With the Balkans securely held, the Continent was immune against British intervention, and Undertaking Barbarossa could be launched. The original Directive No. 21 of 18th December, 1940, had envisaged an attack on or soon after 15th May, 1941, and had indicated that orders for deployment would be issued eight weeks earlier -- that is, in mid March. In fact, on 13th March a Supplement To Directive 21 was issued, over the signature of Keitel, laying down rules for the administration of occupied Russia, and outlining the special tasks assigned to the Reich Leader Of The SS -- that is, Heinrich Himmler. These tasks, it was stated, were entirely outside the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces: they were determined by the necessity to settle the conflict between two opposite political systems and to lay the basis for a political administration. A fortnight later the sudden revolt in Yugoslavia had convulsed the Balkans and Hitler's timetable. But the preparations continued. On 1st May, after the military collapse of Yugoslavia and Greece, Hitler decided to summon representatives of Finland, Hungary, and Romania and explain the massive build up of forces on the eastern front, in which they too were to play a part. They were to be told -- but as late as possible -- that the major offensive which we plan in the west entails the establishment and maintenance of a higher state of preparedness in the east.

                By 11th June Hitler was already looking ahead, beyond the expected lightning victory in Russia. On that date Directive No. 32 was drafted. The draft, which is unsigned, was sent to the Commanders In Chief of the three Services as a provisional basis for work on 19th June. Three days later the German Armies advanced into Russia. On 30th June Amendments to paragraph B. 2 (a) and (b) were issued. The Amendments are not significant. The form presented here incorporates the final Amendments.