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FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: With the permission of the Tribunal I would like to submit my remaining documents, and then call Admiral Wagner as my first witness.
Dokamente der Deutschen Politik on the Altmark case. I do not propose to read it. It concerns a report of the captain of the Altmark, which shows how the sailors of the Altmark were shot at while trying to escape by water and across the ice. There were seven dead. It can be found, Mr. President, on Page 78 of Volume II; from Page 79 it can be seen that this action on the whole found full recognition in spite of the casualties which no doubt were regretted by the Admiralty too.
The next document, Doenitz-39, has partly been read by Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe during cross-examination. It can be found on Page 81 and the following pages. It deals with the question of reprisals following a report received regarding the shooting of survivors of the German mine-layer film.
On Page 83 there is a summary regarding the incidents which had been reported to the Naval Operations Staff at that time and which contained examples dealing with cases where survivors were shot at by Allied naval forces. I am not so much interested in these 12 actual examples as in the attitude adopted by the Naval Operations Staff in transmitting these examples to the OKW. It is so important that I would like to read the three sentences. They are on Page 83, at the top.
"The following accounts deal with incidents which have already been reported, and in making use of them it must also be considered that:
"a) some of these incidents occurred while fighting was still going on;
"b) shipwrecked persons swimming about in the water easily think that shots which missed their real target are directed against them;
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"c) so far no evidence whatsoever has been found that a written or oral order for the shooting of shipwrecked persons has been issued."
The idea of reprisals did not only occur to the Command, but it also occurred to the personnel serving on the ships at the front.
Now, we come to Document Doenitz-41, which is on Page 87 and deals with a conversation between Admiral Doenitz and a commander. The conversation took place in June 1943, and it is dealt with in an affidavit made by Korvettenkapitan Witt. Following descriptions of attacks made by British fliers on shipwrecked German submarine crews, the opinion was expressed by the crews that in reprisal the survivors of enemy ships should also be shot at.
The affidavit also says in the third paragraph:
"The Admiral sharply declined the idea of attacking an enemy rendered defenseless in combat; it was incompatible, with our way of waging war."
In connection with the Prosecution's Exhibit GB-205 I shall submit a document of my own which deals with the question of terroristic actions. It is an extract from Exhibit GB-194 of the Prosecution, and it can be found on Page 91. It deals with the question of whether the crews of scuttled German ships should be rescued or not. The French press tends to say they should not, in view of the pressing need of the Allies for freight space. The same entry contains a report according to which British warships also had special instructions to prevent further scuttling of German ships.
I now shall try to prove that the principle according to which no commander undertakes rescue actions if he thereby endangers a valuable ship is justified. For that purpose I refer to Document Doenitz-90, which is in the Volume IV of the document book, Page 258. It is an affidavit of Vice Admiral Rogge, retired. Me reports that in November 1941 his auxiliary cruiser was sunk from a great distance by a British cruiser and that the survivors had taken to the boats. They were towed away by a German submarine to a German supply ship and this supply ship too, a few days later, was sunk from a great distance by a British cruiser. Once again the survivors took to the boats and to floats. The affidavit closes with the words:
"At both sinkings no attempt was made, presumably due to danger involved for the British cruiser, to save even individual crew members."
The principle that a valuable ship must not risk rescue actions to save even members of its own crew is expressed with classical clarity and severity in the British Admiralty Orders which I have
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already submitted as Doenitz-67. The extract is printed on Page 96. There it says:
"Aid to ships attacked by submarines: No British ocean-going
merchant ship should aid a ship attacked by U-boats. Small
coastal ships, fishing steamers, and other small ships with
little draught should give all possible aid."
The next document I submit is Doenitz-44, which is on Page 97. It is a questionnaire for Vice Admiral Kreisch who, according to a decision by the Tribunal, was interrogated in a British camp for prisoners of war. From January 1942 to January 1944 he was the officer in charge of submarines in Italy, which means that he was responsible for submarine warfare in the Mediterranean. According to his statements he knows of no order or suggestions regarding the killing of survivors. He advised his commanders that rescue measures must not endanger the task and safety of their own ships.
In connection with the question whether Admiral Doenitz was a member of the Reich Government I should like to ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of the 'German Armed Forces Law of 1935 which can be found on Page 105 of Volume II of my document books. Paragraph 3 will show that there was only one Minister for the German Armed Forces and that was the Reich Minister of War. On the following page in Paragraph 37 it is shown that this one Minister was assigned the right to issue legislative orders.
On Page 107 I again have the decree which has been submitted to the Tribunal as Document 1915-PS, in which, dated 4 February, the post of the Reich Minister of War is abolished and the tasks of his Ministry are transferred to the Chief of the OKW. No new Ministry for the Army or the Navy is established.
The Prosecution has described Admiral Doenitz as a fanatical follower of the Nazi Party. The first document to prove this statement is dated 17 December 1943; it is Exhibit GB-185. Considering the time factor, I shall refrain from reading a few sentences from it to show that anything that Admiral Doenitz may have said about political questions was said from the point of view of the unity and strength of his sailors. May I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of this document, which again appears on Pages 103 and 104 of Volume II.
I only want to draw your attention to the last paragraph on Page 104. It deals with the handing over of Navy shipyards to the Ministry of Armament in the autumn of 1943. It is an important question, important for the responsibility regarding the use of labor in the shipyards, and has been touched upon repeatedly in this Court. This sole tendency toward unity becomes clear from yet another document of the Prosecution from which I propose to
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read one sentence. It is Exhibit GB-186. In the British trial brief it is on Page 7. I shall only read the second and third sentences: "As officers we have the duty to be guardians of this unity of our people. Any disunity would also affect our troops." The following sentence deals with the same thought at greater length.
THE PRESIDENT: British trial brief, Page 7? Mine has only five pages. You mean the document book?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: It is the British document book; not the trial brief, but the document book, second and third sentences on Page 7, which I have read, Mr. President.
The fact that Admiral Doenitz was not a fanatical follower of the
Party but on the contrary fought against a political influence exercised upon the Armed Forces by the Party is shown in my following document, Doenitz-91. It is on Page 260 of Document Book 4. It is an affidavit from the chief of the legal department in the High Command of the Navy, Dr. Joachim Rudolphi. The Soviet Prosecution has already used this document during its cross-examination. I should like to give a brief summary of the contents:
In the summer of 1943 Reichsleiter Bormann made an attempt through the Reich Minister of Justice to deprive the Armed Forces courts of their jurisdiction in so-called political cases. They were to be transferred to the Peoples' Court and other courts. The attempt, however, failed. It failed due to a report which Admiral Doenitz made verbally to the Fuehrer on this subject and during which he violently opposed the intentions of the Party. After the assassination attempt on 20 July, Bormann renewed his attempt. Again Admiral Doenitz raised objections,- but this time without success. A decree was issued on 20 September 1944 which deprived the Armed Forces courts of their jurisdiction regarding so-called political perpetrations. This decree, which was signed by Adolf Hitler, was not carried out in the Navy by explicit order of the Commander-in-Chief of the
I shall read the last paragraph but one of the affidavit, which says:
"This attitude of the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy made it possible for the Navy, as the only branch of the Armed Forces until the end of the war, not to have to transfer to the Peoples' Court or to a special court any criminal procedures
of political coloring."
On page 113 in Volume II of my document book I have included a lengthy extract from Exhibit GB-211, a document of the Prosecution; and this is an application by the Commander-in-Chief of
the Navy addressed to the Fuehrer and asking for supplies for the construction and repair of naval and merchant ships. During the
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interrogation and cross-examination of Admiral Doenitz this document has already been referred to. I should merely like to point out that this is a memorandum containing more than 20 pages; the Prosecution took up two points contained therein.
The origin of the document is dealt with in Document Doenitz-46, Page 117 and the following pages. This is an affidavit from the officer who had drafted this memorandum. I can summarize the contents. The memorandum is concerned with measures which did not actually come within the sphere of the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. It arose on the basis of a discussion which took place between all departments taking part in the construction and repair of war and merchant vessels. All these measures are summarized in this memoranda. The point objected to in particular by the Prosecution as amounting to a suggestion in favor of punitive measures against sabotage in shipyards is dealt with in detail on Page 119. I should like to point out particularly that at that time seven out of eight ships under construction were destroyed by sabotage.
It was not a question of terror measures but of punitive measures entailing the forfeiting of certain advantages and, if necessary, the concentration of workers in camps adjoining the shipyards, so as to cut them off from any sabotage agents.
Following Exhibit GB-209 of the Prosecution, which deals with the alleged renunciation of the Geneva Convention, I submit Doenitz-48, which is on Page 122 and the following pages. It will show the model treatment afforded Allied prisoners of war in the only prisoner-of-war camp which was under the jurisdiction of Admiral Doenitz as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy.
To begin with, the document contains an affidavit from two officers who dealt with prisoner-of-war affairs in the High Command of the Navy. This statement is to the effect that all the suggestions of the International Red Cross regarding these camps were followed.
The next extract is a report by the last commandant of that camp, Korvettenkapitan Rogge, and I should like to read the second paragraph from that report:
"In the camp Westertimke there were housed at my time
about 5,500 to 7,000, at the end 8,000, prisoners of war and
internees of different nations, mainly members of the British
Navy. The camp had a good reputation, as was generally
known. It was the best in Germany. This was expressly
stated at a congress of British and other prisoner-of-war
physicians of all German camps, which took place in
Schwanenwerder near Berlin at the villa of Goebbels about
December 1944. This statement was confirmed by the British
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chief camp physician in Westertimke, Major Dr. Harvey' British Royal Army, whom I am naming as a witness."
I shall also read the last paragraph on Page 126:
"As I was deputy commandant I stayed at the camp up to the capitulation and gave up the camp in the regular way to British troops who were quite satisfied with the transfer. Squadron Leader A. J. Evans gave me a letter confirming this. I enclose a photostat of this letter."
This photostat copy appears on the following page, and it says:
"Korvettenkapitan W. Rogge was for 10 months chief camp officer at the Marlag Camp at Westertimke. Without exception all the prisoners of war in that camp have reported that he treated them with fairness and consideration."
Then follows another affidavit from the intelligence officer in that camp. I should like to point out that this officer was born in February 1865 and that his age alone would, I think, exclude the use of any terror measures. I shall read from Page 129, the third from the last paragraph:
"No means of pressure were employed at Dulag Nord. If a man told falsehoods he was sent back to his room and was not interrogated for 2 or 3 days. I believe I can say that no blow was ever struck at Dulag Cord."
I should now like to refer briefly to the accusation raised against the defendant according to which he as "a fanatical Nazi" prolonged a hopeless war. I submit Doenitz-50, which contains statements made by Admiral Darlan, Mr. Chamberlain, and Mr. Churchill in 1940. They will be found on Pages 132 and 133 of the document book and they will show that the afore-mentioned persons also considered it expedient in a critical situation to call upon the nation-partly with success and partly without-to render the utmost resistance.
During his examination Admiral Doenitz gave as the reason for his views that he wanted to save German nationals in the East. As evidence for this I draw your attention to Exhibit GB-212, which can be found on Page 73 of the British document book. It is a decree of 11 April 1945, and I shall read two sentences under heading 1:
"Capitulation means for certain the occupation of the whole of Germany by the Allies along the lines of partition discussed by them at Yalta. It also means, therefore, the ceding to Russia of further considerable parts of Germany west of the river Oder. Or does anyone think that at that stage the AngloSaxons will not keep to their agreements and will oppose a further advance of the Russian hordes into Germany with armed forces, and will begin a war with Russia for our sake?
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The reasoning, 'Let the Anglo-Saxons into the country; then at least the Russians will not come,' is faulty, too."
I shall also quote from Exhibit GB-188, which is on Page 10 of the document book of the Prosecution-I beg your pardon, Page 11. It is an order to the German Armed Forces dated 1 May 1945. I shall quote the second paragraph:
"The Fuehrer has designated me to be his successor as head of State and as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. I am taking over the Supreme Command of all branches of the German Armed Forces with the will to carry on the struggle against the Bolsheviks until the fighting forces and hundreds of thousands of families of the German eastern areas have been saved from slavery and destruction."
This, Mr. President, is the end of my documentary evidence.
Two interrogatories are still outstanding. One is that of Kapitan zur See Rosing and the other of Fregattenkapitan Suhren. Furthermore-and this is something I particularly regret-the interrogatory from the Commander-in-Chief of the American Navy, Admiral Nimitz, has still not been received. I will submit these documents as soon as I have received them.
And now, with permission of the Tribunal, I should like to call my witness, Admiral Wagner.
MR.DODD: Mr. President, while the witness is being called in, I would like to raise one matter with the Tribunal. On Saturday I understand that the question of when the witness Puhl would be called was raised before the Tribunal. And as I understand it from the record, it was left for counsel to settle the matter as to whether he should be called before the Raeder case comes on or after the Raeder case.
