|Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume 1|
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In the course of two years, the swastika had been carried forward by force of arms from a tightly controlled and remilitarized Germany to the four corners of Europe. The conspirators then projected the Nazi plan upon a universal screen, involving the old World of Asia and the New World of the United States of America. As a result, the wars of aggression that were planned in Berlin and launched across the frontiers of Poland ended some six years later, almost to the day, in surrender ceremonies aboard a United States battleship riding at anchor in the Bay of Tokyo.
A. Formal German-Japanese-Italian Alliances.
The first formal alliance between Hitler's Germany and the Japanese Government was the Anti-Comintern Pact signed in Berlin on 25 November 1936 (2508-PS). This agreement, on its face, was directed against the activities of the Communist International. It was subsequently adhered to by Italy on 6 November 1937 (2506-PS).
It is an interesting fact-especially in light of the evidence to be presented regarding Ribbentrop's active participation in collaboration with the Japanese-that Ribbentrop signed the Anti-Comintern Pact for Germany, at Berlin, even though at that time, November 1936, Ribbentrop was not the German Foreign Minister, but simply Hitler's Special Ambassador Plenipotentiary.
On 27 September 1940, some four years after the Anti-Comintern Pact was signed and one year after the initiation of war in Europe, the German, Italian, and Japanese Governments signed another pact at Berlin-a ten-year military-economic alliance (2643-PS). Again Ribbentrop signed for Germany, this time in his capacity as Foreign Minister: This tripartite Pact pledged Germany, Italy, and Japan to support of, and collaboration with each other in the establishment of a "new order" in Europe and East Asia. The agreement stated, in part:
"The Governments of Germany, Italy, and Japan consider it as a condition precedent of a lasting peace, that each nation of the world be given its own proper place. They have therefore decided to stand together and to cooperate with one another in their efforts in Greater East Asia and in the regions of Europe, wherein it is their prime purpose to establish and maintain a new order of things calculated to promote the prosperity and welfare of the peoples there. Furthermore, it is the desire of the three Governments to extend this cooperation to such nations in other parts of the world as are inclined to give to their endeavors a direction similar to their own, in order that their aspirations towards world peace as the ultimate goal may thus be realized. Accordingly, the Governments of Germany, Italy, and Japan have agreed as follows:
"Article 1: Japan recognizes and respects the leadership of Germany and Italy in the establishment of a new order in Europe.
"Article 2: Germany and Italy recognize and respect the leadership of Japan in the establishment of a new order in Greater East Asia.
"Article 3: Germany, Italy, and Japan agree to cooperate in their efforts on the aforesaid basis. They further undertake to assist one another with all political, economic and military means, if one of the three Contracting Parties is attacked by a Power at present not involved in the European war or in the Chinese-Japanese conflict."
"Article 6: The present Pact shall come into force immediately upon signature and shall remain in force for ten years from the date of its coming into force." (2643-PS)
The Tripartite Pact of 27 September 1940 thus was a bold announcement to the world that the leaders of Germany, Japan, and Italy had cemented a full military alliance to achieve world domination and to establish the "new order" presaged by the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the Italian conquest of Ethiopia in 1935, and the Nazi overflow into Austria early in 1938.
A statement by Cordell Hull, Secretary of State of the United States at the time of the signing of the Tripartite Pact, is relevant in this connection. Mr. Hull declared:
"The reported agreement of alliance does not, in the view of the Government of the United States, substantially alter a situation which has existed for several years. Announcement of the alliance merely makes clear to all a relationship which has long existed in effect and to which this Government has repeatedly called attention. That such an agreement has been in process of conclusion has been well known for some time, and that fact has been fully taken into account by the Government of United States in the determining of this country's policies." (2944-PS)
No attempt is made here to trace the relationships and negotiations leading up to the Tripartite Pact of 27 November 1940. Nevertheless, one example of the type of German-Japanese relationship existing before the formalization of the Tripartite Pact is noteworthy-the record of a conversation of 31 January 1939 between Himmler and General Oshima, Japanese Ambassador at Berlin. This record, which is signed by Himmler in crayon, reads:
"Today I visited General Oshima. The conversation ranged over the following subjects:
"1. The Fuehrer speech, which pleased him very much, especially because it had been spiritually warranted in all its features.
"2. We discussed conclusion of a treaty to consolidate the triangle Germany/Italy/Japan into an even firmer mold. He also told me that, together with German counter-espionage (Abwehr), he was undertaking long-range projects aimed at the disintegration of Russia and emanating from the Caucasus and the Ukraine. However, this organization was to become effective only in case of war.
"3. Furthermore he had succeeded up to now to send 10 Russians with bombs across the Caucasian frontier. These Russians had the mission to kill Stalin. A number of additional Russians, whom he had also sent across, had been shot at the frontier." (2195-PS)
B. Nazi Encouragement of Aggression by Japan
The Nazi conspirators, once their military and economic alliance with Japan had been formalized, exhorted the Japanese to aggression against those nations with whom they were at war and against those with whom they contemplated war. In this the Nazi conspirators pursued a course strikingly parallel to that followed in their relationship with the other member of the European Axis. On 10 Jun 1940, in fulfillment of her alliance with Germany, Italy had carried out her "stab in the back" by declaring war against France and Great Britain. The Nazi conspirators set about to induce similar action by Japan on the other side of the world.
The nations against whom the German-Japanese collaboration was aimed, at various times, were the British Commonwealth of Nations, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the United States of America.
(1) Exhortations to Attack the British Commonwealth. At least as early as 23 February 1941 the Nazi conspirators undertook to exploit their alliance with Japan by exhortations to commit aggression against the British Commonwealth. Again the figure of Ribbentrop appears. On that date, 23 February 1941, he held a conference with General Oshima, the Japanese Ambassador to Berlin, at which he urged that the Japanese open hostilities against the British in the Far East as soon as possible. (1834-PS)
As can be seen on the cover page of the English translation of the report of that conference, Ribbentrop on 2 March sent copies of an extract of the record of this conference to his various ambassadors and ministers for their "strictly confidential and purely personal information," with the further note that "these statements are of fundamental significance for orientation in the general political situation facing Germany in early Spring 1941."
The report stated, in part:
"from the report of the conference of the Reich Foreign Minister with Ambassador Oshima in Fuschl on 13 February 1941."
"After particularly cordial mutual greetings, the RAM [Reich Foreign Minister] declared that Ambassador Oshima had been proved right in the policy he had pursued regarding Germany in the face of the many doubters in Japan. By Germany's victory in the west these policies had been fully vindicated. He [the RAM] regretted that the alliance between Germany and Japan, for which he had been working with the Ambassador for many years already, had come into being only after various detours, but public opinion in Japan had not been ripe for it earlier. The main thing was, however, that they are together now.
"* * * Now the German-Japanese alliance has been concluded. Ambassador Oshima is the man who gets credit for it from the Japanese side. After conclusion of the alliance the question of its further development now stands in the foreground. How is the situation in this respect? (1834-PS)
Ribbentrop subsequently proceeded to shape the argument for Japanese intervention against the British. First outlining the intended air and U-boat warfare against England, he said:
"* * * Thereby England's situation would take catastrophic shape overnight. The landing in England is prepared; its execution, however, depends on various factors, above all on weather conditions."
"The Fuehrer would beat England wherever he would encounter her. Besides our strength is not only equal, but superior to a combined English-American air force at any time. The number of pilots at our disposal was unlimited. The same was true for our airplane production capacity. As far as quality is concerned ours was always superior to the English (to say nothing about the American) and we were on the way even to enlarge this lead. On order of the Fuehrer the antiaircraft defense too would be greatly reinforced. Since the army had been supplied far beyond its requirements, and enormous reserves had been piled up (the ammunitions plants have been slowed down because of the immense stock of material), production would now be concentrated on submarines, airplanes and antiaircraft guns.
