Hitler issues Directive No. 6 for the conduct of the war

Item 3.b mentions Belgium and Northern France to be used as a base for the air war against England.

The Supreme Commander Of The Armed Forces.

Berlin. 9th October, 1939. 8 copies

Directive No. 6 For The Conduct Of The War

  1. Should it become evident in the near future that England, and, under her influence, France also, are not disposed to bring the war to an end, I have decided, without further loss of time, to go over to the offensive.
  2. Any further delay will not only entail the end of Belgian and perhaps of Dutch neutrality, to the advantage of the Allies; it will also increasingly strengthen the military power of the enemy, reduce the confidence of neutral nations in Germany's final victory, and make it more difficult to bring Italy into the war on our side as a full ally.
  3. I therefore issue the following orders for the further conduct of military operations:
    1. An offensive will be planned on the northern flank of the western front, through Luxembourg, Belgium, and Holland. This offensive must be launched at the earliest possible moment and in greatest possible strength.
    2. The purpose of this offensive will be to defeat as much as possible of the French Army and of the forces of the Allies fighting on their side, and at the same time to win as much territory as possible in Holland, Belgium, and Northern France, to serve as a base for the successful prosecution of the air and sea war against England and as a wide protective area for the economically vital Ruhr Basin.
    3. The time of the attack will depend upon the readiness for action of the armoured and motorised units involved. These units are to be made ready with all speed. It will depend also upon the weather conditions obtaining and foreseeable at the time.
  4. The Air Force will prevent attacks by the Anglofrench Air Forces on our Army and will give all necessary direct support to its advance. It is also important to prevent the establishment of Anglofrench air bases and the landing of British forces in Belgium and Holland.
  5. The Navy will do everything possible, while this offensive is in progress, to afford direct or indirect support to the operations of the Army and the Air Force.
  6. Apart from these preparations for the beginning of the offensive in the west according to plan, the Army and Air Force must be ready, at all times, in increasing strength, to meet an Anglofrench invasion of Belgium, immediately and as far forward as possible on Belgian soil, and to occupy the largest possible area of Holland in the direction of the west coast.
  7. These preparations will be camouflaged in such a way that they appear merely to be precautionary measures made necessary by the threatening increase in the strength of the French and English forces on the frontiers between France and Luxembourg and Belgium.
  8. I request Commanders In Chief to submit to me their detailed plans based on this Directive at the earliest moment and to keep me constantly informed of progress through the High Command Of The Armed Forces.

Adolf Hitler.

HMS Iron Duke bombed in Scapa Flow

Four Ju 88s from Sylt approach Scapa Flow at 11,000 ft in line astern and, diving out of the sun, bomb the ship. One crashes on Hoy as a result of shore based AA fire.

Moored off Lyness, HMS Iron Duke is the only vessel left in Scapa Flow after the sinking of HMS Royal Oak three days earlier. It was serving as the flagship of the Admiral Commanding Orkney and Shetland. Damaged in the raid it is towed to a nearby sandbank to prevent it from sinking and remains beached for the rest of the war.

HMS Iron Duke was a dreadnought battleship which served as the flagship of the Grand Fleet during the First World War, including at the Battle of Jutland. Sold for scrap in 1946.

Ju 88 shot down by AA over Hoy

4D+EK of 1/KG25 Crashes at Pegal Burn and is the first enemy aircraft to fall to anti-aircraft fire as it is claimed by gunners of 226 Battery on Hoy before it can release its bombs - William Rendall Seatter, was one of the gunners.

UFF2 Fritz Ambrosius, Wireless Operator, the only surviving member of the crew is taken prisoner. Pilot OB/Lt. Walter Flaemig, and Air Gunners UFF2 Attenburger and Obergefr. G R Faust are killed. They are reputedly buried in Lyness Cemetery on Hoy in graves marked as unknown German combatants, although as their names were known at the time, this seems odd.

The aircraft was one of a number taking part in an attack on the fleet anchorage of Scapa Flow, the crews had been briefed to attack only ships at anchor in open water, one of these was HMS Iron Duke which was attacked. Very early in the attack, before dropping any bombs this aircraft was fired upon by anti aircraft guns on Rysa Little (a small island off Hoy). The aircraft was hit and caught fire almost immediately, the rear gunner was almost certainly killed by this AA fire as his compartment was virtually destroyed. Unteroffizier Ambrosius released the upper escape hatch which was dragged away from the aircraft by the slip stream, with him still holding onto the release handle. Once clear of the aircraft he was able to open his parachute.

Battery No 1 gun fired and its 4.5 inch shell blew the glazed nose clean off. The nose landed by the gun crew

In his statement made to RAF Air Intelligence personnel he said that he could not understand why the Pilot and Observer had not abandoned the aircraft as he thought they had sufficient time to do so. The crew had taken part in the previous day's attack on the Firth of Forth.

Camouflage: brown and green on upper surfaces, light blue underside.

Armament: three MG15 and 21 drums of ammunition: six top rear, 11 lower rear, four observer. Two 500 kg bombs, no armour or bombsight.

Fritz Ambrosius had been a telegraphist at the General Post Office in Berlin and had signed up for twelve years' service. He had attended the wireless school at Halle then to KG257 before being posted to Rechlin where he joined KG25.

According to the RAF Museum, the bombs exploding on Hoy were considered to be the first enemy bombs to explode on British soil.

Denys Felkin records of Ambrosius: "The interrogator realised that this man was a born talker and kept him under interrogation – with excellent results for 103 days."

(AIR 40/2636 quoted in "The Walls Have Ears")

On 12 January 1940 Ambrosius was asked about photographs of military installations. When returned to a (bugged) room with fellow Luftwaffe PoW Erich May he told him:

"They must have poor apparatus. I told them so. They were taken from a height of 7 to 8 thousand metres. Our photos are better: when they are taken from, say, 4,000 metres, you can see every house on them." He then went on to speculate that the R.A.F. would not be able to bomb German installations and runways based on photos of this quality.

High level raid on Scapa Flow

Three hours after the sinking of HMS Iron Duke a high level raid of 15 aircraft bombs Scapa Flow, narrowly missing the 12,000 ton accommodation ship Voltaire. One stray bomb lands on Hoy which is the first part of the British Isles to be hit by a German bomb in the war.

The Skuas of 803 Sqn. from Haston make no contact with the enemy.