Hitler's Orders To His Western Armies Concerning Guerrilla Warfare
(April 22, 1945)
The situation on the Western Front is unfavorable to us because of the enemy's superiority in manpower, material and ammunition. Despite this, or rather because of it, we have to keep our energy up to key pitch.
Only attacks against the enemy's flanks and rear, with the disruption and cutting of his lines of communication, can guarantee success. Success in battle consists of constant attacks on the enemy's rear in conjunction with partisan warfare. The main point in these attacks is to force the enemy with cunning and guile into positions in which his troops are spread out all over the country and in the greatest strength in those areas where he cannot afford it.
Our own attacks have therefore not to be directed against the enemy's strong points but against his weak spots-the flanks, the rear and the lines of communication-if possible in his administrative areas. Infiltration of our own attacking troops through the enemy lines is therefore of supreme importance.
We have to adopt the same method which was shown and taught us by the Russians in the years 1942-44. Our men have to infiltrate through the lines by ones or in small groups supplied with sufficient ammunition, petrol and other materials, and must attack only if they reach the rear areas where they can achieve complete surprise against the most sensitive points.
This order will naturally be applied to any major operation.
This order will be transmitted immediately to all troops of the army in the west.