Maps for Seelöwe

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Re: Maps for Seelöwe

Post by lwd » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:09 am

phylo_roadking wrote: ... the shipping wasn't gathered or ready;....
Those of us who have participated in these conversations before are aware that the German plan required collecting almost 3,000 river barges as the primary cross channel transport. These river barges were engaged in commerce up until the Germans started requisitioning them and at tops speeds of a few knots they weren't going anywhere fast. Furthermore a significant number of those gathered were found to be in condition that made their use problematic. Many of the rest required signficant modifications as well. Even had the plan existed in say May I don't see how they could have been ready to launch an invasion in June certainly and July would be extremely problematic.

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Re: Maps for Seelöwe

Post by Leandros » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:58 am

lwd wrote:
phylo_roadking wrote: ... the shipping wasn't gathered or ready;....
Those of us who have participated in these conversations before are aware that the German plan required collecting almost 3,000 river barges as the primary cross channel transport..

The barge fleet was collected.... :wink:
lwd wrote:[These river barges were engaged in commerce up until the Germans started requisitioning them and at tops speeds of a few knots they weren't going anywhere fast. Furthermore a significant number of those gathered were found to be in condition that made their use problematic..
3.200 were refurbished and modified with drive-off ramps.
lwd wrote:[Many of the rest required signficant modifications as well. Even had the plan existed in say May I don't see how they could have been ready to launch an invasion in June certainly and July would be extremely problematic.
Mid-September 1.900 were ready in their departure ports. Only 1.150 were needed for the first assault wave.
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Re: Maps for Seelöwe

Post by lwd » Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:58 am

Leandros wrote: 3.200 were refurbished and modified with drive-off ramps.
That's the first I've seen that that many were modified with drive off ramps. What are your sources for this?
lwd wrote:[Many of the rest required signficant modifications as well. Even had the plan existed in say May I don't see how they could have been ready to launch an invasion in June certainly and July would be extremely problematic.
Mid-September 1.900 were ready in their departure ports. Only 1.150 were needed for the first assault wave.
Which has little bearing on the ability to launch a June invasion.

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Re: Maps for Seelöwe

Post by Leandros » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:58 am

lwd wrote:That's the first I've seen that that many were modified with drive off ramps. What are your sources for this?
Not many - 3.200! Honestly, lwd - you are discussing Seelöwe without knowing this....? Read my book!
lwd wrote:Which has little bearing on the ability to launch a June invasion.
In June, no. But, I find it a rather strong argument if you mean it had little bearing on an eventual invasion if they did'nt have ready barges or not....?
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Re: Maps for Seelöwe

Post by phylo_roadking » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:06 pm

Not many - 3.200! Honestly, lwd - you are discussing Seelöwe without knowing this....?
IIRC only a fraction were modified - COULD be modified....to lower the ramps themselves. A greater number required a large "A-frame" to be assembled by the men on board, then the ramp lowered....I.E. the A-frame assembled under fire :shock: But by far the greatest number required the ramp to be assembled after the barge was beached I.E. after they had been left high and dry.
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Re: Maps for Seelöwe

Post by Leandros » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:31 pm

Florin wrote:You are mentioning September, October... If there was ever an excellent moment to invade Great Britain, it was in June or July.
After that, forget about it.
I am more with Phylo_King on this. However, his transcript from Halder's visit in September is rather selective both on the conditions in the ports as well as loading equipment and the available number of Ju52's. If I remember correctly the port commanders did not see the sunken ships as a problem. This is detailed in my bok on Sea Lion (Halder's Diary).
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Re: Maps for Seelöwe

Post by Leandros » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:36 pm

phylo_roadking wrote:
Not many - 3.200! Honestly, lwd - you are discussing Seelöwe without knowing this....?
IIRC only a fraction were modified - COULD be modified....to lower the ramps themselves. A greater number required a large "A-frame" to be assembled by the men on board, then the ramp lowered....I.E. the A-frame assembled under fire :shock: But by far the greatest number required the ramp to be assembled after the barge was beached I.E. after they had been left high and dry.
They did have drive-off ramps.... :wink:....during training it took 4-5 minutes to assemble them (diary of 17th infantry division). I don't see what high and dry has got to do with it....wouldn't that be the ideal - as the opposite of drifting around... :? ...
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Re: Maps for Seelöwe

Post by phylo_roadking » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:41 pm

Yes, they were all "drive off" ramps....but there were at least three different ways they were deployed :wink:
I don't see what high and dry has got to do with it....wouldn't that be the ideal - as the opposite of drifting around...
1/ you have to either BE run aground....or wait until you're left high and dry by the ebbing tide - leaving you exposed for some considerable time to artillery and MG fire...

