Skip to main content

The Navy Department Library

Related Content
Document Type
  • Primary Source Document
  • Publication
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
File Formats
  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials

Battle Instructions for the  German Navy

(May 1939)


TOP SECRET (German Classification)




Battle Instructions for the Navy

(Issue of May 1939)       


Battle Instructions for the Navy (Issue of May 1939)          

                                                 Index                                                                Page      
  Purpose of Staff Study:  
Part I Fundamental Aspects of the Politico Military Situation: 3
Part II The Tasks of the German Navy 5
Part III General Regulations for Organization: 6
  a) Organization od Command. 6
  b) Demarcation of Command Areas. 6
  c) Distribution of Forces. 6
Part IV General Instructions: 9
  a) Conduct of Naval Warfare in Territorial Waters. 9
  b) Conduct of Naval Warfare in Extraterritorial Waters. 10
  c)International Principles 11
  d) Control of Merchant Shipping. 11
Part V Special Instructions for Individual Operational Areas: 13
  a) Instructions for C-in-C Baltic. 13
  b) Instructions for C-in-C West. 16
  c) Instructions for Conduct of War in Extraterritoral Waters. 18
Part VI Instructions in Case of Sudden Commencement of Hostilities: 20
Part VII Instructions for a Period of Tension: 21
  1.   Allocation of Forces. 25
  2.   Allocation of Mines 28
  3.   Regulations for the Execution of Operational Defence Measures. 29
  4.   Operational Measure "Aufbau" ("Build-Up"). 33
  5.   Operational Measure "Ortlicher Flakschutz" ("Local Flak Defence") 35
  6.   Stages of Readiness 36
  7.   Regulations for the Preparation of the Operational Defence Measures. 37
  8.   Communications Instructions and Recognition Signal Procedure for Operational Defence Measures. 38
  9.   Instructions on Conduct with Regard to International Law. 42


"Battle Instructions for the Navy"

(Issue of May 1939)

Purpose of Staff Study:

1.  The "Battle Instructions for the Navy" are to serve as a general basis and to provide for uniform guidance of the operational and organizational ground-work of the Commanding officers, in preparation for the event of war.

These instructions specify the tasks which may be probably expected during the opening phase of a war, and give directions for the employment of the means for waging war, and for the conduct of naval warfare in the various sea and ocean areas within the limits of present potentialities. With the commencement of hostilities, they go into effect in every case without special orders being issued.

Part I

Fundamental Aspects of the Politico-military Situation:

2.  The development of the political situation during the past few years has led to the formation of clearly defined political fronts by the Great Powers of Europe.

On one side stand Germany and Italy, with whom have joined Hungary and Spain and, outside of Europe, Japan. The amount of assistance to be expected from these three states for Germany’s prosecution of the war, should occasion arise, cannot be established with certainty at the present time.

The opposing front is formed by the Western democracies, England and France, who have recently established close connections with Poland and Turkey. The position of Russia,  which was about to conclude  a close alliance with England and France in April 1939,is not clear at the present.

The U.S.A. are definitely inclined to favour the side of the Western democracies, with whom they are linked by strong economic, ideological and racial connections, withoutit being absolutely necessary for the time being to reckon with their military intervention should hostilities break out . In the case of the remaining European states, no clear party preference is discernible. In spite of strong popular inclination towards the Western democracies, Holland , Belgium and the threeScandinavian countries will endeavor to maintain their neutrality as long as possible . Their future attitude during the course of a war will be determined in accordance with the degree of political pressure the Great Powers may be able to bring to bear upon them and also according to the prospects of success of both parties.

Finland and the Border States , too, must depend upon their neutrality . If Russia should participate in the war, we must reckon with the possibility that they will be overrun by Russian military superiority in a short time .

The position in Southeastern Europe is still extremely fluid and is therefore not yet clarified.The attitude of the Balkan States, if matters become serious, will be decisively determined by the military achievements of the belligerent parties.

3.  The clear grouping of the leading Great Powers of Europe makes a war confined to a limited area improbable. It is therefore necessary to adjust ourselves to the possibility of a war on two fronts, against England and France and


against at least one opponent in the East - Russia or Poland. This, the most unfavourable case , has been made the basis of these instructions , since our preparations must be adapted to meet it . They will then also be adequate for simpler situations.

4.  Methods of opening and waging war have fundamentally changed.Just as we must be prepared to-day for the unforeseen commencement of hostilities without a declaration of war, other forms of warfare must not take us by surprise. We must reckon with the possibility of the use of force without the use of weapons, perhaps in the shape of an intensified economic warfare by means of national interdiction of commerce, boycotts, armed demonstrations, so-called peace blockades and the like .Instructions regarding our own military behaviour to meet such cases cannot be issued in advance.  It will be the duty of the Reich Government to order the countermeasures for each case.   It is important, nevertheless, to recognize these possibilities even now and to prepare oneself for them.

5. The Navy must keep in mind the fact that we are already living in a pre-war period and that the struggle has already begun between the nations, though so far without recourse to arms . Unremitting and swift readiness for action of all means for waging war constitutes the key military prerequisite for the conduct of national policy.  To fulfil this demand, the principles applying in normal times of peace must be set aside as necessity may require.   (6. - 8. blank)


Part II

The Tasks of the German Navy:

9.  A strong fleet, by its very existence alone, can be a very effective instrument of political and strategic pressure in the hands of the political leaders of the Reich . Even in peacetime, it is capable of making our influence felt by the countries with which the sea links us .

10.  The aim of a war will be decided by the political leaders of the Reich. It may be limited. Generally, however, it can be attained only by the complete subjugation of the enemy. It is the firm determination to achieve a desired goal which even in difficult situations and through long periods of time, will maintain the necessary energy and endurance .

The required military measures and operations will be carried out by the three branches of the Armed Forces in closest mutual agreement following the instructions of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

11.  For the Navy, primary condition for the fulfilment of the war tasks is a constant state of readiness of the means for waging war in accordance with ”Naval Mobilization Plans" (Mob -Plan Marine) and the unremitting concentration of the commanding officers upon their war assignments . The possibility that our political opponents may open war by a surprise attack must always be borne in mind.

12.  The general tasks of the German Navy in war time are:

    a) Protection of the coast against enemy operations from the sea and from the air

    b ) Protection of our own sea communications.

    c) Attack on enemy sea communications.

    d) Support of land and air warfare along the coast

    e) Use as politico -strategic instrument of war, e .g ., to ensure the neutrality of the Scandinavian countries and of the Baltic States.

13.  In its struggle for the communications by sea, considerable support can be given the Navy by the other two branches of the Armed Forces, as the situation may require

a) By the conduct of the war on land , through the occupation of enemy coasts and seizure of the shore installations for purposes of naval warfare and merchant traffic.

 b) By the G.A.F, through air attack on bases and harbour installations and through air warfare in waters closed to naval warfare.

14.  he conditions of warfare to which the Navy is subject, especially with regard to the restrictions imposed by international obligations in the naval theatre of war (international law) are directly and largely dependent on our political successes in dealing with neutral countries.

15. Blank paragraph .


Part III

General Regulations for Organization:

    a) Organization of Command:

In the event of war, the following organization of command and allotment of duties go into effect:

16.  Chief of Naval War Staff will conduct naval warfare as a part of the conduct of the war as a whole, and will set target and date of the necessary operations accordingly. He will ensure unity in the conduct of the war at sea as a whole by means of his instructions and orders for the conduct of the war of the war in the various sea and ocean areas . He will also designate the focal points and arrange the distribution of his forces correspondingly.

17.  The following are responsible for the direction of operations and the conduct of the war in accordance with these instructions and orders:

In the Baltic:      

F.O. Naval Group East (C-in-C East) in Swinemuende.

In the North Sea:

F.O. Naval Group West (C-in-C West) in Wilhelmshaven.

Naval War Staff will assume direct responsibility for operations in extraterritorial waters .

    b) Demarcation of Command Areas (compare Service Instructions for "Group Commands").

18. The command area of C-in-C East comprises the Baltic and the entrances to the Baltic up to a line from Skagen to Gotenburg. (Penciled note: Christiansand) (Marginal Note: I reserve the right to shift the area boundary towards the West.)

Precise demarcation of this operational area on the side of the Atlantic and the northern waters will be determined by the Naval War Staff in accordance with the development of the situation, should need arise.

19.  The Command area of C-in-C West comprises the North Sea including Skagerrak and the approaches to the   Atlantic (Channel and Sea area between Scotland , the Faroes and Norway).

20.  Any shifts in the command area boundaries which may become necessary will be ordered by the Chief of Naval War Staff. (21. blank paragraph)

    c) Distribution of Forces:

22.  Subordination of, and appointments to, the posts of F.0.s , lesser F.O. commands and their staffs, will be in accordance with the service instructions for Group Commands,


the War Organization Chart and War Appointment Plan. In accordance with the War Organization Chart, group commanders will generally have at their disposal as combat forces those units stationed in their areas during peace time. Exceptions are set forth in Appendix 1 of the Battle Instructions "Allocation of Sea and Air Forces

23.  As regards forces, the Group Commanders will, according to War Regulations, generally have at their disposal the units stationed in their area in peace-time. Any exceptions to this can be seen from Appendix 1 of Operational Instructions "Allocation of Naval and Air Forces".

24.  Provisional escort- (V .S.) units will not be formed. In case of emergency, group commanders have, however, the right to commandeer the vessels belonging to all naval stations in their group area.

25.  The forces placed at the disposal of the Naval War Staff according to War Organization Plan 1 and Appendix 1 of Battle Instructions, for special duties, are reserved for service in extraterritorial waters or at specially critical points. Until placed in operation by Naval War Staff, they are at the disposal of groups.

26.  The forces placed at the disposal of Naval War Staff for special duties , which are suitable for use on the high seas, are to be mobilized and prepared therefore by the appropriate F.O.s, commanding . Independently of other pre­paratory measures undertaken in expectation of war, orders can be given by Chief of Naval War Staff for the equipment of these vessels soon enough for them to be already stationed in their operational area when war breaks out . (e.g. by means of a key-word in accordance with Mobilization Plans, Navy , Special Appendix 5) .

27.  F.O. pocket battleships mny be appointed for executive duties connected with surface forces assigned to ocean warfare.

28.  The distribution of forces has been planned on the basis of the most probable event of a war on two fronts, with the focal point in the West . However, there will always be important tasks for our Navy to perform in the Baltic as well. The distribution of forces takes this into account.  It there-fore goes into effect at first in any event.

29.  The ratio of power and the tasks of the war will necessitate the formation of a very pronounced tactical concentration, which will be reflected by the distribution of forces .The formation of this tactical concentration of forces can lead to a substantial restriction in the formulation of aims by a F.O. Group who may have to relinquish considerable combat forces in favour of whatever is the main theatre of war. F.0. Groups must therefore endeavor to be prepared from the first for the formation of a tactical concentration, even within their own theatres of war, and in all their preparations to start with the minimum limit of forces required.


30.  The Naval War Staff will probably quite often allocate forces from the Baltic to C-in-C West , especially when the icing up of the Baltic precludes operations by Russian forces, and when surprise attacks by other countries adjacent to the Baltic, Poland in particular, need not be feared.

In no event can there be any question of completely denuding the Baltic of naval forces, on account of the importance of the supply lines traversing it. The defence of the entrances to the Baltic against penetration by hostile naval forces, particularly submarines, must always be maintained.

In case Russia does not take part in the war officially, we must reckon with camouflaged action by Russian forces, especially by submarines.

31 - 39 Blank paragraphs.


Part IV

General Instructions :

     a) Conduct of naval.warfare in territorial waters.

40.  In a war on two fronts with England,France,and Russia as opponents, the Navy is faced with a task with which its present development does not yet correspond . In­ tensive concentration of forces is therefore especially important.

41.  In the Baltic,defence of our important sea communications with the Scandinavian countries, and with East Prussia is the main object.As long as the enemy respects neutral territorial waters, these protective measures in the southern part of the Baltic can be carried out.  Since from our point of view this area bears the character of a coastal fore­field and offers our naval warfare all the advantages deriving therefrom, the task to be performed here can be completed with a minimum demand for heavy naval force.

