Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Volume 13

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Wednesday, 8 May 1946

Morning Session

MARSHAL: May it please the Tribunal, the report is made that Defendant Schirach is absent.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Mr. President, with the permission of the Tribunal, I shall now state my opinion on the documents to which the Prosecution has objected.

Before I refer to the individual documents, I should like to say two things concerning the groups.

First: I ask the Tribunal to recall that in general questions on naval warfare I also defend Admiral Raeder. I already mentioned, when I first applied for documents, that all the charges against naval warfare cannot be dealt with separately as concerning Doenitz or Raeder; therefore Dr. Siemers and I agreed that I should deal with these charges together. I ask the Tribunal in evaluating the question to take into consideration whether the charges are relevant.

Second: A large number of the objections which the Prosecution has made are directed against the fact that the war measures of the Allies are mentioned in the documents. I believe that I have been completely misunderstood especially in this field. I am not interested and it is not my intention to disparage any war methods, and I shall demonstrate later in detail that the documents are not suitable or this. But I should like to state from the beginning that I want to show with these documents what naval warfare was really like. I could not demonstrate this by showing only the German methods; but I also have to submit to this Tribunal the methods of the Allies in order to prove that the German methods, which are similar to the Allies' methods, were legal. The Tribunal has even recognized this to be correct by approving the use of British Admiralty orders and an interrogatory of the Commander-in-Chief of the American Navy, Admiral Nimitz.

I am very grateful that these documents were approved; and my own documents in this field are along the same line.

I shall now refer to the individual documents against which objections have been raised; first to the Document Doenitz-5, which is in Document Book 1, Page 7.


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THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuhler, the Tribunal has examined all these documents so I think you can deal with them as far as possible in groups.


THE PRESIDENT: If possible, follow the order of Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Mr. President, it will not be possible for me to follow the order of Sir David, because then I shall have to return repeatedly to the line of ideas which I have already mentioned. I believe it will facilitate and speed up the proceedings if I form groups according to the order in which I intended to present them; and I should like to remind the Tribunal that that was expressly approved for me yesterday.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuhler, it would be very much more convenient to the Tribunal if you followed the order in the groups. But if you find that impossible, the Tribunal would not make it a matter of an order.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: I should be very grateful, Mr. President, if I could keep the order which I had prepared. It corresponds to the order of Sir David.


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Concerning the question of aggressive war, I have another document to submit which is Doenitz-5. It is an excerpt from Documente der Deutschen Politik, and concerns the question of bases in Norway. I consider this document relevant because it shows that on the part of the British Admiralty an interrogatory was prepared on the question of the necessity of such a base, which corresponds exactly to the one with which the Prosecution has charged Admiral Doenitz in Document GB-83 as proof for aggressive war.

Thereby I wish to say that the answers on such interrogatories have nothing to do with any considerations concerning an aggressive war, which a subordinate office could not even make. The document is in Group 2 of Sir David's classification.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you saying that the footnote stands on the same footing as the other part of the document?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: The footnote is the essential part for me, Mr. President. I had the other part copied only to keep the connection with the footnote.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, who wrote the footnote? Doesn't the footnote represent information which was not before the German Admiralty at the time?


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THE PRESIDENT: Well, does the footnote state that it was before the German Admiralty at the time?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: No, Mr. President. The footnote was not known to the German Admiralty at the time.

THE PRESIDENT: That is what I said; the footnote was not known to the German Admiralty. Who wrote it?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: The footnote is part of this document, which can be found in the collection Dokamente der Deutschen Politik...

THE PRESIDENT: Is the Defendant Ribbentrop the author of it?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: No, Mr. President. The Dokamente der Deutschen Politik are an official collection, and the footnotes have been written by the editor of that collection on the basis of official material.


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Now I come to the documents concerning naval warfare in general. A large part of those are in Sir David's Group 3. The first document is Doenitz-60, on Page 152. It concerns an American note of 6 October 1939, and is in connection with the Document Doenitz-61, to which the Prosecution has not objected. It is in Volume III of the document book, Mr. President. Volume III, Page 152. This document is an American reply to the document which you will find two pages before this, on Page 150. Both documents deal with the warning of neutral nations against suspicious actions of their merchant vessels. The question is relevant in respect to Exhibit GB-193 of the Prosecution. In this document a charge is made against an order that ships which act suspiciously-that is, proceed without lights-should be sunk.

The next document is from Sir David's Group 1, Doenitz-69, on Page 170, in Book 3. It is an excerpt from several copies of the Volkischer Beobachter of November and December 1939. In these copies are published lifts of armed British and French passenger ships. This document also is in connection with a preceding document and the one following. All these documents deal with the question of treatment of passenger ships by the naval warfare command.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you had better give the numbers of the documents. You said the next document and the one before it. I think you had better give the numbers of the documents.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Yes. That is Document 69, Mr. President, Doenitz-69, and it is on Page 170, in Book 3.


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THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I know it is, but you said something about documents that were akin, or some words to that effect, to the documents next to it.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: It is in relation to Doenitz-68, on Page 169 of the document book.

THE PRESIDENT: Was that objected to?


THE PRESIDENT: Very well, then, you need not bother with it.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: I only wanted to show, MR. PRESIDENT, that this document is only part of the proof about the treatment of passenger ships, and should prove that the German press had warned against the using of armed passenger ships. The next documents objected to by the Prosecution concern Group 3, "The Contraband and Control System." These are the documents Doenitz-60, from Page 173 to Page 197 of the document book, and I should like to form three groups of these.

The first group, from Page 173 to Page 181, concerns the question of contraband. I consider this question relevant because Document GB-191 has stated that the German U-boats sank a large number of Allied ships while these ships were on a legal merchant trip. The development of rules against contraband will show the Tribunal that from 12 December 1939 on, a legal import to England no longer existed but actually only contraband. These documents concerning contraband are important, furthermore, for the German point of view, which became known under the slogan of "Hunger Blockade" and which played an important part in all German deliberations about the conduct and the intensification of naval warfare. The documents contain in detail the German contraband regulations, the British regulations, and two German statements concerning these contraband regulations.

The next group is Doenitz-60, from Page 183 to Page 191. That concerns the regulations about putting into control ports; that is to say, the British Admiralty removed the control over neutral merchant shipping from the high seas into certain British ports. This group is also relevant in connection with Exhibit GB-191 because in this document the German Naval Operations Staff is accused of carrying out war measures against England without consideration of the danger to neutrals. The group which I have dealt with shows that it was not possible for the British Admiralty either to take war measures without endangering the neutrals, because, by the establishment of control ports, the neutrals were forced into German zones of operations and thereby, of course, endangered. This danger was confirmed by the neutrals themselves, and the documents on Pages 186 to 189 will prove this.


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An excerpt from the document of the Prosecution GB-194 on Page 198 belongs to that same group. It contains a renewed American protest against the control ports.

The third group goes from Page 192 to 197, also Doenitz-60, and is concerned with the question of an export embargo. This export blockade was declared against Germany in an Order in Council of 27 November 1939. This measure is important in the question of legal trade because thereby legal export was no longer possible either. The export blockade therefore is a basis for the total blockade which was later declared by Germany against England. Since the Exhibit GB-191 disputes the legality of a total blockade I must prove the basic grounds and also the export blockade.

The next document objected to is Doenitz-72 on Page 185. It deals with a note by Great Britain to Belgium of 22 September. In this note the British Government state that they will not tolerate any increase of trade between Belgium and Germany. I use it as evidence for the fact that the economic pressure which can be seen from this note was a natural and accepted means of warfare. This question is relevant concerning the document of the Prosecution, Exhibit GB-224. There on Page 6 under heading (c) it is stated that Germany would necessarily have to exert economic pressure on the neutrals, and these statements were submitted by the Prosecution as measures contrary to international law.

