Received July 15th from Kurt

It just came today and it looks fascinating. Just flipping through it I see all sorts of details I didn't know about Sea Lion. I can't imagine the research that went into it. And now I have proof that someone I "know" can read and write!

Thanks Fred! 


Received Aug. 16th.

After Reading Fred's Book "River Wide, Ocean Deep", I became Inspired to start doing some intensive research & begin writing My Own Book on the same subject matter. Fred's Book primarily has to do with questioning whether or not the Germans had the capabilities to pull off the invasion or not & I think that he has proven that they could have pulled it off. Whether or not it would have been a sucessful invasion or not, we may never know, but those who suggest that the Germans had no chance at all, need to do some research on the matter, but this time with a more open mind. Fred's Complete Details of what The Lufwaffe Did & Accomplished at Crete in 1941, pretty much convinced Me that Operation Sealion would have been a Cakewalk for The Luftwaffe at the very least.
David R. Williams, Dallas, Texas


Received Sept. 12th,



Editors review: An objective well written insight into the likely success of Operation Sea Lion. Well researched and interesting, Fred Leander takes you on a trip from the early days of World War II through to the Battle of Britain explaining with thorough and intricate research the planned invasion of Britain. Fred Leander argues convincingly the likelihood of a successful landing and the follow-up occupation of the British mainland. The author leaves no stone unturned in this captivating reference including lesser known stories of the Italian involvement in this campaign. Recommended reading

Vince Tassone, Stormo Magazine



River Wide, Ocean Deep: A New Perspective on Operation Sea Lion (Fred Leander)

This is a new book that deals with the planned (but never carried out) Operation Sea Lion by the Germans in the second world war.  The author states that this will be "a new perspective" on Operation Sea Lion............and on this he does not disappoint.  Whereas others either fucus on the British, or focus on the German Army, and give scant attention to the Kriegsmarine, Mr. Leander instead turns the tables and focuses on the Kriegsmarine!  Due to the fact that I had only read one book on Sea Lion (Mr. Flemings book--see my review), I had always been of the opinion that the Kriegsmarine did not stand a chance in the Channel.  Mr. Leander takes and delves into the projected order of battle of the Kriegsmarine and then analyses the strengths and weaknesses of these same units.  He gets much of his information from German titles that have not been translated into English---hence one of the reasons why this information is still somewhat unknown the English speaking audience.  The author analyzes a different segment of the operation in each chapter.  He does not seem to leave anything out of his analysis.  What is of particular interest is the way in which the author takes results from battles during the war (either by the Germans, or the British) and "overlays" those results into Sea Lion into a "what could have been" (ie. the Luftwaffe attacks on the Royal Navy at Crete).  The author uses this technique of analyzing the "what could have beens" throughout the entire book, and I must say he does a good job of it.  The book has an extensive series of photographs throughout the book, which help the reader get a good idea of what the author is describing.  The two negatives that I did have was the author did not footnote any of the information (although he usually stated in the text where he found the information), and the book was rather spendy for a soft cover book.  But that should not scare anyone away from purchasing this book, as the author does indeed offer a fresh perspective on this operation.  For anyone who is interested in Sea Lion, this book will certainly help one rethink the possibilities of this operation.  Highly Recommended! 

Brian Burmeister.

(As a side note, I will be adding a "Sea Lion" tab to this website, which will be based mainly on this book)


*******   (9 stars out of 10)

eBay feedback 14/3/2013:

Excellent and very interesting, very fine research job AAAAA+++++

Allessandro Gazzi, Italy


StrategyPage May 24th 2013:


One of the most interesting “what ifs” of the Second World War, Unternehmen Seelöwe, Hitler’s planned invasion of Britain, is generally regarded as doomed to failure.

Not so says independent historian Leander. Arguing that treatments of the war have overlooked many German sources, River Wide, Ocean Deep lays the evidence for a more serious consideration of Seelöwe. Leander opens with a chapter on the general strategic situation in Europe following the fall of France, which caused Hitler to consider Seelöwe. He then discusses the state of scholarship on this “what if.” In the chapters that follow, he explores, often in considerable some detail various aspects of the preparations.......


A. Noli.


Historum Quarterly Journal - April 2nd 2014

In River Wide, Ocean Deep, the story of Operation Sea Lion, the reader will find not only a trustworthy and well written account of one of the more interesting ‘What If’s’ of history but an adroit balancing of fact with conjecture. I must declare that in general I am not a fan of speculative history. What could have, might have been has always faded into the background for me. In this book there are plenty of facts and reality that allow me to give serious consideration to his interpretations. Most comforting is that Mr.Leander does not force conclusions but presents them with a clarity that demands I give it serious consideration.

