(a) An operation against Greece; (b) Protection of Bulgaria against Russia and Turkey; (c) Safeguarding the guarantee to Rumania .... It is desirable that this deployment be completed without interference from the enemy. Therefore, disclose the game as late as possible. The tendency will be to cross the Danube at the last possible moment, and to line up for attack at the earliest possible moment."
On 19 February 1941 an OKW directive regarding the operation "Marita" stated: "On 18 February the Führer made the following decision regarding the carrying out of Operation Marita: 'The following dates are envisaged: Commencement of building bridge, 28 February; crossing of the Danube, 2 March."

On 3 March 1941, British troops landed in Greece to assist the Greeks to resist the Italians; and on 18 March, at a meeting between Hitler and the Defendant Raeder, at which the Defendants Keitel and Jodl were also present, the Defendant Raeder asked for confirmation that the "whole of Greece will have to be occupied, even in the event of a peaceful settlement," to which Hitler replied, "The complete occupation is a prerequisite of any settlement."

On 25 March, on the occasion of the adherence of Yugoslavia to the Tripartite Pact at a meeting in Vienna, the Defendant Von Ribbentrop, on behalf of the German Government, confirmed the determination of Germany to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia at all times. On 26 March the Yugoslav Ministers, who had adhered to the Tripartite Pact, were removed from office by a coup d'état in Belgrade on their return from Vienna, and the new Government repudiated the Pact. Thereupon on 27 March, at a conference in Berlin with the High Command at which the Defendants Göring, Keitel, and Jodl were present, and the Defendant Von Ribbentrop part of the time, Hitler stated that Yugoslavia was an uncertain factor in regard to the contemplated attack on Greece, and even more so with regard to the attack upon Russia which was to be conducted later on. Hitler announced that he was determined, without waiting for possible loyalty declarations of the new Government, to make all preparations in order to destroy Yugoslavia militarily and as a national unit. He stated that he would act with "unmerciful harshness."

On 6 April German forces invaded Greece and Yugoslavia without warning, and Belgrade was bombed by the Luftwaffe. So swift was this particular invasion that there had not been time to establish any "incidents" as a usual preliminary, or to find and publish any adequate "political" explanations. As the attack was starting on 6 April, Hitler proclaimed to the German people that this attack was necessary because the British forces in Greece (who were help-