Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Document No. 1835-PS

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Urgent. To Ambassador:

Fuehrer and RAM request you immediately to transmit the following letter by Fuehrer to Duce.

Report execution.

Berlin, 28.3.41. 0,5 -

Duce, events force me to give you, Duce, by this quickest means, my estimation of the situation and the consequences which may result from it.

1. From the beginning, I have regarded Yugoslavia as a dangerous factor in the controversy with Greece. Considered from the purely military point of view, German intervention in the war in Thrace would not be at all justified, as long as the attitude of Yugoslavia remains ambiguous and she could threaten the left flank of the advancing columns, on our enormous front.

2. For this reason, I've done everything and honestly have endeavored to bring Yugoslavia into our community bound together by mutual interests. Unfortunately these endeavors did not meet with success, or they were begun too late to produce any definite result. Today's reports leave no doubt as to the imminent turn in the foreign policy of Yugoslavia.

3. I don't consider this situation as being catastrophic but nevertheless a difficult one, and we, on our part, must avoid any mistake if we do not want, in the end, to endanger our whole position.

4. Therefore, I have already arranged for all necessary measures in order to meet a critical development with necessary military means. The change in the deployment of our troops has been ordered also in Bulgaria. Now I would cordially request you, Duce, not to undertake any further operations in Albania in the course of the next few days. I consider it necessary that you should cover and screen the most important passes from Yugoslavia into Albania with all available force.

These measures should not be considered as designed for a long period of time but as auxiliary measures designed to prevent for at least fourteen days to three weeks a crisis arising.

I also consider it necessary, Duce, that you should reinforce your forces on the Italian-Yugoslav front with all available means and with utmost speed.

5. I also consider it necessary, Duce, that everything which we do and order be shrouded in absolute secrecy and that only personalities who necessarily must be notified, know anything about them. These measures will completely lose their value should they become known.

6. Today I called in the Bulgarian and the Hungarian ministers and outlined to them my thoughts on the situation and, with view to military developments, to arouse their interest by explaining to both of them, the negative and positive effects which would arise for them in this case. Since without the aid of Hungary and Bulgaria, operations, Duce, cannot develop with the swiftness which might be necessary under the circumstances.

If possibly in the course of tomorrow, I will inform you, Duce, more thoroughly about all this.

7. Therefore, General von Rintelen will report to you, Duce, tomorrow if the weather is suitable for flying and will tell you the military dispositions which are being prepared, and which we shall carry out.

Duce, should secrecy be observed as to these measures, then in case action on our part should become necessary, I have no doubt that we will both achieve a success no less than the success in Norway a year ago. This is my unshaken conviction.

Accept my heartfelt and friendly greetings. Yours.

(Signed) Adolf Hitler

End of letter, Bureau of Minister.
With the directive that Ambassador Mackensen transmit this letter tonight to Duce.
Howel 27.3.41 2400
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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