Keitel, Jodl, von Brauchitsch and Halder are also present at the Berghof.
All preparations are in full swing.
Minesweeping has begun with exploratory sweeps but can be carried out according to plan only if we have air superiority. It will take three weeks if the weather is favourable... Mine-laying will begin at the end of August if we have air superiority.
Two windows are available with favourable moon and tides:
- 20-26 August
- 19-26 September
He concludes: "the best time for the operation, all things considered, would be May 1941."
In the presence of the Commander in Chief of the Army and the Chief of the General Staff I explained the difficulties, and called extra attention to the fact that the weather in the Channel got notoriously worse in the fall.
The British Fleet, I emphasized, undoubtedly would make its appearance. The safe transport of the troops was the most vital consideration. The Air Force could not effectively protect three beachheads stretching over 100 kilometres of coastline. Therefore, I said, the landings should be restricted to the single area at Dover, and all the efforts of the Army and Air Force should be concentrated on this single narrow space. I concluded that the wisest thing would be to postpone the invasion until May 1941.
Hitler, however, decided that the attempt should be made, and set 15 September as the date for the landing. But the actual signal for the operation to commence was not to be given until after the Air Force had made concentrated attacks on the English southern coast for a whole week. If these showed powerful effects, the landing was to be carried out; otherwise, it was to be postponed until May 1941. In any case, however, despite the Navy's warning, the preparations were to continue on the Army's plan for a broad invasion front.
Hitler remarks to the Army chiefs:
Britain's hope lies in Russia and the United States. If Russia drops out of the picture America too is lost to Britain, because elimination of Russia would tremendously increase Japan's power in the Far East.
Russia is the Far Eastern sword of Britain and the United States, pointed at Japan. Here an evil wind is blowing for Britain. Japan, like Russia, has her program which she wishes to carry through before the end of the war.