When presented with it, Hitler's reaction to Seelöwe is unfavourable. This is probably the first time he has been presented with plans to invade England as it has not been presented to the OKW. At this stage the plan is a landing on the East coast.
The Führer and the Commander-in-Chief, Navy, discuss in private details concerning the invasion of England, on which the Naval Staff has been working since November.
Seeking guidance on U-boat strategy Raeder asks Hitler if the war was going to be decided quickly, or was it wiser to assume that it would "last some time"? Hitler favours the second assumption.
Hitler promises that, after the "main operations in France" are finished he will concentrate on the submarine and Ju 88 construction programs.
Raeder names air superiority over the Channel as the first condition of any invasion:
I named absolute mastery over the Channel by our air forces as the first condition of any landing attempt. Furthermore, this German air superiority had not only to achieve mastery of the air, but also would have to damage the British Fleet tremendously even if it could not completely prevent its appearance on the scene. Anything less than this would make the risk too great and the invasion unjustified. The diversion of a huge percentage of Germany's ocean, coastal and river shipping for transport of the invasion troops, I pointed out, would greatly impair Germany's domestic economy.
Hitler listed to all that I said, but expressed no views of his own at the time except to order that for the time being no preparations for a landing be made. But in any case Hitler had now been warned that any landing in England would have to be carefully studied first, and then just as carefully planned.
Reader brings the invasion plan to Hitler to forestall it being suggested by "some irresponsible person" and Hitler jumping to the idea which would mean the Kreigsmarine would be faced with impossible tasks.
All my experience with Hitler had convinced me of the importance of giving him our own opinions of a situation before less qualified people could gain his ear.
Furthermore, we had just completed a most successful amphibious operation, over wide waters, against Norway, and many people might get the idea that a similar move could be equally successful against England.
At first glance, the jump across the Channel, whose opposite shore could easily be seen from France in good weather, would seem far less dangerous that the Norwegian landings. But any experienced naval leader would know that just the opposite was true. A long and careful preparation was absolutely necessary.
Such a landing would be extremely difficult and attended with the gravest risks. However, the development of the aeroplane for both combat and and transport purposes had brought a new element not present in previous wars, and hence the possibilities of a successful invasion were not so infinitesimal as formerly. A powerful and effective Air Force might create conditions favourable for an invasion, whether it could was not in the Navy War Staff's province.
Generals Keitel, Jodel, Commander von Puttkamer (Hitler's naval adjutant) were present at the conference.
Halder records in his diary:
The overall picture of the day shows that the big battle is in full swing.
Hydrofoils and floating bunkers with caterpillar tracks that could climb beaches are mentioned as landing craft by Raeder.