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Report of the Commander in Chief, Navy, to the Führer on 10 October 1939 at 1700.

1. Situation in the Baltic Sea. War against merchant shipping: The most important factor is to prevent future penetration by British submarines. It is therefore planned to simplify administration by combining Group East with the Commanding Admiral.

2. Situation in the North Sea: During the last few weeks there has been considerable activity by surface forces against merchant shipping in the Kattegat and Skagerrak. From 7 to 9 October the GNEISENAU took part. (The SCHARNHORST will not be ready until next week owing to leakage of salt water into the lubricating oil and damage to bearings.) The GNEISENAU moved to Utsire for the purpose of keeping British battle cruisers in the North Sea and freeing the Panzerschiffe; she was also to draw British naval forces within the reach of German submarines and aircraft. The latter effect was achieved. The Commander in Chief, Navy, pointed out that the GNEISENAU and the SCHARNHORST, operating together, have nothing to fear from the three British battle cruisers, especially as they can withdraw from them if necessary. All-out operations by them, however, are restricted by the fact that they are the only battleships available for protection of the Baltic Sea and the German Bight until the BISMARCK and the TIRPITZ are ready. The Führer definitely agreed with these views.

British cables within reach should be cut. Submarines are no longer to operate against merchant shipping off the Scandinavian coast, in order to prevent sinking Scandinavian merchant ships. The small submarines are to conduct mine warfare off the English east and Scottish west coasts instead, in which direction heavy forces evade us. Mine warfare off Weymouth and the Bristol Channel has achieved successes; evidently the British have no mine-sweeping facilities. Convoys are now the rule. U35 torpedoed two steamers out of a convoy and U31 one, operating separately. Eight submarines will operate against convoys next week off the west coast of Spain.

The DEUTSCHLAND and the GRAF SPEE, in the Middle and South Atlantic, have reported sinking one British vessel each. Apparently 10,000 ton cruisers were sent in against them.

Auxiliary cruisers are being equipped, one in Murmansk. Most of them will go to the Indian Ocean. They will carry mines. The Russians have offered the bay east of Murmansk as a base; this will be investigated.

3. Siege of England. If the war continues this must be carried out at once and with the greatest intensity. The Foreign Office, the Ministry of Economics, and the Ministry of Food will be previously notified regarding developments. All objections must be overruled. Even the threat of America's entry into the war, which appears certain if the war continues, must not give rise to any restrictions. The earlier and the more ruthlessly we commence, the sooner the effect and the shorter the duration of the war. Any restrictions will lengthen the war. The Chief of the OKW and the Führer agree entirely with this.
The Commander in Chief, Navy, will submit a manifesto.

4. The Commander in Chief, Navy, reports on the extent of submarine construction within the framework of the mobilization plan and the large-scale submarine construction plan. See the survey of the expanded submarine construction program and requirements for naval production (Annex 1); see also the survey of construction to be continued on battleships, destroyers, torpedo boats, minesweepers, etc. (K I 1460 Gkdos. of 6 October 1939; not included).

The Führer inquires whether it is necessary to complete the GRAF ZEPPELIN. The answer is in the affirmative, as she might be needed to escort the 10,000 ton cruisers out into sea and operate with them, and since trial of one such ship is necessary. The Führer agrees. The Commander in Chief, Navy, emphasizes that the submarine construction program, which is indispensable and of decisive importance for the war against Britain, can be carried out with certainty only by giving it priority over all other programs. He enumerates the requirements in material, labor, and factory facilities and requests a definite order from the Führer. A draft is submitted, (See Annex 2.) Responsibility is not to fall upon factories, which were completely upset owing to previous procedure. The Commander in Chief, Navy, is to submit exact information regarding requirements to the Chief of the OKW, and also a breakdown of the output of the various factories to the Führer, who wishes to make suggestions. The Commander in Chief, Navy, once again emphasizes the necessity of definite concentration on submarines. He declares it necessary to stop the large Krupp expansion, perhaps even to give two assembly lines to Russia. The Führer orders that the OKW investigate whether this expansion is not necessary for the Army mortar program. The consequences for the Navy will be that we cannot lay the keels for all battleships immediately after the end of the war. The Führer considers that it would be sufficient in this case, to lay the keels of two battleships.

