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Report by the Commander in Chief, Navy, to the Führer at Wolfsschanze, 13 April 1942, in the evening.

In the presence of the Chief of the OKW [Generalfeldmarschall Keitel]; during the discussion of points IX and X, General Jodl, Vizeadmiral Krancke and Kapitän zur See von Puttkamer were also present.

I. Attack on St. Nazaire. (Annex 1)

The Situation in the Western Area Since Summer 1941: Enemy strength is increasing. Army and Luftwaffe are weaker due to the situation in the East. Nearly all naval forces have been transferred to Norway. We have no means of repulsing an enemy landing attempt. The situation provokes enemy operations like the one of 28 March 1942. The following statements are taken from a British operations order:


    1. Destroy the floodgates of the large dock that can accommodate the TIRPITZ.
    2. Destroy small locks and all submarines and other craft in the vicinity.
The enemy knew exactly the strength of our naval forces (5 torpedo boats) and could adjust his own strength accordingly. The attack was timed according to moon and tide (28 March to 31 March). The route from Falmouth to the objective took 35 hours at a speed of 12 knots. They flew the German flag and used German recognition signals. (Comment in longhand: "Air Force recognition signals").

One submarine was used as marker boat. The air attack was coordinated with the naval attack.

Mission of the Destroyer CAMPBELTOWN: Force a lane through the torpedo net and ram the outer floodgate so that the forecastle extends over the floodgate. Land the troops, then sink the CAMPBELTOWN. Remove the crew in motorboats. CAMPBELTOWN was loaded with demolition charge with a two hour time use.

Advantages for the Enemy:

    A. Poor, changing visibility, 200 m - 4,000 m.

    B. At high water the sand bars are flooded, making it possible for the enemy to evade mines and other obstacles.

    C. Good reconnaissance through air attacks, which probably had the additional purpose of distracting our attention and drowning out engine noises of the PT boats. Nevertheless shore batteries and anti-aircraft batteries observed the enemy boats as soon as they came into view. A short delay was due to exchange of recognition signals. The artillery fire was very effective.

The Führer criticizes the exchange of recognition signals under such circumstances and also the delay (6-1/2 minutes) before the alarm order was given.
(Comment added in longhand: New regulation: shore station demands recognition signal. If naval forces do not answer immediately with naval recognition signal, open fire. New, uniform alarm signal for the Navy has been ordered.)

The Commander in Chief, Navy, states that, considering the available means, the defense had been handled correctly in all essentials. However, it should be impossible for a destroyer to reach the floodgate; besides, due to inexperience, the search for the demolition charge and its subsequent removal were not carried out correctly. In other cases demolition charges in locks, etc., were expertly located and removed at great risk.

Possible Countermeasures Necessary to Prevent similar Raids:

A. Aerial reconnaissance is a prime requisite for prompt recognition. The British were at sea for 35 hours; they approached during daylight. Even during the World War evening reconnaissance was carried out to protect the coast whenever the weather permitted. It is possible that some airfields at high altitudes (as in Norway) have different visibility conditions than prevail at sea. In such cases sea planes operating from the harbors must do the reconnoitering since they can see as long as visibility allows enemy naval forces to enter coastal waters.

Führer: Sea planes are too greatly endangered.

Commander in Chief, Navy: No more than patrol boats without proper rear protection. All ship-based planes are sea planes. Furthermore, to assure the necessary protection, some bombers will have to be used for reconnaissance along the entire West Coast. The Naval Air Force is of great importance.

B. Flotillas for patrolling and for protecting the harbors have been established as far as possible an additional ones are being built. There are not nearly enough of them to protect the bases and the long coast. The Commander in Chief, Navy, states the number and distribution of the present flotillas. He compares these to the minimum number necessary and states the number of vessels under construction. (See Annex 2.)

Almost all of the new vessels, however, will have to be used to replace inferior units; the total number of vessels would hardly be increased in 1942. The Commander in Chief, Navy, using a chart prepared by the War Economy Section of the Naval Ordnance Division, demonstrates on the one hand the repeated efforts of the High Command, Navy, to obtain the workers and raw materials necessary for reinforcing escort and patrol flotillas; on the other hand he shows how naval requirements continually had to yield to those of the Luftwaffe and of the Army. If the Reichsmarschall is perhaps able to build more planes it proves that he has manpower and raw materials at his disposal which, by rights, should belong to the Navy. It is certainly not the fault of the High Command, Navy, that there are so few vessels. The cause lies in the distribution of men and raw materials no doubt always made in view of the particular war situation -- in spite of continual requests made by the High Command, Navy, to the Führer, to Dr. Todt, and to the OKW.

The Commander in Chief, Navy, also points out that patrol boats in coastal areas which do not have a rear protection of light naval forces are gravely endangered. It is not difficult for a few destroyers to sink them, once they have been located by enemy reconnaissance.

Even then one or another of the boats would be able to report.

C. Mine fields: French anti-submarine mine fields near the mouth of the Loire are seven to nine meters below the lowest water level. This is no obstacle for surface forces. They are a great danger for our own incoming submarines, since the strong current tears them loose. The river plus the tide cause a current of about five knots. Moored mines are therefore quite unsuitable. This was learned in the First World War at the Jade and the Elbe, where mine fields were promptly removed as a danger for our own forces because they would tear loose and drift. Besides this, at high tide the water rises four or five meters, and destroyers can go right over the mine fields. New experiments are planned as follows:

  1. Heavy ground mines are to be buried in the sand bars to prevent passage at such places.
  2. A field of ground mines is to be laid which will be electrically detonated from the shore. Their success depends largely on a foolproof detonator cable.
D. Harbor booms have been placed wherever harbor and current conditions permit, for example Boulogne, Brest, Dunkirk. They have not been approved for St. Nazaire, since neither buoys nor dolphins can be used there. The former cannot hold the booms in place due to the swift current, and the latter cannot be driven into the rocky bottom near the mouth of the harbor. Trellis masts on concrete blocks will be tried out if they prove workable. Experiments will be made with a new type of obstacle consisting of a series of barges connected by iron chains.

E. Location finding devices: The number on the West Coast will be increased as more devices become available (two, possibly up to four a month).

F. Alarm signal in case of invasion: The Navy has such a signal, but all parts of the Armed Forces should know it and use it. All posts which see the signal must repeat it continuously until certain that it has been received everywhere.

The Führer asks whether it would be possible to illuminate the coastal area with parachute flares.

Commander in Chief, Navy: The coastal artillery has star shells which illuminate the coastal area widely. The searchlights used in conjunction with artillery fire have the advantage of blinding the enemy.

Summary by the Commander in Chief, Navy:

Experiences gained as the result of this attack are being utilized to the utmost. Nevertheless we have to consider the possibility of similar raids whenever the enemy is favored by good visibility. The danger is particularly great as long as there is neither an effective naval defense nor an adequate air reconnaissance. In the absence of almost all naval forces as well as the Luftwaffe from the home waters, due to the changed war situation, even raids in the German Bight do not appear impossible. Entrances to the German Bight, like Borkum and Wangeroog, greatly exposed by removal of guns to the occupied territories, must be better fortified again (e.g., by placing the GNEISENAU's 15 cm battery on Wangeroog).

The Führer stresses the fact that he must demand that at least the most important naval bases, like submarine bases, be so well protected that successful raids would be impossible. In his opinion this was not the case at St. Nazaire.

