April 24, 1876: Erich Johann Albert Raeder is born in a district of Hamburg, Germany, Wandsbek, Schleswig-Holstein, the son of a school principal.

April 16, 1894: Raeder joins the Imperial Navy (Kaiserliche Marine).

May 13, 1895: Raeder becomes a Navel Cadet.

October 25, 1897: Raeder is commissioned an officer (Second Lieutenant) of the Kaiserliche Marine.

April 9, 1900: Raeder is promoted to First Lieutenant.

March 21, 1905: Raeder is promoted to Lieutenant Commander.

1906: Raeder is assigned to the Von Taproots Intelligence Division of the Reich Navy Office, responsible for the foreign press and the publications Marine Rundschau and Nautikus.

1910: Raeder becomes the Navigation Officer on the Imperial Yacht Eohenzollern.

April 15, 1911: Raeder becomes a Corvette Captain.

1912: Raeder serves as First Chief Naval Staff Officer and Chief of Staff to Admiral Hipper, who is in command of the German battle cruisers.

January 24, 1915: Raeder participates in the Battle of Dogger Bank as commander of the Cruiser Koeln.

1916: Raeder is highly decorated for his efforts in the large sea battle of Skagerrack, north of Denmark.

April 26, 1917: Raeder becomes a Frigate Captain.

June 21, 1919: Nine German sailors die—the last casualties of the First World War—when British forces open fire as the Germans attempt to scuttle their ship at Scapa Flow. The German officer in command, Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter, after waiting for the bulk of the British fleet to leave on exercises, had given the order to scuttle all his ships to prevent their falling into British hands. Fifty-one ships are sunk.

June 28, 1919: From various articles of the Versailles Treaty:

Germany is forbidden to maintain or construct any fortifications either on the left bank of the Rhine or on the right bank, to the west of the line drawn 50 kilometers to the east of the Rhine...the maintenance and the assembly of armed forces, either permanently or temporarily and military maneuvers of any kind, as well as the upkeep of all permanent works for mobilization, are in the same way forbidden.

German naval forces in commission must not exceed:
6 battleships of the Deutschland or Lothringen type;
6 light cruisers;
12 destroyers;
12 torpedo boats;
or an equal number of ships constructed to replace them...
No submarines are to be included. The construction or acquisition of any submarine, even for commercial purposes, shall be forbidden in Germany
The warships intended for replacement purposes as above shall not exceed the following displacement:
Armoured ships 10,000 tons
Light cruisers 6,000 tons
Destroyers 800 tons
Torpedo boats 200 tons
The total strength of officers and warrant officers must not exceed fifteen hundred.
In order to ensure free passage into the Baltic to all nations, Germany shall not erect any fortifications in the area.

From the IMT testimony of Karl Severing (former Reich Minister of the Interior): That the 100,000-man army granted to Germany was not sufficient even for a defensive war was and is known today possibly to everyone in Germany concerned with politics. Germany got into a very bad situation with regard to her eastern neighbors since the establishment of the Corridor. The insular position of East Prussia forced Germany even at that time to take measures which I reluctantly helped to carry out; but the population of East Prussia had a right to be protected against attacks which were threatening from the East. I am not speaking about an aggressive war and I am not speaking of any plans of the Polish Government; but I would like to refer you to the fact that in the years 1919, 1920, and 1921, there were aggressive groups in Poland who set foot on German soil, possibly with the idea of establishing a fait accompli. ....

In the year 1920 the Wehrmacht would not have been able to protect Germany in East Prussia; therefore, it was necessary to protect the population of East Prussia, and this was achieved in that I, personally, agreed that all weapons which were found in East Prussia were to be given to the population. Under conditions which applied at that time, it was, even for purposes of inspection, very hard to pass through the Corridor by rail; so that in 1920, I had to make a tour of inspection by way of water from Stolpmuende to Pillau. I am mentioning this fact to show the difficulties of transportation through the Corridor. In 1920 and '21, it was not possible for the German Wehrmacht to prevent attacks of Polish insurgents in Upper Silesia and, I am sorry to say, and I emphasize "I am sorry" that a certain self-defense had to be created in order to protect and defend German life and German property.

November 29, 1919: Raeder is promoted to Captain.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: In my opinion, Germany was not at all in a position to defend herself effectively against attacks, even of the smallest states, since she had no modern weapons; the surrounding states, Poland in particular, were equipped with the most modern weapons, while even the modern fortifications had been taken away from Germany. ....

The danger which Germany constantly faced in the twenties was a Polish attack on East Prussia with the object of severing this territory, already cut off from the rest of Germany by the Corridor, and occupying it. The danger was especially clear to Germany, because at that time Vilna was occupied by the Poles, in the midst of peace with Lithuania; and Lithuania took away the Memel area. In the south, Flume was also taken away, without objection being raised by the League of Nations or anyone else. It was, however, quite clear to the German Government of those days that one thing which could not be allowed to happen to Germany during that time of her weakness was the occupation of East Prussia and its separation from the Reich. Our efforts were therefore aimed at preparing ourselves to oppose a Polish invasion of East Prussia with all possible means...the government, too, realized that such an invasion could not be allowed to happen. ....

That (Germany in no way took advantage of the possibilities of the Versailles Treaty) is entirely correct. It is astonishing that at this period of time so little advantage was taken of the Versailles Treaty. I was reproached for this later when the National Socialist government came to power. They did not bear in mind, however, that the government at that time, and the Reichstag, were not inclined to let us have these ships. We had to fight hard for permission. But this failure to build up the Navy to the strength permitted has no relationship to the small breaches of the Versailles Treaty, which we committed mainly in order to build up, one could say, a pitiable defense of the coast in the event of extreme emergency.

From the Affidavit of Vice Admiral Lohmann (not to be confused with the infamous Captain Lohmann): Under the Versailles Treaty, Germany was permitted to build eight armored ships. Germany, however, built only three armored ships, the Deutschland, the Admiral Scheer, and the Graf Spree .... Under the Versailles Treaty, Germany was permitted to build eight cruisers. Germany, however, built only six cruisers .... Under the Versailles Treaty, Germany was permitted to build 32 destroyers and/or torpedo boats. Germany, however, built only 12 destroyers and no torpedo boats.

February 6, 1922: The US, UK, France, Italy and Japan sign the Washington naval arms limitation agreement, also known as the Five-Power Treaty, limiting the naval armaments of its five signatories. All signatories pledge to maintain a balance in their respective capital fleets under a predetermined ratio: Britain 5, United States 5, Japan 3, France 1.67, and Italy 1.67. All signatories agree to honor a naval construction 'holiday' for a period of 10 years. Britain, Japan and the United States, with some specific exceptions, mutually agree not to increase fortifications on their Pacific bases. (LaFeber)

July 1922: The German Navy secretly acquires an interest in the firm N. V. Ingenieurskantoor Voor Scheepsbouw in the Hague. The firm designs ships and submarines.

From the Affidavit of Vice Admiral Lohmann>: According to the Treaty of Versailles, the German Reich was neither to build nor to acquire U-boats. When in July, 1922, the firm N. V. Ingenieurskantoor Voor Scheepsbouw was established in the Hague, the Navy acquired an interest in it in order to keep informed on modern U-boat construction. The intention was to use the experience gained thereby for the German Navy, when later on the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles would be annulled by negotiations and Germany would be again permitted to build U-boats. Moreover, the Navy wanted, for the same purpose, to train a small nucleus of skilled personnel. The Dutch firm was strictly a designing bureau.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: All sorts of preparations had been made in the field of aviation long before I came into office. A number of aircraft had been purchased... They were stored with a firm called "Severe G.m.b.H.," which was known to the Reichswehrminister. The Versailles Treaty had permitted us antiaircraft guns both on ships and on the coast, as was mentioned yesterday; and for these antiaircraft, firing practice had to be arranged. The Control Commission had allowed us a certain number of aircraft to tow the necessary targets.

These aircraft were flown by ex-naval pilots employed by this company. The company, in turn, was managed by an old naval pilot. Since we were not allowed to train naval pilots or were not allowed to have any naval air force, we gave a year's training in the civil aviation school to a number of prospective naval officers before they joined the Navy, so that through this 1-year training they developed into very good pilots. Then they joined the Navy and went through their ordinary naval training. The aircraft purchased in this way was temporarily in the possession of the "Severa," which also had a good deal to do with the Lohmann affairs and for that reason was dissolved by Reichswehrminister Groener in the summer of 1928.

Reichswehrminister Groener established a new company with similar assignments in the autumn of 1928, soon after I assumed office. But he had signed the agreement himself in order to control the correct management of the whole affair. In this company, in addition to their ordinary work, the Navy pilots carried out experiments in connection with the development of aircraft for a later Navy air force. We had the Government's permission to manufacture a model of every type likely to be of use, but we were not allowed to accumulate aircraft. The Government had expressly forbidden that. The result was that in the course of years the company developed a number of aircraft types which would be useful at a later date when we were once more allowed to have aircraft. In the early period exercises in the Navy were carried out by the old naval pilots-that is to say, it was demanded that exercises in observation be taken and that the crews of ships learn how to act against aircraft. When these young naval pilots were assigned to such exercises, they were discharged from the Navy for that time. It was an awkward affair, but it was always carried out punctiliously. ....

For instance, these auxiliary cruisers were not built. We were not allowed to do that. But we were allowed to make plans and we were allowed to select those ships which, in the event of war--if a war had broken out in which Germany was attacked by another state--could have been used as auxiliary cruisers. That was not a violation. If it were I would admit it. The U-boat designing office in Holland was not a violation of the Versailles Treaty either. The wording was quite different.

From the IMT testimony of Admiral Erich Schulte-Monting: The U-boats which were designed by the Dutch firm, and which were built abroad, were not built for the German Navy, but for foreign countries. I believe Turkey received one, and one went to Finland. We were only interested in keeping alive the experiences gained in U-boat warfare during the last World War. Consequently the Navy was interested in seeing that constructors of U-boats continued along those lines. I know of no paragraph (in the Treaty of Versailles) which prohibits our activity in foreign countries along those lines.

August 1, 1922: Raeder is promoted to Rear Admiral (Konteradmiral), and becomes Inspector of Training and Education.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: Inspector of the training system; the schools, the further training of officer candidates, the complete training of assistants of the Chief of Staff, that is, chief-of-staff assistants, a sort of general staff officer, and similar matters. I had nothing to do with affairs of the front. ....

It was not a question of weapons visible for all to see. As I explained to you recently, that was a matter of setting up gun platforms and transferring guns from the North Sea to the Baltic. This was done by a special command, which worked under the direct order of the Chief of Navy; among others, there was this Kapitaenleutnant Raenkel, for instance, who was the specialist dealing with all gunnery questions at the time. I myself was in Kiel, and there were no guns or anything of the kind in Kiel and its neighborhood.

April 1, 1925: Raeder is promoted to Vice Admiral (Vizeadmiral), and becomes chief of the Baltic naval station at Kiel.

May 12, 1925: Paul von Hindenberg is elected the second President of Germany.

October 16, 1925: The Locarno Treaty (The Rhine Pact of Locarno) is signed:

The High Contracting Parties, collectively and severally, guarantee, in the manner provided in the following Articles: the maintenance of the territorial status quo, resulting from the frontiers between Germany and Belgium, and between Germany and France, and the inviolability of the said frontiers, as fixed by, or in pursuance of the Treaty of Peace, signed at Versailles, on June 28, 1919, and also the observance of the stipulations of Articles 42 and 43 of the said Treaty, concerning the demilitarized zone (of the Rhineland).

August 8, 1926 Lohmann Affair: Kurd Wenkel, of the Berliner Tageblatt, publishes the first of a series of articles on the activities of Captain Walther Lohmann, Chief of the German Naval Transportation Division. In early 1923, Lohmann was put in charge of the disbursement of the Navy's 'black' funds. Having the total confidence of the then commander in chief of the Navy, Admiral Paul Behnke, Lohmann provided funds for the design and development of aircraft and submarines that proved vital in the future development of Hitler's Navy and Luftwaffe. Unfortunately, Lohmann turned out to be personally corrupt and was revealed to be involved in many shady financial enterprises with no relation to his clandestine endeavors for the military. Wenkel, who will become much reviled by German nationalists for exposing the clandestine activities of the military, has no idea at this point that Lohmann has anything to do with secret national defense programs. Wenkel's series will inadvertently open up a very tangled can of worms.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: I must repeat that I was connected with these breaches (of the Versailles Treaty) only when on 1 October 1928, I became Chief of the Navy Command in Berlin. I had nothing to do with things which had been done previously. When I came to Berlin, the Lohmann case...had already been concluded. It was in the process being liquidated; and the Reich Defense Minister Groener when The affair was first discovered, ordered the Army as well as the Navy to report to him all breaches which were in process; and from then on he was going to deal with these things together with Colonel Von Schleicher, his political adviser. He liquidated the Lohmann affair and this liquidation was still in progress when I came there.

From the IMT testimony of Ernst von Weizsaecker: ...I can scarcely consider it possible that grave or important violations (against the Treaty of Versailles) could have occurred, for it is precisely in naval matters that the observance of contract agreements is particularly easy to control. Ships cannot be built without being seen. I must therefore assume that these infringements were of an insignificant nature.

November 1926 Lohmann Affair: In an effort at damage control, the German Cabinet begins a series of hearings on the Lohmann Affair. Captain Lohmann, who had been suspended from office, is derided as a loose cannon and punished by forced retirement on a reduced pension (he will die in 1930). To regulate the process of illegal disarmament, the Cabinet creates a secret committee: the Supervisory Commission for the Secret Tasks of the Armed Forces. The committee members are the Chiefs of the Army and Navy, the Reich Finance Minister, and the President of the General Accounting Office. Note: Disbursement from the Navy's 'black' funds will now greatly increase, going from $1,700,000 in 1928 to $5,250,000 in 1933.

January 20, 1928: Reichsminister Karl Severing speaks before the Reichstag:

Now the armored cruiser. The fact that a government, which knows precisely what gigantic sums we must raise during the coming year, should make such demands, is, to say the least, quite surprising. It says, the Peace Treaty permits it, yes, but the Peace Treaty also decrees the payment of reparations. The 9,300,000 marks demanded for this year will play their decisive part only in the consequences entailed which would require the raising of several hundred million marks, which during the next few years seems to me absolutely impossible.

Considering the development of weapons for naval warfare, I am not convinced of the military value of armored cruisers. It may be that armored cruisers are the backbone of the defense at sea, as the government says. But, to form an active fighting unit (Gefechtskoerper), the backbone must also be made up of other elements, of U-boats and airplanes; and as long as we are not allowed to build these, armored cruisers are of very little value even for defense.

From the IMT testimony of Karl Severing: As far as I am acquainted with Groener and his own personal way of carrying on his office, everything that he conceived and carried out was in view of defense. ....

In 1928 the Social Democratic Party was against the building of the armored cruiser as the economic situation did not warrant expenses which were not absolutely necessary. And the Social Democratic Party wanted to prove and to show that they did everything within their power in order to make the much-discussed disarmament a reality. They did not believe that the building of an armored cruiser would be a favorable gesture for the bringing about of appropriate negotiations. ....

We were of the opinion in the Social Democratic Party, even after entering the Mueller government, that we would have to use all our efforts in order to solve just this problem. In September of 1928 the then Reich Chancellor Mueller, replacing the Foreign Minister Stresemann who was ill, went to Geneva in order to bring this problem up before the League of Nations. Mueller made a very resolute speech which, if I remember correctly, was received very coolly by Allied statesmen; so that any practical- suggestions for the realization of disarmament could not be hoped for in the near future. ....

In the same Reichstag session in which I gave this speech, the Reichswehrminister Groener appeared for the first time as successor of Gessler. I had said a few farewell words in honor of Gessler who was leaving. I greeted the new Minister with the remark that my political friends would show him respect, but that he would have to earn our confidence first. It was probably while thinking of this remark that Groener came up to me in the first session of the Mueller Government and said that he was looking forward to a sincere collaboration with me. I quoted a passage from Iphigenie on that occasion, "May there be truth between us." Only complete sincerity would make possible fruitful co-operation, I said. ....

I specifically asked him (Groener) for enlightenment since, in January of 1928, the then Reich Chancellor Marx had frankly admitted that under Kapitaen Lohmann in the Navy Department there had been misrepresentations in the budget which could not be in accordance with good bookkeeping and political honesty. ....

Groener then told me that he had the intention of discussing these matters at a cabinet meeting (See: October 18, 1928) and of clarifying all these matters.

May 15, 1928: From a letter from Raeder to Reichsminister Karl Severing:

The Armed Forces—I am speaking of course primarily for the Navy, but I know that today it is the same with the Army, because since 1919 its inner solidarity and training has been perfected with the greatest devotion and loyalty to duty—in their present structure, whether officer or soldier, in their present form of development and their inner attitude, are a firm and reliable support, I might even say, because of their inherent military might and in view of conditions within the Reich, the firmest and most reliable support of our German fatherland, the German Reich, the German Republic, and its Constitution; and the Armed Forces are proud to be that. ....

If, however, the State is to endure, this power must be available only to the constitutional authorities. No one else may have it; that is, not even the political parties. The Wehrmacht must be completely nonpolitical and be composed only of servicemen who, in full realization of this necessity, refuse to take part in any activity of domestic politics. To have realized this from the outset and organized the Wehrmacht accordingly is the great and enduring achievement of Noske, the former Reichswehrminister, whom the meritorious Minister Dr. Gessler followed on this road with the deepest conviction. ....

In my opinion, one thing is of course a prerequisite for the inner attitude of the serviceman, namely, that he is willing to put his profession into practice when the fatherland calls upon him. People who never again want war cannot possibly wish to become soldiers. One cannot take it amiss if the Wehrmacht infuses into its servicemen a manly and warlike spirit; not the desire for war or even a war d revenge or a war of aggression, for to strive after that would certainly in the general opinion of all Germans be a crime, but the will to take up arms in the defense of the fatherland in its hour of need... One must understand—for it is in accordance with the essence of the Wehrmacht—if it strives to be as far as possible in a position to fulfill its tasks, even under the conditions today, dictated by the limitation of the Versailles Treaty. ....

Consider the extent of the German coast-line in the Baltic and North Sea, chiefly the Prussian coast line, which would be open to invasion and to the ravages of even the smallest maritime nation, had we not at our disposal modern mobile naval forces at least up to the strength permitted by the provisions of the Versailles Treaty. Above all, think of the position of East Prussia, which in the event of the closing of the Corridor would be wholly dependent on overseas imports, imports which would have to be brought past the bases of foreign nations and in the event of war would be endangered to the utmost, or even be made impossible if we were not in possession of fighting ships. I ask you to remember the reports about the effect of the visits of our training ships and of our fleet to foreign countries, when, already in 1922, the model conduct of our ship crews testified to an improvement in the internal conditions of the Reich, and increased considerably the esteem for the German Reich.

From Raeder's testimony before the IMT: I exerted all my strength for the reconstruction of the Navy, and I came to consider this as my life work. In all stages of this period of naval reconstruction, I met with great difficulties; and as a result, I had to battle in one way or another constantly throughout those years in order to put this reconstruction into effect. Perhaps I became rather one-sided, since this fight for the reconstruction of the Navy filled all my time and prevented me from taking part in any matters not directly concerned with it. In addition to material reconstruction, I put every effort into the formation of a competent officer corps and well-trained, especially well-disciplined, crews.

Admiral Doenitz has already commented on the result of this training of our men and officers, and I should like only to confirm that these German naval men earned full recognition in peace-time, both at home and abroad, for their dignified and good behavior and their discipline; and also during the war, when they fought to the end in an exemplary manner, in complete unity, with irreproachable battle ethics, and, in general, did not participate in any kind of atrocities. Also in the occupied areas to which they came, in Norway for instance, they earned full approval of the population for their good and dignified conduct.

August 15, 1928: From an article in the Frankfurter Zeitung pointing out that an armored cruiser gains its full value only when it forms part of a squadron: "The building of battleships will be extended as far as possible, so as to keep the naval yards at Wilhelmshaven occupied continuously. The ideal time of construction is about three years; and it is then explained that, working on the principle of giving as long employment as possible, the building time is prolonged as much as possible."

From Raeder's IMT testimony: The plan (for building new ships) as submitted was approved in principle by the Reichstag. Each individual ship, however, had to be approved again in the budget plan of the year in which the construction was to begin. The whole construction program was thus always in close agreement with the Reich Government and the Reichstag.

October 1, 1928: Raeder is promoted to full Admiral. Reich President Von Hindenburg names Raeder Chief of the Navy Command (Oberbefehlshaber der Reichsmarine).

From Raeder's IMT testimony: The reconstruction of the Navy did not in any respect take place for the purposes of aggressive war. No doubt it constituted some evasion of the Versailles Treaty. .... On 1 October 1928 he had already come to the decision to transfer the responsibility for all these evasions and breaches of the Versailles Treaty to the Reich Government, as a whole, at that time the Muller-Severing-Stresemann Government, since he believed that he could no longer bear the responsibility alone. ....

As a result on 18 October, when I had just become acquainted with these matters, he called a cabinet meeting to which the Chief of the Army Command, General Heye, and I, as well as some office chiefs in both administrations, were called. At this cabinet meeting, General Heye and I had to report openly and fully before all the Ministers as to what breaches there were on the part of the Army and the Navy. The Muller-Severing-Stresemann government took full responsibility and exonerated the Reich Defense Minister, who, however, continued to be responsible for carrying things through. We had to report to the Reich Defense Minister everything that happened in the future and were not allowed to undertake any steps alone. The Reich Defense Minister handled matters together with the Reich Minister of the Interior, Severing, who showed great understanding for the various requirements.

From the IMT testimony of Admiral Erich Schulte-Monting: From 1925 to 1928 I was naval adjutant to Reichspraesident Hindenburg and, as such, simultaneously second adjutant to the Chief of the Naval Command Staff. Consequently my first collaboration with Raeder dates back to 1928.

From 1929 until 1933 I had several front commands. From 1933 to 1937 I was first adjutant to Raeder. From 1937 to 1939 I had several front commands. From 1939 to 1943 I was Admiral Raeder's Chief of Staff; and up to 1944 I remained Admiral Doenitz' Chief of Staff. In January 1944 I was naval commander in southern France until the invasion; subsequently commanding general in North Trondheim. After the collapse I was employed for some months with the British Navy in winding up activities. Then in the autumn I was interned in a camp for generals in England. ....

I believe that through the many years of service I had with Raeder, and the many conversations I had with foreigners, I have been able to form some idea. After all, Raeder was head of the Navy for 15 years. He was known, or rather had a name, as a naval officer and as Chief of Staff of the last Commander-in-Chief of the German Imperial Navy, Admiral Hipper, the opponent of the famous British Admiral Beatty in the Skagerrak battle. ....

He was known through his literary activity at the time of the "Tirpitz Era," when he edited the Nautikus, and later, after the first World War, through his two works on cruiser warfare in the last World War, for which he received an honorary doctor's degree and which, I should say, gained him a reputation among experts. ....

Never in all my conversations which I had with Raeder was the thought-much less the word-of an aggressive war mentioned. I believe that all his actions and his directives contradict this.

October 5, 1928: Raeder meets with Karl Severing.

From the IMT testimony of Karl Severing: On 18 October they (the commanders-in-chief of the two branches of the Wehrmacht) were to appear and did appear. ....

The first official contact, according to my recollection, was made the beginning of October 1928, probably on the day when he paid me an official visit on my assuming office. At this session, members of the cabinet were familiarized with the details of what might be considered a concealment of the budget or violations of the Versailles Treaty. Both gentlemen, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, spoke, if I remember rightly...it was a session which in general might be called a plenary session. I cannot tell you whether Stresemann was present. He was still ill in September and whether he had recovered by 18 October, I cannot say. But I might add, that if Herr Stresemann was not present, certainly someone else was present as an authorized deputy from the Foreign Office.

...at the request of the Reich Chancellor and especially at my own request, they said that no further violations would take place. ....

I may state here and have to admit even that since I was used to violations of the Versailles Treaty, I was especially interested in the extent of the violations with regard to the sum. I wanted to know what I could do in my new capacity against secret arms-bearers and against illegal organizations; and I asked what was the total sum involved. I was thereupon told—and I believe that this was set down and confirmed in writing later—that perhaps 5 1/2 to 6 million marks was the amount involved in these secret budgets.

I do not have the figures as they apply to the budget plans of the Navy and the Army. I cannot quote the figures from memory. But the impression I gained from the reports of the two Wehrmacht leaders was that only trifles were involved. It was this impression which caused me to assume a certain political responsibility for these things, and especially in view of the fact that we were assured that further concealment of budget items or other violations were not to occur in future. ....

I cannot give you the details today, but I might remind you that all the speeches which Groener made at the time when he was Defense Minister were along these general lines. In all of his speeches in the Reichstag, Herr Groener expressly declared that he was an advocate of sound pacifism...Groener's statements, and also my own, were based on defense and defensive measures. ...I can say that I did not observe any violations on the part of the Navy in respect to the agreements during my term of office as Minister of the Interior. ....

Raeder gave me the impression that he was an honest man and I believed that he would keep his word. I do know that at that period of time, there was much talk—either in another cabinet meeting or by a subcommittee of the Reichstag or by a different parliamentarian body—of experimental workshops which had been established for the Army and the Navy in Russia, Sweden, and Holland...Whether these experimental workshops had been established I cannot tell you from my own experience.

