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Operation Sealion (ePub)

The Invasion of England 1940

Military > Greenhill eBooks > Greenhill: WWII Photographic eBooks WWII > Photographic eBooks

By Peter Schenk
Greenhill Books
File Size: 27.6 MB (.epub)
Pages: 326
Illustrations: 150
ISBN: 9781784383954
Published: 30th May 2019


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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.

'Operation Sealion' wealth of information, including the Invasion plan, photographs, details invasion fleet and British preparations to fight them on the beaches, the Home Guard, stay behind parties and resistance groups.

Richard Gough - Historian, writer, author of the Escape from Singapore, The jungle was Red, Outpost of the Empire, SOE Singapore 1941-42. Waiting publication Tony Poe, CIA Paramilitary in SE Asia.

This book is a must for any student of operational planning, wartime logistics, and amphibious operations; however, one should break a cardinal rule of book-reading, and reading the epilogue first to ingest the details with solid context.

The Northern Mariner / Le marin du nord, XXIX, No. 2 (Summer 2019) – reviewed by Joe Eanett Annapolis, Maryland

As featured in

Fortress Study Group

A book that will delight all military history enthusiasts of World War II who will thus be able to trace similarities and differences with what was then Operation Overlord.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

Highly commended. 10/10

The Great War Magazine, November 2019

A German perspective of what might have been. The alternative history approach enjoys periods of popularity and it usually throws up some interesting questions – Highly Recommended.

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It is the vast amount of detail that the books covers concerning the vessels that would have been used that makes this the definitive reference book about Hitler's abortive mission.

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Amazon Customer

"Essential reading for military historians and anyone interested in this fascinating period of World War II."

Featured in

MAFVA, September 2019

Overall, a well-written, well-researched, and important book.

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Hellbound, Steve Earles

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.

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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. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Peter Schenk

Peter Schenk is a member of Berlin's Groener Group and spent months researching Operation Sealion at Freiburg's Military Archives. He has written and co-authored five books about German landing craft, netlayers and the fleets of World War I and World War II. He has written numerous articles in After The Battle magazine, as well as in German magazines.

Adolf Hitler indefinitely postpones Operation Sealion

17th September 1940

Adolf Hitler indefinitely postpones Operation Sealion, the planned German invasion of Great Britain

The official end of Operation Sealion

13th February 1942

Operation Sealion was the name for Hitler's planned invasion of Great Britain in 1940.

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