7 Dec. 45

I pass to the next document, 1835-PS, which I put in evidence as GB-126. It is an original telegram containing a letter from Hitler to Mussolini forwarded through the German Ambassador in Rome by Hitler and the Defendant Ribbentrop. It is written to advise Mussolini of the course decided on and under the guise of somewhat fulsome language the Duce is given his orders. If I might read the first five paragraphs:

"Duce, events force me to give you, Duce, by this the quickest means, my estimation of the situation and the consequences which may result from it.

"(1) From the beginning I have regarded Yugoslavia as the most dangerous factor in the controversy with Greece. Considered from the purely military point of view, German intervention in the war in Thrace would not be at all justified as long as the attitude of Yugoslavia remains ambiguous, and she could threaten the left flank of the advancing columns on our enormous front.

"(2) For this reason I have done everything and honestly have endeavored to bring Yugoslavia into our community bound together by mutual interests. Unfortunately these endeavors did not meet with success, or they were begun too late to produce any definite result. Today's reports leave no doubt as to the imminent turn in the foreign policy of Yugoslavia.

"(3) 1 do not consider this situation as being catastrophic, but nevertheless a difficult one, and we on our part must avoid any mistake if we do not want in the end to endanger our whole position.

"(4) Therefore I have already arranged for all necessary measures in order to meet a critical development with necessary military means. The change in the deployment of our troops has been ordered also in Bulgaria. Now I would cordially request you, Duce, not to undertake any further operations in Albania in the course of the next few days. I consider it necessary that you should cover and screen the most important passes from Yugoslavia into Albania with all available forces.

"These measures should not be considered as designed for a long period of time, but as auxiliary measures designed to prevent for at least 14 days to 3 weeks a crisis arising.

"I also consider it necessary, Duce, that you should reinforce your forces on the Italian-Yugoslav front with all available means and with utmost speed.

"(5) I also consider it necessary, Duce, that everything which we do and order be shrouded in absolute secrecy and that