I'm curious as to what your source would be for that second claim. Although there were plenty of reasons for the Germans to be hesistant about the prospects for SEALION, I've never heard that an outsized respect for the British WWI veteran had much to do with it. Certainly the Adjutant General's department of the War Office was rather less impressed by the utility of the veteran generation. War is a young man's game, after all, and enthusiasm alone cannot make up for the ravages of time and the atrophying of skills over twenty years. Although it was found necessary, for example, to recall many WWI-era officers from the Emergency Reserve to help train the rush of new conscripts in the summer and autumn of 1940, this was not seen as anything but a stopgap measure, the old lags having plenty of spirit but little knowledge of modern battle conditions. Best, Alan I'm thousands of miles away from my library, but I think its mentioned in Schirer's Rise and Fall etc - as part of OKW's assessment of British forces and manpower potentially deployed to defend against an invasion. IIRC it came from the same source documents that contained the projected German casualties in various scenarios, such as if London and other cities were defended. Many of the WW1 generation would still only have been 40-42 years of age; getting a bit slow for infantry work, but probably just fine for gunnery, support arms or as infantry in defensive tasks (i.e. defending urban fortifications). Of course updating modern weapons & tactics skills can be achieved at any battle school; the advantage of "old lags" is that they retain a remembered familiarity with military life, procedures, expectations - the bit that it takes new recruits significant time to come to terms with. This is very obvious when, say, you have a recruits' course that includes individuals with former military experience. There is plenty of contemporary evidence that former soldiers remain employable over several decades - after all, that is what happens in UK's current TA and Army reserves, particularly in specialist and officer pools.