of Operation Brunswick "
. In a
campaign which has lasted little more than three weeks, the broad
objectives outlined by me for the southern flank of the Eastern
front have been largely achieved. Only weak enemy forces from the
Timoshenko Army Group have succeeded in avoiding encirclement and
reaching the further bank of the Don. We must expect them to be
reinforced from the Caucasus.
A further concentration of enemy forces
is taking place in the Stalingrad area, which the enemy will
probably defend tenaciously.
II. Aims of Future Operations
1. The next task of Army Group A is to
encircle enemy forces which have escaped across the Don in the
area south and southeast of Rostov, and to destroy them.
For this purpose strong fast-moving
forces are to move from the bridgeheads which will be established
in the Konstantinovskaia-Tsymlyanskaya area, in a general
southwesterly direction towards Tikhoretsk. Infantry, light
infantry, and mountain divisions, will cross the Don in the Rostov
In addition, the task of cutting the
Tikhoretsk-Stalingrad railway line with advanced spearheads
Two armored formations of Army Group A
(including 24th Panzer Division) will come under command of Army
Group B for further operations southeastwards.
Infantry division Grossdeutschland is not
to advance beyond the Manych sector. Preparations will be made to
move it to the west.
2. After the destruction of enemy forces
south of the Don, the most important task of Army Group A
will be to occupy the ; entire eastern coastline of the Black Sea,
thereby eliminating the Black Sea ports and the enemy Black Sea
For this purpose the formations of 11th
Army already designated (Romanian Mountain Corps) will be brought
across the Kerch Straits as soon as the advance of the main body
of Army Group A becomes effective, and will then push southeast
along the Black Sea coastal road.
A further force composed of all remaining
mountain and light infantry
divisions will force a passage of the Kuban, and occupy the high
around Maykop and Armavir.
In the further advance of this force,
reinforced at a suitable time by mountain units, towards and
across the western part of the Caucasus, all practical passes are
to be used, so that the Black Sea coast may be occupied in
conjunction with 11th Army.
3. At the same time a force composed
chiefly of fast-moving formations
will give flank cover in the east and capture the Grozny area.
Detachments will block the military road between Osetia and
Grozny, if possible at the top of the passes.
Thereafter the Baku area will be occupied
by a thrust along the Caspian coast.
The Army Group may expect the subsequent
arrival of the Italian Alpine Corps.
These operations by Army Group A will be
known by the cover name "Edelweiss".
Security: Most Secret.
4. The task of Army Group B is, as
previously laid down, to develop the Don defenses and, by a thrust
forward to Stalingrad, to smash the enemy forces concentrated
there, to occupy the town, and to block the land communications
between the Don and the Volga, as well as the Don itself.
Closely connected with this, fast-moving
forces will advance along the Volga with the task of thrusting
through to Astrakhan and blocking the main course of the Volga in
the same way.
These operations by Army Group B will be
known by the cover name "Heron".
Security: Most Secret.
The task of the Luftwaffe is, primarily,
to give strong support to the land forces crossing the Don, and to
the advance of the eastern group along the railway to Tikhoretsk,
and to concentrate its forces on the destruction of the Timoshenko
In addition, the operations of Army Group
B against Stalingrad and the western part of Astrakhan will be
supported. The early destruction of the city of Stalingrad is
Attacks will also be made, as opportunity affords, on Astrakhan.
Shipping on the Lower Volga should he harassed by mine-laying.
Secondly, sufficient forces must be allocated to cooperate with
the thrust on Baku via Grozny.
In view of the decisive importance of the
Caucasas oilfields for the further prosecution of the war, air
attacks against their refineries and storage tanks, and against
ports used for oil shipments on the Black Sea, will only be
carried out if the operations of the Army make them absolutely
essential. But in order to block enemy supplies of oil from the
Caucasus as soon as possible, it is especially important to cut
the railways and pipelines still being used for this purpose and
to harass shipping on the Caspian at an early date.
It will be the task of the Navy, besides
giving direct support to the Army in the crossing of the Kerch
Straits, to harass enemy sea action against our coastal operations
with all the forces available in the Black Sea.
To facilitate Army supply, some naval
ferries will be brought through the Kerch Straits to the Don, as
soon as possible.
In addition, Commander-in-Chief Navy will
make preparation for transferring light forces to the Caspian Sea
to harass enemy shipping (oil tankers and communications with the
Anglo-Saxons in Iran).
III. The local operations now being
prepared in the central and northern Army Group areas should be
carried out as far as possible in quick succession. Their result
must be the maximum disruption and disintegration of enemy
commands and forces.
Army Group North is preparing to capture
Leningrad by the beginning of September. Cover name: "Fire
For this, they will be reinforced by five divisions from 11th
Army, by heavy and extra-heavy artillery, and by such other Army
troops as may be necessary.
Two German and two Romanian divisions
will remain in the Crimea for the present. 22nd Division, as
already ordered, will revert to Commander Armed Forces
IV.In handling and re-transmitting this
Directive and orders arising from it, I draw particular attention
to my order on secrecy of August 12th.
Signed: ADOLF HITLER