The Leader And Supreme Commander Of The Armed Forces.
The Leader's Headquarters. 11th June, 1941. 9 draft copies
Directive No. 32 -- Preparations For The Period After Barbarossa
A. After the destruction of the Soviet Armed Forces, Germany and Italy will be military masters of the European Continent -- with the temporary exception of the Iberian Peninsula. <! as will be seen (paragraph 3 below), "undertaking felix" was still being contemplated. but hitler was not now relying solely on the cooperation of general franco. on 9th may, 1941, as part of the program of securing the west of europe during "undertaking barbarossa", the high command of the armed forces had prepared a plan for the seizure of the atlantic coast of spain and portugal. this operation was known as "isabella". fresh orders concerning "undertaking isabella" were issued on 20th june, 1941, two days before the launching of "undertaking barbarossa"> No serious threat to Europe by land will then remain. The defence of this area, and foreseeable future offensive action, will require considerably smaller military forces than have been needed hitherto.
The main efforts of the armaments industry can be diverted to the Navy and Airforce.
Closer cooperation between Germany and France should and will tie down additional English forces, will eliminate the threat from the rear in the North African theatre of war, will further restrict the movements of the British Fleet in the western Mediterranean, and will protect the southwestern flank of the European theatre, including the Atlantic seaboard of North and West Africa, from Anglosaxon attack.
In the near future Spain will have to face the question whether she is prepared to cooperate in driving the British from Gibraltar or not.
The possibility of exerting strong pressure on Turkey and Iran improves the prospect of making direct or indirect use of these countries in the struggle against England.
B. This situation, which will be created by the victorious conclusion of the campaign in the East, can confront the Armed Forces with the following strategic tasks for the late autumn of 1941 and the winter of 1941-42:
1. The newly conquered territories in the East must be organised, made secure, and, in full cooperation with the Armed Forces, exploited economically.
The strength of the security forces required in Russia can only be forecast with certainty at a later date. In all probability, however, about sixty Divisions and one Air Fleet will be sufficient, with allied and friendly forces, for our further duties in the East.
2. The struggle against the British positions in the Mediterranean Sea area and in western Asia will be continued by converging attacks launched from Libya through Egypt, from Bulgaria through Turkey, and in certain circumstances also from Transcaucasia through Iran.
(a) In North Africa it is important that Tobruk should be eliminated and conditions thereby established for the continuation of the Germanoitalian attack on the Suez Canal. This attack should be planned for about November on the understanding that the German Afrika Corps will be by then brought to the highest possible efficiency in personnel and equipment and with adequate reserves of all kinds under its own hand (by the conversion of 5th Light Division into a full Armoured Division), so that it is not necessary to move further large German formations to North Africa.
The preparations for the attack require that the tempo of transport be quickened by all means available, including the employment of ports in French North Africa and, when possible, the new sea route from southern Greece.
It will be the duty of the Navy, in cooperation with the Italian Navy, to arrange for the necessary tonnage by chartering French and neutral shipping.
The possibility of moving German motor torpedo boats to the Mediterranean Sea will be examined.
The Italian Navy will be afforded all support in improving unloading facilities in North African ports.
Commander In Chief Airforce will transfer to the Afrika Corps sufficient air units and antiaircraft artillery for the operation, as these become superfluous in the East. He will also reinforce Italian protection of seaborne convoys by the use of German air formations.
In order to coordinate the handling of transport, the Supply And Transport Office Of The Armed Forces Overseas <!heimatstab ubersee> has been established, which will work on the lines laid down by the High Command Of The Armed Forces, in cooperation with the German General At Italian Armed Forces Headquarters, and with Commander Armed Forces Southeast.
(b) In view of the expected British reinforcement of the Near and Middle East, especially for the defence of the Suez Canal, a German operation from Bulgaria through Turkey will be planned, with the aim of attacking the British position on the Suez Canal from the east also.
To this end plans must be made to assemble in Bulgaria as soon as possible sufficient forces to render Turkey politically amenable or to overpower her resistance.
(c) If the collapse of the Soviet Union has created the necessary conditions, preparations will be made for the dispatch of a motorised expeditionary force from Transcaucasia against Iraq, in conjunction with operations mentioned in paragraph (b) above.
(d) Exploitation Of The Arab Freedom Movement. The situation of the English in the Middle East will be rendered more precarious, in the event of major German operations, if more British forces are tied down at the right moment by civil commotion or revolt. All military, political, and propaganda measures to this end must be closely coordinated during the preparatory period. As central agency abroad I nominate Special Staff F, which is to take part in all plans and actions in the Arab area, whose Headquarters are to be in the area of the Commander Armed Forces Southeast. The most competent available experts and agents will be made available to it.
The Chief Of The High Command Of The Armed Forces will specify the duties of Special Staff F, in agreement with the Foreign Minister where political questions are involved. <! for "sonderstab f", under airforce general felmy, see "directive no. 30" above. on the failure of rashid ali's revolt, felmy had returned to germany. his "special staff" was reconstituted by a separate order dated 21st june, 1941>
3. Closing of the western entrance to the Mediterranean Sea by the elimination of Gibraltar:
Preparations for Undertaking Felix, already planned, will be resumed to the fullest extent even during the course of operations in the East. It may be assumed that unoccupied French territory may also be used, if not for German troop movements, then at least for the movement of supplies. The cooperation of French naval and air forces is also within the bounds of possibility.
After the capture of Gibraltar only such forces will be moved to Spanish Morocco as are necessary to protect the Straits.
The defence of the seaboard of North and West Africa, the elimination of English possessions in West Africa, and the recovery of the areas controlled by de Gaulle, will be the tasks of the French who will be granted such reinforcements as the situation requires. The use of West African bases by the Navy and Airforce, and possibly also the occupation of the Atlantic Islands, will be facilitated by our control of the Straits.
4. In addition to these contemplated operations against the British position in the Mediterranean Sea area, the Siege Of England must be resumed with the utmost intensity by the Navy and Airforce after the conclusion of the campaign in the East.
All weapons and equipment required for this purpose will be given priority in the general armaments program. At the same time German air defences will be strengthened to the maximum. Preparations for the invasion of England will serve the double purpose of tying down English forces at home and of bringing about a final English collapse through a landing in England.
C. The time at which the operations planned in the Mediterranean Sea area and the Near East can be undertaken cannot yet be foreseen. The strongest operational effect would be achieved by a simultaneous attack on Gibraltar, Egypt, and Palestine.
Whether this will, in fact, be possible depends upon a number of factors which cannot, at the moment, be foreseen, but chiefly on the power of the Airforce to provide the forces necessary for the simultaneous support of these three operations.
D. I request Commanders In Chief to begin the planning and organisation of these operations as outlined above, and to keep me informed of the results so that I may issue final Directives before the campaign in the East is over.