Hawker Hurricane aircraft.

Could Hitler have invaded mainland Britain in 1940?

Messerschmitt Bf 109 plane.

Sea Lion

a novel by Steve Barrett

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Alternative History



Visit the Operation Sea Lion Virtual Museum

About Steve Barrett, author of the book.
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Sea Lion started off as a factual examination of a fascinating period of history but soon metamorphosed into an alternative history novel. The exploration of how ordinary people reacted in extraordinary situations was very appealing to me.

Sea Lion was the code name for the planned invasion of Britain by Nazi Germany.  It was not put into practice, and most historians agree that if Hitler had launched an invasion of the U.K. when he had the opportunity, it would have failed, or at best had only very limited and temporary success.

 But authors are encouraged to ask “What if…?”

 What if the evacuation from Dunkirk had failed? What if a German bomber had not (as is sometimes suggested) become lost and loosed its bomb load over London rather than the purely military target for which it was searching? What if Britain had lost its lead in the balance of naval power? These and many other possibilities are explored, and some people will doubtless enjoy spotting the facets of history that have been changed and those that have not. Anyone who would like a "short cut" can look on my "alternative history" page.

This is a novel, however, so the real and imagined historical aspects of the book are secondary to the effects that these events have on the lives, loves and deaths of the characters. The promotion of Karl Brucke, an official in the German War Ministry, the mysterious disappearance of his lover and an indiscreet remark in a London pub spawn espionage, intrigue and treachery culminating in an ultimate test of loyalties.


Some web sites of related interest

The Tank Museum, Bovington An excellent museum and a mine of information for those interested in armoured fighting vehicles.

The Imperial War Museum. The main site has links to HMS Belfast, The Cabinet War Rooms, Duxford aviation museum (also has an excellent land warfare exhibition) and the new IWM North.

Tangmere aviation museum in West Sussex, near Chichester based around an airfield used in World War 2. Several incidents in the book are set here.

Newhaven Fort fascinating museum based on the fortification overlooking the Channel. Another location which features in the book.

RAF Museum Hendon/Cosford. Nicely designed website (uses Flash plug in and can be a little slow to load but worth the short wait).

Sussex Military Museum The Redoubt Fortress at Eastbourne houses an interesting collection in an historic fort. The fort itself and the web site are well worth a visit.


Books for further reading about Operation Sea Lion and related topics. 

Note: many of these may well be out of print, but any good book search service (or the Internet) should be able to help. From personal experience, for books on any subject, I can recommend the Bookfinder General.

As well as talking to a number of people with first-hand experiences, (to whom I am indebted), I used numerous books during the research phases of writing the novel. The main works consulted were:

Correlli Barnett (ed)
Hitler's Generals
Sir Winston Churchill
The Second World War
Len Deighton


Len Deighton
Chris Ellis
Tanks of World War II
Peter Fleming
Operation Sea Lion

Michael Glover
Invasion Scare 1940
Richard Grunberger
A Social History of the 
Third Reich


Heinz Guderian
Panzer Leader
Nicholas Harman
Peter Longstaff-Tyrrell
That Peace in our Time


Kenneth Macksey (ed)
The Hitler Options
Kenneth Macksey
Invasion -
The German Invasion of
England July 1940


Ivor Matanle
The Hitler Years
R C F Maugham
Jersey under the Jackboot
Leonard Mosley
Backs to the Wall
Peter Schenk
Invasion of England 1940
Christopher Shepherd
German Aircraft of World War II


David Smurthwaite, Mark Nicholls, Linda Washington and others
Against all Odds


Louis L Snyder
Encyclopaedia of the Third Reich
Patrick Turnbull
Dunkirk - Anatomy of a Disaster
  Ronald Wheatley
Operation Sea Lion - German Plans for the Invasion of England 1939-1942

I would like to thank the staff at the Imperial War Museum for access to their library resources and the Librarian at the Tank Museum, Bovington, for providing sources of information about amphibious tanks.

Web site and novel both copyright 2001 Steve Barrett