until then a secret weapon) to be landed with the second and third waves.

7. 36 X Flammpanzer II flame thrower tanks (p. 184 Schenk), 20 to land with the first wave.

Sitalkes (talk) 01:09, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Not sure it needs a new section, but give it a go and lets see how it looks. I think one or two of these need better sourcing though.Slatersteven (talk) 13:18, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

More on Logistics[edit]

I've been trying to find out the capacity of Newhaven, the port not mentioned in this article that was also in the invasion area (though probably the hardest to capture). I haven't got Fleming's book, does it say what the capacity of Newhaven was? I have received the following email from Andrew Gilbert of the Newhaven Port Authority: "Modern day throughput? Well, the port has been in great decline over the past 25 years or so. Apart from the ferry traffic to Dieppe, there isn't that much activity and there is no access for large vessels any more as the harbour isn't dredged as much as it was.

Go back to WWII and things were much different. Newhaven had much more quayside available than Folkestone. It was a busy railway port before the wars and the cargo steamers that ran between Newhaven and Dieppe, plus the coasters visiting the North Quay, meant that there were plenty of cranes on the quayside. It would easily have handled much more than Folkestone. To get an idea of the potential throughput, you could always study the activity of the port at the time of D-Day.

If the town had been overrun, there was a huge labour force working at the port that could have been pressed into action by the Germans. However, Newhaven was well defended by the large guns at Newhaven Fort (maximum 10") and an artillery battery at Tidemills between Newhaven and Seaford, plus an ingenious method of setting fire to the harbour entrance using burning oil. It wouldn't have been the easiest place to invade from the sea."

Newhaven was also the port from which the Dieppe raid was launched. Based on what Andrew says, that would give an (intact, fully repaired) Newhaven approximately 700 tons a day, for a total maximun 2100 tons or 63% of the total needed. The point that there wasn't enough capacity is not changed, but I would like this added for completeness, if it can be found in a book somewhereSitalkes (talk) 23:34, 21 May 2013 (UTC).

In addition there was Rye, which supports a fishing fleet and has a commercial wharf. Before the war there was a steamship service from Rye to Boulogne, so sea-going ships could use the port, though the amount of capacity to add to the total is likely to be small. The figure of 3,300 tons per day necessary includes 600 tons per day for the two airborne divisions even though some of that would have been landed by air.

A non-motorised German infantry division would need 53 tons of hay and oats, 54 tons of food, 20 tons of petrol, one ton of lubricants, ten tons of ordinance and another 12 tons of miscellaneous supplies plus ammunition and baggage (approx 150 tons total per day). [1] Once a lodgement has been made, many of those things can be taken from local people. A German division was expected to find a local source of supply for such things. Only weapons and ammunition could not be found locally. So if we add the hay and oats food, petrol, and lubricants together, about 85% could be sourced locally (until it runs out) and only 25% has to be shipped over. If the demands for ordnance, ammunition, baggage, and supplies are doubled then you get around 200 tons demand and 64% can be supplied locally, only 36% has to be shipped. If we keep the figure of 128 tons supplied locally and increase to 300 tons the amount needed (the usual figure for an infantry division) then the figure becomes 42% that has to be shipped.

As stated above, the total capacity may have been greater than 63% of total needs but the ports would be damaged so lets say only 42% were available and it would seem that the ability to supply the troops may not have been so limiting initially if supplies shipped over were mainly ordnance, ammunition, baggage and miscellaneous supplies. Whether there were enough local supplies to be seized to last two weeks (before the breakout) is therefore of interest.Sitalkes (talk) 00:40, 24 May 2013 (UTC)


I'll have a look (I have Invasion 1940) but as it has no index I will have to read it again in full.Slatersteven (talk) 10:53, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
As you have altered tjis I shall add a new resposnes, do you have a source for the fact the Germans would gave had no trouble finding forage and fuel, as well as food)?Slatersteven (talk) 10:53, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

It's not a fact. It's the same as saying the Germans wouldn't have been able to supply themselves, it is supposition. Neither actually happened. There was an excess of petroleum in the UK at the time, so plenty was available - as noted in the section on British defensive measures. Preparations were made to plug petrol stations but on page 82 Peter Fleming says that there was confusion as to how such measures as putting sugar in car petrol tanks were to be implemented and as such measures were contrary to self-interest (and were not implemented during the invasion scare) the implementation is likely to have been inconsistent at least. Britain had not been invaded for 1,000 years (or so Britons liked to think) so there were a lot of things to take and there wasn't the experience with hiding them from invaders that people from the continent had. If the Germans had to take food from the British people to feed themselves there seems little doubt they would do so. If the British navy cut off German supplies and/or the Germans were unable to move out of the bridgehead this would eventually not be enough but it might be enough for the first two weeks.Sitalkes (talk) 23:59, 29 May 2013 (UTC) Don't worry, I bought the book, he doesn't mention any other ports. Also Peter Fleming says on page 237 that a German infantry division used 300 tons per day of supplies.Sitalkes (talk) 02:59, 27 May 2013 (UTC) I got an answer from Philip Baldock, Curator of the Newhaven Fort Museum. I asked him how many troops embarked there for D-Day. He says "At any one time the port could handle four medium coasters, 3 LCT, 1 LCI and 1,800 troops per embarkation and 19 vessels per 24 hours." Seems strange the Peter Fleming ignored that port.Sitalkes (talk) 23:42, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Petrol was rationed, what source do you have for the idea it was plentiful all over the country? Food was in short supply, you can only take what people have. As to why would a port that was built up over fur year to support an invasion have not been mentioned as similar in capacity four years before. Well that is fairly obvious. You are correct, your argument (and mine) rest too much on OR to be include, we can only say what RS actually say.Slatersteven (talk) 11:40, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

