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  • Plan W

    Interesting article on wikipedia about Plan W, the joint British-Irish contingency in the event of a German invasion during WWII.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plan_W

  • #2
    Interesting. Take a look at Operation Green in detail:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operati..._%28Ireland%29

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    • #3
      One would have to pose the question how intact any German expeditionary force would arrive here after running the gauntlet of British air and naval power en route? Also there seemed to be a serious lack of amphibious capability available to them. The projected paratrooper drop was expected to be in the region of 5000 men, which could have been dealt with by the Irish armed forces of the time, given the lightweight nature of airborne warfare, notwithstanding the reputation of the German paratrooper.
      Proposals for the taking of Cork harbour by sea-borne elements failed to take into account the substantial coastal defences in the region, along with the fact that the MTB's would have created a major headache in the enclosed environment of the harbour area.

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      • #4
        There can be no doubt that there were gaping holes in the German Plan. But they were right, taking Ireland could have won the war for them. It would have completely cut Britain off from America, and left their western flank totally open. Might have made more sense than Hitlers winter Russian holiday for the German Army:P
        What are you cackling at, fatty? Too much pie, that's your problem.

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        • #5
          Cork's Coastal defences were not protected from air attack. In fact none of the defences included anti Aircraft guns.
          However keep in mind that Germany intended invading the south of England using Barges, as soon as the Luftwaffe had defeated the RAF in the Battle of Britain. Indeed troops were massed on the Northern French coast awaiting this result, such was the confidence the Nazis had in their plans. Their Long range tactical planning left a lot to be desired
          As for the MTB effect, Germany, at the start of WW2 had a huge control over the seas, and its E Boats even up to 1944 were a serious risk to allied warships. The reconnaisance they had of irish harbours however was pretty spot on, and they were counting on the local support of their enemies enemy, the IRA.


          Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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          • #6
            Hi all
            You would wonder how much support the populace would have given the Germans, if they had pulled off a successful landing.At the time, the ordinary Joe in the street wasn't aware of Nazi atrocities, so might have felt inclined to aid the enemy of the old enemy.....the coastal forts would have been reduced to rubble by any of Goering's bombers, who could reach any part of the island.If the Germans had got even a token force of Panzers ashore, they would have caused chaos.I'd say that a flood of refugees heading North, away from any German thrust, would have ruined any Irish Army response,as the Germans would have achieved almost total air supremacy,within days.As for fending off German paras, if 5000 of them had been dropped in the environs of Dublin,they would have paralysed the place.The British had already demonstrated that, during the Rising.
            The RAF's radar and fighter cover along the Irish Sea coast of the UK was thin enough and the weather always made flight in the area difficult for interception and recovery.Apart from all that, the diversion of forces, given that Britain was under serious manpower/material pressure, would have put a serious dent in their own South-East defence against a potential German landfall.
            Does anyone know if there was ever a plan for them to invade the UK via the Orkneys or Shetlands?
            regards
            GttC

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            • #7
              Would have thought that the public would have been very quick to rise up against an invading force after just booting out the English a few years earlier. Once bitten twice shy and all that.

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              • #8
                GTTC Id have to disagree on a few points.
                Landing any Panzers would have been extremely unlikely given the lack of available amphibious assets. German air supremacy could not have happened post Battle of Britain as any threat to the western flank of the UK would have been met with massive counter force.
                As for the paras, I would argue that 5000 is simply not a large enough force to survive without reinforcements. Remember that your analogy of British troops during the rising did not have to contend with an organised army of 40,000 in strength backed by a reserve that peaked in number during the emergency at 103,530. A relatively small force can paralyze any location, but whether they last a week or a month is all down to numbers and 5000 is not large enough to pose a long term problem. Remember in the event of this happening Plan W would have come into effect and reinforcements from the North would have swelled these numbers.

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                • #9
                  Hi JJ
                  Good points.However, my point about the British containing the Rising relates to the fact that they locked down Dublin in short order,aided by the multitude of barracks, their greater mass of numbers, their ability to rapidly shift reinforcements from the Uk and the rest of Ireland and the relative immobility of the rebels.If a German airborne force,equipped with light artillery and some kind of air support had made it to the Dublin mountains, they could have rendered Dublin untenable.
                  Your point about landing craft is valid, as they never did develop a decent vehicle-carrying ferry until later in the war(Siebel) and they never had anything as good as the Allied LCTs/LCIs.
                  Still, they would have frightened the daylights out of the British if they had made even a small-scale landfall in Ireland.
                  regards
                  GttC

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
                    Still, they would have frightened the daylights out of the British if they had made even a small-scale landfall in Ireland.
                    Agreed. Indeed, many thought post WWII when the details of Operation Green became known, that it would possibly have been a diversionary operation to precede Operation Sealion.

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