The sea comnunications across the Baltic are neither militarily nor vitally important to Russia. The neutralization of the Russian Baltic Fleet represents the optimal solution of our defence tasks.Our aim must therefore be to conduct offensive warfare in the Baltic as far as the forces at our disposal permit. 

42.  We do not have any substantial task of protecting merchant shipping in the North Sea, because England due to its favourable geographic-military position, can and will throttle our sea communications passing through that area in the shortest possible time.   It is impossible for us to force the northern approaches of the North Sea open for our own supply to the extent necessary. Our compulsory abandonment of the North Sea supply route will enable us to make forces available to a certain extent for offensive action against the enemy's supply lines . The aim of our naval warfare in the West is therefore to cripple England's and France's military and economic imports by water . They can be successfully attacked only on the oceans.

England will endeavour to block the North Sea completely and thereby neutralize our bases and sole strongholds for carrying on the war in the Atlantic. To do this, England will choose the form of a wide blockade .we need not reckon with a tight blockade on our coastal forefield,if only because of the strength of our coastal defences.It is rather to be assumed that England will limit her activities in the southern area of the North Sea to mine and submarine warfare and will take up cutting-off position in the Channel and in the area between the Orkneys, Shetlands and Norway.Since we will be excluded from the Channel in a very short time, to judge by our experience in the last war, the northern area of the North Sea is to be regarded from the very first as a focal point of the war at sea.

43. The aim of warfare in this area·will be:

    a) Constant disturbance of English operations in building up their blockade.

    b) Assisting the conduct of war in the Atlantic by keeping as many of the enemy forces as possible continuously 


tied up.

c)  Occasional brief opening up of the blockade for Atlantic combat forces returning to port or putting to sea.   

We will not be able to win permanent mastery of the sea in this area . We must endeavor to solve this problem by means of intensive small-scale warfare, surprise attacks on weaker units, accumulation of partial successes and constant harassing action.

44.  In the execution of specific tasks it will also be possible to provide for the direct employment of the operational forces of the GAF for the war at sea. Such types of operation demand the closest cooperation between the two branches of the Armed Forces.

    b) Conduct of Naval Warfare in Extraterritorial Waters:

45.  The task of naval warfare in extraterritorial waters is war on merchant shipping. This is directed equally against the cargoes and the shipping space of the enemy . Combat action even against inferior enemy naval forces is not an aim in itself, and is therefore not to be sought. Even slight damage can decrease the effectiveness and the cruising endurance of our merchant raiders.

The operational area for surface forces is the high seas. War on merchant shipping in enemy inshore waters is the prerogative of U-boats. As a rule U-boats must also be conceded better prospects of success in action off ports of departure and at special focal points of merchant shipping , due to the strong counter-measures to be expected there .

Direct attack upon enemy ports of transshipment, docks and shore transport routes and equipment will be the task of the GAF operating from the mainland. If the GAF cannot carry out this operation, or only to an insufficient extent , because of range limitations or for other reasons, it will be the Navy's task to interrupt sea communications with these ports, either in inshore waters or on the high seas.

46.  Forces which are suitable for ocean warfare and are at sea in extraterritorial waters when war breaks out, will immediately be put into operation in the war against merchant shipping. Efforts will be made to despatch additional forces and supply ships in good time before war breaks out .

47.  Efforts will be made to establish the necessary fuel and arms supplies by means of an Etappe service (see note at end of translation) and with the help of benevolent neutrals, and by obtaining their consent to use their harbours for equipping and repair work. In spite of this, ships will be forced to depend on getting the bulk of their supplies from prizes. In case of emergency, supplies may also be obtained from neutral ships on the the grounds of Rights in State of Emergency.

More detailed instructions will be issued in due time regarding the possibilities of support from neutrals or allies (supplies, forwarding of messages, U-boat, berths.)          

48.  If the return home of merchant raiders no longer seems possible, they will carry out the war against merchant shipping until all stores are completely exhausted.

49.  Blank paragraph.


     c) International Principles:

50.  Appendix 9 contains instructions for conduct with respect to international law. (51. blank paragraph)

    d) Control of Merchant Shipping:

52. Organization of export and import will be the duty of the Ministry of National Economy (what goods, from where, to where) in cooperation with the Ministry of National Transport.(Making the necessary shipping space available.)The Navy will take over the military defence and control of sea communications and will issue the necessary orders.

General military control of sea communications will operate by means of instructions from the Naval War Staff based on the situation reports of the operational areas and on the import situation .Shipping in foreign waters will be directly controlled by the Naval War Staff.

F.O . Groups are responsible within their own operational areas for details of control and for the protection of merchant shipping in home Waters; F.O. Group West is also responsible for the entrances to the Atlantic.

53.  As far as necessary, the Ministry of National Transport will be kept informed by the Naval War Staff regarding instructions issued to shipping and diversion of merchant ships to other ports necessitated by the state of the war at sea.

As a rule, these instructions will be issued directly by the F.O. Groups or F.O. Defenses via Navy Offices to the appropriate shipping agents (S.B.V . - German abbreviation) for forwarding to the owners, or in urgent cases, to the captains of the ships themselves (See also special appendix 12 to Naval Mobilization Plan.)

54.  The instructions issued to merchant ships for periods of tension and in the event of war are set forth in "Special Instructions for Merchant Ships". (See appendix 10) Their execution will be ordered by the Naval War Staff by means of key-word telegrams. Even in peacetime trawlers about to put to sea will if need be receive oral instructions regarding their actions from the Naval War Staff.

55.  Control will be exorcised expediently less by designation of areas and routes to be followed, than by warnings of endangered areas and reports on the enemy.

Independently of the control of shipping by the Naval War Staff and F.O .s Groups ,it will remain the duty of the commanders of all warships and aircraft to report any enemy merchant raiders detected ,especially submarines, in open W/T messages, if the military situation permits their transmission, and thus to warn our shipping.

If orders by F.O.s Groups should exceed the limits of an order valid for their own areas and have generally validity, they are to be forwarded via the Naval War Staff.

56.  The communications service of the military control includes all seagoing vessels reported by the Shipping Office, as long as they have not left their own territorial waters or the neutral ports. As a rule, of the oceangoing vessels on the high seas, oceangoing vessels. and those neutral


ships furnished with special cypher equipment can be contacted with secret instructions.

57. Blank paragraph.


Part V

Special Instructions for the individual operational area:

58. F.O.s Groups exercise power of command in their areas for all operations of the Navy. They must be prepared for the event that some of the defence measures provided for in case of war (e .g. declared areas, harbour defence booms, escort service, etc.) will be ordered even before the commencement of a state of war.

    a) Instructions for C-in-C Baltic:


59.  The primary duty of C-in-C Baltic lies in protecting against enemy sea and air attack both the sea communications in the southern Baltic (South of 57°N) and the bases and ports on the German Baltic coast most essential to the maintenance of those sea communications.

The solution of this problem can be considered to lie in either the strategic offensive or defensive. It will depend on the situation and will be ordered by the Chief of Naval War Staff in good time.

The maintenance of the sea communications between East Prussia and Germany is of special significance. Other tasks are of secondary importance to the defence of this sea route when troops are being transported. The extension of permanent defence assignments to include German sea communications in the Northern Baltic (North of 570N) is not expected for the present.

60.  Further duties of C-in-C Baltic are the control of all sea communications in his command area, the infliction of damage upon the enemy and the interruption of his sea com­munications.

However, the use of forces to carry out this task will not be allowed to jeopardise the performance of the duty of protecting our own sea communications in true Southern Baltic.

61.  The following enemy situation may be assumed:

In the Southern Baltic (South of 57°N), Russia can be expected primarily to wage energetic submarine warfare with torpedoes and mines. We must reckon with the appearance of surface combat forces, principally light combat forces and fast mine carriers, and with combat aircraft operations-approach flights even over the territory of neutral states. In the Northern Baltic (North of 570N) and in the Gulf of Bothnia, German sea communications and neutral sea routes running to Germany will be threatened by Russia, especially where our ships will have to leave neutral Swedish waters. We must assume that the Russians will erect a strong defence of the Gulf of Finland quickly and at an early date. The principal thing will be to prevent them by our measures from issuing from the Gulf of Finland.

We must take into account the possibility of an attempt by English and French submarines to break into the Baltic some time after the· outbreak of war.

We can count on Poland’s attitude being hostile.


62.  Execution:

I. Strategic Defensive:

The thing that must be done first of all is to close the Southern Baltic quickly and effectively against enemy surface operations. To achieve this aim, the Naval War Staff wi11 announce the declared area "East" and the Gjedse minefield at the proper time.

63.  The fact that our store of mines is still small at present compels us to economise in the allocation of mines. For the percentages of available mines in effect at the present time, see Appendix 2 "Allocation of Mines".

The selection of the minefields to be laid with this limited number of mines is to be made under the assumption that there will be no further allocation of mines for the time being. directed to the possibility of suggesting a greater effectiveness of the declared area by means of appropriate movements of our combat forces or minelayers.

For blocking of the entrances to the Baltic see para.68.

64.  It is likely that with the announcement of the declared areas, the laying of the A/S barrage intended at the same time for this purpose may commence. (See A I Op 58/37 Top Secret, Baltic Mine Defences.) For mining material see Appendix 2 "Allocation of Mines".

65.  The harbour defence boom at Pillau is to be laid without special orders when general mobilization is declared.

66.  In addition to carrying out the mining operations planned, it is of primary importance to prepare protective measures for the sea route Pillau-Swinemuende and to proceed with their execution as soon as a state of political tension begins. The carrying out of troop transport by sea is the responsibility of C-in-C Baltic, who will make the appropriate arrangements directly with the appropriate Army (A) H.Q.The representative of C-in-C Navy in East Prussia, is at his disposal in the execution of these assignments.

C-in-C Baltic must make efforts to report to the Naval War Staff as quickly as possible his readiness to under­ take the transport of troops.

It will depend on our appreciation of the situation, which method of organizing the troop transports will offer the best guarantee for a safe crossing.

67.  The defence of the remaining German sea communi­cations in the Southern Baltic will be temporarily superseded by the operations outlined above; the defence of the sea communi­cations in the Northern Baltic (north of 570N) will have to be abandoned entirely. In compensation for the loss of this protection, merchant shipping will have to be instructed to make extensive use of neutral territorial waters, even at the cost of making detours.

68.  For reasons of strategy it is especially important to keep the Baltic entrances open. In spite of this it will only be possible to maintain a relatively weak guard over the entrances to the Baltic, especially at the beginning of a war.


We must put up with this situation while fully realizing its shortcomings.

C-in-C Baltic will make the decision on the laying of mines or A/S net barrages in the entrances to the Baltic.

Closing of the entrances against surface forces by means of mines is provided for only in case of emergency (Appendices 4, 5 and 6 to A I Op 58/37, Top Secret, and Mine Defence of the Baltic.)

The number of mines necessary for this minefield cannot at present be made available for the first months of a war without interfering with other important minelaying measures.

69.  In so far as no forces can be made available for attacks on the Russian base of operations in a war on two fronts, nevertheless-if only for the sake of the necessary reconnaissance-U-boats using mines and torpedoes must take the war into even the enemy-controlled sea areas right up into the Gulf of Finland. There will be opportunities here, especially at the beginning of a war.

The employment of combat air forces of the opera­tional GAF is of the utmost importance. At the outbreak of war or very soon thereafter, it will be possible to hand over Kronstadt and the Bay of Kronstadt to the operational GAF as an exclusive operational area. Demarcation of the operational areas of sea and air forces will be ordered by the Naval War Staff for the beginning of the war. Their current adaptation to meet alterations in the situation is the task of Group East in cooperation with the appropriate Luftflotte Command.

70.  As long as our Intelligence Service in Finland and Estonia can transmit sufficient information about the movements of Russian Naval forces, it will be possible, if it should become necessary, to forego long distance reconnaissance in the Gulf of Finland as far as Kronstadt and to dispense with military action in these areas if it can be carried out at least from time to time by the operational GAF.

