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George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/14/2023 9:22:54 AM
July 12, 1812

The US had declared war against Britain in 1812 and considered that an invasion of Canada would be the most effective means to place pressure on Britain to come to terms.

On July 12, General Hull crossed the Detroit river and landed near a village called Sandwich in Upper Canada. The US anticipated that his attack combined with operations on the Niagara Peninsula would so split the smaller forces of the British and colonial troops that Britain would be incapable of effective defence.

However, the US did not have control of the Great Lakes and Hull, an old revolutionary war retread, was shocked to learn that with the declaration of war, the British had attacked and seized Fort Mackinac to his north. This unnerved him because the Mackinac victory convinced the First Nations allies that the British intended to fight. One of Hull's greatest fears was combat with FN warriors.

This would cause Hull to eventually retreat back to Detroit where he would be defeated by British Gen. Isaac Brock in August.

Hull's invasion was met with some co-operation by French-Canadian inhabitants of the area but for the most part Hull was treated with disdain. He was bombastic and presumptive and he angered a lot of people in Upper Canada when he made a proclamation on July 20.

Quote:
The ARMY under my command, has invaded your country, & the Standard of the UNION now waves over the Territory of CANADA. To the peaceable unoffending inhabitant, it brings neither danger nor difficulty. I come to find enemies, not to make them. I come to protect, not to injure you.


Hull felt that he could appeal to the American settlers who had come to Upper Canada for free land.

Quote:
In the name of my Country and by the authority of my Government, I promise you protection to your persons, property and rights. Remain at your homes. Pursue your peaceful and customary avocations. Raise not you hands against your brethren. Many of your fathers fought for the freedom & INDEPENDENCE we now enjoy. Being children therefore of the same family with us, and heirs to the same heritage, the arrival of an Army of friends, must be hailed by you with a cordial welcome.


In most cases the settlers, called the "late Loyalists" by true Loyalists, were apolitical and ambivalent toward the war.

Hull betrayed a weakness in his make-up, his fear of the First Nations warriors. And so he warned anyone choosing to oppose him and who was caught fighting alongside these warriors.

Quote:
If the barbarous & savage policy of Great Britain be pursued, and the savages are let loose to murder our citizens, & butcher our women and children, the war, will be a war of extermination.

The first stroke of the Tomahawk, the first attempt with the scalping knife, will be the signal for one indiscriminate scene of desolation. No white man found fighting by the side of an Indian, will be taken prisoner. Instant destruction will be his lot.


Poor old General Hull was past his prime and that would be shown in August when he surrendered Fort Detroit almost without a shot. Officers reported that Hull was huddled in an office, speaking incoherently with spittle dribbling from his mouth when Isaac Brock and FN warrior chief Tecumseh arrived outside the fort. Those officers were angry that Hull ordered the white flag to be flown. He had been bested by a better soldier in Brock and the use of psychological warfare. You see, Brock was aware of Hull's greatest fear and he had sent him a letter to tell him that he feared that he would not be able to control Tecumseh's warriors once the battle commenced.

Full text of Hull's proclamation to the people of Upper Canada

[Read More]

Cheers,

George



Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/14/2023 10:45:51 AM
Moved from previous page.

Checking 7-13 in history here's a few not commented on yet, Comments??

1713 A treaty giving Gibraltar to Great Britain! What a mistake by Spain!? They will never get it back!! What say you about The Rock! Anyone have how this occurred???

1787 The NW Ordinance is Instituted, did they even consider what would become British Canada!! Unfair? Anyone??

1861 Gen George B McClellan wins in what's now West Virginia! How did WV break off from Virginia!? & did this victory propelled Mac to be the top Union General??

Anyone have any other events from 7-14?

What say you??
MD

BTW great current talk on Monty & Patton, please continue!?

----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/14/2023 11:33:42 AM
Quote:
1787 The NW Ordinance is Instituted, did they even consider what would become British Canada!! Unfair? Anyone??


Britain had already ceded the territory governed by the ordinance in 1783 when the Treaty of Paris concluded the revolutionary war. The US wanted to establish a system of governance for that territory and to establish the means by which new states could enter the union.

The territory in question was US territory and I doubt whether the US government gave a hoot about the feelings of the British. The losers were the First Nations who had hoped that much of that territory would be Indian territory as the British had plans to create. Those aspirations died with the revolution.

The ordinance did stipulate, with respect to the Indians:

Quote:
“the utmost good faith shall always be observed towards Indians; their land and property shall never be taken from them without their consent.”


We may debate the extent to which the new nation honoured this commitment.

Cheers,

George
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/15/2023 8:05:07 AM
Quote:
I love irony. And in this discussion about Monty`s Market Garden plan, there is an irony.

Eisenhower defended the plan, stating it was essential to get across the Rhine into the heart of German war production. He accepted the high risk in order to accomplish that vital foothold. It is ironic that Monty`s grand scheme came crashing down...and six months later the bridgehead across the Rhine was obtained when US forces were able to secure a badly damaged-but still intact-Ludendorff bridge at Remagen. And the first forces to get across....were Patton`s.

My neighbor just celebrated his 100th birthday back in May. I have listened with great interest to him tell his first-hand accounts of the Normandy operation, the bulge, and the battle of Remagen. With his 100th birthday approaching, he gave an interview to a local newspaper and related the following: His battalion of engineers, " had to disarm the explosives on the Ludendorff Bridge. We climbed on the girders and came across satchels full of dynamite. The wiring was different from ours and the wires were different colors. I had a feeling the red wire was the one to cut. On the count of three I cut it and no explosion." They crawled toward satchels at the end of the bridge, but they were exposed to sharpshooters. "We crawled back thinking that we could disarm the explosives at night." Just then a jeep drove up with a General on board. It turned out to be Patton. He said, " Whats the delay?" Hank replied, "we are going to remove the explosives tonight because of the fire we are taking.' Patton said, " Son, this is war. People die. I want to cross the Rhine. Get back on the bridge."

Patton arranged for some of his tanks to provide suppressing fire against the German fire as the men continued climbing along the girders to remove the charges.

