Halder and Schniewind discuss details of a landing operation

General Halder (Chief of the General Staff) and Admial Schniewind (Chief of the Naval War Staff) meet in Berlin to discuss a landing against England. Halder is under the impression that it is feasible but this is not what Schneiwind intended. Both services then beginning the operation independently.

There is no general staff formed for this and the time taken for correspondence to travel between the OKH in Fountainbleau and the OKM in Berlin further complicates matters.

Halder records:

Schniewind (Naval Operations Staff): Discussion, of basis for warfare against England.

  1. Prerequisite is air superiority. (Then perhaps we. can dispense with land- warfare.) - Smooth sailing!
  2. Fog after middle of October.
  3. Line, of departure for invasion: coast from Ostend to Le Havre.
  4. A large, number of small steamers (1,000) could be assem­bled. Camouflage, air- protection! 1,000,000 men in one­ wave. Only small coastal craft suitable.
  5. Arty. cover for second half of stretch across water and on beaches must be furnished by Air Force.
  6. Underwater threats can be neutralized by net barrages. Surface threats can be minimised by mines and submarines supplementing land-based Arty. and planes.
  7. Cliffs are at Dover, Dungeness, Beachy Head, Rest of coast suitable for beach assault. Firm bottom.
  8. Dr. Feder type concrete barges are now being tested. Production in sufficient numbers held possible in July. In addition to these we want railroad ferries (Todt's proposal) for transporting tanks.

Leeb (Ordnance Office): He was told all along that invasion of England was not being considered. I tell him that possibilities have to be examined for if political command demands a landing, they will want everything done at top speed.

Ordnance enumerates the following capabilities:

  1. About 100 tanks III and 20 Tanks IV can be fitted for amphibious, operations.
  2. As many as on 40 tanks can be carried by one railroad ferry. Unloading on special landing tracks.
  3. Persistent smoke screens can be produced by new smoke bombs.

It is necessary to set up special experimental teams soon in order to get Tank, Engineer, and Naval experts, together for practical tests- on a broad basis. Problem of direction of such teams and part to be played by each Branch of Armed Forces in it must be clarified soon.

Hitler meets with the Italian Ambasador

Italian Ambassador to Berlin, Dino Alfieri, is recived at Tannenberg and presses Hitler with offers of troops and aircraft for use against England but gets no reply. Hitler tells Alfieri that Germany is plannig an air attack against Britain which would be "bloody" and a "horror". The Luftwaffe is refitting and building bases in France, Belgium and Holland. "These activities had begun immediatel after the conclusion of the armistice with France" and now gigantic columns were rolling westward with material "for undertaking the impending tasks."

Ribbentrop and Keitel are present.

OKH HQ moved to Fontainebleau

Halder records:

(Move to Fontainebleau.)

Morning: Conference with Obdh:

  1. Current Op. Sec. matters.
  2. Results of my trip to Berlin. Basis for campaign against England.
  3. (With Wagner and Kossmann) Basis of cooperation with French Government on reconstruction.

Afterwards journey via Laon, Soissons, Compiegne, St. Denis, Paris, to new GHq at Fontainebleau. Everything is very well prepared. Friendly welcome at my billets.

ObdH has flown to Berlin.

OKW order "The War Against England" is issued

Armed Forces High Command WFA/Abt. L Nr. 33124/40 g.Kdos.Chefs. Feuhrer Headquarters 2 Jul. 1940 Five copies Top Secret Re: Warfare against England

The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander has decided:

  1. A landing in England is possible, provided that air superiority can be attained and certain other necessary conditions fulfilled. The date of commencement is therefore still undecided. All preparations are to be begun so that the operation can be carried out as soon as possible.
  2. The High Commands of the branches of the Armed forces are to supply the following information promptly:
    • Army:
      1. Estimate of the strength of the British army in view of the planned objectives. Probably losses, especially of equipment, and the expected condition of the army after partial rearmament during the next few months.
      2. Possibilities of using artillery from the Continent for additional protection of ship concentrations and transports against British naval forces (in cooperation with the Navy).
    • Navy:
      1. Analysis of the landing possibilities for large numbers of Army troops (25 to 40 divisions) and antiarcraft units, with a description of the coastal topography of southern England and of the British naval and land defences.
      2. Statement as to which routes and what equipment could be used for troops and supply transports on such a scale with adequate safety.

        It should be kept in mind that a landing on a broad front will probably facilitate the further penetration of the Army.

