The Leader And Supreme Commander Of The Armed Forces.
The Leader's Headquarters. 30th July, 1941. 14 copies
Directive No. 34
The development of the situation in the last few days, the appearance of strong enemy forces on the front and to the flanks of Army Group Centre, the supply position, and the need to give 2nd and 3rd Armoured Groups about ten days to rehabilitate their units, make it necessary to postpone for the moment the further tasks and objectives laid down in Directive 33 of 19th July and in the Supplement of 23rd July.
I therefore order as follows:
I. 1. In the northern sector of the eastern front the main attack will continue between Lake Ilmen and Narva towards Leningrad, with the aim of encircling Leningrad and making contact with the Finnish Army.
North of Lake Ilmen this attack will be covered in the Volkhov sector; south of Lake Ilmen it will be carried northeastwards only so far as is required to protect the right flank of the attack north of the lake. The situation around Velikiye Luki will have been previously cleared up. All forces not required for these operations will be transferred to take part in the flank attacking north of Lake Ilmen. The intended thrust by 3rd Armoured Group against the high ground around Valdai will be postponed until armoured formations are fully ready for action. Instead, the left flank of Army Group Centre will advance sufficiently far northeastwards to afford protection to the right flank of Army Group North.
Estonia must first of all be mopped up by all the forces of 18th Army; only then may Divisions advance towards Leningrad.
2. Army Group Centre will go over to the defensive, taking advantage of suitable terrain.
Attacks with limited objectives may still be mounted in so far as they are necessary to secure favourable springboards for our offensive against Soviet 21st Army.
2nd and 3rd Armoured Groups will be withdrawn from the front line for quick rehabilitation as soon as the situation allows.
3. Operations on the southeastern front will, for the present, be conducted only by formations of Army Group South.
Their objective must be to destroy the strong enemy forces west of the Dnieper River and, in addition, by securing bridgeheads near to the south of Kiev, to establish the conditions necessary for bringing 1st Armoured Group later to the eastern bank of the Dnieper River.
The 5th Red Army, fighting in the marshland northwest of Kiev, must be brought to battle west of the Dnieper River and annihilated. Any danger that it might break through to the north across the Pripet River must be countered in good time.
4. Finnish Front:
The attack in the direction of Kandalaksha will be halted. The threat to the flank of the Mountain Corps from the Motovski Bight is to be eliminated. Only so many forces are to be left with XXXVI Corps as are necessary for defence and to give the impression of further offensive preparations.
In the area of III (Finnish) Corps, an attempt will be made to cut the Murmansk railway, particularly towards Louhi. All forces suitable for this attack will be moved to this area; other available forces will be transferred to the Karelian Army. Should difficulties of terrain bring the offensive to a standstill in the area of the III (Finnish) Corps too, the German forces will be withdrawn and employed with the Karelian Army. This applies particularly to mobile units, tanks, and heavy artillery.
The 6th Mountain Division will join the Mountain Corps, using all available transport routes. The Foreign Office will settle whether the railway through Sweden to Narvik may also be used.
1. Northeastern Front:
The Airforce will switch the main weight of air attack to the northeastern front by attaching the bulk of VIII Air Corps to 1st Air Fleet. These reinforcements will be moved up in time to go into action at the beginning of the offensive by Army Group North and at its vital point (early morning 6th August).
The task of such units of the Airforce as remain with Army Group Centre is to afford such fighter cover as is absolutely necessary on the 2nd and 9th Army fronts and to support possible local attacks. Attacks on Moscow will continue.
3. Southeastern Front:
Tasks as already laid down. It is not proposed to reduce the strength of the air forces with Army Group South.
The main task of 5th Air Fleet is to support the Mountain Corps. The offensive by III Finnish Corps will also be supported at favourable points.
Preparations are to be made for the employment of forces in support of the Karelian Army should this be necessary.