Volume 3, Chapter 12
“How would that be possible! There are hundreds of thousands of soldiers, how could the British come up with such a crazy plan. There is no way they could secretly withdrawal hundreds of thousands of troops without us knowing.” Jodl shouted.
“Did I say that they were going to sneak away? They can leave right under our gazes. Like what General Rundstedt said, if we stop our armored units and advance with only infantry, then it wouldn’t be unlikely for them to sacrifice some peripheral guards and drag the fight on for a month. More than enough time for the entire group to be evacuated by then. By the time our infantry has defeated the defensive units they would be met with an empty beach!”
“My Luftwaffe can stop the enemy’s retreat!”
It seems defeated men do not give up. Not even waiting for Xu Jun’s rebuttal, Hitler had already given a vicious stare to sit back down.
Xu Jun smiled and told Göring.
“I’ve already told you, Marshal Göring, that your Luftwaffe is unable to deal a fatal blow to the enemy. So, you would rely on preventing their retreat?
But there lies another problem also. We don’t even know if the weather situation would be suitable for your planes. Furthermore, even if the weather is good, it would be absolutely impossible for your planes to destroy all of the transport ships. Keep in mind, the enemy has both a strong navy and air force. They will definitely provide support for the retreat.
You may be able to eliminate a portion of the enemies but much more will escape your grasp. The British will make sure their plan is successful at all costs. As this involves the entire British war effort and perhaps the continued existence of United Kingdom. With such a strong determination, it would be impossible to completely rely on the Luftwaffe to stop the withdrawal of these forces.
If we let these troops escape, then it will leave a hidden danger. Later on, in order to eliminate these escaped troops, we will have to pay an unfathomable price. It will never be as easy as it is now. Germany, with its limited resources, cannot allow such unneeded consumption.
At this time Keitel stated, “General Reinhardt, what you said was simply assumptions. There is no evidence that the enemy wishes to retreat. Also, the British have inadequate ships to load all the soldiers. If the enemy really begins to retreat, why can’t we just bomb the port?”
Xu Jun smiled and was about to answer when Hitler spoke.
“Reinhardt is right! They will definitely retreat by the sea. I carefully considered the idea. Indeed, if I was the British, I would agree with this crazy idea. It is correct, the British absolutely cannot afford all of their elite troops to be eliminated in one stroke. Reinhardt managed to think of something that we would have missed otherwise. He has truly saved the war effort once again.
If we let these troops run, we cannot guarantee whether they will not return to bite us in the rear. It will become a big obstacle to our next stage of the war. These forces are already familiar with the battlefield and once they return with plenty of supplies, it will be an even more effective force. If we do not act now then it will be the disaster of 1918 again. Even if there are no signs of retreat, we must still be on guard. We must destroy these trapped soldiers as soon as possible!
Also, if you said that the British lack boats… If I was the British, there are plenty of other options. If I really wanted boats then what could stop me?”
Hearing Hitler’s words, Xu Jun could not help but secretly nod. Although, Hitler in the late stages of World War II became quite arrogant. Currently, it was only the Battle of France, he is indeed as cautious and keen to control the aspects of war as recorded. His military literacy is very high, strategic issues can often be solved by him. However, because of the lack of control over the military, during the beginning of World War II, he was still relatively dependent on the opinion of the generals. The input of Rundstedt and Göring regarding Dunkirk lead to the first large strategic mistake of the war.
Time for him to make up for his mistake.
Hitler then turned to face Xu Jun. “My dear Reinhardt, since you have long seen this issue, you must have a solution.”
Xu Jun replied, “Yes, I had been thinking about this when I was in Arras. I have already worked out a plan. If it is carried out exactly as planned, I believe that not even a few of the British or French troops will escape. Our losses will only be minimal and we might even obtain an unintended harvest.”
“Then quickly announce your plan” Hitler said. Listening to Xu Jun’s words he became overjoyed. His mind curious what sort of plan would allow the destruction of so many enemies with so little losses.
Xu Jun stood there and took out a document from the briefcase. Then he said in a serious tone to Hitler.
“My Fuhrer, before I announce my plan, I would like to mention three requirements.”
“Huh? What requirements? Anyhow, quickly say them.” Hitler said with a slightly displeased voice.
“My Fuhrer, these requirements are entirely to ensure the betterment of the battle plan. I have no private intentions when it comes to this.”
“It is nothing, I have full confidence in you. Do not have other concerns, if you can bring a perfect end to this battle than any request can be made.”
“Yes. My Fuhrer.”
Xu Jun then went and cleared his voice. Then said in a loud voice.
“So, the first request is that due to the large and detailed scale of the plan, and the need for quick action. I ask that the I be given the highest authority in this battle. Giving me the right to mobilize, resettle, and command all troops involved in the campaign. Also giving me the right to be the immediate military court to dispense punishment to officers and soldiers.
Hitler pondered but then immediately answered, “Yes, this is within reason. These powers are necessary for a battle commander. I can instate this powers to you when the time comes. Your next request?”
This caused a stir among the generals. The Fuhrer seemed to have unwavering trust in Reinhardt. So much so that he allowed some of his military power to be decentralized. Albeit for only a battle. However, this means that Reinhardt will have the authority to command all three branches of the Wehrmacht. A situation that was quite unique.
Xu Jun continued, “As part of my plan, I will need to create a unit comprised of the most elite soldiers to fight in the most critical confrontations. So, I ask that you allow me to pick out a few soldiers to create my immediate army. Which I will personally command to act in areas that require more skill. I also wish to keep this unit after victory, to continue fighting for the Third Reich.”
This time Hitler did not even need to consider. “Of course, you are the Deputy Fuhrer and also a military general. You should have a direct unit under your command if you wish. Just as Göring has his own division, you can have your own. This request is not excessive. You can discuss the matter with the Wehrmacht regarding the soldiers.”
Hitler’s heart was still praising Xu Jun’s competence. Inwardly, he was quite glad that quite a few of the elite soldiers would be soon under the direct command of the Party.
The generals surprisingly did not voice any objections. Instead, they were thinking about how to win over the Deputy and the such.
“Thank you, my Fuhrer. My third request is that I wish to set up a wing directly under my command. I was hoping that you could deploy a wing from the Luftwaffe to be under my command.”