ships needed for Sealion

German Kriegsmarine 1935-1945.

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Re: ships needed for Sealion

Postby lwd » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:03 am

That's a good question. It's worth noteing that http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... =+sea+lion
has a post by RichT listing the available KM assets and said post states:
...
At the beginning of August there were 18 U-Boot available and two new boats became operational. However, two were lost and two old boats were retired as training vessels, leaving 16 available at the beginning of September. Another three became operational in September giving a maximum of 19 available (and the strength did not change in October, one joined but one was lost, leaving 19 – see Clay Blair’s two-volume history for additional details on the proposed operations).
...

Could be the additional 10 were training boats pressed into service.
http://www.uboat.net/fates/losses/
Lists 57 Uboats available at the start of the war with 9 lost in 39. In 1940 up to September http://www.uboat.net/fates/losses/chart.htm lists another 20 lost. http://www.uboat.net/technical/shipyards/ lists 50 completed in 1940 but it's not clear howmany would have been in service in the September-October time frame.
http://www.uboat.net/ops/combat_strength.html does show that for most of 1940 the Germans had less than 20 U-boats at sea at any time. It also indicates that the desried SOP was to have 2/3 of the U-boats at sea at any one time.
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Re: ships needed for Sealion

Postby lwd » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:40 am

Found a reference that gives a more detailed acounting of the U boats as of Sept and Oct 1940:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... &start=135
RichT wrote:
Planned U-Boot deployment for SEELÖWE:

(7 Type IX in the western entrances to the Channel, off the Cornish Coast, withdrawn from the plan by Group West, possibly for weather reconnaissance duties)

10 Type VII in the western channel south of Start Point
9 Type II off the western minefields, between the Isle of Wight and Beachy Head
6 Type II in the southern North Sea between East Anglia and Holland
2 Type II off the Northumbrian Coast
3 Type II and 2 Type VII off the entrances to Scapa Flow

Total required: 39 U-Boats (20 Type II, 12 Type VII, 7 Type IX). In all respects this was weaker than the force generated for Weserübung that had such disasterous results in April.

Actually operational as of 1 October:

Type IX - 7, plus two working up (one just commissioned 10 Sep and the other made its first patrol on 10 Nov). But of those available, 5 were actually already on patrol, sailing 15, 21, 21, 24, and 25 Sep, while the other 2 had just returned from patrol on 16 and 25 Sep.

Type VII - 13, plus 4 working up (one just commissioned 14 Sep and the others all made their first patrols in Nov). Of those available, 2 were no longer considered fit for operations and were withdrawn to the training command, 3 were actually already on patrol, sailing 16, 17, and 23 Sep, 7 returned from patrol on 16, 17, 25, 25, 25, 25 Sep, and 1 Oct, and 1 was refitting sailing on 7 Nov.

UA - was refitting.

Type II - 19 were in the training flotillas, of which 8 were no longer rated capable of frontline duties. Of the 13 in the operational flotilla, 5 were being transferred to the schools, of which 1 was no longer rated capable of frontline duties. Of the remaining 8, two sailed on patrol 16 and 17 Sep, 4 had returned from patrol 15, 20, 21, and 26 Sep, and the last two were working up with 1 commissioned on 4 Sep and the other making its first war patrol on 20 Nov).

Note that the typical turnaround time after returning from a war patrol was five to seven weeks depending on the amount of refitting and repairing that was required. So overall it appears that those probably available for commitment were:

Type IX - the 5 actually already on patrol....shortfall to plan was 2.
Type VII - the 10 actually already on patrol, of which 7 were nearly at the end of their patrol....shortfall to plan was 2 and by 1 October it would be by 9.
Typ II - 23 were still considered fit for frontline service...if the schools were stripped of all available boats, most of which would then sail with partly trained crews - at best. Practically there were at most 10 available, including 2 on patrol and 4 about to return from patrol...shortfall to plan was 10.

Total at the time
Type IX - 7 + 2 working up
Type VII - 13 + 4 working up
Type II - 32, 19 assigned to schools 8 of which were rated not fit for front line service and 13 in operational squadrons with 5 being transfered to the schools of which 1 was rated not fit for front line service, of the remainder 2 were working up. So if they raided the schools they end up with 25 uboats with well trained crews, 8 in the process of working up, and 15 school boats probably roughly equivalant to the 8 working up. But to get that many they have to have started cancelling patrols no later than the beginning of August and by early September none will be operational in the Atlantic. That's also rather optimistic for turn around times for some returning from patrols as well.
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Re: ships needed for Sealion

Postby Paul Lakowski » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:46 am

O'Hara et al report the following numbers [pp74-75]

July lists 51 at start of month and 27 in front line use.
Aug 54 at start of month and 25 in front line use
Sept; 57 At start of month and 22 in front line use
Oct;65at start of month and25 in front line usage
Nov ; 69 at start of month and 21 in front line use.
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Re: ships needed for Sealion

Postby Leandros » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:12 am

Paul Lakowski wrote:O'Hara et al report the following numbers [pp74-75]

July lists 51 at start of month and 27 in front line use.
Aug 54 at start of month and 25 in front line use
Sept; 57 At start of month and 22 in front line use
Oct;65at start of month and25 in front line usage
Nov ; 69 at start of month and 21 in front line use.