The Commander in Chief, Navy, mentions experiences with British explosives which should not only be brought to the attention of the entire Armed Forces but also of the civilian population in order to prevent sabotage. He hands a large number of photographs to the Chief of the OKW.

The Commander in Chief, Navy, reports that the population of St. Nazaire and its vicinity strongly favors De Gaulle. Two days before the attack a successful police raid was staged.

II. Naval Situation in March 1942.

Home waters and the German Sphere of Influence.

A. Norway. The cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER was transferred to Trondheim as planned. LÜTZOW will presumably follow in mid-May. PRINZ EUGEN will probably return for repairs at the end of April. Since there are very few destroyers in the Arctic Sea future operations of surface forces must depend on the possibility of effective air reconnaissance, so far as fuel permits.

The 20 submarines assigned to the protection of the northern area have the following missions:

    1. To paralyze enemy convoy traffic in the Arctic Sea and near the ports.
    2. To recognize and thwart promptly any enemy plans to land in the Norwegian area.
Extensive plans for further mine fields to protect our own transports were carried out (e.g., near Bantos and Stadtlandet). Deep sea mine fields were laid near the North Cape as protection against enemy submarines. It is believed that three enemy submarines have been sunk there already. A mine field in the Porsanger Fjord protects the Banak airport against naval bombardment.

B. The attempt made by Norwegian merchant ships to break out of Swedish harbors, which we have been expecting since the beginning of January, was completely unsuccessful. Reports have furnished us with the details.

C. Traffic of merchant ships during March: Traffic between German and German occupied harbors consisted of 1,274 merchant vessels of 2,566,017 BRT. Of these, 1,011 ships of 2,177,136 BRT were convoyed!! They were distributed as follows:

    North Sea
    Western Area
    405 ships totaling
    519 ships totaling
    330 ships totaling
    1,062,666 BRT
    1,145,351 BRT
    358,000 BRT
No traffic in the Baltic due to ice.

Foreign Waters:

A. Cruiser warfare: Ship "10" [Thor] operated without success in the Antarctic. However, in the South Atlantic five enemy steamers were captured without firing a shot. These were PAGASITIKOS, WELLPARK, WELLESDEN, AUST, and one other. Ship "10" will be supplied by REGENSBURG and proceed to the western part of the Indian Ocean as planned.

An agreement was reached with the Japanese Navy reserving the area West of 80º East longitude and South of 10º South latitude for ship "10", and possibly permitting Japanese submarines to operate in an area 300 miles wide along the eastern coast of Africa. We recommended to the Japanese the use of submarines near the entrance to the Persian Gulf.

Ship "28" [Michel] is en route in the South Atlantic. DOGGERBANK successfully fulfilled her mine-laying mission off Capetown. She received new orders to lay mines near Cape Agulhas with the coming new moon. Meanwhile she is waiting in the South Atlantic.

B. Blockade runners: Supply ship REGENSBURG in the Indian Ocean and TANNENFELS in the South Atlantic are both en route to Japan. The tanker CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN is in the waiting zone in the Southwest part of the South Atlantic.

Of the five blockade runners returning home, two have already arrived in Bordeaux: the OSORNO and the RIO GRANDE, the latter with 3,700 tons of rubber and 3,800 tons of whale oil. The FUSIYAMA is in the South Atlantic, and the PORTLAND and the MUENSTER are still west of Cape Horn.

The Mediterranean and the Black Sea: the VALIANT left Alexandria after three and a half months of repairs. The QUEEN ELIZABETH docked there. Since no sign of the VALIANT has been found in the Mediterranean for several days, it is assumed that she left by way of the Red Sea. It is not known whether she is ready for action. The MALAYA sailed Westward from Gibraltar. Attacks made by German and Italian submarine and planes have seriously weakened light enemy forces. In short, the situation in the Mediterranean is extremely favorable right now. (See Annex 3 in this connection.)

Therefore the 5th and 6th Transport Squadrons were sent to Tripoli as planned.

The 3rd PT Boat Flotilla is to be used to lay mines off Malta in connection with the current major operation against that island.

The 6th Motor Minesweeping Flotilla is to be transferred to Tripoli for escort duty.

Four more PT boats, now at Cologne, are being assigned to the Mediterranean. These could ultimately be sent to the Black Sea through the Dardanelles. The Führer permits that they attempt passage through the Dardanelles camouflaged as merchant vessels without previous political negotiations.

In the Black Sea nee mine rields are being laid off the Rumanian and Bulgarian Coast.

The plan to mine the Crimean Coast had to be dropped temporarily because the necessary Rumanian naval forces were refused.

The Führer orders that none of the German batteries be given to either Bulgaria or Rumania.

C. Submarine warfare: We have 288 submarines as of 1 April 1942 of which 122 are operational units. Location of the 125 boats in operation areas on 9 April is as follows:

    a. Arctic Ocean: Total 19; 5 are at Kirkenes, Narvik and Trondheim, and 14 at sea.

    b. Atlantic: Total 81; 45 in North Atlantic and U.S. Coast; 2 in South Atlantic; 34 in bases on the western coast of France.

    c. Mediterranean: Total 20; 7 at sea.

    d. Home ports: Total 5; 3 overdue.

Submarines sank these vessels in March (confirmed):
    German submarines:
    Italian submarines:
    Japanese submarines:
    89 vessels totaling
    19 vessels totaling
    19 vessels totaling
    524,286 BRT
    82,000 BRT
    101,098 BRT
Total enemy losses for March 1942 in ships sunk or captured (Great Britain, U.S.A., Russia, and the Netherlands):
    Ships destroyed by submarines:
    Ships destroyed by surface forces:
    Ships destroyed by mines:
    Ships destroyed by the Air Force:
    Ships captured or confiscated:
    Other losses (collisions, shipwrecks, etc.):
    707,384 BRT
    64,202 BRT
    15,955 BRT
    77,564 BRT
    212,462 BRT
    17,826 BRT
      (of these Japan sank 53,200 BRT)
     (Japan is responsible for 140 vessels
      of 196,000 BRT)

    Total losses for March 1942: 362 vessels of 1,095,393 BRT

The Führer agrees with the Commander in Chief, Navy, that victory depends on destroying the greatest amount of Allied tonnage possible. Thus all offensive operations of the enemy can be slowed down or even stopped entirely. The Führer believes that attacks on the Murmansk convoys are most important at the moment.

The Commander in Chief, Navy, states that construction of submarines should be stepped up to the very limit. He requests permission to get copper on the black market in France and Belgium. The Führer wants confirmation whether this is still actually possible. (For submarine production see Annex 4).

III. Support of the German offensive in the East by Japanese naval warfare in the Indian Ocean. ( See Annex 5).

It is of decisive importance that Japanese forces attack British supply lines to the Red Sea and Persia in the northern part of the Indian Ocean. The purpose would be to disrupt Russian supplies and thus aid our eastern offensive. The OKW must therefore point out to the Japanese Liaison Staff that a strong Japanese attack on British supply lines would support German operations most effectively. The Führer has already given ambassador Oshima some general indications of the spring offensive.

