The Fuhrer and CINC of the Wehrmacht
OKW/WFA/L #33 160/4O g. Kdos
16 July 1940
Officer Courier only!
Directive No. 16
Concerning preparations for an amphibious operation against
Since Britain still shows no sign of willingness to come to an
agreement in spite of her hopeless military situation, I have decided
to prepare and if necessary carry out an amphibious operation against
The purpose of this operation will be to eliminate the English
mother country as a base for continuation of the war against Germany
and, if it should become necessary, to occupy the entire island.
To this end I order as follows:
- The amphibious operation must be carried out as a surprise
crossing on a broad front extending approximately from Ramsgate to the
region of the Isle of Wight, with Luftwaffe elements assuming the role
of artillery, and naval units assuming the role of engineers.
individual branch of the Wehrmacht will examine from its own viewpoint
whether it appears practicable to carry out subsidiary operations, for
example to occupy the Isle of Wight or Cornwall County, prior to the
general crossing, and will report its findings to me. I reserve the
decision to myself.
Preparations for the overall operations must be
completed by mid-August.
- These preparations will include the creation of conditions
which will make a landing in England possible:
- The English air force
must be so far neutralized, both actually and in morale, that it will
offer no appreciable resistance to the German crossing operation;
- Lanes must be cleared of mines;
- Both outlets of the Straits of
Dover, and the west entrance to the English Channel in a line
approximately from Alderney to Portland, must be sealed off by a dense
belt of mines;
- The coastal areas must be commanded and covered by
the fire of heavy coastal artillery;
- It is desirable that all
British naval forces should be tied down in action, both in the North
Sea and in the Mediterranean - here by the Italians - shortly before
the crossing; efforts must be made now already by means of air and
torpedo attacks to weaken as far as possible the British naval forces
presently in those waters.
- Organization of Command and Preparations. Under my command
and in accordance with my general directives the commanders in chief of
the three branches of the Wehrmacht will direct the operations of their
forces employed in the operation. From 1 August on, the operations
staffs of the commanders in chief of the Army, the Navy, and the
Luftwaffe must be within the area with a maximum radius of 30 miles
from my headquarters at Ziegenberg. To me it appears advisable for the
most vital elements of the operations staffs of the commanders in chief
of the Army and the Navy to occupy mutual premises in Giessen. The
commander in chief of the Army will thus have to establish an army
group headquarters to conduct the operations of the landing armies.
operation will be given the designation Sealion (Seelöwe).
During preparations and in the execution of the operation the missions
of the three branches of the Wehrmacht will be as follows:
Preparation of plans of operations and of a crossing plan initially for
all units to be shipped in the first wave. The units accompanying the
first wave will remain under Army control (under the individual landing
groupments) until it is possible to subdivide their mission into
responsibility for (1) support and protection for the ground forces,
(2) protection of the ports of debarkation, and (3) protection for the
air bases to be occupied.
The Army will also allocate shipping space to
the individual landing groupments and will define the points of
embarkation and debarkation in agreement with the Navy.
Procurement and assembly of the required shipping space at the points
of embarkation designated by the Army and in accordance with nautical
requirements. As far as possible use will be made of ships from
defeated hostile countries.
The necessary naval advisory staff, escort
ships, and other protective naval units will be provided by the Navy at
each crossing area.
In addition to the protection afforded by the air
units employed, naval forces will protect the flanks of the entire
movement across the Channel. Orders will be issued regulating the chain
of command during the actual crossing.
Another mission of the Navy is
to direct the uniform disposition of coastal artillery, namely, of all
naval and Army batteries which can be used against naval targets and to
generally organize the control of fire.
The largest possible number of
the heaviest artillery units will be so placed that they can be brought
into effective action as speedily as possible to protect the flanks of
the movements against hostile naval attack. For this purpose all
railway artillery, reinforced by all available captured guns but minus
the K-5 and K-12 batteries earmarked for counter-battery fire against
shore-based hostile artillery in England, will be withdrawn from
present positions and emplaced on railway turntable mounts.
to the above, all platform guns of the heaviest types will be so
emplaced under concrete protection opposite the Straits of Dover that
they will be proof against even the heaviest air attacks. They will be
so sited that they will command the Straits under all circumstances as
far as their ranges permit.
The technical work involved will be carried
out by Organization Todt.
The mission of the Luftwaffe
will be to prevent interference by hostile air forces. In addition
airpower will be employed to neutralize coastal fortifications which
could deliver fire in the landing areas, to break the initial
resistance offered by the hostile ground forces, and to destroy
reserves during their forward movement. These missions will require
extremely close contact between the individual air units and the
landing forces of the Army.
It will also be important for air units to
destroy roads which could be used by the enemy to move reserves
forward, and to attack naval units approaching the areas of operations
while still far distant from the crossing routes.
recommendations on the use of paratrooper and glider and other airborne
forces. The question must be examined together with the Army whether it
would be wise to withhold paratroop and other airborne forces during
the initial stages as a reserve force which could be moved quickly to
critical areas in the event of an emergency..
- The Wehrmacht chief signal officer will ensure that all necessary
preparations are made to establish communications between France and
England. Preparations will be made in cooperation with the Navy to lay
what is still available of the 48 miles of marine cable taken up from
the East Prussian canal.
- I request the commanders in chief to submit to me as early
- The measures planned by the Navy and the Luftwaffe to
create the conditions necessary for the Channel crossing operation
(Item 2, above);
- Details on the disposition of the coastal artillery
- A survey of the shipping to be employed and of the
methods of concentration and equipment. All civilian agencies
- Plans for the organization of air defence in
the areas of concentration for troops and for equipment to be used in
the crossing operation (Luftwaffe);
- Channel-crossing schedule and
plan of operations of the Army, and organization and equipment of the
first attack wave;
- Organization and action planned by the Navy and
the Luftwaffe for the defence of the crossing movement itself, for
reconnaissance, and for support during the landing;
concerning the commitment of paratrooper and other airborne forces and
concerning the command of forces after an adequately large area has
been brought under control in England (Luftwaffe);
for the location of headquarters for the command echelons of the
commander in chief of the Army and the commander in chief of the Navy;
- Comments by the Army, the Navy, and the Luftwaffe as to
what partial operations are considered practicable prior to the general
- Recommendations by, the Army and the Navy
concerning the chain of command during the crossing, while seaborne.
|Commander in Chief, Army
|Commander in Chief, Navy
|Commander in Chief, Luftwaffe
|Wehrmacht Operations, Office
|National Defence Branch