DIRECTIVE No. 21: OPERATION BARBAROSSA
The German Wehrmacht must be prepared to crush Soviet Russia in a quick campaign (Operation Barbarossa) even before the conclusion of the war against England.
For this purpose the Army will have to employ all available units, with the reservation that the occupied territories must be secured against surprises.
For the Luftwaffe it will be a matter of releasing such strong forces for the eastern campaign in support of the Army that a quick completion of the ground operations can be counted on and that damage to eastern German territory by enemy air attacks will be as slight as possible. This concentration of the main effort in the East is limited by the requirement that the entire combat and armament area dominated by us must remain adequately protected against enemy air attacks and that the offensive operations against England, particularly against her supply lines, must not be permitted to break down.
The main effort of the Navy will remain unequivocally directed against England even during an eastern campaign.
I shall order the concentration against Soviet Russia possibly 8 weeks before the intended beginning of operations.
Preparations requiring more time to get under way are to be started now – if this has not yet been done – and are to be completed by May 15, 1941.
It is of decisive importance, however, that the intention to attack does not become discernible.
The preparations of the High Commands are to be made on the following basis:
I. General Purpose:
The mass of the Russian Army in western Russia is to be destroyed in daring operations, by driving forward deep armored wedges, and the retreat of units capable of combat into the vastness of Russian territory is to be prevented.
In quick pursuit a line is then to be reached from which the Russian Air Force will no longer be able to attack the territory of the German Reich. The ultimate objective of the operation is to establish a cover against Asiatic Russia from the general line Volga-Archangel. Then, in case of necessity, the last industrial area left to Russia in the Urals can be eliminated by the Luftwaffe.
In the course of these operations the Russian Baltic Sea Fleet will quickly lose its bases and thus will no longer be able to fight.
Effective intervention by the Russian Air Force is to be prevented by powerful blows at the very beginning of the operation.