Operation Sea Lion Author:Peter Fleming Directive No. 16, Adolf Hitler, 16 July 1940, begins: "As England, in spite of the hopelessness of her military position, has so far shown herself unwilling to come to any compromise, I have therefore decided to begin to prepare for, and if necessary to carry out, an invasion of England. This operation is dictated by the necessity of elimin... more »ating Great Britain as a base from which the war against Germany can be fought, and if necessary the island will be occupied. I therefore issue the following orders..."
The code name Sea Lion was given to this operation, and this book is an examination of all the factors which led up to the projected invasion, the German plans for launching it, and the British plans to repel it. That summer is still a period of conjecture. Did the Germans mount an abortive attempt at invasion? How many corpses in field-gray were washed up on the south coast of England? Did the British "set the sea on fire"? Was there a fifth column on the island?
These are perhaps the more obvious questions to which readers would like authoritative answers. Peter Fleming supplies them, but his wryly objective study, based on German as well as British sources, goes far deeper than the half-remembered highlights of a perilous hour...« less
An excellent review of the British and German preparations for the invasion of Britain in 1940. The author, the older brother of Ian Fleming (God, how he must have hated being called that), cover completely the actions of both sides to a situation neither really expected to happen. Fleming also throws in some humorous, but true, preparations that each side was willing to consider. I especially like the concrete 'alligators' idea the Germans had to cross the channel underwater.
This gook is well worth the reading for anyone interested in the early days of World War II.