IV. Germany's relations with France.

The Führer is asked for his opinion in regard to further developments. The Führer believes that Marshal Petain plays a very insignificant role being very old and easily influenced. He thinks it likely that Laval will replace Petain, but he does not consider the French capable of energetic action of any kind at present. Their whole attitude is weak (witness the Riom trial). According to Ambassador Abetz 5% of the population is for collaboration and 5% for de Gaulle; the rest are watching and waiting. The Führer believes that the French will try to repulse attacks on West Africa.

V. U.S. bases and the development of U.S. policy pertaining to them. (See Annex 6).

VI. The fuel oil situation in 1942.

The Commander in Chief, Navy, refers to the report made to the Führer. (Annex 7).

VII. Completion of the aircraft carrier GRAF ZEPPELIN.

A. It will take at least until summer 1943 to complete the hull and install the engines. These are the essential factors:

    1. Delivery of auxiliary engines which either are missing entirely or have been removed and installed elsewhere.

    2. Installation of a bulge as a counterbalance in case the ship lists after being damaged.

    3. Increasing the fuel capacity, thus improving the cruising range by 25% at a speed of 19 knots.

B. The total time necessary to complete the carrier does not depend on completing the hull and engines but on changing the flight installations for the use of planes adapted from the Ju 87 D and BF 109 F. About two years are required to develop, construct and test the catapults necessary for these planes. If it is possible to convert the existing catapults the time limit will be reduced by six months. New winches for the arresting gear are needed. The company producing these winches has not yet announced when they can be delivered. The carrier cannot therefore be completed before the winter of 1943. The Führer points out that in general the Armed Forces set their requirements too high.

C. Amounts of iron steel and scarce raw materials necessary for completion: fifteen tons copper from the naval allotment pledged already. Other raw materials are not essential.

D. Required manpower. If conversion takes twelve months:

    Shipbuilders, etc., for twelve months
    Machinists, electricians, etc., for eight months
    For testing during the following four months
Labor needed during the installation of the bulges which will take an additional five months:
    Shipbuilders, etc.:
    Machinists, etc.:
E. Planes for the carrier. (Result of a previous conference between the High Command, Navy [OKM], and Commander in Chief, Luftwaffe.)
    1. Only a small number of the planes designed originally for this carrier is still available. They are sufficient only for test runs of the carrier, not for combat. The Luftwaffe claims more of this type cannot be constructed.

    2. If a new, special carrier plane is developed, mass production cannot start until 1946.

    3. Thus the only types of carrier planes which the Luftwaffe can deliver at present are converted combat models. The following two types are proposed for conversion:

      BF 109 F, a pursuit plane.
      Ju 87 D, a dive bomber and reconnaissance plane.

    The use of the above mentioned adaptations has serious disadvantages:

      a. In addition to a minimum of 10 pursuit planes there are only 21 to 23 Ju 87 D; 6 of these are not ready for immediate use. (Original plans call for 33 bombers.)
      There are no torpedo planes.

      b. It will be necessary to design and construct new winches for the arresting gear. The flight deck and the hangar deck as well as the elevators will have to be reinforced because of the increased weight of the planes.

    There are also technical difficulties in taking off and landing: a catapult will have to be used for all take-offs except with a few Ju 87 D's used for reconnaissance. They can leave from the deck when there are favorable headwinds due to the speed of the ship. The high landing speed of the BF 109 F is another complication. The Luftwaffe will have to decide most of these questions. Both plane types are heavier and the Ju 87 D is unwieldy in addition. It will take longer to transfer the planes from one deck to another; the whole rhythm of movement on the carrier will be slowed down, and the planes will be delayed in getting into action.

1. Earliest date by which work on the hull and installation of the engines can be completed is summer 1943 provided that construction in the harbors of Kiel and Wilhelmshaven is not interrupted by air raids.

2. Date of final completion of the entire carrier including changes in the flight installations for the planes: winter of 1943/44.

3. Aircraft: Only 10 converted pursuit planes and 22 converted bombers (including reconnaissance planes) will be available. There are no torpedo planes. If a new type of special carrier plane is developed, mass production cannot be attained until 1946!!

Before all technical and tactical difficulties mentioned above can be solved and a final decision in regard to the types of planes in question can be made, further discussions between the Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine are necessary.

The Seekriegsleitung maintains that the results of our efforts so far do not justify continuing work on the carrier. While the technical problems concerning ship construction and plane conversion can evidently be solved, the disadvantages which still remain reduce the carrier's tactical value to a critical point. We must expect heavy losses which we cannot afford due to these causes: Take-off without catapult is possible only under favorable conditions; most of the planes depend completely on catapults; there is no smoke-laying equipment for aircraft available; the planes are too heavy and cumbersome; the landing of the planes presents a difficult technical problem. The attempt to use converted aircraft should therefore be discouraged. If the Luftwaffe is not in a position to reconsider the construction of the originally planned carrier plane, the request for the development of a new plane especially adapted for aircraft carriers must be maintained.

The Commander in Chief, Navy, will approach the Führer again, if the discussions with the Commander in Chief, Luftwaffe, in regard to carrier planes do not have satisfactory results.

The Führer believes that torpedo planes are necessary in any case; it Is furthermore important that our own types of aircraft are a match for those of the enemy.

VIII. Miscellaneous.

    A. The steamer SCHARNHORST is in Japan and can be sold to the Japanese.

    B. Distribution of the [battleship] GNEISENAU's guns: Three guns 280 mm from turret A were installed on coast defense gun mounts near the Hook of Holland. Turrets B and C were mounted whole in Norway (by blasting into solid rock).

IX. Admiral Krancke reports on manpower of the Navy.

Upon information about the composition of the First Naval Brigade, the Führer admits that the Navy is very short of officers (only 15,000 officers for 500,000 men). On the other hand it is not advisable to use Army divisions which can be employed in combat for occupation of the French islands, for if they should be needed in the East they would then not be available. The division on the Channel Islands, for instance, is practically lost to the Army. The protection of the coastal islands is a part of the Navy's coastal defense assignment, and as such is particularly a naval responsibility. Since the Army is in urgent need of additional forces, he must give this task to the Navy in spite of the shortage of naval officers. It is not important whether properly organized brigades are set up; the island defense forces should be formed to fit local needs. Besides local defense strong points, mining, etc., depending on the terrain and landing possibilities, there must also be one mobile shocktroop unit for each island to annihilate any airborne troops or other forces landing there. The primary duty of these troops is to keep the enemy from getting a foothold on the island. At the same time, however, they are really an advance guard, and as such they must be integrated with the entire coastal defense system, including their radar stations, etc. Thus, as the Seekriegsleitung, Quartermaster Division observes, the Navy will not set up brigades, but will receive orders to take over the defense of this or that island. The necessary officers must be trained, possibly from the ranks of non-commissioned officers. The Army has had tremendous losses among its officers; it can transfer officers temporarily, but cannot dispense with them permanently. The Seekriegsleitung, Quartermaster Division, proposes that the Navy be given until October to complete this task. The Führer considered October too late. The Navy will have to get additional men from the reserves, for it does not have sufficient personnel. The Führer admitted that the staffs of the Navy are very small and says the Army should take this as an example. He is also aware of the fact that the Navy needs many rear-echelon units since they have a very complicated technical organization.

Additional remarks. On 14 April 1942 the following telegram was sent confirming the results of the above conference:

    To the Führer and Supreme Commander, personal; copy to the OKW, Operations Staff.

