OKW releases ships allocated to invasion

The Armed Forces High Command
WFSt/Abt. L 1 Nr. 33294/40 g.Kdos.Chefs.
Berlin
19 Sep. 1940
Eight Copies
Top secret

Re: Operation "Seelöwe"

The Führer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has made the following decisions:

  1. Concentration of the transport fleet is to be stopped, insofar as it has not already been completed.
  2. The ships assembled in the ports of departure are to be dispersed in such a way that losses from enemy air attacks will be reduced to a minimum. However, it should remain possible to reassemble the ships at the ports of departure on 10 days notice under favorable weather conditions.
  3. The 10 steamers from the Norway traffic earmarked for operation "Herbstreise"* should be returned to their normal tasks. Six other steamers earmarked for operation "Seelöwe" should be withdrawn over a period of time unnoticeably, and should be used until further notice to speed up supplies for group XXI.
  4. The Commander in Chief, Air is to increase the Air defenses in the invasion ports to the greatest possible extent.

The Chief of Staff, Armed Forces High Command

signed: Keitel

* Landing on the coast of Scotland planned as a diversionary operation in connection with "Seelöwe". Four empty ocean liners and 11 transport steamers heading towards Britain between Newcastle and Aberdeen whist the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper attempted to break out into the Atlantic via Iceland and the Faroes.