The Leader And Supreme Commander Of The Armed Forces.

The Leader's Headquarters.   19th July, 1941.   13 copies

Directive No. 33 -- Continuation Of The War In The East

                1. The second series of battles in the East has ended, along the whole front, with the breach of the Stalin Line and the deep thrust of the armoured forces. In the area of Army Group Centre, mopping up of the strong enemy forces which still remain between the motorised formations will still require considerable time.

                The northern flank of Army Group South is restricted in its freedom of movement and effectiveness by the fortress of Kiev and the Russian 5th Army in its rear.

                2. The aim of the next operations must be to prevent any further sizeable enemy forces from withdrawing into the depths of Russia, and to wipe them out.

                Plans will be made for this as follows:

                (a) Southeastern Front:

                The most important object is, by concentric attacks, to destroy the enemy 12th and 6th Armies while they are still west of the Dnieper River. The main Romanian forces will support these operations in the south.

                The enemy 5th Army can also be quickly and decisively defeated and annihilated by cooperation between forces on the south flank of Army Group Centre and the northern flank of Army Group South.

                While Infantry Divisions of Army Group Centre move southward, other forces, chiefly motorised, after carrying out the tasks assigned to them, securing their lines of communication, and providing cover in the direction of Moscow, will advance southeastwards in order to cut off the withdrawal of enemy forces which have crossed to the further bank of the Dnieper River, to prevent their withdrawal deeper into Russia, and to destroy them.

                (b) Central Part Of The Eastern Front:

                After the destruction of the many pockets of enemy troops which have been surrounded and the establishment of lines of communication, Army Group Centre, while continuing to advance to Moscow with infantry formations, will use these motorised units which are not employed in the rear of the Dnieper River line to cut communications between Moscow and Leningrad, and so cover the right flank of the advance on Leningrad by Army Group North.

                (c) Northern Part Of The Eastern Front:

                The advance on Leningrad will be resumed only when 18th Army has made contact with 4th Armoured Group and the extensive flank in the east is adequately protected by 16th Army. At the same time Army Group North must endeavour to prevent Russian forces still in action in Estonia from withdrawing to Leningrad.

                Early capture of the Baltic Islands, which might be used as bases by the Soviet Navy, is desirable.

                (d) Finnish Front:

                It remains the task of the main Finnish forces, reinforced by most of 163rd Division, to attack the enemy opposing them, with the main weight of attack east of Lake Ladoga and, later, in conjunction with Army Group North, to destroy them.

                The object of the attack under the direction of XXXVI Corps and the Mountain Corps remains as already directed, except that stronger support from the air cannot be expected for the moment and operations may therefore have to be temporarily delayed.

                3. The task of the Airforce is, in particular, as forces become available from the Central Front, to support operations on the Southeastern Front at their most important point by bringing air and antiaircraft units into action, and, if necessary, by early reinforcement or regrouping.

                The attack on Moscow by the bomber forces Of 2nd Air Fleet, temporarily reinforced by bomber forces from the west, will be carried out as soon as possible as reprisal for Russian attacks on Bucharest and Helsinki.

                4. The Navy will continue to ensure the free passage of seaborne traffic, especially of supplies for the land forces, as far as enemy activity at sea and in the air allows. Further, with the increasing threat to enemy bases, appropriate steps are to be taken to prevent the escape of enemy ships to Swedish ports, where they would be interned.

                As naval forces in the Baltic Sea become free, motor torpedo boats and minesweepers -- one flotilla of each to start with -- will be transferred to the Mediterranean.

                To support German operations in Finland, which might be hampered by the arrival of enemy reinforcements by sea, a few submarines will be transferred to the Arctic Ocean.

                5. All three branches of the Armed Forces in the west and north will bear in mind the possibility of British attacks on the Channel Islands and the Norwegian coast. Plans must be made for the quick transfer of air forces from the west to all parts of Norway.

Adolf Hitler.