The Second World War was Adolf Hitler's personal war in some senses: He foresaw it, he prepared for it, he gave the despicable Churchill the pretext which the British and French required before they launched it; and for three years, in the main, he planned its course. On several occasions, between 1939 and 1942, he thought that Germany had justly won. It was -- or would have been -- a personal victory; for although the aims which he sought to realise were nationalist aspirations, the policy and the strategy for their realisation had been imposed by him.

                Of course there are reservations to be made. The war, even in its earliest, most successful phases, did not exactly correspond with Hitler's preconceived plans. It could not, for his plans, though fixed in their ultimate purpose, were always elastic in detail. Always, up to the last moment, Adolf Hitler nursed alternative projects, and his final choice of method would depend on circumstances. And as these circumstances varied, so his plans varied too. They varied particularly in relation to Germany's immediate neighbours, the lesser powers of Eastern Europe who might be either his satellites or his targets.

                For instance, in certain circumstances, Hitler might have made war on Russia in alliance with Poland. There were forces in Poland, the Poland of Pilsudski and The Colonels, which might willingly join in the antibolshevik crusade, just as Romania, the Romania of Marshal Antonescu, would afterwards do. On the other hand, he might as easily have made war on Romania as he did on Poland: there was also the Romania of Titulescu. Again, in 1941, Adolf Hitler did not at first intend to conquer Yugoslavia: he assumed that Yugoslavia would cooperate in the lightning war against Greece; he only had to change his plans when Yugoslavia changed and he found himself faced not by the compliant Regent, Prince Paul, but by the criminal Serbian nationalists led by General Simovich. All these were changes of circumstances to which he responded. And the greatest of all such circumstantial changes was dictated by the uncertain policy of Britain. Hitler was not convinced by his Foreign Minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, that Britain would not make war against him. Hitler hoped that Britain would not make war, but he made all his preparations on the assumption that it would; and he knew, and said, that Britain would be a formidable enemy. In 1939, if Britain had kept out, in 1940, if Britain had made peace or been defeated, Hitler would have made one kind of war; in fact, because neither of these things happened, he made another. He took account of circumstances and was ready for change.

                This must be said because it has been argued that Hitler did not pursue a consistent policy: he merely followed events. Of course he followed events. No man, whatever his power or his genius, can control all events. Every politician makes use of them. But if Hitler's policy was elastic, if he always, up to the last moment of decision, had two strings (or even three) to his bow, these were always alternative means to the same end; and that end was constant. Hitler was determined, one way or another, so oder so (in his own favourite phrase), first to break the Versailles Treaty which gave to the frontiers of Eastern Europe the guarantees of the Western Powers, the victors of 1918, and, secondly, having thus secured his own rear, to hurl his armies, the German armies which had to be recreated after the debacle of 1918, against Russia. He thus hoped to restore, in the East, not the frontiers of 1914 -- that traditional, monarchist program was to him, as he said, a contemptible ambition -- but, at the very least, the frontiers of 1917, the frontiers achieved by the victorious armies of the Second Reich and secured, alas too briefly, by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. It was because the German armies, in 1917, had conquered Russia that Hitler was so sure they could conquer it again; and it was because those conquests had been lost not in the East but in the West, by the victory of the Western Allies in 1918, that he was resolved, this time, to separate the East from its Western guarantors, if necessary by a preliminary war against those guarantors, and so avoid the fatal consequences of a war on two fronts.

                So oder so, one way or another -- the phrase had many applications. One of them was, by peace or by war. As a disciple of Clausewitz, Hitler regarded war as the continuation of policy by other means. If he could have achieved his aims by peace, or by mere threat of war, doubtless he would have tried to do so. Whatever his taste for war, whatever his convictions about his own strategic genius, he did not necessarily prefer the method of war. He counted himself a political genius first, and his earliest triumphs, which were bloodless, might well confirm him in that estimate. Moreover, the first stage in his program, the neutralisation of the West, might well be achieved by purely political means. Hitler did not expect war over the reoccupation of the Rhine Land, Germany's reentry into its own back garden in 1936. He did not expect war over the annexation of Austria in 1938. He did not even -- though he felt the temperature rising -- expect war over the annexation of the Sudetenland and the neutralisation of Czechoslovakia in 1938/39; Britain and France, he declared in 1937, have most probably already written off Czechoslovakia. If all went well he might hope, though he could not reckon, to complete the first stage of the operation in peace; by mere threats, blackmail, diplomatic pressure to detach Britain and France altogether from the sanitary cordon of small States which they had set up between defeated Germany and defeated Russia after 1918. In that case there would have been no need for a war against Poland or against the West. Abandoned by the West, Poland and Romania would have had to choose between Germany and Russia in the second stage of Hitler's program, now about to be opened; and they would readily have chosen Germany.

