Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Document No. 1874-PS

Previous Document Volume IV Menu Next Document


Notes on the Conference Between General Field Marshal GOERING and the DUCE in the Presence of Count CIANO

15 April 1939

[Page 4, par. 2]

However, the heavy armament of Czechoslovakia shows, in any case, how dangerous this country could have been, even after Munich, in the event of a serious conflict. Because of Germany's action the situation of both axis countries was ameliorated, among other reasons because of the economic possibilities which result from the transfer to Germany of the great production capacity (armament potential) of Czechoslovakia. That contributes toward a considerable strengthening of the axis against the Western powers. Furthermore, Germany now need not keep ready a single division for protection against that country in case of a bigger conflict. This, too, is an advantage by which both axis countries will, in the last analysis, benefit.

[Page 5, par. 2]

the action taken by Germany in Czechoslovakia is to be viewed as an advantage for the axis in case Poland should finally join the enemies of the axis powers. Germany could then attack this country from 2 flanks and would be within only 25 minutes flying distance from the new Polish industrial center which had been moved further into the interior of the country, nearer to the other Polish industrial districts, because of its proximity to the border. Now by the turn of events it is located again in the proximity of the border.

[Page 6, par. 2]

Furthermore the Fieldmarshal happened to talk about the date at which Germany would be prepared best for a greater test of strength. In this connection he pointed out that Germany at the moment was comparatively weak on the sea because both the new battleships which had been launched recently would be ready for commissioning only next year and two additional battleships would be launched only next year. In the airforce also, regrouping and adaptation of a new bomber type "JU 88", the production of which had yet to begin, was taking place. This new German bomber had such a range that it would be possible to attack not only England herself, but moreover that would push forward into a western direction, in order to bomb the ships which come from the Atlantic to England. Of course, Germany was ready for action, if suddenly some conflict should come up. But if one was considering at what period of time the armament situation was most favorable, both the facts mentioned above-the insufficient armament at sea and the reconversion of the airforce to the new type of bomber-should not be disregarded. Besides in the fall already a monthly production of 280 planes of the "JU 88" and at the end of the year of 350 planes, could be counted upon. On the basis of these calculations he came to the conclusion that in 9 months or one year the situation for the axis, from a military point of view, would be more favorable. On the other hand it was true that the rearmament in England and France had not made very much progress. In many cases, the factories for the production of war material were only in a state of construction. England would most likely not be able to show any reresults worth mentioning before 1942 for her new beginning high pressure rearmament in the air.

Furthermore, the Fuehrer considered it almost out of the question that England and France would not stand together. According to the German point of view, both countries would in any conflict eventually support each other to the utmost. Only if England should execute a complete reversal of her policy, and the costs and risks of her present political line should become too high, she would perhaps adapt herself to confining her efforts to the preservation of the empire and give the authoritarian countries a free hand for the securing of their vital necessities. At the present time England had a weak government which had yielded to the pressure of the leftist circles. England had deviated from her old line in a way that it offers assistance only on the basis of her own judgment of the situation in question from case to case and she had, in completely turning away from her traditional policy of giving support from time to time only on the basis of her own judgment of the situation at the time, now obliged herself in advance to render support, and that under conditions which could be determined by the other partner. It was another question, of course, how England could fulfill her guarantee obligation in fact. How was she going to help Poland or Rumania, for instance? She did not have the possibility of sending troops and could actually fulfill her obligations only by setting ablaze a general war.

All in all, however, it had to be stressed, that the situation of the axis was very strong and that it could defeat all possible opponents in a general conflict.

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.