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UK Eyes Only - by Jim Biddle

UK Eyes Only - Report to the Chief of His Majesty's Imperial General Staff - August 20, 1939

Situation in Poland

Strategic Command

The situation in Poland appears extremely grave. Intelligence indicates significant German military activity including forward deployment of five Werhmacht Armee Groups and at least two Panzer Groups. We now anticipate a German attack into Poland on or about the first week of September.

Status of Allied Forces - Naval

At the request of the Prime Minister, the First Lord of Admiralty has deployed major elements of the Royal Navy to home waters. At present the home squadron consists of four battleships, two fleet carriers, and one battle cruiser. In addition, the battleship HMS Valiant is currently on station at Gibraltar. Major French capital ships currently assigned to the Atlantic include the Battleship Richelieu at Brest and the cruisers Strasbourg and Dunkerque on Patrol in the Bay of Biscay.

Strategic Command

The Mediterranean squadron at Alexandria includes the battle ship HMS Warspite, the fleet carrier HMS Ark Royal and the heavy Cruiser Gloucester. France has deployed the battleship Bretagne to Marseilles.

At present the First Lord of the Admiralty believes forces available in the Atlantic are sufficient to maintain superiority over Kreigsmarine combatants. The main threat appears to be German U-boats. Reports indicate that at least two U-boats have deployed to the central Atlantic and a third is on station in the Baltic.

The situation in the Mediterranean represents a more significant problem. Should Italy choose to fulfill her Tripartite obligations, her fleet of three battleships, a heavy cruiser, and at least one submarine will pose significant challenge to allied naval operations.

Status of Allied Forces - Land

A limited allocation of resources by the outgoing government over the last decade leaves the Royal Military poorly prepared to confront a resurgent German Werhmacht. At present, the whole of available forces for an expeditionary group consists of XXX corps at London. It is possible at some risk, to recall XII corps from Alexandria and the Gibraltar corps, however these will take some time to arrive in France. We expect the Government of Canada to make the Canadian 1st Army available to us, should His Majesty's Government declare war on Germany.

The ground situation in France is only marginally superior to our own. Low moral and poor training plagues the five French army groups and one Army corps deployed near the German boarder. We are also skeptical of the two French colonial corps at Algiers and Beirut for similar reasons.

Every effort must be made to improve the readiness of allied troops if there is to be any chance of an early defeat of German aggression.

Status of Allied Forces - Air

Air Marshal Harris has deployed RAF fighter and Bomber commands to holding positions near Manchester to await further developments on the continent. The French 1st Air Force is currently deployed near Paris. In addition, there are contingency plans to recall the Malta Air Group to the home islands. Intelligence indicates that the Luftwaffe currently possess three full Luftflotten but no strategic bombers.

UK Eyes Only - Report to the Chief of His Majesty's Imperial General Staff - September 17, 1939

Situation in Poland

The situation in Poland has deteriorated markedly. The Werhmacht has driven deep into Poland and inflicted grieves losses on the Polish Army. Early reports indicate that two Polish Army Groups and at least one Army corps have been completely destroyed. At least four Werhmacht Armies, two Werhmacht corps and two Panzer Groups are involved in the attack. Indications are that German losses are minimal. Remaining Polish Army units are falling back to defensive positions around Warsaw.

Strategic Command

His Majesty's Government has issued a declaration of War on the Reich and directs that every effort be made to re-supply Polish units. The Prime Minister directs that the Chief of Staff immediately develop contingency plans to offer direct military assistance to the Poles.

Status of Allied Forces - Land

The Canadian 1st Army departed Halifax and is approaching the French port at Brest. XXX Corps (UK) is preparing to disembark near Calais. The French Army is deployed to positions along the Belgium border. French Colonial troops from Algiers are expected to arrive at Marseilles within the month.

Strategic Command

French reconnaissance currently identifies three German corps and one army group supported by II Luftflotten near the Netherlands boarder. We believe these units are under the command of Von Rundstedt.