For ten days, the engineers heroically kept that badly damaged bridge in service as armored tanks and support vehicles and soldiers got across, until it collapsed into the Rhine. 28 engineers were killed and over 60 injured. 18 of the dead were never recovered and most likely drowned in the Rhine.

Respects, Morris


Morris, great insight from your neighbour and all respect is due to him. Did he have a comment that would reveal whether the engineers were angry at him for his, "Son, this is war. People die." comment.

Cheers,

George
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/15/2023 9:12:14 AM
Quote:
Quote:
1787 The NW Ordinance is Instituted, did they even consider what would become British Canada!! Unfair? Anyone??


Britain had already ceded the territory governed by the ordinance in 1783 when the Treaty of Paris concluded the revolutionary war. The US wanted to establish a system of governance for that territory and to establish the means by which new states could enter the union.

The territory in question was US territory and I doubt whether the US government gave a hoot about the feelings of the British. The losers were the First Nations who had hoped that much of that territory would be Indian territory as the British had plans to create. Those aspirations died with the revolution.

The ordinance did stipulate, with respect to the Indians:

Quote:
“the utmost good faith shall always be observed towards Indians; their land and property shall never be taken from them without their consent.”


We may debate the extent to which the new nation honoured this commitment.

Cheers,

George




Hi George,

As we know the Native Americans were not to be considered in the expansion plans of the US. As the Native Americans said white man speaks with forked tongue! The Indians could always be moved by a new treaty, or warfare!?

Sad but true!
What say you?
MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 3309
Joined: 2007
This day in World History! Continued
7/15/2023 9:26:37 AM

Hi George. He was in the 9th Armored Engineers, they specialized in demolition removal, mines, explosives, and they advanced with the armor once the bridge was secured and the charges removed. Other engineer units, the 127th was one, I think, were tasked to shore up the bridge and keep it up, that was their specialty.

I am sure any soldiers, including engineers, who served with Patton knew that the objective was all that mattered.

He made no comment about it in the newspaper article, but I recall a few years back as he related the story to me that- Patton was right we had to take advantage and get armored divisions across as quickly as possible and he used his tanks to fire on the German positions on the other side to support us. Now, I`m not quoting him, but that is the gist of what I recall.

I asked him if it was a shocking sight to see Patton pulling up in his jeep and asking about the progress when there was live fire all around, and he said that if you served with Patton....he was everywhere, even where it was hot.

I think it was clear that the lives of a few meant little to the need of getting what would be 125,000 men, tanks, artillery, and support vehicles across before that thing collapsed (the Germans did set off explosives and badly damage the bridge) it was a vital objective and had to be done as soon as humanly possible...at least until engineers could lay down pontoons to follow-up.

Patton was a lot like a Stonewall Jackson. Jackson on one occasion had not seen a junior staff officer for some time and inquired about where he was. "Sorry to report sir that he was killed." Jackson replied, "Very commendable. Very commendable."

Respects, Morris
----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/15/2023 1:54:55 PM
Thanks Morris, we are fortunate to have men like that who managed to live long enough to give first hand accounts of events. It won't be long before we won't have that opportunity any longer.

Cheers,

George
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/15/2023 5:53:05 PM
With respect to Montgomery, I feel that the personality quirks for which he was well known impact a good discussion of his tactical brilliance. I can see how American students of the war would gnash their teeth when they think about Monty and with some good reasons.

Montgomery was loved by the soldiers in the ranks because he cared about them. He was a stickler for good and hard training. He had no patience with officers that he considered to be sub-par. I recall that he was asked to conduct a review of all Canadian forces in England to assess their readiness for combat. He made recommendations that would harden the troops to their task but he also made clear recommendations to sack divisional commanders that he considered not up to the task. These recommendations were not always followed by the Canadians whose cadre of officers was not as large as those of other allies.

I have read that he was respected as a great tactician but he rarely felt that he was wrong headed and he would insist that his plans had to be followed.

Every General has set backs and we have discussed the one at Arnhem. But Monty won the first allied victory at El Alamein. As Churchill said, "Prior to El Alamein we had not won a battle. After that, we never lost any." Monty took disgruntled and discouraged divisions and inspired them to greatness at El Alamein.

Prior to the battle he is reported to have said, Quote:
“Here we will stand and fight; there will be no further withdrawal. I have ordered that all plans and instructions dealing with further withdrawal are to be burned, and at once. We will stand and fight here. If we can’t stay here alive, then let us stay here dead.”


Not unlike the sentiments expressed by Patton to the engineers at that bridge that Morris spoke of, I feel though perhaps a good deal more flowery.

At the Battle of the Bulge, Monty was asked to assume command of the two US divisions that had been chewed up. Eisenhower and Bradley knew that Hodges was not up to the task but they were reluctant to ask any Brit let alone Monty to assume command. Montgomery did not push for it either despite what Hodges would say post war. When Bradley refused to move his HQ closer to the combat area, Eisenhower realized that Monty was the answer.
Monty apparently won over some of the US officers and men. He managed to praise the US 7th Armored Div. at St. Vith for their gallant stand and to withdraw them to the rear. Some in that unit claim that he saved them with his actions.

And then he screwed it up with that ill timed and poor crafted speech at a press conference. Even Monty commented then in retrospect it would have been better not to have held the conference.

So I think it better to judge the man on his soldier's skills and not on his clearly annoying personality.

Cheers,

George

DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 1521
Joined: 2005
This day in World History! Continued
7/15/2023 6:32:12 PM
Quote:
With respect to Montgomery, I feel that the personality quirks for which he was well known impact a good discussion of his tactical brilliance. I can see how American students of the war would gnash their teeth when they think about Monty and with some good reasons.

Montgomery was loved by the soldiers in the ranks because he cared about them. He was a stickler for good and hard training. He had no patience with officers that he considered to be sub-par. I recall that he was asked to conduct a review of all Canadian forces in England to assess their readiness for combat. He made recommendations that would harden the troops to their task but he also made clear recommendations to sack divisional commanders that he considered not up to the task. These recommendations were not always followed by the Canadians whose cadre of officers was not as large as those of other allies.

I have read that he was respected as a great tactician but he rarely felt that he was wrong headed and he would insist that his plans had to be followed.

