GUNTHER BLUMENTRITT (1892-1967) German general, instrumental in planning the German invasion of Poland and France, participated in Operation Barbarossa, and afterward bore a large part of the responsibility for planning the defense of the Atlantic Wall and Normandy. A one-of-a-kind relic with incontestable provenance, the original second-to-last order given by Blumentritt to Armeegruppe Blumentritt at war's end, 1p. 4to., dated May 5, 1945, directing his men to lay down their arms and cooperate with Allied forces. Loosely translated, the printed document reads in part: 'I expect all members of the army group to show strict discipline and soldierly attitude...the brave units and associations that fought last shoulf give the enemy...a worthy image of discipline and order and intervene against all vagabondness...The leaders of all grades are to speak to their men....I know that even after the surrender, I see firmly established units on the battlefield that will uphold their dignity until the end...' At the top, Blumentritt has written on the document: 'Return requested!' and 'Second enclosure'. A censor's stamp appears at center-left, and a receiving stamp at bottom is dated Feb. 5, 1947 - when Blumentritt was still a prisoner of the Allies. File holes and some spots of staining, tape reinforcement on the verso, still quite good condition. He later sold or gifted his final two orders to a long-time collector and researcher, alongside a letter of provenance (unsigned) written in his own hand - a scan of which is included with this lot. Written in German, the letter reads in part: 'At the end of the Second World War, I was Commander in Chief of the 'Army Blumentritt' in Northwest Germany...I surrendered on the 5th or 6th of May 1945 with my troops near Hamburg. Those were my last 2 orders to my troops, and 1 radio message from the English radio on May 6, 1945 at 18:00. These three originals have been copied in 1945 by the Britains and the Americans for their files...' A truly outstanding document.