The next group contains the following documents: Doenitz-60, Page 204; Doenitz-72, Page 207; Doenitz-60, Page 208; Doenitz-60, Page 209; and Doenitz-75, Page 218. All of these documents concern the development of German zones of operation and the recognition of the zones of operation which were declared by the opponents. These documents are relevant for the question of the treatment of neutrals. In Exhibit GB-191 the charge was made against the Naval Operations Staff that without any consideration it had given the order to torpedo neutral ships. My evidence shall prove that that happened only in those areas which the neutrals had been warned against using and that this is a permissible measure of warfare, as shown also by the practices of the enemy.

I should like to refer individually to two documents which concern the practices of the opposing side. Doenitz-60, Page 208, concerns the statement by Mr. Churchill of 8 May 1940 regarding the torpedoing of ships in the Jutland area. This document and the next one, Doenitz-60, Page 009, I wanted to put to a witness. Doenitz-60, Page 209, concerns a French statement about a danger zone near Italy. I am using both documents as evidence for the practical state of naval warfare and should like to discuss them with a witness. It goes without saying that the methods of the enemy also had some influence on German practices.


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The next group contains documents Doenitz-60, Pages 219, 222, and 224. They deal with the British system of navicerts. The navicerts, as can be seen from these documents, were certificates which all neutral ships had to get from the British Consulate before they could put to sea. Ships which refused to use navicerts were confiscated. The navicert system is relevant in two respects.

First, it is mentioned in the German statement concerning the total blockade against England on 17 August 1940 as one reason for that blockade. Secondly, from the German point of view it was a non-neutral act on the part of the neutrals if they submitted to that system. This question plays a considerable part in determining to what extent Germany herself from that time on took consideration of neutrals in the zones of operations. Finally, the navicert system shows the development of an entirely new naval warfare law, and that is a very important subject for me.

The next document is Doenitz-60, Page 256. It is a French decree of 11 November 1939 concerning the creation of insignia for the crews of merchant ships who could be mobilized. This document is relevant for the question of whether the crews of merchant ships at that stage of the war should be considered combatants or noncombatants. The details of the decree seem to me to show that they would have to be considered combatants.

With the two following documents I should like to object to the probative value of the document of the Prosecution, Exhibit GB-191. This concerns my Documents Doenitz-81, Page 233, and Doenitz-82, Page 234. I had said that these two documents would dispute the probative value of the Document GB-191. That is the report of the British Foreign Office about German naval warfare. On Page 1 this report attacks Article 72 of the German Prize Regulations in which it states that ships can be sunk if they cannot be brought into port. Document GB-191 says that this is contrary to the traditional British conception.

My Document Doenitz-81 shows the sinking of the German Freighter Olinda by the British cruiser Ajax on the first day of the war. It is only one example to show that the statement made in the report of the British Foreign Office, according to which the British fleet had not sunk ships if they could not or would not bring them to port, is incorrect.

In the same report of the British Foreign Office, German U-boats are accused of never differentiating between armed and unarmed merchant ships. Later I shall submit to the Court the orders concerning armed and unarmed merchant ships.

By my next document I merely wish to defend the U-boats against having each mistake interpreted as bad intent. Therefore, in Doenitz-82, I submit a statement by the British Foreign Office


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which confirms that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, in some cases to distinguish between armed merchant ships and unarmed merchant ships.

The next document, Doenitz-85, Page 242, contains a statement by the American Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Knox, concerning the question of keeping secret the sinking of German U-boats by American naval forces. For me it is essential in connection with the document of the Prosecution, Exhibit GB-194. In this document the measures which the naval war staff took to keep secret the sinkings by U-boats, that is, using as a pretense the fiction of sinking through mines, are presented as fraudulent. I should like to give this as an example that during a war military measures can naturally be kept secret, but that that is no proof for or against their legality.

The next document is Doenitz-89, on Page 246. It is a list drawn up by the Naval Operations Staff of violations of neutrality committed by the United States from September 1939 to 29 September 1941. The document is essential to counter the document of the Prosecution, Exhibit GB-195, which contains an order from Adolf Hitler of July 1941 in which it is stated that in the future even the merchant ships of the United States must be treated within the German zone of blockade in the same manner as all other neutral ships, that is to say, they should be sunk.

The Prosecution has interpreted this order as proof of a cynical and opportunistic conduct of U-boat warfare by Admiral Doenitz. I wish to show, by submitting this list, that from the German point of view it was completely understandable and is justifiable if in the summer of 1941 one did not grant the United States a better position than any other neutral.

Now I come to the subject of the treatment of shipwrecked survivors. These documents are in Volume I of the document book. The first document, Doenitz-9, on Page 11, offers a description of over-scrupulous measures taken by German U-boats to save survivors in September and October 1939. This is essential for Admiral Doenitz . . .

THE PRESIDENT: There must surely be a group of these, is there not? Haven't you got a number of documents which deal with shipwrecks?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Yes, there are a number of documents.

THE PRESIDENT: Can you not deal with them all together?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Yes, Mr. President, I can assemble them. They are Documents Doenitz-9, Page 11, Doenitz-10, Page 12, Doenitz-12, Page 18, and Doenitz-13, Pages 19 to 26, and Page 49, and Doenitz-19 on Page 34. All these documents


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are related to Exhibit GB-196 of the Prosecution. That is an Order from the winter of 1939-1940 in which the rescue measures of U-boats are limited. Sir David objected to that group that it was not important if, after this order of the winter 1939-i940, rescues were still carried out. I cannot share this opinion. If the Prosecution accuses Admiral Doenitz of having given an order about the limitation of rescue measures in the winter of 1939-1940, then it is essential to point out for what reasons such an order was issued and what practical consequences it had in fact. It is my assertion that that order can be traced, first, to the fighting conditions of the U-boats along the British coasts, and second, to over-scrupulous rescue measures taken by the commanders. The order did not prohibit measures of rescue generally, and that will be shown by the statements made by the commanders, which I have submitted under Doenitz-13.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it possible for you to give us a page where we can find these GB documents? For instance, GB-196. ,

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Yes. It is in the British document book on Page 33. In the document book of the Prosecution, Mr. President.




FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: I should like to state my position on a formal objection. Some of these statements are not sworn statements. I refer to Article 19 of the Charter, according to which the Tribunal is to use all matters of evidence which have probative value. I believe that a written report by an officer about his activity as commanding officer has probative value, even if it is not sworn to. A report of this kind before a German naval court would be accepted in evidence without question.

The last document in this group, Doenitz-19, Page 34, concerns the document of the Prosecution, Exhibit GB-199. It is a radio message on Page 36 of the British document book of the Prosecution. It concerns a radio message which the U-boat commanded by Kapitanleutnant Schacht received from Admiral Doenitz, and deals with the rescue or nonrescue of Englishmen and Italians.

Document Doenitz-19 is a log book of Schacht's U-boat and shows, first, the armament and crew of the Laconia, whose crew is the one in question, and second, it explains why comparatively few of the numerous Italians and comparatively many of the less numerous

Englishmen were rescued. The events were known to Admiral Doenitz from radio messages.

Document Doenitz-29...


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THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuhler, as I told you, the Tribunal has read all of these documents and examined them, and therefore it isn't necessary for you to go into them as a small group, and it isn't necessary for you to go into each document, if you will indicate the nature of the groups.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Then I should like to mention the Documents Doenitz-29 on Pages 54 to 59 of the document book; Doenitz-31, Page 64; Doenitz-32 on Page 65; Doenitz-33 on Page 66; Doenitz-37 on Page 78; Doenitz-38 on Page 80 and Doenitz-40 on Page 86; these documents are also concerned with the subject of survivors. Doenitz-29 is concerned with a statement of the witness Heisig.

The Prosecution has declared that I could not question the character of the witness Heisig because I had not made that point during the cross-examination of Heisig. In this connection I wish to state that in my opinion I attacked the credibility of Heisig during the cross-examination as far as it was possible at the time. I knew of the existence of that witness only three days before he appeared here.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuhler, you are now proceeding to deal with each document. You have given us quite a number of documents which all fall in this group, of the treatment of shipwrecks and we have already seen those documents and therefore, we can consider them as a group. We do not need to have these details about the question of the credibility of Heisig, which is already before us.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Mr. President, I believe it is very difficult to judge the relevancy of documents if I am not permitted to say what the connection is. For instance, the next three documents, Doenitz-31, 32 and 33, are related to GB-200. That is an order by the Flag Officer of the U-boats dealing with the treatment of so-called rescue ships. The Tribunal will recall that the Prosecution has stated it did not object to the order as such with reference to the sinking of rescue ships, but only to the tendency to kill the survivors also by sinking rescue ships.