October 18, 1928: Raeder attends a cabinet meeting of the Muller-Severing-Stresemann Government concerning breaches of the Versailles Treaty.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: (The) Reich Defense Minister, Groener, was extremely sensitive on this point (of not violating the Versailles Treaty restrictions). He had dissolved all the so-called 'black' funds which existed and insisted absolutely that he should know about everything and should sanction everything. He thought that only in this way could he take the responsibility towards the Government. I had nothing whatever to do with the Reichstag. The military chiefs were not allowed to have contact with the members of the Reichstag in such matters. All negotiations with the Reichstag were carried out through the Reich Defense Minister or by Colonel Von Schleicher on his behalf. I was therefore in no position to go behind the back of the Reichstag in any way. I could discuss budget matters with the Reichstag members only in the so-called Budget Committee, where I sat next to the Reich Defense Minister and made technical explanations to his statements. ....

Without the approval of the Reich Government and, above all, of the Reich Defense Minister who allotted the money to us exactly as the other budgets were allotted (there could no longer be any secret budgets within the construction program of the Navy). ....

...the Reichswehrminister was attacked on occasions by Prussian ministers who disagreed with the Reich Government¡ªfor instance, Mueller, Severing, Stresemann and later Bruening, who alleged to the Reich Chancellor that he took steps which he was not authorized to take. In reality, however, the Reich Government itself had sanctioned these things already and had accepted the responsibility for them.

December 14, 1929: From the diary of Geoffrey Winthrop Young:

A dramatic incident was the entry of (Reich Interior) Minister Severing three hours late at the end of a cabinet meeting which had lasted two days, during which time he had saved parliamentary government in Germany, and incidentally avoided being appointed himself dictator by Hindenburg. He was naturally fatigued, but took part in our discussions for the remainder of a long evening.

March 13, 1930: Reich Minister of the Interior Carl Severing introduces the law for the defense of the Republic:

The right of assembly has become the wrongs of assembly, and press freedom has become press license. We cannot permit demagogues to inflame the masses any further. Last year in Prussia alone three hundred policemen were wounded and fourteen killed in the course of their duties.

April 22, 1930: The United States, France, Italy, Britain and Japan sign the London Naval Treaty, which regulates submarine warfare and limits naval shipbuilding. The ratio between Britain, the US and Japan is set to 10:10:7. (Cullen)

April, 1931: Raeder dismisses Second Lieutenant Reinhard Heydrich from the Reichsmarine for sexual impropriety. (Read)

May 19, 1931: The cruiser Deutschland, a Panzerschiff (armored ship), is launched. Note: The British initially nickname the three ships of this class 'pocket battleships' due to the fact they significantly outgun the cruisers of any other navy.

February 2, 1932: The two-year Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments opens in Geneva. (Kennedy II)

February 10, 1932: From an order by Raeder:

In view of our Treaty obligations and the Disarmament Conference, steps must be taken to prevent the first S-boat half-flotilla, which in a few months will Consist of exactly similar, newly built S-boats, from appearing openly as a formation of torpedo-carrying boats and it is not intended to count these S-boats against the number of torpedo-carrying boats allowed to us. I therefore order:

1. S2-S5 will be commissioned in the shipyard Luerssen, Vegesack, without armament and will be fitted with easily removable cover-sheet metal on the spaces necessary for torpedo-tubes. The same will be arranged by T.M.I. (Inspectorate of Torpedoes and Mining). In agreement with the Naval Arsenal, for the Boat S-1 which will dismantle its torpedo-tubes on completion of the practice shooting, for fitting on another boat.

2. The torpedo-tubes of all S-boats will be stored in the Naval Arsenal ready for immediate fitting. During the trial runs the torpedo-tubes will be taken on board one after the other for a short time to be fitted and for practice shooting, so that only one boat at a time carries torpedo armament. For public consumption this boat will be in service for the purpose of temporary trials by the T.V.A. (Technical Research Establishment). It should not anchor together with the other unarmed boats of the half-flotilla because of the obvious similarity of the type. The duration of firing, and consequently the length of time the torpedo-tubes are aboard, is to be as short as possible.

3. Fitting the torpedo-tubes on all S-boats is intended as soon as the situation of the political control allows it.

From Raeder's IMT testimony>: There were five (speed) boats which we had ordered for use as patrol boats in the ship-building replacement program and which in themselves had no armament...not bigger than 40 tons, probably considerably smaller...we had no armed boats in addition. We could build 12 plus 4, which makes 16 torpedo boats of 200 tons. A torpedo boat of 200 tons could not be produced in a practical manner at that time because of the question of the motors and the question of seaworthiness. For that reason we did not build these torpedo boats for the time being but kept in service a number of quite old torpedo boats, built at the beginning of the century, in order to be able to train crews with them.

We could no longer use these boats for fighting. But so that—as long as we could not replace these boats—we might have a few boats capable of action, however small, which could be of use in blocking the Baltic, I ordered that these patrol boats should be equipped to take torpedo tubes on board. However, so that in 1932 we should not make our situation worse by open breaches of the Treaty, when we hoped that at the Disarmament Conference we might make some progress, I had one boat at a time armed in order to fit and test the armament; and I then had the armament dismounted again so that there was always only one boat available with armament at any one time. We planned to put the torpedo tubes on board the speed boats only if the political situation, that is, the situation after the Disarmament Conference, would permit it. That is what I say in Number 3 in the concluding sentence.

January 30, 1933: Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany.

January 31, 1933: From a memorandum by Raeder headed Geheime Kommandosache (secret commando matter): Top Secret. General directions for support given by the German Navy to the German armament industry:

The effects of the present economic depression have led here and there to the conclusion that there are no prospects of an active participation of the German armament industry abroad, even if the Versailles terms are no longer kept. There is no profit in it and it is therefore not worth promoting. Furthermore, the view has been taken that the increasing 'self-sufficiency' would in any case make such participation superfluous.

However obvious these opinions may seem, formed because of the situation as it is today, I am nevertheless forced to make the following contradictory corrective points:

a) The economic crisis and its present effects must perforce be overcome sooner or later. Though equality of rights in war politics is not fully recognized today, it will, by the assimilation of weapons, be achieved at some period, at least to a certain extent.

b) The consequent estimation of the duties of the German armament industry lies mainly in the military-political sphere. It is impossible for this industry to satisfy, militarily and economically, the growing demands made of it by limiting the deliveries to our Armed Forces. Its capacity must therefore be increased by the delivery of supplies to foreign countries over and above our own requirements.

c) Almost every country is working to the same end today, even those which, unlike Germany, are not tied down by restrictions. Britain, France, North America, Japan, and especially Italy, are making supreme efforts to ensure markets for their armament industries. The use of their diplomatic representations, of the propaganda voyages of their most modern ships and vessels, of sending missions and also of the guaranteeing of loans and insurance against deficits, are not merely to gain commercially advantageous orders for their armament industries, but first and foremost, to expand.

d) It is just when the efforts to do away with the restrictions imposed on us have succeeded, that the German Navy has an ever increasing and really vital interest in furthering the German armament industry and preparing the way for it in every direction in the competitive battle against the rest of the world.

e) If, however, the German armament industry is to be able to compete in foreign countries, it must inspire the confidence of its purchasers. The condition for this is that secrecy for our own ends be not carried too far. The amount of material to be kept secret under all circumstances, in the interest of the defense of the country, is comparatively small. I would like to issue a warning against the assumption that at the present stage of technical development in foreign industrial states, a problem of vital military importance which we perhaps have solved, has not been solved there. Solutions arrived at today, which may become known, if divulged to a third person by naturally always possible indiscretion, have often been already superseded by new better solutions on our part, even at that time or at any rate after the copy has been made. It is of greater importance that we should be technically well to the fore in any really fundamental matters, than that less important points should be kept secret unnecessarily and excessively.

f) To conclude: I attach particular importance to guaranteeing the continuous support of the industry concerned by the Navy, even after the present restrictions have been relaxed. If the purchasers are not made confident that something better is being offered them, the industry will not be able to stand up to the competitive battle and therefore will not be able to supply the requirements of the German Navy in case of need.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: There is no connection whatsoever between this letter and Hitler's accession to power. You must admit that it would be impossible to compile so long and complicated a document—which was, after all, carefully prepared—between the evening of 30 and the morning of 31 January. This document results from the hope, which I mentioned before, that already under the Papen and Von Schleicher Government the stipulations of the Versailles Treaty and the Disarmament Conference might be gradually relaxed, since the British Delegation had repeatedly said that they favored the gradual restoration of equal rights. We had, therefore, to get our industries into the best possible condition, as far as the manufacture of armaments was concerned, by increasing their output and enabling them to overcome competition. As I say in Paragraph c of this letter, almost every country was at that time making efforts in the same direction, even those which, unlike Germany, had no restrictions imposed on them.

Great Britain, France, North America, Japan, and especially Italy made the most determined efforts to gain markets for their armaments industry; and I wanted to follow them in this particular sphere. In order to do this, there had to be an understanding between the various departments of the Naval Command Staff to the effect that industry must be given support in a way which avoided the secrecy of technical matters and developments to too petty a degree. That is why I explain in Paragraph c that secrecy in small matters is less important than maintaining a high standard and keeping the lead. I state in the final sentence: "To sum up, I attach particular importance to the continued support of the industry in question by the Navy, even after the expected relaxation of the present restrictions, so that the industry would command confidence abroad and would find a market." This has nothing at all to do with Hitler nor with any independent rearmament on my own behalf. ...

During the month of January (the letter was drafted). I may say that we had a conference-perhaps at the beginning of January-and after that I had it put in writing. ....

I said in two places that we hoped at that time that the Treaty of Versailles would be relaxed, because it was a comparatively favorable period for negotiations for disarmament and we already had the governments headed by Von Papen and Von Schleicher, both of whom showed great understanding for the needs of the Armed Forces and therefore fought hard for that at the disarmament conference. So a definitely legal development might be hoped for in this direction; and on the other hand, our entire industry was unable to cope with armaments production except on an insignificant scale and had therefore to be increased. I again stress the fact that it had nothing to do with the Hitler regime. That decree just happened to come out on 31 January.

February 2, 1933: The Geneva Disarmament Conference resumes.

February 2, 1933: Three days after taking power, Chancellor Hitler meets with the top military leaders at the home of General von Hammerstein, the Commander in Chief of the Army. In a two-hour speech, Hitler tells them everything they want to hear; he vows that the military will not be called upon to take sides in a civil war, and that the various services are to devote themselves unhindered to rearm Germany as quickly as possible. Raeder, meeting Hitler for the first time, finds the prospect of a new navy highly pleasing. (Shirer)

From Raeder's IMT testimony: I met Hitler on 2 February 1933 when I saw him and talked to him for the first time. It was at an evening party arranged by General Von Blomberg at the home of General Von Hammerstein, the Chief of the Army Command Staff, at which Reich Defense Minister Von Blomberg intended to present to Hitler senior generals and admirals. I shall describe the proceedings later. Up to that time, I had had no connection whatsoever with National Socialism. I knew Admiral Von Levetzow only from the first World War. He was on the staff of Admiral Scheer whom I knew well and who had obviously met Hitler at a comparatively early date. It was through him, however, that I heard that Hitler took a very active interest in naval matters and was surprisingly well informed about them. On the other hand, I believe that Von Levetzow had also spoken to Hitler about the reputation of the Navy and his own opinion of the Navy at that time. But I had no connections beyond that. ....

The Reich President, Field Marshal Von Hindenburg, at the same time Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht, had appointed the leader of the largest party as Chancellor of the Reich. I think that, if I had gone to him and told him I wanted to resign—or intended to resign—because he had appointed a new Chancellor, he would quite certainly have taken it as an insult and would then really have dismissed me. I had not the slightest reason to ask my Supreme Commander to release me from my military post because he, in his capacity of Reich President, had appointed a new Reich Chancellor of whom I, perhaps, might not approve. ...

I heard him for the first time on the afore-mentioned 2 February, after the dinner at General Von Hammerstein's home. I was introduced to him before dinner, and after dinner he made a speech. He was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Herr Von Neurath. There were no other members of the Party present. In his speech, he first of all spoke of his career and of his social and national aims. He said that he wanted to regain equal rights for the German Reich and that he would try to rid the country of the shackles of the Versailles Treaty and restore to Germany her internal sovereignty; and he also discussed his social aims: the establishment of true community among the people, the raising of the workers' standard of living, assistance to be given to the farmers, and the promotion of agriculture, the establishment of a labor service, and the elimination of unemployment. He specially emphasized—and this was really the main point—that both domestic and foreign policy were to be left entirely in his hands, that the Wehrmacht was to have nothing at all to do with this, that the Wehrmacht was not to be used even to deal with unrest at home, and that he had other forces to deal with these affairs. He wanted to insure an undisturbed period of development for the Wehrmacht so that it could become the factor necessary to prevent the Reich from becoming the sport of other nations; and for that reason it would be necessary in the next few years for the Wehrmacht to devote its entire attention to the preparation of its main objective, training for the defense of the fatherland in the case of aggression.

The Wehrmacht would be the sole bearer of arms, and its structure would remain unaltered. He spoke of no details. There was a comparatively large party assembled. As far as schemes for war were concerned, none was mentioned, and all those present were uncommonly pleased with this speech. He spoke with particular respect of Reich President Von Hindenburg, the Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht, and we had the impression that he would respect this much-revered personality. This speech was the only account of his basic principles which he gave me as Chief of the Naval Command Staff, as well as to the Chief of the Army Command Staff and others.

February 3, 1933: Hitler, addressing a group of German generals gathered at the Hammerstein-Equord house, proclaims an offensive against the Communists and Pacifists; announces that the Reichswehr will remain independent of the political parties; promises complete rearmament.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: The first naval report I gave was a few days later in the presence of General Von Blomberg, who in his capacity of Reich Defense Minister was my superior. I cannot give the exact date, but it was shortly afterwards. On this occasion, Hitler gave me a further account of the principles on which I was to command the Navy. I reported to Hitler first of all on the state of the Navy; on the rather slight degree to which the provisions of the Versailles Treaty had been carried out by the Navy, its inferior strength, the Shipping Replacement Plan, and incidents concerned with naval policy, such as the Treaty of Washington, the Treaty of London, 1930, the position of the Disarmament Conference. He had already been fully informed on all these matters. He said he wanted to make clear to me the principles on which his policy was based and that this policy was to serve as the basis of long-term naval policy.

I still remember these words quite clearly, as well as those which followed. He did not under any circumstances wish to have complications with England, Japan, or Italy-above all not with England. And he wanted to prove this by fixing an agreement with England as to the strength to be allotted to the German Fleet in comparison with that of the English Navy. By so doing, he wanted to show that he was prepared to acknowledge, once and for all, England's right to maintain a navy commensurate with the vastness of her interests all over the world. The German Navy required expansion only to the extent demanded by a continental European policy. I took this as the second main principle on which to base my leadership of the Navy. The actual ratio of strength between the two navies was not discussed at the time; it was discussed later on. This decision of Hitler's afforded extreme satisfaction both to myself and to the whole of the Navy, for it meant that we no longer had to compete senselessly with the first sea power; and I saw the possibility of gradually building up our Navy on a solid foundation. I believe that this decision was hailed by the whole Navy with joy and that they understood its significance. The Russian Pact was later greeted with the same appreciation, since the combination of the Russian Pact and the naval agreement would have been a guarantee of wonderful development. There were people—but not in the Navy—who believed that this amounted to yielding ground, but this limitation was accepted by the majority of Germans with considerable understanding. ....

I welcomed this vigorous personality (Hitler) who was obviously most intelligent, had tremendous will power, was a master in handling people, and—as I myself observed in the early years—a great and very skillful politician whose national and social aims were already well known and accepted in their entirety by the Armed Forces and the German people. .... I would just like to say what I thought of Hitler in order to make clear my reasons for not at any time leaving him, which fact the Prosecution have raised very strongly against me. His first steps in both domestic and foreign policy undoubtedly called forth admiration for his political ability and awakened the hope that, since he had taken these first steps without bloodshed or political complications, he would be able to solve in the same way any problems which might arise later. .... I shall only say that during the early years I had no reason to wonder whether I should remain in my position or not.

From the IMT testimony of Admiral Erich Schulte-Monting: I remember it exactly, because it was the first report which the then Chief of the Naval Command Staff, Admiral Raeder, made to the Reich Chancellor Hitler. Hitler said to Raeder that the basis of his future policy was to live in peace with England and that he intended to demonstrate that by trying to conclude a naval agreement with England. In this he wanted the German Navy to be kept relatively small. He wished to recognize Britain's naval superiority because of her position as a world power. He would accordingly suggest an appropriate ratio of strength. He wanted an understanding with regard to the construction of our Navy; and we should take these, his political points of view, into consideration. Raeder was impressed with the statements, for they were completely in accordance with his own basic attitude.

March 23 1933: Hitler addresses the Reichstag:

...For years, Germany has been waiting in vain for the fulfillment of the promise of disarmament made to her by the others. It is the sincere desire of the national Government to be able to refrain from increasing our army and our weapons, insofar as the rest of the world is now also ready to fulfill its obligations in the matter of radical disarmament...

March 23, 1933: With Catholic Center Party support, the Enabling Act is passed by the Reichstag, transferring the power of legislation from the Reichstag to the cabinet and giving Hitler the power to pass his own laws, independent of the President or anyone else.

From the IMT testimony of Karl Severing: I was arrested on the very same day on which the Enabling Act was scheduled to be read and passed in the Reichstag. The order for my arrest was signed by the then Minister of the Interior, Herr Goering, who at that time was also President of the Reichstag and, if I may utter an opinion, who would have had the obligation, as President of the Reichstag, to protect the immunity of the members of the Reichstag. Under breach of this immunity I was arrested the moment I entered the Reichstag building. ....

The Chairman of the Social Democratic Reichstag faction had complained to Goering against the treatment to which I was subjected with the result that I was given leave to vote. But the voting had already come to a close. However, Reichstag President Goering still permitted me to give my "no" vote for the Enabling Act.

March 27, 1933: US Ambassador-at-Large Norman Hezekiah Davis announces US approval of the MacDonald Disarmament Plan:

Part one of the British plan is designed to co-ordinate the efforts of members and non-members of the League of Nations to promote an established peace through consultation and methodical co-operation when peace may be threatened or broken. ....

My Government has this whole question under careful advisement. Our ability to make our collaboration effective will depend in large part on the measure of disarmament we may be able now to achieve. It must be definite, it must be substantial. We are prepared to make very great efforts to assist in the maintenance of peace when a determination to preserve peace is evidenced by the achievement of real measures for mutual and progressive disarmament. .... At the appropriate time we should be willing to...give a more precise indication of the manner in which we consider that the United States can most effectively co-operate.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: This was at a time when we had strong hopes that progress would be made at the Disarmament Conference. The Macdonald Plan, which brought about a certain improvement, had already been accepted; and we might have expected, in consequence, that the few factories still left to us would have to increase their output during the next few years. I may refer you to the shipping replacement scheme. Consequently, factories producing specialized articles were better equipped and supplied. There was, however, never any question of heavy guns or anything of that kind but of automatic fuse-igniters, explosives-for instance, mine containers, et cetera, small items but special items which could be made only by certain firms. But, apart from the firms admitted, other firms which had been excluded were also employed. The whole atmosphere at that time under both the governments I mentioned, was such that one could expect an improvement.

April 4, 1933: Hitler creates the Reich Defense Council to spur his secret 5-year disarmament program. (See April 1938)

From Raeder's IMT testimony: (Hitler) demanded a sort of five year plan in 1933 the last year of which, 1938, happened to coincide with the 1938 mentioned in our substitute plan for subsurface construction, and that directive had obviously been given for the whole of the Armed Forces; since the naval agreement, which gave us the right to arm only in the proportion of 1:3 and not in accordance with any special plans, had become the basis for the Navy as early as 1935. ....

I believe that it is a perfectly ordinary expression to say that one uses one's armed forces as an instrument which could also be thrown into the scales at political negotiations, so that we need no longer be kicked around by the different nations, as had so far been the case. In my opinion, no suspicion attaches to the expression. ....

There was no word about a war, only about the fact that we had to keep our position among the other nations so that we could no longer be tossed aside, as had hitherto been the case. We wanted to be in a position to defend ourselves if we were attacked. Up till that point we were unable to do this.

June 2, 1932: Constantin von Neurath is appointed Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs under the Chancellorship of the Von Papen.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: I learned at the time that Hindenburg had expressed that wish (that von Neurath be appointed Foreign Minister), and it caught my attention because Field Marshal Von Hindenburg until that time had always considered merely the appointment of the Minister of Defense and the Chiefs of Staff of the Army and Navy as his privilege in the Reich Government. This was the first time that he expressed such a wish in the case of a Foreign Minister. He had merely acted according to his own wish to appoint the Defense Minister, even in the previous Social Democratic, Democratic, and other cabinets. ....

He probably wanted to make sure under all circumstances that the peaceful policies which had prevailed in Germany up to that time would be continued. He was sure that Herr Von Neurath would continue these policies in the same direction. ....

Herr Von Neurath wanted to see the gradual recovery of the German people to normal conditions and he wanted to strive with peaceful means for equal rights for the German Reich. Above all, he wanted to have good relations with England, which was also in conformity with Hindenburg's intentions, and on this very point both of us agreed completely.

July 5, 1933: The Catholic Center Party publishes its decree of dissolution. Only the Nazis remain as an active political party in the Reichstag. Also: Cardinal Faulhaber complains to the Bavarian Council of Ministers that almost one hundred priests had been arrested in the last few weeks.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: In general I had no great difficulties with the Party, which I think is best explained by the fact that the Navy had considerable prestige in the Party, as it did in all Germany. I always had the higher officers, at least the chiefs of bases and fleet commanders, settle any friction which occurred in the lower echelons, through the proper authorities. If they were more important they were brought to my attention and I took care of them; if they dealt with matters of principle I passed them on to the OKW.

Since I never let anything slip through, in case of incitement by the Party, the entire relations soon became very smooth and I could prevent all sorts of friction, so that before long they rarely occurred. In that respect we had the advantage in the Navy because there were no territorial matters to administer. We were concerned with the sea and only worked in the coastal cities where actually everything concerned the Navy. I did have difficulties because of Heydrich, whom I had removed from the Navy in 1928 or 1929 after a court of honor had sentenced him for unscrupulous treatment of a young girl. He was very resentful toward me for a long time and he tried on various occasions to denounce me to the leadership of the Party or to Bormann and even to the Fuehrer.

However, I was always able to counteract these attacks so that they had no effect on my situation in general This attitude of Heydrich communicated itself in some way to Himmler, so that here also, from time to time, I had to write a strongly worded letter; but it was precisely the strong wording of those letters which was of help in most cases. I should not like to waste any time by mentioning various instances, such as the one with the SD; however, there were no direct attacks because of my position in regard to the Church. There was only the statement made by Goebbels, which I learned of through my Codefendant, Hans Fritzsche, that I was in disfavor with the Party on account of my attitude toward the Church; but, as I have said, I was not made to feel it in a disagreeable way.

Affidavit of Konrad Lotter: Grand Admiral Raeder has always appeared to me a man who embodied the finest traditions of the old Imperial Navy. This was true, particularly in regard to his philosophy of life. As a man and as an officer, he was at all times the best model imaginable.

In 1941, when the anti-Christian policy of the Hitler regime began with its full might in Bavaria, when cloisters were closed, and in the education of the youth, intolerance against every creed became crassly manifest, I sent a memorandum of twelve pages to the Grand Admiral, in which I presented to him my objections to this policy. Grand Admiral Raeder intervened at once. Through his mediation, I was called to the Gauleiter, and Minister of the Interior Wagner, in Munich. After a series of discussions between the clerical, governmental and party authorities, an agreement was reached which had the following results: the school prayer was retained, the crucifix was allowed to remain in the schools, etc.; furthermore, fifty-nine clergymen who had been fined 500 marks each were pardoned.

The closing down of cloisters was also stopped at that time.

July 20, 1933 Reichskonkordat: Vice-Chancellor Papen and Pacelli formally sign the Concordat in an elaborate ceremony at the Vatican.

September 9, 1933: From A Survey Report of German Naval Armament detailing violations of Treaty restrictions, and subsequent Remarks on proposed Justifications that could be made should the violation be detected:

Number 1. Exceeding the permitted number of mines (1,665 mines were permitted; 3,675 mines were present)... (Remarks) Further mines are in part ordered, in part being delivered.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: I should like to say in advance that this list was prepared for our Navy representative at the Disarmament Conference, so that if these things should be mentioned, he could give them an explanation. That is why it was so explicit, even though most of the things it contains are of minor importance. I should like to add to what I said previously, in regard to the danger of attacks by Poland, that in view of the political situation at that time we always feared that the Poles, if they should undertake an invasion of our country, might receive certain support from the sea by France, inasmuch as French ships, which at that time often visited the Polish port of Gdynia, could attack our coast through the Baltic entrances, the Belt, and the Sound. For this reason the defense of the Baltic entrances by mines played an important role.

Thus, we undertook this breach of the Treaty in order to be able to close at least the Baltic entrances at the narrow points, which was of course possible only for a certain time. With these mines only a stretch of 27 nautical miles could have been closed. Thus, we would have been able to close a part of Danzig Bay on which Gdynia was situated, or a part of the Belt, by laying several rows of mines. This was the only method which could be effective for any length of time. This was purely a question of defense, but still they exceeded the number of mines permitted from the war supplies still available.

September 9, 1933: Continued from the above Survey Report:

Number 2. Continuous storing of guns from the North Sea area for Baltic artillery batteries (96 guns, only 6 of which are of large caliber)... (Remarks) Justification: Necessity for overhauling. Cheaper repairs.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: This is quite a small breach. We were allowed a comparatively large number of guns on the North Sea coast. On the other hand, according to plans the Baltic coast was comparatively bare of guns, since they wanted to retain free entry to the Baltic, whereas we had the greatest interest in closing the Baltic against attacks. For this reason we stored the gun barrels, which belonged in the North Sea but which had been brought to the Baltic for repairs, in sheds in the Baltic area for a long time in order to be able to mount these guns on the Baltic coast in case of attack. The North Sea coast had many guns; and because of the shallowness, it was much easier to defend than the Baltic coast. That was the breach.

