4 Jan. 46

Let us examine first the general structure and organization of the German Armed Forces and then look at the composition of the group as specified in the Indictment. As I just mentioned, we have prepared a very short written exposition of the organization of the German Armed Forces, which we have handed up to the Tribunal. That document contains a short sketch setting forth the basic history and development of the Supreme Command of the German Armed Forces since 1933 and the structure as it emerged after its reorganization in 1938. It also contains a simple chart which, in a few moments, will be displayed at the front of the courtroom. It also contains a short glossary of German military expressions; and it contains a comparative table of ranks in the German Army and in the SS, showing the equivalent ranks in the American Army and the equivalent ranks for the German Navy and the British Navy. I may say that military and naval ranks differ slightly among the principal nations, but that by and large they follow the same general pattern and terminology.

When the Nazis came to power in 1933, the German Armed Forces were controlled by a Reich Defense Minister, who at that time was Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg. Under Von Blomberg were the Chief of the Army Staff, who at that time was Von Fritsch, and of the Naval Staff, the Defendant Raeder. Owing to the limitations imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles, the German Air Force at that time had no official existence whatever. The Army and Naval Staffs were renamed "High Command" — Oberkommando des Heeres and Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine — from which are derived the initials by which they are generally known, OKH and OKM.

In May 1935 at the time that military conscription was introduced in Germany, there was a change in the titles of these offices; but the structure remained basically the same. Field Marshal Von Blomberg remained in supreme command of the Armed Forces, with the title of Reich Minister for War and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Von Fritsch assumed the title Commander-in-Chief of the Army, and Raeder, Commander-in-Chief of the Navy.

The German Air Force came into official and open existence at about this same time, but it was not put under Von Blomberg. It was an independent institution under the personal command of the Defendant Göring who had the double title of Air Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force.

I will now ask that that chart be displayed, please.

This chart, Your Honors, has been certified and sworn to by three principal German generals and the affidavits with reference to it will be introduced in a few moments. It shows the organization,