The Holocaust Historiography Project

Translation of document C-38

                                                    Berlin, 13 June 1941

B. Nr. I. SKL. I Op. 00969/41 Op. Chief's

                         TOP SECRET!
                    Through officer only!
1. To

Subject: Offensive action against enemy submarines in operation

Procedure: OKW/WFH/2 (I Kop) Nr. 44590/41 Chefs.

     I. On 12 June at 2000 hours one of the two outpost patrol boats
     which had been carefully stationed on either side of Bornholm
     reported an unknown, surfacing submarine on a west-course near
     Adlergrund (20 sm southwest of Bornhohn). It answered recognition
     signal after some time with a meaningless letter signal.

     II. In the opinion of the “Seekriegsleitung” there is no doubt that
     the enemy is starting his deployment of forces in the Baltic Sea
     and is also moving his submarines forward into the central Baltic

     III. In the opinion of the “Seekriegsleitung” it is to be
     considered if orders for offensive action against these submarines
     could not be started immediately, or in
the very near future, in order to keep losses of tonnage or of men of
war down as far as possible. In this connection it remains to be seen if
the reported submarine or additional Russian boats are already at
present carrying out mining operations or if the boats are to be used
for torpedoing after the beginning of hostilities.

It is urgently requested and appears possible to release orders for this
offensive action with the aim of destruction without any trace of the
Soviet submarines including their crews. Radio silence which most
certainly is ordered for the enemy submarines will make it more
difficult if not impossible for the enemy to prematurely learn of the
attack; even if the complete destruction should not be successful. If
necessary it may be stated that the attack was made because it was
asserted that British submarines had penetrated into the Baltic Sea.

IV.In consideration of the importance of this question an early decision
is requested.

[illegible]           1           2         3               4
II. Copy:       1 Nord,      lb,     LIK (junge), Gr Nord


III. I Op.
     1. SKL.
          Ia          I Op.

                         TOP SECRET

High Command of Armed Forces
(OberKommando der Wehrmacht)

No. 44 986/41 gK, Chefs. WFST/Abt.L(10p.)

                                     Fuehrer Headquarters. 15 June 1941.
                                                                6 copies
                                                                1st copy
                         TOP SECRET
                    THROUGH OFFICER ONLY

Subject: Offensive action against enemy submarines in the Baltic Sea.

Re: 1 SKL. I Op. No. 00969/41 Op.
Chefs. 13 June 1941

High Command o f the Navy — OKM (SKL)
     Offensive action against submarines south of the line

                                                              [Page 857]

     Memel-southern tip of Oeland is authorized if the boats cannot be
     definitely identified as Swedish during the approach by German
     naval forces. The reason to be given up to B-day is that our naval
     forces believed to be dealing with penetrating British submarines.

                                        Chief of the German High Command
                                                         [signed] Keitel

     Ob.d.M. (SKL)              1st copy
     Ob.d.L (Lw.Fue.St)       2d copy
     WFST                           3d copy
     Chef /Ktb.                     4th copy
     I K                                 5th copy
     I I.                                 6th copy