Halder, in his diary, refers to a briefing at the Army HQ (Brauchitsch) in the beginning of September 1940 by Admiral Dönitz. According to Halder Dönitz expected to have 44 boats ready for Seelöwe in September, not counting boats with known defects.

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Re: ships needed for Sealion

Postby august » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:19 pm

the germans did not have much of a navy at the time of dunkirk but they still could have mounted an invasion from all the ships they captured or could have captured had they been intent on doing so. if they had not allowed the bef to escape at dunkik and they had mounted an invasion within weeks of destroying the bef they would have captured england. hitler was fearful of launching an amphibious invasion and lost his nerve concerning britain.
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Re: ships needed for Sealion

Postby Alanmccoubrey » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:51 am

What you say might be true but for the existence of the Royal Navy which would have slaughtered the Germans at sea, regardless of loss to themselves.
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Re: ships needed for Sealion

Postby august » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:38 pm

If the germans had put every operational uboat they possessed as well as their entire navy in the channel against the royal navy in conjunction with every operational combat aircraft the luftwaffe then possessed in support of the invasion, i believe they would have put a sufficient number of men and material across the channel to subdue what would have been in terms of ground combat forces at least the defenceless british isles. i wonder why hitler never commandeered the french navy and enlisted the italian navy in an invasion armada against england.

off the subject i was once told that fdr in a letter to hitler offered him the entire german empire as it had been before the start of ww1 if he did not start a second world war. i wonder if that is true.
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Re: ships needed for Sealion

Postby lwd » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:54 am

I really can't understand why you would believe that. Simply look at what the Germans had avaialble at the time.
I don't think any of their battleships were available.
Maybe one or at the most 2 heavy cruisers.
2 or 3 light cruisers.
A hand full of destroyers.
And a few tropedo boats that may have had stabalized guns.
Everything else would be of extremly limited value in a gunfight vs the RN.
They did have some S boats and U boats but not that many.
Then there's the question of what ships they could have had to carry the troops and land them. Oh and it takes a little while to actuallly come up with a reasoanble plan as well.
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Re: ships needed for Sealion

Postby phylo_roadking » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:02 pm

...not forgegtting that the thousands of men the Kriegsmarine "found" to man the hundreds...thousands... of commandeered barges, and fishingboats, and motorboats, and ferries - came from the crews of their damaged capital ships that were under repair after Norway!

A little wrinkle there that the vast majority of people forget....if they were aware of it to begin with. It was one of the things that "helped" in the decision to abandon the KM's early idea of grounding two of theri old pre-Dreadnoughts off the coast of Dover and slugging it out with the shore batteries! They couldn't even muster skeleton crews for them - they had assigned virtually everyone elsewhere!

The KM was severely short of armed trawlers, S-boats etc. in that they had them - but they couldn't BOTH "fight" the RN AND escort the invasion flotillas! It's also werth remembering that the T-boats and S-boats were busy RIGHT up to the planned Sealion date mining...or attempting to mine...the Channel.

The thing is, August - the Royal Navy wasn't going to be IN the Channel...just its coastal craft and its destroyer flotillas. Capital ships couldn't actually operate in the Narrows, on both sides they would be restricted to the deeper waters. The Channel is actually a terrible place for navigation because of strong tides and currents...and mudbanks and shallows! The shipping lanes even today are resticted to two narrow channels (sic!) that are amazingly busy because all traffic has to flow through them. Adm. Forbes refused to let Home Fleet come further south than Great Yarmouth for that reason - AND because all the limits on navigation would limit their ability to manouver to avoid fall of shot (and bomb!) As an example - look at all the issues with just three VERY narrow channels to and from Dunkirk just a few weeks before...
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Re: ships needed for Sealion

Postby ljadw » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:35 am

august wrote:
off the subject i was once told that fdr in a letter to hitler offered him the entire german empire as it had been before the start of ww1 if he did not start a second world war. i wonder if that is true.


Of course: not

1)such letter does not exist

2)FDR had nothing to offer : what Germany lost after WWI,did ,ot belong to the US .
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