The Leader. 1st September, 1944.
Order Placing The West Wall In A State Of Defence
1. I issue the following orders for placing the West Wall in a state of defence:
2. The whole construction will be carried out by a call up of the civil population, and the following will be charged with responsibility for it:
- (a) The position (including those portions of the Maginot Line which are to be incorporated) will be strengthened by the construction of field works.
- (b) The extension of the West Wall, already announced, will be strengthened by field works and, where possible, by permanent constructions extending as far as the Ijsselmeer.
Additional labour will be supplied where necessary from neighbouring Districts. The following will be instructed to cooperate: District Essen with District Westphalia North; District Düsseldorf with District Westphalia North and South; District Cologne-Aachen with District Westphalia South; District Moselland with District Kurhessen and Hessen-Nassau; District Westmark with District Main-Franconia; District Baden-Alsace with District Württemberg. The necessary measures, including the number of workers required, will be decided directly among the District Leaders.
- (a) The Reich Commissioner For Occupied Netherlands Territory, Reich Minister Dr Seyss-Inquart, with the assistance of the Chief Of The Labour Department Of The National Socialist Party, Higher Service Leader Ritterbusch, for the sector from Ijsselmeer to Nijmegen.
- (b) Acting District Leader Schlessmann (District Essen), for the sector Nijmegen-Venlo.
- (c) District Leader Florian (District Düsseldorf), for the sector Venlo-German-Dutch frontier southeast of Roermond.
- (d) District Leader Grohé (District Cologne-Aachen).
- (e) District Leader Simon (District Moselland).
- (f) District Leader Bürkel (District Westmark).
- (g) District Leader Wagner (District Baden-Alsace).
3. The purely military tasks for the whole construction are the responsibility of the Chief Of Army Equipment And The Replacement Army, in accordance with the Directives from the High Command Of The Armed Forces (Operations Staff), and with the assistance of the Military Operations Staff, Western Defences. He is likewise charged with the military tasks connected with the construction and protection of the western defences forward of the West Wall, from Trier to the Swiss frontier.
The following will be responsible under him for carrying out the military tasks:
Deputy General VI Army Corps will have in addition the sector Nijmegen to Roermond. Commander Armed Forces Netherlands comes under command of the Chief Of Army Equipment And The Replacement Army for this operation.
- (a) Commander Armed Forces Netherlands in the sector from the Ijsselmeer to Nijmegen.
- (b) Deputy General VI Army Corps.
- (c) Deputy General XII Army Corps.
- (d) Deputy General V Army Corps, within their military districts.
4. General Instructions for construction of the line will follow separately.
5. The Reich Labour Leader will place at the disposal of the District Leaders the Reich Labour Service detachments employed in the Districts charged with the construction. Calling up dates for the Armed Forces will be adhered to.
6. The procurement of civilian labour is the task of the Reich Commissioner For Occupied Netherlands Territory, Reich Minister Dr Seyss-Inquart, and of the District Leaders. Its employment is a matter for the Reich Commissioner For Occupied Netherlands Territory, Reich Minister Dr Seyss-Inquart, in his sector, and for the District Leaders responsible for construction. The latter are also responsible for the accommodation and rations of these workers, including members of the Todt Organisation employed on the work.
7. Employment Of Todt Organisation In The Construction. The Todt Organisation will be employed on the basis of direct agreement between the Reich Commissioner For Occupied Netherlands Territory, Reich Minister Dr Seyss-Inquart, and the District Leaders on the one hand, and the Todt Organisation on the other, so that they provide the necessary building equipment and assume technical supervision of the execution of the construction. The District Leader concerned is responsible for the construction. The local Todt Organisation Staff will be attached to him as a Technical Department.
8. The procuring of all materials required, including ordering, allocation, and transport, will be carried out in accordance with the Order For The Construction Of The German Western Positions issued by the High Command Of The Armed Forces (General Of Engineers).
9. Local antiaircraft defence of the construction will be undertaken by the Airforce.
10. The Reich Commissioner For Occupied Netherlands Territory, Reich Minister Dr Seyss-Inquart, and the District Leaders, will report to me as soon as possible through the Chief Of The Reich Chancery on their plans for organising the work and labour forces. The Chief Of Army Equipment And The Replacement Army will report through the High Command Of The Armed Forces (Operations Staff) on the state and progress of the construction on the 1st and 15th of each month.