Where will the invasion come?

An invasion was widely expected sometime in 1941- The King inspects a coastal gun battery 'somewhere in Britain'.

In a memorandum to the War Cabinet the Minister of Information raises the question of whether it is necessary to evacuate more towns on the south coast of Britain, as proposed by the War Office:

From the point of view of civilian efficiency and morale there are grave objections to evacuation. It means in the first place complete temporary ruin for large numbers of people In the second place it means dumping upon an already overcrowded district additional numbers of idle and disgruntled strangers. Reluctant hosts are condemned to entertain unwilling guests for an indefinite periods A better seed ground for the growth of rumour, warweariness and defeatism could hardly be imagined.

The South East coast has always been the obvious place for an invading force to land, and for this very reason intelligent invaders have always avoided it. William of Orange landed at Torbay, Henry Tudor landed at Milford Haven, Edward IV landed at Ravenspur in Yorkshire.

To each one of these astute and successful invaders London was of almost as great importance as it is today and. the distances that divided their various ports of disembarkation from London were greater than they are today because their armies moved more slowly. But relying upon the enormous military value of surprise, they rightly struck where they were least expected.

Is it impossible that the Germans will do likewise? And granting the possibility, is it wise to inflict unnecessary suffering on the civilian population on the assumption that the blow is almost bound to fall within a limited area? Surely what matters most to Germany is to get a large army established on the soil of Britain. The number of miles that divides that army from the capital is a secondary consideration.

See TNA CAB/66/15/16

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