German-Soviet relations 26 Aug 1939-22 Jun 1941

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David Thompson
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German-Soviet relations 26 Aug 1939-22 Jun 1941

Post by David Thompson » 04 Oct 2004 07:40

This interesting text is a German Navy chronology of German-Soviet relations 26 Aug 1939-22 Jun 1941. It is taken from "Document C-170: [A File On Russo-German Relations Found In The Files Of The High Command Of The Navy] [translation]", in Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression. Volume VI; US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1946. Note the lack of references to any imminent Soviet attack.
1. A 1,13 26 Aug [8/26/1939]. The already started "Incident Weiss will be stopped at 200 hours because of changed political conditions". (Close Friendship Pact England/Poland of 25 Aug noon, and information from Duce, that he would be true to his word, however, having to ask necessarily for large supply of raw materials.)

2. 31 Aug. Decision for opening hostilities against Poland. Falls at 1240 hours.

3. A 1,95 17 Sept. Russian entry into Poland is valued by Chief, Naval Operations (SKL) as an event of the most far reaching importance, the resulting possible effect for Germany of this must be estimated as being especially favorable.

4. C VII/39,9 23 Sept. Navy Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Navy Supreme Commander for the first time studies the question of Russia's participation in a) the cession of Submarines, b) the outfitting of auxiliary cruisers (Murmansk), c) the calling at Russian ports. Fuehrer will commission the foreign office with clarification of the questions.

5. A 1,163 25 Sept. There is no doubt about Russia's honest attitude. Russian government is convinced of the necessity of cooperation with German (Naval Attache Moscow, BL.186, 27 Sept.)

6. C VIII/39, 86 28 Sept. Conclusion of German-Russian border and friendship pact (compare introduction)

7. A 2,28 3 Oct. Naval Supreme Commander orders examination of the possibilities of support by Russia for German naval warfare, to be forwarded to the foreign office. Foreign minister believes, that far-reaching support may be expected. Bases [Stuetzpunkte] in Norway with Russian help.

8. A 2,50 5 Oct. Threatening situation of German [Auslandsdeutsehe] living in Estonia and Latvia, because of Russian demands. "The increase of Russian influence in the Baltic States is happening with the full accord of German political policy." The evacuation of Germans
[Auslandsdeutsche], planned by the foreign office, with steamers and men-o'-war was not approved by the Fuehrer in agreement with the naval supreme command, since the situation is not as yet clear, and since the impression of misunderstandings between Russia and Germany must be avoided under all circumstances. On 6 Oct, calmer appraisal of the situation. Naval Supreme Commander orders on 9 Oct. Lifting of the alert for the planned actions.

9. C VII/30,11 10 Oct. Navy Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Russia has offered a well situated base near Murmansk (Compare BL.23). One auxiliary cruiser in Murmansk for outfitting. Naval Supreme Commander points out value of the winning of Norwegian bases (Drontheim) with the aid of Russian pressure. Fuehrer promises examination; refuses request to build or buy submarines in Russia for political reasons.

10. A 2,93 11 Oct. English-Russian trade agreement (lumber for rubber and zinc). Rubber and zinc via Russia just as important for Germany as lumber for England. Export of Russian lumber will take place on English or neutral ships from Murmansk, so that German interference remains possible. No damage intended at all by Russia against German economic warfare. (BL 170, 21 Oct)

11. A 2,35 17 Oct. Conference of Chief, Naval Operations (SKL) with Naval Attache Moscow, discloses that far-reaching Russian support, as expected by Chief, Naval Operations (SKL). Repair of warships, outfitting of auxiliary cruisers at Russian yards is not possible because of political and technical reasons. Preparations for "Base North [Basis Nord] "are in progress. Attache requests the immediate stoppage of espionage [Nachrichtenbeschaffung] against Russia through neutral states, to prevent Russian distrust.

12. A 2,193 24 Oct. Russia will fulfill in full accord with Germany's policy all treaty obligations; she will not permit active hostile position of Turkey against us or passage of English and French warships through the Dardanelles (Report Ambassador Ritter) .

13. A 2,203 25 Oct. Departure of German vessels from Murmansk; English and other ships are kept back by the Russians until the German ships are safe.

14. A 2,205 20 Oct. Sharp Russian note against English blockade warfare.

15. C VIII 39,162 26 Oct. Opinion of the Chief, Naval Operations (SKL) of the Russian wishes for the delivery of war material. Russian economic help is of decisive importance for us. Offer was made in such a generous form, that success of the English economic blockade appears impossible. Accordingly, generous reciprocation required from the German side as well.

16. C VIII/39, 164, 173 26 Oct. At the suggestion of Molotov, who has mentioned political apprehension concerning the appearance of German warships in the Finnish Gulf, German economic warfare is restricted in the Baltic to West of 20 degrees East; Chief of Naval Operations (SKL) does not consider himself bound to this for the entire future (also, A
2,217).

17. A 2,249 31 Oct. Foreign Political speech by Molotov; permanent friendship between Russia and Germany; sharp attacks against English blockade "in violation of International law".

18. C VIII/39,175 FF 2 Nov. The behaviour of the Russian Naval Command is generally cordial and cooperative. ("Base North [Basis Nord]", provisioning of merchantmen in Murmansk, aid in the return "Bremen"). Naval Supreme Commander finds himself repeatedly in a position to express his appreciation for that to the Russian Navy. Statement of the Russian naval commissar on occasion of the presentation of the communication from Naval Supreme Commander: "His answer would not consist of empty words, but actions, and only after their execution would he forward a reply to the supreme commander." (Compare C VIII/39 BL 177,200,203).

19. A 3,5 4 Nov. Demand of Russian economic delegation of delivery of ship hulls "Seydlitz", "Luetzow", continued construction with German help. Naval Supreme Commander basically desires greatest cooperation, however, rejects delivery of Seyolitz and decrease of our own building program in favor of assistance to Russia. Ship hull "Luetzow" will be made available. (C VII/39,26).