"Every eventuality had been provided for; the war has been won to-day militarily, economically and politically. We had the desire to end the war quickly and to force England to sue for peace soon. The Fuehrer was vigorous and healthy, fully convinced of victory and determined to bring the war to a quick and victorious end. To this end the cooperation with Japan was of importance. However, Japan in its own interest, should come in as soon as possible. This would destroy England's key position in the Far East. Japan, on the other hand, would thus secure its position in the Far East, a position which it could acquire only through war. There were three reasons for quick action:
"1. Intervention by Japan would mean a decisive blow against the center of the British Empire (threat to India, cruiser-warfare, etc.) The effect upon the morale of the British people would be very serious and this would contribute toward a quick ending of the war.
"2. A surprising intervention by Japan was bound to keep America out of the war. America, which at present is not armed as yet and would hesitate greatly to expose her Navy to any risks West of Hawaii, could do this even less so in such a case. If Japan would otherwise respect the American interests, there would not even be the possibility for Roosevelt to use the argument of lost prestige to make war plausible to the Americans. It was very unlikely that America would declare war if it then would have to stand by helplessly while Japan takes the Philippines without America being able to do anything about it.
"3. In view of the coming new world order it seems to be in the interest of Japan also to secure for herself already during the war the position she wants to hold in the Far East at the time of a peace treaty. Ambassador Oshima agreed with me entirely and said that he would do everything to carry through this policy." (1834-PS)
The subtlety of Ribbentrop's argument is noteworthy. First he told the Japanese Ambassador that Germany had already practically won the war by herself. Nevertheless, he suggested that the war could be successfully terminated more quickly with Japan's aid and that the moment was propitious for Japan's entry. Then, referring to the spoils of conquest, he indicated that Japan would be best advised to pick up by herself during the war the positions she wanted, implying that she would have to earn her share of the booty.
The remainder of Ribbentrop's argument shows something of the real nature of the German-Japanese alliance:
"The Reich Foreign Minister continued by saying that it was Japan's friendship which had enabled Germany to arm after the Anti-Comintern Pact was concluded. On the other hand, Japan had been able to penetrate deeply into the English sphere of interest in China. Germany's victory on the continent has brought now, after the conclusion of the Three Power Pact, great advantages for Japan. France, as a power, was eliminated in the Far East (Indo-China). England too was considerably weakened; Japan had been able to close in steadily on Singapore. Thus, Germany had already contributed enormously to the shaping of the future fate of the two nations. Due to our geographical situation we should have to carry the main burden of the final battle in the future, too. If an unwanted conflict with Russia should arise we should have to carry the main burden also in this case. If Germany should ever weaken Japan would find itself confronted by a world-coalition within a short time. We were all in the same boat. The fate of both nations was being determined now for centuries to come. The same was true for Italy. The interests of the three countries would never intersect. A defeat of Germany would also mean the end of the Japanese imperialistic idea.
"Ambassador Oshima definitely agreed with these statements and emphasized the fact that Japan was determined to keep its imperial position. The Reich Foreign Minister then discussed the great problems which would arise after the war for the parties of the Three Power Pact from the shaping of a new order in Europe and East Asia. the problems arising then would require a bold solution. Thereby no overcentralization should take place, but a solution should be found on a basis of parity, particularly in the economic realm. In regard to this the Reich Foreign Minister advanced the principle that a free exchange of trade should take place between the two spheres of interest on a liberal basis. The European-African hemisphere under the leadership of Germany and Italy, and the East-Asian sphere of interest under the leadership of Japan. As he conceived it, for example, Japan would conduct trade and make trade agreements directly with the independent states in the European hemisphere, as heretofore, while Germany and Italy would trade directly and make trade agreements with the independent countries within the Japanese orbit of power, such as China, Thailand, Indochina, etc. Furthermore, as between the two economic spheres, each should fundamentally grant the other preferences with regard to third parties. The Ambassador expressed agreement with this thought." (1834-PS)
The instigation to war by Ribbentrop, the German Foreign Minister, is clear. The participation of the German military representatives in the encouragement and provocation of wars of aggression is shown in a Top Secret order signed by Keitel as Chief of the OKW and entitled "Basic Order No. 24 Regarding Collaboration with Japan" (C-75). It is dated 5 March 1941, about a week and a half after Ribbentrop's conference with Oshima, just discussed. It was distributed in 14 copies to the highest commands of the Army, Navy, and Air Force as well as to the Foreign Office. Two copies of this order, identical except for handwritten notations presumably made by the recipients, were turned up by the prosecution. Document C-75 is Copy No. 2 of the order, distributed to the Naval War Staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy (the OKM). Copy No. 4, designed for the Wehrmacht Fuehrungsstab-the Operations Staff of the High Command of the Armed Forces-was found in the OKW files at Flensburg. The head of this operations Staff was Jodl. Basic Order No. 24 was the authoritative Nazi policy on collaboration with Japan (C-75). It reads:
"Only by Officer
"Armed Forces High Command (OKW)
Joint Operations Staff, Branch L (I Op.)
No. 44 282/41 Top Secret
5 March 1941
[Various handwritten notations and stamps]
"Basic Order No. 24
regarding collaboration with Japan
"The Fuehrer has issued the following order regarding collaboration with Japan:
"1. It must be the aim of the collaboration based on the Three Power Pact to induce Japan as soon as possible to take active measures in the Far East. Strong British forces will thereby be tied down, and the center of gravity of the interests of the United States of America will be diverted to the Pacific.
"The sooner it intervenes, the greater will be the prospects of success for Japan in view of the still undeveloped preparedness for war on the part of its adversaries. The "Barbarossa" operation will create particularly favorable political and military prerequisites for this. [Marginal note - "slightly exaggerated"]
"2. To prepare the way for the collaboration it is essential to strengthen the Japanese military potential with all means available.
"For this purpose the High Commands of the branches of the Armed Forces will comply in a comprehensive and generous manner with Japanese desires for information regarding German war and combat experience and for assistance in military economics and in technical matters. Reciprocity is desirable but this factor should not stand in the way of negotiations. Priority should naturally be given to those Japanese requests which would have the most immediate application in waging war.
"In special cases the Fuehrer reserves the decisions to himself.
"3. The harmonizing of the operational plans of the two parties is the responsibility of the Navy High Command.
"This will be subject to the following guiding principles:
"a. The common aim of the conduct of war is to be stressed as forcing England to the ground quickly and thereby keeping the United States out of the war. Beyond this Germany has no political, military, or economic interests in the Far East which would give occasion for any reservations with regard to Japanese intentions.
"b. The great successes achieved by Germany in mercantile warfare make it appear particularly suitable to employ strong Japanese forces for the same purpose. In this connection every opportunity to support German mercantile warfare must be exploited.
"c. The raw material situation of the pact powers demands that Japan should acquire possession of those territories which it needs for the continuation of the war, especially if the United States intervenes. Rubber shipments must be carried out even after the entry of Japan into the war, since they are of vital importance to Germany.
"d. The seizure of Singapore as the key British position in the Far East would mean a decisive success for the entire conduct of war of the Three Powers.
"In addition, attacks on other systems of bases of British naval power-extending to those of American naval power only if the entry of the United States into the war cannot be prevented-will result in weakening the enemy's system of power in that region and also, just like the attack on sea communications, in tying down substantial forces of all kinds (Australia).
"A date for the beginning of operational discussions cannot yet be fixed.