My documents pertaining to this issue are to show that thus they apply moral standards which do not exist in wartime. I wish to show this comparison with the sea rescue planes. The sea rescue planes were rightfully shot down by the British Air Force, because there was no agreement which prohibited that. The British Air Force was therefore naturally not kept from shooting down rescue planes by moral consideration, if international law permitted it; and we have exactly the same point of view concerning the rescue ships.

In the case of the sinking of the steamer Steuben, I should like to correct an error. That is Document Doenitz-33. It does not deal,


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as Sir David mentioned yesterday, with the sinking of a hospital ship by a Russian U-boat, but it concerns the sinking of a German transport ship which carried wounded. This sinking was, therefore, completely justified and I would like to show with this document that the Naval Operations Staff did not for a moment consider it unjustified. I believe, Mr. President, that I shall have to speak in more detail about the Documents Doenitz-37, 38, and 40, for it is precisely these documents which have been objected to by the Prosecution, because they show the conduct of the Allies in certain war measures.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuhler, as I have told you more than once, the Tribunal does not wish to hear you on each individual document. We have already considered the documents and we want you to deal with them in groups. You have already given us the documents in a group and have indicated to what subject they relate.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Mr. President, may I at least mention the documents of the Prosecution to which my documents refer?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Doenitz-37 refers to a document of the Prosecution, Exhibit GB-638. That is the statement by Admiral Doenitz concerning the case of the Athenia. At the end of that statement the question of the punishment of the U-boat commander is mentioned and the Prosecution apparently accuses Admiral Doenitz of not punishing the commander except in a disciplinary manner. I want to prove with this Document Doenitz-37 that a commanding officer will tolerate certain war measures once even if they were not correct or at least partly not correct.

Doenitz-38 is in connection with Document Doenitz-39, which has not been objected to by the Prosecution. It brings out only one detail from the Document Doenitz-39. This document states the attitude of the Naval Operations Staff to alleged reports about the Allies' firing on survivors and similar incidents. By Doenitz-38 I only intend to show that the very careful attitude of the Naval Operations Staff was not based on lack of proof for they even had affidavits to prove it, and in spite of that rejected any possibility of reprisals.

Doenitz-40 is in connection with Document Doenitz-42 which I submitted and against which no objection has been raised. In this document quite sober considerations are raised as to whether survivors could be fired on or not. I should like to show that such considerations perhaps appear inhumane and impossible after a war, but that during war such questions are examined and in certain cases are answered in the affirmative, according to military necessity.


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The next two documents, Goering-7, on Page 89, and C-21, on Page 91, deal with the document of the Prosecution, Exhibit GB-205. That was a radio message concerning the sinking of an Allied sailing cutter. GB-205 is on Page 53 of the Prosecution's document book. The Prosecution in connection with this document has accused our naval warfare command of trying to terrorize the crews of neutral ships. Both my documents, Goering-7 and C-21, give only a few examples to the effect that that terrorizing is nothing illegal but that naturally each belligerent in taking military measures considers the psychological effect of these measures on the enemy.

The next group is Document Doenitz-43, on Page 95; Doenitz-90, on Page 258, and Doenitz-67, on Page 96. They all deal with the subject of whether a ship is obliged to carry out rescues if this would endanger the ship Itself, and relates to the document of the Prosecution, GB-196 on Page 33 of the document book of the Prosecution and GB-199 on Page 36 of the Prosecution's book. They show first the methods of the British navy...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuhler, you have told us the subject they relate to. That is to say, they relate to the subject whether a ship is obliged to rescue if in danger, and that, you say, is an answer to GB-196 and 199. Why should you tell us anything more than that?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: If that is sufficient, then I shall proceed, Mr. President. The last document in this group is Doenitz-53, Page 99. It is a statement signed by some 60 U-boat commanders from an English prisoner-of-war camp, and it deals with the fact that they never received an order to kill survivors. The Prosecution objected to it because it was considered too general and was not sworn to. I believe that it contains a very concrete statement concerning the alleged order for destruction. Furthermore, it is an official report by the German commanders as prisoners of war to their superior, the English camp commandant; and I received it through the British War Office. I request the Tribunal particularly to approve this document, because it has a high probative and moral value for myself and for my client.

The last group of the documents objected to comes under the heading "Conspiracy." It is in the document book, Volume II, Mr. President, Doenitz-47, and relates to Exhibit GB-212. Doenitz-47 is on Page 120. The document of the Prosecution is Exhibit GB-212. On Page 75 an incident is mentioned, namely, that Admiral Doenitz approved the fact that a traitor in a prisoner-of-war camp was done away with. Doenitz-47 will show that the removal of traitors is an emergency measure which is approved by all governments in time of war.


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Doenitz-48 deals with the subject of the treatment of prisoners of war. It is related to the document of the Prosecution, Exhibit GB-209. Doenitz-48 is on Page 122 in my document book, and GB-209 is on Page 68 of the document book of the Prosecution. In connection with GB-209, which deals with the possibility of abandoning the Geneva Convention, the Prosecution accuses Doenitz of wanting to risk the lives of 150,000 American and over 50,000 British prisoners of war without scruple. In my opinion, it is not sufficient merely to dispute such a statement which is made by the Prosecution, but I must prove that those prisoners of war for whom Admiral Doenitz himself was responsible were not only treated according to international law but in an exemplary manner and as can be seen from a British statement, which is contained in evidence, "with fairness and consideration."

The next document Doenitz-49 deals with the treatment of native populations. It is on Page 130. It is relevant to the documents of the Prosecution GB-210, Prosecution document book Page 69, and GB-211, Prosecution document book Page 72. According to these two documents of the Prosecution Admiral Doenitz is connected with the conspiracy for committing crimes against the native populations of occupied territories. Here again, I would like to show that in that sector for which he was personally responsible, he did everything necessary to protect the inhabitants of the occupied territories. Therefore I have submitted evidence concerning the sentences imposed by the naval courts for the protection of the inhabitants, which have been confirmed by Admiral Doenitz even in the case of death sentences against German soldiers.

The Prosecution states that this document is also very general. The document has an appendix with about 80 individual examples of sentences. I have not included these examples, in order to save the translators this work; but if the Tribunal considers it necessary, I will certainly have that appendix translated.

The last group contains Doenitz-51, on Page 134, and Doenitz-52, on Page 135. They are in connection with the Prosecution's Document GB-188, on Page 10 of the British document book. That is the speech made by Admiral Doenitz on the occasion of Adolf Hitler's death. In connection with that document and another, the Prosecution has accused him of being a fanatical Nazi and, as such, of prolonging the war at the expense of the men, women, and children of his country. The very documents of the Prosecution, however, show that he considered a delay of capitulation necessary in order to make it possible to get as many people as possible from the East to the West and thus bring them to safety.


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The Documents Doenitz-51 and Doenitz-52 will prove that in fact many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of German people were brought to safety during these last weeks of the war.

THE PRESIDENT: We shall see that from the documents presumably. That is part of the details in the documents, isn't it, what you say?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: I do not need to say anything further about it, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Are these all the documents? Dr. Kranzbuhler, the Tribunal is inclined to think that it would save time after the Tribunal has ruled upon these documents, if you called the Defendant Doenitz first. Would you be willing to do that?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Mr. President, I was not prepared for it, but I am in a position to do so.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the object of it of course is to try and save time, and the Tribunal thinks that in the course of the examination of the defendant a considerable number of these documents might possibly be dealt with in the course of direct and crossexamination.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Yes, Mr. President. The difficulty, however, is that during the examination of Admiral Doenitz I should like to count on the knowledge of the contents of the documents; and I should also like to discuss some documents with him. But I do not know whether the Tribunal will approve these documents now or not.

