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1 February 1940:
The Fuehrer requests that Major Kieritz be sent from here in good time with special mission.
Col. Schmundt and Capt. Deyhle are back from the West.
1. Morale and discipline-excellent
2. Tactical mobility is impossible because of the weather. One cannot withdraw more than 15 km. Army Group B, on the contrary, deems weather excellent to overcome floods.
3. In all divisions, formerly committed in the East, the automotive position is very bad. Up to 40% are missing-each of these 40 divisions should be provided with up to 100 vehicles.
1700 hours General Jeschonnek.
1. Attitude of parachute units. In front of the Hague, they have to be strong enough to break in even forcibly. The 7th division intends to drop units near the town.
2. Political mission contrasts to some extent with violent action against the Dutch air force.
3. Walcheren Ioland will have to be occupied as soon as possible.
4. Immediate use requires some arrangements.
To be eliminated:
Commitment of K against Eben Emael against bridge C
"Fieselor Stock" airplane in front of Army Group A.
The ground Forces already will take up position at dusk, if possible.
7th Fl. Division is to be in readiness, but will not take up position without further orders.
5. Question about general intentions? Time.
6. Is it not possible to tackle H alone; that would already be a tremendous improvement in conducting aerial warfare.
7. The Air Force wants permission to attack every kind of commercial shipping in the 30-mile zone as well as everything anywhere making use of arms: French vessels, cargo boats.
Fuehrer is furious about presentation by Ordnance Bureau which needed 8 days to demonstrate to him-not by actual constructing but only theoretically-that the czech 4.7-cm anti-tank gun is not usable with armored car 3.
Fuehrer decides as to Jeschonnek's questions of 1 February:
a. one has to employ in the Hague [d.H.] forces of such strength that they will be able to take over command there. In order to achieve that, a landing can be made in the center of the Hague.
Unlimited use of arms against airfields and antiaircraft guns is authorized.
Relative to an attack against all ships, found between the English East Coast and the English mine fields, as desired by air, the Foreign Office is still to be consulted and Admiral Schuster, Chief Air Force, 1700 hours, states in that matter that he does not want any exception.
Italian and Japanese ships to be considered, which were sailing to Newcastle, until a short time ago.
Important, that, though we signed an agreement about submarine warfare, we never signed one about manner of air warfare.
Reported to the Fuehrer on 3 February
The Spanish have supplied a German submarine and convoyed a merchant ship from Bilbao to Santander.
Opinions of the newspapers: Spain is not ungrateful. Photos of Church Services, does Fuehrer agree with them?
The Foreign Office wants that within the 30 mile zone the Air Force shall not attack-
a. Japanese and Italian ships.
b. Danish Maltesian cross ships.
c. All passenger boats which do not fire.
General Gerke: Railroads are unable to accomplish big tasks. No reaction to our transports. It seems possible that he got news about the reliefs. Opportune to keep movement going. Proposal to prepare again an A-movement to deceive the enemy. Empty rolling stock for 6 divisions available, organization transports are rolling. Will head of transportation service be able to release state of readiness, so that he can gather empty rolling stock during 4 days.
To consult Fuehrer. The chief of Transportation Corps West requires one week's time (225 trains). 70 trains are at the disposal of the armies.
315 trains are needed for second echelon. An order will be issued on this matter on D-day.
Afterwards remain 3rd, 4th, and 5th echelon.
Total 660 trains, including 80 for tanks and 70 for armies (among them 10,000 army cars).
Altogether 60 fewer trains ready than before.
Air raid protection.
Ammunition train has no special protection. If machine gun car is added, the enemy flier will be aware of the fact, that this is an important train. The wave before the trains should attack the enemy plane with best results. Ammunition trains often remain for weeks, personnel for its protection become demoralized.
Ammunition trains, regulating stations and storage areas to be spread out and protected. Assembly stations are enlarged to assembly areas.
Maintenance units are kept in readiness in the most endangered areas between the Rhine and the line Kassel-Hanover.
Ruhr area has 15 different ways to give way.
Rumania wants to get supply of rail track material (from Poland.)
1340 locomotives and 40000 cars will be manufactured by the end of 1940 or maybe beginning of 1941. Stock 23000 locomotives, 8000 of which are heavy freight train locomotives for Armed Forces transports. This will only replace the loss.
Will the Court-Martial be re-activated?
Bodenschatz: Army Group C should not get out of hand [Keinen zauber machen] on minus-1 day.
Fuehrer gives his agreement that 225 trains in position of readiness may be used for other purposes by the chief of transportation corps until 12 February.
Proposal to the Fuehrer about continuation of aerial warfare within the 30 mile zone. Fuehrer agrees with proposal and talks with the Minister for Foreign Affairs in the afternoon.
Special staff "Weser Exercise" meets and is welcomed by Chief of Armed Forces High Command, gets instructions.
Representative of Air Force is still missing.
Consumption of gasoline is not reduced. Stocks further diminished by 30000 tons.
Deception even of Armed Forces High Command.
Office Reinicke and Thomas, that is to say Chief of Armed Force High Command,
W Pr that is to say Chief of Armed Forces Operational Office.
Fuehrer leaves in the evening.
15:30 hours conference with General Jeschonnek, Col. v. Waldau and Col. Warlimont.
Air Force submits following questions:
Does X time remain unchanged? Yes. Deceptive action intolerable for Army Group C on A-1 day. Navy is not interested in Walcheren. does not see any danger from the English side. New idea: carry out actions H and Weser Exercise only and guarantee Belgium's neutrality for the duration of the war.
Discussed once more affair Risberg with Chief of Armed Forces High Command.
Chief of Transportation Corps reports: Reich Railroads now admit that they cannot handle any additional burden at this moment. They are not ready for war. Although they hardly got any military requests, they cannot supply the domestic economy right now.
It is only a question of engines, now, there are enough cars available everywhere.
Transportation: 80% railroad.
18% water transport.
2% road transport.
Transportation by water has to be brought to double of current capacity.
Radio receivers can be transformed into transmitters without particular difficulties.
Paris probably only by Gen. F....[Fermont?], rue de Louvre.
Chief of Armed Forces High Command received by Field Marshal Goering at 10 o'clock. Newspaper correspondents from the Protectorate may be sent to the West Wall (Fuehrer gave permission on 10 February).
The difficult situation in Transportation is presented by me in written form to the Chief of the Armed Forces High Command.
13:00 hours: Conference of Fuehrer with General Halder. Before that, inspection of 4.7 tank destroyer on tank I, chassis satisfying [befriedigt].
Field Marshal has explained, that he is able to start at night anyhow. Flying into the area of . . . from the sea.
During the World War, we have dropped 28,000 tons. Thus, the Air Forces does not want to anticipate, but prefers start at night. Planes shall not fly over Luettich and Eben Emael in order to avoid any alarm there.
113,000 trucks driving in the W
45,000 of them are suited for Armed Forces.
We are able to produce 4000 trucks.
Fuehrer states, all the iron has been taken away from Todt, even that put aside by him (he wanted to build 3000 additional ones).
For the first time, the problems of transportation, motor vehicles and gasoline have been reported to the Fuehrer more impressively.
Fuehrer agrees that the 225 trains for the first wave of Army High Command reserves may still be used further on by the Chief of the Transportation Corps.
First report from France about our troop movements and reinforcements in the west, which were terminated on 1 February already.
Fuehrer has a cold. No report.
The Army requested survey about the strength of the armies and reserves, divided into batteries, battalions and tanks [Btn. Btlen u. Kampfwagen], induces the Fuehrer again to open the question of the center of gravity.
