Would Hitler really have invaded Britain?

Discussion in 'General' started by spidge, Nov 26, 2008.

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Did Hitler really have the intention to invade Britain or was he bluffing?

  1. Yes

    6.8%
  2. No

    93.2%
  1. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    What is your personal view. Did Hitler really have the intention to invade Britain or was he bluffing?

    Yes or No!
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I voted yes to your question.

    My reasons for believing this to be the case.

    Operation Sea Lion
    [​IMG]

    Barges were at the French Ports and there was a build up of troops at the coast in anticipation of the RAF being defeated.

    However I also think that if Britain surrendered or seeked to negotiate a peace he wouldn't have bothered to invade.

    Just my 2 penith :)
     
  3. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Senior Member

    Drew,

    "However I also think that if Britain surrendered or seeked to negotiate a peace he wouldn't have bothered to invade."


    It is my personal view that IF the UK Government had tried to accept a surrender or 'negotiated peace', they would have been forcibly removed from office by the people, specifically, the British Armed Forces, with the people's total support.


    John.
     
    James S likes this.
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Interesting point and possibly another thread.

    I'm not so sure that would have been the case though. For example a lot of people in London during the Blitz had just about had enough. I read a article/saw a documentary where Churchill visted the East End and the locals didn't give him a very warm welcome when he started giving a never surrender speech to the crowd.

    Andy
     
  5. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    What is your personal view. Did Hitler really have the intention to invade Britain or was he bluffing?

    Yes or No!

    The Battle of Britain and the Blitz weren't bluffs so why would the invasion be?
     
  6. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Senior Member

    Andy,

    "For example a lot of people in London during the Blitz had just about had enough. I read a article/saw a documentary where Churchill visted the East End and the locals didn't give him a very warm welcome when he started giving a never surrender speech to the crowd."



    Yes, I remember seeing that clip in the 'World at War' series, and understand the sentiment, but as the Blitz wore on I think the people wanted revenge.

    Both a surrender and a 'Peace' would have involved German troops on British soil, and the rounding up of a LONG list of people destined for the camps.
    Prior to the Blitz, Dunkirk and the BoB had greatly effected the British people, and I simply cannot see the RN, RAF and British Army simply laying down their arms without a god-awful fight.

    It hard enough beating a Pom on the turf without trying to kill him! Usually the ONLY way a Pom lies down!


    John.
     
  7. Ferahgo

    Ferahgo Senior Member

    Yes. He would have, I have no doubts. I W H Smiths I bought a little green book in the special offer war section entitled 'German Invasion Plans for Britain 1940' It is the abridged/translated Operation Sealion. It is scary the kinda stuff they have in there, condition of the roads and the sufacing percentages for whole counties. Power station outputs, exact numbers of railway engines/trucks etc in 1936, and secret floor plans to all the important buildings; the air tunnel at Farnborough, the Hovis flour mills in London and the HMV gramaphone factory in London...
     
  8. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    I think as the summer wore on he was less inclined.
    Certainly there was nothing bluff about the air attacks and the bombing but his eyes were already moving towards the east.
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    OzJohn.

    I do agree with you but also on the other hand I wonder if they- the Soldiers, Saiolors and airmen would have just done as they are told. After all they did swear to King, heirs and blah blah governments etc etc etc. and we do have a culture in Britain of moaning alot but not doing much about it.

    I think if Britain seeked peace it would have been with no German troops in Britain ie leave us alone and we'll leave you alone.

    Andy
     
  10. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    'German Invasion Plans for Britain 1940'
    I've got that Ferahgo, strange little book isn't it.

    Not that the pure existence of planning really completely proves an intention, but there was little point in the European domination plan as a whole if it didn't include Great Britain, perfidious Albion being something of a large and dangerous thorn to leave standing just 30 odd miles off the coast. Adolf's 'WW1 Corporal' side also surely strongly believed that Britain must pay 'properly' for the outcome of that war.
    There is something of a grey area; as yes, I believe Hitler would have been delighted at a British surrender, and even briefly thought it likely. Yet even a 'negotiated peace' would have had very similar results to a purely military conquest. We'd have likely been 'invaded' anyway to all intents and purposes with utter subjugation and formal repressive occupation being the eventual outcome of any kind of British collapse, whether military or political. They certainly never left any other conquered nation alone, whether they promised to or not

    Now I have to ask a question back Spidge; What makes you ask?
    Been reading something interesting?

