Could Nazi Germany conquer Britain in World War II

When we look into the reality on the ground circa the time period when Operation Sea Lion was supposed to happen, we see that if attempted the invasion, Germany would have lost a noticeable portion of its force over a rather costly, but not too costly invasion operation.

They would have taken over Britain without too much difficulty, since BEF was crippled and they left their heavy equipment at Dunkirk, and there wasn’t much troop presence in British Isles. Britain was enrolling ‘part time’ soldiers and making up improvised armored cars to make up for the loss at Dunkirk.

British anti-invasion preparations of the Second World War

Bison concrete armoured lorry

Armored Lorry

Scotland, if they couldn’t take over through any other easy means, would have given them a lot of trouble in the highlands, but wouldn’t be too unlike mountainous parts of Balkans. 

So they would have taken over Britain rather acceptably without crippling losses.

But….

What, then?

Britain did not have much resources like the scarce and valued oil Germany was needing, it didn’t have other heavy industry resources that was not found in Europe.

And after the invasion of British Isles, Royal Navy which would not be totally destroyed in the invasion would still be out in the oceans, and whatever asset Britain had left in other parts of the world would still be there. 

Even if Royal Navy was totally crippled during the invasion, Germany still did not have enough naval presence to do anything elsewhere in the world. Leave aside the surface fleet to safely go here and there, but also the logistic capability to ferry anything anywhere -personnel, equipment, supplies. 

And such an invasion would totally expose Germany to USSR – while a decent number of troops, aircraft and supplies would be tied up in the invasion of Britain, Germany’s eastern flank would be vulnerable. 

And with the build up USSR was effecting, Red Army would have an advantage over entire German army in numbers and supplies, leave aside what would Germany had left in the eastern front during invasion of Britain. 

It would be insane for USSR not to attack Germany at that point, since both parties knew that a war in between two differing ideologies were totally inevitable. Not to mention Germans’ “untermensch slavs” psychopathy. 

Lets say for a second that Germany did the invasion, and USSR did not attack. 

What next? 

Germany trying to build up a navy to deal with what’s left of Britain overseas, building up a navy for ~5-10 years, redirecting valuable production to shipyards? Could happen if they consolidated their european occupation and marshaled some economy to do it, but by that time the ‘remnants’ of Britain in overseas British colonies would have built up to a considerable problem with US help. That is unless Japanese did not succeed in overrunning Australia and India, which was totally unlikely with US presence.

By that time USSR would have built up o a juggernaut which would easily roll over entire Europe.

………..

So, as you see, invasion of Britain was strategically unproductive and dangerous. Hence the Germany’s turning away from the invasion to deal with Britain at a later date. Which would never happen due to USSR.

2 thoughts on “Could Nazi Germany conquer Britain in World War II”

  1. “And such an invasion would totally expose Germany to USSR – while a decent number of troops, aircraft and supplies would be tied up in the invasion of Britain, Germany’s eastern flank would be vulnerable.

    And with the build up USSR was effecting, Red Army would have an advantage over entire German army in numbers and supplies, leave aside what would Germany had left in the eastern front during invasion of Britain.

    It would be insane for USSR not to attack Germany at that point, since both parties knew that a war in between two differing ideologies were totally inevitable. Not to mention Germans’ “untermensch slavs” psychopathy. ”

    Wonder why the Red Army was so utterly unprepared when the invasion came and suffered some of the most catastrophic defeats in history?

    Maybe the Molotov Ribbentrop wouldn’t have been necessary of Stalin murdered most of his generals, and had lots of the surviving ones killed in Finland. Or if he had listened to the multiple sources telling him that the German army massing on his border wasn’t there to make friends.

    • Wonder why the Red Army was so utterly unprepared when the invasion came and suffered some of the most catastrophic defeats in history

      We dont need to wonder – we know: Red Army was in the midst of a reorganization and the amount of mobilized troops at the border was being held at a certain number in order to avoid inciting Germany to war by giving them a reason to attack – which they did anyway, but hey.

      It cannot be said that it was due to the purges – how can outside 3rd parties accurately assess the capability of military officers of a foreign nation? We cant do it even for our own officers who are alive and in service today, with all the technology and tools we have at our disposal. It is more than impossible for outside 3rd parties in 1930s and 1940s to be able to say so about the officers of a foreign nation whose information they had no access to. But they did – first, the post-war German military cadres in their autobiographies, and then Anglosphere literature, incessantly.

      And yet, France, Britain did not purge their armies, and suffered greater routs than Red Army. How did that happen.

      Is it possible that military officer cadres who grew up in WW I and Interwar period were not suitable for radically changed rules of warfare?

      Likely so.

      In that case, it cannot be objectively said that purges hurt Red Army to the extent of making it incapable.

      And Soviets did have a lot of reports about imminent German attack. All of them were heeded by Soviet administration, as we know today. The problem was that there were too many reports, and the even bigger problem was that the attack was postponed a few times, so the information they had was not precise to act on – actually Soviets were expecting the attack to come a few months to six months later, and they were estimating Germany wouldnt be ready to attack until then. It seems, history prove them right as Germans lost their initial surprise advantage with their logistic unpreparedness.

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