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From Caesar to Hitler Michael Foley the capital of the Cassivellanus tribe, attacked by Caesar during his invasion, might have been on the spot where London.
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The story was later expanded to include false reports that the British had set the sea on fire using flaming oil. Both versions were widely reported in the American press and in William L. Shirer 's Berlin Diary , but both were officially denied by Britain and Germany. Author James Hayward has suggested that the whispering campaign around the "failed invasion" was a successful example of British black propaganda to bolster morale at home and in occupied Europe , and convince America that Britain was not a lost cause.
On 12 October , Hitler issued a directive releasing forces for other fronts. The appearance of preparations for Sea Lion was to be continued to keep political pressure on Britain, and a fresh directive would be issued if it was decided that invasion was to be reconsidered in the spring of In fact, in November , the German naval staff produced a study on the possibility of an invasion of Britain and concluded that it required two preconditions, air and naval superiority, neither of which Germany ever had.
As early as 14 August , Hitler had told his generals that he would not attempt to invade Britain if the task seemed too dangerous, before adding that there were other ways of defeating the UK than invading. In Memoirs of WWII , Churchill stated, "Had the Germans possessed in well trained [and equipped] amphibious forces their task would still have been a forlorn hope in the face of our sea and air power.
In fact they had neither the tools or the training". Although Operation Sea Lion was never attempted, there has been much speculation about its hypothetical outcome. The great majority of military historians, including Peter Fleming , Derek Robinson and Stephen Bungay , have expressed the opinion that it had little chance of success and would have most likely resulted in a disaster for the Germans. Len Deighton and some other writers have called the German amphibious plans a " Dunkirk in reverse".
Dr Andrew Gordon , in an article for the Royal United Services Institute Journal  agrees with this and is clear in his conclusion the German Navy was never in a position to mount Sealion, regardless of any realistic outcome of the Battle of Britain. In his fictional alternate history Invasion: the German invasion of England, July , Kenneth Macksey proposes that the Germans might have succeeded if they had swiftly and decisively begun preparations even before the Dunkirk evacuations, and the Royal Navy for some reason had held back from large-scale intervention,  though in practice the Germans were unprepared for such a speedy commencement of their assault.
An alternative perspective was advanced in by Robert Forczyk in We march against England. Forczyk claims to apply a much more realistic assessment of the relative strengths and weaknesses of both German and British forces, and challenges the views advanced by previous writers that the Royal Navy might easily have overwhelmed the German naval units protecting the first wave invasion fleet. His assessment concurs with that emerging from the Sandhurst Sea Lion wargame see below that the first wave would likely have crossed the Channel and established a lodgement around the landing beaches in Kent and East Sussex without major loss, and that the defending British forces would have been unlikely to have dislodged them once ashore.
He proposes though, that the westernmost German landing at beach 'E' could not have been sustained for long against counterattacking British ground, naval and air forces, and that accordingly these German units would have had to fight their way eastwards, abandoning any aspiration to hold Newhaven.
In the absence of access to a major port and with continued losses of German troop transport vessels from submarine attack, Forczyk argues that proposed arrangements for landing the second wave onto the beaches would have been wholly impractical once autumn and winter weather set into the Channel, so the first wave would be stranded in Kent as a 'beached whale' without substantial armour, transport or heavy artillery — unable to break out and threaten London.
Nevertheless, Forczyk does not accept that they would have surrendered, pointing to the determined resistance of surrounded German forces at Stalingrad and Demyansk. He suggests they could have held on into , sustained by a small-ship fast night-time resupply operation into Folkestone and maybe Dover , holding the possibility of negotiating their withdrawal in Spring under a truce agreed with the British government.
Four years later, the Allied D-Day landings showed just how much materiel had to be landed continuously to maintain an amphibious invasion. 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.
Rations for two weeks were to be provided to the German troops of the first wave 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. Within seven days, maximum capacity was expected to rise to tons per day, once German shore parties had made repairs to the quays and cleared the harbour of any blockships and other obstacles.
However, this rested on the rather unrealistic assumption of little or no interference from the Royal Navy and RAF with the German supply convoys which would have been made up of underpowered or unpowered, i. From 19 to 26 September , sea and wind conditions on and over the Channel where the invasion was to take place were good overall, and a crossing, even using converted river barges, was feasible provided the sea state remained at less than 4, which for the most part it did.
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Winds for the remainder of the month were rated as "moderate" and would not have prevented the German invasion fleet from successfully depositing the first wave troops ashore during the ten days needed to accomplish this. After that, light easterly winds prevailed which would have assisted any invasion craft travelling from the Continent towards the invasion beaches. But by the end of October, according to British Air Ministry records, very strong south-west winds force 8 would have prohibited any non-seagoing craft from risking a Channel crossing.
At least 20 spies were sent to England by boat or parachute to gather information on the British coastal defences under the codename "Operation Lena"; many of the agents spoke limited English. All agents were quickly captured and many were convinced to defect by MI5 's Double-Cross System , providing disinformation to their German superiors.