71.  The uncertain attitude of Poland and also of Lithuania forces us to prepare for measures against these two countries.  Since due to our probable war situation neither bombardment of Gdynia by naval forces nor the laying of a strong mine barrier will be feasible, C-in-C Baltic must limit himself to interrupting sailings from Polish bases with 'his naval forces and possibly with naval air forces by infesting their waters with mines. The extent of the measures to be taken by the Navy against Gdynia will depend largely upon when we may expect Gdynia and the Polish Corridor to be occupied in the course of the campaign ashore. It can be assumed that attacks made on Polish bases by the operational air force will likewise reduce the effectiveness of Polish naval warfare.

72.  In case operations by the Army and the GAF are planned against Poland or Lithuania, C-in-C Baltic, acting under instructions from the Naval War Staff, will handle cooperation between the Navy and the other branches of the Armed Forces, dealing directly with the commands of the other two branches.


73.  In a war on two fronts C-in-C ·Baltic must endeavor to perform his tasks with a minimum of forces, in sharp concentration and to release forces as soon as possible for naval warfare in the North Sea.

74. In cases of separate action against Poland to achieve clarification of German-Polish relations the instruct­ions issued for this case and with special distribution are applicable (Naval War Staff/1st Div. Ia Serial No . 48/39 Top Secret of 16 May 1939)•

75. II. Solution by strategic offensive.

 In preparation.

 76 - 90 Blank paragraphs.

    b) Instructions for C-in-C West:


 91. The tasks of Naval warfare in the North Sea are:

Protection of sea communications in the Heligoland Bight; repulse of assaults on the North Sea coast; a1 tack on enemy measures toward establishing a- long-range blockade; maintenance of sortie routes from the Heligoland Bight; relieving the load of naval warfare in the Atlantic by tying up a maximum of enemy forces; and support of Atlantic forces then putting to sea and returning to port.

92.  Further tasks are the control of our ·own sea communications, the infliction of damage upon the enemy and the interruption of his sea communications in the North Sea.

93.  The point of concentration of naval war fare in the North Sea is to be shifted as soon as possible to the northern area of those waters, to the ar•'a where the English may be expected to establish a cutting-off position .

The following enemy situation may be assumed:

94.  When war begins with England and France, German sea communications across the Atlantic ·will be interrupted very quickly . By establishing an Anglo-French cutting-off position from Norway to the Shetland Isles, the British Isles and the Channel up to the French coast, the enemy will endeavor to establish and, as long as the war lasts, maintain, a long­ range blockade.   It is not likely that the enemy will move this effective long-range blockade· closer to the German coast, as long as it fulfils its purpose . We must regard the English Channel as completely blocked.

We may reckon with air attacks on German bases and naval forces , and with submarine action and minelaying being carried into the, inner Heligoland Bight and , if occasion arises, even into the Kattegat and from there further into the Baltic.

Neutral imports directly to .German North Sea ports will shrink to a mere trickle.



95.  The combat forces and material which can be put at the disposal of C-in-C West will not be sufficient to carry out the tasks assigned systematically.

Therefore, in order to avoid a splitting-up of forces, the following operational directive is provided:

96.  In view of the immense superiority of the enemy, C-in-C West can expect to achieve successful results with the forces available to him only through concentration of all his forces on one operation at a time. Without constant and reliable long distance reconnaissance, however, even this method of carrying out the tasks assigned means full commitment on each occasion.

The small number of light forces and U-boats available burdens Naval Air Units with special responsibility for carrying out reconnaissance. It is precisely in the oper­ational area of the North Sea that Naval Air Units will not only have to supplement other naval Means of reconnaissance but will even have to replace them to a great extent . Their allo­cation to the two operational areas will make due allowance for this point of view.

97.  An attempt must be made to render the execution of enemy mining operations against the Heligoland Bight more difficult by proclamation of the declared area ''West" (A I Op 22/37, Top Secret , Mine Defence of the Heligoland Bight).

As soon as the Naval War Staff has published the announcement of the declared area, it will be necessary to lay swiftly those minefields situated within-the declared area which are considered especially important to the prevailing situation. In the same way, the swift laying of the A/S barrages considered especially important to the situation of the moment should made the work of A/S defence easier .

The stock of mines at present available to C-in-C West only permits of laying a part of the minefield as planned.

Choice of the minefields to be laid has to be made bearing in mind the fact that no further allocation of mines is to be expected for the present. See Appendix 2 "Allocation of Mines" for the percentages of mining stocks available at present.   

98.  Defence of the sea routes leading to the North under the flank protection of the declared area, in order to maintain them as sortie routes from the Heligoland Bight is a matter of primary importance. The above task must take pre­cedence over the defence of sea communications to the West, in the expectation that the latter will benefit from the pro­tection of Dutch territorial waters, and that the island forti­fications within German territory will afford a certain measure of protection against surface forces.

99.  Command of the Skagerrak and Kattegat is especially important for the carrying out of all German war operations, in order to retain control of this communications link between the North Sea and the Baltic; which serves at the same time as an important sortie point for military operations in the North Sea.

It will depend on the development of the


situation whether C-in-C West can extend his protection of sea communications up to the Skagerrak and further North . It is precisely during the opening phases of a war that this measure can make the return of merchant ships home much easier.

The Naval War Staff reserves the right to order the laying of minefields in the Skagerrak from its reserve of mines, as the situation may require, at the same time announcing it as a declared area, in order to facilitate control of this area.

100.  Outside the sea area which can be permanently or temporarily protected by C-in-C West, merchant ships will have to be instructed to use Norwegian and Danish territorial waters even if they have to make long detours to do so.

101.  Constant patrolling of the exits from the North Sea must be instituted on the outbreak of war at the latest.

We may count on the enemy's reinforcing this position by using mines, corresponding to the "northern barrage" in the last war. This is an operation which would make the northern sortie point practically impassable for us, considering the present ratio of strength and would make it impossible for us to lend support to our conduct of war in the Atlantic from home bases . Such mining intentions must be spotted and disrupted from the very beginning by the use of forces of every type . Air attacks on the mine-laying bases by the operational GAF will be called for . Energetic action by naval forces against the cutting-off position Will interrupt the enemy's work, and at the same time will result in the necessary tying-up of enemy forces to relieve the load on our Atlantic forces. Operations may also be considered, aiming to infest the waters off the English bases (Scapa Flow, Cromarty, Rosyth) with mines laid by U-boats and to sow counter minefields in the area of the English cutting-off position in order to hamper English operations.

102.  Naval air units are not sufficient to cope with these tasks together with those which will have to be turned over to the GAF as a result of the present deficiencies in our fleet strength. Hence, to carry out operations of a special nature, forces of the operational GAF will have to be requested. In as far as these are intended for action along the East Coast of England and in the Orkneys and Shetlands area, C-in-C West will arrange directly with the Luftflotte command concerned for their detailing and particulars of the operation.

For the present, the Naval War Staff reserves to itself all coordinated action with the operational GAF out­side this area (e .g. on the West Coast of England the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Coast of France). (103 - 105 blank paras.

    c) Instructions for the Conduct of War in Extraterritorial Waters:

106.  Special orders will be issued in each case governing assignment for combat forces (including auxiliary cruisers) in operation in the Atlantic. In general 1 the conduct of the war in extraterritorial waters is primarily directed against merchandise of all kind as far· as English imports are concerned, and against troop and material transports, as far as the French are concerned.


107.  Enemy counter-activity will be specially lively on the most important sea lane, the North Atlantic route, and the merchant raiders operating in this area will be forced to take frequent evasive action. Surprise appearances, followed by immediate withdrawal into the ocean wastes, and constant shift­ing of areas of activity are the prerequisites of successful action for surface forces.

Results are often attained less through individual successes than by their psychological effect. Repeated appear­ances made by German naval forces in the most widely varied areas will force enemy import traffic to make detours, will necessitate stoppage of merchant trade on the sea routes concerned, and will discourage the readiness of neutrals to export to the enemy.

 From the homeland, we will endeavor to make the choice of action easier for our merchant raiders by transmitting the results of our radio intercept service.

Concentration of individual surface forces or close tactical cooperation with U-boats can occasionally be of practical value. (108. - 110. blank paragraphs)

111.  The U-boat war against merchant shipping is to be carried on first in those areas in which surface merchant raiders cannot operate (compare para. 45).The area of operations will not have to be shifted to the broad reaches of the open ocean until enemy A/S defences begin to exert strong pressure permitting only occasional successes, even when our U-boats are operating in full strength .

112.  In view of the increased effectiveness of A/8 defences, concentration of all U-boats, say along the English East coast, is not practical, operating at widely separated critical points - e .g . North America, the West Indies, Cape Verde, Gibraltar and the Bay of Biscay - will make defence more difficult for the enemy and will offer greater prospects of success.

113. Efforts will be made in any case to dispatch U-boats already during the period of tension to the operational areas planned. In order to be able to outfit these boats for long distance operations in a short time (within 24 hours), Captain (U/B) will order the peacetime issue of the mobilization equip­ment for every one third of the frontline U-boats in all theatres of war. Equipment with torpedoes or mines will then be ordered separately.

114.  Blank paragraph.


Part VI

Instructions in case of sudden opening of hostilities:

115.  If it should become necessary for us to open hostilities suddenly ourselves or if we are to have the necessary defences  against enemy attacks, it will be necessary for us to maintain constant operational preparedness of our regular combat forces held in readiness for war.

The orders issued in accordance with Naval Mobilization Plan,para.8 and the instructions regarding the minimum fixed material equipment which are laid down in Naval Mobilization Plan Part C (see especially paras.310,381,469 and onwards) provide for the readying of those forces for sudden attack.

116.  In case all forces of the Navy are to be pre­pared for immediate action, the necessary measures will be ordered by the Naval War Staff by the code word "Versammlung".The code word order will be given by teleprinter, W/T or telephone message to C-in-C Baltic, Admirals Commanding, C-in-C Fleet, A .O.for GAF with the Supreme Command of the Navy, and to Fuehrer der Luft (Capt Air).

The issuing and forwarding of the necessary orders and the measures to be carried out are to be scheduled and ensured by these Staffs.

117.  Execution of immediate operational defence and reconnaissance measures which may be necessary will be ordered by key-words according to the instructions for a period of tension (See Part VII). Those operational measures will be carried out by peacetime stations and staffs. In the preparation by order of operational defence measures according to Part VII, the execution of such measures in the event of sudden outbreak of war is to be provided for as a special case.

118.  Troops and population must be accustomed to such readiness exercises by carrying out such exercises in peacetime. This wills also be the best camouflage for them.     ·

119 - 120 Blank paragraphs.


Part VII

Instructions for a period of tension:

121.  In every embroilment in war, the primary un­remitting task of the Navy consists in the defence and surveillance of home waters primarily by regular naval forces and by Naval air units, and in protection of the coastal area by regular shore based units.

The  political  situation  as  a whole may however, prevent  preparations being carried  out by operations "Spannungs­zeit" and  "X"- or "Mob-Fall”; perhaps it may  permit only unobtrusive preparations for readying individual units or all our forces for action at short notice, through appropriate command directives.

122.  Preparatory measures, which will be carried out during the various stages of a period of tension, are contained in Naval Mobilization plan, special appendix 5.

Operational defence measures are to be prepared independently of the former, whose execution must not become known to those who are not concerned, even within the Armed Forces.

123.  After revision of the preparatory measures of Special Appendix 5 to the Naval Mobilization plan, the necessary combat units will be provided for the individual operational defence measures by ordering the appropriate preparatory measures of Special appendix 5 to be put into effect. Until this alteration has been made, the  necessary measures are to be prepared as command directives of  the  Flag officers  entrusted with  their  execution .(124.-125. blank paragraphs)

Defence Measures:

126. There are three different degrees of defence. 

First Degree of Defence:

The  possibility of war breaking out is immediately imminent and/or a  state of war  on the frontiers has already begun. For political reasons, however, public alarm is not to be awakened by any conspicuous defence measures along the frontiers not directly affected by the hostilities.

