Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Document No. 1780-PS

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Excerpts from General Jodl's Handwritten Diary, February 1937-August 1939.

4 February:

Decisive conference about the scarcity of raw materials by the Commissioner of four-year plan.

Only 50% of steel and iron available, therefore rationing necessary. Full allotment only for export. Armed forces and constructions for four-year plan must be cut down by about 40%. Therefore, requests for money have to be converted into requirements for raw materials. Three branches of the Armed Forces and L. for R.V. special resources must make up a priority sequence. Until further notice no more orders to be placed with industry so they will have a chance to fill the many orders previously placed with them.

The sentence "Money is an unimportant factor" has come true, even in another sense. The main part is the raw materials.

Bad harvest and [illegible], especially bread grain [Brotgetreide], demand considerable use of foreign currency for the feeding of the people.

31 March:

Report to the Minister about the maneuvers of the Armed Forces. The Field Marshal emphasized the necessity to bring some influence to bear (on the maneuvers) in so far as a special Armed Forces problem has to be dealth with daily. These exercises are to be designated as "Armed Forces Maneuvers" (army, etc.). After two years, a two front war i.e., two maneuvers, should be presented.

5 November:

Hitler develops his ideas of future development, intentions, and conduct of policy to the Commanders-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.

There is a divergence in the recording of his ideas as made by the Chief of the Armed forces Office (War Department) [des Chef WA (R Kr. Min)] and by the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force (Directive to the Chief of the General Staff of Air Force). (No minutes were kept).

Intention of L to put ideas on paper and transmit them to the Services (C-in-C Air Force); furthermore, to incorporate them into mobilization instructions.


11 February:

In the evening and on 12 February General K., with General v. Reichenau and Sperrle, at the Obersalzberg. Schuschnigg together with G. Schmidt are again being put under heaviest political and military pressure. At 2300 hours Schuschnigg signs protocol.

13 February:

In the afternoon General K. asks Admiral C. and myself to come to his apartment. He tells us that the Fuehrer's order is to the effect that military pressure by shamming military action should be kept up until the 15th. Proposals for these deceptive maneuvers are drafted and submitted to the Fuehrer by telephone for approval.

14 February:

At 2:40 o'clock the agreement of the Fuehrer arrives. Canaris went to Munich to the Counter-Intelligence office VII and initiates the different measures.

The effect is quick and strong. In Austria the impression is created that Germany is undertaking serious military preparations.

15 February:

In the evening an official communique about the positive results of the conference at the Obersalzberg is issued.

16 February:

Changes in the Austrian government and general political amnesty.

22 February:

At 1300 hours General K. sees the Fuehrer in order to inform him about the planned advances [Vorstoesse].

3 March:

The Austrian question is becoming critical. 100 officers shall be dispatched there. The Fuehrer wants to see them personally.

They should not see to it that the Austrian Armed Forces will fight better against us, but rather that they do not fight at all.

10 March:

By surprise and without consulting his ministers, Schuschnigg ordered a plebiscite for Sunday, 13 March, which would bring strong majority for the Legitimists in the absence of plan or preparation.

Fuehrer is determined not to tolerate it. The same night, March 9 to 10, he calls for Goering. General v. Reichenau is called back from Cairo Olympic Committee. General v. Schebert is ordered to come, as well as Minister Glaise-Horstenau, who is with the District leader [Gauleiter] Burckel in the Palatinate. General Keitel communicates the facts at 1:45. He drives to the reichskanzlei at 10 o'clock. I follow at 10:15, according to the wish of General v. Viebahn, to give him the old draft.

"Prepare case Otto."

1300 hours: General K informs Chief of Operational Staff (and) Admiral Canaris. Ribbentrop is being detained in London. Neurath takes over the Foreign Office.

Fuehrer wants to transmit ultimatum to the Austrian Cabinet. A personal letter is dispatched to Mussolini and the reasons are developed which force the Fuehrer to take action.

1830 hours: Mobilization order is given to the Command of the 8th Army (Corps Area 3), 7th and 13th Army Corps; without reserve Army.

