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Thread: The Germans did invade England - Shoreham airport Luftwaffe landing

  1. #21
    I'll Lock Up Smithy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by casper View Post
    I'd never ever heard of Shingle Street. Did the Germans send a small group to invade? We should know about it by now though surely?

    I did google it to check on the story.

    Casper
    What is interesting about whatever happened at Shingle Street is that the British Government slapped a 75 year non-disclosure release to the public about it - it's protected by the Official Secrets Act.

    As Warden says, there are many theories about it: German raiding party; exercise gone wrong; testing of coastal defences; etc.

    What has peaked speculation about it is that around a day or two later, neutral journalists in France and Gemrnay were reporting troop trains carrying large amounts of injured German troops from the west coast of France - obviously at a time when fighting was not happening on that front.

    Who knows what happened at Shingle Street? Personally I wouldn't be surprised if we found out in the future that it was a German raid testing the defences on the eastern English coast as a preliminary for Sealion.

    Guess we'll know when the documents pertaining to this are eventually released...
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  2. #22
    Incurably Addicted Edward's Avatar
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    Does make you wonder whether Hitler really abandoned plans for Operation Sealion after quitting the Battle of Britain jut a week before victory, or whether it was actually something else entirely....
    If in doubt - overdress.

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  3. #23
    I'll Lock Up Spitfire's Avatar
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    But why all the secrecy? Let's jus say: If it was a german raid - and they were thrown back into the sea, wouldn't it be good, morale boosting news?
    Why keep it under lid? And for so long?
    "There I stood at the bar, wearing a Mae West, no jacket, and beginning to leak blood from my torn boot. None of the golfers took any notice of me - after all, I wasn't a member!'

  4. #24
    New In Town casper's Avatar
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    Shingle Street, myth or reality. But why classify it for 75 years?

    One thing that does come to mind is the Enigma machines, these were classified into the 1970s as some countries still used a form of Enigma encryption. Maybe a weapon was used which the British just wanted to keep quiet? I'd never heard of it up until it was mentioned on this site.

    A few more Shoreham air show photos (from 2010).......







    Casper

  5. #25
    Incurably Addicted Edward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
    But why all the secrecy? Let's jus say: If it was a german raid - and they were thrown back into the sea, wouldn't it be good, morale boosting news?
    Why keep it under lid? And for so long?
    Who knows.... it is possible that they feared it would give away some sort of strategic weak point or something.... maybe in knowing how and where they had failed, the Wehrmacht could learn something....if all they got back were bodies.....
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  6. #26
    Incurably Addicted Edward's Avatar
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    Also possible that the Powers That Be considered it to be more useful for home front propaganda purposes to have the civilian population carry on believing that Jerry hadn't even managed to land in England. I should imagine the closer the enemy seemed to get, the worse the effect on morale. The last thing Churchill and those running England's end of the war would have wanted would have been a civilian population losing faith in the war effort.
    If in doubt - overdress.

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  7. #27
    I'll Lock Up Smithy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
    But why all the secrecy? Let's jus say: If it was a german raid - and they were thrown back into the sea, wouldn't it be good, morale boosting news?
    Why keep it under lid? And for so long?
    I'm not a great one for conspiracy theories but IF the Germans had of conducted a raid on mainland England I can understand the sensitivity about about keeping it hush-hush. A large part of Churchill's rallying of the public was that "this little island" was the last stand. If the public had known that German forces had launched, even a intelligence gathering small raid as a prelude to invasion, then the pulbic would have been even twitchier than they already were about German forces landing on English soil.

    Small raids to test defences are not unusual prior to an invasion, we did the same on the French coast whilst considering the possibility of invading occupied France - Dieppe and St Nazaire - so the idea of the Germans doing the same is not entirely out of the realms of possibility. British morale was very, very twitchy at this stage of the war and it's not unbelieveable that British authorities would have wanted to keep quiet any attempt by German forces to test the defences of that "island nation".

    German military power was perceived throughout the world as virtually unstoppable. Even if such a raid had been stopped, the mere fact that German forces had attempted to land on mainland British soil would have, IMHO, made British morale (already under the threat of invasion) even more worried.
    Last edited by Smithy; 03-12-2012 at 10:58 AM.
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  8. #28
    New In Town casper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward View Post
    Also possible that the Powers That Be considered it to be more useful for home front propaganda purposes to have the civilian population carry on believing that Jerry hadn't even managed to land in England. I should imagine the closer the enemy seemed to get, the worse the effect on morale. The last thing Churchill and those running England's end of the war would have wanted would have been a civilian population losing faith in the war effort.
    I can understand that, but if scores of German troops WERE killed that would've been something to publicise surely? I'd like to know the truth of this one.

    Have you heard of Slapton Sands in Devon? A German E boat killed many US troops training for D day; it was completely hushed up for many years so as to not demoralise troops and civilians.

    Casper

  9. #29
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    I can understand why Slapton Sands were hushed up. And a very good reason it was too!
    If I had been "the spin doctor" to Winston Churchill back then, I would have suggested that we went out - full blast - with the story:"Well they tried - and we beat them!"
    "Better luck next time, Adolf!"
    "We fought them on the beaches - and we won!"
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  10. #30
    I'll Lock Up Smithy's Avatar
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    Well whatever happened at Shingle Street it was sensitive enough for the British government to invoke the Official Secrets Act, something which is usually not utilised unless it is of utmost importance.

    Whether this was a German raid, or a defence exercise that backfired, etc, etc, something did happen on that coast at a time which was perilous in British history.

    I guess we shall find out eventually once the documents pertaining to the events transfer from being covered by the OSA.

    At the very least, it makes for a bloody good story
    "Lead, they're shooting at us!"
    "That's OK, they're allowed to do that."

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