Sunday, October 31, 2021

good morning jacob


Improvisation is the Plan

Transport 250,000 troops, their equipment and supplies,

on river barges repurposed for crossing the treacherous

English Channel in order to invade Britain. 

Admiral Raeder warned Hitler the German navy was

unable to protect his invasion fleet from British attack,

even under the best of circumstances.  In turn,

Hitler's army had no enthusiasm for this adventure.

There was little serious effort to implement Hitler's order.

Hitler gives the mission to defeat Britain to his

second in command, Hermann Goering.

The Luftwaffe commander is supremely confident

of victory and feels no need to coordinate the actions

of his various air fleets for maximum effect.

German intelligence was poor, providing false hope

in place of actual facts to color the decision-making 


Churchill tours bombed out Coventry Cathedral.

Churchill has faith in eventual victory over the Nazis

because America is bound to enter the war against Hitler

and their overwhelming industrial might will make 

the decided difference in defeating Germany. 

Lord Beaverbrook

Beaverbrook performed his role brilliantly as Air Minister -

his responsibility being to make sure the RAF was never

short in their supply of fighter aircraft.

RAF commander Dowding's system for Air Defense

This pamphlet, available to British citizens in 1941,

describes in some detail how all the organized parts

coordinate to ward off enemy bombers targeting them.

It's all there except for the most critical component -

RADAR - which was still classified TOP SECRET.

Frustrated RAF pilots complained of the small size

of their .30 caliber machine gun rounds.  While 

lethal to humans they could seem like bouncing BBs

off the hide of a cow for all the good it sometimes did 

in knocking a bomber from the sky.

RAF commander Dowding had two guiding rules:

protect the pilots / we've no shortage of planes

shoot down bombers / avoid the fighters

bombers attack vital ground locations

bombers are easier to down

it's how you beat the Germans

Tight confines aboard a German bomber.

Bomber crews made up the vast majority of Luftwaffe deaths.

These men realized their lives were being risked for a façade -

at best a bluff.  No real effort was being made to fashion

together an invasion force with any chance of success. 

No surprise, then, the morale of the despairing 

being a problem.

An official enthusiasm for invasion of England was allowed 

to dwindle as bleak autumn weather took hold over the Channel.

Hitler was content with leaving his fleet of U-boats to strangle

the island nation of its Atlantic lifeline to its many critical needs.

Meanwhile Hitler begins plans for a spring invasion of Russia

in the coming year.  His alliance with Mussolini will require an

unwanted divergence of armor to bail out the Italian dictator's

hapless military challenge to British forces in North Africa.

Germany's war of quick victory 

devolves into a years long battle

of attrition with sustained struggle

on several broad fronts, a conflict

beyond the nation's capacity 

to maintain.


l o v e

   d a d

©  Tom Taylor


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