Every General has set backs and we have discussed the one at Arnhem. But Monty won the first allied victory at El Alamein. As Churchill said, "Prior to El Alamein we had not won a battle. After that, we never lost any." Monty took disgruntled and discouraged divisions and inspired them to greatness at El Alamein.

Prior to the battle he is reported to have said, Quote:
“Here we will stand and fight; there will be no further withdrawal. I have ordered that all plans and instructions dealing with further withdrawal are to be burned, and at once. We will stand and fight here. If we can’t stay here alive, then let us stay here dead.”


Not unlike the sentiments expressed by Patton to the engineers at that bridge that Morris spoke of, I feel though perhaps a good deal more flowery.

At the Battle of the Bulge, Monty was asked to assume command of the two US divisions that had been chewed up. Eisenhower and Bradley knew that Hodges was not up to the task but they were reluctant to ask any Brit let alone Monty to assume command. Montgomery did not push for it either despite what Hodges would say post war. When Bradley refused to move his HQ closer to the combat area, Eisenhower realized that Monty was the answer.
Monty apparently won over some of the US officers and men. He managed to praise the US 7th Armored Div. at St. Vith for their gallant stand and to withdraw them to the rear. Some in that unit claim that he saved them with his actions.

And then he screwed it up with that ill timed and poor crafted speech at a press conference. Even Monty commented then in retrospect it would have been better not to have held the conference.

So I think it better to judge the man on his soldier's skills and not on his clearly annoying personality.

Cheers,

George



Well stated George. I have always retained the belief that Monty was an excellent commander, your comments above and from many others validate such. Naturally criticism is easy to dish out, I was having an online discussion elsewhere and one particular commentator, a former soldier of my era, was so vitriolic in his replies to my comments the discussion ended going off the rails after about three post-replies from him, shortly afterwards I had to block him.

That said, while many may say Monty as an over cautious commander, at El Alamein time was on his side and he used that effectively and to the advantage of his command there. The press conference was a zinger, no doubt about that but, back to Market-Garden, this op was not, IMO, well thought out as again, the intel was there but largely ignored. In Monty's defense, slightly, how many times have we read and did the troops back then hear; 'the German is whooped', only to have the Germans continue to dish out some serious ass kicking!


Dan
----------------------------------
"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." German officer, Italy 1944. “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/16/2023 7:39:12 AM
Checking 7-16 in history, these events occurred! All new post, Comments??

622 Muslim era begins as they break out from Mecca, expanding quickly!? More religion or military? Anyone?

1099 Crusaders heard 100's of Jews into a synagogue & set it on fire! & they call themselves Christians! Comments?

1377 Richard II becomes King of England at 10 years old! Why did he wait so long? BTW what were the youngest monarchs of the British Isles?? Anyone?

1862 David Farragut becomes the 1st Rear Admiral of the US Navy, the Rebs navy didn't stand a chance!? What say you??

1940 Hitler order the beginning of the plans to invade Britain! Holy hell comes to WSC, & Co.! How will they respond? Comments?

Any history missed?
MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 3309
Joined: 2007
This day in World History! Continued
7/16/2023 8:54:55 AM
George, I agree with you and Dan about the sum of Montgomery`s Generalship. It is entirely unfair to blame him for failing to take Caen for example. That is so often what is said, "Monty`s failure to take Caen," it should be stated as "Monty`s inability to take Caen."

Caen was a vital objective for the Germans to hold, they knew that. Despite their desire to wish the allied invasion to come where they expected it to come, Pas de Calais, they had pre-positioned many assets and units in the vicinity of Caen that Allied intelligence were not aware of. The German`s were very familiar with every inch of the terrain in that sector...they had war-gamed it to Hell and back. The only German armored division that actually was in action on D-Day, 21st SS Panzer, itself was in that sector. The Brits had been fighting for over five years, they had to consider excess casualties because of the drain on man-power, and several of his Commanders at Brigade level did not perform well due to inexperience on lack of competency due to shuffling of command personnel.

But, the German`s fought like Hell there on the defense.

Yet Monty gets faulted for "failure" to reach an objective that was actually an unreal expectation considering all. In films like Saving Private Ryan, he gets called "over-rated"...totally unfair. He was magnificent in North Africa, and was a very good commander.

My comments about him are in regard to Market Garden, his plan. In the attempt to take Caen, allied intelligence was not as accurate as it needed to be. It was more accurate with regards to the presence of Armored divisions near Arnhem.

There was a level of disdain for the fact that some 16 Airborne drops had been cancelled leading up to Market Garden, most because the allied advance had made them unnecessary. That should not have been a factor in going ahead.

This discussion was about the level of ego between Patton and Montgomery and the bad planning of Market Garden, and how it had negative collateral repercussions to the broad-front allied advance. I am about to time out, wait a moment.

[Edit]

My critique of Montgomery is just that, not a condemnation of his record of achievement. I think there was a feeling among many American soldiers at the time that because he did not take Caen, or when Market Garden turned to crap, that Montgomery was over-rated as that film suggests. It is not an accurate sentiment in total.

Respects, Morris
----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/16/2023 12:47:51 PM
Thanks Morris, I understand that I moved a distance away from the discussion of the competing egos of Patton and Montgomery.

As for Caen, Monty mounted six different set piece battles before driving the Germans out of the city. Yes, there was poor decision making by some senior officers.

You may know that the Canadian 3rd division played a large role in finally taking Caen and proceeding toward Falaise and the pocket. The battles fought all around Caen from D-day plus one, two and three were ferocious. Village names like Authie and Bretteville live in annals of Canadian military history as names like Villers-Bocage resonate with British troops.

But the Canadians were raw. They had been training in Britain since 1940. The 1st division was in Italy along with the 5th armoured. The rest of the Canadians would be "blooded" at Normandy. They were also not always well led. The British "desert rats" were a tired lot and it is reported that morale was low because of the losses that they had taken in Africa. When the Germans concentrated their forces and resisted Monty's attacks, the opportunity for quick advance was lost and attritional warfare began.

Initially six of eight Panzer divisions were moved into the Caen sector to challenge the British/Canadian advance. That meant that the US forces were, while not unopposed, given the opportunity to break out from their positions. It has been written that the breakout during Op. Cobra was successful partly because the Germans were concentrating on the British and Canadian forces.