I should like to say that we have some reasons for asking that he be called before the Raeder case, and there are two: First of all, he is here in the prison under a kind of confinement different from that under which he has been held by the French in the French territory; and secondly, the officer, Lieutenant Meltzer, who has been assisting in the Funk case, is very anxious-for compelling personal reasons-to return to the United States, and of course he will not be able to do so until we have concluded the Funk case. And, Mr. President, it will not take very long in my judgment to hear this witness. Me is only here for cross-examination on his affidavit and we would appreciate it if he could come on at the conclusion of the Doenitz case.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, Mr. Dodd, he can be brought for cross-examination after the Doenitz case. [The witness Wagner took the stand.]
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THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name, please?
GERHARD WAGNER (Witness): Gerhard Wagner.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this 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 witness repeated the oath.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you sit down.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Admiral, when did you join the Navy?
WAGNER: On 4 June 1916.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Which positions did you hold in the High Command of the Navy, and at what time?
WAGNER: From summer 1933 until the summer of 1935 I was adviser in the operational department of the High Command. I was Kapitanleutnant and then Korvettenkapitan. In 1937, from January until September, I had the same position. From April 1939 until June 1941 I was the head of the operational group, known as "IA," in the operations section of the Naval Operations Staff. From June 1941 until June 1944 I was the chief of the operations section of the Naval Operations Staff. From June 1944 until May 1945, I was admiral for special tasks attached to the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: So that during the entire war you were a member of the Naval Operations Staff?
WAGNER: Yes, that is so.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What were the general tasks of the Naval Operations Staff?
WAGNER: The tasks of the Naval Operations Staff included all those involved in naval warfare, both at sea and in the defense of the coasts, and also in the protection of our own merchant shipping. As far as territorial tasks were concerned, the Naval Operations Staff did not have any, neither at home nor in the occupied territories.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Was the Naval Operations Staff part of the High Command of the Navy, the OKM?
WAGNER: The Naval Operations Staff was part of the High Command of the Navy.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What was the relationship between the Naval Operations Staff and the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, the OKW?
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WAGNER: The OKW passed on the instructions and orders of Hitler, who was the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, regarding the conduct of the war; usually, as far as naval warfare particularly was concerned, after examination and review by the Naval Operations Staff. General questions of the conduct of the war were decided without previous consultations with members of the Naval Operations Staff.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: In which manner were the preparations of the High Command of the Navy for a possible war carried out?
WAGNER: Generally speaking, they consisted of mobilization preparations, tactical training, and strategic considerations for the event of a possible conflict.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did the Naval Operations Staff during your time receive an order to prepare for a definite possibility of war?
WAGNER: The first instance was the order for "Case White," the war against Poland. Before that, only tasks regarding security measures were given us.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Were plans elaborated for the naval war against England?
WAGNER: A plan for the war against England did not exist at all before the beginning of the war. Such a war seemed to us outside the realm of possibility. Considering the overwhelming superiority of the British fleet, which can hardly be expressed in proportionate figures, and considering England's strategical domination of the seas such a war appeared to us to be absolutely hopeless. The only means by which Britain could have been damaged effectively was by submarine warfare; but even the submarine weapon was by no means being given preferential treatment nor was its production accelerated. It was merely given its corresponding place in the creation of a well-balanced homogeneous fleet.
At the beginning of the war all we had were 40 submarines ready for action, of which, as far as I can remember, barely half could have been used in the Atlantic. That, in comparison with the earthgirdling naval means at the disposal of the first-ranking world power England, is as good as nothing. As a comparison, I should like to cite the fact that both the British and the French Navy at the same time had more than 100 submarines each.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did the then Captain D8nitz, as chief of the submarines, have anything to do with the planning of the war?
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WAGNER: Captain Doenitz at that time was a subordinate frontline commander, under the command of the chief of the fleet and he, because of his warfare experience, had the task of training and tactically guiding the inexperienced submarine personnel.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did he in turn make any suggestions or instigate any plans for the war?
WAGNER: No, these preparations and this war planning, in particular for the "Case White," were exclusively the task of the Naval Operations Staff.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did Doenitz at any previous time hear about the military intentions of the Naval Operations Staff?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did Admiral Doenitz hear of the military intentions of the Naval Operations Staff at a time earlier than necessary for the carrying out of the orders given him?
WAGNER: No, he heard of it by means of the orders reaching him from the Naval Operations Staff.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Admiral Wagner, you know of the London Agreement of 1936 regarding submarine warfare. Did the Naval Operations Staff draw any conclusions from that agreement for their preparation for a war, in particular, for carrying on a possible economic war?
WAGNER: The Prize Regulations still existing from the last war were revised and made to conform with the London Agreement. For that purpose a committee was formed which included representatives from the High Command of the Navy, the Foreign Of lice, the Reich Ministry of Justice, and scientific experts.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Were these new Prize Regulations made known to the commandants some time before the war or were they communicated to them just when they were published shortly before the outbreak of the war?
WAGNER: These new Prize Regulations were published in 1938 as an internal ordinance of the Navy, which was available for the purpose of training officers. During the autumn maneuvers of the Fleet in 1938 a number of exercises were arranged for the purpose of acquainting the officer corps with these new regulations. I, myself, at that time...
THE PRESIDENT: Where are the new Prize Regulations you are referring to?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I am talking about the regulations published on 26 August 1939, which are contained in my
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document book. They are on Page 137, in Volume III of my document book.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I beg your pardon, Mr. President; the date is not 26, but 28 August.
THE PRESIDENT: The witness was saying that exercises were carried out?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Yes, in the year 1938.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: [Turning to the witness.] Which conceptions did the Naval Operations Staff have after the beginning of the war regarding the development of the naval war against Britain?
WAGNER: The Naval Operations Staff thought that Great Britain would probably start in where she had stopped at the end of the first World War. That meant that there would be a hunger blockade against Germany, a control of the merchandise of neutral countries, introduction of a system of control, the arming of merchant ships, and the delimitation of operational waters.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I am now going to have the battle order of 3 September 1939 shown to you. It is Document Doenitz-55. It can be found on Page 139, in Volume III of the document book. You will see from this that submarines, like all naval forces, had orders to adhere to this Prize Ordinance in the economic warfare.
Then, at the end, you will find an order which I propose to read to you. This is on Page 140:
"Order prepared for intensifying the economic war because of the arming of enemy merchant ships.
"1) Arming of, and therefore resistance from, the majority of English and French merchant ships is to be expected.
"2) Submarines will stop merchant ships only if own vessel is not endangered. Attack without warning by submarines is allowed against plainly recognized enemy merchant ships.
"3) Battleships and auxiliary cruisers will watch for possibility of use of arms by merchant ships when stopped."
I should like to ask you whether this order was prepared long ago or whether it was improvised at the last moment?
WAGNER: At the beginning of the war we were forced to improvise a great many orders we were issuing, because they were not prepared thoroughly.
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FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did this order become operative at all?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Why not?
WAGNER: After consultation with the Foreign Office, we had decided that we would strictly adhere to the London Agreement until we had clear-cut evidence of the British merchant navy being used for military purposes. We remembered from the last war the power which the enemy propaganda had, and we did not under any circumstances want to give anyone cause once more to decry us as pirates.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: When, at what stage, did the military use of enemy merchant ships become clear to the Naval Operations Staff?
WAGNER: The fact that enemy merchant vessels were armed became clear after a few weeks of the war. We had a large number of reports about artillery fights which had occurred between U-boats and armed enemy merchant ships. Certainly one, and probably several boats were lost by us. One British steamer, I think it was called Stonepool, was praised publicly by the British Admiralty for its success in combating submarines.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: The Tribunal already has knowledge of the order of 4 October allowing attacks against all armed merchant ships of the enemy and also of the order of 17 October allowing attacks on all enemy merchant ships with certain exceptions.
Were these orders the result of experiences which the Naval Operations Staff had regarding the military use of enemy merchant ships?
WAGNER: Yes, exclusively.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Both orders contain exceptions favoring passenger ships. They were not to be attacked even when they were members of an enemy convoy. To what were these exceptions due?
WAGNER: They were due to an order from the Fuehrer. At the beginning of the war he had stated that Germany did not have any intention of waging war against women and children. He wished, for that reason, that also in naval war any incidents in which women and children might lose their lives should be avoided. Consequently, even the stopping of passenger ships was prohibited. The military necessities of naval warfare made it very difficult to adhere to this order, particularly where passenger ships were traveling in enemy convoys. Later on, step by step, this order was altered as it
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became evident that there was no longer any peaceful passenger traffic at all and that enemy passenger ships were particularly heavily armed and used more and more as auxiliary cruisers and troop transport ships.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Were the orders of the German Naval Operations Staff regarding the combating of armed enemy ships and later enemy ships as a whole made known to the British Admiralty?
WAGNER: Neither side made its war measures known during the war, and that held true in this case also. But in October the German press left no doubt whatsoever that every armed enemy merchant ship would be sunk by us without warning, and later on it was equally well known that we were forced to consider the entire enemy merchant marine as being under military direction and in military use.
These statements by our press must no doubt have been known to the British Admiralty and the neutral governments. Apart from that, and I think this was in October, Grossadmiral Raeder gave an interview to the press on the same theme.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: A memorandum of the Naval Operations Staff was issued in the middle of October: "On the Possibilities of Intensifying the War against Merchant Shipping"; I am going to have this memorandum shown to you. Its number is GB-224. After looking at this memorandum please tell me what its purpose was and what the memorandum contains.
Mr. President, some extracts can be found on Page 199, in Volume IV of the document book.
WAGNER: This memorandum was issued due to the situation that existed since the beginning of the war. On 3 September 1939 Britain had begun a total hunger blockade against Germany. Naturally that was not directed-only against the fighting men, but against all nonfighting members, including women, children, the aged, and the sick. It meant that Britain would declare all food rations, all luxury goods, all clothing, as well as all raw materials necessary for these items, as contraband and would also exercise a strict control of neutral shipping of which Germany would- be deprived insofar as it would have to go through waters controlled by Great Britain. Apart from that, England exercised a growing political and economic pressure upon the European neighbors of Germany to cease all commerce with Germany.
That intention of the total hunger blockade was emphatically confirmed by the Head of the British Government, Prime Minister Chamberlain, during a speech before the House of Commons at the end of September. He described Germany as a beleaguered fort;
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and he added that it was not customary for beleaguered forts to be accorded free rations. That expression of the beleaguered fort was also taken up by the French press.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Chamberlain stated around the beginning of October-according to this memorandum it was on 12 October-that in this war Britain would utilize her entire strength For the destruction of Germany. From this we drew the conclusion, aided by the experiences of the last World War, that England would soon hit German exports under some pretext or other.
With the shadow of the total hunger blockade, which no doubt had been thoroughly prepared during long years of peace, creeping in upon us we now had a great deal to do to catch up, since we had not prepared for war against Great Britain. We examined, both from the legal and military point of view, the possibilities at our disposal by which we in turn might cut off Britain's supplies. That was the aim and purpose of that memorandum.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: You are saying, therefore, that this memorandum contains considerations regarding means for countering the British measures with correspondingly effective German measures?
WAGNER: Yes, that was definitely the purpose of that memorandum.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Studying that memorandum you will find a sentence-C. 1. is the paragraph-according to which the Naval Operations Staff must remain basically within the limits of international law, but that decisive war measures would have to be carried out even if the existing international law could not be applied to them.
Did this mean that international law was to be generally disregarded by the Naval Operations Staff, or what is the meaning of this sentence?
WAGNER: That question was duly studied by the Naval Operations Staff and discussed at great length. I should like to point out that on Page 2 of the memorandum, in the first paragraph, it states that obedience to the laws of chivalry comes before all else in naval warfare. That, from the outset, would prevent a barbarous waging of war at sea. We did think, however, that the modern technical developments would create conditions for naval warfare which would certainly justify and necessitate further development of the laws of naval warfare.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Which technical developments do you mean?
WAGNER: I am thinking mainly of two points: First, the largescale use of the airplane in naval warfare. As a result of the speed
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and wide range of the airplane, militarily guarded zones could be created before the coasts of all warfaring nations, and in respect to these zones one could no longer speak of freedom of the seas. Secondly, the introduction of electrical orientation equipment which made it possible, even at the beginning of the war, to spot an unseen opponent and to send fighting forces against him.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: It says in this memorandum that decisive war measures are to be taken even though they create new laws at sea. Did occasion arise for such measures?
WAGNER: No; at any rate, not at once. In the meantime, I think on 4 November, the United States of America declared the so-called American combat zone, and the specific reason given for it was that in that zone actual belligerent actions rendered the sea dangerous for American shipping. By this announcement some of the points of that memorandum were in immediate need of being revised. As a rule we remained within the limits of the measures as they had been employed by both parties during the first World War.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: By these measures do you mean the warning against navigating in certain zones?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: According to some of the exhibits used by the Prosecution, Numbers GB-194 and 226, submarines were permitted to attack all ships without warning in certain areas, beginning with January 1940. The attacks were to be carried out, if possible, unseen, while maintaining the fiction that the ships struck mines.