September 9, 1933: The Survey Report continues:

Number 3. ...non-scrapping of guns (96 guns, only 6 of which are of large caliber).

From Raeder's IMT testimony: When we acquired new guns, as for example, for the battleship Athenia, six 28-centimeter guns were constructed, or for the Athenia and the cruisers, forty-eight 15-centimeter guns, we had to scrap a corresponding number of old guns. Ten of this number were actually scrapped. All the guns were turned over to the Army for scrapping and we received a receipt for them, saying that the guns had been scrapped. We learned, however, that the Army in fact had not scrapped the guns, but with the exception of the ten 28-centimeter guns, it intended to use them for arming the fortifications to be built in case of attack, since the Army had no such guns at all. .... This happened between 1919 and 1925 for the most part. In any case I had nothing to do with these matters.

September 9, 1933>: The Survey Report continues:

Number 4. (Deviation from the places settled by the Entente for the disposition of coastal batteries.)

From Raeder's IMT testimony: Previously, up to the time of the World War, especially the heavy batteries and the medium-sized batteries were placed very close to each other, or rather in the batteries the guns were placed very close to each other. According to our experience in the World War the heavy and medium-sized guns within the batteries were placed further apart, so that a single hit would not destroy several guns at once. For this reason we re-arranged these heavy and medium batteries and moved the guns a little further apart. For that reason they were no longer exactly in the places where they had been at the time of the Treaty. Otherwise nothing was changed.

September 9, 1933: The Survey Report continues:

Number 5. (Concerns the laying of gun platforms for artillery batteries and the storing of A. A. ammunition...changing to a different place than that allowed by the Entente)

From Raeder's IMT testimony: We wanted to put the AA batteries where they were particularly useful and could be fully utilized, whereas the Commission did not want to have them at these places. As a result we left the AA batteries where they were; but at other points we prepared so-called gun platforms, which were improvised wooden platforms, so that in case of attack from any enemy we could set up the AA guns in order to use them most effectively.

September 9, 1933: The Survey Report continues:

Number 6. Inlaying gun-platforms in the Kiel area . (Remarks) The offense over and above that in Serial Number 3 lies in the fact that all fortifications are forbidden in the Kiel area. This justification will make it less severe; pure defense measures.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: The Kiel area was especially bared of guns, because the entrance through the Belt to Kiel was to be as little armed and as open as possible. For this reason the setting up of guns in the Kiel area was especially forbidden; and in order to be able to set lip some guns in a hurry, in case of necessity, gun platforms were prepared there also.

September 9, 1933: The Survey Report continues:

Number 7. Exceeding the caliber permitted for coastal batteries. (Remarks) Possible justification is that, though the caliber is larger, the number of guns is less.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: It says here that instead of six 15-centimeter, three 17-centimeter guns were built. Of course, it is a deviation, insofar as the guns were to stay there; but it is open to doubt whether these six 15-centimeter guns might not have been better along the coast than the three 17-centimeter guns.

September 9, 1933: The Survey Report continues:

Number 8. Arming of minesweepers. (Justification:) The reply to any remonstrance against this breach: the guns are taken from the Fleet reserve stores, have been temporarily installed only for training purposes. All nations arm their mine sweeping forces-equality of rights.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: We had the old mine sweepers which in case of attack on the Baltic were to serve the double purpose of finding the mines and of guarding the mine barrage which we wanted to lay in the exits of the Belt in order to close the Baltic, and of defending it against light enemy forces. For this reason we gave each one a 10.5-centimeter gun and one machine gun C-30...a minimum armament.

September 9, 1933: The Survey Report continues:

Number 10: Setting up practice AA batteries.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: Yes, it was (a violation)...(it was) an AA battery, after all. It was only because we wanted an opportunity to practice AA firing exercises near the garrisons, where there were barracks with our men. That is why we set up these batteries near the barracks. There was no intention of using them in this place for defense. It was only a matter of expediency for training. ....

Friedrichsort is the entrance to Kiel where foreign ships salute when they enter, and the salute must be returned. Two 7. centimeter field guns which had been rendered unserviceable had been approved for this purpose. With these guns, sharp-shooting was not possible; it was since there was a battery foundation already available there, that instead of these two 7. centimeter guns we should set up four 8.8 centimeter AA guns which were ready for full use. But this too was long before the time when I was Commander-in-Chief of the Navy.

September 9, 1933: The Survey Report continues:

Number 12. Ammunition stocks in excess of the armament permissible.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: Certain ammunition stocks were in excess of the permissible amount and some were below it. I cannot tell you at this date what the reason was in each particular case. I assume that this depended to a considerable extent on the amounts left over from the last World War. In the case of the first two items, the 17 and 15 centimeter shells, the actual stocks rather exceeded the quantity permitted, whereas the third item, the 10.5-centimeter, falls very far short of it-instead of 134,000 there were 87,000. In the case of the 8.8 centimeter shells there was an excess, then again a deficit, and the same thing applies to the last item. But they are all very insignificant amounts. ...new ammunition as well as new guns were being manufactured, and old ammunition then had to be scrapped. It also must be noted that ammunition for heavy artillery, which is not listed here, was in every case short of the permissible amount. A comparatively large amount of heavy artillery ammunition had been granted us for heavy coastal guns, and we had by no means as much as we were allowed to have.

September 9, 1933: The Survey Report continues:

Number 13. Exceeding the permissible stocks of machine guns, rifles, pistols, and gas masks permitted. (Remarks) Can be made light of.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: Here, too, it must be admitted that in isolated cases stocks were a little higher than permitted. There were, for instance, 43,000 gas masks instead of the 22,500 permitted. Large numbers of rifles and machine guns were taken away even by individuals after the World War to farms, etc.. They were later collected, and for that reason there was a comparatively large stock of them. But we are not dealing here with any considerable quantities. Similarly ammunition, bayonets, hand grenades, searchlights, fog equipment, etc., also exceeded the prescribed limits but not to any great extent.

September 9, 1933: The Survey Report continues:

Number 18. Construction of U-boat parts... (Remarks) Difficult to detect. If necessary can be denied. Number 19. Construction of submarine spare parts... (Remarks) Difficult to detect. If necessary can be denied.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: Construction of submarine spare parts, for instance, took place abroad or was to be prepared. It was actually carried out in 1934 and '35, and the first submarine was launched at the end of June 1935. ....

At that period, before the German-English Naval Agreement was concluded on the basis of 35 to 100, Hitler was particularly eager to avoid everything which might embarrass the negotiations in any way. The construction and preparation of submarine parts came under this heading as being a subject on which England was peculiarly sensitive.

September 9, 1933: The Survey Report concludes:

Number 20. Arming of fishing vessels... (Remarks) For warning shots. Make little of it.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: The two fishing boats were quite small vessels and were normally unarmed. They served to supervise the fishing boats in the North Sea right up to Iceland, to help them in case of emergency, to take sick men aboard and to afford protection against fishermen of other nations. We thought it advisable to mount at least a 5 centimeter gun on these ships since they were actually warships. "Warning shots" means that they fired a salute when they wanted to draw the fishermen's attention to something; so it was quite an insignificant affair and had no need to be artificially reduced to a bagatelle but was in fact a bagatelle. ...

(In conclusion on the above violations from the Survey Report) most of them are very inadequate improvements in defense of an almost entirely defenseless position. The separate items...are so insignificant that it is really impossible to spend very much time on them. I believe that the Control Commission also had the impression that very little weight need be attached to all these matters; for in 1925 when the Control Commission left its station at Kiel where it had worked with the organizations of the Naval Command, Commander Fenshow, Admiral Charlton's chief of staff and head of the Commission, whose main interest was guns and who had worked with a Captain Raenkel, a gunner and a specialist in these matters, said: "We must leave now, and you are glad that we are going. You did not have a pleasant task, and neither did we. I must tell you one thing. You need not think that we believed what you have said. You did not say a single word of truth, but you have given your information so skillfully that we were able to accept it, and for that I am grateful to you." ....

Those were small things, but they were urgently necessary in Germany's defense interests.

October 14, 1933: Hitler's Germany withdraws from the International Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations.

October 25, 1933: From a directive issued 11 days after the German withdrawal from the Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations:

1)The enclosed directive gives the basis for preparations of the Armed Forces in the case of sanctions being applied against Germany.

2) I request the Chiefs of the Army and Navy High Commands and the Reichsminister for Air to carry out the preparations in accordance with the following points:

(a) Strictest secrecy. It is of the utmost importance that no facts become known to the outside world from which preparation for resistance against sanctions can be inferred or which is incompatible with Germany's existing obligations in the sphere of foreign policy regarding the demilitarized zone. If necessary, the preparations must take second place to this necessity.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: I had no previous knowledge of our imminent withdrawal from the League of Nations. This directive came out 11 days after we had left the League of Nations, and it merely provides defensive measures in the event of sanctions being applied against Germany by other powers in consequence of her departure from the League of Nations. It says under 2c: "I prohibit any practical preparations in the meantime." So, at first, nothing was done in consequence of this directive, and the Reich Defense Minister merely asked for a report from me as to what should be done. As far as I remember, no practical preparations of any kind were carried out by the Navy at the time, because the situation remained absolutely quiet and there was no reason to assume that there would be any need for defense. ....

These preparations were made, if I remember correctly, 11 days after we had left the League of Nations, and it was quite natural that, if the Fuehrer believed that in consequence of our leaving the League of Nations, which was quite a peaceful action in itself, warlike measures or sanctions would be applied against us, we would have to defend ourselves; and if such an attack was probable we had to take these preparatory steps. ....

I did not expect at all that such a measure as the secession from the League of Nations, where we had always been treated unjustly because we had no power behind us, would result in a war with any other power. Nevertheless, it was right to take such eventualities into consideration.

March 12, 1934: From an order of the Command Office of the Navy:

Subject: Preparation of auxiliary cruisers. It is intended to include in the Establishment Organization 35 (AG Aufstellungsgliederung) a certain number of auxiliary cruisers which are intended for use in operations in foreign waters. In order to disguise the intention and all the preparations, the ships will be referred to as 'Transport Ships 0'. It is requested that in future this designation only be used. .... 'B' is requested in co-operation with 'K,' first of all, to select suitable vessels and to ascertain how many 15-centimeter guns have to be mounted to achieve the required broadside. ....

As long as only a restricted number of guns—at present 24—can be placed at our disposal for this purpose, preparations are to be made for only four transport ships (O). An increase of this number, presumably to six, will be postponed to a date when more guns are available. Until then we must await the results of the preparations for the first auxiliary cruisers.

From the Affidavit of Vice Admiral Lohmann: The...communication from the Office of the Naval Command of 12 March 1934 (above), deals with the 'availability of auxiliary cruisers' which, as stated in the document, were marked as 'Transport Ships O.' These ships were not to be newly constructed but were to be selected from the stock of the German merchant marine in accordance with the demands enumerated in the document and were to be examined as to their suitability for the tasks to be assigned them. Then plans were made for reconstruction in case of necessity, but the boats remained in the merchant marine. The order to select such boats from German shipyards was received, among others, by the Hamburg Office of the Naval Command where I was serving at the time.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: I can only emphasize again that there was no question of immediate construction but only of selecting suitable ships and examining them with a view to ascertaining the alterations necessary to enable them to function as auxiliary cruisers in the case of a general mobilization. The preparation of the plans and the plans themselves were to be ready by 1 April 1935, as laid down in Number 12. They were to be submitted to the naval administration so that in the case of mobilization the ship concerned could be taken from the stock of the merchant marine and converted. All these proposals for mobilization were, of course, kept secret.

April 11, 1934: Raeder and his army counterpart, General von Fritsch, set sail aboard the cruiser Athenia in the company of Hitler. The former lance corporal proves to be no sailor; he is seasick the whole way to Koenigsberg. On the way, he proposes a deal; Hitler will curb the ambitions of Roehm and his SA and pledge to ensure that the Army and Navy emerge as the only bearers of arms in the Reich, in return for their acquiescence in Hitler's assuming the Reich Presidency following the death of the ailing von Hindenburg. Fritsch is hesitant, but Raeder enthusiastically agrees. (Shirer)

May 12, 1934: From Armament Plan (R. P.) for the 3rd Armament Phase:

The planned organization of armament measures is necessary for the realization of this target; this again requires a co-ordinated and planned expenditure in peace time. This organization of financial measures over a number of years, according to the military viewpoint, is found in the armament program and provides: (a) for the military leader a sound basis for his operational considerations, and (b) for the political leader a clear picture of what may be achieved with the military means available at a given time....

All theoretical and practical R-preparations are to be drawn up with a primary view to readiness for a war without any alert period.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: I did that (rearm secretly) on orders from the head of the State; and before all the head of the State was very anxious to see that no exaggerated measures should be taken, so that it would not interfere in any way with his plans for making an agreement with Great Britain. He allowed very little to be done with regard to the Navy. He could at once have built eight armored ships, so many destroyers, and so many torpedo boats, none of which had yet been built, but he did none of these things because he said, "We do not want to create the impression that we are arming on a large scale...."

We did not want the announcement of these measures to cause strained relations between Germany and Britain. The measures as such were completely justifiable and were extremely minor. ....

I reported to the Fuehrer that I could put a certain military strength at his disposal during that year. The Chief of State must know that in order to know what he can count on. But that has nothing to do with plans for war. That is the case in every state. On the other hand, I cannot influence the political leader as to what he wants. I can only report what I could have. Therefore, I had nothing to do with political matters. I only did what is necessary and what is done in every state. ....

This concerns the sequence of the things to be taken for granted. The armament plan listed the most important immediate requirements of the Navy and at that point I say here that this applied to weapons to be used in a war where there was no time to prepare and that is, in plain language, the mobile fleet, which must be in a state of constant readiness. It had to be kept ready for action at a moment's notice and it had to receive priority. All other matters, such as quarters, and things that had nothing to do with direct combat; were attended to afterwards.

June 1934: From notes of a conversation between Raeder and Hitler:

1. Report by the C-in-C Navy concerning increased displacement of D. and E. (defensive weapons). Fuehrer's instructions: No mention must be made of a displacement of 25-26,000 tons, but only of improved 10,000-ton ships. Also, the speed over 26 nautical miles may not be stated.

2. C-in-C Navy expresses the opinion that later on, the Fleet must anyhow be developed to oppose England, that therefore from 1936 onwards, the large ships must be armed with 35-centimeter guns (like the King George class.)

3. The Fuehrer demands to keep the construction of the U-boats secret, in consideration of the Saar plebiscite.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: At that time we were considering what we could do with the two armored ships D and E (Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau), after the signing of the impending naval pact with England-that is, the two ships which Hitler had granted me for the Navy in the 1934 budget. We had definitely decided not to continue building these armored ships as such, since we could make better use of the material at our disposal. ...

We are dealing here, in the first place, with plans. I asked permission to revise the plans for these two armored ships; first, by strengthening their defensive weapons—that is, the armor-plating and underwater compartments—and then by increasing their offensive armaments-namely, by adding a third 28 centimeter instead of 26-centimeter tower. The Fuehrer was not yet willing to sanction a new 28 centimeter tower because, as I said before, he did not in any circumstances want to prejudice the negotiations going on with Great Britain. To begin with, therefore, he sanctioned only a medium displacement of 18,000 to 19,000 tons; and we knew that when matters reached the stage where a third 28 centimeter tower could be mounted, the displacement would be about 25,000 to 26,000 tons. We saw no cause to announce it at this stage, however, because it is customary in the Navy that new construction plans and especially new types of ships should be announced at the latest possible moment. That was the principal reason; and apart from that, Hitler did not want to draw the attention of other countries to these constructions by giving the figures mentioned or stating the very high speed. There was no other reason for not announcing these things. ....

At first—as I intended to explain later—we had taken the new French ships as our model. The French Navy was developing at that time the Dunkerque class with eight 33 centimeter guns and a high speed, and we took that for our model, especially since, in Hitler's opinion—as you will hear later—there was no question of arming against England. We intended to reconstruct these two armored ships on this pattern as battleships with nine 28 centimeter guns and capable of a high speed. But then we heard that the King George class was being designed in England with 35.6 centimeter guns and, therefore, stronger than the French type; and so I said that we would in any case have to depart from the French type eventually and follow the English model which is now being built with 35 centimeter guns. There is an error in the translation-namely, "oppose England." It says in my text that developments should follow the lines of British developments-in other words, that we should design vessels similar in type to the English ships. But they were out of date, too, shortly afterwards, because France was then building ships of the Richelieu class with 38 centimeter guns. Therefore, we decided that we too would build ships with 38 centimeter guns. That was how the Bismarck came to be built. The word "oppose" would have been quite senseless at a time when we intended to come to an agreement with Britain on terms under which we could in no way vie with her. ....

I have already referred to the Fuehrer's wish for secrecy in connection with both the construction of submarines and the preparations for that construction. This is one of the points on which he was most sensitive, because in no circumstances did he wish to prejudice the negotiations. He himself was generally extremely cautious during this period and would not in any circumstances do anything which might sabotage the naval pact which he was so eager to conclude.

August 2, 1934: The President of Germany, Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg, better known as Paul von Hindenburg, dies. A new service oath is sworn to this day by all members of the armed forces: I swear this holy oath by God that I will implicitly obey the Leader of the German Reich and people, Adolf Hitler, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and that, as a brave soldier, I will be willing to stake my life at any time for this oath.

From Raeder's testimony before the IMT: I was subordinate, firstly, to the Reichswehrminister and, through him, to the Reich Government, since I was not a member of the Reich Government; and secondly, I also had to obey the Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht in these matters. From 1925 to 1934 the Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht was Reich President Field Marshal Von Hindenburg, and after his death on 2 August 1934, Adolf Hitler. ....

The Commander-in-Chief, Von Blomberg, and the three commanders-in-chief of the Armed Forces were called to Hitler on the morning of 2 August. We were in his study and Hitler asked us to come to his desk without ceremony or staging. There we took the oath which he, as Chief of State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, read to us. We repeated that oath. None of us participated in the writing of that oath and no one had asked us to do so. That would have been quite unusual. The oath referred to the person of Hitler. No previous oath had ever been rendered to the fatherland as far as the words were concerned. Once I took an oath to the Kaiser as Supreme War Lord, once to the Weimar Constitution, and the third oath to the person of the Chief of State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces—Hitler. In all three cases I took the oath to my people, my fatherland. That is a matter of course.

August 19, 1934: Hitler is Fuehrer und Reichskanzler as 90% of the German electorate approves Hitler's merging the two offices of Chancellor and President.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: Of course...the Navy—the Armed Forces—had to have some connection with the National Socialist State. A democratic Navy in a monarchy is impossible. The basic principles must agree. But I myself decided the extent to which these principles were adopted-that is to the degree where the Navy maintained its internal independence and yet occupied its appropriate position with regard to the National Socialist State.

November 2, 1934: From notes of a conversation between Raeder and Hitler aboard the Emden:
When I mentioned that the total funds to be made available for the Armed Forces for 1935 would presumably represent only a fraction of the required sum, and that therefore it was possible that the Navy might be hindered in its plans, he replied that he did not think the funds would be greatly decreased. He considered it necessary that the Navy be speedily increased by 1938 with the deadlines mentioned. In case of need he will get Dr. Ley to put 120 to 150 million from the Labor Front at the disposal of the Navy, as the money would still benefit the workers. Later, in a conversation with Minister Goering and myself, he went on to say that he considered it vital that the Navy be increased as planned, as no war could be carried on if the Navy was not able to safeguard the ore imports from Scandinavia.

Then, when I mentioned that it would be desirable to have six U-boats assembled at the time of the critical political situation in the first quarter of 1935, he stated that he would keep this point in mind, and tell me when the situation demanded that the assembling should commence. (An apostrophe and a note at the bottom of the document:) The order was not sent out. The first boats were launched in the middle of June 1935 according to plan.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: No, (I did) not actually (have anything to do) with the raising of funds. I applied for funds to the Reich Defense Minister, who allocated them to me for the purpose of this rearmament. I presume that this statement was made because the allocation sanctioned for the Navy appeared too small to me, and for this reason the Fuehrer said that if necessary he would get Ley to act. This did not actually happen. I received my funds only through the Reich Defense Minister. ....

Two battleships were also under construction, apart from those two armored cruisers. You can imagine that the costs continually increased. ....

I said this because I knew that at the beginning of 1935 we were going to aim at the re-establishment of the Armed Forces; and I thought that this might create a critical situation in respect to sanctions, which Hitler always expected, too. I assume that we were talking about this and that is why I suggested that if the necessity for any special preparations should arise out of the re-establishment of the Armed Forces then six submarines should be assembled, at a date previous to their proper date of assemblage, from those parts which were obtained from abroad. ....

Hitler said that a navy is built so that, if war becomes necessary, the navy can use its weapons to defend the country. A navy is established for no other purpose, and that was definitely one of the general reasons for the existence of a German Navy. There were many people who thought a navy was unnecessary.

March 16, 1935: Hitler's Germany institutes universal military service:

Law for the Organization of the Armed Forces: The Reich Cabinet has passed the following law which is herewith promulgated:

Paragraph 1. Service in the Armed Forces is based upon compulsory military duty.

Paragraph 2. In peacetime, the German Army, including the police troops transferred to it, is organized into 12 corps and 36 divisions.

Paragraph 3. The Reich Minister of War is charged with the duty of submitting immediately to the Reich Ministry detailed laws on compulsory military duty." Signed by Hitler, Von Neurath, Frick, Schacht, Goering, Hess, and Frank, among others.

May 2, 1935: From a directive for 'Operation Schulung (schooling, or training)', a top secret plan for the reoccupation of the Rhineland, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles and the Rhine Pact of Locarno. It was written by Blomberg and sent out only to Chief of the Army Command, Fritsch, the Chief of the Navy High Command, Raeder, and the Reich Minister for Air, Goering:

For the operation suggested in the last Staff talks of the Armed Forces, I lay down the code name 'Schulung.' The supreme direction of Operation Schulung rests with the Reich Minister of Defense as this is a joint undertaking of the three services. Preparations for the operation will begin forthwith according to the following directives:

General: The operation must, on issue of the code words 'Carry out Schulung', be executed by a surprise blow at lightning speed. Strictest secrecy is necessary in the preparations and only the very smallest number of officers should be informed and employed in the drafting of reports, drawings, et cetera, and these officers only in person.

There is no time for mobilization of the forces taking part. These will be employed in their peacetime strength and with their peacetime equipment.

The preparation for the operation will be made without regard to the present inadequate state of our armaments. Every improvement of the state of our armaments will make possible a greater measure of preparedness and thus result in better prospects of success.

May 21, 1935: Hitler's Germany announces that they will respect the territorial limitations of Versailles and Locarno. Hitler:

The German Reich Government refuses to adhere to the Geneva Resolution of 17 March. ...The Treaty of Versailles was not broken by Germany unilaterally, but the well-known paragraphs of the Dictate of Versailles were violated, and consequently invalidated by those powers who could not make up their minds to follow the disarmament requested of Germany with their own disarmament as agreed upon by the Treaty.

Because the other powers did not live up to their obligations under the disarmament program, the Government of the German Reich no longer considers itself bound to those articles, which are nothing but a discrimination against the German nation for an unlimited period of time, since through them, Germany is being nailed down in a unilateral manner, contrary to the spirit of the agreement... Germany neither intends nor wishes to interfere in the internal affairs of Austria, to annex Austria or to conclude an Anschluss. ....

Therefore, the Government of the German Reich shall absolutely respect all other articles pertaining to the cooperation (Zusammenleben) of the various nations, including territorial agreements. Revisions which will be unavoidable as time goes by it will carry out by way of a friendly understanding only. The Government of the German Reich has the intention not to sign any treaty which it believes not to be able to fulfill. However, it will live up to every treaty signed voluntarily even if it was composed before this Government took over. Therefore, it will in particular adhere to all the obligations under the Locarno Pact, as long as the other partners of the Pact also adhere to it.

June 18, 1935: The Anglo-German Naval Agreement, a bilateral agreement between the United Kingdom and German Reich regulating the size of the Kriegsmarine in relation to the Royal Navy, is signed. The Kriegsmarine is to be 35% of the total tonnage of the Royal Navy on a permanent basis. It will be renounced by Adolf Hitler on April 28, 1939. The British Government recognized that, as far as submarines were concerned, Germany should be allowed the same number as Britain. At that time that amounted to about 52,000 tons, or rather more than 100 U-boats. In the event, Hitler's Reich only reached 45 percent of the total submarine tonnage of the British Empire.

From the IMT testimony of Admiral Erich Schulte-Monting: Raeder and the Navy were very pleased with this agreement, although we had to impose voluntarily upon ourselves severe limitations for a certain length of time. By this agreement, in comparison with the Washington conference, I should say we ranged among the smallest sea powers. In spite of that, this agreement was generally welcomed, because friendly relations with the British Navy were desired, and it was believed that if we followed a wise and moderate policy, England in return would show her appreciation. ....

Raeder and I happened to be together with Hitler in Hamburg the day this agreement was concluded, and Hitler said to Raeder when this fact was reported to him: "This is the happiest day of my life. This morning I received word from my doctor that my throat trouble is insignificant, and now this afternoon I receive this very gratifying political news."

June 21, 1935: From a 'Top Secret' document headed "The Reich Minister of War and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces:

...The publication of the Reich Defense Law is temporarily suspended by order of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor. The Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor has nominated the President of the Directorate of the Reichsbank, Dr. Schacht, to be 'Plenipotentiary-General for War Economy.' I request that the copies of the Reich Defense Law needed within the units of the Armed Forces, be ordered before 1 July 1935 at Armed Forces Office (L) where it is to be established with the request that the law should only be distributed down to corps headquarters outside of the Reich Ministry of War. I point out the necessity of strictest secrecy once more. Signed by "Von Blomberg."