Warfare became attritional and Monty could ill afford to be wasteful of human resources as there were insufficient replacement soldiers. His caution is understandable to me. As well, the German tanks were superior to the Shermans that the allies were using and the Germans fought tenaciously.

The employment of attacks with insufficient numbers or attacks in which the infantry had insufficient armour support was costly. Still when it was all over, the British, Canadians and Poles had fought the German armour to a standstill. The German panzer units had been destroyed and many German soldiers died in aggressive defence. They managed to get the job done.

I have read quite a bit about this battle for Caen and I am still unsure as to how Monty's critics would recommend that he should have fought it. I would be interested to find out.

And I would add that when Ike decided to take over command from Monty who remained in charge of his 21st army group, there were some well developed and executed battles of the Rhineland led by Monty. He wasn't finished at Normandy though critics suggested that he be replaced even before Market Garden.

Cheers,

George
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/16/2023 2:45:16 PM
Quote:
1940 Hitler order the beginning of the plans to invade Britain! Holy hell comes to WSC, & Co.! How will they respond? Comments?


Now all alone except for Commonwealth troops and Europeans like the Poles who had made their way to Britain, preparations began for an expected invasion leading to the summer of 1940 being filled with trepidation.

Churchill's immediate response was one of his most moving speeches in the House of Commons:

Quote:
What General Weygand called the "Battle of France" is over. I expect that the battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of a perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour".]
.

I am still moved by the conclusion to that speech.

But Britain was ill prepared to receive an attack. So much equipment had been left in France. It was everything that Britain could do to get thousands of their soldiers off the continent along with thousands of French soldiers. Guns were spiked. Much needed transport was destroyed.

Britain was not finished in France after Dunkirk and sent troops to points further south. Those troops had to be quickly extricated in a second evacuation but they (52nd div, 1st Armoured) had to leave most of their kit behind. One brigade of the 1st Canadian Division had barely arrived in France when ordered to make for ports on the coast to head back home. There were arguments on the docks with British dock masters who wanted everything destroyed. The Canadian commander Moncel demanded to be allowed to take his 24, twenty-five pound guns back to Britain. He won the argument but transport, much of it new was left behind.

And so Britain was in a pickle. Monty's 3rd division had been extricated at Dunkirk but was woefully undermanned having about 4500 troops available. That left the very, very inexperienced Canadian 1st division as one of the few that still was fairly well equipped.

The Canadians were constituted as the "Canadian Force" and concentrated in one area with responsibility to act as a mobile reaction force to be sent anywhere as needed should the Germans come. Imagine that, the willing but not fully trained Canadians acting as a response force. Britain was in a difficult spot.

Now that didn't last long. Britain set about to re-equip its divisions brought home from France and when ready a two division mobile corps was in place to the north of the Thames and the Canadian force to the south. It became 7th Corps but included many British units under Canadian command. It also included the New Zealanders under Lt. Gen. Freyberg. They set about mapping roads and routes to different possible landing spots and establishing heavy artillery batteries on the coast. And they trained and trained to ensure that they could respond.

British people responded as well and the Home Guard began to take on more responsibilities. Road signs were removed. Beach obstacles erected. Special units were established to provide a resistance force should the worst happen and Germany landed and defeated British and Commonwealth forces.

British intelligence reported the large collection and gathering of barges that would deliver German soldiers to Britain's shores. So I don't think that Hitler's threat to invade was idle. By July 16, Hitler ordered preparations to increase in speed when he realized that Britain was not going to come to terms. But first Germany wished to establish control of the air over Britain and we know the story of the Battle of Britain beginning on July 10, 1944 and continuing to October.

That meant that the 7th Corps watched and waited as the air battle played out about. When the Luftwaffe bombed London on Sept. 7, British forces were placed on heightened alert. 7th Corps was ordered to be prepared to move on four hours notice. These were tense times. In the middle of September, Churchill reported to the Commons that intelligence had reported 1700 barges and 200 sea going vessels amassed in France. The British and Commonwealth soldiers were told to anticipate a German invasion.

But the Battle of Britain was won by British and Commonwealth and other allied pilots and by late September intelligence reported that the invasion armada was dispersing.

Was it all just a feint to put a scare into Britain? Documents have been released that do show that landing sites had been selected by the Germans and that Sept. 21 was the day for "Sea Lion" to commence. The landings on the south coast were to be from Margate to Portsmouth by one German army. That would have been right in the operating area of 7th Corps.



Did the Germans make a mistake by not attempting an invasion or would they have been annihilated in the attempt?

Cheers,

George



Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/16/2023 6:21:12 PM
Hi George,

I personally think the Germans would not have succeeded! For one they did not eliminate the RAF, & two they would still have to contend with a formidable RN!? If they couldn't win after invading North Africa, how could they win the British Isles!? Just my humble opinion!?

What say you??
Regards,
MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
OpanaPointer
St. Louis MO USA
Posts: 1968
Joined: 2010
This day in World History! Continued
7/16/2023 6:56:44 PM
Recalling what it took to kickstart Overlord I agree that the comparatively vapid Seelowe would have failed.
DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 1521
Joined: 2005
This day in World History! Continued
7/16/2023 7:48:42 PM
My thought is the English would have a tremendous advantage with airpower while the Germans, if used properly, would need to shuttle a greater distance versus the English planes, fighters, attack aircraft and bombers; the lack of any airpower at Normandy allowed Allied forces to roam the sky's freely. Germany might be able to send out a blunting force initially but again, the loiter time, closeness of bases for refueling, rearming and the English radar systems would have been a major factor on the southern English beaches that the Germans would not be able to match.

Dan
----------------------------------
"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." German officer, Italy 1944. “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/16/2023 9:14:58 PM
I wonder whether our British friends have photos of the remains of defensive installations on UK beaches.

Like this one:

Anti-tank blocks in Scotland



There must be more.

Cheers,

George
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/16/2023 9:16:55 PM
Did the Germans have plans to challenge the RN while the operation was underway?

George
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 4806
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Continued
7/16/2023 11:02:34 PM
Quote:
Did the Germans make a mistake by not attempting an invasion or would they have been annihilated in the attempt?

