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Foxylady

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...Also the Germans had 4 years to build the Atlantik Wall, we had 4 months to build ours. ;)
LOL! Good point, and I didn't think about the time frame, although I knew about the context and reasoning behind our defences. I was just amazed at the amount of damage that was possible against that particular bunker and the comparison with our own defences. :mrgreen:
 

oldscrote

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krela

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LOL! Good point, and I didn't think about the time frame, although I knew about the context and reasoning behind our defences. I was just amazed at the amount of damage that was possible against that particular bunker and the comparison with our own defences. :mrgreen:

Also they had the help of a forced labour force of many many thousands and the resources of the whole of western europe. We had a few building contractors used to building semi d's in suburbia and a couple of gravel pits in kent. (I'm exaggerating of course, but you get the general idea).
 

outkast

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That's sort of true but you also have to put it into context. The initial german landing force would have been mostly infantry as they didn't think we had any real anti-invasion defences, and the whole plan was to repel them before they got chance to build the infrastructure to allow them to bring in the panzers and heavy artillery. The scale of the German invasion would have been completely different to that of the Allied Forces eventual one. Hitler didn't think much of our ground resistance forces at all, which is why he thought air superiority was all he needed.

Also the Germans had 4 years to build the Atlantik Wall, we had 4 months to build ours. ;)

Thats ture, but you also have to take into account, the invasion would only have gone ahead if the germans had air superiority, the luftwaffe could have pounded our defences before the troops engaged them.
 

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Thats ture, but you also have to take into account, the invasion would only have gone ahead if the germans had air superiority, the luftwaffe could have pounded our defences before the troops engaged them.

Actually not. The invasion and defence plans and what the likely outcomes would have been were modelled by various warfare experts from Germany, UK and USA sometime in the 1990s and the concensus was that Ironsides original plan would have worked.
 

outkast

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Actually not. The invasion and defence plans and what the likely outcomes would have been were modelled by various warfare experts from Germany, UK and USA sometime in the 1990s and the concensus was that Ironsides original plan would have worked.

you know what they say about plans, they never survive first contact with the enemy.

I dont believe for one minute hitlers troops could have been able to invade, we had a very good coastal defence and still had a strong navy, the only choice would have been from the air initialy, paratroopers, lightly armed yes but they only need capture and airfield or two, with only air superiority as apposed to air supremecy they would have suffered heavy losses, but once, or rather if they had established a bridgehead, they could have got enough equipment across to employ blitzkrieg tatics and we know how effective that was.

I think we owe more to that fact we manged to hold them off during the battle of britain than we realise.
 
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Lost_In_Normandy

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Actually not. The invasion and defence plans and what the likely outcomes would have been were modelled by various warfare experts from Germany, UK and USA sometime in the 1990s and the concensus was that Ironsides original plan would have worked.

It's a interesting discussion.
Operation Sealion was almost half-hearted and the defeat of the Luftwaffe during the battle of Britain was Hitlers get out clause for the invasion. Ian kershaw's Nemesis gives a fantastic insight into his mind set about war with Britain. His real focus was always going to be the east. He would of liked to of kept Britain at bay by either choking here or bombing into submission whilst his land forces continued their campaign in Russia. The vengeance weapons were a part of that tactic.
I have no doubt though that if he had invaded in 1940 we would of collapsed, the state of our army post Dunkirk was limited by the lack of anti tank guns and artillery, let alone any tank capable of Holding the Panzers back. The only hope would of been the Navy's ability to dominate the channel.
What the battle of Britain did is very significant in terms of moral and military advantage, it's very rare an invading Army is successful without control of the airspace.
 
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krela

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you know what they say about plans, they never survive first contact with the enemy.

I dont believe for one minute hitlers troops could have been able to invade, we had a very good coastal defence and still had a strong navy, the only choice would have been from the air initialy, paratroopers, lightly armed yes but they only need capture and airfield or two, with only air superiority as apposed to air supremecy they would have suffered heavy losses, but once, or rather if they had established a bridgehead, they could have got enough equipment across to employ blitzkrieg tatics and we know how effective that was.

I think we owe more to that fact we manged to hold them off during the battle of britain than we realise.

It's all conjecture. Battles are won and lost on such random variables it's difficult to know, but the argument goes something like this;

They didn't have sea superiority and that's all that matters, because all the navy forces that were stationed up at Skarpa flow would have come into the english channel and blocked off the german supply lines, and that would have been that. The stoplines were only ever intended to stop the germans advancing to major cities before this could happen. They were a delaying tactic, not a defensive wall. Hitler was as lucky as we were that he never gained air superiority because invading the UK would have been disasterous and humiliating for him.

Mind you, the alternative plan of invading Russia didn't exactly go swimmingly either.
 

