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.

Göring addresses Luftflotten commanders

At Karinhall Göring says to the commanders of his Luftflotten:

The fighter escort defences of out Stuka formations must be readjusted as the enemy is concentrating his fighters against our Stuka operations. It appears necessary to allocate three fighter Gruppen to each Stuka Gruppe, on of these fighter Gruppen remains with the Skukas and dives with themto the attack; the second files ahead of the target at medium altitude and engages fighter defecnesl the third protects the whole attack from above. It will also be necessary to escort Stukas returning from the attack over the Channel.

We must concentrate our attacks on the destruction of the enemy air forces.
Operations are to be directed exclusively against the enemy air force including the targets of the enemy aircraft industry... Our night attacks are essentially dislocation raids, made so the enemy defences and population shall be allowed no respite.

It is doubtful weather there is any point in continuing the attacks on radar sites, in view of the fact that none of those attacked so far have neem put out of action.

Later in the day he issues an order prohibiting more than one officer in any single air crew in an attempt to reduce officer casualties on bombers which are reaching serious proportions.

Kesselring decides to use heavy escorted raids on fewer, selected airfields, along with fighter missions.

Göring addresses Luftflotten commanders

At Karinhall Göering says to the commanders of his Luftflotten: "Once the enemy air force has been annihilated our attacks will be directed as ordered against other vital targets." (i.e. targets connected with the invasion.)

"Until further notice the main task of Luftflotten 2 and 3 will be to inflict the utmost damage possible on the enemy's fighter forces."

At the same time he announces that the number of night raids on strategic targets was to be increased.

The Bf 109 units of Luftflotten 3 are ordered to move to new airfields in the Pas-de-Calais to extend their combat radius. (They had previously been based in Normandy and Brittany.)

Because of its heavy losses, the Ju 87 Stuka is to be withdrawn from the battle and, on specific instructions from Göring, fighters are to closely escort the bombers. The Bf 110s also suffered heavy losses and it is even suggested that they should be escorted by the Bf 109.

Luftwaffe staff conference at The Hague

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.