I would argue that the Germans made a mistake in not being prepared to invade. Had they been capable of invading the UK as a continuation of their onslaught against the West, I would have given them slightly better than even odds of taking the UK.

I think too much has been made – in hindsight, and perhaps while forgetting the timelines of events – of British home defensive capabilities, of defensive air capabilities (from either Coastal Command, RAF or Naval Air Service a/c), of RN preparations for defence at any level and of the magic of the Chain Home/Chain Home Low networks.

Army capabilities and equipment in the immediate aftermath of Dunkirk were vastly weakened. The Ministry of Information was still misinforming the public to such an extent that ARP, LDV and Home Guard authorities were still mocked. The RAF had no effective a/c designed for close attack at sea, and few which could be effective when called on. he Royal Navy – and this is not one negative comment against any officer or matelot on active service – was ill-led and mis-directed; they easily had the strength to defeat any invasion force, but gave no indication that they saw their function as different from 1916, despite the rapid German movement to the coast.

George, you ask: Quote:
Did the Germans have plans to challenge the RN while the operation was underway?

Yes, eventually. They would not in any way have been sufficient had the RN committed itself to defeating a cross-channel crossing. I would ask, however, the reciprocal of your question: “Did the RN have plans to challenge the Germans while the operation was underway?” Sadly, I must say I don’t think any such plans existed. More than that, I ‘m not aware that any such discussions were ever part, let alone focuses, of RN planning as the the war continued.

An often articulated British adage goes something like “It’ll be right on the day.” This probably goes back to Drake and the Armada of 1588. Had the German military had basic plans to extent their ground successes with a cross-over invasion of the UK, I don’t think it would necessarily have proved correct.

I know I’m talking against a lot of realities. But the question seems to have been sufficiently new to suggest action as a continuation of the conquest of Western Europe. I’m open to discussion, but only if it’s within that framework.

Cheers
Brian G

----------------------------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6498
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Continued
7/17/2023 8:19:40 AM
Erwin Rommel would have agreed with you, Brian .

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/17/2023 8:31:15 AM
Also guys,

We are not considering that the US would stand idley by & let the Mother Country fall!? I know they weren't ready for warfare? But along with Canada, They would have done what they could, & that may have helped hold off Germany??

Not sure however?
MD

Hopefully still Britain's finest hour??
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/17/2023 8:33:30 AM
Guys,

Checking 7-18 in history, events were evident! Comments anyone??

1453 France wins the last battle of the 100 years war! Who won the war?? Comments??

1763 John Jacob Astor was born! What's he noted for?? What say you??

1862 Abraham Lincoln passes a bill that leads to the Emancipation Proclamation!? Abe was a great president!? Where would you rate him??

1918 the Carpathian is sunk by a U-boat, this ship rescued Titanic survivors comments on it? Anyone??

1918 Russian Tsar Nicolas II & Family killed by the Communists! Why??

1944, General Erwin Rommel almost killed by the RAF! What happened? Anyone??

1945 Big 3 meet at Potsdam! What resulted?? Comments anyone??

1998 the UN forms an international criminal court, is it effective!?? What say you??

Carry on!
MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/17/2023 8:51:46 AM
Hello Brian,

Grand Admiral Raeder of the Kreigsmarine had opposed any operation like Sea Lion. He felt that he did not have sufficient numbers of ships to contest control of the English channel with the Royal Navy. Operations in Norway had depleted Kreigsmarine assets.

The only information that I have read about a potential RN response is that the Home Fleet would sail out of Scapa Flow and head into the channel to disrupt any invasion. Hitler had said that one of the prerequisites to be completed before invasion was to seal off the RN to prevent its interference in the landings.

All of this is pretty vague. How does a smaller navy go about "sealing off" a larger navy intent on passing through to wreak havoc.

I also have not read anything of Royal Navy plans to thwart amphibious landings though I have read that Alan Brooke was most concerned that there was no joint command that co-ordinated the army, RAF and RN efforts in the event of an invasion.

Cheers,

George
OpanaPointer
St. Louis MO USA
Posts: 1968
Joined: 2010
This day in World History! Continued
7/17/2023 9:25:00 AM
Rommel got caught driving around near the Normandy beaches.
MikeMeech
 UK
Posts: 528
Joined: 2012
This day in World History! Continued
7/17/2023 10:12:21 AM
Quote:
Rommel got caught driving around near the Normandy beaches.

Hi
Rommel was caught on the road by 2nd TAF Spitfires on 17 July 1944 near VIMOUTIERS, suffering a fractured skull. However, this was not the first attack on him, according to 'Air Power at the Battlefront' by Ian Gooderson, page 212: "On 10 June 1944 Field Marshal Rommel, commanding Army Group B, while driving towards the battlefront, had to jump out of his car and dive for cover no less than 30 times."

It can be imagined that any larger group of vehicles would also have had some problems travelling those roads.

Mike
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6498
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Continued
7/17/2023 10:27:15 AM
Brian,

As you have emphasised, the much vaunted RN failed to live up to its reputation in early 1942 when the Scharnhorst made its “ Channel Dash “ and got away with it; even two years later German E boats inflicted carnage on a US training exercise at Slapton Sands.

If this was the case at those later stages of the war, why should we imagine that similar German boldness and determination wouldn’t have prevailed in the summer of 1940 ?

But I’m convinced that Hitler really wasn’t interested in invading and occupying Britain. He, in my perception, was far too fixated on the great showdown with the Bolshevik monster to the East : in order for that to succeed, he needed “ England “ subdued and out of the way, or even complicit in his ambition. A full on invasion of Britain was going to be a distraction and a drain on resources for his cherished objectives in the East.

This is only my opinion.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
MikeMeech
 UK
Posts: 528
Joined: 2012
This day in World History! Continued
7/17/2023 10:39:43 AM
Quote:
Quote:
Did the Germans make a mistake by not attempting an invasion or would they have been annihilated in the attempt?

I would argue that the Germans made a mistake in not being prepared to invade. Had they been capable of invading the UK as a continuation of their onslaught against the West, I would have given them slightly better than even odds of taking the UK.