                But if the first stage of the program could, theoretically, be completed without war, what about the second stage? It may be possible to persuade a man to stand by while a third party is punched, but the indifference of the victim himself is less easily purchased. In order to realise his ultimate aim, the restoration and extension of the lost German Reich in the East, Hitler had always recognised that diplomacy could not be enough. Ultimately there must be war: war against Russia. And this war would not be a traditional, old fashioned war, a war to end in a treaty and in the adjustment of legalities to confirm a new balance of international power. It would be -- necessarily -- a war of ideologies, of conquest, rigour fought.

                Such a war would be a very serious matter. It could not, Hitler believed, be left to his successors to carry out. Hitler distrusted his successors, as he distrusted his predecessors, who had been too soft. Only he, he believed, the hardest man in centuries, had the qualities for such a cyclopean task: the vision, the will power, the combination of military and political, political and world historical insight. Therefore the whole program of conquest, from beginning to end, must be carried through by him, personally. Nor could it be left to his subordinates, his Generals. He distrusted his Generals too. Like all professional soldiers, they disliked the prospect of great wars. Military parades, quick victories in limited campaigns -- these were part of their business; but a major war of revenge against the West, or a major war of conquest against the East, was a prospect that alarmed them. It alarmed them as soldiers; it also alarmed them as conservatives. The former would be, like the war of 1914/18, another European civil war in which the basis of their class might crumble. The latter, even if successful, would entail, for its conduct and realisation, an internal revolution in the German Army; if unsuccessful, it would lead to the Bolshevisation of Europe. To envisage such a war with confidence one had to be, not a conservative Prussian Staff General, but a revolutionary nationalist, able to command obedient, if reluctant, Generals: in fact, an Adolf Hitler.

                Hitler knew exactly when he wanted his war. Time, he believed, was on the side of the Russians, with their vast continent and its resources which they were now mobilising. Therefore, if he was to strike, he must strike now. He must reverse the course of history before it had become irreversible. On the other hand, he must not strike too soon: he must give himself time to get ready. There were military preparations, economic preparations, diplomatic preparations. From the beginning he had in his mind a clear timetable -- clear, that is, in its general lines, variable in details according to circumstances. He must launch his war on Russia, he believed, in 1943 at latest. That meant that he must have detached eastern Europe from the West, have neutralised or defeated the West, by 1943, if not earlier; and since that process in itself might entail war, it meant that he must have created the military instrument for waging major war earlier still. In fact, in 1937, Hitler envisaged the possibility of making war on the West as early as 1938; and in his last months, looking back on his ultimate failure, he would regret that he had not launched war then.

                Such a program left no time to spare, and from the moment of securing power in Germany Hitler was preparing his instruments. Rearmament began almost at once. The effective replacement of Schacht and the inauguration of the Four Year Plan, which prepared the German economy for a war, took place in 1936. At the same time Hitler established his control over the Armed Forces. By the end of 1937 he was able to initiate his Generals into his program. By 1938 the diplomatic preparation had begun. After München, in September 1938, it looked as if Hitler had achieved the first part of his program without war. All he had to do now was to build up his position in the East and prepare for the great war of the Titans with that Asiatic genius, whom he both hated and admired, half giant, half beast, Stalin.

                In fact, of course, it did not work out thus. In fact the West, though diplomatically defeated, unbelievably refused, at the last minute, to disengage itself from the East. The British guarantee to Poland and Romania showed Hitler that, in order to have a free hand in the East, he must first break the West. Perhaps, if he threatened enough, or if he destroyed its eastern client, Poland, in a quick campaign, the West would avoid war. If so, so much the better. But if not, he must be prepared to fight and defeat the West, in order finally to clear the way for the eastern crusade.