127.  Operational measures of the First Degree:

(For Regulations governing the execution of Defence measures see Appendix 3).

    a)  Operational measure "Ulla":

Unobtrusive  patrolling  of  the  North Sea  by U-boats  in the  direction  of the Channel and  the Thames Estuary.

    b) Operational measure  "ULfilas" :

Unobtrusive patrolling of the Baltic by  U-boats  in the  direction of  the  Gulf of Finland.


     c) Operational measure “Ursula":

Simultaneous execution of operational measures "Ulla" and "ULfilas"

    d) Operational measure “Falk:

Unobtrusive air reconnaissance over the North Sea in the direction of the Channel (focal point) and in the direction of Scotland and the Shetlands.

    e) Operational measure "Fink":

Unobtrusive air reconnaissance over the Baltic to within the entrance to the Gulf of Finland.

    f) Operational measure "Feodora":

Simultaneous execution of operational measures "Falk” and "Fink"

Second Degree of Defence:

128.  The political situation requires preliminary defence measures without ,however the execution of these measures transcending the limits of a defence of the  sea frontier to be normally expected in a critical situation.(No mobilization of the Navy, execution of measures only by means of forces in service.)

The operational measures taken for the first degree of defence may have preceded the above measures independ­ently of them, if they have not just commenced simultaneously with them. If they are carried out at the same time as the operational measures of the second degree, they are to continue to be carried on inconspicuously in future, as they exceed the limits of the German coastal waters.

129. Operational measures of the Second Degree:



    a)  Operational measure "Carla"

Patrolling of the Heligoland Bight by naval forces up to a line roughly Torschelling-Hornsriff.

    b) Operational measure "Carin":

Preparation and patrolling of the sea route Pillau-Reich for troop transports.

    c) Operational measure "Corso":

Simultaneous execution of Operational measures "Carla" and "Carin".

    d) Operational measure "Zubringer":

Requisitioning, outfitting and delivery of the transport ships necessary for transporting troops from East Prussia to Germany.


130. Upon issue of orders “Carla", "Carin" or "Corso", command organization for mobilization goes  into effect  immediately. Ops Staffs, not yet  in existence in peacetime, are to be set  up  immediately ,  as  provided  for  in  the   execution  of   operational measure "Aufbau"  (See  para. 140 and Appendix 4).

131. Orders to establish a state of war readiness aboard naval forces and/or to execute the operational measures of the first and second degree of defence provided for will be issued by the Naval High Command in two stages by means of supplementary keywords:

First stage, supplementary key-word: "Sonderaprell": establishment of state of war readiness.

Second stage, supplementary key-word: "Sonder­kommando": defence measures to be put into operation (See Appendix 6 for order for execution of stages of readiness,  and examples.)

132. Defence measures  are  to be  carried  out  under the 1nstructions given in accordance with Appendix 3 "Regulations for carrying out defence measures”, whereby  the order to establish a state of  war readiness (key-word"Sonderapprell"),in the case of  the  operational measures "Carla" "Carin" and "Corso"  includes the  assembling  and  transferring of the allotted forces to the area  they are ordered  to  patrol.

133. Distributions of Forces:

The Groups will have at their disposal primarily those forces allocated in accordance with 'Appendix 1, "Allocation of forces".

The Naval War Staff reserve the right of operation and employment of training and experimental vessels, as well as ships on trial.

Units of  naval forces which are  to be mobilized in case of war (Auxiliary vessel units)  and  which are on  active service when  the  order issued , will be  available  for operations according to their stations.

134. C -in-Cs Groups are to take care that during the transition to "period of tension" of "mobilization”: adequate patrolling is maintained, just  in case such  orders  are given during  the  carrying  out  of  the  operational measure of the first and second degree of defence.

135. Blank paragraph.

               Third Degree of Defence:

136 . The development of the political situation no longer permits defense measures to be limited to execution by regular forces only. the augmented operational measures which will result from this situation will be ordered as "Preparatory measures" (according to Special Appendix 5 of Naval Mobilization Plan), if general mobilization has not been ordered.

137. When these measures are instituted we can reckon with the imminent outbreak of war. F.O.s Naval Groups must be prepared both in the operation of their forces and in their other preparations to be able to carry out immediately the tasks devolving on them when war breaks out.


Under the present ratio of strength of our forces to that of our potential enemies, everything depends on our carrying out the necessary defence measures in home waters at once and with the greatest possible speed in order to be secure against surprise attacks.   (138.- 139.Blank  paragraphs)

140. Operational measure "Aufbau'' ("Build -up").

In  order  to  ensure  the  smooth working  of the Ops  Staffs at all times, especially  of  the  Staffs not  yet

in existence in peacetime, and  also of  the communications organizations, the  mobilization H.Q. organization will if  possible  already have  been anticipated, even before the second  degree of

defence, by  means of operational measure "Aufbau" (See: appendix 4 for operation "Aufbau").

141. Operational measure "Ortlicher Flakschutz" ('Local Flak Defence").

In  order  to  ensure that  in  certain  amount  of  Flak defences in the German  coastal area are  in readiness for  immediate action, the manning of that percentage of  the Flak batteries, searchlights, listening  apparatus, etc ., which  can be manned by all the regular  personnel available ,will be  ordered by means of  operational measure "Ortlicher Flakschutz".(Sec Appendix 5 for  operational measure  "Ortlicher Flakschutz" ).

( Pencil note:)

( Note : Former key-word  "Flackorfeur" altered  to "Ortlicher Flakschutz" to agree with the  GAF's similar key-word  for this measure).

142. The execution of the operational  measures planned will be ordered by the Naval War Staff by means of the prearranged  key-words  ("Ulla" etc .) via teleprinter, W/T and telephone messages to C-in-C  Baltic , Admirals Commanding , C -in-C Fleet , A .O . for GAF at tho High Command  of  the Navy",  and  to Fuehreror der Luft (Captain, Air ).The operational measures order by  these  key-words will be  initiated in the guise of a practice alarm upon  orders by C -in-C  Baltic or Admiral Commanding Station N. (See appendix 7 for  regulations  concerning  preparations  for these operational measures).

143. Special communications regulations come into force  simultaneously  with the  execution  of  operational measures of  defence of  the  first  to  the  third degree. (See  Appenix 9 for communications regulations.)

Note:   Etappe:  Confidential Naval supply base organized by agents  in neutral countries.


Appendix 1

to Serial No. 1 Naval War Staff Ops

Div.222/39. Top Secret (German Classification).

Allocation of Forces

I.  C-in-C West:

    a) Naval Forces:

    "Gneisenau" (Flag)"




    "Leberecht Maass"

    2nd Destroyer Flotilla (2nd and 4th Destroyer Div.)

    4th Destroyer Flotilla (6th and 8th Destroyer Div.)

    6th Torpedoboat Flotilla

    2nd S-boat Flotilla

    1st U-boat Flotilla (Type IIb, 9 boats)

    2nd Minesweeping Flotilla

    2nd R-boat Flotilla

    Escort Flotilla

    b) Naval Air Units (Fuehrer der Luft West - Captain, Air, West)

    Group 106    Norderney

    1/106          Norderney

    2/106          Norderney

    3/106          Borkum

    1/306          Norderney

    Group 306    Hoernum

    2/306          Hoernum

    Group 406    List

    1/406          List


    2/406    List

    3/406    List

    Shipborne aircraft Staffel 1/196 Wilhelmshaven

    Carrierborne staffels                 Holtenau

    Stuka 4/186                             Holtenau

    Fighter 6/186                           Holtenau

II.  C-in-C East:

    a) Naval Forces:

    "Nuernberg" (Flag) ("Karlsruhe" from 1 October)


    1st Destroyer Flotilla (1st and. 3rd Destroyer Div.)

    5th Destroyer Division

    5th Torpedoboat Flotilla

    1st S-boat Flotilla

    3rd U-boat Flotilla (Type IIb) (9 boats)

    5th U-boat Flotilla (Type IIb)(4 at present, 8 boats later)

    Mobilization Flotilla of the U-boat School, (Type II)_ (4 boats)

    1st Minesweeper Flotilla

    1st R-boat Flotilla

    3rd R-boat Flotilla

    b) Naval Air Units (Fuehrer der Luft East - Captain, Air, East)

    Group 506           Kamp

    1/706                  Nest

    2/606                  Kamp

    3/706                  Kamp

    Shipborne aircraft staffel 5/196   Holtenau


Forces at the disposal of Naval War Staff:

    Pocket Battleship "Deutschland" (Flag)

    Pocket Battleship "Admiral Scheer"

    Pocket Battleship "Admiral Graf Spee"

    2nd U-boat Flotilla (up to 1 October 3 boats, from

    1 October 5 boats VIIb, and after November 1939 3 further boats of     Type IX, later 8th U-boat Flotilla)

    6th U-boat Flotilla (Type IX, 4 boats at present, 8 boats later)

    7th U-boat Flotilla (Type VIIb, at present 5 boats, later 6)


a)  Parts of the forces at the disposal of the Naval War Staff may be put under command of Group Commands according to the situation.

b)  The training ships which are according to war Organization Plan at the disposal of the Naval War Staff are subordinate, to the Group Commands in whose areas they are stationed if they are in home waters when war breaks out .


Appendix 2

(Situation of 1 June 1939)

Allocation of mines:  effective from 1 June 1939 for mine defence of the Baltic and Heligoland Bight.

Group East

 EMA:              900

 EMB:              400 

 EMC/D:           2,088         Notes:

                                        The marginal figures include the mines allotted                                           to the Harbour Defence minefields in the                                                 Baltic.

 UMA:                                3,500

 FMB:                                1,750

 FMC:                                1,000

 RMB:                                    80

 Explosive float C:               3,000

 Explosive float D:                2,000

Group West

 EMC /D:                             2,800

  UMA:                                3,000

  FMB:                                     45

  FMC:                                     45

  Explosive float C:                 3,000

  Explosive float D:                    700


Appendix 3

Regulations for carrying out defence measures.

A.         Operational Measure "Ulla"

    a) Task:

Unobtrusive patrolling of the North Sea in the direction of the Channel and the Thames Estuary.

    b) Execution:

1) In order to establish a state of war-readiness for this measure, it is necessary, after outfitting has been completed, to transfer to the North Sea those U-boats which have been assigned to execute the measures.

2) After undetected advance to position, a patrol line is to be formed by U-boats from square 1067K through square 817 K (Braune Bank) to square 514 K (old square grid ) with the following mission: Report foreign ships, primarily

English and French warships and air forces and suspicious looking merchant- (auxiliary-) vessels, whose bearing or course indicate possible operations against the Heligoland Bight . In addition to these fixed patrol routes, at least two more patrols are to be provided for as alternative patrols, one further to the South in the direction of the Channel, and one further North, which can be taken up by special order.

3) A further group of U-boats in operational readi­ness (depending on the number of boats available and on other projects) will remain in the North Sea prepared for immediate action. These boats may also operate as a U-boat group for the patrol line or off enemy ports.

4)   Equipment:

Torpedoes and mines according to Fleet Instructions.

B.   Operational Measure "Ulfilas".

    a) Task:

Unobtrusive patrolling of the Baltic in the direction of the Gulf of Finland .

    b) Execution:

1)   In order to establish a state of war readiness for this measure, it is necessary, after outfitting has been  completed, to transfer to the Baltic the U-boats assigned to execute the measures.

2)   After undetected advance to position, a patrol line is to be formed by U-boats from square 2073G to square 2017G (outside neutral territorial waters) with the following mission:


Report Russian warships and aircraft and suspicious-looking merchant (auxiliary) vessels whose bearing or course indicate possible operations against German lines of communication by sea or against the southern Baltic.

In addition to these fixed patrol routes, at least two more patrols are to be provided for as alternative patrols further to the West , which are not to be taken up until a special order is given.

3)  A further group of U-boats in operational readiness (depending on the number of boats available and on other projects) is to be kept in the Baltic (Pillau) prepared for immediate action.   These boats are to be used primarily to reinforce reconnaissance and defence.

4)  Equipment:

Torpedoes and mines according to Fleet Instructions.

C.  Operational measure "Ursula":

    Task and Execution:

Execution of operations "Ulla" and "Ulfilas" simultaneously with the North Sea as the focal point . In the execution of this measure, a state of war readiness is to be established in any event for all U-boats prepared for action.

