RAFairman's Blog

An RAF Airman's Blog

Directive 16…Eliminate the English Motherland…

Today, 16th July 1940, Adolf Hitler issued his Directive No. 16.  Preparations for the invasion of Britain.

“As England, despite her hopeless situation, still shows no sign of willingness to come to terms, I have decided to prepare and if necessary to carry out a landing operation against her.  The aim of this operation id to eliminate the English motherland as a base from which war against Germany can be continued, and, if this should become unavoidable, to occupy it to the full extent.

FOR THIS PURPOSE I ORDER THE FOLLOWING:

1.  The landing must take the form of a surprise crossing on a broad front, approximately from Ramsgate to the region west of the Isle of Wight, whereby elements of the Luftwaffe will play the role of artillery and elements of the navy the role of engineers…

PREPARATIONS FOR THE TOTAL OPERATION MUST BE COMPLETED BY MID-AUGUST.

2.  Included in these preparations is the bringing about of these preconditions which make a landing in England possible:

a) The English air force must have been beaten down to such an extent morally and in actual fact that it can no longer muster and power of attack worth mentioning against the German crossing….

…THE OPERATION WILL CARRY THE CODE NAME ‘SEA LION’.”

This directive reads as though an invasion of Britain was not foremost in Hitler’s plans for Europe. But the sheer bloody-mindedness of the British government (and people) meant that Hitler HAD to do something with regards to the British.  If we were not going the ‘come to terms’ with the Germans, then we had to be eliminated from the war, and in order to do that, if he had to invade, well then invade he would.

But prior to that; prior to the German Army landing on the beaches of southern England, prior to the German navy transporting those troops, then the Germans MUST have air superiority over southern England.

And to do this Paragraph (a) would need to happen.  The Royal Air Force must be smashed. The Luftwaffe had to have total control of the skies. And tomorrow, 17th July, marks the day when the Battle of Britain moved into it’s Second Phase…

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