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. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I do believe there were plans to use Bridgnorth, Shrops as the German HQ.

    Neil


    Yup, I've just seen this story.

    BBC News - Adolf Hitler's plans for British base in Shropshire

    Nazi documents suggest Adolf Hitler planned to make his personal headquarters in Shropshire if he had successfully invaded Britain during World War II.
    Historians think he considered Shropshire as the ideal base because it was located in the centre of the country with excellent rail and communication links.
    The historical maps illustrate how the Nazis had earmarked Bridgnorth as a town they wanted to move into as a potential base.
    Presenter Richie Woodall looks at how Shropshire could have become Hitler's base if he had won the war.
    BBC Inside Out is broadcast on BBC One in the West Midlands on Monday, 10 December at 19:30 GMT and nationwide on the iPlayer thereafter for seven days.
     
  2. Thunderbox

    Thunderbox Member

    I very much doubt Hitler had any interest in Bridgenorth for his own purposes.

    More likely it was chosen as a forward army group headquarters on the assumption that British resistance would eventually withdraw into the West and North. It would make sense for the Germans to make their decisive move NW to knock out Liverpool and the other NW ports, to split the likely remaining British concentrations, and to provide air bases in striking range of the NW approaches.

    Interesting that archaeological examination of UK defences seems to indicate that concentric defences and blocking positions were placed to counter just this eventuality....
     
  3. Jack_Goulding_info

    Jack_Goulding_info Junior Member

    I think the invasion might have come once the intended U-boat blockade was in effect, choked of oil and essential materials -an effective defense wasn't possible. The U-boats nearly brought the convoys to a halt, thankfully Allied technology gave victory over and under the sea.

    Looking at the logistics of a Sea born invasion in the Fall of 1940 Hitler wasn't ready to invade Ireland, let alone England, they did manage to take Jersey though.

    Cheers,
     
  4. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Too damned right he would. If he could knock out the RAF first and he did not do that. had he landed he would have taken the country with ease. We had nothing to fight with....His failure to take GB cost him the wa,r had he got here he had an industrial nation that he could have worked to death, and enlisted the nations men to servve uderr the Germans...... He lost the war the day he failed to take the UK

    In the round no german ever set foot on the sacred fields of the United Kingdom Only if he were captured
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    In the round no german ever set foot on the sacred fields of the United Kingdom Only if he were captured


    Whats that you say?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Buffnut453

    Buffnut453 Member

    Had things happened a little differently in 1940, I don't think Hitler would have needed to invade. Had 11 Gp of the RAF been forced to retreat from the airfields in East Anglia and eastern Kent, it would have left London entirely exposed to Luftwaffe attacks. The Government would either have to relocate or give up but either option would likely have resulted in Churchill being ousted from office.

    There were many in positions of power who quite admired Hitler - the "we're all in it together against the Nazis" wasn't quite as clear-cut back then as we like to make it today. I commend the book "Five Days in May" which provides ample evidence of how opinions spanned the spectrum from those of Churchill through appeasers/negotiators to outright admirers of Hitler.

    Had Churchill's government fallen, there's every likelihood that it would be replaced by a more pliant alternative which could, ultimately, have been compelled to invite Herr Hitler to station German forces on mainland British soil.

    Was an opposed German landing an option in 1940? Probably not but if things had gone badly for 11 Gp, the threat of Sea Lion might have tipped the balance for any post-Churchill cabinet to sue for peace...and that's what Hitler so desperately needed. Thankfully, his wishes didn't come true and the UK became not only an unsinkable aircraft carrier for the Allied bomber offensive against Germany but also the jumping-off point for the emancipation of Europe.
     
  7. Vitesse

    Vitesse Senior Member

  8. red devil

    red devil Senior Member

    I think the invasion might have come once the intended U-boat blockade was in effect, choked of oil and essential materials -an effective defense wasn't possible. The U-boats nearly brought the convoys to a halt, thankfully Allied technology gave victory over and under the sea.

    Looking at the logistics of a Sea born invasion in the Fall of 1940 Hitler wasn't ready to invade Ireland, let alone England, they did manage to take Jersey though.

    Cheers,
    Do not think technology was the answer, in the Battle of the Atlantic the sonar was near useless in heavy weather. HF/DF did help a lot though. Sheer training and instinct won us through. If in any doubt - Captain Walker RN - History
     
  9. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    I think the invasion might have come once the intended U-boat blockade was in effect, choked of oil and essential materials -an effective defense wasn't possible. The U-boats nearly brought the convoys to a halt, thankfully Allied technology gave victory over and under the sea.

