sideration, that the territories of Denmark and Norway acquired during the course of the war should continue to be occupied and organized so that they could in the future be considered as German possessions.

In the light of all the available evidence it is impossible to accept the contention that the invasions of Denmark and Norway were defensive, and in the opinion of the Tribunal they were acts of aggressive war.

The Invasion of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg

The plan to seize Belgium and the Netherlands was considered in August 1938, when the attack on Czechoslovakia was being formulated, and the possibility of war with France and England was contemplated. The advantage to Germany of being able to use these countries for their own purposes, particularly as air bases in the war against England and France, was emphasized. In May of 1939, when Hitler made his irrevocable decision to attack Poland, and foresaw the possibility at least of a war with England and France in consequence, he told his military commanders:
"Dutch and Belgian air bases must be occupied . . . . Declarations of neutrality must be ignored."
On 22 August in the same year, he told his military commanders that England and France, in his opinion, would not "violate the neutrality of these countries." At the same time he assured Belgium and Holland and Luxembourg that he would respect their neutrality; and on 6 October 1939, after the Polish campaign, he repeated this assurance. On 7 October General Von Brauchitsch directed Army Group B to prepare "for the immediate invasion of Dutch and Belgian territory, if the political situation so demands." In a series of orders, which were signed by the Defendants Keitel and Jodl, the attack was fixed for 10 November 1939, but it was postponed from time to time until May of 1940 on account of weather conditions and transport problems.

At the conference on 23 November 1939 Hitler said:

"We have an Achilles heel: The Ruhr. The progress of the war depends on the possession of the Ruhr. If England and France push through Belgium and Holland into the Ruhr, we shall be in the greatest danger . . . .Certainly England and France will assume the offensive against Germany when they are armed. England and France have means of pressure to bring Belgium and Holland to request English and French help. In Belgium and Holland the sympathies are all for France and England . . . . If the French Army marches into Belgium in order to attack us, it will be too late for us. We must anticipate them . . . . We shall sow the English coast with mines which cannot be cleared. This mine warfare with