Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Document No. 1842-PS

Previous Document Volume IV Menu Next Document


NOTES on the discussion of the Reich Foreign Minister Von Ribbentrop with the Duce in the presence of Count Ciano as well as the ambassadors von Mackensen and Alfieri, in Rome on the 19th September 1940.

All the same, Germany had won air superiority, and was bombing England, and particularly London, by day and by night, whilst the British were at most sending a few planes over Germany at night, in order to drop bombs there at random. During the day no British plane dared to fly over German territory. Germany, however, was carrying out strong reprisal attacks by day as well as by night. On one occasion the German Luftwaffe had been ready for a large scale attack as early as August. But this attack had to be called off because of bad weather. A really large scale attack had not taken place since, because the Fuehrer wanted to accept the responsibility for this only when it was certain, that such an attack would mean the beginning of England's destruction. Although Germany had merely carried out reprisal bombings from the air, their results for England had already been extraordinarily serious. With a continuation of these attacks London would be in ruins within a short time. The British armament factories had been seriously affected, and important ports, such as Portland, had been entirely crippled. Moreover, all aerodromes from the South Coast to London had been made unusable.

With regard to Greece and Yugoslavia, the Foreign Minister stressed, that it was exclusively a question of Italian interests, the settling of which was a matter for Italy alone, and in which Italy could be certain of Germany's sympathetic assistance. But it seemed to us to be better not to touch on these problems for the time being, but to concentrate on the destruction of England with all our forces instead. Where Germany was concerned, she was interested in the northern German districts (Norway etc.), and this was acknowledged by the Duce.

The Reich Foreign Minister further announced a statement by the Fuehrer regarding the military part of the Spanish problem, i.e., the conquest of Gibraltar. The Spaniards wanted to conquer Gibraltar by themselves. But so as to prevent any failure, Germany would provide Spain with special troops equipped with special weapons, and a few squadrons of planes. The Fuehrer had carefully examined the Gibraltar problem from the military point of view, and had come to the conclusion, that the conquest of the rock was absolutely possible, but only then, if the Spaniards were to be given assistance.

The Reich Foreign Minister then showed the Duce the German map regarding the Spanish territorial demands, and this was duly noted by the Italian gentlemen. A question which was put to the Duce by the Reich Foreign Minister, showed, that the Spanish ambitions did not clash with Italy's in any way. In this connection the Reich Foreign Minister announced Serrano Suner's intention, also to make a visit to Rome.

On his return to Berlin, he (the Reich Foreign Minister) intended to sign a secret protocol with Serrano Suner, dealing with Spain's entry into the war, as well as the supplying of Spain with the aforementioned materials, recognizing the Spanish ambitions, and providing an attack against Gibraltar as a declaration of war. The protocol would also state, that Spain's entry into the war would be left to the judgment of that country. It had been verbally provided, that Spain would come into the war as soon as Franco had completed his preparations, and particularly after the German special weapons and troops as well as planes had arrived at their destinations in Spain.

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

Previous Document Volume IV Menu Next Document

127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.