Minutes of the Conferences of the Commander in Chief, Navy, at Führer Headquarters Wolfsschanze from 31 October to 2 November 1944.
31 OCTOBER 1944.
1200. Kapitän zur See von Conrady, Naval Liaison Officer attached to the Army General Staff reports to the Commander in Chief, Navy, on the situation on the Eastern Front.
1500. Conference on the situation with the Führer and a very small group. Only the Commander in Chief, Navy, and the Admiral at Führer Headquarters [Vizeadmiral Voss], represent the Navy.
a. In connection with his report on laying aerial mines around the new anchorage of the TIRPITZ and the subsequent discussion on the outcome of operation "Nordlicht", the Commander in Chief, Navy, announces his intention of using the coastal batteries which become available in the polar region for the purpose of strengthening the defenses of the Lofoten Islands.
The Commander in Chief, Navy, is of the opinion that no large-scale landing attempts by the British are to be expected in northern Norway. Since Churchill and Stalin could reach no agreement concerning this region at the Moscow Conference, as is clearly revealed by Churchill's last speech, and since on the other hand Churchill will avoid everything which might cause friction between him and Stalin, we do not expect British action in northern Norway which would obviously be directed against Russia.
The Führer does not consider this sound reasoning, since relations between Churchill and Stalin are strained in any case, and since England can only prevent Russia's advance into Norway, e.g. in the region of Narvik, by occupying that territory herself. The Führer fears that the British might establish themselves in certain places in order to cut off our land and sea connections by penetrating inland. He makes special mention of the Island of Andoy northwest of Harstad which, on account of its level topography, permits the construction of airfields. He considers it necessary to give the island our special attention when we strengthen our defenses.
b. The Chief of the OKW, Operations Staff [Generaloberst Jodl], again suggests using submarines together with aircraft against against carriers appearing along the north coast of Norway. The Commander in Chief, Navy, declares that the use of submarines for this purpose is hopeless and should not be attempted. The Führer fully supports this view.
c. In his report on the war situation in the West, the Commander in Chief, Navy, again points out how important it is to hold Walcheren in order to block the enemy from the Scheldt River and thereby prevent him from utilizing the harbor of Antwerp. The Führer and the Chief of the OKW are in complete agreement with the Commander in Chief, Navy.
d. The Commander in Chief, Navy, discusses the question of exempting shipyard workers with the Chief of the OKW, both warship and merchant shipbuilders and repair men, from conscription in the Fifth Drive and all future conscription drives. The Commander in Chief, Navy, announces that the Führer had already given his consent on the basis of a memorandum from the Commander in Chief, Navy (Report No. 1/Skl Ib 32080/44 Gkdos). All that remains is to draft the final form. The Chief of the OKW assumes the task of giving the outline the form of a Führer Directive.
2000. The Chief of the OKW is the dinner guest of the Commander in Chief, Navy, in the "Haus der Marine". Fregattenkapitän Meyer, Major von Schimonsky, Major von John, and Lieutenant Bevermeier were also present.
1 NOVEMBER 1944.
1530. Conference on the situation with the Führer. The Commander in Chief, Navy, and the Admiral at Führer Headquarters, are the only ones present.
a. The Commander in Chief, Navy, reports that because of the threat of losing Walcheren, he had ordered an increase in small battle units [Kleinkampfverbände] in the Holland area, with special concentration in the Scheldt region. All available S-boats there will likewise be used.
b. Following the conference on the situation, the Commander in Chief, Navy, and the Chief of the OKW, submit to the Führer an outline of a directive for exempting shipyard workers from being drafted in the Fifth Drive and all future drives of a similar nature. The Führer gives his consent and signs the directive.
1730. There is a short discussion between the Commander in Chief, Navy, and Generaloberst Jodl, Chief of Staff of the OKW.
a. The Commander in Chief, Navy, rejects the proposal for supplying the fortifications in the West by submarines, because such a measure would be ineffective. Fortifications must in the future acquire their own additional provisions by means of sorties. He suggests simultaneous sorties from Lorient and St. Nazaire in order to occupy and to exploit the area in between. Especially important supplies could, however, in exceptional cases be brought by submarine.
b. The Commander in Chief, Navy, refers to the proposals of Konteradmiral Hüffmeier, Commander of Coastal Defenses, Channel Islands, who suggests prolonging the occupation of the Channel Islands until the end of 1945 by means of drastic confiscation and by severely reducing consumption. The recent assignment of Konteradmiral Hüffmeier to the additional position of Chief of Staff to the Commanding Officer of the Channel Islands is looked upon by the Commander in Chief, Navy, as a happy choice and the proper way to give this energetic personality a voice in the overall command of the Channel Islands.
2000. Reichsleiter Bormann is the dinner guest of the Commander in Chief, Navy, at the "Haus der Marine".
2 NOVEMBER 1944.
1130. The Commander in Chief, Navy, has a conversation with Minister Speer.
1530. There is a conference on the situation with the Führer. The Commander in Chief, Navy, and the Admiral at Führer Headquarters, are the sole participants.
1815. The Commander in Chief, Navy, has an interview with the Führer.
1930. SS-Gruppenführer Fegelein has an interview with the Commander in Chief, Navy, concerning questions of command.
countersigned: Kapitän zur See Pfeiffer
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