June 29, 1935: The first German U-boat is commissioned.

July 15, 1935: From a communication made to the Officers' Corps by Grossadmiral Raeder:

The (Anglo-German Naval) agreement resulted from the Fuehrer's decision to fix the ratio of the fleets of Germany and the British Empire at 35:100. This decision, which was based on considerations of European politics, formed the starting point of the London conferences. In spite of initial opposition from England, we held inflexibly to our decision; and our demands were granted in their entirety. The Fuehrer's decision was based on the desire to exclude the possibility of antagonism between Germany and England in the future and so to exclude forever the possibility of naval rivalry between the two countries. .... By this agreement, the building-up of the German Navy to the extent fixed by the Fuehrer was formally approved by England.

This agreement represents a signal success in the political sphere since it is the first step towards a practical understanding and signifies the first relaxation of the inflexible front so far maintained against Germany by our former opponents and implacably demonstrated again at Stresa.

Summer 1935: From a speech by Vice Admiral Lohmann at the Hanseatic University in Hamburg:

The Fuehrer, however, chose another way. He preferred to negotiate on German naval armament direct with Britain which, as our former adversary has tried for years to show understanding for our difficult position. ....

All the more surprising, then, was the ratification of the treaty which expressed the full agreement of both governments and did not, like some armament treaties of former time, leave more embitterment than understanding in its wake. The sense of fairness which British statesmen have retained, despite the frequently dirty ways of higher politics, came through when confronted with the unreserved sincerity of the German declarations, the dignified firmness of the German representatives, and the passionate desire for peace inspiring the speeches and acts of our Fuehrer. Unlike former times, the speeches of the British leaders expressed respect and recognition. We have acknowledged this as a sign of honest willingness to understand. The voices from the circles of British war veterans are hardly less valuable than the attitude of the official leaders.

In November 1918, for instance, when the German Fleet was taken by British squadrons to be interned in Scapa Flow, the British Commander in Chief, Lord Beatty, the great foe of our Admiral Hipper, sent the famous signal, 'Do not forget that the enemy is a contemptible beast.' This Grand Admiral expressed his dislike for Germany on many occasions, but on 26 June this same Lord Beatty stated in the House of Lords, 'I am of the opinion that we should be grateful to the Germans. They came to us with hands outstretched, announcing that they agreed to the ratio of 35:100.' If they had submitted other proposals, we could not have prevented them. We may be truly grateful for the fact that there is at least one country in the world whose competition in regard to armament we do not need to fear.

August 35, 1935: Americans, since the time of George Washington, have, under normal circumstances, displayed a great reluctance to involve themselves in foreign 'attachments,' and legislation ensuring this isolationist tendency have always been popular with the citizens of the US. On this day, the United States Congress passes the first of a series of Neutrality Acts imposing a general embargo on trading in arms and war materials with all parties in any war, and declaring that American citizens traveling on the ships of warring nations do so at their own risk.

September 27, 1935: Fregattenkapitaen Karl Doenitz becomes the commander of Hitler's U-boats, the 1st Flotilla 'Wediggen' with 3 U-boats (U-7, U-8 and U-9).

October 21, 1935: Hitler's Germany leaves the League of Nations. (Kennedy II)

November 20, 1935: British Admiral of the Fleet John Rushworth Jellicoe, dies.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: I tried to maintain this good understanding and to express these (good) sentiments to the British Navy as, for instance, when I was informed of the death of Admiral Jellicoe through a phone call from an English news agency. He stood against us as the head of the English Fleet in the first World War, and we always considered him a very chivalrous opponent. Through this agency I gave a message to the English Fleet. .... In any event, I tried to bring about a good understanding with the British Navy for the future and to maintain this good understanding.

March 2, 1936: From a 'top secret' order signed by the War Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Blomberg, and addressed to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army Fritsch, the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy Raeder, and Air Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force Goering:

Supreme Command of the Navy:

1) The Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor has made the following decision: By reason of the Franco-Russian Mutual Assistance Pact, the obligations accepted by Germany in the Locarno Treaty, as far as they apply to Articles 42 and 43, of the Treaty of Versailles which referred to the demilitarized zone, are to be regarded as obsolete.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: I made no lengthy preparations; I heard of the plan only through this document of 2 March. I may refer you to Point 6 which says, "To preserve the peaceful character of the operation, no military security or advance measures are to be taken without my express orders." It was made clear, therefore, that the entire action was to have a peaceful character. .... I believe that this action was kept especially secret.

March 6, 1936: From an order on behalf of the Reich Minister for War, Blomberg, signed by Keitel, and addressed to Raeder, setting out detailed instructions for the Commander-in-Chief of the fleet and the admirals commanding the Baltic and North Sea:

To: C-in-C Navy.

The Minister has decided the following after the meeting:

1. The inconspicuous air reconnaissance in the German bay, not over the line Texel-Doggerbank, from midday on Z-Day onward, has been approved. C-in-C Air Force will instruct the Air Command VI from midday 7 March to hold in readiness single reconnaissance aircraft, to be at the disposal of the C-in-C fleet.

2. The Minister will reserve the decision to set up a U-boat reconnaissance line until the evening of 7 March. The immediate transfer of U-boats from Kiel to Wilhelmshafen has been approved.

3. The proposed advance measures for the most part exceed Degree of Emergency A and therefore are out of the question as the first countermeasures to be taken against military preparations of neighboring states. It is far more essential to examine the advance measures included in Degree of Emergency A, to see whether one or other of the especially conspicuous measures could not be omitted.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: The Reich Defense Minister had sanctioned a certain air reconnaissance to take place over the North Sea on 6 March- that is to say, the day before the occupation of the Rhineland. He intended to withhold his decision as to whether U-boats were also to be sent out on reconnaissance assignments in the West as far as the Texel until the next day. I thereupon issued an order on 6 March 1936 and gave special instructions. ....

I prepared this decree of 6 March concerning the planning of the U-boat line and the reconnaissance to take place in the German bay on 7 March. I pointed out especially that everything must be avoided which might create a false impression of the Fuehrer's intentions and thus put difficulties in the way of this peaceful action. ... Those were all precautionary measures in case of a hostile counteraction.

March 7, 1936: The re-occupation and fortification of the Rhineland occurs.

March 8, 1936: From a speech by Hitler, as printed in the Volkischer Beobachter:
Men of the German Reichstag! France has replied to the repeated friendly offers and peaceful assurances made by Germany by infringing the Rhine Pact through a military alliance with the Soviet Union exclusively directed against Germany. In this manner, however, the Locarno Rhine Pact has lost its inner meaning and ceased in practice to exist. Consequently, Germany regards herself, for her part, as no longer bound by this dissolved treaty. The German Government is now constrained to face the new situation created by this alliance, a situation which is rendered more acute by the fact that the Franco-Soviet treaty has been supplemented by a Treaty of Alliance between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union exactly parallel in form. In accordance with the fundamental right of a nation to secure its frontiers and ensure its possibilities of defense, the German Government has today restored the full and unrestricted sovereignty of Germany in the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland .... We have no territorial claims to make in Europe. We know above all that all the tensions resulting either from false territorial settlements or from the disproportion of the numbers of inhabitants to their living spaces cannot, in Europe, be solved by war.

March 25, 1936 London Agreement: Naval agreement between France, United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, India, and New Zealand. The agreement is intended to limit the growth in naval armaments until its expiration in 1942. Submarines must not be larger than 2,000 tons or have any gun armament of greater than 5.1-inches.

April 20, 1936: Hitler promotes Raeder to General Admiral (Generaladmiral).

August 14, 1936: From an address by President Roosevelt:

We are not isolationists except in so far as we seek to isolate ourselves completely from war. Yet we must remember that so long as war exists on earth there will be some danger that even the Nation which most ardently desires peace may be drawn into war. I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen two hundred limping exhausted men come out of line-the survivors of a regiment of one thousand that went forward forty-eight hours before. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war. I have passed unnumbered hours, I shall pass unnumbered hours, thinking and planning how war may be kept from this Nation. I wish I could keep war from all Nations; but that is beyond my power...

1936: Germany launches U-27, its first sea-going U-boat.

November 11, 1936: From a memo written and signed by Raeder: The military and political situation urgently demands that the extension of our U-boat fleet should be taken in hand immediately and completed with the greatest energy and dispatch, as it is a particularly valuable part of our armament at sea and possesses special striking power.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: The entire political situation, or so I seem to remember, made me consider it necessary to put the construction of submarines in the foreground. But I never expected that we would start a war on our own account. Hitler himself had told me that again and again, but he had made his political moves which could undoubtedly lead us into war if the other powers intervened against such a political move. The charge made against me was that I did not push the construction of U-boats sufficiently far ahead. ....

At that time I not only knew nothing about what was going to happen, but I knew that we had occupied the Rhineland during that year, and that in consequence of the clouds which appeared on the horizon as a result of the occupation of the Rhineland Hitler maintained an attitude of greatest caution and said that we must be prepared for further complications. For that reason a special directive was issued in 1936, and I took precautions along the lines suggested by these considerations. My main duty was to watch; and on the basis of my observations and the conclusions which I drew from them, I had to strengthen myself as much as possible. This document, about which you did not question me, had the same connotation.

I asked whether—should political tension develop at the beginning of 1935, before the signing of the Naval Agreement, and that would not be done till June—we should perhaps assemble six U-boats. That was also in the case of tension arising; and I knew at that time that the declaration of freedom of territorial defense was intended to be made in 1935.

From The Fight of the Navy Against Versailles, 1919 to 1935, a German Navy High Command secret book: The object and aim of this memorandum, under the heading 'Preface', is to draw a technically reliable picture based on documentary records and the evidence of those who took part in the fight of the Navy against the unbearable regulations of the Peace Treaty of Versailles. It shows that the Reich Navy, after the liberating activities of the Free Corps and of Scapa Flow, did not rest but found ways and means to lay with unquenchable enthusiasm, in addition to the building up of the 15,000-man Navy, the basis for a greater development in the future, and so create, by the work of soldiers and technicians, the primary condition for a later rearmament.

It must also distinguish more clearly the services of these men, who, without being known in wide circles, applied themselves with extraordinary zeal and responsibility in the service of the fight against the Peace Treaty. Thereby stimulated by the highest feeling of duty, they risked, particularly in the early days of their fight, themselves and their positions unrestrainedly in the partially self-ordained tasks. This compilation makes it clearer, however, that even such ideal and ambitious plans can be realized only to a small degree if the concentrated and united strength of the whole people is not behind the courageous activity of the soldier. Only when the Fuehrer had created the second and even more important condition for an effective rearmament in the coordination of the whole nation and in the fusion of the political, financial, and spiritual power, could the work of the soldier find its fulfillment. The framework of this Peace Treaty, the most shameful known in world history, collapsed under the driving power of this united will ....

The unification of the whole nation which was combined with the taking over of power on 30 January 1933 was of decisive influence on the size and shape of further rearmament .... While the Reichsrat approached its dissolution and withdrew as a legislative body, the Reichstag assumed a composition which could only take a decisive attitude toward the rearmament of the Armed Forces. The Government took over the management of the rearmament program upon this foundation ....

This taking over of the management by the Reich Government developed for the Armed Forces in such a manner that the War Minister, General Von Blomberg, and through him the three branches of the Armed Forces, received far-reaching powers from the Reich Cabinet for the development of the Armed Forces. The whole organization of the Reich was included in this work. In view of these powers, the collaboration of the former inspecting body in the management of the secret expenditure was from then on dispensed with. There remained only the inspecting duties of the accounting office of the German Reich. ....

The Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, Admiral Raeder, honorary doctor, had received thereby a far-reaching independence in the building and development of the Navy. This was only hampered in so far as the previous concealment of rearmament had to be continued in consideration of the Versailles Treaty. Besides the ordinary budget there remained the previous special budget, which was greatly increased in view of the considerable credit for the provision of labor, which was made available by the Reich. Wide powers in the handling of these credits were given to the Director of the Budget Department of the Navy, up to 1934 Commodore Schuessler, afterwards Commodore Foerste. These took into consideration the increased responsibility of the Chief of the Budget ....

When the Fuehrer, relying upon the strengthening of the Armed Forces executed in the meanwhile, announced the restoration of the military sovereignty of the German Reich, the last-mentioned limitation on rearmament works, namely, the external camouflage, was eliminated. Freed from all the shackles which have hampered our ability to move freely on and under water, on land, and in the air, for one and a half decades, and carried by the newly-awakened fighting spirit of the whole nation, the Armed Forces, and as a part of it, the Navy, can lead with full strength towards its completion, the rearmament already under way with the goal of securing for the Reich its rightful position in the world.

From Raeder's pre-trial interrogation:

Q. I have here a...Photostat copy of a work prepared by the High Command of the Navy and covers the struggle of the Navy against the Versailles Treaty (excerpt above) from 1919 to 1935. I ask you initially whether you are familiar with the work.

A. I know this book. I read it once when it was edited.

Q. Was that an official publication of the German Navy?

A. This Captain Schuessler (indicating the author) was a commander in the Admiralty. Published by the OHM, it was an idea of this officer to put all these things together.

Q. Do you recall the circumstances under which the authorization to prepare such a work was given to him?

A. I think he told me that he would write such a book as he tells here in the foreword.

Q. And in the preparation of this work he had access to the official Navy files and based his work on the items contained therein?

A. Yes, I think so. He would have spoken with other persons, and he would have had the files which were necessary.

Q. Do you know whether, before the work was published, a draft of it was circulated among the officers in the Admiralty for comment?

A. No, I don't think so. Not before it was published. I saw it only when it was published.

Q. Was it circulated freely after its publication?

A. It was a secret object. I think all upper commands in the Navy had knowledge of it.

Q. It was not circulated outside of Navy circles?

A. No.

Q. What then is your opinion concerning the comments contained in the work, regarding the circumventing of the provisions of Versailles?

A. I don't remember very exactly what is in here. I can only remember that the Navy had always the object to fulfill the word of the Versailles Treaty, but in order to have some advantages. But the flying men were exercised 1 year before they went into the Navy. Quite young men. So that the word of the Treaty of Versailles was filled. They did not belong to the Navy, as long as they were exercised in flying, and the submarines were developed, but not in Germany and not in the Navy, but in Holland. There was a civil bureau, and in Spain there was an industrialist; in Finland, too, and they were built only much later, when we began to act with the English Government about the Treaty of 35 to 100, because we could see that then the Treaty of Versailles would be destroyed by such a treaty with England, and so, in order to keep the word of Versailles, we tried to fulfill the word of Versailles, but we tried to have advantages.

Q. Would a fair statement be that the Navy High Command was interested in avoiding the limiting provisions of the Treaty of Versailles regarding personnel and the limits of armaments, but would attempt to fulfill the letter of the Treaty, although actually avoiding it?

A. That was our endeavor.

Q. Why was such a policy adopted?

A. We were much menaced in the first years after the first war by the danger that the Poles would attack East Prussia, and so we tried to strengthen a little our very, very weak forces in this way; and so all our efforts were directed to the aim of having a little more strength against the Poles should they attack us. It was nonsense to think of attacking Poland in this stage by the Navy. A second aim was to have some defense against the entering of French forces into the Ostsee (East Sea), because we knew that the French had the intention to sustain the Poles. Their ships came into the Ostsee, Gdynia, and so the Navy was a defense against an attack of Poland and against the entrance of French ships into the East Sea; quite defensive aims.

Q. When did this fear of an attack from Poland first show itself in official circles in Germany, would you say?

A. In all the first years. They took Vilna; in the same minute we thought they would come to East Prussia. I don't know exactly the year, because those judgments were the judgments of the German Government Ministers, the Army and Navy Ministers-Graener and Noske.

Q. Then those views, in your opinion, were generally held and existed perhaps as early as 1919-1920, after the end of the first World War?

A. Oh, but the whole situation was very, very uncertain, and about those years in the beginning I cannot give you a very exact picture, because I was then 2 years in the Navy Archives to write a book about the War and the fighting capacity of cruisers. For 2 years I was not with those things.

From the IMT testimony of Admiral Erich Schulte-Monting: The violations (of Versailles) were so insignificant and were based so exclusively on protection and defense that I think it is impossible to construe them as aggressive intentions. ....

First of all, they were limited to the installation of coastal batteries, antiaircraft batteries, the procuring of mines and similar things, all of which were exclusively for the purpose of defense or protection...I would say it was an open secret. ....

I know this book. It came about as a result of the attacks of the National Socialist regime in the years 1934 and 1935, which blamed the preceding government and the Navy for not having done enough in the past to arm the nation and for not even having exhausted the possibilities of the Treaty of Versailles. Consequently, the idea arose at that time of publishing a sort of justification. This brochure is to be considered in that light; a sort of justification for, I might say, sins of omission.

This booklet was later never actually published, or rather it was withdrawn from circulation because it was, I might say, a rather poor attempt, for, after all, it contains no challenging points which might be classified as rearmament...it was withdrawn from the circles which had already had it and it was also severely criticized.

January 8, 1937: From a statement by President Roosevelt:

I have directed the Navy Department to proceed with the construction of two replacement capital ships. The keels of these ships may be laid in conformity with existing treaties at any time after January 1. Three of our battleships, the Arkansas, Texas, and New York, will be more than 26 years old before these ships can be completed. If we are not to reduce our Navy by obsolescence, the replacement of capital ships can no longer be deferred...

January 8, 1937: Hitler bestows the Golden Party Badge on Raeder, making him an honorary member of the Nazi Party.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: When the Fuehrer gave me the Golden Party Badge he said, specifically, that this was the highest decoration which he could give at the time. I could not become a Party member at all because it had been stated that soldiers could not be members of the Party. That was generally known, and for this reason that assertion (of Party membership) likewise is incomprehensible. .... It was prohibited both by the Weimar Constitution and the decrees which Hitler had issued.

May 1, 1937: President Roosevelt signs the third US Neutrality Act.

July 17, 1937: An additional German-English Naval Agreement is signed. The agreement concerns the limitation of naval armaments and particularly the exchange of information on naval construction. Article 4 limits battleships to 35,000 tons, and in Articles 2 and 12 both governments are bound to report annually on their respective naval construction programs. This must be done during the first 4 months of each calendar year, and details about certain ships, big ships in particular, 4 months before they are laid down.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: In 1936, as well as I remember, the treaties so far made by England with other powers expired, and England was therefore eager to renew these treaties in the course of 1936. The fact that we were invited in 1937 to join in a new agreement by all powers meant that Germany would henceforth be completely included in these treaties.

November 5, 1937 Hossbach Memorandum: Kriegsmarine Commander Admiral Raeder attends the 'Hossbach Conference' along with Hitler, Reich War Minister Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg, and fellow Nuremberg Trial defendants Reich Foreign Minister Baron Konstantin von Neurath, Wehrmacht Commander General Werner von Fritsch, and Luftwaffe Commander Hermann Goering. (Shirer)

From Raeder's IMT testimony: I saw no document and no protocol of any speeches which Hitler made. No minutes were taken officially. Only in later years—I believe since 1941—were stenographers present who wrote down every word. These are really not minutes at all, since the document is written in indirect discourse. It was written down by the author (Hossbach) 5 days after the speech itself, as we have heard...I cannot recollect in detail the conditions that prevailed. I can only imagine that the adjutant in question kept the minutes in his safe. ....

By way of introduction I may say that the assertion contained in the trial brief, that an influential group of Nazis met in order to examine the situation, does not give a correct picture of the situation at all. Hitler called together the persons mentioned in the document to explain to them the possibilities for political development and in order to give them any instructions he might have. And here I should like to say something in general-since there are quite a number of Hitler's speeches coming-about the nature of his speeches. Hitler spoke at great length, going very far in retrospect. Above all, in every speech he had a special purpose depending on the audience. Just as he was a master of dialectics, so he was also a master of bluff. He used strong expressions again according to the objective he was pursuing. He afforded his imagination full play. He also contradicted himself frequently in successive speeches. One never knew what his final goads and intentions were. At the end of such a speech it was very difficult to determine them.

As a rule, his speeches made a greater impression on people who heard him infrequently than on those already acquainted with his whole manner of speaking on such occasions. It was never a question of taking counsel but, as has been said, always of giving undisputed orders. The purpose of the speech on 5 November 1937 was, as Reich Marshal Goering said...he had spoken with the Fuehrer beforehand. The Fuehrer wanted to spur on the Army to carry out its rearmament somewhat faster. It was going too slowly for the Fuehrer. The subject of the speech was Austria and Czechoslovakia, which he said in one place he wanted to overthrow. He said that the latest date would be 1943-1945, because after that our situation would become worse. But the case could come up earlier due to two conditions: In the first place, if internal unrest occurred in France; in the second place, in the event of the outbreak of a Mediterranean war in which England, France, Italy, and probably Spain, would participate, which in my opinion was fantastic.

The assertion that the arming of the Army, Navy, and Air Force was as good as completed in November 1937, I could not understand. The Navy still had not a single battleship in service. The situation was similar in the Air Force and Army. In no way were we armed far war, and a war against England, for example, would have been sheer madness. For me, the decisive sentences in his speech were that first, England and France—I believe—had already written off Czechoslovakia, and secondly, that he was convinced that France and England would not interfere. In the third place was the fact that just a few months before, in July 1937, the second naval agreement had been signed.

These three facts seemed to me to make it certain that Hitler would not seek a warlike solution to these problems of Austria and Czechoslovakia. At that time it was a question of the Sudetenland under any circumstances and it seemed he would strive for a peaceful solution. For that reason the speech did not impress me with the fact that Hitler at that time wanted to change his policy, that he wanted to turn from a policy of peace to one of war. I can imagine that Herr Von Neurath, not knowing the purpose of this speech, received a different impression. But as I now think back over the matter, I can imagine that the exaggerated character of the speech was specifically intended to force Von Neurath out of the Cabinet, because I have learned that at that time the Fuehrer was already inclined to replace Von Neurath by Von Ribbentrop. That was only an assumption which I made afterwards. For me the conclusions to be drawn from the speech were none other than these: The construction of the fleet in the ratio of one to three, relative to England, was to be continued, and a friendly relationship with England was still to be striven for. The ratio agreement which had just been reached was to be observed. ....

I believe Blomberg himself in a questionnaire stated to Field Marshal Keitel that when we military men left the room Blomberg, who was with the Fuehrer frequently, said that this again had not been meant so earnestly and was not to be judged so seriously. He believed that the Fuehrer would settle these questions peacefully, too. And as Dr. Siemers said, Blomberg and Fritsch had both already called the attention of the Fuehrer to the fact that under no circumstances should England and France be allowed to intervene, since the German Wehrmacht would not be able to cope with them. I may add that in this case I intentionally did not make any such objections because it was, after all, a daily occurrence that whenever I met the Fuehrer, I told him, "Ceterum censeo, we must stay on the course in order to avoid entanglements with England." And the Fuehrer repeatedly confirmed this intention of his. It is typical that as soon as the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Colonel General Von Fritsch, said that after these remarks he would not be able to take the vacation in Egypt in the winter of 1937-38 which he had planned for his health, the Fuehrer immediately retracted his statement and said that the affair was not so urgent, that he could go ahead on his vacation undisturbed, which he then did. This shows that it was again a question of exerting pressure. That was the speech of 5 November 1937. In fact he did not crush either Austria or Czechoslovakia at that time; but in 1938 the question was settled peacefully without bloodshed, and even with the agreement of the other powers. ....

I should like to point out again here that the trial brief makes the comment that consultation took place regarding the scale on which the plan should be executed. Particularly in this case this does not at all represent the character of the speech correctly. The meaning of the whole first part of the speech, as I said, is extremely vague. Whereas in the 1937 speech he gave 1943 to 1945 as the latest deadline and the possibility of an earlier date under certain improbable circumstances, here Hitler speaks of a solution as being possible in 15 to 20 years He says that Poland is always on the side of the enemy, in spite of the treaty of friendship, that her secret intention is to take advantage of any opportunity to act against us, and that he, therefore, wants to attack Poland at the first opportunity. The Polish problem cannot be separated from the conflict in the West, but a conflict in the West must not be permitted to arise simultaneously. If it is uncertain as to whether a war with the West will or will not take place in the wake of the German-Polish conflict, then a line of battle first against England and France is perhaps of greater importance.

Then again, he says that we cannot allow ourselves to be drawn into a war with England on account of Poland, a war on two fronts such as the incapable men of 1914 had brought about. Then again, England¡ªand that is comparatively new here¡ªis the driving force against Germany. We must prepare for a long war in addition to a surprise attack, obviously against England. It is astonishing that we were to endeavor, at the beginning of such a war, to strike a destructive blow against England. The goal is to force England to her knees...By contrasting these sentences, I wanted only to show how muddled the speech was. At the end there is a second part in which a number of doctrinaire, academic opinions on warfare are expressed and a conclusion to the effect that it was also a wish of Hitler to have formed in the OKW a research staff to work out all these plans for war preparation, evaluation of individual weapons, et cetera, without the participation of the general staffs, with which he did not like to collaborate. He wanted these things to be in his own hands. Thus it was the formation of a research staff which motivated this speech. ....

The conclusion drawn was: First, that the ship construction program was to be continued in the same way as in the past-so Hitler himself said-and in the second place, he said that the armament programs were to be geared for the year 1943-1944. That was the positive thing which I could conclude for myself. At that time, moreover, I was strongly impressed by the speech which Hitler himself made at the launching of the battleship Bismarck in Hamburg. There he said that the Wehrmacht, as the keenest instrument of war, had to protect and help to preserve the peace founded on true justice. That made the greatest impression on me at that time with regard to Hitler's intentions. ....