Air puts 300 JU-52 in readiness for dropping of propaganda pamphlets. In addition, one Pursuit Squadron [Jagdgruppe], 3 bomber groups [Kampfgeschwader] and two companies as airborne troops with transport planes are held ready at civilian airports [Friendensflugplatze] in Bavaria.

Subordinated to the Army are: one commander of the Air Force, 2F, 3H Squadrons, courier squadron, 1 heavy AA Bn., Regt. General Goering.

11 March:

Instruction No. 1 of the Fuehrer is given on 11 March at 2:00 without signature; at 1300 hours with his signature.

The Army is joined by the SS Military Units (V. T.) by regiments, 40,000 men of the police, and the Totenkopf Unit Upper-Bavaria as second wave.

1700 hours: The Navy has ordered all ships back home.

1800 hours: Schuschnigg has resigned; Seyss-Inquart is chancellor. SA and SS perform duty in uniform. Own movements have commenced. Frontier will not be crossed at the moment. Air Force plans large scale propaganda flights for tomorrow. The police force will be needed in any case and will be mixed with the troops.

1835 hours: Department L. has been informed. Colonel Winkler and Oberfuehrer Petri have also been informed. The Air force has its doubts if it should initiate the movements that have not yet started.

Decision: yes.

2030 hours: Briefing received from Major General Viebahn that the situation has changed once more. The occupation will take place.

Later undated entry.

After annexation of Austria, the Fuehrer mentions that there is no hurry to solve the Czech question because Austria has to be digested first. Nevertheless, preparations for Case Green will have to be carried out energetically; they will have to be newly prepared on the basis of the changed strategic position because of the annexation of Austria. State of preparations (see memorandum L I a of 19 April) reported to the Fuehrer on 21 April.

The intention of the Fuehrer not to touch the Czech problem as yet is changed because of the Czech strategic troops concentration of 21 May, which occurs without any German threat and without the slightest cause for it.

Because of Germany's self-restraint, its consequences lead to a loss of prestige of the Fuehrer, which he is not willing to take once more. Therefore, the new order is issued for "green" on 30 May.

22 May:

Fundamental conference between the Fuehrer and K. Henlein (see enclosure).

23 May:

Major Schmundt reports ideas of the Fuehrer. Further conferences, which gradually reveal the exact intentions of the Fuehrer, take place with the Chief of the Armed Forces High Command (OKW) on 28 May, 3 and 9 June, see enclosures. (War diary L)

30 May:

The Fuehrer signs directive Green, where he states his final decision to destroy Czechoslovakia soon and thereby initiates military preparation all along the line. The previous intentions of the Army must be changed considerably in the direction of an immediate break-through into Czechoslovakia right on D-Day [X-Tag], combined with aerial penetration by the Air Force. Further details are derived from directive for strategic concentration of the army. The whole contrast becomes acute once more between the Fuehrer's intuition that we must do it this year and the opinion of the army that we cannot do it as yet, as most certainly the Western Powers will interfere and we are not as yet equal to them.

10 August:

The Army chiefs and the chiefs of the Air Force groups, Lt.Col. Jeschonnek and myself are ordered to the Berghof. After dinner the Fuehrer makes a speech lasting for almost three hours, in which he develops his political thoughts. The subsequent attempts to draw the Fuehrer's attention to the defects of our preparation, which are undertaken by a few generals of the Army, are rather unfortunate. This applies especially to the remark of General Wietersheim, in which to top it off he claims to quote from General Adams [die er noch dazu dem General Adams in den Mund legt] that the western fortifications can only be held for three weeks. The Fuehrer becomes very indignant and flames up, bursting into the remark that in such a case the whole Army would not be good for anything. "I assure you, General, the position will not only be held for three weeks, but for three years." The cause of this despondent opinion, which unfortunately enough is held very widely within the Army General Staff, is based on various reasons. First of all, it (the General Staff) is restrained by old memories; political considerations play a part as well, instead of obeying and executing its military mission. That is certainly done with traditional devotion, but the vigor of the soul is lacking because in the end they do not believe in the genius of the Fuehrer. And one does perhaps compare him with Charles XII. And since water flows downhill, this defeatism may not only possibly cause immense political damage, for the opposition between the Generals' opinion and that of the Fuehrer is common talk, but may also constitute a danger for the morale of the troops. But I have no doubt that [?] the Fuehrer will be able to boost the morale of the people in an unexpected way when the right moment comes.

