4 Jan. 46

the top organization, of the Armed Forces as it emerged in 1938 after the reorganization which I will now describe.

In February 1938 Von Blomberg and Von Fritsch were both retired from their positions and Blomberg's ministry, the War Ministry, was wound up. The War Ministry had contained a division or department called the Wehrmachtmsamt, meaning the Armed Forces Department; and the function of that department had been to co-ordinate the plans and operations of the Army and Navy. From this Armed- Forces Department was formed a new over-all Armed Forces authority known as the High Command of the German Armed Forces — that is the box in the center, right under Hitler — known in German as Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, and usually. known by the initials OKW.

Since the Air Force as well as the Army was subordinated to OKW, co-ordination of all Armed Forces matters was vested in the OKW, which was really Hitler's personal staff for these matters. The Defendant Keitel was appointed Chief of the OKW. The most important division of the OKW, shown just to the right, was the Operations Staff, of which the Defendant Jodl became the chief.

Now, this reorganization and the establishment of OKW was embodied in a decree issued by Hitler on the 4th of February 1938. This decree appeared in the Reichsgesetzblatt, and I invite the Court's attention to it by way of judicial notice (1915-PS). Copies are available; and I would like to read the decree, which is very short, into the transcript. I quote:
"Command authority over the entire Armed Forces is from now on exercised directly by me personally."
THE PRESIDENT: Where do we find it?

COL. TAYLOR: That is not a document, Your Honor, because it is a decree from the Reichsgesetzblatt and subject to judicial notice; but copies are available here if the Tribunal cares to look at it.

I will continue with the second paragraph of this decree:
"The Armed Forces Department in the Reich War Ministry with its functions becomes the High Command of the Armed Forces and comes directly under my command as my military staff.

"The head of the Staff of the High Command of the Armed Forces is the Chief of the former Armed Forces Department, with the title of Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces. His status is equal to that of a Reich Minister.

"The High Command of the Armed Forces also takes over the affairs of the Reich War Ministry. The Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces, as my representative, exercises the functions hitherto exercised by the Reich War Minister.