I think too much has been made – in hindsight, and perhaps while forgetting the timelines of events – of British home defensive capabilities, of defensive air capabilities (from either Coastal Command, RAF or Naval Air Service a/c), of RN preparations for defence at any level and of the magic of the Chain Home/Chain Home Low networks.

Army capabilities and equipment in the immediate aftermath of Dunkirk were vastly weakened. The Ministry of Information was still misinforming the public to such an extent that ARP, LDV and Home Guard authorities were still mocked. The RAF had no effective a/c designed for close attack at sea, and few which could be effective when called on. he Royal Navy – and this is not one negative comment against any officer or matelot on active service – was ill-led and mis-directed; they easily had the strength to defeat any invasion force, but gave no indication that they saw their function as different from 1916, despite the rapid German movement to the coast.

George, you ask: Quote:
Did the Germans have plans to challenge the RN while the operation was underway?

Yes, eventually. They would not in any way have been sufficient had the RN committed itself to defeating a cross-channel crossing. I would ask, however, the reciprocal of your question: “Did the RN have plans to challenge the Germans while the operation was underway?” Sadly, I must say I don’t think any such plans existed. More than that, I ‘m not aware that any such discussions were ever part, let alone focuses, of RN planning as the the war continued.

An often articulated British adage goes something like “It’ll be right on the day.” This probably goes back to Drake and the Armada of 1588. Had the German military had basic plans to extent their ground successes with a cross-over invasion of the UK, I don’t think it would necessarily have proved correct.

I know I’m talking against a lot of realities. But the question seems to have been sufficiently new to suggest action as a continuation of the conquest of Western Europe. I’m open to discussion, but only if it’s within that framework.

Cheers
Brian G



Hi

According to 'The War at Sea, 1939-1945 Volume I' by Captain S W Roskill, page 249:

"To deal with the enemy invasion fleet while on passage, the Admiralty decided that a striking force of four destroyer flotillas (at full strength thirty-six ships), with cruiser support, would be required. These forces were to be stationed so as to be able to strike at the expedition at its point of arrival as well as while it was on passage. The Humber, Harwich, Sheerness and Portsmouth or Dover were chosen as the striking-force bases."

If the German invasion fleet was to land at separate beaches along the south coast of England, as in some Sealion plans, then the Luftwaffe would have had to spread its fighters to cover the embarkation ports, the actual passage and the actual landings. If the German fighters had also to escort dive or other bombers, plus any airborne troop transports, and to suppress the RAF airfields plus shore defences I think they would have run into problems of enough assets. Blenheims would have been used on anti-shipping strikes (as they were used during the early war years). Presumably the German Army would have mounted their AA guns on the barges to give some protection, however, they would also need them deployed to protect the embarkation ports (the Germans were loosing barges to RAF night attacks already) and have some to deploy on their beach heads, they may not have had enough assets to do this adequately. The German military did have a number of problems as well as actually fighting on shore. Interestingly on the 1st June 1940 the British Army had 110 Infantry Tanks, 103 Cruiser Tanks, 618 Light Tanks and 132 old 'medium' tanks available in the UK, there would have been more by August/September time.

Mike
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/17/2023 11:50:43 AM
Thanks Mike. So it seems that the RN was in preparation mode with a plan to disrupt the invasion fleet. Informative as usual.

Cheers,

George
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 4806
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Continued
7/17/2023 9:03:20 PM
Mike, good information. Thanks.

I wonder how carefully Captain Roskill chose his words? You quote him as follows:“To deal with the enemy invasion fleet while on passage, the Admiralty decided that a striking force of four destroyer flotillas (at full strength thirty-six ships), with cruiser support, would be required. These forces were to be stationed so as to be able to strike at the expedition at its point of arrival as well as while it was on passage. The Humber, Harwich, Sheerness and Portsmouth or Dover were chosen as the striking-force bases." This is a hugely conditional statement, which suggests the Admiralty had determined the needed forces but without any indication that the forces were provided. There is no indication four flotillas at full strength were available, and I assume the Cruiser support was a reference to the flotilla leader’s ship. They may have chosen the bases for the four flotillas, but did they ever allocate those forces to that specific task?

As to those tanks (you offer numbers suggesting 960+ tanks) available in the UK at the beginning of June, I’d love to know if they had shells, transportation, repair faciilities and/or trained crews. The numbers of available equipment presented by the Ministry of Information often don’t ring true, or do not recognize whether they are active and effective. An active, medalled Canadian artillery vet (George G Blackburn) was in England on active duty during the German assault on mainland Europe, and in the first volume of his memoirs, (Where the Hell are the Guns, he notes being supplied by the British Army with French guns on wooden wheels, with WWI ammunition I believe there were eight or nine shells allotted for each gun his troop received. I believe the guns were dated 1897 and the shells 1917, but I don’t have his volume in front of me to cite directly. In the same volume, Blackburn talks about troops being used for invasion watch, each armed with a WW1 rifle and five rounds of ammunition. They signed the rifle out as they went on duty; it was not part of their equipment. I recognize both your information and mine can be right, but I’m afraid I tend to question official statements about British defence capabilities after being routed from Europe.

Your comments about the problems facing the Luftwaffe during a multiple-landing invasion are also sound. I’m not totally convinced that the various RAF sectors (Bomber, Fighter, Coastal and AAS) would have functioned as well in June as they did in September, but that is perhaps a different issue. Even in September RAF BC was stretched sufficiently that it was using Blenheim I’s and Fairey Battles against the growing fleet of barges as well as Hampdens. Battles were death-traps at kindest; Blenheim I’s were getting long in the tooth and Blenheim IV’s (Canadians called them Bolingbrokes, or Boleys), while having comparatively better defensive protection than the Mark I’s and upgraded engines, had close to the same flight envelope.

My initial comments, of course, were based on a “what if”: what if Germany had made plans to invade Britain during the Phoney War, and had invasion craft ready in May 1940? So I agree that the British did the most with the Summer of 1940 that they could. Beaverbrook did wonders with aircraft production; Dowding (one of the underappreciated heroes of the Summer of 1940) both stood up to Churchill re sending more fighter squadrons to be slaughtered in France and spearheaded a rigid control of fighter resources throughout the Battle of Britain. He was treated abysmally by WSC and the RAF in October 1940, but he was one of those who made German chances in September less likely than chances in June.

