Luftwaffe conference at The Hague

Göring holds a conference at The Hague which is attended by all the senior commanders of the Luftwaffe where plans for the air war against Britain are discussed. These plans are a revision of those initially rejected on 25th July.

After what is later described as extravagant praise of the role the Luftwaffe played in the fall of France, Göring announces:

And now, gentlemen, the Führer has ordered me to crush Britain with my Luftwaffe. By means of hard blows I plan to have this enemy, who has already suffered a decisive moral defeat, down on his knees in the nearest future, so that an occupation of the island by our troops can proceed without any risk.

Göring then speaks disparagingly of the number and quality of the R.A.F.'s fighters saying:

Count how many bombers we can put into the sky for this campaign!

Göring is talking about 4,500 but Osterkamp tells him it is between 1,500 and 2,000 and the Luftflotten commanders reveal the true number is under 700.

Osterkamp later recalls that he was "completely staggered" and Göring, whose "consternation seemed genuine", asked "Is this my Luftwaffe?"

Göring and his commanders, Kesselring and Sperrle, favoured different approaches. Kesselring and Sperrle advised launching a strategic air war against the RAF, that included attacks on aircraft production facilities, but Göring demanded a blitzkrieg-style war similar to the attacks on Poland and France. Göring was firmly convinced that air superiority could be achieved in five days, and air supremacy in 13 days, a period that would be followed by a series of attacks advancing north sector by sector.

Hitler issues Directive No. 17 for the conduct of air and sea warfare against England

Directive No. 17 For the conduct of air and sea warfare against England

In order to establish the necessary conditions for the final conquest of England I intend to intensify air and sea warfare against the English homeland. I therefore order as follows:
  • 1. The German Air Force is to overpower the English Air Force with all the forces at its command, in the shortest time possible. The attacks are to be directed primarily against flying units, their ground installations, and their supply organizations, but also against the aircraft industry, including that manufacturing anti-aircraft equipment.
  • 2. After achieving temporary or local air superiority the air war is to be continued against ports, in particular against stores of food, and also against stores of provisions in the interior of the country. Attacks on the south coast ports will be made on the smallest possible scale, in view of our own forthcoming operations.
  • 3. On the other hand, air attacks on enemy warships and merchant ships may be reduced except where some particularly favourable target happens to present itself, where such attacks would lend additional effectiveness to those mentioned in Paragraph 2, or where such attacks are necessary for the training of air crews for further operations.
  • 4. The intensified air warfare will be carried out in such a way that the Air Force can at any time be called upon to give adequate support to naval operations against suitable targets. It must also be ready to take part in full force in Operation Seelowe.
  • 5. I reserve to myself the right to decide on terror attacks as measures of reprisal.
  • The intensification of the air war may begin on or after 5 August. The exact time is to be decided by the Air Force after completion of preparations and in the light of the weather. The Navy is authorized to begin the proposed intensified naval war at the same time.

Source: Battle of Britain Historical Society

OKW issue order relating to Seelöwe preparation

OKW issue an order resulting from the previous day's conference, signed by Keitel:

The Armed Forces High Command WFA/Abt. L 1 Nr. 33189/40 g.K.Chefs. Führer Headquarters 1 Aug. 1940 Eight Copies Top secret

Re: Operation "Seelöwe"

Following the report of the Commander in Chief, Navy of 31 Jul. to the effect that preparations for operation "Seelöwe" cannot be completed prior to 15 Sep. 1940, the Führer decided as follows:

  1. Preparations for "Seelöwe" are to be continued, and also the Army and the Air Froce should try to be ready for 15 Sep.
  2. 1 or at the most 2 weeks after the beginning of the large scale air offensive against England, which can start on approximately 5 Aug., the Führer will decide, depending to the results of this battle, whether operation "Seelöwe" is still to take place this year or not.
  3. If a decision is made against execution of "Seelöwe" in September, nevertheless all preparations should continue, but in a form which will not damage seriously the economy through paralysing inland shipping.
  4. The operational preparations should for the time being continue on the previously planned wide scope, in spite of the objection of the Navy that it can safeguard only a narrow strip (westward about as far as Eastbourne).
  5. The orders in Directive 16, No. 3, second paragraph remain in effect, but transfer to the vicinity of Führer Headquarters should take place only shortly before the operations, and parts of the Army High Command can remain in the previous Army headquarters.

The Chief of Staff, Armed Forces High Command

signed: Keitel

I/JG 52 arrives at Coquelles

After III. Gruppe's departure three days' earlier, I Gruppe lead by Hauptmann von Eschwege arrives from Bönninghardt. Throughout the previous month they had been engaged in defence of the Reich duties under the control of JG 77.