Will you please tell the Tribunal which sea lanes or areas were concerned in this? I shall have a sea-chart handed to you for that purpose. I am submitting it to the Tribunal as Exhibit Doenitz-93.
Will you please explain what can be seen on that map.
WAGNER: In the middle of the map you will find the British Isles. The large part of the ocean which is shaded on the edge shows the afore-mentioned American combat zone. The shaded parts of the sea near the British coast are those parts which were ordered to be German submarine operational zones. They were given letters from A to F in accordance with the time when they were set up.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Can you tell us up to which depth these German operational zones went?
WAGNER: I think perhaps as far as the 200 meter line.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Does this depth guarantee favorable use of mines?
WAGNER: Yes, down to 200 meters the use of anchored mines is possible without any difficulty.
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FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: In these operational zones certain dates have been entered. Will you please explain how it happened that on those particular dates, and in that sequence, these territories were made operational zones?
WAGNER: All those areas were declared to be operational zones where our fighting forces came into contact with enemy traffic and a concentration of the enemy defense, resulting in main combat areas.
To begin with, they were the zones at the northern and southern end of the German-mined zones which had been declared along the British East Coast and in the Bristol Channel. You can see, therefore, that Zone A lies to the east of Scotland and is dated 6 January. The Bristol Channel Zone is dated 12 January, and finally at the southern end of this danger zone, that is, to the east of London, there is the date of 24 January.
Later on, according to the fluctuations of the actual fighting, further areas around the British Isles and then off the French Coast were designated.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Up to what date did this development continue?
WAGNER: The last zone was declared on 28 May 1940.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Had neutrals been warned against navigating in these zones?
WAGNER: Yes, an official note had informed neutral countries that the entire U.S.A. fighting zone had to be considered as being dangerous, and that they should negotiate the North Sea to the east and to the south of the German mine area which was north of Holland.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What difference is there between the situation as shown by this map, and the German declaration of a blockade of 17 August 1940?
That is, Mr. President, the declaration I have submitted as Doenitz-104, which can be found on Page 214 in Volume IV of the document book.
WAGNER: As far as the limits of the danger zone are concerned, there was really no difference. This fact was also stated by Prime Minister Churchill in the House of Commons at the time. However, the difference which did exist was that up to that time we confined ourselves to the area I have just described, near the British Coast, whereas now we considered the entire U.S.A. combat zone as an operational zone.
The declaration regarding a blockade was based on the fact that in the meantime France had been eliminated from the war, and that Britain now was the focal point of all belligerent action.
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FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did the German blockade zone in its entirety correspond exactly or more or less with the U.S.A. combat zone?
WAGNER: It was nearly exactly the same as the U.S.A. combat zone. There were merely a few insignificant corrections.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Mr. President, I am submitting another sea-chart as Doenitz-92, in which...
THE PRESIDENT: I think perhaps that would be a good time to break off then.
[A recess was taken.]
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Now, Mr. President, as Doenitz-94, I submit a chart of the German blockade zone dated 17 August.
Admiral Wagner, just for the sake of repeating, what were the limits of the German blockade region in relation to the U.S. fighting zone?
THE PRESIDENT: I thought you had already told us that. You told us that the blockade zone was the same as the American zone, didn't you?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Yes, Mr. President, I thought that we had not been understood quite correctly before the recess.
[Turning to the witness.] What was the naval practice of the enemy as far as this operational zone was concerned? Was there any practice that they followed?
WAGNER: Yes, the practice on the part of the enemy was identical with ours. In the areas controlled by us in the Baltic, in the eastern part of the North Sea' around Skagerrak and later on in the Norwegian and French waters, the enemy used every suitable weapon without giving previous warning, without notifying us in advance by which means of combat other ships were to be sunk- submarines, mines, aircraft, or surface vessels. In these regions the same thing applied to neutrals, and especially to Sweden.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Now, I would like to confront you with a statement by the First Lord of the British Admiralty. You will find this on Page 208 of the document book, Plume IV. This statement is dated 8 May 1940, and I have ascertained, Mr. President, that unfortunately it is wrongly reproduced in the British document book; so I shall quote from the original.
"Therefore we limited our operations in the Skagerrak to the
submarines. In order to make this work as effective as possible,
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the usual restrictions which we have imposed on the actions of our submarines were relaxed. As I told the House, all German ships by day and all ships by night were to be sunk as opportunity served."
I should like to submit this as Exhibit Doenitz-102.
THE PRESIDENT: What is the difference that you were making in the copy we have before us-"... all ships were to be sunk by day and German ships by night..." Is that it?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Yes, Mr. President. It should be corrected to read, "all German ships by day and all ships by night were to be sunk."
THE PRESIDENT: I see; I said it wrong-"and all ships by night." Yes, very well.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Admiral Wagner, what was the significance of this statement and this practice so far as the German ships were concerned?
WAGNER: It means that all German ships by day and by night in this area were to be sunk without warning.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: And what does it mean for the neutral ships?
WAGNER: It means that without warning all neutral ships in this area by night...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuehler, surely the document speaks for itself. We don't need to have it interpreted by a witness who isn't a lawyer.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Very well.
[Turning to the witness.] Then, tell me, please, from what period of time onward, according to German experiences, did this practice exist in the Skagerrak?
WAGNER: With certainty from 8 April 1940, but I believe I recall that even on 7 April this practice was already in existence.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Had this area at this period of time, that is, the 7th or 8th of April, already been declared a danger zone?
WAGNER: No, the first declaration of danger zone for this area took place on 12 April 1940.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Now I shall have a seachart handed to you dealing with the British danger zones, and this shall be Doenitz-92. Please explain the significance of this chart briefly to the Tribunal.
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WAGNER: This chart shows the danger zones in European waters as declared by England on the basis of German data. The following areas are of special significance:
First of all, the area in the Bay of Helgoland which on 4 September 1939, that is, on the second day of the war, was declared dangerous. Then the afore-mentioned danger zone, Skagerrak and the area south of Norway, which was declared on 12 April 1940. Then the danger zone in the Baltic, on 14 April 1940; and following upon that, the other danger zones as declared in the course of the year 1940.
I should like to remark also that, according to my recollection, these danger zones were all declared mine danger zones, with the exception of the Channel zone and of the Bay of Biscay, on 17 August 1940. These were generally dangerous zones.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Were these areas actually dominated by the British sea and air forces, or did German traffic still continue?
WAGNER: In these areas there was even very lively German traffic. Thus the Baltic Sea, which in its entire expanse from East to West, about 400 nautical miles in length, had been declared a danger zone, was in reality controlled by us during the entire war. In this area there was an extensive freight traffic, the entire ore traffic from Sweden and the corresponding exports to Sweden.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Was there only traffic of German ships or also of neutral ships?
WAGNER: This traffic was in German and Swedish ships, but other neutrals also participated in this traffic, for instance, Finland. A similar situation applied in the Skagerrak where, besides the German supply traffic, a large part of the foodstuffs for the Norwegian population was transported. Of course, during-this time both German and neutral ships were lost.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I assume, therefore, that both German and neutral seamen lost their lives. Is that correct?
WAGNER: Of course, personnel losses took place as well.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Were the German merchantmen, at the time when these operational zones were declared, armed-that is, at the end of 1939 or the beginning of 1940?
WAGNER: Until the middle of 1940 German merchantmen were not at all armed. From then on they were comparatively slightly armed, especially with antiaircraft weapons.
Transport ships of the Navy had always been armed, that is, government ships, which supplied German cruisers and auxiliary cruisers in the Atlantic.
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FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Now I shall submit to you a document of the Prosecution, Exhibit GB-193, which is found in the Prosecution's document book on Page 29. This document deals with a proposal by the Commander of the U-boats that ". . . in the Channel, ships with blacked-out lights may be sunk without warning." Can you tell me just whose ideas we are dealing with in the statements set forth in this document?
WAGNER: From the signature found in this document it appears that we are concerned with a document by a U-boat expert in the Naval Operations Staff.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Who was that?
WAGNER: Lieutenant Fresdorf, who was my subordinate.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Are these statements in accord with the actual circumstances and were they approved by the Naval Operations Staff, or just what was the situation?
WAGNER: Here we are concerned with the rather romantic ideas of a young expert, ideas which were in no way commensurate with the situation. The situation was rather as follows: At this time, that is, in September 1939, the second wave of the British Expeditionary Corps left England for France. The transports ran mostly during the night and were blacked out. At this same time an order existed according to which French ships were neither to be stopped nor attacked; this was still in force for political reasons.
It is quite obvious that at night a blacked-out French ship cannot be told from a blacked-out English ship, just as at night a merchant ship cannot, or only with difficulty, be told from a warship.
These orders, therefore, meant that at night, in order to avoid a mistake, practically no shooting could be done, and therefore the English troop transport was entirely unhampered. This brought about really grotesque situations. It was ascertained that a German U-boat in a favorable position of attack let a fully-loaded English troop transport ship of 20,000 tons pass by, since there was the possibility of making a mistake. The Naval Operations Staff agreed completely with the commanders of the U-boats that no naval war could be carried on in this manner. If a blacked-out ship sails in a belligerent area, better still, in an area where there is a large supply and troop transport traffic, it is liable to suspicion and cannot expect the war to be halted at night for its sake.
Therefore it was not a question of our explaining or excusing ourselves for sinking a ship without warning because we had mistaken it, but the obvious fact at hand was that the blacked-out ship alone was to blame if it was not properly recognized and was sunk without warning.
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FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: In these notes we find that the commanders of U-boats, when sinking a merchant ship without warning, were required to make the notation in their log that they had taken it for a warship and that an order, a verbal order, to this effect was to be given to the commanders of the U-boats. Is that correct, and was it done in actual practice?
WAGNER: No, we never did anything like that.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Was the Flag Officer of the U-boats given strict and clear orders that blacked-out ships at night in the Channel might be attacked without warning?
WAGNER: Yes. This clear order was issued, but nothing more.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: If the statements of this young officer are not correct, and if no orders were issued accordingly, how is it that these things can be found in the War Diary of the Naval Operations Staff?
WAGNER. This paper is not a direct part of the War Diary of the Naval Operations Staff. The War Diary itself, in which the daily happenings were recorded, was signed by me, by the Chief of Staff of the Naval Operations Staff, and by the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. Here we are concerned with the entry of an expert which was destined for a file collection and motivated by the War Diary.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: That means, then, that the considerations and opinions of experts were collected and filed no matter whether they were approved of or put into actual practice?
WAGNER: Yes. All of these files were collected for later purposes.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did the Naval Operations Staff receive news of the incidents which happened after the sinking of the Laconia, and did it approve of the measures taken by the Commander of the U-boats?
WAGNER: The Naval Operations Staff, then as always, listened in on all the wireless messages of the Commander-in-Chief in the Laconia case. It approved of the measures taken by him, but it would not have been at all surprised if the Commander of the U-boats had stopped the entire rescue work at the very first air attack upon the U-boats.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did the Naval Operations Staff know of the order of the Commander of the U-boats, dated 17 September, in which rescue work by U-boats was expressly prohibited?
WAGNER: This order given by the Commander of the U-boats was also heard by wireless.
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FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Was this order interpreted by the Naval Operations Staff to the effect that it was to be an order for the shooting of shipwrecked people?
WAGNER: No; no one ever had this idea.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Mr. President, at this point I should like to put several questions to the witness which have a bearing on the credibility of the statements made by the witness Heisig. But I should like to ask in advance whether there are any objections to my putting these questions, since my documents referring to the witness Heisig were not ruled admissible.
THE PRESIDENT: Was the object of the questions which you were offering to put to this witness to show that the witness Heisig was not a witness who could be believed upon his oath? Was that your object?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: The general object is to show how the testimony of this witness originated; that is, the testimony which was submitted to the Court.
THE PRESIDENT: What do you mean by "originated"?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: That is to say, what influence on the witness Heisig forms the basis of this testimony.
THE PRESIDENT: What is the exact question you wanted to ask? You may state it, and we will let the witness wait until we have seen what the question is.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I should like to ask the witness, "Did the witness Heisig report to you about the manner in which his affidavit, which was submitted to the High Tribunal as evidence by the Prosecution, originated?"
THE PRESIDENT: The question that you put, as I took it down, was: What did the witness Heisig report to you about the way his affidavit came about? Is that the question?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Yes, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDENT: What are you purporting to prove by getting the reports that Heisig may have made to this witness?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I should like to prove therewith, Mr. President, that Heisig was under a certain influence, that is, that he wrongly assumed that he could help a comrade through his testimony.
THE PRESIDENT: Who applied for Heisig's affidavit?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I did not understand, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Heisig has given an affidavit, has he not?
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FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: That was for the Prosecution, was it?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: That is right.
