4 Dec. 45

pursuance of the treaty obligations already referred to On the 6th of October Hitler renewed his assurances of friendship to Belgium and Holland, but on the 9th of October, before any kind of accusation had been made by the German Government of breaches of neutrality, Hitler issued a directive for the conduct of the war. And he said this:

"1) If it becomes evident in the near future that England and France, acting under her leadership, are not disposed to end the war, I am determined to take firm and offensive action without letting much time elapse.

"2) A long waiting period results not only in the ending of Belgian and perhaps also of Dutch neutrality to the advantage of the Western Powers, but also strengthens the military power of our enemies to an increasing degree, causes confidence of the neutrals in final German victory to wane, and does not help to bring Italy to our aid as brothers-in-arms.

"3) I therefore issue the following orders for the further conduct of military operations:

"(a) Preparations should be made for offensive action on the northern flank of the Western Front crossing the area of Luxembourg, Belgium, and Holland. This attack must be carried out as soon and as forcefully as possible.

"(b) The object of this attack is to defeat as many strong sections of the French fighting army as possible, and her ally and partner in the fighting, and at the same time to acquire as great an area of Holland, Belgium, and northern France as possible, to use as a base offering good prospects for waging aerial and sea warfare against England and to provide ample coverage for the vital district of the Ruhr."
Nothing could state more clearly or more definitely the object behind the invasion of these three countries than that document expresses it.

On the 15th of October 1939 the Defendant Keitel wrote a most-secret letter concerning "Fall Gelb" which was the name given to the operation against the Low Countries. In it he said that:

"The protection of the Ruhr area by moving aircraft reporting service and the air defense as far forward as possible in the area of Holland is significant for the whole conduct of the war. The more Dutch territory we occupy, the more effective can the defense of the Ruhr area be made. This point of view must determine the choice of objectives of the Army, even if the Army and Navy are not directly interested in such territorial gain. It must be the object of the Army's preparations,