Hitler's War Directives 1939-1945

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Overview

The Second World War was Hitler’s personal war in many senses. He intended it, prepared for it, chose the moment for launching it, planned its course, and, on several occasions between 1939 and 1942, claimed to have won it.

Although the aims he sought to achieve were old nationalist aspirations, the fact that the policy and strategy for their realization were imposed so completely by Hitler meant that if victory had come, it would have been ...

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Overview

The Second World War was Hitler’s personal war in many senses. He intended it, prepared for it, chose the moment for launching it, planned its course, and, on several occasions between 1939 and 1942, claimed to have won it.

Although the aims he sought to achieve were old nationalist aspirations, the fact that the policy and strategy for their realization were imposed so completely by Hitler meant that if victory had come, it would have been very much a personal triumph: the ultimate failure was thus a personal one too.

This book presents all of Hitler’s directives, from preparations for the invasion of Poland (31 August 1939) to his last desperate order to his troops on the Eastern Front (15 April 1945), whom he urges to choke the Bolshevik assault ‘in a bath of blood’. They provide a fascinating insight into Hitler’s mind and how he interpreted and reacted to events as they unfolded. The book also has detailed notes which link the Fuhrer’s orders and explain the consequences of his directives and how the Allies responded to them.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781843410140
  • Publisher: Birlinn, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/3/2005
  • Series: Battlefield Britain Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Editor's Introduction 13
Part I The Offensive War
1 31 Aug. 1939 Plan of Attack on Poland 37
2 3 Sept. 1939 Hostilities in the West 40
3 9 Sept. 1939 Transfer of Forces from Poland to the West 42
4 25 Sept. 1939 Finishing the War in Poland 44
5 30 Sept. 1939 Partition of Poland 46
6 9 Oct. 1939 Plans for Offensive in the West 49
7 18 Oct. 1939 Preparations for Attack in the West 51
8 20 Nov. 1939 Further Preparations for Attack in the West 53
9 29 Nov. 1939 'Instructions for Warfare against the Economy of the Enemy' 56
10 19 Jan./18 Feb. 1940 Concentration of Forces for 'Undertaking Yellow' 59
10a 1 Mar. 1940 'Case Weser-Exercise' against Denmark and Norway 60
11 14 May. 1940 The Offensive in the West 64
12 18 May. 1940 Prosecution of the Attack in the West 65
13 24 May. 1940 Next Object in the West 67
14 8 June. 1940 Continuation of the Offensive in France 70
15 14 June. 1940 Advance on the Loire 72
16 16 July. 1940 'Preparations for a Landing Operation against England' 74
17 1 Aug. 1940 'For the Conduct of Air and Sea Warfare against England' 79
18 12 Nov. 1940 Plans to enter Spain and capture Gibraltar 80
19 10 Dec. 1940 'Undertaking Attila' 87
20 13 Dec. 1940 'Undertaking Marita' 90
21 18 Dec. 1940 'Case Barbarossa' 93
22 11 Jan. 1941 'German Support for Battles in the Mediterranean Area' 98
23 6 Feb. 1941 'Directions for Operations against the English War Economy' 101
24 5 Mar. 1941 'Cooperation with Japan' 104
25 27 Mar. 1941 Plan of Attack on Yugoslavia 107
26 3 April. 1941 'Cooperation with our Allies in the Balkans' 110
27 4 April. 1941 Plan of Attack on Greece 113
28 25 April. 1941 'Undertaking Mercury' 117
29 17 May. 1941 Proposed Military Government of Greece 119
30 23 May. 1941 German Intervention in Iraq 122
31 9 June. 1941 German Military Organization in the Balkans 125
32 11 June. 1941 'Preparations for the Period after Barbarossa' 129
32a 14 July. 1941 Supplement to 32: Reduction of the Army after Victory over Russia 135
33 19 July. 1941 Continuation of the War in the East 139
33a 23 July. 1941 Supplement to 33 143
34 30 July. 1941 Change of Strategy in Russia 145
34a 12 Aug. 1941 Supplement to 34 148
35 6 Sept. 1941 Decision on Employment of Army Group Centre 151
36 22 Sept. 1941 Objectives in the Arctic Theatre 155
37 10 Oct. 1941 Reorganization of Forces in the Arctic Theatre 159
