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Report of the Commander in Chief, Navy, to the Führer on 21 May 1940 at 1200.

Present:

    Chief of the OKW [Wilhelm Keitel]
    General Jodl
    Fregattenkapitän von Puttkamer

1. Report on the sea defense of Norway: The plan for coastal defenses is as follovs: First, a 15 cm. battery is to be installed at Trondheim, then batteries at Namsos, Mosjoen, and Mo, to hold off light enemy forces and landing operations; subsequently further batteries for the protection of coastal traffic. Trondheim is to be fitted out as the main base.

2. The Führer decides that the EMDEN is to return. The THEODOR RIEDEL is to return only if replaced by other vessels (torpedo boats).

3. Transport tasks:

    a. Transports to Norway are to be decreased to three convoys weekly, consisting of three steamers each, from Aalborg to Oslo. In addition there will be occasional fast transport by individual steamers.

    b. Merchant ships are returning from Bergen and Stavanger. Up until now twenty six steamers have returned through the North Sea without incident.

4. Transport Submarines: The Führer decides that when the Oslo-Trondheim railway has been re-established, at the beginning of June, transport by submarine is to cease; transport by submarines to Narvik must be provided on request, however.

5. Naval operations:

    a. Battleships. The SCHARNHORST, HIPPER, and three destroyers will be ready for further operations on about 27 May. The GNEISENAU will probably be ready for action about the beginning of June.

    Plan: The ships are to operate in the northern North Sea and the Arctic Ocean to relieve our land operations in northern Norway, and to defend the Skagerrak and southern Norway by threatening enemy communications between the British Isles and northern Norway. Operations from Trondheim will be conducted later.

    b. Both PT boat flotillas moved from Norway to the German Bight for operations in the Hoofden-Channel area.

    c. Submarine warfare:

      (1) Atlantic: So far two boats have departed. An additional six boats will be ready for operations by the end of May.

      (2) Hoofden: Four boats are operating there now, another three boats will be ready by the end of May to act as reliefs.

    d. Auxiliary cruisers:

      (1) Ship "16" [Atlantis] (commanded by Rogge) is scheduled for mining off Cape Agulhas and for warfare against merchant shipping in the Indian Ocean.

      (2) Ship "36" [Orion] (commanded by Weyher) has sunk one steamer in the North Atlantic. She is proceeding through the Pacific for mine-laying duties off Australia and warfare against merchant shipping in the Indian Ocean.

      (3) Ship "21" [Widder] (commanded by von Ruckteschell) is on her way to attack merchant ships in the North Atlantic.

      Is it permissible to bombard the French-occupied island of Aruba? The oil installations belong to Standard Oil, an American company. The Führer decides this should not be done for the time being.

    e. Mine warfare. Two mine fields were laid to extend the Westwall, and a third one will be laid. KÖLN, GRILLE, destroyers, and mine-laying trawlers participated in the operation. The Skagerrak barrage is to be reinforced against submarines.
6. Holland and Belgium:
    a. At first Den Helder is to be used as base of operations, later mainly the Scheldt.

    b. Coastal defense. The Commander in Chief, Navy, considers that only a few heavy and medium batteries are necessary, as we need not reckon with landing operations in view of our air superiority. The Führer agrees. He believes that the batteries will need protection against aerial bombs. This cannot be provided quickly.

7. The Commander in Chief, Navy, asks how long the Führer believes the war will last. Would we be justified in sending all training submarines out on operations now, in the hope that the war will be decided quickly, or would it be better to assume that the war will last some time, and therefore to organize a long-term program for submarine training and construction? The Führer decides on the second course, which is also recommended by the Commander in Chief, Navy. When the main operations in France are over, the Führer will concentrate on the submarine and Ju 88 production programs.

8. The political situation in Norway is discussed.

9. The Führer and the Commander in Chief, Navy discuss in private details concerning the invasion of England, which the Naval Staff has been working on since November.

signed: Raeder


   


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