I have received another email, this time from the Newhaven Historical Society. They say (a) 1n the 1914/18 Great War Newhaven port was the principle supply port for the Western front and some idea of the amounts of the materials of war passing through can be gauged in that throughout the 4 years supply trains arrived at the docks on average every 30 minutes. In the 2nd World War Newhaven again had an important role particularly in respect of the invasion of Europe. (b) In addition to its locomotive shed and repair facility rail tracks existed on either side on the harbour connected by the swing bridge (c) A large coal wharf on the West side of the harbour provided for a local gas producer and in 1975handled 154,000 tons (d) There were several sites in the harbour available for landing type craft (e) The North quay handled 556000 tons in 1975 (f) The East quay handled 164000 tons in 1975 Other than Roll on roll off ,the Ports principle activity, in the following years I give the tonnages of general cargo handled by conventional ships: 1984 851900 tons; 1985 903260; 1986 980298; 1987 957905; 1988 1,109,727 Anyway now I do have a RS, it's the source of Peter Fleming's book."Notes on German Preparation for Invasion of the United Kingdom, MI 14, 2nd edn. January 1942" gives the capacity of Newhaven as 500 tons a day (Appendix XXXIV, page 177) so that can be included. The document also gives the capacity of the beaches between Folkestone and Dungeness as initally 5,200 tons rising to 6,800 tons after seven days. So that figure should be added as well. The beaches between Eastbourne and Dungeness are not mentioned but would have had a similar capacity. As Ramsgate is included in their figures, we will include that and also add Rye at 50 tons rising to 150 tons. The figure of 500 tons for Newhaven is a little low, so we will make it 700 tons maximum. This gives a total for all beaches and ports of 10,950 tons initally rising to 16,050 tons after a week, assuming Dover can be captured. The Germans didn't have to worry about petrol rationing, they would just take what they find. However as I have now worked out that the inital landings were to be made with divisions using less than 10% of their usual horses. They can be classed as being close to fully motorised so they would need additional fuel and less fodder, and can use the motorised figure of 200 tons a day. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sitalkes (talkcontribs) 03:55, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Can we keep this talk page narrowly focused on article improvement, using reliable sources? Discussing facts gleaned from emails is out of bounds into WP:NOR territory. Thank you. Binksternet (talk) 03:59, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Anyway, this is how I think that section should be written Four years later the Allied D-Day landings showed a lot of material had to be landed continuously to maintain an amphibious invasion. (the D-day landings were different in many vital respects and are not directly comparable, a reference is needed) The problem for the Germans was worse, as the German Army was mostly horse-drawn. One of its prime headaches would have been transporting thousands of horses across the Channel.[72] The number of horses was reduced 90 % and efforts made to motorise the first echelons but there were still 4,200 horses for the first wave (466 per division) and 7,000 for the second wave. [Fleming, p. 229] British intelligence calculated that due to the short supply lines and the short distance to be travelled, the first wave of 11 divisions (including the two airborne divisions, one of which would land later) would require a daily average of 3,300 tons of supplies.[73] (In Russia in 1941, when engaged in heavy fighting at the end of a very long supply line a German infantry division required 1,100 tons of supplies a day).[74]). A more usual figure would be 212-425 tons per day.[75]

British intelligence further calculated that the capacity of the harbours within the invasion zone would have been insufficient to meet the needs of the invasion force. They calculated Folkestone could handle 150 tons per day in the first week of the invasion (assuming all dockside equipment was successfully demolished and regular RAF bombing raids reduced capacity by 50%). Within seven days, maximum capacity was expected to rise to 600 tons per day, once German shore parties had made repairs to the quays and cleared the harbour of any blockships and other obstacles. To this could be added 500 tons a day at Newhaven [page 177 Notes on German Preparation etc] , while the beaches between Folkestone and Dungeness could land a further 5,200 tons a day, rising to 6,800 tons after a week.[page 182 Notes on German Preparation for Invasion of the United Kingdom]. Figures for Rye and the beaches between Eastbourne and Dungeness are not given. This meant that, while good weather lasted, at best, the nine German infantry and two airborne divisions landed initially could receive enough supplies. As soon as any bad weather hit the beaches, though, only about a third of the 3,300 tons of supplies they required each day (plus some air-dropped) would be delivered. [76]

The capture of Dover and its harbour facilities was expected to add another 800 tons per day, raising to 60% the amount of supplies brought in through ports, but this rested on the assumption of little or no interference from the Royal Navy and RAF with the German supply convoys shuttling between the Continent and the invasion beaches.[76] Sitalkes (talk) 05:13, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

WP:CALC may not help you avoid all of the problems of WP:NOR that are present in your above work. The 90 percent reduction of horses is from what source? You cite Fleming but he does not give that figure; he says the Germans were trying to "cut down the number of horses in the first and second waves; though reduced to 4,200 and 7,000 respectively, the totals were regarded as being still too high." Your assumption is that a division used 4,660 horses (the 90 percent reduction takes this down to 466.) However, the Intelligence Bulletin lists three different numbers of horses for German divisions: 4,600 in 1944, 6,300 in 1943 because of fuel shortages, and 5,300 for the standard German division at the early stages of the war. Binksternet (talk) 15:16, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