THE PRESIDENT: And have you asked to cross-examine him?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I interrogated him about this affidavit, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: You did?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Yes, I did question him; and I called his attention to the contradictions between his affidavit and his testimony here in Court.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, I have not read the transcript on this point for about 10 days. But I did read it then, and my recollection is that it was never suggested to the witness Heisig that he gave his affidavit under pressure, which I gather is the suggestion now. Your Lordship will remember that although we had the affidavit, we called the witness Heisig. He said that what was in his affidavit was true; and then he gave his evidence, giving a detailed account of all the relevant matters. So we made it perfectly possible for Dr. Kranzbuehler to cross-examine him at the time and to show any differences, as Dr. Kranzbuehler just said he purported to do, between the affidavit and his oral evidence.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuehler has just said, I think, that he did actually cross-examine him.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: He did cross-examine him on that point-on any differences that appeared between his affidavit and his oral testimony. But he was here to be cross-examined, and if it is going to be suggested that the affidavit was obtained by improper means, that suggestion ought to have been made at the time, and then it could have been dealt with.
My Lord, I object to its coming in at this stage, after the witness Heisig has been away, and therefore no opportunity has been given to us either to investigate the matter or to have the evidence there, which could have been done when Heisig gave his evidence; and we could have been prepared for any contradictory evidence now.
My Lord, as a matter of strictness, surely, if I may put it that way, there are two distinct lines. If it was a question of whether Heisig's evidence was admissible or whether it had been obtained under pressure, then it would be quite possible to have this trial within a trial as to whether it was admissible or not. But if this evidence is, broadly, merely directed to the credibility of Heisig's evidence, then I respectfully submit it falls within the same objections I made on Saturday to general evidence directed against the credibility of a witness.
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THE PRESIDENT: I do not think it is suggested that there was any pressure put by the Prosecution upon Heisig. I do not understand that that is what you are suggesting, Dr. Kranzbuehler, is it?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: No, no pressure; but the picture as drawn was not true.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I understood Dr. Kranzbuehler -if I misunderstood him, so much the easier-I understood him to say that he wanted to give this evidence as to certain influence. I thought that was the word used.
THE PRESIDENT: I think he meant, not influence exerted by the Prosecution, but exerted by a mistaken notion in the witness' own mind that he was helping a friend.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I see. My Lord, then that merely goes to credibility and it does then fall within my general objection; that is, if we are going to have evidence as directed on credibility, we go on ad infinitum.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuehler, the Tribunal will allow this question to be put in this particular instance, but they make no general rule as to the admissibility of such questions.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
Admiral Wagner, in December you were in the prison here together with the witness Heisig. Is that correct?
WAGNER: Yes, from the first until the fifth of December.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: And what did Heisig tell you about the underlying considerations of his affidavit?
WAGNER: He told me the following personally: At the interrogation he had been told that Lieutenant Hoffmann, officer of the watch of Kapitanleutnant Eck, had testified that at that time he had listened to the speech by Admiral Doenitz at Gotenhafen in the autumn of 1942, and that he had considered this as a demand for the killing of survivors of shipwrecks. Heisig had been told:
"If you confirm this testimony of Hoffmann, then you will save not only Eck and Hoffmann, but also two others who
would have been sentenced to death. You will prevent any kind of judicial proceeding against Captain Mohle from being instituted. Of course, you will thus incriminate Grossadmiral Doenitz but the material against Admiral Doenitz is of such tremendous weight that his life has been forfeited anyway."
Further he told me, and without prompting, that at that time, on the occasion of the speech by the Admiral Doenitz, he had been deeply distressed. He had just returned from Lubeck, where he had
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experienced and seen the frightful consequences of an air attack; that is he had perhaps not experienced it, but at least he had seen the consequences. His mind was set on revenge for these brutal measures, and he considered it possible that this emotional state might have influenced his interpretation of Grossadmiral Doenitz' speech.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Now we shall turn to a different point.
THE PRESIDENT: Sir David.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, My Lord.
THE PRESIDENT: If the Prosecution desire to do so, they can, of course, recall Heisig for the purpose of investigating this further.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If Your Lordship pleases, Heisig is no longer here; that is the difficulty when this is done in this order. However, we can consider the matter, My Lord, and we are grateful to the Tribunal for the permission.
THE PRESIDENT: Is Heisig not in custody? Is that what you mean?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, My Lord, he is no longer in custody.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: He is studying medicine at Munich; he can be very easily reached.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Thank you.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: From when on were you admiral for special tasks attached to the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy and what were your tasks in that capacity?
WAGNER: From the end of June 1944 onward, and the purpose of my assignment was the following: After the success of the AngloSaxon invasion in northern France, Admiral Doenitz counted on an increased tension in the military situation. He believed that one day he might be forced to leave the Naval Operations Staff, either to remain permanently at the Fuehrer's headquarters, or at least for a longer period of time, in order to keep up with the development of the entire war situation, or because a transfer of the Naval Operations Staff might be necessary because of the increasingly heavy air attacks on Berlin. For this purpose the Grossadmiral wanted an older and experienced naval officer in his immediate vicinity, an officer who was well-versed in the problems of sea warfare and who was acquainted with the duties and tasks of the Naval Operations Staff.
My mission was, therefore, a sort of liaison between the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, the Naval Operations Staff and the
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other offices of the High Command for the duration of the Grossadmiral's absence from the High Command.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did you accompany the Grossadmiral regularly on his visits to the fuehrer's headquarters?
WAGNER: Yes; from the period mentioned I was present regularly.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Now I hand you a list of these visits which has been submitted by the Prosecution as GB-207. This may be found in the document book of the Prosecution on Page 56. Please look at this list and tell me whether the dates recorded there are essentially correct.
WAGNER: The dates are essentially correct. At the end the list is not complete, for the period from 3-no; from 10 April until 21 April 1945 is missing. On that day the Grossadmiral participated for the last time at the conferences in the fuehrer's headquarters. Beyond that, it seems to me that the list of the people present is incomplete. I also do not know according to what point of view or with what idea in mind this was compiled.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: If you carefully examine this list of people, can you tell me whether Admiral Doenitz was always with these people on the dates mentioned, or does this mean only that these persons were at the fuehrer's headquarters at the same time he was? Can you still recall these points?
WAGNER: Yes. If these people participated in the military conferences, then Admiral Doenitz at least saw them. Of course, people in high positions were frequently at the fuehrer's headquarters who did not participate in the military conferences and whom the Grossadmiral did not see unless he had special conversations with them.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: For what reason did Admiral Doenitz...
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, upon this point, if the witness is saying that any one of these minutes is incomplete, I should be very grateful if he would specify it, because we can get the original German minutes here and confirm the affidavit.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I believe the witness said only that additional people participated in these discussions and that, at the end, some of the conferences are lacking. However, I do not know just what details I should question him about. Perhaps the Prosecution will deal with that matter later in cross-examination?
THE PRESIDENT: But Sir David wants him to specify which are the ones, if he can.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Very wed.
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[Turning to the witness.] Can you tell me more specifically as to any one of these dates, whether those present are correctly named or whether there were other people present, or whether Grossadmiral Doenitz was not present?
WAGNER: I can tell you exactly that this list is incorrect because it never occurred that neither Field Marshal Keitel nor Generaloberst Jodl was present at the headquarters. For example, on 4 March 1945 neither one of these men is mentioned, nor on 6 March or 8 March. Therefore I conclude that this list cannot be complete. In other places, however, the name of Jodl appears; for example, on 18 March 1945.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: The decisive point seems to be whether Admiral Doenitz was present in the fuehrer's headquarters on all of these days. Can you confirm that point?
WAGNER: Of course, from memory I cannot confirm that with reference to every single day. However, I am under the impression that the list is correct in that connection, for the frequency of the visits of the Grossadmiral corresponds with the notes in this list; and spot checks show me that the dates are correct.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Why did Grossadmiral D8nitz come to the fuehrer's headquarters? What were the reasons?
WAGNER: The chief reason for the frequent visits, which became even more frequent toward the end of the war, was the desire to keep lip with the development of the general war situation so that he, Doenitz, could lead the Navy and carry on the naval war accordingly. Beyond that, questions usually came up which the Admiral could not decide for himself out of his own authority and which, because of their importance, he wanted to bring up personally or to discuss with the representatives of the OKW and of the General Staff.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: In each of these cases was there a personal report of the Grossadmiral to the Fuehrer?
WAGNER: This is what happened: Most of the problems and reports for the Fuehrer were taken care of during the conference in connection with the Admiral's report on the naval warfare situation.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: One moment. Was the Admiral always present at the military conferences when he was at the headquarters?
WAGNER: The Admiral took part at least in the discussion of the main session every day.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: And what is the main session?
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WAGNER: At noon every day there was a military conference which lasted several hours. This was the main conference. In addition, for months, sessions, including special sessions, were held in the evening or at night, at which the Admiral participated only when very important matters were to be discussed-matters of special importance for the conduct of the war. Then, as I said, he participated.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Now you say that most of the questions which the Grossadmiral had to put to the Fuehrer were taken care of at the military conference. Were there any personal reports besides this?
WAGNER: Personal reports on the part of the Grossadmiral to Hitler took place very seldom; on the other hand, personal discussions with the OKW and the other military offices at the headquarters took place daily.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Now, I would like to know something more in detail about this so-called "Lagebesprechung," the conferences.
The Prosecution seem to consider this as a sort of War Cabinet at which, for instance, Ribbentrop would report about foreign policies, Speer about questions of production, Himmler about security questions. Is this a correct picture? Who took part in these sessions, what people participated regularly and who attended only once in a while?
WAGNER: The participants at the conferences were generally the following:
Regular participants: from the OKW, Field Marshal Keitel, General Jodl, General Buhle, Post Captain Assmann, Major Buchs, and a few more Chiefs of Staff. Then the Chief of the General Staff of the Army with one or two aides, and as a rule also the Chief of the General Staff of the Air Force with one aide. Further regular participants were: the Chief of the Army Personnel Office, who was Chief Adjutant to the Fuehrer; General Bodenschatz, until 20 July 1944; Vice Admiral Voss who was the permanent deputy of the Grossadmiral; Gruppenfuehrer Fegelein, as Himmler's permanent deputy; Ambassador Hewel; Minister Sonnleitner, permanent deputy of the Foreign Minister; Reich Press Chief Dr. Dietrich. Frequently the following participated: the Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe; less frequently, Himmler. In addition to these there was a varying participation on the part of special officers, mainly from the General Staff of the Army, and on the part of higher front commanders of the Army and of the Air Force who happened to be in headquarters. Beyond that, toward the end of the war Reich Minister Speer in his capacity as Armament Minister also participated
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in an increasing measure, and in rare cases the Reich Foreign Minister Von Ribbentrop, both as listeners at the conferences. I believe that is the complete list.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Who reported at these conferences and what was reported on?
WAGNER: These sessions were for the sole purpose of informing Hitler about the war situation-about the Eastern situation through the General Staff of the Army, and through the OKW about the situation in all other theaters of war and concerning all three branches of the Wehrmacht. The report took place as follows:
First of all, the Chief of General Staff of the Army reported about the Eastern situation; then Generaloberst Jodl reported on the situation in all other theaters of war on land. Next, Post Captain Assmann of the OKW reported on the naval situation. In between, frequent, often hour-long, conversations took place which dealt with special military problems, panzer problems, aerial problems and such. And after the aerial problems were dealt with the discussion was at an end, and we left the room. I frequently saw that Ambassador Hewel went in to Hitler with a batch of reports, apparently from the Foreign Office, and reported on them without the rest of us knowing what they contained.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: In these conferences was there voting or was there consultation, or who gave the orders?
WAGNER: In these conferences all military questions were discussed and frequently decisions were reached by the Fuehrer, that is, if no further preparations were necessary for a decision.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What for example did the Foreign Minister Von Ribbentrop do there when he was present?
WAGNER: I only saw Foreign Minister Von Ribbentrop perhaps five or six times at these conferences, and I cannot remember that he ever said anything during the entire session. He was only present at the conference for his own information.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: How about Minister Speer, what did he do?
WAGNER: Minister Speer also very seldom brought in armament problems during the discussion. I know that questions of armament were always discussed between Hitler and Speer in special discussions. However, some exceptions may have occurred.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What was Himmler doing there, or his permanent deputy Fegelein? Did they discuss questions of security, or what was their mission?
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WAGNER: No. During the military conference security problems were never discussed. Himmlerand his deputy appeared very frequently in connection with the Waffen-SS, and Fegelein had always to give reports about the setup, organization, arming, transportation and engagement of the SS divisions. At this time the SS divisions, according to my impression, still played a very important part, for ostensibly they represented a strategic reserve and were much discussed.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I have a record of the meeting which was written by you. It has the Number GB-209. It is not found in the document book. It says in the third paragraph -and I am just reading one sentence:
"The Deputy of the Reichsfuehrer SS at the fuehrer's headquarters, SS Gruppenfuehrer Fegelein, transmits the request of the Reichsfuehrer as to when he can count on the arrival of the 'Panther"'-those are tanks-"coming from Libau."
