On 3rd April, 1939, Hitler, through Field Marshal Keitel, Chief Of The High Command Of The Armed Forces, issued a Directive concerning war preparations. Annexed to it was a document containing details of Fall Weiss (Case White), the projected attack on Poland. In this document Hitler explained that, whereas he wished to maintain peaceful relations with Poland, Poland's attitude to Germany might change for the worse and then, in spite of the existing treaty -- the German-Polish treaty of nonaggression -- it might be necessary to settle the account for good. In such circumstances it was Hitler's resolve to smash the Polish armed forces and to create in the east a situation corresponding with the needs of Germany's defence. The free city of Danzig would be proclaimed part of Germany at the start of the conflict, at the latest. In preparation for such a conflict, the German Government was seeking to isolate Poland diplomatically. Instructions were given to the three branches of the Armed Forces to ensure that, when orders were given, the attack would come as a surprise and the Polish armed forces could be annihilated.

                Throughout the following months -- months of intense diplomatic activity and a war of nerves against Poland -- supplementary instructions were issued by the High Command Of The Armed Forces. Finally, on 31st August, preparations were complete and Hitler issued his first War Directive.