OK for the horses I had only seen a "more than 5000 per division" figure so calculated it at 4200 / 45000 = 9.3% (i.e. 90.7%)and rounded it off. This is an early war situation so using your figures it should be 4200/47700 or 8.8% i.e. a 91.2% reduction. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sitalkes (talkcontribs) 03:43, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

In "Hitler on the Doorstep", by Egbert Kieser (Naval institute Press, Annapolis, 1997), it says on page 226 that "Rations for two weeks were provided because the armies had been instructed to live off the land as far as possible in order to minimise supply across the Channel during the initial phase of the battle." This should be added to the section on Logistics. Sitalkes (talk) 02:33, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

"Four years later, the Allied D-Day landings showed just how much material had to be landed continuously to maintain an amphibious invasion." This unreferenced statement should be modified to say "Four years later, the Allied D-Day landings showed just how much material had to be landed continuously to maintain an amphibious invasion and that it was possible to sustain an army over the beaches (without the use of a substantial port) for three months. The Omaha Beach Mulberry was substantially destroyed in the 19 June storm and only vestigial jetties of the sort the Germans planned to build remained but this continued in use until September 1944. The problem for the Germans was that they would have a much shorter time in which to use the beaches before the winter storms arrived." Sitalkes (talk) 08:50, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

Disagree, whilst one mulberry harbour was destroyed the other was not, and the Germans had nothing comparable.Slatersteven (talk) 10:37, 15 July 2017 (UTC) Yes the Germans did have something comparable to what the Allies used on Omaha Beach for three months and the statement that it was possible to supply an army group over the beaches for three months without access to a major port remains correct. Even Utah beach, which had no mulberry at all, was useful. By the end of June 6, 20,000 troops and 1,700 vehicles had landed on Utah beach (the shortest beach). In one day at Utah beach, the Americans landed three divisions. At Omaha and Utah, (just two out of five Normandy beaches) 6,614 tons of cargo was discharged in the first 3 days. A month after D-Day, Omaha and Utah were handling 9,200 tons, and after a further month, they were landing 16,000 tons per day. This increased until 56,200 tons of supplies, 20,000 vehicles, and 180,000 troops were discharged each day at those beaches. Despite the fuss made about the Mulberry harbours, they actually provided less than half the total (at least on good weather days) to begin with. Godfrey, Major Frederick. “The Logistics of Invasion” 12/8/2013 Sitalkes (talk) 04:15, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
And the allies had huge amounts of shipping and specialized landing craft (as well as total control of the sea). D-Day was the largest amphibious landing ever launched. But what we think is irrelevant, do any RS support either statement?Slatersteven (talk) 08:55, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
That link comes back dead, & the ALU search turns up no mention of Godfrey's work... TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 14:40, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

Took 2 seconds to find these links to it: Try or Sitalkes (talk) 01:39, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

I see no mention of Sealion.Slatersteven (talk) 07:33, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

No mention of sealion is needed, the article makes clear that it was possible to supply an army group via small ports and over the beaches for three months and that those sources of supply were more important than the Mulberry Harbour. That's all that needs to be said, you can make your own inferences about it.Sitalkes (talk) 01:49, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

That is Synthesis, we need a source that says the Germans could have done it. You says the Germans had concrete block ships they were going to sink to form a breakwater, can you provide a source for that as I do not recall seeing it. To be comparable the Germans would have had to have all the resources the allies did on D-day, the Germans only just had enough ships to move the first wave. There are other issues as well, all of which impact upon the ability to support an army from a beach head, shall we make a check list to see if the Germans could match it?08:45, 21 July 2017 (UTC)


The deportation section just sounds like wartime propaganda — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:48, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Edit war re objective of the operation[edit]

Closing discussion about edits by sockpuppet of banned HarveyCarter. Binksternet (talk) 00:11, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

There has been an edit war going on lately regarding whether the objective of the operation was the elimination of Great Britain or the elimination of the United Kingdom as a base of military operations against the German Reich. Editors Binksternet and TalispinMarcahnt appear to either have violated the three revert rule or to have come close to violating that rule. This edit war needs to stop and a consensus about this needs to be reached by discussion here (see WP:BRD).

This follows after this August 2013 edit in which an anonymous editor changed the asserted objective from "Elimination of the English home country ..." to "Elimination of Great Britain" without citing support and without providing an edit summary.

I'm not a WW-II historian, but I note that "Führer Directive 16", which is cited as the supporting source for the asserted objective, reads in part: "The aim of this operation will be to eliminate the English homeland as a base for the prosecution of the war against Germany and, if necessary, to occupy it completely." Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 22:11, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Obviously the Germans had to overrun the UK, as the Royal Navy was operating from Northern Ireland. During World War II the term "England" was often used to refer to the UK. Churchill did this all the time, often to the annoyance of Scottish listeners. (TalispinMarcahnt (talk) 23:00, 16 March 2014 (UTC))
Does the source cited support that? Is it original research? Should another source which better supports this analysis be cited? Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 23:51, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Kapok sacks for added buoyancy makes no sense[edit]

in regards to the schwimpanzer the floatation "boxes were machined from aluminium stock and filled with Kapok sacks for added buoyancy". The Kapok would not add buoyancy inside a sealed tank (actually it would decrease slightly due to greater density). The kapok would however provide buoyancy if the aluminium tanks were holed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:16, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Somewhat unclear section in lead[edit]

