The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Aggression Against the U.S.S.R.
(Part 4 of 16)

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C. Military Planning and Preparation for the Implementation of Barbarossa.

The Naval War Diary for 30 January 1941 indicates the early compliance of the OKM with that part of Directive No. 21 (446-PS) which ordered progress in preparation to be reported to Hitler through the High Command of the Armed Forces. This entry in the War Diary contains a substantial amount of technical information concerning the Navy's part in the coming campaign- and the manner in which it was preparing itself to play that part (C-35). The following passage shows that the Navy was actively preparing for the attack at this early date:

7. Talk by Ia about the plans and preparations for the "Barbarossa" case to be submitted to the High Command of the Armed Forces". (C-35) ("Ia" is, in this case, the abbreviation for a deputy head of the Operations Division of the Naval War Staff.) Then follows a list of the Navy's objectives in the war against Russia. Under the latter, many tasks for the Navy are listed, one of which is sufficiently typical to give an idea of all: "II. Objectives of War Against Russia. d. To harass the Russian fleet by surprise blows as:

"1. Lightning-like commitments at the outbreak of the war of air force units against strong points and combat vessels in the Baltic, Black Sea, and Ice Sea." (C-35)

This document indicates the detailed thinking and planning which was being carried out to implement Barbarossa almost six months before the operation actually got underway. It is but another piece in the mosaic of evidence which demonstrates beyond question of doubt that the invasion of the Soviet Union was undeniably a premeditated attack.

Similarly, the Naval War Diary for the month of February contains at least several references to the planning and preparation for the coming campaign (C-33). The entry for 19 February 1941 is typical:

"In regard to the impending operation 'Barbarossa' for which all S-Boats in the Baltic will be needed, a transfer of some can only be considered after conclusion of the Barbarossa operations." (C-33)

On 3 February 1941 the Fuehrer held a conference to assess the progress thus far made in the planning for Barbarossa. The conference also discussed the plans for Sonnenblume, which was

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the code name for the North African Operation. Attending this conference were, in addition to Hitler, the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, Keitel; the Chief of the Armed Forces Operations Staff, Jodl; the Commander-in- Chief of the Army, von Brauchitsch; the Chief of the Army General Staff, Halder; as well as several others including, Colonel Schmundt, Hitler's Adjutant (872-PS). During the course of this conference, the Chief of the Army General Staff gave a long report out enemy strength as compared with German strength, and about the general overall operational plans for the invasion. This report was punctuated at various intervals by comments from the Fuehrer. An extract from this report, although written in a semishorthand form, is at least sufficiently clear to disclose that elaborate timetables had already been set up for the deployment of troops, as well as for industrial operations:

"The intended time period was discussed with a plan.

1st Deployment Staffel (Aufmarschstaffel) 2nd " " "

transfer now, Front -- Germany -- East from the middle of March will give up 3 divisions for reinforcement in the West. Army groups and Army High Commands are being withdrawn from the West. There are already considerable reinforcements though still in the rear area. From now on, Attila [the code word for the operation for the occupation of unoccupied France] can be carried out only under difficulties.. Industrial traffic is hampered by transport movements. From the middle of April, Hungary will be approached about the march through. Three deployment staffels from the middle of April. Felix is now no longer possible as the main part of the artillery is being entrained. [Felix is the code word for the occupation of Canary Islands, North Africa and Gibraltar.]

"In industry the full capacity time-table is in force. No more camouflage.

"From 25.IV-15.V, 4 staffels to withdraw considerable forces from the West. (Seeloewe [Seeloewe was the code word for the planned operation against England] can no longer be carried out). The strategic concentration in the East is quite recognizable.

"The full capacity time-table remains. 8 Marita [Marita was the code word for the action against Greece] divisions complete the picture of the disposition of forces on the plan. "C-in-C Army requested that he no longer have to employ

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5 control divisions for this, but might hold them ready as reserves for commanders in the West.

"Fuehrer When Barbarossa commences, the world will hold its breath and make no comment." (872-PS)

This much, when read with the conference conclusions, is sufficient to show that the Army as well as the Navy regarded Barbarossa as an action directive and were far along with their preparations even as early as February 1941 -- almost five months prior to 22 June, the date when the attack was actually launched. The conference report summarized the conclusions of the conference, insofar as they affected Barbarossa, as follows:

"Conclusions: "1. Barbarossa

"a. The Fuehrer on the whole was in agreement with the operational plan. When it is being carried out, it must be remembered that the main aim is to gain possession of the Baltic States and Leningrad.

"b. The Fuehrer desires that the operation map and the plan of the disposition of forces be sent to him as soon as possible.

"c. Agreements with neighbouring states, who are taking part, may not be concluded until there is no longer any necessity for camouflage. The exception is Roumania with regard to the reinforcing of the Moldaw.

"d. It must, at all costs, be possible to carry out Attila (auxiliary measure).

"e. The strategic concentration for Barbarossa will be camouflaged as a feint for Seeloewe and the subsidiary measure Marita." (872-PS)

As the plans for the invasion became more detailed, involved, and complete, more and more agencies outside the Armed Forces had to be brought into the picture, let in on the secret, and assigned their respective parts. For example, early in March, 1941, Keitel drafted a letter to be sent to Reich Minister Todt, then Reich Minister of Armaments and Munitions and head of the organization Todt. In this letter Keitel explained the principles on which the camouflage for the operation was based and requested that the organization Todt follow the same line (874-PS). This letter illustrates the elaborate deceit with which the Nazi conspirators sought to hide the preparations for their treacherous attack:

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

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