20. C VII 39,34 10 Nov. Supreme Naval Commander with the Fuehrer: Fuehrer rejects purchase of Russian submarines again, since he is convinced, that the Russian ships are in bad condition, and that the Russians "should not see any weakness with us".

22. C VII/39,43 25 Nov. Situation conference of the Naval Supreme Commander in a session of department heads [Amtschefsitzung]: Russia not able to act at the present time; as long as Stalin in the government, a positive attitude certain. (hangs are possible after year of inner strengthening, especially in the event of the overthrow or death of Stalin. The expansion of Russian interests in the direction of the Gulf of Persia is supported by Germany. Northern states under the pressure German/Russia neutral. Southeastern states under the pressure Russia neutral. Germany in the Fast has no military ties. "For the first time in 50 years a one-front war is possible."

23. A 3,265 30 Nov. Begin hostilities between Russia and Finland.

24. A 4,13 3 Dec. Declaration by Molotov that the primary goals of Russia lie in South-Eastern Europe and on the Black Sea. Rapid solution of the Finnish problem is to be attempted to free Russian forces for other missions.

25. A 4,45 7 Dec. High Russian armament demands in return for economic aid, from the Navy among others "Luetzow", "Seydlitz", "Prince Eugen". According to the Fuehrer's decision, own armament may not be retarded under any circumstance. Chief, Naval Operations (SKL) considers besides "Luetzow" the delivery of plans for new construction and sample pieces.

26. C VII/39,49,56 8 Dec. Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Further sales of ships to Russia: Fuehrer rejects sale of "Seydlitz" and "Prinz Eugen" and towers of "H" and "J". Naval Supreme Commander recommends delivery of "Bismarck" plans. Fuehrer reserves decision for himself. (Compare also A 4,60).Moral burden for Germany as a result of Russian-Finnish conflict.

27. C. VII/39,58 12 Dec. Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Naval Supreme Commander desires a correct standing the Russian-Finnish conflict; no support for Finland (by way of unreliable burden); advocates favoring Russia; points out the advantages offered by Russia. Increase of anti-German, pro-English feeling in Norway because of Russian-Finnish conflict. In several circles, the opinion exists that the partition of Norway between Russia and Germany has already been agreed upon (BL 68).

28. A 4,85 12 Dec. Return "Bremen" from Murmansk Valuable Russian assistance.

29. C VIII/39, 248 FF 14 Dec. Incident between Russian naval units and German steamers. (Details and settlement see A 4, BL.86,87,129).

30. A 4,199 17 Dec. Chief, Naval Operations concludes from the weakness of Russian fighting power, as revealed in Finland, for our own attitude against Russia "not to overestimate in German actions and decisions the still noticeable impact of the colossus Soviet Russian impact that is noticeable despite the existence of the pact of friendship; but on the contrary to throw into the scale in all negotiations, the military and political strength of Germany -- perhaps even more so than has been done in the past."

31. C VII 39,68 30 Dec. Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Naval Supreme Commander reports: Settlement of incidents during Russian Naval warfare against Finland (compare C VIII/39,248 FF). Negotiation with Russia for the use of the Siberian sealanes by German warships; no difficulties anticipated. (BL.85).

32. A 4,225 31 Dec. Evaluation of the Red Army by the German General Staff. In quantity a gigantic military instrument. Commitment of the "mass". Organization, equipment and means of leadership unsatisfactory principles of leadership good; leadership itself, - however, too young and inexperienced. Communication system bad, transportation bad; troops not very uniform; no
personalities -- simple soldier good natured, quite satisfied with very little. Fighting qualities of the troops in a heavy fight, dubious. The Russian "mass" is no match for an army, with modern equipment and superior leadership.

33. A 5,62 10 Jan. German-Russian economic negotiations continue satisfactorily. Strong Russian interest in Naval deliveries."Luetzow", heavy turrets, "Tirpitz" plans, naval instruments.Naval Supreme Commander decides that compliance must depend basically upon the extent of our being dependent upon Russian shipments.

34. A 5,82 12 Jan. Chief Naval Operations (SKL) attaches importance to the utilization of the Siberian sealanes which also serve Russian economic interests: (Compare BL153, 19 Jan.)

35. A 5,205 25 Jan. Difficulties in German-Russian trade negotiations, because Russian government demands "reciprocal assistance" -- that is to say: no performance without contemporaneous corresponding German performance.

36. C VII/40,91 26 Jan. Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Fuehrer desires delay of delivery of ship hull "Luetzow" and construction plans "Bismarck" as long as possible; hopes with favorable course of war," to get out of it all together.

37. A 6,49 6 Feb. Favorable report of Naval Attache Moscow on Siberian sealane; utilization by auxiliary cruiser also considered "Ship 45".

38. A 6,89 11 Feb. Conclusion of German-Russian trade agreement.

39. C VII/40,93 23 Feb. Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Naval Supreme Commander proposes now that the Russian trade agreement has been concluded change of the 20 degrees East limitation for German naval warfare in the Baltic (compare No. 16 above), (also look further under No. 43).

40. C VII/40,103 9 Mar. Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Naval Supreme Commander suggests to inform the Russians during the occupation of Norway that Tromsoe is not occupied by the Germans which will be considered by the Russians as recognition for their interests. "Better, the Russians sit in 'Tromsoe' than the English". Fuehrer prefers to have the Russians "not to sit so close", believes that Tromsoe also should be occupied by us.

41. A 7,97 13 Mar. On 12 Feb -- Peace Russia-Finland.

42. A 7,218 29 Mar. Speech by Molotov, contains sharp criticism of Anglo-French war policy and affirmation of the friendly relations Russia/Germany.

43. C VIII/40,159 1 Apr. Fuehrer orders that wishes of the Chief Naval Operations (SKL) for lifting of the 20 East border for warfare in the Baltic will no longer be pressed for political reasons.

44. C VIII/40,169 5 Apr. (According to an attache report) the temporary limitations in the use of "Base North [Basis Nord]" tanker "Jan Wellem" and Molotov's attitude of refusal in the question of the use of a far-eastern base are to be traced back to the present Russian nervousness because of the future position of England and France toward Russia. (Compare A 8,38).