"Many historians and senior German military figures have concluded that Adolf Hitler never actually intended to invade England"

Could someone please elaborate on this? It seems to be a bit contradictory to have an article acknowledging that Hitler had a plan to invade England, but then saying he never intended to. JDiala (talk) 06:15, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

It#s fairly well sourced that many in the German high command believed that Sealion was just a bluff to force Britain to the negotiating tabl;

e. this is all discussed in the body of the article.Slatersteven (talk) 14:49, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

John Terraine, in The Right of the Line: the Royal Air Force in the European War 1939-1945 (Hodder & Stoughton 1985, pbk Sceptre 1988, ISBN 0-340-41919-9), has this footnote, p.724:--

'The sincerity of Hitler's intention to invade Britain has been called into question inside and outside Germany. Major-General J.F.C. Fuller, in his Decisive Battles of the Western World (iii, p.411), says bluntly: "The truth is, with the possible exception of Goering... nobody believed in Operation Sealion." Wood and Dempster, on the other hand, state equally firmly: "If, as has been postulated, the Sealion invasion plan was purely an exercise to frighten and put pressure on Britain, then it must have been the most expensive exercise ever." Germany, they insist, "had every intention of invading if Britain did not sue for peace" (The Narrow Margin, p.118). This view is strongly supported by Herr von Plehve, who, in 1940, was posted as assistant to the Head of the German Army's liaison staff at Naval Headquarters. The Navy's chief preoccupation was the assembly of the requisite shipping, which it estimated to be 3,800 vessels of all types. Von Plehve says: "To all those in the know the mass of work put into creating and marshalling this invasion fleet was irrefutable proof that preparations for Operation Sealion were being taken seriously." The "almost total requisitioning of all inland water transport in Germany" had, he says, very serious effects on the German economy; "many large German towns could only be supplied with food 'with the greatest difficulty'." None of this dislocation, he says, "would have been necessary had the preparations for Sealion been nothing but a bluff" (RUSI Journal, March 1973). This would seem to be conclusive.'

It would indeed. Those barges packing out the Channel ports didn't come from nowhere and Germany depended heavily on inland waterway transportation. Germany began the war with bread rationing, which Britain didn't impose till the hunger winter of 1947. Shortages of even vital foodstuffs were the rule, and they became acute during that summer of 1940 when all the river barges were diverted to the Channel ports for Sealion. (See, for instance, The Klemperer Diaries 1933-1945 by Victor Klemperer.)

It wasn't a bluff. (talk) 19:32, 13 March 2015 (UTC)Hugo Barnacle

Specialised Landing Equipment[edit]

The section on Specialised Landing Equipment is somewhat selective in that it does not mention two other solutions developed for Sealion. Page 135 of Schenk says that the 16th Army tested a prefabricated landing stage in the winter of 1940/41. "This mobile Landebrüke 674 for loads up to 16 tons was to be carried on the pontoons of the First Wave and assembled in about four hours on shore... The VII Corps planned to transport four of these ramps." Another 16th Army solution was "fixed landing bridges which would take about eight days to build... Several wooden versions were tested which were capable of withstanding quite rough conditions for several weeks. The Army provided 600m long temporary bridges capable of carrying a 16-ton load; each First Wave division was to transport an 80m run of this bridge, 120m run of an 8-ton bridge, 340m of the trackway for bridges of inflatable boats, and 400m for trestle bridges."

Also not mentioned in that section is that the Piers at Eastbourne and Hastings only had one span blown in them, and the Germans planned to fix them with bridging equipment, then unload ships onto the piers (presumably after destroying the buildings on the piers). (this is described in "Invasion" by Kenneth Macksey)

Other armoured engineer equipment is also not mentioned. The following were issued to Panzer divisions prior to September 1940 but (since the Panzers were in the second wave) probably available only to the second and subsequent waves.

- SdKfz 251/7. This was a Standard Sd.Kfz.251 converted for use by Panzerpionier companies .It was fitted with racks to carry two small assault bridges, heavy equipment and other equipment such as mines, tools etc. Sd.Kfz.251/7 used by HQ units was fitted with additional radio equipment.

- Brückenleger IV - 20 of these Panzer IV Bridgelayers were available, listed in pioneer units for early to mid 1940. From February to May of 1940, 20 Pz IV Ausf C/Ds were converted by Krupp to bridge layers – Bruckenleger IVb. 16 vehicles were mounted with bridging equipment by Magirus and 4 by Krupp. The Krupp version used a pivoted A-frame to swing the bridge span from its place on top of the tank across the gap. The Magirus version used hydraulic rams and a tipping frame to slide the bridge frame across the gap. They saw service in Belgium and France in 1940 with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 10th Panzer Divisions (four per division). In late 1940, most were converted back to ordinary Panzer IVs'. 60 were ordered but the contract was cancelled when it was found that they were rarely used and anyway tactical surprise and the coup de main were more effective tactics. Nevertheless, In January 1941, Krupp completed 4 newer Bruckenleger IVc bridge layers. They saw service in 1941 in Russia with 3rd Panzer Division. The bridge could span 9m (30 feet) and carry 30 tonnes.[1]

- Bruckenleger IV s / Sturmstegpanzer - A strange vehicle using fire ladders to act as bridging structures for infantry use. The Infanterie Sturmsteg auf PzKpfw IV – was a 56m long infantry assault bridge mounted on Panzer IV Ausf C . Only 4 were made and they saw service in France in 1940 and in Russia in 1941 with 3rd Panzer Division.

