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.


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