3 Dec. 45

and for the duration of the war, the threat by Czechoslovakia to the rear of the operations in the West, and to take from the Russian Air Force the most substantial portion of its operational base in Czechoslovakia. This must be done by the defeat of the enemy armed forces and the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia."
The introduction to this directive sets forth as one of its guiding principles the following statement — and I now read from Page 1 of the English translation, that is, the third paragraph following Figure 1:

"Nevertheless, the politically fluid world situation, which does not preclude surprising incidents, demands constant preparedness for war on the part of the German Armed Forces:" — and then — "(a) to counterattack at any time; (b) to make possible the military exploitation of politically favorable opportunities should they occur."
This directive ordered further work on the plan for "mobilization without public announcement."

I quote:
" . . . in order to put the Armed Forces in a position to be able to begin a sudden war which will take the enemy by surprise, in regard to both strength and time of attack."
This is, of course, a directive for staff planning, but the nature of the planning and the very tangible and ominous developments which resulted from it, give it a significance that it would not have in another setting.

Planning along the lines of this directive was carried forward during the fall of 1937 and the winter of 1937-38. On the political level, this planning for the conquest of Czechoslovakia received the approval and support of Hitler in the conference with his military commanders on 5 November 1937, reported in the Hossbach minutes, to which I have frequently heretofore referred.

In early March 1938, before the march into Austria, we find the Defendants Ribbentrop and Keitel concerned over the extent of the information about war aims against Czechoslovakia to be furnished to Hungary. On 4 March 1938, Ribbentrop wrote to Keitel, enclosing for General Keitel's confidential cognizance the minutes of a conference with Sztojay, the local Hungarian Ambassador, who had suggested an interchange of views. This is Document 2786-PS, a photostat of the original captured letter, which I now offer in evidence as Exhibit USA-81. In his letter to Keitel, Ribbentrop said:

"I have many doubts about such negotiations. In case we should discuss with Hungary possible war aims against Czechoslovakia, the danger exists that other parties as well would be informed about this. I would greatly appreciate it if you