Britain have repulsed 'Operation Sealion' in September 1940?
Sept 1940, Hitler was hoping to launch his invasion (Operation Sealion).
Britain have stopped him if he had decided to invade? The easy
answer is ‘hardly at all’. There
is a story (probably apocryphal) that the stretch of coast earmarked by
Hitler for his main invasion attack was guarded by a Home Guard platoon
with a machine gun!
things were done, though often in a flawed way:
HAD been done (3 Sept) – though many children came back at
Christmas, when nothing seemed to be happening.
Raid Precautions were enforced from the beginning – Blackout/
barrage balloons/ gas masks/ yellow pillar boxes sandbags.
1 million coffins were made.
had started (petrol
22 Sep 1939
) and was soon extended to butter, sugar and bacon, paper and meat.
There were salvage campaigns after Jan 1940.
Lord Woolton was appointed in April 1940.
But the Women’s Land Army was only begun in Oct 1939 – AND
they needed training.
In May 1940, the Emergency Powers Act gave the
government the power to move workers into essential industries and the
Essential Works Order introduced conscription to vital
industries in March 1941.
defences were quite good and well-prepared – radar had been invented
(1935), Dowding had been appointed and he reorganised Fighter Command
(1937), the Hurricane (1935) and Spitfire (1936) had been developed
– BUT there were still only small numbers of planes, and Beaverbrook
was not put in charge of aircraft production until May 1940.
Home Guard had been formed, but they did not get weapons until late in
the war – farmers lent them shotguns etc.
The Home Guard were not quite the joke of Dad’s Army, but
they could not have stopped the Nazi Army.
of Information organised propaganda from Jan 1940 on – eg
‘Careless Talk costs lives’ campaign.
Military Training Act was passed in May 1939 but 2 million men
aged 20–27 were only called up to join the armed forces in Jan 1940
– and they needed training.
KEY event was the appointment of Churchill (
10 May 1940
) – the whole war machine moved up a number of gears.
there were some things that just had not been/could
not be addressed at all:
little had been achieved – eg dropping leaflets on
Germany: Wow!/ the BEF had been sent to France, but only 158,000 men/
and there had been spectacular defeats in
– the convoy system had been started
15 Sep 1939
, but supply ships were not properly defended because there were not
enough battleships. Decoding
of Enigma/ sonar and adequate protection did not happen until 1942.
the Phoney War many of the regulations had been forgotten, and the
‘war mentally’ of the British people had relaxed.
(This changed with
and Churchill, May 1940).
must know about:
Battle of Britain
of the Atlantic