D.  Operational measure "Falke":

    a) Task:

Unobtrusive air reconnaissance in the North Sea in the direction of the Channel includ ing the Thames Estuary (focal point) and in the direction of Scotland and the Shetlands.

    b) Execution:

1)  In order to establish a state of war readiness for this measure, it is necessary to transfer, should occasion arise, the Staffels required for the execution of this assignment from the Baltic to the North Sea.


2)  Flying over foreign territorial waters is not permitted. Distance to be maintained from English and French coasts 15 nautical miles, from the coasts of other countries and from lightships, 10 nautical miles . The line Flushing-Harwich must not be crossed in a Westerly direction without special orders.

3)  Air reconnaissance is to try to report promptly the movements of foreign warships and aircraft as well as of suspicious-looking merchant (auxiliary) vessels, if their movements seem to indicate possible operations against the Heligoland Bight. Suspicious craft of this type are to be shadowed unobtrusively.

4)  It is important to the execution of the operations that both morning and evening reconnaissance be carried out.


5)  In the execution of this assignment, reconnaissance is also to be carried out in the Heligoland Bight if sufficient forces are available .The restriction of operational unobtrusiveness does not apply in the Heligoland Bight.

6) In addition to the Staffels in operation for reconnaissance, at least one Staffel (Fuehrer der Luft will designate their equipment) is to be kept in the North Sea in constant operational readiness.

E.  Operational Measure "Fink":

    a) Task:

Unobtrusive reconnaissance in the Baltic Sea up to and within the entrance of the Gulf of Finland.

    b) Execution:

1)  In order to establish war readiness for this task, the eventual transfer of Staffels may be necessary.

2)  Flying over foreign territorial waters is not permitted. Distance to be maintained from Russian coast and lightships 15 nautical miles, from the coasts and lightships of other countries, 10 nautical miles. The line Dagoe - Utoe may be crossed in easterly direction only by special order.

3) Air reconnaissance is to try to report promptly the movements of Russian warships and aircraft as well as of suspicious-looking merchant- (auxiliary)-vessels ,if these movements seem to indicate possible operations against German sea lines of communication and the German coast. Suspicious vessels of this type are to be shadowed unobtrusively.

4) Evening reconnaissance is especially important for carrying out the assignment; in addition, efforts should be made to carry out morning reconnaissance as well.

5) In the execution of this assignment, reconnaissance in the southern Baltic (sea lines of communication Pillau-Swinemuende) is also to be carried out. The restriction of unobtrusiveness does not apply to this assignment.

6) In addition to the Staffels in operation for reconnaissance one bomber Staffel (Fuehrer der Luft will designate their equipment) is to be kept in East Prussia in operational readiness.

F.  Operational measure "Feodora":

    a) Task :

Unobtrusive air reconnaissance for measures "Falke" and "Fink". Focal point in the North Sea (direction of the Channel).

    b)  Execution:

1)  In accordance with the execution of measures "Falke"  and ''Fink" (Establishment of war readiness).


2)  In the execution of this measure, war readiness of all aircraft ready for action together with their crews, under the command of Fuehrer der Luft , is to be established in any case, independently of whether the tasks "Falke" and "Fink" require commitment of a lesser force.

For the following operational measures preparations are to be made for the first in accordance with the disposition of forces as laid down in Appendix 1. In case the Naval War Staff makes an alteration in the disposition of forces, the execution of the measures is to be altered accordingly.

G. Operational measure "Carla": Task:

Patrolling the Heligoland Bight hy naval forces and naval air units approximately up to a line Terschelling-Hornsriff.

H.  Operational measure "Carin":

Preparation and patrolling of the sea route from Pillau to the Reich (troop transports).

J . Operational measure "Corso":


Patrolling the Heligoland Bight and the southern Baltic (sea route Pillau-Swinemuende) against surprise operations (tasks "Carla" and "Carin" simultaneously).

K.  Operational measure "Zubringer":

Requisitioning, outfitting and delivery of the transport ships necessary for transporting troops from East Prussia to the Reich.

L.  Procedure until the use of weapons is authorized:

If German territory is violated by a foreign power suddenly and with hostile intent, armed resistance will be offered with­out special orders.

The appropriate Flag Officer, fortress commanders and officers commanding are empowered in such a case  to take all measures necessary for defence against the enemy attack independently, without regard to whether or not the legal conditions for the individual measures taken have already been fulfilled.

On no account, however, may foreign territory be violated or the frontier of the Reich crossed or flown over without order or consent of higher authority.

No violation of German territory has occurred when it is a case of foreign warships entering, or of foreign military aircraft flying; over, German territorial waters due to an error in navigation, or when the border is crossed hy Single pickets and patrols, merely as a result of the over-zealousness of an NCO , or accidentally and unintentionally and obviously without any hostile intent.


Appendix 4

To Serial No .l. Naval War Staff Ops

Div. 222/39 Top Secret (German Classification)

Operational measure "Aufbau"  ("Build-up").


Activation of the mobilization command organization of the F.O.s Naval Groups and of the separate Ops. Staffs for East and West without the whole mobilization communications system. Establishment of the staffs - non-existent in peace­time - of Captain (U/B ) S.O. Torpedoboats, S.O . Minesweeping units and Fuehrer der Luft East and West , at first without attaching the corresponding units to these commands.


1)   F.O. Naval Group East will assume command of his group area according to mobilization plan.

2)   Admiral Commanding the North Sea Naval Station wi11 assume command as F.O. Naval Group West for his area only upon special order of C-in-C Naval War Staff.

3)   The staffs of F.O.s North Sea and Baltic Defences, the Captains (U/B ) East and West and the Fuehrers der Luft East and West will be attached for organizational purposes to the staffs of F.O.s Naval Groups East and West. These staffs are to be concentrated locally if possible.

4)   C-in-C East will operate from Swinemuende; the Command station at Swinemuende is to be manned. C-in-C West will operate from Wilhelmshaven; the command station at Wilhelmshaven is to be manned.

5)  C-in-C Fleet will assume command as F.O. commanding West. F .O. (Scouting Forces) will assume command as F.O. commanding East.

6)  S. O.Torpedoboats East and S.O. Torpedoboats West are to be appointed and placed under command of the F.O.s (Commanding).

7)  S.O. Mine sweeping Units East and S.O. Minesweeping Units West are to be appointed and placed under command of F.O. (Defences) Baltic and F.O. (Defences) North Sea respectively.

8) The necessary issue of new orders to regular personnel for the Staffs is to he carried out .The reserve personnel required for the Staffs are to he called up on short notice.

9) Preparations for the organization of communications will consist at first merely of drafting personnel to the stations concerned. All communications stations required for the organization of command are to be manned, or respectively reinforced, depending on the strength of the personnel already available. The switch-over to the war wave-lengths is not to be carried out.


10) The current peacetime exercises of our naval forces and naval air forces and of our naval units ashore are not to be affected by the operational measure "Aufbau".Stations are to be informed through Fleet and Station Commands that the F.O.s Naval Groups and the other Ops Staffs are assuming command in their areas for practice purposes and that in all matters of operational control official channels will lead through the Ops. Staffs and the F.O.s Groups. The administrative subordination of all stations is not affected by the establishment of the F.O.s Groups and the additional Ops. Staffs.

11)  The offices of the F.O.s Groups and of the Ops Staffs are to be manned at all times. Instructions and orders from the Naval War Staff regarding all matters of operational control will be forwarded via F.O.s Groups only. Telegraphic and Telephonic connections with the Naval War Staff are to be ensured.

12)  After receipt of the orders, operational measure "Aufbau" is to be executed in the shortest possible time with all means available. Execution of the order is to be reported.

13)  When the organization of command of the F.O.s Naval Groups has been instituted on the key-word "Aufbau", all reports on position, readiness, supply etc., which are important for operational control, are to be passed to the Naval War Staff via F.O.s Groups.

F.O.s Groups will report at first daily up to 0800 and 2000:

    a)  Position or area of station of all forces in their area of command (naval forces, naval air units and land forces).

     b) Limited war readiness of naval units.

    c) Alterations in the supply and reinforcement situation.

After the first detailed report, the following reports need only be supplementary, but one full report is to be made each week.

In the evening report the plans for the following day are to be outlined if these plans have not already been fixed for some time and stated in the first report.


Appendix 5

To Serial No. 1 Naval War Staff Ops

Div., 222/39. Top Secret (German Classification)

Operational Measure "0ertlicher Flakzchut" ("Local Flak Defence")


Manning of that portion of Flak batteries, searchlights, listening apparatus etc., this can be manned by all the regular personnel available.


1)  Those Flak batteries, searchlights, listening apparatus etc. which are the most important for Flak defence are to be manned immediately in accordance with the various local instructions given by Fortress Commanders H.Q.

2)  Recourse is to be taken to personnel of regular heavy artillery companies, manning divisions, etc., in addition to regular Flak personnel. Reservists are not to be called up.

3)  Measures are to be taken to ensure that, following this manning of a portion of the batteries, a further portion or the whole Flak Defence can be set up by calling up reservists.

The withdrawal of the regular personnel detailed as stop-gaps thus made possible must be able to be carried out without re­duction of the degree of preparedness already achieved.

4)  The execution of this measure is to take place disguised as a practice alarm. Any unnecessary disturbance of the civilian population is to be avoided.

5)  If this immediate limited Flak defence measure is to be carried out one Group Command area, the order will be given only to the stations concerned with the key-word and the supplementary key-word, thus: "Oertlicher Flakschutz, East" or "Oertlicher Flakschutz,West".


Appendix 6

To Serial No. 1. Naval War Staff Ops

Div. 222/39. Top Secret (German Classification)

Stages of readiness:

The following two stages of readiness for the operational measures of the 1st and 2nd degree of defence will be ordered by means of a supplementary key-word:

    a)  Supplementary key-word "Sonderappell":  (special roll call) 1st stage:

Establishment of war readiness of the forces required to carry out the defence measures ordered (termination of exercises, regular personnel in individual readiness complements made up to strength, change of station, batteries and laboour stations manned etc.)

Example : "Sonderappell" "Ulla" means:

The U-boats assigned to the execution of operational measure "Ulla" make ready for war and hold themselves in readiness to put to sea . They will not , however, carry out operational measure "Ulla" yet.

    b)  Supplementary key-word "Sonderkomrmndo" : (special command): 2nd Stage:

Execution of defence measures in accordance with the measure ordered concerned (Assembly of naval forces and naval air units for the defence of German waters and coasts, institution of unobtrusive long distance reconnaissance, etc.).

The addition of date and time means that the initiation of action (putting to sea, starting up etc.) is not to take place at once, but only at the time ordered.)


    1)  "Sonderkommando Ulla" means:

The U-boats assigned to operational measure "Ulla" put to sea at once and carry out the tasks allotted to them according to operational measure "Ulla"

    2)   "Sonderkommando Ulla 10 October 0830” means:

The U-boats assigned to operational measure "Ulla" will not put to sea until 0830 on 10 October to carry out operational measure "Ulla". If the supplementary order "Sonderkommando" is given first, it then includes the order to establish a state of war readiness.


Appendix 7

to Serial No. 1. Naval Staff Ops Div. 222/39. Top Secret

(German Classification)

 Regulations for the preparation of the defence measures.

1)   Steps must be taken to ensure that when orders are being issued in preparation, the subordinate commanders (commanders, pilots of aircraft etc.) and, if occasion arises, the crews also, are informed of the purpose of the measures and the seriousness of the situation, insofar as they concern unobtrusive action outside German sovereign territory and German sovereign coastal waters, only when there is no longer any danger of being compromised.

2)   Operational orders, which upon issue require action according to para. 1) are to be provided with the following introduction:

    a)  The purpose of the previous alarm exercise was to disguise the nature of the following special operation. In the further execution of the operations, embroilment in hostilities can be reckoned with at any moment. Further instructions will follow by W/T:

    b)  Everything depends on the operation being carried out unobtrusively. Any compromising act can result in serious military and political detriment.

    c)  The sovereign territory of non-German countries is not to be violated without special orders.

    d)  No measures of any kind whatsoever are to be taken against non-German ships and aircraft without special orders.

    e)  Until other orders are issued the following rule applies: The enemy must fire the first shot. Definitely established attacks are to be resisted by force of arms.

    f)  After completion of the operation, attention of the crew is to be drawn to the duty of maintaining special secrecy. The execution of the operation, if it does not result in open hostilities, must continue to be treated as an alarm exercise.