Is this typical of SS Gruppenfuehrer Fegelein's work?
WAGNER: Yes. That was the kind of questions which were dealt with at every one of these sessions.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: At the end of the war Kaltenbrunner appeared several times also. Did he speak or report?
WAGNER: I cannot remember one single utterance on Kaltenbrunner's part during one of these military conferences.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What role did Admiral Doenitz play at the session discussions?
WAGNER: Even when Grossadmiral Doenitz was present the naval situation was reported by the deputy from the OKW, Commodore Assmann. However, the Admiral used this occasion to present, in connection with the individual theaters of war, or in summary at the end, those questions which he had in mind. The Admiral was neither asked nor did he give any opinion on questions dealing with air or land warfare which had no connection with the conduct of the naval war. In his statements he strictly confined himself to the sphere of the Navy, and very energetically objected if someone else during the session tried to interfere in questions of naval warfare.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Mr. President, I have come to a break. If the Tribunal agrees to declare a recess...
THE PRESIDENT: Very well. We will adjourn.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
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THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn this afternoon at 4:30 in order to sit in closed session.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Admiral Wagner, as time went on a close relationship developed between Admiral Doenitz and Adolf Hitler. Was this due to the fact that the Admiral was particularly ready to comply with the fuehrer's wishes?
WAGNER: No, not at all. Admiral Doenitz' activity as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy began with a very strong opposition to Hitler. It was Hitler's intention to scrap the large ships of the Navy, that is to say, the remaining battleships and cruisers. Admiral Raeder had already rejected that plan.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: That story is already known, Admiral. You need not go into it in detail.
WAGNER: Very well. Apart from that, Hitler's respect for Doenitz was due to the fact that every statement which the Admiral made was absolutely reliable and absolutely honest. The Admiral attached particular importance to the fact that particularly unfavorable developments, failures, and mistakes were to be reported at headquarters without digression, objectively, and simply. As an example, I should like to mention that the Admiral had given me the order...
THE PRESIDENT: I do not think we need examples of that sort of thing. Surely the general statement is quite sufficient.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did the Admiral in any way show himself particularly willing to comply with the fuehrer's political wishes or those of the Party?
WAGNER: No. Such wishes of the Party were, in my opinion, only put to the Navy in three cases. One was the question of the churches, which for the most part came up during the time of Admiral Raeder. I think it is generally known that the Navy retained its original religious organization and, in fact, extended it as the Navy grew.
The second request made by the Party was that, modeled on the Russian example, political commissary should be set up within the Armed Forces. On that occasion Admiral Doenitz went to see Himmler and prevented the carrying out of that plan. When after 20 July 1944 Bormann nevertheless succeeded in getting the so-called "NSFO"-the National Socialist Leadership Officers-introduced into the Armed Forces, it did not happen in the way the Party wished, by appointing political commissary. It was merely done by using officers who were under the jurisdiction of the commander
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and who could not in any way interfere with the leadership of the troops. The third case was the intention on the part of the Party to take away from the Armed Forces the political penal cases.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: This case is also already known, Admiral. You kept the records of the visits at the fuehrer's headquarters, is that correct?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: A number of these records have been introduced as evidence in this Court. Will you please explain to the Tribunal what was the purpose of keeping these records of visits of commanders-in-chief to the fuehrer's headquarters?
WAGNER: The Chief of the Naval Operations Staff, the Chief of the Naval Armaments, and the Chief of the General Navy Department-that is to say, the three leading men in the High Command of the Navy-were to be informed by means of these records of all happenings which took place in the presence of the Admiral, as far as they were of any interest to the Navy. That was one of my tasks.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: You have just said "informed about happenings which took place in the presence of the Admiral." Does that mean that he himself must have heard everything that has been put down in these records?
WAGNER: Not necessarily. It happened quite frequently that during situation reports, when they took place in a large room and when subjects were discussed which did not interest him so much, the Admiral would retire to another part of the room and deal with some business of his own or discuss Navy questions with other participants in the meeting. It was possible that on such occasions I heard things and put them down in the record which the Admiral himself did not hear. But, of course, he would know about them later when he saw my record.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I am going to have shown to you one of your own records of discussions on 20 February 1945. It is Exhibit Number GB-209, and it is on Page 68 of the document book of the Prosecution. This deals with considerations regarding the renouncing of the Geneva Convention. Will you please describe exactly what happened as you remember it?
WAGNER: Approximately two or three days before the date in this record-in other words, on or about 17 or 18 February 1945-Admiral Voss telephoned me from headquarters, which at that time was situated in Berlin, and informed me that in connection with Anglo-Saxon propaganda to induce our troops to
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desert in the West, Hitler had stated his intention to leave the Geneva Convention.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What did he hope to achieve?
WAGNER: According to my first impression at the time, the intention was evidently to express to the troops and the German people that captivity would no longer bring any advantage. Thereupon, I immediately telephoned to the Naval Operations Staff, since I considered the intention to be completely wrong, and I asked them for a military opinion and an opinion from the point of view of international law.
On the 19th, when taking part in the situation discussion, Hitler once more referred to this question, but this time not in connection with happenings on the western front; but in connection with the air attacks by the western enemies on open German towns- attacks had just been made on Dresden and Weimar.
He ordered the Admiral to examine the effects of leaving the Geneva Convention from the point of view of naval warfare. An immediate answer was not expected and it was not given. Generaloberst Jodl was also quite strongly opposed to these intentions and he sought the Admiral's support. Thereupon it was agreed to have a conference and that is the conference which is mentioned in the record under Figure 2,
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: That is the conference of 20 February, Admiral?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Who participated in that conference?
WAGNER: Admiral Doenitz, Generaloberst Jodl, Ambassador Hewel, and myself.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What was the subject?
WAGNER: The subject was the Fuehrer's intention of renouncing the Geneva Convention. The result was the unanimous opinion that such a step would be a mistake. Apart from military consideration we especially held the conviction that by renouncing the Geneva Convention both the Armed Forces and the German people would lose confidence in the leadership, since the Geneva Convention was generally considered to be the conception of international law.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: In your notes there is a sentence, "One would have to carry out the measures considered necessary without warning and at all costs 'to save face' with the outer world." What is the significance of that sentence?
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WAGNER: That sentence means that on no account should there be any irresponsible actions. If the leaders considered it necessary to introduce countermeasures against air attacks on open German towns, or against the propaganda for desertion in the West, then one should confine oneself to such countermeasures which appear necessary and justifiable. One should not put oneself in the wrong before the world and one's own people by totally repudiating all the Geneva Conventions and announce measures which went far beyond what appeared to be necessary and justifiable.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Were any concrete measures discussed in this connection or were any such measures even thought of?
WAGNER: No. I can remember very well that no specific measures were discussed at all during the various conferences. We were mainly concerned with the total question of whether to repudiate the Geneva Convention or not.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did you ever learn anything about a so-called intention on Adolf Hitler's part to shoot 10,000 prisoners of war as a reprisal for the air attack on Dresden?
WAGNER: No, I have never heard anything about that.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: The expression "to save face"-doesn't that mean secrecy, hiding the true facts?
WAGNER: In my opinion it was certain that there was no question of secrecy, for neither the countermeasures against air attacks nor the measures of intimidation against desertion could be effective if they were concealed.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: How long did this whole conversation which you recorded last?
WAGNER: Will you please tell me which conversation you mean?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: The discussion of 20 February which contains the sentences which I have just read to you.
WAGNER: It took perhaps ten minutes or a quarter of an hour.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: So that your record is a very brief condensed summary of the conversation?
WAGNER: Yes, it only contains the important points.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did Admiral Doenitz also submit his objections to the Fuehrer?
WAGNER: As far as I recollect, it never reached that point. One became convinced that Hitler, as soon as he put his questions to the Admiral, could gather from the Admiral's expression and the attitude of the others that they rejected his plans. We passed
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our views on to the High Command of the Armed Forces in writing and heard no more about the whole matter.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I am now going to show you another record which is submitted under GB-210. It is on the next page of the document book of the Prosecution and it refers to conferences at the fuehrer's headquarters from 29 June to 1 July 1944.
You will find an entry under the date of 1 July which reads, "In connection with the general strike in Copenhagen, the Fuehrer says that terror can be subdued only with terror." Was this statement made during a conversation between Hitler and Admiral Doenitz or in which connection?
WAGNER: This is a statement made by Hitler during a situation discussion and addressed neither to Admiral Doenitz nor to the Navy.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Well, if it was not addressed to the Navy, then why did you include it in your record?
WAGNER: I included in my record all statements which could be of any interest to the Navy. The High Command of the Navy was, of course, interested in the general strike in Copenhagen because our ships were repaired in Copenhagen; and apart from that Copenhagen was a naval base.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: And to whom did you pass this record? Who received it?
WAGNER: According to the distribution list on Page 4, the paper went only to the Commander-in-Chief and department 1 of the Naval Operations Staff.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did the Naval Operations Staff have anything to do with the treatment of shipyard workers in Denmark?
WAGNER: No, nothing at ale From 1943 on the shipyards were entirely under the Ministry of Armaments.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: The Prosecution sees in this statement and its transmission to a department of the OKW an invitation to deal ruthlessly with the inhabitants. Does that in any way tally with the meaning of this record?
WAGNER: There can be no question of that. The only purpose of this record was to inform the Departments of the High Command.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I am now going to have another document shown to you. It is Exhibit Number USA-544. It is in the document book of the Prosecution on Pages 64 and 65. It is a note by the international law expert in the Naval Operations Staff regarding the treatment of saboteurs. Do you know this note?
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WAGNER: Yes. I have initialed it on the first page.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: At the end of that note you will find the sentence:
"As far as the Navy is concerned, it should be investigated
whether the occurrence cannot be used, after reporting to the
Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, to make sure that the treatment of members of Commando troops is absolutely clear to
all the departments concerned."
Was this report made to Admiral Doenitz who at that time had been Commander-in-Chief of the Navy for ten days?
WAGNER: No, that report was not made, as the various remarks at the head of it will show.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Will you explain that, please?
WAGNER: The international law expert in the Naval Operations Staff IA made this suggestion through the Operations Of lice IA
to me as Chief of the Operational Department. The chief of the IA Section in a handwritten notice beside his initials, wrote, "The subordinate commanders have been informed2' That means that he had objected to the proposal of the international law expert and considered that an explanation of the orders within the Navy was superfluous. I investigated these matters and I decided that the operations officer was right. I sent for the international law expert, Dr. Eckardt, informed him orally of my decision, and returned this document to him. Thus the suggestion to report to the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy made in connection with the explanation of this order was not actually carried out.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Can you remember
whether Admiral Doenitz on some later occasion received reports on this Commando order?
WAGNER: No, I have no recollection of that.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I have submitted to you GB-208, which is a record regarding the case of a motor torpedo boat at Bergen. It is the case which is contained in the British document book on Pages 66 and 67. Have you ever heard about this incident before this Trial?
WAGNER: No. I heard about it for the first time on the occasion of interrogations in connection with these proceedings.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I gather from the files of the British court-martial proceedings, which have been submitted by the Prosecution during cross-examination, that before the shooting of the crew of that motor torpedo boat there had been two telephone conversations, between the Chief of the Security Service in Bergen and the SD at Oslo, and between the SD at Oslo and
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Berlin. Can you recollect whether such a conversation took place between the SD at Oslo and yourself or one of the representatives in the High Command?
WAGNER: I certainly had no such conversation, and as far as I know neither did any other officer in my department or in the High Command.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Do you consider it at all possible that the SD at Oslo might get in touch with the High Command of the Navy?
WAGNER: No, I consider that quite out of the question. If the SD in Oslo wanted to get in touch with a central department in Berlin then they could only do so through their own superior authority, and that is the RSHA.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I now put to you another document; it is Exhibit GB-212 which appears on Page75 of the document book of the Prosecution. It mentions an example of a commandant of a German prisoner-of-war camp and it says he had communists who had attracted attention among the inmates suddenly and quietly removed by the guards. Do you know of this incident?
WAGNER: Yes, such an episode is known to me. I think we received the report from a prisoner of war-a man who had been severely injured and who had been exchanged-that the German commandant of a prisoner-of-war camp in Australia, in which the crew of the auxiliary cruiser Cormoran were detained, had secretly had a man of his crew killed because he had been active as a spy and traitor.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: But this order does not mention the word "spy." It says "communist." What is the explanation?
THE PRESIDENT: It does not say "communist." It says "communists" in the plural.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: "Communists," plural.
WAGNER: In my opinion the only explanation is that the true state of affairs was to be concealed so as to prevent the enemy intelligence from tracing the incident and making difficulties for the senior sergeant in question. Thus, a different version was chosen.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: It was the opinion of the Soviet Prosecution that this showed there was a plan for the silent removal of communists. Can you tell us anything about the origin of this order, whether such a plan existed and whether it had ever come under discussion?
