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Operation Sealion   >   Books   >   Invasion

   
 

Invasion: The Alternate History of the German Invasion of England, July 1940


In this book, Kenneth Macksey writes the story, as if a historical account, of the German invasion of Britain. Rather than going for the usual Sealion plan, when the Germans invade in the Autumn, Macksey sets the invasion in July 1940, immediately after the fall of France. This scenario probably makes the the invasion somewhat more likely of success in purely military terms than an Autumn invasion - as British strength was probably at its lowest point in July - but it also involves several (in my opinion) probably unrealistic assumptions:
  1. That the Germans would have anticipated the rapid, and relatively easy, defeat of France.

  2. That the Germans would have anticipated that Britain would not surrender or negotiate after the fall of France, and therefore invasion would be necessary.

  3. That the Germans would have realized during the French campaign that victory was imminent, and that some forces could then be safely withdrawn from the frontline, in order to prepare for the invasion of Britain.

  4. That the Germans would have been able to improvise an invasion force at very short notice.
In reality, I'm not sure that any of these assumptions are true. The Germans did not anticipate defeating France as easily as they did, did not anticipate Britain fighting on after the fall of France, remained cautious and conservative during the French campaign (because they overestimated the likelihood of successful counterattacks), and when they did start preparing to invade Britain, took rather a long time over their preparations.

My other criticisms of the book's portrayal of the invasion are the usual problems with Sealion scenarios: the Royal Navy, and logistics - both of which, in reality, the Germans would have, to put it mildly, struggled with. However, in this book, the naval battles go surprisingly well for the Germans, and logistical problems somehow don't impede the invasion too much either.

I understand Kenneth Macksey is a former armor officer, so he concentrates on the land battles, and he does so well and convincingly. There is a tremendous amount of military-technical detail in the text, and you may find yourself having to read some passages more than once in order to fully understand them. Fortunately, the book does contain many maps which are help greatly in understanding.

As to which side wins, I won't say, but you can probably guess. I don't want to blow the ending, but I will say this it doesn't involve the Germans fighting street by street through the rubble of London, nor gradually running out of food and ammo' while surrounded by Tommies.

Over all this is good excellent book, and I'd recommend it without reservation. Yes, there are in my opinion some unrealistic assumptions, but who is to say that my opinion is right? I think the author has done a superb job of constructing a Sealion scenario in which Germans have the best possible chance of success, and while there are things that I think might be somewhat unlikely, I don't think there is anything that is ridiculously implausible.

You will enjoy reading this book - buy it!


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Invasion: The Alternate History of the German Invasion of England

By Kenneth Macksey

Frontline Books
Paperback (224 pages)

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‘Macksey’s blend of what actually happened and what might have been makes for a piece of writing comparable to Frederick Forsyth at his best.’ Jack Higgins

‘Convincingly described and excellently illustrated.’ The Daily Telegraph

In June 1940, German troops massed across the Channel, poised for the invasion of Britain. With France defeated and Britain cowed, Hitler seemed ready for his greatest gamble.

In this brilliant and compelling alternate history the Germans launch the invasion that, in reality, was never more than a plan. Landing between Dover and Hythe, German troops push inland supported by the Luftwaffe and the impregnable panzers, and strike out towards London. The British, desperate to defeat the invaders, rally and prepare for a crucial confrontation – at Maidstone.

Realistic, carefully researched and superbly written, this best-selling study is a classic of alternate history and a thought-provoking look at how Britain’s war might have been.

Invasion: The Alternate History of the German Invasion of England, July 1940

By Kenneth Macksey

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In June 1940, as German troops massed across the Channel, poised for the invasion of Britain, Hitler seemed ready for his greatest gamble. In this compelling alternate history the Germans actually launch the invasion. Landing between Dover and Hythe, German troops push inland, supported by the Luftwaffe and the panzers, and strike toward London. A classic and harrowing insight into how Britain's war might have gone.

Invasion: The German Invasion of England July 1940

By Macksey Kenneth

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Invasion: The German Invasion of England July 1940
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Invasion : The German Invasion of England - July 1940

By Major Kenneth Macksey MC

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Invasion : The German Invasion of England - July 1940
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Invasion : The German Invasion of England - July 1940

Invasion - The Alternate History of the German Invasion of England, July 1940

By Kenneth Macksey

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