Document-33.    


BOBHSOC

DIRECTIVE OF AUGUST 15th 1940
ISSUED BY GOERING TO ALL LUFTWAFFE COMMANDERS

1. The fighter escort defences of our Stuka formations must be readjusted, as the enemy is concentrating his fighters against our Stuka operations. It appears necessary to allocate three fighter Gruppen to each Stuka Gruppe, one of these fighter Gruppen remains with the Stukas, and dives with them to the attack; the second flies ahead over the target at medium altitude and engages the fighter defences; the third protects the whole attack from above. It will also be necessary to escort Stukas returning from the attack over the Channel.

2. Night attacks on shipping targets are only fruitful when the night is so clear that careful aim can be taken.

3. More importance must be attached to co-operation are not to be broken up except in cases of utmost urgency.

4. The incident of VILGI on August 13 shows that certain unit commanders have not yet learnt the importance of clear orders.

5. 1 have repeatedly given orders that twin-engined fighters are only to be employed where the range of other fighters is inadequate, or where it is for the purpose of assisting our single-engined aircraft to break off combat.
Our stocks of twin-engined fighters are not great, and we must use them as economically as possible.

6. Until further orders, operations are to be directed exclusively against the enemy Air Force, including the targets of the enemy aircraft industry allocated to the different Luftflotten. Shipping targets, and particularly large naval vessels, are only to be attacked where circumstances are especially propitious. For the moment, other targets should be ignored. We must concentrate our efforts on the destruction of the enemy Air Forces. Our night attacks are essentially dislocation raids, made so that the enemy defences and population shall be allowed no respite.
Even these, however, should where possible be directed against Air Force targets.

7. My orders regarding the carrying out of attacks by single aircraft under cover of cloud conditions have apparently not been correctly understood. Where on one afternoon 50 aircraft are despatched without adequate preparation on individual missions, it is probable that the operation will be unsuccessful and very costly. I therefore repeat that such sorties are to be undertaken only by specially selected volunteer crews, who have made a prolonged and intensive study of the target, the most suitable method of attack, and the particular navigational problems involved. By no means all our crews are qualified to undertake such tasks.

8. KGr100 (bombers) is also in future to operate against the enemy Air Force and aircraft industry.

9. It is doubtful if there is any point in continuing the attacks on radar sites, in view of the fact that not one of those attacked has so far been put out of operation.

10. The systematic designation of alternative targets would appear frequently to lead to certain targets being attacked which have absolutely no connection with our strategic aims. It must therefore be achieved that even alternative targets are of importance in the battle against the enemy Air Force.

11. The Commanders-in-Chief of the Luftflotten are to report to me on the question of the warnings to be given during enemy air penetrations over the Reich. At present, the warnings are causing a loss of output whose consequences are far graver than those caused by the actual bomb damage. In addition, the frequent air raid warnings are leading to nervousness and strain among the population of Western Germany. On the other hand, we must take into account the risk of heavy loss of life should an attack be launched before a warning has been given.

REICHSMARSCHALL HERMANN GORING
KARINHALL, AUGUST 15, 1940


The Battle of Britain - 1940 website Battle of Britain Historical Society 2007