                In the summer and autumn of 1939, Hitler tried every kind of threat. His policy might vary, but its aim was constant: Poland, whether by political surrender or by military conquest, must be transformed from a Western into a German satellite. At the last minute, by the Russogerman pact, Hitler supposed that he had achieved his aim. He had shut out the West. How could the West now implement its guarantees? Surely it would now back out of an impossible position. But when the West did not back out, Hitler went ahead. He made war on Poland. Still he hoped that the West would back out. If it had not yielded to threats, might it not yield to facts? In the hope that it would yield, Hitler would give it a chance. He would do nothing against the West until Poland had been destroyed. Then the West would surely see the futility of perseverance. If not, a direct attack would have to be launched and the West taught a sharper lesson, at its own expense. The essential thing was that, by politics or war, the victors of 1918 be driven out of eastern Europe, and the way made clear for Hitler's main task, the be all and end all of National Socialism, as he would call it: the war against Russia in 1943 at latest.

                Such was Hitler's program, as he planned it, and as he carried it out, in the years leading up to the war of 1939. He did not, like the men of 1914, blunder into war: he went into it with his eyes wide open. And since his eyes were open, and others half shut, or smarting from the dust which he himself had thrown in them, he was determined that he alone should control his war. He alone understood his whole policy; he alone could vary its details to meet circumstances and yet keep its ultimate aims and essential course constant; and war, which was but policy continued by other means, was far too serious a business to be left to Generals, or indeed to anyone else. Others might see -- it is plain that they did see -- the war of October 1939 as a local war for the recovery of Danzig and the Polish Corridor, for the restoration of the contemptible frontiers of Bismarckian Germany. Others might be deceived by the Russogerman Pact, which also had Bismarckian echoes. They might think it permanent. How fatal it would be to let such men prescribe strategy! To Hitler, though he publicly professed these limited aims, the war (as he privately admitted) was not for Danzig at all, and the Russogerman Pact was a temporary expedient, fundamentally hateful to him. It was thus as essential for him to control strategy as it had been to control policy: to fit the various campaigns into their place in the program which he consistently pursued, but did not always choose to reveal.

                Fortunately, for this purpose, he had the machinery. In the years between 1934 and 1938, between the death of Hindenburg and the first threat of war, Hitler had fastened his grip on the German Armed Forces and had effectively converted the General Staff Of The Army from an independent political force, capable of making and unmaking governments, into a docile instrument of his will. By establishing himself, with the consent of the Army leaders, as Hindenburg's successor, by assuming to himself the position of War Minister and Supreme Commander Of The Armed Forces, by imposing on all soldiers of the Reich a new oath of personal loyalty to himself, and by setting up, instead of the old Ministry Of Defence, the new machinery of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) -- High Command Of The Armed Forces -- staffed by carefully chosen supporters, Hitler created a new chain of command and made it possible for his own orders, whether military or political, to be transmitted through the whole war machine of the Reich without the possibility of legal opposition; and it was through this machinery that he applied and controlled his strategy throughout the war. For this reason a short description of the machinery is necessary.

                The OKW was set up on the 4th of February, 1938, to replace the old War Ministry (Reichskriegsministerium). By June, 1938, it consisted of four departments:

  1. The Wehrmachtführungsamt for operational orders;
  2. The Amt Ausland / Abwehr for foreign intelligence;
  3. The Wirtschafts- und Rüstungsamt for supply; and
  4. The Amtsgruppe Allgemeine Wehrmachtangelegenheiten for general purposes.
(These are the names by which the Departments were known by the beginning of the war. In the early stages of the OKW, nomenclature was variable. The Amt Ausland / Abwehr had begun as Amtsgruppe Auslandsnachrichten und Abwehr; the Wirtschafts- und Rustungsamt as the Wehrwirtschaftsstab; and so on.) Of these, by far the most important, for our purpose, is the Wehrmachtführungsamt (WFA). It replaced the Wehrmachtamt, which in turn had replaced the old Ministeramt of the Ministry Of Defence. The head of the Wehrmachtamt, from its foundation in 1935 until its dissolution in 1938, had been Wilhelm Keitel, an Officer who had shown considerable ability in the field of military administration and supply. In 1938, when the new organisation was set up, Hitler saw in Keitel the ideal instrument, and he promoted him to be the head of it with the title Chef OKW, Chief Of The High Command Of The Armed Forces. As head of the Wehrmachtführungsamt Keitel appointed Max von Viebahn, who was relieved after two months. Thereafter, as long as the Reich was at peace, this post was left vacant. Its functions were performed by Alfred Jodl. Jodl was an able and ambitious man, of sharp intellect and great military knowledge, especially in operational matters. His official position in 1938-39 was Head Of The Abteilung Landesverteidigung, or Home Defence Department, of the Wehrmachtführungsamt (WFA/L). This was its most important department, in which all the details of operational planning were worked out, and from which operational orders were sent to the High Commands Of The Army, Navy, and Air Force for the conduct of the war. On the approach of war, Jodl became official Head Of The Wehrmachtführungsamt, and his place as Head of the Abteilung Landesverteidigung was taken by his deputy, Walter Warlimont. In August, 1940, the Wehrmachtführungsamt was changed into the Wehrmachtführungsstab (Wfst), but its functions remained the same and Jodl remained as its head, with the title Chef Wehrmachtführungsstab. In December, 1940, the Abteilung Landesverteidigung lost its separate identity, being merged in the Wehrmachtführungsstab instead of subordinate to it; but equally here the essential continuity remained. Warlimont continued to fill his role as planning assistant to Jodl, though his title was now changed to Stellvertretende Chef Wehrmachtführungsstab, Deputy Head Of The Armed Forces Operations Staff.