    "Request confirmation of yesterday's conference on naval brigades: Navy entirely responsible for defense of islands in Western Area to be designated by OKW. Necessary personnel and materiel to be determined in collaboration with Commanding General, West, and to be installed as soon as possible. Troops to be trained on the islands. Army ordered to furnish necessary officers temporarily until Navy can train its own. Army to assist likewise in training of new naval artillery officers. Army and Luftwaffe to provide arms and equipment which Navy lacks. This method of taking over naval defense of the islands seems quicker and more economical than adhering rigidly to previous orders."

    Grand Admiral Raeder
X. Definition of authority in the Netherlands among the Commanding General, West; the Commanding General, Armed Forces, Netherlands; and the Commanding Admiral, North Sea Station.

Vizeadmiral Krancke reports on organization:

According to the Führer's order no. 40, the Commanding General, West, is responsible for the conduct of the war along the coast in the French, Belgian, and entire Dutch area, without referring to the Commanding General, Armed Forces, Netherlands. In Holland, therefore, he is responsible not only for the area of the Commanding Admiral, Netherlands, but also for that part of the Dutch area commanded by the Admiral Coastal Defenses, German Bight. The Commanding General, West, is responsible not only for coastal warfare, but also for its preparation as regards tactics, organization, personnel, and materiel.

The Netherlands belongs to the North Sea area as far as naval organization is concerned (ship traffic, coastal and anti-aircraft defense, widespread dock and supply systems, and replacement units). The Commanding Admiral, Netherlands, is subordinate to the Admiral, North Sea Station.

This means that both the Commanding Admiral, North Sea Station, and the Commanding General, West, are in charge of the same coastal defense. Their orders overlap. The authority of the Commanding General, West, has to deal continuously with matters coming under the jurisdiction of the Commanding Admiral, North Sea Station. The organization must therefore be changed. The OKW, Operations Staff is asked to investigate this question and to define clearly the respective spheres of command. The Führer will make the decision.

XI. The question of a naval representative at the Führer Headquarters. (See Annex 8).

In a private conference the Commander in Chief, Navy, explains why it is necessary to have a permanent representative of the Commander in Chief, Navy, at the Führer Headquarters. He compares the Kriegsmarine with other branches of the Wehrmacht. The Führer approves a permanent representative of the Commander in Chief, Navy, at the Führer Headquarters. He will be a flag officer authorized to move freely between the Seekriegsleitung and the Headquarters; he has the right to report to the Führer on all matters pertaining to the Navy, and to be present at all conferences dealing with the general conduct of the war.

signed: Raeder

countersigned: Assmann

Annex 1

Conclusions to be drawn from British Offensive Operations against the French Coast.

I. General Conclusions:

British operations against the Norwegian and French coasts show that the British, taking advantage of the fact that the German Army and Air Force are heavily engaged in the East, are determined and able to attack the extensive German Coast more frequently and on a larger scale than we have thus far expected. The following principal changes have occurred since the summer of 1941:

    a. On the side of the enemy: The British Isles are adequately protected against insignificant dangers existing at present. There is no danger of a German invasion. Powerful air, ground, and naval forces are now available to the British. They possess both air and naval superiority. As a result they are increasing their preparations for offensive action against our coasts. Starting with small surprise raids against weakly defended points on the Norwegian Coast, they are building up additional reinforcements of materiel and men in the meantime in order to be strong enough to attack the French Coast. Russia exerts strong pressure on Britain to relieve the Russian Front by attacks in the West. On the other hand, the increasing loss in tonnage resulting from the submarine war gives cause for anxiety, forcing the British to try to eliminate the submarines in the French bases. Agents in the French area cooperate in every way possible to keep the British fully informed in regard to German strength, distribution of our forces, harbor defenses, etc. In contrast to past practice the enemy now prepares operations with meticulous care and employs sufficient forces in carrying them out. He is prepared to take great risks and shows remarkable courage and initiative.

    b. On the side of Germany: The main part of our Army and Air Force is tied down in the East at the expense of the West (e.g. early in April the Commander, Air, Atlantic Coast, had for reconnaissance purposes only four Heinkel 111 planes ready for action). Our heavy naval forces were transferred from Brest either to Germany or to Norway. All patrol boats, destroyers, torpedo boats, minesweepers, and PT boats that could possibly be spared were sent to Norway as ordered to aid in the defense of the endangered northern area. The center of our defense was shifted to Norway (mines, nets, coastal batteries, and anti-aircraft defenses). As a result of these measures our own coast is becoming more and more vulnerable.

    In spite of this the preparedness for defense at home was strengthened as far as possible by suitable measures in regard to organization, personnel, and materiel, so that we can expect the defense to be successful.

Summary: The enemy's offensive strength is increasing, while we are weakened because our forces are tied down in the East and in Norway.

II. Remarks on countermeasures to the enemy's operation against St. Nazaire.

In a concentrated surprise attack, and with severe losses, the enemy was able to gain a partial success against the outer Normandy locks, the pumps and the machine installations. The operation was painstakingly planned; the enemy utilized weather conditions; he was very accurately informed about the German situation on land and sea. He did not succeed in doing any essential damage to the German base, and submarine operations were not even disturbed.

Considering the very weak forces available, the success of our defense is particularly praiseworthy. Preparedness, deportment of the troops, and the entire land defense deserve full recognition.

In spite of this, our preventive measures and our means of defense were not sufficient to prevent the enemy from approaching and from penetrating into the Loire estuary, the harbor channel, and into the harbor itself. For this reason a careful check and analysis of the experiences gained was made to determine the following:

    a. What measures could have prevented the enemy's approach and his penetration into the harbor?

    b. What should be done to exhaust every possibility for strengthening, perfecting, and improving coastal defense in the future?

Analysis of question "a" with reference to St. Nazaire:
    1. It can be stated once and for all that the planes available cannot carry out the necessary daily sea reconnaissance. This is absolutely indispensable to any coastal defense, however, not only in the evening but also at night. (The enemy air force can do this.) It cannot be said whether in the case of St. Nazaire, in view of the bad weather conditions, air reconnaissance would have changed the outcome.

    2. Prompt discovery of the enemy's approach was made difficult by the bad weather, by the diversion caused by a simultaneous air raid, and by the course the enemy took. In that kind of weather we will have to expect successful surprise attacks in the future too. It was not the case that harbor defense boats and coastal patrol boats lying in the outer roadstead were negligent in the performance of their duties. The enemy was favored by very limited visibility. It is absolutely necessary to considerably augment our patrol vessels. Defense forces in addition to those in action were not available and will not be available within a reasonable space of time, considering the general appreciable shortage of naval forces which is well known.

    We do not have sufficient radar equipment for locating the enemy at sea. There is a deficiency at St. Nazaire, but the present capacity of industry and the raw material situation do not permit filling even the most urgent demands.

    3. The enemy came in with the tide, thus clearing both the anti-submarine mine obstacles and the sand bars - a new experience - and approached St. Nazaire not using the channel. In the kind of weather which prevailed, prompt discovery would have been possible only with a large number of patrol boats, which were not present or obtainable. Only strong mine barriers were there to prevent the enemy's approach. The value of such barriers is considered very questionable: there is the possibility of clearing them at high tide; the mines are damaged or lost due to lack of protection in unprotected bays; and they present a great hazard to our own shipping, as experience has shown. They endanger our own submarines particularly! (In the First World War as well as in the present war we often had to remove our own mines for this reason.) The use of nets, booms and cables was under careful consideration, but was rejected in the case of St. Nazaire. Our experience has been that the obstacles are exposed to such wear and tear in unprotected roadsteads that they are often torn loose, start to drift, and greatly endanger our own shipping. Where conditions permit, e.g., at Dunkirk, Calais, Boulogne, Brest, Lorient, booms were installed and are in use.

