The Leader's Order On The Organisation Of Command In The Separated Areas Of Northern And Southern Germany.
On 15th April The Leader issued the following fundamental Order:
In case land communications in central Germany are broken, I order as follows:
1. In the separated area in which I am not present myself, a Commander In Chief appointed by me will conduct all military operations, and will take command of all forces of the three branches of the Armed Forces in the area concerned, of all fronts, of the Reserve Army, the Armed SS, the Police, and other organisations attached to them.
2. If I myself should be south of the interrupted communications, Admiral Dönitz will be appointed Commander In Chief in the northern area. An Army General Staff (Commander, Lieutenant General Kinzel), which will be kept as small as possible, will be attached to him as Operations Staff. The following will come under his command:
3. If I myself should be north of the interrupted communications, General Field Marshal Kesselring will be appointed Commander In Chief in the southern area. The following will come under his command:
- (a) Commander In Chief Army Group Vistula, who will command the Eastern Front.
- (b) Commander In Chief Northwest, who will command the Western Front.
- (c) Commander Armed Forces Denmark.
- (d) Commander Armed Forces Norway.
- (e) Commander In Chief Air Fleet, Reich, for the air forces engaged.
4. The Commanders In Chief appointed for separated areas in paragraphs 2 and 3 will conduct the overall defence of the Reich in their areas, if necessary independently, should my orders and decisions, even by wireless, not reach them in time, in view of the communications position. They are personally responsible to me for exhaustive employment of their entire war potential, in the closest cooperation with the Reich Commissioner For Defence of the separated area. Apart from this, as far as communications allow, the unified control of operations by myself personally, as hitherto, will not be altered. In particular, the duty of supplying day to day reports is not affected.
- (a) Commanders In Chief Of Army Groups South and Centre, for the Eastern Front.
- (b) Commander In Chief Army Group G, for the whole of the Western Front.
- (c) Commander In Chief Southeast.
- (d) Commander In Chief Southwest.
- (e) Commander In Chief 6th Air Fleet, for the air forces engaged.
The High Command Of The Airforce, and the Reich Leader Of The SS, as the superior Officer responsible for the military duties of the Armed SS, will be kept informed of decisions as quickly as the technical possibilities of communications allow.
5. The Commander In Chief in an area which is temporarily cut off will also avail himself of the services of the local representatives of the supply, transport, communications, and armaments organisations laid down in the Order issued on 11th April, 1945.
6. The Headquarters of the proposed Commander In Chief of a separated area will be sited and prepared forthwith, in agreement with the Chief Of Armed Forces Signals, General Of Signals Praun, and in accordance with the Order by the Chief Of The High Command Of The Armed Forces dated 12th April, 1945, Establishment Of Subsidiary Headquarters.
7. The activity of the Commander In Chief of a separated area will be initiated only on special orders from me. These will also define the Army Groups under whose command each Army will come.
8. Similarly, I shall appoint a Supreme Reich Commissioner For Defence for a separated area, under whom all authorities of the Party and the State will be coordinated, and who must cooperate closely with the Commander In Chief of the separated area.
9. The Chief Of The High Command Of The Armed Forces will issue operation orders.
The following Supplementary Order is for Commander In Chief Navy:
I entrust Commander In Chief Navy with immediate preparations for the exhaustive use of all possible sources of manpower and material, for defending the northern area, should land communications in central Germany be interrupted. I delegate to him plenary powers to issue the orders necessary for this purpose to all authorities of the State, the Party, and the Armed Forces in this area.