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Conference on 21 July 1940.

The Führer raised the following points:

What hopes can Britain have pertaining to the continuation of the war? She may be expecting the following:

    1. A change of policy in America. (America lost $10,000,000,000 in the World War, and got back only $1,400,000,000. She is hoping to become the dominant naval power in any case.)

    2. Russia's entry into the war, which would be unpleasant for Germany especially on account of the threat from the air.

Even though Moscow is unenthusiastic about Germany's great successes, she will nevertheless make no effort to enter into the war against Germany of her own accord. Naturally it is our duty to deliberate the American and Russian questions carefully. A speedy termination of the war is in the interest of the German people. There is, however, no urgent need for this, as the situation is far more favorable than it was in the World War. In 1918 the western front was enormously costly. This is not so in the present situation. An abundance of material is available. The fuel problem is the most pressing. This will not become critical as long as Rumania and Russia continue their supplies and the hydrogenation plants can be adequately protected against air attacks. Food supplies are assured for some time, especially if prisoners of war are used to a larger extent as farm hands.

In Britain they may have hopes that the fuel situation in Germany will develop unfavorably. It is necessary to clear up the question of whether a direct operation could bring Britain to her knees, and how long this would take. Also diplomatic steps must be taken in regard to Spain, Russia, and Japan. Such steps are difficult, though, as long as the world awaits a new miracle which has not yet occurred.

The invasion of Britain is an exceptionally daring undertaking, because even though the passage is short, it is not merely a question of crossing a river, but of crossing a sea which is controlled by the enemy. Forty divisions will be necessary. The most difficult task will be the continuous supply of materiel and foodstuffs. We cannot count on obtaining supplies of any kind in Britain.

Prerequisites are complete air supremacy, adequate artillery in the Straits of Dover, and protective mine fields. The time of year is very important, since in the second half of September the weather in the Channel and the North Sea is very bad, and the fogs set in around the middle of October. Since the cooperation of the Air Force is decisive, this must be given greatest consideration in fixing the date.

The following must be established:

    1. How long does the Navy require for its technical preparations?

    2. How soon can the guns be in place?

    3. To what extent can the Navy safeguard the crossing?

If it is not certain that preparations can be completed by the beginning of September, other plans must be considered.

signed: Raeder


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