6 Dec. 45

The value — perhaps the greatest value — of the minutes of that meeting is that they show quite clearly the German intention to attack England and France ultimately, anyway, if not at the same time as Poland.

I refer the Tribunal to the second page of the exhibit. Hitler is trying to show the strength of Germany, the certainty of winning the war; and, therefore, he hopes to persuade the Italians to come in:

"At sea, England had for the moment no immediate reinforcements in prospect." — I quote from the top of the second page. — "Some time would elapse before any of the ships now under construction could be taken into service. As far as the land army was concerned, after the introduction of conscription 60,000 men had been called to the colors."
I quote this passage particularly to show the intention to attack England. We have been concentrating rather on Poland, but here his thoughts are turned entirely towards England:
"If England kept the necessary troops in her own country she could send to France, at the most, two infantry divisions and one armored division. For the rest she could supply a few bomber squadrons, but hardly any fighters, since, at the outbreak of war, the German Air Force would at once attack England and the English fighters would be urgently needed for the defense of their own country.

"With regard to the position of France, the Führer said that in the event of a general war, after the destruction of Poland — which would not take long — Germany would be in a position to assemble a hundred divisions along the West Wall and France would then be compelled to concentrate all her available forces from the colonies, from the Italian frontier and elsewhere, on her own Maginot Line for the life and death struggle which would then ensue. The Führer also thought that the French would find it no easier to overrun the Italian fortifications than to overrun the West Wall. Here Count Ciano showed signs of extreme doubt." — Doubts which, perhaps, in view of the subsequent performances, were well justified.

"The Polish Army was most uneven in quality. Together with a few parade divisions, there were large numbers of troops of less value. Poland was very weak in antitank and antiaircraft defense and at the moment neither France nor England could help her in this respect."
What this Tribunal will appreciate, of course, is that Poland formed such a threat to Germany on Germany's eastern frontier.

"If, however, Poland were given assistance by the Western Powers over a longer period, she could obtain these weapons