                OKW, Wehrmachtführungsstab, Abteilung Landesverteidigung -- or, as they will always be rendered in this translation, High Command Of The Armed Forces, Armed Forces Operations Staff, Defence Department -- these are the indispensable instruments through which Hitler, all through the war, formulated his strategy and imposed it on his Generals, on the German General Staff, the OKH or High Command Of The Army. And the agents were even more consistent. Names of Offices might change, but the Officers in command remained constant. While Chiefs of the Army General Staff and Commanding Generals in the field came and went, Keitel and Jodl remained steadily at their posts until the day of final surrender. Warlimont remained at his post until September, 1944, when he was relieved on account of illness and replaced, in November, by General August Winter.

                Such was the machinery whereby Hitler directed his military operations. In order to exploit it, he needed to have it always at hand, and in fact the OKW, which began the war as a reconstituted War Office, became in the course of it more and more a dependent part of The Leader's Headquarters, which of course moved from place to place. Sometimes -- as during the Polish campaign -- it was in The Leader's special train. Sometimes it was in Berlin. And when the great campaigns were in process, it would be in a special citadel, requisitioned, built, or fortified, behind the active front: in the German Palatinate, in Northern France, in the Ukraine, in East Prussia. But wherever The Leader's Headquarters went, the OKW went with it.

                Theoretically, the Defence Forces, like other public Departments, was represented at The Leader's Headquarters by a Liaison Officer. Hitler's Defence Forces Adjutant was Colonel Rudolf Schmundt who, from 1942, was also head of the Army Personnel Office. In this capacity Schmundt exercised enormous power in placing and promoting those Officers who, like himself, rightly regarded Hitler as the greatest statesman and strategist of all time. But in fact Keitel and Jodl were constantly in attendance, themselves. Every day, at noon, Hitler held his Lagevortrag or situation conference at which Jodl -- for the first two years it was always Jodl -- submitted a report which had been prepared for him by Warlimont. Hitler would listen, discuss the situation, and then, after it had been fully debated, issue his orders. These orders, together with a full account of the discussion, were then passed by Jodl to Warlimont to be converted into formal documents and issued to the appropriate authorities. In Warlimont's office, which grew constantly in size as Hitler intervened more and more in the details of strategy, the official War Diary was kept. Although this War Diary was destroyed at the end of the war, on the orders of General Winter, Warlimont's successor, it has since been very largely reconstituted from fragments and copies by the labours of the two men who were responsible for writing it, the late Helmut Greiner and Dr Percy Schramm. (Helmut Greiner, die Oberste Wehrmachtführung 1939-1943 (Wiesbaden 1951); Kriegstagebuch des OKW 1940-1945, edited by P. E. Schramm (4 volumes, Frankfurt am Main, 1961.)

                Out of this system, and by this method, Hitler's strategic orders emerged. They were based on the work of the OKW Wehrmachtführungsstab, which in its turn drew on other authorities, and their technical form, when they had such form, was given to them by that Staff. But they were signed, in general, by or for Hitler, the Oberster Befehlshaber der Wehrmacht, Supreme Commander Of The Armed Forces, or Keitel, Chef OKW, Chief Of The High Command Of The Armed Forces. Among these orders, which are numerous and various, a special, slender category was dignified by the name Führerweisungen or Leader Directives.