The English document has the word "conquest" (Eroberung), but that is not in the German document. The German text reads: "the highest possible gain (Gewinn) with the smallest risk." That is a phrase borrowed from sport. There is no mention of conquest. ....

He (Hitler) did say that ("The only possibility for Germany is to get extra living space"); and I explained recently how that is to be understood. He was speaking of Austria and Czechoslovakia, of the Sudetenland. We were of the opinion that no change was intended in that policy; nor did one take place later. War was not waged against Austria or Czechoslovakia. We were all convinced that he would solve that question peacefully, like all other political questions. I explained that in great detail. ....

We all of us told him constantly that in no circumstances might he start a war with England and France, and he always agreed. But I explained that this entire speech had a definite purpose; and that for this purpose he exaggerated a great deal and at once withdrew that exaggeration when a hint was given to him about the danger of a war with France and England.

January 27, 1938: Among those military figures who openly disagreed with the aims Hitler had been laying out in his speeches to his generals is General Field Marshal von Blomberg, Minister of War and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Blomberg, then sixty, had married Erna Gruhn, a 26-year-old typist, earlier in the month. Shortly afterwards Goering informed Hitler (both of whom had been honored as best man at the wedding), that Gruhn in 1932 had posed for pornographic photos which had resulted in a criminal record for prostitution. Hitler had ordered Blomberg to annul the marriage in order to avoid a scandal and to preserve the integrity of the army. Blomberg refused to annul the marriage, and when Goering threatens to make his wife's past public knowledge, he resigns all of his posts on this day.

From an account written by Raeder while in captivity in Moscow: At the beginning of the year 1938 I had experiences of a personal nature, which although they did not concern the Navy directly caused me to lose confidence, not only in Goering but also in the sincerity of the Fuehrer. The situation in which Field Marshal Von Blomberg found himself as a result of his unfortunate marriage made his position as a Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces impossible. I came to the belated conclusion that Goering was making every effort to obtain the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht in place of Blomberg.

He favored the marriage because it made Blomberg ineligible for this post, while Blomberg believed-and even stated repeatedly-that such a marriage was possible under the present system. Goering had already had him shadowed in the past, as I learned from later remarks.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: In Moscow, immediately after the collapse, I made a note of the causes of the collapse as seen in the light of my own experience. I wrote this document under the conditions there- where I was treated very chivalrously, and I had no hesitation in informing the highest general of the Commissariat of the Interior of this when I was asked what I was doing there. I wrote these notes, and it is also true that it occurred to me afterwards that Goering might have favored the marriage. I believe that he himself told me that here. He had assisted Blomberg in such a way that, I think, he did not know what the true state of affairs was or how serious the matter was. And it is also true that Goering certainly wanted to become Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, but the Fuehrer himself thwarted him in that. He (Hitler) asked me, and I said that if I were consulted (about a replacement for Blomberg), I would suggest Baron van Fritsch. But the Fuehrer said that that was out of the question. He said, in general terms, that some kind of moral crime existed.

February 4, 1938: Werner Freiherr von Fritsch, Commander-in-Chief of the Army, is forced to resign on trumped-up charges of homosexuality and is replaced by Walther von Brauchitsch. (See: March 10, 1939)

From Raeder's Moscow account: I was convinced that Goering had a hand in this well prepared situation (concerning von Fritsch), since in order to attain his goal it was necessary to eliminate every possible successor to Von Blomberg.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: I do not remember that now; but I believe that I held that opinion. To be quite just, I must say that Baron von Fritsch's acquittal was due principally to the way in which Goering conducted the proceedings. The witness who was brought up told so many lies and made so many contradictory statements every few minutes, that only Goering could cope with him. After seeing that, I was very thankful that I had not been appointed president, as suggested by the Minister of Justice. I could not have coped with those people. It was entirely due to Goering's intervention that he was acquitted without any difficulties.

February 4, 1938 Konsolidierung: Hitler's Cabinet meets for the final time. Neurath, after resigning as Reich Foreign Minister (replaced by Ribbentrop), will be appointed president of the Secret Cabinet Council (which will never meet), and become a minister without portfolio. This, combined with the recent reshuffling of his top military commanders, eliminates much of the push-back his foreign policy objectives have been encountering. Hitler is, one by one, removing those individuals not inclined to be 'yes men' from positions of authority and assuming a warlord stance.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: If Hitler had thought it necessary to remove the men in high positions who opposed him in such matters, he would have had to remove me long ago. But he never said anything about it to me, and I have never noticed that he said anything like that because I contradicted him. I have frequently pointed out, with regard to that very question of England and France, that no war should be caused there; and I never had the impression that he ever took it amiss.

February 25, 1938: A decree of the Fuehrer establishes the Secret Cabinet Council.

To advise me in conducting the foreign policy I am setting up a secret cabinet council.1 As president of the secret cabinet council, I nominate: Reichsminister Freiherr von Neurath 2 As members of the secret cabinet council I nominate: Reichsminister for Foreign Affairs, Joachim von Ribbentrop 3 Prussian Prime Minister, Reichsminister of the Air, Supreme Commander of the Air Forces, General Field Marshall Hermann Goering 4 The Fuehrer's Deputy, Reichsminister Rudolf Hess Reichsminister for the Enlightenment of the people and of Propaganda, Dr. Joseph Goebbels 5 Reichsminister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery Dr. Hans-Heinrich Lammers 6 The Supreme Commander of the Army, General Walther von Brauchitsch 7 The Supreme Commander of the Navy, Grand Admiral Dr. (honorary) 8 Erich Raeder The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces Lt Gen Wilhelm Keitel.

February 25, 1938: A decree of the Fuehrer makes the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy equal in rank to the Reich Ministers. From the decree: "The commanders-in-chief...on my orders shall participate in the meetings of the Reich Cabinet."

From Raeder's IMT testimony: I was not a Reich Minister but only equivalent in rank. The reason for that was, I believe, that General Keitel was made equal in rank with the Reich Ministers because, in administering the affairs of the War Ministry, he was frequently in contact with them and had to be on the same level in order to negotiate with them. And since Brauchitsch and myself had seniority over General Keitel we also received the same rank. I was not a member of the Cabinet at all, but the decree states that on the order of the Fuehrer I could participate in a Cabinet meeting. It was probably intended that I was to come to the Cabinet when technical matters had to be explained. However, that never occurred, since after that time there were no Cabinet meetings. ....

And as far as the Secret Cabinet Council is concerned I need only confirm that, as Hitler told me himself the Secret Cabinet Council had only been formed in order to honor the retiring Foreign Minister, Von Neurath, in order to give the impression abroad and at home that Von Neurath would still be consulted on foreign policy in the future. However, that Secret Cabinet Council never met.

March 12, 1938: The German Army marches unopposed into Vienna (the Anschluss).

From Raeder's IMT testimony: The Navy had nothing to do with the Anschluss of Austria at all and did not take part in any way. In the case of Austria, no preparations were needed. ....

I do not believe that I ever took part in a military discussion concerning the Austrian Anschluss, because actually I had nothing to do with it. But I should like to emphasize here, once and for all, that I learned of such enterprises as, for instance, the annexation of Austria through a directive issued by the Fuehrer, and not before, because one copy of these directives, regardless of whether or not they concerned the Navy, was always sent to me as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. So, of course, I must have received a directive in this case, too. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you the date of it; but I confirm that a directive came to my knowledge.

March 12, 1938: Raeder delivers a speech on the occasion (Below this excerpt, Raeder walks us through the rest of the speech from his perspective.):

He has given back self-confidence and confidence in their own ability to the German people, and thereby enabled them to retake, by their own strength, their sacred right refused to them during the time of their weakness and, beyond that, to approach the tremendous problems of the times with courage, and to solve them. Thus the German people and the Fuehrer have done more for the peace of Europe and the world than some of our neighbors are able to realize today.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: Then we come to the sentence where I speak about the announcement of the fight against Bolshevism and international Jewry which has been quoted by the Prosecution. I should like to state briefly in connection with it that after the experiences of the years 1917 to 1919, communism and international Jewry had destroyed the resistance of the German people to a considerable degree and had gained an excessively large and oppressive influence in German affairs, in affairs of state as well as in economic affairs, as for example also in the legal field.

Therefore, in my opinion, one could not be surprised that the National Socialist Government tried to loosen and, as far as possible, remove this large and oppressive influence. Although in pursuing this course the National Socialist Government took rather severe steps which led to the Nuremberg Laws—the exaggerations of which I regretted, of course—nevertheless, in the course of the speech which I made in public at the orders of the Reich Government, I could not find it compatible with my conscience to express my personal opinions, which were basically different. It must also be considered that such a speech had to fit into a general framework.

That, however, was only one short sentence, whereas other points were considerably more in the foreground. In that connection I ask for permission to read two more short sentences: "And this is the reason for the demand for equal rights and equal respect with all other nations which alone can guarantee that the nations will live peacefully together on this earth." Then the last sentence, on Page 235: "Within the bounds of German national community the Fuehrer has assigned us our tasks as soldiers to protect our homeland and our peaceful national reconstruction and to train the young manhood, fit for military service, which was entrusted to us and which has to pass entirely through our hands."

The next sentence was quoted by the Prosecution, because there I spoke of the fact that we should not only train these young people technically in the sense of the technical use of arms but also educate them in the sense of National Socialist ideology and philosophy, and I stated that we had to march shoulder to shoulder with the Party. I have always taken the view that the Armed Forces should not be a completely extraneous body in the State. It would be impossible to have a republican armed force in a monarchist state or an armed force with monarchist tendencies in a democratic state. Thus our Armed Forces would have to be incorporated into the National Socialist State to the extent necessary to create a real people's community, and it would be the task of the commanders of the Armed Forces to educate their branches of the forces in such a way that they would recognize and live up to the good national and socialist ideals of the National Socialist State. This would be done in the same way as I did it as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. In this way it was possible to incorporate the Armed Forces in an orderly manner, to keep them from all exaggeration and excesses, and at the same time to form a people's community within the State.

And then on the bottom of Page 236: "This nation needed a new, a true peace, the peace of justice and honor, peace without hatred. The world also needs peace. Because a weak Germany could not obtain peace, a strong one has won it for herself. It is the proud task of the German Wehrmacht, to secure this peace for the German nation against everybody." And quite at the end of the document, the 11th or 12th line from the bottom of the page: "But the soldier over there, whom we respect as the valiant representative of his country, may accept a soldier's word: What Germany needs and wants is peace. These are not just words but it has been proved by practical examples. The construction work of Germany requires many years of quiet development." I think that this is sufficient...

March 16-19, 1938: As most of Europe is preoccupied with the German absorption of Austria, the Polish government issues a series of demands to the Lithuanians. Faced with the threat of war, the Lithuanian government immediately agrees to all of the Polish demands, including recognition of the status quo in eastern Europe. The Lithuanian capitulation prevents the crisis from escalating.

April 1, 1938: The deadline for the completion of Hitler's Five Year Combat Organization Plan arrives.

From the Affidavit of Vice Admiral Lohmann: The first three plans, or orders of distribution, deal with the same matters and differ only in manner of composition. The Armament Plan differs from the other plans inasmuch as it deals with new construction and the required new materials and is hence less extensive. The German Navy, like the Armed Forces as a whole-and, no doubt, the Armed Forces of every nation-made such plans in order to be able, in the case of a conflict or of military complications, to prepare in time and use efficiently the means of combat available.

Owing to changing conditions, military developments, changes in personnel, and advances in technique, such plans were revised every year. An essential part of these preparations, self-evident in the case of any Armed Forces, consisted of the establishment, mobilization, or combat organization, which provided a survey of all naval installations on land and sea, their local defenses, and tactical subordination-as well as of all combat material on hand or to be secured, increased, or reorganized by a specified date. All operations envisaged by the military command were based on this Combat Organization Plan, and it also served the political leaders as an indication of the possibilities according to the strength and number of the military resources available.

The Combat Organization Plan always had to be prepared with great foresight and was issued by the High Command of the Navy generally 1 1/2 years before it was to go into effect, in order to enable the responsible offices to attend in time to such necessary preliminaries, such as applying to the Navy Budget Office for funds and materials—such as iron, steel, et cetera—and for the preparation of accommodation insofar as all this was not already covered by the peacetime development of the Navy. In 1933, when Hitler in his Five Year Plan demanded that by 1 April 1938 an armed force should be created which he could throw into the balance as an instrument of political power, the Combat Organization Plan for 1938 was worked out independently of the scheduled yearly Combat Organization Plan, and up to 1935 it dealt mostly with the possibilities of the Treaty of Versailles which had not yet been exhausted and with the question of supplementing the naval strength with craft not subject to limitation in type or number. After the Naval Pact of 1935, the Combat Organization Plan 1938 was replaced by a "Combat Organization Plan Ultimate Goal" (K.G. Endziel), which regulated the number of warships of all types existing or to be built in the proportion of 35:100 measured by the tonnage actually existing in the English Fleet.

In consideration of monetary and material resources, the capacity of the shipyards, and the length of time required to build large warships, this ultimate goal was in the meanwhile fixed for the year 1944-45. There remained always the possibility of postponing it further, in accordance with the building program of the English Fleet. The various deadlines have only a naval technical significance and do not permit conclusions as to political plans.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: These statements (of Vice Admiral Lohmann's, above) contain everything which can be said on this matter. All these arrangements are, in my opinion, preparations which must be made by every navy if it is to be systematically equipped and made ready for operation. It says somewhere...that, "The growing tension between Germany and Poland forced us to make practical instead of theoretical preparations for a purely German-Polish conflict." That was interpreted to mean that at some time-I believe in 1930-we planned a war of aggression against Poland. I testified...that our main object was and had to be, nor could it have gone any further than, to oppose with force any aggression committed by Poland against East Prussia. That was the object of our work-to protect Germany from an invasion by the Poles. At that time, it would have been madness for German forces, which were still very inadequately armed, to invade Poland or any other country. Then too, since the dates 1938 and 1944-45 constantly recur, I would like to point out again that the year 1938 first came into question as the final date for the first phase of the Shipping Replacement Plan. The last ship of this Shipping Replacement Plan was to be built from 1936 to 1938. ....

Then Hitler decreed a Five Year Plan, which happened also to cover the years 1933 to 1938 and in accordance with which the Combat Organization Plan was to be fixed for the year 1938. The Combat Organization Plan Ultimate Goal was fixed for 1944-45; and the reason for fixing this date, as stated in the document which you have just read, was the fact that in fixing our program we had to take into consideration the funds and material at our disposal, the capacity of our shipbuilding yards, and the length of time needed to build big warships. A reasonably strong fighting force could not be created before that date. Later on the Combat Organization Plan appears again in several of my letters. But there was no date given which, on our part, was intended as the appointed time of attack.

May 20, 1938: From the draft for a new directive 'Gruen' (Green):

The Navy participates in the operations of the Army by employing the Danube flotilla. That flotilla is put under the command of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army. In regard to the conduct of naval warfare, at first only those measures are to be taken which appear to be necessary for the careful protection of the North Sea and the Baltic against a sudden intervention in the conflict by other states. Those measures must be confined to what is absolutely necessary, and must be carried out inconspicuously.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: It (the above flotilla) consisted of some small river craft, one small gunboat and minesweepers. .... (This was the full extent) in which the Navy participated.

May 28, 1938: An affidavit sworn at the Nuremberg Trial by Fritz Wiedemann states that a conference took place this day in the winter garden of the Reich Chancellery with all important people of the Foreign Office, the Army, and the Operational Staffs present: Raeder, Goering, General Beck, General Keitel, von Brauchitsch, von Neurath, and von Ribbentrop. In this meeting Hitler allegedly spoke among other things about Czechoslovakia and stated that it was his unshakeable intention that Czechoslovakia must disappear from the map.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: Although I can otherwise recall every large or more important meeting, I do not have the slightest recollection of this meeting at that time. The list of those present also seems very unlikely. I have never seen Herr Von Neurath and Herr Von Ribbentrop together at the same meeting. I should also doubt whether Herr Von Neurath at that time was in Berlin at all. He was quite definitely not present at that meeting. But I also do not remember any meeting at which Von Ribbentrop was present as Foreign Minister when military matters were discussed. I think this Herr Wiedemann is mistaken because I believe also that I have never seen him at a meeting in which such matters are supposed to have been discussed. The Fuehrer always sent this personal adjutant of his out of the room beforehand. I believe there is some mistake. ....

During that summer the Fuehrer's opinions fluctuated greatly. I believe that at the end of May a mobilization took place in Czechoslovakia, or something of the sort: I do not remember exactly what. But I attended no meeting, as far as I know, at which such a statement was made. ....

He frequently said that he intended to smash something and then did not do it. The question was peacefully solved then. I should like to add that on 30 May-I believe that was the date-after mobilization had just been carried out in Czechoslovakia, and that had led him to use such stern words then, and from this-I think he was justified in doing so, for this mobilization could only be directed against Germany, and as I said, he changed his opinion at least three or four times in the course of the summer, saying again and again that he would reserve his decision and-or that he did not wish to use military force.

May 31, 1938: The Gneisenau, the first of four German battleships, is commissioned.

Affidavit of Dr. Wilhelm Suechting: I am the former Director of the shipbuilding yard of Blohm & Voss in Hamburg. I was with this firm from 1907 to 1945 and I am conversant with all questions concerning the construction of warships and merchant ships. In particular, as an engineer I had detailed information about the building of battleships for the German Navy. Dr. Walter Siemers, attorney at law of Hamburg, presented to me the Document C-23, dated 18 February 1938, and asked me to comment on it. This document shows that the Navy, contrary to the previous agreement, informed the British that the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau--as well as other intended constructions--had a displacement and draught of about 20 percent less than was actually the case. I can give some details to explain why this information was given.

I assume that the information given to the British¡ªinformation which according to naval agreement 4 had to be supplied 4 months before the keel was laid down¡ªwas based on the fact that the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were originally intended to have a displacement of 26,000 tons and a draught of 7.50 meters and the battleship "F" (Bismarck) a displacement of 35,000 tons and a draught of 7.90 meters, as stated. If these battleships were afterwards built with a greater displacement and a greater draught, the changes were the result of orders given or requests made by the Navy while the plans were being drafted and which the construction office had to carry out. The changes were based upon the viewpoint repeatedly expressed by the Navy-namely, to build the battleships in such a way that they would be as nearly unsinkable as possible.

The increase of the tonnage was not meant to increase the offensive power of the ship but was done for defensive and protective purposes. As time went on, the Navy attached more and more importance to dividing the hull of the battleship into a greater number of compartments in order to make the ship as unsinkable as possible and to afford the maximum protection in case of leakage. The new battleships were therefore built broad in the beam with many bulkheads, only about ten meters apart, and many longitudinal and latitudinal bulkheads outside the torpedo bulkhead. At the same time, both the vertical and the horizontal armor-plating were, as far as my information goes, heavier and composed of larger plates than those used by other navies.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: Originally there was no intention to enlarge the ships by 20 percent. But at the time when we resumed battleship construction, when we could see that we would have a very small number of battleships in any case, it occurred to us that the resistance to sinking of ships should be increased as much as possible to render the few we had as impregnable as possible. It had nothing to do with stronger armament or anything like that, but merely with increasing the resistance to sinking and to enemy guns. For this reason a new system was worked out at that time in order to increase and strengthen the subdivision of the space within the ship. This meant that a great deal of new iron had to be built into the ships. Thereby the draught and the displacement were enlarged. This was unfortunate from my point of view, for we had designed the ships with a comparatively shallow draught. The mouths of our rivers, the Elbe, Weser, Jade, are so shallow that ships with a deep draught cannot navigate all stages of the rivers. Therefore, we had these ships built broad, intending to give them a shallow draught; but by building in these many new latitudinal and longitudinal bulkheads, we increased the draught and also the displacement. ....

Since the designers in the High Command of the Navy and the designers and engineers in the big shipyards had not built any heavy warships for a very long time, they lacked experience. As a result, the High Command of the Navy had to issue supplementary orders to the shipyards. This in itself was a drawback which I tried hard to overcome...the total tonnage was not overstepped until the beginning of the war. ....

The statement of these displacements deviated from the terms of the treaty insofar as only the original construction displacement or draught was reported and not the draught and displacement which gradually resulted through these changes in the course of the planning of the construction.

April 10, 1938 Annexionvolksabstimmung: In a national plebiscite, Austrian voters register 99.75% in favor of union with Germany: Austria becomes part of the Reich as a new state, divided into seven Gaue (states). Austria withdraws as a member state from the League of Nations because of the republic's incorporation into Germany.

June 30, 1938: The London Protocol to the Naval Agreement of 1937 is signed. At the suggestion of the British Government, the limitation on battleship tonnage to 35,000 tons is changed. Effective 30 June 1938, the battleship tonnage is raised to 45,000 tons.

July 26, 1938: From a dispatch from the American Consul General, Vienna, to the Secretary of State:

The two high points of the celebration were the memorial assembly on the 24th at Klagenfurt, capital of the Province of Carinthia, where in 1934 the Vienna Nazi revolt found its widest response and the march on the 25th to the former Federal Chancellery in Vienna by the surviving members of the SS Standarte 89, which made the attack on the Chancellery in 1934.

The assembled thousands at Klagenfurt were addressed by the Fuehrer's deputy, Rudolf Hess, in the presence of the families of the 13 National Socialists who were hanged for their part in the July Putsch. The Klagenfurt memorial celebration was also made the occasion for the solemn swearing in of the seven recently appointed Gauleiter of the Ostmark. From the point of view of the outside world, this speech of Reich Minister Hess was chiefly remarkable for the fact that after devoting the first half of his speech to the expected praise of the sacrifices of the men, women, and youths of Austria in the struggle for Greater Germany, he then launched into a defense of the occupation of Austria, an attack on the 'lying foreign press' and on those who spread the idea of a new war. The world was fortunate, declared Hess, that Germany's leader was a man who would not allow himself to be provoked. The Fuehrer does what is necessary for his people in sovereign calm and labors for the peace of Europe, even though provocateurs 'completely ignoring the deliberate threat of the peace of certain small states,' deceitfully claim that he is a menace to the peace of Europe.

The march on the former Federal Chancellery, now the Reichsstatthalterei, followed the exact route and time schedule of the original attack. The marchers were met at the Chancellery by Reichsstatthalter Seyss-Inquart, who addressed them and unveiled a memorial tablet. From the Reichsstatthalterei the Standarte (the SS organization which made the original attack) marched from the old Ravag broadcasting center, from which false news of the resignation of Dollfuss had been broadcast, and there unveiled a second memorial tablet. Steinhaeusel, the present Police President of Vienna, is a member of the SS Standarte 89.

September, 1938: From 'Opinion on the Draft Study of Naval Warfare against England' by the Planning Committee to the Flottenchef, Admiral Carls:

1 If, according to the Fuehrer's decision, Germany is to acquire a position as a world power, she needs not only sufficient colonial possessions but also secure naval communications and secure access to the ocean.
2 Both requirements can be fulfilled only in opposition to Anglo French interests and would limit their position as world powers. It is unlikely that they can be achieved by peaceful means. The decision to make Germany a world power therefore, forces upon us the necessity of making the corresponding preparations for war.
3 War against England means at the same time war against the Empire, against France, probably against Russia as well and a large number of countries overseas, in fact, against one-third to one-half of the world. It can only be justified and have a chance of success. It can only be justified and have a chance. of success if it is prepared economically as well as politically and militarily, and waged with the aim of conquering for Germany an outlet to the ocean.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: In 1938, as has been stated here quite often, the Fuehrer's attitude towards Great Britain became more difficult in spite of all the efforts of General Von Blomberg and myself to tell him that it was not so on England's side, and that it was possible to live in peace with England. In spite of that the Fuehrer ordered us to prepare for possible opposition by England to his plans. He for his part never contemplated a war of aggression against Great Britain; and we in the Navy still much less; in fact, I have proved that I did nothing but try to dissuade him from that.

In 1938 he ordered us to make a study similar to those we had already made in the case of other possibilities of war—which it was the duty of the Wehrmacht Command to do—but dealing with the course which a war against England might take and what we would require for it. This study was prepared, and I reported to the Fuehrer that we could never increase our fighting forces to such an extent that we could undertake a war against England with any prospect of success—it would have been madness for me to say such a thing. I told him—that has repeatedly been mentioned—that by 1944 or 1945 we might build up a small naval force with which we could start an economic war against England or seize her commercial shipping routes, but that we would never really be in a position to defeat England with that force. I sent this study, which was compiled under my guidance in the Naval Operations Staff, to Generaladmiral Carls who was very clear-sighted in all such questions.

He thought it his duty to explain in this introduction of his reply, which agreed with our opinion, the consequences which such a war against Great Britain would have for ourselves, namely, that it would bring about a new world war, which neither he nor we in the Navy nor anyone in the Armed Forces wanted—in my opinion, not even Hitler himself, as I proved the other day—hence this statement. He said that if we must have war with England, it was essential that we should first of all have access to the ocean and, secondly, that we should attack English trade on the sea route of the Atlantic. Not that he proposed that we, on our part, should embark on such a venture. He was only thinking of the case of such a war breaking out very much against our will. It was our duty to go thoroughly into the matter.

September 29, 1938 Muenchen Konferenz: The Munich Conference concludes.

October 15, 1938: German troops occupy the Sudetenland; the Czech government resigns.

From Schulte-Monting's IMT testimony: As Hitler had stated expressly at Munich that he was interested only in the German areas of Czechoslovakia; and, even though perhaps he seemed exceedingly determined to the outside world, was actually willing to negotiate, Raeder and the leading circles in the Navy believed that these things would be adjusted politically.

With the occupation of Czechoslovakia a great disquiet certainly did arise among us. But we were firmly convinced that Hitler would not make any exaggerated demands, and that he would be prepared to settle these matters politically, because we could not imagine that he would expose the German people to the danger of a second world war.