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  11. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Well first of all I dont think that the OKW anticipated the French Campaign to be so successful so quickly. So they were left at the Channel, with no real idea what to do next. I'd say that they envisaged a longer campaign which explains why things seemed so rushed. They were racing against the onset of Autumn. They realised that if Britain was to be invaded then post-Dunkirk was the time to do it. They just got beat by the timetable and a certain little factor called the RAF.
     
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    This makes interestin reading.
    Operation Sealion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    It seems everyone should be eliminated except the Army prior to an Invasion

    In wargames conducted at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1974, which assumed the Luftwaffe had not yet won air supremacy, the Germans were able to establish a beachhead in England by using a minefield screen in the English Channel to protect the initial assault. However, the German ground forces were delayed at the "Stop Lines" (e.g., the GHQ Line), a layered series of defensive positions that had been built, each a combination of British Home Guard troops and physical barriers. At the same time, the regular troops of the British Army were forming up. After only a few days, the Royal Navy was able to reach the Channel from Scapa Flow, cutting off supplies and blocking further reinforcement. Isolated and facing regular troops with armour and artillery, the invasion force was made to surrender.
     
  13. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Senior Member

    Andy,


    "the Soldiers, Saiolors and airmen would have just done as they are told. After all they did swear to King, heirs and blah blah governments etc etc etc. and we do have a culture in Britain of moaning alot but not doing much about it.

    I think if Britain seeked peace it would have been with no German troops in Britain ie leave us alone and we'll leave you alone."



    I disagree on both those points. I am certain that EVERY British serviceman and woman was absolutely determined that Mr hitler was NOT going to sent foot on British soil no matter what Chamberlain, Halifax or Churchill said or did.

    And there is NO POSSIBLE WAY King George 6th would have gone along with it! When it was suggested that the Princesses should be evacuated to Canada, the Queen replied, "The children will not leave with out me, I will not leave without the King, and he will NEVER leave!".

    'NUFF SAID!


    John.


    PS,

    Hitler would NEVER make peace without german troops on British soil!
     
  14. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    When you look at Sealion and Overlord there is a total contrast in the nature of preparations and planning.

    Sealion was cobbled together - the Kgm. didn't want to do it knowing they had nothing to support or protect the landing force with and if Crete is anything to go by a paratroop drop would have been hugely costly if not fatal to the invasion force , it is just difficult to see it being a success.

    War gaming for Russia had already started in the summer of 1940 , the initial intention might have been to invade but this faded as the desired outcome of the BOB eluded them.
     
  15. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    the initial intention might have been to invade but this faded as the desired outcome of the BOB eluded them.
    That's a key part of any answer to the question really isn't it.
    At what exact point did hard intention move to mere hope? The BoB?, or perhaps as soon as Goering began to make big promises as the Dunkirk (etc.) evacuations became a reality?
     
  16. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Drew made the point that when they stopped at the Channel it was a bit like the old Spike Milligan show " What are we going to do now".
    They had to continue to attack GB - by air and it would have followed that plans to invade would have been made/ had to be made - the army could plan until their hearts were content but without the navy to get them there it was not going to happen , and the navy had ( at that time anyway) effectively been killed off in Norway.
    This was the reality of the situation , crossing the Channel was a high risk operation without control of the sea and the air it represented a huge risk.
    I would (IMHO) view Dunkirk as being when it all fell apart (wonderful thing hindsight !) - had the bulk of the BEF gone into the bag we would have been in trouble.
    In 1940 ( as I read it) Hitler to some extent still lack the confidence to exert himself in the same way he did from 41 onwards and the professionals still had a degree of sway.