Following this introduction, details of the operation are to be set forth with special regulations for W/T service, etc.


Appendix 8

To Serial No. 1. Naval War Staff Ops Div. 222/39. Top Secret (German Classification)

 Communications instructions and recognition signal procedure for defense measures.

A.  First Degree of Defence (according to Battle Instructions Part VII para. 126)

    1)  Military measures are to be camouflaged when practicable while the first degree of defence is operative. As far as possible the general picture of peacetime communications service must be maintained.

    2)  The forces concerned and the coastal W/T stations will guard the wave-lengths of the joint guard U-boats and joint guard aircraft allotted these forces in accordance with "Kriegsnachrichtenvorschrift" Vol. II Appendix 2 (Regulations for Wartime Communications).

    3)  When the command is issued, the Supreme Command of the Navy will order the availability of the ultralong wave transmitter DGW on 13,000 m. Ultralong wave W/T traffic for U-boats is to be carried out according to Kriegsnachrichten­vorschrift Vol II, Appendix 2, Section B II instructions (f) to (h), and Kriegsnachrichtenvorschrift Vol. II, Appendix 3, Section II.

    4)  W/T traffic of the forces participating is to be carried out according to War VI/T procedure on the wavelengths assigned to them.

Forces not participating will clear their W/T traffic on the area primary wave or other waves according to "Nachrichten­vorschrift der Kriegsmarine" Vol. II, using peacetime W/T procedure. Severe restriction of this W/T traffic is necessary. Open W/T messages are no Ionger to be dispatched. In order to maintain the appearance of peacetime procedure, W/T ruse traffic with open W/T messages may be carried out on occasion following instructions of the Naval Group Command.

    5) The current code books, coding material, allocation lists etc. .are to continue in use. The use of the Mobilization code books does not come into question except on special orders from the Naval War Staff.

    6)  When the command is issued, the Naval War Staff will order the availability of a part of the Martha-L/T communications network in accordance with supplement 1 to appendix 9.

    7)  Priority transmission of messages of the operational command of Naval Forces over all other communications via the W/T communications network is to be ensured if necessary by the insertion of priority signs. These messages are also to be distinguished by the service entry "Fueh". as the first word of the text . The stations in question must ensure, by means of appropriate instructions, that these messages are despatched quickly and delivered immediately to Op. H.Q.


     8)  Preparations are to be made by Station Commands (personnel offices) to augment the personnel of communications stations according to the personnel available. Augmentation is to be carried out if necessary.

    9)  Recognition signal procedure:

Recognition signal procedure will go into effect for the forces participating according to R/S regulations. If the Naval Group Commands consider it necessary, in view of the situation prevailing , they will order R/S procedure to be extended to include forces not participating.

Naval Group Command East will issue the instructions incumbent upon Fleet Command according to R/S regulations.

Procedure is to be as laid down in R/S regulations para .9).

The operating procedure with the R/S cartridges to be used in accordance with the plans drawn up by the Minister for Air and C-in-C GAF  will be made known in each case by the Naval War Staff, together with the necessary operating procedure instructions.

B.  Second Degree of Defence (according to Battle Instructions Part VII para. 128

    1)  Since in this case all classes of naval forces are engaged in the defence operations, it will be necessary to guard all wave-lengths according to Kriegsnachrichtenvorschrift Vol .II, appendix 2, paras BII, III and IV, when the second degree of defence is initiated. Only war W/T procedure is to be followed.

In view of the insufficient manning of the coastal W/T stations, efforts are to be made toward economy by leaving certain individual wave-lengths unguarded. F.O.s Groups will issue instructions appropriate to the situation.

    2)  For the rest, the instructions given under Section A paras 5) to 9) will apply.

    3)  The important naval signal stations necessary to the execution of the defence operations are to be put into commission immediately upon instructions of the Naval Group Commands. Preparations for their commissioning are to be made by the Station Commands.

    4)   It will be necessary to augment the personnel of the coastal wireless stations very shortly.For this and for the commissioning of the Naval Signal Stations according to para 3) Station Commands (personnel office) have at their disposal enlisted communications personnel in training and in personnel reserve status.

If it becomes necessary to call up reserve personnel at any time, a decision by the Naval War Staff must be obtained.

C.  Third Degree of Defence (according to Battle Instructions Part VII para. 136)

    1)  In this case it will be necessary to mobilize and commission all Naval Signal Stations, calling up all reserve personnel.

    2)  On issuing the command order, the Naval War Staff will order the availability of the entire Martha L/T communi-


cations network .

3)   The mobilization code books will be mad effective by a special order from the Naval War Staff.

4)    Procedure in all branches of the communications service is to be carried out on wartime basis in accordance with Kriegsnachrichtenvorschrift.

5)   When mobilization is in progress, R/S procedure according to R/S regulations. Code publications (first R/S code number, R/S setting disc , edition 37)will be made effective by the Naval War Staff. Operational procedure I is to be used as R/S when the mobilization measures go into effect.



 Supplement 1 to Appendix 8

To Serial No. 1 Naval War Staff

Ops Div. 222/39 Top Secret

(German Classification)

List of telephone lines which the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces has requisitioned from the German Post Office.


  T/P line      Telephone line     
Wilhelmshaven - Emden                               V 0360  
Wilhelmshaven - Kiel V 0344 or V 0348 V 10
Wilhemshaven - Hamberg V 0315 V 11 or V 12
Wilhemmshaven - Berlin V 0306 V 3
Wilmshelmshven - Berlin V 0307 *) V 4
Hamburg - Kiel V 0329 V 21
Kiel - Berlin V 0305 *) V 1 and V 2
Kiel - Berlin V 0304 V 28
Berlin - Swinemuende V 0308 V 5 and V 6
Swinemuende - Stettin V 0325 or V0331 V 31
Stettin - Stolpmuende V 0326 V 34
Stettin - Pillau V 0327 V 32
Berlin - Pillau V 0309 V 7
Berlin - Neumuenster V 0301 *)  

*) already in use.


Appendix 9

To serial No. 1.Naval War Staff Ops Div. 222/39 Top Secret (German Classification)

Instructions for conduct with regard to international law.

I.  General:

1)   The nature of naval warfare necessitates a far closer contact with those elements of the enemy nation who are not directly engaged in the armed hostilities, as well as with the interests of neutral states, than is generally the case in the conduct of war by the other branches of the Armed Forces. For this reason, current international law exerts a strong influence upon the form and manner of the conduct of war at sea.

2)   The guiding principle of our own naval warfare will be to make such use of our fighting resources that they can develop their maximum force towards achievement of the war aim within the limits of the conduct of the war as a whole; to which latter also belong the political struggle, which is not ended by an outbreak of war, and the ideological battle. It therefore goes without saying that effective fighting resources and fighting methods will never fail to be employed merely because some international regulations or other are opposed to them.

3)  Since, however, the political reactions to such measures can be fully surveyed only by the Naval War Staff; it alone reserves the right to establish the principles according to which the fighting resources of the Navy are to be employed in armed conflict.          

4)  There is also no question of an arbitrary departure from these principles even where certain local tactical disadvantages would occasionally result from their observance.

5)   The principles of our attitude toward international law depend on the political situation and the state of the war. An unequivocal ruling in every field cannot therefore yet be laid down. Alterations ordered at short notice must be anticipated.

6)  We must reckon with the possibility that in order to avoid defamation as aggressor, the coercive military measures necessary to overthrow the enemy may have to be carried out at first without laying claim to the rights of warfare, particularly the right to effect blockades and to take prizes, rights presupposing an internati0nal state of war. The measures required in such a case cannot be foreseen and laid down forthwith. In this situation, too, the deciding principle nevertheless remains that necessary military measures will be carried out and that legal grounds to be advanced will be other than those of international law.

7)  As regards the position at present, observation of the following principles is ordered.   For the present, they are to be the basis of all considerations and preparations.


8)   The legal documentation referred to below - Prize Regulations, Hague Convention Laws of Neutrality etc . is contained in Part I of the new Manual of Naval War LawS published in conjunction v1ith the Supreme Command of the Navy , Naval War Staff/1st Div . I c 2240G of 27 Aug 1938 and in Part IV of the old Manual of Naval War Laws (M. Dv.435) (Naval Regulation 435).

9)  All announcements, etc ., apart from purely local matters, which become necessary due to the follow1ng orders 5 particularly notifications to foreign states, announcements over rad o and ships wireless and via "Nachrichten foer Seefahrer" (Notices to Mariners) etc. .5 will be made by the Naval War Staff. The material necessary for these announcements is to be forwarded to the Naval War Staff promptly.  (10. - 11. blank paragraphs)

II  Freedom of the Seas and of air traffic over the sea:

    12)  Although the principle of freedom of traffic on and over the high seas is fundamentally recognized, certain material and local restrictions of this principle are claimed as a result of the exigencies of war . These restrictions are effected by the following measures, always subject to approval by the Naval War Staff insofar as their execution has not been assigned to subordinate commands.

    13)  War on merchant shipping, compare para. 22) and after.

    14) Minelaying operations, compare para . 37) and after.

    15) Declaration of danger zones, defence zones, prohibited flying areas over the sea.

    16) Compulsory direction of shipping, restriction of fishing, restriction of W/T traffic of foreign vessels.

    17) General ban on foreign aircraft approaching one's own naval forces, patrolled minefields and one's own coast.

    18)  General ban on submerged foreign submarines approaching one's own naval forces as well as patrolled minefields and the coast.

    19) General ban on foreign warships and aircraft entering German sovereign territory.(20. - 21.Blank paragraphs)

III    War on merchant shipping, status of armed merchant vessels, and of supply ships.

    22) In "Danger Zones" expressly announced as such (in which declared mined areas can also be included ), all fighting resources of surface and underwater naval vessels as well as of aircraft are to be exployed against every vessel contacted in these areas, without showing any hampering consideration. The same applies to foreign aircraft in prohibited flying areas.

    23) Even outside the "Danger Zones", direct attack without warning made by surface and underwater naval vessels and by air­craft with the aim of destroying the ships in question is permitted on enemy troop transports, on vessels which are taking a direct part in battle actions or which are directly supporting enemy forces


at sea in some other way, especially by transmitting information. on merchant ships escorted by enemy warships or combat aircraft.

    24)  Against all other enemy and neutral merchant ships and civilian aircraft, outside the "Danger Zones" and the prohibited flying areas, surface and underwater Naval vessels and aircraft are to proceed for the present in accordance with Prize Regulations. U-Boats and aircraft are to follow the rules of procedure laid down in Prize Regulations with an interpretation in conformity with their own characteristics.

Intensification of the economic war which may become necessary and resulting alterations in Prize Regulations will be ordered, move for move, corresponding to the enemy's behavior. The right to announce a list including, even conditional contra­band is reserved.

    25) Merchant ships armed for purely defensive purposes will count for the present as merchant ships. Treatment as such is agreed to by us and we will claim the sane treatment for such ships of ours from neutrals.

    26) Treatment as non-warships is claimed for our own supply ships, dockyard vessels, and aircraft tenders even though such ships are armed for defensive purposes.

    27) Vessels of the type named in paras 25)and 26) are permitted the use of arms only in their own defence .

    28)  If an enemy or neutral merchant ship offers armed resistance or sets about so doing or takes other measures which may be regarded as endangering our forces, e.g., an attempt to ram, it is to be met with armed force. The crews are to be treated as prisoners of war. The wartime special criminal jurisdiction regulation and the wartime criminal procedure order of 17 Aug. 1938 (MDv. 132) are to be enforced, against passengers proved to have taken part in the act of resistance.

If enemy merchant ships undertake offensive action or if they try· to exercise the right of stopping, searching, and seizure against German or neutral merchant ships, it is to be regarded as freebooting, and armed force will be use9 against such ships . The guilty crews are to be treated according to the special penal regulations already mentioned.

