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Re: The Battle of Jutland

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  • Ruairi
    ... British ... High Seas ... was ... blockade, ... What if the ... Channel, thus ... harbors ... German cause? ... Easter rising was in May. So it had
    Message 1 of 13 , Jun 1, 2007
      --- In alternate-history@yahoogroups.com, derhexer@... wrote:
      >
      > Today is the 91st anniversary of the naval battle of Jutland. The
      British
      > Grand Fleet under Sir John Jellicoe met and clashed with the German
      High Seas
      > Fleet under Vice Admiral Reinhardt Scheer.
      >
      > I don't want to get into a dispute over who won.
      >
      > But, we can speculate what might have happened if the British fleet
      was
      > destroyed or seriously crippled. Without a fleet to back up their
      blockade,
      > could the Allies have continued to choke off supplies to Germany?
      What if the
      > Germans had been able to send capital ships into the English
      Channel, thus
      > cutting of supplies from England to the ground forces in France?
      >
      > If the Germans had sent a couple of their battle cruisers into the
      harbors
      > at Cork or Wexford or Bantry, could the Irish have joined the
      German cause?
      >
      >
      > Chris
      >
      >

      Easter rising was in May. So it had failed before Jutland begun.

      If the Germans, had managed to slip a few ships, past the British
      Patrols.(Before Jutland) The Rising goes on for a few days longer. A
      German cruiser would be nice PR for the Rebels. On the other hand,
      its pretty much useless. It denies a port to the British. Its Guns
      are too big to be used.

      If the RN, is destroyed an Irish revolt is a sidebar. The War is
      over. If the RN is beaten, back. There is a larger more open Naval
      conflict. But the Irish angle is over
    • Mike French
      I wonder if I could start something that has been in the back of my mind for a while, with two variations. 1. Hitler tries to invade Britain in September 1940
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 12, 2007

        I wonder if I could start something that has been in the back of my mind for a while, with two variations.

         

        1. Hitler tries to invade Britain in September 1940 in spite of his generals telling him it can’t be done and Goering siding with them and having to admit that he has not knocked out the RAF. He gets some puppet cretins in to handle the operation, they fumble it badly and he loses let us say 90% of his airborne capacity (fat slow Ju 52s shot down in droves, the guys that make it down giving everyone a fright and causing havoc for a week but then rounded up) and though he manages to get some forces ashore (your choice, I would say maybe five divisions nominal strength but only  enough men for two make it off the barges and over the beaches) they are quickly bogged down without resupply and defeated short of the capital. Any effect on the rest of the war?
        2. Dunkirk goes rather worse for the British and even more disastrously for the French, and in the resulting panic there are some good press photos of French infantry getting pushed off the departing boats in spite of everyone recognising they were the real rearguard. Let us say 100,000 more casualties / prisoners from the BEF (after all, no-one ever expected the 338,000 which I think I recall is the figure for evacuees). Vichy France gets a bad case of the perfidious Albions (especially after Oran and the shelling of the French Navy) and positively joins up with the Axis. Based on that encouragement, Hitler makes a grab at Britain in early July – again with terrible planning but with more of an effect before the insufficient forces he managed to get over the Channel have to surrender. It isn’t a question of numbers or equipment, as the Axis have the advantage of both; but the plan to get them there suffers very badly because the transport isn’t there and the RAF has not been chewed up. How does the war go then?

         

        Mike French

      • Ruairi James Heekin
        What an abortive invasion of the UK, changes are Germans lose face. They will get less co operation from the rest of Europe. (Italy, Vichy France, Spain,
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 12, 2007
           
          What an abortive invasion of the UK, changes are
           
          Germans lose face. They will get less co operation from the rest of Europe. (Italy, Vichy France, Spain, Hungary, Yugoslavia)
           
          Invasion of Britan strips the rhine of shipping.
           
