German OKW Directive on Operation Sea Lion
F├ťHRER'S HEADQUARTERS, August 1, 1940
2nd Copy to Chief of Naval Staff.
OPERATION SEA LION.
The C. in C., Navy, having reported on July 31 that the necessary preparations for "sea lion" could not be completed before September 15, the F├╝hrer has ordered:
- Preparations for "Sea Lion" are to be continued and completed by the Army, Navy and Air Force by September 15.
- Eight or fourteen days after the launching of the air offensive agains Britain, scheduled to begin on approximately August 5, the F├╝hrer will decide whether the invasion will take place this year or not; his decision will depend largely on the outcome of the air offensive.
- Should the decision be taken not to attempt the operation in September, preparations are to be continued, but not to the extent of damaging our economy through the tying up of our inland shipping system.
- In spite of the Navy's warning that they can only guarantee the defence of a narrow strip of coast (as far west as Eastbourne), preparations are to be continued for the attack on a broad basis as originally planned.
- Remain in force, but their move to the proximity of the F├╝hrer's HQ will not take place until immediately prior to the commencement of the operation.
By Order of the F├╝hrer.
(Signed) Keitel. ww2dbase
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Winston Churchill, 1935