- Ladungsleger auf Panzer I Ausf. B. Either 10 or 100 built (10 issued per panzer division). In 1939/40, 100 PzKpfw I Ausf A/B were converted into Ladungsleger) – 50/75kg explosive charge layer vehicle. Two variants existed and differed only in the equipment used for the delivery of the charge (an arm that stretched over the vehicle). They were especially designed for engineer units to provide them with the charge carrier for delayed action explosives. The armour was rather thin but at least it was a small target, same idea as a Churchill AVRE dustbin-thrower.

- Borgward B 1 (Sd Kfz 300)- The Borgward company developed a small radio-contolled tracked vehicle weighing about two tonnes and built 50 between 1939 and May 40. It was designed to tow mine-clearing rollers and to be expendable. Its armour was 12mm on the front plate only. In April of 1940, The B II was ordered and it was planned to produce additional 100 BII vehicles starting in July of 1940. The B II was to be larger and powered by 6 cylinder engine but only prototypes were made and issued to Mineraeum-Kompanie. An amphibious (swimming) variant of the BII, known as Ente (Duck) was produced in prototype form only. The Panzer Befehlswagen I was used as the radio control vehicle for both BI and BII. The B II developed into the much better known B IV, which could drop a 500 kg explosive charge on its target – 500 of all models were built. There was also a single Schwimmkörper version of the B IV. The Goliath was ordered in 1940 but not first used until 1942. [2]

- Panzer 38(t) Ausf. A mit Schwimmkörper - 150 Panzer 38(t) amphibious tanks built for Sealion but although there were Panzer 38(t) tanks in the Sealion panzer divisions (7th and 8th), I've never seen them mentioned in a Sealion context. They were the first type built and the amphibious Panzer II used the same method.

- Brückenleger auf Panzer II Ausf. B - Panzer II bridgelayer tanks. It is not known how many of these conversions were made, but four were known to have been in service with the 7th Panzer Division in France in May 1940. An attempt was made to also make a bridgelayer version of the Panzer 1 but it was decided that both these models were too small to be useful.

- Panzer IV Ausf. C mit Minenrollern Sd.Kfz. 161 - a prototype Panzer IV mineroller was built, shows the Germans knew of the idea, perhaps more could have been available for a later invasion.Sitalkes (talk) 00:09, 10 October 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^ The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Military Vehicles, Ian Hogg and John Weeks, p. 233-234
  2. ^ The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Military Vehicles, Ian Hogg and John Weeks, p. 233
Not sure little wars is RS.Slatersteven (talk) 11:02, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

The information on German engineering vehicles etc has now been published in World At War issue 50 October-November 2016 pp. 68-71Sitalkes (talk) 23:41, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Landing Craft[edit]

The Landing Craft section doesn't include Siebel/Herbert ferries (the Luftwaffe navy!!) and also there is no mention of the many other types of craft that were to be used to transport troops and equipment, such as coasters and transport ships. The article makes it seem like the entire German army was to be transported in barges, whereas the transports were a significant component and the main reason that ports were needed (to unload them). No troops at all were to be transported in barges to the westernmost beaches - there the troops were to be transported in coasters and barges were to be towed empty behind the transports so they could be used for unloading.

Walter Ansel says (pp 104-105) the Siebel ferries were engineer pontoons used as catamaran floats spanned by a sturdy deck, on which could be mounted three 88mm guns plus a 20mm quad and a twin 20mm mounting, or if only 20mm's were used 60 to 80 tons of cargo or troops could be transported, i.e. about 150 men/ two companies of infantry. For propulsion they used the power of obsolete aircraft and truck engines, at first turning air screws and later water propellers. The craft drew little water but did well in a seaway at speeds of 9 to 11 knots. During the summer of 1940 Siebel got 181 assorted air-screw driven ferries ready and also 128 air-screw driven prahms (in the latter case it was decided only to use the air screws for the final run-in and for maneuvering). Ansell "had the pleasure of riding one during 1953 and found her a very able little ship." Ansell's figures are based on an interview he had with Siebel.

For Operation Sea Lion, the Luftwaffe organized the Siebel ferries into two flotillas: Flakkorps I (assigned to 9th Army) and Flakkorps II (assigned to 16th Army). They were intended to provide flank defense against air, ground and surface targets for the First Wave tow formations. Each Siebel ferry would transport a complete flak unit including their prime movers (although 9th Army planned to transport the necessary towing vehicles and support personnel separately via barges). Upon reaching the invasion beaches, the ferries were to land their flak units and then assist with unloading the larger steamers anchored offshore. 88mm equals 3.5" and the Army rather disingenuously referred to the Siebel ferries as “destroyer substitutes"!!

The following comes from Schenk: Transport ships ranged in size from 1,000 tons to 12,000 tons. For instance, the Cap Guir was 1,536 tons; the Niedenfels was 7,839 tons; the Kerguelen (a passenger ship) was 10, 123 tons. Most of the freighters based at Rotterdam were equipped with army field guns, up to three per ship. The Army considered heavy armament necessary, if only for morale, and had the Engineers install Army guns on temporary mounts.....the 7.5cm guns... were mounted on wooden platforms fore and aft or alongside superstructures where they would not interfere with loading, since the entire deck area was reserved for tall, heavy vehicles. The 17th Infantry Division developed a rotating platform for two guns, and since they were to be mounted permanently, they were allocated their own Army crews. Tests carried out on the steamer R1 [i.e. shooting from the ship at a target using 75mm guns not AA guns] resulted in six near misses at a range of 600m to 1,000m with 40 rounds fired [15%] and this was considered good."

