chapter  12
26 Pages

The final round

Satisfied with their progress so far, the Germans pressed on with their campaign. In the words of the order of 30 August, they had to ‘broaden out these isolated beachheads to form a single cohesive landing-zone, the

occupation of which covers the disembarkation of the subsequent troops

. . .’. And then, ‘As soon as sufficient forces are available, the assault begins

against the first operational objective: the line from the Thames Estuary,

over the high ground south of London, to Portsmouth.’ Three days were

required for the execution of the order for the second wave to land, bringing

the strength of four Panzer Divisions and three Motorised Infantry to the

fight.1 Although they had advanced inland at the western end of the

landing area, they had by no means achieved what the Luftwaffe had noted

as the first step, ‘Hills midway between Canterbury/Folkestone-

Ashford-hills 20km N of Hastings, and the coastal strip at least as far as the

line: hills 20km N of Bexhill-hills 10km N of Worthing.’2 The centre section,

north of Bexhill and Hastings, was near to being secured already, but the

progress north of Folkestone had been minimal and the far western advance

north of Worthing had been curtailed by the abandonment of the Brighton

operation. Consideration now had to be given to the possibility of attaining

these objectives in the short term as against the overall concept of the

invasion in the longer term.