by Author | December 10th, 2010

Buoyed by their startling successes on the continent, the German war machine had a confidence in itself that caused many of the previously cautious ‘Old Guard’ to shed their distrust of modern methods of war. The tank men and the proponents of a purely tactical airforce were holding sway and so too were those with even more radical and novel ideas. Despite this however, the German high command still understood that the essential condition of any invasion plan was a maximum concentration of effort in one place at one time in order to bring about a speedy decision. Hitler himself declared that the invasion must make sufficient headway in order to force a capitulation by the British within 7 days. To that end, the military men knew that they had 5 days at most to reach a major strategic target. 5 days was the length of time the Germans imagined they could hold off the Royal Navy without sustaining untenable losses. Eventually, the following plan was decided on:

The target of the invasion would be the industrial heartlands of the North Midlands and Yorkshire. The South Yorkshire coal field, its power stations, the West Yorkshire mills and the Sheffield steel works were all major contributors to the British war effort. Nearby were the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire coal fields, the shipyards and port facilities of the Humber, not to mention the valuable agricultural land of North and East Yorkshire. The landing area would be between Scarborough and Skipsea on the Yorkshire coast. The defences here were weaker than the South of England and the British fighter cover much thinner. The coastline was a combination of low clay cliffs and higher, more rugged cliffs. The beaches were wide, flat and firm, and there were plenty of suitable exits from the beach, once any obstacles were blown. Just as importantly, the coastline itself was more concave than further south, with headlands at Scarborough, Filey and Flamborough to act as bulwarks against the weather and as anti-aircraft platforms to help defend the beacheads.

Scarborough and Bridlington had small but useful harbours and Filey and Skipsea had several landing ramps for vehicles arriving over the beach. There were two airfields within reach of the beacheads that could be captured and used to bring in reserves by air, whilst the relatively flat ground near the coast could be utilised to construct temporary forward air strips.

This landing area also gave natural flank protection to the invasion force with the River Humber on the southern flank and the North Yorkshire Moors on the northern flank. In terms of obstacles, there were only two rivers of any size to obstruct a German breakout into the South Yorkshire coal field; those being the Derwent and the Ouse. Both were in the process of being fortified, but having forced a crossing of the Meuse and numerous other rivers on the continent, the Germans did not initially see these rivers as insurmountable obstacles.

The ground it seemed, was exactly what they were after; providing they could actually get ashore. To that end, the Germans now laid metiulous plans for the containment of the RAF and Royal Navy. More to follow…

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Seelöwe Nord is the online home of Andy Johnson, a war fiction novelist. Seelöwe Nord is a war novel that tells the alternative history of Operation Sealion, the proposed German invasion of Britain in 1940. Followed by Thunder in May, and the recently released Crucible of Fate, the trilogy of War Fiction remains a popular read within the genre.

Andy has also started to publish small Leadership and Management Booklets drawing from his extensive experience across many sectors and industries, both military and civilian, the first of which is entitled Captains of the Gate and is now available for download on eReaders directly from Amazon.