Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Vol. 13

Tuesday, 14 May 1946

Morning Session

[The witness Wagner resumed the stand.]

COL. PHILLIMORE: Do you remember the sinking of the Monte Corbea in September 1942?

WAGNER: I have some recollection of it.

COL. PHILLIMORE: That was the ship in respect to which the Defendant Doenitz sent a telegram to the U-boat commander, threatening him. with court-martial on his return because he had sunk the ship after recognizing it as a neutral. Now, in 1942 the friendship of Spain was very important to Germany, was it not?

WAGNER: I assume so.

COL. PHILLIMORE: You told us yesterday that Admiral Raeder vitas considering Mediterranean policy-recommending it. Now that was the reason, was it not, why the U-boat commander was threatened with court-martial, that it mattered in 1942 if you sank a Spanish ship?

WAGNER: No, that was not the reason. The reason was that the commander of the U-boat in question had obviously not acted according to the directives of the Commander of U-boats.

COL. PHILLIMORE: It did not matter in 1940 when you thought you were winning the war, but in September 1942 I suggest to you it became politically inexpedient to sink a Spanish ship; is that not right?

WAGNER: You will have to ask the political departments of the German Reich about that.

COL. PHILLIMORE: If that is the answer, do you think it is unfair to describe your attitude to the sinking of neutral ships as cynical and opportunist?

WAGNER: No, I reject that absolutely.

COL. PHILLIMORE: I want to ask you one or two questions about the witness Heisig. You spoke yesterday of a conversation in the jail here in the first week of December 1945.


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WAGNER: In December 1945?

COL. PHILLIMORE: Yes. You knew at the time you spoke to Heisig that he was going to be called as a witness, did you not?

WAGNER: That could be assumed from his presence here at Nuremberg.

COL. PHILLIMORE: And you knew you revere going to be called as a witness, did you not?


COL. PHILLIMORE: Are you telling the Tribunal that you did not tell the defense lawyers about this conversation until quite recently?

WAGNER: I did not understand the sense of your question.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Are you telling the Tribunal that you did not report this conversation with Heisig to the defense lawyers until quite recently?

WAGNER: I think it was in February or March when I told the Defense Counsel about this conversation.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Now I just want to put the dates to you. The U-boat Commander Eck was sentenced to death on 20 October. Do you know that?

WAGNER: I did not know the date.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Death sentence was passed by the Commission on 21 November and he was executed on 30 November. That is to say he was executed before you had this conversation. Did you know that?

WAGNER: No. I just discovered that now.

COL. PHILLIMORE: At any rate, the witness Heisig knew it before he gave his evidence, did he not?

WAGNER: Obviously not. Otherwise, he would most likely have told me about it. Previously, he had for 10 days...

COL. PHILLIMORE: Will you just listen to a question and answer from his cross-examination. It is Page 2676 of the transcript (Volume V, Page 227). This is a question by Dr. Kranzbuehler:

"In your hearing on 27 November were you not told that the death sentence against Eck and Hoffmann had already been set?"

Answer: "I do not know whether it was on 27 November. I know only that here I was told of the fact that the death sentence had been carried out. The date I cannot remember. I was in several hearings."

Now if that is right...


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THE PRESIDENT: What date was that evidence given?

COL. PHILLIMORE: That was given on 14 January, My Lord; Page 2676 of the transcript (Volume V, Page 227).

WAGNER: I did not understand who gave this testimony.

COL. PHILLIMORE: The witness Heisig, when he gave evidence here in Court. So that whether or not he was deceived, as you suggest, before he gave his affidavit, he at least knew the true facts before he gave evidence here to the Tribunal?

WAGNER: Then he told an untruth to me.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Now, I want to ask you one question on the order of 17 September 1942. That is the order that you say you monitored in the naval war staff and saw nothing wrong with it. Did the Defendant Raeder see that order?

WAGNER: That I cannot say with certainty.

COL. PHILLIMORE: You were Chief of Staff Operations at that time?

WAGNER: Yes, but one cannot expect me to remember every incident in 6 years of war.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Oh, no, but this was an important order, was it not?

WAGNER: Certainly, but there were many important orders in the course of 6 years.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Would you normally show an important operational order to the Commander-in-Chief?

WAGNER: It was my task to submit all important matters to the Chief of Staff of the Naval Operations Staff, and he decided which matters were to be submitted to the Grossadmiral.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Are you saying that you would not have shown this to the Chief of Staff?

WAGNER: No. I am sure he had knowledge of it.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Have you any doubt that this order would have been shown to Admiral Raeder?

WAGNER: That I cannot say; I do not recall whether he received it.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Now I want to ask one or two questions about your tasks as Admiral, Special Duties. You became Admiral, Special Duties, in June 1944, is that right?


COL. PHILLIMORE: And from then on you attended the important conferences with Admiral Doenitz and in his absence represented him, did you not?


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WAGNER: I never participated in any discussions as his representative. Doenitz was represented by the Chief of the SKL.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Now at that stage of the war all questions were important insofar as they affected military operations in one way or another, were they not?

WAGNER: At every stage of the war all military questions are of importance.

COL. PHILLIMORE: What I am putting to you is that at that stage of the war the importance of all questions chiefly depended on how they affected the military situation.

WAGNER: Yes, that, I imagine, one has to admit.

COL. PHILLIMORE: And during that period Germany was virtually governed by the decisions taken at the Fuehrer's headquarters, was it not?


COL. PHILLIMORE: Now I want you to look at a record of one of Admiral Doenitz' visits-My Lord, this is D-863; it is a new document and becomes Exhibit GB-456. )

Now that is a record of a visit to the Fuehrer's headquarters on 28 and 29 of August 1943. You were not there yourself, but your immediate superior Vice Admiral-Meisel accompanied Admiral Doenitz, and the names of the Naval Delegation are set out at the top of the page: Admiral Doenitz, Vice Admiral Meisel, Kapitan zur See Rehm, et cetera. And your program as set out was: After your arrival, at 1130, conversation with Commander-in-Chief Navy, Commander-in-Chief Luftwaffe; 1300, situation conference with the Fuehrer, closing with a further conversation between the Commanderin-Chief Navy and the Commander-in-Chief Luftwaffe; then at 1600 the Commander-in-Chief Navy left. After that Admiral Meisel had a conversation with Ambassador Ritter of the Foreign Office. Then a conversation with General Jodl, an evening conference with the Fuehrer, and then at midnight a conference with Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler. On the next day the usual conference with the Fuehrer; then a conference with the Chief of the General Staff of the Air Force. And then he left.

Now, is that a fair sample of what went on whenever Admiral Doenitz visited; that he had conversations, various conferences with other officials?

WAGNER: That is a typical example of a visit of the Grossadmiral at the headquarters, insofar as he participated only in situation conferences with the Fuehrer, and in addition he had military discussions with the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force.


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COL. PHILLIMORE: And that shows, does it not, the whole business of government being carried on at the Fuehrer's headquarters?

WAGNER: No, not at all. I have already said the Grossadmiral only participated at the situation conference, that is, the military situation conference with the Fuehrer and beyond that one or even two discussions with the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force.

COL. PHILLIMORE: And with General Jodl or Field Marshal Keitel, somebody from the Foreign Office, and so on?

WAGNER: Otherwise the Grossadmiral had no discussions of any sort, as can be seen from the document, for on 28 August at 1600 hours he returned by air. The other discussions were discussions of the Chief of Staff of the SKL, the. . .

COL. PHILLIMORE: But I was putting it to you that this was a typical visit. If Admiral Doenitz had not left, he would have had these other conversations and not Admiral Meisel, is that not right?

WAGNER: No, not at all. The Chief of Staff of the SKL very rarely had the opportunity of coming to headquarters; and according to the record here, he obviously used his opportunity to contact a few of the leading...

COL. PHILLIMORE: I do not want to waste time with it. I suggest to you that when Admiral Doenitz went there he normally saw many other ministers and conversed with them on any business affecting the Navy.

WAGNER: Naturally, the Admiral discussed all questions affecting the Navy with those who were concerned with them.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Now, I want to ask you one or two questions on the minutes with regard to the Geneva Convention-that is C-158, GB-209, Page 69 of the English Prosecution's document book, or Page 102 of the German. Will you look at Page 102.

Now you, as you told us yesterday, initialed those minutes, did you not; and a copy was marked to you, is that not right?

WAGNER: Yes, I signed these minutes.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Yes; were they accurate?

WAGNER: They contained salient points about the things which had happened at headquarters.

COL. PHILLIMORE: They were an accurate record, were they?

WAGNER: Undoubtedly I believed that things had taken place as they are recorded here.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Now, did you agree with Admiral Doenitz' advice that it would be better to carry out the measures considered


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necessary without warning and at all costs to save face with the outer world? Did you agree with that?

WAGNER: I already explained yesterday, clearly and unequivocally, how I interpreted this sentence which was formulated by me; and I have nothing to add to that statement. In the sense which I stated yesterday, I agree completely.

COL. PHILLIMORE: And the step which Hitler wanted to take was to put prisoners of war in the bombed towns, was it not? Was that not the breach of the Convention that he wanted to make?

WAGNER: No, it was the renunciation of all the Geneva agreements; not only the agreement about prisoners of war, but also the agreement on hospitals ships, the Red Cross agreement, and other agreements which had been made at Geneva.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Then what were the measures considered necessary which could be taken without warning? Just look at that sentence.

WAGNER: I do not understand that.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Look at the last sentence, "It would be better to carry out the measures considered necessary." What were those measures?

WAGNER: They were not discussed at all.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Do you see any difference between the advice which Admiral Doenitz was giving them and the advice which you described as the rather romantic ideas of a young expert on the document about sinking without warning at night? Let me put it to you; what the naval officer said on the Document C-191 was: "Sink without warning. Do not give written permission. Say it was a mistake for an armed merchant cruiser..."

We have Admiral Doenitz saying, "Do not break the rules, tell no one about it and at all costs save face with the world."

Do you see any difference?

WAGNER: I already testified yesterday that the difference is very great. Admiral Doenitz opposed the renunciation of the Geneva Convention and said that even if measures to intimidate deserters or counter measures against bombing attacks on cities were to be taken, the Geneva Convention should not be renounced in any case.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Now, I want to put to you a few questions about prisoners of war. So far as naval prisoners of war were concerned, they remained in the custody of the Navy, did they not?

WAGNER: I am not informed about the organization of prisoner-of-war camps. According to my recollection they were first put into a naval transit camp. Then they were sent to other camps; but I


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do not know whether these camps were under the jurisdiction of the Navy or the OKW.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Have you not seen the defense documents about the Camp Marlag telling us how well they were treated? Have you not seen them?


COL. PHILLIMORE: Now, naval prisoners, when they were captured by your forces, their capture was reported to the naval war staff, was it not?

WAGNER: Such captures were, in general, reported as part of the situation reports.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Now, do you remember the Commando Order of 18 October 1942?


COL. PHILLIMORE: You actually signed the order passing that Fuehrer Order on to commands, did you not?


COL. PHILLIMORE: My Lord, the document is C-179, and that was put in as United States Exhibit 543 (USA-543). It is in that bundle that Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe handed to the Tribunal when cross-examining the defendant. I think it is either the last or very near to the last document in the bundle.

[Turning to the witness.] Did you approve of that order?

WAGNER: I regretted that one had to resort to this order, but in the first paragraph the reasons for it are set forth so clearly that I had to recognize its justification.

COL. PHILLIMORE: You knew what handing over to the SD meant, did you not? You knew that meant shooting?

WAGNER: No, that could have meant a lot of things.

COL. PHILLIMORE: What did you think it meant?

WAGNER: It could have meant that the people were interrogated for the counterintelligence; it could have meant that they were to be kept imprisoned under more severe conditions, and finally it could have meant that they might be shot.

COL. PHILLIMORE: But you had no doubt that it meant that they might be shot, had you?

WAGNER: The possibility that they might be shot undoubtedly existed.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Yes, and did that occur to you when you signed the order sending it on to commanders?


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WAGNER: I would like to refer to Paragraph 1 of this order, where it...

COL. PHILLIMORE: Do you mind answering the question? Did it occur to you that they might be shot when you signed the order sending it on to commanders?

WAGNER: Yes, the possibility was clear to me.

DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, the witness was asked whether he approved of this order. I do not think that Colonel Phillimore can cut off the witness' answer by saying that he may not refer to Paragraph 1 of the order. I believe that Paragraph 1 -of the order is of decisive importance for this witness. Mr. President, the witness Admiral Wagner...

THE PRESIDENT: You have an opportunity of re-examining the witness.


THE PRESIDENT: Then why do you interrupt?

DR. SIEMERS: Because Colonel Phillimore has interrupted the answer of the witness and I believe that even in cross-examination the answer of the witness must be at least heard.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Tribunal does not agree with you.

COL. PHILLIMORE: My Lord, I understood him to have already made some point that the defendant made once. I only interrupted him when he sought to make it again.

[Turning to the witness.] I put my question once again. When you signed the order sending this document on to lower commanders, did it occur to you then that these men would probably

be shot?

WAGNER: The possibility that these people who were turned over to the SD might be shot was clear to me.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Was it also . . .

WAGNER: I have not finished yet. But only those people who had not been captured by the Wehrmacht were to be handed over to the SD.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Did it also occur to you that they would be shot without trial?

WAGNER: Yes, that can be concluded from the order.

COL. PHILLIMORE: And what do you mean by saying that it only referred to those not captured by the Wehrmacht? Would you look at Paragraph 3.

"From now on all enemies on so-called Commando missions in Europe or Africa, challenged by German troops, even if they are to all appearances soldiers in uniform or demolition


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troops, whether armed or unarmed, in battle or in flight, are to be slaughtered to the last man. It does not make any difference whether they landed from ships or airplanes for their actions or whether they were dropped by parachutes. Even if these individuals when found should apparently seem to give themselves up, no pardon is to be granted them on principle. In each individual case full information is to be sent to the OKW for publication in the OKW communique."

Are you saying it did not refer to men captured by the military forces?

WAGNER: Yes, I maintain that statement. There is nothing in the entire paragraph which says these men who were captured by the Wehrmacht were to be turned over to the SD. That was the question.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Now, read on in the last paragraph.

"If individual members of such Commandos, such as agents, saboteurs, et cetera, fall into the hands of the military forces by some other means, for example through the Police in occupied territories, they are to be handed over immediately to the SD."

WAGNER: Yes. It is expressly stated here that only those people are to be turned over to the SD who are not captured by the Wehrmacht but by the Police; in that case the Wehrmacht could not take them over.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Indeed it is not. That capture by the Police is given as one possible instance. But you know, you know in practice, do you not, that there were several instances where Commandos were captured by the Navy and handed over to the SD under this order? Do you not know that?


COL. PHILLIMORE: Well, let me just remind you. Would you look at Document 512-PS.

That is also in that bundle, My Lord, as United States Exhibit 546 (USA-546). It is the second document. According to the last sentence of the Fuehrer Order of 18 October:

"Individual saboteurs can be spared for the time being in order to keep them for interrogation. Importance of this measure was proven in the cases of Glomfjord, the two-man torpedo at Trondheim, and the glider plane at Stavanger, where interrogations resulted in valuable knowledge of enemy intentions." And then it goes on to another case, the case of the Geronde.

Do you say that you do not remember the two-man torpedo attack on the Tirpitz in Trondheim Fjord?


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WAGNER: No, no. I am not asserting that I do not remember it. I do remember it.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Yes. Did you not see in the Wehrmacht communique after that attack what had happened to the man who was captured?

WAGNER: I cannot recall it at the moment.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Let me just remind you. One man was captured, Robert Paul Evans, just as he was getting across the Swedish border, and he was-that attack took place in October 1942 -he was executed in January 1943, on 19 January 1943.

My Lord, the reference to that might be convenient; it is Document UK-57, which was put in as Exhibit GB-64.

[Turning to the witness.]

Do you say that you do not remember seeing any report of his capture or of his shooting or of his interrogation?

WAGNER: No, I believe I remember that, but this man . . .

COL. PHILLIMORE: Now what do you remember? Just tell us what you remember. Do you remember seeing his capture reported?

WAGNER: I no longer know that. I remember there was a report that a considerable time after the attack on the Tirpitz a man was captured, but to my knowledge not by the Navy.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Would you look at the Document D-864, a sworn statement.

My Lord, through some error I am afraid I have not got it here. May I just put the facts, and if necessary put in the document if I can produce it in time.

[Turning to the witness.] I suggest to you that Robert Paul Evans, after his capture, was personally interrogated by the Commander-in-Chief, Navy, of the Norwegian North Coast. Do you say you know nothing of that?

WAGNER: Yes, I maintain that I do not remember it.

COL. PHILLIMORE: You see, this was the first two-man torpedo attack by the British Navy against the German naval forces, was it not? That is so, is it not?

WAGNER: Yes, that is possible.

COL. PHILLIMORE: No, but you must know that, do you not? You were Chief of Staff Operations, at the time.

WAGNER: I believe it was the first time.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Do you say that the results of that important interrogation were not reported to you in the naval war staff?


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WAGNER: They were certainly reported, but nevertheless I cannot remember that the Commanding Admiral in Norway actually conducted this interrogation.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Did you see a report by that admiral?

WAGNER: I do not know where it originated, but I am certain I saw a report of that kind. \

COL. PHILLIMORE: Was it clear to you that that report was based on interrogation?

WAGNER: Yes, I think so.

COL. PHILLIMORE: And you say you did not know that this man Evans, some two months after his capture, was taken out and shot under the Fuehrer order?

WAGNER: Yes, I maintain that I do not remember that.

COL. PHILLIMORE: I will put you another instance. Do you remember the Bordeaux incident in December 1942?

That is 526-PS, My Lord. That is also in the bundle. It was originally put in as United States Exhibit 502 (USA-502).

[Turning to the witness.] I am sorry; it is the Toftefjord incident I am putting to you, 526-PS. Do you remember this incident in Toftefjord in March 1943?

WAGNER: I do remember that about this time an enemy cutter was seized in a Norwegian fjord. .

COL. PHILLIMORE: Yes. And did you not see in the Wehrmacht communique "Fuehrer Order executed"?

WAGNER: If it said so in the Wehrmacht communique then I must have read it.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Have you any doubt that you knew that the men captured in that attack were shot, and that you knew it at the time?

WAGNER: Apparently he was shot while being captured.

COL. PHILLIMORE: If you look at the document:

"Enemy cutter engaged. Cutter blown up by the enemy. Crew,

2 dead men, 10 prisoners."

Then look down:

"Fuehrer Order executed by SD."

That means those 10 men were shot, does it not?

WAGNER: It must mean that.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Yes. Now I just put to you the document that I referred to on the Trondheim episode, D-864. This is an


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affidavit by a man who was in charge of the SD at Bergen and later at Trondheim, and it is the second paragraph:

"I received the order by teletype letter or radiogram from the Commander of the Security Police and the SD, Oslo, to transfer Evans from Trondheim Missions Hotel to the BdS, Oslo.

"I cannot say who signed the radiogram or the teletype letter from Oslo. I am not sure to whom I transmitted the order, but I think it was to Hauptsturmfuehrer Hollack. I know that the Commanding Admiral of the Norwegian Northern Coast had interrogated Evans himself."

And then he goes on to deal with Evans' clothing.

I put it to you once again: Do you say that you did not know from the Admiral, Northern Coast himself that he had interrogated this man?

WAGNER: Yes, I am asserting that.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Well, I will take you to one more incident which you knew about, as is shown by your own war diary. Would you look at the Document D-658.

My Lord, this document was put in as GB-229.

[Turning to the witness.] Now, that is an extract from the SKL War Diary, is it not?

WAGNER: Let me examine it first. I do not have the impression that . . .

COL. PHILLIMORE: You said yesterday that it was from the war diary of the Naval Commander, West France, but I think that was a mistake, was it not?

WAGNER: I did not make any statement yesterday on the origin of the war diary.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Just read the first sentence. I think it shows clearly it was the SKL War Diary.

"9 December 1942. The Naval Commander, West France, reports"-and then it sets out the incident. And then, the third sentence:

"The Naval Commander, West France, has ordered that both soldiers be shot immediately for attempted sabotage if their interrogation, which has been begun, confirms what has so far been discovered; their execution has, however, been postponed in order to obtain more information.

"According to a Wehrmacht report"-I think that is a mistranslation; it should be "According to the Wehrmacht communique"-"both soldiers had meanwhile been shot. Lee


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measure would be in accordance with the Fuehrer's special order, but is nevertheless something new in international law, since the soldiers were in uniform."

That is from the SKL War Diary, is it not?

WAGNER: I do not think that this is the War Diary of the SKL; but rather it would seem to be the war diary of the Naval Group Command, West, or the Commanding Admiral in France.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Well, I will get the original here and clear the matter up later, but I suggest to you that this is the SKL War Diary, which at the time...

WAGNER: I cannot recognize that assertion until it is proved by the original.

COL. PHILLIMORE: And I suggest to you that you, who were Chief of Staff Operations at the time, must have been fully aware

of that incident. Do you deny that?

WAGNER: I deny-I maintain that I do not remember that affair.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Do you say that a matter of that sort would not be reported to you?

WAGNER: I have been told here that the order to shoot these people was obtained from headquarters directly by the SD.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Now, finally, I put to you the incident of the capture of the seven seamen, six of the Norwegian Navy and one of the Royal Navy, at Ulven near Bergen in July 1943. That is the document D-649 in the Prosecution document book, GB-208.

Do you remember this incident? Do you remember the capture of these seven men by Admiral Von Schrader with his two task forces?

WAGNER: I saw this paper while I was being interrogated, and that is why I remember it.

COL. PHILLIMORE: But do you remember the incident?

WAGNER: No, not from my personal recollection.

COL. PHILLIMORE: You were still Chief of Staff Operations.

THE PRESIDENT: Which page?

COL. PHILLIMORE: My Lord, it is Page 67 of the English document book, Page 100 in the German.

[Turning to the witness.] Do you say that as Chief of Staff Operations you do not remember any of these incidents?

WAGNER: Yes, I assert and maintain what I have already said about this.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Did not your, operational-did your commanders not report when they captured an enemy Commando?


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WAGNER: I must assume that those things were also reported in the situation reports.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Now, you are really suggesting that you have forgotten all about these incidents now?

WAGNER: In all my testimony I have strictly adhered to what I personally remember.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Do you know what happened to these men? You know they were captured in uniform, do you not? There was a naval officer with gold braid around his arm. That is a badge you use in the German Navy, is it not?

WAGNER: I have already said that I do not recall this affair.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Well, let me just tell you and remind you. After interrogation by naval officers and officers of the SD, both of whom recommended prisoner-of-war treatment, these men were handed over by the Navy to the SD for shooting. They were taken to a concentration camp, and at 4 o'clock in the morning they were led out one by one, blindfolded, fettered, not told they were going to be shot, and shot one by one on the rifle range. Do you know that?


COL. PHILLIMORE: Did you know that is what handing over to the SD meant?

WAGNER: I have already said that handing over to the SD implied several possibilities.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Do you know that then their bodies were sunk in the fjord with charges attached, and destroyed, as it says in the document, "in the usual way"-Paragraph 10 of the affidavit- and their belongings in the concentration camp were burned?

WAGNER: No, I do not know that.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Very well. A further point: Do you remember that in March or April 1945, at the very end of the war, do you remember that this order, the Fuehrer Order, was cancelled by Keitel?

That is Paragraph 11 of the affidavit, My Lord.

Do you remember that? Just read it.

WAGNER: Yes, I have heard of that.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Yes. You thought you were losing the war by then, and you had better cancel the Commando Order, is that not the fact?

WAGNER: I do not know for what reasons the OKW rescinded orders.


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COL. PHILLIMORE: Is not this right: You did not worry about this order in 1942 when you thought you were winning the war, but when you found you were losing it, you began to worry about international law. Is not that what happened?

WAGNER: It is absolutely impossible for me to investigate order. This paragraph of the Commando Order states clearly and distinctly that these Commandos had orders-that these Commandos were composed partly of criminal elements of the occupied territories-that they had orders to kill prisoners whom they found a burden, that other Commandos had orders to kill all captives; and that orders to this effect had fallen into our hands.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Did you ever make any inquiries to see whether that was true?

WAGNER: It is absolutely impossible for me to investigate official information which I receive from my superiors.

COL. PHILLIMORE: You were Chief of Staff Operations; you received every report on the Commando raids, did you not?

