Battle of the Coral Sea: 1942

The Battle of the Coral Sea

by John B Macartney. Republished with permission from the Australian-American Newsletter, April 2000.

(John Macartney retired as a Paymaster LCDR after service in HMAS Australia, Hobart and Shropshire between 1939 and 1946. He spent all but three months of his war service in a seagoing ship.)

There has only ever been one major naval battle fought by contestants within 300 miles of the Australian coast. It took place in the Coral Sea, so named in 1831 by CAPT Matthew Flinders, RN. Within a few weeks of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, 7 December 1941, it became evident to the USN that they could expect increased activity in the South-West Pacific zone. This conclusion was supported by the remarkable success of code-breakers, particularly in Pearl Harbour and Melbourne, who were often able to anticipate the movements of enemy ships. In addition, extremely courageous coast-watchers mainly Australian, took up positions on various islands and reported their observations by radio.

(Ed. note: The major battles were 600 miles or more from mainland Australia.)

Coral Sea
The Battle of the Coral Sea (Preston p. 110).

On 23 January 1942 the Japanese captured the port of Rabaul, which is near the north-east tip of New Britain, the largest chain of islands to the east and north of Papua New Guinea. Rabaul became the main base for assembling their forces in that part of the Pacific. In forthcoming clashes RADM F.J. Fletcher, USN, was to have overall command of the three main Allied task groups involved. His own group (TG 17.2) comprised the aircraft-carrier and flagship Yorktown, the cruisers Minneapolis, New Orleans, Astoria, Chester and Portland, and four destroyers.

Yorktown CV5
USS
Yorktown CV-5, San Diego, June 1940, loading aircraft for Hawaii. Displacement 25,900 tons, Length 809.5 feet (246.7m), Beam: 109.5 feet (33.4m), Draft: 26 feet (7.9m), 9 x Babcock and Wilcox boilers, 4 x Parsons geared turbines, 120,000 shp (90 MW), Speed 32.5 knots, rew: 2,217, Armament 8 x 5 inch (127mm), 4 x quad 1.1 inch (28mm) machine guns, 90 aircraft, 3 x elevators, 2 x flight deck hydraulic catapults, 1 x hangar deck hydraulic catapult.


Task Group 17.5 consisted of the aircraft carrier Lexington (CV-2, 50,000 tons, over 90 aircraft) and four destroyers, and was under the command of RADM A.W. Fitch. Task Group 17.3 (Ed. note: also called TF 44) was to be the support group, commanded by RADM J.G. Crace RN, flying his flag in the Australian cruiser Australia accompanied by the light Australian cruiser Hobart, the US cruiser Chicago and the US destroyers Farragut, Perkins and Walker.

Australia

HMAS Australia. County class cruiser, was RADM Crace’s flagship. Displacement: 13,450 tons, Length: 630 ft (190 m) Beam: 68.25 ft (20.80 m) Draught: 16.25 ft (4.95 m) 4-shaft Brown-Curtis geared turbines, 8 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 80,000 shp, Speed: 31.5 knots, Complement: 848, Armament: 8 x 8 inch (203 mm), 4 x 4 in (102 mm) dual Anti-aircraft guns, 4 x 3 pdr guns.

The Japanese Port Moresby invasion fleet had 11 troopships covered by an invasion group including the light carrier Shoho (21 aircraft), four heavy cruisers and a destroyer; these were backed up by the heavy carriers Zuikaku (flagship) and Shokaku with two heavy cruisers and six destroyers in distant company.

The extraordinary thing about this momentous battle was that at no stage did the opposing ships sight each other and after many reconnaissance flights by both sides, often hindered by low cloud, a sighting by Japanese pilots at about 1100 on 7 May led to the first attack.

zuikaku
HIJMS Zuikaku. Shokaku class aircraft carrier. Displacement: 32,000 tons, Length: 257.5 m, Beam: 26 m, Draught: 8.9 m, 8 boilers,160,000 hp (119 MW), 4 shafts, Speed: 34.5 knots, Complement: 1,660, Armament: 16 x 5 inch (127 mm), 96 x 25 mm Anti-aircraft, Aircraft: 18 Zeros, 27 Vals, 27 Kates (Dec. 1941).

The ships seen were reported as an aircraft carrier and a cruiser, so VADM Takagi (Zuikaku) ordered a force of 36 dive-bombers, 24 torpedo-bombers and 18 Zero fighters to deal with them. On arrival at the reported position the pilots found the ships were in fact the USN oiler Neosho and her escorting destroyer Sims. By then, the flight commander had received reports of bigger game in the vicinity, so he ordered a search for them until his planes were getting short of fuel.