It has been suggested that the "amateurish" espionage efforts were a result of deliberate sabotage by the head of the army intelligence bureau in Hamburg, Herbert Wichmann , in an effort to prevent a disastrous and costly amphibious invasion; Wichmann was critical of the Nazi regime and had close ties to Wilhelm Canaris , the former head of the Abwehr who was later executed by the Nazis for treason.
While some errors might not have caused problems, others, such as the inclusion of bridges that no longer existed  and misunderstanding the usefulness of minor British roads,  would have been detrimental to German operations, and would have added to the confusion caused by the layout of Britain's cities with their maze of narrow roads and alleys [ clarification needed ] and the removal of road signs. A wargame was conducted at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst , . The controllers of the game assumed that the Luftwaffe had not diverted its daytime operations into bombing London on 7 September , but had continued its assault against RAF airbases in the South East.
Consequently the German High Command, relying on grossly overstated claims of RAF fighters shot down, were under the erroneous impression that by 19 September RAF front-line fighter strength had fallen to as against a true figure of over ; and hence that effective German air superiority might shortly be achieved.
The British army forces, delayed in moving units from East Anglia to the South East by bomb damage to the rail network south of London, were nevertheless able to hold onto positions in and around Newhaven and Dover , sufficient to deny their use by German forces.
Both the RAF and the Luftwaffe lost nearly a quarter of their available forces on the first day, after which it finally became apparent to the German command that British airpower was not, after all, on the point of collapse.
Was Hitler a Darwinian? No! No! No!
On the second day a Royal Navy force of cruisers and destroyers was able to reach the Channel from Rosyth , in time to intercept and destroy most of the barges carrying the second and third echelon of German amphibious landings for the game, these follow-up echelons had been held back from crossing the Channel on S minus one with the first echelon, instead sailing across on the night of S plus one. Without the second and third echelons, the forces ashore were cut off from reserves of artillery, vehicles, fuel and ammunition supplies; and blocked from further reinforcements. Isolated and facing fresh regular troops with armour and artillery, the invasion force was forced to surrender after six days.
According to the most detailed plans created for the planned post-invasion administration, Great Britain and Ireland were to be divided into six military-economic commands, with headquarters in London, Birmingham , Newcastle , Liverpool , Glasgow and Dublin. This involved detaching Scotland from the United Kingdom, the creation of a United Ireland , and an autonomous status for Western England. The list was headed by Oswald Mosley. James's "if the British behave[d] sensibly". A Channel 5 documentary broadcast on 16 July repeated the claim that the Germans intended to restore Edward VIII to the throne in the event of a German occupation.
However, despite German approaches , "The Duke never wavered in his loyalty to Great Britain during the war", according to a statement by the British Foreign Office. Had Operation Sea Lion succeeded, Einsatzgruppen "task forces" which operated as death squads under Franz Six were to follow the invasion force. Six's headquarters were to be in London, with regional task forces in Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh. The Einsatzgruppen were also tasked with murdering all Jews in Britain , over , people.
Six had also been entrusted with the task of securing "aero-technological research result and important equipment" as well as "Germanic works of art".
There is also a suggestion that he toyed with the idea of moving Nelson's Column to Berlin. The RSHA planned to take over the Ministry of Information , to close the major news agencies and to take control of all of the newspapers. Anti-German newspapers were to be closed down. It appears, based on the German police plans, that the occupation was to be only temporary, as detailed provisions for the post-occupation period are mentioned. According to captured German documents, the commander-in-chief of the German Army, Walther von Brauchitsch , directed that "The able-bodied male population between the ages of 17 and 45 will, unless the local situation calls for an exceptional ruling, be interned and dispatched to the Continent".
The UK was then to be plundered for anything of financial, military, industrial or cultural value,  and the remaining population terrorised. Civilian hostages would be taken, and the death penalty immediately imposed for even the most trivial acts of resistance. The deported male population would have most likely been used as industrial slave labour in areas of the Reich such as the factories and mines of the Ruhr and Upper Silesia.
Although they might have been treated less brutally than slaves from the East whom the Nazis regarded as sub-humans, fit only to be worked to death , living and working conditions would still have been severe.
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There is a large corpus of works set in an alternate history where the Nazi invasion of Great Britain is attempted or successfully carried out. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the planned Nazi invasion of Britain. For the wargame based on this plan, see Operation Sea Lion wargame. Main article: Adlertag. Main article: Operation Sea Lion order of battle. Main article: Battle of Britain.
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See also: Aircraft of the Battle of Britain. Main article: Operation Sea Lion wargame.
Main article: Operation Sea Lion in fiction. Germany portal United Kingdom portal War portal. BBC History. Archived from the original on 15 May Retrieved 7 May The History Learning Site. Archived from the original on 29 May Archived from the original on 3 March Retrieved 11 February Archived from the original on 7 March Retrieved 7 March Retrieved 8 April Ballantine, New York, Brian Bonnard. Alan Sutton Publishing. Archived from the original on 28 April Retrieved 28 April Archived PDF from the original on 16 February Retrieved 10 May Operation Sealion , p.