45. C VIII/40,180 10 Apr. Russia declares herself disinterested in the Norway action; shows understanding for German measures.

46. A 8,154 16 Apr. Tension and border incidents between Roumania and Russia.

47. A 8,231 22 Apr. Russian intentions for the incorporation of the border states becomes recognizable.

48. A 9,2 1 May. English efforts for a trade agreement with Russia. Russian government unfavorable; she cannot discuss in any way limitations of its exports to other countries (compare also BL. 198 20 May).

49. C VIII/40,256 18 May. Auxiliary cruiser warfare in the Black Sea: Desires of the Chief, Naval Operations postponed because of unfavorable attitude of foreign officedeference to Russia, Balkan States, Turkey. (Compare also BL. 281)

50. A 9,210 21 May. According to report of Ambassador in Moscow, very positive position of the Russian press to the German successes of war (compare BL. 21,270: Uneasiness because of German victory cannot be found).

51. A 9,242 24 May. Tension Russia/Roumania: Uneasiness with regard to Russian entry into Bessarabia.

52. A 9,285 28 May. Bessarabian question: In the opinion of the foreign office, Russia is prepared for taking a hand in the Balkans, but for the time being no action is to be expected (Compare A 10,103).

53. A 9,295 29 May Russia refuses to receive the English special plenipotentiary for trade negotiations, Sir Stafford Cripps. (CR becomes later British Ambassador in Moscow. A 10,53).

54. C VII/40.221 4 June. Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Fuehrer describes as his further goal: after the defeat of France, reduction of the army, discharge of the older age classes, especially skilled workers. Emphasis on air corps and navy. No talk about Russia as yet.

55. A 10,43 5 June (Remark of B.). Estimate of situation by Chief, Naval Operations: Russia keenly appreciates German military successes, however, she fears after decisive victory by Germany, German attack against Russia. But allied victory is not desired either. Active participation of Russia in the war is entirely out of the question because of military weakness and inner political instability. Stalin definitely determined not to sacrifice himself for the allies. Official policy of Russia toward Germany still absolutely correct. However, possibility of an attempt, to sabotage slowly the economic cooperation is not out of the question. Because of apprehensiveness of further development of the relationships to Germany, Russia considers further expansion of bases in the Baltic indicated; pressure on Lithuania, Estonia points to the attempted full domination of this area.

56. A 10,106 10 May. Naval Attache, Moscow reports noticeable cooling off and technical difficulties on the part of the Russians; sees for that in apprehensiveness over English attitude in case of too strong leanings toward Germany and over German attack after victory over the western powers.

57. A 10,125 12 June. Russian demands on Lithuania; situation critical.

58. A 10,157 15 June. Russian ultimatum, followed by entry into Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. This development in the opinion of Chief, Naval Operations (SKL) was to be expected for some time.

59. A 10,197 19 June. Official notification about operations in the Baltic by Molotov was to "end all intrigues, by which the Western powers had attempted in the Baltic states, to sow distrust between Russia and Germany."

60. A 10,270 20 June FF. Russian entry into Bessarabia imminent. By intervention of German Government and German pressure on Roumania, peaceful settlement was reached by cession of Bessarabia and North Boucovenia. (29 June).

C VIII/40,359 28 June. Chief, Naval Operations describes Russian action as "expected for some time". In one German note to Russia on 22 June 41, it is said: "The German Ambassador in Moscow declares to the Soviet government that the decision comes to the Reich cabinet
(Reichsregierung) 'entirely unexpectedly'".

61. A 11,50 5 July. In the Balkans further Russian advances with the goal of turning the land to Bolshevism feared.

62. A 11,62 6 July. Penetration of the Baltic by Bolshevism.

63. A 11,81 8 July. Contrary to contradictory foreign reports the foreign office emphasizes correct; behaviour of Russian government toward Germany.

64. A 11,108 10 July. Russia desires closer relationships with Bulgaria and further advances in the Balkans with Bulgarian help. Bulgaria remaining reserved as well as Roumania looking to Germany for support. Increasing Russian influence in Yugoslavia. Russian advances against
Iran.

64a. C VII/40,226 11 July. Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Naval Supreme Commander requests timely notification in case of complications in the East to be able to protect the undefended Baltic coast against surprise actions.

65. A 11,153 14 July. Quietening in the Balkans after conclusion of the Munich negotiations between Germany/Italy/Hungary.

66. A 11,153 14 July. In cooperation with Russia preparations for the departure of "Ship 45" by the Siberian Sealane: (Compare BL.117)

67. A 11,235 21 July. Baltic States declare merger (Anschluss) with Russia.

68. C VII 40,251 21 July. Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Fuehrer lectures:

a. on America

b. on Russia, whose entry into the war, especially because of the aerial threat to Germany, could be very pleasant. Even though Russia views Germany's great successes with tears in her eyes, she herself has no intention to enter the war against Germany. It is naturally a duty to weigh the American and Russian question seriously. Rapid waging of war is in the German interest; but there is no urgent need for it. Material is plentiful, food supply is secure. The fuel situation is the most difficult, but as long as Roumania and Russia deliver, and hydro-electric works can be safeguarded against air attacks, it is not critical.

69. A 11,249 22 July. New demands by Russia on Finland.

70. A 11,261 23 July. Conference Stalin-Cripps: English attempt to split Russia away from Germany failed completely. According to Stalin's opinion, German successes do not threaten Russia. Relationships between Germany and Russia rest on fundamentals of national interests of both countries. Russia objects to England's intervention in her foreign trade. No power can claim exclusive leadership in the Balkan States; Russia also does not claim that. Russia objects to exclusive role of Turkey in the Black Sea and the Straits (compare political overall picture 170/40).

71. A 11,330 28 July. Rumor about Russian ultimatum to Finland untrue according to foreign office. However, Molotov has complained about the anti-Russian attitude in Finland. Undoubtedly tried to influence the Finnish government to facilitate a later coordination (Gleichschaltung).