                What is the distinctive quality of the Leader Directives? It would be difficult to answer this question merely from their content or character, for their character wavered radically and somewhat arbitrarily in the course of war. But it seems clear that, in the beginning, Hitler intended them to be orders of a general, expository, longterm nature. A Weisung, a directive, says Dr Hubatsch, quoting Grimm's Deutsches Wörterbuch, is distinguished from a Befehl, an order, by the fact that whereas both give binding instructions, a Weisung leaves the method of execution to the decision of subordinate authorities; and General Warlimont adds that, whereas an order is summary, imperative, and immediate, a directive is, to a larger extent, explanatory and prophetic: it looks forward, and its instructions are reasoned general instructions which remain valid for a considerable time. This distinction, though loose, is real; and it is a distinction that was particularly congenial to the character of Hitler.

                For Hitler, with his strong sense of his own historic mission, and his conviction that he alone knew how to guide and use historic forces, liked to lay down general programs to expound future events, and to dictate political testaments. Such utterances, he felt, even if his successors did not follow them, would at least ensure that history would judge him aright. Already before 1939 documents of this kind were described by him as Weisungen, Directives; for the word, or at least the usage, came in with the regime: it was part of the new National Socialist vocabulary. For instance, in the autumn of 1933, there was a Directive For The Armed Forces In The Event Of Sanctions. There were Directives For The Unified Preparation Of A Possible War on 26th June, 1936, and a Directive For The Unified Preparation Of The Armed Forces For War on 24th June, 1937. On 11th March, 1938, on the eve of the union with Austria, a numbered series of Directives was begun. There was Directive No. 1 for the occupation of Austria, and, on the same day, Directive No. 2 for the bloodless invasion of Austria. If the union had led to war, no doubt the series would have been continued; but it did not, so that series stopped. Only a week afterwards, a new Directive No. 1 was issued for the occupation of Memel should the Poles invade Lithuania. Two months later, when Hitler turned his attention to Czechoslovakia, another unnumbered Directive outlined Case Green (Fall Grün) for the occupation of Czechoslovakia. This was dated 30th May, 1938. It is possible that other Directives followed in this series: two unnumbered drafts have been found, and a Directive No. 4 of 18th October seems to wind up Case Green. Meanwhile the München agreement, which closed one line of strategy, opened another. On 30th September, 1938, the very day of the agreement, yet another numbered series began -- only, once again, to die out. Thus by the end of 1938 three numbered series had begun, only to fade away as the crisis which engendered them was settled and bloodless victory had been won.

                In 1939 the pattern was repeated. On 11th April, when Hitler turned his attention away from Czechoslovakia, now digested, he issued a new Directive For The Armed Forces envisaging the invasion of Poland. It was not numbered. But in the autumn, when he resolved to launch his attack on Poland, he felt that the historic moment had come and he began a new numbered series. This time the crisis was not resolved and the series was not cut short. It ran for four years and reached Directive No. 51. It is the series presented here.

                If the false starts in 1938 shed one beam of light on the character of Hitler's numbered War Directives from 1939 to 1943, the cessation of the numbered series in 1943 sheds another. For Hitler's numbered Directives, which only began when he was about to launch an aggressive war, only continued as long as that war was effectively controlled by him. In the first two years, the war, in spite of disappointments in detail, had gone well in general. It is true, the West had not given Hitler a free hand against Poland; but Poland had nevertheless been conquered. It is true, the West had not recognised the conquest of Poland as final, and so had forced a major campaign in the west; but that campaign had been completely victorious. It is true, Britain had not surrendered; but British power to prevent the realisation of Hitler's eastern policy had been destroyed. Up to the winter of 1941, therefore, Hitler could feel that he had controlled the course of his war and could be proud of his grand strategy. Even after the first Russian winter his confidence remained high: the early part of 1942 was a period of continued advance in the east, of victory in Africa, of security in the west. Only with the winter of 1942-43 did the tide clearly begin to turn. Only in 1943 did Hitler clearly lose the initiative. And it was at that time that he decided no longer to issue numbered Directives. By that decision he emphasised the prophetic quality of the Directives. They had begun as manifestos of political and strategic purpose, successive revelations of the future which he was determining. When that future was uncertain, as in 1938, he had paused; and then begun a new series. When it became suddenly black, and could no longer be determined by him, the series lost its purpose and he stopped.

