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Directive No. 34

The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces

Fueher Headquarters July 30, 1941 - 14 copies

Directive No. 34

The development of the situation in the last few days, the appearance of strong enemy forces on the front and to the flanks of Army Group Center, the supply position, and the need to give Panzer Groups 2 and 3 about ten days to rehabilitate their units, make it necessary to postpone for the moment the further tasks and objectives laid down in Directive 33 of July 19th and in the supplement of July 23rd.

I therefore order as follows:

I. 1. In the Northern Sector of the Eastern front the main attack will continue between Lake Ilmen and Narva towards Leningrad, with the aim of encircling Leningrad and making contact with the Finnish Army.

North of Lake Ilmen this attack will be covered in the Volkhov sector; South of Lake Illmen it will be carried north-eastwards only so far as is required to protect the right flank of the attack north of the lake. The situation around Velikiye Luki will have been previously cleared up. All forces not required for these operations will be transferred to take part in the flank attacking north of Lake Ilmen. The intended thrust by Panzer Group 3 against the high ground around Valdai will be postponed until armored formations are fully ready for action. Instead, the left flank of Army Group Center will advance sufficiently far north-eastwards to afford protection to the right flank of Army Group North.

Estonia must first of all be mopped up by all the forces of 18th Army; only then may divisions advance towards Leningrad.

2. Army Group Center will go over to the defensive, taking advantage of suitable terrain.

Attacks with limited objectives may still be mounted in so far as they are necessary to secure favorable spring-boards for our offensive against Soviet 21st Army.

Panzer Groups 2 and 3 will be withdrawn from the front line for quick rehabilitation as soon as the situation allows.

3. Operations on the Southeastern front will, for the present, be conducted only by formations of Army Group South.

Their objective must be to destroy the strong enemy forces west of the Dnieper and, in addition, by securing bridgeheads near to and south of Kiev, to establish the conditions necessary for bringing Panzer Group 1 later to the eastern bank of the Dnieper.

The 5th Red Army, fighting in the marshland northwest of Kiev, must be brought to battle west of the Dnieper and annihilated. Any danger that it might break through to the north across the Pripet must be countered in good time.

4. Finnish Front:

The attack in the direction of Kandalaksha will be halted. The threat to the flank of the Mountain Corps from the Motovski Bight is to be eliminated. Only so many forces are to be left with XXXVI Corps as are necessary for defense and to give the impression of further offensive preparations.

In the area of III (Finnish) Corps an attempt will be made to cut the Murmansk railway, particularly towards Louhi. All forces suitable for this attack will be moved to this area; other available forces will be transferred to the Karelian Army. Should difficulties of terrain bring the offensive to a standstill in the area of the III (Finnish) Corps too, the German forces will be withdrawn and employed with the Karelian Army. This applies particularly to mobile units, tanks, and heavy artillery.

The 6th Mountain Division will join the Mountain Corps, using all available transport routes. The Foreign Office will settle whether the railway through Sweden to Narvik may also be used.

II. Luftwaffe.

1. Northeastern Front:

The Luftwaffe will switch the main weight of air attack to the Northeastern front by attaching the bulk of VIII Air Corps to 1st Air Fleet. These reinforcements will be moved up in time to go into action at the beginning of the offensive by Army Group North and at its vital point (early morning August 6th).

2. Center:

The task of such units of the Luftwaffe as remain with Army Group Center is to afford such fighter cover as is absolutely necessary on the 2nd and 9th Army fronts and to support possible local attacks. Attacks on Moscow will continue.

3. Southeastern Front:

Tasks as already laid down. It is not proposed to reduce the strength of the air forces with Army Group South.

4. Finland:

The main task of 5th Air Fleet is to support the Mountain Corps. The offensive by III Finnish Corps will also be supported at favorable points.

Preparations are to be made for the employment of forces in support of the Karelian Army should this be necessary.


Supplement to Directive No. 34

The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces

Fueher Headquarters July 30, 1941 - 14 copies

The Fuehrer has issued the following order for the prosecution of operations in the East, supplementary to Directive 34:

1. Southeastern Front:

Through the battle of annihilation at Uman, Army Group South has won definite superiority over the enemy and freedom to undertake extensive operations on the further side of the Dnieper. As soon as it has gained a firm foothold east of the river, and has ensured the safety of its communications in the rear, it will possess the necessary strength, with corresponding action by allied forces and the cooperation of the Rumanian Army, to achieve with its own forces the far-reaching objectives which lie ahead of it.

Its next task is:

(a) To prevent the establishment by the enemy of a planned defensive front behind the Dnieper.

For this purpose the largest possible portion of enemy forces still west of the Dnieper must be destroyed, and bridgeheads across the Dnieper won as soon as possible.

(b) To occupy the Crimean peninsula, which is particularly dangerous as an enemy air base against the Romanian oilfields.

(c) To occupy the Donets area and the industrial area of Kharkov.

The battle for the Crimean peninsula may require mountain troops. The possibility of their use later, across the Kerch straits, in the direction of Batum, will be considered.

The attack on the city of Kiev itself will be halted. It is proposed to destroy the city by incendiary bombs and gunfire as soon as the supply position allows.

This entails a large number of tasks for the Luftwaffe. These cannot be carried out simultaneously, but must be accomplished one after another through the largest possible concentration of forces. Such concentrations will be achieved by the addition of dive-bomber units, first in the battles between Kanev and Boguslav, and then for the purpose of securing a bridgehead over the Dnieper.

2. Central Part of the Eastern Front:

The most important task here is to eliminate the enemy flanking positions, projecting deeply to the west, with which he is holding down large forces of infantry on both flanks of Army Group Center. For this purpose close cooperation in timing and direction on the southern flank, between the adjoining flanks of Army Group South and Army Group Center, is particularly important. The Russian 5th Army must be deprived of any further power to operate by cutting the roads to Ovruch and Mozyr by which it obtains supplies and reinforcements, and then finally annihilated.

On the northern flank the enemy must be defeated as soon as possible by the employment of mobile forces west of Toropets. The left flank of Army Group Center will then be moved as far northwards as is necessary to relieve Army Group North of anxiety about its right flank and to enable it to transfer infantry divisions to take part in the attack on Leningrad.

Apart from this, efforts will be made beforehand to move some one division (102nd Division) to Army Group North in reserve.

Only after these threats to our flanks have been entirely overcome and armored formations have been rehabilitated will it be possible to continue the offensive, on a wide front and with echeloning of both flanks, against the strong enemy forces which have been concentrated for the defense of Moscow. The object of operations must then be to deprive the enemy, before the coming of winter, of his government, armament, and traffic center around Moscow, and thus prevent the rebuilding of his defeated forces and the orderly working of government control.

Before the beginning of this attack on Moscow operations against Leningrad must be concluded, and the aircraft from 2nd Air Fleet which are at present attached to 1st Air Fleet must again be available to 2nd Air Fleet.

3. Northeastern Front:

The attack which is now in progress should result in the encirclement of Leningrad and a junction with the Finnish forces.

With regard to cooperation by the Luftwaffe, it should be a principle, as far as the position of our own airfields allows, always, if possible, to concentrate on a single point, in order to secure the utmost effect.

As soon as the situation allows, enemy air and naval bases on Dago and Osel will be eliminated by a combined operation by Army, Navy, and Luftwaffe.

It is urgently necessary that enemy airfields from which attacks on Berlin are evidently being made should be destroyed.

The Army is responsible for the coordinated planning of operations.

The Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces.

Signed: KEITEL
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