WAGNER: I gave detailed evidence in each individual case, but I cannot make a general statement.

COL. PHILLIMORE: When you were Chief of Staff Operations, did you not receive a full report every time there was a British Commando raid?

WAGNER: I have already said that I believe such incidents formed part of the situation reports to the SKL. '

COL. PHILLIMORE: I suggest you can answer that question perfectly straight if you wanted to. Here you were, a Senior Staff Officer, Commando Raids. Are you saying you did not personally see and read a full report on every one? .

WAGNER: I am not asserting that. I have answered each individual question by stating exactly what I remember.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Do you say that taking these men out and shooting them without a trial, without telling them they were going to be shot, without seeing a priest, do you say that. ..

WAGNER: With regard to the Navy. . .

COL. PHILLIMORE: Do you say that was not murder?

WAGNER: I do not wish to maintain that at all. I do maintain that I was presumably told about the cases in which men were shot by the Navy, and I am of the opinion that these people who were captured as saboteurs were not soldiers, but were criminals who, in accordance with their criminal...

COL. PHILLIMORE: Let us get it perfectly clear. Are you saying that the action taken in shooting these Commandos on all


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these occasions-are you saying that was perfectly proper and justified? I thought you agreed with me it was murder, just now. Which is it?

WAGNER: I would like to answer that in each individual case.

COL. PHILLIMORE: It is a very simple question to answer generally and it takes less time. Do you say that men captured in uniform should be taken out and shot without trial?

WAGNER: I cannot consider men of whom I know that they have orders to commit crimes, as soldiers, within international law.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Are you saying that this action was perfectly proper-are you?

WAGNER: Yes, entirely and perfectly.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Shoot helpless prisoners without trial, bully little neutrals who cannot complain? That is your policy, is it?

WAGNER: Not at all.

COL. PHILLIMORE: What crime did Robert Paul Evans commit, who attacked the Tirpitz in a two-man torpedo?

WAGNER: I am convinced it was proved that he belonged to a sabotage unit, and that besides the purely naval character of the attack on the ship, there were other aspects which marked him as a saboteur.

COL. PHILLIMORE: And you said just now that you did not remember the incident?


COL. PHILLIMORE: Will you agree on this, will you agree with me, that if this shooting by the SD was murder, you and Admiral Doenitz and Admiral Raeder, who signed the orders under which this was done, are just as guilty as the men who shot them?

WAGNER: The person who issued the order is responsible for it.

COL. PHILLIMORE: And that person who passed it and approved it; is not that right?

WAGNER: I assume full responsibility for the transmission of this order.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Your Lordship, I have no further question.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Phillimore, D-658 was an old exhibit, was it not?


THE PRESIDENT: Have you given new exhibit numbers to all the new documents?


14 May 46

COL. P0TTLIMORE: I am very much obliged, Your Lordship. I did omit to give a new exhibit number to the affidavit by Flesch.


COL. PHILLIMORE: D-864. My Lord, it should be GB-457. My Lord, I am very sorry. I was not advised, but I got it.

THE PRESIDENT: And all the others you have given numbers to?


THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Is there any other cross-examination? Then, does Dr. Kranzbuehler wish to re-examine? Dr. Kranzbuehler, I see it is nearly half-past eleven, so perhaps we had better adjourn for ten minutes.

[A recess was taken.]

THE PRESIDENT: Before Dr. Kranzbuehler goes on with his re-examination, I shall announce the Tribunal's decisions with reference to the applications which were made recently in court.

The first application on behalf of the Defendant Von Schirach was for a witness Hans Marsalek to be produced for cross-examination, and that application is granted.

The second application was for interrogatories to a witness Kaufmann, and that is granted.

The next matter was an application on behalf of the Defendant Hess for five documents; and as to that, the Tribunal orders that two of the documents applied for under Heads B and D in Dr. Seidl's application have already been published in the Reichsgesetzblatt, and one of them is already in evidence, and they Will, therefore, be admitted.

The Tribunal considers that the documents applied for under Heads C and E of Dr. Seidl's application are unsatisfactory and have no evidential value; and since it does not appear from Dr. Seidl's application and the matters referred to therein that the alleged copies are copies of any original documents, the application is denied in respect thereof. But leave is granted to Dr. Seidl to file a further affidavit by Gaus covering his recollection of what was in the alleged agreements.

The application on behalf of the Defendant Funk for an affidavit by a witness called Kallus is granted.

The application on behalf of the Defendant Streicher is denied. The application on behalf of the Defendant Sauckel firstly for a witness named Biedermann is granted, and secondly for four documents; that application is also granted.


14 May 46

The application on behalf of the Defendant Seyss-Inquart for an interrogatory to Dr. Stuckart is granted.

The application on behalf of the' Defendant Frick is granted for an interrogatory to a witness, Dr. Konrad.

The application on behalf of the Defendant Goering with reference to two witnesses is granted in the sense that the witnesses are to be alerted.

The application on behalf of the Defendants Hess and Frank for official information from the ministry of war of the United States of America is denied.

That is all.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I would Like to put another question to you on the subject of the Commando Order.

Did the Naval Operations Staff have any part in introducing this order?

WAGNER: No, no part at ale

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did you, did the Naval Operations Staff have the possibility, either before or during the drafting of the order, of investigating the correctness of the particulars mentioned in Paragraph 1 of the order?

WAGNER: No, such a possibility did not exist.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: The treatment of a man who had attacked the Tirpitz with a two-man torpedo in October 1942 has just been discussed here. Did you know that a year later, in the autumn of 1943, there was a renewed attack on the Tirpitz with two-man torpedoes, and that the British sailors who were captured at that time were treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention by the Navy, who had captured them?

WAGNER: The second attack on the Tirpitz is known to me. I do not remember the treatment of the prisoners.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: You mentioned that the Naval Operations Staff possibly received reports on the statements made by men of Commando units. From what aspect did those reports interest the Naval Operations Staff? Did operational questions interest you, or the personal fate of these people?

WAGNER: Naturally we were interested in the tactical and operational problems so that we could gather experiences and draw our conclusions from them.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Can you actually remember seeing such a report?



14 May 46

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Just now a document was shown to you dealing with the treatment of a Commando unit captured in a Norwegian fiord. It is Number 526-PS. Do you still have that document?

WAGNER: Possibly, some documents are still lying here.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Will you have a look at that document. I am having the document handed to you. In the third paragraph you will find a reference to the fact that this Commando unit was carrying 1,000 kilograms of explosives. Is that correct?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZB0HLER: Did you understand my question?

WAGNER: I answered "yes."

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I am sorry, I did not hear you.

In the fifth paragraph you will find that the Commando unit had orders to carry out sabotage against strong joints, battery positions, troop barracks, and bridges, and to organize a system for the purpose of further sabotage. Is that correct?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did these assignments have anything to do with the Navy?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Can you see any indication in the whole document which would suggest that the Navy had anything at all to do with the capture or the treatment of this Commando unit?

WAGNER: No, the document does not contain an indication of that sort.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: You were asked this morning about the case of the Monte Corbea. In connection with a court-martial ruling against the commander, the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, Admiral Raeder, sent a wireless message at that time to all commanders. This radiogram is recorded in Document Doenitz-78 in the. document book, Volume 4, Page 230. I shall read that wireless message to you:

"The Commander-in-Chief of the Navy has personally and expressly renewed his instructions that all U-boat commanders must adhere strictly to the orders regarding the treatment of neutral ships. Any infringement of these orders has


14 May, 46

incalculable political consequences. This order is to be communicated to all commanders immediately."

Do you see any suggestion here that the order is restricted to Spanish ships?

WAGNER: No, there is no such suggestion in this order.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I submit to you a document which was used yesterday, D-807. It deals with notes to the Norwegian Government on the sinking of several steamers and contains the drafts of these notes of the High Command of the Navy. Does this document yield any indication at all that the notes were actually sent, or is it impossible to tell from the drafts that the notes themselves were ever dispatched?

WAGNER: Since there are no initials or signatures on either of these letters, they may be drafts. At any rate, proof that they were actually sent is not apparent from this document.

THE PRESIDENT: Did you give us the page number of it?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: It was submitted yesterday, Mr. President. It is not in any document book.


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I now read to you the first sentence from another document which was put to you yesterday. Its number is D-846 and it concerns a discussion with the German Minister to Denmark, Renthe-Fink, on 26 September 1939. I shall read the first sentence to you:

"Sinking of Swedish and Finnish ships by our submarines

have caused considerable concern here on account of the

Danish food transports to Great Britain."

Does this report give any indication that these sinkings took place without warning, or were these ships sunk because contraband was captured on them in the course of a legitimate search?

WAGNER: The sentence which you have just read does not show how these ships were sunk. As far as I remember the document from yesterday, it does not contain any reference to the way in which these ships were sunk, so that it must be assumed as a matter of course that they were sunk in accordance with the Prize Ordinance.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: You were asked yesterday whether you considered the German note to the neutral countries of 24 November 1939 a fair warning against entering certain waters and you answered the question in the affirmative. Is that right?



14 May 46

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: And then you were asked whether had deceived the neutrals, and you answered that question with "no." Did this negative answer apply to the previous question on the warning against sailing in certain waters, or did it refer to all the political measures with regard to neutral states which the German Government took in order to conceal their own political intentions?

WAGNER: The answer in that context referred to the previous questions which had been asked about warning the neutrals promptly of the measures which we adopted for the war at sea.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I want to make this point quite clear. Do you have any doubt whatever that the pretense of minefields in the operational zones around the British Coast served not only the purpose of deceiving the enemy defense, but also the political purpose of concealing from the neutrals the weapons which we employed in the war at sea?

WAGNER: Yes, I expressly confirm this two-fold purpose.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: The two-fold purpose of secrecy?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZB0HLER: Do you have any doubt whatever that the German Government denied to neutral governments that certain ships were sunk by U-boats, although they had in fact been sunk by U-boats?

WAGNER: Yes. Or rather, no. I have no doubt that the denials were formulated in that way, as a generally accepted political measure adopted wherever indicated.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Yesterday you admitted the possibility that Admiral Doenitz, as Commander-in-Chief of U-boats, may have received knowledge from the Naval Operations Staff of the handling of political incidents caused by U-boats. Can you, after careful recollection, name a single instance when he did in fact receive from the SKL information on the political measures adopted?

WAGNER: No, I do not remember such an instance.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I have no further questions.

DR. SIEMERS: Admiral, you have explained the basis of the Commando Order, as far as the Naval Operations Staff is concerned, by referring to Hitler's definite assertions that he had in his possession enemy orders saying that prisoners were to be killed. In connection with this Commando Order Colonel Phillimore dealt


14 May 48

with the case of the British sailor Evans in great detail. In my opinion that case has not so far been clarified. Colonel Phillimore spoke of the murder of a soldier. I think that in spite of the soundness of the documents the Prosecution is mistaken about the facts, also in a legal respect. Will you once more look at both documents, Document D-864...

Mr. President, that is Exhibit GB-457, discussed by Colonel Phillimore this morning.

This is an affidavit by Gerhard Flesch. The Prosecution quoted the sentence which states that the Commanding Admiral of the Northern Coast of Norway had interrogated Evans personally. Admiral Wagner, does that sentence show that Evans was a prisoner of the Navy?.


DR. SIEMERS: What was the situation according to the Flesch affidavit? Will you please clarify it?

WAGNER: According to the second paragraph of that affidavit, Evans must have been in the hands of the SD.

DR. SIEMERS: That is right.

And, Mr. President, may I add that at the beginning of the affidavit Flesch states that he was the commander of the Security Police. The Security Police had captured Evans; he was therefore a prisoner of the SD.

[Turning to the witness.] Is it correct, therefore, that the British sailor Evans was available to the German admiral in Norway for the sole purpose of being interrogated?

WAGNER: Undoubtedly.

DR. SIEMERS: And the admiral was interested in interrogating him merely to obtain purely factual information on the attack on the Tirpitz. Is that correct?

WAGNER: Quite correct.

DR. SIEMERS: May I ask you to look at the next paragraph of the Affidavit D-864? There it mentions Evans' clothes, and says:

"It is not known to me that Evans wore a uniform. As far as I can remember, he was wearing blue overalls."

Does this mean that Evans was not recognizable as a soldier?

WAGNER: No, probably not.

DR. SIEMERS: Will you now pass on to the Document UK-57 submitted by Colonel Phillimore?