THE PRESIDENT: But what I am suggesting is that the Tribunal should consider now the relevance of these documents, the admissibility of these documents, and then tell you-make a rule- as to what documents are admitted. You will then know what documents are admitted. Then you can call Admiral Doenitz and of course examine him with reference to the documents which are admitted; and as I have told you, the Tribunal has already looked at these documents. They will now reconsider them, in order to see whether they are admissible, and the Tribunal will in that way, to a large extent, be fully acquainted with the documents.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Yes, I agree to that, Mr. President. I will call Admiral Doenitz if the Tribunal deems it proper.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuhler, you have been dealing with a Document Doenitz-60, which contains a great number of pages to which you wish to refer. When we have ruled upon them you will have to give separate exhibit numbers to each one of the documents-to each one of the pages which we will rule are admissible and which you wish to offer in evidence.


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FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Mr. President, may I point out that this is one book. Doenitz-60 is one book. That is why I have not given it an exhibit number, because I submit it as one.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but it contains so many pages that it will be more convenient, will it not, to give each separate page a separate exhibit number?


THE PRESIDENT: It seems to relate to a great variety of subjects.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Yes, a collection of documents.

THE PRESIDENT: Now as you dealt with the various subjects in entirely different order than the way in which Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe dealt with them, I think it would be convenient if we heard anything he wants to say about it. Only if you do wish to say something, Sir David.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Certainly, My Lord. My Lord, I have heard the Tribunal say that they have had an opportunity of examining the documents and therefore I propose to be extremely brief in any remarks I have to make; and may I make one explanation before I deal with the very few points?

My friend, Colonel Pokrovsky, wanted to make it clear-as I think it was clear to the Tribunal yesterday-that there had been no objection to Documents 3 and 4 because in these they deal with a secret base in the North which is only of importance for the attacks against wood transports from the North Russian ports. The objectionable matter, as I think the Tribunal pointed out, was introduced in a statement of Dr. Kranzbuhler which has no foundation in the documents. Colonel Pokrovsky was very anxious that I should make that clear on behalf of the Prosecution.

My Lord, I think there are really only two points which I need emphasize in reply to the Tribunal. The first is on my Group 3, the details of the Contraband Control System. My Lord, I submit that on this there is an essential non sequitur in Dr. Kranzbuhler's argument. He says that, first of all, the carrying of contraband by merchant ships, to carry his argument to its logical conclusion, would entitle a belligerent to sinking at sight. That, I submit, with great respect to him, is completely wrong; and it does not follow that because you establish certain rules and lists of contraband that the right to sink at sight is affected at all.

Similarly, his second point with regard to the British navicert system. That system was used in World War I and is a well-known system. But again, the essential non sequitur or absence of connection is this, that if a neutral goes to one of the control ports and


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gets a navicert, that does not put that neutral into so un-neutral an act as to make it the equivalent of a ship of war, which is the position that my friend-that Dr. Kranzbuhler-would have to take if that argument were to succeed.

His third division wishes to put in documents showing economic pressures on, for example, Belgium, with regard to the import of goods. The naval defendants are not being charged with economic pressure; they are charged with killing people on the high seas. Now again, I have dealt with it very shortly, and the Prosecution submits and takes the view very strongly that the whole of that documentary evidence is several steps removed from the issues in the case.

Now the second group of matters which I wanted to refer to. I can take as an example the document making several score of allegations of un-neutral acts against the United States. The case for the Prosecution on sinking at sight is that sinking at sight against various groups of neutrals was adopted as a purely political matter, according to the advantage or, when it was abstained from, the disadvantage which Germany might get from her relations with these neutrals. And it does not help in answering that allegation of the Prosecution. That is a matter of fact which can be judged, whether the Prosecution is right. It does not help on that to say that the United States committed certain nonneutral acts. If anything, it would be supporting the contention of the Prosecution that sinking on sight was applied arbitrarily according to the political advantages which could be obtained from it.

And the only other point-and again my friend, Colonel Pokrovsky, wishes me to emphasize it-is that these, the collection of unsworn statements, are of course in a very different position, from any legal standard, from reports made by officers in the course of their duty. Those are admissible in all military courts, probably in every country in the world. These are an ad hoc collection. They are not only unsworn but they are vague, indefinite, and insufficiently related to the order which is adhered to in the case of the Prosecution.

My Lord, I have tried to cut it very short, but I did want the Tribunal to appreciate that on all these groups and especially, if I may say so, on Groups 3 and 4, the Prosecution feels very strongly on this matter in the case. I am grateful to the Tribunal for giving me the opportunity of saying this.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]


8 May 46

Afternoon Session

MARSHAL: If it please the Tribunal, the Defendant Streicher is absent from this session.

THE PRESIDENT: I will deal with the documents in the order in which they were dealt with by Fleet Judge Kranzbuhler.

The Tribunal rejects Doenitz-5, Page 7 of the document book. The Tribunal rejects Doenitz-60, Page 152.

The Tribunal allows Doenitz-69, Page 170.

The Tribunal rejects Doenitz-60, Pages 173 to 197.

The Tribunal rejects Doenitz-72, Page 185.

The Tribunal rejects Doenitz-60, Page 204.

It rejects Doenitz-74, Page 207.

It allows Doenitz-60, Page 208.

It rejects Doenitz-60, Page 209.

It rejects Doenitz-75, Page 218.

It rejects Doenitz-60, Page 219, Page 222 and Page 224.

It allows Doenitz-60, Page 256.

It rejects Doenitz-81, Page 233 and 234; 234 being Doenitz-82.

It rejects Doenitz-85, Page 242.

It rejects Doenitz-89, Page 246.

It allows Doenitz-9, Page 11, and Doenitz 10, Page 12.

It rejects Doenitz-12, Page 18.

It allows Doenitz-13, Pages 19 to 26, and Page 49.

It allows Doenitz-19, Page 34.

It allows Doenitz-29, Pages 54 to 59, leaving out-that is to say,

not allowing-Page 58.

It rejects Doenitz-31, Page 64.

It rejects Doenitz-32, Page 65.

It rejects Doenitz-33, Page 66.

It allows Doenitz-37, Page 78.

It rejects Doenitz-38, Page 80.

It rejects Doenitz-40, Page 86.

It rejects Goering Number 7, Page 89.

With reference to the next exhibit, Page 91, the Tribunal would like to know from Fleet Judge Kranzbuhler whether that is already in evidence or not. It is Page 91 in the Doenitz Document Book in English, Volume II, Page 91.

It is headed "C-21, GB-194."

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: That is an excerpt from a document which the Prosecution has submitted here and which is therefore already 5n evidence.


8 May 46

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, then; we need not be troubled about it.

The Tribunal rejects Doenitz-43, Page 95. It allows Doenitz-90, Page 258. It allows Doenitz-67, Page 96. It allows Doenitz-53, Page 99. It rejects Doenitz-47, Page 120. It allows Doenitz-48, Page 122. It rejects Doenitz-49, Page 131. It rejects Doenitz-51 and-52, Pages 134 and 135.

That is all

The Tribunal will adjourn today at a quarter to five and it Will be sitting in closed session thereafter.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: With the permission of the Tribunal, I call Admiral Doenitz as witness.

[The Defendant Doenitz took the stand.]

THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name?

KARL Doenitz (Defendant): Karl Doenitz.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat thin oath after me: I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing.

[The defendant repeated the oath In German.]

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Admiral, since 1910 you have been a professional officer; is that corrects

Doenitz: Since 1910 I have been a professional soldier, and an officer since 1913.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Yes. During the World War, the first World War, were you with the U-boat service?

Doenitz: Yes, from 1916.


Doenitz: Until the end of the war.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: After the first World War, when did you again have contact with the U-boat service?

Doenitz: On 27 September 1935 I became the commanding officer of the U-boat Flotilla Weddigen, the first German U-boat flotilla after 1918. As an introduction to taking up that command, that is, in September 1935, I spent a few days in Turkey, in order to go there in a U-boat and to bridge the gap from 1918.