Status of Allied Forces - Sea

A battle group composed of HMS Royal Oak, Nelson, Glorious and Courageous reports sinking a U-boat 250 miles west of Scapa Flow, believed to be U-90. HMS Rodney, Hood and Resolution are moving to Rendezvous near the Dutch coast to block further egress from the Baltic. The French Atlantic squadron is preceding at best possible speed to join the Mediterranean squadron. The Royal Navy Alexandria squadron and Valiant are moving to join the French fleet near Algiers in order to deter Italian entry into the conflict.

UK Eyes Only - Report to the Chief of His Majesty's Imperial General Staff - October 15, 1939

Situation in Poland

The situation in Poland has now reached crises proportions. German Army units destroyed the Modlin corps and moved to surround Warsaw. The Polish Krakow corps is badly damaged and will not be able to hold for long. We now anticipate and end to all Polish resistance before the close of the year.

Status of Allied Forces - Land

The Canadian 1st Army, XXX corps (UK) and the French Algerian corps are in France. The French 4th Army reports probing attacks along the Maginot Line by elements of the 10th German army. French losses are light; no German losses were reported.French reconnaissance identified the arrival of the 4th German army to a position south of Munich bringing estimated German strength in the west to two army groups and three army corps.

Status of Allied Forces - Air

Elements of II Luftflotten attacked the French 1st Air Force. French losses were light; German losses are unknown at this time.

Status of Allied Forces - Sea

A battle group composed of HMS Royal Oak, Nelson, Glorious and Courageous reports sinking a U-boat 250 miles west of Scapa Flow, believed to be U-29. HMS Rodney, Hood and Resolution are holding position in the North Sea to block further egress from the Baltic. The French Atlantic squadron is preceding at best possible speed to join the Mediterranean squadron. The Royal Navy Alexandria squadron and Valiant are moving to join the French fleet near Algiers in order to deter Italian entry into the conflict.

UK Eyes Only - Report to the Chief of His Majesty's Imperial General Staff - November 12, 1939

Situation in Poland

Poland continues to resist. The Polish Krakow corps is badly damaged but continues to fight. The Warsaw corps managed to repel concerted assaults by elements of the 14th and 3rd German Armies as well as repeated raids by the Luftwaffe. However, the Polish air force was completely destroyed when it base was overrun by XIX Panzer Group. During the month, His Majesty's Government provided Poland with 56 in production aid.

Status of Allied Forces - Land

The French 4th Army reports major attacks along the Maginot Line by elements of the 10th and 4th German armies. 4th Army losses are significant; light German losses were reported. The French 5th Army counterattacked the German 4th army and inflicted moderate losses.

Strategic Command

French reconnaissance identified the arrival of the XVI Panzer Group to a position south of Cologne brining estimated German ground strength in the west to two army groups, three army corps and a Panzer Group.

Status of Allied Forces - Sea

A battle group composed of HMS Royal Oak, Nelson, Glorious and Courageous is moving to join the squadron on Patrol in the North Sea. HMS Rodney, Hood and Resolution are holding position in the North Sea to block further egress from the Baltic. The French Atlantic squadron has joined the Mediterranean squadron and HMS Valiant near Algiers. The Royal Navy Alexandria squadron is expected to arrive within days.

Status of Allied Forces - Air

Elements of II Luftflotten attacked the French 1st Air Force. French losses were light; German losses are unknown at this time.

UK Eyes Only - Report to the Chief of His Majesty's Imperial General Staff - December 10, 1939

Situation in Poland

Strategic Command

Poland continues to resist however we do not believe Poland can hold beyond the end of the year. The Polish Krakow corps was destroyed leaving only the Warsaw corps trapped in the Polish capital. The Warsaw corps managed to repel concerted assaults by elements of the 14th and 3rd German Armies as well as repeated raids by the Luftwaffe. During the month, His Majesty's Government provided Poland with 12 in production aid.

Status of Allied Force - Land

All quiet on the Western Front.

Status of Allied Forces - Sea

The Royal Navy Alexandria squadron has joined the French fleet and HMS Valiant near Algiers. Royal Navy patrols in the Sea reported no enemy contact.

Status of Allied Forces - Air

RAF Coastal command and 1st French Air Force reported no enemy activity.

