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How did the government of Britain prepare for possible war and invasion?

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2015-01-03 20:27:00
2015-01-03 20:27:00

As much as half of the Royal Navy and Royal airforce were based in the North of Britain, even with air superiority in the south any invasion would have faced powerful attacks by an airforce and navy that were technologically a match for their german equivalent. A german invasion would have needed to occur prior to 1941 to have any chance of success due to the huge military build up in the UK over the period of that year. British factories were actually out producing their german counter parts by the end of 1940. Although beech defences were not as extensive as in German held Normandy there were gun emplacements on every beech, barbed wire, mines, tank traps, obsticles, hundreds of miles of trenches, flooded fields....... Unlike many European countries who were taken unawares, the British were careful to prepare civilians for war. Each village and community had a chain of command and dutys given to every civilian to be carried out in the event of invasion..... Often involving slowing the germans down. Extra defences were put in places incredibly quickly, infact the difference between war time Britain in June 1940 and July 1940 is striking. Modern tv and programmes give an unrealistic impression of a sleepy nation not expecting invasion but as you might expect, the reaction to the defeat of the French was frantic 1.5 million men volunteered for the home guard, initially armed with rifles and homemade incendiary devices, later in 1941 with anti tank guns and machine guns. More volenteers were put aside for the reserve force. I certainly think if the germans had attacked in july 1940 (assuming they had magically defeated the RAF and hurt the Royal Navy, had double the number of Luftwaffe they actually had and triple the number of transport ships and support ships) they could have gained a decent sized bridge head, perhaps relying on some initially panic with Dads army distracted by Mrs Miggins pie shop and the latest Soccor scores to realize what Hun was upto..... However at the time in the UK, there was a huge amount of solidarity, London being bombed actually made people more determined and prepared the nations psychy for invasion. Personally I think there would have been far more civilian resistance in the Uk than in France and the geography of the country would make it impossible for the germans to enact the huge enveloping manourvres they performed in france and Russia. London was primed to be another Stalingrad and there was a natural bottle neck between London and Bristol. Lines of anti tank defences were placed all the way through the countryside upto London. The regular british army in 1940 had 22 divisions of infantry and the equivalent of 4 panzer divisions of armour. Meaning that the Germans needed to land large formations of tanks very quickly to have any chance of success. For the british to capitulate would have required a blitzkrieg style attack (shock and awe) which was highly unlikely given the difficulties of landing tanks and troops

Realistically given the disposition of German forces in 1940 it would have required another year of preparation atleast before the germans were in a position to mount a decent sized invasion and by that time the British would have also prepared. Success of invasion was always very unlikely which is why Hitler moved on

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