The Navy only installed light anti-aircraft guns. For this purpose the Navy Anti-Aircraft Detachment 200 (Marine-Flak Abteilung) in Kiel-Holtenau was placed under the Commanding Admiral France on 3 September 1940.Sitalkes (talk) 00:59, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

There is a picture of two Sealion transports here: Two Sealion transports The RO11 Alkaid (5,483 GRT; rated to carry 550 men, 200 horses and 97 vehicles) and the RO 12 Damsterdijk (10,155 GRT; similar Drechtdijk was rated to carry 2,500 men, 305 horses, 127 vehicles), taken from Volume 7 of Gröner et al., "Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945". Alkaid has a platform for a single 20 mm gun on the bow and a machine gun at the stern, while Damsterdijk has a platform for a single 20 mm at the stern. Sitalkes (talk) 02:15, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

either you have added the information, or you need to read the article more carefully.Slatersteven (talk) 10:30, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

The article mentions the type AF landing craft but these were different from the Sebel and Herbert ferries, as the AF type were modified barges. The article makes no mention of the size of the proposed invasion fleet, the use of ships and other types of vessels, or the plans to have four invasion fleets, each with their own escorts. Sitalkes (talk) 00:22, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Hiring an escort[edit]

The recent delete of a mention of the 109's notoriously short range merits (some) reconsideration. I agree, as originally written, it was OT, but it isn't insignificant. If the 109 was to defend the beachhead, this factor would have an impact on success, wouldn't it? Not to mention on Britain's ability to strike back. Thoughts? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 23:26, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

I deleted that bit per WP:SYNTH, because The Pipe had composed the text based on sources describing the Battle of Britain, not Operation Sealion. I'm in favor of any well-composed text taken from reliable sources discussing Sealion with regard to the difficulty of air cover. Of course the short range of Germany's single-engine fighters would have been a problem. Binksternet (talk) 00:37, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
Maybe I'm missing the point, but if the sources say range is an issue, & we have sources saying these same types would be used to cover the invasion... Would you (do you) insist the source say something well known? Something readily established elsewhere (even if the context differs)? The issue isn't a conclusion about the success or failure of the operation, it's only a source of a particular fact. Am I thinking like a researcher? :( TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 06:07, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately that is pretty much a textbook example of synthesis. From the guideline: If one reliable source says A, and another reliable source says B, do not join A and B together to imply a conclusion C that is not mentioned by either of the sources. In this case, we have sourced fact A (range was an issue for the 109 in the Battle of Britain) and sourced fact B (the 109 would be used in Sealion), and reaching unsourced conclusion C (the range of the 109 would be an issue in Sealion). Regards, Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 15:52, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
♠If that's the guideline, it's ridiculous. That amounts to saying one source claiming the Me-109's speed is 350mph, another saying the Spitfire's is 340, & not being able to say the Spitfire is slower unless one or both expressly says so.
♠In this instance, however, I'm fairly sure there will be sources saying range is an issue, as it had been in the Battle of Britain...& my original point remains. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 19:55, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
All of the Battle of Britain authors say that the BoB was, initially at least, Germany's attempt to clear out the RAF prior to invasion. So of course the BoB was the aerial precursor to Sea Lion. Germany's failure in the air put the whole Sea Lion question on hold until the next Spring, which basically killed it. Of course there were other very thorny practical problems with the invasion plan, especially naval problems which had not been worked out, but if Germany wasn't able to control the air over the beaches then the invasion was doomed. So the BoB's fighter range problem was critical. I get that. (By the way, WP:CALC allows simple arithmetic comparisons, a form of allowed synthesis.)
What I'm asking here is that we tell the reader what has been said in the literature about Sea Lion, not what we can predict ourselves from reading about the Battle of Britain. It's not that hard. Binksternet (talk) 02:28, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
♠I do know simple calculation is allowed. :) I couldn't think of a better example... :(
♠Beyond that, I'm not (fiercely ;p ) suggesting any synthesis at all, since I expect any source on Seelöwe will mention the range issue. It just strikes me as another slightly crackbrained WP rule... (Needless to say, I'm often in disagreement.)
♠Once we've got the sources to support it, & the issue can be addressed on the page, I'm happy--even if it does take a bit more looking. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 03:33, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

You're not elves[edit]

Are the Typ AFs mentioned the same as the Siebel ferries encountered by Brit MTBs in the Med? Any connection to him? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 00:35, 9 September 2015 (UTC) No there were several different types of barges, including the type AF. The Siebel and Herbert ferries were not barges. The latter may have been encountered in the Med but more likely to be encountered were the MFP's, which the British called "F Lighters" and which were armed well enough to be able to take on a MTB. If the MTB set its torpedo depth wrongly, the torpedo could simply pass under the shallow draught of an MFP without affecting it.Sitalkes (talk) 06:00, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

Battle of Britain[edit]

The Battle of Britain section is rather incoherent, I've been working through what sources say regarding the paragraph which claims that "The effect of the switch in strategy is disputed."