          On the flip side, the UK, has a less, to send to Egypt the Far East
           
           



           

          To: alternate-history@yahoogroups.com
          From: mikefrench@...
          Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2007 21:27:33 +0100
          Subject: [alternate-history] Early World War Two departure

          I wonder if I could start something that has been in the back of my mind for a while, with two variations.

           

          1. Hitler tries to invade Britain in September 1940 in spite of his generals telling him it can’t be done and Goering siding with them and having to admit that he has not knocked out the RAF. He gets some puppet cretins in to handle the operation, they fumble it badly and he loses let us say 90% of his airborne capacity (fat slow Ju 52s shot down in droves, the guys that make it down giving everyone a fright and causing havoc for a week but then rounded up) and though he manages to get some forces ashore (your choice, I would say maybe five divisions nominal strength but only  enough men for two make it off the barges and over the beaches) they are quickly bogged down without resupply and defeated short of the capital. Any effect on the rest of the war?
          2. Dunkirk goes rather worse for the British and even more disastrously for the French, and in the resulting panic there are some good press photos of French infantry getting pushed off the departing boats in spite of everyone recognising they were the real rearguard. Let us say 100,000 more casualties / prisoners from the BEF (after all, no-one ever expected the 338,000 which I think I recall is the figure for evacuees). Vichy France gets a bad case of the perfidious Albions (especially after Oran and the shelling of the French Navy) and positively joins up with the Axis. Based on that encouragement, Hitler makes a grab at Britain in early July – again with terrible planning but with more of an effect before the insufficient forces he managed to get over the Channel have to surrender. It isn’t a question of numbers or equipment, as the Axis have the advantage of both; but the plan to get them there suffers very badly because the transport isn’t there and the RAF has not been chewed up. How does the war go then?

           

          Mike French


        • CHRISTOPHER LEE
          Hitler tries to invade Britain in September 1940 in spite of his generals telling him it can’t be done and Goering siding with them and having to admit that
          Message 4 of 13 , Aug 12, 2007
            1. Hitler tries to invade Britain in September 1940 in spite of his generals telling him it can’t be done and Goering siding with them and having to admit that he has not knocked out the RAF. He gets some puppet cretins in to handle the operation, they fumble it badly and he loses let us say 90% of his airborne capacity (fat slow Ju 52s shot down in droves, the guys that make it down giving everyone a fright and causing havoc for a week but then rounded up) and though he manages to get some forces ashore (your choice, I would say maybe five divisions nominal strength but only  enough men for two make it off the barges and over the beaches) they are quickly bogged down without resupply and defeated short of the capital. Any effect on the rest of the war?
            This is a really good topic for alternate history!  The situation allows for many possibilities.  If the Luftwaffe had been sent up en masse in the manner you are suggesting they would have simply overwhelmed the RAF.  The numbers were on Germany's side.
            In fact there has always been something of interest to me here.  What prevented Germany from forcing a Channel crossing using their air force?  The usual answer to this is that the Royal Navy would have blocked it.  How?  Given that a total sortie by the entire Luftwaffe would have been too much for the RAF and the fate of ships in WW2 under air attack (Yamato, Prince of Wales, etc) would the Luftwaffe not have been able to simply obliterate the Royal Navy?  Concentrate on the destroyers first and then pile in the u-boats too...
            Once on the ground in Britain even the most patriotic Briton would have to concede that the Wehrmacht would have simply swatted British forces aside, especially given that in late 1940 the army was still struggling to make up the losses of materiel at Dunkirk.
            Seems to me that the only thing that stopped them was a lack of suitable vessels.  If they could have acquired enough ocean liners, even fishing boats then they would have been able to get across.  Although of course they would have had huge problems transporting panzers.
            1. Dunkirk goes rather worse for the British and even more disastrously for the French, and in the resulting panic there are some good press photos of French infantry getting pushed off the departing boats in spite of everyone recognising they were the real rearguard. Let us say 100,000 more casualties / prisoners from the BEF (after all, no-one ever expected the 338,000 which I think I recall is the figure for evacuees). Vichy France gets a bad case of the perfidious Albions (especially after Oran and the shelling of the French Navy) and positively joins up with the Axis. Based on that encouragement, Hitler makes a grab at Britain in early July – again with terrible planning but with more of an effect before the insufficient forces he managed to get over the Channel have to surrender. It isn’t a question of numbers or equipment, as the Axis have the advantage of both; but the plan to get them there suffers very badly because the transport isn’t there and the RAF has not been chewed up. How does the war go then?
            Tricky this one.  Churchill obviously was not for turning and would not have been swayed by any level of losses.  I think there is no reason why the Germans could not have captured ALL the BEF.  It would have been fairly easy for the panzers to have rolled up the Dunkirk salient, perhaps pushing along the coastal regions on both sides.  They could easily have made the evacuation impossible and given the shattered morale, low level of supplies and loss of equipment and coherence of the Anglo-French forces surrender would have been pretty easily procured.  If that had happened Britain was stuffed.  The only regular unit in the country was IIRC a Candian motorcycle force or some similar thing.  Then a significant German paratroop landing securing sufficient southern ports probably would have been enough to force Churchill out and probably a Halifax-led peace government.
            .