It sustained my interest; I was left with a vivid impression of the role that this operation-that-never-happened played in the shaping of events of World War Two.

It is obvious Mr. Mr.Leander has consulted many original German sources and come up with many overlooked facts which have lead others to faulty conclusions. Could the Germans have pulled it off? A question/answer that our British friends may find hard to accept. Yet Churchill had hinted at this. Mr.Leander address this. Mr.Leander’s book raises many good questions. i.e. “Could the German military leaders at that time really have been as amateurish as they were described?"

Mr.Leander promises to “…treat the subject from a somewhat revisionist perspective (an ugly word these days!) and with reference to present discussions on the web as I have experienced them. My arguments shall be based on published literature and research. It is not my intention to prove that Sea Lion had to succeed, but rather to examine many items which I have found to be unfairly subdued or not considered at all.”

He delivers on his promise with this well-researched book, which is a welcome addition to any military library. Plus many great photos and seven appendixes.



Texas, June 13th, 2015.

I enjoyed reading River Wide, Ocean Deep.  As an amateur historian I thought the facts underlying the ideas presented in the book were perfectly logical, and the Allied margin of victory was much narrower than is widely believed.

As an amateur historian, I’ve long had a fascination with this subject.  Many years ago, at the University Library, I was able to find fairly detailed information about German plans for Unternemen Seelöwe, mostly from Klee and Ansel.  Much to my frustration very little information has been available on the British side;  this is now changing, but I have always wondered why.

The word ‘if’ is very crucial in History! 

Best Regards,

Mike, Texas


Terry Sofians rather negative review on Amazon.com - Dec. 25th 2015.

I'd appreciate if you read my comments on his review on the same place.



I also recommend readers here to look in at Mr, Alfred Patterson's rantings about my book on Amazon. Bear in mind he has never bought, or read my book, even if he tries to make it look like he has. Eventually, he admitted not to have bought it, he had only borrowed it...but he had "re-cycled" it - several years ago. It is very important for him to underline that he would never have paid money for such crap as my book. Funny he knew that before he read it.

Alfred Patterson is probably not his real name (I believe I know his name). If it is, there must be two equally frustrated anti-Sea Lion mini-historians in little Tewkesbury, UK. Quite a coincident. Since his "review" of my book is the only review he has written on Amazon (as per Feb. 2nd 2016 - I state the date as this person is liable to put up a couple of quick "reviews" just to contradict me on this fact - that is his way - if he is the one I believe he is), I suspect he signed up just to sling mud on me and my book. Why, you ask? Because I many times have whipped him in discussions on the web.

Unfortunately, when it comes to discussing the planned Sea Lion operation, there is a group of people that goes to all kind of excesses to discredit anyone not in line with their previous written-in-stone opinions on the subject.



This review is from: River Wide, Ocean Deep: A New Perspective on Operation Sea Lion (Paperback)

David Peltzer - Amazon review, February 16, 2016

Fred Leander's book is the antidote we all need to read!

This is the first book I’ve read on Operation Seelowe and I have to say, it was a real eye-opener for me. For years I was led to believe that the German invasion plans were flawed and never going to work. Fred Leander has opened up new vistas of insight for me. Of course there is always two sides to every story, but what really impressed me though was the amount of material, weapons and resources the Germans were willing to put into it to make Operation Sea Lion a resounding success. I was particularly impressed by the potential input of the Italian air force in the future operation. Far from being insignificant, the Italian component and contribution would have played a vital role in the invasion. And not just their air force. The Italians were prepared to send a substantial number of submarines into the fray to assist their Axis partners when and where necessary.

I found the directives and orders by Hitler and the German High Command in the initial planning stages of the invasion fascinating to read. Here they discussed the many problems of the invasion and how they could be overcome, as well as British strengths and weaknesses and anticipated responses. Far from being formidable, the British defenses had serious flaws, such as their coastal defenses. To the reader's surprise, Fred has shown that the British coastal defences in 1940 were thinly dispersed and would have been quickly overwhelmed by the initial German onslaught.

Fred Leander has done a very good job pulling all the threads together from the German perspective. And this in itself, would be justification to purchase his book. To simply read and believe the British point of view would be a grave error. Read both, and then some more, in order to get a better, fuller handle and perspective on the proposed invasion and then decide for yourself whether it had a real chance to succeed or not. You may find yourself swayed by Fred’s arguments more than you thought possible.

As the British have often downplayed the Italians unfairly, I suspect they have also downplayed and underestimated the Germans for propaganda purposes. To dispel and disperse such self-serving propaganda, Fred Leander’s River Wide, Ocean Deep, is the perfect antidote.

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