|The Fuhrer and CINC of
OKW/WFA/L #33 160/4O g. Kdos.
|Fuhrer HQ, 16 July 1940
Fourth of seven copies. Secret.
Geheime Kommandosache Chefsache
Officer Courier only
Concerning preparations for an amphibious operation against England.
Since Britain still shows no sign of willingness to come to an
agreement in spite of her hopeless military situation, I have decided
prepare and if necessary carry out an amphibious operation against
The purpose of this operation will be to eliminate the English mother
country as a base for continuation of the war against Germany and, if
should become necessary, to occupy the entire island.
To this end I order as follows:
- The amphibious operation must be carried out as a
surprise crossing on a broad front extending approximately from
to the region of the Isle of Wight, with Luftwaffe elements assuming
role of artillery, and naval units assuming the role of engineers.
Each individual branch of the Wehrmacht will
from its own viewpoint whether it appears practicable to carry out
subsidiary operations, for example to occupy the Isle of Wight or
Cornwall County, prior to the general crossing, and will report its
findings to me. I reserve the decision to myself.
Preparations for the overall operations must be
completed by mid-August.
- These preparations will include the creation of
conditions which will make a landing in England possible:
- The British air force must be so far neutralized,
both actually and in morale, that it will offer no appreciable
resistance to the German crossing operation;
- Lanes must be cleared of mines;
- Both outlets of the Straits of Dover, and the
west entrance to the English Channel in a line approximately from
Alderney to Portland, must be sealed off by a dense belt of mines;
- The coastal areas must be commanded and covered
by the fire of heavy coastal artillery;
- It is desirable that all British naval forces
should be tied down in action, both in the North Sea and in the
Mediterranean - here by the Italians - shortly before the crossing;
efforts must be made now already by means of air and torpedo attacks to
weaken as far as possible the British naval forces presently in those
- Organization of Command and Preparations.
my command and in accordance with my general directives the commanders
in chief of the three branches of the Wehrmacht will direct the
operations of their forces employed in the operation.
From 1 August on, the operations staffs of the
commanders in chief of the Army, the Navy, and the Luftwaffe must be
within the area with a maximum radius of 30 miles from my headquarters
To me it appears advisable for the most vital
elements of the operations staffs of the commanders in chief of the
and the Navy to occupy mutual premises in Giessen.
The commander in chief of the Army will thus have
establish an army group headquarters to conduct the operations of the
The operation will be given the designation Sea
Lion. During preparations and in the execution of the operation the
missions of the three branches of the Wehrmacht will be as follows:
Army will also allocate shipping space to
the individual landing groupments and will define the points of
embarkation and debarkation in agreement with the Navy.
- Navy. Procurement and assembly of the
required shipping space at the points of embarkation designated by the
Army and in accordance with nautical requirements. As far as possible
use will be made of ships from defeated hostile countries.
The necessary naval advisory staff, escort
ships, and other protective naval units will be provided by the Navy at
each crossing area.
In addition to the protection afforded by the
air units employed, naval forces will protect the flanks of the entire
movement across the Channel. Orders will be issued regulating the chain
of command during the actual crossing.
Another mission of the Navy is to direct the
uniform disposition of coastal artillery, namely, of all naval and Army
batteries which can be used against naval targets and to generally
organize the control of fire.
The largest possible number of the heaviest
artillery units will be so placed that they can be brought into
effective action as speedily as possible to protect the flanks of the
movements against hostile naval attack. For this purpose all railway
artillery, reinforced by all available captured guns but minus the K-5
and K-12 batteries earmarked for counterbattery fire against
hostile artillery in England, will be withdrawn from present positions
and emplaced on railway turntable mounts.
In addition to the above, all platform guns of
the heaviest types will be so emplaced under concrete protection
opposite the Straits of Dover that they will be proof against even the
heaviest air attacks. They will be so sited that they will command the
Straits under all circumstances as far as their ranges permit.
The technical work involved will be carried out
by Organization Todt.
- Luftwaffe. The mission of the Luftwaffe
will be to prevent interference by hostile air forces. In addition
airpower will be employed to neutralize coastal fortifications which
could deliver fire in the landing areas, to break the initial
offered by the hostile ground forces, and to destroy reserves during
their forward movement. These missions will require extremely close
contact between the individual air units and the landing forces of the
It will also be important for air units to
destroy roads which could be used by the enemy to move reserves
and to attack naval units approaching the areas of operations while
still far distant from the crossing routes.
I request recommendations on the use of
paratrooper and glider and other airborne forces. The question must be
examined together with the Army whether it would be wise to withhold
paratrooper and other airborne forces during the initial stages as a
reserve force which could be moved quickly to critical areas in the
event of an emergency.
- The Wehrmacht chief signal officer will ensure
that all necessary preparations are made to establish communications
between France and England.
Preparations will be made in cooperation with
the Navy to lay what is still available of the 48 miles of marine cable
taken up from the East Prussian canal.
- I request the commanders in chief to submit to me as
early as possible:
- The measures planned by the Navy and the
Luftwaffe to create the conditions necessary for the Channel crossing
operation (Item 2, above);
- Details on the disposition of the coastal
artillery batteries (Navy);
- A survey of the shipping to be employed and of
the methods of concentration and equipment. All civilian agencies
- Plans for the organization of air defense in the
areas of concentration for troops and for equipment to be used in the
crossing operation (Luftwaffe);
- Channel-crossing schedule and plan of operations
of the Army, and organization and equipment of the first attack wave;
- Organization and action planned by the Navy and
the Luftwaffe for the defense of the crossing movement itself, for
reconnaissance, and for support during the landing;
- Recommendations concerning the commitment of
paratrooper and other airborne forces and concerning the command of
forces after an adequately large area has been brought under control in
- Recommendations for the location of headquarters
for the command echelons of the commander in chief of the Army and the
commander in chief of the Navy;
- Comments by the Army, the Navy, and the Luftwaffe
as to whether and what partial operations are considered practicable
prior to the general amphibious operation;
- Recommendations by, the Army and the Navy
concerning the chain of command during the crossing, while seaborne.
s/ Adolf Hitler
Commander in Chief,
Commander in Chief,
National Defense Branch
| Army Ribbon Copy
Navy Second Copy
Luftwaffe Third Copy
Office Fourth Copy
Fifth to Seventh Copies