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					                                                                                      Paul Nicklas

                                     Annotated Bibliography

DeWeerd, H.A. “Hitler’s Plans for Invading Britain,” Military Affairs 12, no. 3 (Autumn, 1948):

         In “Hitler’s Plans for Invading Britain” by H.A. DeWeerd, DeWeerd discusses Adolf
Hitler’s intentions concerning Great Britain before Operation Barbarossa. Deweerd discusses the
two schools of thought about Hitler and his plans for Great Britain. One school argues that
Hitler did not anticipate serious military action against Great Britain and the other believes that
he was serious about invasion after weakening the island by air first. Deweerd himself argues
that Hitler postponed and eventually canceled a land operation against Britain because of the
failure of the Luftwaffe at the Battle of Britain, the lack of ships and landing craft, weakness in
Nazi intelligence and Hitler’s decision to invade Britain was never truly in his mind. The last
reason is what is most important to answering my research question and hypothesis. The journal
article was published only three years after the end of the war, DeWeerd would have a difficult
time judging any aspect of the war without personal bias. Also, because of the time of
publication the information can not all be quoted for compete accuracy because of the lack of
access to historical documents that historians have today. The only primary sources used in the
article from Hitler’s public directives and testimonies of Nazis at Nuremburg.

Martienssen, Anthony. “Operation ‘Sea Lion’ – Dunkirk and Planned Invasion of England”. In
       Hitler and his Admirals. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1949.

        Hitler and his Admirals by Anthony Martienssen is an overview of German naval actions
during World War II. The chapter that is most reverent to my research is about Adolf Hitler and
Erich Raeder (leader of Kreigsmarine of Nazi Germany) discussion and planning of the Invasion
of Great Britain. Nearly half of the chapter is word for word discussion between two Nazis
leaders, allowing the reader his own interruption of the seriousness of the invasion. Erich Raeder
is very uncertain of the plausibility of the proposed invasion, naming lack of transports and the
British coastal mine fields as the primary problems. Interestingly, the home fleet of the Royal
Navy is rarely mentioned Martisenssen annotates the conservations with the arguments of
skepticism from both Nazi leaders. Based on his arguments, Martienssen is of the school of
thought that Adolf Hitler was not serious about an amphibious invasion of Great Britain. He
does not mention the other school of thought and barely mentions the other non naval reasons for
Hitler’s cancelation of Operation Sea Lion. However, the work is titled Hitler and his Admirals,
not Hitler and his Luftwaffe or Hitler and his Military Intelligence. Because of the time of the
publication, accuracy of all the factual information should again be brought into question. The
major primary sources used by Martienssen are obviously the letters between Erich Raeder and
Adolf Hitler.

Fleming, Peter. Operation Sea Lion: The projected invasion of England in 1940- An account of
       the German preparations and the British countermeasures. New York: Simon and
      Schuster, 1957.

        This book supplies more information on the details of Operation Sea Lion then either of
the works above. Part of the reason for this was because of more access to classified Nazis
documents because of the time of publication, but also because the entirely of the book is
dedicated to the Nazis planned invasion of Great Britain. Peter Fleming’s Operation Sea Lion is
actually the earliest book dedicated only to Operation Sea Lion (at least of the books I have come
across). The book is written chronologically from the Fall of France and Dunkirk to the
cancelation of Operation Sea Lion in the fall of 1940. However, because the book was published
not even two decades after the war, the author still does not know as much as historians do know.
However, a positive of this is that Fleming has access to first-hand primary sources such as
documentation of Hitler’s military conferences and an original map of the planned invasion.
Fleming is of the school of thought that Hitler was serious about invasion after securing the air
over Great Britain. However, he feels if Hitler had ordered the invasion that summer it would
have failed miserably. However, because of the proximity of the publication to the subject and
the patriotism of the British Fleming, this opinion might be bias. He argues that Hitler canceled
the war primarily because of the outcome of the Battle of Britain, not because of naval or
intelligence reasons. He does not really touch upon Hitler’s lack of sincerity in the proposed

Rich, Norman. “The West: The Low Countries, France and Britain”. In Hitler’s War Aims:
       Ideology, The Nazi State and the Course of Expansion. New York: W.W. Norton &
Company, 1973.

        Hitler’s War Aims by Norman Rich gives insight on the reasoning for Nazis military
decisions. This includes the cancelation of Operation Sea Lion. The chapter of greatest
importance to my topic is describes Hitler’s reluctance to invade Great Britain and destroy the
British Empire. Rich argues Hitler though of Great Britain as fellow Aryans. Rich reports that
up until June of 1940, Hitler was telling his generals that he believed the British would soon be
making peace with Nazi Germany. Rich is of the school of thought that Adolf Hitler did not
anticipate an amphibious invasion of Great Britain, he merely planned Operation Sea Lion as
backup plan. He also argues that Hitler felt the invasion would have been impossible until
British sea power and air power were destroyed. With both the home fleet of the Royal Navy
and the Royal Airforce intact, Rich argues Hitler felt forced to postpone and eventually cancel
Operation Sea Lion. Rich argues another reason for Hitler cancelation Operation Sea Lion was
his paranoia of an eastern attack on the Soviet Union. The work uses new primary sources such
as Adolf Hitler letters with Benito Mussolini and the memoirs of Albert Kesselring (one of the
leaders of the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain).

Kieser, Egbert. Hitler on the Doorstep: Operation ‘Sea Lion’: The German Plan to Invade
        Britain, 1940. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1987.

        As one of the most recently published books about Operation Sea Lion, Hitler on the
Doorstep by Egbert Kesier would be expected to give the most insight about the reasoning of the
cancelation of Operation Sea Lion. The book does not fail in meeting this goal. The book is
written in chronological order with each chapter dedicated to a different aspect of the
background of the proposed invasion. For example, one chapter is called “Spies and Secret
Services” (about German intelligence in Great Britain) and another chapter is called “A Powerful
Guerrilla Force” (about the preparations the British citizen population was making in face of
Nazi invasion). Kieser’s arguments about Operation Sea Lion can only be found in concluding
chapter. He believes that Operation Sea Lion because it needed the combined preparations of all
three branches of the military, would have been the Nazis largest military operation including the
Operation Barbarossa (invasion of Soviet Union). Kieser is also of the school of thought, that
Adolf Hitler was never serious about implementing Operation Sea Lion. He even goes further in
stating that entire operation was a bluff by Hitler to attempt to bring Great Britain into peace
talks. He feels that Adolf Hitler’s lack of seriousness about occupying the British Isles makes all
the other reasons for canceling Operation Sea Lion (the logistical difficulties of crossing the
channel, the outcome of the Battle of Britain and lack of Nazis intelligence on Great Britain)
irrelevant because the plan was never going proceed anyway.

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