"4. In the military commissions to be formed in accordance with the Three Power pact, only such questions are to be dealt with as equally concern the three participating powers. These will include primarily the problems of economic warfare.
"The working out of the details is the responsibility of the "Main Commission" with the cooperation of the Armed Forces High Command.
"5. The Japanese must not be given any intimation of the Barbarossa operation.
"The Chief of the Armed Forces High Command
"Signed in draft: Keitel
"Correctness certified by JUNGE Lieutenant Commander" (C-75)
It appears from this document that the Nazi conspirators' cardinal operational principle in their collaboration with Japan was, as early as March 1941, the inducement of Japan to aggression against Singapore and other British Far Eastern bases.
A meeting was held on 18 March 1941, about two weeks after the issuance of Basic Order No. 24 (C-75) and was attended by Hitler, Raeder, Keitel, and Jodl. The top secret record of this meeting discloses that Raeder, then Commander in Chief of the Navy, made the following calculations:
"Japan must take steps to seize Singapore as soon as possible, since the opportunity will never again be as favourable (whole English Fleet contained; unpreparedness of U.S.A. for was against Japan; inferiority of U.S. Fleet vis-a-vis the Japanese). Japan is indeed making preparations for this action, but according to all declarations made by Japanese officers she will only carry it out if Germany proceeds to land in England. Germany must therefore concentrate all her efforts on spurring Japan to act immediately. If Japan has Singapore all other East Asiatic questions regarding the U.S.A. and England are thereby solved (Guam, Philippines, Borneo, Dutch East Indies).
"Japan wishes if possible to avoid war against U.S.A. She can do so if she determinedly takes Singapore as soon as possible." (C-152)
The fact clearly appears from these minutes that military staff conferences had already been held with the Japanese to discuss the activation of Japanese military support against the British and to urge their immediate attack on Singapore. Another passage in the record of this meeting establishes this:
"Japan is indeed making preparations for this action, but according to all declarations made by Japanese officers she will only carry it out if Germany proceeds to land in England." (C-152)
Apparently the Nazis were subsequently able to persuade the Japanese to eliminate this condition precedent to their performance under the contract.
Meanwhile, Ribbentrop continued to make further efforts to induce the Japanese to aggression against the British Commonwealth. On 29 March 1941, he met with the Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka, who was then in Berlin. The following is a report of their conversations, found in the German Foreign Office Archives:
"REPORT ON THE CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE REICH MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (RAM) AND THE JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTER MATSUOKA IN BERLIN ON 29 MARCH 1941.
"The RAM resumed the preceding conversation with Matsuoka about the latter's impending talks with the Russians in Moscow, where they had left off. He expressed the opinion, that it would probably be best, in view of the whole situation, not to carry the discussions with the Russians too far. He did not know how the situation would develop. One thing, however, was certain, namely, that Germany would strike immediately, should Russia ever attack Japan. He was ready to give Matsuoka this positive assurance, so that Japan could push forward to the South on Singapore, without fear of possible complications with Russia. The largest part of the German army was anyway on the Eastern frontiers of the Reich, and fully prepared to open the attack at any time. He (the RAM), however, believed that Russia would try to avoid development leading to war. Should Germany however enter into a conflict with Russia, the USSR would be finished off within a few months. In this case, Japan had of course even less reason to be afraid than ever, if it wants to advance on Singapore. Consequently, it need not refrain from such an undertaking because of possible fears of Russia.
"He could not know of course, just how things with Russia would develop. It was uncertain whether or not Stalin would intensify his present unfriendly policy against Germany. He (the RAM) wanted to point out to Matsuoka, in any case, that a conflict with Russia was anyhow within the realm of possibility. In any case, Matsuoka could not report to the Japanese Emperor upon his return, that a conflict between Russia and Germany was impossible. On the contrary, the situation was such, that such a conflict, even if it were not probable, would have to be considered possible."
"Next, the RAM turned again to the Singapore question. In view of the fears expressed by the Japanese of possible attacks by submarines, based on the Philippines, and of the intervention of the British Mediterranean and Home fleets, he had again discussed the situation with General-Admiral Raeder. The latter had stated that the British Navy during this year would have its hands so full in the English home waters and in the Mediterranean, that it would not be able to send even a single ship to the Far East. General-Admiral Raeder had described the U.S. submarines as so bad that Japan need not bother about them at all.
"Matsuoka replied immediately that the Japanese Navy had a very low estimate of the threat from the British Navy; it also held the view that, in case of a clash with the American Navy, it would be able to smash the latter without trouble. However it was afraid that the Americans would not take up the battle with their fleet; thus the conflict with the United States might perhaps be dragged out to five years. This possibility caused considerable worry in Japan.
"The RAM replied that America could not do anything against Japan in the case of the capture of Singapore. Perhaps for this reason alone, Roosevelt would think twice before deciding on active measures against Japan. For while on one hand he could not achieve anything against Japan, on the other hand there was the probability of losing the Philippines to Japan; for the American president, of course, this would mean a considerable loss of prestige, and because of the inadequate rearmament, he would have nothing to offset such a loss.
"In this connection, Matsuoka pointed out, that he was doing everything to reassure the English about Singapore. He acted as if Japan had no intention at all regarding this key position of England in the East. Therefore it might be possible that his attitude toward the British would appear to be friendly in words and in acts. However, Germany should not be deceived by that. He assumed this attitude not only in order to reassure the British, but also in order to fool the pro-British and pro-American elements so long, until one day he would suddenly open the attack on Singapore.
"In this connection, Matsuoka stated that his tactics were based on the certain assumption that the sudden attack against Singapore would unite the entire Japanese nation with one blow. ("Nothing succeeds like success," the RAM remarked.) He followed here the example of the words of a famous Japanese statesman, addressed to the Japanese Navy at the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese war: "You open fire, then the nation will be united." The Japanese need to be shaken up to awaken. After all, as an Oriental, he believed in fate, which would come, whether you wanted it or not."
"Matsuoka then introduced the subject of German assistance in the blow against Singapore, a subject which had been broached to him frequently, and mentioned the proposal of a German written promise of assistance.
"The RAM replied that he had already discussed these questions with Ambassador Oshima. He had asked him to procure maps of Singapore in order that the Fuehrer-who probably must be considered the greatest expert on military questions at the present time-could advise Japan on the best method of attack against Singapore. German experts on aerial warfare, too, would be at her disposal; they could draw up a report, based on their European experiences, for the Japanese on the use of dive-bombers from airfields in the vicinity against the British fleet in Singapore. Thus the British fleet would be forced to disappear from Singapore immediately.
"Matsuoka remarked that Japan was less concerned with the British fleet, than with the capture of the fortifications.
"The RAM replied that here, too, the Fuehrer had developed new methods for the German attacks on strongly fortified positions, such as the Maginot Line and Fort Eben Emael, which he could make available to the Japanese.
"Matsuoka replied in this connection that some of the younger, expert Japanese naval officers, who were close friends of his, were of the opinion that the Japanese naval forces would need three months until they could capture Singapore. As a cautious Foreign Minister, he had doubled this estimate. He believed he could stave off any danger which threatened from America, for six months. If, however, the capture of Singapore required still more time and if, the operations would perhaps even drag out for a year, the situation with America would become extremely critical and he did not know as yet how to meet it.
"If at all avoidable, he would not touch the Netherland East Indies, since he was afraid that in case of a Japanese attack on this area, the oilfields would be set afire. They could be brought into operation again only after 1 or 2 years.