5. The Führer rejects, for political reasons, the proposal to construct submarines in Russia or to buy them from her.

6. The Commander in Chief, Navy, explains that conquest of the Belgian coast would be of no advantage for submarine warfare. The Führer agrees, but emphasizes its value for the Luftwaffe.
The Commander in Chief, Navy, points out how important it would be for submarine warfare to obtain bases on the Norwegian coast, e.g., Trondheim, with the help of Russian pressure. The Führer will consider this matter.

signed: Raeder

countersigned: Assmann

Annex 1

High Command of the Kriegsmarine, General Naval Bureau

Requirements for Naval Production; the Large Scale Submarine Program.

Notes from a report to the Führer.

I. General Requirements.

The expanded submarine construction program calls for a considerable increase in raw materials, workers, and factory facilities as compared with previous allotments. It is impossible to carry out this program with the former priority regulations and by putting it on a par with the programs of other branches of the Wehrmacht and other claimants which are also designated as urgent. It requires definite priority over all other work and probably also drastic restriction of urgent work for other branches of the Wehrmacht and for the various special programs. It is essential that branches of the Wehrmacht and other claimants should be clearly instructed regarding the unavoidable delays in their work, and regarding the necessity for them to concentrate on the remaining projects.

II. Raw Materials.

1. Necessary monthly quota (the figures are preliminary estimates):

4th Quarter 1939
in tons per month
1st Quarter 1940
in tons per month
2nd Quarter 1940
in tons per month
Previous allotments
for October 1939 in tons
Iron and steel
2,5 50

2. The necessary supply of raw materials must be insured for the duration, so that construction, once commenced, can be completed and misuse can be avoided.

3. In the case of the metal requirements, all economy measures possible in the present stage of development have been taken into consideration. All work in the experimental stage will be continued with the utmost speed, in order to decrease as far as possible the demands for scarce metals.

4. Note for the Commander in Chief, Navy: In order to judge the importance of the requirements, the total quantities available for the German Reich are given below. These are compiled according to a statement of the OKW, War Economy Division, from home production, scrap metal, old material and factory waste, from national reserves, industrial stocks, remaining imports, material captured in Poland, and equipment returned from the front.

Total monthly Quotas
until spring 1940
in tons
beginning spring 1940
in tons
Iron and Steel
200 to 350

III. Workers.

1. According to a rough calculation of only the most important work, the following additional assignment of workers will be necessary:

Ship construction and ship engine construction:
Torpedoes and mines:
Precision mechanical and optical equipment (gunfire control apparatus):
Other work, including work done by subcontractors:
20,000 workers
60,000 workers
5,000 workers
35,000 workers
Total for most important production: 120,000 workers

There is also a considerable need for workers for building construction.

2. Of these workers about 35,000 must be made available at once, the remainder gradually up to summer 1940.

3. A considerable proportion must be skilled workers of especially important trades, whom it is difficult to obtain; for example:

    Ship and boat builders
    Engine and ship mechanics
    Precision mechanics and precision optical workers
    Electric welders
    Ship electricians
    Technicians and apparatus constructors
IV. Factory Facilities.

1. As the result of peacetime preparations, the naval mobilization production plan, including the former mobilization plan for new ship construction (monthly 2 destroyers, 4 torpedo boats, 9 submarines, also motor mine sweepers, S-boats, minesweepers, and steam trawlers), is being handled as far as possible in suitable available factories. In order fully to insure production, a number of projects for expansion have been introduced; they are being pursued and brought to completion at the present time.

2. On the other hand the expanded submarine construction program requires the following:

    a. Requisitioning of further available factory facilities, especially for submarine engines, crankshafts and propeller shafts, torpedo discharge tubes, torpedoes, wrought iron castings, and steel castings, etc.

    b. In addition further expansion and new construction of shipyards and plants for submarine production.

This requires a considerable amount of factory equipment and machine tools (heavy presses, long lathes, trepanning machines, milling machines, etc.).

