MarkN wrote: ↑
20 Mar 2019 13:48
I really don't think it matters whether, as the original German states: Dem Fueher ist gemeldet
, occured before the grand meeting on 21 July, during that meeting, or sometime after that meeting
In the great scheme of things I would agree, but it is relevant to your claim that, “the fundamentals of the plan which became known as BARBAROSSA were written before Hitler made the policy decision in July to attack Russia” and also to the question that you posed, “Who gave Hitler the information on 21 July? Keitel, Brauchitsch, Jeschonnek, Raeder or Jodl? Where did they get it from?” when you now seem to acknowledge that it may have been produced after the meeting.
MarkN wrote: ↑
20 Mar 2019 13:48
Now, one has to ask oneself whether this information given to Hitler on 21 July was plucked out of thin air at that very moment or whether it was based on some prior thought and planning. Given that it remained a constant, it seems to have been a pretty well thought through idea.
Well, when I ask myself that question I conclude that the information was almost certainly provided after the meeting in response to a request from the meeting.
Here is an English translation of item 8 of Halder’s diary entry for 22 July -
“Our attention must be turned to tackling the Russian problem and prepare planning. The Fuehrer has been given the following information:
a) German assembly will take at least 4-6 weeks.
b) Object: To crush Russian Army or slice as much Russian territory as is necessary to bar enemy air
raids on Berlin and Silesian industries. It is desirable to penetrate far enough to enable our Air Force to smash Russia’s strategic areas. (Check with Foreign Armies East.)
c) Political aims:
Federation of Baltic States,
White Russia — Finland
Baltic States as a permanent thorn in the flesh.
d) Strength required: 80 -100 Divs.; Russia has 50 -75 good Divs. If we attack Russia this fall,
pressure of the air war on Britain will be relieved. United States could supply both Britain and Russia.
e) Operations: What operational objective could be attained? What strength have we available? Timing and area of assembly? Gateways of attack: Baltic States, Finland, Ukraine. Protect Berlin and Silesian industrial area. Protection ofRomanian oilfields. (Check with Op. Sec.)”
The first sentence suggests that to Halder’s knowledge their attention had not previously been turned to ‘tackling the Russian problem’ in any meaningful way and that planning had not been prepared. If 8e had been given to Hitler I imagine he wouldn’t have been best pleased. It’s largely a list of questions. It isn’t military planning, or a recitation of previous planning, it is back-of-an-envelope note-to-self brainstorming. As for the rest, it could have been cobbled together by a competent strategic planning staff in a matter of hours because whatever Loßberg, Greiffenberg and Marks had come up with in early July it does not seem to have made much of an impression on Halder. And the only constants from 22 July to 18 December that constitute ‘a pretty well thought out idea’ are, as you acknowledge - crush the Red Army and drive the Red Air Force back beyond effective bombing range - not exactly the insights of a strategic genius or the startling conclusions of an in-depth staff study.