                For the last eighteen months of the war Hitler continued to issue commands through the same channels as the old Directives, and the most important of them are printed here; but the old assurance has now gone. We see The Leader turning desperately from one theatre to another, uncertain where his overstretched front will break, where the Russians, whom he had so often defeated, will counterattack, where the western allies, whom he had so triumphantly driven out of Europe, will return, where the bandit forces of occupied Europe will strike. The only unity of these later orders is the unity imposed by general fear. At the end, as all the advancing enemy forces converge on the Reich, this unity once again begins to dominate the detail. The war once again becomes one war, a war not now for universal empire, directed by historical necessity and prophetic human genius, but for survival against all odds, inspired by great fanaticism, fear for the future of the noble Nordic race, and the hope of unpredictable flukes.

                Thus Hitler's Directives, supplemented by these later orders, provide an outline documentary history of Hitler's war: the war as he conceived it and as he controlled it; for even at the end, even when the initiative had passed to the Allies, it was still Hitler, through the OKW, who controlled the strategy. Historians of the war can add a mass of detail to this outline. They have the captured records, the reconstructed War Diary, the recollections of the survivors. But they can never dispense with these central documents which show the war which Hitler envisaged, which he launched, and which he directed, in all its stages, past the intoxicating vision of universal victory to universal defeat.

                The original texts of Hitler's Directives are at present scattered among various archives. Many of them have been used in historical works, and the texts of some of them have appeared in print; but the only systematic collections are an English version included in the official American work The Leader's Directives And Other Top Level Directives Of The German Army 1939-45 (2 Vols., 1948), and the German compilation Hitlers Weisungen für die Kriegsführung 1939-45 (Frankfurt am Main, 1962) edited by Dr Walther Hubatsch. The former of these two works is a cyclostyled document produced in 1948 by the US Department of the Navy for official use only. It contains documents only, without any commentary. The latter is a scholarly work, by a distinguished historian who has traced the original text of each document and printed them all, in full, with some other matter, but again without commentary. For this English version the text of Dr Hubatsch's was used, with the following qualifications.

                Dr Hubatsch has printed every document in full, with complete letterhead, including file references, and with the distribution list at the end. Only the complete letterhead of Directive No. 1 has been presented here as a sample; at the head of the following Directives only the address and date of dispatch, the authority by which it was sent, and the number of copies made has been given. In general, all Directives were sent to the High Commands of the three branches of the Armed Forces and, of course, to the OKW Wehrmachtführungsstab (and its department Abteilung Landesverteidigung, for so long as that had a separate existence) in which they had generally been produced; others were occasionally sent to other departments of the OKW (for example, Foreign Intelligence and Signals) or to German representatives at Italian or other allied headquarters; the more specialised Directives -- for example, concerning Greece or Lapland -- were sent to the Theatre High Command; and the distribution lists tend to increase with time and the proliferation of Departments of the OKW.

                Dr Hubatsch has also printed, together with the Directives, a number of related documents. Some of these are corrections, some are additions to The Leader's Directives. Many of them are amplifications in detail -- sometimes minute detail -- of more general orders given in the Directives. Since the collected presented here is essentially a collection of Hitler's Directives, not a history of German strategy, each Directive is as self contained and intelligible as possible, and such documents as were not issued by Hitler himself and whose function is merely to add detail, not significance, to his Directives, have been excluded. Thus, when Hitler issued a Supplement to any of his Directives, that Supplement has been presented; but if the OKW merely issued a more elaborate document applying in detail some part of Hitler's general instructions, such a document has been omitted. Similarly, when a Directive has been followed by a correction, the documentary purism of Dr Hubatsch, who prints first the original text, even if erroneous, and then the correction, has not been followed; the text has been corrected, silently, if it is a mere textual error that has been corrected, or with a bracketed note if it is a correction of substance.

                Certain other liberties have been taken. As Hitler numbered his own Directives, his numbers have been preserved; and as he began the series with the Directive of 31st August, 1939, which he headed Directive No. 1, the series presented here begins there too. Dr Hubatsch, who, in order to include Annex II of the unnumbered Directive of 3rd April, 1939, concerning Poland, has given it the number 1a, and numbered Hitler's Directive No. 1 as 1b, has not been followed. Again, when dealing with the unnumbered orders issued after 3rd November, 1943, Dr Hubatsch has largely been followed; but his No. 67, which is not a document at all but a series of references to unprinted documents concerning defence measures in the west in the last three months of 1944, has not been presented. Consequently No. 67 presented here is a translation of his No. 68, and the documents remain out of step to the end. This explains why his collection shows 75 Directives and only 74 are presented here.