Anti-submarine nets are present in the Loire estuary. They are no protection against surface forces. Surface craft running full speed against the nets can overcome such obstacles.

Summary: On the basis of previous experience and in view of the men and materiel available, the defense measures taken by the responsible commander were adequate to meet the requirements considered necessary up to that time. No enemy motor boat succeeded in making a landing. All landing boats were destroyed or damaged and forced back. It must be stated, nevertheless, that an enemy destroyer should never have been allowed to break through to the floodgate under any circumstances, and similar occurrences must be prevented in the future. An enemy destroyer attacking full force which clears anti-submarine mine obstructions, sand banks, and nets is something new. The following necessary measures are being taken: ground mines are being buried in sand banks exposed at low tide; construction in the harbor is being undertaken to protect booms; depth charge throwers are being placed in front of the entrance and the locks.

In view of the shortages everywhere and the necessity of using numerous makeshift defense measures, experience will show that there will constantly be new shortcomings in our defenses and new demands made upon them.

(Note for the Commander in Chief, Navy: Other branches of the services had similar experiences. Note the drive for collecting furs and winter clothing, the inadequacies in the anti-aircraft protection of numerous German cities, and the ammunition situation in the Army which is in part alarming!)

Even if more careful preparations at St. Nazaire had been made and additional measures for protection had been taken, they would not have succeeded in warding off a determined enemy who had exact knowledge of all German defensive weapons, especially when the enemy utilized bad weather for a surprise attack and used German recognition signals. The only thing which could have prevented the enemy from approaching and penetrating as far as St. Nazaire would have been strong naval forces and sufficient planes for reconnaissance.

III. Experiences in using naval forces.

Sufficient naval forces as well as planes are necessary in coastal defense for adequate reconnaissance and for repulsing enemy attempts at landing. There must be constant naval patrol activity in the vicinity of all points suitable for enemy landings, and the patrol units must be backed by stronger ships, such as destroyers and torpedo boats, held in constant readiness.

With the forces available at present patrol duty is possible only to a very limited extent, since nearly all patrol, minesweeping, and escort craft are engaged in minesweeping and convoy duty and are fully occupied with these tasks. Combat units to support the patrol boats are not available except at very few points, such as in Norway at the moment.

A study of possible enemy landings (see Appendix to Annex 1) shows that in order to fulfill the most urgent tasks we must demand, in addition to the present forces as they are now distributed, at least the following naval Forces for the endangered area from Kirkenes to Bayonne:

    7 destroyer flotillas (6 destroyers each)
    11 torpedo boat flotillas (6 boats each)
    50 patrol flotillas (12 boats each)
    5 motor-minesweeper flotillas (12 boats each)
    42 destroyers
    66 torpedo boats
    600 patrol boats
    60 motor-minesweepers
The need is calculated on the following basis: Half of the destroyers and torpedo boats are always ready for action. One third of the patrol and motor-minesweeper flotillas is in dock for repair; one third is off duty; one third is stationed at sea.

Even with these reinforcements, the various regions would not gain very much. For example:

    a. The entire French west coast receives only 9 patrol flotillas, 1 destroyer flotilla, and 2 torpedo boat flotillas. Of these Brest, Lorient, and St. Nazaire would receive 2 patrol flotillas each, and all three ports together would receive 1 destroyer flotilla and 1 torpedo boat flotilla.

    b. The French channel coast and the Belgian and Dutch coasts receive only 6 patrol flotillas, 5 motor-minesweeper flotillas, 2 destroyer flotillas, and 3 torpedo boat flotillas. Of these only 5 motor-minesweeper flotillas, 1 destroyer flotilla, and 2 torpedo boat flotillas would go to the Boulogne-Ijmuiden sector.

    c. Norway is given 30 patrol flotillas, 4 destroyer flotillas, and 4 torpedo boat flotillas.

Considering our pressing requirements these demands are extremely modest. In view of our limited resources and potentialities, however, even they cannot be satisfied.

These statements concerning the real requirements necessary to carry out the tasks in coastal defense which fall to the Navy show that the available forces are completely inadequate everywhere. It cannot be emphasized too strongly that every opportunity to increase and strengthen our existing forces should be utilized to the fullest. On the other hand there exist these unfortunate conditions: a completely insufficient allocation of raw materials; loss of urgently needed labor and naval personnel; and an entirely inadequate distribution of oil. (In Norway, for example, more than 20 urgently needed patrol vessels had to be kept idle at certain times because of lack of oil; at present, all operations of light and heavy units using fuel oil have been suspended except for the most urgent defensive operations.)

It can be stated that if strong German naval forces were present there would be no danger whatever for the extensive German coastline. With the present shortages, however, every shift of forces opens new gaps at other points. If we assigned more light naval forces to the Western Area it would weaken our position in Norway to a degree intolerable at the present time. Reduction of the instructional staff at home has a very damaging effect upon submarine training and upon the availability of submarine crews.

IV. Tactical lessons derived from previous enemy landing operations, which were ordered put into practice at once:

    a. Important command posts are to be shifted from the endangered coast into the interior.

    b. Patrol and harbor defense craft at sea are to be reinforced to the greatest extent possible.

    c. The supply of arms and ammunition is to be checked everywhere. Defense and security of all headquarters are to be checked anew.

    d. Coastal defenses must remain fully alerted even during air raids. All guard posts and observation posts facing the sea must be constantly manned.

    e. Emergency structures to protect all locks against ramming or blasting are to be built at once in so far as local conditions permit the use of makeshift measures.

    f. Particular attention is to be given to the guarding, arming, and fortification of isolated installations and equipment such as radio stations. As far as possible these are to be moved to strong points.

    g. All communications equipment and all lines of communication are to be checked constantly.

    h. The last reserves are to be drawn out of all offices, coastal and anti-aircraft batteries, naval units not ready for action, schools, etc. They are to be used for coastal defense. All employees and workers are to be utilized as far as possible for guard duties; they are to receive accelerated training and be assigned by the Army.

    i. Guarding of the docks is to be improved on the basis of past experience.

    j. A motor brigade is to be formed from existing automobile stocks for emergency use. Reserve units must be set up.

    k. Regular Army companies ready for action, being the backbone of defense, must be placed in all submarine bases.

    l. French civilians are to be completely evacuated from coastal and port areas vital to the defense.

V. Other experiences and lessons for the future.
    1. It is vitally necessary to reinforce our light naval patrol forces. Great difficulties will have to be overcome in regard to raw materials, dockyard capacity, labor and oil shortages.

    2. Aerial reconnaissance forces must be increased. Timely defensive measures are impossible without adequate aerial reconnaissance along coasts where enemy raids or large-scale operations may be expected at any time. We absolutely must insist upon evening reconnaissance to a distance of 150 nautical miles from our coast at the very least.

