The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Collaboration with Italy & Japan
Aggressive War Against the United States
November 1936 to December 1941
(Part 4 of 12)

Basic Order No. 24 was the authoritative Nazi policy on collaboration with Japan (C-75). It reads:

"Only by Officer

"Armed Forces High Command (OKW)
Joint Operations Staff, Branch L (I Op.)
No. 44 282/41 Top Secret

"Fuehrer's Headquarters
5 March 1941

[Various handwritten notations and stamps]

"Basic Order No. 24
regarding collaboration with Japan

"The Fuehrer has issued the following order regarding collaboration with Japan:

"1. It must be the aim of the collaboration based on the Three Power Pact to induce Japan as soon as possible to take active measures in the Far East. Strong British forces will thereby be tied down, and the center of gravity of the interests of the United States of America will be diverted to the Pacific.

"The sooner it intervenes, the greater will be the prospects of success for Japan in view of the still undeveloped preparedness for war on the part of its adversaries. The "Barbarossa" operation will create particularly favorable political and military prerequisites for this. [Marginal note "slightly exaggerated"]

"2. To prepare the way for the collaboration it is essential to strengthen the Japanese military potential with all means available.

"For this purpose the High Commands of the branches of the Armed Forces will comply in a comprehensive and generous manner with Japanese desires for information regarding German war and combat experience and for assistance in military economics and in technical matters. Reciprocity is desirable but this factor should not stand in the way of negotiations. Priority should naturally be given to those Japanese requests which would have the most immediate application in waging war.

[Page 848]

"In special cases the Fuehrer reserves the decisions, to himself.

"3. The harmonizing of the operational plans of the two parties is the responsibility of the Navy High Command.

"This will be subject to the following guiding principles:

"a. The common aim of the conduct of war is to be stressed as forcing England to the ground quickly and thereby keeping the United States out of the war. Beyond this Germany has no political, military, or economic interests in the Far East which would give occasion for any reservations with regard to Japanese intentions.

"b. The great successes achieved by Germany in mercantile warfare make it appear particularly suitable to employ strong Japanese forces for the same purpose. In this connection every opportunity to support German mercantile warfare must be exploited.

"c. The raw material situation of the pact powers demands that Japan should acquire possession of those territories which it needs for the continuation of the war, especially if the United States intervenes. Rubber shipments must be carried out even after the entry of Japan into the war, since they are of vital importance to Germany.

"d. The seizure of Singapore as the key British position in the Far East would mean a decisive success for the entire conduct of war of the Three Powers.

"In addition, attacks on other systems of bases of British naval power extending to those of American naval power only if the entry of the United States into the war cannot be prevented -- will result in weakening the enemy's system of power in that region and also, just like the attack on sea communications, in tying down substantial forces of all kinds (Australia) .

"A date for the beginning of operational discussions cannot yet be fixed.

"4. In the military commissions to be formed in accordance with the Three Power Pact, only such questions are to be dealt with as equally concern the three participating powers. These will include primarily the problems of economic warfare.

"The working out of the details is the responsibility of the "Main Commission" with the cooperation of the Armed Forces High Command.

[Page 849]

"5. The Japanese must not be given any intimation of the Barbarossa operation.

"The Chief of the Armed Forces High Command
"Signed in draft: Keitel

"Correctness certified by
Lieutenant Commander" (C-75)

It appears from this document that the Nazi conspirators' cardinal operational principle in their collaboration with Japan was, as early as March 1941, the inducement of Japan to aggression against Singapore and other British Far Eastern bases.

A meeting was held on 18 March 1941, about two weeks after the issuance of Basic Order No. 24 (C-75) and was attended by Hitler, Raeder, Keitel, and Jodl. The top secret record of this meeting discloses that Raeder, then Commander in Chief of the Navy, made the following calculations:

"Japan must take steps to seize Singapore as soon as possible, since the opportunity will never again be as favourable (whole English Fleet contained; unpreparedness of US A. for war against Japan; inferiority of US Fleet vis-a- vis the Japanese). Japan is indeed making preparations for this action, but according to all declarations made by Japanese officers she will only carry it out if Germany proceeds to land in England. Germany must therefore concentrate all her efforts on spurring Japan to act immediately. If Japan has Singapore all other East Asiatic questions regarding the US A. and England are thereby solved (Guam, Philippines, Borneo, Dutch East Indies).

"Japan wishes if possible to avoid war against US A. She can do so if she determinedly takes Singapore as soon as possible." (C-152)

The fact clearly appears from these minutes that military staff conferences had already been held with the Japanese to discuss the activation of Japanese military support against the British and to urge their immediate attack on Singapore. Another passage in the record of this meeting establishes this:

"Japan is indeed making preparations for this action, but according to all declarations made by Japanese officers she will only carry it out if Germany proceeds to land in England." (C-152)

Apparently the Nazis were subsequently able to persuade the Japanese to eliminate this condition precedent to their performance under the contract.

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

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