October 21, 1938: From a top-secret order signed by Hitler and Keitel: The future tasks for the Armed Forces and the preparations for the conduct of war resulting from these tasks will be laid down by me in a later directive. Until this directive comes into force the Armed Forces must be prepared at all times for the following eventualities:

1 The securing of the frontiers of Germany and the protection against surprise air attacks.

2 The liquidation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia.

3 The occupation of the Memel. .... Liquidation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia: It must be possible to smash at any time the remainder of Czechoslovakia if her policy should become hostile towards Germany. The preparations to be made by the Armed Forces for this contingency will be considerably smaller in extent than those for Gruen; they must, however, guarantee a continuous and considerably higher state of preparedness, since planned mobilization measures have been dispensed with. The organization, order of battle, and state of readiness of the units earmarked for that purpose are in peacetime to be so arranged for a surprise assault that Czechoslovakia herself will be deprived of all possibility of organized resistance. The object is the swift occupation of Bohemia and Moravia and the cutting off of Slovakia. The preparations should be such that at the same time 'Grenzsicherung West (the measures of frontier defense in the West) can be carried out.

The detailed mission of Army and Air Force is as follows:

a. Army: The units stationed in the vicinity of Bohemia-Moravia and several motorized divisions are to be earmarked for a surprise type of attack. Their number will be determined by the forces remaining in Czechoslovakia; a quick and decisive success must be assured. The assembly and preparations for the attack must be worked out. Forces not needed will be kept in readiness in such a manner that they may be either committed in securing the frontiers or sent after the attack army.

b. Air Force: The quick advance of the German Army is to be assured by early elimination of the Czech Air Force. For this purpose the commitment in a surprise attack from peacetime bases has to be prepared. Whether for this purpose still stronger forces may be required can be determined from the development of the military-political situation in Czechoslovakia only. At the same time a simultaneous assembly of the remainder of the offensive forces against the West must be prepared.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: That directive (above) looks suspicious at first but the way in which it is drafted shows that this again refers to possible cases. Point 1 deals with the securing of the borders of the German Reich and protection against surprise air attacks. Points 2 and 3 are "Liquidation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia," "Occupation of the Memel Country." Number 2, "Liquidation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia": The first sentence. reads, "It must be possible to shatter the remainder of Czechoslovakia at any time if her policy should become hostile toward Germany." That is the prerequisite in case of any action against Czechoslovakia; that did not mean that it was certain that any action would be taken. In the same manner, under Number 3, mention is made of the occupation of the Memel country, where it says: "The political situation, particularly warlike complications between Poland and Lithuania, may make it necessary for the German Armed Forces to occupy the Memel country."

November 6, 1938: Hitler speaks in Weimar:

From the very first day I have proclaimed as a fundamental principle: 'the German is either the first soldier in the world or he is no soldier at all.' No soldiers at all we cannot be, and we do not wish to be. Therefore we shall be only the first. As one who is a lover of peace I have endeavored to create for the German people such an army and such munitions as are calculated to convince others...

December 31, 1938: British Admiral Cunningham (the Elder Lord Cunningham) visits Germany.

From the IMT testimony of Admiral Erich Schulte-Monting: The Naval Agreement of 1937 brought merely one, I might say, additional clause. This was for an exchange of information; and we had also reached an agreement with the British Navy with regard to a fixed U-boat tonnage. ....

After we had reached 100 percent (of fixed U-boat tonnage), Admiral Cunningham was in Berlin and on that occasion the fact was discussed once more. Whether a written confirmation was made in addition I no longer recall I take it for granted because that was the purpose of the agreement of 1937. On the occasion of his visit in December 1938, Admiral Cunningham explicitly gave Britain's agreement to the final 100 percent equality in U-boats. That is the way I, or rather all of us, interpreted his visit. ....

I had the personal impression that Cunningham and Raeder parted on very friendly terns. At Cunningham's departure there was a breakfast for a rather limited circle, and on that occasion Cunningham expressed his pleasure at the conclusion of the naval agreement, concluding his speech with a toast to the effect that now all these questions had been settled at last, and it was to be hoped that in the future there would be no war between our navies. ....

Raeder was completely confident...that (Hitler would not start a war). As proof of this I may say that actually nothing was changed in our building program within that period. That would have been necessary if one had had to prepare oneself, at least mentally, for an armed conflict. ...

It would have been necessary to give priority at least to the U-boat building program. ....

The knowledge of this fact is proof in my opinion that a war of aggression was not planned.

January 7, 1939: The Scharnhorst, the second of four German battleships, is commissioned.

From Schulte-Monting's IMT testimony: Heydrich repeatedly attempted to bring Raeder and the Navy into discredit with Hitler through defamatory remarks and by spying, either by posting spies in the officers corps or the casinos, or by misrepresenting or distorting news. Against these attacks, Raeder defended himself tenaciously and successfully. ....

That (why the Party was against Raeder) is a question which is very difficult to answer. I believe mainly because, first of all, there were differences in the religious field. Many commanders before they put to sea for combat turned to Raeder for help so that during their absence their relatives would not have their religious freedom curtailed. ...

(Raeder did not resign) First, because Hitler himself had asked him to stay, and gave him assurances for the integrity of the Navy. Furthermore, at that time, there were discussions about combining the Navy and the merchant marine into one ministry and putting Party people into that ministry. In that event we did not see a strengthening but a weakening of our fighting force. Besides, during that period there occurred a gap in the line of successors, due to illness and losses.

And last but not least, Raeder remained in the war out of a sense of responsibility and patriotism. ....

I myself was once ordered by Hitler to come to the Reich Chancellery... In the beginning of 1939, when he explained his standpoint to me in a long conversation and asked me to convince Raeder that he had to stay. Moreover, he enjoyed the confidence of the Navy. The senior officers and officials of the Navy had asked me orally and in writing to try to persuade Raeder not to leave his office prematurely. Since 1928 he had led the Navy with a firm hand through all political vicissitudes. ....

(Hitler) tried once more to bridge political differences with Raeder. He told me one should not weigh each individual word of his. His visitors were right, but only after they had left; he would put forward records and witnesses; all he wanted was to appeal to the emotions of his listeners and to stir them up to do their utmost, but not to commit himself with words. In the future he promised he would try to give the Navy independence in all technical questions. ....

Hitler was against having his words put on record, because everyone who listened to him returned home with his own opinion. He himself did not stick to his text; he thought out loud and wanted to carry his listeners away, but he did not want his individual words to be taken literally. I spoke about that to Raeder very frequently. We always knew what was expected of us, but we never knew what Hitler himself thought or wanted. ....

I told you before that too many misunderstandings had occurred, and that Hitler as well as those who reported to him believed that everyone had convinced the other of his opinion. Thereupon they started keeping minutes. The minutes kept up to then were personal impressions of those who were not instructed to keep them but who did so on their initiative.

February 14, 1939: The German battleship Bismarck is launched in Hamburg.

From the IMT testimony of Ernst von Weizsaecker: I met Admiral Raeder on the train from Hamburg to Berlin, after the launching of a ship at Hamburg. On this occasion the Admiral told me that he had just made a report to Hitler in which he said he had made it quite clear that the size of the Navy would preclude any war against England for years to come...It was the launching of the Bismarck. It was a well-known fact that political arguments expressed by soldiers scarcely influenced Hitler at all, although military arguments of a technical nature certainly did carry weight with him, and in this sense Raeder may have exercised some influence over Hitler. I remember that even at the beginning of the year 1939 Raeder issued a directive to the front commanders to hold maneuvers, in which he excluded a maneuver directed against England as an impossibility. It was forbidden to carry out that maneuver at all.

February 21, 1939: HMS King George V, the lead ship of the King George V class of battleships, is launched.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: ...it was the aim of every navy at that time to know as early as possible which was the largest caliber of guns being used by other navies. I said yesterday that, to start with, we had chosen as a model the French Dunkerque type, but later on we discovered that the British used up to 35.6 centimeters. Ships have to be used, if war breaks out, in their actual state; their gun caliber cannot be changed any more. Therefore we always went as high as possible.

March 10, 1939: Raeder, Goering, Brauchitsch and two professional judges convene a Court of Honor to hear the case of the disgraced Wehrmacht Commander General Werner von Fritsch, who is falsely accused of engaging in homosexual activities. During the proceedings, Raeder becomes convinced that Goering had engineered the affair, and is a threat to the Wehrmacht officer corps. The antagonism between the two men will reach a climax in February 1940, when the over-enthusiastic Luftwaffe sinks two of Germany's limited number of destroyers. Goering will try to blame the mishap on the Navy's carelessness and inadequate identification signals. Raeder, livid, will retort that Goering is 'sabotaging naval warfare,' and suggest that the proper action would be 'to arraign the supreme commander of the air force before a court-martial.' Note: Before the day is out, the tribunal will postpone the hearing due to Hitler's desire to devour Czechoslovakia. (See: March 18, 1938) (Conot)

From Schulte-Monting's IMT testimony: Raeder gave me all the files of the legal proceedings against Generaloberst Von Fritsch sometime in the beginning of 1939 to be kept in the safe. At that time he told me how the course of the proceedings had impressed him and also of the fact that he had made Generaloberst Von Fritsch the offer of a complete reinstatement, going so far as to have him reinstated in his previous office. Von Fritsch thanked him for that and told him personally that he would never assume his former office again, that he would not even consider returning after what had happened, for which reason he was requesting Raeder not to make any efforts in this direction.

Besides, Fritsch and Raeder were on good personal terms—to say that they were friends is going perhaps too far, but I have often seen Fritsch at Raeder's house even after his dismissal.

March 12, 1939: From Raeder's speech on the occasion of the German Heroes' Day:

Throughout Germany celebrations took place on the occasion of Hero Commemoration Day...These celebrations were combined for the first time with the celebration of the freedom to rearm...National Socialism which originates from the spirit of the German fighting soldier, has been chosen by the German people as its ideology. The German people follow the symbols of its regeneration with as much great love as fanatical passion. The German people has had practical experience of National Socialism and it has not been imposed, as so many helpless critics abroad believe. The Fuehrer has shown his people that in the National Socialist solidarity of the people lies the great and invincible source of strength, whose dynamic power ensures not only peace at home but also enables us to release all the Nation's creative powers...

This is the reason for the clear and unsparing summons to fight Bolshevism and international Jewry, the nation-destroying activities of which our own people have sufficiently suffered. Therefore, the alliance with all like-minded nations who, like Germany, are not willing to allow their strength, dedicated to construction and peaceful work at home, to be disrupted by alien ideologies and by parasites of a foreign race...If later on we instruct in the technical handling of weapons, this task demands that the young soldier should also be taught National Socialist ideology and the problems of life. This part of the task, which becomes for us both a duty of honor and a demand which cannot be refused, can and will be carried out if we stand shoulder to shoulder and in sincere comradeship to the Party and its organizations...

The Armed Forces and the Party thus became more and more united in attitude and spirit...Germany is the protector of all Germans within and beyond our frontiers. The shots fired at Almeria (this refers, of course, to the bombardment of the Spanish town of Almeria, carried out by a German naval squadron on the 31 May 1937 during the course of the Spanish Civil War) are proof of that...They all planted into a younger generation the great tradition of death for a holy cause, knowing that with their blood they will lead the way towards the freedom of their dreams.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: I said that we had had the experience that the Communists and Jews, from 1917 to 1920, had strongly undermined our power of resistance, and that for this reason it could be understood, if a National Socialist government took certain measures against both of them in order to stem their influence, which was excessive. That was the sense of my statements and I made absolutely no mention of any further steps which might come into question. ....

It (the speech) was in accord (with my opinions) insofar as I had to recognize that the National Socialist Government had in some way to stem that influence which was generally recognized to be excessive, and as I said yesterday, the National Socialist Government had issued the Nuremberg Laws, which I did not entirely approve of where they went to extremes. But if the Government was so disposed, it was not possible for me in an official public speech, which I gave on the orders of that Government, to express my personal views which were different. That had to be considered within this address to the nation.

March 15, 1939: German troops occupy the Sudetenland, Bohemia and Moravia; the Czech government disintegrates.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: He (Hitler) had issued a directive saying that the aims for that year were:

1) The defense of Germany against outside attack.

2) The settlement of the rest of Czechoslovakia in case she adopted a line of policy hostile to Germany.

I heard nothing at all about his negotiations with Hacha and his decision following them to occupy Czechoslovakia. I only knew that he wanted to take action against Czechoslovakia according to his directive, in case Czechoslovakia should adopt a line of policy hostile to Germany; and according to the propaganda at that period, that actually did occur. I had nothing at all to do with the occupation of Czechoslovakia; nor with the occupation of the Sudeten area, because the only service which we could have rendered in these operations was our small Danube Flotilla which was subordinated to the Army for this purpose so that I had nothing at all to do with it. There were no other military orders.

...I believe that he (Hitler) did not want to fight a war, to conduct a campaign against Czechoslovakia. By means of his political measures with Hacha he succeeded so far that war did not break out. ....

Just as Generaloberst Jodl said, since he had solved the Czech problem by purely political means, it was to be hoped that he would be able to solve the Polish question also without bloodshed; and I believed that up to the last moment, up to 22 August.

March 17, 1939: A statement by Acting US Secretary of State Welles:

The Government of the United States has on frequent occasions stated its conviction that only through international support of a program of order based upon law can world peace be assured. This Government, founded upon and dedicated to the principles of human liberty and of democracy, cannot refrain from making known this country's condemnation of the acts which have resulted in the temporary extinguishing of the liberties of a free and independent people with whom, from the day when the Republic of Czechoslovakia attained its independence, the people of the United States have maintained specially close and friendly relations. The position of the Government of the United States has been made consistently clear. It has emphasized the need for respect for the sanctity of treaties and of the pledged word, and for non-intervention by any nation in the domestic affairs of other nations; and it has on repeated occasions expressed its condemnation of a policy of military aggression. It is manifest that acts of wanton lawlessness and of arbitrary force are threatening the world peace and the very structure of modern civilization. The imperative need for the observance of the principles advocated by this Government has been clearly demonstrated by the developments which have taken place during the past 3 days.

March 18, 1939: Baron von Fritsch is acquitted of all charges.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: We acquitted Baron von Fritsch because his innocence was proved. There was no suspicion of any kind remaining against him. ....

I went to him, as I knew him very well, and asked him if he would agree to my going to Hitler and suggesting that he, Baron van Fritsch, be reinstated. But Fritsch replied that he considered that quite impossible. He thought that his authority was so much impaired that he would no longer care to resume his position as Commander-in-Chief of the Army.

After that, unfortunately, I could do no more about it. I reported this to the Fuehrer, but there were no further developments. All that happened was that the Fuehrer confirmed the absolute innocence of Baron von Fritsch in a large assembly of generals and admirals.

May 22, 1939: Italy signs the 'Pact of Steel' with Hitler's Germany.

March 22, 1939: Raeder and Hitler get underway for Memel, Czechoslovakia in the Deutschland. It is only a week before Hitler's entry into Prague. (Shirer)

May 23, 1939: From the Minutes of a conference in the Fuehrer's study, with Hitler speaking and Goering, Raeder, Brauchitsch, Keitel, Milch, Halder, and others attending:

History has always shown that people have believed that wars would be short. In 1914 the opinion still prevailed that it was impossible to finance a long war. Even today this idea still persists in many minds. But on the contrary, every state will hold out as long as possible, unless it immediately suffers some grave weakening (for example Ruhr Basin). England has similar weaknesses. England knows that to lose a war will mean the end of her world power. England is the driving force against Germany. Her strength lies in the following:

1. The British themselves are proud, courageous, tenacious, firm in resistance, and gifted as organizers. They know how to exploit every new development. They have the love of adventure and the bravery of the Nordic race. Quality is lowered by dispersal. The German average is higher.

2. World power in itself. It has been constant for 300 years. Extended by the acquisition of allies, this power is not merely something concrete, but must also be considered as a psychological force embracing the entire world. Add to this immeasurable wealth, with consequential financial credit.

3. Geopolitical safety and protection by strong sea power and a courageous air force.

England's weakness: If in the World War I we had had two battleships and two cruisers more, and if the battle of Jutland had been begun in the morning, the British Fleet would have been defeated and England brought to her knees. It would have meant the end of this war. It was formerly not sufficient to defeat the Fleet. Landings had to be made in order to defeat England. England could provide her own food supplies. Today that is no longer possible.

The moment England's food supply routes are cut, she is forced to capitulate. The import of food and oil depends on the Fleet's protection.

If the German Air Force attacks English territory, England will not be forced to capitulate in one day. But if the Fleet is destroyed, immediate capitulation will be the result.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: Whenever I talked to the Fuehrer, I always brought up the question of England, whereby I annoyed him to a certain extent. I tried to convince him that it would be possible to carry out the peace policy with England which he himself had urged at the beginning of his regime. Then he always reassured me that it remained his intention to steer a policy of peace with England, always leaving me in the belief that there was no danger of a clash with England-in any case, that at this time there was no such danger. ....

I remember especially that Hitler devoted a large portion of his remarks to the point that England and France would not intervene, giving reasons why they would not. He mentioned a number of reasons, and I missed just that portion, in its elaboration, in the other reproductions of the speech. .... I had the impression that the situation was serious and tremendously tense. The fact, however, that Hitler in his speech put too great a stress on proving that France and England would not intervene, and the second fact that Herr Von Ribbentrop, the Reich Foreign Minister, left for Moscow on the same day to sign a pact there, as we were told-these things filled not only me but all listeners as well with the strong hope that here again was a case of a clever move by Hitler, which in the end he would successfully solve in a peaceful way. Therefore I saw no reason to resign my office at that moment. I would have considered that pure desertion.

...the main purpose of that speech, as may be seen from the last part of it, was to give a purely academic lecture on the conduct of war, and on the basis of that lecture to create a special study staff, a project which the chiefs of the Armed Forces had so far strongly opposed. I also explained at the start that his explanations were at first the most confused that I have ever heard regarding the matter, and that he issued no directives in regard to them but that the last lines read: "The branches of the Wehrmacht determine what will be built. There will be no alteration in the shipbuilding program. The armament programs are to be fixed for 1943 or 1944." When he said that, he could certainly not have intended to solve the Polish question by a war in the near future...by this time I was getting to know Hitler and was familiar with the exaggerations contained in his speeches.

From Schulte-Monting's IMT testimony: Raeder informed me fully, as a matter of principle, after every speech or conference, confidential or otherwise. Immediately after the speech, Raeder gave me his impressions which are in contradiction to these so-called minutes. Raeder did not have this, I might say, exaggerated bellicose impression which is apparent in this document. ....

Raeder told me that Hitler in his speech said there was a prospect of a future conflict with Poland, and that this was in contradiction to those things which he had discussed with him alone. That the speech in itself was contradictory, was the impression he expressed to me at that time. He also told me that after the speech he had had a conversation with Hitler alone during which he called his attention to the contradictions contained in the speech. At the same time he reminded Hitler of what he had told him previously, namely that he would settle the Polish case under all circumstances in a peaceful way; and now he was considering a warlike solution possible. Hitler, he said, had reassured him and had told him that politically he had things firmly in hand. Then when Raeder asked him, or rather called his attention to this contradiction and asked him just what he really intended to do, Hitler had answered, Raeder told me, the following:

"I Hitler, have three ways of keeping secrets. The first, when we two speak alone; the second, when I, Hitler, keep them to myself; the third, for problems of the future, which I do not think out to an end."

Raeder called his attention to the impossibility of a warlike conflict. To that, according to Raeder, Hitler replied:

"It is as if you and I had agreed on a settlement of one mark. Now, I, Hitler, have already paid you 99 pfennig. Do you think that because of this last 1 pfennig you would take me to court?" And Raeder said "No."

"You see"—Hitler said to Raeder—"I have got what I want by political means, and I do not believe that because of this last political question—the solution of the Polish Corridor, as we called it—"we will have to anticipate a war with England." ....

Raeder's opinion was that we, the Navy, had nothing to do with politics. He adopted that attitude as an order and a trust received from the old Reich President, Von Hindenburg, who, when appointing Raeder to be head of the Navy, imposed that as a duty upon him. ....

Hitler in his speeches pursued a certain purpose. In preparations for war he saw a means of political pressure, and in the phrase "war of nerves" (which was not used in Germany only, but went everywhere through the ether far beyond Europe's boundaries) he tried to find a means of preventing war as well as a means of exerting pressure. This document itself contains contradictions which lead to the conclusion that he himself could not seriously have thought that a war would develop. I can prove this by saying, for example, that he states that the General Staff or the general staffs are not to concern themselves with this question; but toward the end he says that all the branches of the Wehrmacht must get together to study the problem. He says that a war with Poland must in no event result in war with England; politics must see to that. But in the next paragraph one reads: "But if a war actually does arise, I shall deal short sharp blows for a quick decision." In the next paragraph it says again, "But I need 10 to 15 years to prepare," and in the concluding paragraph it says: "The construction program of the Navy will in no wise be changed."

If, therefore, Hitler at that time had really been serious in his speech, that is, that an armed conflict with Poland would result shortly, then he would not have exclaimed first that we would have time until 1943 and, secondly, that there were to be no changes as far as the Navy was concerned. Rather he would have said to Raeder, privately at least: "In all haste prepare a strong U-boat program because I do not know what course events will take." ....

The operation was prepared to such a stage that when it was canceled at the last minute we thought that we would not be able to reach our forces at sea by wireless. We considered this an extreme policy of exerting pressure in the form of a war of nerves. Since at the last minute everything was canceled we believed without doubt that it was only a means of pressure and not an entry into war. Not until we heard the cannons were we convinced that the war was no longer to be prevented.

May 24, 1939: General Thomas gives the Fuehrer an update in broad terms of German numerical strength: Army: 51 divisions. Navy: 2 battleships, 4 heavy cruisers, 17 destroyers, one aircraft carrier 47 submarines. Luftwaffe: 21 squadrons, 260,000 men.

April 1, 1939: Raeder is promoted to Grossadmiral (Grand Admiral).

June 22, 1939: From a High Command of the Armed Forces document containing a timetable for 'Case White,' the invasion of Poland:

Attached is an operational directive for the employment of U-boats which are to be sent out into the Atlantic by the way of precaution in the event that the intention to carry out Case White should remain unchanged. F.d.U. (Commander of the U-boat fleet) is to hand in his operation orders to SKL by 12 August. The decision regarding the sailing of U-boats for the Atlantic will probably be made before the middle of August. If the operations are not carried out, this directive must be destroyed by 1 October 1939 at the latest.

July 1939: Grossadmiral Raeder and Doenitz attend submarine maneuvers in the Baltic Sea.

From Doenitz's IMT testimony: Grossadmiral Raeder embarked in the middle of July 1939 for submarine maneuvers of my fleet in the Baltic Sea... All submarines which had completed their tests, I had assembled in the Baltic. I cannot remember the exact figure, but I think there were about 30. In the maneuvers, I then showed Grossadmiral Raeder what these submarines could accomplish...in addition there were the smaller submarines of lower tonnage, which could operate only as far as the North Sea... At that time we had not even 15 submarines capable of navigating in the Atlantic. At the outbreak of war, as far as I remember, we went to sea with fifteen submarines capable of navigating in the Atlantic... Grossadmiral Raeder told me—and he repeated this to the entire officers' corps during his final speech in Swinemunde—that the Fuehrer had informed him that, under no circumstances, must a war in the West develop, for that would be Finis Germaniae. I asked for leave; and immediately after the maneuvers, I went on leave on 24 July for a 6-weeks' rest at Bad Gastein. I am merely stating that because it shows how we regarded the situation at that time... I was called back by telephone in the middle of August.

August 14, 1939: Hitler orders Raeder and the other service chiefs to make plans for an attack on Poland in the very near future.

From The Devil's Disciples by Anthony Read: On 14 August, on Hitler's instructions, Ribbentrop offered to travel to Moscow himself, emphasizing the marked difference between the German and Anglo-French approaches. And as a clincher, he offered to carve up Poland and eastern Europe between Germany and the Soviet Union, something the British and French could never do. That same day, Hitler called his three commanders-in-chief, Goering, Brauchitsch and Raeder, to the Berghof, together with their chiefs of staff and Dr Todt.

He said nothing to them about the negotiations with the Soviet Union (Note: Raeder, in his testimony below, May 16, 1946, states that Hitler did tell them of the German-Soviet talks at this meeting.), but after telling them he was certain that Britain and France would not fight, he outlined his plans for the coming campaign, and ordered them to begin the countdown to the invasion of Poland. None of them made any objections. They left to start issuing the necessary orders; Brauchitsch and Goering to begin moving troops and equipment towards the Polish border, Raeder to deploy the pocket battleships Graf Spree and Deutschland to the shipping lanes in the Atlantic, and twenty-one U-boats to stations to the north and northwest of the British Isles, all ready to attack British shipping.

August 19-29, 1939: During this time period, seventeen ocean-going U-boats have made their way to the Atlantic. Thirteen smaller U-boats have left their base to prepare to lay mines in British waters and to patrol the North Sea.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: I have surely explained that even in August I was still doubtful. For instance, in estimating this speech, I must compare it, as has already been done here, with the speech which Hitler had made a few weeks earlier at the launching of the Bismarck, where he spoke only of the peace of true justice. Those speeches were decisive for me. I did not base my conclusions on this particular speech which is reproduced in such an extremely confused manner; and that I proved by the fact that during the whole of the summer I never said a word to the Navy to suggest that war might break out in the autumn. Confirmation of that was given here; and anybody can give further confirmation. I thought very highly of Hitler's political ability and even on 22 August, when we were informed of the pact with Russia, I was still convinced that we should again be able to find a peaceful solution of the problem. That was my definite conviction. I may be accused of faulty judgment, but I thought I had formed a correct estimate of Hitler.