    3. Our coastal artillery defenses should be reinforced by additional batteries as soon as possible. The location of existing batteries should be checked in the light of the latest experiences for more efficient distribution. Possibly a number of batteries could be shifted from the coastal sector of Operation "Seelöwe" to other locations.

    4. Increased attention must be given to patrol activities. Patrol forces and harbor defense forces must be reinforced as much as our resources will possibly permit. Perhaps reductions in convoy services will be unavoidable. All Patrol and harbor defense vessels should be equipped with radio, and in some cases with radar. Equipment, raw materials, and industrial capacity are all problems! Harbor defenses facing the sea should be strengthened as much as the shortage of vessels permits.

    5. The use of mines in coastal defense should be increased as far as it can possibly be done. Careful planning is necessary because of the limited number of mines and mine-laying vessels available. Experiments can be made in using ground mines in sand banks and in shallow waters off our own bases outside our navigational channels.

    6. All opportunities for constructing nets, booms, and cables should be taken advantage of as far as the material is available, in order to prevent surprise attacks. Every kind of improvised device should be utilized.

    7. Construction in harbors should be undertaken to prevent blasting of locks and entrance channels. All locks should be protected against attempts at ramming.

    8. Additional torpedo batteries and depth charge throwers should be installed for defense against enemy action, as far as existing equipment permits.

    9. Large-scale improvements should be undertaken to make radar equipment more effective against targets at sea. Production is sharply limited by industrial capacity and raw material allocation.

    10. It should never be forgotten that new enemy surprises are possible at any moment. Defense measures should be checked everywhere for their effectiveness against new enemy devices and tactics contrived to fit local conditions.

    11. We can expect to reinforce and improve coastal defense only to a very small extent with additional forces, arms, and equipment, since all these things are being used to capacity already. Therefore it is necessary to distribute and utilize everything to the very last reserves in the most effective way possible.

    The grave lack of forces in all branches of the Navy is a decisive factor in any evaluation of our defensive measures. The only relief can come from a fundamental improvement in the naval situation in regard to armaments, raw materials, and labor, something which the Seekriegsleitung has been continually requesting for years! Besides this it remains to be said that the absence of a strong naval air force is not only an immense disadvantage in all offensive operations of naval forces, but it is also a very great handicap in protecting the waters near the coast and the coast itself.

Appendix to Annex 1

Possible Enemy Landings.

Other landing operations on a limited scale are likely to occur in the future. According to the variety of devices and tactics used in the past, we can expect further surprises of all kinds in the future. A large-scale invasion in the Western Area is improbable at present, but it would be possible in northern Norway and in the Arctic Area. Sooner or later, however, the enemy will be strong enough to launch large-scale operations in the Western Area too.

The most important military objectives in the Western Area are the submarine bases at Lorient, St. Nazaire, and Brest, as well as the shipyard and dock installations at Brest. Next are the port facilities at La Pallice, La Rochelle, Royan, Le Verdon, Bayonne, St. Jean de Luz. In addition there are those in the Gironde estuary, which is a center for blockade-runners and for ore traffic, and the location of an Italian submarine base. The ports in the Loire and the Gironde estuaries would make good bridgeheads for larger invasion attempts.

The most important objectives on the Channel coast are the PT boat bases at Boulogne, Ostende, and Ijmuiden. Next to these are all the other ports, such as Flushing, Dunkirk, Calais, Cherbourg, Le Havre, the Scheldt River estuary, and Hook of Holland, which are important for our escort and patrol services. Other likely objectives are coastal batteries of strategic importance, radar installations, and airfields. The area between the Seine and the Somme and also the "Fortress Holland", as at Scheveningen and Hook of Holland, are likely theaters for a large-scale invasion.

The most important objectives in Norway are coastal batteries and other installations of importance to the war effort. Bases for both surface vessels and submarines are significant, particularly those at Trondheim and Bergen. Transit and reloading ports serving our supply lines and our escort and patrol activities are likewise important, especially Kirkenes, Petsamo, Kristiansand, Tromsø, Stavanger, etc. Large-scale landing operations may occur in the Kirkenes-Petsamo area and in the vicinity of the Lofoten Islands.

In the Skagerrak, Kattegat and the German Bight regions landings are less likely, although worthwhile objectives do exist there, such as coastal batteries, ships, and patrol units.

Annex 2

Number and distribution of the indicated types of flotillas in the Northern Area,
including the North Sea - Skagerrak, and the Western Area, including the Channel

(without the Baltic, Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas).
Norway North Sea,
Dutch Coast,
Western Area.
Total Approx.
No. of Vessels
Minesweeper Flotillas

Sub. Chaser Flotillas

Patrol Flotillas

Mot. Minesweeper Flotillas

PT Boat Flotillas

Harbor Def. Flotillas































Additions to the Navy up to 1 April 1943

5 Destroyers Existing flotillas brought up to strength. At present 17 destroyers are available.
7 Torpedo boats Existing flotillas brought up to strength. At present 21 vessels are available (5 are out of commission).
17 PT boats Existing flotillas brought up to strength. One PT flotilla added..
82 Minesweepers Existing flotillas brought up to strength. 7 converted minesweepers replaced by new minesweepers.
22 Motor Minesweepers Two new motor minesweeper flotillas.
2 Minelayers New.
12 Mine clearance vessels Existing flotillas brought up to strength. Replacements for losses.
8 Submarine chasers Existing flotillas brought up to strength.
83 Patrol vessels 70 old minesweepers and 13 new fishing trawlers. Vessels unfit for sea duty are replaced by armed fishing trawlers.
11 Torpedo recovery vessels Replacements for submarine training divisions.

Annex 3

The Mediterranean Situation.

In order to maintain our position in North Africa, to accumulate adequate reinforcements and materiel, an later to carry out an offensive against Egypt, our air and naval forces must dominate the Central Mediterranean and secure our supply lines. To accomplish this, the following are prerequisite:

    A. The solution of the oil problem.
    B. The provision of adequate cargo space.
    C. The elimination of the threat of Malta.
    D. The establishment of sufficient port facilities in North Africa.
    E. The effective blocking of the Straits of Sicily.
We can only dominate both sea and air in the Central Mediterranean by continuing the present hard fighting. An essential prerequisite is that the German Air Force in the Mediterranean be strongly reinforced.

A copy of discussion topics for the Duce-Führer conference has been submitted to the OKW.

It is particularly important that the question of oil and cargo space be solved. According to our information there are sufficient Italian vessels available to fill our needs. However, the Italian Ministry of Transport is making difficulties. The Duce has to exert strong pressure! The present situation forces us to reduce merchant shipping temporarily. It enables us to send supplies to Africa without constant escorts, as there is little risk for vessels sailing alone.

Other discussion points for the Duce conference:

    A. The question of using more transport submarines. With 10 to 14 medium sized boats in the Mediterranean we could send supplies amounting to 2,000 tons per month right to the front lines.

    B. The necessity of bringing North African harbors back to full capacity.

    C. The importance of closing the Straits of Sicily.

    D. The importance of occupying Malta very soon. Italy should be urged to do so as soon as possible, since Malta will never again be as weak as it is right now. Its defenses will be rebuilt immediately if we let up on the present strong attacks.

On the basis of numerous reports, the Seekriegsleitung must stress once more how extremely weak Britain's position in the Eastern Mediterranean is at the present time. That has never been the case before. An early attack against Suez (this year) would have excellent chances of success. It could very well decide the war. We could get enough cargo ships. All reports confirm the fact that the enemy is making tremendous efforts to pour all available reinforcements into Egypt and the Near East and to establish a huge supply base in the Red Sea area. If the Suez offensive is delayed until 1943 it might easily fail.