    The high point of which was 1941...by which time Hitler was concentrating on something else entirely ;)
     
  10. TripleJay

    TripleJay Junior Member

    This is one thing that has always intrigued me. I have always thought he intended to, but in the back of my mind there is always doubt. After defeating the RAF, the Luftwaffe was free to bomb Britain to ruins and force Britain to surrender due to the bombing alone. However, an invasion after heavy bombing sounds all too true...and especially realistic. I voted 'No' because I believe he would have worse come to worse, but if not just use the Luftwaffe, like what Buffnut said.
     
  11. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Had things happened a little differently in 1940, I don't think Hitler would have needed to invade. Had 11 Gp of the RAF been forced to retreat from the airfields in East Anglia and eastern Kent, it would have left London entirely exposed to Luftwaffe attacks.

    Even if Eleven Group had to withdraw north of the Thames, London was still protectable by TWELVE Group...

    [​IMG]

    ..remembering that the Duxford Wing etc. were fully involved in the airfighting over the capital when the Luftwaffe turned on London in the first week of September 1940. Twelve Group was still a LOT closer to London than the Luftwaffe's fields were! ;) Duxford was only 30-35 miles north of London...

    Twelve Group was also pretty well unattrited at this time...and in the continued absence of Luftwaffe raids on the North-east after "Black Thursday", there's the 12 Spitfire/Hurricane squadrons of Thirteen Group to be released south while Eleven Group was rebuilt.

    Between them, Twelve and Thirteen Group actually had one more monoplane fighter squadron than Eleven Group as of the 1st of September 1940! This was one of the points raised against Dowding by Sholto Douglas in October - that he hadn't rotated exhausted squadrons out of Eleven Group early enough and often enough into Twelve and Thirteen Groups to prevent said exhaustion - but it also meant that they were there to replace Eleven Group if necessary.


    The Government would either have to relocate...

    There were well developed plans for this; a range of properties - hotels, schools, etc. were identified for the various ministries to relocate out of London - usuaully on or near the RAF telex network - and as the war progressed, a range of standard office block complexes were built to accomodate them if necessary.
     
  12. Buffnut453

    Buffnut453 Member

    All valid points...but I'm not rising to the bait of getting into a "Duxford Big Wing" discussion. :)

    I think the more pertinent point is whether Londoners would have felt secure knowing that 11 Gp had retreated. Given some of the visceral dislike in Parliament for Churchill, I still think a major setback for 11 Gp could well have resulted in a no-confidence vote, and who knows where that would have led. Of course, I'm "what-iffing" extensively here but the whole question of a German invasion is of that nature.
     
  13. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    B)B)hy owen and all who thought hitler would invade uk.i voted yes today.in fact i could never understand wy the germans with all there fire power and pushing our army into the sea did not.it has occurd to me.and if you look at the contrys they did invade.milatarely they where harmless.ill prepared for war,literaly no armed forces.easy targets,not so the uk.they did make an attemped to invade uk.my brother in the mp.s came home on leave and mentione his outfit had been sent to some coastal area.dont kno where.to repulse an atempted landind.i read in one of threads that people saw large fires and the smell of burning debrie in the sea.he said the water was alight.what it was, the powers that be. had placed fuel lines goieng out to sea for a cosiderable distants.the defence troops had allowed the enemy to enter the area,when well in.the area was set on fire.as for the germans getting suport in the uk.of course they would have.mosleys black shirts were waiting a chance to serve there masters.by the way they knighted mosley.that alone should tell you they would of had plenty of help.mosleys mother just died.91(Lady Mosly) she claims hitler as a great friend.she visited him often in berlin.and spent many happy hours in his company.she was smart.she went to live and die in france. all the best bernard85
     
  14. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    ...but I'm not rising to the bait of getting into a "Duxford Big Wing" discussion.


    Oh no, that's not germane to the subject - what is is that it existed - or rather, the squadrons comprising it did ;)

    I think the more pertinent point is whether Londoners would have felt secure knowing that 11 Gp had retreated.

    It's worth remembering that all during the BoB, and during the worst of the Blitz...Southern Railway moved two million workers a day in and out of London. Morale didn't collapse; people didn't go into their shelters and not come out again.

    It's also worth remembering how little the people actually knew about how the war was being conducted ;) Only what the BBC and the press was telling them....and as we know, that wasn't exactly free from...tampering. How is the average Londoners supposed to know which Spitfires are overhead - or where they came from? ;) To them - what matters is that they're there.

    Given some of the visceral dislike in Parliament for Churchill, I still think a major setback for 11 Gp could well have resulted in a no-confidence vote, and who knows where that would have led.


    This one's a non-starter; the Labour party was firmly on board the National Government...Churchill hadn't become PM until they'd signalled that they'd ONLY join the Government with him as PM and not Halifax. And Chamberlain...over his last 18 months...was one of the main uniting forces keeping the Conservatives in line behind Winston. For all his faults - and there were many - I've never been able to fault Chamberlain for how he behaved after Churchill became PM.
     
