Teleprint. 3rd August, 1944.
Executive Orders On The Leader's Order For The Construction Of A System Of Rear Positions In Northern Italy
1. General Considerations. The system of positions for the defence of the Home theatre of war will be completed by a call up of the civil population for total war. This is only possible by means of a political leadership conscious of its responsibilities. The great success which can be achieved by the employment of the masses in this way has already been shown in the east.
In addition, all authorities must rid themselves of the hitherto customary views about jurisdiction, form of cooperation, and other inhibitions; they must imitate all successful improvisation, and must eliminate all superfluous organisational and administrative measures. The military authorities are in charge of the building. Their tasks, which are of a purely military nature, are clearly outlined in paragraph 4 of The Leader's Order.
In carrying out the construction the High Commissioners will be given a free hand in every respect, particularly in the employment of manpower and materials. All building workers employed on this project will be subordinate to them. This also applies to the special construction units (for example, rock drilling companies, and the construction troops trained in mine laying), engaged on the Apennines and coastal positions, and now available for the Alpine Approaches.
2. General Operational Instructions For Planning And Construction. First, of special importance to the whole defensive system is the Frontline, namely a short connection between the Swiss frontier and the Adriatic Sea, which will take advantage of favourable terrain. This position will therefore be planned and built as a matter of first priority.
Then come the further positions in the system, whose most rearward will be the Alpine Approaches position itself, in so far as it does not coincide with the Frontline in its western sector.
Strongpoints will be incorporated in the construction where the enemy's main lines of thrust are probable -- that is, on both sides of valleys and main thoroughfares, and in the sectors of the Adige and Piave Rivers. The enemy is certain to attempt a thrust northeast, in the direction of the Udine Basin.
3. Military Organisation For This Construction. In accordance with paragraph 4 of The Leader's Orders, General Of Infantry von Zangen is appointed as permanent representative of Commander In Chief Southwest in all military questions and tasks concerning the construction. The former Mountain Staff, Italy, will come under his command as a Command Staff.
The requisite Planning Staffs -- together with Sector Staffs -- will be set up under General von Zangen by Commander In Chief Southwest, from personnel in his own area. These Staffs will be composed of experienced Officers of all arms, and members of Fortress Engineers Staffs, and will be so equipped that they can undertake the necessary siting of the positions, and the civilian labour, with the least possible delay.
Any reinforcements required for von Zangen's Staff, which will be kept as mobile as possible, should be requested through Commander In Chief Southwest from the High Command Of The Armed Forces (Operations Staff).
Requests from High Commissioners for the allocation of specialised construction troops, which may arise in the course of the construction, will be met by allocating labour no longer required in the Apennines. These Army construction troops will be subordinate to the High Commissioners in all matters concerning their actual work.
4. General Instructions From The General Of Engineers And Fortifications for the construction of fortifications in the eastern theatre, and tactical and technical instructions on them drawn up by Special Engineer Staff 9, are enclosed in the Appendix, as a basis for the construction of the key defensive positions.
5. Employment Of The Todt Organisation on the construction: the Todt Organisation will be employed, in accordance with agreement reached directly between the High Commissioners and the Todt Organisation, so that the Todt Organisation supplies the necessary building equipment and assumes the technical supervision of the construction. The Staffs of the High Commissioners concerned remain responsible for the construction. The respective local Todt Organisation Staffs will, however, be attached to them as their Technical Department.
6. Mobilisation Of Civilian Manpower. The mobilisation of the civil population for work on the project is the responsibility of the High Commissioners, who may also use military authorities outside the areas of operations. The latter will, if necessary, have the final word in cases where the same labour forces are applied for several times.
7. Procuring Of Materials. The High Commissioners, with the assistance of the Todt Organisation, are responsible for procuring all the normal building materials required for the project, and for their transport to the site (iron, cement, wood, and so on,), including the necessary entrenching and other tools.
Mines, barbed wire, and materials of all kinds for the construction of the whole defensive system will be allocated through Commander In Chief Southwest by the High Command Of The Armed Forces (Operations Staff) within the framework of the general allocation for Italy. Requisitions for mines, barbed wire, and other materials will be made to Commander In Chief Southwest through the High Commissioners.
8. The High Commissioners are responsible for billeting and rations for all civilian labour, including the Todt Organisation. In special cases -- for example, for detached bodies of workers -- the High Commissioners can apply for rations to be provided by the Armed Forces. Such requests will be made through Commander In Chief Southwest.
9. The High Commissioners will assume responsibility for the protection of building sites against bandits, and for guarding working parties where necessary, with the forces available to them for this purpose. In order to provide additional forces for these tasks of local security and guards, Commander In Chief Southwest may employ up to 40 percent of the Staff and Officers of all branches of the Armed Forces stationed in the operational zones of the Alpine Approaches and Adriatic Sea Coast, in so far as they are not required for tactical reasons.
Active operations against bandits remain the task of Highest SS And Police Leader In Italy, in liaison with the local military authorities.
10. Commander In Chief Southwest will report as soon as possible on the military organisation which he proposes to place under General von Zangen's command (including command posts of his Staffs), and on construction plans in accordance with paragraph 2.