Cheers
Brian G
----------------------------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/18/2023 7:37:37 AM
Good points, Brian. I had assumed that Mike made reference to ships already in existence and that creation of the four flotillas was a matter of organizational changes. That was too much to assume, I feel now. Perhaps Mike can tell us the status of those flotillas.

I too have my copies of Blackburn's trilogy and I do recall the passages in the first volume in which he describes the woeful state of arms of the artillery. However, when the 1st brigade of the CDN 1st division was sent to France just after the Dunkirk withdrawal, it did return with its new 25 pounders. The dock master ordered the Canadian officer to destroy them on the docks at Brest or St. Malo but he refused and eventually did get his guns back to England.

The 1st division shipped out from Canada with a good number of the men carrying Ross rifles. But that was in January of 1940 and I do not know when they were equipped with Lee-Enfields.

EDIT: The Canadians had adopted the Lee-Enfield Mk III during WWI so there were also many of those. 60,000 Ross rifles wound up in the hands of the British Home Guard but I do not know when that took place.

I suppose that a status report regarding state of readiness in September of 1940 was made. Does anyone have something like that to share?

Cheers,

George
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/18/2023 7:58:27 AM
Using Naval History as a resource

[Read More]

it would appear that in September of 1939, the RN had:

15 Battleships & battlecruisers, of which only two were post-World War 1. Five 'King George V' class battleships were building.

7 Aircraft carriers. One was new and five of the planned six fleet carriers were under construction. There were no escort carriers.

66 Cruisers, mainly post-World War 1 with some older ships converted for AA duties. Including cruiser-minelayers, 23 new ones had been laid down.

184 Destroyers of all types. Over half were modern, with 15 of the old 'V' and 'W' classes modified as escorts. Under construction or on order were 32 fleet destroyers and 20 escort types of the 'Hunt' class.

60 Submarines, mainly modern with nine building.

45 escort and patrol vessels with nine building, and the first 56 'Flower' class corvettes on order to add to the converted 'V' and 'W's' and 'Hunts'. However, there were few fast, long-endurance convoy escorts.

As well, the Commonwealth navies could and did contribute to the defence of Britain and they had:

Royal Australian Navy - six cruisers, five destroyers and two sloops;

Royal Canadian Navy - six destroyers;

Royal Indian Navy - six escort and patrol vessels;

Royal New Zealand Navy, until October 1941 the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy - two cruisers and two sloops.



Note that the Commonwealth data is included in the overall RN strength.

It does appear that there were sufficient numbers of modern destroyers to form the flotillas that Mike mentioned.

Cheers,

George
MikeMeech
 UK
Posts: 528
Joined: 2012
This day in World History! Continued
7/18/2023 1:05:48 PM
Hi

Om 1 July 1940 WSC called for the RN to raise the number of ships in the narrow seas flotillas to 40 Destroyers. By 29 July for example the 21st Flotilla at Sheerness had six; the 16th, 18th and 20th Flotillas at Harwich had 18 in total with six modern fleet destroyers of the 5th Flotilla due to arrive, there were also five corvettes operating from the same port. This meant the Nore Command alone had 32 destroyers and 5 corvettes available. However, diverting ships for this purpose meant there were less ships to escort convoys and there was an increase in merchant ships sunk. Six inch armed cruisers were placed around the coast to support the destroyers, although cruisers were also being sent to the Med (as were a large number of tanks during 1940 for North Africa to fight the Italians). There were also a large number of smaller craft available to aid in defence or patroling the coast.

Reference rifles the British bought (no gifts) 750,000 rifles from the USA, these were mainly the WW1 British designed Enfield rifle but in .30 calibre, this ammunition would have been in short supply until the USA could supply greater amounts of ammo. These were used to arm the Home Guard mainly. In 1940 had 1.5 million standard Lee Enfields available, in the first four months of 1940 26,800 had been produced with another 11,100 in May. Only one factory produced rifles this was an inter-war decision where it was thought large mass armies were obsolete and the future was in tanks, armoured vehicle, mgs and artillery (however, the Lee Enfield No. 4 was also designed for mass production to equip a 'mass army' so someone was hedging their bets). Also during the first four months of 1940 7,400 MGs , 51 Field/medium artillery pieces, 234 AA guns and 287 tanks were produced. For May the figures are 2,900/63/94/138. The British also bought a number of 75mm (of various models) from the USA, again the ammunition that could be supplied appears to have been limited initially.

Just after Dunkirk the Army also took many of the RAF bases supplies of Lee Enfields leaving a small number for airfield defence, the RAF was then criticised for having lots of unarmed airmen who couldn't defend their airfields!
There was also a massive construction of pill-boxes, gun positions anti-tank obstacles etc built along the coast and inland defence lines plus a stay behind force to attack the Germans after they landed. It should also be said that the defence plans were constantly changing due to the arms and equipment available and what was thought to be the German invasion plans (which the Germans also changed as 1940 progressed).

Mike
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 4806
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Continued
7/18/2023 8:13:57 PM
Interesting data from all. Thanks for stretching this topic out a bit!

George, yesterday (before Mike gave us a lot of neat information) you raised the following: Quote:
The only information that I have read about a potential RN response is that the Home Fleet would sail out of Scapa Flow and head into the channel to disrupt any invasion. Hitler had said that one of the prerequisites to be completed before invasion was to seal off the RN to prevent its interference in the landings.

All of this is pretty vague. How does a smaller navy go about "sealing off" a larger navy intent on passing through to wreak havoc.

I also have not read anything of Royal Navy plans to thwart amphibious landings though I have read that Alan Brooke was most concerned that there was no joint command that co-ordinated the army, RAF and RN efforts in the event of an invasion.
.Good points all, IMHO.

Mike did give us an idea of what the RN was planning as an invasion deterrent. Approx. 40 ships, not one truly capital ship amongst them. No mention of the Home Fleet, which in any case was at best probably some 30 hours’ steaming from an attempted crossing.

