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Minutes of questions discussed between the representatives of the Royal Bulgarian General Staff and the German Supreme Command-General Field Marshal List-in connection with the possible movement of German troops through Bulgaria and their commitment against Greece and possibly against Turkey, if she should involve herself in the war.[Page 1, Line 19-Page 2, Line 24:]
1. During the operation of the German troops against Greece or Turkey, the Bulgarian army will not be committed in an offensive way against the two mentioned countries, according to an agreement between the two governments. It will be reinforced, in order to safeguard the new order on the Balkan.
2. Up to the arrival of German troops on the Bulgarian South and Southeast border, the Bulgarian army will alone defend its territory with its own troops for the beginning, with about the following deployment:
at least 6 Bulgarian divisions on the Bulgarian-Turkish border
sufficient forces for the protection of the border, on the Greek border,
reinforced border protection on the Yugoslavian border
Later on, the Bulgarian army is also responsible for adequate protection along those fronts where German forces will not become offensive.
The mobilization and the deployment of these forces may start immediately in a camouflaged way. However, in order that these measures will have the desired effect, the deliveries to Bulgaria must be fulfilled immediately by Germany (enclosure I).
The German supreme command will do everything in its power, so that its troops will appear on the Bulgarian-Turkish and Bulgarian-Greek border in sufficient numbers in the shortest time.
For this purpose, from the beginning a sufficient amount of German forces-mainly armored and motorized divisions-will be moved in the shortest time behind the Bulgarian border protection troops. This move will start with the deployment of the two armored divisions which already are in the Dobrudscha as well as with the armored and motorized divisions which are in Walachia. The other forces provided for the operations, that means more infantry and armored divisions, will follow behind, depending on weather, road, and bridge situation.[Page 3, Line 3-12:]
3. The Bulgarian and the German general staff will take all measures in order to camouflage the preparation of the operations and to assure in this way the most favorable conditions for the execution of the German operations as planned.
The representatives of the two general staffs consider it to be suitable to inform their governments that it will be good to take the necessity of secrecy and surprise into consideration, when the three-power treaty is signed by Bulgaria in order to assure the success of the military operations.[Page 3, Line 13-Page 4, Line 27:]
4. In order to protect Bulgaria from any possible enemy before and after the beginning of the operations, the German supreme command will take the following measures:
a. Against Turkey: From the beginning, sufficient German forces, mainly armored divisions, will be thrown against the Turkish border behind the Bulgarian defensive front. At the same time, the German air force will stand ready for active defense.
If Turkey should attack Bulgaria, while the German operations against Greece are being carried out, the Bulgarian army will defend itself, supported by sufficient German forces. The German supreme command will take all necessary measures immediately, in order to beat and throw back the Turkish army with German troops, so that an extended defense by Bulgarian troops will be avoided on the Turkish front.
The same also goes for Greece, if the Greeks should attack Bulgaria during the German operations against Turkey.
b. Against Greece: Motorized advance units shall thrust immediately against the Greek-Bulgarian border as fast as possible, in order to stand there as support for the protection of the Bulgarian border.
c. Against Yugoslavia: If Yugoslavia should attack, the columns of the German infantry divisions would take over the protection against the West, at first, which are deployed on the right flank to the rear. Other German forces would get at Yugoslavia from another side, too. It is assumed in this case, that a reinforced Bulgarian border protection exists also along the Bulgarian-Yugoslav border.
d. Against Russia: Sufficient German forces are ready on the German Eastern border, to be used for any purpose. Moreover, German instructor troops are available in Rumania, in addition to the Rumanian army.
e. Against landing attempts: The German troops are in a position to take a hand at any time in the defense against a possible landing on the Black Sea coast, in cooperation with the air force. Besides, the supreme command of the army List will make its suggestions at the competent German navy office, in order to strengthen the protection of the two ports Varna and Burgas, according to the already known wishes of the Bulgarian supreme command.
The Bulgarian army will also do its part to guarantee the protection of the two ports by providing forces there.[Page 4, Line 32-Page 5, Line 27:]
6. The supply of the German troops on their march through Bulgaria and during their operations against Greece or Turkey will be provided from their own German stocks. However, in order to relieve the railroad and transportation system, especially with regard to feeding facilities, assistance from the Bulgarian side is necessary. This assistance will only be within the limits of the so-called "Contingents" [Kontingent]. The details about the installation of the necessary dumps, about purchases, payment of work, etc., as well as export and import control, will be regulated by a special commission.[Remark in pencil] (L IV Is taken care of)
7. It will be necessary to use the Bulgarian national installations (railroad, postal system, etc.), for the purposes of the German armed forces, as far as it will be bearable for the Bulgarian economy. The details about it will be regulated by the special commissions which are already in Sofia. It is presumed that especially the railroad net and the rolling stock will be placed at the disposal of the German army for its requirements. For that purpose it is necessary that the Bulgarian railroad receives an extra allowance of about 100 locomotives, 1500 freight cars and 30 km rail material, in order to satisfy all requirements of the Bulgarian army, the Bulgarian economy and the German army. Operation and management of the Bulgarian national railroad, postal and telegraphic service are to remain in Bulgarian hands. Transportation required by the German army will be organized by the Bulgarian general staff. The details about the service of the railroads, postal and telegraphic systems will be discussed and regulated by a special commission.[Page 6, Line 6-11:]
10. The activity of the counter intelligence service [Abwehr Dienst] of the German and Bulgarian general staffs is already regulated by a special commission.
11. The question of command function in Bulgaria could not yet be finally settled. The German high command will come back to this question in the near future.[Page 6, Line 15-26:]
13. Questions which might come up later will be taken care of by further conferences.
14. The conditions laid down above, as far as political questions are concerned, will be in effect only after the approval by the German supreme command of the armed forces. Nevertheless, the preparations for the execution of the operations will be made with all energy, regardless of the above fact.