    29)  In cases of dire emergency we claim the right of requisition (right of Angary) against a neutral merchant ship not subject to seizure, and also its legitimate cargo. Requisitioning can extend to the taking of fuel, provisions, gear, etc. It is to be limited to a quantity which will not leave the foreign vessel itself in a condition of distress .Furthermore, requisitioning can consist of obliging the foreign ship to transport crews rescued in the war against merchant shipping as well as passengers of ships sunk. Suitable compensation is to be promised in each case. Since the exercise of the right of Angary on the high seas is not a generally recognized legal principle and will therefore involve political complications, it is to be used only in cases of military necessity and with express reference to an existent state of emergency.


    30) Foreign merchant shipping changing flag is to be treated according to Article 7 of the new Prize Regulation. (31. - 33. blank paragraphs.

IV.  Transformation of merchant ships into auxiliary warships.

    34) The right to carry out such a transformation on the high seas is claimed. Conditions according to the Seventh Hague Convention of 18 Oct. 1907 are to be respected. (35 - 36 Blank paras

V.  Use of Mines:

The following applies to the use of mines:

    37) It is forbidden to use drifting mines unless they automatically render themselves ineffective after an hour.

    38) The Hague Convention that mines may not be used for the exclusive purpose of paralyzing commercial shipping is outdated by the fact that for all practical purposes there is no longer any traffic by sea in enemy coastal waters solely devoted to harmless shipping.

    39 Areas endangered by mines are to be proclaimed as soon as military considerations permit (by means of diplomatic notes, radio, Nachrichten fuer Seefahrer,see para 9).

    40) The use of mines inside enemy territorial waters is also subject to the regulation according to para. 39). However, the announcement is to be made here also, "as soon as", i.e .not, until, military considerations permit.

    41)  Minelayers can fly whatever flags are desired for purposes of disguise on approach and withdrawal. It is however inadmissible to show a neutral flag when actually minelaying.(42. - 44.Blank paragraphs)

VI. Bombardment of undefended ports, towns etc.

    45) Bombardments of undefended ports, towns etc. from the sea may only be carried out within the limits of the Ninth Hague Convention of 18 Oct. 1907 regarding bombardment by naval forces in wartime. The following targets are not included in the ban on bombardment cited: military works, military or naval installations, depots of arms or war material, workshops and ,installations, which could be utilized for the needs of the enemy's armed forces; also warships in the harbour (and military seaplanes). Where there are urgent military reasons, notice need not be given. The principle that air attacks against all targets of military importance are permissible is applicable to air attacks from the sea. (46. - 47.blank paragraphs)

VII. The rights of neutrals

In general:

    48) The rights of neutrals are to be conscientiously respected according to the Thirteenth Hague Convention of 18 Oct. 1907 concerning the rights and duties of neutrals in the event of war at sea. The sovereign territory of neutral state is


to be violated neither by war measures being carried out within them, nor from them nor into them.

    49)  If German sea or air forces are attacked when theyare in neutral sovereign territory, they are to repel the attack with all the means at their disposal; the same applies if the attack is launched from neutral sovereign territory.

In Particular:

    50) The neutrality stipulations of the Scandinavian and Baltic States issued on 27 May 1938 and at the end of 1938 are to be respected in every particular. Attention is drawn to para. 2 of the Scandinavian and Baltic Stipulations regarding the ban on the passage of U-boats through their territorial waters with the exception of the Sound and the Great and Little Belts, as well as to the right of sea and air forces to pass through or fly over the Sound and the Belts at any time.

    51)  Neutral territorial waters are to be respected tacitly to the extent to which they are claimed by the country concerned, compare "Manual of Naval War Law" Part I Vol.4.

    52) Strict fulfillment of th0 c1utios incumbent on neutral according to the Hague Convention named in para .48) is required in return.

    53) The neutrality of friendly states is to be utilized as fully as possible by a corresponding interpretation of their neutrality stipulations.(54. - 56.blank paragraphs)

VIII. General Rules of War:

    57)  The Tenth Hague Convention of the Second Hague Conference of 18 Oct. 1907 regarding the application of the principles of the Geneva Convention to war at sea.

    58) The Geneva Protocol of 17 June 1925 regarding the ban on poison gas warfare and on bacteriological warfare.

    59) The Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war of 27 July 1929.

    60) The Geneva Convention for the improvement of the lot of wounded and prisoners of 27 July 1929


SECRET (German Classification)


As Supreme Commander of the German Armed Forces I give the following instructions in the event of war to the commanders of Naval ships and vessels abroad.

    1)   The cruising orders given the ship in peacetime cease be valid as soon as the commander is fully persuaded that a war has broken out in which Germany is taking part. There­after, if he is not subordinate to a Flag Officer (commanding) and in a position to contact him immediately, he is to make decisions independently and on his own responsibi1ity, as he considers expedient to fulfil the operational instructions given to him in case of war and the supplementary instructions from C-in-C the Navy; he should also base decisions on his own appreciation of the situation in the sense of these instructions.

    2)   The commander must constantly bear in mind that the capacity of the crew to undergo privations and hazards, its efficiency and eagerness for battle, depends primarily on his personal behavior and is conditioned by the example of energy and devotion to duty he sets. The more difficult his position becomes and the more hopeless it seems, the more steadfastly the commander should adhere to the dictates of military honour alone.

    3)  The commander must seek to keep his ship in constant readiness for action . He is however absolved of all responsibil­ity for its loss if this occurs in honourable combat. Also no blame will fall on a commander whose ship has been expended through energetic cruiser warfare and has hereby become useless for further commissioning. The commander is to use ship, crew and any utilizable materials to seek out new targets if he is unable to execute his original battle assignment because of damage to the ship of other losses , and if other instructions, taking the altered situation 1nto account, do not reach him.

If the ship's own operational possibilities are exhausted, it is to be laid up with a skeleton crew if the commander is convinced that the neutral power will maintain it in safe hands until the end of the war, otherwise it is to be sunk.(Marginal note indecipherable.)

    4)  In order to enable the commander to do justice to his difficult problems while acting on his own responsibility, in case of war I invest him with the special powers which are contained in the appendix.

    5) I shall act without mercy against any commander who compromises the honour of the flag and is found lacking in that energy which alone can bring success and achieve a position of respect for the German Navy.

    Rather death with honour than strike the flag!



Berlin. the 9th of October, 1935 Fuehrer and Chancellor of the Reich

A . Hitler

Reich Minister of War and C-in-C Armed Forces


C-in-C Navy






    1)  Disregarding the existing lawful regulations particularly in deviating from the authorized ship's strength, the commander is permitted to appoint volunteers and conscripts even as C.P.O.s and Petty Officers, and as doctors, for the duration of the war; on the other hand he may put ashore members of the crew who are unfit for active service .Volunteers and conscripts who have formerly served in the army as officers may be employed again in positions up to their old rank.

    2)  The commander is authorized to promote men to higher rank, even although this may exceed the ship's complement, if they have proved worthy by distinguishing themselves in action, by bravery, courage or unusual circumspection. Promotions to officer rank will be subject to subsequent ratification and may be ordered only by commanders on the active list holding the rank of Lieutenant Commander and above.

    3) The commander is given the necessary means for maintaining strict discipline, especially by the regulations of para. 124, Militaerstrafgesetzbuch (Military Penal Code) and para .101 Militaerstrafgesetzbuch.

    4) The commander is empowered to make such outlay , above and beyond the authorized limits, As he may deem necessary to maintain ship and crew at peak efficiency and to further the purposes of war.

    5) The commander has the right to put any ship of the German Merchant Marine into active service for the conduct of the war, as military necessity may require , whether it may be to supply his ship, whether it may be to equip it as an auxiliary cruiser, or for other military purposes.


Copy of Naval War Staff/1st Div.

1229/39 ·confidential

Berlin, 26 June, 1939

Copy No .1

Copy No. 2

Supreme Command of the German Armed Forces

Foreign Division, Serial No. 445/39 Confidential, Foreign Section IV (4)


German Naval High Command/Naval War Staff/3rd Div.

German Naval High Command/Naval War Staff/1st Div.

(pencilled note)

To be filed with A ·I Op 14 under I ac

Io 17/7 M

Subject: W/T traffic with Naval Etappes.*

Reference: Conference with Commander Krueger (Naval War Staff/ 3rd Div .)26th June 1939.

It is proposed to issue the following instructions, effective immediately, to the Fleet and Training Inspectorate . They are based on experience gained during the period of tension in the autumn of last year as well as on various tests carried out with the training cruisers during their voyages abroad.

    1)  In amplification of the regulations laid down in the "Guide to Cooperation with Confidential Personnel of the Etappe Organization"(Regulation A) and in the "Etappe Regulations" (E.V.) the following instructions are issued. Only in exceptional cases are any requests for supplies to be made directly to an Etappe by Naval forces (including auxiliary vessels) which will be employed in the event of mobilization outside home waters.

For security reasons it is more expedient to transmit such demands direct to the German Naval High Command by W/T (as the case may be via a merchant ship of a friendly nation), giving type and quantity (type of oil, provisions etc) and time and rendezvous point (line). Everything further will then be arranged from here (also briefing of the warship concerned).

All requests are to be handed in as early as possible, taking into consideration the time required for outfitting and the approach route of the supply ships.

(Marginal Note: For operational orders (refers to two above paragraphs)

Paragraph 59 and Appendix 1 of "Regulations A" as well as the "Etappe Regulations" are to be provided with a reference until new regulations are issued.


    2)  It is further requested that; for the sake of uniformity, orders be issued to appoint the navigating officer in all cases as liaison officer between base and warship command.

C-in-C Armed Forces



* Etappe: Confidential Naval supply base organized by agents in neutral countries.


Naval Command 

Berlin, 10 June 1939

A IIca 1021/39 Secret                                                                                           9 copies


To                                                Copy No.                                                                 (Penciled note:)

A VI                                             1 "Re drawing up of opera-

A  IV                                            2  tional orders for heavy

M  WA (I)                                     3 auxilliary cruisers , pro-

M  Wa (IIIm)                                4  pose conference with Ic."

For information:               II 13/6

Naval War Staff/1st Div.                         5

A  V.                                                          6

M  (Defence)                                             7

K ( IEc )                                                     8

Supreme Command of the

Armed Forces (Security)                               9

Subject: Commissioning of auxiliary cruisers in extraterritorial waters.

Reference:  1) "Ausbildungsvorschrift fuer die Infanterie"

                    (Infantry Training Regulations) 1265/38, secret

                    of 27 September 38. - Naval War Staff/1st Djv.


                    1649/38 secret, file with -------219-227

                2) Naval Viar Staff/1st. Div . IIa 2163/38, secret, Aiz-2-3 file with -------123-128

                3)   A VIh 1563/38 secret of 27 Jan 39 = Naval War Naval War Staff/

                Staff/1st Div. 201A/38, file with ---------------1st. Div . IIa-2-3


The conferences of the representatives of A  VI and A II held on 17 May 1939 with M.Wa (Ib) and Naval War Staff/1st .

Div. (IIa) have shown that for the present it will not be possible in extraterritorial waters to arm and commission a whale factory ship (blubber factory) as an auxiliary cruiser with four 15 cm. guns, utilizing only what means are available on board

and its own crew. Under the responsibility of A VI investigations now being conducted with this purpose in view will in future be continued and brought to conclusion in the form of a survey.

A simple and novel way of utilizing the whale factory ships consists of loading them before their departure to the Antarctic with a number of cases and prefabricated mounted wooden beam Gun platforms (about 1800 x 1800 x 200mm = about 800 kg.) to arm one each of the merchant ships plying the



A case is to contain

1 x 3.7cm Q.F. gun C/30 on unit mounting C/34

250 x 3.7 H.E. tracer shell cartridges L 2.5

30 pistols with 60 rounds each

1 box with 36 stick hand grenades

1 cruiser set of demolition gear and 5 medium demolition cases

2 sets of warship flags

Orders, instructions for weapons and gear etc. for the merchant ship captain as the future auxiliary cruiser comr11ander.

(Marginal note :) "Naval War Staff/1st Div."

Since it is primarily a question of experimentally equipping the whale factory ship "VIKING" with five cases and five platforms initially by September of this year, and as the merchant navy's war training is at present non-existent, the following procedure is to adopted:

    1)  A II will inform the forward commands concerned of this intention.