38 2 Dec. 1941 The Air War in the Mediterranean 163
39 8 Dec. 1941 Defence on the Eastern Front 165
40 23 Mar. 1942 'Competence of Commanders in Coastal Areas' 170
41 5 April. 1942 Spring Campaign in the East 177
42 29 May. 1942 'Instructions for Operations against Unoccupied France and the Iberian Peninsula' 183
43 11 July. 1942 'Continuation of Operations from the Crimea' 186
44 21 July. 1942 'Operations in Northern Finland' 191
45 23 July. 1942 'Continuation of Operation Brunswick' 193
46 18 Aug. 1942 'Instructions for Intensified Activity against Banditry in the East' 197
47 28 Dec. 1942 'Command and Defence Measures in the South-east' 202
48 26 July. 1943 'Command and Defence Measures in the South-east' 209
49 31 July. 1943 Operation Alaric (later Axis) 214
50 28 Sept. 1943 'Concerning the Preparations for the Withdrawal of 20th Mountain Army to North Finland and North Norway' 215
51 3 Nov. 1943 The Danger of a Second Front in the West 218
Part II The Defensive War
52 28 Jan. 1944 The Battle for Rome 231
53 8 Mar. 1944 'Commandants of Fortified Areas and Battle Commandants' 233
54 2 April. 1944 Defensive Line in the East 236
55 16 May. 1944 'Employment of Long-range Weapons against England' 238
56 12 July. 1944 Coordination of Shipping 240
57 13 July. 1944 Two Decrees of the Fuhrer concerning Authority in the Event of Invasion of the Reich 242
58 19 July. 1944 Order concerning Preparations for the Defence of the Reich 247
59 23 July. 1944 'Reorganization of Command Authority in the Area of Army Group North' 252
60 26 July. 1944 'Alpine Approaches Position' (three orders) 255
61 24 Aug. 1944 'Order for the Construction of German Defensive Positions in the West' 262
62 29 Aug. 1944 'Order for the Completion of Defences in the German Bight' 265
63 1 Sept. 1944 'Order placing the West Wall in a State of Defence' 268
64 3 Sept. 1944 'Direction for Further Operations by Commander-in-Chief West' 271
64a 7 Sept. 1944 'Military Powers of Commander-in-Chief West' 276
64b 9 Sept. 1944 Further to 64a 277
65 12 Sept. 1944 'Order for Defences in the South-east' 278
66 19-22 Sept. 1944 'Second Decree of the Fuhrer on Powers of Command in an Area of Operations within the Reich' (three documents) 281
67 25 Nov. 1944 'Exercise of Command in Units which have been Isolated' 286
68 21 Jan. 1945 The Fuhrer alone will determine Strategy 289
69 28 Jan. 1945 'Employment of the Volkssturm' 290
70 5 Feb. 1945 'Transport of Refugees from the East to Denmark' 291
71 20 Mar. 1945 'Demolitions on Reich Territory' 292
72 7 April. 1945 Reorganization of Command in the West 294
73 15 April. 1945 'Fuhrer's Order on the Organization of Command in the Separated Areas of Northern and Southern Germany' 297
74 15 April. 1945 Order of the Day to Soldiers of the Eastern Front 300
List of Code-names 304
Glossary 305
Index 311
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2008

    A welcome reprint of a useful volume

    Hitler¿s War Directives is a reprint of a reference work first made available in 1964. Eighty of Hitler¿s major directives are included here, and all are ably edited, annotated, and commented upon by one of England¿s more noted and sometimes controversial historians. This book can, in a few nights reading, give anyone a good, concise view of Hitler¿s thinking throughout the war. Indeed, the short introduction by Trevor-Roper gives an economic and admirable summary of Hitler¿s planning as well as reflections on Hitler¿s approach to developing situations. As one reads his directives, one is struck occasionally by the grotesque deception (¿all political possibilities of peaceful settlement have been exhausted¿ opens his directive to attack Poland in 1939) and the absurd optimism (¿our military mastery of the European continent after the overthrow of Russia will make it possible to considerably reduce the strength of the Army¿), but much more often can be seen Hitler¿s surprisingly well reasoned grasp of even deteriorating circumstances. His image in the bunker notwithstanding, he did not always manipulate non-existent battalions. This volume is useful for advanced readers and essential for beginning students of the war.

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