The Holocaust Historiography Project

Translation of document C-62

The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces
OKW No. 172/39 Top Secret. WFA/L

                         TOP SECRET
                                                  Berlin, 9 October 1939
                                                                8 copies
                                                              Copy No. 2

C in C Navy Op 283/39 Recd. 10.10.39

                                                        S.O. only access
                                                    only through officer


1. If it should become apparent in the near future that England, and,
under England’s leadership, also France, are not willing to make an end
of the war, I am determined to act actively and aggressively without
much delay.

2. If we wait much longer, not only will Belgian and perhaps also Dutch
neutrality be lost in favor of the Western powers, but the military
strength of our enemies will grow on an increasing scale, the neutrals'
confidence in a final German victory will dwindle, and Italy will not be
encouraged to join us as a military ally.

3. Therefore I give the following orders for the further military

a. Preparations are to be made for an attacking operation on the
northern wing of the Western front, through the areas of Luxembourg,
Belgium, and Holland. This attack must be carried out with as much
strength and at as early a date as possible.

b. The purpose of this attacking operation will be —

To defeat as strong contingent of the French operational army, as
possible as well as the allies fighting by its side, and at the same

To gain as large an area as possible in Holland, Belgium, and Northern
France as a base for conducting a promising air and sea war against
England and as a glacis for the vital Ruhr area.

c. The timing of the attack depends on the readiness of tanks and
motorized units for use, — this must be speeded up by every possible
effort, also on the weather conditions then prevailing and the weather
prospects ahead.

4. The Air Force is to prevent the Anglo-French air force from attacking
our own army, and, if necessary, to give direct support to the army's
advance. In this connection, it will also be essential to prevent the
Anglo-French air force as well as
English landing troops from gaining any hold in Belgium and Holland.

[Marginal note in handwriting: “It will also be up to the Air Force to
cut the supply lines of those English troops which have already landed.
The employment of U-boats in the Channel will soon cease because of
heavy losses."]

5. The Direction of Naval Warfare must concentrate everything on being
able to give direct and indirect support to the operations of the army
while this assault lasts.

6. Apart from these preparations for starting the attack in the West
according to plan, Army and Air Force must be ready at any time and with
increasing strength, in order to be able to meet an Anglo-French
invasion of Belgium as far inside Belgian territory as possible, and to
occupy as much of Holland as possible in the direction of the West
Coast. [Marginal note in handwriting: “This kind of procedure would be
more desirable in every respect"]

7. The camouflage used .for these preparations must be that they are
merely precautionary measures in view of the threatening concentration
of French and English forces on the Franco-Luxembourg and Franco-Belgian

8. I request the Supreme Commanders to give me, as soon as possible,
detailed reports of their intentions in the basis of this directive and
from now on, to keep me informed, via the OKW, of the state of the

                                                   [signed] Adolf Hitler

Supreme Command of the Army                             Copy No. 1
Supreme Command of the Navy                             Copy No. 2
Reich Minister for Air and C. in C. Air Force           Copy No. 3

Supreme Command of the Armed, Forces:

Chief Armed Forces. General Staff Dept.                 Copy No. 4
Chief L                                                 Copy No. 5
Ia                                                      Copy No. 6
Ib                                                      Copy No. 7
Ic                                                      Copy No. 8


                                                               [Page 882]

                         MOST SECRET

Supreme Command of the Armed Forces
W.F.A. No. 20/39 Most Secret S.O. only

                                                 Berlin, 15 October 1939
                                          [should read 15 November 1939]

Subject: “Fall Gelb”
           S.0. only, access only through officer
                                                                7 copies
                                                              Copy No. 2

The queries roused by the Supreme Command of the Army, on the subject of
the execution of Directive OKW/WFA/L No. 213/39 Most Secret dated 14
November 1939, were discussed with the Fuehrer today.

The result was as follows:

It is of not inconsiderable significance for the over-all strategy of
the war to protect the Ruhr areas by moving the plane-spotting
organization and the air defense as far forward as possible in the area
of Holland.

The more Dutch territory we occupy, the more effective can the defense
of the Ruhr area be made. This viewpoint must determine the choice of
objectives made by the Army, even if Army and Navy are not directly
interested in such a territorial gain. Therefore, the purpose of the
Army’s preparations must be to occupy-when a special order is
received-the area of Holland, at first as far as the Grebbe-Maas line.
It will depend on the political and military attitude of the Dutch, as
well as on the effectiveness of their flooding, whether it will be
necessary and possible to push the objective still farther.

Likewise, preparations must be made to take possession of the West
Frisian islands, with the support of the Navy, at first with the
exception of Texel, as soon as the Northern coast of Groningen is in our
hands; these, too, are of great significance as bases for the A/C
reporting service and England must be deprived of the possibility of
seizing them for similar purposes.

                                                       [signed] : Keitel


Supreme Command of the Army (Gen. Staff of the Army)      Copy No. 1
Supreme Command of the Navy                               Copy No. 2
Reich Minister for Air and C in C Air Force               Copy No. 3
Supreme Command of the Armed Forces/Sect. L     Copy No. 4, 5, and 6
Draft                                                     Copy No. 7