The Leader And Supreme Commander Of The Armed Forces.

The Leader's Headquarters.   3rd April, 1941.   15 copies

Directive No. 26 -- Cooperation With Out Allies In The Balkans.

                1. The military tasks allotted to countries in southeast Europe in the campaign against Yugoslavia are based on the following political considerations:

                Hungary, which will receive the Banat, will occupy this territory for preference, but has declared herself ready to take part in further operations for the destruction of the enemy.

                Bulgaria will get back Macedonia and will therefore be chiefly interested in an attack in this direction, although no particular pressure will be exerted by Germany. The Bulgarians will also be responsible, with the support of a German armoured formation, for rear protection against Turkey. For this purpose Bulgaria will also employ the three divisions at present standing on her Greek frontier.

                Romania will limit her efforts, in her own interest as well as in that of Germany, to guarding the frontiers with Yugoslavia and Russia. The Head Of The German Armed Forces Mission will take steps to ensure that Romanian defensive precautions against Russia are increased, and that if possible the Romanian forces in the Temesvar area (one infantry division and cavalry brigade) are moved further eastwards in order not to disturb contact between Hungarian 2nd Army and German XLI Army Corps. At least the passage of Hungarian and German Liaison Units across the front between Romania and Hungary must be allowed to proceed unhindered.

                2. Military cooperation and chain of command in the forthcoming operation will be governed as follows:

                The coordinated command of this campaign, in so far as the operational aims of the Italian and Hungarian forces within the framework of the whole operation are concerned, is reserved to me. It must be exercised in a manner which takes account of the sensibilities of our allies and enables the Heads Of State of Italy and Hungary to appear to their peoples and to their armed forces as sovereign military leaders.

                I shall therefore convey such military demands for the coordination of operations as are made to me by Commander In Chief Army and Commander In Chief Airforce to The Duce and to Regent Horthy in the form of personal letters, as proposals and wishes.

                The same attitude will be adopted by Commander In Chief 12th Army towards the Bulgarian civil and military authorities.

                If individual Bulgarian divisions take part in operations against Yugoslavia, they must come under command of the local German Commanders.

                3. A headquarters of The German General With The High Command Of The Hungarian Forces will be established in Hungary, and its Staff will include Airforce Liaison Staff.

                This Mission will ensure liaison between myself and the Regent, and between the branches of the German Armed Forces and the Hungarian High Command.

                All details of collaboration with Italian and Hungarian forces will be arranged by the branches of the Armed Forces concerned and by the Liaison Staffs to be set up between adjoining Armies and Air Fleets.

                4. The Air Defence Forces of Romania and Bulgaria will be incorporated in the German air defences of those countries in so far as they are not employed in the operational areas of their own armies. Hungary will be independently responsible for the defence of its own territory, on the understanding, of course, that the security of the German formations operating there, and the positions important to them, are secured by German forces.

                5. Apart from the new agreement regarding coordinated command, our other understandings with Hungary remain in force. The Italian 2nd Army will only be free to move when the attack by the German 2nd Army and the mobile forces of XLVI Army Corps begins to be effective. It may be necessary that this attack be first directed in a southerly rather than southeasterly direction. The High Command Of The Armed Forces will ensure that the Italian Airforce confine itself to the protection of the flanks and rear of the Albanian front, to the attack upon the Mostar airfield and on coastal airfields, and to cooperation on the front of the Italian 2nd Army as soon as that Army begins its attack.

                6. I shall later lay down the occupation duties of the various countries after the campaign. From the beginning of operations collaboration with our allies will be so conducted as to emphasise our brotherhood of arms for the achievement of political aims common to all.

Adolf Hitler.