Could Germany have successfully invaded Britain by sea without air superiority?

Jul 2017
239
Neverland
The simple answer is no Germany could not, they also could not invade with air power as they tried to gain air superiority and failed (and if they had succeeded there was no guarantee they could stop the royal navy with land based aircraft and a lack of surface vessels) There is a famous quote which i do not have to hand made by either Colonel General Franz Halder (CGS) or another member of the general staff describing crossing the channel as a "large river crossing", this illustrates how much experience the GS had in large amphibious landing operations.



I have to ask, following the French Fleet being sunk at Oran which French naval assets would Hitler have used??, how exactly would he have got the Italians to leave the med when they had to support the shipping for an Italian army in North Africa. And even with these three naval services combined how would they have hidden the preparations, could the Italians have left the med unmolested. Could Germany solve its troop transport problem and would they land a large enough force, in the face of the royal navy which had carrier born aircraft, an asset Germany lacked although Italy had a limited carrier force.
If Britain's the Bank, you build LARGE Kriegsmarine. If the Bank is someplace else, you built an Army !
So crazy Adolf built himself an Army.
Wanna bet, that, ifEngland were to be connected to Europe by a sliver of land, Hitler still gonna go...East !?
 
Jun 2016
1,562
Oregon
They 'might' have gotten there but would have had no way to resupply the troops. The British would have mined at night and launched aggressive attacks into the waters off the bridgeheads.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,341
Yeah, it seems like it would be difficult to supply and invasion force with British overwhelming naval superiority.

If the British thought an invasion was likely, wouldn't they heavily mine parts of the Channel?
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,504
If Britain's the Bank, you build LARGE Kriegsmarine. If the Bank is someplace else, you built an Army !
So crazy Adolf built himself an Army.
Wanna bet, that, ifEngland were to be connected to Europe by a sliver of land, Hitler still gonna go...East !?
Hitler did stumble into a major war accidentally.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,812
losses Norwegian Campaign , 6 u boast 20% of their effective ocean going strength, half their destroyers, almost half their cruisers and most of rest damaged. even the merchant losses were significant. It was also the peak of the German torpedo problems, (which were not fully resolved till ealry 1942) which heavily reduced the u boat performance.

1 heavy cruiser
2 light cruisers
10 destroyers
6 U-boats
2 torpedo boats
15 light naval units
21 transports/merchant ships
90–240 aircraft (150 Ju-52's)

(on Ju52 losses)
Iron Annie: The Junkers Ju-52

Major ships damaged.

Pocket Battleship Lutzow.
Battle Cruiser Gneisenau.Scharnhorst.
Gunnery Training Ship: Bremse.
Heavy Cruiser: Hipper.
Light Cruiser: Emden.

even the Battle of France cost the Germans almost 1,200 aircraft.

Germans losses in their !940 successes were significant.
Which rather highlights my point about "acceptable losses"... When the germans wanted they were ready to take high losses to reach their goals..... But again Hitler was not really interested in Sea Lion

(it also again illustrates that the Norwegian campaign was a useless waste for Germany but that is another topic)
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,812
Britain couldn't be invaded by Sea, either in WWI or WWII ! It can only be overwhelmed by air and Germany had no plans to
conquer the UK, even, if it wanted to. Germany can easily crush England with land Army, but the big prize was in the East.
The Leibenstraum plans were already in full effect.

It had plans to seize Belarus, Ukraine with the richest soil in Europe and European Russia till the Urals. The populations of these countries were to be resettled East of the Ural Mtns. England has rain, fog, not much minerals and kin folk - german people.
Hitler is on record musing that the Anglos and Saxons came from Germany in the V AD. Its a fact !

Invading England would have immediately provoked the States. USA in 1940 were in the throws of the Great Depression, but free of debt. Besides, Washington would have been successful in persuading Russia to hit Germany from the back, with USA making up for the loss of German markets- Russia's biggest trading partner.

Instead of having her dream of German Empire with huge real estate, Germany would have been crushed within 2-3 years.
Hence, the Expeditionary Corpus in Dunkirk was let go, without destroying it or POW intent too. Good will galore.
The Battle of Britain was launched to harm the military infrastructure and injure RAF somewhat...keep them honest, if you will.

Hitler hated his armies being molested, while in war with USSR. Nobody wins wars in 1940 by Air Force alone.Military experts
point out that in explaining the Battle of Britain. Had he(Hitler) wanted to crush England, he would have used , French, Italian, Kriegsmarine and other naval assets, plus Air Force, to establish beachhead across the Channel.

Why would anyone rob a lemonade stand, when you have the Bank to the East...gold, diamonds, gems, petroleum, gas, ores ?

I am sorry, the UK, not much mineral ? Perhaps you missed the industrial revolution, the coal and the iron... How do you think the UK became a world power ?

But clearly if Sea Lion would be seriously contemplated then Barbarossa would need to be put on hold, and delayed by a mininum of 1 year, more likely 3 or 4
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,812
To all the sceptics out there, think about this......

Assume the germans had NOT attacked in May 1940 and we were discussing a "what if" on the possibility for Germany to defeat France in one month...

Which of you would actually say, it was possible ? And which of you would point out to the strong Maginot line, the numerous French army supported by the british and potentially the belgians... the difficulty to break through at Eben Emael..... The superior number of allied tanks and the superior quality of the french B1 and Somua tanks which could not be handled by any german tanks... The strength of the allied air forces.. The numerous rivers in the north of France... The strength of the allied navies, making troop movements along the coast difficult for the germans etc..
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,504
To all the sceptics out there, think about this......

Assume the germans had NOT attacked in May 1940 and we were discussing a "what if" on the possibility for Germany to defeat France in one month...

Which of you would actually say, it was possible ? And which of you would point out to the strong Maginot line, the numerous French army supported by the british and potentially the belgians... the difficulty to break through at Eben Emael..... The superior number of allied tanks and the superior quality of the french B1 and Somua tanks which could not be handled by any german tanks... The strength of the allied air forces.. The numerous rivers in the north of France... The strength of the allied navies, making troop movements along the coast difficult for the germans etc..
so therefore the Germans can do any improblable thing.? It' s not an argument.
 
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tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,812
so therefore the Germans can do any improblable thing.? It' s not an argument.
No... It just points out that pre conceived ideas (such as the RN being able to destroy the german invasion fleet) dont necessarily work in reality