2/ the barge has to wait for the NEXT high tide until it is refloated - leaving it open to the RAF/FAA. Landing craft that don't rely on grounding can pull up their ramp and get the hell outta Dodge once they're empty!

3/ once refloated - the ramp has to be disassembled :shock:
during training it took 4-5 minutes to assemble them (diary of 17th infantry division)
4-5 minutes under fire before you can get off the barge and even think of finding cover means an awful lot of dying... :(

Also - I sincerely doubt this timing was for those ramps that had to be fully assembled by hand...as opposed to the prefabricated ramps that could just be hauled out, or deployed by A-frame :wink: And as above, it's going to be a sh1t of a job done under fire...
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Re: Maps for Seelöwe

Post by phylo_roadking » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:25 pm

However, his transcript from Halder's visit in September is rather selective both on the conditions in the ports as well as loading equipment and the available number of Ju52's. If I remember correctly the port commanders did not see the sunken ships as a problem.
Nor IIRC did Halder...what he saw as the real problem was that little or no attempt had been made at the time of his visit to repair/replace the cargo handing equipment he viewed necessary.

As for the number of Ju52s - that figure doesn't come from Halder - it comes from a range of other sources; regarding the losses in Norway, William Green reports 150 total losses throughtout the entire course of that campaign I.E. first week of April to first week of June. Regarding the numbers lost in the Low Countries - the information comes from a similar range of sources, beginning with those German sources used by Callum MacDonald for "Crete:The Lost Battle"
"Of the 430 Ju52s engaged in the operation, two-thirds either never returned from Holland or were so badly damaged as to be write offs."
(A quote from a German source; MacDonald gives chapter-by-chapter mini bibliographies but doesn't footnote each individual quote.)

From William Green...
"...losses mainly from anti-aircraft gunfire, were extremely heavy; in the five days that it took the Wehrmacht to crush the Netherlands, no fewer than 167m Junkers were totally destroyed, and a similar numberbadly damaged. By the end of 1940 a total of 1,275 Ju 52/3ms had been delivered to the Luftwaffe, of which some 700 had already been struck off charge."
It's worth noting that William Green notes that only 475 in total were available for operations in the West as a result of the ongoing losses in Norway by May 10th; of those, as we've seen 430 were used in Holland alone :shock: with WELL over half of those being destroyed or severely damaged.

Also, Ju52 manufacture was slow as of 1940, no more than 22-24 a month :shock: that's well under 100 "new builds" arriving with the Transportgruppen by the putative mid-September Sealion date.

But the final word on numbers should actually go to the distinguished German aviation historian Heinz Nowarra....and Junkers' official historian! :wink: In his history of the Ju52 he records that the "total loss" rate for Holland ran to 51% of the 430 Ju52s used :shock: KG zbV1 lost between 61 and 63 aircraft, while KG zbV2 lost from 140 to 157! He then notes this 51% loss rate did NOT include the seriously damaged Ju52s - and those scattered all over Holland with damaged undercarriages etc that had to be retrieved over the next few weeks! :D The loss rates of KG zbV11 and 12 meant that they had to be disbanded...

Eventually - Junkers (and Fokker!) were able to retrieve and put back into service a hundred or so damaged or marooned aircraft; Junkers did what they did a year later after Crete, and established a "RE-production line" that disassembled damaged Ju52s and cobbled togather the best bits to form flightworthy aircraft.....not unlike what Beaverbrook's CRO was busy doing with RAF fighters acros the Channel!

