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Germany still makes bad ships

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42 minutes ago, TornadoADV said:

What about the Scharnhorsts as well? I was considering a literal all-in invasion, since this is before Hitler decided he wanted to see how fast his military could freeze to death in the Soviet Union. This would also hinge on Hitler staying the course on attacking just RAF bases when he had them on the ropes instead of deciding all the cities had to burn. I am curious how much the British had stationed on the Isle of Wight during that time peroid.

The Scharnhorst herself was torpedoed by a destroyer in June 1940, the Gneisenau by a submarine the same month, neither would be back in service until January 1941.

If there was an alternate timeline where Acasta missed, and Clyde never had the opportunity I don't know how much of a difference it would make. The Channel is narrow, shallow, rife with mines (both ships were mined during the Channel Dash) the two ships would probably make a difference against the RN, and would possibly be able to provide shore bombardment, but I don't think they could remain long-term off the Isle of Wight, the RAF messed up during the Channel Dash but that was going out of their way to avoid action, traveling half the distance at night etc.

I doubt the Isle of Wight was very heavily garrisoned at the time, though I don't know for sure. There'd be local units and Home Guard volunteers with limited equipment. The dockyard at Cowes was not tiny - being able to build destroyers and would have some protection. I suspect overall the Isle of Wight would have been lightly held as it's easy to reinforce and very unlikely a place to attack, it's too far by air and by sea, especially for some of the improvised landing craft/river barges the Germans had planned for Sealion.

As for an 'Operation Sealion' but aimed at the planned center of Dover/the South East, I think opinion is divided on the odds of success.

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49 minutes ago, mofton said:

As for an 'Operation Sealion' but aimed at the planned center of Dover/the South East, I think opinion is divided on the odds of success.

Sealion almost anywhere valuable in the Home Islands would have been a colossal failure in almost all aspects.

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On 3/3/2018 at 2:14 PM, TornadoADV said:

I'd just like to ask again, ignoring my derp on the comissioning dates of the Bismarck sisters, is how a combined taskforce of the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe would fare in an attempted invasion of the Isle of Wight right after Dunkirk and during the Battle of Britain. (Still assume the sisters are there, since they were complete, just not commissioned in our timeline.)

Maybe I'm missing something, but what is the tactical significance of the Isle of Wight?

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32 minutes ago, Sventex said:

Maybe I'm missing something, but what is the tactical significance of the Isle of Wight?

I mean, if they could some how manage to take and hold it. It's roughly 80 miles from the entirety of London. It's also an island so they would still have to do an amphibious crossing to grab it back from the German's if they blow the bridges and it would let them mass AA guns and shorter ranged attack runs into the country.

That all being said, good luck supplying it and keeping it with the Royal Navy roaming around not to mention the minefields laid in the channel.

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2 hours ago, Azumazi said:

I mean, if they could some how manage to take and hold it. It's roughly 80 miles from the entirety of London. It's also an island so they would still have to do an amphibious crossing to grab it back from the German's if they blow the bridges and it would let them mass AA guns and shorter ranged attack runs into the country.

That all being said, good luck supplying it and keeping it with the Royal Navy roaming around not to mention the minefields laid in the channel.

There are no bridges to the Isle of Wight. It would have to be amphibious either way, though a tiny 2 mile crossing and as long as the northern part of the island was held it wouldn't be opposed.

The other significance would be that the Solent is pretty narrow, and holding the IOW would make using the extensive Royal Dockyard in Portsmouth very difficult, as well as the commercial port of Southampton (Southampton also hosted a Spitfire factory). Basing Luftwaffe fighters there would put them very close to the action which would be advantageous, though it would also put them in easy range of untouched RAF bases further north and west in England.

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As others have mentioned, it would allow German forces to "castle" right next to the British Home Islands, disable two major ports, better control the Channel, forward deploy artillery and air forces to soften and prepare for an invasion proper.

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22 hours ago, TornadoADV said:

As others have mentioned, it would allow German forces to "castle" right next to the British Home Islands, disable two major ports, better control the Channel, forward deploy artillery and air forces to soften and prepare for an invasion proper.

Ehh...Churchill was willing to gas the British Isles in its defense had the Dunkirk evacuation failed, I'm not sure Germany would gain much of anything except an easily targeted airbase on the Island and a colossal deficit in resources.  Hitler had already wasted a ton of resources turning the Channel Islands into a megafortress for no conceivable gain other then propaganda.

I forsee Germany losing half of it's Navy in such in Operation, and it going pear shaped like Gallipoli.

Edited by Sventex

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