    2)  A VI will assume the responsibility and will work out the training plans for the entire crew of the "VIKING, from which the operating crews for guns and gear are to be provided. A VI will also ensure that in cooperation with Naval War Staff/

1st . Div. qualified captains of the ships plying the routes concerned - primarily reserve officers - are informed of the intention in a suitable form.

    3) Naval War Staff/l t . Div . viill take over the elaboration of orders c:md instructions for the auxilliary cruiser commanders, including the ''VTIKING."

    4)  A IV will be requested to consent to the issue of five 3.7 cm. Q .F. guns C/30 in unit mounting C/34 from the coastal AA defences in Kiel garrison H.Q.     So that no interruption of the Flak Defence there may be caused by the removal of these guns prior to the arrival of the fifty-six 3.7 cm

Q.F. guns from the new consignments - probably due towards the end of this year - the temporary use of machine guns C/30 is proposed during the short intervening period.

A IV is further requested to arrange the training of the captains (auxiliary cruiser commanders) named by A VI according to para (2) for their assignment.

    5) After immediate clarification of the gun question with the Foreign Office, M Wa is requested to assign the Naval Dockyard Kiel responsibility for issue and casing of weapons and gear, also conduct of experimental gun-platform construct­ion and firing tests thereof at Unterluess. Because of the urgent nature of the project it is requested that with the participation of AII the work be speedily undertaken.

If no objections are raised by 20 June 39 agreement will be assumed.



A iA . A .III

In draft, signed Plath

Certified correct:











(to be sealed)

This envelope is to be opened by the captain of the "WIKINGER" or his official deputy as soon as news of the outbreak of hostilities between Germany and England or France is received by wireless from the Supreme Command of the German Navy or from other trustworthy source.

This envelope is to be destroyed by fire after opening

In The Envelope

To the

Captain of the "WIKINGER” or his official deputy

This envelope contains:

    1)  appointment as Sonderfuehrer of the German Navy with the rank of SubLieutenant,

    2)  appointment as commander of the auxiliary cruiser "Wikinger",

    3 ) an operationa1 order for "Wikinger" in a special sealed envelope,

    4)  3 special envelopes for further auxiliary cruisers to be armed by the "Wikinger"


 The special envelopes (see para. 4 above) contain:

    1)  an order blank for Captain....... with his appointment as Sonderfuehrer in the German Navy with rank of Sub-Lieutenant (this order is to be destroyed if the captain is already an officer of the Naval Reserve);

   2)  an order with appointment as commander of the auxiliary cruiser.........;

   3) an operational order for auxiliary cruiser

               This list of contents is to be destroyed fire.


Supreme Command of the German Navy

Order hereby appointed as Sonderfuehrer in the German Navy with the rank of Sub-Lieutenant.

C -in-C the Navy

pp Schniewind.

Supreme Command of the German Navy


1)  Ship........... is transformed  into an auxiliary cruiser;


2) The captain of the ship is appointed  as commander of this auxiliary  cruiser.


3) All the  duties and  rights  of  a  commander  of  a  warship are  incumbent  on  him  as  commander  of  the  auxiliary cruiser .All civilians and also persons  in military service  who  maybe  on board  his  ship come  under  his military  command   as  soldiers.

All members of the crew and other persons onboard are to be distinguished as participants in the war by wearing the armbands provided.

4) As commander, he is empowered to appoint individual officers and engineers as Sonderfuehrers in the German Navy.

5)  As an auxiliary cruiser, the  ship  flies the man-of-war ensign and  pennant.

6 ) The  tasks  of  the auxiliary cruiser are  laid  down  in the appended operational order.

7)  The  commander  has the  right  to  put  any  ship of the  German  Merchant  Marine  into  active  service  for the  conduct  of the war, as military necessity may require, whether it may  be to supply his ship, whether it maybe  to equip it as an auxiliary cruiser, or for other military purposes.-

C-in-C the Navy

pp. Schniewind.

Operational order for " W I n k I n g e r"

I.             Task:     

    1) Following  the  news of  the  outbreak  of  hostilities between Germany  and  England  or France  the  ship is to be  armed immediately with the gun  onboard  and  to be  transformed into an auxiliary cruiser  according to the  international laws which  apply.(See "Seekriegsrechtliches Sammel­heft"  - Manual of  Law  of  Naval Warfare.)

    2) The primary task is the conduct of warfare against merchant shipping.


In addition, other  German ships , which may  be  directed to  the "Wikinger" by W/T orders from the Naval War Staff, are  to  be  armed  as auxiliary  cruisers with  the  remainder of the guns onboard .(Marginal Note: For other auxiliary cruisers para  2) runs:2 )  Task is warfare against merchant shipping)

3)  In order  to  be  able to arrange  definite  rendezvous  lines with  other  German  ships within attainable  distance, by using a short , secret  key -word , the following data concerning  secret  lines have  been  issued  to  German  shipping  along  the  corresponding  routes :


Secret Key-word :


"Brief Actions" means: stand . . seamiles off and   on rendezvous  line ,

               e.g. … O S, … OE… O.

“Brief Bruno” means: seamiles off and   on rendezvous line,

               e.g. … O S … OE… O.

"Brief Caesar “   means: seamiles off and   on rendezvous line,

               e.g. … O S … OW… O.

"Brief Dora '' means: seamiles off and   on rendezvous line,

               e.g. … O S … OW… O.

etc .

See  appendix I for  data  about  rendezvous  lines…

After establishment of W/T   communications with a German ship within attainable distance as the case maybe, via W/T dispatch from the Supreme Command of The Navy, one of the lines designation above will be agreed upon with the secret key-word “Brief…” (With the date, as occasion arises) in order to transfer the gun to such a ship or for other purposes (replenishing fuel, etc.).

In case it is impossible to arm any further German ships as auxiliary cruisers, the remaining guns are to be installed for your own armament. (Marginal note: For other auxiliary cruisers the last two sections of para. 3 are to be omitted.)


II.   Carrying out of warfare on merchant shipping.

4)  It is the task of a commander conducting warfare on merchant shipping to damage, disrupt and disquiet enemy merchant traffic with all the means at his disposal.

During the first days and perhaps even weeks after the outbreak of war the auxiliary cruiser must strike the first blow against the as yet unarmed merchant shipping of the enemy. Some time will probably elapse before the arming of enemy merchant ships has been completed.

The sooner the auxiliary cruiser goes into action, the greater are its prospects of success. With each day’s delay the enemy can arm more merchant ships, whose light and medium guns (up to 15cm) will make successful attack difficult.

The ·war against merchant shipping is to be conducted primarily enemy and secondarily against neutral shipping. Ships are to be forced to stop by gunfire. If opening the bottom valves is not sufficient to sink the ships, the explosives carried on board are to be used.

After successful seizure of investigation of a ship, it may be of advantage for your own protection to stand off your former sea route and to make a surprise appearance elsewhere.

5)  Warfare against merchant shipping is to be conducted at present according to “Prize Regulations” In explanation of prize regulations; the following points are especially emphasized.

Enemy ships are to be seized and sunk. Neutral ships are to be examined, contraband found aboard is to be confiscated and, if it is not possible or worthwhile to transfer it to your own ship, it is to be destroyed. If the neutral ship is subject to confiscation according to Prize Regulations, e .g. because more than half the cargo is contraband, it is likewise to be sunk.

(See 11 Prize Regulations’" for legal details, especially concerning the treatment of crews etc.)

6)  As far as possible, operational areas are to be sought in waters in which enemy warships are least likely to appear for the time being.

This will probably be the case in the South Atlantic and the Southern Indian Ocean and also in the Pacific Ocean.

If stocks of fuel permit, an effort is to be made occasionally to transfer operations to another part of the ocean in order to unsettle the enemy as much as possible, hereby also splitting up what defensive forces he may have set up , and thus pro­longing your own opportunities for action.

Junctions of merchant traffic are to be avoided, because enemy patrol activity must be reckoned with these points.


7) The ship is to be camouflaged as a neutral ship as far as possible by means of repainting, perhaps alterations of the superstructure, etc. The guns are also to be camouflaged. Flying a foreign flag is a permissible wartime ruse. When going. Into action (stopping, opening fire, etc.), the foreign flag must however be hauled down and the German man-of-war ensign hoisted.(See also particulars in Manual of Law of Naval Warfare) .

8)  Supplies of fuel, provisions and clothing are to be obtained from prizes if possible. When taking on stores in neutral ports efforts are to be made before­ hand to disguise the ship as a merchant vessel.

For putting into  neutral ports as a warship, see legal regulations laid d own in the Manual of Law of Naval Warfare (only twenty-four hour’s stay, etc.) It is advisable to comply with the request of a neutral power to leave its sovereign territory. Incidents with neutrals can have undesirable political consequences and must therefore be avoided.

Whenever putting into a neutral port it must however, be assumed that the enemy ·will be informed .

III.  Communications Instructions

9)  When W/T is used, it must be remembered that W/T traffic is systematically watched and evaluated by the enemy. It is also possible for the enemy to locate the ship’s position by means of both long and short wave W/T-D/F bearings. The use of W/T hence involves dangers. W/T silence is therefore to be kept if at all possible, and the transmission of messages restricted to cases of unavoidable necessity.

Each time W/T is used     the commander must consider whether the situation permits the use of W/T, and whether the message to be transmitted is so important that the eventual disadvantages and hazards involved must be accepted.

 10) W/T traffic is to be carried on also after transformation into an auxiliary cruiser according to the(? communication instructions contained in the special instructions for merchant ships. (paras. 5-14)

Despatches home are· to be transmitted if possible to coastal W/T station Norddeich-Radio · those stations convenient to the ships position at the time.

11) For traffic with German Merchant shipping code H 1939 Edition, will be used, with the Cod e book Edition No. 303 contained therein.

For traffic with home and with the auxiliary cruisers equipped according to para .2)of this order Code H. 1939 Edition is likewise to be used , but with the Code book No . 152 enclosed with this order.

Messages coded according to both code books have the same outward appearance. With the aid of the identification group, however, it is possible for the decoder to determine which code book was used when encoding.


    12) In addition, a Code H (red) is enclosed, which is the same as Code H (grey) attached to “Special Instructions for Merchant Ships.”

Code H (grey) is only for merchant ships, but Code H (red) is intended for warships. The latter, in a supplement printed on yellow paper, contains in addition the “Regulations for the Navy for Code H”, and, in a special appendix, the “List contains the secret call signs and copy numbers allotted to the German merchant ships which must be used when giving orders to merchant ships, according to “Special Instructions” para 7 (bottom, page 4).

In accordance with the Special Instructions copy number 1604 issued to the Captain, the following secret call signs for selective use are allotted to the whale factory ship “Wikinger” in addition to its secret call sign:

EQKE     LXAD      EQII       EPVQ     LXXE

EQDJ      LXPI       EPFH      EQGJ      LXYT


(See supplement to Code H – red- (on yellow paper) page 19, Table III, column d.)

IV.  Procedure after accomplishment of mission.

    14) If all military resources are exhausted, or if the commander sees no further prospects of success, a break-through home may be attempted, if the situation still permits. If there are prisoners on board, the break-through is to be carried out as an auxiliary cruiser; otherwise transformation into a merchant ship is to be undertaken if possible.

    15)  If the return journey cannot be carried out because of the impossibility of obtaining fuel supplies or for other reasons, the ship is to be taken to a port of one of our allies or to a friendly neutral port (preferably, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish). If war breaks out with England, which has a strong influence over the neutral countries, a neutral power cannot be counted upon to keep the ships safe hands until the end of the war. Measures must hence be taken without fail to ensure that on no account the ship falls into enemy hands.

V.  Fundamental principles of warfare.

    16) War is to be conducted with every means of cunning and imagination. The most unusual measures will find the enemy the least prepared.

Chivalry in the treatment of the victims of war is a law which is only to be disregarded for weighty reasons of military importance. This, however, must not lead to timidity of action, even against non-combatants. 

    17)  From the commander, who must act on his own responsibility, the conduct of war demands the highest


degree of courage , resolution, initiative and energy.

It is also his task to instill these qualities into his crew and to preserve them.

This operational order must not fall into enemy hands







Published: Fri Sep 25 13:26:22 EDT 2020