The Leader.

The Leader's Headquarters.   28th December, 1942.   24 copies

Directive No. 47 -- Command And Defence Measures In The Southeast

                I. The situation in the Mediterranean Sea area makes it possible that an attack may be made, in the foreseeable future, on Crete and on German and Italian bases in the Aegean Sea and the Balkan peninsula.

                It must be expected that this attack will be supported by risings in the western Balkan countries.

                The increasing influence of the Anglosaxon powers on the attitude of Turkey also calls for fresh vigilance.

                II. As a result of this situation and of developments in North Africa, I transfer the defence of the Southeast Area, including offshore islands, to Commander Armed Forces Southeast who will be directly subordinate to me as Commander In Chief Southeast (Army Group E).

                The principles laid down for coastal defence in Directive No. 40 will apply here.

                The military forces of our allies will, as far as is necessary, come under direct tactical command of Commander In Chief Southeast only in the event of enemy attack.

                The naval and air forces of our Allies will, in such an event, come under tactical command of the headquarters of the corresponding German Services.

                This command organisation will become effective upon the issue of Special Orders.

                In preparing for a defensive battle of this kind, Commander In Chief Southeast will have the following tasks:

                1. Preparation of coastal defences with main emphasis in the Dodecanese, Crete, and the Peloponnese, which will be developed as fortresses (with the exception of Mytilene and Chios).

                2. The final pacification of the hinterland and the destruction of rebels and bandits of all kinds, in conjunction with Italian 2nd Army.

                3. The preparation of all necessary measures to meet an enemy attack on the Balkans which is helped or condoned by Turkey. This will be carried out in agreement with the Bulgarian High Command.

                In addition, Commander In Chief Southeast will control in the German sphere:

                Unified sea transport and its protection in the Aegean Sea, including Crete.

                Supplies by land and sea for all German forces stationed in the Southeast, in accordance with their requirements and the transport available.

                Decisions on all questions which may arise in the three Services concerning the coordinated control of transport and communications in the occupied area of the Southeast.

                III. Organisation Of Command

                A. In The German Sphere:

                1. Commander In Chief Southeast is the highest representative of the forces in the Southeast, and will exercise full powers in all areas occupied by German troops.

                He will supervise the civil administration which has been set up by the various Commanders and by the Commandant Of Fortress Crete.

                Commander Armed Forces Southeast will cease to be subordinate to Commander In Chief South from 1st January, 1943.

                2. The following are subordinate to Commander In Chief Southeast:

                (a) In the area of Croatia, The German General Plenipotentiary In Croatia (apart from his duties as Military Attache), and The Commander of German Troops In Croatia.

                (b) In the area of Old Serbia, the Commanding General Serbia.

                (c) In the Salonika area, and in the islands of Lemnos, Mytilene, Chios, and Strati, as well as for the neutral zone near Turkey in Thrace, the Commander Salonika-Aegean.

                (d) For the Piraeus port area, the billeting areas, and the area occupied by German troops in Attica, as well as the island of Melos, the Commander Southern Greece.

                (e) For the Crete area, The Commandant Of Fortress Crete.

                (f) The Admiral Aegean in all matters concerning coastal defence.

                (g) The Military Attache In Sofia, where duties beyond those of an Attache are concerned.

                For the Navy, the present distinction between Naval Group South and the German Naval Headquarters in Italy will be retained.

                3. Airforce.

                (a) Conduct Of Air Warfare.

                (1) The conduct of air operations in the whole Mediterranean Sea area, with the exception of the French Mediterranean coast, remains the responsibility of Commander In Chief South. He will receive Directives for operations as follows:

                (i) In the Central Mediterranean Sea Area, from the Italian Supreme Command.

                (ii) In the Eastern Mediterranean Sea Area and Balkans, from Commander In Chief Airforce, in accordance with my instructions. Commander In Chief Airforce and Italian Supreme Command will agree upon basic plans for air warfare.

                (2) In order to ensure coordinated operations, particularly in coastal defence, and coordinate control in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and Balkan Areas, Commander In Chief South will appoint a Staff to cooperate with Commander In Chief Southeast for air operations in this area. Its duties will also be to prepare ground establishments in the Balkans and common action with our allies in the case of an enemy attack.

                (b) Air Defence.

                (1) Air Defence in the Central Mediterranean Sea Area is the responsibility of Commander In Chief South under the Italian Supreme Command.

                (2) In the Balkan area air defence is the responsibility of Commander In Chief Southeast in accordance with the Directives of Commander In Chief South, thereby assuring that air operations in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea Area are also under unified command. III.A.3.) was changed and the air war in the whole eastern Mediterranean area was placed under the control of Commander In Chief Airforce (instead of under Commander In Chief South), cooperating with the Italian Supreme Command>

                B. Preparations for action and the pacification of the area will be made in close cooperation with our allies. Liaison Officers will be exchanged, where this has not already been done.

                The following general principles apply:

                1. Italy:

                (a) Army: Regulations regarded as necessary for the Italian theatre will be submitted to the High Command Of The Armed Forces, who will obtain the agreement of the Italian Supreme Command. The latter will then issue the necessary orders to the Italian armies stationed in the southeast.

                (b) Navy: Orders proposed by Commander In Chief Navy Group South for the Italian Admiral in the Dodecanese concerning preparatory measures will be forwarded, in the form of draft orders, by Navy Group South to the Naval Staff, which will obtain the agreement of the Italian Naval High Command for the issue of corresponding orders. The Italian Naval High Command will then issue such orders, after obtaining the approval of the Italian Supreme Command.

                (c) Airforce: Regulations regarded as necessary for the Italian Airforce in the southeast area will be submitted to Commander In Chief South, who, after securing the approval of the Italian Supreme Command, will agree on them with the High Command of the Italian Airforce, and will ensure their publication in an order.

                2. Bulgaria: Every effort will be made to secure a similar procedure with the Bulgarian forces. (The outcome of conversations with the Bulgarians is still awaited.)

                3. Croatia: Cooperation with Croatia and the employment of the Croatian forces will continue as hitherto. Commander In Chief Southeast and the German Naval and Airforce Commands have the duty to ensure unified defence preparations for the whole southeastern area, and are entitled to examine all measures directed to this end.

                IV. Commander In Chief Southeast has all the powers of a Territorial Commander over the three branches of the Armed Forces and the Armed SS in those parts of Croatia, Serbia, and Greece (including the Greek Islands) occupied by German troops.

                Areas occupied exclusively by German troops are operational areas. Commander In Chief Southeast will exercise full powers in them through his subordinate Commanders.

                Those parts of Croatia which are occupied by German troops, or in which German troops are operating, will also be regarded as operational areas.

                In those parts of the Italian occupation area in which German troops are stationed, Commander In Chief Southeast will exercise powers of command over all branches of the Armed Forces in so far as the military requirements of the German forces demand.

                For the delimitation of powers between Commander In Chief Southeast and The Plenipotentiary Of The Reich For Greece see Appendix.

                V. Directive No. 31 of 9th June, 1941, and OKW/WFSt/Op. No. 551743/42 g. K. Chefs. of 13th October, 1942, are hereby cancelled.

Adolf Hitler.