Essays by German Officers and Officials

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Published in cooperation with the U.S. Naval Historical Center

At the end of the Second World War, a joint United States and British Naval intelligence party seized the Marinearchiv (German Naval Archives) at Tambach Castle. This discovery, which included military records from as far back as 1805, prompted one of the most massive microfilming projects of military records in history.

Many of the documents, now held by the National Archives, concern the administration and military strategies of the Third Reich. In order to place these primary sources in their historical context, two parallel projects took place: 1) the translation of important naval documents (including the translation of the Seekriegsleitung diaries and the Führer Conferences on Naval Matters) and 2) a study program by former German officers of various aspects of the Second World War. This publication is a combination of essays written after the war and during the war, including transcripts of speeches, personal accounts of wartime experiences, and research and development reports.

The essays were commissioned for both intelligence and historical purposes. Almost all were translated, and whenever possible both the German original and the English translation were filmed. Relevant Naval Intelligence Division reports are appended on roll 7.

The essays include:

"Why Germany Lost the Second World War" and "The German Naval Defence against the Allied Invasion of Normandy," Admiral Eberhard Weichold

"The Submarine War from 1939 to 1945," Captain Günther Hessler

"The German Jet Fighter Me-262 (Development, Success, and Prospects)," Professor Willy Messerschmitt

"The German Air Force and the Invasion of Normandy," Colonel Walter Gaul

Number of reels: 7