He says: Most of the armed tanks [Geschuetzkampfwagen] have been directed to areas of secondary importance. Armored Divisions at 4th Army can do little in barricaded and fortified area.
They will be stopped at the latest on the Maas river and must be withdrawn. The 16th or 12th Army will then miss them. One should lead them together in direction of Sedan. The enemy does not expect our main assault there. The documents of fliers, who landed, have convinced them [the enemy] still further in their opinion that our intention is only to take possession of the Dutch and Belgian channel coast.
A great number of tanks with 8th Tank Division does not seem necessary, a mechanized division in 3 or 4 parts with tanks assigned, should suffice. (It may be that this is a wish of the SSV division.)
I hand over to the Fuehrer a summarized report, from which the great possibility for formation of a center of gravity south of the line Luettich-Namur becomes obvious (at least 5 times the strength of the forces committed north of that line). I bring to his attention that the thrust against Sedan is a tactical secret path, where one can be surprised by the God of War. If the French attack from the south flank, we must veer to the south.
Fuehrer still thinks it possible, that the enemy will not engage the battle at all. Anyhow he will do it automatically. After half a day the news from Holland and Belgium may be so threatening already that he will decide to stand still.
I don't believe it.
At 17:30 hours Col. v. Greifenberg and Lt. Col. Heusniger are summoned to discuss these questions.
The Fuehrer disapproves of the wearing of regular army uniforms by persons who are not members of the army or the Fuehrer's headquarters.
Recommends taking care of motor vehicles and fuel. Higher speeds result in doubled tire consumption.
Chief of Armed Forces High Command has a cold and will remain at home in the afternoon.
Have learned from Admiral Canaris that the echelon Reivel is to be put to use against the Caucasus with bulk from Bulgaria. The Air Force must explain with whom this false idea originated.
Inquiries made to the Chief of the Operational Division: whether there is a sufficient quantity of cloth for flags on hand? Change of position of the Army High Commands
Proper designation of own troops:
(a) Front line: white.
(b) In line of company CPs: swastika flag.
(c) Rear echelons: yellow rectangle.
Communicated Fuehrer's ideas to Col. Warlimont, von Greifenberg and to Lt. Col. Heusniger, at 17:30 hours. Instructions requested how we should proceed in future.
Ziegenberg plant cannot be completed before June due to technical difficulties. Emergency installation can be made ready for operation by the middle of March, but in that case the Air Force must be in Nauheim or on the train.
Colonel Schmundt must make a report on the distribution of personnel to WNV.
Copper advance from Wifo stocks now to WNV, later back to Wifo.
Political action against the increase in frontier road-blocks [?] in Luxemburg.
Dr. Dorpmueller telegraphed to the chief of the Transportation Corps: The condition of the Reich Railroads requires that all nonessential transportation of the Armed Forces be postponed until warmer weather sets in.
The Fuehrer approves my article on the Finnish-Russian conflict. Is to be published in the Voelkischer-Beobachter. Backlog congestion of railroads increased by 200 trains.
Certainty that nothing will happen to W.
Instructions to the 18th Army.
Corps on left flank of 16th and not 6th Army.
Landing at the Hague.....
Capture Fort Hendrik.
10 divisions of the 8th wave [must receive 3 batteries].
No off-standard types of vehicles must be permitted to be used at the front, as long as standard army models are still being used in industry.
To the Chief of the Luftwaffe [taken care of].
Air raid protection......
Speakers for troops, danger if commanders order the speeches themselves.
Chief of the Armed Forces High Command.
WNV training of 300 to 400 men
land postal clerks at Verst. [?] Not yet
from the Chief of the Air Force at present
6 new German consuls appointed in Scandinavia.
C. has given orders for large-scale preparations for offensive.
Fortress [Fest] drill of "Grafemvoeln".
Special security by counterintelligence coordination of press.
Brief reports in the provincial newspapers for enemy intelligence service. Request authorization to land at Myden with a load of machines. Alternative preparations at C. should work in the same direction. Pr. Battleship "Repulse" in dock. Complete flop of this news report. Altmark in Bergen, British submarines expected. Burgedeyk submarine 48 Schulz unsuccessful [?] submarines.
Chief of Armed Forces High Command.
Press Conference at Foreign Office.
Chief of the Navy High Command wishes to talk the Halifax problem over once more and then speak to the Fuehrer. Now applications of mines only. Chief of Navy, High Command will take this matter up again with the Fuehrer. L. ask what with report of General Staff Officers.
Incident with tankship "Altmark", 6 dead, 4 seriously injured. 1700 hours: Newly promoted Commanding Generals and General Rommel at Fuehrer's table for dinner. (Geyr, Manstein, Schmidt, Reinhardt, Glumne). Complaints that guns in armored cars IV only have not to 2000 m. After dinner Manstein reports his ideas about the operations of Army Group A. He says, the decisive blow will not fall west of the Maas, but it must be overcome between Sedan-Charleville. If the enemy crosses the river, we are able to beat him and cross the River Maas together with him. In the south therefore, we must have strong armor or none at all. What is in the rear cannot reach the battlefield in time.
On the basis of my discussion with Greifenberg on 13 February Chief of the Armed Forces High Command and General Halder reported to the Fuehrer the following intention:
1. To shift the demarcation line between Army Group A and B in line Luettich-Namur.
2. To employ stronger armored forces in front of the 12th and 16th army, weakening by the measure Army Group B (1st and 5th armored) and ground forces reserved (9th armored division)
3. Intention to go to the front any way with a very small staff one night preceding A Day.
Fuehrer approves all three suggestions but insists that in distributing the heavy tanks III, III t and IV due consideration should be given to the tasks to be expected. That is to say not such a large number of heavy tanks as it is the case now with the 8th Armored and 6th Armored Division.
Fuehrer displeased with behavior of Graf Spee crew on the Altmark. No resistance, no British losses.
Fuehrer presses energetically, preparations for the Weser Exercise Equip steamships. Put units in readiness. Will talk to staff.
In order to speed up preparations I advise to appoint one of newly promoted commanding generals with his staff as leader.
Chief of Army reports about problems of organization.
Discussion and consideration how case "Weser Exercise" is to be carried through. Equipment is to be taken on board ships ahead of the troops. Designation of units depends on equipment on hand.
1500 hours discussion concerning that matter through Chief of Armed Forces High Command with General Fromm. Intention, to take two divisions with technical equipment as second wave.
Fuehrer talks to General von Falkenhorst and charges him with preparation of the Weser Exercise. Falkenhorst accepts gladly. Instructions to each of the 3 branches of the armed forces.
Proposal from Fromm to use only units with German material.
Therefore 7th Fl. Div., 22nd Division, one regiment of the 1st mountain division, Two divisions of the 7th wave, motorized brigade, (rifle brigade. 11 with armored car 1).
Fuehrer wishes that western connections of the "Spicherer Hoehen" be advanced and fortified with pillboxes.
Colonel v. Greifenberg transmits.
Fuehrer expresses his intention to go to Munich for Sunday.
At the beginning of operations he does not want to go to Ziegenberg but to the Eagle's Nest [felsen].
Colonel Juppe ordered:
a. to have a drawing made of the chain of command.
b. to consider, in what way the communications can be technically improved at the Eagle's Nest and vicinity.
