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Secret Handbook for the Military Occupation of Germany (1944)

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S.H.A.E.F., London, December 1944


A very rare WW2 Supreme HQ Allied Expeditionary Force Intelligence Handbook, marked ‘Secret’, and produced by S.H.A.E.F. in December 1945. This document had a restricted circulation, and was intended to be used by Allied officers serving in North Western Europe, in particular by those entering Germany during the final months of the war, in preparation for the impending defeat and post-war occupation of Nazi Germany. The introduction stated that it would 'provide United States and British unit formations and staffs with the necessary policy and instructions regarding their tasks and responsibilities in the occupation of Germany. It should be read in conjunction with the Handbook of Military Government For Germany'. The Handbook for Military Government was also produced in December 1944, and is a very important document in the history of the de-Nazification of Germany. It stated that 'Adolf Hitler, his chief Nazi and Fascist associates, their collaborators, and all persons suspected of having committed War Crimes, will be arrested and held for investiagtion and subsequent disposition'.

Handbook for the Military Occupation of Germany provides an overview of the plans produced by S.H.A.E.F. during 1944 for the Occupation and Military Government of Germany, the disarmament of the German Armed Forces, and the de-Nazification of Germany. It specifies the various Nazi organizations and groups whose members should be detained or investigated - including the Waffen SS, Allgemeine SS, Gestapo, Police, Hitler Youth, Nazi Party, SA, Volksturm, and other paramilitary groups. The subjects covered in the handbook include: The Establishment of Military Government in Germany, Responsibilities and Powers of Allied Commanders, the Disbandment of the Wehrmacht, Disposal of Surrendered War Material, Disarmament and Disbandment of Paramilitary and Police Organizations, Allied Prisoners of War and Displaced Persons, Intelligence, Powers and Rights of Members of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and German Evasion and Obstruction of the Terms of Surrender. There are also appendices covering the Wehrkreis Organization, War Material to be handed over, Areas of Occupation, District Headquarters, and the Boundaries of the International Zone in Berlin. There are two large folding maps at the rear: Areas of Occupation and Wehrkreis HQ in Germany, and Boundaries of the Berlin International Zone.

S.H.A.E.F.: Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force was the headquarters of the Commander of Allied forces in north west Europe, from late 1943 until the end of WW2. U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was the commander at SHAEF throughout its existence. Eisenhower transferred from command of the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations to command SHAEF, which was established in London from December 1943. Southwick House near Portmouth was used as an alternative headquarters. Its staff worked on the outline plan for Operation Overlord, created by Lieutenant General Sir Frederick E. Morgan, Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander, and Major General Ray Barker.After D-Day, SHAEF remained in the United Kingdom until sufficient forces were ashore to justify its transfer to France. At that point, Montgomery ceased to command all land forces but continued as Commander in Chief of the British 21st Army Group on the eastern wing of the Normandy bridgehead. The American 12th Army Group commanded by Lieutenant General Omar Bradley was created as the western wing of the bridgehead. As the breakout from Normandy took place, the Allies launched the invasion of southern France on 15 August 1944 with the American 6th Army Group under the command of Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers. During the invasion of southern France, the 6 AG was under the command of the Allied Forces Headquarters (AFHQ) of the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations, but after one month command passed to SHAEF. By this time, the three Army Groups had taken up the positions on the Western Front in which they would remain until the end of the war—the British 21 AG to the North, the American 12 AG in the middle and the 6 AG to the South. By December 1944, SHAEF had established itself in the Trianon Palace Hotel in Versailles, France. In February 1945, it moved to Reims and, on 26 May 1945, SHAEF moved to Frankfurt.


In very good condition. The hardback loose-leaf binder is in very good condition, with some minor wear and a few marks. The laced binding is very good and secure. The text and folding maps are in very good condition.

Published: 1945
Grey hardback binder cover
Dimensions: 140mm x 185mm
Pages: 160 (plus 2 folding maps at rear)