Munchh

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.......................They didn't have sea superiority and that's all that matters........................

This statement is the real crux of the matter. The German High Command were opposed to the invasion for many other reasons but this was the biggest stumbling block. Without an unbroken supply line and Ports for unloading the heavy armour, the invasion would undoubtedly have failed. The German invasion force would have been rapidly isolated and defeated.

We needed both air and sea superiority plus the Mulberry harbours just to establish and then break out from the beachead for the Allied invasion in '44. We were far better equipped and prepared than the Germans were in 1940 and still struggled.
 

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This statement is the real crux of the matter. The German High Command were opposed to the invasion for many other reasons but this was the biggest stumbling block. Without an unbroken supply line and Ports for unloading the heavy armour, the invasion would undoubtedly have failed. The German invasion force would have been rapidly isolated and defeated.

We needed both air and sea superiority plus the Mulberry harbours just to establish and then break out from the beachead for the Allied invasion in '44. We were far better equipped and prepared than the Germans were in 1940 and still struggled.

I may not get out much anymore, but I do ocassionally know what I'm talking about. ;)
 

sennelager66

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Sealion relied on shonky barges, low tide, excellent weather which was prime RAF bombing action and a Luftwaffe that was not controlled by the inept drug fiend called Goering. As the barges were being assembled they were also being bombed at a greater rate than could be safely bought up to the marshalling areas. The Luftwaffe strategy of bombing the cities instead of the more lucrative airfields and radar stations was a terrible strategic mistake.
Hitler apparently admired the British too much and though capitulation was on the cards. As he never too advice from the more experienced Generals he should have learnt that Hubris is a terrible thing:lol:
 

Munchh

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Dave I just noticed that Godzy mentioned Wissant which brought back an old school trip memory from 1972 ish (yes I'm old). I'm fairly sure that there was a crashed Spitfire on the beach near there which was described to us at the time as a supposedly 'permanent' memorial. Don't suppose you know if it's still there? I seem to remember some of us taking turns sitting in it.

I'd love to see some of the Wall with adult eyes, and will one day. In the meantime, your most excellent report will suffice, thanks for posting. :)

PS: My other overriding memory of that trip was the food poisoning I endured. My parents have since told me that one more day and I would have been emergency evac'd back to Blighty as I was that ill. One or two others had it but not as bad. Fortunately I recovered and made it to Paris with the rest of the group.
 

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The Luftwaffe strategy of bombing the cities instead of the more lucrative airfields and radar stations was a terrible strategic mistake.

The Lufftwaffe WERE bombing the airfields, then one night an RAF bomber squadron accidentally dropped bombs on the outskirts of Berlin thinking it was something else, and that angered Hitler into immediately ordering the Luftwaffe into attacking British cities instead. It was a decision based on pure ego and anger, and of no strategic basis at all.

But then that was Hitler all over. Ego driven, but without the control to listen to his strategic advisors. In the end I think his more astute advisors gave up for fear of being shot, and the narccisistic ego driven ones took over.
 

Foxylady

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It was a decision based on pure ego and anger, and of no strategic basis at all.
Just what I was thinking. Similarly, when his favourite cathedral town of Lubeck was bombed (strategically...something to do with supplies, IIRC), he was so enraged that that's when he hit back with the Baedeker Blitz to take out our most historical and beautiful towns. Sheer spite!
 

Munchh

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Thanks Chaps, we are planning a return trip to do the V3 site and to have a real good look along the coast here, you cant move in this bit of France without falling over a bunker, or several.......................

'Busy Lizzie' in Mimoyeques? lucky buggers.

Good idea for a weapon but flawed fortunately for us. Grofaz was fixated with the idea of a 'supergun' at a time when his military advisors were desperately trying to re-allocate the ridiculous amounts of money he was wasting on the V3 project into Atomic research.

I imagine most people know that the site was carpet bombed pretty much to destruction although we didn't know at the time exactly what we had destroyed.

Some time after this when we did know what had been being built there, a Lancaster or B26 (can't remember which for sure but probably the latter as the 2 man crew were american) was packed with nearly 11 tons of explosive, flown at a given altitude and then put on autopilot with the crew being told to bale out and the plane to continue onto the target. Apparently, after the bale out it malfunctioned and blew up in mid air and all this without us knowing that the target was already out of action.

Brilliant! The Germans are trying to build a weapon which couldn't achieve the range for its target (London) and we're trying to destroy an already destroyed target with a remote controlled plane bomb. Only in war eh.....Now that's a site you just have to visit.

Enjoy yourselves when you get there, I'm jealous. :)
 

chris

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Nice one Dave - I missed that structure in the woods at Eperlecques :cry:
 
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