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WAGNER: First of all the order was addressed to those personnel offices which were responsible for choosing young potential officers and noncommissioned officers in the Navy. There were about six or seven personnel offices. Beyond that I can only say that of course...
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Just a moment, Admiral, please.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuehler, is it necessary to go into all this detail? The question is, was there an order with reference to making away with the people of this sort or was there not-not all the details about how the order came to be made.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: In that case I shall put the question this way: Was there any order or any desire in the Navy to kill communists inconspicuously and systematically?
WAGNER: No, such an order or such a plan did not exist. Of course, there were a considerable number of communists in the Navy. That was known to every superior officer. The overwhelming majority of those communists did their duty as Germans just as any other German in the war.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Admiral Doenitz has been accused by the Prosecution because as late as the spring of 1945 he urged his people to hold out obstinately to the end. The Prosecution considers that evidence of the fact that he was a fanatical Nazi. Did you and the majority of the Navy consider this to be so?
WAGNER: No, the Admiral's attitude was not considered to be political fanaticism. To them it meant that he was carrying out his ordinary duty as a soldier to the last. I am convinced that this was the view of the great majority of the entire Navy, the men and the noncommissioned officers as well as the officers.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Mr. President, I have no further questions to put to this witness.
THE PRESIDENT: Does any other defendant's counsel want to ask any questions?
DR. SIEMERS: Admiral Wagner, you have already briefly sketched the positions you have held. In supplementing I should like to make quite sure who held a leading position in the Naval Operations Staff under Grossadmiral Raeder in the decisive years before and after the outbreak of the war. Who was the Chief of Staff during the two years before the war, and at the beginning of the war?
WAGNER: The Chief of Staff of the Naval Operations Staff from 1938 until 1941 was Admiral Schniewind. From 1941 until after Raeder's retirement it was Admiral Fricke.
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DR. SIEMERS: Those, therefore, were the two officers who worked in the highest posts under Admiral Raeder in the Naval Operations Staff?
WAGNER: They were the immediate advisers of the Admiral.
DR. SIEMERS: And the Naval Operations Staff had several departments?
WAGNER: Yes, it consisted of several departments, which were given consecutive numbers.
DR. SIEMERS: Arid which was the most important department?
WAGNER: The most important department of the Naval Operations Staff was the Operations Department, which was known as Number 1.
DR. SIEMERS: And the other departments, 2, 3-what did they do?
WAGNER: They were the Signals and Communications Department and the Information Department.
DR. SIEMERS: Who was the chief of the Operations Department?
WAGNER: From 1937 until 1941 it was Admiral Fricke. From 1941 until after Raeder's retirement I was the chief of that department.
DR. SIEMERS: In other words, for many years you worked under Admiral Raeder. First of all I should like to ask you to speak briefly about Raeder's basic attitude during the time you were working in the Naval Operations Staff.
WAGNER: Under Admiral Raeder the Navy was working for a peaceful development in agreement with Britain. The foremost questions were those regarding the type of ships, training, and tactical schooling. Admiral Raeder never referred to aggressive wars during any conference which I attended. Nor did he at any time ask us to make any preparations in that direction.
DR. SIEMERS: Do you remember that in 1940 and in 1941 Raeder declared himself emphatically against a war with Russia?
WAGNER: Yes, he was very strongly opposed to a war with Russia, and that for two reasons; first, he considered that to break the treaty of friendship with Russia was wrong and inadmissible, and secondly, for strategic reasons he was convinced that our entire strength should be concentrated against Britain. When in the autumn of 1940 it appeared that the invasion of Britain could not be carried out, the Admiral worked for a strategy in the Mediterranean to keep open an outlet against Britain's policy of encirclement.
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DR. SIEMERS: The Navy had rather a lot to do with Russia during the friendship period between Russia and Germany in the way of deliveries. As far as you know did everything in that respect run smoothly?
WAGNER: Yes, I know that a large number of deliveries from the Navy stocks went to Russia; for instance, uncompleted ships heavy guns, and other war material.
DR.SIEMERS: And the Navy, of course, always made efforts to maintain the friendly relations laid down in the Pact?
WAGNER: Yes, that was the Admiral's opinion.
DR. SIEMERS: Admiral Wagnerl Admiral Raeder has been accused by the Prosecution that he had never bothered about international law and that he broke international law conventions as a matter of principle if it suited him. Can you express a general opinion about Raeder7s attitude in that respect?
WAGNER: Yes; that is completely wrong. Admiral Raeder considered it most important that every measure for naval warfare should be examined from the point of view of international law. For that purpose we had a special expert on international law in the Naval Operations Staff with whom we in the Operations Department had almost daily contact.
DR.SIEMERS: Furthermore, Raeder has been accused by the Prosecution of advising a war against the United States and trying to get Japan to go to war with the United States. May I ask for your opinion on that?
WAGNER: I consider this charge completely unjustified. I know that Admiral Raeder attached particular importance to the fact that all naval war measures-especially in the critical year of 1941- were to be examined very closely as to the effects they might have on the United States of America. In fact he refrained from taking quite a number of militarily perfectly justified measures in order to prevent incidents with the U.S.A. For instance, in the summer of 1941 he withdrew the submarines from a large area off the coast of the U.S.A. although that area could certainly be regarded as the open sea. He forbade mine-laying action which had already begun against the British port of Halifax, Canada, to prevent, at all costs, the possibility of a United States ship striking a mine. And finally, he also forbade attacks on British destroyers in the North Atlantic because the fifty destroyers which had been turned over to England by the United States created the dangerous possibility of confusing the British and American destroyers. All this was done at a time when the United States, while still at peace, occupied Iceland, when British warships were being repaired in American shipyards, when American naval forces
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had orders that all German units should be reported to the British fleet, and when finally President Roosevelt in July 1941 gave his forces the order to attack any German submarines they sighted.
DR. SIEMERS: Did Admiral Raeder ever make a statement in the Naval Operations Staff that there was no risk in a war against America and that the fleet or the American submarines were not much good?
WAGNER: No, Admiral Raeder as an expert would never have made such a statement.
DR. SIEMERS: On the contrary, did not Raeder expressly speak of the strength of the American fleet and that one could not fight simultaneously two such great sea-powers as America and Great Britain?
WAGNER: Yes, it was perfectly clear to him and to us that America's entry into the war would mean a very substantial strengthening of the enemy forces.
DR. SIEMERS: Now on one occasion Admiral Raeder suggested in his war diary that Japan should attack Singapore. Was there any discussion about Pearl Harbor in connection with that in the Naval Operations Staff?
WAGNER: No, not at all. The attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor was a complete surprise, both to the Admiral and to the Naval Operations Staff and, in my opinion, to every other German department.
DR. SIEMERS: Were there no continuous naval-military discussions and conferences between Japan and Germany?
WAGNER: No, before Japan's entry into the war there were no military discussions according to my conviction.
DR. SIEMERS: I should now like to show you Document C-41, Mr. President, this is Exhibit GB-69. Later on, the British Delegation will submit it in Document Book 10a for Raeder. I do not know whether the Tribunal already has it. It is as yet not contained in the trial brief against Raeder. In the newly compiled Document Book 10a, it is on Page 18.
THE PRESIDENT: You can offer it in evidence now, if you want to, so you can put it to the witness.
DR.SIEMERS: The Prosecution has submitted it; yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Very welt
DR. SIEMERS: This concerns a document signed by Admiral Fricke, and it is dated 3 June 1940. It is headed "Questions of Expansion of Areas and Bases." That document contains detailed statements on future plans.
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[Turning to the witness.] I should like to ask you if Raeder gave the order to prepare this memorandum or how did this memorandum come to be written?
WAGNER: Admiral Raeder did not give the order to draft this memorandum. This constitutes the personal, theoretical ideas of Admiral Fricke regarding the possible developments in the future. They are quite fantastic, and they had no practical significance.
DR. SIEMERS: Was this study or this note tallied about or discussed in any large group in the Naval Operations Staff?
WAGNER: No, in my opinion only the Operations officers had knowledge of this document, which by its very form shows that it is not a well-thought-out study made by order of Grossadmiral Raeder but an ad hoc jotting-down of thoughts which occurred to Admiral Fricke at the moment.
DR.SIEMERS: Was this study or this document passed on to any outsiders at ail?
WAGNER: I think I can remember that this document was not sent to any outside office but remained in the Operations Department. The Grossadmiral, too, in my opinion did not have knowledge of it, particularly since this document shows that he did not initial it.
DR.SIEMERS: You have a photostat copy of that document?
. DR.SIEMERS: Are there any other initials on it which might show that it was put before Admiral Raeder? How was this sort of thing generally handled in the Naval Operations Staff?
WAGNER: Every document that was to be put before the Admiral had on its first page in the left margin a note: "v.A.v.," which means "to be submitted before dispatch," or "n.E.v.," "to be submitted after receipt," or else "to be reported during situation reports." And then at that place the Admiral would initial it with a green pencil, or the officers of his personal staff would make a note indicating that it had been submitted to him.
DR. SIEMERS: And there are no such marks on this document?
DR. SIEMERS: I should like to show you Document C-38, which is a document of the Prosecution bearing the number Exhibit GB-223. It is contained in the Prosecution's document book on Raeder, Page 11.
The war between Germany and Russia began on 22 June 1941. According to the last page but one of the document which you have
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before you, the OKW as early as 15 June-a week before the outbreak of the war-ordered the use of arms against enemy submarines south of the Memel line, the southern tip of Oeland, at the request of the Naval Operations Staff.
The Prosecution is basing the accusation on this document and once more referring to an aggressive war. Unfortunately, the Prosecution has only submitted the last page of this document. It did not produce the first and second page of the document. If felt had done so, then this accusation would probably have been dropped. May I read to you, Witness, what is contained there; and I quote:
"On 12 June at 2000 hours one of the submarines placed as outposts on both sides of Bornholrn, as precautionary measure, reported at 2000 hours an unknown submarine in the vicinity R Adlergrund (20 miles southwest of Bornholm) which had surfaced and was proceeding on a westerly course and which answered a recognition signal call with a letter signal which had no particular significance."
That ends the quotation.
May I ask you to explain what it means that this submarine did not reply to the recognition signal call?
WAGNER: In time of war the warships of one's own fleet have an arrangement of recognition signals; that is to say, the recognition signal has a call and a reply which immediately identifies the ship as belonging to one's own fleet. If a recognition signal is wrongly answered, it proves that it is a foreign vessel.
DR. SIEMERS: As far as you can remember, were there any other clues showing that ships appeared in the Baltic sea which were recognized as enemy ships?
WAGNER: Yes. I remember that there were individual cases where unknown submarines were observed off the German Baltic ports. Subsequently it was found, by comparing the stations of our own submarines, that these were indeed enemy vessels.
DR.SIEMERS: Were these facts the reason which caused the Naval Operations Staff to ask for the use of weapons?
WAGNER: Yes, these very facts.
DR. SIEMERS: A similar case has been made the subject of an accusation in connection with Greece. It has been ascertained here in Court from the War Diary that on 30 December 1939 the Naval Operations Staff asked that Greek ships in the American blockade zone around Great Britain should be treated as hostile. Since Greece was neutral at the time, there has been an accusation against Raeder of a breach of neutrality.
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May I ask you to tell us the reasons which caused the Naval Operations Staff and the Chief, Raeder, to make such a request to the OKW?
WAGNER: We had had news that Greece had placed the bulk of its merchant fleet at the disposal of England and mat these Greek vessels were sailing under British command.
DR. SIEMERS: And it is correct that Greek vessels in general were not treated as hostile, but only vessels in the American blockade zone around England?
DR. SIEMERS The next case, which is somewhat similar, is that which occurred in June 1942, when the Naval Operations Staff made an application to the OKW to be allowed to attack Brazilian ships, although Brazil at that time was still a neutral. The war with Brazil started some two months later on 22 August. What reasons were there for such a step?
WAGNER: We were receiving reports from submarines from the waters around South America, according to which they were being attacked by ships which could only have started from Brazilian bases. The first thing we did was to refer back and get these questions clarified and confirmed. Moreover, I think I can remember personally that at that time it was already generally known that Brazil was giving the use of sea and air bases to the United States with whom we were at war.
DR. SIEMERS: So that this was due to a breach of neutrality on the part of Brazil?
DR. SIEMERS: I should like to submit to you Documents C-176 and D-658. Document C-176 has the number Exhibit GB-228. These two documents are based on the Commando Order, that is, the order to destroy sabotage troops. The Prosecution has charged Raeder with an incident which occurred in December 1942 in the Gironde estuary at Bordeaux. In Document C-176, on the last page, you will find something which I would like to quote.
"Shooting of the two captured Englishmen took place by a firing-squad, numbering one officer and 16 men, detailed by the port commander at Bordeaux, in the presence of an officer of the SD and by order of the Fuehrer."
