ADOLF HITLER'S FUHRER ORDER TO PREPARE DEFENSES FOR D-DAY
ADOLF HITLER (1889 - 1945) Fuhrer of Germany and Nazi Party leader, Hitler's bloody rise to power, his military seizure of most of Europe and North Africa and his genocidal racial policies culminated in suicide in his Berlin bunker as Russian troops approached. HITLER PREPARES FOR D-DAY: 'ALL OF THE ENEMY'S ATTACK STRENGTH WILL BE DIRECTED AGAINST THE COAST...' A historic content typed D.S., the first of its kind ever offered, 13pp. large 4to., 'Fuhrer Headquarters', Nov. 3, 1943, Hitler's orders to the entire Wehrmacht and the SS to prepare for 'an Anglo-Saxon invasion...the enemy will start a major battle on our western front...in the Spring [of 1944]...' This unique 'Directive Nr. 51', one of only 74 such crucial directives issued by Hitler, was typed on what is commonly called the 'Fuhrer typewriter' which had a large font, on Hitler's gold 'Der Fuhrer' official letterhead. Only four copies were produced, and it is marked 'Secret' with an additional order, that it is to be viewed by the proper officers only. Incredible content, reading in large part: '...The hard and costly struggle against Bolshevism over the last two and a half years has taken the most of our military forces and efforts. This corresponded to the magnitude of the danger and the overall situation. This has since changed. The danger in the east has remained, but a greater one is looming in the west: the Anglo-Saxon landing! In the east, the size of the space allows for a loss of ground even on a larger scale, without fatally hitting the German lifeblood. The west is different! If the enemy succeeds in breaking into our defenses on a broad front, the consequences would be unforeseeable in a short time. All indications are that the enemy will attack Europe's western front by spring at the latest, but perhaps earlier. I can therefore no longer take responsibility for the West being further weakened in favor of other theaters of war. So I decided to strengthen its defenses, especially where we will start the long-range fight against England. For that is where the enemy must and will attack, and that is where - if all goes well - the decisive landing battle will be fought. Binding and diversionary attacks on other fronts are to be expected. But also one major attack against Denmark is not excluded. It is more difficult to sail, and less effective to support from the air. However, its political and operational effects are greatest when it succeeds. At the beginning of the battle, all of the enemy's attack strength will inevitably be directed against the garrison on the coast. Only the strongest expansion, which is to be increased to the maximum with the exertion of all available personnel and material forces at home and in the occupied territories, can strengthen our defenses on the coasts in the short time that is likely to be available. The native weapons (s.Pak, immobile tanks to be dug into the ground, coastal artillery, anti-landing guns, mines, etc.) which will soon flow to Denmark and the occupied western regions are to be used in a concentrated manner on the most threatened sections of the coast. It is to be accepted that this being the case the defensive power of less threatened sections cannot be improved in the near future. If, despite this, the enemy forces a landing by combining his forces, our counterattack, carried out with the greatest force, must meet him. It is important to turn the existing large formations into high-quality, attackable and fully mobile intervention reserves through sufficient and rapid supply of forces and material and through intensive training, which counterattacks prevent the expansion of a landing and throw the enemy back into the sea. In addition, everything that is in any way operational must be thrown against the landed enemy with the greatest acceleration by means of makeshift measures, prepared in detail, from the unattacked coastal fronts and from home The Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine will have to ruthlessly counter the expected strong attacks from the air and at sea with all available forces...' There follows specific orders issued to the army, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, and Himmler's SS: '...Army: 1.) The Chief of the Army General Staff and the Inspector General of Armored Troops will present me with a plan for the allocation of weapons, tanks, self-propelled guns, motor vehicles and ammunition within the next three months for the western front and for Denmark, taking the new situation into account. This is based on: a) Sufficient mobility of all Panzer and Panzer Grenadier Divisions in the west and equipping of these formations with 93 Pz.IV or Assault guns and strong anti-tank defenses by the end of December 1943. Accelerated reorganization of the 20th Air Force Field Division into a powerful, mobile intervention unit with the allocation of assault guns by the end of 1943. Accelerated weapon replenishment of the Pz. Gren.Div. 'H[itler]. J[ugend].', the 21st Pz. Div. and the infantry and reserve divisions deployed in Jutland. b) Further replenishment of the Reserve Panzer Divisions in the West and Denmark and the Stug Gun Training Department in Denmark with Pz. IV, Stugs and s.Pak. c) Monthly allocation of 100 s.Pak 40 and s.Pak 43 (half of which are mobile) in November and December in addition to the s.Pak required for the new deployments in the West and Denmark d) Allocation of a larger number of weapons (about 1,000 machine guns) to improve the equipment of the native [ie: Russian and other foreign] divisions deployed in coastal defense in the west and Denmark and to uniformly equip the troop units to be withdrawn from areas not attacked. e) Amply equipping units located in threatened sectors with close-range anti-tank means. f) Improvement of the artillery combat effectiveness and anti-tank defense of the units located in Denmark and in the occupied western areas used for coastal protection and reinforcement of the army artillery. 2.) All units and units in the west and in Denmark, as well as all tank, assault gun and tank destroyer units to be set up in the west, may not be withdrawn for other fronts without my permission. Chief of the General Staff of the Army Inspector General of the Panzer Troops report to me via OKW/WFSt that the equipment of the tank detachments, self-propelled gun detachments, tank destroyer detachments and companies has been completed. 