Neosho and Sims

They then returned to deal with the oiler and destroyer. Sims was sunk by 36 dive-bombers and there were only 15 survivors. Twenty dive-bombers then concentrated on Neosho and within a few minutes scored seven direct hits.

The flight commander was satisfied that the oiler would sink and in any case his planes needed refuelling, so he ordered them all to fly home to their carriers. But he hadn’t allowed for the ability and tenacity of Neosho‘s crew. They fought fires that raged on board the oiler and kept her afloat until about noon four days later (11 May) when the destroyer Henley arrived, took off the 123 crewmen still on board and scuttled the ship.

a6m2zerof4fwildcat

Decisive factors: The Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero (950 hp engine, two x 7.7 mm machine guns, two x 20 mm cannon, range 1,930 miles with drop tank, left) entered the Coral Sea fray in 1942 with an enviable performance and war record. The Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat (1200 hp engine, six .50 calibre machine guns, range 770 miles, right) and new tactics (e.g. Thach weave) helped to dent its reputation, but it was not until 1943 that the new Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat (2000 hp engine, six .50 calibre machine guns) could reliably outmuscle the Zero in a one versus one match.

In the late forenoon of that day (7 May) a group of 93 aircraft from Yorktown and Lexington sighted the light Japanese carrier Shoho and her task group. They promptly attacked her and within half an hour she was on fire and then quickly went to the bottom.

shoho
HIJMS
Shoho hit by a torpedo 7 May 1941. Displacement: 14,200 tons, Length: 674.2 ft (205.5 m), Beam: 59.8 ft (18.2 m), Draught: 21.75 ft (6.6 m) Geared turbines, 38.8 MW (52,000 hp), 2 shafts, Speed: 28.2 knots, Complement: 785, Armament: 8 x 127 mm (5 in), 8 x 25 mm anti-aircraft guns, 12 x 13.2 mm machine guns, 30 aircraft.


As she disappeared into her watery grave the voice of one of the US pilots, LCDR R.E. Dixon, was heard in the radio rooms of both American carriers: “Scratch one flat-top. Dixon to carrier, scratch one flat-top.”

A roar went up in both rooms. This was the first sinking of an enemy carrier by USN airmen, whose prowess and valour were to prove an extremely vital element throughout the Pacific War.

RADM Fletcher and VADM Takagi knew that the first pilot to spot the opposing carriers the following morning (8 May) would give his side an advantage, so spotting planes flew off as soon as there was sufficient visibility. At about 8 am the two carrier groups were about 160 miles apart and scouting planes from both sides had spotted enemy carriers.

Shokaku burns

The Americans were first into action with 39 aircraft (torpedo bombers and dive bombers) tackling Shokaku. The flagship-carrier Zuikaku and her group disappeared into a rain squall and when she emerged some minutes later RADM Hara saw from the bridge of Zuikaku that Shokaku was “burning furiously” from two direct hits by dive-bombers. Later she sustained a further blow when hit by another bomb and, as she was heavily damaged and no longer able to launch her aircraft, she was ordered to retire from the battle and head north.

shokaku

Shokaku’s flight deck was badly damaged but the ship was repaired.

In the meantime planes from the enemy carriers scored hits on Lexington with two torpedoes and two bombs. There was a gigantic internal explosion at 1247. Her gallant crew kept trying to save their beloved ship through the afternoon, but as evening approached it became obvious that this was a lost cause, so the destroyer Phelps was ordered to torpedo her and send her to the bottom of the sea.

Lexington burning
USS
Lexington CV-2 after two torpedo and two bomb hits around 1100, could still make 25 knots and operate some aircraft until 1300, but two major avgas explosions and fires forced her crew to abandon ship by mid-afternoon.Lexington-class aircraft carrier, Displacement: 50,000 tons , Length: 888 ft (270.7 m), Beam: 106 ft (32.3 m), Draught: 24.25 ft (7.4 m), 16 x boilers, Geared turbines and electric drive, 4 x shafts, 209,710 shp, Speed: 34.8 knots, Complement: 2,122, Armament: 4 x twin 8-inch (200 mm), 12 x single 5-inch (130 mm), 91 aircraft, 2 x elevators, 1 x flywheel catapult.

