Monday, June 22, 2015

The Home Guard

Part of my thesis dealing with the historiography of Operation Sea Lion is how the British dealt with the prospects of invasion at different time. And while the German Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) was not prepared to invade Britain right after Dunkirk and the capture of the channel; the British forces were not ready to repel any Axis forces that landed on their shores.

The LDV while started to organize after Secretary of State for War, Anthony Eden radio speech on 14th of May, by early July most units were limited in the number of official weapons distributed to the units with most still relying on personal and museum pieces.

So while a 4th of July invasion sounds good in a novel (more on that latter) both the Germans and British will have to wait until September or October before their forces are ready.

And yet Admiral Raeder conceived a possible landing as early as the late fall of 1939...

Right now I am reading Mackenzie's The Home Guard and enjoying it immensely. It is an ex-library copy and the amusing thing is that it came from the Cornwall County Council Library system, the same location as my proposed miniature campaign. The other is Hitler's Armada by Hewitt. This is covering in some detail how the two navies stack up in a possible Operation Sea Lion. Well worth looking at if interested in naval affairs or Sea Lion.


  1. Very interesting topic, Jon. I would be delighted to read your thesis when it's done, or even be a proofreader (I just defended an MA thesis recently, I appreciated my proofreaders. My dad was a young private in 1st Canadian Division, which as I understand it was one of the few large formations that had not lost their equipment in France. While 1CanDiv was motorized, it was woefully inexperienced and lacking in AT equipment or doctrine, so I'm not sure what value it would have been had the Germans actually landed. Sealion is such a tempting matchup to war-game, isn't it?

  2. A book I've got in my to-read pile might be of interest to you. Philip MacDougall, _If War Should Come: Defence Preparations on the South Coast, 1935-1939_.

    I can probably source one via Diplomatist Books if you'd like one.

  3. Thank you both. I will look into Philip MacDougall, it looks interesting. Michael, the 1st Canadian would have been very important as it was one of a select few units that had some maneuverability. It is often the first unit a writer will use to throw at the invading Germans. That reminds me to look for a division history for the 1st Canadian covering the early war and development.

  4. I'll second the Padre - love to read what you come up with.

  5. I'll second the Padre - love to read what you come up with.