Cardboard Wars

War is the continuation of politics by other means

Directive No. 5 for the Conduct of the War


The Supreme Commander Of The Armed Forces.

Berlin. 30th September, 1939. 8 copies

Directive No. 5


1. As a result of the conclusion with Russia on 28th September 1939 of a Treaty Of Frontier Regulation And Friendship, my intention is to regulate the political form of former Polish territories lying within the German sphere of interest according to the following principles:

(a) The new political frontiers of the Reich in the east will, generally speaking, comprise the former area of German settlement, and in addition those areas which have special value for military purposes, or for war economy, or for communications.

Details of the frontier line have not yet been decided. I request that proposals in this matter be made to me through the High Command Of The Armed Forces.

(b) The present demarcation line (Pisia-Narew-Vistula-San) will be constantly strengthened and built up as a line of military security towards the east. The garrisons necessary for this purpose will eventually be moved forward beyond the political frontier of the Reich.

I likewise request that proposals for the details of the defence line be submitted to me through the High Command Of The Armed Forces.

(c) The line laid down in our Treaty Of Frontier Regulation And Friendship with Russia, which will be defined in detail in an additional Protocol to the Treaty, is to be regarded as the limit of the German sphere of influence in relation to Russia.

(d) The political organisation of the area between this line and the new political frontier of the German Reich will be decided by me.

2. For the time being, the whole area of the former Polish State up to the line established by our Treaty Of Frontier Regulation And Friendship, including the Suwalki salient, will be an area of Military Government under Commander In Chief Army.

I request Commander In Chief Army to submit to me, at an early date, proposals for dealing with the following problems:

(a) The pacification of territory to be occupied. The time will be settled within the framework of the agreements reached in Moscow.

(b) The occupation of the security line along the course of the former demarcation line.

(c) The occupation of the whole territory by occupation troops. In this connection the smallest possible forces will be employed on pacification duties east of the demarcation line.

Commander In Chief Air Force will leave in the east the forces which Commander In Chief Army requires to carry out these duties.

(d) The division of the area of Military Government into Districts, or the extension of existing Military Districts to include newly acquired territories.

3. In consequence of the latest political developments, the forces intended for East Prussia, in accordance withDirective No. 4, paragraph 4, last sentence, no longer need to be held in readiness.

4. All limitations hitherto imposed on naval warfare against France are cancelled. The war at sea will be carried on against France just as against England.

Trade War will in general be waged in accordance with Prize Law with the following exceptions:

Merchant ships and troopships definitely established as being hostile may be attacked without warning.

This also applies to ships sailing without lights in waters round England.

Merchantmen which use their radio transmitters after being stopped will be fired upon.

Attacks on passenger ships, or large ships which obviously carry considerable numbers of passengers in addition to cargo, are still forbidden.

5. For air warfare in the west the restrictions hitherto in force remain valid. The frontier of the Reich will be crossed by aircraft only for purposes of local and combat reconnaissance, to attack artillery liaison planes and captive balloons, and, to a limited extent, for long range reconnaissance on the orders of Commander In Chief Air Force. Requests for long range reconnaissance on behalf of the Army are to be handled by direct liaison between Army and Air Force.

The Air Force may also attack English and French warships in the North Sea, and prosecute Trade War in accordance with International Prize Law.

6. The orders detailed in paragraphs 4 and 5 now become effective in place of those contained in paragraphs 5band c and paragraph 7 of Directive No. 4.

Adolf Hitler.

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