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Adolf Hitler Liveblogs World War II: July 14, 1941

Adolf Hitler:

Führer Directive 32a: On the basis of my intentions for the future prosecution of the war, as stated in Directive 32, I issue the following general instructions concerning personnel and equipment :

1. General: Our military mastery of the European continent after the overthrow of Russia will make it possible considerably to reduce the strength of the Army. Within the limits of this reduced Army, the relative strength of the armoured forces will be greatly increased. The manning and equipment of the Navy will be limited to what is essential for the direct prosecution of the war against England and, should the occasion arise, against America. The main effort of equipment will be devoted to the Air Force, which will be greatly strengthened.

2. Manpower: The future strength of the Army will be laid down by me, after receiving proposals from Commander-in-Chief Army. The Replacement Army will be reduced to conform with the diminished strength of the Army. The Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces will decide, in accordance with my directives, on the employment of the manpower which will become available for the Armed Forces as a whole and for the armaments industry. The Class of 1922 will be called up at the latest possible date, and will be distributed by the High Command of the Armed Forces in accordance with the future tasks of the various branches of the Armed Forces.

  1. Arms and Equipment: (a) The Armed Forces as a whole. The arming and equipment of troops will be reduced to the requirements of the situation in the field, without reference to existing establishment scales. All formations not intended for actual combat (security, guard, construction, and similar units) will be armed basically with captured weapons and second line equipment. All requests for 'general Armed Forces equipment' will be immediately reduced or rejected in relation to available supplies, need, and wear and tear. Continued manufacture of such weapons as can be proved to be necessary will be decided in agreement with the Minister for Armaments and Munitions....

(b) Army: The extension of arms and equipment and the production of new weapons, munitions, and equipment will be related, with immediate effect, to the smaller forces which are contemplated for the future. Where orders have been placed for more than six months ahead all contracts beyond that period will be cancelled. Current deliveries will only continue if their immediate cancellation would be uneconomic....

(c) Navy: The Navy will continue its submarine programme. Construction will be limited to what is directly connected with this programme. Expansion of the armaments programme over and above this is to be stopped.

(d) Air Force: The overall armaments programme will concentrate on carrying out the expanded 'Air Armaments programme' which I have approved. Its realisation up to the spring of 1942 is of decisive importance for the whole war effort. For this purpose all available manpower from the Armed Forces and industry will be employed. The allocation of aluminium to the Air Force will be increased as far as possible. The speed of the programme, and the extent to which it can be fulfilled, will be linked to the increased production of light metals and mineral oil.

4. The programme for powder and explosives will concentrate upon the requirements of the Air Force (bombs and anti-aircraft ammunition) at the expense of the requirements of the Army. Buildings will be restricted to the barest essentials and confined to the simplest type of construction. Production of explosives will be limited to the existing basis.

5. It is particularly important to ensure supplies of raw materials and mineral oil. Coal production and the extension of the light metal, artificial rubber, substitute materials, and liquid fuel industries will be supported by the Armed Forces in every way, particularly by the release of miners and specialist workers. The construction of the necessary plans for the extended air armaments industry will be developed simultaneously.

6. The allocation of manpower, raw materials, and plant will be made in accordance with these principles.

7. The Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces will issue the necessary orders for the Armed Forces, and the Minister for Armaments and Munitions for his sector, in mutual agreement.