26 Nov. 45

"If there were an alliance of France, England, and Russia against Germany, Italy, and Japan, I would be constrained to attack England and France with a few annihilating blows. The Führer doubts the possibility of a peaceful settlement with England. We must prepare ourselves for the conflict. England sees in our development the foundation of a hegemony which would weaken England. England is therefore our enemy, and the conflict with England will be a life-and-death struggle.

"What will this struggle be like?"--Underscored in the German original.--

"England cannot deal with Germany and subjugate us with a few powerful blows. It is imperative for England that the war should be brought as near to the Ruhr Basin as possible. French blood will not be spared (West Wall). The possession of the Ruhr Basin will determine the duration of our resistance.

"The Dutch and Belgian air bases must be occupied by armed forces. Declarations of neutrality cannot be relied upon. If England and France intend the war between Germany and Poland to lead to a conflict, they will support Holland and Belgium in their neutrality and make them build fortifications in order finally to force them into cooperation.

"Albeit under protest, Belgium and Holland will yield to pressure.

"Therefore, if England intends to intervene in the Polish war, we must occupy Hollandwith lightning speed. We must aim at securing a new defense line on Dutch soil up to the Zuider Zee.

"The war with England and France will be a life-and-death struggle.

"The idea that we can get off cheaply is dangerous; there is no such possibility. We must burn our boats, and it is no longer a question of justice or injustice, but of life or death for 80 million human beings.

"Question: Short or long war?

"Every country's armed forces or government must aim at a short war. The government, however, must also be prepared for a war of 10 to 15 years' duration.

"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