"The RAM added that Japan would gain decisive influence over the Netherland East Indies simultaneously with the capture of Singapore." (1877-PS)
On 5 April, about a week after the conference just noted, Ribbentrop again met with Matsuoka and again pushed the Japanese another step along the road to aggressive war. The notes of this conference, which were also found in German Foreign Office Archives, reveal the following Exchange:
"* * * In answer to a remark by Matsuoka, that Japan was now awakening and, according to the Japanese temperament, would take action quickly after the previous lengthy deliberation, the Reich Foreign Minister replied that it was necessary, of course, to accept a certain risk in this connection, just as the Fuehrer had done so successfully with the occupation of the Rhineland, with the proclamation of sovereignty of armament, and with the resignation from the League of Nations."
"The Reich Foreign Minister replied that the new German Reich would actually be built up on the basis of the ancient traditions of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, which in its time was the only dominant power on the European Continent.
"In conclusion the Reich Foreign Minister once again summarized the points he wanted Matsuoka to take back to Japan with him from his trip:
"1. Germany had already won the war. With the end of this year the world would realize this. Even England would have to concede it, if it had not collapsed before then, and America would also have to resign herself to this fact.
"2. There were no conflicting interests between Japan and Germany. The future of both countries could be regulated for the long run on the basis that Japan should predominate in the Far East, Italy and Germany in Europe and Africa.
"3. Whatever might happen, Germany would win the war. But it would hasten victory if Japan would enter the war. Such an entry into the war was undoubtedly more in the interest of Japan than in that of Germany, for it offered a unique opportunity which would hardly ever return, for the fulfillment of the national objectives of Japan, a chance which would make it possible for her to play a really leading role in East Asia." (1882-PS)
Here again, in the portions just quoted, Ribbentrop is seen pursuing the same tack previously noted: Germany has already won the war for all practical purposes. Japan's entry will hasten the inevitable end. And Japan had better get the positions she wants during the war. Ribbentrop's assurances, (1877-PS) that Japan likewise had nothing to fear from the Soviet Union if Japan entered the conflict, and his continual references to the weakness of the United States scattered throughout his conversations, were other means used to hurry along the Japanese.
The success of the Nazi methods is shown in a top secret report, dated 24 May 1941, from the German Military Attaché in Tokyo to the Intelligence Division of the OKW. The last sentence in paragraph 1, states:
"The preparations for attack on Singapore and Manila Stand." (1538-PS)
The fact appears from this sentence that the German military were keeping in close touch with the Japanese operational plans against Singapore, which the Nazi conspirators had fostered.
(2) Exhortations to Japanese Aggression Against the U.S.S.R. The Nazi conspirators also directed their efforts to induce a Japanese "stab in the back" against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Here again Ribbentrop appears as a central figure.
For some months prior to the issuance of Basic Order No. 24 regarding collaboration with Japan (C-75), the Nazi conspirators had been preparing "Fall Barbarossa", the plan for attack on the U.S.S.R. Basic Order No. 24 decreed, however, that the Japanese "must not be given any intimation of the Barbarossa operation". (C-75)
In his conference with the Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka on 29 March 1941, almost 3 weeks after the issuance of Basic Order No. 24, Ribbentrop nevertheless hinted at things to come. Ribbentrop assured Matsuoka that the largest part of the German Army was on the Eastern frontiers of the Reich fully prepared to open the attack at any time. Ribbentrop then added that, although he believed that the U.S.S.R. would try to avoid developments leading to war, nevertheless a conflict with the Soviet Union, even if not probable, would have to be considered possible. (1877-PS)
Whatever conclusions the Japanese Ambassador drew from these remarks in April 1941 can only be conjectured. Once the Nazis had unleashed their aggression against the U.S.S.R. in June of 1941, the tenor of Ribbentrop's remarks left no room for doubt. On 10 July 1941, Ribbentrop despatched a coded telegram to Ott, the German Ambassador in Tokyo (2896-PS). Pertinent passages in that telegram read as follows:
"Please take this opportunity to thank the Japanese Ambassador in Moscow for conveying the cable report. It would be convenient if we could keep on receiving news from Russia this way. In summing up, I would like to say: I have now, as in the past, full confidence in the Japanese Policy, and in the Japanese Foreign Minister, first of all because the present Japanese government would really act inexcusably toward the future of its nation if it would not take this unique opportunity to solve the Russian problem, as well as to secure for all time its expansion to the South and settle the Chinese matter. Since Russia, as reported by the Japanese Ambassador in Moscow, is in effect close to collapse, a report which coincides with our own observations as far as we are able to judge at the present war situation, it is simply impossible that Japan does not solve the matter of Vladivostok and the Siberian area as soon as her military preparations are completed."
"However, I ask you to employ all available means in further insisting upon Japan's entry into the war against Russia at the soonest possible date, as I have mentioned already in my note to Matsuoka. The sooner this entry is effected, the better it is. The natural objective still remains that we and Japan join hands on the Trans-Siberian railroad, before winter starts. After the collapse of Russia, however, the position of the Three Power Pact states in the world will be so gigantic, that the question of England's collapse or the total destruction of the English islands, respectively, will only be a matter of time. An America totally isolated from the rest of the world would then be faced with our taking possession of the remaining positions of the British Empire which are important for the Three Power Pact countries. I have the unshakable conviction that a carrying through of the new order as desired by us will be a matter of course, and there would be no insurmountable difficulties if the countries of the Three Power Pact stand close together and encounter every action of the Americans with the same weapons. I ask you to report in the near future as often as possible and in detail on the political situation there." (2896-PS)
Ott's reply to this telegram (2897-PS), dated 13 July 1941, was as follows:
"Telegram (Secret Cipher System)
"Tokyo 14 July 1941 0230 hrs.
Arrived 14 July 1941 1120 hrs.
As fast as possible!
"#1217 dated 13.7
for Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Answer to telegram 10, #108 Reichsminister for Foreign Affairs
Arrived Tokyo 12 July 1941
"I am trying with all means to work toward Japan's entry into the war against Russia as soon as possible. Especially using arguments of personal message of Foreign Minister and telegram cited above, to convince Matsuoka personally, as well as the Foreign Office, Military elements, Nationalists and friendly business men. I believe that, according to military preparations, Japanese participation will soon take place. The greatest obstacles against which one has to fight thereby is the disunity among Activist groups which, without unified command, follows various aims and only slowly adjusts itself to the changed situation. Ott." (2897-PS)
On subsequent occasions Ribbentrop repeated his exhortations to induce the Japanese to aggression against the U.S.S.R. Three documents, covering July of 1942 and March and April of 1943, record these exhortations.
The first discussion occurred between Ribbentrop and Oshima, Japanese Ambassador to Berlin, on 9 July 1942. As a matter of background, it may be noted that at that time German armies were sweeping forward in the U.S.S.R. and the fall of Sevastapol had just been announced. The discussion proceeded as follows:
"Notes concerning the discussion between the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Ambassador Oshima at Steinort, on 9 July 1942.