8 May 46

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Thus from 1918 to 1935 you had nothing to do with U-boats?

Doenitz: No, nothing at all.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: What was your rank when you went to the U-boat service in 1935?

Doenitz: I was a Fregattenkapitan.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: What did the German U-boat service at that time consist of?

Doenitz: The U-boat Flotilla Weddigen, of which I became the commanding officer, consisted of three small boats of 250 tons each, the so-called "Einbaume." Besides, there were six somewhat smaller boats which were in a U-boat school, which was not under my command, for the purpose of training. Then there were afloat and in service perhaps another six of these small boats.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Who informed you of that command as C. O. of the U-boat flotilla?

Doenitz: Admiral Raeder.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Did Admiral Raeder on that occasion issue the order that the U-boat arm should be prepared for a specific war?

Doenitz: No. I merely received the order to fill in that gap from 1918, to train the U-boats for the first time in cruising, submersion, and firing.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Did you prepare the U-boats for war against merchant shipping?

Doenitz: Yes. I instructed the commanders as to how they should behave if they stopped a merchantman and I also issued an appropriate tactical order for each commander.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Do you mean to say that the preparation for war against merchantmen was a preparation for war according to Prize Regulations?

Doenitz: Yes.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: That is to say, the preparations were concerned with the stopping of ships on the surface?

Doenitz: The only instruction which I gave concerning the war against merchantmen was an instruction on how the U-boat should behave in the stopping and examining, the establishing of the destination and so on, of a merchantman. Later, I believe in the year 1938, when the draft of the German Prize Regulations came, I passed this on to the flotillas for the instruction of the commanders.


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FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: You developed a new tactic for U-boats which became known under the name "wolf pack tactics." What was there to these pack tactics, and did that mean anything in connection with the warfare against merchantmen according to the Prize Regulations?

Doenitz: The U-boats of all navies had so far operated singly, contrary to all other categories of ships which, by tactical co-operation, tried to get better results. The development of the "wolf pack tactics" was nothing further than breaking with that principle of individual action for each U-boat and attempting to use U-boats exactly in the same manner as other categories of warships, collectively. Such a method of collective action was naturally necessary when a formation was to be attacked, be it a formation of warships, that is, several warships together, or a convoy. These "wolf pack tactics," therefore, have nothing to do with war against merchantmen according to Prize Regulations. They are a tactical measure to fight formations of ships, and, of course, convoys where procedure according to Prize Regulations cannot be followed.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Were you given the mission, or even obliged to prepare for war, against a definite enemy?

Doenitz: I did not receive such a general mission. I had the mission of developing the U-boat service as well as possible, as it is the duty of every front-line officer of all armed forces of all nations, in order to be prepared against all war emergencies. Once, in the year 1937 or 1938, in the mobilization plan of the Navy, my order read that, in case France should try to interrupt the rearmament by an attack on Germany, it would be the task of the German U-boats to attack the transports in the Mediterranean which would leave North Africa for France. I then carried out maneuvers in the North Sea with this task in mind. If you are asking me about a definite aim or line of action, that, so far as I remember, was the only mission which I received in that respect from the Naval Operations Staff. That occurred in the year 1936 or 1937. According to my recollection, that plan had been issued lest the rearmament of Germany, at that time unarmed, might be interrupted by some measure or other.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: In the year 1939, then, was the German U-boat service prepared technically and tactically for a naval war against England?

Doenitz: No. The German U-boat service, in the fall of 1939, consisted of about thirty to forty operational boats. That meant that at any time about one-third could be used for operations. In view of the harsh reality the situation seemed much worse later. There was one month, for instance, when we had only two boats


8 May 46

out at sea. With this small number of U-boats it was, of course, only possible to give pinpricks to a great naval power such as England. That we were not prepared for war against England in the Navy, is, in my opinion, best and most clearly to be seen from the fact that the armament of the Navy had to be radically changed at the beginning of the war. It had been the intention to create a homogeneous fleet which, of course, since it was in proportion much smaller than the British fleet, was not capable of waging a war against England. This program for building a homogeneous fleet had to be discontinued when the war with England started; only these large ships which were close to completion were finished. Everything else was abandoned or scrapped. That was necessary in order to free the building capacity for building U-boats. And that, also, explains why the German U-boat war, in this last war, actually only stared in the year 1942, that is to say, when the U-boats which had been ordered for building at the beginning of the war were ready for action. Since peacetime, that is in 1940, the replacement of U-boats hardly covered the losses.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: The Prosecution has repeatedly termed the U-boat arm an aggressive weapon. What do you say to this?

Doenitz: Yes, that is correct. The U-boat has, of course, the assignment of approaching an enemy and attacking him with torpedoes. Therefore, in that respect, the U-boat is an aggressive weapon.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Do you mean to say by that that it is a weapon for an aggressive war?

Doenitz: Aggressive or defensive war is a political decision and, therefore, it has nothing to do with military considerations. I can certainly use a U-boat in a defensive war because, in defensive war also, the enemy's ships must be attacked. Of course, I can use a U-boat in exactly the same way in a politically aggressive war. If one should conclude that the navies which have U-boats are planning an aggressive war, then all nations-for all the navies of these nations had U-boats, in fact many had more than Germany, twice and three times as many-planned aggressive war.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: In your capacity as Flag Officer of U-boats, did you yourself have anything to do with the planning of the war as such?

Doenitz: No, nothing at ale My task was to develop U-boats militarily and tactically for action, and to train my officers and men.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Before the beginning of this war did you give any suggestions or make any proposals concerning a war against a definite enemy?


8 May 46

Doenitz: No, in no instance.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Did you do so after this war had started concerning a new enemy?

Doenitz: No, not in that case either.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: The Prosecution has submitted some documents which contain orders from you to the U-boats and which date from before the beginning of this war. An order for the placing of certain U-boats in the Baltic and west of England, and an order before the Norway action for the disposition of U-boats along the Norwegian coast. I ask you, therefore, when, at what time, were you as Flag Officer of U-boats, or from 1939 on as Commander of U-boats, informed about existing plans?

Doenitz: I received information on plans from the Naval Operations Staff only after these plans had been completed; that is to say, only if I was to participate in some way in the carrying out of a plan, and then only at a time necessary for the prompt execution of my military task.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Let us take the case of the Norway action, Admiral. When did you find out about the intention to occupy Norway, and in what connection did you receive that information?

Doenitz: On 5 March 1940 I was called from Wilhelmshaven, where I had my command, to Berlin, to the Naval Operations Staff, and at that meeting I was instructed on the plan and on my task.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: I present you now with an entry from the War Diary of the Naval Operations Staff, which I will submit to the Tribunal as Doenitz Exhibit Number 6. It is on Page 8 of Document Book 1.

"5 March 1940: The Flag Officer of U-boats participates in a conference with the Chief of Staff of the Naval Operations Staff in Berlin.

"Object of the conference: Preparation of the occupation of Norway and Denmark by the German Wehrmacht."

Is that the meeting which you have mentioned?

Doenitz: Yes.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: In the case of Norway, or in the previous case of the outbreak of war with Poland, did you have the opportunity to examine whether the tactical instructions which you had to give to your U-boats led or were to lead to the waging of an aggressive war?

Doenitz: No, I had neither the opportunity nor indeed the authority to do that. I should like to ask what soldier of what


8 May 46

nation, who receives any military task whatsoever, has the right to approach his general staff and ask for examination or justification as to whether an aggressive war can evolve from this task. That would mean that the soldiers...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuhler, the Tribunal has itself to decide as a matter of law whether the war was an aggressive war. It does not want to hear from this witness, who is a professional sailor, what his view is on the question of law.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: MR. PRESIDENT, I believe my question has been misunderstood. I did not ask Admiral Doenitz whether he considered the war an aggressive war or not; but I asked him whether he had the opportunity or the task, as a soldier, of examining whether his orders could become the means for an aggressive war. He, therefore, should state his conception of the task which he had as a soldier, and not of the question of whether it was or was not an aggressive war.