...there was every prospect of our forming an alliance with Russia. He had given all sorts of reasons why England and France would not intervene; and all those who were assembled there drew from that the sincere hope that he would again be successful in getting out of the affair without fighting.

August 23, 1939: Hitler addresses his Commanders-in-Chief:

The English empire did not emerge from the last war strengthened. From a maritime point of view, nothing was achieved; conflict between England and Ireland, the South African Union became more independent, concessions had to be made to India, England is in great danger, unhealthy industries. A British statesman can look into the future only with concern.

August 23, 1939: The German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact is signed in Moscow. Sometimes called the Ribbentrop-Molotov Agreement of Non-aggression, or simply the 'Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact.'

August 23, 1939: Hitler is delighted with the pact, and believes Stalin has just handed him the perfect opportunity to restore the Reich's "rightful possessions" without having to fight a war on two fronts. He is certain that this new treaty with the Russians will allow him to safely reclaim Danzig and take back the Polish Corridor; so certain that he tells his staff that Britain and France, without other major allies, will not go to war in such a situation... "especially over what everyone knows are, by all rights, German territories anyway."

August 23, 1939: Secret Additional Protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact:

On the occasion of the signature of the Nonaggression Pact between the German Reich and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics the undersigned plenipotentiaries of each of the two parties discussed in strictly confidential conversations the question of the boundary of their respective spheres of influence in Eastern Europe. These conversations led to the following conclusions:

1. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement in the areas belonging to the Baltic States (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the northern boundary of Lithuania shall represent the boundary of the spheres of influence of Germany and the USSR. In this connection, the interest of Lithuania in the Vilna area is recognized by each party.

2. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement of the areas belonging to the Polish state the spheres of influence of Germany and the USSR shall be bounded approximately by the line of the rivers Narew, Vistula, and San. The question of whether the interests of both parties make desirable the maintenance of an independent Polish state and how such a state should be bounded can only be definitely determined in the course of further political developments. In any event both Governments will resolve this question by means of a friendly agreement.

3. With regard to Southeastern Europe attention is called by the Soviet side to its interest in Bessarabia. The German side declares; its complete political disinterestedness in these areas. This protocol shall be treated by both parties as strictly secret.

August 23, 1939: Hitler sets the date for the invasion of Poland: Saturday, August 26, at 4:30am.

August 24, 1939: Poland and Great Britain formally sign a treaty of mutual assistance.

September 1, 1939: After some delays, Hitler's forces invade Poland.

September 3, 1939: World War 2 officially begins as Great Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany. The British ultimatum that Germany withdraw from Poland is delivered to the German Foreign Ministry at 9 AM by Ambassador Neville Henderson. It gives Hitler two hours to begin the withdrawal or a state of war will exists between the two nations. At 11 AM the French ultimatum is delivered. It expires at 5 PM.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: On the 3 September in the morning, I believe between 10 and 11 o'clock, I cannot remember the exact hour, I was called into the Reich Chancellery. The SKL had already informed me that the ultimatum had been received from England and France. I came into the study of the Fuehrer where a number of persons were assembled. I only remember that Deputy of the Fuehrer Hess was present. I could not say who else was there. I noticed that Hitler was particularly embarrassed when he told me that despite all his hopes, war with England was imminent, and that the ultimatum had been received. It was an expression of embarrassment such as I had never noticed on Hitler.

September 3, 1939 Athenia Incident: Just hours after Britain declares war on Germany, U-30, commanded by Oberleutnant Fritz-Julius Lemp, sinks the British liner SS Athenia, mistaking her for an armed merchant cruiser. The 13,500 ton passenger liner is carrying 1,103 civilians from Glasgow to Montreal, including more than 300 Americans. 112 passengers and crew are killed, including 28 Americans. Most of the fatalities are caused by a botched rescue attempt as one of the lifeboats is crushed in the propeller of a freighter that takes part in the collection of survivors. Note: Due to neglect of the U-boat arm by Grand Admiral Raeder, Doenitz begins the war with a mere 57 U-boats; only 27 of the boats are capable of operations in the Atlantic.

September 3, 1939: Ten British bombers drop 13 tons of leaflets on the Ruhr. Printed on the six million sheets of paper is the message: "Your rulers have condemned you to the massacres, miseries and privations of a war they cannot ever hope to win."

September 3, 1939: Lieutenant Colonel Nikolaus von Vormann, army liaison officer to Hitler, records in his notes of the day: "Even today the Fuehrer still believes that the Western powers are only going to stage a phony war, so to speak."

September 3, 1939: From a memorandum 'Submitted respectfully to the Secretary of State (Baron von Weizsacker) with the enclosed memorandum' to the Reich Foreign Office:

The Chief of the Operational Department of the Naval High Command, Captain Fricke, informed me by telephone that the Fuehrer was already dealing with this matter. The impression had, however, arisen here that the political connections had again to be gone into and brought to the Fuehrer's notice anew. Captain Fricke had therefore sent Korvettenkapitan Neubauer to the Foreign Office in order to discuss the matter further. The question of an unlimited U-boat war against England is discussed in the enclosed data submitted by the Naval High Command.

The Navy has arrived at the conclusion that the maximum damage to England, which can be achieved with the forces available, can only be attained if the U-boats are permitted an unrestricted use of arms without warning against enemy and neutral shipping in the prohibited area indicated in the enclosed map. The Navy does not fail to realize that (a) Germany would thereby publicly disregard the agreement of 1936 regarding the prosecution of economic warfare, and (b) a military operation of this kind could not be justified on the basis of the hitherto generally accepted principles of international law...

The High Command does not assert that England can be beaten by unrestricted U-boat warfare. The cessation of traffic with the world trade center of England spells serious disruptions of their national economy for the neutrals, for which we can offer them no compensation. Points of view based on foreign politics would favor using military method of unrestricted U-boat warfare only if England gives us a justification, by her method of waging war, to order this form of warfare as a reprisal. It appears necessary, in view of the great importance in the field of foreign politics of the decision to be taken, that it should be arrived at not only as a result of military considerations, but taking into full account the needs of foreign politics.

From Doenitz's IMT testimony: ...it is a memorandum from the Chief of the Operations Department to the Secretary of State, that is to say, a negotiation between Berlin and the Foreign Office; and the front-line commander, whose station was on the coast and who, for all practical purposes, was in charge of the U-boats, had nothing to do with it. I do not know this letter...

I was not informed about this letter... I knew that the view of the Naval High Command was to follow the measures of the enemy step by step. I knew that... I did not know of this letter; and I do not know if that is Herr Raeder's view. I do not know... In the West we wanted to avoid any further complications, and we endeavored as long as possible to fight according to the London Agreement. That can be seen from all the directives that the U-boats received.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: Since the war against England came as a complete surprise to us, we had up until then dealt very little with detailed questions of submarine warfare. Among other things we had not yet discussed the question of so-called unrestricted submarine warfare which had played such a very important part in the previous war. And from that fact it developed that on 3 September that officer who was recently mentioned here was sent to the Foreign Office with some points for discussion on the question of unrestricted submarine warfare, so that we could clarify with the Foreign Office the question as to just how far we could go. ....

In theory, of course, considering the small resources that we had, the greatest possible damage to England could only be achieved through¡ªwe had to discuss with the Foreign Office just how far we could go with this intensification. For this reason, this officer was sent there. The discussions with the Foreign Office resulted in the submarine memorandum which shows, from beginning to end, that we were trying to adhere to the existing law as far as possible: The whole memorandum is nothing more than just that sort of discussion. ....

We only agreed before the submarines put to sea that they should wage war according to the Prize Ordinance. I did not ask him (Doenitz) whether he wanted to carry out unrestricted U-boat warfare, because I did not want that. First of all I had to discuss it with the Foreign Office to find out how far we could go. That was the purpose of this affair, which was to give individual orders, such orders which we were entitled to give, step by step, in accordance with the behavior of the British. This was a question of international law, which I had to discuss with the expert on international law in the Foreign Office. Maybe we did go to the Foreign Office and put on pressure, but what we did is contained in the memorandum and our measures were intensified step by step, following steps taken by the British.

From the IMT testimony of Ernst von Weizsaecker (State Secretary in the Reich Foreign Office): I remember this incident, but I am not certain whether it was a British or an American ship. In any case, the incident alarmed me very greatly at the time. I inquired of the Naval Operations Staff whether a German naval unit could have sunk the ship. After this was denied, I begged the American Charge d'affaires, Mr. Alexander Kirk, to call on me and told him that no German naval unit could have participated in the sinking of the Athenia. I asked the Charge d'affaires to take cognizance of this fact and to cable this information to Washington without delay, adding that it was most important in the interests of our two nations-Germany and America. ....

Raeder informed me that no German U-boat could have been involved. He may also have mentioned details, concerning the distance of the U-boats from the point where the ship went down, but I cannot today tell you about this with any certainty.

...at that time the recollections of similar past incidents during the first World War were still very vivid in my mind. I am sure I drew his attention to the urgent necessity of avoiding all naval operations which might cause a spreading of the war and—as I used to say in those days—decrease the "neutral substance."

September 3, 1939: FDR delivers a Fireside Chat to the American people:

It is right, too, to point out that the unfortunate events of these recent years have, without question, been based on the use of force (or) and the threat of force. And it seems to me clear, even at the outbreak of this great war, that the influence of America should be consistent in seeking for humanity a final peace which will eliminate, as far as it is possible to do so, the continued use of force between nations...

September 6, 1939: The German admiralty receives its first report of a U-boat being fired upon by an armed merchant ship.

September 7, 1939 Athenia Incident: Grand Admiral Raeder declares that all U-Boats have been contacted and none is responsible for the sinking of the Athenia. (Read)

September 7, 1939: Guenther Prien's U-47, which will carry out a total of ten combat patrols, spend a total of 238 days at sea, and sink 30 enemy merchant ships, today sinks ship number three; the SS Gartavon.

September 11, 1939: From the war diary of Lemp's U-30:

Sighted a blacked-out vessel. Got on its trail. In zigzag course recognized as merchant ship. Requested to stop by Morse lantern. Steamer signals 'not understood,' tries to escape in the thick squall and sends out SOS 'chased by submarine' and position by radiotelegraphy. Gave 'Stop' signal by radio and Morse lantern. Ran ahead. First 5 shots with machine gem C/30 across the bow. Steamer does not react. Turns partly, about 90 degrees, directly toward the boat. Sends 'still chased.' Therefore, fire opened from aft bearing with 8.8 cm. English steamer Blairlogie, 4,425 tons. After 18 shots and three hits, steamer stops. Crew boards boats. Last message by radio, 'Shelled, taking to boats.' Fire immediately ceased when emergency light was shown and steamer stopped. Went over to life boats, gave orders to pull away toward south. Steamer sunk by torpedo. Afterwards both boat crews supplied with Steinhager and cigarettes. 32 men in two boats. Fired red stars until dawn. Since American steamer, American Skipper, was nearby, we departed. Crew was rescued.

September 13 1939 Athenia Incident: From a meeting between the Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy and the American naval attaché:

...at about 1300 hours, the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy received the American naval attache on the advice of the Reich Foreign Minister and told him more or less the following: He had intended for some days already, as he knew, to write him that he should visit him in order to tell him his opinion about the sinking of the Athenia, in view of the continued agitation about it. However, he had waited for the return of those of the submarines that had been employed in waging war against merchant ships at the time in question and which might possibly be concerned, in order to receive reports about their activity personally. He repeated most emphatically that the sinking of the Athenia was not caused by a German submarine. The ship nearest to the place of the incident was at the time actually situated about 170 sea miles away from the place of the sinking. Besides this, the instructions as to how the commanders were to wage war against merchant shipping, had after all been published. Up to date, in no case had these instructions been even slightly disregarded. On the contrary, an American captain reported a short time before about the particularly courteous and chivalrous behavior of the submarine commanders.

From Weizsaecker's IMT testimony: It seems, does it not, that it was realized later by the Navy that the sinking of the Athenia was due to the action of a German submarine, but I cannot at all remember that I or the Foreign Office were informed of this fact...I do not recall at all that Admiral Raeder advised me or the Foreign Office of the fact.

September 14, 1939 Athenia Incident: Eleven days after sinking the SS Athenia, Oberleutnant Lemp and the U-30 enter Kiel Harbor. Admiral Doenitz swears Lemp and his crew to absolute secrecy. They are not to mention anything at all to do with the incident at any time. Problematically, the U-30 had arrived in post with victory pennants displayed on her conning tower, one of which showed 14,000 tons, the tonnage of the Athenia. The official U-Boat Command War Diary makes no mention of the incident and Lemp is ordered (again, by Doenitz) to falsify his War Diary by rewriting two complete pages. An entry for any vessel of 14,000 tons does not appear.

Affidavit of Karl Doenitz: U-30 returned to harbor about mid-September. I met the captain, Oberleutnant Lemp, on the dockside at Wilhelmshaven, as the boat was entering harbor, and he asked permission to speak to me in private. I noticed immediately that he was looking very unhappy and he told me at once that he thought he was responsible for the sinking of the Athenia in the North Channel area. In accordance with my previous instructions he had been keeping a sharp lookout for possible armed merchant cruisers in the approaches to the British Isles, and had torpedoed a ship he afterwards identified as the Athenia from wireless broadcasts, under the impression that she was an armed merchant cruiser on patrol. I had never specified in my instructions any particular type of ship as armed merchant cruiser nor mentioned any names of ships. I dispatched Lemp at once by air to report to the SKL at Berlin; in the meantime, I ordered complete secrecy as a provisional measure. Later in the same day or early on the following day, I received a verbal order from Kapitan zur See Fricke (head of the operations division of the naval war staff) that:

Firstly, the affair was to be kept a total secret.

Secondly, the OKM considered that a court-martial was not necessary as they were satisfied that the captain had acted in good faith.

Thirdly, political explanations would be handled by the OKM. I had had no part whatsoever in the political events in which the Fuehrer claimed that no U-boat had sunk the Athenia.

After Lemp returned to Wilhelmshaven from Berlin, I interrogated him thoroughly on the sinking and formed the impression that, although he had taken reasonable care, he had still not taken sufficient precaution to establish fully the identity of the ship before attacking. I had previously given very strict orders that all merchant vessels and neutrals were to be treated according to naval prize law before the occurrence of this incident. I accordingly placed him under cabin arrest, as I felt certain that a court-martial would only acquit him and would entail unnecessary publicity and loss of time.

Affidavit of Adolf Schmidt: I, Adolf Schmidt, Official Number N 1043-33 T. of the German Navy and former member of the crew of the U-30, do solemnly declare that:

1. I am now confined to Camp No. 133, Lethbridge, Alberta.

2. That on the first day of war, 3 September 1939, a ship of approximately 10,000 tons was torpedoed in the late hours of the evening by the U-30.

3. That after the ship was torpedoed and we surfaced again, approximately half an hour after the explosion, the commandant called me to the tower in order to show me the torpedoed ship.

4. That I have seen the ship with my very eyes, but that I do not think that the ship could see our U-boat at that time on account of the position of the moon.

5. That only a few members of the crew had an opportunity to go to the tower in order to see the torpedoed ship.

6. That apart from myself, Oberleutnant Hinsch was in the tower when I saw the steamer after the attack.

7. That I observed that the ship was listing.

8. That no warning shot was fired before the torpedo was launched.

9. That I myself observed much commotion on board the torpedoed ship.

10. That I believe that the ship had only one smoke stack.

11. That in the attack on this steamer one or two torpedoes were fired which did not explode but that I myself heard the explosion of the torpedo which hit the steamer.

12. That Oberleutnant Lemp waited until darkness before surfacing.

13. That I was severely wounded by aircraft 14 September 1939.

14. That Oberleutnant Lemp, shortly before my disembarkation in Reykjavik 19 September 1939, visited me in the forenoon in the petty officers' quarters where I was lying severely wounded.

15. That Oberleutnant Lemp then had the petty officers' quarters cleared in order to be alone with me.

16. That Oberleutnant Lemp then showed me a declaration under oath according to which I had to bind myself to mention nothing concerning the incidents of 3 September 1939 on board the U-30.

17. That this declaration under oath had approximately the following wording: "I, the undersigned, swear hereby that I shall shroud in secrecy all happenings of 3 September 1939 on board the U-30, regardless whether foe or friend, and that I shall erase from my memory all happenings of this day."

18. That I have signed this declaration under oath, which was drawn up by the commandant in his own handwriting, with my left hand very illegibly.

19. That later on in Iceland when I heard about the sinking of the Athenia the idea came into my mind that the U-30 on the 3 September 1939 might have sunk the Athenia, especially since the captain caused me to sign the abovementioned declaration.

20. That up to today I have never spoken to anyone concerning these events.

21. That due to the termination of the war I consider myself freed from my oath.

September 14, 1939: U-39 narrowly misses sinking the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal. U-39 is sunk and the crew is captured, but the near miss causes many a migraine in the British Admiralty.

September 14, 1939: From orders sent out to U-boat commanders:

The following instructions have been sent out to all W.P.S.'s: It has now been decided to fit a single depth charge chute, with hand release gear and supplied with 3 charges, in all armed merchant vessels of 12 knots or over.

September 17, 1939: Kapitaenleutnant Otto Schuhart and U-boat U29 torpedoes the British aircraft carrier HMS Courageous off Ireland. The carrier sinks in twenty minutes killing 518 of 1,200. (Shirer)

September 17, 1939: The USSR invades Poland from the east.

September 22, 1939: From a memorandum by the German naval war staff:

Flag Officer U-boats intends to give permission to U-boats to sink without warning any vessels sailing without lights...In practice there is no opportunity for attacking at night, as the U-boat cannot identify a target which is a shadow in a way that entirely obviates mistakes being made. If the political situation is such that even possible mistakes must be ruled out, U-boats must be forbidden to make any attacks at night in waters where French and English naval forces or merchant ships may be situated.

On the other hand, in sea areas where only English units are to be expected, the measures desired by Flag Officer U-boats can be carried out; permission to take this step is not to be given in writing, but need merely be based on the unspoken approval of the Naval Operations Staff. U-boat commanders should be informed by word of mouth, and the sinking of a merchant ship must be justified in the War Diary as due to possible confusion with a warship or an auxiliary cruiser. In the meanwhile, U-boats in the English Channel have received instructions to attack all vessels sailing without lights.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: I consider myself fully responsible for all decrees issued as to the U-boat warfare which took place under my responsibility as well as every naval operation which I ordered. In the Naval Operations Staff: and together with the officers of the Naval Operations Staff I worked out these directives; I approved memoranda and in accordance therewith I gave my orders. The Commander of the U-boat fleet was solely the tactical commander of U-boats. He transmitted the orders and he carried through the details of the operations.

September 22, 1939: Raeder orders the 'pocket' battleships Athenia and Athenia to attack British shipping. (Shirer)

September 24, 1939: From the War Diary of the Naval Operations Staff: English reports that, when the English steamer Akenside was sunk, a German U-boat was rammed by a steam trawler.

September 24, 1939: From the War Diary of the Naval Operations Staff:

Commander, Submarine Fleet, reports that on 6 September the English steamer Manaar, on being told to stop by U-38 after a warning shot, tried to escape. Steamer sent wireless message and opened fire from rear gun. Abandoned ship only after four or five hits, then sank it.

September 25, 1939: From notes of a conference between Raeder and Baron Von Weizsaecker of the Foreign Office:

The High Command of the Navy will submit to the Foreign Office a proposal, as a basis for a communication to the neutral powers, in which those intensification's of naval warfare will be communicated, the ordering of which has already taken place or is impending in the near future. This includes, particularly, a warning not to use wireless on being stopped, not to sail in convoy, and not to black-out.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: The first measure was that armed merchant ships could be attacked because as early as G or 8 September, a submarine had stopped a merchant ship, the Manar, had fired a warning shot, and had at once been fired on by the British steamer. Thereupon the submarine started firing at the merchant ship. Such cases were known. And since one cannot recognize in every case whether the ship is armed or not, we assumed that it would lead to all ships being fired at. However, at that time it was ordered that only armed British merchant ships should be fired at. Secondly, that ships which sent a wireless message when stopped could also be shot at, because this use of wireless which was done by order of the Admiralty would immediately bring to the spot both naval and air forces, especially the latter which would shoot at the U-boat. The first step, therefore, was firing on armed merchant ships-the passenger steamers were still excepted-and secondly, firing on blacked-out vessels and firing on those who made use of wireless.

September 26, 1939: In the House of Commons, First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, claims that Britain is winning the U-boat war. He says that one tenth of the German submarine fleet was destroyed in the first two weeks of the war and that the losses are probably a quarter and perhaps a third by now.

September 27, 1939: From a report by the Under Secretary of State of the Foreign Office: The Naval Operations Staff indicated anew that the Fuehrer will probably order ruthless U-boat warfare in the restricted area in the very near future. The previous participation of the Foreign Office remains guaranteed.

September 28, 1939: The first German note is sent to the neutral governments with the request that they warn their merchant ships against any suspicious conduct, such as changes in course and the use of wireless upon sighting German naval forces, blacking out, noncompliance with the request to stop, et cetera. These warnings will subsequently be repeated many times.

September 30, 1939: The first sinking of a neutral ship (the Danish steamer Vendia) by a submarine occurs. From the War Log of Submarine U-3, which sank the Vendia:

The steamer turns away gradually and increases speed. The boat comes up only very slowly. Obvious attempt to escape. The steamer is clearly recognizable as the Danish steamer Vendia. Boat reduces speed and uncovers her machine-gun. Several warning shots are fired across the steamer's bow. Thereupon the steamer stops very slowly; nothing more happens for a while. Then some more shots are fired. The Vendia lies into the wind. For 10 minutes nothing is visible on deck to remove suspicion of possible intended resistance; at 1124 hours I suddenly see bow waves and screw movements. The steamer swings sharply round toward the boat. The officer on watch and the first mate agree with my view that this is an attempt at ramming. For this reason I turn in the same angle as the steamer. A torpedo is fired 30 seconds later; point of aim, bow; point of impact, extreme rear of stern. The stern is torn off and goes down. The front part remains afloat. By risking the loss of our own crew and boat (heavy sea and numerous floating pieces of wreckage) six men of the Danish crew are rescued, among them the captain and helmsman. No further survivors can be seen. In the meantime the Danish steamer Swawa approaches and is stopped. She is requested to send her papers across in a boat. She is carrying a mixed cargo from Amsterdam to Copenhagen. The six persons rescued are transferred to the steamer for repatriation...After the crew of the steamer had been handed over, it was learned that the engineer artifices of the steamer had told the stoker Blank that the captain had intended to ram the submarine.

October 1, 1939: From a circular of the British Admiralty:

Within the last few days some German U-boats have been attacked by British merchant marine vessels. In this connection the German radio announces that the German U-boats have so far observed the rules of international law in warning the merchant vessels before attacking them. Now, however, Germany intends to retaliate by considering every British merchant marine vessel as a warship...Be prepared to meet it.

October 3, 1939: A few days after the Soviet Union had obtained naval bases in Estonia, Raeder urges Hitler to demand bases for the German Navy from Norway. Hitler, however, is not interested in extending the war to the north. It is only after Russia had attacked Finland, and the western powers had started laying plans to send troops across northern Norway in support of the Finns, an action that would simultaneously have cut off Germany's ore supplies, that Hitler had changed his mind. The British and French military commanders had, as usual, moved with glacial indecision; and when, early in March of 1940, the Russians had cracked the Finnish defenses and the Finns had sued for peace, both the Allies and the Germans had been left suspended in mid-plan. 'Conclusion of peace between Finland and Russia deprives England, but us too, of any political basis to occupy Norway,' Jodl had written in the War Diary." (Conot)

October 4, 1939: From orders sent out to all U-boat commanders:

Immediate attack in any manner available is permitted submarines against enemy merchant vessels which are obviously armed or have been proclaimed as such on the basis of conclusive evidence received by the Naval Operations Staff. As far as circumstances permit, measures are to be taken to save the crew after every possibility of danger for the submarine has been eliminated. Passenger ships not used to transport troops are still not to be attacked, even if armed.

From the IMT testimony of Admiral Gerhard Wagner: The fact that enemy merchant vessels were armed became clear after a few weeks of the war. We had a large number of reports about artillery fights which had occurred between U-boats and armed enemy merchant ships. Certainly one, and probably several boats were lost by us. One British steamer, I think it was called Stonepool, was praised publicly by the British Admiralty for its success in combating submarines... They were due to an order from the Fuehrer. At the beginning of the war he had stated that Germany did not have any intention of waging war against women and children. He wished, for that reason, that also in naval war any incidents in which women and children might lose their lives should be avoided. Consequently, even the stopping of passenger ships was prohibited. The military necessities of naval warfare made it very difficult to adhere to this order, particularly where passenger ships were traveling in enemy convoys. Later on, step by step, this order was altered as it became evident that there was no longer any peaceful passenger traffic at all, and that enemy passenger ships were particularly heavily armed and used more and more as auxiliary cruisers and troop transport ships...

Neither side made its war measures known during the war, and that held true in this case also. But, in October, the German press left no doubt whatsoever that every armed enemy merchant ship would be sunk by us without warning, and later on it was equally well known that we were forced to consider the entire enemy merchant marine as being under military direction and in military use. These statements by our press must no doubt have been known to the British Admiralty and the neutral governments. Apart from that, and I think this was in October, Grossadmiral Raeder gave an interview to the press on the same theme.

October 6, 1939: Hitler addresses the Reichstag:

A Geneva Convention once succeeded in prohibiting, in civilized countries at least, the killing of wounded, ill treatment of prisoners, war against noncombatants, etc., and just as it was possible gradually to achieve universal observance of this statute, a way must surely be found to regulate aerial warfare, use of poison gas and submarines, etc., and also so to define contraband that war will lose its terrible character of conflict waged against women and children and against noncombatants in general. A growing horror of certain methods of warfare will of its own accord lead to their abolition and thus they will become obsolete...

