The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants

Karl Doenitz

(Part 3 of 13)

[Page 818]


Apart from his services in building up the U-boat arm, there is ample evidence that Doenitz, as Officer Commanding U- boats, took part in the planning and execution of the aggressive wars against Poland, Norway, and Denmark.

(1) Poland. The distribution list on a memorandum by Raeder, dated 16 May 1939, shows that the sixth copy went to the Fuehrer der Unterseeboote, who was Doenitz. This document was a directive for the invasion of Poland (Fall Weiss) (C- 126). Another memorandum from Raeder's headquarters, dated 2 August 1939, is addressed to the fleet, and The Flag Officer, U-boats -- this is, Doenitz (C-126). This was merely a covering letter on operational directions for the precautionary employment of U-boats in the Atlantic in the event that the intention to

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carry out Fall Weiss remained unchanged. The second sentence is significant:

"Flag Officer, U-boats, is handing in his operational orders to SKL [Seekriegsletung, the German Admiralty] by 12 August. A decision on the sailings of U-boats for the Atlantic will probably be made at the middle of August." (C-126)

Doenitz proceeded to give operational instructions to his U- boats for the operation Fall Weiss. These instructions, signed by him, are not dated, but it is clear from the subject matter that the date must have been before 16 July 1939 (C-172). These operational instructions gave effect to Raeder's directive (C-126).

(2) Norway and Denmark. An extract from the War Diary of the Naval War Staff of the German Admiralty, dated 3 October 1939, records the fact that the Chief of the Naval War Staff has called for views on the possibility of taking operational bases in Norway (C-122). It states Doenitz's views as follows:

" Flag Officer U-boats already considers such harbors extremely useful as equipment-and supply-bases for Atlantic U-boats to call at temporarily." (C-122)

A communication from Doenitz as Flag Officer U-boats, addressed to the Supreme Command of the Navy (the Naval War Staff) dated 9 October 1939, sets out Doenitz's views on the advantages of Trondheim and Narvik as bases. Doenitz proposes the establishment of a base at Trondheim with Narvik as alternative (C-5).

Doenitz then gave operation orders to his U-boats for the occupation of Denmark and Norway. This Top Secret order, dated 30 March 1940, under the code name "Hartmut," provided:

"The naval force will, as they enter the harbor, fly the British flag until the troops have landed, except presumably at Narvik." (C-151)

(3) England. The preparations for war against England are perhaps best shown by the disposition of the U-boats under Doenitz's command on 3 September 1939, when war broke out between Germany and the Western Allies. The locations of the kings in the following week, including that of the Athenia, provide corroboration. These matters are contained in two charts prepared by the British Admiralty. The first chart sets out the disposition of German submarines on 3 September 1939. The certificate attached to this chart reads:

"This chart has been constructed from a study of the orders issued by Doenitz between 21 August 1939 and 3 Septem-

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ber 1939, and subsequently captured. The chart shows the approximate disposition of submarines ordered for 3 September 1939, and cannot be guaranteed accurate in every detail, as the file of captured orders are clearly not complete and some of the submarines shown apparently had received orders at sea on or about September 3 to move to new operational areas. The documents from which this chart was constructed are held by the British Admiralty in London."

It will be apparent that U-boats which were in the positions indicated on this chart on 3 September 1939 had left Kiel a considerable time before. The location of the U-boat U-30 is particularly significant.

The second chart sets out the sinkings during the first week of the war. The attached certificate reads:

"This chart has been constructed from the official records of the British Admiralty in London. It shows the position and sinkings of the British merchant vessels lost by enemy action in the seven days subsequent to 3 September 1939."

The location of the sinking of the Athenia is significant.

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

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