"He, the German Foreign Minister, had asked to see the Ambassador at this time when the situation was as described, because now a question of fateful importance had arisen concerning the joint conduct of the war: if Japan felt itself sufficiently strong militarily, the moment for Japan to attack Russia was probably now. He thought it possible that, if Japan attacked Russia now, it would lead to her (Russia's) final moral collapse; at least it would hasten the collapse of her present system. In any case, never again would Japan have such an opportunity as existed at present, to eliminate once and for all the Russian colossus in Eastern Asia. He had discussed this question with the Fuehrer, and the Fuehrer was of the same opinion, but he wanted to emphasize one point right away: Japan should attack Russia only if she felt sufficiently strong for such an undertaking. Under no circumstances should Japanese operations against Russia be allowed to bog down at the halfway mark, and we do not want to urge Japan into an action that is not mutually profitable." (2911-PS)
Ribbentrop and Ambassador Oshima had another conference on 6 March 1943. It is noted, again for background, that the strategic military situation in the broad expanses of the U.S.S.R. had changed somewhat. In the previous month, February 1943, the Soviet Armies had completely defeated the German forces at Stalingrad and inflicted severe losses. To the north and west their winter offensive had recovered large areas from the hands of the invaders. In addition, combined U. S. and British forces had already landed in North Africa. The tone of Ribbentrop's argument reflects the changed military situation. The familiar Japanese refrain of "so sorry please" likewise appears to have crept in. It is noted, in this regard, that the month of February 1943 had also seen the end of organized Japanese resistance on the island of Guadalcanal. The conference went as follows:
"Ambassador Oshima declared that he had received a telegram from Tokyo, and he is to report by order of his government to the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs (RAM) the following: The suggestion of the German Government, to attack Russia, was the subject of a common conference between the Japanese Government and the Imperial headquarters, during which the question was discussed in detail and investigated exactly. The result is the following: the Japanese Government absolutely recognizes the danger which threatens from Russia, and completely understands the desire of its German ally that Japan on her part will also enter the war against Russia. However, it is not possible for the Japanese Government, considering the present war situation, to enter into the War. It is rather of the conviction that it would be in the common interest not to start the war against Russia now. On the other hand, the Japanese Government would never disregard the Russian question.
"The Japanese Government has the intention to become aggressive again in the future on other fronts.
"The RAM brought up the question, after the explanation by the Ambassador, of how the continued waging of the war is envisaged in Tokyo. At present, Germany wages the war against the common enemies, England and America, mostly alone, while Japan mostly behaves more defensively. However, it would be more correct that all powers allied in the Three Power Pact would combine their forces to defeat England and America, but also Russia together. It is not good when one part must fight alone. One cannot overstrain the German national strength. He has worried silently that certain forces work in Tokyo, who are of the opinion and who propagate it, that Germany would come through the fight victoriously, and that therefore Japan should consolidate itself further at first, before it makes further and utmost efforts."
"Then the RAM again brought up the question of the attack on Russia by Japan, and he declared that after all, the fight on the Burma front as well as in the South is actually more of a maritime problem, and on all fronts-except those in China-there are mostly very few ground forces committed. Therefore the attack on Russia is primarily an army affair, and he asked himself whether the necessary forces would not be ready for that". (2954-PS)
Ribbentrop kept on trying. He held another conference with Oshima about three weeks later, on 18 April 1943. The top secret notes of this conference reveal the following:
"The Reichminister for Foreign Affairs then stressed again that without any doubt this year presented the most favorable opportunity for Japan, if she felt strong enough and had sufficient anti-tank weapons at her disposal, to attack Russia, which certainly would never again be as weak as she is at the moment." (2929-PS)
(3) Nazi Preparations and Collaboration with the Japanese Against the United States. The Nazi preparations and collaboration with the Japanese against the United States present a twofold aspect: one of preparations by the Nazis themselves for attack from across the Atlantic; the other of the fomenting of war in the Pacific.
In the previous discussion of the Nazi exhortations to the Japanese to war against the British Commonwealth and the U.S.S.R., reference has been made to certain documents relating to the United States. Those documents will be taken up again, in their relevant passages, to show their particular application. In the treatment of Ribbentrop's urging the Japanese to war against the U.S.S.R., documents have been introduced chronicling conferences which took place after the dates of 7 December and 11 December 1941 when the Japanese and German Governments, respectively, initiated and declared aggressive war against the United States. These documents have indicated that Nazi awareness and acceptance of the direction in which their actions were leading, as well as the universal aspects of their conspiracy and of their alliance with the Japanese.
(a) Preliminary Nazi Preparations Against the United States. The Nazi conspirators' intentions against the United States must be viewed in the focus of both their over-all plan and their immediate commitments elsewhere. That their over-all plan involved ultimate aggressive war against the United States was intimated by Goering in a speech on 8 July 1938, when the Nazi conspirators had already forcibly annexed Austria and were perfecting their plans for occupation of Czechoslovakia. This speech was delivered to representatives of the aircraft industry and the copy which the prosecution has obtained was transmitted as the enclosure to a secret memorandum from Goering's adjutant to General Udet, who was then in Charge of experimental research for the Luftwaffe (R-140). The statement in the covering memorandum notes that the enclosure is a "copy of the shorthand minutes of the conference". In the course of his long speech, Goering called for increased aircraft production and referred to the necessity for full mobilization of German industrial capacity. He continued:
"I still am missing entirely the bomber which flies with 5 tons of explosives as far as New York and back. I should be extremely happy to have such a bomber so that I would at last be able to stop somewhat the mouth of the arrogant people over there." (R-140)
Goering's fervent hope, of course, was not capable of realization at that time, either technically or in the face of the Nazi conspirators' schedule of aggression that has already been outlined. During the period of their preparation for and waging of aggressive war in Europe, up through the launching of the campaign against the U.S.S.R., it is only reasonable to believe that the Nazi conspirators were not disposed to involve the United States in war-at that time.
Nevertheless, even in the fall of 1940, the prosecution of war against the United States of America at a later date was on the military agenda. This is clearly shown in a document which was found in the files of the OKL, the German Air Force (376-PS). This memorandum is marked "Chefsache"-the German designation for Top Secret-and is directed from a Major von Falkenstein to an unspecified General, presumably a Luftwaffe General. Falkenstein, who was a Major of the General Staff, was at that time the Luftwaffe liaison Officer with the Operations Staff of the OKW, which was the staff headed by Jodl. His memorandum, which he characterizes as a "brief resume of the military questions current here", is dated 29 October 1940. It covers several questions. Paragraph 5 states:
"5. The Fuehrer is at present occupied with the question of the occupation of the Atlantic Islands with a view to the prosecution of war against America at a later date. Deliberations on this subject are being embarked upon here. Essential conditions are at the present:-
"a. No operational commitment
"b. Portuguese neutrality
"c. Support of France and Spain
"A brief assessment of the possibility of seizing and holding air bases and of the question of supply is needed from the GAF.
"Major Queisner will fetch the documents for himself from Ic Kurfurst (C. in C. GAF Rear Hq.). I would like to ask Colonel Schmidt to arrange that he be supplied with the information he desires." (376-PS)
The Nazi Military interest in the United States is further indicated by paragraph 7:
"7. General von Boetticher has made repeated reference, especially in his telegram 2314 dated 26/10, to the fact that in his opinion too many details of our knowledge of American aircraft industry are being published in the German press. The matter has been discussed at Armed Forces Supreme Command. I pointed out that the matter was a specifically GAF one, but have taken the liberty of referring the matter to you on its own merits." (376-PS)
Again in July 1941, in his first flush of confidence resulting from early gains in the aggression against the U.S.S.R., the Fuehrer signed an order for further preliminary preparations for the attack on the United States. This top secret order, found in files of the German Navy, reads:
"By virtue of the intentions announced in Directive No. 32, for the further conduct of the War, I lay down the following principles to govern the strength of personnel and of material supplies:
"1. In general: The military domination of Europe after the defeat of Russia will enable the strength of the Army to be considerably reduced in the near future. AS far as the reduced strength of the Army will allow, the Armoured units will be greatly increased.
"Naval armament must be restricted to those measures which have a direct connection with the conduct of the war against England and, should the case arise, against America.