The effect of the switch in strategy is disputed. Some historians argue the change in strategy lost the Luftwaffe the opportunity of winning the air battle, or air superiority.[1] Others argue the Luftwaffe achieved little in the air battle and the RAF was not on the verge of collapse, as often claimed.[2] Another perspective has also been put forward, which suggests the Germans could not have gained air superiority before the weather window closed.[3] Others have said that it was unlikely the Luftwaffe would ever be able to destroy RAF Fighter Command. If British losses became severe, the RAF could simply have withdrawn northward and regrouped. It could then deploy when, or if, the Germans launched an invasion. Most historians agree Sea Lion would have failed regardless, because of the weaknesses of German sea power compared to the Royal Navy.[4]

This is what the available sources showed, with the comments made by sources I don't have to hand left unchanged other than identifying the cited author:

The effect of the switch to strategic bombing is a matter of debate among historians. Some argue the change in strategy lost the Luftwaffe the opportunity of winning the air battle, or air superiority.[5] Stephen Bungay regards the change as not being crucial: it was followed by some of the best days for the German air force. He says that RAF fighter command had gained a decisive victory by surviving the onslaught. Despite a common belief that the RAF was on the verge of collapse at the start of September, the Luftwaffe had failed to achieve achieved lasting damage to the airfields or control structure, and the RAF continued to increase its strength.[6] E. R. Hooton suggests the Germans could not have gained air superiority before the weather window closed.[7] James Corum has said that it was unlikely the Luftwaffe would ever be able to destroy RAF Fighter Command. His view is that if British losses became severe, the RAF could simply have withdrawn northward and regrouped. It could then deploy when, or if, the Germans launched an invasion.[8] Richard Overy points to the way in which the RAF used resources of all the British bases to receive the front line defence and says that, had the forward airfields been overwhelmed and abandoned, this could have reduced the effectiveness of defences against incursions by bombers.[9] In Bungay's view, the most probable outcome had always been a negotiated settlement, and a withdrawal from airfields in the south-eastern sector would have led to great pressure on the British government to accept a non-aggression pact: a report on 8 August indicated that many in Parliament were ready to accept peace terms, and Churchill was widely regarded as a reckless adventurer.[10] Corum says Sea Lion would have failed regardless, because of the weaknesses of German sea power compared to the Royal Navy.[8] Overy comments that if the Germans had achieved air supremacy, the Luftwaffe would have significantly damaged the Royal Navy fleet.[9]

This was work in progress, the change was reverted as supposedly "POV-pushing by relying only on sources for one view" Obviously the same sources are cited as well as additional ones, do you have other sources you feel should be represented? In my view this portrayal of a dispute among historians is wrongly detracting from a clear explanation of what the section's supposed to be about: can you clarify the intended topic of the section? Thanks, . dave souza, talk 21:36, 14 November 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Wood and Dempster 2003, pp. 212–213.
  2. ^ Bungay 2000, pp. 368–369.
  3. ^ Hooton 2010, p. 80.
  4. ^ Corum 1997, pp. 283–284.
  5. ^ Wood and Dempster 2003, pp. 212–213.
  6. ^ Bungay 2000, pp. 368–369.
  7. ^ Hooton 2010, p. 80.
  8. ^ a b Corum 1997, pp. 283–284.
  9. ^ a b Richard Overy 2010, p. 111.
  10. ^ Bungay 2000, pp. 386–387.
My objection to the edit as it stood was its reliance on only sources taking a single position, implying German success. A WIP with such a strong POV should not, IMO, be done on the page, but sandboxed: this page is the one the broader readership will be coming to, & it needs to be NPOV & stable. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 00:23, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
What German success? All the sources I've seen agree that the Germans failed to gain the air superiority they sought. The paragraph claims historians dispute the effect of that, so let's see if we can clarify things for the general reader rather than confusing various points. . . dave souza, talk 05:03, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • All agree the Germans didn't win the air battle, or air superiority. . . dave souza, talk 05:03, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • "Some historians argue the change in strategy lost the Luftwaffe the opportunity of winning the air battle, or air superiority." – they changed strategy because they'd not won the air battle in the available time that year. Bungay explores the nuances of it, but that's surely material to the BoB article rather than Seelöwe. . dave souza, talk 05:03, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • "Others argue the Luftwaffe achieved little in the air battle and the RAF was not on the verge of collapse, as often claimed." Again, they lost the battle because they didn't achieve much and the RAF was never pushed to the verge of collapse, but it was close at times and different German tactics could have defeated the RAF. Surely a discussion for the BoB article rather than Seelöwe. dave souza, talk 05:03, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • "Another perspective has also been put forward, which suggests the Germans could not have gained air superiority before the weather window closed." – that's the same perspective, the Germans failed to get air superiority in the available time for Seelöwe to go ahead in 1940, and surely something worth stating explicitly. I don't see any disagreement among historians on that. . dave souza, talk 05:03, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • "Others have said that it was unlikely the Luftwaffe would ever be able to destroy RAF Fighter Command." – we know they failed because of tactical decisions they took, and discussion of that's surely for the BoB article rather than here. . dave souza, talk 05:03, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • "If British losses became severe, the RAF could simply have withdrawn northward and regrouped. It could then deploy when, or if, the Germans launched an invasion." Overy points out that this would have allowed more bombers to get through, Bungay's view is that this would have been likely to force the peace negotiations for the non-agression pact the Germans wanted. It's whatiffery, and why debate it here? . . . dave souza, talk 05:03, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • "Most historians agree Sea Lion would have failed regardless" – all agree that it was set up for failure because it was badly planned, and the OKW thought it would fail even before the Battle of France. For it to have had any hope air superiority was essential. Bungay writes "It is tempting but idle to speculate about whether Sealion could have succeeded. Historians have argued both sides of the case." He gives a couple of examples as a footnote, but goes on to say that it can be assessed as a plan, and it was a terrible gamble. . . dave souza, talk 05:03, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • "because of the weaknesses of German sea power compared to the Royal Navy." Overy's 2o10 introduction says "It has also been argued with vigour that it was the Royal Navy, not the air force, which really prevented the invasion and 'won' the Battle of Britain by posing an insuperable threat to any invasion force. This is a reasonable argument as far as it goes, but it ignores the substantial damage that the German Air Force would have have done to the fleet in the absence of the RAF." Looks like our Limitations of the Luftwaffe section is pov pushing, improvements needed. Bungay notes that Seelöwe was politically serious, and Directive 17 had multiple aims: something to explore in more depth, while avoiding whatiffery. Not specific to the Air power section. . dave souza, talk 05:03, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

