Teleprint. 24th August, 1944.
Order For The Construction Of A German Defensive Position In The West
1. I order the construction of a German Defensive Position In The West by means of a call up of the civil population in the following sectors:
(a) District Leader Grohé, Reich Commissioner In Belgium And Northern France, will be responsible for the lines Scheldt River-Albert Canal to west of Aachen (where it will join the West Wall), as previously planned.
(b) District Leader Simon will be responsible for the line of the Moselle River from the West Wall southwest of Trier to the boundary between District Mosselland and District Westmark.
(c) District Leader Bürkel will be responsible for the line of the Moselle River from the boundary of District Westmark via the arsenal of Metz-Diedenhofen-south of St Avold (part of the Maginot Line) to Saaralben.
(d) District Leader Wagner will be responsible for the Vosges Mountains position from Saaralben to Belfort, as previously planned, even if parts of the line are situated in the area of an adjoining District.
In addition, the Moselle River line from south of Metz via Nancy-Epinal as far as St Maurice will be fortified later, through special orders, by the Military Commander In France.
2. The siting of the line proposed by Chief Of Army Equipment And The Replacement Army in No. G105/44 (Most Secret) of 14th August is approved. The line between Maastricht and Aachen, via Valkenburg, will be completed first, the more southerly line planned via Eben-Emael receiving only secondary priority.
3. The Chief Of Army Equipment And The Replacement Army is responsible for the purely military tasks relating to all positions, in accordance with Directives from the High Command Of The Armed Forces.
The following will be placed under his command, and will be responsible for carrying out the military tasks:
Their sectors will be adapted to those of the District Leaders, even should parts of the positions come within the area of an adjoining military district.
- (a) Commander Armed Forces Belgium And Northern France.
- (b) Deputy General XII Corps.
- (c) Deputy General V Corps.
The Chief Of Army Equipment And The Replacement Army and, at his direction, the military Commanders under him, with the help of the Reconnaissance Staffs already available and the Specialist Engineer Staffs which will be allocated to them, will determine:
4. The line will be built so that the first construction is a continuous tank obstacle. Preparations will be made for creating a no-man's-land beyond our positions facing the enemy, and a continuous and tightly coordinated system of defences in depth will be achieved. This will be continually strengthened at strongpoints by the adjacent line of permanent fortifications.
- (a) The tactical siting of individual positions, based on reconnaissance already carried out.
- (b) The priority of construction in the individual sectors.
- (c) The form which construction will take, based on tactical and technical experience in battle, and the material available.
In the military arsenal of Metz-Diedenhofen, and in those parts of the Maginot Line which are to be incorporated, existing fortifications will be rebuilt, while those which are not to be used will be put out of action. General Of Engineers And Fortifications At The High Command Of The Armed Forces will issue special instructions for the construction.
5. All military authorities and troops employed in constructing these positions remain under command of their respective military superiors.
For the actual construction work they will be bound by District Leaders.
6. The mobilisation of civilian labour, and its employment, are the responsibility of the District Leaders, as are its accommodation and rations, including those of the Todt Organisation.
7. Employment Of The Todt Organisation On The Construction. The Todt Organisation will be employed in accordance with agreement reached directly between the District Leaders and the Todt Organisation, so that the latter supplies the necessary building equipment, and undertakes technical supervision of the execution of the work. The District Leader concerned remains responsible for the project as a whole. The local Todt Organisation Staff will be attached to him as his Technical Department.
8. The procuring of all materials (ordering, allocation, and transport) will be the subject of Special Instructions.
9. The intended organisation of the construction, and the manpower to be raised, will be reported to me as soon as possible by the District Leaders through the Chief Of The Party Chancery. Reports on progress and the state of construction will be submitted to me by the Chief Of Army Equipment And The Replacement Army through the High Command Of The Armed Forces (Operations Staff) on the 1st and 15th of each month.