          • derhexer@aol.com
            I m not sure the failed invasions would have that much impact on WWII. Perhaps Hitler would lose some face and would have more trouble getting allies like
            Message 5 of 13 , Aug 12, 2007
              I'm not sure the failed invasions would have that much impact on WWII.  Perhaps Hitler would lose some face and would have more trouble getting allies like Romania to join in the invasion of Russia.  One change - the loss of the JU-52s would probably mean that the Germans not have been able to launch an airborne assault on Crete in May, 1941




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            • derhexer@aol.com
              In a message dated 8/12/2007 5:34:24 P.M. Central Daylight Time, christopherjlee@btinternet.com writes: In fact there has always been something of interest to
              Message 6 of 13 , Aug 12, 2007
                In a message dated 8/12/2007 5:34:24 P.M. Central Daylight Time, christopherjlee@... writes:
                In fact there has always been something of interest to me here.  What prevented Germany from forcing a Channel crossing using their air force?  The usual answer to this is that the Royal Navy would have blocked it.  How?  Given that a total sortie by the entire Luftwaffe would have been too much for the RAF and the fate of ships in WW2 under air attack (Yamato, Prince of Wales, etc) would the Luftwaffe not have been able to simply obliterate the Royal Navy?  Concentrate on the destroyers first and then pile in the u-boats too...
                Once on the ground in Britain even the most patriotic Briton would have to concede that the Wehrmacht would have simply swatted British forces aside, especially given that in late 1940 the army was still struggling to make up the losses of materiel at Dunkirk.
                I have to disagree with this.  First, the Luftwaffe could not sustain air operations over England from their fields in N. France.  The FW-190s and ME-109s were excellent planes, but they didn't have the range.  Assuming that the Luftwaffe thru everything up against the Royal Navy, the fighters couldn't have operated more than a few minutes before returning to refuel.  OTOH,  the RAF planes were within, usually, a few miles of an airbase, and could have landed, refueled and launched within a few minutes.
                 
                Don't assume that the examples of the PoW or Yamato are good examples of what could have happened.  Neither PoW or Yamato had air cover.
                 
                Second, I doubt if the OKW could have put enough men, ammunition, fuel and other supplies on the beaches of England to sustain land operations against the British forces.  The Wehrmacht would have to fight through fortified villages, defeat the organized British military forces, suppress anti-tank weapons, guard against English partisans and guerillas, while operating at the end of longer and longer and more fragile supply lines.  The novels that describe life in England after the Germans have conquered it rarely describe HOW the Germans managed this.
                 