Previous entries, which I do not want to quote separately and which portray the same things, show that the SD had intervened directly and had got into direct touch with the fuehrer's headquarters.
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I now ask you whether the Naval Operations Staff had heard anything at all about this matter before these two prisoners were shot, or whether they knew anything about this direct order from Hitler which is mentioned in this connection?
WAGNER: The Naval Operations Staff had nothing to do with a direct order for the shooting of people in Bordeaux. The Naval Operations Staff knew the tactical course of events of this sabotage undertaking in Bordeaux and nothing at the time beyond that.
DR.SIEMERS: Therefore, this case was not put to the Naval Operations Staff or to Admiral Raeder, and it was not discussed by them?
WAGNER: Yes. I am certain that that was not the case.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, may I ask the Tribunal to take notice of the fact that this war diary is by no means the war diary which has been frequently mentioned, the War Diary of the Naval Operations Staff, but the war diary of the Naval Commander west, and was therefore unknown to the Naval Operations Staff. That is why the Naval Operations Staff did not know of this case.
THE PRESIDENT: You are referring now to Document C-176?
DR. SIEMERS: Yes, and also to D-658, which is the War Diary of the Naval Operations Staff.
THE PRESIDENT: What was the reference to it?
DR. SIEMERS: This is D-658, which shows the following: According to the OKW communique, these two soldiers had in the meantime been shot. The measure would be in keeping with the special order by the Fuehrer. That has been submitted by the Prosecution, and it shows-and I shall refer to this later-that the Naval Operations Staff knew nothing about the entire episode because this shows an entry dated 9 December, whereas the whole affair happened on the 11th.
It; PRESIDENT: Perhaps this would be a good time to break off.
[A recess was taken.]
DR. SIEMERS: Admiral, I am now submitting to you Document UK C-124.
Mr. President, C-124 corresponds to USSR-130. This document deals with a communication from the Naval Operations Staff, dated 29 September 1941, addressed to Group North, and it deals with the future of the city of Petersburg. This report to Group North says that the Fuehrer had decided to wipe the city of Petersburg from
13 May 46
the face of the earth. The Navy itself had nothing to do with that report. Despite that, this report was sent to Group North.
Witness, I will return to this point, but I would like to ask you first-you have a photostatic copy of the original-to tell me whether Raeder could have seen this document before it was dispatched?
WAGNER: According to my previous statements Admiral Raeder did not see this document since there are no marks or initials to that effect.
DR.SIEMERS: And now the more important question on this point. In view of the terrible communication which is mentioned by Himmler in Point 2, why did the Naval Operations Staff transmit it even though the Navy itself had nothing to do with it?
WAGNER: The Naval Operations Staff had asked that in bombarding, occupying or attacking Leningrad the dockyards, wharf installations, and all other special naval installations be spared so that they might be used as bases later on. That request was turned down by Hitler's statement as contained in this document, as can be seen from Point 3.
We had to communicate this fact to Admiral Carls so that he could act accordingly and because in the case of a later occupation of Leningrad he could not count on this port as a base.
DR.SIEMERS: Because of the significance of this testimony, I would like to quote to the Tribunal the decisive point to which the witness just referred, and that is III of USSR-130. I quote:
"The original requests of the Navy to spare the dock, harbor, and other installations important from the Navy viewpoint are known to the High Command of the WehrTnacht. Compliance with these requests is not possible, because of the fundamental aim of the action against Petersburg."
That was the decisive point which the SKL told Admiral Carls as commander of Group North.
WAGNER: That was the sole reason for this communication.
DR.SIEMERS: Do you know whether Admiral Carls did anything with this document? Did he transmit it to any one, or do you not know anything about that?
WAGNER: As far as I am informed, this communication was not passed on; and it was not the intention that it should be passed on for it was meant solely for Group North. On the strength of this document, Admiral Carls stopped the preparations which had already been made for using the Leningrad naval installations later on and made the personnel available for other purposes. That is the only measure which the Navy took on the basis of this communication and the only measure which could have been taken.
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DR. SIEMERS: I should tell the Tribunal that accordingly I will submit, under Number Ill in my Document Book Raeder, an affidavit which contains this fact, which the witness also points out, that nothing was passed on by Group North so that the commanding naval officers never learned of this document.
This concerns an affidavit by Admiral Butow who at that time was Commander-in-Chief in Finland, and I shall come back to this point when I present the case on behalf of Admiral Raeder.
I have no more questions to put to the witness.
THE PRESIDENT: Does any other member of defendants' counsel wish to ask any questions?
[There was no response.]
The Prosecution may cross-examine.
COLONEL PHILLIMORE: (Junior Counsel for the United Kingdom): May it please the Tribunal, with regard to the questions asked by Dr. Siemers, I was going to leave the cross-examination on those points to the cross-examination of the Defendant Raeder so as to avoid any duplication.
[Turning to the witness.] As I understand the evidence which the Defendant Doenitz has given and your evidence, you are telling the Tribunal that with respect to the treatment of neutral merchant ships, the German Navy has nothing to reproach itself with. Is that right?
COL. PHILLIMORE: And the Defendant has said that the German Navy was scrupulous in adhering to orders about the attitude towards neutral shipping, and the neutrals were fully warned of what they should and should not do. Is that right?
COL. PHILLIMORE: Admiral Doenitz has also said that there was no question of deceiving neutral governments; they were given fair warning of what their ships should not do. Do you agree?
COL.PHILLIMORE: Now, I want just to remind you of what steps were taken as regards neutrals, as they appear from the defense documents.
First of all, on 3 September orders were issued that strict respect for all rules of neutrality and compliance with all agreements of international law which were generally recognized were to be observed.
My Lord, that is D-55, Page 139.
THE PRESIDENT: In the British document book?
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COL. PHILLIMORE: In the Defense document book-Doenitz-55.
And then, on 28 September, a warning was sent to neutrals to avoid suspicious conduct, changing course, zig-zagging, and so on. That is Doenitz-61, at Page 150. On 19 October that 'warning was repeated and neutrals were advised to refuse convoy escort. That is Doenitz-62, at Page 153. On 22 October there was a repetition of the warning, that is Doenitz-62, Page 162; and on 24 November the neutrals were told that the safety of their ships in waters around the British Isles and in the vicinity of the French coast could no longer be taken for granted. That is Doenitz-73, at Page 206; and then from 6 January onwards, certain zones were declared dangerous zones. That is right, is it not?
WAGNER: No. On 24 November a general warning was issued that the entire United States fighting zone was to be considered dangerous. The specific zones which since January were used as operational zones were not made public, since they came within the scope of the first warning and served only for internal use within the Navy.
COL. PHILLIMORE: That is the point I want to be clear about. The zones that you declared from 6 January onwards were not announced. Is that the point?
WAGNER: Yes, the neutrals were warned on 24 November that all of those zones which had been specifically declared as operational zones since January would be dangerous for shipping.
COL. PHILLIMORE: But when you fixed the specific zones from 6 January onwards, no further specific warning was given. Is that the case?
WAGNER: That is correct. After the general warning, we issued no further specific warnings about parts of this zone.
COL. PHILLIMORE: Now, you are not suggesting, are you, that by these warnings and by this declaration of an enormous danger zone, you were entitled to sink neutral shipping without warning?
WAGNER: Yes. I am of the opinion that in this zone which we, as well as the United States of America before us, regarded as dangerous for shipping it was no longer necessary to show consideration to neutrals.
COL. PHILLIMORE: Do you mean to say that from 24 November onwards every neutral government was given fair warning that its ships would be sunk without warning if they were anywhere in that zone?
WAGNER: What I want to say is that on 24 November all the neutral countries were notified officially that the entire United States of America zone was to be considered as dangerous and that
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the German Reich could assume no responsibility for losses in combat in this zone.
COL.PHILLIMORE: That is quite a different case. Do not let us have any mistake about this. Are you saying that by that warning you were entitled to sink neutral ships anywhere in that zone without warning, sink on sight?
WAGNER: I did not quite catch the last few words.
COL. PHILLIMORE: Are you suggesting that you were entitled to sink at sight neutral shipping anywhere in that zone, as from 24 November?
WAGNER: I am of the opinion that we were justified from that period of time onwards in having no special consideration for neutral shipping. If we had made exceptions in our orders to our U-boats, it would have meant in every case that they could not have sunk enemy ships without warning.
COL. PHILLIMORE: It is not a question of any special consideration. Do you say that you became entitled to sink at sight any neutral ship, or sink it deliberately, whether you recognized it as neutral or not?
THE PRESIDENT: Surely you can answer that question "yes" or "no."
WAGNER: Yes, I am of that opinion.
COL.PHILLIMORE: Will you tell me how that squares with the submarine rules?
WAGNER: I do not feel competent to give a legal explanation of these questions because that is a matter of international law.
COL. PHILLIMORE: At any rate, that is what you proceeded to do, is it not? You proceeded to sink neutral ships at sight and without warning anywhere in that zone?
WAGNER: Yes; not just anywhere in this zone, but in the operational zones stipulated by us neutral ships were...
COL. PHILLIMORE: But wherever you could-wherever you could?
WAGNER: In the operational zones stipulated by us we sank neutral ships without warning, for we were of the opinion that in this case we were concerned with secured zones near the enemy coast which could no longer be considered the open sea.
COL. PHILLIMORE: And that is what you desired to do at the very start of the war, was it not? That is what you decided to do?
WAGNER: From the beginning of the war we decided to adhere strictly to the London Agreement.
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COL. PHILLIMORE: Would you look at the document which was put in yesterday? My Lord, it is D-851. It is put in as GB-451. It is a memorandum of 3 September.
THE PRESIDENT: Where is it?
COL.PHILLIMORE: My Lord, it was the only new document that Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe put in in cross-examination.
[Turning to the witness.] Would you look at the third paragraph:
"The Navy has arrived at the conclusion that the maximum damage to England can be achieved with the forces available only if the U-boats are permitted an unrestricted use of arms without warning against enemy and neutral shipping in the prohibited area indicated on the enclosed map."
- Do you still say that you did not intend from the start of the war to sink neutral shipping without warning as soon as you could get Hitler to agree to let you do so? Do you still say that?
WAGNER: Yes, absolutely. In this document, in the first paragraph, it says:
"In the attached documents sent to the Navy by the OKW the
question of unrestricted U-boat warfare against England is
I cannot judge these documents if they are not submitted to me.
COL. PHILLIMORE: You were in the general staff at that time. You were in charge of the Department IA. This point of view must have been put forward by your department?
WAGNER: Yes. I have said already that we had decided, after consulting with the Foreign Office, to adhere strictly to the London Agreement until we had proof that English merchant shipping was navigated militarily and was being used for military purposes.
Here we are apparently concerned solely with information, with an exchange of opinions with the Foreign Office...
COL. PHILLIMORE: I did not ask for your general view on the document. We can read that for ourselves. Your object was to terrorize the small neutrals and frighten them from sailing on their ordinary lawful occasions. Is that not right?
COL.PHILLIMORE: And is that not why in the orders you issued in January of 1940 you excepted the larger countries from this "sink at sight" risk? Would you look at Document C-21. That is GB-194, at Page 30 of the Prosecution document book in English; Pages 59 and 60 in the German. Now, just look at the second entry on Page 5, 2 January 1940: "Report by IA." That is you, is it not? That was you, was it not?
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WAGNER: Yes, but I cannot find the point which you are quoting.
COL.PHILLIMORE: Page 5 of the original, under the date of 2 January 1940. Report by IA on directive of Armed Forces High Command, dated 30 December, referring to intensified measures in naval and air warfare in connection with Case Yellow:
"Through this directive the Navy will authorize, simultaneously with the beginning of the general intensification of the war, the sinking by U-boats without any warning of all ships in those waters near the enemy coasts in which mines can be employed. In this case, for external consumption, the use of mines should be simulated. The behavior of, and use of weapons by, U-boats should be adapted to this purpose."
That has nothing to do with the arming of British merchant ships. That is not the reason that is given, is it? The reason is because it fitted in with your operations for Case Yellow.
WAGNER: I did not understand the last sentence.
COL. PHILLIMORE: You do not give as your reason that the British were arming their merchant ships. The reason you give is that it was necessary in connection with intensified measures for Case Yellow. Why is that?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: The German translation is so inadequate that it is almost impossible to understand the question.
COL. PHILLIMORE: I will put the question to you again. The excuse for this directive is to be the intensification of measures in connection with Case Yellow. You notice, do you not, that nothing is said about the arming of British merchant ships as justifying this step? That is correct, is it not?
WAGNER: May I have time, please, to peruse these papers first?
COL.PHILLIMORE: Certainly. This was written by yourself, you know.
WAGNER: No, that was not written by me. This measure really came within the warning which was given to the neutrals on 24 November 1939.
COL. PHILLIMORE: Nothing is said about the warning of 24 November. If you were entitled, as you have told us, under that to sink neutral ships, there would not be any need for this special directive, would there?
