posted on Dec, 31 2006 @ 04:41 PM
During the entire war the combined allied airpower & naval power sank only 2000 Axis warships/vessels in the European Theatre plus another 3000
commercial vessels. The German Sealion invasion force counted 4300 vessels and they established a 50% cut off mark as the 'point of no return' for
their forces. So for the RAF/RN to scuttle Operation Sealion, they would have to sink over 2300 vessels . In other words they would have to inflict ,
in a matter of weeks, what would have normally have taken several years of naval warfare, all by themselves!!!!
Breaking down the figures some more, the 1000 RN vessels fighting a force of about 500 German vessels in 1940 sank about 450 German ships/boats or
about 40 per month [ 0.037 / RN vessel / month]. The 1944 allied European forces counted about 5000 vessels against 3000 German vessels and sank about
2000, for a rate of about 0.033 / Allied vessel /month. The German invasion force counted 4300 vessels and this is a density of 10 times the
historical 1940s levels, and just maybe leading to 10 times the sink rate as well or 370 KM vessels sunk per month for the duration of Sealion?
But its still no were near enough, they would need to sink >2000 vessels in a matter of weeks or at least 10 times such a hypothetical sinking rate.
In return the Axis sank about 2000 allied vessels over the five years or ~200 vessels sunk by 500 German warships in 1940, or 0.033 vessels per month.
Given a much higher RN fighting density of say 5 :1 this should add up to 80 vessels per month sunk or a 4.5:1 kill ratio in the RN favor.
During naval conflicts a crippled ships is as good as sunk vessel for the better part of a year[s] before repairs are effected. In the context of
Sealion they are out of the fight, so if we look from this POV things appear quite different. During the first half of the war, RN vs KM naval clashes
usually resulted in 0.25 sunk or crippled warships per attacking vessel per clash, on each side. However vessels of minesweeper or patrol vessel
rarely sunk or crippled more than 0.13 per attacking vessel per clash. Trouble is neither side had all gun armed vessels escorting. Fully ½ of the
RN fleet were gun armed vessels , the rest had merely machineguns, incapable of sinking anything. In the German fleet 80% of the escort fleet had
guns. So the real clash would be between 260 German gun armed vessels and 500 RN gun armed vessels.
Balancing this off would be attacks on the barge fleet. In Crete 1941 this was about 1 barge sunk per attacking warship sortie [ cruiser/destroyer] ,
which is 4 times the rate of sinking warships. However these attacks benefited from advanced intelligence based on Ultra decrypts and radar equipped
warships where as the Italians had none. That allowed unthinkable ambush situations to be exploited. The 1940 RN fleet had no such capability, since
only a few capital ships had radars and naval intelligence was really poor.
A lot is put on the un sea worthiness of the German invasion barges, but these turned out to be quite seaworthy able to survive up to gale force winds
& waves , so the 1 barge sunk per attacking vessel is completely unrealistic in the 1940 context. Its probably not unrealistic to peg this value at
0.5 barges sunk or crippled per attack on barge fleet. That would suggest about twice the normal kill rate. So following that logic the RN patrol
fleet should result in 0.25 barges sunk or crippled per attack and the RN average kill rate should be roughly 0.31 per clash after KM fleet is
KM fleet included 66 warships out of 260 gun armed vessels with the rest being patrol/minesweeper vessel, or an average of 0.16 RN vessel sunk or
crippled per attacking KM gun armed vessel per clash. To neutralize the entire KM fleet of