"Most historians agree Sea Lion would have failed regardless" – all agree that it was set up for failure because it was badly planned, and the OKW thought it would fail even before the Battle of France. For it to have had any hope air superiority was essential. Bungay writes "It is tempting but idle to speculate about whether Sealion could have succeeded. Historians have argued both sides of the case." He gives a couple of examples as a footnote, but goes on to say that it can be assessed as a plan, and it was a terrible gamble. . . dave souza, talk 05:03, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

Which historian has argued that argued that Sealion could have succeeded ?--JustinSmith (talk) 12:27, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

Post-war wargaming of the plan[edit]

This section is guilty of POV pushing. It does not mention that the Germans were delighted with their success, and that they were successful until the British navy arrived. On 23 Sep-- "The RAF had lost 237 planes out 1048 (167 fighters & 70 bombers), & the RN had suffered such heavy losses such that it was keeping its BBs & CVs back..." "The airfields of 11 Group were cratered ruins, and once more the threat of collapse, which had receded in early September, was looming." Even constrained by Goering's idiotic decisions, the Luftwaffe has still managed to virtually annihilate RAF Fighter Command.

The wargame suffered from the following faults:
  • The wargame assumed there were 25 divisions in the UK, of which only 17 were fully equipped, and only three were based in Kent." Actually there were only four fully equipped divisions in the UK at that time, and they were all in the GHQ reserve north-west of London. Even those divisions were short of some types of transport.
  • The only type of craft in the invasion fleet were river barges, which is totally incorrect." invasion barges proved desperately unseaworthy" - the invasion barges could stay afloat in sea states up to 6 and you can watch 5 videos of identical barges crossing the channel without trouble on YouTube
  • The Home Fleet sails from Scarpa Flow, which it would not have done, as an attempted break-out into the Atlantic was expected, and there was a great fear of air attack on the major surface units in the relatively narrow waters of the Channel, and anyway there was no need for them as there were so many light cruisers and destroyers available in ports closer to the landing beaches. 57 DDs and 17 CAs is too many, it should be more like 40 DDs.
  • The Germans were going to land at Brighton. That part of the plan was scrapped, and the farthest west was to be Rottingdean. There was also provision to scrap beach "E" (the landings west of Eastbourne) altogether and land the beach "E" forces at beach "D" if the opposition got too hot on "E".
  • the panzer divisions were landed in the first wave, when in fact they would not have been available for at least another week
  • British MTB's figure prominently but there were relatively few available (and even fewer near to the invasion beaches) and only the Fairmile A gunboats had been built. Later war experience showed that torpedos fired by MTB's would go straight under a German invasion barge without hitting it, as they couldn't set the depth high enough. Most of the volunteer coastal patrol boats were only armed with a signal rocket, although there was a large number of armed trawlers and drifters available. The latter were no better and in many cases worse than to the close escort ships of the invasion force.
  • "Australian division" gets a prominent role in the counter-attack. Although here were were two Aussie brigades there was no Australian division. The AIF formed the incomplete 9th division in October.
  • "Stay behind commando teams with artillery". Commandos and auxiliaries weren't equipped with artillery, though they did have explosives.Sitalkes (talk) 01:32, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
  • the barrier minefields and channel guns, a major part of German strategy, seem to have no effect and are not even mentioned.
  • The wargame ended on 28 Dec in a decisive German defeat, based mainly on the absence of supply. But that's because the rules prevented the Germans from establishing air superiority, would not allow them to stop bombing London, prevented them from downsizing their invasion force to a more manageable level, prevented them from adding more paratroop & airlanding units, prevented them from diverting the Home Fleet by a ruse (or because the Home Fleet wasn't coming anyway), prevented them from using the short invasion route from Calais to Dover, forcing them to use the longer route to Brighton instead... In fact prevented them from exercising good common sense, forcing them to use the rules devised by the Brit umpires of the Sandhurst War College instead.

Harold Nicolson[edit]

The OKW, RSHA, [...] and Foreign Ministry compiled lists of those they thought could be trusted to form a new government along the lines of that in occupied Norway. The list was headed by Oswald Mosley. The RSHA also felt that Harold Nicolson might prove useful in this role.

But according to the Black Book, Nicolson features on the list of people to be immediately arrested following a successful invasion. Which one is true?

Nuttyskin (talk) 16:08, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Well according to a number of RS, both. Which goes some way to demonstrating just how amateurish the Germans were.Slatersteven (talk) 17:04, 18 June 2017 (UTC)