Directive No. 46
Fueher Headquarters August 18, 1942 - 30 copies
Directive No. 46 Instructions for Intensified Action Against Banditry in the East
A. General Considerations
I. In recent months banditry in the East has assumed intolerable proportions, and threatens to become a serious danger to supplies for the front and to the economic exploitation of the country.
By the beginning of winter these bandit gangs must be substantially exterminated, so that order may be restored behind the Eastern front and severe disadvantages to our winter operations avoided.
The following measures are necessary:
1. Rapid, drastic, and active operations against the bandits by the coordination of all available forces of the Armed Forces, the SS, and Police which are suitable for the purpose.
2. The concentration of all propaganda, economic, and political measures on the necessity of combating banditry.
II. The following general principles will be borne in mind by all concerned in formulating military, police, and economic measures:
1. The fight against banditry is as much a matter of strategy as the fight against the enemy at the front. It will therefore be organized and carried out by the same staffs.
2. The destruction of the bandits calls for active operations and the most rigorous measures against all members of gangs or those guilty of supporting them. Operation orders for action against bandits will follow.
3. The confidence of the local population in German authority must he gained by handling them strictly but justly.
4. A necessary condition for the destruction of bandit gangs is the assurance to the local population of the minimum requirements of life. Should this fail, or -- what is particularly important -- should available supplies not be fairly distributed, the result will be that more recruits will join the bandits.
5. In this struggle against the bandits the cooperation of the local population is indispensable. Deserving persons should not be parsimoniously treated; rewards should be really attractive. On the other hand, reprisals for action in support of the bandits must be all the more severe.
6. Misplaced confidence in the native population, particularly in those working for the German authorities, must be strictly guarded against. Even though the majority of the population is opposed to the bandits, there are always spies to be reckoned with, whose task is to inform the bandits of all action contemplated against them.
B. Command and Responsibility
1. The Reichsfuehrer SS and the Chief of the German Police.
The Reichsfuehrer SS and the Chief of the German Police is the central authority for the collection and evaluation of all information concerning action against the bandits.
In addition, the Reichsfuehrer SS has the sole responsibility for combating banditry in the Reich Commissioner's territories. Commanders of the Armed Forces will support him in his tasks arising from this by coordinating their measures, and by transferring such staffs, command communications, and supplies as are needed. In so far as is allowed by military security duties, which will be carried out locally as actively as possible, Higher SS and Police Leaders will if necessary assume temporary command of forces of the Armed Forces for use in their operations.
The closest liaison between Higher SS and Police Leaders and Commanders of the Armed Forces is an essential condition of success.
The Chief of the Army General Staff is solely responsible for action against bandits in operational areas. In carrying out this task, police units stationed in the area of operations, as well as the Army units engaged, will come under the Army Commanders concerned. The latter will entrust the command of individual operations to Army Commanders, or to Higher SS and Police Leaders, according to the situation, the forces engaged, and the seniority of the officers concerned.
C. Available Forces
1. Forces of the Reichsfuehrer SS
The Police and SS formations available and allocated for operations against bandits are intended primarily for active operations. Their employment in other security duties is to be avoided. Efforts will be made to reinforce Police and SS formations in the East and to transfer to the threatened areas a considerable number of establishments of the Reichsfuehrer SS at present employed elsewhere. Formations still at the front, but indispensable for operations against bandits in the rear areas, will be withdrawn from the Army as soon as possible, aud placed at the disposal of the Reichsfuehrer SS for duty in their proper areas.
2. Army Forces
In order to reinforce the garrisons of the vast eastern territories behind the fighting front, I order as follows:
(a) When the General Government [occupied Poland] becomes a Home Forces area, two reserve divisions will move to the General Government.
(b) A total of five reserve divisions will be moved to the spheres of Commander Armed Forces Baltic Territories and Commander Armed Forces Ukraine by October 15, 1942.
(c) All formations, units, staffs, establishments, and schools of the Field Army not serving under the Commander of the Replacement Army will be withdrawn by October 1, 1942 from the General Government and transferred territories of the Reich Commissioners or to the area of operations. Any necessary exceptions will be approved by the Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces.
(d) The final target is to transfer by the end of October a replacement force of 50,000 men formed from the Reserve Army.
(e) The necessary operation orders concerning paragraphs (a) to (d) will be issued by the Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces.
Commander-in-Chief Luftwaffe will arrange for the transfer of Luftwaffe establishments to the areas threatened by bandits, in order to reinforce the garrison in the eastern territories.
4. Units Formed from the Native Population
Native units made up of local people who have particularly distinguished themselves in action against the bandits are to be maintained and extended. provided they are completely reliable and are volunteers. They will not take part in fighting at the front, nor will emigres or members of the former intelligentsia be enrolled in them.
The Army General Staff will issue general directions covering the internal organization of these units, where this has not already been done. In matters of rank, uniforms, and training, these directions will follow the general lines laid down for the Turkoman formations. They will then be approved by the Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces. The wearing of German badges of rank, the Hoheitsabzeichen [the Eagle and Swastika], and German military shoulder-straps is forbidden. The dependents of these men are to be provided for. Ration scales for them will be laid down corresponding to the duties they are required to perform. These people will receive preferential treatment in the form of grants of land, which should be as liberal as possible within the limits of local circumstances.
5. Other forces
The arming of the Reich Labor Service, railwaymen, foresters, agricultural overseers, etc., will, where required, be improved. They should be able to defend themselves with the most effective weapons available.
There must be no German in the area threatened by bandits who is not engaged, actively or passively, in the fight against them.
Signed: ADOLF HITLER