26 Nov. 46

depend largely on whether the Duce were alive at the time or not.

"The measure and speed of our action would decide Poland's attitude. Poland will have little inclination to enter the war against a victorious Germany, with Russia in the rear.

"Military participation by Russia must be countered by the speed of our operations; it is a question whether this needs to be taken into consideration at all, in view of Japan's attitude.

"Should case 2 occur--paralyzation of France by a civil war--then the situation should be utilized at any time for operations against Czechoslovakia, as Germany's most dangerous enemy would be eliminated.

"The Führer sees case 3 looming nearer; it could develop from the existing tensions in the Mediterranean, and should it occur, he has firmly decided to make use of it any time, perhaps even as early as 1938.

"Following recent experiences in the course of the events of the war in Spain, the Führer does not see an early end to hostilities there.

"Taking into consideration the time required for past offensives by Franco,"--the English text says "France"; it means "Franco"--"a further 3 years' duration of war is within the bounds of possibility. On the other hand, from the German point of view, a 100 per cent victory by Franco is not desirable; we are more interested in a continuation of the war and preservation of the tensions in the Mediterranean. Should Franco be in sole possession of the Spanish peninsula, it would mean the end of Italian intervention and of the presence of Italy in the Balearic Isles. As our interests are directed towards continuing the war in Spain, it must be the task of our future policy to strengthen Italy in her fight to hold on to the Balearic Isles. However, a solidification of Italian positions in the Balearic Isles cannot be tolerated either by France or by England and could lead to a war by France and England against Italy, in which case Spain, if entirely in White (that is, Franco's) hands, could participate on the side of Italy's enemies. A subjugation of Italy in such a war appears very unlikely. Additional raw materials could be brought to Italy via Germany. The Führer believes that Italy's military strategy would be to remain on the defensive against France on the western frontier and carry out operations against France from Libya, against the North African French colonial possessions.