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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XIV
                                                  [Page 825]

The report of the Chief Engineer of the "S. S. Sheaf Mead"
contains this description of the situation:

     "When I came to the surface I found myself on the port
     side, .that is, nearest to the submarine, which was
     only about five
                                                  [Page 826]
     yards away. The submarine Captain asked the steward the
     name of the ship, which he told him, and the enemy
     picked up one of our lifebuoys, but this had the name
     'Gretaston on it, as this was the name of our ship
     before it was changed to 'Skeaf Mead' last January."
     "She had cutaway bows, but I did not notice a net
     cutter. Two men stood at the side with boat hooks to
     keep us off.
     "They cruised around for half an hour, taking
     photographs of us in the water. Otherwise they just
     watched us, but said nothing. Then she submerged and
     went off, without offering us any assistance whatever."
The U-boats log at 1444 hours contains a description of the
sighting of the ship, the difficulty in identification, and
then the

     "The distance apart is narrowing. The steamship draws
     in quickly, but the position is still 40-50. I cannot
     see the stern yet. Tube ready. Shall I or not? The
     gunnery crews are also prepared. On the ship's side a
     yellow cross in a small, square, dark blue ground.
     Swedish? Presumably not. I raise the periscope a
     little. Hurrah, a gun at the stern, an ack-ack gun or
     something similar. Fire! I cannot miss"

The actual documents by which Doenitz and his fellow
conspirators issued their orders in disregard of
International Law indicate that the compiler of the above
reports understated the case. These orders cover not only
the period referred to in the above reports, but also the
subsequent course of the war. It is interesting to note in
them the steps by which the conspirators progressed. At
first they were content with breaching the rules of
International Law to the extent of sinking merchant ships,
including neutral ships, without warning where there was a
reasonable prospect of being able to do so without
discovery. The facts already quoted show that the question
of whether ships were defensively armed or outside the
declared operational areas was in practice immaterial.

A memorandum by the German Naval War Staff, dated 22
September 1939, (C-191) provides:

     "Flag Officer U-boats intends to give permission to U-
     boats to sink without warning any vessels sailing
     without lights. *** In practice there is no opportunity
     for attacking at night, as the U-boat cannot identify a
     target which is a shadow in a way that entirely
     obviates mistakes being made.

                                                  [Page 827]
If the political situation is such that even possible
mistakes must be ruled out, U-boats must be forbidden to
make any attacks at night in waters where French and English
Naval forces or merchant ships may be situated. On the other
hand, in sea areas where only English units are to be
expected, the measures desired by F. O. U-boats can be
carried out; permission to take this step is not to be given
in writing, but need merely be based on the unspoken
approval of the Naval War Staff. U-boat commanders would be
informed by word of mouth and the sinking of a merchant ship
must be justified in the War Diary as due to possible
confusion with a warship or an auxiliary cruiser. In the
meanwhile, U-boats in the English Channel have received
instructions to attack all vessels sailing without lights."

The War Diary of the Naval War Staff of the German Admiralty
contains the following report by Ia (Staff Operations
Officer on the Naval War Staff) on directive of the Armed
Forces High Command of 30 December 1939:

     "According to this the Fuehrer, on report of the
     Commander in Chief, Navy, has decided:
     "(a) Greek merchant vessels are to be treated as enemy
     vessels in the zone blockaded by USA. and Britain.
     "(b) In the Bristol Channel all ships may be attacked
     without warning. For external consumption these attacks
     should be given out as hits by mines.
     "Both measures may be taken with immediate effect." (C-

Another report by Ia, refers to intensified measures in
naval and air warfare in connection with "Fall Gelb".

     "In consequence of this Directive, the Navy will
     authorize, simultaneously with the general
     intensification of the war, the sinking by U-boats,
     without any warning, of all ships in those waters near
     the enemy coasts in which mines can be employed. In
     this case, for external consumption, pretence should be
     made that mines are being used. The behaviour of, and
     use of weapons by, U-boats should be adapted to this
     purpose." (C-21)

A third extract from the Naval War Diary, dated 6 January
1940, states:

     "*** the Fuehrer has in principle agreed (see minutes
     of report of C. in C. Navy of 30 December) to authorize
     firing without warning whilst maintaining the pretence
     of mine hits in certain parts of the American blockaded
     zone." (C-21)

                                                  [Page 828]
Whereupon, the order is given to Flag Officer, Submarines,
carrying out that decision (C-21). The report for 18 January
1940 states:

     "The High Command of the Armed Forces has issued the
     following Directive dated 17th of January, cancelling
     the previous order concerning intensified measures of
     warfare against merchantmen.
     "The Navy will authorize, with immediate effect, the
     sinking without warning by U-Boats of all ships in
     those waters near the enemy coasts in which the use of
     mines can be pretended. U-Boats must adapt their
     behavior and employment of weapons to the pretence,
     which is to be maintained in these cases, that the hits
     were caused by mines. Ships of the United States,
     Italy, Japan and Russia are exempted from these
     attacks." (C-21)

