Berlin, December 31, 1940 [1]

Soldiers, in the year of war, 1940, the National Socialist Armed Forces of Greater Germany have won glorious victories of unique greatness. With unprecedented audacity, they have beaten the enemy on land, at sea and in the sky. All tasks which I have been obliged to entrust to you have been carried out by you, thanks to your heroism, and to your soldierly virtues. You have beaten the enemy forces with the force of arms, and have conquered territories which had already been conquered morally, thanks to your exemplary conduct and discipline. Thanks to your good fellowship, it has been possible to transform the apparently vain and heroic efforts of the German Armed Forces during the World War into a success, which after a few months of heroic struggle has given you a name in history, and has effaced the shame imposed on us in the Forest of Compiegne. As Supreme Commander, I thank you, soldiers of the Army, of the Navy and of the Air Force, for your incomparable successes. I thank you also in the name of the whole German nation. We recall our comrades who gave their lives in the struggle for the great future of our people. We also recall the courageous soldiers of our ally, Fascist Italy. According to the will of the warmongering democrats, and of their capitalist and Jewish allies this war must be continued. The representatives of the crumbling world hope that in 1941 it may be perhaps possible to do that which was impossible in the past. We are ready. We find ourselves at the beginning of 1941, armed as never before. I know that each one of you will do his duty. God, great and powerful, does not abandon the man who is threatened by a world of enemies, and who is determined to defend himself with a firm and stout heart. Soldiers of the National Socialist Armed Forces of Greater Germany, the year 1941 will bring us, on the Western Front, the completion of the greatest victory of our history.

[1] As recorded by the Monitoring Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation, courtesy of the Research Project for Totalitarian Communication, New School for Social Research.