Commander Junge informed about proposed points in his report by the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. Important 3 points:
a. Submarines into the Mediterranean.
b. Esthonian submarines.
c. Discordance Navy-Airforce about the moment for the beginning of mine laying. Air force beginning 1 May with 3000, Navy with Heinckel 115 now, already 1845 hours Chief of the Armed Forces High Command informed.
Noon. Todt reports to the Fuehrer concerning extension of railroad gauges [?] [Schienenhoehen]. Fuehrer approves that extension will be built according to schedule.
Navy High Command reports that during last night 2 destroyers were sunk by our own planes [Leberecht Maas and...]. Navy High Command stresses that this is the consequence of uncoordinated conduct of sea warfare, regardless whether it is conducted under, on or above the sea. One takes pains not to get excited; what would happen if there should be heavy losses. Fuehrer is furious. He is right. He says: "I would not say anything if the whole Navy were sunk in battle with the enemy, but it is inexcusable if that happens on account of lack of coordination."
Gasoline reserve for motor vehicles.
Clear up, whether Navy is authorized to start already now with mine laying. Who will ask Duce, whether our own submarines have to enter the Mediterranean?
Engel informs about inquiry results Todt and Schmundt. The latter calls long distance from Munich. Fuehrer has ordered completion of Eagle's Nest for Armed Forces Operational Staff and Air Force. [Zug] (air group [?]) Heinrich will have to stay east of the Rhine.
Army High Command as strongly as possible in forests. Officer from the General Staff and an officer from Intelligence Service are to go to Eagle's Nest 26 February. There to reconnoiter together with Todt.
1430 hours. Orally transmitted to Chief of Operational Department and to Lieutenant Colonel Heusinger the matter. Chief of the High Command is informed. Staff Falkenhorst arrives in Berlin and starts to function XXIst Corps.
Disturbing reports from Turkey. Communication apparently cut off.
Chief of Armed Forces High Command inform General Halder about Fuehrer's intention to have an Operational Staff of the Army High Command near the Eagle's Nest also.
Fuehrer raises the question, whether it is better to undertake the Weser Exercise before or after case "Yellow".
Chief of the Air Force charged with examining this problem. Fuehrer decides that Navy will have to wait with starting of mine laying by means of planes, until situation will permit large-scale employment of air force. [transmitted to Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force].
Talked with Chief of Air Force and Chief of Staff about work on and about housing of Air Force near Eagle's Nest at the beginning. Air Force to Rodert or Muenstereifel or train nearby.
60 Tons of leaflets shall be dropped down in the near future. Fuehrer approves the schedule but will not issue proclamation to Armed Forces from here on A Day.
I make the following proposition to the Chief of the Armed Forces High Command and after that to Fuehrer: Case "Yellow" and Weser Exercise have to be prepared in such a manner that they will become quite independent from another regarding time and strength. Fuehrer completely agrees with that proposition if there is any possibility for it.
1500 hours, staff Falkenhorst reports about preparations made so far. In this connection I explain to him the new basis of preparations.
Proposition for employment of forces
N 4 airborne companies
2 Mountain divisions
D 1 corps headquarters
22 infantry divisions less
2 division, 7th wave
1 div. 3rd wave
regional defense unit.
It has yet to be decided, whether reinforcement 11th rifle brigade is to be directed first to group D and then to group N or to group N immediately.
Proposition as regards combat planes too high.
1500 hours, Report of staff Falkenhorst with Kranke, Buschenhagen, Dnaus very satisfactory to Fuehrer. He approves the suggestions.
Fuehrer wishes also to have a strong group at Copenhagen and detailed elaboration in which way the individual coastal batteries are to be overpowered. Commander-in-Chief of Air Forces is instructed to make out immediately the order for Army, Navy, and Air Force, and Chief "WZ" order concerning increasing of the staff.
According to my proposal outfit transport ships immediately and with them bring horses over here from East Prussia.
1300 hours; Order to Juppe to speed up construction of Eagle's Nest, 11 March according to interim solution (operational staff of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces in hunting lodge and at the same time permanent solution. (Army High Command with operational department and parts of O.A.IV.)
The same evening order concerning personal requirements of the staff and requisition to the branches of the Armed forces.
Fury at Army High Command because transfers. Consultation with Chief of Armed Forces High Command. After my discussion with Jeschonnek scaling-down of requisitions.
Agreement with Army. Field Marshal rages and gets unfriendly towards Chief of Armed Forces High Command, goes to see Fuehrer at 1300 hours. During the afternoon new requisitions are put forward which are somewhat reduced after consulting with Army and Air Force.
1100 hours: Assistant Secretary of State Welles with the Fuehrer. The appointment of a new Minister for Ordnance is to be expected because Fuehrer is dissatisfied with production of equipment and munition.
Letter from the Chief of the Armed Forces High Command to the Field Marshal.
Fuehrer expresses his opinion about the necessity of prompt and strong action in Norway very sharply. No delay by branches of Armed Forces. Rapid acceleration is necessary.
Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force is against any proposition to subordinate Air Force units to XXI Corps.
Fuehrer decides to undertake Weser Exercise before case "Yellow", with several days interval.
Discussion with General Jeschonnek. All units of the Air Force are subordinated to X Fl. K. This receives its order through High Command of the Air Forces, upon demand of the Staff of XXIst Corps.
Fuehrer orders that the Air Force shall provide the anti-aircraft battalion for the Weser exercise South.
3rd mountain division to be in Berlin already on March 6th.
1000 hours: Chief of the Air Force is informed.
1300 hours: Chief WNV is charged with securing communications from Falkenhorst to us. The former has to go to Luebeck to the X Fl. K.
1500 hours: Chief WNV is instructed to set up * * * platoon company only after X-day. After that time, use expedients and send some men with the tactical troops.
1700 hours: General Bodenschatz complains about exclusion of the Field Marshal from Weser exercise. He said that 110 officers of the Air Force had been consulted in advance. Such subordination is intolerable.
Mad at General K
I certify this error.
Chief of the Armed Forces High Command is informed that General Rundstedt is supposed to feel sick. Intend to talk about it with Commander-in-Chief of the Army. If it is true, v.R. would have to be replaced by List in good time.
Himmler or Canaris are to provide personnel who are familiar with the Hague. These to Wenninger and are grabbed there by Kiertz.
a. faked ones,
b. proclamations that everything is going well.
Student wants separate proclamations for Holland.
5 March: 1500 hours:
Big conference with the 3 Supreme Commanders about Weser exercise. Field Marshal vents his spleen, because he was not consulted beforehand. He dominates the discussion and tries to prove that all previous preparations are good for nothing.
a. Stronger forces to Narvik,
b. Navy shall leave warships in the ports (Hipper or Luetzow in Trondheim),
c. Christian and may be excluded, for the beginning
d. 6 divisions should be calculated for Norway.
e. To get a foothold immediately in Copenhagen, too.
After this, the following make a report: General von Kesselring, Student, Sp Richthofen, Captain Koch, 1st lieutenant Witzig about the case "Festung" [fortress] and actions by glider-borne troops against the bridges of Vroenhofen and Veldvezelt, furthermore against Fort Eben-Emael. Accusations are made that Army Group B is supposed to have said that it would take 3-4 days until forces of the army could attack the fort.
Falkenhorst with Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force. The preparations have now materialized. The Fuehrer signs a directive containing all changes subsequent to the conference of March 5th. Nothing is to be changed any more now.
Fuehrer wishes to have issued special orders for the Weser exercise in another form. They are to be divided into military orders which have to be made known to the tactical troops and into general instructions concerning actions of the Plenipotentiary of the Reich.