An extract from the BDU War Diary (Doenitz's War Diary)
dated 18 July 1941, reveals a further extension of the above
order so as to cut down the protected categories:

     "Supplementary to the order forbidding, for the time
     being, attacks on U. S. warships and merchant vessels
     in the operational area of the North Atlantic, the
     Fuehrer has ordered the following:
     "1. Attack on U. S. merchant vessels sailing in British
     or U. S. convoys or independently is authorized in the
     original operational area which corresponds in its
     dimensions to the U. S. blockade zone and which does
     not include the sea-route U. S. to Iceland." (C-118)

As these orders slow, at one date the ships of a particular
neutral under certain conditions could be sunk, while those
of another could not. The attitude to be adopted toward
ships of particular neutrals changed at various times, for
Doenitz conducted the U-Boat war against neutrals with
cynical opportunism. It all depended on the political
relationship of Germany toward a particular country at a
particular time whether her ships were sunk or not.

(2) The Orders Concerning Treatment of Survivors. A series
of orders led up to the issue of an order which enjoined U-
Boat commanders not merely to abstain from rescuing crews
and give them no assistance, but deliberately to annihilate

Among these preliminary standing orders of the U-Boat
Command is Order Number 154, signed by Doenitz:

     "Paragraph (e). Do not pick up survivors and take them
     with you. Do not worry about the merchant-ship's boats.
                                                  [Page 829]
     Weather conditions and distance from land play no part.
     Have a care only for your own ship and strive only to
     attain your next success as soon as possible. We must
     be harsh in this war. The enemy began the war in order
     to destroy us, so nothing else matters." (D-642)

In 1942, when the United States entered the war with its
enormous ship-building capacity, the change thus brought
about necessitated a further adjustment in the methods
adopted by the U-Boats. Doenitz accordingly issued an order,
which intended not merely the sinking of merchant ships, not
merely the abstention from rescue of the crews, but their
deliberate extermination.

The course of events is shown by the record of a
conversation between Hitler and the Japanese Ambassador,
Oshima, (D-423) in the presence of Ribbentrop, on 3 January

     "The Fuehrer, using a map, explains to the Japanese
     Ambassador the present position of marine warfare in
     the Atlantic, emphasizing that he considers his most
     important task is to get the U-Boat warfare going in
     full swing. The U-Boats are being reorganized. Firstly,
     he had recalled all U-Boats operating in the Atlantic.
     As mentioned before, they would now be posted outside
     United States ports. Later, they would be off Freetown
     and the larger boats even as far down as Capetown."

     "After having given further explanations on the map,
     the Fuehrer pointed out that, however many ships the
     United States built, one of their main problems would
     be the lack of personnel. For that reason, even
     merchant ships would be sunk without warning with the
     intention of killing as many of the crew as possible.
     Once it gets around that most of the seamen are lost in
     the sinkings, the Americans would soon have
     difficulties in enlisting new people. The training of
     sea-going personnel takes a very long time. We are
     fighting for our existence and our attitude cannot be
     ruled by any humane feelings. For this reason he must
     give the order that in case foreign seamen could not be
     taken prisoner, which is not always possible on the
     sea, U-boats were to surface after torpedoing and shoot
     up the lifeboats.
     "Ambassador Oshima heartily agreed with the Fuehrer's
     comments, and said that the Japanese too are forced to
     follow these methods."

An extract from the B.D.U. War Diary of 16 September 1942 is
part of the story in the sense that it was on the following

                                                  [Page 830]
day that the annihilation order was issued. It records an
attack on a U-boat, which was rescuing survivors, chiefly
the Italian survivors of the Allied liner "Laconia," when it
was attacked by an Allied aircraft (D-446).

A Top Secret order, sent to all commanding officers of U-
boats from Doenitz's headquarters, dated 17 September 1942,

     "1. No attempt of any kind must be made at rescuing
     members of ships sunk, and this includes picking up
     persons in the water and putting them in lifeboats,
     righting capsized lifeboats, and handing over food and
     water. Rescue runs counter to the rudimentary demands
     of warfare for the destruction of enemy ships and
     "2. Orders for bringing in Captains and Chief Engineers
     still apply.
     "3. Rescue the shipwrecked only if their statements
     will be of importance for your boat.
     "4. Be harsh, having in mind that the enemy takes no
     regard of women and children in his bombing attacks on
     German cities." (D-630)

The intentions of this carefully worded order are made clear
by an extract from Doenitz's War Diary which is personally
signed by Doenitz. The War Diary entry for 17 September 1942

     "The attention of all commanding officers is again
     drawn to the fact that all efforts to rescue members of
     the crews of ships which have been sunk contradict the
     most primitive demands for the conduct of warfare by
     annihilating enemy ships and their crews. Orders
     concerning the bringing in of the Captains and Chief
     Engineers still stand." (D-630).

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