CAPT Sherman checked all the decks to ensure that there were no living crewmen left, and he was the last to leave his stricken carrier, having seen to it that his dog, Wags, was transferred to one of the destroyers. He was promoted to RADM not long after this battle.


Yorktown hit

Yorktown was hit by one armour-piercing 800 lb bomb during the attack. It fell through one side of the flight deck and exploded on the fourth deck down, killing or seriously wounding 66 men. But the damage did not prevent aircraft from using the flight deck. The carrier proceeded to Pearl Harbour and was repaired in the astoundingly short time of three days by a 1400-strong work-force.

She was in time to join the carriers preparing for the next battle, near the island of Midway. Four Japanese carriers were sunk in that engagement. Yorktown became the only USN carrier lost, and that was very sad news for all who remembered the gallant part she, her crew and airmen had played in the Coral Sea.

At about 2 pm the same day (7 May) eleven single-engined land-based planes appeared, flying high, above TG 17.3. All ships opened fire and no bombs hit their targets.
Near 3 pm a more serious threat to the task group developed when 12 two-engined land-based navy bombers arrived. In this case the aircraft were flying very low and most carried torpedoes. The ships of RADM Crace’s task group were in formation, but he ordered them to act independently as the enemy planes approached. The ships all turned towards their attackers so as to present the narrowest possible targets, and as a result not one was hit.

Five of the attacking planes were shot down. Not long after this extremely satisfying episode another flight, of 19 twin-engined land-based bombers, appeared. They had come from Rabaul and they failed to score any hits with the bombs they dropped from heights of 15,000 feet or more, though there were plenty of near misses.

They flew away promptly after their fruitless mission, having come under heavy fire from the ships of RADM Crace’s task group.

The balance sheet

That was the end of the Coral Sea Battle. And which side won it? Well, published figures which I cannot guarantee give the main US losses as:

Aircraft carrier Lexington 50,000 tons, destroyer Sims 1570 tons, tanker Neosho 7256 tons.

Japanese losses included:

Aircraft carrier Shoho 14,200 tons, destroyer Kikuzo 1772 tons, supply vessel Okonoshima 4470 tons.

Aircraft losses were claimed as 77 American and 97 Japanese.

Because most of the crews of Lexington and Neosho were rescued by destroyers the casualty figures indicated an imbalance compared with the total tonnages of the sunken ships; 543 Americans were killed while the Japanese lost 1074.

The Japanese claimed a win because the total tonnage of US ships lost exceeded their total. But the US response was that the would-be invading ships never again came as far south as they had during the attempt to capture Port Moresby.

[Ed. notes: This was the first ever major naval action when opposing ships never came within sight of one another (Firkins p. 153), even though they were only 70 miles apart during night of 6/7 May, without knowing it (Reynolds p. 68).

It has been strongly argued that had the American carriers, Enterprise and Hornet, been available for this action, they would have contributed significantly to the battle. In fact, they were engaged in a North Pacific stunt, the Doolittle B-25 raid on the Japanese home islands, that recorded little material damage (Reynolds p. 68).

American torpedoes hit Shokaku in the forenoon of 8 May, but they failed to detonate. She received three bomb hits but returned to Japan for repairs under her own steam and was ready for action again in two months. Lexington‘s loss was attributed chiefly to secondary explosions associated with her poorly designed and managed avgas refuelling systems.

Other authorities give different times for the Japanese attacks on RADM Crace’s force. Some say the first strike was an 0600 torpedo attack by 12 aircraft, 10 of which were somewhat optimistically claimed to have been shot down (Firkins 1975, p. 155). Crace was also inadvertently bombed by US Army Air Force B-17s from Townsville, “Fortunately without hitting anything,” according to the official USN history website.

Zuikaku might have survived the battle unscarred, but the carrier required a month or more to replace the valuable aircrew and aircraft lost in the Coral Sea. The absence of Zuikaku and Shokaku and their highly capable aircrew might have been a crucial factor in the decisive 4 June 1942 Battle of Midway. “The battle-hardened Shokaku and Zuikaku would have been invaluable,” said Preston (p. 117).]

References:

Firkins, P. Of nautilus and eagles: History of the Royal Australian Navy. Cassell Australia: North Melbourne. 1975.
Preston, A. Aircraft carriers. Bison Book Corp: Greenwich. 1979.
Reynolds, C.G. The carrier war. Time-Life Books Inc.: Chicago. 1982.

