The planned invasion of the British Isles by Germany in 1940 has been much argued over the years but this book makes a convincing set of arguments based on careful research. Hitler certainly blinked first but what is less certain is whether he ever seriously expected to have to launch an invasion against a hostile British coastline – Strongly Recommended
NAME: Operation Sealion, Hitler's Invasion Plan For Britain FILE: R2743 AUTHOR: David Wragg PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PAGES: 239 PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WW2, WWII, World War Two, World War 2, Second World War, 1940, Operation Sealion, invasion of Britain, Battle of Britain, amphibious assault, beach landings, coastal defence, Germany, Great Britain, air superiority, naval superiority
IMAGE: B2743.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/yah4nff7 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The planned invasion of the British Isles by Germany in 1940 has been much argued over the years but this book makes a convincing set of arguments based on careful research. Hitler certainly blinked first but what is less certain is whether he ever seriously expected to have to launch an invasion against a hostile British coastline - Strongly Recommended The author has carefully researched and reviews the planned Operation Sealion, considering how realistic the plans were. The text reads smoothly and there are interesting images in the plate section. What provides a good sanity check is comparison against the Allied invasion at Normandy and the lessons taken on board before that event. This is an authoritative review that should stand the test of time well and provide an absorbing study for enthusiasts and professionals. That does not mean that it dispels every previous theory. The Second World War as a whole has produced so many theories and counter theories, generating a 'what if' industry that keeps most aspects in a state of confusion. Hitler did not expect to go to war against any significant military power unless one was damaged and destabilized by events. He found that he could push around the appeasers by threatening the return of WWI trench fare and massive loss of young men. Then while they were still confused and distracted by that terrible possibility, he took a small step to annex territory, always leaving a backdoor through which to retreat should they find a backbone and move against him, a similar set of tactics to those being used now by his European Union successors. It was a set of tactics that served him well as he reoccupied the Rhineland, moved into Austria and then into Czech territory. Each new move increased his confidence and convinced him that Britain and France were impotent and would never call his bluff. When he went into Poland he was confident that Britain and France would only make disapproving noises before backing away and allowing him to take one more prize. When Britain and France stood by their promises to Poland and declared war he was surprised and shaken but he soon recovered his confidence as he saw no decisive moves to invade Germany and where bombing was restricted to dropping leaflets. His military were a little less sure but as they moved easily through Poland to the boundary they had agreed with the Soviets their confidence increased. The Phony War dragged on until Germany was ready to launch an invasion of the Low Countries and advance into France through neutral Belgium. The assault moved quickly and smoothly, dividing British and French troops and rolling the BEF back onto Dunkirk, together with French troops assigned to that section of the front, leaving Hitler to clear Dunkirk and roll on to Paris and a French surrender. At that point he had become fully confident and his Generals had become equally convinced. The long held German belief in world domination was unchallenged. That overconfidence enabled the British to mount an historic rescue of the BEF together with some impressive numbers of French troops. Even so, Hitler still believed that the British would ask for peace terms. He was encouraged by the number of British quislings assuring him that this would be the result, much as the EU today has been reassured by British quislings. He assumed that the Luftwaffe would destroy the RAF in a matter of days and any invasion would not meet serious resistance. The German Navy was never enthusiastic about the prospects for launching an amphibious landing on the British Coast, even across the narrowest point in the Channel. The Luftwaffe was supremely confident until they found out the hard way that although they held considerable numeric advance, the RAF was equipped with fighter aircraft at least equal to those in German service and had a unique and highly advanced command and control system that was able to maximize the numbers of aircraft they could get into the air. While this great air battle was in progress over Britain, the efforts to assemble a fleet of modified barges continued but it is less than clear if any but the most fanatical Nazi believed they were in any way up to the task unless the British mounted only a token defence before suing for peace. The author has looked at the plans, the men and the assets available for a German invasion and considered the history of previous invasions of the British Isles. He has also had available something that Hitler and his Generals did not, namely the plans, training and unique equipment available for the Normandy Landings on D-Day. The allies had several 'dummy runs' with the landings in North Africa, Sicily and Italy and the armed reconnaissance in force at Dieppe. From that unique experience, they were able to address any vulnerabilities in the earlier landings and produce some extraordinary technologies before making landings in Normandy against an entrenched, well-equipped and motivated enemy. Their resources were well in excess of anything available to the Germans in 1940, including air superiority over the beaches and inland, together with the preparation and active support of French Resistance fighters disrupting German attempts to send reinforcements to the front.