UK Eyes Only - Report to the Chief of His Majesty's Imperial General Staff - February 4, 1940

Situation in Poland

Poland has surrendered. Intelligence indicates that German agents have plundered 325 production points from the Polish strategic reserve. Immediately upon Polish capitulation, the Soviet Union, no doubt with German acquiescence, occupied all of Eastern Poland.

Status of Allied Forces - Land

Strategic Command

The French 4th Army reports major attacks along the Maginot Line by elements of the 10th and 4th German armies. 4th Army losses are significant; light German losses were reported. The French 5th Army counterattacked the German 4th army and inflicted moderate losses.

French reconnaissance identified the XIX Panzer Group and 8th German army moving near the French border brining estimated German ground strength in the west to three army groups, three army corps and a two Panzer Groups.

Status of Allied Forces - Sea

Allied forces in the North Sea and Mediterranean report no enemy contact.

Status of Allied Forces - Air

Elements of II Luftflotten attacked the French 1st Air Force. French losses were heavy; German losses are unknown at this time.

UK Eyes Only - Report to the Chief of His Majesty's Imperial General Staff - March 17, 1940

Status of Allied Forces - Land

The French 4th and 5th Armies counterattacked the German 4th army. German losses are 50 percent. French reconnaissance indicates a significant transfer of German troops to near the Dutch border. German forces near the French border now include four army groups, three army corps, and two panzer groups. Allied strength in France includes 6 army groups and three army corps.

Status of Allied Forces - Sea

The First Lord of the Admiralty has order the carriers HMS Glorious and HMS Courageous supported by the battleships HMS Royal Oak and HMS Nelson to assume patrol stations near the Flemish coast in order to interdict potential German air strikes against the Belgian capital. Commander of the Anglo-French fleet in the Mediterranean is proceeding to the western coast of Greece in order to be in position to immediately attach the Italian fleet at Toranto should war erupt in the Med.

Status of Allied Forces - Air

RAF Coastal command and 1st French Air Force reported no enemy activity.

UK Eyes Only - Report to the Chief of His Majesty's Imperial General Staff - April 14, 1940

Status of Belgium Holland and Luxembourg

Germany has declared war on the low countries! The Dutch corps deployed along the German boarder was completely destroyed in the first moments of the attack. Fortunately, RN fighters from HMS Courageous and HMS Glorious in conjunction with a stubborn defense by the Belgium corps were able to deflect German attacks on Brussels. However, however, the Belgium corps suffered 30% losses.

Strategic Command

RAF and RN air units combined with naval gunfire from HMS Royal Oak to destroy the XVI Panzer Group. However, Luftwaffe interdiction was heavy and both Glorious and Courageous are badly damaged and will likely be forced to withdraw. Losses to RAF bomber command are light, however, Air Marshal Harris indicates that damage to RAF Coastal command is grave and that the unit may be forced to withdraw. Nonetheless, a counter attack into Belgium by the 3rd Army (Fr) inflicted serious damage on XIX Panzer Group. However, the 3rd also suffered significant losses during the engagement and is now only at 60% of rated strength.To the south, the French 4th Army continued to successfully turn back attacks by the German 10th and 8th Armies.

Intelligence had now identified two additional Luftflotten near Hamburg and an additional Panzer Group near Cologne. Current estimates place German forces on the Western Front at four army groups, three army corps, and two panzer groups.

Status of Allied Forces - Sea

HMS Glorious and HMS Courageous have been withdrawn in order to repair damage sustained during the fighting in Holland. HMS Royal Oak and HMS Nelson remain on station along the Dutch Coast to provide naval fire support to Belgian forces. With the withdrawal of the carriers, Ark Royal and Nelson are dependent on RAF land based air cover.

Status of Allied Forces - Air

Air Marshal Harris has withdrawn RAF Coastal to Manchester to await replacements. In the interim, he has recalled RAF Malta and activated 1 group. RAF Bomber was transferred to Malta in order to provide reconnaissance and strike support to Allied naval forces in the Mediterranean should Italy declare war.

Mediterranean

Strategic Command

The allied fleet has taken up position on the western coast of Greece. The First Lord of the Admiralty believes that the fleet will be in a strong position to disrupt any sorties by the Italian Navy should Mussolini seek to benefit from the current conflict in Northern Europe.