Fuehrer is outraged about report of the Field Marshal that the Army does not care for occupation of the area in front of the left wing of the Army led by Busch by airborne troops dropped from "Stork" planes, because divisions can get there only after several days. I object that it will naturally be better to employ these troops there, where armored divisions will arrive faster.
Fuehrer is outraged when he learns that Prince Oskar is commanding officer of a regiment. Schmidt was just about to suggest that he should be given command of a division, but he managed not to mention it.
Buschenhagen reports to me about the preparations for W and submits the schedule.
Fuehrer does not appear at table.
In the evening of March 8th, I again bring seriousness of the gasoline situation to the attention of the Chief of the Armed Forces High Command. Nothing efficacious has been done to improve the situation. Industry regularly uses up 80,000 tons a month.
There is pressing need for the appointment of a Deputy-General for Fuel Economy (General von Schell).
Fuehrer makes his wonderful speech in the arsenal on the occasion of Memorial day.
The news about the Finnish-Russian negotiations are very favorable, from a political point of view.
The French press rages about it because they consider it necessary to cut Germany off from the Swedish ore. In a military way, the situation is disturbing for us, because, if peace should be concluded soon, the motivation for the prepared action of the group Falkenhorst will be difficult.
Fuehrer has objections against the iron cross in gold (color effect black-gold), as it means abandoning tradition. Rather create a new decoration.
On the other hand, he agrees with the Oak-Leaves for the Knight's Cross. The Chief of the Armed Forces High Command presents a list of the tanks at hand in the armed forces.
Fuehrer wants a basic ruling that only such people should be appointed in the Armed Forces and in Civil Service who have no relatives abroad. The danger is too great that they will get into conflict with their own conscience. The schedule (for the Weser exercises) is presented to the Fuehrer. Also the special orders which the Fuehrer takes along.
Fuehrer is very much satisfied with Ribbentrop's conference in Rome. Duce remains steadfast, wants to talk with Fuehrer personally next week on the Brenner. Conclusion of peace between Finland and Russia deprives England, but us, too, of any political basis to occupy Norway.
The preparations are ready to the extent that March 20th could be W-day. However, unfavorable ice conditions compel postponement by 1-2 days.
Fuehrer does not yet give order for "W". He is still looking for some justification.
English keep vigil in the North-Sea with 15-16 submarines; the reason is doubtful, either to prevent a German action. Fuehrer has not yet decided, how to justify the Weser exercise. Wrong news report in the American newspapers.
Commander-in-Chief of the Navy is in doubt, whether it is still important to play at preventive war [?] in Norway. The question is, if it wouldn't be better to carry out case "Yellow" before the Weser exercise.
The danger in that case is that the English will immediately get a foothold in Narvik, because we would have started with neutrality violation.
At noon, Colin Rosz visits the Fuehrer. Interesting explanations about Japan-China and Russia.
Fuehrer wants the following material for the conference with the Duce on March 18th:
1. Large-scale map of the distribution of our own forces (207 divisions).
2. Maps about the distribution of enemy and neutral forces. France, England, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, NOrway, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary.
3. Terminal map of the Finnish-Russian conflict.
4. Strength of our own Air Force.
1330 hours: Lunch with Army Group A and with Chief of the General Staff.
1500 hours: Reports of Army Group Commander and Army Commanders, including Group Kleist; very satisfactory.
Worries that the English will proceed against Norway, as overhead radio messages indicate. As the English have retired 7 submarines, such an action does not seem probable any longer.
Army Group B reports about its evaluation of the situation and its intentions.
Detailed preparations are done very well. Displeasure about disconnection of the 4th army. Mutual assistance is eliminated.
Lack of reinforcements, if the 6th army should be successful, after all. 6th army shifts its center of gravity to 4th Corps, and also draws 3 armored divisions of the 2nd echelon there. 10th and 9th Corps have no anti-aircraft protection.
Jeschonnek transmits that Army Bush needs another 25 "stork" planes.
Fuehrer leaves at noon for conference with Duce on the Brenner.
News of the successful raid of the Air Force against Scapa Flow. Fuehrer is in high spirits.
Nothing important. Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force (Chief L) is informed about the report of the commanders in the West.
Fuehrer returns from the conference with the Duce beaming with joy and very much satisfied. Complete harmony, Duce is resolute; but he cannot fight a long war. Duce is highly impressed and agrees with the opinion of the Fuehrer's that the decision against France is being made. Whatever happens at the periphery in the meantime is unimportant. At the end, Duce told Ciano: "My decision is made. Did you hear, Fuehrer?" Balkan should and must remain quiet. Complete understanding for Fuehrer's cooperation with Stalin.
Fuehrer deeply moved by enthusiasm of the Tyrolians England song ["We will sail against England ..."-translator's note].
Chief of Armed Forces High Command very much depressed because of Todt's appointment. I try to persuade him not to insist on the "agreement". It is much better, to separate the tasks clearly. The quests of the Armed Forces are laid down by the Fuehrer and transmitted to Dr. Todt by the Armed Forces High Command. Dr. Todt has full powers to fulfill these requests.
During the night, the English attack Sylt and Hoermann [?] No success.
At noon, the Fuehrer signs an order which appoints Todt as Minister for Ordnance.
Wedel is instructed by the Chief of the Armed Forces High Command to celebrate the 40th anniversary of service by the Commander-in-Chief of the Army in a modest way only. The achievements of individual personalities can be appreciated only during or after the war.
In the evening, annihilating blow against an English convoy; 42000 tons of big boats (10-12000 tons) have been sunk.
Objections of Group 21 [Grp. XXI] about the long interval between taking up readiness positions at 05,30 hours and finishing of the diplomatic action. Fuehrer rejects any earlier negotiations, because otherwise calls for help will be offered, it has to be broken ruthlessly. The political plenipotentiaries will have to strongly emphasize the military measures taken, and will even have to exaggerate them.
Reported to Fuehrer, how we want to proceed at the proposed discussions with the Italian General Staff. First, inquiry by attache in Rome, how they believe they can take some burden off us. Only then to proceed to possibility of an operation across the Upper Rhine. Discussion with General Staff only once our cards are on the table.
American newspaper correspondents inspect the small damage on Sylt.
Fuehrer at Obersalzberg.
No special events.
The English start to molest our merchantmen in the Danish and Norwegian territorial waters, or even fire at them.
The Fuehrer is back.
Discussion about deadlines for operations.
Fuehrer sticks to it: first Weser exercise, dark nights necessary for it. Thus about 4-5 days later. Commander-in-Chief of the Navy reports, urges to start laying mines with planes, as 1270 mines will already be at hand by end of April. Fuehrer wants to think it over some more.
Our own submarine stranded near Lindesnaes, one submarine and boat 37 come to help. Are to ask for permission to stay in Norwegian waters, if necessary, 2300 PM. Discussion of the Fuehrer with Commander-in-Chief of the Army and of Army Group C. First and Seventh army.
Fuehrer explains his intentions with the Italians about to strike. Operational aim plateau Langres.
Deceptive actions of First Army in case "Yellow" agreed to. Attacks proposed in case of 95th, 93rd, 75th, 268th, 215th, and 246th divisions. These have favorable effects, but deceptive measures of the 7th army will not take place, because of the preparation of case Brown (Ital.)
Duce attaches importance to General Staff talks, Graziani intends to send General Roatta to B. in April. The Norwegians are interning U 21 seemingly because of awkward statements by the commander, who did not claim engine trouble but mistaken navigation. But it may also be a mistake made in translation. Individual naval officers seem to be lukewarm concerning the Weser exercise and need stimulus. The three chiefs von Falkenhorst are also pondering matters, which are none of their business. Kranke sees more disadvantages than advantages.