It is therefore imperative to take Malta as soon as possible and to launch an offensive against the Suez Canal not later than 1942.

Annex 4

Increase in the Production of Submarines.

As we announced in the last reports, the number of new submarines which was originally set at 24-25 per month as an urgent naval requirement has sunk to 18 boats for the present on account of the reduced raw material quotas. In all probability we must count on a gradual reduction to 15 boats. In order to postpone a further decrease below 18 boats as long as possible, the Commander in Chief of the Navy was forced to limit new construction of other types of vessels, particularly destroyers and torpedo boats, to the greatest possible extent. A further reduction, especially of light naval vessels, is absolutely impossible. On the contrary, we must try in every way to increase the number of patrol units and light vessels needed for coastal and offshore protection, as the experiences in the recent British landing actions have demonstrated. Under no circumstances can additional decreases be made in favor of submarine construction.

On the other hand, enemy reports and our own calculations based on the recent heavy sinkings have confirmed the Seekriegsleitung in its opinion that submarine warfare is of really decisive importance for the outcome of the war. We consider it our duty therefore again to request most urgently an allotment of raw materials above the existing quota in order to make possible an increase in submarine construction up to the 25 boats originally planned. No change in the other allotments would be involved, since this increase would be used solely to augment submarine construction.

The Seekriegsleitung considers it possible to obtain the additional amount of copper required for the special purpose of increasing submarine construction by means of buying on the black market in unoccupied France, collecting scrap metal, salvaging copper from the Maginot Line, melting church bells, running the blockade, etc.

To increase the number of submarines to 25, an additional allotment of 250 tons of copper per month is necessary and is herewith applied for.

The question of increased construction at a later date should also be considered from this angle: after construction has been reduced to 18 and later to 15 submarines a month, it will be extremely difficult to increase the number within a reasonable length of time if the situation should improve. The stepping up of submarine construction is substantially more difficult and protracted than for instance the same process in munitions manufacture.

Annex 5

Support of the German Land Offensive (see Directive 41) by Japanese Naval Operations in the Indian Ocean.

The following should be particularly noted in connection with the German summer offensive in the East:

In their endeavor to support Soviet Russia, Great Britain and the United States will make every effort during the coming weeks and months to increase shipment of equipment, materiel, and troops to Russia as much as possible. In particular the supplies reaching Russia on the Basra-Iran route will go to the Russian Caucasus and southern fronts. All British or American war materiel which reaches Russia by way of the Near East and the Caucasus is extremely disadvantageous to our land offensive. Every ton of supplies which the enemy manages to get through to the Near East means a continuous reinforcement of the enemy war potential, makes our own operations in the Caucasus more difficult, and strengthens the British position in the Near East and Egypt.

The German High Conmand is, therefore, intensely interested in having these British and American supply shipments in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea attacked and disrupted as soon and as effectively as possible. As matters stand, only the Japanese are in a position to do this.

Strong Japanese attacks on the enemy's supply lines in the Indian Ocean could have a decisive effect on our land offensives both in Africa and in Russia. Considering the long period of time necessary before such measures against shipping on the part of the Japanese can be started and can begin to be effective, we must use every means to persuade them to begin operations in the Indian Ocean at the earliest possible date.

In the current conferences with the Japanese Liaison Staff about the situation of naval warfare, the Seekriegsleitung has reminded Admiral Nomura constantly how necessary it is that the Japanese Navy operate soon and decisively in the northern part of the Indian Ocean. The Japanese indicated time and again in the conferences that Japan is willing to harass supply lines to India in her own interest, and that she also intends to operate in the western part of the Indian Ocean with several submarines and two auxiliary cruisers, possibly in May, but that Japan's decisions are greatly handicapped by uncertainty about German plans for future operations. Japan feels that strong attacks against the British supply lines to the Arabian Sea are justified only if Germany really has the intention of advancing against the British position in the Near East and the Middle East. The Japanese representatives speak of the necessity for an offensive by Germany and Italy against the Caucasus-Suez area simultaneous with Japanese operations in the western Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea.

It cannot be too strongly emphasized, however, that vigorous Japanese activity against the British supply routes to Iran and the Red Sea undertaken as soon as possible would be of immeasurable assistance to our offensive in southern Russia. The Japanese Navy will shift its activities to the western part of the Indian Ocean when it is aware of the great value this move would have for the German operations.

For this reason the Führer is urgently requested to have the OKW officially inform the Japanese High Command through the Japanese Liaison Staff that strong attacks by the Japanese Navy and Naval Air Force against British supply lines in the western part of the Indian Ocean would give decisive support to the German operations intended for early summer of this year.

Annex 6

Bases of the United States of America as of 15 March 1942.

A. 1-33 Bases within its own possessions:

1. Boston
2. Newport
3. New York
4. Washington
5. Norfolk
6. Charleston
7. Pensacola
8. New Orleans
9. Corpus Christi
10. Tampa
11. Key West
12. Guantanamo
13. Puerto Rico: San Juan, Culebra, Vieques
14. St. Thomas
15. Cocosolo
16. Balboa
17. San Diego
18. San Pedro
19. San Francisco
20. Puget Sound
21. Sitka
22. Juneau
23. Seward
24. Kodiak
25. Nome
26. Dutch Harbor
27. Kiska
28. Pearl Harbor
29. Midway
30. Johnston
31. Palmyra
32. Canton, Enderbury
33. Samoa: Pagopago, Rose Island.

B. 34-36 Bases which have been lost to date:

34. Wake
35. Guam
36. Cavite, Olangapo

C. 37-44 Bases leased from Great Britain:

37. Newfoundland
38. Bermuda
39. Mariguana
40. Portland Bay, Jamaica
41. Antigua
42. Santa Lucia
43. Trinidad
44. Georgetown

D. 45-60 Bases in the Western Hemisphere which belong to other nations but are being used by the United States:

45. Macapa
46. Para (Belem)
47. Sao Luiz
48. Fortaleza
49. Natal
50 Pernambuco
51. Quintero Bay
52. Chimbote
53. Gulf of Nicoya
54. Culebra Bay
55. Gulf of Fonseca
56. Livingston
57. Progreso
58. Vera Cruz
59. Acapulco
60. Magdalena Bay

E. 61-68 Bases taken over from other nations:

61. Northern Ireland
62. Iceland
63. Eastern coast of Greenland;
      exact location unknown
64. Julianehaab
65. Paramaribo
66. Aruba
67. Guayaquil
68. Galapagos

F. 69-79 Advanced supply bases:

69. Bathurst
70. Freetown
71. Monrovia
72. Cape Palmas
73. Takoradi
74. Lagos
75. Masawa (Assab, Asmara, Akaba)
76. Napier
77. Wellington
78. Auckland
79. Port Darwin

G. 80.84 Further connections:

80. Capetown
81. Durban
82. Basra
83. Calcutta
84. Chungking

Annex 7

The Fuel Oil Situation in the German and Italian Navies at the beginning of April 1942.

