Hitler postpones Unternehmen Seelöwe indefinitely

An operation in October is not ruled out but unlikely.

At a Luftwaffe conference a report titled "Air Situation, September 15" is presented that states on the 15th they had mounted over 1,000 sorties with 56 aircraft lost. They were forced to concluded that Fighter Command had adequate reserves of aircraft.

Raeder is concerned that invasion barges are being sunk by R.A.F. bombers, recently over 80 were sunk in one night. He suggests: "The present air situation does not provide the conditions for carrying out the operation, as the risk is still too great. A decision should be left over until October."

The German War Diary records: "The enemy air force is still by no means defeated; on the contrary it shows increasing activity. … The Fuhrer therefore decides to postpone Sealion indefinitely."

Two days later a directive is given to scale down preparations and barges are moved back from the Channel ports.


Even Hitler admitted that the invasion could not be made at this time, and therefore would have to be postponed. However, because of the psychological effect on the English public, the decision for the postponement was not to be made public, and the threat of a landing, plus the air attacks on London was to be kept up for its over-all effect.

I had to agree with the reasons Hitler gave, but the most satisfactory thing for me was that, with the landings postponed, the probability was that they would never be carried out. So outwardly all preparations were to be continued until 12 October, when Hitler privately me informed us that the preparations were to be carried out throughout the winter, but only to keep military and political pressure on England. If the movement was to be revived the following year, he said, he would give the necessary orders. To my mind this definitely buried any project for the invasion of England. From the first the Naval War Staff had never budged from its standpoint that an invasion across the Channel was so risky that it should be considered only as the ultimate operation in case all other measures against England Failed.