Sealion & Barbarossa
Operation Sea Lion
It Happened Here
The first German studies for a possible invasion of England across the English Channel, had actually been begun in November 1939, at which point it was already realized that the major obstacles to German success included the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Royal Navy (the latter of which was much stronger than the German Kriegsmarine).
On July 16th 1940, Adolf Hitler ordered the German military to prepare for the invasion: "Since England, in spite of her hopeless military situation, shows no signs of being ready to come to a compromise, I have decided to prepare a landing operation against England, and if necessary to carry it out". Hitler identified four conditions that needed to be fufilled before the invasion could go ahead:
On September 17th 1940, Hitler cancelled (officially postponed - he hoped to revive the plans, but never did) Operation Sealion. In 1941, Hitler instead turned to the East, and invaded the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa) which meant Britain never again faced a serious threat of German invasion.
Military historians who have written about the subject, differ about what might have happened had the Germans attempted the invasion, even if they had managed to first obtain air superiority. One view is that they did in fact have a reasonable chance of success, but the other view is that there were so many problems with the German plan, that defeat, possibly even disaster, was inevitable.
Another widespread view is that the Germans were never likely to have attempted the invasion, that the plans were not serious, and that they simply hoped to intimidate the British into negotiation or surrender. This idea would certainly be consistent with Hitler's personality - it should be remembered that prior to the outbreak of war (which in July of 1940 had been going on for less than a year), Germany had made a whole series of territorial gains simply by using a combination of threats, bluster and intimidation. One piece of evidence in support of this theory is that Adolf Galland, who commanded the Luftwaffe's fighter arm at the time, did in fact state after the war that the German invasion plans were never serious.
In any case, one thing is for sure, if the Germans successfully carried out Sealion and conquered Britain, the consequences would have been terrible both for Britain and the wider world. Indeed, it is quite possible that German victory over Britain would have ultimately resulted in a German victory in World War II as a whole.
Please share your comments on this page:
Note: This site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by any military or government organization.
Copyright © 2007-2021, Answers 2000 Limited
CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.
CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE,COMES FROM AMAZON EU S.à r.l. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.
Disclosure: Our company's websites' content (including this website's content) includes advertisements for our own company's websites, products, and services, and for other organization's websites, products, and services. In the case of links to other organization's websites, our company may receive a payment, (1) if you purchase products or services, or (2) if you sign-up for third party offers, after following links from this website. Unless specifically otherwise stated, information about other organization's products and services, is based on information provided by that organization, the product/service vendor, and/or publicly available information - and should not be taken to mean that we have used the product/service in question. Additionally, our company's websites contain some adverts which we are paid to display, but whose content is not selected by us, such as Google AdSense ads. For more detailed information, please see Advertising/Endorsements Disclosures
Click privacy for information about our company's privacy, data collection and data retention policies, and your rights.
In Association With Amazon.com
Answers 2000 Limited is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
In Association With Amazon.co.uk
Answers 2000 Limited is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.
As an Amazon Associate, our company earns from qualifying purchases. Amazon, the Amazon logo, Endless, and the Endless logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
All trademarks are property of their respective owners.
All third party content and adverts are copyright of their respective owners.