72. A 12,1 1 Aug. Speech by Molotov. Corresponds to speech referred to in No. 70: "Removed for Germany friction points in the East, and created assured certainty in the East"but according to C VIII/40,407 threats against Finland.

73. A 12,41 4 Aug. According to Naval Attache in Helsinki depressed mood in Finland; hope that one day Germany would bring help to Finland after all.

74. A 12,143 12 Aug. Departure "Ship 45" Via Siberian sealane with Russian assistance.

75. A 12,149 13 Aug. Turkish anxiety because of Russian advances against Dardanelles and Roumania.

76. C VII/40,270 13 Aug. Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Fuehrer desires stronger fortification of the North Norwegian Fjords, so that attacks by the Russians (!) these according to A 12,150 in case of a new conflict Russia-Finland would be hopeless.

77. A 12,301 20 Aug. Evaluation of Russian long distance aims by Chief Naval Operations (SKL): Ice, free North-Atlantic port. Advance through the Balkans for the annexation of the Dardanelles and the domination of the Black Sea. Advance through Iran to the Persian Gulf. Strong pressure on Finnish internal policies. Subversive creation of disturbances. In Rumania, especially in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, panslavic-communist propaganda partially successful. Strong activities by agents in Greece. Demands on Turkey unknown. Force of arms not expected at present. Russian behavior strongly dependent on further development of war. The political weight of the Axis should keep the peace of the Balkans. Economic deliveries by Russia are good beyond expectations. (Compare C VIII/40,461).

78. A 12,372 31 Aug. Russia reinforces troops on the Finnish border because of tense situation.

79. T.P. In 8/1940, begin of transfer of German troops to the Eastern border (according to proclamation of the Fuehrer of 6/22/1941T.P. of 6/23/1941). To No. 79 compare directive of Supreme Command Armed Forces (OKW) of 27 Aug. 40 in documents "See Lowe", directives of OKW I, 1 Volume, 1 Leaf 26: Transfer of 10 Divisions and 2 Armored Divisions to the Government General for the possibility of a necessary rapid action in the interest of a protection of the Rumanian oil fields.

80. A 13,102 8 Sept. Russian annoyance and supposed deterioration of the relationship with Germany as a result of the Vienna arbitration (Wiener Schiedsspruch) (30 Aug) with the border guarantee of Rumania directed mainly against Russia, and as a result of the uncertainty of German Eastern policy. Both is considered as merely temporary by the Germans. (Compare also A 12,352 and C VIII/40,488) F.

81. A 13,119 10 Sept. Since "Base North" is no longer needed after the occupation of Norway, appreciation by the Reich cabinet [Reichsregierung] and note of appreciation by Naval Supreme Commander for valuable Russian assistance, Russian government declares that they are satisfied that they could be of use to us. (Compare C VIII/40 BL 464/501).

82. A 13,155 12 Sept. Lecture by Naval Attache in Moscow: Russian attitude, which was very reserved at the beginning, is now markedly friendly; reason for change not clearly understandable. Attache emphasizes the obliging assistance at the departure "Ship 45" by the
Siberian sealane -- see also BL. 159,237 relates valuable observations on the good progress of the Russian Naval rearmament: numerous destroyers, submarines 2000 tons, three battle ships under construction in Leningrad; thus obvious connection to Russian demands for 2 sets of 38 cm double turrets.

83. A 13,196 14 Sept. Conference Naval Attache in Tokyo with former Japanese Ambassador in Rome (Shiratori). Ambassador: Ambassador does not believe in a long duration of the German-Russian understanding, hopes for the joining of Germany with Japan for the destruction of Russia.

84. C VIII/40,516 18 Sept. Anti-German propaganda in the Red Army. Assumption of German intentions to attack and thesis of the inevitable German-Russian conflict. (Compare A 13,221: Distrust in the Supreme Soviets; Molotov expresses caat Russia has expressed desires for guarantee in Bulgaria. Bulgarian attitude (Report of German Embassy) disinclined.

[Translation note: the following Fuehrer directive is on a separate sheet, but should follow immediately after No. 100]

100a. Documents "Barbarossa", directives by the Supreme Command, Armed Forces (File No. V, 5). 18 Dec1st Fuehrer directive for "Barbarossa". It begins with the words "The German armed forces must be prepared to defeat Soviet Russia in a rapid campaign even before the end of the war against England. (Incident before the end of the war against England.) (Incident "Barbarossa")" "The emphasis of the commitment of the Navy will remain directed unequivocally against England during an eastern campaign."

"If decided upon I shall order the assembly for action against Soviet Russia 8 weeks before the contemplated beginning of the operation.

"Preparation, which need a longer period, arein case they have not as yet been doneto be started already now, and are to be concluded by 5/15/1941.

"It is to be emphasized, however, that the intentions of an attack are not noticeable .....

"The final goal of the operations is the shielding against Asiatic Russia on the general line Wolga/Archangelsk ....."

"In the course of these operations [Army operations] the Russian Baltic fleet will rapidly lose its bases, and thus will no longer be able to fight ....."

"All .... orders, which are given, must be designed unequivocally in such a manner that they appear as precautionary measures just in case that Russia should change her attitude towards us."

Strongest secrecy is ordered "otherwise the danger exists that by a disclosure of our preparations, the execution of which is not yet determined as far as time is concerned most serious political and military disadvantages will result .."

/s/ ADOLF HITLER

101. A 16,234 20 Dec. Extensive evaluation of the situation by the Chief Naval Operations (SKL): Strengthening of the English position through unfavorable development of the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and because of the help from the USA demands absolute concentration against England, therefore serious doubts concerning "Barbarossa" before the defeat of England.

