The Leader And Supreme Commander Of The Armed Forces.

The Leader's Headquarters.   25th April, 1941.   10 copies

Directive No. 28 -- Undertaking Mercury

                1. As a base for air warfare against Great Britain in the eastern Mediterranean we must prepare to occupy the island of Crete (Undertaking Mercury). For the purpose of planning, it will be assumed that the whole Greek mainland including the Peloponnese is in the hands of the Axis Powers.

                2. Command of this operation is entrusted to Commander In Chief Airforce who will employ for the purpose, primarily, the airborne forces and the air forces stationed in the Mediterranean area.

                The Army, in cooperation with Commander In Chief Airforce, will make available in Greece suitable reinforcements for the airborne troops, including a mixed armoured detachment, which can be moved to Crete by sea.

                The Navy will take steps to ensure sea communications, which must be secured as soon as the occupation of the island begins. For protection of these communications and, as far as is necessary, for the provision of troopships, Commander In Chief Navy will make the necessary arrangements with the Italian Navy.

                3. All means will be employed to move the airborne troops and 22nd Division, which is under the command of Commander In Chief Airforce, to the assembly area which he will designate. The necessary space for freight lorries will be put at the disposal of the Chief of Armed Forces Transport by the High Commands Of The Army and Airforce. These transport movements must not entail any delay in the mounting of Undertaking Barbarossa.

                4. For antiaircraft protection in Greece and Crete, Commander In Chief Airforce may bring up antiaircraft units of 12th Army. Commander In Chief Airforce and Commander In Chief Army will make the necessary arrangements for their relief and replacement.

                5. After the occupation of the island, all or part of the airborne forces must be made ready for new tasks. Arrangements will therefore be made for their replacement by Army units.

                In preparing coastal defences Commander In Chief Navy may if necessary draw upon guns captured by the Army.

                6. I request Commanders In Chief to inform me of their plans, and Commander In Chief Airforce to inform me when his preparations will be completed. The order for the execution of the operation will be given by me only.

Adolf Hitler.