COL.PHILLIMORE: No. Now, let us just...
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WAGNER: For military and political reasons we ordered that a hit by a mine was to be simulated, and that is a special point of this order.
COL.PHILLIMORE: And just before we leave that document, have a look at the entry on 18 January, will you? Have you got it? 18 January.
COL. PHILLIMORE: That is the actual order for sinking without warning. You notice the last sentence: "Ships of the United States, Italy, Japan, and Russia are exempted from these attacks."
And then Spain is added in pencil Is it not right that you were out to terrorize the small neutrals and to bully them, but you were not running any risks with the big ones?
WAGNER: No, that is not correct. The explanation is, of course, that one must take military disadvantages into the bargain if one can obtain political advantages for them.
COL. PHILLIMORE: Oh, yes, it was just entirely a question of how it paid you politically. That is ail it was, was it not?
WAGNER: Of course, all military actions were strongly influenced by the political interests of one's own country.
COL. PHILLIMORE: And because the Danes and the Swedes were not in any position to make any serious protest, it did not matter sinking their ships at sight. That is right, is it not?
WAGNER: The motivation you give to this conduct is entirely incorrect.
COL. PHILLIMORE: Well, but what is the difference?
WAGNER: We sank the ships of all neutrals in these areas with the exception of those countries where we had a special political interest.
COL. PHILLIMORE: Yes, you had no special political interest at this time for Norway and Sweden and Denmark, so you sank their ships at sight. That is right, is it not?
WAGNER: We sank them because they entered this area despite warning.
COL.PHILLIMORE: Yes, but if a Russian ship or a Japanese ship did that, you would not sink it.
WAGNER: No, not at that period of time.
COL. PHILLIMORE: I just want to show you what you actually did. Would you look at Documents D-846 and 847?
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My Lord, they are two new documents. They will be GB-452 and 453.
[Turning to the witness.] Will you look at the first of these, that is D-846? That is a telegram from your Minister at Copenhagen, dated 26 September 1939. That is before your first warning and before any of these zones had been declared. The second sentence: "Sinking of Swedish and Finnish ships by our submarines has caused great anxiety here about Danish food transports to England."
You see, you had started sinking ships of the small neutrals right away in the first three weeks of the war, had you not?
WAGNER: In single cases, yes; but there was always a very special reason in those cases. I know that several incidents occurred with Danish and Swedish ships in which ships had turned against the U-boat and the U-boat in turn because of this resistance was forced to attack the ship.
COL. PHILLIMORE: You do not think it was because the blame could be put upon mines?
WAGNER: At this period not at all.
COL. PHILLIMORE: Look at the second telegram, if you would; 26 March 1940, again from the German Minister at Copenhagen. It is the first paragraph:
"The King of Denmark today summoned me to his presence in order to tell me what a deep impression the sinking of six Danish ships last week, apparently without warning, had made on him and on the whole country."
And then, passing on two sentences:
"I replied that the reason why the ships sank had not yet been clarified. In any case, our naval units always kept strictly to the Prize Regulations; but vessels sailing in enemy convoy or in the vicinity of the convoy took upon themselves all the risks of war. If there were any cases of sinking without warning, it seemed that they could be traced back to the German notifications made to date.
"At the same time I stressed the danger of the waters around the British coast, where neutral shipping would inevitably be involved in compromising situations on account of measures taken by the British. The King assured me emphatically that none of the Danish ships had sailed in convoy, but it would probably never be possible subsequently to clear up without possibility of doubt the incidents which had led to the sinking."
Have you any doubt that those six ships were sunk deliberately under your sink-at-sight policy?
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WAGNER: Without checking the individual cases, I cannot answer this question; but I am of the opinion that possibly these ships were sunk in that area off the English coast where, because of heavy military defenses, there would no longer be any question of open sea.
COL.PHILLIMORE: Very well. We will come to an incident where I think I can supply you with the details. Would you look at Document D-807?
My Lord, that is a new document, it becomes GB-454.
[Turning to the witness.] You seal this document is dated 31 January 1940; and it refers to the sinking of three neutral ships, the Deptford, the Thomas Walton, and the Garoufalia. The document is in three parts. It first sets out the facts as they were known to you. The second part is a note to the Foreign Office, and the third is a draft reply for your Foreign Office to send to the neutral governments; and if you look at the end of the document you will see "IA"; it emanates from your department.
"It is proposed in replying to Norwegian notes to admit only the sinking by a German U-boat of the steamship Deptford, but to deny the sinking of the two other steamers."
Would you follow it.
"According to the data attached to the notes presented by the Norwegian Government, the grounds for suspecting a torpedo to have been the cause of the sinkings do in fact appear to be equally strong in all these cases. According to the Norwegian Foreign Minister's speech of 19 January, the suspicion in Norway of torpedoing by a German U-boat appears, however, to be strongest in the case of the steamship Deptford, whereas in the other two cases it is at least assumed that the possibility of striking mines can be taken into account; this is considered improbable in the case of the steamship Deptford, because other vessels had passed the same spot.
"The possibility that the steamship Thomas Walton struck a mine can be supported, since the torpedoing occurred towards evening and nothing was observed, and also because several explosions took place in the same area owing to misses by torpedoes.
"In the case of the steamship Garoufalia, a denial appears expedient, if only because a neutral steamer is concerned, which was attacked without warning. Since it was attacked by means of an electric torpedo, no torpedo wake could be observed."
Do you say in the face of that that you did not deceive the neutrals? That is the advice you were giving to the Defendant Raeder as his staff officer, is it not?
13 May 46
WAGNER: This memorandum did not emanate from me; it emanated from "Iia."
COL. PHILLIMORE: Where does it originated
WAGNER: That is the assistant of the expert on international law.
COL. PHILLIMORE: You would not have seen it?
WAGNER: I do not recall this document.
COL.PHILLIMORE: Why do you say it emanated from "Iia?" It has "Ia" at the end of it.
WAGNER: If this memorandum was dispatched then I also saw it...
COL. PHILLIMORE: I will just read the next part of the note to remind you.
"The following facts have thus been ascertained:"-this is what you are writing to the Foreign Office-
"The steamer Deptford was sunk by a German U-boat on 13 December..."
I am sorry. I should have started earlier.
"It is suggested that Norwegian notes regarding the sinking of the steamships Deptford, Thomas Walton, and Garoufalia be answered somewhat in the following manner:
"As a result of the communication from the Norwegian Government, the matter of the sinking of the steamships Deptford, Thomas Walton, and Garoufalia has been thoroughly investigated. The following facts have thus been ascertained:
"The steamer Deptford was sunk by a German U-boat on 13 December, as it was recognized as an armed enemy ship. According to the report of the U-boat commander, the sinking did not take place within territorial waters but immediately outside. The German Naval Forces have strict instructions not to undertake any war operations within neutral territorial waters. Should the U-boat commander have miscalculated his position, as appears to be borne out by the findings of the Norwegian authorities, and should Norwegian territorial waters have been violated in consequence, the German Government regret this most sincerely. As a result of this incident, the German Naval Forces have once again been instructed unconditionally to respect neutral territorial waters. If a violation of Norwegian territorial waters has indeed occurred, there will be no repetition of it.
"As far as the sinking of the steamships Thomas Walton and Garoufalia is concerned, this cannot be traced to operations
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by German U-boats, as at the time of the sinking none of them were in the naval area indicated."
And then there is a draft reply put forward which is on very much the same lines.
And you say in the face of that document that the German Navy never misled the neutrals?
WAGNER: The neutrals had been advised that in these areas dangers of war might be encountered. We were of the opinion that we were not obliged to tell them through which war measures these areas were dangerous, or through which war measures their ships were lost.
COL. PHILLIMORE: Is that really your answer to this document? This is a complete lie, is it not? You admit the one sinking that you cannot get away from. And you deny the others. You deny that there was a German U-boat anywhere near, and you are telling this Tribunal that you were justified in order to conceal the weapons you were using. Is that the best answer you can give?
WAGNER: Yes, certainly. We had no interest at all in letting the enemy know what methods we were using in this area.
COL.PHILLIMORE: You are admitting that one of them was sunk by a U-boat. Why not admit the other two as well? Why not say it was the same U-boat?
WAGNER: I assume that we were concerned with another area in which the situation was different.
COL. PHILLIMORE: What was the difference? Why did you not say, "One of our U-boats has made a mistake or disobeyed orders, and is responsible for all these three sinkings?" Or, alternatively, why did you not say, "We have given you fair warning, we are going to sink at sight anyone in this area. And what is your complaint?"
WAGNER: Obviously I did not consider it expedient.
COL. PHILLIMORE: It was considered expedient to deceive the neutrals. And you, an Admiral in the German Navy, told me you did not do that ten minutes ago. As a matter of fact, these three boats were all sunk by the same U-boat, were they not?
WAGNER: I cannot tell you that at the moment.
COL. PHILLIMORE: I say they were all sunk by U-38, and the dates of sinking were: the Depiford on 13 December, the Garoufalia on the 11th, and the Thomas Walton on the 7th. Do you dispute that?
WAGNER: I did not understand the last sentence.
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COL. PHILLIMORE: Do you dispute those details, or do you not remember?
WAGNER: I cannot recall; but I actually believe it is impossible.
COL. PHILLIMORE: I will show you another instance of deceiving the neutrals, and this time it was your friends, the Spanish. Would you look at C-105?
My Lord, that is a new document; it becomes GB-455. It is an extract from the SKL War Diary for 19 December 1940.
[Turning to the witness.] You kept the SKL War Diary yourself at that time, did you not?
WAGNER: No, I did not keep it, but I signed it.
COL. PHILLIMORE: You signed it. Did you read it before you signed it?
WAGNER: The essential parts, yes.
COL.PHILLIMORE: You see, it reads: "News from the Neutrals," and it is headed "Spain":
"According to a report from the naval attache, Spanish fishing vessel was sunk by a submarine of unknown nationality between Las Palmas and Cape Juby. In the rescue boats the crew was subjected to machine gun fire. Three men badly wounded. Landed at Las Palmas on 18 December. Italians suspected. (Possibility it might have been U-37)."
Then on 20 December, the next day:
"Commander, Submarine Fleet, will be informed of Spanish report regarding sinking of Spanish fishing vessel by submarine of unknown nationality on 16 December between Las Palmas and Cape Juby, and requested to conduct an investigation. On the responsibility of the Naval Operations Staff it is confirmed to our naval attache in Madrid that, regarding the sinking, there is no question of a German submarine."
When you reported that, you thought it possible, did you not, that it might have been U-37; is that not so?
WAGNER: It seems to me that in the meantime it became known that it was not U-37.
COL. PHILLIMORE: I will read on. This is under date of 21 December:
"U-37 reports: a torpedo fired at a tanker of the Kopbard type (7329) ran off in a circle and probably hit an Amphitrite submarine in the tanker's convoy. Tanker burned out.
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Spanish steamer St. Carlos (300) without distinguishing marks,
through concentrated gunfire. Nine torpedoes left.
"Then U-37 torpedoed French tanker Rhone and the sub
marine Sfax and sank the Spanish fishing vessel."
And then, if you will read the next entry.
"We shall continue to maintain to the outside world that there
is no question of a German or Italian submarine in the sea
area in question being responsible for the sinkings."
Do you still say that you did not deceive the neutrals?
WAGNER: This case is doubtless a deception, but I do not remember for what particular reason this deception was carried through.
COL. PHILLIMORE: But it is pretty discreditable, is it not? Do you regard that as creditable to the German Navy, that conduct?
WAGNER: No, this...
COL. PHILLIMORE: Did the Defendant Raeder sign the War Diary?
COL.PHILLIMORE: Did you tell the Defendant Doenitz what answer you were giving to the Spaniards and the Norwegians?
WAGNER: That I do not recall.
COL.PHILLIMORE: He would get a copy, would he not?
WAGNER: I did not understand you.
COL. PHILLIMORE: You would send him a copy, would you not, of your note to the Foreign Office?
WAGNER: That is possible.
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Phillimore, does the signature of the Defendant Raeder appear at the end of this document, C-105?
COL. PHILLIMORE: My Lord, I regret to say I have not checked that. But as the witness has said, the practice was that he was to sign the War Diary, and that the Commander-in-Chief was to sign it periodically.
Is that right, Witness?
WAGNER: Yes. On the next page, on 21 December my signature appears as well as those of Admiral Fricke, Admiral Schniewind, and Admiral Raeder.
DR.SIEMERS: Mr. President, I would be very grateful to the Prosecution if the documents which concern the Defendant Raeder would also be given to me, for it is relatively difficult for me to
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follow the situation otherwise. I have received none of these documents.
COL.PHILLIMORE: I am extremely sorry, My Lord. That is my fault, and I will see that Dr. Siemers has the copies tonight.
THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now at this point until tomorrow morning.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 14 May 1946 at 1000 hours.]
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