The Leader.

The Leader's Headquarters.   23rd July, 1944.   70 copies

Reference: Reorganisation Of Command Authority In The Area Of Army Group North.

                I. I appoint Colonel General Schörner as Commander In Chief Of Army Group North. I empower him to employ in the overall area under his command all available forces and materials of the Armed Forces and the Armed SS, of nonmilitary organisations and formations, of Party and civilian authorities, in order to repel enemy attacks and preserve our Baltic Territories.

                All those bearing arms, irrespective of the branch of the Armed Forces to which they belong, or the nonmilitary organisation of which they may be members, are to be directed uniformly to this end. At the same time the fighting ability of our naval forces, and the supply traffic for which they are responsible, as well as of the Airforce, must be guaranteed.

                Naval forces and operational Airforce units come under the command of the Navy and the Airforce respectively. They are, however, expected to comply with the requirements of Commander In Chief Army Group North, in so far as their tactical situation allows.

                II. The entire area of Army Group North (that is, Reich Commissariat Baltic Territories, excluding those parts of the Commissariat General In Lithuania which come into the area of Army Group Centre) will be an area of operations.

                Commander Armed Forces Baltic Territories is subordinate to Commander In Chief Army Group North, in all respects.

                III. The civil administration in the operational area of Army Group North, and the relations of the military authorities to the civil administration, remain as heretofore.

                IV. I leave the Reich Commissioner Baltic Territories in the civil sphere, and Commander In Chief Army Group North in the military sphere, free to take such measures for withdrawal and evacuation as they consider proper and necessary in the light of the situation at the Front.

                The arrests which are now being carried out by the Higher SS And Police Leader Baltic Territories, under the plenary powers which I have delegated to him, must not be prejudiced by any measures of this kind.

                I reserve to myself the right to give orders for the evacuation of the Estonian oil refining district.

Adolf Hitler.