Aggression Against the USSR

The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Aggression Against the U.S.S.R.
(Part 2 of 16)


This statement will be referred to again later in the discussion of preparations for the economic exploitation of Soviet territory. At that time too, evidence will be presented that in November of 1940 Goering categorically informed Thomas that a campaign was planned against the USSR

Preparations for so large an undertaking as an invasion of the Soviet Union necessarily entailed, even this many months in advance of the date of execution, certain activity in the East in the way of construction projects and strengthening of forces. Such activity could not be expected to pass unnoticed by the Soviet intelligence service. Counterintelligence measures were obviously called for. In an OKW directive signed by Jodl and issued to the Counter- Intelligence Service Abroad on 6 September 1940, such measures were ordered (1229-PS). This directive pointed out that the activity in the East must not be permitted to create the impression in the Soviet Union that an offensive was being prepared and outlined the line for the counterintelligence people to take to disguise this fact. The text of the directive indicates, by necessary implication, the extent of the preparations already underway. It provides:

"The Eastern territory will be manned stronger in the weeks to come. By the end of October the status shown on the enclosed map is supposed to be reached.

"These regroupings must not create the impression in Russia that we are preparing an offensive in the East. On the other hand, Russia will realize that strong and highly trained German troops are stationed in the Gouvernement, in the Eastern provinces, and in the Protekterat; she should draw the conclusion that we can at any time protect our interests -- especially on the Balkan -- with strong forces against Russian seizure.

"For the work of our own intelligence service as well as for the answer to questions of the Russian intelligence service, the following directives apply:

[Page 797]

"1. The respective total strength of the-German troops in the East is to be veiled as far as possible by giving news about a frequent change of the army units there. This change is to be explained by movements into training camps, regroupings.

"2. The impression is to be created that the center of the massing of troops is in the Southern part of the Gouvernement, in the Protekterat and in Austria, and that the massing in the North is relatively unimportant.

"3. When it comes to the equipment situation of the units, especially of the armored divisions, things are to be exaggerated, if necessary.

"4. By suitable news the impression to be created that the antiaircaft protection in the East has been increased considerably after the end of the campaign in the West and that it continues to be increased with captured French material on all important targets.

"5. Concerning improvements on railroads, roads, airdromes, etc., it is to be stated that the work is kept within normal limits, is needed for the improvement of the newly won Eastern territories, and serves primarily economical traffic. "The supreme command of the Army (OKH) decides to what extent correct details, i. e., numbers of regiments, manning of garrisons, etc., will be made available to the defense for purposes of counter espionage.

"The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, by order of

/signed/ Jodl." (1229-PS)

Early in November 1940 Hitler reiterated his previous orders and called for a continuation of preparations, promising further and more definite instructions as soon as this preliminary work produced a general outline of the army's operational plans. This order was contained in a Top Secret directive from the Fuehrer's Headquarters No. 18, dated 12 November 1940, signed by Hitler and initialed by Jodl (444- PS). The directive begins by saying that:

"The preparatory measures of Supreme Headquarters for the prosecution of the war in the near future are to be made along the following lines." (444-PS)

It then outlines plans for the various theaters and the policy regarding relations with other countries and says regarding the USSR:

"*** 5. Russia

"Political discussions have been initiated with the aim of

[Page 798]

clarifying Russia's attitude for the time being. Irrespective of the results of these discussions, all preparations for the East which have already been verbally ordered will be continued.

"Instructions on this will follow, as soon as the general outline of the Army's operational plans has been submitted to, and approved by me." (444-PS)

On 5 December 1940 the Chief of the General Staff of the Army, at that time General Halder, reported to the Fuehrer concerning the progress of the plans for the coming operation against the USSR A report of this conference with Hitler is set forth in a folder containing many documents, all labelled annexes and all bearing on all Barbarossa (1799- PS). This folder was discovered with the War Diary of the Wehrmacht Fuehrungsstab and was apparently an inclosure to that Diary. Annex No. 1, dated 5 December 1940, indicates the state which planning for this aggression had reached six and a half months before it occurred:

"Report to the Fuehrer on 5 December 1940.

"The Chief of the General Staff of the Army then reports about the planned operation in the East. He expanded at first on the geographic fundamentals. The main war industrial centers are in the Ukraine, in Moscow and in Lenin

"The Fuehrer declares that he is agreed with the discussed operational plans and adds the following: The most important goal is to prevent that the Russians should withdraw on a closed front. The eastward advance should be combined until the Russian air force will be unable to attack the territory of the German Reich and, on the other hand, the German air force will be enabled to conduct raids to destroy Russian war industrial territories. In this way we should be able to achieve the annihilation of the Russian army and to prevent its regeneration.

"The first commitment of the forces should take place in such a way to make the annihilation of strong enemy units possible."

"It is essential that the Russians should not take up positions in the rear again. The number of 130-140 Divisions as planned for the entire operation is sufficient." (1799-PS)

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