Website:

http//:www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/coralsea.htm.


Jutland, Grey wastes: 1916 (Book review)

Jutland book cover

Jutland 1916

 
 Book review by Fred Lane
 
Steel, N. and P. Hart. Jutland 1916: Death in the grey wastes. Cassell: London, 2003. 439pp. Photographs and Maps. Paperback $19.75.

The biggest naval battle since Trafalgar in 1805 was the 1916 Battle of Jutland. Fought during 31 May and the early hours of 1 June, between no less than 250 warships, it pitted two brilliant admirals against each other: ADML Sir John Jellicoe and VADM Reinhard Scheer.

The latter’s fast scouting group of five battlecruisers under VADM Franz Hipper crucially outperformed Jellicoe’s equivalent, four Queen Elizabeth class battlecruisers under VADM Sir David Beatty. In one sense it was fortunate that the British could read German navy cyphers but the failure of a small number of critical communications from the Admiralty to Jellicoe in the strategic sense, and from Beatty to Jellicoe in the tactical sense, led to a less than satisfactory British outcome.

The Kaiserliche Marine entered WW I with fewer heavy units than the RN, but they hoped to lure small elements of the Grand Fleet into traps that would in time lead to numerical equivalency.

The build-up and battle are eloquently described by Steel and Hart. Sheer’s near major success is attributed, in part, to operational and tactical shorcomings in the British fleet, especially with Beatty’s Fifth Battlecruiser Squadron.

Ample warnings of gunnery, communications and armour deficiencies were demonstrated at the Battle of Dogger Bank in January 1915. These warnings, however, were chiefly ignored. Both the Royal Navy and the Kaiserliche Marine planned North Sea sweeps around May and June 1916. This was known to the Admiralty, but they delayed passing this important enemy intelligence to Jellicoe.

At Jutland, Beatty was correctly deployed ahead of Jellicoe’s main fleet when he ran into Hipper’s ships. The enemy smartly and correctly retreated towards their main body, enticing Beatty to follow. This, plus a Beatty-ordered “turn in succession” instead of a “turn together” contributed to the loss of two RN battlecruisers. His own ship, HMS Lion, was only saved by the heroic action of a mortally wounded turret officer who flooded his magazine. Then, Beatty’s signals, such as “Enemy bearing SE” were of little help to Jellicoe when he had no idea of Beatty’s whereabouts.

Superior fleet handling

Finally, the German ships were generally handled in a superior manner. Scheer’s brilliant “Turn about together” manoeuvre, when his T was crossed, had never been used in war before, but it saved the German fleet from a severe mauling. The British lost 14 ships and 6094 men at Jutland. The German losses were 11 ships and 2551 men. Both sides reported heavy damage to many units.

Victory was claimed by both sides. In fact, although they might well claim a tactical victory on the simple grounds of ships and men lost, the Kaiserliche Marine never again challenged the Royal Navy in a fleet action. Therefore the RN had very good grounds to claim a strategic victory.


Sea Lion: 1940

Operation Sea Lion: Tiger or pussycat?

channel3
Churchill’s version of Operation Sea Lion, (Churchill p. 273).

Operation Sea Lion (Unternehemen Seelöwe), a proposed German invasion of England in 1940, was a battle never fought beyond its essential precursor (Unternehemen Adler, Operation Eagle Attack) that included the failed Battle of Britain. Would it have succeeded?

Influential authors, such as Kenneth Macksey (1980) and Michael Burleigh (2000) say Operation Sea Lion would have succeeded. Thornton Cox (1974), also Peter Fleming (2003), Derek Robinson (2005) and Stephen Bungay (2000), come to diametrically opposite conclusions. Macksey, a former tank major who became a military historian and biographer, and respected historian Dr Michael Burleigh conclude that a mid-July 1940 Operation Sea Lion probably would have been successful. Cox, a military correspondent with the Daily Telegraph, reports on a very persuasive and carefully structured 1974 Sandhurst war game, conducted by very senior Britons and Germans, most of whom would have been participants in the original battle. They reached a consensus outcome: German defeat. The defeat was attributed largely to inadequate German logistics, especially in the face of certain and effective RAF and RN interdiction.

Winston Churchill (Churchill 1949 pp. 247-278) offers substantial evidence and characteristically concludes that Britain would have repelled Sea Lion with massive German losses.

