7 Dec. 45

I don't think I need trouble the Tribunal with the rest. The next document in the bundle, 1541-PS, which I offer in evidence as Exhibit GB-117, is the directive issued for the actual attack on Greece. Before reading it, it might be convenient if I summarized the position of the Italian invading forces at that time as this is one of the factors mentioned by Hitler in the directive. I can put it very shortly. I again use the words in which His Majesty's Minister reported:

"The morale of the Greek Army throughout has been of the highest, and our own naval and land successes at Taranto and in the western desert have done much to maintain it.

"With relatively poor armaments and the minimum of equipment and modern facilities they have driven back or captured superior Italian forces more frequently than not at the point of the bayonet. The modern Greeks have thus shown that they are not unworthy of the ancient traditions of their country and that they, like their distant forefathers, are prepared to fight against odds to maintain their freedom."
In fact the Italians were getting the worst of it, and it was time that Hitler came to the rescue. Accordingly this directive was issued on 13 December 1940; it is top-secret Directive Number 20 for the Operation Marita. The distribution included, of course, the Commander of the Navy, that would, of course, be the Defendant Raeder; one to the Commander of the Air Force, which would be the Defendant Göring one to the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, Keitel; and one to the Command Staff, which I take it, would be the Defendant Jodl. I shall read the first two paragraphs and then summarize the next two, if I may:

"The result in the battles of Albania is not yet decisive. Because of a dangerous situation in Albania it is doubly necessary that the British endeavor to create air bases under the protection of a Balkan front — which would be dangerous above all to Italy as well as to the Romanian oil fields — be foiled.

"My plan, therefore, is (a) to form a slowly increasing task force in southern Romania within the next months (b) after the setting in of favorable weather — probably in March — to send this task force for the occupation of the Aegean north coast by way of Bulgaria and, if necessary, to occupy the entire Greek mainland (Operation Marita). The support of Bulgaria is to be expected."
The next paragraph gives the forces for the operation, and Paragraph 4 deals with the Operation Marita itself. Paragraph 5 states: