Operation Sea Lion: German Plans for the Invasion of England, 1939-1942

Operation Sea Lion: German Plans for the Invasion of England, 1939-1942

Operation Sea Lion: German Plans for the Invasion of England, 1939-1942

Operation Sea Lion: German Plans for the Invasion of England, 1939-1942

Excerpt

The purpose of this work is to trace the origin and development of the plans which the German High Command elaborated in the Second World War for an invasion of England. The seriousness of Adolf Hitler's intentions to put them into effect is particularly examined, and the reasons for their rejection are equally assessed. Although British defence plans are not described, the German invasion design itself clearly has its interest for English history. Operation Sea Lion is of no less concern to the historian of Germany's role in the last war. Hitler, that curiously repellent genius, first considered an invasion in the high summer of 1940, when he took far-reaching decisions affecting the subsequent course of the war. The Landung in England was an essential part of his strategy at this time; and as it was never carried out and was soon overshadowed by the vaster undertaking against Russia, its significance is liable to be neglected. The difficulties of interpretation derive from the fact that Sea Lion coincided with this crisis in the formation of German war plans; but so does much of the interest of the subject.

In the last resort the Führer's intentions may, like Napoleon's, remain controversial. But, if the air and naval difficulties were so great that the German landing had little hope of success, Hitler, it is contended, seriously meant to embark on it, provided Göring's preliminary air offensive achieved the results which were confidently expected. The German evidence, which my study attempts to present and interpret objectively, thus leaves no doubt that Britain faced a very real threat in 1940.

A note on the sources used and a bibliography of published material will be found on pp. 168 ff. Here, however, I should like to acknowledge my indebtedness first to the Cabinet Office for permission to publish this work, which is primarily based on official material from the captured German archives in this country. Among the many people who have helped me in the preparation of this book, my warm thanks are due to Sir James Butler, M.V.O., O.B.E., in particular, and to Mr. Basil Collier, Mr. Alan Bullock, and Professor A. Goodwin for their help and for their valuable criticisms of my manuscript. I am . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.