THE PRESIDENT: He can tell us what his task was as a matter of fact, but he is not here to argue the case to us. He can state the facts-what he did.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Does one not also, Mr. President, have to allow a defendant to say what considerations he had or what considerations he did not have? What I mean is that the accusations of the Prosecution arise from this, and the defendant must have the opportunity of stating his position regarding these accusations.

THE PRESIDENT: We want to hear the evidence. You will argue his case on his behalf on the evidence that he gives. He is not here to argue: the law before us. That is not the subject of evidence.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: I shall question him on his considerations, Mr. President.

Admiral, in connection with the orders which you issued to the U-boats before the war or in connection with the orders which you issued before the beginning of the Norway action-did you ever have any considerations as to whether it would lead to aggressive war?

Doenitz: I received military orders as a soldier, and my purpose naturally was to carry out these military tasks. Whether the leadership of the State was thereby politically waging an aggressive war or not, or whether they were protective measures, was not for me to decide; it was none of my business.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: As Commander of U-boats, from whom did you receive your orders about the waging of U-boat warfare?


8 May 46

Doenitz: From the Chief of the SKL, the Naval Operations Staff.


Doenitz: Grossadmiral Raeder.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: What were the orders which you received at the beginning of the war, that is, the beginning of September 1939, for the conduct of U-boat warfare?

Doenitz: War against merchantmen according to the Prize Regulations, that is to say, according to the London Pact.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: What ships, according to that order, could you attack without previous warning?

Doenitz: At that time I could attack without warning all ships which were guarded either by naval vessels or which were under air cover. Furthermore, I was permitted to exercise armed force against any ship which, when stopped, sent radio messages, or resisted the order to stop, or did not obey the order to stop.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Now, there is no doubt that, a few weeks after the beginning of the war, the war against merchantmen was intensified. Did you know whether such an intensification was planned, and if you do, why it was planned?

Doenitz: I knew that the Naval Operations Staff intended, according to events, according to the development of the enemy's tactics, to retaliate blow for blow, as it says or said in the order, by intensified action.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: What were the measures of the enemy and, on the other hand, what were your own experiences with the measures taken by the enemy which led to an intensification of action?

Doenitz: Right at the beginning of the war it was our experience that all merchantmen not only took advantage of their radio installations when an attempt was made to stop them, but that they immediately sent messages as soon as they saw any U-boat on the horizon. It was absolutely clear, therefore, that all merchantmen were co-operating in the military intelligence service. Further more, only a few days after the beginning of the war we found out that merchantmen were armed and made use of their weapons.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: What orders on the part of Germany resulted from these experiences?

Doenitz: They first brought about the order that merchantmen which sent radio messages on being stopped could be attacked without warning. They also brought about the order that merchantmen whose armament had been recognized beyond doubt, that is, whose


8 May 46

armament one knew from British publication, could be attacked without warning.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: This order concerning attacks on armed merchantmen was issued on 4 October 1939; is that right?

Doenitz: I believe so.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Was there a second order, soon after that, according to which all enemy merchantmen could be attacked, and why was that order issued?

Doenitz: I believe that the Naval Operations Staff decided on this order on the basis of the British publication which said that now the arming of merchantmen was completed. In addition, there was a broadcast by the British Admiralty on 1 October to the effect that the merchantmen had been directed to ram German U-boats and furthermore-as stated at the beginning-it was clear beyond doubt that every merchantman was part of the intelligence service of the enemy, and its radio messages at sight of a U-boat determined the use of surface or air forces.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Did you have reports about that from U-boats, according to which U-boats were actual!, endangered by these tactics of enemy merchantmen and were attacked by enemy surface or air forces?

Doenitz: Yes. I had received quite a number of reports in this connection, and since the German measures were always taken about 4 weeks after it had been recognized that the enemy employed these tactics, I had very serious losses in the meantime-in the period when I still had to keep to the one-sided and, for me, dangerous obligations.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: By these obligations, are you referring to the obligation to wage war against merchantmen according to the Prize Regulations during a period when the enemy's merchant ships had abandoned their peaceful character?

Doenitz: Yes.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Did you protest later against the directives of the Naval Operations Staff which led to an intensification of the war on merchantmen, or did you approve these directives?

Doenitz: No, I did not protest against them. On the contrary, I considered them justified, because, as I said before, otherwise I would have had to remain bound to an obligation which was onesided and meant serious losses for me.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Was this intensification of the war against merchantmen by the order to fire on armed


8 May 46

merchantmen, and later the order to attack all enemy merchantmen, based on the free judgment of the Naval Operations Staff, or was it a forced development?

Doenitz: This development, as I have said before, was entirely forced. If merchantmen are armed and make use of their arms, and if they send messages which summon protection, they force the U-boat to submerge and attack without warning.

That same forced development, in the areas which we patrolled, was also the case with the British submarines, and applied in exactly the same way to American and Russian submarines.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: If, on one side, a merchantman sends a message and opens fire, and on the other side the submarine, for that reason, attacks without warning, which side has the advantage of this development, according to your experience? The side of the merchantman or the side of the submarine?

Doenitz: In an ocean area where there is no constant patrolling by the enemy, by naval forces of any kind or by aircraft, as along the coast, the submarine has the advantage. But in all other areas the ship acquires the main attack weapons against a submarine, and the submarine is therefore compelled to treat that ship as a battleship, which means that it is forced to submerge and loses its speed. Therefore, in all ocean areas, with the exception of coastal waters which can be constantly controlled, the advantage of arms lies with the merchantman.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Are you of the opinion that the orders of the Naval Operations Staff actually remained within the limits of what was militarily necessary due to enemy measures, or did these orders go beyond military necessity?

Doenitz: They remained absolutely within the bounds of what was necessary. I have explained already that the resulting steps were always taken gradually and after very careful study by the Naval Operations Staff. This very careful study may also have been motivated by the fact that for political reasons any unnecessary intensification in the West was to be avoided.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Admiral, these orders we have mentioned were based at that time only on German experiences and without an accurate knowledge of the orders which had been issued on the British side Now, I should like to put these orders to you; we now have information on them through a ruling of the Tribunal, and I should like to ask you whether these individual orders coincide with your experiences or whether they are somewhat different. I submit the orders of the British Admiralty as Exhibit Doenitz-67. It is on Page 163 in Document Book 3. As


8 May 46

you know, this is the Handbook of the British Navy of 1938, and I draw your attention to Page 164, to the paragraph on reporting the enemy.

Doenitz: There is no pagination here.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: It is D.M. S. 3-I-55, the paragraph on radio. The heading is `'Reporting the Enemy."

Doenitz: Yes.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: I will read the paragraph to you:

`'As soon as the master of a merchant ship realizes that a ship or aircraft in sight is an enemy, it is his first and most important duty to report the nature and position of the enemy by wireless telegraph. Such a report promptly made may be the means of saving not only the ship herself but many others; for it may give an opportunity for the destruction of her assailant by our warships or aircraft, an opportunity which might not recur."

Then there are more details which I do not wish to read, on the manner and method, when and how these radio signals are to be given. Is this order in accordance with your experience?

Doenitz: Yes. In this order, there is not only a directive to send wireless signals if the ship is stopped by a U-boat-that alone would, according to international law, justify the U-boat in employing armed force against the ship-but beyond that it- is stated that as soon as an enemy ship is in sight this signal is to be transmitted in order that the naval forces may attack in time.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: So this order is in accord with the experiences which our U-boats reported?

Doenitz: Entirely.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: I shad draw your attention now to the Paragraph D. M. S. 2-VII, on Page 165, that is the paragraph on opening fire: 'conditions under which fire may be opened."

`'(a) Against enemy acting in accordance with international law.-As the armament is solely for the purpose of selfdefense, it must only be used against an enemy who is clearly attempting to capture or sink the merchant ship. On the outbreak of war it should be assumed that the enemy will act in accordance with international law, and fire should therefore not be opened until he has made it plain that he intends to attempt capture. Once it is clear that resistance will be necessary if capture is to be averted, fire should be opened immediately.


