Göring visits the Channel front to criticise the fighter protection of bombers. He wants close protection of the bombers, and says that's more important than recording kills. When he asks Mölders and Galland what they would like, Mölders asks for a more powerful engine in the Bf 109, Galland asks for Spitfires as they are more suited to the task they've been ordered to do.
This order is approved by Hitler three days later.
Two spies land near Hythe in a dingy. They have a wireless set and an elementary cypher with orders to send back information of military importance; they had been given to understand that an invasion of the Kentish coast was imminent. They separate on landing.
The two men are of Dutch nationality and were completely untrained for their task. It seems they were selected because they had committed some misdemeanors known to the Germans and could be blackmailed into undertaking the enterprise.
Another pair of spies lands at Dungeness. One is German who speaks excellent French but no English. The other claims to be Dutch and speaks fluent English.
Both spies that landed at Hythe have been challenged by sentries of a battalion of the Somersetshire Light infantry and taken prisoner. One, who has Japanese mother, looks markedly Oriental and has shoes and binoculars round his neck which unsurprisingly attracts the attention of a private from the Somersets.
After 3 hours questioning, he now admits he's a German spy, Karl Meier, equipped with hidden radio & forged papers.
- Ostend (50 since 31 August)
- Terneuzen (140 since 16 August)
- South end of the Beveland Canal (90 since 1 September)
Ghent is important for (a) iron and steel; (b) textiles; (c) oil fuel storage. Probably barges are going south … to fetch these valuable products. … But movements preliminary to invasion are not impossible. The increase in barges at Ostend is abnormal, but might be accounted for by the removal of obstructions in the canal system.
The Armed Forces High Command
WFSt/L 1 Nr. 33255/40 g.Kdos.Chefs.
3 Sep. 1940
Re: Operation "Seelöwe"
For the time being the following dates have been decided upon for the preparations for operation "Seelöwe":
- The earliest date for departure of the transport fleets is 20 Sep., and for S day (day of the landing) 21 Sep.
- The order for the start of the operation will be issued on S minus 10 day, in other words probably on 11 Sep. 1940.
- The final decision on S day and S time (the beginning of the first landing) will be made at the latest at noon on S minus 3 day.
- All preparations must be made in such a manner that the operation may be stopped as late as 24 hours before S time.
The Chief of Staff, Armed Forces High Command
263 Sqn (Whirlwinds) moves from Grangemouth to Drem.
Göring leads a staff conference on the conduct of the air war against Britain.
Kesslering is of the opinion that the R.A.F. is nearly finished, and this is supported by Schmidt's intelligence estimate that serviceability is down to around 100 fighters, although this may have risen to 350 due to the reduced intensity of operations imposed by bad weather. Based on these figure he advises Göring to launch the second phase and attack London, which would force the RAF to commit its last reserves. Sperrle disagreed, but on
Sperrle thinks the number of fighters is still around 1000 and disagrees that the second phase should begin but on 30 August Göring had already advised Hitler to begin attacks on London. The order was issued on 5 September.
The claimed total of enemy aircraft destroyed is 1,115 but the R.A.F.'s more significant problem of a lack of pilots is not considered despite intelligence having established that bomber pilots were being called in to replace losses.
The German spy who landed at Dungeness the day before has rigged up an aerial in a tree and has begun to send messages in French.
Copies of three messages are later used in evidence at his trial.
This is the exact position yesterday evening six o'clock three Messerschmidt fired machine guns in my direction three hundred meters south of water reservoir painted red.
In a speech to the German parliament, Hitler promises to erase British cities in retaliation for an RAF bombing raid on Berlin on the night of 25-26 August.
On 4 September the Gruppe carried out a daylight raid on the aircraft works at Rochester. Although lasting only 150 minutes (from 1240 hrs until 1510 hrs), it was a tough mission at the target lay at the very limit of our Me 109s' effective escort range.
The Spirfires first attacked from out of the sun, each picking a target before diving away. Some then climbed back up again to make a second attack from below. We were very much reliant on our own collective defensive fire. The few Me 109s that were still hanging on to us could do little. If they became involved in a dogfight they would either be shot down or use up their last remaining fuel and be unable to make it back across the channel.
For us it was most unpleasant to have to watch the English roundels wheeling about at close range right in front of our noses. But we were lucky. The presence alone of our few escorting fighters, however passive their behaviour, seemed to have a deterrent effect and stopped the enemy from mounting a coordinated attack - presumably they were unaware of the Me 109s' problems. Once again we all returned safely to base with nothing but flak damage. But other units were not so fortunate.
"other units" refers to the fighters as the only He 111 casualty was one from 4./KG 26 that was lost over the North Sea.
The fact is speaking is kept secret in deference to the RAF.
The occasion was the opening of the eighth Winter Relief campaign.
He vows vengeance against Britain who is bombing Germany most nights.
When people are very curious in Great Britain, and ask 'Yes, but why doesn't he come?' we reply: 'Calm yourselves! Clam yourselves! He is coming! He is coming!
This is the order given by Göring three days earlier.
Army leave is stopped from time to time without special incident.
There is little evidence other than the movement of small craft towards the Channel ports to show that preparations for invasion of the U.K. are more advanced than they have been for some time. … If there is an intention to invade the expedition is [probably] being held in readiness in the Baltic or Hamburg.
Admiralty orders all cruisers, destroyers and small craft to be kept at immediate notice during darkness and all boiler cleaning to be stopped until further notice.
RAF issues Alert No. 1 ("Invasion immanent, probable with 12 hours").
All units in the Army's Home Forces were stood to and at eight hours notice to move and fight.