BUT - that means that while [email protected] aircraft were lost totally during the campaigns in Norway and the West - NOT counting those too damaged to be repaired By Junkers/Fokker :wink: ....only some ~175-180 new builds/repaired aircraft arrived with the Luftwaffe by mid-September - a NET loss of well over 200 Ju52s for the FJ's part of the final version of the Sealion plans....
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Re: Maps for Seelöwe

Post by Leandros » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:41 am

Plenty of good points to work on here....you'd do well not make such a sensation out of it..... :D
phylo_roadking wrote:1/ you have to either BE run aground....or wait until you're left high and dry by the ebbing tide -...
They were to be run aground - and secured with poles and lines fore and aft. Drive-off could start right away. However, one need to know the build-up of the landing waves as such to understand the proceedings. This is what the Germans trained on.... :wink:
phylo_roadking wrote: leaving you exposed for some considerable time to artillery and MG fire...-...
What fire - from whom - at whom...?.....I can give you details on force compositions for the landing forces at the four beaches. Can you detail the defence for me? I would appreciate that very much.

What should the defenders fire at? The hundreds of vessels out at sea, the beached barges, the storm-troopers that had landed in stormboats before the barges beached, the enemy soldiers securing the barges to the shore or those streaming down the side-mounted gangways (not the drive-off ramps) or the aircraft overhead giving support to the landing forces...? It is a little funny, in discussions like this it is often as if the Germans wouldn't fire back....This is actually what provoked my interest in Sea Lion. The ridiculing of the German plan. It simply did not conform with the happenings at the time....
phylo_roadking wrote:2/ the barge has to wait for the NEXT high tide until it is refloated - leaving it open to the RAF/FAA. Landing craft that don't rely on grounding can pull up their ramp and get the hell outta Dodge once they're empty!...
This really didn't matter as the barges of the first wave was actually dispensable. Again, all this was in the German planning. If there is anything there is concensus on regarding Sea Lion it is the fact that the RAF could do very little to hinder the invasion. If the RAF tried to attack the grounded barges it wouold be a nice diversion from important targets. If attacking low-level they would be slaughtered by AAA like they were in France.
phylo_roadking wrote:3/ once refloated - the ramp has to be disassembled :shock: ...
See below.
phylo_roadking wrote:4-5 minutes under fire before you can get off the barge and even think of finding cover means an awful lot of dying... :(...

See above.
phylo_roadking wrote:Also - I sincerely doubt this timing was for those ramps that had to be fully assembled by hand...as opposed to the prefabricated ramps that could just be hauled out, or deployed by A-frame :wink: ..
It is your privilege to doubt anything I and others write on this..... :D ....but, you haven't got the ramps right. Just to be a little finicky, there wasn't really any assembly at all. On the first ramp version it was. Later it was switched to two solid one-piece balks which were simply pulled out by the crews.
phylo_roadking wrote:And as above, it's going to be a sh1t of a job done under fire.:(...
Well, war is shitty.....and, again, what should which defenders fire at. When unloading by the ramps started from the actual barges the storm-troopers would be well in-land.

All this is put in context in my book...... :D ..
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Re: Maps for Seelöwe

Post by Leandros » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:08 am

phylo_roadking wrote:As for the number of Ju52s - that figure doesn't come from Halder - it comes from a range of other sources; regarding the losses in Norway, William Green reports 150 total losses throughtout the entire course of that campaign I.E. first week of April to first week of June. Regarding the numbers lost in the Low Countries - the information comes from a similar range of sources, beginning with those German sources used by Callum MacDonald for "Crete:The Lost Battle"
OK! In Halder's diary it is stated in September (or August): Luftwaffe (feldzugmeister) reports 1.000 transports available. 750 operational.

In my book I have an appendix called: Halder's Diary. I have included everything concerning Sea Lion in the period June-October.
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Re: Maps for Seelöwe

Post by lwd » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:11 am

Leandros wrote:
lwd wrote:That's the first I've seen that that many were modified with drive off ramps. What are your sources for this?
Not many - 3.200! Honestly, lwd - you are discussing Seelöwe without knowing this....? Read my book!
Ah so it's an add for your book?
When I see "modified with drive off ramps" it implies that they are part of the barge not something you have to assemble after it grounds itself. Rather brings to question the quality of your book IMO.
lwd wrote:Which has little bearing on the ability to launch a June invasion.
In June, no. But, I find it a rather strong argument if you mean it had little bearing on an eventual invasion if they did'nt have ready barges or not....?[/quote]
That wasn't what I sadi though was it?

