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Report of the Commander in Chief, Navy, to the Führer on 22 April 1940 at 1500.

Present:

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

1. Submarine transports.

The following can transport aviation gasoline:

    U "101" 36 tons
    U "122" 90 tons
    U "A" . 170 tons
These boats will proceed in the next few days to Trondheim; they will bring 8.8 cm. anti-aircraft guns.

The Führer and the Chief of the OKW are of the opinion that this quantity of gasoline will suffice for the present; after that the transportation of mountain guns and ammunition is the most important factor.

2. On the morning of 22 April two steamers with one 15 cm. gun each arrived in Stavanger, escorted by PT boats; in about five days two additional ones will follow.

10.5 cm. field howitzers are to be brought to Trondheim with vessels of the defense group.

3. Transportation to Oslo has been requested up to now from the Navy for the following:

    Up to 24 April, daily 2,000 men.
    On 25 April, 1,000 men.
    From 26 April on, transport of supplies only.
In addition, according to the OKW transportation will have to be provided for the motorized rifle brigade from Denmark.

The Navy is at present fully occupied with these transports and has exhausted its resources. Fewer demands must be made on it for some time.

4. Transports for Trondheim. The BREMEN and the EUROPA cannot be used for transports to Trondheim in the present situation. They would have to be escorted by the whole fleet and by numerous escort forces which would have to be diverted from the Kattegat transports. Such operations would entail certain loss of the transports and of the whole fleet. As a result it would also become impossible to escort transports to Oslo. Sufficient escort forces would be lacking; British naval forces would probably penetrate into the Kattegat after our battleships have been eliminated. The operation cannot be carried out. The following would be possible: GNEISENAU and POTSDAM each could transport approximately 5,000 men with limited equipment to Stavanger escorted by naval forcers; four banana steamers (15 knots) might transport 350 men and equipment each. The large ships would have to be provided with bow protection gear.

The Führer decides that the POTSDAM and GNEISENAU are to be made ready. If possible they should proceed as far as Bergen.

5. Battleships will be ready with three destroyers on 23 April; the HIPPER not until 1 May because she has a hole of forty meters in the bow.

6. The danger of submarines in the Kattegat-Skagerrak is at present somewhat less, since the boats have to be relieved occasionally here too.

7. The attacks made with aerial mines off the Thames and in the Downs were successful in the last few nights (sinkings reported). A very urgent matter is the laying of mines in Scapa Flow, and if possible also in the Clyde.

The Führer states that the Commander in Chief, Air, does not consider the air units sufficiently experienced yet to lay mines in Scapa Flow.

The Commander in Chief, Navy, says that the 9th Air Division has already participated in mining the Thames, and they are therefore sufficiently experienced for Scapa Flow action. This request is urgent.

8. British, and possibly French, aerial mines must be expected in the future, as indicated by damage done to the ferry at Korsoer and to a vessel in the Elbe. At present the charges seem to be small since damage has been only slight.

9. The Commander in Chief, Navy, recommends that the request for use of Danish naval vessels by the German Kavy should not be made for a while, in order to spare the self-respect of the Danish Navy. The matter could be taken up later to see whether the Danes themselves wish to undertake certain police and escort services. The Führer agrees.

10. The Commander in Chief, Navy, recommends that Terboven cooperate with Quisling and that the areas in which there is no longer any fighting should be appeased. Quisling warns against the danger of causing a general national resistance by highhanded measures.

The Führer replies that Terboven has instructions to cooperate with Quisling. (See Annex 1.)

11. Report to the Führer regarding submarines. Magnetic firing has failed in northern waters as a result of the magnetic conditions prevailing there; it could be that countermeasures by British ships against the magnetic fuses have something to do with the failure. In addition torpedoes with percussion fuses often pass under the target, since untested torpedoes have had to be taken aboard because of prevailing ice conditions. This last difficulty has been overcome in the meantime, so that by the end of the week accurate torpedoes will be available. In view of the former shortcoming, the submarines which had been operating very intensively in the north, making attacks on the WARSPITE, cruisers, destroyers, and transport vessels, were withdrawn from north Norwegian coastal waters and sent to the west. The above mentioned abnormal magnetic conditions will wear off only after a long time (shaking of the boats by storm, demagnetization).

signed: Raeder


Annex 1

Berlin 22 April 1940

Supplement to the War Diary of the Commander in Chief, Navy.

Operation "Weserübung".

1. On 10 October 1939 for the first time the Commander in Chief, Navy, called the Führer's attention to the importance of Norway for naval and air warfare. The Führer stated that he would consider the matter.