David Shears (Shears 2001a and 2001b) briefly analyses most of the important evidence and agrees with Churchill and Cox that three chief factors militated against a successful Sea Lion. They were: firstly, the inability of Admiral Raeder to find and train a large enough assault transport and logistics fleet in the ridiculously short time he was allowed; secondly, failure by Reichsmarshal Herman Göring to achieve control of the air (Unternehemen Adler, “the key to Sea Lion”, Shears 2001a p. 98); and thirdly, the time it took to emplace German cross-channel guns. Contributing to these factors must be Hitler’s vacillation about the project, the outstandingly successful British intelligence penetration of Sea Lion, simple meteorological factors that constrained any invasion timetable, and a potent temporal factor in that the longer it took to mount an assault after the nadir of Dunkirk (May-June 1940), the harder the British nut would become to crack.

Macksey assumptions

Macksey makes a number of key assumptions, for instance that Hitler, instead of hesitating, initiates resolute Sea Lion planning as early as May 1940. Over Raeder’s objections about RN and RAF dangers he then mounts a smaller scale assault by sea and air. Led by Luftwaffe paratroops, the German Army lands on a 25-mile stretch of coast between Hythe and Rye in mid-July. Demoralised defenders are unable to repulse the landings, the RN is unable to coordinate effective counterattacks with the RAF and refugees quickly clog the roads. Heavy RN warships summoned from Scotland and Gibraltar record some successes, but by and large everything is too little and too late to prevent a German victory. The royal family and cabinet evacuate to continue the fight from exile.


Cross-Channel logistics shortfall

Following Hitler’s initial 16 July Sea Lion directive, the German Army’s plan to land 100,000 soldiers required an assault invasion fleet of about 600,000 tons of seagoing shipping, more than half of the total available to Germany (Churchill p. 269-271). The second wave of 160,000 men and heavy equipment required 2,000,000 tons. At that time the Germans had no specialised landing craft, other than simple river-navigable vessels and very few Siebel catamarans.

barges
Invasion barges pre-positioned in Wilhemshaven.

Many hundreds of unwieldy river barges, few capable of more than two or three knots, were requisitioned and even pre-positioned for loading, but they lacked the sea-keeping qualities required to navigate the English Channel safely and their slow speed gave the British ample warning of both assembly and attack. Channel currents of four to five knots presented a further obstacle. They also became lucrative RAF targets and the barges’ absence from their usual duties soon created serious problems for the German war-related transport system.

Fritz Siebel designed and manufactured fast catamaran ferries powered by old aircraft engines driving air or water propellers. They could carry 80 tons of cargo or troops. However, only 308 of these were built in all of 1940 and in September 1940 they posed little practical threat (Shears 2001a p. 89).

Transport interdiction

Good intelligence, together with RAF shipping reconnaissance, kept track of significant shipping movements. “When on September 1 the great southward movement of invasion shipping began, it was watched, reported and violently assailed by the Royal Air Force,” (Churchill p. 271). The German naval staff noted in its war diary that during the night of 14-15 September, the RAF inflicted “considerable casualties” on transports in Antwerp, including “five steamers heavily damaged … one barge sunk, two cranes destroyed, an ammunition train blown up, several sheds burning,” (Shears 2001a p. 100). Together, all this led to fairly accurate British threat assessments and potentially effective countermeasures. Without surprise, without adequate shipping and without Channel air and sea control, Sea Lion was indeed a very high risk operation.

Deploying some of his aircraft to newly captured airfields in late July, Göring aimed to achieve total air superiority over the Channel by bombing British radar and fighter airfields in the southeast into submission “within four days” and defeating the entire RAF “within two to four weeks”. Like later “Victory through Airpower” adherents, he even envisaged his Luftwaffe alone bombing Britain into submission (Shears 2001a p. 98). He launched Alderangriff (Eagle Attack start day) on 13 August but by 10 September, nearly a month later, the German naval staff noted that even the important Sea Lion precondition, “clear air command over the Channel, has not been achieved,” (Shears 2001a p. 99).

ju-88
The Junkers Ju 88 (above) together with the Dornier DO 17, formed the backbone of Göring’s Operation Sea Lion bomber force.

hurricane
It was the rugged Hawker Hurricane, not the much-vaunted Spitfire, that broke the back of the German bomber offensive.

Supplementing the Luftwaffe was the emplacement of heavy long-range guns on the French coast. These theoretically could protect substantial parts of the Sea Lion invasion fleet from British naval attacks and even destroy British beachhead targets.