"The main effort in armament will be shifted to the Air Force, which must be greatly increased in strength." (C-74)
(b) Collaboration with the Japanese Against the United States. From the documents just quoted, it appears that the Nazi conspirators were making at least preliminary military plans of their own against the Unites States. The Nazi over-all plan with regard to the United States, however, was a complex one, involving in addition collaboration with the Japanese. In the course of their repeated representations to the Japanese to undertake an assault against British possessions in the Pacific-Far East, they again considered war against the United States.
It will be recalled that in Basic Order No. 24 regarding collaboration with the Japanese (C-75), which was issued on 5 March 1941, the Nazi policy was stated in subparagraph 3a as aiming at "forcing England to the ground quickly and thereby keeping the United States out of the war". Nevertheless the Nazi conspirators clearly contemplated within the framework of that policy the possibility of the United States' entry into the Far Eastern conflict which the Nazis were instigating. This could result from an attack by Japan on United States' possessions practically simultaneously with the assault on the British Empire (as actually happened). Other possibilities of involvement of the United States were also discussed. Thus, Basic Order No. 24 stated in subparagraph 3 (c):
"c. The raw material situation of the pact powers demands that Japan should acquire possession of those territories which it needs for the continuation of the war, especially if the United States intervenes. Rubber shipments must be carried out even after the entry of Japan into the war, since they are of vital importance to Germany." (C-75)
The order continues, in the unnumbered paragraph immediately below subparagraph 3 (d):
"In addition, attacks on other systems of bases of British naval power-extending to those of American naval power only if the entry of the United States into the war cannot be prevented-will result in weakening the enemy's system of power in that region and also, just like the attack on sea communications, in tying down substantial forces of all kinds (Australia)." (C-75)
In these passages there is a clear envisionment of U.S. involvement, as well as a clear intent to attack. The vital threat to United States' interests if Japan were to capture Singapore was also clearly envisaged by Raeder in his meeting of March 1941 with Hitler, Keitel, and Jodl, in which he stated:
"Japan must take steps to seize Singapore as soon as possible, since the opportunity will never again be as favourable (whole English Fleet contained: unpreparedness of U.S.A. for war against Japan: inferiority of U.S. Fleet vis-a-vis the Japanese). Japan is indeed making preparations for this action, but according to all declarations made by Japanese officers she will only carry it out if Germany proceeds to land in England. Germany must therefore concentrate all her efforts on spurring Japan to act immediately. If Japan has Singapore all other East Asiatic questions regarding the U.S.A. and England are thereby solved (Guam, Philippines, Borneo, Dutch East Indies).
"Japan wishes if possible to avoid war against U.S.A. She can do so if she determinedly takes Singapore as soon as possible." (C-152)
Ribbentrop also recognized the possibility of U.S. involvement as a result of the course of aggression that he was urging on the Japanese. In his meeting of 23 February 1941 with the Japanese Ambassador Oshima, the notes of which are contained in (1834-PS), Ribbentrop assured Matsuoka that a surprise intervention by Japan was bound to keep the United States out of the war since she was unarmed and could not risk either her fleet or the possibility of losing the Philippines as the result of a declaration of war. Two paragraphs later, Ribbentrop practically dropped the pretense that the United States would not be involved:
"The Reich Foreign Minister mentioned further that, if America should declare war because of Japan's entry into the war, this would mean that America had had the intention to enter the war sooner or later anyway. Even though it would be preferable to avoid this, the entry into the war would, as explained above, be by no means decisive and would not endanger the final victory of the countries of the Three-Power Pact. The Foreign Minister further expressed his belief that a temporary lift of the British morale caused by America's entry into the war would be cancelled by Japan's entry into the war. If, however, contrary to all expectations, the Americans should be careless enough to send their Navy, in spite of all, beyond Hawaii and to the Far East, this would represent the biggest chance for the countries of the Three-Power Pact to bring the war rapidly to an end. He, the Foreign Minister, is convinced that the Japanese fleet would then do a complete job. Ambassador Oshima replied to this that unfortunately he does not think the Americans would do it, but he is convinced of a victory of his fleet in Japanese waters." (1834-PS)
In the paragraphs that follow, Ribbentrop again stresses the mutual interdependence of the Tripartite Pact powers and suggests coordinated action. He indulged in a typical bit of Nazi cynicism:
"The Reich Foreign Minister then touched upon the question, explicitly pointed out as theoretical, that the contracting powers might be required, on the basis of new affronts by the U.S.A., to break off diplomatic relations. Germany and Italy were fundamentally determined on this; after signing of the Three-Power Pact we should proceed if the occasion arises, but also jointly in this matter. Such a lesson should open the eyes of the people in the U.S.A. to the situation and under certain conditions bring about a swing toward isolation in public opinion. Naturally a situation had to be chosen in which America found herself entirely in the wrong. The common step of the signatory powers should be exploited correspondingly in propaganda. The question, however, was in no way acute at the time." (1834-PS)
Again on 29 March 1941, Ribbentrop-this time in a conference with the Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka-discussed the possible involvement of the United States. (1877-PS)
The Nazi conspirators knew that the aggressive war they were urging the Japanese to undertake both threatened the vital interests of the United States and could lead the U.S. to involvement in the contemplated Far Eastern conflict. This fact is clear from the report of the conference between Hitler and the Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka in Berlin on 4 April 1941 (1881-PS). The report states, in part:
"* * * Matsuoka then also expressed the request that the Fuehrer should instruct the proper authorities in Germany to meet as broad-mindedly as possible the wishes of the Japanese Military Commission. Japan was in need of German help particularly concerning the U-boat warfare, which could be given by making available to them the latest experiences of the war as well as the latest technical improvements and inventions. Japan would do her utmost to avoid a war with the United States. In case that the country should decide to attack Singapore, the Japanese Navy, of course, had to be prepared for a fight with the United States, because in that case America probably would side with Great Britain. He (Matsuoka) personally believed that the United States would be restrained by diplomatic exertions from entering the war at the side of Great Britain. The Army and Navy had, however, to count on the worst situation, that is, with war against America. They were of the opinion that such a war would extend for five years or longer and would take the form of guerrilla warfare in the Pacific and would be fought out in the South Sea. For this reason the German experiences in her guerrilla warfare are of the greatest value to Japan. It was a question how such a war would best be conducted and how all the technical improvements of submarines, in all details such as periscopes and such like, could best be exploited by Japan.
"To sum up, Matsuoka requested that the Fuehrer should see to it that the proper German authorities would place at the disposal of the Japanese those developments and inventions concerning Navy and Army, which were needed by the Japanese.
"The Fuehrer promised this and pointed out that Germany too considered a conflict with the United States undesirable, but that it had already made allowances for such a contingency."
"Matsuoka once more repeated his request that the Fuehrer might give the necessary instructions, in order that the proper German authorities would place at the disposal of the Japanese the latest improvement and inventions, which are of interest to them, because the Japanese Navy had to prepare immediately for a conflict with the United States.
"As regards Japanese-American relationship, Matsuoka explained further that he has always declared in his country that sooner or later a war with the United States would be unavoidable, if Japan continued to drift along as at present. In his opinion this conflict would happen rather sooner than later. His argumentation went on, why should Japan, therefore, not decisively strike at the right moment and take the risk upon herself of a fight against America?" (1881-PS)
The passages just quoted show not only a realization of the probable involvement of the United States in the Far Eastern conflict that the Nazis were urging, but also a knowledge on their part that the Japanese Army and Navy were actually preparing war plans against the United States. Furthermore, the Nazis knew at least a part of what those war plans were. This fact is revealed in a secret telegram from the German military attaché in Tokyo, dated 24 May 1941 (1538-PS). The attaché reports the conferences he has had regarding Japan's entry in the war in the event Germany should become involved in war with the United States. In paragraph 1, this sentence appears:
"Preparations for attack on Singapore and Manila stand." (1538-PS).
