5 December 1941

I am pleased today to be able to visit here on the Channel coast the Geschwader that has maintained the watch against England alone, together with Jagdgeschwader 2, while the main forces of the Luftwaffe have had to be employed in the East. The successes of the Geschwader have been great; its losses have been heavy, but unavoidable. The constant duty, the incessant missions call for the utmost effort from the pilots and ground personnel. I intentionally left this outstanding Jagdgeschwader in the West. Certainly I know that this Geschwader would have scored an enormous number of victories if I had employed it in the East. But the number of victories a Geschwader has gained is not as important as which enemy they have been scored against, and I know that the struggle against the British enemy remains much more difficult than that against the Russians. I was only able to uncover the western front so completely because I had two such outstanding Geschwader to leave behind -- and above all, this one of yours. Only this gave me the ability to send the other Geschwader to the East. Thus you are largely if indirectly responsible for our winning air superiority in the East so quickly. I know that it is very difficult to come to grips with the enemy here. He is not far away. He can appear anywhere without a great deal of warning, and it is thus not just the bravery of individuals, but organization and leadership that are necessary for decisive success. I am fully aware that - in addition to the bravery and readiness for action of the Geschwader - your great success in preventing the British from undertaking any more ambitious tasks can be credited to the leadership of the Geschwader.

I know that each of you is proud to have had a chance to fight under such a Kommodore, and I am also aware that today the Geschwader must suffer perhaps its most bitter and difficult hour, since I must take your Kommodore away to place him over the entire Fighter Arm. But only the best man, the most experienced leader, can rise to become the head of the entire fighter force. Today the Fuehrer has promoted your Kommodore to Oberst, and has ordered him to take over the positions of General der Jagdflieger and Inspekteur der Jagdflieger. But I expect that this Geschwader will continue to fight in the manner that your bold and outstanding commander has shown you, and that his spirit will continue to influence you.

I consider this Geschwader today to be the very best one that I have. Do continue to hold up this honor and this distinction! Winter is coming, and your difficulties will increase. Nevertheless, you must not let up. The British must know, regardless of where else we are fighting, that if they fly over the Channel they will meet strong and resolute opponents whose resistance will make further penetrations impossible. It doesn't matter whether there are many Geschwader on watch, or just a few. The enemy must always encounter the strongest resistance.

I recall with deep sorrow your comrades who have fallen in battle. But I know that for you the words hold true: "Forward over the graves!" We must and we will be victorious. And the fact that the British know that they can accomplish nothing here, even though the Luftwaffe is concentrating on tasks in the East, has affected them deeply. It has been demonstrated to them that it is not the numbers that are decisive, but the men, and the bravery of each individual.

With all my heart, I wish you more victories and further success! And I am certain that you will obtain them, if you approach your duties to the Fuehrer, the German people, and the Reich with the spirit your Kommodore has demonstrated.

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