Paul Lakowski wrote:....
As I recall they reported 50% destroyed in the first day.
Would be nice if they gave a bit more details. Makes it real hard to back out who did what. They could even be assuming a large number were wrecked due to sea conditions or landing.
In the crete situation 15 cruiers and destroyers mounted 20 attacks over a week, sinking 5 merchants 3-4 destroyer/ TB & 11 barges leaving the other 40 and one torpedoboot . The retreat of the fleet was ordered by the Italian Admiral who freaked about his fleet being 400km away without radar facing an enemy had radar and who seemed to always know were they were [Ultra decrpts].
And you don't think this was the correct response. If I'm in an unarmed vessel and most/all my escort is sunk or damaged I'm certainly not going to try getting past a bunch of faster armed vessels especially when shore is closer in the other direction.
Don't think a German fleet would face the same problem [few ships had radar in 1940 and no ultra] and thus would not be recalled ,especially since the crossing was under army control and they would balk at the loss of a few barges.
I see this as a perscription for disaster. While not as many British ships had radar there are a whole lot more recon elements out there to direct them.
AS I recall later that week another invasion fleet got through?
Once there weren't any British naval assets in the area.
.... Only each sides reported returns can be trusted. But even if you take the inflated RN claim, its always a battle between many vessels on each side, so 450 battles probably represents 1000-2000 vessels achieveing 250 kills or an average of 0.25 to 0.12 kills per clash and probably more realistically 1/2 of those. This agrees well with other reports of coastal craft clashes, where 1/3 of the vessels are damaged with 1/2 of those crippled/destroyed.
I would expect higher casulty rates in this case however. The British nead to defeat the invasion and the Germans need to protect the invasion fleet. But even if this is the case after only 2 sets of engagments casulaties are running over 50%. The supperior odds and ships of the RN will tend to make their losses relativly lower than the KM resulting in a rapidly deteriating situation for the Germans. Also if the KM wins a fight then they just cut down the odds a little. If the British win one they are into the invasion fleet. The latter might happen even without the British "defeating" (ie causing more casualties than they take) the escorts.
The barge fleet attacked was scores of vessels tied to each other in rows many deep. But since Germans controled the channel it would be all good, or bad depending on your POV.
I'm not sure how you can claim the Germans controled the channel. Was the plan really to tie the barges to gether in rows? This seams like another perscription for disaster. It takes away all maneuverability and if a vessel founders it can drag down its mates.
You are right about the problem of controling troops in barges, but many exercises occured and only few such instances reported .Schenk reports they took steps to instruct and train troops on barge edicate
Can you tell me more about these? Such as when and where and what was involved. Most I've read about were in daylight with good weather and of course no opposition.
In the end its rather moot , you can't win or lose a war based stricktly on logistics, which was the flaw in RN strategy.
Are you really trying to destroy any credibility you have in this regard? It may be hard to win purly on logistics but you certainly can loose based on them. In fact there is a pretty convincing argument that that is why both the Germans and Japanese lost WWII.
Given the demonstrated robustness and adaptablity of German combat units in battle even with limited logistics, they would have enough of what they need to achieve their goal of over running the Uk in a month.
With the equipment they are taking over agains a very light defence I doubt that they could advance more than 10 miles a day. The defence they encounter will be anything but light especially after the first day.
Once the UK ports and airflields and radar stations start falling into German hands the whole thing would snowball and the country & institutional structure would disintegrate beneath the RN/RAF no matter how courageous they are , forcing them into a 'fight or flight' situation.
There is a very good chance indeed almost a certainty that any ports they capture won't be very usuable for longer than a month. Loosing the radar stations will hurt some but it's not as if the British wouldn't know at this point where to find the LW and if by chance they are not there well then they can attack surface targets. As for airfields taking them is all fine and good but they don't do you much good until you have pushed the front lines out of artillery range of them.