                All you have to do is look at the German experience in Russia or the Balkans during WWII.  Partisans and guerillas attacking supply lines and depots were a huge problem.
                 
                I've played enough wargames to believe that a German conquest of England in WWII is very unlikely.  You'd have to make some major assumptions such as a redesigned Luftwaffe capable of sustained operations over England, a powerful navy that could challenge the Royal Navy, and a large invasion and supply fleet.
                 
                Chris

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              • Mark O.
                Agreed. I ve read a lot about the period, and navies in general. Crossing the channel, or any Amphib operation for that matter, is a lot tougher than most
                Message 7 of 13 , Aug 13, 2007
                  Agreed.  I've read a lot about the period, and navies in general.  Crossing the channel, or any Amphib operation for that matter, is a lot tougher than most people realize.
                   
                  A botched operation in July 1940 means an earlier switch to terror bombing of London, with more damage but nothing decisive.  The real changes are in 1941.
                   
                  USSR is even more on a shoestring for moving east.  No aircraft and no tanks for adventures in Libya and Egypt.  Rommel gets a wretched little command on the eastern front where he can baffle the Sovs.
                   
                  Hitler chews the carpet but can never attempt a second invasion until he finishes the Soviets - and that will never happen. He still has no real conception of the Soviet depth and resources.
                   
                  Italy loses in North Africa. Malta stays stronger.  The Italian fleet gets knocked out sooner.
                   
                  Spain is even more emphatic about staying out of the war.  Italy will look to get out too.
                   
                  One complication - no Torch in 1942. With no German army in Africa, no reason for Anglo-American landings. But the Allies still not ready for the main event.
                   
                  Norway redux, anyone?
                   
                  M

                  derhexer@... wrote:
                  In a message dated 8/12/2007 5:34:24 P.M. Central Daylight Time, christopherjlee@ btinternet. com writes:
                  In fact there has always been something of interest to me here.  What prevented Germany from forcing a Channel crossing using their air force?  The usual answer to this is that the Royal Navy would have blocked it.  How?  Given that a total sortie by the entire Luftwaffe would have been too much for the RAF and the fate of ships in WW2 under air attack (Yamato, Prince of Wales, etc) would the Luftwaffe not have been able to simply obliterate the Royal Navy?  Concentrate on the destroyers first and then pile in the u-boats too...
                  Once on the ground in Britain even the most patriotic Briton would have to concede that the Wehrmacht would have simply swatted British forces aside, especially given that in late 1940 the army was still struggling to make up the losses of materiel at Dunkirk.
                  I have to disagree with this.  First, the Luftwaffe could not sustain air operations over England from their fields in N. France.  The FW-190s and ME-109s were excellent planes, but they didn't have the range.  Assuming that the Luftwaffe thru everything up against the Royal Navy, the fighters couldn't have operated more than a few minutes before returning to refuel.  OTOH,  the RAF planes were within, usually, a few miles of an airbase, and could have landed, refueled and launched within a few minutes.
                   
                  Don't assume that the examples of the PoW or Yamato are good examples of what could have happened.  Neither PoW or Yamato had air cover.
                   
                  Second, I doubt if the OKW could have put enough men, ammunition, fuel and other supplies on the beaches of England to sustain land operations against the British forces.  The Wehrmacht would have to fight through fortified villages, defeat the organized British military forces, suppress anti-tank weapons, guard against English partisans and guerillas, while operating at the end of longer and longer and more fragile supply lines.  The novels that describe life in England after the Germans have conquered it rarely describe HOW the Germans managed this.
                   
                  All you have to do is look at the German experience in Russia or the Balkans during WWII.  Partisans and guerillas attacking supply lines and depots were a huge problem.
                   
                  I've played enough wargames to believe that a German conquest of England in WWII is very unlikely.  You'd have to make some major assumptions such as a redesigned Luftwaffe capable of sustained operations over England, a powerful navy that could challenge the Royal Navy, and a large invasion and supply fleet.
                   
