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.


No comments.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.