In the evening, the Fuehrer steps into the map room and explains sharply that he will not be content with the Navy again quitting the Norwegian ports right away. Narvik, Trondheim, and Oslo will have to remain occupied by naval forces. Bad impression on ground forces.
Talk with Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, 1200 hours. Wants decision about commitment of air mines.
Fuehrer talks to him alone about retaining of ships. Admiral of the Fleet [Grossadmiral] rejects Narvik, but wants to examine, if Trondheim cannot be set up as a base immediately.
Commander-in-Chief of the Navy draws attention to the fact that they want fuel from him, because the army will run out of it by the end of May. This is the consequence of the wrong arrangements with Shell and not to buy in Mexico, like the Navy did it.
3 PM: Commander-in-Chief of the Force with the Fuehrer.
U-21 not set free yet by the Norwegians. Negotiations under way.
Fuehrer thinks about activation of another 10-12 new divisions. Where are the mortars committed?
L II ordered to present an outline of personnel and materiel, from which it could be determined, if and when new activations are possible.
Nothing of importance.
German fighters shoot 7 enemy fighters down. 1300 hours: Falkenhorst again gives general report about Weser exercise. 1300 hours: Breakfast, then discussion with all commanding officers primarily concerned.
Fuehrer has a very good impression about thoroughness of preparations.
1530 hours: Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, and General von Falkenhorst with the Fuehrer. All confirm end of the preparations. Fuehrer orders carrying out of the Weser exercise for April 9th.
Protests of the commanding officer of the Air Force that some warships leave ports again right away. Fuehrer, too, disapproves of that, but does not want to intervene too much in an exclusive concern of naval warfare.
Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force agrees to plan to start aerial torpedo war [LM-Krieg] now.
Fuehrer wants that Luetzow shall be used for the transport of troops to Trondheim, in spite of tasks later on.
Find out, if it is not possible to land debarkation troops by fishing boat, in order to capture the bridge strong point of Vordingborg.
Movements of the first 3 ships of the leading echelon [Ausfuhrstaffel] started at 0200 hours. Lt. Commdr. Junge reports at 1600 hours that the 3 ships have instructions how to act against Norwegians. I immediately instruct Councillor of Legation Hewel in order to inform the Foreign Minister what the situation is, in case one of the ships of the leading echelon should be examined by Norwegians. The Chief of the Armed Forces High Command also informs the Fuehrer at 1815 hours about it.
1830 hours Reich Foreign Minister informed by Fuehrer. Chief of Armed Forces High Command asked to join discussion.
Slight alarm, as some news from Norway indicates increased preparedness. Sweden has asked what preparations for troops shipments in Stettin are supposed to mean (boats under Reich Naval Ensign) [Reichsdienstflagge].
Fuehrer drafts the proclamations. Piepenbrock, Chief of Counter-Intelligence service 1, returns with good results of the talk with Quisling from Copenhagen.
News that 2 armored coastal vessels [Kuestenpanzer] are in Narvik and that 2 submarines are expected.
Weser exercise runs according to plan. Some alarm report from the source of a Belgian agent [V-Mann] appear unworthy of belief. The Chief of the Armed Forces High Command instructs General von Rintelen at 1930 hours.
Weser exercise runs according to plan. The high-pressure weather area over the Northern North-Sea, which was predicted yesterday, is not taking place and that favors the action of the navy. Fuehrer puts great emphasis on the fact that the families of all deserters will be checked carefully. Navy records long English radio message, but is unable to decipher it.
1500 hours: General Gerke reports that his movements according to plan.
1600 hours: Talks in room of the Chief of the section for Foreign Countries in presence of Chief L and Military Attache in Rome with General Marras.
1700 hours: Report that Luetzow is dropping out and can go to Oslo only, because auxiliary engines did not take part. Fuehrer agrees to this decision.
No disquieting news. Hipper with destroyers seems to have been reported by an English submarine on Sunday morning, April 7th.
Prince Axel of Denmark has the intention to visit Field Marshal Goering on Monday.
Day of highest tension. The English put 3 mine fields in the Norwegian territorial waters and make that public.
Leading echelon is far off with several ships because of lack of pilots.
Only 1 ship near Narvik, everything else seems to be hardly beyond Bergen.
Boat Rio de Janeiro is torpedoed; since horses and men in uniform are landed, the impending project becomes known to the Norwegians.
Group Hipper gets into a battle with an English destroyer and annihilates it.
The surprise effect succeeds in Bergen, Trondheim, Narvik, and from the air in Stavanger. Not at Christiansand and in Oslo.
Bluecher sinks after a heroic fight. Commanding Admiral and Commander 103 (Kdr 103) of it, on deck up to the last moment, swim to land.
Luetzow has to take over lead and lower boats.
Heavy fighting for coastal fortifications. Fortress Christiansand fought to surrender by planes and Karlsruhe.
Chief of naval forces [Flottenchef] report 2 turrets gone, only 25 miles.
First breaking through of British destroyers in Narvik.
The Koenigsberg destroyed by enemy dive bombers. Bornholm occupied.
Luetzow on voyage home. Oslo hit by torpedo.
Norwegians warships are put into service.
Denmark does not belong any longer to jurisdiction of XXIst Corps. Railroads Oslo-Bergen and Oslo-Drontheim destroyed.
Still 6 destroyers left ready for use in Narvik, Freighter [Treckdampfer] Jon Wellom in N., otherwise no ship of the leading echelon. Bulk of the submarines ordered outside the ports occupied by us.
Hundalen on the iron-ore railroad reached. Strong enemy air attack on Bergen.
Mountain battery flown to lake near Narvik with Ju 52 planes. Concentration of strong English naval forces near Harstadt in process.
Much booty in Oslo.
1650 hours naval battle in Narvik.
Battleships and Hipper arrived in home ports.
Dietl is not being attacked, but is separated from Northern group. Terrible excitement. All details are to be ordered from here.
Steamship Baerenfelsis sunk in the course of attack on Bergen.
Another 3 air-force antiaircraft batteries on board ship torpedoed by submarine.
Fuehrer wants that Dietl tries to fight his way through to the South. I argue against this impossible idea.
Reproaches against the navy, especially because the battle was not engaged by battleships and because she does not succeed in speeding up the transports (Unjustified-I strongly argue against it).
During the night from the 16th to 17th Staff Officer from Admiralty arrives in Narvik and delivers written report by Dietl with call for help from Stavanger, since English naval forces are firing there. Air-Force notified. The Fuehrer again states in a temperamental way that the Gr. Dietl will have to march South or will have to be picked up. I advocate again in a very strong way that
a. a march South is impossible,
b. even a transport can evacuate only very small units, leads to the loss of many planes and breaks the moral backbone of the Dietl group.
They will continue to fight on the Swedish border for a long time. A thing should be considered lost only when it is actually lost. 1200 hours: Field Marshal with Jeschonnek. Has to be regrouped. Draws combat teams to Ralburg and transport groups back into Slesvig. 1530 hours: Admiral of the Fleet [Grossadmiral] with Admiralty Staff Officer from Narvik who reports verbally about his experiences in Narvik. Each piece of bad news leads to the worst fears. Chief of Air-Force and of L IH [Army Air-Forces?] presents an evaluation of the situation I fully agree to. I present to the Fuehrer this and the proof that we do not have enough long range planes to pick up troops from Narvik, anyhow. Furthermore, an order which is delivered by courier and composed in our sense.