A review of the Nazi position with regard to the United States at this point, the Spring of 1941, shows that in view of their press of commitments elsewhere and their aggressive plans against the U.S.S.R., set for execution in June of 1941, their temporary strategy was naturally a preference that the United States not be involved in war at that time. Nevertheless they had been considering their own preliminary plans against the United States, as seen in the Atlantic Islands document (376-PS). They were repeatedly urging the Japanese to aggression against the British Commonwealth, just as they would urge them to attack the U.S.S.R. soon after the launching of the Nazi invasion. They were aware that the course along which they were pushing the Japanese in the Far East would probably lead to involvement of the United States. Indeed, the Japanese Foreign Minister had told Hitler this in so many words, and their own military men had fully realized the implications of the move against Singapore. They knew also that the Japanese Army and Navy were preparing operational plans against the United States. They knew at least part of those plans.
The Nazi conspirators not only knew all these things. They accepted the risk of the aggressive course they were urging on the Japanese and pushed their Eastern allies still farther along that course. On 4 April 1941, Hitler told the Japanese Foreign Minister that in the event Japan were to become involved in war with the United States, Germany would immediately take the consequences and strike without delay. The following is a passage from the notes of the Hitler-Matsuoka conference in Berlin on 4 April 1941:
"In the further course of the discussion the Fuehrer pointed out that Germany on her part would immediately take the consequences, if Japan would get involved with the United States. It did not matter with whom the United States would first get involved, if with Germany or with Japan. They would always try to eliminate one country at a time, not to come to an understanding with the other country subsequently, but to liquidate this one just the same. Therefore Germany would strike, as already mentioned, without delay in case of a conflict between Japan and America, because the strength of the tripartite powers lies in their joined action. Their weakness would be if they would let themselves be beaten individually." (1881-PS)
Hitler then encouraged Matsuoka in his decision to strike against the United States:
"The Fuehrer replied that he could well understand the situation of Matsuoka, because he himself was in similar situations (the clearing of the Rhineland, declaration of sovereignty of armed Forces). He too was of the opinion that he had to exploit favorable conditions and accept the risk of an anyhow unavoidable fight at a time when he himself was still young and full of vigor. How right he was in his attitude was proven by events. Europe now was free. He would not hesitate a moment to instantly reply to any widening of the war, be it by Russia, be it by America. Providence favored those who will not let dangers come to them, but who will bravely face them." (1881-PS)
Here, in the passages just quoted, were assurance, encouragement, and abetment by the head of the German State, the leading Nazi co-conspirator, in April 1941. But the Nazi encouragement and promise of support did not end there. Another telegram from the German Ambassador in Tokyo regarding conversations with the Japanese Foreign Minister, dated 30 November 1941, one week before Pearl Harbor, read as follows:
"The progress of the negotiations so far confirms his viewpoint that the difference of opinion between Japan and the U.S. is very great. The Japanese Government since it sent Ambassador Kurusu has taken a firm stand, as he told me. He is convinced that this position is in our favor and makes the United States think that her entry into the European war would be risky business. The new American proposal of 25 November showed great divergences in the viewpoints of the two nations. These differences of opinion concern, for example, the further treatment of the Chinese question. The biggest (one word missing) however resulted from the U.S. attempt to make the three-power agreement ineffective. U.S. suggested to Japan to conclude treaties of non-aggression with the U.S., the British Empire, the Soviet Union, and other countries in order to prevent Japan's entry into the war on the side of the Axis powers. Japan, however, insisted upon maintaining her treaty obligations and for this reason American demands are the greatest obstacles for adjusting Japanese-American relations. He avoided discussing concessions promised by the U.S. and merely mentioned that grave decisions were at stake.
"The U. S. is seriously preparing for war and is about to operate a considerable part of its fleet from Southern Pacific bases. The Japanese Government is busy working out an answer in order to clarify its viewpoint. But he has no particulars at that moment. He thinks the American proposals, as a whole, unacceptable.
"Japan is not afraid of a breakdown of negotiations and she hopes that in that case Germany and Italy, according to the Three Power Agreement, would stand at her side. I answered that there could be no doubt about Germany's future position. The Japanese Foreign Minister thereupon stated that he understood from my words that Germany in such a case would consider her relationship to Japan as that of a community of fate. I answered, according to my opinion, Germany was certainly ready to have mutual agreement between the two countries over this situation.
"Minister of Foreign Affairs answered that it was possible that he would come back to this point soon. The conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs confirmed the impression that the U. S. note, in fact, is very unsatisfactory even for the compromise-seeking politicians here. For these circles America's position, especially in the China question, is very disappointing. The emphasis upon the Three Power Pact as being the main obstacle between successful Japanese-U. S. negotiations seems to point to the fact that the Japanese Government is becoming aware of the necessity of close cooperation with the Axis powers." (2898-PS)
Extracts from the handwritten diary of Count Galleazzo Ciano during the period 3 December to 8 December 1941 fill in the picture (2987-PS). These are taken from notes which Ciano jotted down in the course of his daily business as Foreign Minister of Italy. The entries for 3, 4, and 5 December read:
"December 3. Wednesday
"Sensational move by Japan. The Ambassador asks for an audience with the Duce and reads him a long statement on the progress of the negotiations with America, concluding with the assertion that they have reached a dead end. Then, invoking the appropriate clause in the Tripartite Pact, he asks that Italy declare war on America immediately after the outbreak of hostilities and proposes the signature of an agreement not to conclude a separate peace. The interpreter translating this request was trembling like a leaf. The Duce gave fullest assurances, reserving the right to confer with Berlin before giving a reply. The Duce was pleased with the communication and said: "We are now on the brink of the inter-continental war which I predicted as early as September 1939." What does this new event mean? In any case, it means that Roosevelt has succeeded in his maneuver. Since he could not enter into the war immediately and directly, he has entered it indirectly by letting himself be attacked by Japan. Furthermore, this event also means that every prospect of peace is becoming further and further removed, and that it is now easy-much too easy-to predict a long war. Who will be able to hold out longest? it is on this basis that the problem must be considered. Berlin's answer will be somewhat delayed, because Hitler has gone to the southern front to see General Kleist, whose armies continue to give way under the pressure of an unexpected Soviet offensive.
"December 4. Thursday
"Berlin's reaction to the Japanese move is extremely cautious. Perhaps they will accept because they cannot get out of it, but the idea of provoking America's intervention pleases the Germans less and less. Mussolini, on the other hand, is pleased about it. * * *"
"December 5. Friday
"A night interrupted by Ribbentrop's restlessness. After delaying two days, now he cannot wait a minute to answer the Japanese and at three in the morning he sent Mackenson to my house to submit a plan for a triple agreement relative to Japanese intervention and the pledge not to make a separate peace. he wanted me to awaken the Duce, but I did not do so, and the latter was very glad I hadn't * * *." (2987-PS)
It appears from the last entry that some sort of agreement was reached. On Sunday, 7 December 1941, Japan without previous warning or declaration of war commenced an attack against the United States at Pearl Harbor and against the British Commonwealth of Nations in the Southwest Pacific. On the morning of 11 December, four days after the Japanese assault in the Pacific, the German Government declared war on the United States. (2507-PS)
The same day, 11 December 1941, the Congress of the United States resolved that "the state of war between the United States and the Government of Germany which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared". (2945-PS)
It thus appears that, apart from their own aggressive intentions and declaration of war against the United States, the Nazi conspirators in their collaboration with Japan incited and kept in motion a force reasonably calculated to result in an attack on the United States. While maintaining their preference that the United States not be involved in the war at the time, they nevertheless foresaw the distinct possibility, even probability of such involvement as a result of the actions they were encouraging; they were aware that the Japanese had prepared plans for attack against the United States; and they accepted the consequences by assuring the Japanese that they would declare war on the United States should a U.S.-Japanese conflict result. In dealing with captured documents of the enemy, the completeness of the plan is necessarily obscured. But those documents which have been discovered, and introduced into evidence before the Tribunal, show that the Japanese attack was the proximate and foreseeable consequence of their collaboration policy, and that their exhortations and encouragement of the Japanese as surely led to Pearl Harbor as though Pearl Harbor itself had been mentioned.