                  Chris

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                • Mike French
                  Absolutely. That is why I have the Nazis failing in both scenarios; all that the British had to do to win was keep the RAF viable and hold the Channel against
                  Message 8 of 13 , Aug 13, 2007

                    Absolutely. That is why I have the Nazis failing in both scenarios; all that the British had to do to win was keep the RAF viable and hold the Channel against resupply. It then just becomes a question of how much damage the Wehrmacht can do before it is shipped off to Canada and PoW compounds in the New World . I suppose what I was really asking in each case was:

                     

                    1. What is the effect on America ? Does the fright of seeing plucky little England under the jackboot speed up rearmament, or was that already going as fast as it could?
                    2. What is the effect on the USSR ? Does Stalin think ha,ha the Nazis really are just paper tigers and I can safely continue to shoot all my generals? Or does he think that he had better get some real professionals in and spruce up his army because this Hitler is clearly a maniac and will try anything?
                    3. How about Germany itself? Does a fiasco of this proportion lead to a serious reshuffle, and if so who gets the bullet? Might Hitler be manoeuvred out of power over the Wehrmacht or will that stupid oath keep him in charge? Will the need to replace so much materiel mean that Speer gets a chance to rectify the worst effects of the Nazification of industry and procurement and so have a chance to boost production earlier in the war?
                    4. How about Britain ? Will either of the scenarios (late ignominious failure of a Nazi invasion, or an earlier more successful failure accompanied by French declaration of war) lead Britain to try to sue for peace? On what terms? Or will Churchill simply use some Nazi beastliness to stiffen British and Empire resolve?

                     

                    Thanks for the replies so far. Mark O has some very good points, but I wonder if a French declaration of war would place the Algerian garrisons and at least some French home troops up against the Eighth Army. If so, how would they do? Worse than Rommel? Or would Col De Gaulle prove to be a match for Wavell and Auchinleck? I would have said not, but the French might be more welcome on a return to Egypt than the Germans….

                     

                    Mike

                     


                    From: alternate-history@yahoogroups.com [mailto: alternate-history@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Mark O.
                    Sent: 13 August 2007 17:11
                    To: alternate-history@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [alternate-history] Early World War Two departure

                     

                    Agreed.  I've read a lot about the period, and navies in general.  Crossing the channel, or any Amphib operation for that matter, is a lot tougher than most people realize.

                     

                    A botched operation in July 1940 means an earlier switch to terror bombing of London , with more damage but nothing decisive.  The real changes are in 1941.

                     

                    USSR is even more on a shoestring for moving east.  No aircraft and no tanks for adventures in Libya and Egypt .  Rommel gets a wretched little command on the eastern front where he can baffle the Sovs.

                     

                    Hitler chews the carpet but can never attempt a second invasion until he finishes the Soviets - and that will never happen. He still has no real conception of the Soviet depth and resources.

                     

                    Italy loses in North Africa . Malta stays stronger.  The Italian fleet gets knocked out sooner.

                     

                    Spain is even more emphatic about staying out of the war.  Italy will look to get out too.

                     

                    One complication - no Torch in 1942. With no German army in Africa , no reason for Anglo-American landings. But the Allies still not ready for the main event.

                     

                    Norway redux, anyone?

                     

                    M


                  • CHRISTOPHER LEE
                    Thanks for the replies but there are several points I think are still of interest. 1. British morale. Following what can only be described as a catastrophic
                    Message 9 of 13 , Aug 13, 2007
                      Thanks for the replies but there are several points I think are still of interest.
                       
                      1. British morale.  Following what can only be described as a catastrophic and ignominious defeat of the BEF what state are the British in to resist any major German landing?  I think it is easy to listen to Churchill saying "we will fight them on the beaches..." and think that sums it up but I honestly think any serious German landing that wasn't immediately cut off would have simply kicked in British resistance.  I am British and I would love to think that my ancestors would have fought hard and bravely but I think the shock of a quick German Channel-crossing following Dunkirk would have been too much, what makes anyone think the British would not have folded as the French did?
                       