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Re: Maps for Seelöwe

Post by lwd » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:19 am

Leandros wrote: .... If there is anything there is concensus on regarding Sea Lion it is the fact that the RAF could do very little to hinder the invasion.
Consensus among who? The RAF was a very serious impediment to Sea Lion and the Germans recongnized it.
If the RAF tried to attack the grounded barges it wouold be a nice diversion from important targets. If attacking low-level they would be slaughtered by AAA like they were in France.
That assumption is rather problematic. The ship born AA would for the most part have been far less effective than that on the ground in France. From what I recall there was also rather limited ammo stocks particularly of heavy AA with the invasion fleet.

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Re: Maps for Seelöwe

Post by phylo_roadking » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:40 pm

OK! In Halder's diary it is stated in September (or August): Luftwaffe (feldzugmeister) reports 1.000 transports available. 750 operational.
Fred, the Luftwaffe Transportgruppen never EVER mustered 1,000 Ju52s; it COULD theoretically muster that number of "transport" aircraft....but that includes floatplanes, impressed civilian types, Ju90s, FW200A/Bs etc., etc., etc....

On the 31st of August 1939 - the gruppen mustered only 552 aircraft, of which 547 were Ju52s.
On the eve of WESERUBUNG - 573 Ju52s (150 lost)
On the eve of Fall Gelb - 475 Ju52s in total, 430 given over to ops in Holland.
On the eve of MERKUR in May 1941 - 483 Ju52s
As a result of the losses on Crete...
On the eve of BARBAROSSA - only 238 serviceable Ju52s.

And the FJ were geared to using Ju52s, they hadn't as yet worked through any other types - apart from the DFS 230! :D They went through a long period of experimentation in the Spring of '42 in various new types - but in 1940 they were stuck with the Iron Jenny.
They were to be run aground - and secured with poles and lines fore and aft. Drive-off could start right away.
Do we assume the Germans did anything approaching the same two years' worth of sand sampling and experimentation in water retention, sand plasticity etc. that the Allies did for OVERLORD? I take it for instance you know the legend of Malcolm Cambell and the pogo stick???...
What should the defenders fire at? The hundreds of vessels out at sea, the beached barges, the storm-troopers that had landed in stormboats before the barges beached, the enemy soldiers securing the barges to the shore or those streaming down the side-mounted gangways (not the drive-off ramps) or the aircraft overhead giving support to the landing forces...?
I'm not aware that infantry in beach defences would waste time shooting at aircraft overhead rather than the grey uniforms in front of them...
This really didn't matter as the barges of the first wave was actually dispensable. Again, all this was in the German planning.
IF they managed to take a port in useable condition, and one that allowed easy egress into the hinterland; Dover for instance with access limited (by cliffs!) to two railway tunnels and one road...
If there is anything there is concensus on regarding Sea Lion it is the fact that the RAF could do very little to hinder the invasion. If the RAF tried to attack the grounded barges it wouold be a nice diversion from important targets.
The RAF's bomber aircraft given over to Army GHQ control were NOT to attack barges, they were to attack choke points etc. for forces leaving the beaches; it was the Fleet Air Arm's job to do that, and much research was actually done in two periods of testing into what damage to barges - on the same types of barge as the RAF could observe the Germans mustering - FFA gravity ordnance would actually do.
If attacking low-level they would be slaughtered by AAA like they were in France
IIRC the defence of the Meuse and Albert crossings concentrated the AA assets of nearly two full divisions; there's a lot more for those divisions hitting the beaches to defend against rather than concentrate their AA assets in one or two places.
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Re: Maps for Seelöwe

Post by phylo_roadking » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:42 pm

Fred...
What fire - from whom - at whom...?.....I can give you details on force compositions for the landing forces at the four beaches. Can you detail the defence for me? I would appreciate that very much.
What sources did you use for the British defences for your book?
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