On 12 December 1939 Quisling and Hagelin were received by the Führer. As a result, instructions were given to the OKW to make preparations. The Commander in Chief, Navy, had a survey made, which was completed in January. Following this survey, Captain Krancke worked in the OKW on operation "Weserübung".

Hagelin meanwhile maintained contact with the Chief of Staff of the Seekriegsleitung. His objects were to develop the Quisling Party so that it would become capable of action, and to inform the Naval High Command on political developments in Norway and on military matters. In general he urged speeding up the preparations, but he considered it necessary first to expand the Quisling organization. The support promised him in money and coal was very slow in coming, and he complained about this repeatedly. It was not until the end of March that Quisling considered the operation so urgent that expansion of his organization could not be awaited. The military advice given by Hagelin was forwarded to the OKW.

2. The attitude of the western powers at the end of the Finnish War made the operation urgent, but its commencement was delayed at first by ice conditions in the Baltic. As soon as these became more favorable the Commander in Chief, Navy, in a conference with the Führer, urged the selection of 7 April as X day, regardless of whether the weather were already suitable also for operation "Gelb". The Führer decided on 2 April, that 9 April should be X day.

3. On 4 April there was a conference in K. between Quisling and a General Staff Officer of the OKW. Hagelin, on behalf of Quisling, repeatedly urged that Quisling should be given an assault group in good time, with the aid of which he could at once seize power and install a new government with the consent of the King. This request unfortunately could not be met, since Quisling and Hagelin, according to orders, could not be informed of the imminence and the time of the operation.

4. On 8 April the British laid mines in Norwegian territorial waters. At the same time a stiffening in the Norwegian attitude had been noticed during the preceding days, indicating possible difficulties in the operation. For example, the coastal fortifications were alerted; troop movements took place, e.g., 250 Norwegian soldiers were stationed at the pilot station at Kopperwik; there was delay in providing pilots for the supply vessels, delaying their passage to the north.

An engagement took place between the German and British forces on 8 April. Actually, destroyer GLOWWORM ran into the HIPPER group and was destroyed; later at the time of landing an encounter took place between the German battleships and heavy British naval forces off the Lofoten Islands. As far as the Norwegians were concerned, the harbor defenses in the various ports to be occupied were on the alert, and losses on the German side resulted. In spite of this, the Navy was able to land in all the harbors chosen for this purpose. The views which the Commander in Chief, Navy, expressed to the Führer, and which he held to the very last, that it was wrong to leave destroyers behind in the northern ports as a support for the occupying forces on land, proved to be correct. When, on the first day, the destroyers in Narvik did not finish refueling, since the second tanker had not arrived in Narvik owing to delays caused by the Norwegians, their fate was sealed. They were cut off by superior forces and were obliged to fight these in the fjord. The absence of the coastal battery assumed to be at the entrance to Narvik rendered the situation particularly unfavorable.

5. The Navy fulfilled the tasks assigned by transporting the troops, and penetrating into the harbors in order to land the troops. The Commander in Chief, Navy, emphasized from the start that it would not be possible to break through to Narvik and Trondheim once more with naval forces for the purpose of supply, since the British would certainly be in control of the seas by that time. Consequently the Commander in Chief, Navy, has categorically refused further transport operations by the BREMEN and the EUROPA, etc., since this would mean the complete destruction of these ships as well as of the naval forces escorting them.

6. Seizure of the Norwegian Government, and political action in general failed completely. One factor which contributed to this was undoubtedly the delay in the arrival of air-borne troops owing to fog. However the main reason was the fact that the situation was handled extremely badly on the political side (Minister Braeuer). In such cases the main objective must be to arrest the government at all cost. If energetic steps had been taken it would have been quite possible to do this and also to bring pressure to bear on the King to form a new government. A minister (diplomat) who previously had very correct relations with the King and the Government is the most unsuitable person for such a task. Before the commencement of the operation I expressed my concern to the Chief of the OKW, and to General von Falkenhorst at not knowing how the political side was being handled. Both assured me that the matter was being dealt with by the Führer and that the services were not to be bothered with it. When I mentioned Quisling to General von Falkenhorst, I learned to my astonishment, that the latter considered the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Koht!) also a very sound man who could be used. After this statement I feared the worst regarding the settlement of political questions.

The situation developed accordingly: Quisling did not obtain the necessary support from General von Falkenhorst and from Minister Braeuer. The Norwegian Government escaped. The re-organization of the government in agreement with the King failed. Quisling was suspected of high treason. An "Administrative Committee", which, however, did not constitute a government, was the result. The Norwegian population was split into two camps. It remains to be seen whether the appointment of Terboven as Reich Commissioner and the recall of Minister Braeuer will bring any changes.

signed: Raeder



   


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