8 May 48

"(b) Against enemy acting in defiance of international law.- If, as the war progresses, it unfortunately becomes clear that in defiance of international law the enemy has adopted a policy of attacking merchant ships without warning, it will then be permissible to open fire on an enemy vessel, submarine, or aircraft, even before she has attacked or demanded surrender, if to do so will tend to prevent her gaining a favorable position for attacking."

Is this order, that is to say, the order "(a)" and "(b)," in accord with the experiences made?

Doenitz: In practice no difference can be established between "(a)" and "(b)." I should like to draw attention in this connection to D. M. S. 3-III, Page 167, under IV; that is the last paragraph of "(b)" of the number mentioned.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: One moment, do you mean "(b)-V"?

Doenitz: It says here "(b)-IV''. There...

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: That is not printed, Mr. President.

Doenitz: "In ships fitted with a defensive armament, open fire to keep the enemy at a distance"-that is (b)-IV-'`if you consider that he is clearly intending to effect a capture and that he is approaching so close as to endanger your chances of escape."

That means therefore that as soon as the ship sights a U-boat, which during war must be assumed to be there for a reason to effect a capture-the ship will, in its own defense, open fire as soon as it comes within range; that is when the submarine has come within range of its guns. The ship, in using its guns for an offensive action, can act in no other way.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Admiral, did the armed enemy vessels act then in the manner which you have described; that is, did they really fire, as soon as a submarine came within range?

Doenitz: Yes. As early as-according to my recollection, the first report came from a U-boat about that on 6 September 1939.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: With this order, however, we find a further supplement under AMS I-118, dated 13 June 1940, on Page 165, and here we read:

"With reference to D.M.S. Part 1, Article 53, it is now considered clear that in submarine and aerial operations the enemy has adopted a policy of attacking merchant ships without warning. Subparagraph (b) of this article should therefore be regarded as being in force."


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That means, then, that the order which we read before, `'(b)" was to be considered in effect only from 13 June 1940. Do you mean to say that actually before that, from the very beginning, you acted according to the order "(b)"?

Doenitz: I have already stated that between an offensive and defensive use of armament on the part of a ship against a submarine, there is practically no difference at all, that it is a purely theoretical differentiation. But even if one did differentiate between them, then beyond doubt the Reuter report-I believe dated 9 September-which said incorrectly that we were conducting unlimited submarine warfare was designated to inform ships' captains that now case "(b)" was valid.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: I put to you now a directive on the handling of depth charges on merchant ships. It is on Page 168, the reference list. The heading is "Reference List (D)," the date is "14 September 1939." I read:

'`The following instructions have been sent out to all W.P.S.'s: It has now been decided to fit a single depth charge chute, with hand release gear and supplied with 3 charges, in all armed merchant vessels of 12 knots or over."

Then there are more details and at the end a remark about the training of the crews in the use of depth charges. The distribution list shows numerous naval officers.

Did you experience this use of depth charges by merchant vessels and were such depth charge attacks by merchant ships observed?

Doenitz: Yes, repeatedly.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Speaking of a ship with a speed of 12 knots or more, can one say that a depth charge attack against a U-boat is a defensive measure?

Doenitz: No. Each depth charge attack against a submarine is definitely and absolutely an offensive action; for the submarine submerges and is harmless under water, while the surface vessel which wants to carry out the depth charge attack approaches as closely as possible to the position where it assumes the U-boat to be, in order to drop the depth charge as accurately as possible on top of the U-boat. A destroyer, that is, a warship, does not attack a submarine in any different way.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: You are therefore basing the manner in which you attacked enemy ships on these tactics employed by enemy merchantmen. However, neutral ships also suffered, and the Prosecution charges the German U-boat command expressly with this. What do you have to say to that?


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Doenitz: Neutral merchantmen, according to the political orders, the orders of the Naval Operations Staff, were only attacked without warning when they were found in operational zones which had been definitely designated as such, or naturally only when they did not act as neutrals should, but like ships which were participating in the war.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: The Prosecution has offered a document in evidence, according to which, in certain ocean areas, attack without warning against neutrals was authorized, beginning January 1940. I am referring to Prosecution Document GB-194. I will read to you the sentence which the Prosecution is holding against you.

THE PRESIDENT: Can you tell us where it is?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: It is in the British document book, Page 30, MR. PRESIDENT. In the document book of the Prosecution, Page 30.

[Turning to the defendant.] I will read you the sentence which is held against you:

"In the Bristol Channel, attack without warning has been authorized against all ships where it is possible to claim that mine hits have taken place."

This order is dated 1 January 1940. Can you tell me whether at that time neutrals had already actually been warned against using this shipping lane?

Doenitz: Yes. Germany had sent a note to the neutrals on 24 November 1939, warning them against using these lanes and advising neutrals to use the methods of the United States, whereby American ships-in order to avoid any incidents-had been forbidden to enter the waters around England.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: I wig hand you the note of which you speak, and I will at the same time submit it to the Tribunal as Exhibit Doenitz-73, to be found on Page 206 of the document book. It is in Document Book 4, Page 206.

This is an excerpt from the War Diary of the Naval Operations Staff, dated 24 November 1939. It has the following text:

"To the Missions, according to enclosed list.


"Supplement to wire release of 22 October.

"Please inform the Government there of the following:

"Since the warning issued on (date to be inserted here) regarding the use of English and French ships, the following two new facts are to be recorded:


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"a) The United States has forbidden its ships to sail in a definitely defined area.

"b) Numerous enemy merchant ships have been armed. It is known that these armed ships have instructions to use their weapons aggressively and to ram U-boats.

"These two new facts give the Reich Government occasion to renew and emphasize its warning, that in view of the increasingly frequent engagements, waged with all means of modern war technique, in waters around the British Isles and in the vicinity of the French coast, the safety of neutral ships in this area can no longer be taken for granted.

"Therefore the German Government urgently recommends the choice of the route south and east of the German proclaimed danger zone, when crossing the North Sea.

"In order to maintain peaceful shipping for neutral states and in order to avoid loss of life and property for the neutrals, the Reich Government furthermore feels obliged to recommend urgently legislative measures following the pattern of the U.S. Government, which in apprehension of the dangers of modern warfare, forbade its ships to sail in an exactly defined area, in which, according to the words of the President of the United States, the traffic of American ships may seem imperiled by belligerent action.

"The Reich Government must point out that it rejects any responsibility for consequences brought about by disregarding recommendations and warnings."

This is the note to which you referred, Admiral?

Doenitz: Yes.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: In other words, in your opinion, these sinkings in the Bristol Channel could be carried out lawfully as from 1 January?

Doenitz: Yes; these ocean areas were clearly limited areas in which hostilities took place continuously on both sides. The neutrals had been warned expressly against using these areas. If they entered this war area, they had to run the risk of being damaged. England proceeded likewise in its operational areas in our waters.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Since you considered these sinkings legal, why was the order given to attack without being sighted, if possible, in order to maintain the fiction that mine hits had taken place? Doesn't that indicate a bad conscience?

Doenitz: No. During a war there is no basic obligation to inform the enemy with what means one does one's fighting. In


8 May 46

other words, this is not a question of legality, but a question of military or political expediency.

England in her operational areas did not inform us either as to the means of fighting she uses or did use; and I know how many headaches this caused me when I was Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, later, in endeavoring to employ economically the small means we had.

That is the principle. At that time when, as Commander of U-boats, I received this order to simulate mine hits where possible, I considered this as militarily expedient, because the counterintelligence were left in doubt as to whether mine sweepers or U-boat defense means were to be employed.

In other words, it was a military advantage for the nation conducting the war, and today I am of the opinion that political reasons also may have influenced this decision, with the object of avoiding complications with neutral countries.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: How could complications with neutral countries come into being, in your opinion, if this naval warfare measure was a legal one? '

Doenitz: During the first World War we had experienced what part is played by propaganda. Therefore I think it possible that our Government, our political leaders, for this reason, too, may have issued this order.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: From your own experience you know nothing about these political reasons?