3.) Above and beyond what has been done up to now, Commander West stipulates the bringing up of formations from non-attacked front sections, which are to be made provisionally capable of defensive actions, in accordance with the calendar and through war games and general exercises. Here I demand the absolute exposure of non-threatened sections except for a small number of guards. For areas from which reserves are withdrawn, security and guards from security and alarm units, as well as construction workers, are to keep open the traffic routes likely to be destroyed by the enemy air force, making extensive use of the population. 4.) The commander of the German troops in Denmark shall take measures in accordance with paragraph 3 in his area of command. 5.) Chief H Rust provides combat groups in regimental strength, security battalions and construction engineer battalions from training troops, courses, schools, training and convalescent troop units of the home war area in accordance with special orders in such a way that they can be deployed within 48 hours and can be removed upon request. In addition, further will be available personnel in marching battalions with the available weapons in order to be able to quickly compensate for the high losses that are to be expected. B) Luftwaffe: The new overall situation is to be taken into account by strengthening the offensive and defensive power of the Luftwaffe units located in the west and in Denmark. In this context, preparations must be made to ensure that all available forces in flying formations and mobile anti-aircraft artillery suitable for defensive combat are released from home air defense, from schools and from training units in the home war zone for deployment in the West and, if necessary, in Denmark. The expansion of the soil[?] organization in southern Norway, Denmark, north-western Germany and in the west is to be prepared and stored in such a way that the greatest possible loosening up of the own formations are withdrawn from the enemy bombing raids at the beginning of a major battle and the effect of the enemy's attack power is splintered. This applies in particular to the company's own fighter forces, whose deployment options have to be increased by numerous field airfields. Particular attention should be paid to the best camouflage. Here, too, I expect relentless deployment of all forces while exposing less threatened areas. C) Kriegsmarine: The Kriegsmarine prepares the deployment of the strongest possible naval forces suitable for attacking the enemy landing fleets. The coastal defense systems currently being expanded are to be completed as quickly as possible, the installation of further coastal batteries and the possibility of laying out additional flank barriers are to be examined The use of all soldiers from schools, courses and other shore commands who are suitable for ground combat must be prepared in such a way that they can be used in the combat area of enemy landing operations at least as security units in the shortest possible time. During the preparations of the Navy for the strengthening of the defense in the western area, the simultaneous defense against enemy landings in the Norwegian or Danish area is to be given special consideration. I attach particular importance to the provision of numerous submarines for the northern sea areas. A temporary weakening of the Atlantic submarine forces must be accepted ...SS Reichsfuhrer examines the provision of armed forces and police forces for combat, security and guarding tasks. From training, substitute and convalescent units, as well as schools and other institutions in the home war zone, the establishment of operational units for combat and security tasks is to be prepared...E) The supreme commanders of the Wehrmacht units, the Reichsfuhrer, the head of the Gen.St.d.H., the Ob. West, Chief H Rust u BdE and the Inspector General of the Panzer Troops as well as the commander of the German troops in Denmark will report to me by November 15 on the measures taken and planned. I expect that in the time that is still available all departments will make the preparations for the decisive battle that is to be expected in the West with the greatest of effort. All those responsible ensure that time and manpower are not wasted on questions of responsibility, but that defensive and attacking power is encouraged...' Boldly signed by Hitler at the conclusion, and further initialed in indelible pencil by ALFRED JODL (1890-1946), chief of the Operations Staff of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht – the German Armed Forces High Command, and by WILHELM KEITEL (1882-1946), chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, the high command of the Wehrmacht. Some soiling and a few very trivial tiny stains to the first page, marginal file holes, very light horizontal folds, else very good to fine. A spectacular document, with many revelations. It certainly is not widely known that Hitler anticipated an Allied invasion via Denmark; landings in Greece were always promoted as the likely alternative to Calais and Normandy. If it had been possible for Hitler's orders to have been obeyed to the letter, the D-Day invasion would very likely have failed. As history has shown, no such massive mobilization was undertaken as most of the Wehrmacht's reserves and potential civilian assets were already stretched to their limits. At the time of the invasion, the following June, the Normandy beaches were largely defended by aged veterans and youths, along with foreign conscripts and 'volunteers' - almost all unfit for heavy combat. The Kriegsmarine was confined to harbors under constant Allied air attack. Combat encounters in the Channel had reduced the destroyer force to two operational ships, two torpedo boats, thirty-one motor torpedo boats, and a handful of patrol boats and minesweepers. Goring's Luftwaffe was a non-performer, and the SS forces, by far the most effective, were positioned only behind the British and Canadian landing areas, where the 12th SS Hitlerjugend Division would wreak havoc. Regardless of the lack of men and supplies, by the end of May 1944, a total of 58 German divisions (out of nearly 300) were positioned in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands anticipating Hitler's predicted landings. A document of enormous historical importance.