102. C VII/40,204 27 Dec. Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Naval Supreme Commander emphasizes again that strict concentration of our entire war effort against England as our main enemy is the most urgent need of the hour. On the one side England has gained strength by the unfortunate Italian conduct of the war in the Eastern Mediterranean and by the increasing American support. On the other hand, however, she can be hit mortally by a strangulation of her ocean traffic, which is already taking effect. What is being done for submarine and naval-air force construction, is much too little. Our entire war potential must work for the conduct of the war against England; thus for Navy and air force every fissure of strength prolongs the war and endangers the final success. Naval Supreme Commander voices serious objections against Russia campaign before the defeat of England. Fuehrer desires all possible advancement of submarine construction; present construction figures (12 to 18 per month) are too low. "Generally, however, the last continental enemy must be removed under all circumstances because of the present political development (Russia's leaving to mix in Balkan affairs), before he could come to grips with England. Thus the army must obtain the necessary strength. After that, full concentration on air force and navy can follow."

Thus, the Fuehrer's standpoint is contrary to that of the Naval Supreme Commander (Remark of B.)

103. A 16,3G2 28 Dec. Naval Supreme Commander reports in a situation conference as the Fuehrer's opinion. The political situation is changed by Russia's unreliability, as evident in the Balkan states; consequently rearmament of the army is necessary. Emphasis on navy and air force against England is not to be impaired.


104. A 17,43 4 Jan. Roumanian government is convinced that Russia plans the annexation of the entire Moldavian area hopes that Germany will prevent that by force of arms. Roumania's hope for the regaining of Bessarabia has not been set aside.

105. A 17,63 6 Jan. By way of Yugoslavia, it is reported that Russia attempts to influence Bulgarian foreign policy in reference to not joining the three power pact. (Compare BL. 107). Generally lively, diplomatic activity by Russia in the Balkans.

106. C VII/41,6 8 Jan. Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Fuehrer declares; Russia's position in case of the imminent German action in Bulgaria not yet cleared. Russia needs Bulgaria for the assembly of troops against the Bosporus. Hope on USA, Russia keeps England together. Diplomatic preparation by England in Russia recognizable; England's aim is to set in motion Russian power against us. Stalin is to be regarded as an ice cold blackmailer. With USA and Russian entry into the war, very great burden for our conduct of the war. Therefore, every possibility of such a threat must be excluded from the very beginning. If the Russian threat can be removed, we can continue the fight against England under very tolerable conditions. Russia's collapse means considerable relief of burden for Japan, and increased danger for USA.

107. A 17,119 11 Jan. Signing of new, far-reaching agreements between Russia and Germany (Economical, resettlement and border questions).

108. A 17,149 12 Jan. Russian government denies foreign reports that she agrees with entry and stay of German troops in Bulgaria. Question was never mentioned by Germany to Russia. Denials given cause for concern in Bulgaria. (BL.20).

109. A 17,160 13 Jan. Russian press stresses strongly the German-Russian economic agreement, and emphasizes that the Anglo-Saxon powers would never succeed in disturbing the good relationship between the two powers.

110. A 17,214 17 Jan. Russian request for embarkation of naval commission on German heavy cruiser for training purposes for cruiser "L" was turned down by Chief, Naval Operations (SKL), because cruiser is in operational use. However, Naval Supreme Commander agrees to the participation of Russian officers in yard test voyages. (BL.361)

111. A 17,232 18 Jan Fuehrer anticipates disturbance of the relations to Russia as the result of the Balkan operation. Fears for the Roumanian oil area.

112. A 17,255 20 Jan. Speech of Stalin; He works untiringly for the strengthening of the Russian fleet and army....

"The international situation is complicated and confused and even Russia is threatened by the danger of war."

113. A 17,287 22 Jan. Declaration in the House of Commons by Under Secretary of State Butler: England has repeatedly tried during the past year, to come to closer political cooperation with Russia. Russian government has not reacted on that.

114. A 17,324 24 Jan. In the relationship Russia-Finland again more serious difficulties now. Measures for the protection of the Roumanian oil areas.

115. A 17,327 24 Jan. Conference Fuehrer-Duce: Statements of the Fuehrer: great importance of Finland because of nickel resources; it shall not be touched any more.Russian complaints because of German concentration in Roumania have been received but were rejected. Purpose of the German concentration: (a) Operations against Greece, (b) Protection of Bulgaria against Russia and Turkey, (c) Security measure and guarantee of Roumania...USA even in case of entry into the war not a serious danger. Greater danger, despite favorable political and economic treaties, Russia. Therefore tying down of considerable forces on the Russian border. There is no danger as long as Stalin lives...

116. A 17,359 27 Jan. Russia warns Finland that going together with any State other than Russia is causing concern.

117. A 17,401 30 Jan. Chief, Naval Operations (SKL) reports to Supreme Command Armed Forces (OKW) intentions for naval warfare against Russia in case of "Barbarossa".

118. C VII, 41,12 4 Feb. Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Naval Supreme Commander explains operational plans in a Russian incident, emphasizes especially the necessity for the seizure of Murmansk/Polarnoje, so that England cannot take a foothold there. (See also BL.47) Makes requests for support by the Air Force, and also cooperation with Finland, Roumania, Bulgaria, Sweden.

119. A 18,34 5 Feb. Requests of Chief, Naval Operations (SKL) for air support in case "Barbarossa" cannot be fulfilled completely because of lack of forces. Fuehrer points out as an especially important naval mission, rapid organization of the supply line to Leningrad.

120. A 18,32 11 Feb. According to a foreign press repot, Russia is said to have told Bulgaria "she could not expect that Russia will have any further interest in her (Bulg) fate."

121. A 18,227 18 Feb FF. German reapproachment toward Russia's return of the seized Baltic ships. Measures for the protection of the west coast against English landings during "Barbarossa". Chief, Naval Operations (SKL) insists on the occupation of Malta even before "Barbarossa". Measures for the covering up of the preparations for "Barbarossa". Concentration movements against Russia are to be put forth as the "greatest undertaking of deception of the history of war, which serves to distract from the last preparations of the invasion against England. Even in the armed forces the impression is to be kept up that the invasion is being prepared further. Liaison contact with Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Slovakia, Roumania is to be made as late as possible. (Time requirement of Chief Naval Operations (SKL) compare BL.340)

122. A 18,295 23 Feb. Instruction from Supreme Command, Armed Forces (OKW) that seizure of Malta is contemplated for the fall of 1941 after the execution of "Barbarossa" (compare BL.231 ) .

