Once Hitler had decided to attack Russia, Raeder sought a role
for the Navy in the Russian campaign. The first naval operational plan against Russia was characteristically Nazi. The entry for 15 June 1941 in the notes of the German Naval War Staff reads:
"On the proposal of Chief Naval Operations, use of arms against Russian submarines, south of the northern boundary of the Poland warning area is permitted immediately; ruthless destruction is to be aimed at." (C-170)
Keitel provides a typically fraudulent pretext for this action in his letter dated 15 June 1941 (C-38):
"Subject: Offensive action against enemy submarines in the Baltic Sea.
"To: "High Command of the Navy -- OKM (SKL)
"Offensive action against submarine south of the line Memel southern tip of Oeland is authorized if the boats cannot be definitely identified as Swedish during the approach by German naval forces.
"The reason to be given up to B-day is that our naval forces believed to be dealing with penetrating British submarines." (C-38).
This order was given on 15 June 1941, although the Nazi attack on Russia did not take place until 22 June 1941.
(7) Instigation of Japanese aggression. In the meantime, Raeder was urging Hitler, as early as 18 March 1941, to enlarge the scope of the world war by inducing Japan to seize Singapore. Raeder's views at his audience with Hitler on 18 March were as follows:
"Japan must take steps to seize Singapore as soon as possible, since the opportunity will never again be as favorable (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)
By 20 April 1941 Hitler had agreed with Raeder's proposition to induce the Japanese to take offensive action against Singapore. The entry in the notes of the German Naval War Staff, for 20 April 1941, reads:
"Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer: Navy Supreme Commander asks about result of Matsuoka's visit, and evaluation of Japanese-Russian pact. Fuehrer has in- formed Matsuoka, 'that Russia will not be touched if she behaves friendly according to the treaty. Otherwise, he reserves action for himself.' Japan- Russia pact has been concluded in agreement with Germany, and is to prevent Japan from advancing against Vladivostok, and to cause her to attack Singapore." (C- 170).
The real purpose of Hitler's words to Matsuoka is revealed in another description of their conversation:
" At that time the Fuehrer was firmly resolved on a surprise attack on Russia, regardless of what was the Russian attitude to Germany. This, according to reports coming in, was frequently changing. The communication to Matsuoka was designed entirely as a camouflage measure and to ensure surprise." (C-66)
The Axis partners were not even honest with each other. This is typical of the jungle diplomacy with which Raeder associated himself.
The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.
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