To fight and tie down forces and not to give up.
Even a professor who knows Norway is fetched from Innsbruck and asked whether mountain troops can get from Narvik to Fauske is impossible judging from my mountain experience.
In the evening, the Fuehrer signs the order to Dietl which I had prepared, to hold out as long as possible.
Fuehrer is again calm. He gives orders to Captain von Sternburg in a way conforming entirely with our point of view. It might even be possible to change last night's order even more towards a sense of holding out and tying down forces.
The situation, too, looks better. The strong shipping losses of the English give them something to think about.
Quiet day which does our somewhat strained nerves good.
Sternburg leaves by plane with additional verbal orders.
1600 hours: General Jeschonnek shares the opinion we should to Bardufoss. I refuse that. The troops cannot hold out.
Important is of the forces on hand, most important the thorough destruction of the railroad.
2. He expresses doubts whether the landing of the 22nd division which takes several days still runs satisfactorily in view of the preparations in Holland. I emphasize that we have to open for ourselves at least the entry into the Southern front of the fortress Holland and that we have to keep it open.
Renewed crisis. Political action has failed. Envoy Braner is recalled; since Norway is at war with us, the task of the Foreign Offices is finished. According to the Fuehrer's opinion, force has to be used. Gauleiter Terboven is supposed to be put in charge.
Field Marshal works in the same direction; he criticizes that the behavior against the civilian population is not energetic enough, that it was possible to occupy the electrical plant, that not enough troops are brought up by the navy. The Air-Force cannot do everything.
Chief of the Armed Forces High Command leaves room, leadership chaos is again threatening, because even details are being overruled from above, and all orderly work of the competent military leadership (Navy High Command and Gr. XXI) is in vain.
In the evening, Terboven arrives; after supper, the Fuehrer instructs him alone. It is doubtful, if it will be possible to limit him to the activity of a Civilian Commissar [Zivilkommissar], as I suggest it; we will have to talk to him personally.
Fuehrer's birthday. Chief of the Armed Forces High Command and the Supreme Commanders congratulate. All the tempests has quieted down.
The movements to Oslo and Narvik make progress. No English landings. Fuehrer has a discussion with the Field-Marshal, with Himmler, Terboven, Reichsleiter Bormann.
Before that, the Chief of the Armed Forces High Command has told the Fuehrer about all possible points of friction between an independent head of the government and the Military Commander in Norway. It seems that reports of the Air Force have induced the Fuehrer to form the opinion that the Norwegians are already conducting guerilla warfare and sabotage on a large scale. Already on the 19th, I contradicted such an opinion. We must not lead the Norwegians to passive or even active resistance, because that is precisely the aim of the English, after all.
Reports about landings on a larger scale near Andalsnes and Namsos become more tangible.
On the evening of April 20th, the General [Generaloberst] leads a long fight in order to word the text of the order to Terboven in such a way that the military necessities are taken into account.
Fuehrer would like to bring big vessel with personnel and materiel to Trondheim.
Commander-in-Chief of the Navy considers that to be impossible, especially now.
Fuehrer is increasingly worried about the English landings and the consequent impossibility to set up ground communications with Trondheim. Without success, I compare the difficult situation of the English, who have no usable port and no airdrome at their disposal.
The Field-Marshal somewhat quieter, in view of the good weather forecasts for the Air Force today.
The excitement grows, because the 163rd and 196th divisions are making small progress towards the North and New bridge demolitions are being reported. Fuehrer orders that no more motorized units [11th rifle brigade] are to be sent to Stavanger, but immediately 2 mountain divisions instead. 3rd is to be brought up to full strength again. 4 ships of the Iller class, in addition a 5000t steamer, later 2 larger East Asia boats are to be brought to Bergen convoyed by capital ships, in order to make the troops there mobile and ready for battle.
Forces in Narvik to be reorganized right away, in order to make the 3d mountain division again steadfast for battle.
No heavy artillery is to go to Norway for ground combat. The heavy battalion of the 2nd mountain division remains in the West, those of the 3d mountain and 69th division are at the disposal of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army.
Fuehrer talks to Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force.
a. Anti-aircraft reinforcements for Stavanger.
b. Bombers for ground fighting in Oslo,
Fighters for ground fighting in Oslo.
In the evening Lieutenant-Colonel von Lossberg returns from Oslo. He reports the favorable situation in a somewhat schoolmasterly way, but does not know any details. He brings along an English battalion order.
The situation looks much more favorable, a fast advance on the right flank is to be expected with mechanized Battalion Goering.
Lieutenant-Colonel Boehme confirms that picture after his return from the front. He brings collected orders of the captured English brigade detachment along. Very great political success to be anticipated with that.
1130 hours: Field-Marshal reports, especially the situation in Trondheim. Lieutenant-Colonel Boehme, back from the battle field, reports favorably, rapid progress. Fuehrer regrets the halting of the 11th rifle brigade. I refuse to send them again now.
2300 hours: Schmundt back, even more favorable news. Boehme brings English orders for the entire project of Norway's occupation by the English. Complaint about lack of clear orders in the Air Force.
Optimistic mood continues. Fuehrer very happy about Schmundt's report and about exact orientation. Talks adversely about Lossberg to Bodenschatz; Lossberg's somewhat braggard report has created displeasure, although he did not know any details. Preparation of an action on the basis of the orders found on captured Englishmen.
Order to Kraatzer W Pr and Counter Intelligence Bureau for foreign countries [Amt Abwehr/Ausland].
Report by Sternberg about his task in Narvik.
Order by me to Chief L to give out a strong directive that nobody but Armed Forces High Command will give orders to Gr. Narvik. All men there are subordinated General Dietl exclusively.
The Belgian government resigned.
Suggestion to the Fuehrer to omit naval transport to Bergen with battleships and to bring these mobile parts of the 69th Division back to Oslo. Italian ambassador Atolico is recalled, because he does not take a clear pro-German attitude.
At 1500 hours the Commander-in-Chief of the navy reports.
Fuehrer drops request for transporting troops to Bergen convoyed by heavy naval forces.
Commander-in-Chief of the Navy reports that everything which could be possibly thought of has been done for the safeguarding of the Westwall will be extended Sp solidified.
Major Soltman reports about the interrogation of the Englishmen, and delivers additional important documents, among them the secret chain of command [Rangliste]. At noon, the first prisoners arrived in Berlin. They are being interrogated in the Alexander Barracks and confirm the authenticity of the orders. All material is handed over to the Foreign Office.
Until 0330 in the Reich Chancellery, where Fuehrer formulates the government statement together with Foreign Minister. It will be published on the
Fuehrer voices intention to start with case "Yellow" between 1st and 7th May. I point out that the Air Force and the Transportation Chief have to be initially notified 3 days ahead of time.
Motor column [Mot.Kol.] Fischer gets stuck 100 miles [Km?] south of Drontheim in front of many destroyed bridges.
Group (Gr) XXI is crying for engineers and cross-Country motor vehicles. They will have to get along with their own engineers. After all, there are 19 engineer companies. Order to get all engineers up to the front.
Advance movement direction Drontheim is halting. Nevertheless the English are retiring fast according to their communiques.
Fuehrer decides: Air Force can commit another 2 groups (new) in Norway on Tuesday and Wednesday, but must be ready for Yellow on Sunday.
Commander-in-Chief of the Navy commits heaviest flat * * * for the safeguarding of [?]
