Churchill’s Underground Army, A History of the Auxiliary Units in World War II

B1907

Very little has been written of British preparations to face a German invasion of the British Isles. From the Dunkirk evacuation, Churchill expected a German invasion attempt. The British and French troops rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk had left most of their equipment, even rifles and pistols, behind on the beaches. A significant portion of the artillery and armour available in Britain in 1939 had been sent to France, together with squadrons of Hurricane fighters and Fairy Battle light bombers. As the exhausted troops arrived back from France, there would have been very little to resist a German invasion. However, the Germans were also exhausted, had yet to collect an adequate number of invasion barges, landing craft and warships to form an invasion force, and Germany did not hold sea and air supremacy over the British beaches. As was demonstrated in 1944, large amphibious landings were costly and not guaranteed success, even with the huge Anglo American resources available for the Normandy landings, and the massive air and sea supremacy across the beaches and landing zones.

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