21-26 August:

Visit to Germany of the Hungarian Regent [Reichsverweser]. Accompanied by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Honved Minister v. Raatz [?].

They arrive with the idea that in the course of a great war, after a few years, and with the help of German troops, the old state of Hungary can be reestablished. They leave with the understanding that we have neither demands from, nor claims against them, but that Germany will not stand for a second provocation by Czechoslovakia, even if it should be tomorrow. If they want to participate at that moment, it is up to them.

Germany, however, will never play the role of arbitrator between them and Poland. The Hungarians agree; but they believe that, when the issue arises, a period of 48 hours would be indispensable to them to find out Yugoslavia's attitude.

6 September:

Chief of General Staff, General of Artillery Halder, has a conference with the Hungarian Chief of General Staff Fischer.

Before that he is briefed by me on the political attitude of the Fuehrer-especially his order not to give any hint on the exact moment. The same with OQI, General v. Stuelpnagel.

8 September:

General Stuelpnagel OQI asks for written assurance that the Army High Command will be informed five days in advance if the plan is to take place. I agree and add that the overall meteorological situation can be estimated to some extent only for two days in advance, and that therefore, the plans may be changed up to this moment. (D-day-2) [X-2 Tage].

General Stuelpnagel mentions that for the first time he wonders whether the previous basis of the plan is not being abandoned. It presupposed that the Western Powers would not interfere decisively. It gradually seems as if the Fuehrer would stick to his decision even though he may no longer be of this opinion. It must be added that Hungary is at least moody and Italy reserved.

I must admit that I am worrying too, when comparing the change of opinion about political and military potentialities, according to directives of 24 June, 5 Nov 37, 7 Dec 37, 30 May 38, with the last statements.

In spite of that one must be aware of the fact that the other nations will do everything they can to apply pressure to us. We must pass this test of nerves, but because only very few people know the art of withstanding this pressure successfully, the only possible solution is to inform only a very small circle of officers of news that causes us anxiety, and not to have it circulated through anterooms as heretofore.

1800 hours to 2100 hours: Conference with Chief of Army High Command and Chief of General Staff of the Air Force (present were Jeschonnek, Kammhuber, Sternburg and myself).

We agree about the promulgation of the D-day order [X-Befehl] (X-1, 4 o'clock) and preannouncement to the Air Force (D-Day-1, 7 o'clock). The "Y time" has yet to be examined; some formations have an approach flight of one hour.

10 September:

General Halder back from Nurnberg. He reports that the Fuehrer signed decree subordinating the Reich Labor Service to the Army High Command, as of 15 September. Furthermore it was decided that the 13th and 2nd motorized divisions would join the Reichenau Army and their place would be taken by two other divisions [3 words illegible].

11 September:

In the afternoon conference with Secretary of State Jahnke from the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda on imminent common tasks.

The joint preparations for refutation [Wiederlegung] of our own violations of international law, and the exploitation of its violations by the enemy, were considered particularly important.

15 September:

In the morning conference with Chief of Army High Command and Chief of General Staffs of Army and Air Forces; the question was discussed what could be done if the Fuehrer insists on advancement of the date, due to the rapid development of the situation.

16 September:

General Keitel returns from the Berghof at 1700 hours. He graphically describes the results of the conference between Chamberlain and the Fuehrer. The next conference will take place on the 21st or the 22nd in Godesberg.

With consent of the Fuehrer, the order is given in the evening by the Armed Forces High Command to the Army High Command and to the Ministry of finance, to line up the V.G.A.D. along the Czech border.

In the same way, an order is issued to the railways to have the empty rolling stock kept in readiness clandestinely for the strategic concentrations of the Army, so that it can be transported starting 28 September.

17 September:

Contrary to the previous intention to transfer all Sudeten Germans with previous military training to the Replacement Army, the Fuehrer issues order to unite them into a Sudeten German Free Corps. The Armed Forces High Command puts Lt. Col. Koechling (reporter on youth questions) at the disposal of Konrad Henlein as advisor to Henlein.