123. A 18,319 24 Feb. Proclamation by Marshal Timoschenko: the entire Soviet nation, despite the successes of the neutrality policy must keep itself in constant readiness for the danger of an enemy surprise attack!

124. A 18,383 28 Feb. F. Finnish General Staff still considers the Russian danger as very serious. Only Germany can beat Russia!

125. C VIII/41,93 28 Feb. From the political orientation of the Atlantic forces by the Chief, Naval Operations (SKL): Russia needs for the execution of her reform plans, a period of peace of several years. Russia's foreign policy is thus marked by her will for neutrality, and avoidance of conflicts with strong opponent.

126. A 19,4 1 Mar. German march into Bulgaria.

127. A 19,39 3 Mar. Preparations of the Chief, Naval Operations (SKL) for Black Sea warfare in case of Russian intervention in the Balkan war.

128. A 19,53 FF 4 Mar. C VIII/41,97. Bulgaria's consent to the German entry is disapproved in Moscow; other reports also point to a stiffening of Russian attitude because of events in the Balkans; however, a basic change of the Russian attitude is not anticipated (compare to that also the German note to Russia of 22 June 41 IV). Bulgaria joins the Axis. Chief, Naval Operations (SKL) informs the General Staff of the Army that possibilities of support for the army by naval warfare in the Black Sea in case of "Barbarossa" are only limited.

129. A 19,71 5 Mar. General Staff of the Army is also shown, upon inquiry, the difficulties of supply in the Baltic in case of "Barbarossa". According to Fuehrer directive, the emphasis of the Navy remains against England even in case "Barbarossa".

130. A 17,85 6 Mar. Issue of directive #1 for case "Barbarossa" by Chief Naval Operations (SKL).

131. A 19,209 15 Mar. According to report from diplomatic circles, improvement of relations between Russia and England.

132. A 19,224 16 Mar. Reports from agents: Russians prepare for mobilization on the Baltic coast.

133. A 19,233 17 Mar. Signs of Russian partial mobilization noticeable on the Western border.

134. C VII/41,53 18 Mar. Supreme Naval Commander with the Fuehrer: Supreme Naval Commander reports that according to a statement by Admiral Nomura, the Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka has grave doubts because of the Russian problem doubts relating to Japanese entry into the war and he recommends that Matsuoka be informed about our own intentions in respect to Russia.

135. A 19,265 19 Mar. In case of "Barbarossa", Supreme Naval Commander describes the occupation of Murmansk as an absolute necessity for the Navy Chief of the Supreme Command Armed Forces, considers compliance very difficult, occupation of the Finnish northern area impossible according to report Dietl (PL.281, 20 Mar.)

13G. A 19,294 20 Mar. After long negotiation, Yugoslavia joins the three-power pact, after restricting German concessions, German declaration of guarantee and promise of territorial gains (Exit to the Aegean). (Compare A 18,320).

137. A 19,307 22 Mar. USA press emphasizes cooling off of German-Russian relations, conviction that Russia will not let herself be drawn into war.

138. A 19,307 22 Mar. Russian-Turkish non-aggression pact in case of an attack by third power. According to C VIII/41,128, is considered as pointed at Germany.

139. A 19,344 25 Mar. Naval Attache in Moscow points to the considerable strength of the Russian fleet built or under construction.

140. A 19,387 28 Mar. FF. Overthrow of the Government and formation of an anti-German government in Yugoslavia (Compare BL. 375). Russian request to make available German training personnel for cruiser "L". Chief Naval Operations (SKL) considers compliance feasible for military-political reasons.

141. A 19,423 31 Mar. In the revolution in Yugoslavia American machinations are strongly involved (Russians not mentioned, compare, however, proclamation of Fuehrer dated 22 June 41, T.C. of 23 June -- Remark by B.)

142. A 20,27 3 April FF. According to a Roumanian report, the impression exists that certain agreements between Russia and Yugoslavia -- offer of war material -- have influenced developments there. In Yugoslavia, rising of pan-Slavic movement. (Compare BL.13).

Balkan Operations [translator's note: (foot note). Meant by that is probably the extension of operations to Yugoslavia (Remark by B.)] delayed "Barbarossa" at first for about 5 weeks. All measures, which can be construed as offensive actions, are to be stopped according to Fuehrer order.

143. A 20,59 5 Apr. According to Roumanian diplomatic report, great anxiety in Russia about German attack, sympathy for Yugoslavia.

144. A 20,69 6 Apr. C VIII/41,141. German entry into Greece, Yugoslavia. Few hours before hand conclusion of Russian-Yugoslavian pact of friendship, evaluated as clearly pointed against Germany; considered as not too important by Chief Naval Operations (SKL), since there is no common border. "Position of Russia" at the moment is one of quietness and waiting; apparently firmly decided for neutrality toward Germany. (Compare German note to Russia of 22 June 41, Figure V).

145. A 20,99 8 Apr. Fear of Germany still a decisive factor of Russian policy, change in neutrality only anticipated in case of serious weakening of Germany; but increasing coolness unmistakable. (Compare BL.113, 9 April).

146. A 20,126 10 Apr. Russian war council, under Timoshenko: State of emergency and increased military preparations for all units on the Western front.

147. A 20,151 12 Apr. Russian attitude still not clear toward Balkan development, which is being regarded with dissatisfaction. Economically cooperative as before. Signing of a new oil delivery treaty.

148. A 20,173 13 Apr. Conclusion neutrality pact Russia/Japan.

149. A 20,219 10 Apr. German Balkan successes lead to the "return of Russia to the previous correct attitude." Conclusion of Russian-Japanese pact "shows failure of the Anglo-American attempt to activate Russia against the three powers of the pact". English attempts, however, are being continued (BL.252). Russian attitude toward Germany further improved, however, military preparations on the Russian border proceed.