      3. Information as to the type and amount of shipping pace available and the time required to make it ready.
    • Air Force:
      1. Opinion on whether and when we can reckon with achieving decisive air superiority. In this connection information of the comparative strength of the British and the German Air Forces.
      2. Which airborne forces can be used to support the operation and in what way. Transport planes should be assembled for this purpose, regardless of all other tasks.
  3. The High Commands should jointly examine all organisational questions pertaining to the landing troops arising from the necessity to limit and utilise the naval and air transport space in the best manner possible.

    The forces to be landed should be greatly superior in numbers to the British troops, especially as regards tanks; they should also be largely motorised and protected by strong antiaircraft forces.

  4. All preparations must bear in mind that the plan to invade England has not taken any sort of definite shape as yet, and that these are only preparations for a possible operation. As few people as possible of these plans.

The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces High Command

signed: Keitel.

The Heer has its first meeting to discuss Seelöwe

Need for air superiority and "similar to large-scale river crossing" are noted.

Halder records:

von Greiffenberg: Matters discussed:

  1. Operational questions. Britain which must be dealt with separately, and the East are the primary problems now. The' latter must be viewed chiefly with reference to the requirements of a military intervention which will compel Russia to recognize Germany's dominant position in Europe. Special issues, such as the Baltic and Balkan countries may introduce some variants.
  2. Organization of OKH Staff. Greiffenberg must take over OQu I.

Wagner:

  1. Wolff-Metternich, art historian.
  2. Respective jurisdictions of Civil Administration and Military Command in France.
  3. Paris Military Headquarters
  4. Cuts in Staff
  5. Build-up of supply base France. Railroad difficulties! Setting-up of separate supply base for England unnecessary­; is already taken care of by base set-up for southward drive of right wing.

von der Chevallerie reports on his Div. Problems of officer and Gen, Staff training.

von Greiffenberg -. Buhle: Operations against England.

  1. Paramount factors: Weather - Air superiority.
  2. Method: Similar to large-scale river crossing, on line Ostend - Le Havre.
  3. Potential beachheads s Cliffs at Dover, Dungeness and Beachy Head. Elsewhere many good landing spots, even if beaches rise at steep angles.
  4. First wave: six Divs. (picked units reinforced by four Armd, Bns.)
  5. Technical means: amphibious tanks, rafts, flamethrowing tanks, assault boats from the Rhine. - Six-barreled rocket rocket projectors not before October. - Use of chemical smoke. - Airborne landings. - Amphibious Engineers.
  6. Preparations:
    1. Special Staff Reinhard. (Must be replaced in his unit.
    2. Joint exercises and trials at Putlos or, better, on North Sea Coast.
    3. Selection of units; strength requirements, reinforcements for them.
    4. Air photographs of fortifications and defense preparations (Urgent!).
    5. Canaris.
    6. Signal communications.
    7. In our Hq: .planning staff under. Greiffenberg, in addition Buhle and a representative of Navy; also Thoma, Jacob, Brand, Thiele, Liss, Ziehlberg, Roeh­richt.
  7. Deception: Diversion by spreading of rumours. Mask actual width of jump-off frontage by propaganda and actual preparations.
  8. Training must be geared to the special tasks ahead.
  9. Appointed time: August. - Fog from middle of October onwards.
  10. Draft operational plans: At the earliest.

von Greiffenberg (on conference with Loyke): Navy preparations for coastal defence: Coastal Arty. will arrive very late (takes three months). Org. Todt should be called in to do their construction work. - Liaison necessary with Admiral France (Schuster). - Plans to be drawn up will embrace coast only as far as Le Havre!; further south everything will be improvisation.

Air build-up against England: AA precautions in area of AGps. B and C are. insufficient.

Buhle: Some of the specifications of the OKW directive on demobil­ization are utterly impracticable. Continued availability of discharged men assured only on furlough basis, not if demobilized.

Report of British-French naval action at Oran.

Final OKW communique on campaign does not mention Gen. Staff with a single word. Significant!

Halder tasks General Marks with looking at attacking Russia

Following his meeting with von Weizsäcker Halder tasks General Marks, Chief of the General Staff of the 18th Army, with putting together ideas about how the Soviet Union could be attacked.

He also hears a report on the Luftwaffe's prparations for the attack on England. The goals are to destroy the RAF, its supply system and aircraft productoin and, as a secondary goal, damadge the Royal Navy. There is a good early-warning system but the RAF are outnumbered two-to-one.