October 8, 1939: Guenther Prien's U-47 gets underway from the German naval base at Kiel on a daring mission to raid Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands north of Scotland.

October 9, 1939: From a memorandum and directive by Hitler distributed only to the four service chiefs, Raeder, Brauchitsch, Goering, and Keitel:

The aim of the Anglo-French conduct of war is to dissolve or disintegrate the 80-million-state (Germany), again so that in this manner the European equilibrium, in other words, the balance of power which serves their ends, may be restored. This battle, therefore, will have to be fought out by the German people one way or another. Nevertheless, the very great successes of the first month of the war could serve, in the event of an immediate signing of peace, to strengthen the Reich psychologically and materially to such an extent that from the German viewpoint there would be no objection to ending the war immediately, insofar as the present achievement with arms is not jeopardized by the peace treaty. It is not the object of this memorandum to study the possibilities in this direction, or even to take them into consideration.

In this paper I shall confine myself exclusively to the other case: the necessity to continue the fight, the object of which, as already stressed, consists, insofar as the enemy is concerned, in the dissolution or destruction of the German Reich. In opposition to this the German war aim is the final military dispatch of the West, that is, destruction of the power and ability of the Western Powers ever again to be able to oppose the state consolidation and further development of the German people in Europe. As far as the outside world is concerned, however, this internal aim will have to undergo various propaganda adjustments, necessary from a psychological point of view. This does not alter the war aim. It is and remains the destruction of our Western enemies....The successes of the Polish campaign have made possible first of all a war on a single front, awaited for past decades without any hope of realization; that is to say, Germany is able to enter the fight in the West with all her might, leaving only a few covering troops in the East.

The remaining European states are neutral either because they fear for their own fates or lack interest in the conflict as such or are interested in a certain outcome of the war, which prevents them from taking part at all, or at any rate too soon...Belgium and Holland: Both countries are interested in preserving their neutrality but incapable of withstanding prolonged pressure from England and France. The preservation of their colonies, the maintenance of their trade, and thus the securing of their interior economy, even of their very life, depend wholly upon the will of England and France.

Therefore in their decisions, in their attitude, and in their actions both countries are dependent upon the West in the highest degree. If England and France promise themselves a successful result at the price of Belgian neutrality, they are at any time in a position to apply the necessary pressure. That is to say, without covering themselves with the odium of a breach of neutrality, they can compel Belgium and Holland to give up their neutrality. Therefore, in the matter of the preservation of Belgo-Dutch neutrality, time is not a factor which might promise a favorable development for Germany...The Nordic States: Provided no completely unforeseen factors appear, their neutrality in the future is also to be assumed. The continuation of German trade with these countries appears possible even in a war of long duration. ....

Should the attitude of the Royal Norwegian Government change so that any such breach of neutrality by a third party recurs, the Reich Government would then obviously be compelled to safeguard the interests of the Reich in such a way as would be forced upon the Reich Cabinet by the resulting situation.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: The first conversation between Hitler and myself concerning the question of Norway was on 10 October 1939, and that was at my request. The reason for this was that we had received reports at various times during the last week of September through our intelligence service of the offices of Admiral Canaris that the British intended to occupy bases in Norway.

I recall that after reports to this effect had reached me several times Admiral Canaris visited me himself on one occasion-something he did in very important cases only. And, in the presence of my chief of staff, he gave me a coherent explanation concerning the intelligence reports which had been received. In this connection air bases were constantly mentioned, as well as bases in the south of Norway. Stavanger was mentioned constantly with the airport Sola, and Trondheim was usually mentioned and occasionally Christiansand.

During the last days of September I had a telephone conversation with Admiral Carls who was the commander of Navy Group North and was therefore in charge of operations in the Skagerrak, the Kattegat and in the North Sea. This man had obviously received similar reports. He informed me that he had composed a private letter addressed to me, in which he dealt with the question of the danger of Norway's being occupied by British forces and in which he was in a general way dealing with the question as to what disadvantages such a step would have for us, and whether we should have to forestall such an attempt, and also what advantages or disadvantages the occupation of Norway—that is, of the Norwegian coast and the Norwegian bases—by our forces would have.

Up until that point I had not concerned myself with the Norwegian question at all, except for the fact I had received these reports. The arrival of this letter at the end of September or the beginning of October, it must have been about then, impelled me to show it to the Chief of Staff of the SKL and to instruct him to deal with all dispatch with the question of the occupation of Norwegian bases by England, and the other questions which Admiral Carls had dealt with, and to have the questions discussed in the SKL. The advantages and disadvantages of an expansion of the war towards the North had to be considered, not only of an expansion on our part but, above all, an expansion on the part of England; what value, what advantage would accrue to us if we acted first; what disadvantages would result if we had to defend the Norwegian coast?

The result of this was the questionnaire mentioned in C-122, GB-82, where the questions were asked: What places were to be used as bases; what the possibility of defense by us would be; whether these ports would have to be developed further; and also, what advantages would result so far as our U-boats were concerned?

These questions, as I have already stated, were put to Admiral Doenitz as well, but his answers arrived only after I had made the report on 10 October. I would like to say, by way of introduction, that it was entirely clear to me that if we undertook to occupy these bases we would violate neutrality. But I also knew of the agreement which existed between the German and Norwegian Governments of 2 September regarding neutrality, and I knew the concluding sentence, in this aide memoirs...dated 2 September 1939. ....

Then, within the next few days, I asked the Chief of Staff of the SKL to submit to me the data which the SKL had prepared during the preceding days and I reported to Hitler on 10 October, because I considered this problem particularly important. It was entirely clear to me that the best possible solution for us would be that Norway should maintain a steadfast neutrality, and I expressed my opinion.

Hitler had not yet concerned himself with this question. The question was very far from his mind, for he knew very little about matters of naval warfare. He always remarked that he did not have an over-all picture of these things, and therefore felt somewhat uncertain. He said that he would deal with this question and that I should leave the notes with him, which I had worked out on the basis of statements made by the SKL, so that he might use them as a basis for his deliberations on this problem.

It was typical and really speaks very much against the character of the conspiracy, that on this occasion Hitler, when confronted with the problem of Norway, did not say a single word about the fact that previously, the last time evidently in the summer of that year, he had already dealt with Norwegian questions prompted by Rosenberg. I gather from a document which I saw for the first time here that on 20 June 1939, Rosenberg had submitted to the Fuehrer a comprehensive report about his connections with Norwegian political circles, but I heard of these connections for the first time on 10 December.

It would have been a matter of course for me if the Fuehrer, who was dealing with Norwegian strategical matters, had told me on this occasion: "I have such and such information about Norwegian matters." But he did not do that-there was always a considerable lack of collaboration. The Fuehrer told me that we should await the arrival of further reports and that he would deal with these questions.

From Schulte-Monting's IMT testimony: The reasons (that caused Raeder to consider a possible occupation of Norway) were the reports which came from various sources about alleged intentions of an occupation of Norway by the Allies. These reports came from the following sources: First, Admiral Canaris, who was the chief of our intelligence service. He reported to Raeder, in my presence, once a week, the information that had come in. Secondly, the reports that came from the naval attache in Oslo, Korvettenkapitan Schreiber, which indicated that rumors were increasing that the Allies intended to drag Scandinavia into the war in order to prevent, if possible, the iron ore exports from Sweden to Germany. We did not consider these reports altogether impossible, because, as documentary evidence from the last World War proves, Churchill had seriously considered the occupation of Norway. Admiral Carls, the Commander-in-Chief of Group North, had received similar reports which he passed on orally and in writing. ....

There were reports concerning the presence of British air crews in Oslo, allegedly posing as civilians. There were reports about Allied officers making surveys of Norwegian bridges, viaducts, and tunnels all the way to the Swedish border, which was taken as an indication that the transportation of heavy material and equipment was planned. And last but not least there were reports about a secret mobilization of Swedish troops because of the alleged danger to the ore areas. ....

If Norway were to have been actually occupied, the conduct of the war in the North Sea would have become almost impossible, and it would have been very difficult in the Baltic Sea. The ore imports most probably would have been stopped. The danger from the air would have become terrible for north Germany and the eastern territories. In the long run the North Sea and the Baltic would have been blocked completely, which eventually would have led to the total loss of the war. He reported to Hitler about his misgivings and called his attention to the dangers. No further discussions along that line took place then until perhaps the end of the year. Only when the reports which I mentioned before were received in increasing numbers was that subject taken up again.

October 10, 1939: From the War Diary of the German Naval Operations Staff:

The Fuehrer agrees that full use of the only two battleships which we have at the time should not be made for the time being. Russia offered bases near Murmansk...

Question of siege of England: Fuehrer and Commander-in-Chief of Navy agree that all objections by neutrals have to be rejected, even in view of the danger of entry of U.S.A. into the war which seems certain if the war keeps on. The more brutally the war is conducted the sooner the effect, the shorter the war.

Capacity for large U-boat production program. Fuehrer rejects suggestion to have submarines built by or bought from Russia for political reasons. Commander-in-Chief of Navy states no advantages to be won for the U-boat war by conquest of Belgian coast; refers to the value of winning Norwegian bases-Trondheim-with the help of Russian pressure. Fuehrer will consider the question.

October 11, 1939: Guenther Prien's U-47 runs the enemy blockade.

October 12, 1939: Prien announces to the crew of the U-47 that their mission is to attack the protected harbor of Scapa Flow. The German submariners listen in stunned silence, believing the mission to be suicidal.

October 14, 1939: From minutes of a meeting between Weizsaecker and Ribbentrop: According to my information, the decision on unrestricted U-boat warfare against England is imminent. This is at least as much a political decision as it is a technicality of war. A short while ago I submitted my personal view in writing, that unrestricted U-boat warfare would bring new enemies upon us at a time when we still lack the necessary U-boats to defeat England. On the other hand, the Navy's attitude of insisting on the opening of unrestricted U-boat warfare is backed by every convincing reason.

From Raeder's IMT testimony>: What I wanted to say was that the expression "unrestricted submarine warfare" on the part of the Foreign Office originated from the previous World War. In reality, and during the entire war, we did not wage unrestricted U-boat war in the sense of the unrestricted submarine warfare of the first World War. Even there, where he says "unrestricted submarine warfare might be imminent" are only ordered very restricted measures, which always were based on the fact that the British had ordered something on their part. The chief action on the part of the British was that of militarizing the entire merchant fleet to a certain extent. That is to say, the merchant fleet was being armed, and they received the order to use these arms. ....

I must still say that there was not any unrestricted U-boat warfare but merely an intensification of measures, step by step, as I have repeatedly said, and these were always taken only after the British took some measure. .... attacks on neutrals only insofar as they were warned and advised not to enter certain zones. Throughout the centuries in economic warfare the enemy merchant ship as well as the neutral merchant ship has been the object of attack. ....

Afterwards we issued the warning to neutral ships, after our blockade zone was established in accordance with the American blockade zone. We warned them that they should not enter this zone because they would run into most serious danger. That I am saying, and I can prove it.

October 14, 1939: The British Battleship Royal Oak is torpedoed by Guenter Prien's U-47, in the protected anchorage at Scapa Flow; 833 drown. Note: Prien will ultimately sink 30 enemy ships. (Shirer)

October 15, 1939: From a memorandum compiled by Raeder and the German naval war staff:

Possibilities of Future Naval Warfare:

I. Military requirements for the decisive struggle against Great Britain: Our naval strategy will have to employ all the military means at our disposal as expeditiously as possible. Military success can be most confidently expected if we attack British sea communications wherever they are accessible to us, with the greatest ruthlessness; the final aim of such attacks is to cut off all imports into and exports from Britain. We should try to consider the interests of neutrals in so far as this is possible without detriment to military requirements. It is desirable to base all military measures taken on existing international law; however, measures which are considered necessary from a military point of view, provided a decisive success can be expected from them, will have to be carried out, even if they are not covered by existing international law.

In principle, therefore, any means of warfare which is effective in breaking enemy resistance should be based on some legal conception even if that entails the creation of a new code of naval warfare. The supreme war council...will have to decide what measures of military and legal nature are to be taken. Once it has been decided to conduct economic warfare in its most ruthless form, in fulfillment of military requirements, this decision is to be adhered to under all circumstances. Under no circumstances may such a decision for the most ruthless form of economic warfare, once it has been made, be dropped or released under political pressure from neutral powers; that is what happened in the World War to our own detriment. Every protest by neutral powers must be turned down. Even threats of further countries, particularly of the United States, coming into the war, which can be expected with certainty should the war last a long time, must not lead to a relaxation in the form of economic warfare once embarked upon.

The more ruthlessly economic warfare is waged, the earlier will it show results and the sooner will the war come to an end. The economic effect of such military measures on our own war economy must be fully recognized and compensated through immediate reorientation of German war economy and the redrafting of the respective agreements with neutral states; for this, strong political and economic pressure must be employed if necessary.

Conclusions. ....

1) The manner in which economic warfare has been conducted until now, in accordance with Prize Regulations, does not meet with military demands for ruthless severity.

A large part of enemy mercantile trade including all exports in neutral ships is not covered. The requirements of naval law that neutral merchantmen be stopped and searched can no longer be fulfilled, in view of the strength of aerial reconnaissance and U-boat countermeasures in the enemy's coastal approaches. Economic warfare according to Prize Regulations has therefore to be limited and in the North Sea and the Baltic must be left to surface craft only. In the Atlantic the U-boats in enemy coastal waters will limit their activities to attacks without warning on convoys, troop transports, and once it has been approved, armed and all enemy merchantmen, and will conduct economic warfare according to the law governing prizes only in exceptional cases. The use of the Operational Air Force for economic warfare is not possible. Economic warfare is conducted within the framework of international law. A possibility of controversy with neutral states is ruled out.

If the Supreme War Command for political reasons should not be able at present to decide to wage the economic war in the most vigorous form possible by having recourse to a siege, it will be possible to increase the effectiveness of the policy of stopping enemy trade by a ruthless increase in the use of mines and by air attacks on enemy port installations. One cannot, however, expect a decisive result from the economic war in its present form.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: Then discussions with the Foreign Office took place and this U-boat memorandum mentioned by you was worked out in the High Command of the Navy on the basis of these discussions and released on 15 October. I believe that on 15 October I presented it to the Fuehrer who in principle agreed to the contents. But the very fact that a memorandum about submarine warfare concerning possibilities for an intensification of submarine warfare was issued only on 15 October shows how little we were prepared for that eventuality.

That memorandum contains near the beginning that sentence which has been quoted by the Prosecution concerning our position with respect to international law, where reference is made to highest ethics of warfare, adherence to international law, and the desire to base all military measures on existing laws wherever possible. But if this is not possible or when by deviation it is possible to achieve decisive military results, and we could take the responsibility for this deviation, then in case of necessity we must depart from existing international law. That means that also a new international law may have to be developed.

However, this entire memorandum represents merely a constant search for possibilities for conducting submarine warfare with the least damage to neutrals and the greatest possible adherence to international law and in such a way that it would become a decisive factor in the outcome of the war.

Various cases are discussed as to how an intensification can be reached, but it always was a question of finding countermeasures against enemy measures. Such possibilities as blockade or the new concept to lay siege to England by submarine warfare are examined in all directions; but the draft always states the conclusion that in view of the number of submarines and other misgivings it is not yet possible to conduct such operations. ....

The Navy Command does not suggest that (the sinking of all merchant ships), but discusses the idea of a siege after the blockade had been discussed and rejected. It likewise comes to a conclusion why the siege, which until that time had not been accepted as a recognized idea by international law, should not be undertaken; and it draws the inference from all these discussions by setting out on the last page, the last page but one, what shall now be considered the final conclusion. These are only those measures which can be justified by the actions already taken by the British. And during the entire discussion about blockading, the consideration was always in the foreground as to whether the neutrals would not suffer too much damage by that. And the whole idea of a siege is based on the fact that Prime Minister Chamberlain had already said¡ªon 26 September¡ªthat there would not be any difference between a blockade on the seas and a siege on land, and the commander of a land siege would try to prevent with all means the entry of anything into the fortress. Also, the French press had mentioned that Germany was in the same situation as a fortress under siege. ....

The conclusion is that we cannot carry out a siege, and that it would be a matter for the political leadership of the State to decide. The political leadership of the State has never suggested to decree a siege, and it can be seen here quite clearly what, on the basis of the memorandum, is suggested for the time being, and then how the intensification gradually took place. ....

That was a directive issued after neutral ships did not heed our warning and continued to enter the sea around Britain in order to support Britain in the economic warfare which she, with the greatest ruthlessness and severity, was conducting against us. It was a measure of self-defense.

October 17, 1939: Three days after the successful attack on the British naval base at Scapa Flow by a U-boat, a German raid by four Luftwaffe Junkers Ju 88 bombers damages the battleship HMS Iron Duke. Note: Japanese military planners, studying the effects of these two attacks, will eventually combine both strategies when planning their own surprise attack on capital ships in a protected harbor.

October 17, 1939: At 1500 hours the following order was issued to Commander of Submarines:

Submarines are permitted immediate and full use of armed force against all merchant vessels recognizable with certainty as being of enemy nationality, as in every case attempts to ram or other forms of active resistance may be expected. Exceptions to be made as hitherto in the case of enemy passenger boats.

From Raeder's IMT testimony: Firstly (the above order meant) that all enemy merchantmen could be torpedoed; and secondly, as a severer measure, that passenger ships in convoys could be torpedoed a short time after an announcement to that effect had been made. That was all done in connection with the intensification, measure for measure, which we had brought about in answer to individual acts of the enemy.

October 22, 1939: From orders sent out to U-boat commanders:

According to previous experiences such tactics may be expected with certainty from English and French boats, particularly when sailing in convoys: inadmissible use of wireless, sailing without lights, and in addition, armed resistance and aggressive action.

October 23, 1939 Athenia Incident: Reich Propaganda Minister Goebbels propagates that the Athenia was sunk by none other than Winston Churchill himself, in an effort to repeat history with a Lusitania-like provocation. The Nazi Party paper, the Voelkischer Beobachter, publishes 'Churchill sank the Athenia' in screaming headlines:

The above picture shows the proud 'Athenia', the ocean giant, which was sunk by Churchill's crime. One can clearly see the big radio equipment on board the ship. But nowhere was an SOS heard from the ship. Why was the 'Athenia' silent? Because her captain was not allowed to tell the world anything. He very prudently refrained from telling the world that Winston Churchill attempted to sink the ship, through the explosion of an infernal machine. He knew it well, but he had to keep silent. Nearly fifteen hundred people would have lost their lives if Churchill's original plan had resulted as the criminal wanted. Yes, he longingly hoped that the one hundred Americans on board the ship would find death in the waves so that the anger of the American people, who were deceived by him, should be directed against Germany as the presumed author of the deed. It was fortunate that the majority escaped the fate intended for them by Churchill. Our picture on the right shows two wounded passengers. They were rescued by the freighter, City of Flint, and as can be seen here, turned over to the American coast guard boat Gibb for further medical treatment. They are an unspoken accusation against the criminal Churchill. Both they and the shades of those who lost their lives call him before the Tribunal of the world and ask the British people, 'How long will the office, one of the richest in tradition known to Britain's history, be held by a murderer?"

From Raeder's IMT testimony: The fact is that on 3 September at dusk the young submarine commander of the submarine U-30 met an English passenger ship which had its lights dimmed and torpedoed it because he assumed, by mistake, that it was an auxiliary cruiser. In order to avoid misunderstanding I should like to state here that the deliberations of Kapitaenleutnant Fresdorf, which have been mentioned here concerning the torpedoing of dimmed ships in the Channel, did not yet play any part in the Naval Operations Staff at that time and that this commanding officer could not have known anything about these deliberations. He knew only that auxiliary criusers had their lights blacked out, and he assumed that this was an auxiliary cruiser at the entrance of the northwest channel, England-Scotland. He did not make a report since it was not necessary. The information that a German U-boat had torpedoed the Athenia was broadcast by the British radio, and we probably received the news during the night of the ad to the 4th, and transmitted it to the various news services.

In the morning of 4 September we received that news at the offices of the Naval Operations Staff, and I requested information as to how far our nearest submarine was from the place of the torpedoing. I was told, 75 nautical miles. At about the same time, State Secretary Von Weizsaecker in the Foreign Office, who had been a naval officer in the first World War, learned of this situation and made a telephone call to the Naval Operations Staff, asking whether it was true. He did not call me personally. He received the answer that, according to our information, it could not be right. Thereupon he sent for the American Charge d'affaires¡ªI believe Mr. Kirk¡ªin order to speak to him about the matter because the radio broadcast had also mentioned that several Americans had been killed in that accident. From his experiences in the first World War it was clear to him how important it was that there should be no incident involving America. Therefore, he told him what he had heard from the Naval Operations Staff. I personally told the same thing to the American Naval Attache, Mr. Schrader, and that certainly in good faith. I believed that I could tell him that in good faith because we had no other information. State Secretary Von Weizsaecker then came to see me personally, if I remember correctly. We were very close friends, and he told me what he had told the American Charge d'affaires. He apologized, I believe, for not having spoken to me personally and that concluded the case for the time being.

The matter was such that, if it had been reported in a normal way, we would not have hesitated to admit and to explain the reason. We would not have hesitated to apologize to the nations concerned. Disciplinary measures would have been taken against the officer. I also reported the incident to the Fuehrer himself in his headquarters and told him that we were convinced such was not the case, and the Fuehrer ordered that it should be denied. This was done by the Propaganda Ministry, which had been informed of the order by my press department.

The submarine commander returned on 27 September to Wilhelmshaven. Admiral Doenitz has already described how he received him and how he immediately sent him to me to Berlin by air. The U-boat commander reported the entire incident to me and confirmed that it was a sheer mistake, that it was only through all these messages he had heard that he himself discovered that it was not an auxiliary cruiser that was concerned but a passenger steamer.

I reported the facts to the Fuehrer because they could have had severe political consequences. He decided that, as it had been denied once, we had to keep it utterly secret, not only abroad but also within official circles and government circles. Consequently, I was not in a position to tell State Secretary Von Weizsaecker or the Propaganda Ministry that the facts were different. My order to the Commander of the U-boat fleet reads:

"1. The affair is to be kept strictly secret upon orders of the Fuehrer. 2. On my part, no court-martial will be ordered because the commanding officer acted in good faith and it was a mistake. 3. The further political handling of the matter is to be attended to by the High Command of the Navy, as far as anything has to be done."

With that the commander returned to Wilhelmshaven and Admiral Doenitz has already reported that he was punished by disciplinary procedure. To our great surprise, about one month later that article appeared in the Voelkischer Beobachter in which Churchill was accused of being the author of that incident. I knew absolutely nothing about that article beforehand. I would certainly have prevented its appearance because, knowing that our submarine had torpedoed that ship, it was out of the question to lay the blame on the enemy, on the First Lord of the Admiralty of all people.

I found out later that the order to publish such an article was issued by Hitler and reached the Propaganda Ministry through the Reich Press Chief. As far as I remember I was told that the Propaganda Minister had himself drafted that article. Later I could not prevent it. I did not see the article nor did any of my officers of the High Command of the Navy see it. They would certainly have come to me at once so that I could have prevented its publication. We had no reason to expect such an article 4 weeks after the torpedoing of the Athenia. That is the case of the Athenia.

From the IMT testimony of Ernst von Weizsaecker: I do recall that such an article did appear at that time...I considered it a perverted fantasy. The question of whether it was a German U-boat or not could in no wise influence my opinion of the article. .... I did not hear that (Raeder had instigated this article); I would never have believed it either. I consider it entirely out of the question that he could have instigated an article of that sort or that he could have written it himself.

From Schulte-Monting's IMT testimony: That article was published without Raeder's knowledge and without the knowledge or complicity of the Navy. Even today I do not know yet who the author of the article was. It originated in the Propaganda Ministry, and Raeder and the rest of us in the High Command of the Navy were most indignant, not so much because this topic was being stirred up again, but rather because of the tenor of the article for whether deliberately or unintentionally—we did not know which it was—there was a misrepresentation.

We were obliged to keep silence. To what extent the Propaganda Ministry had been informed about this matter by Hitler, we did not know. We also had no opportunity to speak with the Propaganda Ministry about this case and we were completely surprised when this article appeared several weeks later in the Volkischer Beobachter. We were therefore deeply indignant, especially Raeder, because it was fundamentally against his principles that leading foreign statesmen be attacked in a caustic manner; and, in addition, the facts were completely distorted. And besides—this may also be important—this involved Raeder's opponent whom Raeder did not in the least wish to disparage before the German public, for Raeder took him only too seriously; and this was, I believe, no other than Churchill.

November 1, 1939: Raeder, Goering, and Keitel (independent of each other, according to Weizsaecker) complain and/or protest to the German Foreign Office that the Russians are receiving far too much in the way of war materials. (Shirer)

November 4, 1939: The US House of Representatives votes on an updating of the arms embargo and loan prohibition provisions of the Neutrality Act. The new version does away with the arms and loan embargoes, but preserves the prohibition against US ships sailing into war zones. Belligerent countries like Britain can buy arms in the United States, but only on a cash-and-carry basis. This cash-and-carry policy will remain in effect until the Lend-Lease Act is passed in March of 1941.

November 7, 1939: From an order by the SKL to Commander of U-boats:

U-boats are permitted to attack immediately, with all weapons at their command, all passenger ships which can be identified with certainty as enemy ships and whose armament is detected or is already known.

November 12, 1939: The Norwegian Arne Kjode—a tanker bound from one neutral port to another—is torpedoed in the North Sea without warning.

Part Two
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