    Other options were pushed , Raeder and Goering saw the Med. - defeating Britain there - it would have been difficult to see how things would have gone if the Middle East had fallen and the Germans potenitally might have been able to cut India and Australia / New Zealand off from GB.
    Gibralter , Malta , Alex, Cairo , Suez , the Gulf gone , Italy would probably have taken the horn of Africa ?
    Would direct invasion have been necessary to force GB to accept terms ?
    By early 41 Germany was doing what she should perhaps have been about in 1940. ( Be it just to bail out the Italians).
    Whilst plans existed I think direct invasion was a least preferred option and Soviet moves in Eastern Europe and Hitler's intrinsic desire to wage war on Russia drew him more and more in that direction.
     
    Gerard likes this.
  17. WotNoChad?

    WotNoChad? Senior Member

    I think the intention was there, but after the planning it would have become more than a trifle obvious that the Germans lacked both the equipment and the experience for such an enormous amphibious operation. Thank god for that narrow strip of water.
     
    James S likes this.
  18. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Senior Member

    JS,


    "defeating Britain there - it would have been difficult to see how things would have gone if the Middle East had fallen and the Germans potenitally might have been able to cut India and Australia / New Zealand off from GB.
    Gibralter , Malta , Alex, Cairo , Suez , the Gulf gone ?"


    If Suez had been blocked, all shipping traffic would simply have gone 'via the Cape' as it had done for 100s of years.



    "Would direct invasion have been necessary to force GB to accept terms ?"


    More than that, FAR more than that!

    Not only would the invasion have had to have been successful, but the vast majority of the people of Britain would have had to have been gathered at Land's End and John O'Grouts!!!! With rifles in hand and no bullets left!

    John.
     
    James S likes this.
  19. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Now I have to ask a question back Spidge; What makes you ask?
    Been reading something interesting?

    Cheers,
    Adam.

    No Adam however there are two reasons.

    We discussed this here in December 2005 which was a very interesting thread and a lot of different people involved.

    This is a good read if you have the time:

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/nw-europe/5788-operation-sealion.html

    Second is the "Historians" saying the Japanese never intended to invade Australia. I think they did until the tide turned in the Pacific.

    Your response/opinion is similar to mine on "Sealion" inasmuch as his intentions did not match his ability.

    I think this one is getting interesting as well.
     
    von Poop likes this.
  20. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    John , as you rightly say shipping did go round the Cape but a German victory in the Middle east might well have openned up prospects for attacking that supply line in the Indian Ocean.
    Had German attentions not moved east and had she stayed focused on GB there is every likelyhood that she could have forced a reluctant Britain to accept terms , it unplatiable but it might well have come to pass.
    Churtchill had political enemies whom he took care off in 1940.
    NBritain was at her weakest in 1940 yet Germany lacked the materials to deliver a knockout blow to her by way of cutting her off from America / the Empire and they lacked the materials and expereince ( which most have erroded their own confidence) to launch an invasion.
    I think the practical difficulties did undermine the intent even though preparations had been made / were underway - the extent of the actual preparations required and the uncertainty of the outcome made an impact on the Germans.
    The Kriegsmarine were never sold on it and displayed little confidence in the venture and perhaps in 41 some of them looked back after Crete and think , "thank God we didn't go for Sealion".
    Not only would the invasion have had to have been successful, but the vast majority of the people of Britain would have had to have been gathered at Land's End and John O'Grouts!!!! With rifles in hand and no bullets left!
    That an invasion could have been successfully undertaken was what increasingly swung against it taking place - the window of opportunity was small and although in June it seemed probable - to plan , prepare and be in a position to launch in three months , an operation which they had no navy to support and no craft which would carry them - Rhine barges with aero engines on them in the Channel.
    I would agree the resistance factor would have been huge and the supression of it would have been brutal , Heydrich would have not split hairs.

    Unfortunately we do tend to drift into the land of "what if" , I would not discount the possibility that had Germany made a full blooded attempt to isolate GB and wage a prolonged war on her alone - ignoring Russia things could have been very close - but at what point would America have come in as she surely would have.
    Given the pattern of lend lease / ships for bases would it have been extended ?

    Spige
    Your response/opinion is similar to mine on "Sealion" inasmuch as his intentions did not match his ability.
    This is how I would read it , but there were enough voices willing to doubt the ability based on the practical difficulties involved.
    Hitler talked about attacking in the west in 39 and was persuaded not to but as Adam says when did intention become modulated on by the reality of what was possible.
     

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