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Thread: What if thread #1: A German Dieppe

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    Bush Lawyer, that's me! TheKiwi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breerman View Post
    ...

    To me it instead seems likely that the outcome would have been decided on within the first 24 hours of the operation. If the German first and second wave managed to secure their strategic objectives I don't think the Brits would have managed to defeat the landed German forces fast enough i.e. the Germans would have been able to bring in troops faster than the Brits could defeat them on the ground.
    There is a name for an army that has run out of fuel, ammo and food. They're called POW's.

    The reason why the British had very little hope of cutting off the German supplies to Norway was that it was operating in Germany's back yard. Air support from the Luftwaffe could strike at RN ships long before they could hit anything worth while.

    In the English Channel, the roles are reversed. The RN can easily sail from harbours in Norwich or in the South West, strike German convoys and retire to safety overnight.

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    Senior Member goat89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Five words:

    Treguna, Mekoides, Tregorum Saydas Dee.

    If you've never seen Bedknobs and Broomsticks it's a fantastic movie. I liked it when I was 9, and I like it at age 36.

    On a serious note, I find myself wondering about the feasibility of such a raid on the UK, especially why the Germans would do such a thing with the intent to withdraw. Based on your own numbers (4000 men) being dropped and withdrawn in 24 hours, even successfully, might very well tell the Brits that this was all Germany could undertake. In any case, Churchill was PM, and he'd given his never surrender speech:

    "...we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."
    My God... thank you for reminding me of this movie... Thank you so much.

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    Senior Member BloodyTalon's Avatar
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    We need more "what if/dogs of war"-style threads here; they make for awesome mindgames.

    Anyways, I think your plan sounds more feasible for the Germans than Sea Lion was, but its still really problematic. The biggest issue in my opinion is that there seems to be practically no room for error and readjustment; everything has to go exactly as planned (the paratroopers are able to deploy and withdraw quickly, little to no resistance from the air and sea, etc.) or else the entire operation goes to hell. The only way I can see a raid like that working is as an interim operation in between the Battle of Britain if it was a German victory and a larger, more sustained ground operation in the future. That way it would serve as a probe of how heavy the initial defense would be as well as terrify the British population. Other than that, there sounds like too many risks for too little gain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKiwi View Post
    There is a name for an army that has run out of fuel, ammo and food. They're called POW's.
    I say again that that's the smallest problem over a 6 km strait that you practically could have your soldiers swim over (with some added flotation devices)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheKiwi View Post
    The reason why the British had very little hope of cutting off the German supplies to Norway was that it was operating in Germany's back yard. Air support from the Luftwaffe could strike at RN ships long before they could hit anything worth while.
    Same thing would have been the case in the English Channel. In many ways a much easier operation.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheKiwi View Post
    In the English Channel, the roles are reversed. The RN can easily sail from harbours in Norwich or in the South West, strike German convoys and retire to safety overnight.
    Sorry, but that's pure fantasy to me. First of all, no roles are reversed. It's more like an even playing field. Even if RN did what you say a few times it would a) not make a significant difference and b) those RN ships probably would have been decimated within a week by mines alone.

    The point during which RN would have made a significant difference would been during the first crucial hours of the operation.

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    Senior Member pocoloco's Avatar
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    There's also problem with the three waves of 4000 idea. I think RAF would have taken JU-52s down in great numbers so the number of paratroopers on 2nd and 3rd waves would have been drastically smaller than on the 1st one.

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    Bush Lawyer, that's me! TheKiwi's Avatar
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    Here is the problem Breerman. The surface KM was practically destroyed during the Norway campaign. Its effect on the RN is going to be almost zip. By the time July 1940 came around, the German Navy had also practically run out of mines (which was a pity for them as the magnetic mines had they been stockpilled would have been excellent for closing the channel). That only leaves submarines to prevent the sailings of the RN's destroyer flotillas. Submarines are great when you are dealing with slow merchants, not so good with high speed warships. I am not saying there will be no losses to submarines, but I am saying you will be disappointed if you are counting on them to stop the RN.

    Supplies are going to be critical, and the only way to get them is across the channel which BTW is 22km, not 6 in width at the closest point. The only shipping that was available that can land supplies on the beach (and that is what you are going to have to do because you can guarantee that the British will destroy the Dover docks if they are in danger of falling) are your converted river barges. Moving at 2-3 km/h or taking 7 - 10 hours to make it each way. That's pretty much a 24 hour round trip, so you are going to have to run them 24 hours a day to get the supplies to shore. They can't go faster, they'll swamp. They can't go in anything other than the lightest seas or they'll swamp. All it takes is a couple of days of bad weather and your forces will run out of supplies without the RN even casting off the docks. Never mind what this will do to your reinforcements. And a landing zone for Wehrmacht supplies is a big enough target that even Bomber Command might be able to hit it.

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    Bush Lawyer, that's me! TheKiwi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pocoloco View Post
    There's also problem with the three waves of 4000 idea. I think RAF would have taken JU-52s down in great numbers so the number of paratroopers on 2nd and 3rd waves would have been drastically smaller than on the 1st one.
    I am inclined to agree with you, hence my comment on the Luftwaffe needing air domination, and so the target having to be very close to France. That many Ju-52's in one location has the makings of a great many RAF aces.