Emden still to be left in Baltic (O), Employ 2 East Asia steamboats for Oslo-transport.
Falkenhorst wants his motorized and mountain battalion with engineer platoon and battalion brought to Drontheim by air.
Commander-in-Chief of the Army has to be compelled first to set up the missing regiment for the 3rd mountain division so rapidly than it can roll immediately behind the 2nd mountain division.
Fuehrer is worried about Drontheim and is not quite to be dissuaded yet from readying heavy artillery and also the 1st mountain division for Norway.
At 13.35 hours I am able to report to the Fuehrer that line of communication on land between Oslo and Drontheim has been established. Fuehrer is happy with joy. At noon, I have to sit next to him.
The special communique is released right away. It remains to be decided now, whether to keep in readiness the 1st mountain division (no) and heavy artillery (no). At 18.30 hours the report comes in that Dombaas has been reached, too, and that the enemy is retiring. Opdal on the railroad Drontheim-dombaas has also been occupied. Fuehrer releases order of the day to the soldiers in Norway.
More big successes in Norway on land and in the air.
Fuehrer orders that starting Saturday, May 4th, everything must be in readiness to start operations for case Yellow the following day, when ordered.
Victory report from Norway. Pursuit direction Andalsnes. The English fleet to the boats. Norwegians give up the Commander of Moeren-Romsdal, Gen. Hang offers capitulation.
Field Marshall with Kesselring, Joschonnek, Student, Sponek again report about case "Festung" [fortress]. It will be carried out. Landing on super-highway possible.
Difficulty is the strong echelonment in depth [Tiefenstaffelung] of the bridge position near Moerdyk and north of it.
Air Force is to get order on the 3rd at noon, whether to guide in [einweisen] or not to guide in, that whether means to use or not to use parachutists and airborne units.
After evaluation of weather, Fuehrer decides that X-day will not be before Monday, 6 May.
Air Force notified by code word "Do not guide in." ["Nichteinweisen"]
Field Marshal protests against draft of the comprehensive description of operations in Norway, where Armed Forces high Command is mentioned and where the name Pellengahr appears, but not Milch.
Fuehrer rejects request of the Air Force to set up a listening post [Horchstelle] in the Caucasus.
Prepared White Book concerning unneutral actions of Holland and Belgium does not seem to satisfy the Foreign Office completely. To my mind the material is more than sufficient.
A new order goes out to group XXI, especially as several foreign news reports say that Namsos, too, will be evacuated.
Dr. Todt transmits exact details.
Reports about evacuation of Namsos by the English. Great successess of the Air Force against the English fleet. Battleship, heavy cruiser and destroyer, in addition to 12000 ton transport sunk.
Fuehrer himself wants to make comprehensive report about the campaign in Norway. He is furious about it that people other than himself meddle with this reporting. He stated that the Armed Forces High Command is his staff. Fuehrer designates Tuesday, May 7th as X-day.
The flanks of Gr. Dietl are being pressed hard in Narvik. I am afraid he remains too long in front.
Field Marshal reports that an English 1500 ton submarine minelayer was sighted on the Swedish coast. He makes an onslaught aimed at subordinating all Naval Air units under the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force.
Fuehrer has finished justification [Begruendung] for case "Yellow". Wednesday, May 8th, is designated as A-day.
Detailed orders for May 8th for A-day are issued, and for transmission of the codewords Augsburg and Danzig.
Fuehrer railroad train was scheduled to leave Finkenkrug at 16.38 hours.
But weather remains uncertain and therefore, the order valid up to this time is rescinded. Next decision May 8th until 1200 hours.
1100 hours: The Field Marshal with Bodenschatz and Jeschonnek at the Fuehrer's.
1500 hours: Admiral of the Fleet [Grossadmiral] Raeder.
Mine damage of the Gneisenau only very insignificant. One destroyer may be recalled from Drontheim, as a second one is still ready for sailing.
Fuehrer very much agitated about new postponement, as there is danger of treachery particularly in brown leaflets [in braunen Blaettern]. Talk of the Belgian Envoy to the Vatican to Brussels permits the deduction that treason has been committed by a German personality who left Berlin for Rome on April 29th.
Fuehrer again emphasizes that the greatest achievement of endurance [Dauerleistung] is that of the foot-slogging combatsoldier.
Alarming news from Holland, canceling of furloughs, evacuations, road-blocks, other mobilization measures; according to reports of the counter-intelligence service the British have asked for permission to march in but the Dutch have refused.
According to reports the measures of the Dutch are partly directed against the coast and partly against us. It is not possible to obtain a clear picture, whether the Dutch don't work hand in hand with the English or whether they actually want to defend their neutrality against the first attacker. Evaluation of the weather shows slow improvement of the whole situation, but development fog in the next days still have to be taken into consideration.
Fuehrer does not want to wait any longer.
Field Marshal wants postponement until the 10th, at least.
Chief of the Armed Forces High Command presses for early action. Fuehrer is very agitated; then he consents to postponement until May 10th, which is against his intuition, as he says. But not one day longer. Departure of Envoy Kieritz, who was scheduled to leave at 12.57 hours is stopped at the last minute. Is not supposed to leave until May 9th.
In the evening, I arrange the different telegrams with him.
Fuehrer decides to fall in on May 10th for sure. Departure with Fuehrer train at 17.00 hours from Finkenkrug.
After report Jeschonnek that weather situation will be favourable on the 10th, the code word Danzig is given at 2100 hours.
The same to Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force.
Morning arrival in Emskirchen still during darkness. At 0530 hours in the Eagle's nest.
The operations take a course favorable beyond expectation. The Dutch offer desperate resistance. Bridges at Maastricht, and all bridges north of it, are blown up. Only the railroad bridge at Gemrep falls into our hands undamaged. Fort Eben Emael is taken and the bridges in Mordeyk south of Dortrecht as well as the important ones over the Albert Canal west of Maastricht are taken over by parachutists and glider-borne personnel and are held by them. Airborne operation of the Sponek Division is met by heaviest resistance and is badly mauled. However, the different units hold out. On the R., the junction of the 9th armored division with them is effected. The citadel of Luettich is being broken into.
Order number 11 issued, which orders the concentration of all armored and mechanized units in front of the 4th army.
Fuehrer insists very much on transfer of all armored and mechanized units from Army Group B to A, and on speediest bringing up of strong reserves behind the 4th and 12th army. OKH gives orders to pull these units out from B and to add them via F ... to the fifteenth corps as new Armored Group Hoeppner. According to report Reichau, there are indications that the enemy is giving up the Dyle position or its Southern part, at least. Therefore, Army High Command receives the option to carry out the junction of Armored Group Hoeppner also in front, of Nanner, which the enemy seems to be evacuating.
Engle reports after visit at 4th army that that army has reached the French-Belgian border near Beauchmont, after a heavy tank battle.
1600-1830 hours: Field Marshal Goering with the Fuehrer, talk with Jeschonnek about forthcoming tasks of the Air Force and intentions concerning Navik, utilizing the new airdrome near
Day of great tension. The commanders-in-chief of the Army has not carried out the intention of building up, as quickly as possible, a new flanking position to the South. Instead of turning march to the west. For this reason the 10th Armored Division and the 2nd and 29th Motorized Divisions are still entrenched in the defensive flanking positions.
The commander-in-chief of the Army and General Holdes are called immediately and ordered to adopt the necessary measures immediately. (see note in the files)
Chief of the Armed Forces High Command is flying immediately by plane to General Rundstedt at Bastogne.
