7 Jan. 46

"The application of martial law aims, in the first place, at maintaining discipline.

"The fact that the operational areas in the East are so far-flung, the battle strategy which this necessitates, and the peculiar qualities of the enemy, confront the courts-martial with problems which, being short-staffed, they cannot solve while hostilities are in progress and until some degree of pacification has been achieved in the conquered areas, unless jurisdiction is confined, in the first instance, to its main task.

"This is possible only if the troops themselves take ruthless action against any threat from the enemy population.

"For these reasons I herewith issue the following order effective for the area 'Barbarossa' (area of operations, Army rear area, and area of political administration):

"I. Treatment of offenses committed by enemy civilians.

"1. Until further notice the military courts and the courts-martial will not be competent for crimes committed by enemy civilians.

"2. Guerillas should be disposed of ruthlessly by the military, whether they are fighting or in flight.

"3. Likewise all other attacks by enemy civilians on the Armed Forces, its members, and employees, are to be suppressed at once by the military, using the most extreme methods, until the assailants are destroyed.

"4. Where such measures have been neglected or were not at first possible, persons suspected of criminal action will be brought at once before an officer. This officer will decide whether they are to be shot.

"On the orders of an officer with the powers of at least a battalion commander, collective drastic measures will be taken without delay against localities from which cunning or malicious attacks are made on the Armed Forces, if circumstances do not permit of a quick identification of individual offenders.

"5. It is expressly forbidden to keep suspects in custody in order to hand them over to the courts after the reinstatement of civil courts.

"6. The commanders of the army groups may, by agreement with the competent naval and air force commanders, reintroduce military jurisdiction for civilians in areas which are sufficiently pacified.

"For the area of the political administration this order will be given by the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.