Mr. President, this is Exhibit GB-164 and should be in the original Document Book Keitel, but I think it was newly submitted today.


14 May 46

[Turning to the witness.] You have a photostat copy, have you



DR. SIEMERS: Will you, please, turn to the fourth page. First, a question: Is it possible that this document was known to the Naval Operations Staff? Does the document indicate that it was sent to the Naval Operations Staff?

WAGNER: These are informal conference notes of the OKW which were apparently not sent to the Naval Operations Staff.

DR. SIEMERS: If I understand it correctly then, this is a document of the Intelligence Service of the OKW, is it not?

WAGNER: Yes. That is correct.

DR. SIEMERS: Under Figure 2 it says "attempted attack on the battleship Tirpitz." The first part was read by Colonel Phillimore:

"Three Englishmen and two Norwegians were held up at the Swedish frontier."

Can one, on the strength of this, say that they were presumably apprehended by the Police and not by the Wehrmacht?

WAGNER: Presumably, yes. Certainly not by the Navy; but probably by the Police, who controlled the frontiers, so far as I know.

DR. SIEMERS: Do you not think, Admiral, that this is not only probable but certain if you think back to the affidavit of 14 November 1945 by Flesch, the commander of the Security Police, who brought Evans from the frontier to Oslo?

WAGNER: If you take the two together, then in my opinion it is certain; I do not think there is any doubt about it.

DR. SIEMERS: Will you then look at the following sentence?

Mr. President, that is under Figure 2, the last sentence of the first paragraph. I quote:

"It was possible to take only the civilian-clothed British sailor Robert Paul Evans"-born on such and such a date-"into arrest. The others escaped into Sweden."

Therefore, I think we may assume with certainty that Evans was not recognizable as a soldier.

WAGNER: Yes, no doubt.

DR. SIEMERS: Then, will you look at the following sentence. There it says-I quote:

"Evans had a pistol holster used for carrying weapons under the arm-pit, and he had a knuckle duster."


14 May 46

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, it says nothing about civilian clothes in the English copy. I do not want to make a bad point, but it is not in my copy.

THE PRESIDENT: I am afraid I do not have the document before me.

SIR DAVID MAXW1;LL-FYFE: My Lord, the English copy that I have simply has, "However, only the British seaman, Robert Paul Evans, born 14 January 1922, at London, could be arrested. The others escaped into Sweden."

My Lord, I think it can be checked afterwards.

THE PRESIDENT: Exact reference to the document?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, that was Document UK-57, and it is a report of the OKW, Office for Ausland Abwehr, of 4 January 1944.

THE PRESIDENT: Did Colonel Phillimore put it in this morning?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I put it in, My Lord, I think it was-certainly in cross-examining the Defendant Keitel. It has been in before, My Lord.

THE PRESIDENT: I see, it has already been put in with this lot.

DR. SIEMERS: I should be grateful to the Tribunal if the mistake were rectified in the English translation. In the German original text the photostat copy is included, therefore the wording "civilian-clothed" must be correct.

Witness, we were discussing the sentence-I quote:

"Evans had a pistol holster used for carrying weapons under the arm-pit, and he had a knuckle duster."

How does this bear on the fact that he was wearing civilian clothes?

WAGNER: It shows that he...

DR. SIEMERS: Sir David would like me to read the next sentence too:

"Acts of force contrary to international law could not be proved against him. Evans made detailed statements regarding the action and, on 19 January 1943, in accordance with the Fuehrer Order, he was shot."

How does this bear on the fact that he was wearing civilian clothes? Does this show that he did not act as a soldier in enemy territory should act?

THE PRESIDENT: Just a moment. The Tribunal considers that that is a question of law which the Tribunal has got to decide, and not a question for the witness.


14 May 46

DR. SIEMERS: Then I shall forego the answer.

May I ask you to turn to the next page of the document and to come back to the Bordeaux case, a similar case which has already been discussed. You have already explained the Bordeaux case insofar as you said that the Naval Operations Staff was not informed about it. I now draw your attention to the sentence at the bottom of Page 3:

"After carrying out the explosions, they sank the boats and tried, with the help of the French civilian population, to escape into Spain."

Thus did the men concerned in this operation also not act like soldiers?

WAGNER: That, according to this document, is perfectly clear.

DR. SIEMERS: Thank you. And now one last question. At the end of his examination Colonel Phillimore asked you whether you considered Grossadmiral Raeder and Grossadmiral Doenitz guilty in the cases which have just been discussed, guilty of these murders as he termed them? Now that I have further clarified these cases I should like you to answer the question again.

WAGNER: I consider that both admirals are not guilty in these two cases.

DR. SIEMERS: I have no further questions.

DR. LATERNSER: Admiral, during cross-examination you explained your views on the Commando Order. I wanted to ask you: Were your views possibly based on the assumption that the order was examined by a superior authority as to its justification before international law?

WAGNER: Yes. I assumed that the justification for the order was examined by my superiors.

DR. LATERNSER: Furthermore, during cross-examination you stated your conception of what happened when a man was handed over to the SD. I wanted to ask you: Did you have this conception already at that time, or has it taken form now that a great deal of material has become known to you?

WAGNER: There is no question that this conception was considerably influenced by knowledge of a great deal of material.

DR. LATERNSER: You did not, therefore, at that time have the definite conception that the handing over of a man to the SD meant certain death?

WAGNER: No, I did not have that conception.

DR. LATERNSER: Now, a few questions regarding the equipment of the Commando units. Do you not know that automatic arms were


14 May 46

found on some members of these units and that, in particular, pistols were carried in such a manner that if, in the event of capture, the man raised his arms, that movement would automatically cause a shot to be fired which would hit the person standing opposite the man with raised arms? Do you know anything about that?

WAGNER: I have heard of it.

DR. LATERNSER: Did you not see pictures of it?

WAGNER: At the moment I cannot remember seeing such pictures.

DR. LATERNSER: Did the Germans also undertake sabotage operations in enemy countries?

THE PRESIDENT: What has it got to do with that, Dr. Laternser?

DR. LATERNSER: I wanted to ascertain by means of this question whether the witness had knowledge of German sabotage operations, and furthermore, whether he had received reports about the treatment of such sabotage units.

THE PRESIDENT: That is the very thing which we have already ruled cannot be put.

You are not suggesting that these actions were taken by way of reprisal for the way in which German sabotage units were treated? We are not trying whether any other powers have committed breaches of international law, or crimes against humanity, or war crimes; we are trying whether these defendants have.

The Tribunal has ruled that such questions cannot be put.

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, I do not know what answer the witness is going to give. I merely wanted, in case, which I do not know...

THE PRESIDENT: We wanted to know why you were putting the question. You said you were putting the question in order to ascertain whether German sabotage units had been treated in a way which was contrary to international law, or words to that effect, and that is a matter which is irrelevant.

DR. LATERNSER: But, Mr. President, it would show at least that doubt existed about the interpretation of international law with regard to such operations and that would be of importance for the application of the law.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal rules that the question is inadmissible.

DR. LATERNSER: Witness, you also stated during your crossexamination that until 1944 you were chief of the Operational


14 May 46

Department of the Naval Operations Staff. Can you give information on whether there were strong German naval forces or naval transport ships in the Black Sea?

WAGNER: The strength of naval forces and transport ships in the Black Sea was very slight.

DR. LATERNSER: For what were they mostly needed?

WAGNER: For our own replacements and their protection.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, how does this arise out of the cross-examination? You are re-examining now, and you are only entitled to ask questions which arise out of the cross-examination. There have been no questions put with reference to the Black Sea.

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, I learned during the examination that for a long time the witness was chief of the Operational Department; and I concluded that he was one of the few witnesses who could give me information regarding the facts of a very serious accusation raised by the Russian Prosecution, namely, the accusation that 144,000 people had been loaded on to German ships, that at Sebastopol those ships had gone to sea and had then been blown up, and that the prisoners of war on the ships were drowned. The witness could clarify this matter to some extent.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, you knew, directly this witness began his evidence, what his position was; and you, therefore, could have cross-examined him yourself at the proper time. You are now re-examining; you are only entitled-because we cannot have the time of the Court wasted-you are only entitled to ask him questions which arise out of the cross-examination. In the opinion of the Tribunal this question does not arise out of the cross-examination.

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, please, would you, as an exception, admit this question?

low PRESIDENT: No, Dr. Laternser, the Tribunal has given you a great latitude and we cannot continue to do so.

The Tribunal will now adjourn.

[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]


14 May 46

Afternoon Session

THE PRESIDENT: You have finished, have you not, Dr. Kranzbuehler, with this witness?


THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.

[The witness left the stand.]

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: And now I should like to call my next witness, Admiral Godt.

The witness Godt took the stand.]

THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name?

EBERHARD GODT (Witness): My name is Eberhard Godt.

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.]

You may sit down.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Admiral Goat, when did you enter the Navy as an officer cadet?

GODT: On 1 July 1918.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: How long have you been working with Admiral Doenitz, and in what position?

GODT: Since January 1938; first of all as First Naval Staff Officer attached to the Commander, U-boats, and immediately after the beginning of the war as Chief of the Operations Department.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Chief of the Operations Department with the Chief of Submarines?

GODT: Yes, attached to the Chief of Submarines, later Flag Officer, U-boats.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZB0HLER: Did you collaborate since 1938 in the drafting of all operational orders worked out by the staff of the Flag Officer, U-boats?

GODT: Yes.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: How many officers were on this staff at the beginning of the war?

GODT: At the beginning of the war there were four officers, one chief engineer, and two administrative officers on that staff.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I shall now show you Document GB-83 of the Prosecution's document book Page 16, which


14 May 46

is a letter from Commander, U-boats, dated 9 October 1939. It refers to bases in Norway. How did this letter originate?

GODT: At that time I was visiting the Naval Operations Staff in Berlin on other business. On the occasion of that visit I was asked whether Commander, U-boats, was interested in bases in Norway and what demands should be made in that connection.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Were you informed how those bases in Norway were to be secured for the use of the German Navy?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZB0HLER: The Prosecution has quoted an extract from the War Diary of the Naval Operations Staff dating from the same period.

Mr. President, I am thinking of the extract reproduced on Page 15 of the document book.

[Turning to the witness.] That extract contains four questions. Questions (a) and (d) deal with technical details regarding bases in Norway, whereas (b) and (c) deal with the possibility of obtaining such bases against the will of the Norwegians, and the question of defending them.

Which of these questions was put to you?

GODT: May I ask you to repeat the questions in detail first of an.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: The first question is: Which places in Norway can be considered for bases?

GODT: That question was put.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Will you show me from the letter from Commander, U-boats, whether the question was answered and where it is answered? .

GODT: The question was answered under Number 1 (c) at the end of Number 1.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: There it says, "Trondheim or Narvik are possible places."

GODT: Yes, that is right.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Question Number 2 is: "If it is impossible to obtain bases without fighting, can it be done against the will of the Norwegians by the use of military force?" Was that question put?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Can you tell me if the question was answered in the letter from Commander, U-boats?


14 May 46

GODT: This question was not answered.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: The third question is: "What are the possibilities of defense after occupation?" Was that question put to you?

GODT: No, that question was not put.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBt1HLER: Is it replied to in the letter?

GODT: III-d refers to the necessity of adopting defense measures.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Is that reference connected with the fourth question I put to you now: "Will the harbors have to be developed to the fullest extent as bases, or do they already offer decisive advantages as possible supply points?"

GODT: These two questions are not connected.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Was that fourth question put to you?

GODT: Yes.


GODT: Not in this letter.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What is the significance of the figures II and III? Do they not answer the question of whether these ports must be developed as bases or whether they can be used just as supply points?

GODT: They indicate what was thought necessary in order to develop them to the fullest extent as bases.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Will you please read the last sentence of the document? There it says, "Establishment of a fuel supply point in Narvik as an alternative supply point." Is that not a reply to the question asking whether a supply point is enough?

GODT: Yes; I had overlooked that sentence.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Can I sum up, therefore, by saying that the first and fourth questions were put to you and answered by you, whereas questions 2 and 3 were not put to you and not answered by you?

GODT: Yes.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: In the War Diary of the Naval Operations Staff there is a note which says, "Commander, U-boats, considers such ports extremely valuable even as temporary supply and equipment bases for Atlantic U-boats." Does that note mean that Admiral Doenitz was working on this question before your visit to Berlin? Or what was the reason for the note?