The Germans established a battery of four 38 cm guns capable of hitting Dover, Hythe and Folkstone by about 1 August. They sited a number of other coastal batteries, giving a total of 29 guns, 38 cm to 17 cm in calibre, by the “middle of September” (Shields 2001b p. 106, Churchill p. 240). The British were slow to react with similar weapons, despite Churchillian prodding to create batteries, not only for cross-channel duelling, but also as anti-invasion weapons to interdict the beachheads. Even the old monitor Erebus, rail-mounted artillery and guns taken from refitting cruisers, such as Newcastle and Glasgow, were thrown into the plans to counter the German artillery threat.

 


Sea Lion postponed

In any event, whether by longstanding design or lessons learned from the invasion preparation failures, Hitler postponed Sea Lion twice, before postponing it indefinitely on 17 September. He then switched his total attention towards the Balkans and Soviet Union, including the buildup for the 22 June 1941 launch of Operation Barbarossa (Unternehemen Barbarossa). There is weak evidence to suggest that Hitler’s May-September Sea Lion vacillation was, in fact, linked to a grander strategy that used Sea Lion as a mere feint to hide his real purpose. If so, it was a costly feint, in terms of German aircraft lost and American support gained by the British.

Göring unwittingly assisted British strategy by an amazing failure to persist with his early aim of destroying all British radar sites and fighter airfields in southeast England. He also helped by persisting with Enigma, a complex cypher process read by the British.

Finally, while the British knew German dispositions and intentions fairly accurately, “German intelligence … was amateurish, to say the least,” (Shields 2001a p. 93).

Generally, German intelligence overestimated British ground strength in the critical invasion-scare months by eight divisions or so. They broke RN ciphers, but this advantage ended in August 1940, when the British became suspicious and changed their codes.

Amphibious operations, never simple, are heavily dependent on times and tides. A dawn assault guided by a half-to-full moon plus relatively storm-free seas gave the British relatively narrow high-alert time-frames to defend. British planners would agree with Raeder who recommended invasion either between 20 and 26 August 1940, which was too soon for his logistics preparations or 19 and 26 September, which was dangerously close to the October gale season.

Equipment shortages

In July 1940, after the May-June Dunkirk Operation Dynamo evacuation, the 27 British and Commonwealth divisions deployed in the UK were woefully under strength, particularly as far as weapons, transport and artillery were concerned. The Home Guard had few weapons and even fewer uniforms. Churchill reported the imminent arrival of American heavy weapons plus 100,000 rifles on 7 July and another 200,000 American rifles on 31 July (Churchill p. 237-238). By September, the British defenders were in reasonable shape, and getting stronger every day.

Churchill and Cox demonstrate that the British had excellent intelligence sources monitoring nearly every phase of the proposed invasion. They also emphasise that although Hitler considered Sea Lion as early as May 1940, he never seemed to give it his wholehearted support. Hitler was slow to give the plan his necessary full approval and he was fairly easily persuaded to defer the operation time and time again.

Above all, due in no small degree to poor interservice staff work, the German Navy could never meet the transport logistics timetable set by the German Army and, in any event, the failure of the German Air Force to achieve its strategic goals doomed the scheme to failure in utero.

References:

Bungay, S. The Most Dangerous Enemy: The Definitive History of the Battle of Britain. Aurum Press: London. 2000.
Burleigh, M. The Third Reich: A new history. Hill and Wang. New York. 2000.
Churchill, W.S. The Second World War: Vol II Their finest hour. Cassel and Co: London, 1949.
Cox, R. (Ed.) Operation Sea Lion. Thornton Cox Ltd.: London, 1974.
Fleming, P. Operation Sea Lion: An account of German preparations and the British countermeasures. Pan Books: London. 2003.
General Staff, War Office. Notes on the German preparations for the invasion of the United Kingdom (Second Edition, January 1942) .
Macksey, K. Invasion: The German invasion of England, July 1940. McMillan: New York, 1980.
Robinson, D. Invasion, 1940: The truth about the Battle of Britain and what Stopped Hitler. Carol and Graf: New York. 2005.
Shears, D. Hitler’s D-Day, in R. Cowley (Ed.) No end save victory: Perspectives on World War II. G.P. Putnam’s Sons: New York. pp 86-101, 2001a.
Shears, D. Could Sea Lion have worked? in R. Cowley (Ed.) No end save victory: Perspectives on World War II. G.P. Putnam’s Sons: New York. pp 102-106. 2001b.