I don’t know what plans the German Navy may have had, but were I in either navy at the time I’d be remembering the Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy, three cruisers sunk in the Channel by a single U-Boat in 1914. RN U-Boat location or defensive gear had improved little since then, and the Germans had a limited but gutsy active submarine force. They also had a young complement of officers and German equivalents of matelots anxious to prove themselves committed to the the Third Reich. Think of the energy and commitment implied by William Shirer (Berlin Diary) during his Christmas visit with the German Navy in 1939! I’m not making any negative comments about RN matelots here; They met their responsibilities at every moment of the war. But I do question whether those making strategic decisions about the RN were basing their decisions on what was required or what RN tradition expected.

Cheers
Brian G
----------------------------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/18/2023 8:14:55 PM
July-18 in history, events were evident! Last shot at Comments anyone??

1453 France wins the last battle of the 100 years war! Who won the war?? Comments??

1763 John Jacob Astor was born! What's he noted for?? What say you??

1862 Abraham Lincoln passes a bill that leads to the Emancipation Proclamation!? Abe was a great president!? Where would you rate him??

1918 the Carpathian is sunk by a U-boat, this ship rescued Titanic survivors comments on it? Anyone??

1918 Russian Tsar Nicolas II & Family killed by the Communists! Why??

1944, General Erwin Rommel almost killed by the RAF! What happened? Anyone??

1945 Big 3 meet at Potsdam! What resulted?? Comments anyone??

1998 the UN forms an international criminal court, is it effective!?? What say you??

Regards,
MD

BTW great discussion on operation Sea Lion, & what could have happened? Please continue!

----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/18/2023 10:11:57 PM
Quote:
Using Naval History as a resource

[Read More]

it would appear that in September of 1939, the RN had:

15 Battleships & battlecruisers, of which only two were post-World War 1. Five 'King George V' class battleships were building.

7 Aircraft carriers. One was new and five of the planned six fleet carriers were under construction. There were no escort carriers.

66 Cruisers, mainly post-World War 1 with some older ships converted for AA duties. Including cruiser-minelayers, 23 new ones had been laid down.

184 Destroyers of all types. Over half were modern, with 15 of the old 'V' and 'W' classes modified as escorts. Under construction or on order were 32 fleet destroyers and 20 escort types of the 'Hunt' class.

60 Submarines, mainly modern with nine building.

45 escort and patrol vessels with nine building, and the first 56 'Flower' class corvettes on order to add to the converted 'V' and 'W's' and 'Hunts'. However, there were few fast, long-endurance convoy escorts.

As well, the Commonwealth navies could and did contribute to the defence of Britain and they had:

Royal Australian Navy - six cruisers, five destroyers and two sloops;

Royal Canadian Navy - six destroyers;

Royal Indian Navy - six escort and patrol vessels;

Royal New Zealand Navy, until October 1941 the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy - two cruisers and two sloops.



Note that the Commonwealth data is included in the overall RN strength.

It does appear that there were sufficient numbers of modern destroyers to form the flotillas that Mike mentioned.

Cheers,

George





Hi George,

I never realized the RN had 7 AC Carriers in 1940? What HMS ship s were they??

Thanks,
MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 4806
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Continued
7/18/2023 11:17:12 PM
On this day in 1925, a 36-year-old ex-convict published the first volume of a two-volume political biogaphy. Though largely incomprehensible, it would become so successful that its author – who had been decorated for valour and convicted of treason by a country that was not his country of birth – became independently wealthy on the royalties based on sales over the next 20 years. The book was, of course, Mein Kampf.

I don’t know about availability in other places, but I’m glad to note that it is still available for purchase in Canadian bookstores, from at least one publisher in at least one format. It is – IMHO – a recount of a repulsive mind’s wanderings, and there are sections which are seductive to the careless reader. But while it doesn’t need to be read, it needs to be available in order to be assessed. One hopes that a large majority will continue to reject its arguments; to me, rejecting the arguments on hearsay touches on rejecting the work without knowing its content.

Cheers
Brian G
----------------------------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/19/2023 7:27:57 AM
Quote:
I never realized the RN had 7 AC Carriers in 1940? What HMS ship s were they??


Hi Dave. I looked up the names of the RN carriers.

HMS Argus, "Eagle", "Hermes", "Furious", "Courageous" and "Glorious") and the new "Ark Royal. Ark Royal was new, the others were older. But 6 more with armour plated decks were under construction.

The RN was still the largest navy in the world as the war began.

George
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/19/2023 7:54:53 AM
Quote:
1944, General Erwin Rommel almost killed by the RAF! What happened? Anyone??


There are multiple claims made by different allied squadrons as to who actually strafed Rommel's staff car.

Rommel was shot up between 5 and 7 PM on July 17, 1944. He was found on the N179 highway near Vimoutiers, France.

We have to remember that tactical squadrons were making life hell for German traffic in daylight so it is probably understandable that the US 510th fighter-bomber squadron immediately made a claim. The problem with this claim is that that squadron was 30 miles away patrolling near St. Lo and they were flying P-47's. Several German convoys with staff cars were attacked by the allies on this day.

The Germans themselves said that Rommel was shot up by a plane with British markings and likely a Spitfire.

So who was patrolling in the area in question. RAF 602 (City of Glasgow) squadron and RCAF 412 Squadron were both in the area at that time and both claim to have attacked German staff cars.

The Tangmere Aviation Museum has published a fairly detailed analysis of the event and concluded that RCAF 412 squadron would have been patrolling at the correct time and place to have been the squadron that spotted Rommel's entourage and shot him. RAF 602 was not in the air at the time of the attack.

And so it seems clear to every Canadian that Rommel was shot by Canadian pilot Charley Fox.

The whole story here:

[Read More]

Cheers,

George

Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/19/2023 6:31:48 PM
Hi George,

Thanks for the information on the RN Carriers, if I recall a couple of them were sank by German U-boats??

& of course it was Canadian pilot named Fox, who peppered the Desert "Fox" Rommel's car! ☺

Regards,
MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/19/2023 8:03:31 PM
Quote:
Hi George,

Thanks for the information on the RN Carriers, if I recall a couple of them were sank by German U-boats??

& of course it was Canadian pilot named Fox, who peppered the Desert "Fox" Rommel's car! ☺

Regards,
MD


Don't tell that to the South African fellow in the 602 squadron.

Cheers,

George
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