UK Eyes Only - Report to the Chief of His Majesty's Imperial General Staff - May 12, 1940

Status of Belgium Holland and Luxembourg

There is continued heavy fighting in Belgium. Elements of two Panzer Groups have pushed to the outskirts of Brussels. South of the city a concerted attack by the 10th German army and Luftwaffe units destroyed the 3rd Army (Fr) allowing the German 10th to advance deep into the Ardennes. Fortunately an immediate counter attack by the 1st Army (Fr) sealed the gap before German reserves could exploit it. The situation is currently stabilized but there are no longer any French reserves should the Germans achieve a breakthrough along the line. The Commander of the BEF respectfully suggest contingency planning begin should a withdrawal from France become necessary.

Strategic Command

To the south, the German 10th and 8th armies continued to place heavy pressure on the 4th army (Fr). Mediterranean:The commander of Allied Forces in the Mediterranean reported no enemy activity during the period.

UK Eyes Only - Report to the Chief of His Majesty's Imperial General Staff - June 9, 1940

Status of Belgium Holland and Luxembourg

There is continued heavy fighting in Belgium. German armor continues to put heavy pressure on the Belgians at Brussels. South of the city a concerted attack by the 10th German army and Luftwaffe units destroyed the 1st Army (Fr). An immediate counter attack by the XXX corps (UK) and 2nd Army (Fr) sealed the gap before German reserves could exploit it. However XXX corps (UK) suffered 40% losses and it is doubtful that it will hold much longer. East of the city, RAF units in conjunction with naval gunfire were able to destroy the 3rd German army. Overall, the situation remains stable, however French reserves are limited to the newly activated 6th Army (Fr). The Canadian 1st army has been ordered to dig in around Paris to cover a potential evacuation of France in accordance with suggestions from the commander of the BEF.

Status of Allied Forces - Air

The French 1st Air Force was destroyed attempting to prevent Luftwaffe planes from striking positions belonging to the 1st Army (Fr). With RAF Coastal withdrawn, and RAF Malta badly damaged, the situation in the air clearly favors the Luftwaffe. It is imperative that RAF units be brought to full strength as soon as the resources become available.

UK Eyes Only - Report to the Chief of His Majesty's Imperial General Staff - June 23, 1940

Italy has declared war on the United Kingdom, France and the Commonwealth. His Majesty's Government directs you to engage and destroy all Italian land sea and air forces as opportunity permits.

Status of Belgium Holland Luxembourg and France

Strategic Command

XXX corps and the 2nd Army (Fr) were destroyed by a major German assault south of Brussels. No Allied reserves were available to cover the breach in the line allowing German forces spearheaded by two panzer groups to drive deep into French territory. The 6th Army (Fr) has counter attacked but it is now apparent that the front is about to collapse.

Contingency planning is now underway to assess the possibility of withdrawing the major remaining elements of the French army and the Canadian 1st army to Britain.

In the south, the Italian 1st army has pushed across the French alps in an attempt to seize Marseilles. However Algerian colonial troops were able to repulse the attack with no friendly losses.

Mediterranean

Elements of the Italian navy put to sea out of Taranto shortly after the Italian declaration of war. Unfortunately before Allied naval units were able to engage the Italians, the French cruiser Strasbourg was torpedoed by and Italian submarine and forced to withdraw towards the dockyard at Malta. Despite the damage to FF Strasbourg, the remaining Allied ships were able to attack and destroy the Italian battleship Ciao Duilio east of the straight of Messina.

Strategic Command

The cruisers Gloucester and Dunkerque are currently hunting the Italian sub that torpedoed the Strasbourg. The remainder of the battle group is preparing to engage the Italian cruiser Fiume. The Admiralty is increasingly uneasy that the French government will order its ships to port in the event of a German victory in France. Privately, certain French captains have indicated that that will sail to Britain if France surrenders. Even so, should the fall of Paris appear immanent, the RN commander in the Med is authorized to sacrifice the remainder of the French fleet in order to safeguard Royal Navy power in the Mediterranean.

Jim Biddle, pvbt@yahoo.com





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