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"We Cannot Lose" from Intelligence Bulletin, September 1943

[Intelligence Bulletin Cover]  
The following translated German order issued to troops in Libya was originally printed in the September 1943 issue of the Intelligence Bulletin.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Intelligence Bulletin publication. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


It is useful to know as much as possible, not only about the enemy's weapons and tactics, but about his mind and morale as well. On 6 December 1942 the following command order was issued to German troops in Libya; it illustrates clearly how the German Army tries to strengthen its soldiers' will to fight.

Now that we are no longer retreating, all unit commanders will place additional stress on discipline; on correct turn-out, with uniform caps worn in the regulation manner; and, above all, on military courtesy. Except when details are engaged in performing necessary fatigue, every minute of the training day should be utilized for drill. Also, unit commanders themselves will give instructive talks about the present political and military situation. These presentations will begin at once, and it will be emphasized to the troops that there is not the slightest reason for pessimism. The advantages of a shorter supply route and the importance of the Tunis bridgehead, which cuts off the enemy at the narrowest point of the Mediterranean, are to be explained to the troops with the help of a map.

The latest speech of the Führer should be quoted to show the troops that the war in Africa is only a small part of the German struggle for freedom and that, as the Führer has so clearly demonstrated, all advantages are, and always will be on our side. Because we have all the factors of space, food supplies, raw materials, weapons, equipment, and manpower on our side, we cannot lose. We soldiers, who have an unshakable belief in final victory, should express this confidence and optimism in all our letters to the homeland. This will be the best news we can possibly send from the front.


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