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 9 of 12)

(b) Collaboration with the Japanese Against the United States. From the documents just quoted, it appears that the Nazi conspirators were making at least preliminary military plans of their own against the United States. The Nazi over- all plan with regard to the United States, however, was a complex one, involving in addition collaboration with the Japanese. In the course of their repeated representations to the Japanese to undertake an assault against British possessions in the Pacific-Far East, they again considered war against the United States.

It will be recalled that in Basic Order No. 24 regarding collaboration with the Japanese (C-75), which was issued on 5 March 1941, the Nazi policy was stated in subparagraph 3a as aiming at "forcing England to the ground quickly and thereby keeping the United States out of the war". Nevertheless the Nazi conspirators clearly contemplated within the framework of that Policy the possibility of the United States' entry into the Far Eastern conflict which the Nazis were instigating. This could result from an attack by Japan on United States' possessions practically simultaneously with the assault on the British Empire (as actually happened). Other possibilities of involvement of the United States were also discussed. Thus, Basic Order No. 24 stated in subparagraph 3 (c):

"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." (C-75)

The order continues, in the unnumbered paragraph immediately below subparagraph 3 (d):

"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)." (C-75)

In these passages there is a clear envisionment of US involvement, as well as a clear intent to attack. The vital threat to United States' interests if Japan were to capture Singapore was also clearly envisaged by Raeder in his meeting of March 1941 with Hitler. Keitel, and Jodl, in which he stated:

[Page 862]

"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 USA. 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 USA. and England are thereby solved (Guam, Philippines, Borneo, Dutch East Indies).

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

Ribbentrop also recognized the possibility of US involvement as a result of the course of aggression that he was urging on the Japanese. In his meeting of 23 February 1941 with the Japanese Ambassador Oshima, the notes of which are contained in (1834-PS), Ribbentrop assured Matsuoka that a surprise intervention by Japan was bound to keep the United States out of the war since she was unarmed and could not risk either her fleet or the possibility of losing the Philippines as the result of a declaration of war. Two paragraphs later, Ribbentrop practically dropped the pretense that the United States would not be involved:

"The Reich Foreign Minister mentioned further that, if America should declare war because of Japan's entry into the war, this would mean that America had had the intention to enter the war sooner or later anyway. Even though it would be preferable to avoid this, the entry into the war would, as explained above, be by no means decisive and would not endanger the final victory of the countries of the Three Power Pact. The Foreign Minister further expressed his belief that a temporary lift of the British morale caused by America's entry into the war would be canceled by Japan's entry into the war. If, however, contrary to all expectations, the Americans should be careless enough to send their Navy, in spite of all, beyond Hawaii and to the Far East, this would represent the biggest chance for the countries of the Three-Power Pact to bring the war rapidly to an end. He, the Foreign Minister, is convinced that the Japanese fleet would then do a complete job. Ambassador Oshima replied to this that unfortunately he does not think the Americans would

[Page 863]

do it, but he is convinced of a victory of his fleet in Japanese waters." (1834-PS)

In the paragraphs that follow, Ribbentrop again stresses the mutual interdependence of the Tripartite Pact powers and suggests coordinated action. He indulged in a typical bit of Nazi cynicism:

"The Reich Foreign Minister then touched upon the question, explicitly pointed out as theoretical, that the contracting powers might be required, on the basis of new affronts by the USA., to break off diplomatic relations. Germany and Italy were fundamentally determined on this; after signing of the Three-Power Pact we should proceed if the occasion arises, but also jointly in this matter. Such a lesson should open the eyes of the people in the USA. to the situation and under certain conditions bring about a swing toward isolation in public opinion. Naturally a situation had to be chosen in which America found herself entirely in the wrong. The common step of the signatory powers should be exploited correspondingly in propaganda. The question, however, was in no way acute at the time." (1854-PS)

Again on 29 March 1941, Ribbentrop -- this time in a conference with the Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka -- discussed the possible involvement of the United States. (1877-PS)

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

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.