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"Sealion" books - 2010

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by phylo_roadking, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Is is just me....or in all the furore of the anniversary of the Battle of Britain...

    Have the publishers forgotten it's also the anniversary of the OTHER big threat to the United Kingdom???:mellow:

    Sealion has ALWAYS been the poor relation to the BoB - you can name ALL the decent books ever written on it on the fingers of one and a half hands! :lol: And even then so many of those are mere "impression" books like Fleming's wonderful on public and governmental mood, major events, all that stuff - but short on real detail on the defence or planned offence.
     
  2. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Battle of Britain was reality.

    Sealion was theory because of the BoB.

    Having said that, I would buy any decent well researched book that dealt with information that wasn't available for previous editions!

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  3. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Sealion was theory because of the BoB.

    Geoff - a bit more than theory, because some very "concrete" plans were made to prosecute it and defend against it! :lol: We're still tripping over the remnants of Sealion in some parts of the country, after all...and it prejudiced British military planning for some time - distribution of forces, do we/don't we send troops to the Middle East, do we/don't we give tanks or planes manufacturing priority, a whole range of decisions depended on and evolved from the threat of invasion...if you look at Poston's British War Production for instance, even the long and troubled history of wartime British tank design and a whole series of undergunned or poorly-designed British tanks can be directly laid to decisions made under the threat of invasion in 1940.

    And yet the level of detail generally disseminated is very poor - for the British side of preparations. There's more more readily available for the German side - Keiser's and Schenk's excellent books, for example. The British side is split up among a range of more specialised books and records, there hasn't yet been one central collation of it all for publication like Schenk's.
     
  4. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Geoff - a bit more than theory, because some very "concrete" plans were made to prosecute it and defend against it! :lol:

    In theory only as the actual invasion did not eventuate. I am one of those (as can be seen by my "Sealion" thread posts) that is fascinated by Sealion and do not go along with those who say "we (Britain) would have been overrun in a week".

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  5. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Nor do I....but neither do I think it could have been as easy as just pushing them back into the sea in the first few minutes!...having studied some of their counterattacking plans and who was supposed to action them! :)
     
  6. slaphead

    slaphead very occasional visitor

    Nor do I....but neither do I think it could have been as easy as just pushing them back into the sea in the first few minutes!...having studied some of their counterattacking plans and who was supposed to action them! :)

    Well Phylo, there is no chance of you "hijacking" this thread as happened last time I said
    "Do tell us more!" ;) :D
     
  7. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Nor do I....but neither do I think it could have been as easy as just pushing them back into the sea in the first few minutes!...having studied some of their counterattacking plans and who was supposed to action them! :)

    The paratroops would have been the greatest initial danger of which they were well aware. If they were not isolated very quickly and denied airfields, a very dangerous situation would ensue.

    Did you get anything of interest from the war diaries?

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  8. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Did you get anything of interest from the war diaries?

    Been too busy plugging leaking roof! That's for tonight...

    The paratroops would have been the greatest initial danger of which they were well aware. If they were not isolated very quickly and denied airfields, a very dangerous situation would ensue

    The problem was WHO was to do this!

    The 5th Brigade Group of the NZ Division was stationed just east of Maidstone; when the invasion began, they were to motor down the A20 towards the town of Charing...then either head on south-east through Ashford to a start line at Sellinge and sweep from there towards Folkestone, clearing Lympne and Hawkinge....or from Charing move north-east to Canterbury to a start line there and sweep to the coast between Sandwich and Dover...which would have relieved Deal (IF there had been landings there) and protect Manston....

    Moving down the A20, they were to be protected from air attack by the 7th Brigade Group, two short battalions (one an odds-and-sods unit) on the hieghts to the north of the road; as necessary, this formation would similarly secure the area of the North Downs.

    At Charing...whatever way they moved - they were to be escorted/preceeded by "Milforce" a formation under Brigadier Miles, of 8RTR Matildas and the NZ div's "divisional cavlary" Vickers Lights, an MG company and a few other odds and sods. They were encamped at Charing.

    So - on the day...XII Corps would have to eventually get reports of landings filtered up to them via the Army, Police and LDV reporting chains, decide WHERE to send the 5th Brigade/Milforce, order them out...5th Brigade would have to motor down the A20, formate with Milforce, Milforce would have to preceed them at the reduced speed of their tanks - then beyond Sellinge they'd psition themselves to cover 5th Brigade's debussing. THEN the whole force - tanks and suppoting infantry - were to sweep across SEVERAL miles of Southern Kent!

    But this is only HALF the issue of "who's" job this was...

    They were commanded by one Brigadier James Hargest - the Jimmy Hargest who cocked-up BIG TIME on Crete...counterattacking paratroopers!!!

    What would a series of Hargest's failures in the Crete style do to the prosepects of a sucessful German first stage in Sealion??? :mellow:

    P.S. that's just a rhetorical question LOL but it's just one of the interesting questions my reading has thrown up...
     
  9. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    And no, it's not a what-if :lol: It's comparative history!:D
     

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