The entry in the Ciano Diary for 8 December 1941 gives an interesting sidelight on Ribbentrop's reaction to the Japanese sneak attack:
"December 8. Monday.
"A night telephone call from Ribbentrop; he is overjoyed about the Japanese attack on America. He is so happy about it that I am happy with him, though I am not too sure about the final advantages of what has happened. One thing is now certain: that America will enter the conflict, and that the conflict will be so long that she will be able to realize all her potential force. This morning I told this to the King who had been pleased about the event. He ended by admitting that in the "long run" I may be right. Mussolini was happy too. For a long time he has favored a definite clarification of relations between America and the Axis." (2987-PS)
A conference was held between Hitler and Japanese Ambassador Oshima on 14 December 1941, from 1300 to 1400 hours, in the presence of the Reich Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop. The subject matter was the Pearl Harbor attack. The top secret notes of this conference read in part:
"First the Fuehrer presents Ambassador Oshima with the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the German Eagle in gold. With cordial words he acknowledges his services in the achievement of German-Japanese cooperation, which has now obtained its culmination in a close brotherhood of arms.
"General Oshima expresses his thanks for the great honor and emphasizes how glad he is that this brotherhood of arms has now come about between Germany and Japan.
"The Fuehrer continues: "You gave the right declaration of war!" This method is the only proper one. Japan pursued it formerly and it corresponds with his own system, that is, to negotiate as long as possible. But if one sees that the other is interested only in putting one off, in shaming and humiliating one, and is not willing to come to an agreement, then one should strike-as hard as possible, indeed-and not waste time declaring war. It was heartwarming to him to hear of the first operations of the Japanese. He himself negotiated with infinite patience at times, for example, with Poland and also with Russia. When he then realized, that the other did not want to come to an agreement, he struck suddenly and without formalities. He would continue to go this way in the future." (2932-PS)
Document Description Vol. Page
Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Article 6 (a).....I 5
International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1, Sections. IV (F) 7; V....I 28,29
Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnburg trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.
*376-PS Top secret memorandum signed by Major Falkenstein, 29 October 1940, concerning current military questions, including question of occupation of Atlantic Islands referring to the United States. (USA 161).......III 288
*1538-PS Report from German Military Attaché in Tokyo to Office Foreign Intelligence, 24 May 1941. (USA 154)....IV 100
*1834-PS Report on conference between Ribbentrop and Oshima, 23 February 1941. (USA 129)....IV 469
*1866-PS Record of conversation between Reich Foreign Minister and the Duce, 13 May 1941. (GB 273)....499
*1877-PS Report on conversation between Ribbentrop and Matsuoka in Berlin, 29 March 1941. (USA 152)....IV 520
*1881-PS Notes on conference between Hitler and Matsuoka in presence of Ribbentrop, in Berlin, 4 April 1941. (USA 33)....IV 522
*1882-PS Notes on conference between Ribbentrop and Matsuoka in Berlin, 5 April 1941. (USA 153)....IV 526
*2195-PS File memorandum on conversation with Oshima, 31 January 1939, signed Himmler. (USA 150)....IV 852
2506-PS Protocol of Adherence by Italy to Anti-Comintern Pact, 6 November 1937, published in Documents of German Politics, 1940, 4th edition....V 239
*2507-PS Note from Ribbentrop to U. S. Charge d'Affaires in Berlin, 11 December 1941, containing German Declaration of War on United States, published in Documents of German Politics, Vol. IX, Part 1, No. 74, pp. 497-9. (USA 164)...V 241
*2508-PS German-Japanese Agreement against the Communist International, 25 November 1936, signed by Ribbentrop. Documents of German Politics, Vol. 4. (GB 147)...V 242
*2643-PS Announcement concerning Three-Power Pact between Germany, Italy and Japan, 27 September 1940, signed by Ribbentrop for Germany. 1940 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part II, No. 41, p. 279. (USA 149)....V 355
*2896-PS Telegram from Ribbentrop to German Ambassador in Tokyo, Ott, 10 July 1941. (USA 155)....V 564
*2897-PS Telegram from German Ambassador in Tokyo, Ott, to Ribbentrop, 13 July 1941. (USA 156).....V 566
*2898-PS Telegram from German Ambassador to Tokyo, Ott, to Ribbentrop, 30 November 1941. (USA 163)....V 566
*2911-PS Notes on conversation between Ribbentrop and Oshima, 9 July 1942. (USA 157)...V 580
*2929-PS Notes on conversation between Ribbentrop and Oshima, 18 April 1943. (USA 159)....V 603
*2932-PS Notes on conference between Hitler and Oshima, 14 December 1941. (USA 165)...V 603
2944-PS Statement by U. S. Secretary of State, 27 September 1940, published in Peace and War, U. S. Foreign Policy, 1931-1941...V 624
2945-PS Joint resolution by the U. S. Senate and house of Representatives declaring state of war with Germany, 11 December 1941, published in Peace and War, U. S. Foreign Policy, 1931-1941....V 625
*2954-PS Minutes of conversation between Ribbentrop and Oshima, 6 March 1943. (USA 158; GB 150)...V 658
*2987-PS Entries in diary of Count Ciano. (USA 166).... 689
*3054-PS "The Nazi Plan", script of a motion picture composed of captured German film. (USA 167)...V 801
3598-PS Intercepted Japanese Diplomatic message, Tokyo to Berlin, 30 November 1941....VI 308
3599-PS Intercepted Japanese Diplomatic message, Rome to Tokyo, 3 December 1941....VI 310
3600-PS Intercepted Japanese Diplomatic message, Tokyo to Berlin, 6 December 1941....VI 312
3733-PS Minutes of interview held on 19 August 1941, between Vice-Minister Aman and Ambassador Ott....VI 545
*3780-PS Record of Fuehrer's conference with Oshima, 27 May 1944, concerning Japanese treatment of American terror pilots. (GB 293)...VI 655
*3817-PS File of correspondence and reports by Dr. Haushofer on Asiatic situation. (USA 790)...VI 752
*C-74 Top Secret Order concerning personnel and materiel program, signed by Hitler, 14 July 1941. (USA 162)...VI 905
*C-75 OKW Order No. 24 initialed Jodl, signed Keitel, 5 March 1941, concerning collaboration with Japan. (USA 151)...VI 906
C-147 Extracts from Directive No. 18, signed by Hitler, 12 November 1940....VI 957
*C-152 Extract from Naval War Staff files, 18 March 1941, concerning audience of C-in-C of Navy with Hitler on 18 March 1941. (GB 122)....VI 966
*D-656 Extract of 29 November 1941 from Intercepted Diplomatic Messages sent by Japanese Government between 1 July and 8 December 1941. (GB 148)...VII 160
*D-657 Extract of 8 December 1941 from Intercepted Diplomatic Messages sent by Japanese Government between 1 July and 8 December 1941. (GB 149)...VII 163
*R-140 Secret letter from Goering's adjutant, Major Conrath, 11 July 1938, enclosing transcript of Goering's speech of 8 July to representatives of aircraft industry. (USA 160)...VIII 221