I further give an order supplementing the previous directive. It veers the 1st Mountain Division and the rear echelons of the 4th Army, to the South and South-west for an attack.
Break-through becomes more and more clearly outlined. True, Army Group "B", respectively Chief are very vexed because their Armored Corps was taken away from them, but it was the right thing to do. On the 20th, we already have all armored and mechanized divisions, except the 9th one, in the middle of the break-through wedge. While we were still afraid on the 19th that the bulk of the French-English army might have escaped to the South, it becomes increasingly evident on the 20th that more than 20 divisions are still north of the Somme.
Now everything depends on sealing off the Abbeville gap and the Army Corps Kleist reaches it in the evening of the 28th. In the forenoon of the 20th, at the Army High Commands conference, the Fuehrer declares the new directive for continuation of operations against the French Army.
1. Annihilation of the enemy north of the Somme and gaining of the sea coast.
2. Sudden thrust forward between Oise and sea, until Seine river is reached.
3. Principal Attack on both sides of Reims in south-westerly direction, accompained on the right flank east of Paris by heavy forces.
4. For secondary reasons penetration of the Maginot line by lighter forces between St. Avold and Sarreguemines in direction of Nancy-Luneville.
General von Stuelpnagel is ordered, not to follow up any more former intention, to attack the Plateau of Langres with 20 Italian Divisions crossing the Upper Rhine. The Italians rather should attack the French Alpine Front and pin down French forces on the Upper Rhine. This they can prepare already now, without having commenced hostilities.
Fuehrer is beside himself with joy. Talks in words of highest appreciation of the German Army and its leadership. Is working on the peace treaty, which shall express the tenor only: Return of territory robbed over the past 400 years from the German people, and other values.
First negotiations in the forest of Compiegne like in 1918.
British can get a separate peace any time after restitution of the colonies.
A special memorandum of the Chief of the Armed Forces High Command containing the emotion-chocked words of the Fuehrer when receiving the telephone report of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army about the capture of Abbeville, is in the files.
Commander in Chief of the Army together with Halder reports at 09.45 about situations and later intentions. The Commander-in-Chief of the Army wants to operate by-passing Paris on the West with the entire Armored and Mechanized units under Reichman's command, and in addition to this to attack with he wants to attack the Upper Rhine with 18 divisions. This would change the intentions of the fuehrer, expressed by him on the 20th. Fuehrer declares his agreement for the time being.
In the afternoon the Fuehrer explains to Chief of the Armed Forces High Command and to me, that he had changed his mind. He believes, that it is wrong to employ all Armed and Mechanized Divisions West of Paris, that it would be better to direct the main thrust, also with the bulk of Armored Forces, to by-pass Paris in the east, (transmitted by me to Greifenberg in the evening).
Report of Commander-in-Chief of the Navy to Fuehrer at 1200 hours. In the afternoon Field Marshal and Jeschonnek.
The Fuehrer is a little nervous in the evening about the fact, that infantry divisions are not pushed forward fast enough. Possibly they are being held back in order to obtain improvements of position of the VIth and VIIth Corps. If possible, one must employ transport groups.
Fuehrer stays in map room until 0130 hours.
Chief of the Armed Forces High Command decides after that to fly to Army Group A in Charleville early on the 22nd. Brings back a report much more pleasant than the situation map indicates. It becomes apparent that Headquarters of 4th Army has ordered General Kluge to commit the Ist Army Corps south of Sombre, so that it will be in front rather than in the rear of the French border fortifications.
The Fuehrer approves at 1300 hours directive, submitted by me, concerning sparing of human lives of the 10th Army by disengagement from the Maginot line, cessation of unnecessary attacks, bringing up of all Divisions and mobile CHQ troops to the rear of 4th Army.
Sharp pressure of Army Group B towards the West. The Fuehrer furthermore approves commitment of an airborne Battalion already in readiness and of 2 companies Mountain troops, with short training, in Narvik.
Army High Command draws a very optimistic picture of the situation at 1700 hours and intends to continue at 1200 hours on left wing West of Arras towards North.
But Jeschonnek reports at 1900 hours, that French tanks reached point 3 kilometer in front of Arras and were stopped only there by dive bombers, pursuit planes and Anti Aircraft Artillery.
The Fuehrer flies together with me and Schmundt to Army Group A to Charleville.
He is very happy about the measures of the Army Group, which correspond entirely with his ideas. He learns to his surprise that the Army High Command, without informing the Fuehrer and the High Command of the Armed Forces, has subordinated the 4th Army and a number of Divisions to its rear, to Army Group B. Fuehrer is very much displeased and thinks this regulation is a mistake not only in military respect but also psychologically wrong. Commander-in-Chief of the Army is ordered to report, and shifting of dividing-line is rescinded. New crisis of confidence, especially since Field marshal reports earlier that an order of the Army High Command in no way pushes the Army Group B onward, but even invites it to make available reserves that can be spared.
For that reason a new order is issued in the evening (a) not to advance beyond the line Sandez-St.Omer-Graveline towards the East. Besides that each change regarding the Chain of command among the Armies is subject to approval of the Fuehrer.
The fuehrer signs Order # 13 regarding continuation of operations.
He prohibits the proposed talk by General von Melsch in the Foreign Office to foreign journalists about the war situation, if necessary this shall be done by W PR [Armed Forces Propaganda?]
Very favorable report of the Commander in Chief of the Air Force and the Commander in Chief of the Army about the situation.
It becomes obvious, that the surrounded enemy is no longer capable of concerted action.
Situation in the East becomes threatening because of Russian concentration of forces against Bessarabia.
In the morning the Commander-in-Chief of the Army arrived and asks permission armored mechanized division to push forward from the High terrain Vimy-St.Omer-Graveline towards in the West into the level terrain. Fuehrer is against it, leaves decision to Army Group A. They decline for the time being because tank, shall rest a while, to be ready for tasks in the South.
At noon, Commander of 22 Divisions (Parachute Divisions) Count Sponek, reports about his experiences between the Hague and Rotterdam. He had heavy losses, but accomplished the incredible.
Air Force reports great successes near Narvik.
The unlimited expansion plan of the SS causes general apprehension. Lutz protests in a letter to the General [Generaloberst] against mentioning of the Armed-SS [Waffen-SS] in Armed forces High Command communiques. But this came from the Fuehrer in a proclamation to the troops in the Dutch theater of operations. General Dietl has received parachuted mountain troops in Narvik after a course of training lasting only 10 days, no losses.
In the morning the Fuehrer sends for Commander-in-Chief of the Army and agrees because 18th and 6th army advance slowly and because, resistance in the South in front of the 2nd Army Corps has stiffened, that tank units and infantry divisions push forward in direction of Tournai, Cassel and Dunkerque from the West, especially because the enemy on their part do not advance against the mountain positions but dig themselves in defensive positions and improve them. In conjunction therewith the Commander-in-Chief of the Army reports about his intentions for further conduct of the operations (All sketch). Of the 12 Divisions, committed for the first push northwest of Paris, 6 shall join Army Group B (9th and 4th Army). First push possible around 31 May. 2nd push 6 to 8 days later (Main attack A and B), 3rd push at C will be in readiness starting 15 June.
The problem Paris is to be considered, not only from a military, but also from a political point of view.
If Paris is surrended or if revolutionary features come to the fore, then Paris must be occupied at once. If Paris is defended, we will strongly disengage ourselves for the time being.
Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Office of the United States Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality
Washington, DC : United States Government Printing Office, 1946