                      2. The British army was in a terrible state in late 1940.  No tanks, no trucks, little artillery, etc, so much was left in France.  Combined with low morale there was little to fight with.  How would troops so recently embarassed and thrashed by the Germans in Europe have got themselves up to fight again.  It might seem a little too much like an unstoppable German juggernaut for comfort!
                       
                      3. The Channel is only 20 miles wide at Dover-Calais.  There would not be any problem for the Germans to operate over this distance from northern France.  Given that the Luftwaffe outnumbers the RAF 2:1 and they would only need to operate over a short distance they should have had little trouble holding off the RAF while their dive bombers sank the Royal Navy in narrow and congested shipping lanes.  The Royal Navy would have no cover and at that stage of the war ships weren't as well-equipped with anti-aircraft guns.  Also a lot of the RAF bases (e.g. Biggin Hill) were in Kent and would presumably have been quickly overrun by confident German troops.
                       
                      Anyhow for what it's worth I think people are a little too easily seduced by the idea that Britain would have been able to muster a stronger resistance than France.  Given that the BEF did not fare well in Europe I don't see why it would have resisted much better at home.  I don't think the Germans needed to do much more than drive off the RAF/Royal Navy for a few days in order to land a significant force and especially panzers and supplies.  I doubt they needed to actually do much fighting, just get ashore and look hard to dislodge.  I just don't think britain was in any position to defend itself after Dunkirk and would have capitulated if Hitler had offered the terms he suggested (i.e. Empire largely intact, Britain hands over a few bits and bobs, such as Gibraltar to Spain, perhaps Malta to Italy, etc and Hitler gets a free hand in Europe).  What I think saved Britain was that the Germans simply did not have the transport capacity to carry out a significant landing.  Thus they had to wipe out the RAF and then they could prevent any Royal Navy inteference and use silly things like rafts.  Now if Hitler had anticipated the way the fall of France would play out and invested in a large flotilla of landing vessels...
                      ._,___

                    • Mark O.
                      Mike French wrote: What is the effect on America ? Does the fright of seeing plucky little England under the jackboot speed up
                      Message 10 of 13 , Aug 13, 2007


                        Mike French <mikefrench@...> wrote:
                         
                        What is the effect on America ? Does the fright of seeing plucky little England under the jackboot speed up rearmament, or was that already going as fast as it could? >>
                         
                        By July things were changing in Washington anyway, as people began to realize Britain wasn't going to go down so easily.  After intiially refusing Churchill's request for destroyers, FDR had reconsidered; the wheels were in motion that would lead to the destroyers for bases deal and ultimately lend lease.
                         
                        So I doubt much would have changed here in the US. America will still be largely and painfully unready at the end of '41.
                         
                        <What is the effect on the USSR ? Does Stalin think ha,ha the Nazis really are just paper tigers and I can safely continue to shoot all my generals? Or does he think that he had better get some real professionals in and spruce up his army because this Hitler is clearly a maniac and will try anything? >>
                         
                        Its just capitalists wearing each other out, after all.  Stalin continues to fiddle while Hitler, needing a victory to quell the disquiet in the Wehrmacht, turns even more eagerly on his supposed partner.
                         
                        <How about Germany itself? Does a fiasco of this proportion lead to a serious reshuffle, and if so who gets the bullet? Might Hitler be manoeuvred out of power over the Wehrmacht or will that stupid oath keep him in charge?>>
                         
                        No.  The German generals plot and intrigue but no one has the balls to die trying.  A clumsy attempt fails and its 1944 and the bomb plot early.
                         