19 September:

Order is given to the Army High Command to take care of the Sudeten German Free Corps.

20 September:

England and France have handed over their demands in Prague, the contents of which are still unknown. The activities of the Free Corps start assuming such an extent that they may bring about, and already have brought about, consequences harmful to the plans of the Army. (Transferring rather strong units of the Czech Army to the proximity of border). By checking with Lt. Col. Koechling, I attempt to lead these activities into normal channels.

Toward the evening the Fuehrer also takes a hand and gives permission to act only with groups up to 12 men each, after the approval of the Corps HQ.

21 September:

The motorized reinforcements by the L. take effect.

1130 hours: Telephone call from the Adjutant of the Fuehrer, Captain Engel, (it is submitted during the conference with the Chiefs by Captain Eberhardt). "The Fuehrer has received news five minutes ago that Prague is said to have accepted unconditionally."

1245 hours: Department heads are informed and directive is given to continue preparation for "Green", but nevertheless to get ready with everything necessary for a peaceful penetration. Orders to the Ic and Ib of Navy High Command and Chief of General Staff of the Air Force; General Stumpf to be informed.

22 September:

1920 hours: Ia reports about a telephone call from Godesberg by General von Stuelpnagel on behalf of Keitel. Subject: a) Date cannot yet be ascertained (D-Day); continue preparations according to plan. In case "Green" occurs, it will not be before 30 September. If it occurs sooner, it will probably be improvised.

25 September:

By order of the Fuehrer, two Death Head [Totenkopf] SS battalions have moved into the panhandle territory near Asch [Acher Zipfel] to the rear of the Free Corps.

26 September:

Chief of the Armed Forces High Command, acting through the Army High Command, has stopped the intended approach march of the advance units to the Czech border, because it is not yet necessary and because the Fuehrer does not intend to march in before the 30th in any case. Order to approach towards the Czech frontier need be given on the 27th only.

In the evening of the 26th, fixed radio stations of Breslau, Dresden and Vienna are put at the disposal of the Reich Ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda for interference with possible Czech propaganda transmissions.

Question by department "Foreign Countries" whether Czechs are to be allowed to leave and cross Germany. Decision from Chief of the Armed Forces High Command: yes.

1515 hours: The Chief of the Armed Forces High Command informs General Stumpf about the result of the Godesberg conversations and about the Fuehrer's opinion. In no case will X day be before the 30th.

It is important that we do not permit ourselves to be drawn into military engagements because of false reports, before Prague replied.

A question of Stumpf about Y hour results in the reply that on account of the weather situation, a simultaneous intervention of the Air force and Army cannot be expected. The Army needs the dawn, the Air Force can only start later on account of frequent fogs.

The Fuehrer has to make a decision for the commanders in chief who is to have priority.

The opinion of Stumpf is also that the attack of the Army has to proceed. The Fuehrer has not made any decision as yet about commitment against Prague.

2000 hours: The Fuehrer addresses the people and the world in an important speech at the Sportspalast.

27 September:

1320 hours: The Fuehrer consents to the first wave of attack being advanced to a line from where they can arrive in the assembly area by 30 September.

28 September:

Stapf (?) reports about a conference with Goering where the latter states that a Great War can hardly be avoided any longer. It may last 7 years, and we will win it.

1700 hours: Tension relaxes. The Fuehrer has decided on a conference with Chamberlain, the Duce, and Daladier in Munich.

29 September:

The pact of Munich is signed. Czechoslovakia as a power is out. Four zones as set forth will be occupied between the 2nd and 7th of October. The remaining part of mainly German character will be occupied by the 10th of October. The genius of the Fuehrer and his determination not to shun even a World War have again won the victory without the use of force. The hope remains that the incredulous, the weak and the doubtful people have been converted and will remain that way.


23 August:

Received order from Armed Forces High Command to proceed to Berlin and take over position of Chief of Armed Forces Executive Office. (WFA).

1100 hours-1330 hours: Discussions with Chief of Armed Forces High Command. X day has been announced for 26 August. Y time has been announced for 0430 hours.

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

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