14 May 46

GODT: That was my own opinion, which I was entitled to give in my capacity as Chief of the Operations Department.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Was that the first time that plans for bases were brought to your notice?

GODT: No. We had been considering the question of whether the supply position for U-boats could be improved by using ships- in Iceland, for instance.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZB0HLER: Were these considerations in any way connected with the question whether one ought to start a war against the country concerned?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZB0HLER: I shall now show you Document GB-91. This appears on Page 18 of the Prosecution's document book. It is an operational order issued by Commander, U-boats, on 30 March 1940 and dealing with the Norwegian enterprise. Is it true, that this is your operational order?

GODT: Yes.


the beginning of the Norwegian action was that order released?

GODT: Approximately ten days.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZB0HLER: Paragraph II, Section 5, contains the following sentence: "While entering the harbor and until the troops have been landed, the naval forces will probably fly the British naval ensign, except in Narvik." Is that an order given by Commander, U-boats, to the submarines under his command?

GODT: No. That passage appears under the heading: "Information on our own combat forces."

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZB0HLER: And what is the meaning of this allusion?

GODT: It means that U-boats were informed that in certain circumstances our own naval units might fly other flags.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZB0HLER: Why was that necessary?

GODT: It was necessary so as to prevent possible mistakes in identity.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Are there any other references to mistakes in identity in this order?

GODT: Yes.


GODT: In Paragraph IV, Section 5.


14 May 46


GODT: There it says, "Beware of confusing our own units with enemy forces."

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBt3HLER: Only that sentence. Did this order instruct U-boats to attack Norwegian forces?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Will you please indicate what the order says about that?

GODT: IV, as states, "Only enemy naval forces and troop transports are to be attacked."

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What was meant by "enemy" forces?

GODT: "Enemy" forces were British, French, and Russian-no, not Russian. It goes on: "No action is to be taken against Norwegian and Danish forces unless they attack our own forces."

FLOi7li;NRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Will you please look at Paragraph VI-c?

GODT: Paragraph VI says: "Steamers may only be attacked when they have been identified beyond doubt as enemy steamers and as troop transports."

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Was Commander, U-boats, informed of the political action taken with regard to incidents caused by submarines?

GODT: Yes.


GODT: U-boats had orders to report immediately by wireless in the case of incidents, and to supplement the report later.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I do not think you quite understood my question. I asked you, was Commander, U-boats, informed as to how an incident caused by a submarine would later on be settled with a neutral government?

GODT: No, not as a rule.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Can you remember any individual case where he was informed?

GODT: I remember the case of the Spanish steamer Montse Corbea. Later on I learned that Spain had been promised reparations. I cannot remember now whether I received the information through official channels or whether I just heard it accidentally.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I should now like to establish the dates of certain orders which I have already presented to the Tribunal. I shall show you Standing Order Number 171,


14 May 46

which is on Page 159 of Volume III of the document book. What is the date on which that order was issued?

GODT: I shall have to look at it first.


GODT: That order must have originated in the winter of 1939-1940. Probably 1939.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: On what do you base that conclusion?

GODT:I base it on the reference made in 4a to equipment for depth charges. This was taken for granted at a later stage. I also gather it from the reference made in 5b to the shifting of masts and colored lights, something which was formulated then for the first time.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Can you tell us the exact month in 1939?

GODT:I assume that it was November.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I am now going to show you another order, Standing War Order Number 122. It appears on Page 226 in Volume IV of my document book. Up to now all we know is that this order was issued before May 1940. Can-you give us a more exact date?

GODT: This order must have been issued about the same time as the first, that is to say, about November 1939.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Thank you. How was the conduct of U-boat warfare by Commander, U-boats, organized in practice? Will you explain that to us?

GODT: All orders based on questions of international law, et cetera, originated with the Naval Operations Staff. The Naval Operations Staff also reserved for itself the right to determine the locality of the center of operations-for instance, the distribution of U-boats in the Atlantic Theater, the Mediterranean Theater, and the North Sea Theater. Within these various areas U-boat operations were, generally speaking, entirely at the discretion of Commander, U-boats.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Were the standing orders for U-boats given verbally or in writing?

GODT: In writing.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Were there not verbal orders as well?

GODT: Verbal instructions personally issued by Commander, U-boats, played a special part and amounted to personal influence


14 May 48

on commanders, as well as to explanations of the contents of written orders.


· that personal influence exerted?

GODT: Particularly when reports were being made by the commanders after each action. There must have been very few commanders who did not make a personal and detailed report to Commander, U-boats, after an action.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Was it possible for written orders to be changed in the course of verbal transmission, or even twisted to mean the opposite?

GODT: Such a possibility might have existed, but it never actually happened.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: When they made these verbal reports, could the commanders risk expressing opinions which were not those of Commander, U-boats?

GODT: Absolutely. Commander, U-boats, even asked his commanders in so many words to give him their personal opinions in every case, so that he could maintain direct personal contact with them and thus remain in close touch with events on the front, so that he could put matters right, where necessary.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Was this personal contact used for the verbal transmission of shady orders?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: The Prosecution holds that an order-apparently a verbal order-existed, prohibiting the entry in the log of measures considered dubious or unjustifiable from the point of view of international law. Did such a general order exist?

GODT: No; there was no general order. In certain individual cases-can remember two-an order was given to omit certain matters from the log.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Which cases do you remember?

GODT: The first was the case of the Athenia; and the second was the sinking of a German boat, which was coming from Japan through the blockade, by a German submarine.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Before I ask you to give me details of that, I should like to know the reason for omitting such matters from the log.

GODT: It was done for reasons of secrecy. U-boat logs were seen by a great many people: First, in the training stations of the


14 May 46

U-boat service itself; and, secondly, in numerous offices of the High Command. Special attention had therefore to be paid to secrecy.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: How many copies of each U-boat war log were made?

GODT: I should say six to eight copies.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did the omission of such an item from the log mean that all documentary evidence was destroyed in every of lice; or did certain of flees keep these documents?

GODT: These records were received by Commander, U-boats, and probably by the Naval Operations Staff as well.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Was there a standing war order prescribing treatment of incidents?

GODT: Yes.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZB0HLER: What were the contents?

GODT: It stated that incidents must be reported immediately by wireless and that a supplementary report must be made later, either in writing or by word of mouth.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Does this standing order contain any allusion to the omission of such incidents from the log?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Will you please tell me now how this alteration was made in the log in the case of the Athenia?

GODT: In the case of the Athenia Oberleutnant Lemp reported on returning that he had torpedoed this ship, assuming it to be an auxiliary cruiser. I cannot now tell you exactly whether this was the first time I realized that such a possibility existed or whether the idea that this might possibly have been torpedoed by a German submarine had already been taken into consideration. Lemp was sent to Berlin to make a report and absolute secrecy was ordered with regard to the case.


GODT: By the Naval Operations Staff, after a temporary order had been issued in our department. I ordered the fact to be erased from the war log of the U-boat.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: And that, of course, was on the orders of Admiral Doenitz?

GODT: Yes, or I ordered it on his instructions.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did you participate in the further handling of this incident?


14 May 46

GODT: Only with regard to the question of whether Lemp should be punished. As far as I remember, Commander, U-boats, took only disciplinary action against him because it was in his favor that the incident occurred during the first few hours of the war, and it was held that in his excitement he had not investigated the character of the ship as carefully as he might have done.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did I understand you correctly as saying that the detailed documentary evidence in connection with the sinking of the Athenia was retained by both Commander, U-boats, and, you believe, the Naval Operations Staff?

GODT: I can say that with certainty only as far as Commander, U-boats, is concerned. That is what happened in this case.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: You mentioned a second case just now where a log book had been altered. Which case was that?

GODT: That incident was as follows: A German blockade breaker, that is to say, a merchant vessel on its way back from Japan, was accidentally torpedoed by a German submarine and sunk in the North Atlantic. This fact was omitted from the log.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: So it was only a question of keeping matters secret from German offices?

GODT: Yes. The British learned the facts from lifeboats as far as I know; and these facts were to be concealed from the crews of other blockade-breaking vessels.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Documents submitted to the Tribunal by the Defense show that until the autumn of 1942, German U-boats took steps to rescue crews as far as was possible without prejudicing the U-boat's safety and without interfering with their own assignment. Does this agree with your own experiences?

GODT: Yes.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I should now like to put a few questions to you regarding the so-called Laconia order which still require clarification. I refer to Document GB-199. As you know, the Prosecution calls this order an order to kill survivors. Who formulated this order?

THE PRESIDENT: Where is it?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: It is the document book of the Prosecution on Page 36, Mr. President.

GODT: I cannot now tell you that for certain. Generally speaking, such an order was discussed by Commander, U-boats, the First Naval Staff Officer, and myself; Commander, U-boats, decided


14 May 46

on the general terms of the order and then it was formulated by one of us. It is quite possible that I myself worded the order.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: But, at any rate, Admiral Doenitz signed it, did he not?

GODT: He must have; yes.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Admiral Doenitz thought that he remembered that you and Captain Hessler were opposed to this order. Can you remember this, too; and if so, why were you against it?

GODT: I do not remember that.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What was the meaning of the order?

GODT: The meaning of the order is plain. It prohibited attempts at rescue.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Why was that not forbidden by a reference to Standing War Order Number 154, which was issued in the winter of 1939-40?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuehler, surely a written order must speak for itself. Unless there is some colloquial meaning in a particular word used in the order, the order must be interpreted according to the ordinary meaning of the words.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I was not proposing to go into the question any further, Mr. President.

[Turning to the witness.] I should like to repeat my last question. Why, instead of issuing a new order, did they not simply refer commanders to Standing War Order Number 154, which was issued in the winter of 1939-40?

I refer, Mr. President, to Document GB-196, on Page 33 of the Prosecution's document book.

You remember that order, don't you. I have shown it to you.

GODT: Yes, I do. That order had already been canceled when the so-called Laconia order was issued. Apart from that, a mere reference to an order already issued would have lacked the character of actuality which orders should have.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Do you mean by that that your staff, as a matter of principle, did not issue orders by references to earlier orders?

GODT: That was avoided whenever possible; that is to say, almost always.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Will you explain to me why that order was issued as "top secret"?


14 May 46

GODT: The order appeared after an operation An which we nearly lost two boats, and contained a severe reprimand for the commanders concerned. It was not customary for us to put such a reprimand in a form accessible to any one except the commanders and all the officers.

THE PRESIDENT: Which is the severe reprimand?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Will you please explain of what this severe reprimand for the commander consisted?

GODT: It is understandable in the light of previous events- namely, those very things which it forbids. It is largely contained in the sentence beginning: "Rescue is against the most elementary demands" and it is also implied by the harshness, whereby the commander is reproached with being softhearted.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Does this mean that the commanders were accused of having endangered their boats too much in connection with the rescue action of the Laconia and of acting in a manner which was not in accordance with the dictates of war?

GODT: Yes, and that after having been repeatedly reminded during the action of the necessity for acting in a manner in accordance with the dictates of war.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZB0HLER: You were interrogated on this order after the capitulation, as you told me; but you could not at the moment remember its exact wording. How was it possible for you not to remember this order?

GODT: There were certain orders which had to be kept in collective files and which one therefore saw very frequently. This order was not one of them, but was filed separately after being dealt with. After it had been issued I never saw it again until the end of the war.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What did an order intended for inclusion in such a collection look like on the outside?

GODT: It had to be a "Current Order" or an "Admonition Message."

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did that occur in the text of the order concerned?

GODT: It would be in the heading of the order concerned. That is not the case here.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: So we may conclude from the fact that this wireless message is not headed either "Admonition Message" or "Current Order" that it did not belong to a collection of orders?


14 May 46

GODT: Yes.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: But then how is it possible that Korvettenkapitan Mohle gave lectures on this order apparently until the end of the war?

GODT: Korvettenkapitan Mohle had access to all wireless messages issued by Commander, U-boats. He was entitled to select from these signals anything he thought necessary for the instruction of commanders about to go to sea. It made no difference whether the order was marked "Admonition" or "Current Order." He had obviously taken out this message and had had it among the material to be used for these instructions to the commanders.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did Mohle ever ask you about the interpretation of that order?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZB0HLER: Did you ever hear of any other source interpreting this order to mean that survivors were to be shot?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Can you judge from your own experience whether this order had, or could have had, any effect practically on Allied naval losses?

GODT: That is very difficult to judge. At that time something like 80 per cent of all U-boat attacks were probably carried out under conditions which made any attempt at rescue impossible. That is to say, these attacks were made on convoys or on vessels in close proximity to the coast.

The fact that some 12 captains and engineers were brought back as prisoners by U-boats is an indication of what happened in the other cases. It is difficult to say with any degree of certainty whether it was possible to take rescue measures in all cases. The situation was probably such that the Allied sailors felt safer in the lifeboats than they did, for instance, aboard the U-boat and probably were glad to see the U-boat vanish after the attack. The fact that the presence of the U-boat involved danger to itself is proved by this same case of the Laconia, where two U-boats were attacked from the air while engaged in rescuing the survivors.

I do not think it is at all certain that this order had any effect one way or the other.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What do you mean "one way or the other"?

GODT: I mean whether it meant an increase or a decrease in the number of losses among enemy seamen.


14 May 46

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: There is one argument I did not quite understand. You pointed to the fact that approximately 12 captains and chief engineers were made prisoner after this order was issued. Do you mean by that that only in these few cases was it possible, without endangering the submarine, to carry out the order to transfer such officers from the lifeboats?

GODT: It is too much to say that it was only possible in these few cases, but it does afford some indication of the number of cases in which it was possible.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I shall now show you the wireless message which went to Kapitanleutnant Schacht. It is on Page 36 of the Prosecution's document book. This message, too, was sent as "top secret." What was the reason for that?

GODT: It is a definite and severe reprimand for the commander.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: How far was that reprimand justified? Schacht had not received previous instruction to rescue Italians only?

GODT: No, but it had been assumed that U-boats would realize that it was of primary importance that allies should be rescued, that is, that they should not become prisoners of war. Apart from that, several reminders had been issued in the course of operations warning commanders to be particularly careful. After that came Schacht's report, which appeared at the time to indicate that he had disobeyed orders. Viewed retrospectively, Schacht's action must have taken place before Commander, U-boats, issued the order in question, so that in part at least, the accusation was unjustified.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Were any further rescue measures carried out by U-boats after this order was issued in September 1942?

GODT: In isolated cases, yes.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did Commander, U-boats, object to these rescues?

GODT: I have no recollection of that.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: To your knowledge, did German U-boats deliberately kill survivors?

GODT: The only case I know of-and I heard of it after the capitulation-is that of Kapitanleutnant Eck. We heard an enemy broadcast which hinted at these happenings, but we were unable to draw any conclusions from that.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I now hand to you the Prosecution's Exhibit GB-203, which is regarded by the Prosecution as proof of the shooting of survivors. This is the war log of U-247


14 May 46

from which I mimeographed an extract on Page 74 of Volume II of my document book. This extract describes an attack made by the U-boat on a British trawler. You have already seen this war log. After his return, did the commander make a report on this action?

GODT: Yes.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did he report anything about the shooting of survivors on that occasion?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: According to a statement made by a survivor named McAllister this trawler, the Noreen Mary, had a gun aboard. Do you know whether trawlers had guns mounted fore or aft?

GODT: They were almost always in the bows.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Can you remember, with the help of this extract from the war log and on the strength of your own recollection of the commander's report, the exact details of this incident?

GODT: Originally the U-boat when submerged encountered a number of vessels escorting trawlers close to Cape Wrath. It tried to torpedo one of the trawlers.

THE PRESIDENT: Is the witness trying to reconstruct this from the document, reconstruct the incident?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I am asking him to tell us what he remembers of the event, basing his account on his own recollection of the commander's report supplemented by the entry in the war log.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, he hasn't said whether he ever saw the commander.


THE PRESIDENT: Well then, all he can tell us is what the commander told him.


THE PRESIDENT: Well, have him do that then.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Will you please tell us what you remember after reading the log.

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. If he remembers anything about what the commander told him he can tell us that, but the log speaks for itself and he can't reconstruct it out of that. He must tell us what he remembers of what the officer said.



14 May 48

[Turning to the witness.] Will you please speak from memory.

GODT: The commander reported that he had encountered a number of trawlers extraordinarily close to the coast, considering conditions at the time. Failing in his attempt to torpedo one of them, he sank it with gunfire. That was all the more remarkable because, in the first place, the incident occurred quite unusually near the coast and, in the second place, the commander risked this artillery fight regardless of the presence of other vessels nearby.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Were these other ships also armed trawlers?

GODT: It was to be assumed at the time that every trawler was armed.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: The witness McAllister thought that the submarine surfaced 50 yards away from the trawler. In the light of your own recollections and experiences, do you think this is possible?

GODT: I do not remember the details; but it would be an unusual thing for a U-boat commander to do.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZB0HLER: McAllister also stated the U-boat used shells filled with wire.

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Dr. Kranzbuehler, the Tribunal thinks that the witness oughtn't to express opinions of this sort. He ought to give us the evidence of any facts which he has. He is telling us in his opinion it is impossible that a naval commander would ever bring his submarine up within 50 yards of another vessel.


THE PRESIDENT: That is not a matter for him to say.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Mr. President, I was going to ask the witness next whether German U-boats used shells filled with wire as stated by the witness McAllister. Is that question admissible?

THE PRESIDENT: Shells filled with wire?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Yes, that is the question I want to put.

Will you answer that question, Witness.

GODT: There were no such shells.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Was this attack by the submarine on the Noreen Mary reported by wireless immediately? Do you know anything about it?

GODT: Do you mean the U-boat commanders report?


14 May 46


GODT: As far as I remember, a wireless message sent by a British vessel was intercepted, reporting a U-boat attack in the area.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: A signal is entered in the war log under 0127 hours. It is intended for Matschulat, which means that it was sent by you to the commander, and it reads, "English steamer reports attack by German U-boat west of Cape Wrath."

GODT: That is the message intended to inform the U-boat that a wireless signal sent by a British steamer concerning a submarine attack in that area had been intercepted.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I should now like to ask you something about Standing War Order Number 511. This is in Volume I of my document book, Page 46. When I presented this order, the Tribunal was not sure of the significance of Paragraph 2, which I am going to read:

"Captains and officers of neutral ships which may be sunk according to Standing Order Number 101, (such as Swedish except Goteborg traffic), must not be taken on board, since internment of these officers is not permitted by international law."

Can you tell me first the experiences or calculations which led to the inclusion of Paragraph 2 in the order?

GODT: On one occasion a U-boat brought a Uruguayan officer -a captain whose ship had been sunk-to Germany. We were afraid that if we released this captain he might report some of the things he had seen while he was interned aboard the U-boat. The reason for this order was to avoid difficulties of that kind in the future; for the Uruguayan captain had to be released and was, in fact, released.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What is the meaning of the reference to neutral ships which might be sunk according to Standing War Order Number 101?

GODT: May I please see the order for a minute?

[The document was submitted to the witness.]

The Standing War Order Number 101 contains the following directives in connection with the sinking of neutral ships: Once inside the blockade zone, all neutral ships can be sunk as a matter of principle, with two main exceptions, or shall we say, two general exceptions.

To begin with, ships belonging to certain neutral countries, with whom agreements had been made regarding definite shipping channels, must not be sunk; further, ships belonging to certain


14 May 46

neutral states which might be assumed not to be working exclusively in the enemy's service. Outside the blockade zone neutral ships might be sunk; first, if they were not recognizable as neutrals and therefore must be regarded as enemy vessels by the submarine in question and, second, if they were not acting as neutrals. · °

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: As, for instance, those traveling in enemy convoy?

GODT: Yes, those traveling in convoys, or if they reported the presence of U-boats, et cetera, by wireless.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did Paragraph 2 mean that the captains of neutral ships would in the future be in a worse position than captains of enemy ships, or would they be in a better position?

GODT: This is not a question of better or worse, it is a question of taking prisoners. They were not to be taken prisoners because they could not be detained as such: Whether this meant that their positions would be better or worse is at least open to doubt. Captains of enemy ships usually tried to avoid being taken aboard the U-boat probably because they felt safer in their lifeboats.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What do you know about orders to respect hospital ships at the beginning of the invasion?

GODT: At the beginning of the invasion the rule in this area, as in any other area, was that hospital ships were not to be attacked. Commanders operating in the invasion zone then reported that there was a very large number of hospital ships sailing.


GODT: Between the Normandy invasion area and the British Isles. Commander, U-boats, then had investigations made by the competent department as to whether hospital traffic was really as heavy as alleged in these reports. That was found to be the case.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What do you mean by that?

GODT: It means that the number of hospital ships reported corresponded to the estimated number of wounded. After that it was expressly announced that hospital ships were not to be attacked in the future.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Was the strict respect paid to hospital ships at that stage of the war in our own interests?

GODT: At that time we only had hospital ships in the Baltic where the Geneva Convention was not recognized by the other side; so eve had no particular interest in respecting hospital ships.


14 May 46

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Do you know of any case of an enemy hospital ship being sunk by a German U-boat during this war?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did it happen the other way round?

GODT: The German hospital ship Tubingen was, I think, sunk by British aircraft in the Mediterranean.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Presumably because of mistaken identity?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuehler, the question on German hospital ships which were sunk isn't relevant, is it?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I was going to show by it, Mr. President, that the possibility of mistaken identity does exist and that a hospital ship was in fact sunk in consequence of such a mistake. My evidence therefore goes to show that from the sinking of a ship it must not be concluded that the sinking was ordered.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal quite realize that mistakes may be made in sea warfare. It is a matter of common knowledge. Should re-adjourn now?


[A recess was taken.]

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Admiral Godt, you have known Admiral Doenitz very well since 1934; and you have had a good deal to do with him during that time. Did he have anything to do with politics during that time?

GODT: Nothing at all, to my knowledge, before he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. As Commander-in-Chief of the Navy he made occasional speeches outside the Navy; for instance, he addressed dock workers, made a speech to the Hitler Youth at Stettin, and gave a talk over the air on "Heroes' Day" and on 20 July; I remember no other occasions.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Were these speeches not always directly connected with the tasks of the Navy-for instance, the address to the dock laborers-ship-building?

GODT: Yes, when he spoke to the dock laborers.


GODT: The Hitler Youth, too.


14 MaY 46

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: And what was the connection there?

GODT: As far as I remember, the speech was concerned with recruiting for the Navy.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did he select his staff officers for their ideological or military qualifications?

GODT: Their military and personal qualities were all that mattered. Their political views had nothing to do with it.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: The question of whether Admiral Doenitz knew, or must have known, of certain happenings outside the Navy is a very important one from the Tribunal's point of view. Can you tell me who his associates were?

GODT: His own officers and officers of his own ages almost exclusively. As far as I know, he had very few contacts beyond those.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did matters change much in this respect after he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Navy?

GODT: No. He probably had a few more contacts with people from other branches, but on the whole his circle remained the same.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Where did he actually live at that time, that is, after his appointment as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy?

GODT: After his appointment as Commander-in-Chief, he was mainly at the headquarters of the Naval Operations Staff near Berlin.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did he live with his family or with his staff?

GODT: He made his home with his family; but the main part of his life was spent with his staff.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: And where did he live when his staff was transferred to the so-called "Koralle" quarters in the neighborhood of Berlin in the autumn of 1943?

GODT: He lived at his headquarters, where his family also lived-at least for some time. His official discussions, however, usually lasted till late in the evening.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: In, other words, from that time on he lived constantly in the naval officers' quarters?

GODT: Yes.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: You were in a better position than almost any of the other officers to observe the Admiral's career at close quarters. Can you tell me what you think were the motives behind the military orders he issued?


14 May 46

THE PRESIDENT: You can't speak about the motives of people. You can't give evidence about other people's minds. You can only give evidence of what they said and what they did.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Mr. President, I still think that an officer who lived with another officer for years must have a certain knowledge of his motives, based on the actions of the officer in question and on what that officer told him. However, perhaps I may put my question rather differently.

THE PRESIDENT: He can give evidence about his character, but he can't give evidence about his motives.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Then I shall question him on his character, Your Honor.

Witness, can you tell me whether Admiral Doenitz ever expressed selfish motives to you in connection with any other orders he gave or any of his actions?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuehler, that is the same thing, the same question again, really.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I beg your pardon, Mr. President. I meant it to be a different question.

THE PRESIDENT: Nobody is charging him with being egotistical or anything of that sort. He is charged with the various crimes that are charged against him in the Indictment.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Then I shall ask a direct question based on the Prosecution's opinion.

The Prosecution judged Admiral Doenitz to be cynical and opportunistic. Does that agree with your own judgment?



GODT: As a man whose mind was fixed entirely on duty, on his work, his naval problems, and the men in his service.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Mr. President, I have no further questions to put to this witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Do any other members of the defendants' counsel want to ask any questions?

there was no response.]

COL. PHILLIMORE: My Lord, might I first mention the documents that I put in in cross-examination this morning, or rather it was a document which had been in before. It was D-658, GB-229. That is the document dealing with Bordeaux, and there was a dispute as to whether it was from the Bordeaux Commando Raid. The dispute was as to whether it was from the SKL, that is the Naval


14 May 46

War Staff Diary, or from the war diary of some lower formation. My Lord, I have had the matter confirmed with the Admiralty, and I will produce the original for defense counsel; it comes from the SKL War Diary, Tagebuch der Seekriegsleitung, and it is from Number 1 Abteilung, Tell A-that is part A-for December 1942. So it is from the War Diary of the Defendant Raeder and the witness.

You have said, Witness, that you don't recollect protesting against this order of 17 September 1942.

GODT: Yes.

COL. PHILLIMORE: I will try and refresh your memory. Would you look at a document, D-865?

That's GB-458, My Lord; that is an extract from an interrogation of Admiral Doenitz on 6 October. I should say that the record was kept in English and therefore the translation into German does not represent necessarily the Admiral's actual words.

[Turning to the witness.] Would you look at the second page of that document at the end of the first paragraph. It is the end of the first paragraph on Page 207 in the English text. The Admiral is dealing with the order of 17 September 1942, and in that last sentence in that paragraph he says:

"I remember that Captain Goat and Captain Hessler were opposed to this telegram. They said so expressly because, as they said, 'it might be misunderstood.' But I said, 'I must pass it on now to these boats to prevent this 1 percent of losses. I must give them a reason, so that they do not feel themselves obliged to do that."

Do you remember protesting now, saying "That can be misunderstood"?

GODT: No, I do not recall that.

COL. PHILLIMORE: And a further extract on Page 3 of the English translation, the bottom of Page 2 of the German:

"So I sent a second telegram to prevent further losses. The second telegram was sent at my suggestion. I am completely and personally responsible for it, because both Captain Godt and Captain Hessler expressly stated they thought the telegram ambiguous or liable to misinterpretation."

Do you remember that now?

GODT: No, I do not recall that.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Would you look at a further statement to the same effect, on Page 5 of the English, first paragraph; Page 4 of the German text, third paragraph. He has been asked the question:


14 May 46

"Why was it necessary to use a phrase like the one that I read to you before: Efforts to rescue members of the crew were counter to the most elementary demands of warfare for the destruction of enemy ships and crews?"

It is the last clause of the first sentence, and he answered:

"These words do not correspond to the telegram. They do not in any way correspond to our actions in the years of 1939, 1940, 1941 and 1942, as I have plainly shown you through the Laconia incident. I would like to emphasize once more that both Captain Godt and Captain Hessler were violently opposed to the dispatch of this telegram."

Do you still say that you don't remember protesting against the sending of that telegram?

GODT; I have stated repeatedly that I do not remember it.

COL. PHILLIMORE: I will show you one more extract, Document D-866, which will become GB-459. That is a further interrogation on 22 October. The first question on the document is:

"Do you believe that this order is contrary to the Prize Regulations issued by the German Navy at the beginning of the war?"

And the last sentence of the first paragraph of the answer is:

"Godt and Hessler said to me, 'Don't send this message. You see, it might look odd some day. It might be misinterpreted.' "

You don't remember using those words?


COL. PHILLIMORE: You were an experienced staff officer, were you not?

GODT: Yes.

COL. PHILLIMORE: You knew the importance of drafting an

GODT: Yes.

COL. PHILLIMORE: These orders you were issuing were going to young commanders between 20 and 30 years of age' were they not?

GODT: Certainly not as young as 20. They would be in their late twenties, most probably.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Yes. Do you say that this order is not ambiguous?

GODT: Yes. Perhaps if you take one sentence out of the context you might have some doubt, but not if you read the entire order.


14 May 46

COL. PHILLIMORE: What was the point of the words: "Rescue runs counter to the most elementary demands of warfare for the destruction of enemy ships and crews"?

[There was no response.] Show it to him, will you?

[The document was submitted to the witness.]

What was the point of those words, if this was merely a nonrescue order?

GODT: It was served to motivate the remainder of the order and to put on an equal level all the ships and crews which were fighting against our U-boats.

COL. PHILLIMORE: You see, all your orders were so clear, were they not? Have you got the Defense documents there in the witness box?

GODT: I think so-no.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Look at the Defense Document Number D5nitz-8, Page 10. It is on Page 10 of that book. Let me just read you the second paragraph:

"U-boats may instantly attack, with all the weapons at their command, enemy merchant vessels recognized with certainty as armed, or announced as such, on the basis of unimpeachable evidence in the possession of the Naval Operations Staff."

The next sentence:

"As far as circumstances permit, measures shall be taken for the rescue of the crew, after the possibility of endangering the U-boat is excluded."

Now, no commander could go wrong with that order, could he? It is perfectly clear.

Look at another one, D-642, at Page 13. It is the last paragraph of the order, on Page 15. Now, this is a nonrescue order. Have you got it? Paragraph E, Standing Order 154:

"Do not rescue crew members or take them aboard and do not take care of the ship's boats. Weather conditions and distance from land are of no consequence. Think only of the safety of your own boat and try to achieve additional success as soon as possible.

"We must be harsh in this war. The enemy started it in

order to destroy us; and we have to act accordingly."

Now, that was perfectly clear, was it not? That was a "nonrescue" order?

GODT: It was just as clear as the order we are talking about


14 May 46

COL. PHILLIMORE: Look at one or two more and then let me come back to that order; Page 45, another order:

"Order from Flag Officer, U-boats"-reading the third line- "to take on board as prisoners captains of sunk ships with their papers, if it is possible to do so without endangering the boat or impairing its fighting capacity."

It is perfectly clear to anybody exactly what was intended, is it not?

GODT: That is not an order at all; it only reproduces an extract from the War Diary.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Yes, reciting the words of the order; and Then, on the next page in Paragraph 4:

"Try under all circumstances to take prisoners if that can be done without endangering the boat"-Again, perfectly clear.

Look at the next page, Page 47, Paragraph 1 of your order of the 1 June 1944, the last sentence:

"Therefore every effort must be made to bring in such prisoners, as far as possible, without endangering the boat."

Now, you have told us that this order of 17 September 1942 was intended to be a nonrescue order; that is right, is it not?

GODT: Yes, certainly.

COL. PHILLIMORE: I ask you again, what was meant by the sentence: "Rescue runs counter to the most elementary demands of warfare for the destruction of enemy ships and crews"?

GODT: That is the motivation of the rest of the order, which states that ships with crews armed and equipped to fight U-boats were to be put on the same level.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Why do you speak about the destruction of crews if you do not mean the destruction of crews?

GODT: The question is whether the ships and their crews were to be destroyed; and that is something entirely different from destroying the crews after they had left the ship.

COL. PHILLIMORE: And that is something entirely different from merely not rescuing the crews; isn't that a fact?

GODT: I do not quite understand that question.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Destruction of crews is quite different from nonrescue of crews?

GODT: Destruction-as long as the ship and crew are together.

COL. PHILLIMORE: You are not answering the question, are you? But if you want it again: Destruction of crews is quite different from nonrescue of crews?


14 May 46

GODT: The destruction of the crew is different from the nonrescue of survivors, yes.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Were those words merely put in to give this order what you described as a "lively character," which an order should have?

GODT: I cannot give you the details; I have already said that I do not remember in detail the events leading up to this order.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Phillimore, the tribunal has already said to the witness that the document speaks for itself.


[Turning to the Witness.] Would you just look at the next document in the Prosecution book, that is D-663, at the last sentence of that document? In view of the desired destruction of ships' crews, are you saying that it was not your intention at this time to destroy the crews if you could?

GODT: I thought we were talking about survivors.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Well, it is the same thing, to some extent, is it not; ships' crews, once they are torpedoed, become survivors?

GODT: Then they would be survivors; yes.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Will you now answer the question? Was it not your intention at this time to destroy the crews, or survivors if you like, if you could?

GODT: If you mean survivors; the question can refer to two things. As regards survivors-no.

COL. PHILLIMORE: If you are not prepared to answer the question, I will pass on.

Do you remember the case of Kapitanleutnant Eck?

GODT: I only heard of the case of Kapitanleutnant Eck from American and British officers, and only after I came to Germany.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Do you know that he was on his first voyage when his U-boat sank the Peleus and then machine-gunned the survivors? -Do you know that?

GODT: Yes.

COL. PHILLIMORE: He had set out from the 5th U-boat flotilla at Kiel where Mohle was briefing the commanders, had he not?

GODT: He must have.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Yes. Now, if-instead of taking the whole blame upon himself for the action which he took-if he had defended his action under this order of 17 September 1942, are


14 May 46

you saying that you could have court-martialed him for disobedience?

GODT: It might have been possible.

COL. PHILLIMORE: In view of the wording of your order; do you say that?

GODT: That would have been a question for the court-martial to decide. Moreover, Eck, as far as I heard, did not refer to this order.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Can you explain to the Tribunal how the witness Mohle was allowed to go on briefing that this was an annihilation order, from September 1942 to the end of the war?

GODT: I do not know how Mohle came to interpret this order in such a way. In any case he did not ask me about it.

COL. PHILLIMORE: You realize that he is putting his own life in great jeopardy by admitting that he briefed as he did, don't you.

GODT: Yes.

COL. PHILLIMORE: You also know, don't you, that another commander he briefed was subsequently seen either by yourself or by Admiral Doenitz before he went out?

GODT: Yes.

COL. PHILLIMORE: Again when he came back?

GODT: In general, yes, almost always.

COL. PHILLIMORE: In general. Are you seriously telling the Tribunal that none of these officers who were briefed that this was an annihilation order, that none of them raised the question either with you or with Admiral Doenitz?

GODT: In no circumstances was this order discussed.

COL. PHILLIMORE: But I suggest to you now that this order was very carefully drafted to be ambiguous; deliberately, so that any U-boat commander who was prepared to behave as he did was entitled to do so under the order. Isn't that right?

GODT: That is an assertion.

COL. PHILLIMORE: And that you and Hessler, you tried to stop this order being issued?

GODT: I have already said that I do not remember this.

COL. PHILLIMORE: My Lord, I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Is there any other cross-examination? Do you wish to re-examine, Dr. Kranzbuehler?


14 May 46

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Do you know that Korvettenkapitan Mohle has testified before this Tribunal that he told only a very few officers about his interpretation of the Laconia order?

GOUT: I-read that in the affidavit which Mohle made before British officers last year.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Do you know that Mohle testified here personally that he did not speak to Admiral Doenitz, yourself, or Captain Hessler about his interpretation of the Laconia order, although he repeatedly visited your staff?

GODT: I know that. I cannot tell you at the moment whether I know it from the affidavit which Mohle made last year or from another source.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: You have been confronted with Admiral Doenitz' testimony that you and Captain Hessler opposed the Laconia order. You stated that admiral Doenitz gave an exaggerated account of your objection to this order, so as to take the whole responsibility upon himself?

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. I do not think you can ask him that question, Dr. Kranzbuehler, whether it is possible that the Admiral was over-emphasizing what he said.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Then I will not put this question. Your Honor, I have no further question to put to this witness.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZB0HLER: Then with the permission of the Tribunal I would like to call Captain Hessler as my next witness.


[The witness Hessler took the stand.]

Ion; PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name?

GUNTHER HESSLER (Witness): Gunther Hessler.

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 will add nothing.

[The witness repeated the oath.]

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Captain Hessler, when did you enter the Navy?

HESSLER: In April 1927.


14 May 46

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What was your last grade?

HESSLER: Fregattenkapitan.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: You are related to Admiral Doenitz. Is that correct?

HESSLER: Yes. I married his only daughter in November 1937.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: When did you enter the U-boat service?

HESSLER: I started my U-boat training in April 1940.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Were- you given any information during your period of training on economic warfare according to the Prize Ordinance?

HESSLER: Yes. I was informed of it.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Was the so-called "prize disc" used which has just been submitted to you?

HESSLER: Yes, I was instructed about it.

FLOTTENRICHTERUEHLER: Will you tell the Tribunal briefly just what the purpose of this "prize disc" is?

HESSLER: It was a system of discs by means of which, through a simple mechanical process in a very short time one could ascertain how to deal with neutral and enemy merchant ships-whether, for instance, a neutral vessel carrying contraband could be sunk or captured, or whether it must be allowed to pass.

This disc has another great advantage in that it indicates at the same time the particular paragraph of the Prize Ordinance in which the case in question may be found. This made it possible to cut down the time required for the investigation of a merchant ship to a minimum.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: That means that the disc was in the nature of a legal adviser to the commander?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I now submit this disc to the Tribunal as Exhibit Doenitz-95.

In your training were you told what attitude you were required to adopt toward shipwrecked survivors? If so, what was it?

HESSLER: Yes. The rescuing of survivors is a matter of course in naval warfare and must be carried out as far as military measures permit. In U-boat warfare it is utterly impossible to rescue survivors, that is, to take the entire crew on board, for space conditions in the U-boat do not permit of any such action. The carrying out of other measures, such as, approaching the lifeboats,


14 May 48

picking up swimmers and transferring them to the lifeboats, handing over provisions and water, is, as a rule, impossible, for the danger incurred by the U-boat is so great throughout the operational zone that none of these measures can be carried out without endangering the boat too much

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: You yourself went out on cruises as commander soon after receiving these instructions?



HESSLER: From October 1940 till November 1941.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: In what areas did you operate?

HESSLER: South of Iceland, west of the North Channel, in the waters between Cape Verde and the Azores, and in the area west of Freetown.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What success did you have against merchant shipping?

HESSLER: I sank 21 ships, totaling more than 130,000 tons.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBt1HLER: You received the Knight's Cross?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: How did you act toward the survivors of the crews of the ships you sank?

HESSLER: In most cases the situation was such that I was compelled to leave the scene of the wreck without delay on account of danger from enemy naval or air forces. In two cases the danger was not quite so great. I was able to approach the lifeboats and help them.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: What were the ships concerned?

HESSLER: Two Greek ships: the Papalemos and Pandias.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: How did you help the lifeboats?

HESSLER: First of all I gave the survivors their exact position and told them what course to set in order to reach land in their lifeboats. In the second place, I gave them water, which is of vital importance for survivors in tropical regions. In one case I also furnished medical aid for several wounded men.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did your personal experience with torpedoed ships dispose you to caution with regard to rescue measures?


14 May 46

HESSLER: Yes. The experienced U-boat commander was justifiably suspicious of every merchantman and its crew, no matter how innocent they might appear. In two cases this attitude of suspicion saved me from destruction.

This happened in the case of the steamer Kalchas, a British 10,000 ton ship which I torpedoed north of Cape Verde. The ship had stopped after being hit by the torpedo. The crew had left the ship and were in the lifeboats, and the vessel seemed to be sinking. I was wondering whether to surface in order at least to give the crew their position and ask if they needed water. A feeling which I could not explain kept me from doing so, I raised my periscope to the fullest extent and just as the periscope rose almost entirely out of the water, sailors who had been hiding under the guns and behind the bulwark, jumped up, manned the guns of the vessel -which so far had appeared to be entirely abandoned-and opened fire on my periscope at very close range, compelling me to submerge at full speed. The shells fell close to the periscope but were not dangerous to me.

In the second case, the steamer Alfred Jones, which I torpedoed off Freetown, also seemed to be sinking. I wondered whether to surface, when I saw in one of the lifeboats two sailors of the British Navy in full uniform. That aroused my suspicions. I inspected the ship at close range-I would say from a distance of 50 to 100 meters-and established the fact that it had not been abandoned, but that soldiers were still concealed aboard her in every possible hiding-place and behind boarding. When I torpedoed the ship this boarding was smashed. I saw that the shin had at least four to six guns of 10 and 15 centimeter caliber and a large number of depth-charge chutes and antiaircraft guns behind the bulwarks. Only a pure accident, the fact that the depth charges had not been timed, saved me from destruction.

It was clear to me, naturally, after such an experience, that I could no longer concern myself with crews or survivors without endangering my own ship.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: When did you enter the staff of the Commander, U-boats.

HESSLER: In November 1941.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: You were First Naval Staff Officer?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Was it your task to instruct the commanders on orders issued before they left port?

HESSLER: Yes, I did that.


14 May 46

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: And what was the connection between the instructions given by you and those to be given by the flotilla chiefs-Korvettenkapitan Mohle, for instance?

HESSLER: The commanders whom I had to instruct received a complete summary of all questions concerning procedure at sea. The flotilla chiefs were charged with ascertaining that all commanders should receive a copy of the most recent orders issued by Commander, U-boats. I might say that these were limited instructions, compared with the full instructions they received from me.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did these full instructions include the instructions to the commanders regarding the treatment of survivors?

HESSLER: Yes, in much the same style as the instructions I received during my training in the U-boat school.


in the manner of instruction after the Laconia order of September 1942?

HESSLER: Yes. I related the incident briefly to the commanders and told them:

'`Now the decision as to whether the situation at sea permits

of rescue attempts no longer rests with you. Rescue measures

are prohibited from now on."

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Do you mean to say that during the whole of the rest of the war-that is, for 21/z years-the commanders continued to be told about the Laconia incident, or

was that only done immediately after this incident in the autumn of 1942?

HESSLER: I would say up to January 1943 at the latest. After that, no further mention was made of it.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: You mean, no further mention of the incident?

HESSLER: No further mention of the Laconia incident.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: But the orders issued as a result of it were mentioned?

HESSLER: Yes, that a specific order not to take any more rescue measures had been issued.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did the commanders at any time receive orders or suggestions from you or from one of your staff to shoot at survivors?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Were the commanders told by you about the order to take captains and chief engineers on board, if possible?


14 May 46


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Was it emphasized in those instructions that this was only to take place when it could be done without endangering the U-boat?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Do you know of the incident of U-boat U-386 which passed some airmen shot down in the Bay of Biscay?

HESSLER: I remember this incident very distinctly.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Then you also remember that this incident took place in the autumn of 1943?


FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did Commander, U-boats, think, with regard to this incident, that the U-boat commander should have shot at the airmen in the rubber dinghy?

HESSLER: No, on the contrary, he was annoyed because the crew of the aircraft had not been brought along by the U-boat.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did any other person or persons on the staff put forward the view I have just expressed?

HESSLER: No, we knew every one on the staff, and it is out of the question that any member of the staff held a different opinion.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Korvettenkapitan Mohle testified that he asked Korvettenkapitan Kuppisch, who was a member of your staff, for an explanation of the Laconia order and that Kuppisch told him about the incident of the U-386; and told it in such a way as to make it appear that Commander, U-boats, ordered the shooting of survivors.

HESSLER: That is impossible.


HESSLER: Because Kuppisch took his U-boat out to sea in July 1943 and never returned from that cruise. The incident of U-386 happened in the autumn of 1943, which was later.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Korvettenkapitan Mohle in his first statement left the possibility open that this story about U-386 might have come from you. Did you discuss this matter with him?



HESSLER: Absolutely certain.


14 May 46

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did you hear of the interpretation given by Korvettenkapitan Mohle to this Laconia order?

HESSLER: After the capitulation-that is, after the end of the war and then through a British officer.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: How do you explain the fact that of the very few officers who received these instructions from Mohle, none raised the question of the interpretation of this order with Commander, U-boats?

HESSLER: I have only one explanation of this; and that is that these officers thought Korvettenkapitan Mohle's interpretation completely impossible, and not in agreement with the interpretation of Commander, U-boats.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Therefore, they did not think that clarification was necessary?

HESSLER: They did not think that clarification was necessary.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: The Prosecution's charges against Admiral Doenitz are based to a great extent on extracts from the War Diary of the SKL and Commander, U-boats, documents which are in the possession of the British Admiralty. How is it possible that all these data fell into the hands of the British Admiralty-and in toto?

HESSLER: It was the Admiral's desire that the war diaries of the U-boats and of Commander, U-boats, which formed part of the Navy archives, should be preserved and not be destroyed.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did he say anything to you about this?

HESSLER: Yes, in that form, when I told him that our own staff data had been completely destroyed.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Did he give any reason as to why he did not want the Navy archives destroyed?

HESSLER: He wanted to keep these data unto after the war, and the Naval Operations Staff had nothing to conceal.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Is that your opinion or is that the opinion which Admiral Doenitz expressed to you?'

HESSLER: He told me, "We have a clear conscience."

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Immediately after the capitulation you were repeatedly interrogated on questions of U-boat warfare and you asked the senior officer present whether the German U-boat command would be accused by the British Navy of criminal acts. Is that right?



14 May 46

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: And what answer did you receive?

HESSLER: An unhesitating "No."

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZB0HLER: I have no further questions, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Does any defendant's counsel wish to ask any questions?

[There was no response.]

The Prosecution?

COL. PHILLIMORE: With the Tribunal's permission I would not propose to cross-examine and ask leave to adapt my cross-examination of the last witness because it is the same ground substantially.


Does any other Prosecutor wish to cross-examine?

Yes, Dr. Kranzbuehler?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I have no further questions to ask the witness, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: In the interrogation of the Defendant Doenitz he said that Godt and Hessler-that is you, is it not. . . ?


THE PRESIDENT: . . . told him, "Don't send that signal. You see, one day it might appear in the wrong; it might be misinterpreted." Did you say that?

HESSLER: I do not remember. As consulting officers, we often had to oppose orders which were being drafted, and we were entitled to do so; but I do not remember whether Admiral Godt and I did so in this case.

THE PRESIDENT: Then later in this interrogation the Defendant Doenitz said:

"I am completely and personally responsible for it"-that is that order-"because Captains Godt and Hessler both expressly stated that they considered the telegram as ambiguous or liable to be misinterpreted."

Did you say that this telegram was ambiguous or liable to be misinterpreted?

HESSLER: I do not remember that point. I do not think I thought the telegram was ambiguous.

THE PRESIDENT: And lastly the Defendant Doenitz said this:


14 May 46

"I would like to emphasize once more that both Captain Godt and Captain Hessler were violently opposed to the sending of the telegram."

Do you say that you were not violently opposed to the sending of the telegram?

HESSLER: It is possible that we opposed the dispatch of the telegram because we did not consider it necessary to refer to the matter again.

THE PRESIDENT: Did you say anything to the Defendant Doenitz about this telegram at all?

HESSLER: At the drafting of the telegram we talked it over, just as we discussed every wireless message drafted by us. As time went on, we drafted many hundreds of wireless messages so that it is impossible to remember just what was said in each case.

THE PRESIDENT: You began your answer to that question: "At the drafting of this telegram..."

Do you remember what happened at the drafting of this telegram?

HESSLER: I can remember only that in the course of the socalled Laconic incident a great many wireless messages were sent and received; that many wireless messages were drafted; and that, in addition, U-boat operations were going on in the Atlantic, so that I cannot recall details of what happened when the message was drafted.

THE PRESIDENT: You said now that it was possible that you and Admiral Godt were opposed to the sending of this telegram. Is that your answer?

HESSLER: It is possible, but I cannot say.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Dr. Kranzbuehler, the witness can retire.

1The witness left the stand.]

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Mr. President, this morning I had already advised the Prosecution that I shall not call the fourth witness scheduled-that is Admiral Eckardt. Therefore, my examination of witnesses has been concluded.

THE PRESIDENT: And that concludes your case for the present?

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: That concludes my case, but with the permission of the Tribunal I would like to clarify one more question which deals with documents.

The Tribunal has refused all documents which refer to contraband, control ports, and the "Navicert" system. These questions are of some importance if I am to give a correct exposition later on.


14 May 46

May I interpret the Tribunal's decision as saying that these documents are not to be used now as evidence but that I may have permission to use them later on in my legal exposition?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuehler, the Tribunal thinks that is a question which may be reserved until the time comes for you to make your speech.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Thank you, Mr. President. Then I have concluded my case.

THE PRESIDENT: We win adjourn now.

[The Tribunal adjourned until 15 May 1946 at 1000 hours.]


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