In order to enable the Bulgarians to carry out in time the last preparations for the deployment, it is necessary that the Bulgarian general staff should be informed of the crossing of the border by the Germans 10 days ahead of time.Finis
The Fuehrer describes Yugoslavia's situation after the coup d'etat. Statement that Yugoslavia was an uncertain factor in regard to the coming Marita-action and even more in regard to the Barbarossa-undertaking later on. Serbs and Slovenes were never pro-German. These governments never sit securely in the saddle, because of the nationality problem and the officers caste (Kamarilla), which is always inclined to start a coup d'etat. In the present time, the country had only one strong man, namely Stojodinowitsch, and Regent Prince Paul had him thrown over, to his own disadvantage.
The present moment is for political and military reasons favorable for us to ascertain the actual situation in the country and the country's attitude toward us, for if the overthrow of the government would have happened during the Barbarossa-action, the consequences for us probably would have been considerably more serious.
The Fuehrer is determined, without waiting for possible loyalty declarations of the new government, to make all preparations in order to destroy Yugoslavia militarily and as a national unit. No diplomatic inquiries will be made nor ultimatums presented. Assurances of the Yugoslav government which cannot be trusted any how in the future will be taken note of. The attack will start as soon as the means and troops suitable for it are ready.
It is important that actions will be taken as fast as possible. An attempt will be made to let the bordering states participate in a suitable way. An actual military support against Yugoslavia is to be requested of Italy, Hungary, and in certain respects of Bulgaria too. Rumania's main task is the protection against Russia. The Hungarian and the Bulgarian ambassador have already been notified. During the day, a message will still be addressed to the Duce.
Politically, it is especially important that the blow against Yugoslavia is carried out with unmerciful harshness and that the military destruction is done in a lightning like undertaking. In this way, Turkey would become sufficiently frightened and the campaign against Greece later on would be influenced in a favorable way. It can be assumed that the Croats will come to our side when we attack. A corresponding political treatment (autonomy later on) will be assured to them. The war against Yugoslavia should be very popular in Italy, Hungary, and Bulgaria, as territorial acquisitions are to be promised to these states; the Adria coast for Italy, the Banat for Hungary, and Macedonia for Bulgaria.
This plan assumes that we speed up the schedule of all preparations and use such strong forces that the Yugoslav collapse will take place within the shortest time.
In this connection, the beginning of the Barbarossa-operation will have to be postponed up to 4 weeks.
The military operations are to be carried out in the following way:
1. Begin the operation Marita as early as possible with the limited aim to capture Greek-Thracia and the basin of Saoloniki and to win the high terrain of Edessa; for that purpose march [Ausholen] across Yugoslav territory.
2. Push from neighborhood South of Sofia in direction Skoplje in order to relieve the flank of the Italian front in Albania.
3. Push with stronger forces from the area around Sofia in direction towards Nis, then towards Belgrad, in cooperation with
4. Stronger German forces penetrating from the area around Graz and Klagenfurt in direction South-East with the aim to destroy the Yugoslav army.[Page 5, Line 3-9:]
5. The main task of the airforce is to start as early as possible with the destruction of the Yugoslavian airforce ground installations and to destroy the capital Belgrad in attacks by waves; besides the air force has to support the advance of the army.
For this purpose, it is possible to make use of the Hungarian ground installations.[Page 6, Line 7-12]
The Fuehrer orders the immediate starting of all preparations. He expects the plans of the different parts of the armed forces during the evening of March 27th. General von Pintelen is ordered to receive the message and verbal orders from the Fuehrer during the night of March 27.[illegible pencil initial]
1. In the event that the political development requires an armed intervention against Yugoslavia, it is the German intention to attack Yugoslavia in a concentric way as soon as possible, to destroy her armed forces, and to dissolve her national territory.
2. For this purpose, the following units are being formed:
a. One assault group South of Sofia for the advance in direction Skoplje and South, in order to occupy the Southern part of Yugoslavia as basis for the combined attack against Greece and to remove the danger for the rear of the Italian front in Albania.
b. One assault group which will be deployed around Graz and under certain circumstances also in the Southwest Hungary, in order to penetrate into Yugoslavia later in the direction Belgrad and Westward.
c. Probably an Hungarian attack group reinforced by German forces which will be committed in the general direction towards the Danube on both sides of Belgrad.
3. If the weather situation permits, the operation against Greece will start on April 2nd or 3rd. In this operation, the right flank will move across Yuogslavian territory. In the beginning, its aim will be limited to the occupation of the basis of Saloniki and the high terrain of Edessa.
4. Therefore, the following tasks result for the participation of the Italian armed forces:
a. Flank protection for the German attack group Graz by advancing towards the line Split-Yajele, with forces as strong as possible.
b. Shifting to the defense on the Greek-Albanian front and deployment of an attack group, in order to join with the German forces committed around Skoplje and South.
c. Elimination of the Yugoslav naval forces.
d. Later on, resumption of the attacks against the Greek front in Albania.
For the inner-political integration of the Yugoslav national territory it is especially desirable to favor the Croat independence movements in every respect and to treat the Croats as friends of the Axis. It will therefore be opportune to avoid any air attacks against Croat territory, as long as it is not a question of commitment against enemy troops fighting there.
5. The following chronological schedule of the German operations may be expected:
a. Attack against Greece: April 2nd-3rd
b. Attack from the area South of Sofia on April 3rd or April 4th
c. Attack from the area around Graz and East of it: April 12th.[illegible initial]
Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Office of the United States Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality
Washington, DC : United States Government Printing Office, 1946