Seas fleet made a few minor, if spectacular, raids during the early years of the war, but the real damage to the enemy was done almost exclusively by his submarines as the millions of tons of Allied and neutral shipping sunk will testify. Dönitz was solely in charge of this warfare. The Naval War Command reserved for itself only the decision as to the number of submarines in each area. In the invasion of Norway, for example, Dönitz made recommendations in October 1939 as to submarine bases, which he claims were no more than a staff study, and in March 1940 he made out the operational orders for the supporting U-boats, as discussed elsewhere in this Judgment.

That his importance to the German war effort was so regarded is eloquently proved by Raeder's recommendation of Dönitz as his successor and his appointment by Hitler on 30 January 1943 as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. Hitler, too, knew that submarine warfare was the essential part of Germany's naval warfare.

From January 1943, Dönitz was consulted almost continuously by Hitler. The evidence was that they conferred on naval problems about 120 times during the course of the war.

As late as April 1945, when he admits he knew the struggle was hopeless, Dönitz as its Commander-in-Chief urged the Navy to continue its fight. On 1 May 1945 he became the Head of State and as such ordered the Wehrmacht to continue its war in the East, until capitulation on 9 May 1945. Dönitz explained that his reason for these orders was to insure that the German civilian population might be evacuated and the Army might make an orderly retreat from the East.

In the view of the Tribunal. the evidence shows that Dönitz was active in waging aggressive war.

War Crimes

Dönitz is charged with waging unrestricted submarine warfare contrary to the Naval Protocol of 1936, to which Germany acceded, and which reaffirmed the rules of submarine warfare laid down in the London Naval Agreement of 1930.

The Prosecution has submitted that on 3 September 1939 the German U-boat arm began to wage unrestricted submarine warfare upon all merchant ships, whether enemy or neutral, cynically disregarding the Protocol; and that a calculated effort was made throughout the war to disguise this practice by making hypocritical references to international law and supposed violations by the Allies.

Dönitz insists that at all times the Navy remained within the confines of international law and of the Protocol. He testified that when the war began, the guide to submarine warfare was the German Prize Ordinance taken almost literally from the Protocol, that