Operation Sealion (Hardback)
The Invasion of England 1940
It is hard to believe that in the summer of 1940, neither the Allies nor the Axis powers had any experience of large amphibious operations. German planning for Operation Sealion was concerned with pioneering new techniques and developing specialised landing craft. Remarkably, in only two months they prepared an invasion fleet of 4,000 vessels.
In Operation Sealion, Peter Schenk begins by analysing and describing the vessels that were developed and deployed for the operation: converted cargo vessels and steamers, more specialised landing craft, barges and pontoons, and auxiliary vessels such as tugs and hospital ships. He then goes on to outline the strategic preparations for the landing and looks at the operational plans of, in turn, the navy, army and air force.
The planned invasion is described in full detail so that the reader can follow the proposed sequence of events from loading, setting sail and the crossing of the Channel, to the landing and the early advances into southern England. Schenk uniquely estimates the chances of success.
This absorbing account of Hitler's abortive mission, more detailed than anything written hitherto, is of interest not just to the naval historian but to anyone with an interest in World War II.
Second Word War enthusiasts or naval warfare specialists who are looking to gain a deeper appreciation of strategic or operational planning will find that reading Operation Sealion is well worth the investment of time.Argunners
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This is a very serious and detailed commentary on the planned German invasion of Britain. It offers large amounts of very useful information and discusses the logistics and the landing plan in great detail. It is and will be the ‘go to’ book on the subject. Included are many very good photographs. Due to time and planning constraints it is clear that had the invasion gone ahead it would have looked more like Gallipoli than Normandy, with quite possibly the lack of specialist landing craft limiting the speed of delivering the troops and equipment to shore with impact. A clear difference to the later Allied efforts which had the luxury of time and the benefit of a focused objective to form the solutions.Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide