Minutes of Meeting Between Adolf Hitler and Erich Raeder
ww2dbaseAlso Present: Chief of staff, O.K.W.
Commander von Puttkamer.
Hitler told the Conference that he did not believe that an invasion of Britain would be necessary and that plans that had started back in 1939 should be put on hold. Admiral Raeder had made such plans back then, not so much because an invasion would be necessary but because he feared that Hitler would order plans at short notice.
However on July 2 1940 the F├╝hrer changed his mind and ordered his first directive on Operation Sealion. This created the very situation that Raeder wished to avoid. Although he mentioned no date Hitler made it clear that he expected things to progress quickly. This directive caused a number of inter service arguments. At the next meeting between Hitler and Raeder the admiral made it clear to Hitler that the Royal Navy's sea power was very strong. Hitler again surprised Raeder by sympathising with him saying that at the moment he was more concerned with Norway than Britain.
1. Hitler told Raeder that the Navy had now bases on the Atlantic coast and must be completely at the disposal for warfare against Britain. Raeder pointed out that the Navy could only man coastal defences and was not in a position to hold troops. The F├╝hrer replied that he was well aware of this, the Air Force would take over all air defence. He (Hitler) intended too use Madagascar for resettlement of Jews but he would consider exchanging the island for Portuguese Angola. Raeder called attention to the need to start vigorous air attacks of the British Navy as already action against German shipping from there had started.
2. Operation Icarus, the planned invasion and occupation of Iceland, was discussed. Raeder reported on plans made, the most suitable time and landing places but at the moment it would be impossible for the Navy to maintain continuous supplies. Even if the Air Force was to secure shipping lanes, a great amount of Naval power would be needed to guarantee safe passage for armaments, men and materials.
3. OKW reported that they had agreed on increasing the manufacture of more submarines but it would be now necessary to have a program to increase the materials and men to operate, they also confirmed that the supply problem as regards ammunition for the Navy, in particular for the Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, had been addressed and the supply authorised. ww2dbase
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Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939