Sealion invasion beaches - the German plans

Discussion in '1940' started by phylo_roadking, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    All, I know more about the British plans for invasion in 1940 compared to the German plans...must eventually get round to buying a copy of Peter Schenk's book! - and have a query...

    How close is THIS list - apart from the "urban" entries like Dover and Dover harbour quays - to the GERMAN list of named landing beaches for either version (tho'; probably the later version) of SEALION???

  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  3. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    I noticed on Friday that the Imperial War Museum is selling a book about the proposed Operation SeaLion. It is made up from files and was only a few pounds.

    I have already purchased this:
    Notes On German Preparations For The Invasion Of The United Kingdom - Naval & Military Press

    Which appears to be quite good but I've only flicked through it.

    That looks really interesting but you kind of wonder whether it is a bit of a 'puff piece' or a really objective survey....
  4. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    but you kind of wonder whether it is a bit of a 'puff piece' or a really objective survey

    Depends who those original files were drawn up by and for ;)

    Drew - would you mind having another flick and seeing if there's any correlation between that list and what else the British "knew" (as in...THOUGHT they knew!) about the proposed landing beaches?

    I'm trying to come at the isue from the German side - but would like to see how well it dovetailed with the British side :)
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The book I have suggests anywhere between The Wash and Weymouth and goes on to list 111 beaches/locations including county, beach gradients, mileage and additional remarks like what the area is made up of ie sand, shingle, cliff, rock etc.
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  7. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Ah! So it's a collation of the German files and preparations ;)

    What I'm trying to find out is this...

    Look back at my list again. THAT is the list of target beaches for Operation BANQUET - the gas bombing of invasion beaches and locations by the RAF...

    ...but it's a VERY small and VERY specific list! ;) So I'm trying to find out HOW specific - compared to the final version of the German plans...

    ...and thus by the "Duncan Campbell Process" try and work out how much detail the British knew the actual German plans! :)

    Hence my parallel question elsewhere about Canaris...
  8. Heimbrent

    Heimbrent Well-Known Member

    Phylo, I'll be in Freiburg in April or so, if that's not too late I'll have a look at the plans for Seelöwe.
  9. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    That would be great! I've a feeling this one won't be cleared up THAT soon LOL After all - the aspect of Canaris detailed contribution to the British war effort is still..."obscure" ;) even after all this time!
  10. gaspirator

    gaspirator Member

    I can shed some light on the target list following a trip to TNA last week.

    Firstly 'Plan Banquet' appears to have been a scheme whereby upon invasion, anything that looks like it can fly and has somebody to fly it (ie flyer training aircraft etc), will be flying in some sort of capacity, either on offensive ops or as Army co-operation.

    That's all there is to Banquet - there's no mention of any special intention to be carrying chemical ordnance of any description. I assume that Banquet aircraft might have been deploying gas if required, but the plan is only about mobilising second-line machines. I only drew one file (WO 199/333) but there's loads more in AIR.

    The target list of Kent comes from AIR 2/5200 and is from 'Plan Y', which did indeed intend to cover these areas with mustard using 65-lb aerial bombs.

    The reason the list is so precise is not based on intelligence of specific German intentions; it is simply a list of possible landing beaches in Kent.

    The purpose of Plan Y is to produce, at all points where stores could be landed, a concentration of mustard gas in sufficient quantity to dislocate the enemy's maintenance programme. It will not prevent the landing of troops.
    (Last line in original document faintly underlined in pencil, not italicised)

    The whole reasoning behind Plan Y is the possiblity of the Germans taking the Kent peninsula and reinforcing a supply corridor across the Channel with coast guns established in Kent. If this happened, then the Germans would have guns on both sides, as well as E-boats and minefields, denying passage to all but their shipping. (The Royal Navy might have had something to say about this...)

    So it's the threat of enemy guns on both coasts and it being the shortest supply route that lead to the possibility of mustard on Kent beaches. I assume a landing in Sussex would have been annoying, but German guns here would not close off the Channel as they might if they were in Kent.

    On the subject of German 'plans' being published; I've not seen the 'Notes On German Preparations For The Invasion Of The United Kingdom', but the book the IWM is selling is NOT the German plans. This is just a partial translation of some of the German intelligence material, ie a straight-faced assessment of the English landscape, not specific battle plans.

    There are various monographs in TNA that outline German plans (as gained from intelligence/documents just after the war), but I don't think they specifically list the invasion beaches - you just get small-scale maps showing the arrows sweeping across from France to general areas in Sussex and Kent, roughly between towns such as Bexhill and Hastings and Hythe and Folkestone.

    I for one would dearly love to see the German plans published verbatim with maps, orbats, photos etc but *without* any sort of 'what if' contamination...

    - Pete
  11. Heimbrent

    Heimbrent Well-Known Member

    I'll do my best not to forget till April - feel free to remind me again. As soon as I have info on the docs, I'll post here.
  12. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    via FMP, Daily Record, 26 October 1940
    Daily Record 26 October 1940.png
    Deacs likes this.

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