Dec. 45 |
face of them at least to be defensive measures to ward off attacks which might result from the intervention of those states in the preparatory German aggressions in Central Europe. Hitherto aggressive war against Poland, England, and France has been contemplated only as a distant objective. Now, in this document for the first time, we find a war of conquest by Germany against France and England openly recognized as the future aim, at least of the German Navy.
On 24 November 1938 an appendix was issued by Keitel to a previous order of the Führer. In that appendix were set out the future tasks for the Armed Forces and the preparation for the conduct of the war which would result from those tasks.
"The Führer has ordered" I quote "that besides the three eventualities mentioned in the previous directive . . . preparations are also to be made for the surprise occupation by German troops of the Free State of Danzig.Thereafter, as the evidence which is already before the Tribunal has shown, final preparations were taking place for the invasion of Poland. On the 3rd of April 1939, 3 days before the issue of the Anglo-Polish communiqué, the Defendant Keitel issued to the High Command of the Armed Forces a directive in which it was stated that the directive for the uniform preparation of war by the Armed Forces in 1939-40 was being re-issued and that part relating to Danzig would be out in April. The basic principles were to remain the same as in the previous directive. Attached to this document were the orders Fall Weiss, the code name for the proposed invasion of Poland. Preparation for that invasion was to be made, it was stated, so that the operation could be carried out at any time from the 1st of September 1939 onwards.
On the 11th of April Hitler issued his directive for the uniform preparation of the war by the Armed Forces, 1939-40, and in it he said:
"I shall lay down in a later directive future tasks of the Armed Forces and the preparations to be made in accordance with these for the conduct of war. Until that directive comes into force the Armed Forces must be prepared for the following eventualities:
Last modified: October 10, 1998