|The Supreme Commander
of the Armed Forces
OKW/WFA/No. 170/39g. K. Chefs. LI.
Senior Commanders Only
By hand of Officer only
DIRECTIVE No. 1
FOR THE CONDUCT OF THE WAR
- Now that all the political possibilities of
disposing by peaceful means of a situation on the Eastern Frontier
which is intolerable for Germany
are exhausted, I have determined a solution by force.
- The attack on Poland is to be carried out in
accordance with the preparations made for Case White, with the
result, where the Army is concerned, from the fact that it has in the
meantime almost completed it.
Allotment of tanks and the operational target remain unchanged.
Date of attack: September 1, 1939.
Time of attack: 4:45 A.M.
This timing also applies to the operation at Gdynia, Bay of Danzig and
the Dirschau Bridge.
- In the West it is important that the
responsibility for the opening of hostilities should rest squarely on
England and France. For the time being insignificant frontier
violations should be
met by purely local action.
The neutrality of Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and
Switzerland, to which we have given assurances, must be scrupulously
On land, the German Western Frontier is not to be
crossed without my express permission.
At sea, the same applies for all warlike actions or
actions which could be regarded as such.
The defensive activity of the Air Force will be
restricted for the time being to the firm repulse of enemy air attacks
on the frontiers of the Reich. In taking action against individual
aircraft or small formations, care will be taken to respect the
frontiers of neutral countries as far as possible. Only of considerable
forces of French or British bombers are employed against German
territory across neutral areas will the Air Force be permitted to go
into defensive action over neutral soil.
It is particularly important that any infringement of
the neutrality of other states by our Western enemies be immediately
reported to the High Command of the Air Forces.
- If Britain and France open hostilities against
Germany, it is the task of the Wehrmacht formations operating in the
West to conserve
their forces as much as possible and thus maintain the conditions for a
victorious conclusion of the operations against Poland. Within these
forces and their military-economic resources are to be damaged as much
possible. Orders to go over to the attack I reserve, in any case, to
The Army will hold the West Wall and make
preparations to prevent its being outflanked in the north through
violation of Belgian or Dutch
territory by the Western powers. Should French forces invade Luxembourg
the bridges on the frontier may be blown up.
The Navy will carry on warfare against merchant
shipping, directed mainly at England. In order to increase the effect,
declaration of danger zones may be expected. The Naval High Command
will report on the areas which it is desirable to classify as danger
zones and on their extent. The text of a public declaration in this
matter is to be drawn up in collaboration with the Foreign Office and
to be submitted to me for approval through the High Command of the
The Baltic Sea is to be secured against enemy
intrusion. Commander-in-Chief will decide whether the entrances to the
Baltic should be mined for this purpose.
The Air Force is, in the first place,
to prevent the French and British Air Forces from attacking the German
Army and the German territory.
In conducting the war against England, preparations
are to be made for the use of the Luftwaffe in disrupting British
sea, the armaments industry, and the transport of troops to France. A
favorable opportunity is to be taken for an effective attack on massed
naval units, especially against battleships and aircraft carriers.
against London are reserved for my decision.
Preparations are to be made for attacks against the
British mainland, bearing in mind that partial success with
is in all circumstances to be avoided.
signed: ADOLF HITLER