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    Waywickedcool Federal Ninja Laconian's Avatar
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    Interesting idea. I think that the concept could not just be a raid. Raid to me implies an assault and then a withdrawal for some purpose, a HVT like a factory or destruction of harbor or airfield. Which would hamper the war effort (economically, pyshologically, militarily) but it could not be expected to hasten the end of the war. Even a planned withdrawal would give the Brits a feeling of "victory."

    In order to force Churchill to sue for peace, the Germans would have to establish a foothold, be able to resupply it and further project, operationally into the UK from there. Which based on your analysis, I'm not sure they could do. Would such a foothold hasten a US involvement in the war (not that the US could have done much as we were still unprepared for war)?

    In any case, IF the Germans could land a force, they would not have been able to sustain it for long enough to force Churchill to the peace table.

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    As an alternative Lac, how about a raid on a British Radar station, capturing the equipment and maybe an operator or two. A counterpoint as it were to the British operation that did the same thing to a German radar site.

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    Moderator James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKiwi View Post
    As an alternative Lac, how about a raid on a British Radar station, capturing the equipment and maybe an operator or two. A counterpoint as it were to the British operation that did the same thing to a German radar site.
    Like Bruneval? Interesting, and I think far more feasible than a large scale raid on on airfield or port. One could almost use the same plan. Drop paratroopers who split into two groups upon landing; one to assault and capture a radar installation, the second to neutralize a small section of beach defenses. Once they accomplish their objectives, they egress via E-Boats.

    The material captured at Bruneval allowed the Brits to develop chaff that was used with some effect later on to white out German radar screens, but I don't know that the Germans ever developed a similar capability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post

    The material captured at Bruneval allowed the Brits to develop chaff that was used with some effect later on to white out German radar screens, but I don't know that the Germans ever developed a similar capability.
    Window/Chaff certainly wasn't developed because of the bruneval raid.
    I'm not even sure what the capture of a Würzburg set exactly accomplished.
    The frequencies were allready well known to the british from passive ELINT measures.
    Both sides knew about the jamming effect of metal foils before the war, and both sides refrained from using it because they were afraid the other side might discover it then.
    The Luftwaffe started using chaff ("Düppel" in German) in 1943 as well, both in the "baby blitz" raids on britain as well as in the short lived strategic bombing campaign against the USSR in 1943-44 and in other sporadic raids.
    AFAIK the Bari disaster happened because of successful german chaff laying.

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    Moderator James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCR View Post
    Window/Chaff certainly wasn't developed because of the bruneval raid.
    I'm not even sure what the capture of a Würzburg set exactly accomplished.
    The frequencies were allready well known to the british from passive ELINT measures.
    Both sides knew about the jamming effect of metal foils before the war, and both sides refrained from using it because they were afraid the other side might discover it then.
    The Luftwaffe started using chaff ("Düppel" in German) in 1943 as well, both in the "baby blitz" raids on britain as well as in the short lived strategic bombing campaign against the USSR in 1943-44 and in other sporadic raids.
    AFAIK the Bari disaster happened because of successful german chaff laying.
    Capturing the Wurzburg taught the Brits that they'd have to use chaff because other radar jamming techniques weren't effective.

    Anyway, this thread isn't about showing everyone that you know more than the rest, it's about "What if"...

  13. #28
    Waywickedcool Federal Ninja Laconian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKiwi View Post
    As an alternative Lac, how about a raid on a British Radar station, capturing the equipment and maybe an operator or two. A counterpoint as it were to the British operation that did the same thing to a German radar site.
    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Like Bruneval? Interesting, and I think far more feasible than a large scale raid on on airfield or port. One could almost use the same plan. Drop paratroopers who split into two groups upon landing; one to assault and capture a radar installation, the second to neutralize a small section of beach defenses. Once they accomplish their objectives, they egress via E-Boats.

    The material captured at Bruneval allowed the Brits to develop chaff that was used with some effect later on to white out German radar screens, but I don't know that the Germans ever developed a similar capability.
    But would it have changed the course of the war? Certainly it may have prolonged it, maybe even by years, but I don't think that it would have changed the outcome.

  14. #29
    Bush Lawyer, that's me! TheKiwi's Avatar
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    I agree. There is nothing in my German Dieppe that would make a bean of difference to the length of the war. On the other hand, both sides indulged themselves in such behaviours, sometimes to make a political point, other times for some marginal advantage. This one I see as a political gesture because it most certainly could not be supported as any kind of military benefit.

    As a point of interest, I gather that several RAF radar sets were captured by the Germans during the Battle for France, but their experten dismissed them as rather primative.

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    Senior Member nemowork's Avatar
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    Which was a perfectly fair and valid evaluation, the high tech revolution from things like the cavity magnetron hadnt come into general use and the real genius of the British radar wasn't the sets which were no more advanced than any other nations but the command and control system behind them.

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