3. The requisitioning of available factories as well as the expansion and new construction of plants, including the provision of the necessary machines, calls for drastic cuts in the production for the branches of the Wehrmacht and other claimants which is recognized as of high priority and vital importance, and which is also designated as urgent. The available factory facilities are pretty well taken up with the present production programs of the Wehrmacht; no factory facilities and machine tools of the type necessary for the expanded submarine construction program are in general available.

V. Production Schedules:

All contracts for the submarine construction program, including those placed with the widely scattered subcontractors, must be met on time. The firms must be made directly responsible for this, and clear orders must insure that no one else places any orders, supposedly based on an order of the Führer, which would jeopardize the submarine production schedules set by the Navy.

Insofar as these schedules cannot be met without postponing other assignments, and the congestion has not already been relieved by restrictions on the other programs, the firms must be obliged to postpone temporarily any conflicting assignments on the orders of the Commander in Chief, Navy.

The firms will report such temporary postponements to the appropriate War Economic Inspectorate. This office, together with the agency that placed the order, will attempt to reach a compromise within the firm or to transfer the postponed order. If necessary, it will request a decision regarding further treatment of these orders from Field Marshal Göring by way of the OKW.

VI. Summary.

In order to carry out the submarine construction program within the time required, special orders and powers are necessary to insure sufficient quotas of raw materials, workers, and factory facilities. A draft for a Führer order is enclosed. (See Annex 2.)

signed: von Fischel

Annex 2

Draft for a Führer Order.


    Commander in Chief, Navy
    President of the Reich Defense Council
    Deputy for the Four Years' Plan
    Chief of the OKW
    Commander in Chief, Army
    Commander in Chief, Luftwaffe
1. I commission the Commander in Chief, Navy, to carry out the expanded submarine construction program speedily as it was submitted to me, including the necessary supplies and all further ship construction and harbor and base installations necessary for conducting submarine warfare.

2. The Commander in Chief, Navy, will submit all requests for raw materials, workers, and factory facilities, including machine tools, needed for this purpose by way of the Chief of the OKW to Field Marshal Göring who, as President of the Reich Defense Council and as Deputy for the Four Years' Plan, will see to it that they are met.

3. Field Marshal Göring will make raw materials available to the Commander in Chief, Navy, at the requested times. He will decide from which quotas of other claimants they are to be withdrawn; if necessary he will call for my decision.

4. Field Marshal Göring will make available to the Commander in Chief, Navy, the workers for the main contractors and the subcontractors as well as for the building construction projects. He will make them available at the time requested and from the trades specified. He will decide from which factories or assignments of other claimants they are to be withdrawn; if necessary he will call for my decision.

5. Field Marshal Göring will make available to the Commander in Chief, Navy, the requested factory facilities, as well as the necessary equipment and machine tools. He will decide in what manner the assignments thereby postponed may best be transferred and carried out; if necessary, he will call for my decision.
The Commander in Chief, Navy, is empowered to request the use of the suitable factories, equipment, and machine tools necessary for this purpose and to requisition them if necessary to carry out the submarine construction program. He will inform the OKW and Field Marshal Göring of such action.

6. All orders placed in connection with the submarine construction program will be marked as "Naval U-order" and will be marked with "U" in addition to the consignment number. By authority of the naval offices, the main contractor will be responsible for marking orders as U-orders in the case of subcontractors. The contractors and subcontractors are responsible for giving such orders priority over all others and for executing them within the stipulated periods.

On orders of the Navy High Command [OKM], they are obliged to postpone temporarily any conflicting orders, at the same time reporting to the appropriate War Economy Inspectorate.

7. All Reich authorities, offices of the Wehrmacht and the Party, deputies for the war economy, and organizations of industry are responsible for giving unconditional support to all assignments received by them which are connected with the submarine construction program, and for carrying them out within the stipulated time. For this purpose they are authorized to disregard conflicting directives and to postpone temporarily other assignments and work of any kind on their own responsibility.

8. Naval production not falling under the submarine construction program as set forth in Paragraph 1 are subject to the priority regulations laid down in the directive of the Chief of the OKW, W Stb 5440/39 geh. of 4 October 1939 (not included).


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