150. C VII/41,70 20 Apr. Naval Supreme Commander with Fuehrer: Naval Supreme Commander asks about result of Matsuoka's visit, and evaluation of Japanese-Russian pact (14 April). Fuehrer has informed Matsuoka, "that Russia will not be touched if she behaves friendly according to the treaty. Otherwise, he reserves action for himself." Japan-Russia pact has been concluded in agreement with Germany, and is to prevent Japan from advancing against Vladivostok, and to cause her to attack Singapore. Above standpoint of the Fuhrer has effected Russia's position favorably, who is now behaving very correctly and does not expect an attack.

Naval Supreme Commander asks "what opinion the Fuehrer has about the presently recognizable new Russian change of mind in a decisive pro-German sense". Fuehrer replies as above.

151. A 20,295 21 Apr. Relief of tension Russia-Finland (by Russia's giving in BL.315). Russia at present eager to avoid every incident.

152. A 20-341 24 Apr. Naval Attache in Moscow reports considerable extent of rumors: danger of war Germany-Russia, fed by transient travellers from Germany. English Ambassador predicts as day of outbreak of war 22 June!

153. A 20,354 25 Apr. According to the declarations in the English House of Commons, no great progress in the improvement of Anglo-Russian relations; English efforts will be continued.

154. A 20,413 29 Apr. Moscow radio reports landing of four German transports with 12000 men in Finland.

155. A 21,1 1 May. Proclamations by Stalin and Timoshenko on account of first of May, show that Russia is striving with all means at her disposal to keep out of the war, and on account of the fluid international to prepare for any eventualities. Further urgent war preparations and measures for the protection of the Russian western border (BL.14).

156. A 21,13 2 May. According to English press, Anglo-Russian negotiations for the conclusion of a political treaty have failed.



157. A 21,30 3 May. According to a report of the Naval Attache in Moscow, no conspicuous or more extensive military preparations visible. (Compare, however, report by Ambassador BL.141).

158. A 21,51 5 May. English radio speaks of stronger indication of German attack on Russia.

159. A 21,66 6 May. Appointment of Stalin as chairman of the council of people's commissioners; according to the Chief Naval Operations (SKL) this means: concentration of the entire executive power, strengthening of the government authority and "desire to continue the present foreign policy, avoidance of conflict with Germany."

160. A 21,28 7 May. The appointment of Stalin is evaluated in neutral countries -- even in the USA -- as an indication of closer cooperation with Germany and of an all-inclusive agreement between Germany and Russia.

161. A 21,125 10 May. Moscow withdraws diplomatic recognition from the Norwegian, Belgian, Yugoslavian representations (apparently a friendly gesture toward Germany)compare BL.156. In the opinion of the Naval Attache Stalin "the bearer of German-Soviet cooperation"!

161a. A 21,235 17 May. Evaluation of Russian. policy in Turkish diplomatic circles: Russia wants to satisfy Germany by the last Russian declaration, by the expulsion of the diplomats of territories, occupied by the Germans, and above all, by extensive deliveries, and also to relieve all doubts on the political scene. One can count on a new German-Russian understanding, for the purpose of which Stalin took over the office of prime minister! (Report from the Embassy).

162. C VII/41,162 22 May. Supreme Naval Commander with the Fuehrer: Supreme Naval Commander declares all preparations for the holding back of the war materials consigned to Russia have been made. In the near future it will be explained to the Russian navy that, because of our own need, there may be small delays in the deliveries, without endangering the whole. Fuehrer agrees.

163. A 21,439 29 May. Begin of the preparatory warship movements for "Barbarossa".

164. A 21,454 30 May. Demands urgently decisive offensive Egypt-Suez for fall 1941; 12 division is needed for that: "This stroke would be more deadly to the British Empire than the capture of London"! Chief Naval Operations (SKL) agrees completely, and expresses himself in the same manner as stated below under No. 168.

165. A 22,29 4 June. Outwardly, no change in the relationship Germany-Russia. Russian deliveries continue to full satisfaction. Russian government is endeavoring to do everything to prevent a conflict with Germany.

166. A 22,31 4 June. On suggestion of the commander of the submarines (B.d.V). Most economic use of submarines in the Baltic in case "Barbarossa"; bright nights; no unnecessary use for operations where Navy is not deciding; instead full use against England.

167. A 22,53 6 June. Ambassador in Moscow reports..... Russia will only fight if attacked by Germany. Situation is considered in Moscow much more serious than up to now. All military preparations have been made quietly as far as can be recognized only defensive. Russian policy still strives as before to produce the best possible relationship to Germany as good.

168. C VII/41,173 6 June. Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Memorandum of the Chief, Naval Operations (SKL) Observation on the strategic situation in the Eastern Mediterranean after the Balkan campaign and the occupation of Crete and further conduct of the war:

This memorandum was presented to the Fuehrer by Naval Supreme Commander according to BL.124 in heavily condensed form and was submitted apparently mainly for the purpose of increased Italian conduct of the war in the Mediterranean; it represents one of the most important documents of the war records. It is yet to be determined whether and to which offices in the Fuehrer's headquarters, it was submitted. The memorandum points with impressive clarity to the decisive aims of the war in the near east. Their advancement has moved into grasping distance by the successes in the Aegean area, and the memorandum emphasizes that the offensive utilization of the present favorable situation must take place with the greatest acceleration and energy, before England has again strengthened her position in the near east with help from the USA. The memorandum realizes the unalterable fact that the campaign against Russia would be opened very shortly, demands, however, that the undertaking "Barbarossa" "which because of the magnitude of its aims, naturally stands in the foreground of the operational plans of the armed forces leadership, must under no circumstances hear to an "abandonment, diminishing a delay of the conduct of the war in the Eastern Mediterranean." (BL.176). It states furthermore that, despite the strain on the German armed forces by the operation "Barbarossa", the complete operational exploitation of the great successes achieved lately "must be carried out at a time when the help of the USA for England has not as yet attained a decisive extent". (BL.179). In a note of the Chief First Naval District (1/SKL) of 18 Aug. 43, it says in this connection: "At that time, it was also the conviction of the Chief Naval Operations (SKL), that the war against Russia was inevitable, after Stalin had proved himself as a blackmailer by his behavior (Baltic States, Bessarabia, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria). (Pencilled marginal note: Thus the Chief Naval Operations (SKL) did not know the real extortions?) About on 15 June the Fuehrer, in a dinner speech of 1 1/2 hours, explained in the presence of all the higher commanders of the armed forces, in all inclusive, convincing explanation, that the eastern campaign was inevitable, and that we therefore must conduct it in a preventive and offensive manner to avoid that the Russians could overrun us at a later time after longer appropriate preparations, when we are tied down in other sectors."