  15. Buffnut453

    Buffnut453 Member

    Your comments about workers being moved into and out of London and Londoners being unaware of how the battle is being fought are, surely, contradictory. Or was this mass movement of workers done so precisely that there was no risk of them learning that airfields were no longer being occupied? Biggin Hill, Hawkinge, Kenley etc aren't exactly the middle of nowhere. It would be noticed. People in the 11 Gp area, who'd seen fighters taking off daily, would notice the removal of said aircraft and would certainly start to worry, potentially moving into London for fear of the expected German invasion.

    More importantly, those who walked the halls of power would know. More than a few politicians and Lords wanted Edward restored to the throne. Halifax was a constant thorn in Churchill's side who made unilateral peace overtures to Germany - it wasn't until December 1940 that Churchill could get rid of him by "promoting" him to become the ambassador to the US.

    Churchill did survive a couple of no-confidence votes in 1941 and later but that was after the Battle of Britain "saved the nation". One wonders how well he'd have done if his political adversaries moved for such a vote because the defence of Britain was noticeably damaged.
     
  16. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Much talk of intrigue - Hard to believe the German general staff would advise on leaving the UK to be sorted out politically. They had just crushed much of Europe - were they really going to leave a fortress with a moat protected by the 'iron fist' of the Royal Navy out on the left flank of Europe. Every instinct and certainly the strategic and tactical nuance of the Generals would demand the destruction of a threat. Britain had an Empire she had shown the ability to tough it out a few years before. There would have been studies of actions and reactions - would there come a time when as before the USA was pushed into conflict, to suggest the German general staff did not factor the possibility of the UK becoming re-inforced and a danger is frankly ridiculous. Planning has to encompass strategy as defined by the leaders be they dictator or democrat - the soldier knows that.However ,I believe the overriding necessity would have been to destroy the threat to free up masses of forces tied up along the shores of Europe. If the question is invasion - we cannot advance our argument with what we know now, only with the situation as it would have looked to the planners. The German air had shown it's capability why would it not dominate the airspace over the UK? Would the Royal Navy with all it's might be able to fight in the confines of the channel without air cover. We must not talk of what we know happened but what planners would have from recent experience expect to happen.




    German Plans for the Invasion of England Operation SEALION 1947
     
  17. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    When Spidge first posed this question he said:
    What is your personal view. Did Hitler really have the intention to invade Britain or was he bluffing?
    Yes or No!
    I answered with an un-reserved "Yes" and, for what it is worth, I now elaborate.

    I was a teen-ager when war broke out and at that age politics did not form a large part of my life.

    By the time I was 19 however and about to be called up, I had matured enough to recognise the evil that was the Third Reich and, as a member of a Jewish family, I had no illusions whatsoever of what would have happened to me and members of my faith if Hitler were to eventually occupy the British Isles.

    I believed then and believe just as firmly today that Hitler, given his way, would have sought to occupy these Isles.

    That he was thwarted in his plans was the miracle of the times in which I lived.


    I posted the above way back in this thread and I have had no occasion to change my mind since then.

    Ron
     
  18. Buffnut453

    Buffnut453 Member

    Thanks for your perspective, Ron. I had wondered if you, or at least your family, were of the Jewish faith. That, of itself, would put you in a potentially most invidious position had you been captured. You have my deepest respect and, though you may not see yourself as a hero, I believe the simple action you and your brothers took of accepting the call to duty was, itself, heroic.

    I have no doubt that Hitler would have occupied the British Isles had he been given an opportunity so to do. If nothing else, the opportunity to influence the trade activities of the British Empire would have been too great to resist. Whether that occupation was accomplished by force or by other means, the result would have been the same. There is an excellent book entitled "Seduced by Hitler" which discusses the everyday decisions made by ordinary men and women that allowed the Nazi's evil to succeed. It offers thought-provoking questions about collaboration in occupied countries as well as the morality of "neutrality" when being neutral essentially meant treating the Nazis and the Allies as if they were the same, indeed it often resulted in aiding the Nazi cause through trade agreements etc. It is scary to think how many people when confronted with the Nazi evil simply turned away or used it as an opportunity to feather their own nest. I am so thankful that Britain retained its freedom, even though it was bitterly purchased.
     
  19. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  20. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    The channel islands could never be defended ,It is a fact that no enemy trod their jackboots on the UK mainland.

    I am sure that if the other vets here were asked "could we defned our Isle".The answer would be no....After dunkirk we had nothing. It is on record that the MOD gathered together all they could to make one Division a fully equipped unit (Third Div)

    THose days were full of imminent danger
     

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