1. At the beginning of April the fuel oil (Heizöl) situation unexpectedly grew worse; the Rumanian commitment for April was reduced from 46,000 tons to 8,000 tong. According to the OKW, War Economy and Armaments Division, this unusual decrease is due to the fact that the Rumanian Minister of Economics, contrary to agreement, granted a subsequent increase in internal oil consumption for April.

2. On the basis of the original promise of the OKW, War Economy and Armaments Division, all the fuel oil from Rumania for April was offered to the Italian Navy, namely:

    total: 46,000 tons,
    6,000 tons,
    52,000 tons
    and in addition
    from reserves of the German Navy
This quantity had to be recognized as the very minimum to meet Italian requirements.

3. The quota for April for the German Navy on the basis of the original promise of the OKW was to have been 50,000 tons of fuel oil. Of this about 30,000 tons were allotted for coastal defense, convoy duty, and submarine training, and 20,000 tons were meant for the nucleus fleet. Even with this distribution, operations of heavy vessels, including cruisers, burning fuel oil, would no longer be possible, and destroyers and torpedo boats could operate only to a limited degree. The use of Panzerschiffe and PT boats is still unlimited, because they use Diesel oil (Treiböl).

4. According to the original allocations for the two navies, the oil supply available to the German Navy was 110,000 tons. Taking into consideration the widely scattered bases, this amount represents the absolute minimum requirement, which must be maintained if the German Navy is to remain capable of limited action in cases of emergency.

5. On the basis of the original commitments, the amount of fuel oil to be delivered to the Italian and German Navies in April totalled 97,000 tons. On account of the drastic reduction in shipments from Rumania, the OKW, War Economy and Armaments Division was forced to lower the allotments for both navies at the beginning of the month to 61,000 tons.

6. The recent greatly reduced fuel oil shipments for both navies made it necessary to redistribute the oil for April on a much smaller scale. In view of the great significance of the shipment of supplies to Africa and the importance of our own tasks, we had to allocate to the Italian Navy 30,000 tons, and to the German Navy 35,000 tons, totalling 65,000 tons. In spite of grave misgivings, we will have to cover the 4,000 tons above the total imports for April out of our fuel oil reserves, which will thereby be diminished to about 106,000 tons.

7. The consequence of the greatly reduced allotment to both navies is that both the German and the Italian Navies must completely abandon any operations whatsoever of heavy units using fuel oil. The present fuel oil allotments permit in the current month nothing but the coastal patrol and escort services, submarine training, and only two convoys to Africa, the latter with torpedo boats and destroyers. There are no restrictions for light vessels using Diesel oil or for operational submarines. Destroyers ready for action in the Arctic Ocean could in each separate case be granted permission for action, subject to recall, when there are unmistakable reports about the enemy.

In the event that enemy attacks make operation of German light and heavy forces necessary, instructions were given to fall back on the last reserves of fuel oil. It is impossible to repeat such emergency operations several times.

8. Through the unexpected development of the Rumanian oil economy, the fuel oil situation, contrary to advance calculations, has reached a state which is bound to have a disastrous effect on the further course of the war. Even if the monthly imports are sufficient, the slightest interruption in transportation will necessarily affect the effective functioning even of those German and Italian naval units which are indispensable for maintaining the coastal patrol and convoy services.

Annex 8

Note for the Commander in Chief, Navy

The Question of Naval Representation at the Führer's Headquarters.

The way in which Armed Forces leadership has developed makes a change in the method of liaison between the Navy and the OKW increasingly urgent. A continuation of the present conditions would certainly cause grave injury to the interests of the Navy and would be extremely detrimental to the whole war effort. The following facts illustrate the importance of this question:

1. Due to lack of recognition and understanding with regard to the Navy and due to obvious misinterpretation of actual occurrences, the consequences of the St. Nazaire incident have led the OKW to issue orders which ruthlessly by-pass the Seekriegsleitung and Naval Headquarters. In addition these orders show that in the case of the Navy, the High Command does not intend to limit itself to general instructions, but rather intends to give orders that go into the smallest tactical and technical details.

2. The Führer Directive No. 40 relating to jurisdiction over coastal areas was drawn up without any decisive naval participation, in spite of the fact that his directive touches on the basic principles of the Navy. It has given cause for grave concern in various respects.

3. The OKW has made most important decisions on over-all strategic and operational planning for the future conduct of the war without consulting the Navy. Frequently only the Chief of the General Staff, Army, and the Chief of the General Staff, Air, are present at the Führer conferences which deal with fundamental questions relating to the conduct of the war.

4. The consequences that can and must arise from having no one in the Führer Headquarters who can judge matters of naval warfare competently and independently are illustrated by the entirely unnecessary and harmful nervous tension and uncertainty, which was created at Führer Headquarters as the result of the reports from St. Nazaire on 28 March.

5. A change in organization, with the aim of naval representation in the OKW, seems to be necessary. It is contradictory to the demands of war strategy today that there is no high-ranking naval officer in the OKW or in the vicinity of the Führer; one who, as a responsible adviser to the Führer, occupies a leading position in the OKW, Operations Staff. While the Führer is intimately associated with the General Staffs of the Army and the Luftwaffe every day, making a continuous exchange of ideas possible, he has no adequate close contact with the problems of naval warfare.

A comparison with the other branches of the Wehrmacht shows that the Navy is much too inadequately represented at the Führer Headquarters as regards both rank and influence. The representation of the Luftwaffe in particular is excellently organized in the circle closest to the Führer, and they are consequently in a position to keep the Führer exceedingly well informed as to their own interests. The different branches of the Wehrmacht are represented as follows at the Führer's Headquarters:


    a. Permanent representatives:
      1. General Schmundt, Chief of the Army Adjutant General's Office.
      2. General Jodl.
      3. One General Staff officer.
      4. One aide.
    b. Occasional representatives:
      The Chief of the Army General Staff, who reports daily on the war situation to the Führer.
    a. Permanent representatives:
      1. General Bodenschatz, liaison officer plenipotentiary for the Reichsmarschall at the Führer Headquarters.
      2. Major Below, Luftwaffe Adjutant.
      3. Major Christian, on General Jodl's staff, confidential aide to the Chief of the General Staff.
    b. Occasional representatives:
      The Chief of the General Staff and/or the Chief of the Operations Division, present at the daily reports on the war situation.
    a. Permanent representative: Kapitän zur See Puttkamer, Naval Aide.

    b. Occasional representatives: None.

6. Even if the Seekriegsleitung cannot be in the direct vicinity of the Führer, like the General Staffs of the other branches of the Wehrmacht, then the permanent influence which is indispensable can he attained only by means of an experienced, authoritative naval personality in the confidence of the Chief of the Seekriegsleitung, who can keep the Führer and the OKW, Operations Staff, constantly informed on naval affairs. As far as we can see, it is only by detailing such a personality to the Führer Headquarters that we would have the possibility of changing the conditions which are going from bad to worse and of representing the requirements of naval warfare with the necessary emphasis.

In regard to the person to be sent, it seems suitable to delegate someone with the rank of a flag officer. He must be a man who can be depended upon to keep the Führer constantly informed about the fundamental problems of naval warfare as they appear to the Seekriegsleitung; he must likewise be able to interpret properly all operational and tactical questions of naval warfare; he must be able to prevail over the Führer and the generals in matters of naval interest. There is no doubt that it would be of the greatest advantage to the whole war effort if a capable admiral suited to this task were sent to the Führer Headquarters.


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