Certainly, the opinion which the Chief, Naval Operations (SKL) then had has been decisively influenced by the generally spread confidence that the campaign against Russia could be completed victoriously in a few months.(Remark by B.)

169. A 22,65 7 June. From the report of the Ambassador in Moscow....All observations show, that Stalin and Molotov, who alone are responsible for Russian foreign policy, are doing everything to avoid a conflict with German. The entire behavior of the government as well as the attitude of the press, which reports all events concerning Germany in a factual, indisputable manner, support this view. The loyal fulfillment of the economic treaty with Germany, prove the same thing.

170. A 22,121 12 June. London expects a fundamental change of German-Russian relations and sees a German explanation on the development of German-Russian relations.

171. A 22,123 12 June. Directive of Chief, Naval Operations (SKL) to prevent German commercial ships, destined for Russian ports, from leaving by a fictitious reason.

172. A 22,138 13 June. According to Finnish reports, for the first time Russian patrol activity at the Western exit of the Gulf of Finland.

173. C VIII/41,247 14 June. Official declaration by the Russian Tass-agency, which turns against rumors of the coming German-Russian war; emphasizes conscientious fulfillment of the pact by both parties. The declaration is evaluated by the German side, as an attempt to make Germany as the aggressor in case of a possible attack. (Compare A 22,149)

174. A 22,151 14 June. Speech by the Fuehrer before the highest armed forces of the commands about the background and intended execution of "Barbarossa" (compare No. 168, memorandum by the Chief, First Naval District (1/SKL)

175. A 22,154 14 June. Further Russian security measures in the Gulf of Finland. (Compare BL.205, 235)

176. A 22,161 15 June. Enemy and neutral press discuss tension in the German-Russian relationship. Some consider immediate impending German advance as inevitable. Compare BL. 172: Stalin prepared to extreme concessions: leading army circles against further policy of compliance.

177. A 22,165 15 June. On the proposal of Chief Naval Operations (SKL) (Compare BL.218,236) use of arms against Russian submarines, south of the northern boundary of the Poland warning area is permitted immediately; ruthless destruction is to be aimed at.

178. A 22,179 16 June. Permission of veiled aerial observation of the operational area for "Barbarossa" by Chief, Naval Operations (SKL); violations of neutrality are to be avoided under all circumstances.

179. A 22,188 17 June. Directive of Chief, Naval Operations (SKL), that naval war measures in the case of "Barbarossa" are to be directed in such a way that the main emphasis of the use lies still in the warfare against England. Aim of the Baltic naval warfare to paralyze the enemy by our own initiative to avoid large own losses, and to increase our own freedom of movement. The lifespan of the Russian fleet depends after all on the progress of land operations.

180. A 22,195 17 June. Supreme Command, Armed Forces (OKW) confirms "D" day 22 June.

181. A 22,203 18 June. On proposal of Chief Naval Operations (SKL), directive of the Air force, Supreme Commander, that Russian ships and port installations are to be spared during aerial attacks.

182. A 22,243 20 June. The Admiral South-East receives directive from the Chief Naval Operations (SKL) that the Black Sea missions are absolutely defensive, since Roumania, at first, is not to be considered as being in a state of war.

183. A 22,258 21 June. Reconnaissance of the Baltic theater of operations shows Russian readiness, laying of mine barriers, but no striking movements, no symptoms that Russians are set for imminent German operations. Apparently, battle ships still continue target practice!

184. The contemplated German offensive mine barriers were laid according to plan, apparently unnoticed, the German submarines are in alert positions and assembling, also the S-flotillas. All shipping will be stopped from 2000 hours on.

185. A 22,267 22 June [1941]. Begin of hostilities against Russia. Our own operations were not disturbed by the enemy, although they are taking place in his immediate vicinity. The outbreak of hostilities has stimulated movements and activity of Russian Naval forces only moderately. Symptom of energetic offensive reaction against the German attack cannot be recognized on the evening of the first day on the enemy's side.

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Acolyte
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Post by Acolyte » 19 Apr 2005 18:39

Just one question: has Germany declared war on the USSR on 22 June 1941?

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Musashi
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Post by Musashi » 19 Apr 2005 20:42

Acolyte wrote:Just one question: has Germany declared war on the USSR on 22 June 1941?
AFAIK it has not.

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Post by Panzerfaust XxX » 03 May 2005 17:08

Musashi wrote:
Acolyte wrote:Just one question: has Germany declared war on the USSR on 22 June 1941?
AFAIK it has not.
Yes they offically delcared war on june 22. ANd the funny thing is Stalin sent a train of supplies to Germany on June 21.

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Post by Acolyte » 03 May 2005 22:26

As far as I know that train crossed the border into Germany 5 hours before Barbarossa began. The clueless Soviet kept sending grain supplies even on the evening of 22nd.

Didn't Ribbentrop merely announce that 'there is a state of war between USSR and Germany'?.

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Post by Eugene (J. Baker) » 04 May 2005 12:25

Yes they offically delcared war on june 22.
BS

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Post by Acolyte » 04 May 2005 13:13

Eugene (J. Baker) wrote:
Yes they offically delcared war on june 22.
BS
That's probably the shortest response I ever read on AHF.

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