Doenitz: Nothing at all.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Up to now you have spoken about the orders which were received by the U-boats, first for combating enemy ships, and secondly for combating or searching neutral ships. Were these orders then actually executed? That was primarily your responsibility, was it not?

Doenitz: No U-boat commander purposely transgressed an order, or failed to execute it. Of course, considering the large number of naval actions, which ran into several thousands within the 51/ years of war, a very few individual cases occurred in which, by mistake, such an order was not followed.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: How could such a mistake occur?

Doenitz: Every sailor knows how easily mistakes in identification can occur at sea; not only during a war, but also in peacetime, due to visibility, weather conditions, and other factors.


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FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Is it also possible that submarines operated on the borders of the operational areas, although they were already outside these borders?

Doenitz: That is, of course, also possible. For again every sailor knows that after a few days of bad weather, for instance, inaccuracy in the ship's course happens very easily. This occurs, however, not only in the case of the submarine, but also of the ship, which perhaps is under the impression of having been outside the operational area when torpedoed. It is very difficult to establish the fact in such cases.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: What steps did you, as Commander of U-boats, take when you heard of such a case, a case in which a U-boat had transgressed its orders, even if by mistake?

Doenitz: The main thing was the preventive measures, and that was done through training them to be thorough and to investigate quietly and carefully before the commander took action. Moreover, this training had already been carried on in peacetime, so that our U-boat organization bore the motto: "We are a respectable firm."

The second measure was that during the war every commander, before leaving port, and after returning from his mission, had to report to me personally. That is, before leaving port he had to be briefed by me.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: I beg your pardon, Admiral. That did not continue when you were Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, did it?

Doenitz: That was limited after 1943, after I had become Commander-in-Chief. Even then it did continue. In any case, it was the definite rule during my time as Commander of U-boats, so that a commander's mission was considered completed and satisfactory only after he had reported to me in full detail. If, on such an occasion, I could establish negligence, then I made my decision according to the nature of the case, as to whether disciplinary action or court-martial proceedings and punishment had to take place.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: I have found here an entry GB-198, on Page 230, in Document Book 4 of the Prosecution, which I would like to read to you. This is a war diary of the Commander of U-boats, that is, yourself.

I read the entry of 25 September 1942:

"U-512 reports that the Monte Corbea was recognized as a neutral ship before being torpedoed. Assumed suspicions of


8 May 46

being a camouflaged English ship are insufficient and do not justify the sinking. The commander will have to stand court-martial for his conduct. All boats at sea will be informed."

Two days later, on 27 September 1942, a radio signal was sent to all. I read:

"Radio signal to all:

"The Commander-in-Chief of the Navy has personally and expressly ordered anew that all U-boat commanders are to comply exactly with the orders concerning the treatment of neutral ships. Violations of these orders will have incalculable political consequences. This order is to be disseminated at once to all commanders."

Will you please tell me what resulted from the court-martial which you ordered here?

Doenitz: I had sent my radio signal to the commander stating that after his return he would have to be answerable before a court-martial, because of the sinking. The commander did not return from this mission with his boat. Therefore this court-martial did not take place.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Did you, in any other case, have experience as to how the courts-martial treated the difficult task of the U-boat commanders when you had ordered a court-martial?

Doenitz: Yes. I remember a case against Kapitanleutnant Kraemer, who had to be acquitted by the court-martial because it was proven that, before the attack, before firing the shot, he had taken note once more through the periscope of the identification of the ship-it was a German blockade-runner-and, in spite of that, was of the opinion that it was a different ship, an enemy ship, and that he was justified in sinking it. In other words, it was not a case of negligence, and therefore in this case he was acquitted.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Taking into consideration all the results of your measures for training and punishing personnel, do you have the impression that enough was done to make the U-boat commanders obey your orders, or did the U-boat commanders in the long run disobey your orders?

Doenitz: I do not think it is necessary to discuss this question at all. The simple facts speak for themselves. During the 5 1/2 years, several thousand naval actions were engaged in by submarines. The number of incidents is an extremely small fraction and I know that this result is only due to the unified leadership of all submarine commanders, to co-ordination and also to their proper training and their responsibility.


8 May 46

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: The Prosecution has offered a document, GB-195 on Page 32 of the Prosecution's document book. In this document is entered an order of the Fuehrer, dated 18 July 1941, and it reads as follows:

"In the original operational area, which corresponds in extent with the U.S. prohibited zone for U.S. ships and which is not touched by the U.S.-Iceland route, attacks on ships under American or British escort or U.S. merchantmen sailing without escort are authorized."

In connection with this order by the Fuehrer, the Prosecution, Admiral, termed your attitude cynical and opportunistic. Will you please explain tot the Tribunal what the meaning of this order actually is?

Doenitz: In August 1940 Germany had declared this operational area in English waters. U.S. ships were, however, expressly excluded from attack without warning in this operational area because, as I believe, the political leaders wanted to avoid any possibility of an incident with the U.S.A. I said the political leaders. The Prosecution has accused me, in my treatment and attitude, my differing attitude toward the neutrals, of having a masterful agility in adapting myself, that is guided by cynicism and opportunism. It is clear that the attitude of a state toward neutrals is a purely political affair, and that this relation is decided exclusively by the political leadership, particularly in a nation that is at war.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: You mean to say, in other words, that you had nothing to do with the handling of this question?

Doenitz: As a soldier I had not the slightest influence on the question of how the political leadership believed they had to treat this or that neutral. Regarding this particular case, however, from knowledge of the orders I received through the Chief of the Naval Operations Staff from the political leadership, I should like to say the following: I believe that the political leadership did everything to avoid any incident on the high seas with the United States. First, I have already stated that the U-boats were actually forbidden even to stop American ships. Second...

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: One moment, Admiral. To stop them where, in the operational area or outside the operational area?

Doenitz: At first, everywhere.

Second, that the American 300-mile safety zone was recognized without any question by Germany, although according to the existing international law only a three-mile zone was authorized. Third, that...


8 May 46

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuhler, an interesting distinction which may be drawn between the United States and other neutrals is not relevant to this Trial, is it? What difference does it make?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: In connection with the document cited by me, GB-195, the Prosecution has made the accusation that Admiral Doenitz conducted his U-boat warfare cynically and opportunistically: that is, in that he treated one neutral well and the other one badly. This accusation has been made expressly, and I want to give Admiral Doenitz the opportunity to make a statement in reply to this accusation. He has already said that he had nothing to do with the handling of this question.

THE PRESIDENT: What more can he say than that?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Mr. President, according to the principles of the Statute, a soldier is also made responsible for the orders which he executed. For this reason it is my opinion that he must be able to state whether on his side he had the impression that he received cynical and opportunistic orders or whether on the contrary he did not have the impression that everything was done to avoid a conflict and that the orders which were given actually were necessary and right.

THE PRESIDENT: You have dealt with this order about the United States ships, now.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Yes, I have almost finished.

[Turning to the defendant.] Did you want to say something more about the third point, Admiral?

Doenitz: I wanted to mention two or three more points on this subject.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: I think that is possible.

THE PRESIDENT: You may go on, but we hope that you will deal with this point shortly. It appears to the Tribunal to be very unimportant.


Doenitz: For instance, I had suggested that mines be laid before Halifax, the British port of Nova Scotia, and before Reykjavik, both bases being important for war ships and merchant shipping, The political leaders, the Fuehrer, rejected this because he wanted to avoid every possibility of friction with the United States.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: May I formulate the question this way, that you, from the orders for the treatment of U.S. ships, in no way had the impression that opportunism or cynicism prevailed here, but that everything was done with the


8 May 46

greatest restraint in order to avoid a conflict with the United States?

Doenitz: Yes. This went so far, in fact, that when the American destroyers in the summer of 1941 received orders to attack German submarines, that is, before war started, when they were still neutral and I was forbidden to fight bask, I was then forced to forbid the submarines in this area to attack even British destroyers, in order to avoid having a submarine mistake an American for a British ship.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn.

[The Tribunal adjourned until 9 May 1946 at 1000 hours.]


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