                        <I wonder if a French declaration of war would place the Algerian garrisons and at least some French home troops up against the Eighth Army. If so, how would they do? Worse than Rommel? Or would Col De Gaulle prove to be a match for Wavell and Auchinleck?
                        >>
                         
                        Far worse than Rommel.  De Gaulle, of course, is in England, having severed ties with Vichy in May. The French generals have more stomach for fighting the brits than the germans - but that isn't saying much.  The poilus are still sullen and obstructionist, and will fight and fare badly in the desert. Basically, the French will just be more Italians.  With Rommel out of the picture, the war in North Africa may be over by the end of '41.
                         
                        Mark
                         


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                      • Mark O.
                        Churchill always said he HOPED Hitler would try an invasion. He was quite sure it would be a disaster. Winston s judgement was sometimes flawed, but as he
                        Message 11 of 13 , Aug 13, 2007
                          Churchill always said he HOPED Hitler would try an invasion.  He was quite sure it would be a disaster.
                           
                          Winston's judgement was sometimes flawed, but as he famously said, "I have not always been wrong."
                           
                          If Hitler had specialized amphibious shipping, it might have helped - but remember, even the US had not invented the LSD and LST yet. The art of amphibious ops was still largely unknown.  Everyone remembered how Gallipoli became a disaster in WW1. The better German generals seem to have understood the logistic hurdles were too high.
                           
                          M
                           
                           
                           


                          CHRISTOPHER LEE <christopherjlee@...> wrote:
                          Thanks for the replies but there are several points I think are still of interest.
                           
                          1. British morale.  Following what can only be described as a catastrophic and ignominious defeat of the BEF what state are the British in to resist any major German landing?  I think it is easy to listen to Churchill saying "we will fight them on the beaches..." and think that sums it up but I honestly think any serious German landing that wasn't immediately cut off would have simply kicked in British resistance.  I am British and I would love to think that my ancestors would have fought hard and bravely but I think the shock of a quick German Channel-crossing following Dunkirk would have been too much, what makes anyone think the British would not have folded as the French did?
                           
                          2. The British army was in a terrible state in late 1940.  No tanks, no trucks, little artillery, etc, so much was left in France.  Combined with low morale there was little to fight with.  How would troops so recently embarassed and thrashed by the Germans in Europe have got themselves up to fight again.  It might seem a little too much like an unstoppable German juggernaut for comfort!
                           
                          3. The Channel is only 20 miles wide at Dover-Calais.  There would not be any problem for the Germans to operate over this distance from northern France.  Given that the Luftwaffe outnumbers the RAF 2:1 and they would only need to operate over a short distance they should have had little trouble holding off the RAF while their dive bombers sank the Royal Navy in narrow and congested shipping lanes.  The Royal Navy would have no cover and at that stage of the war ships weren't as well-equipped with anti-aircraft guns.  Also a lot of the RAF bases (e.g. Biggin Hill) were in Kent and would presumably have been quickly overrun by confident German troops.
                           
                          Anyhow for what it's worth I think people are a little too easily seduced by the idea that Britain would have been able to muster a stronger resistance than France.  Given that the BEF did not fare well in Europe I don't see why it would have resisted much better at home.  I don't think the Germans needed to do much more than drive off the RAF/Royal Navy for a few days in order to land a significant force and especially panzers and supplies.  I doubt they needed to actually do much fighting, just get ashore and look hard to dislodge.  I just don't think britain was in any position to defend itself after Dunkirk and would have capitulated if Hitler had offered the terms he suggested (i.e. Empire largely intact, Britain hands over a few bits and bobs, such as Gibraltar to Spain, perhaps Malta to Italy, etc and Hitler gets a free hand in Europe).  What I think saved Britain was that the Germans simply did not have the transport capacity to carry out a significant landing.  Thus they had to wipe out the RAF and then they could prevent any Royal Navy inteference and use silly things like rafts.  Now if Hitler had anticipated the way the fall of France would play out and invested in a large flotilla of landing vessels...
                          ._,___



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