4 Jan. 46

competent fields, and they actually did prepare for any such operations as were to be undertaken by troops in the field.

"Prior to any operation, the respective members of this group were assembled occasionally and given appropriate directions by the head of the State. Examples of such meetings are the speech by Hitler to the commanders-in-chief on 22 August 1939 prior to the Polish campaign and the conference at the Reich Chancellery on 14 June 1941 prior to the first Russian campaign.

"The composition of this group and the relationship of its members to each other were as shown in the attached chart. This was, in effect, the General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces. Signed: Halder."

The chart to which reference is made is the chart which is at the front of the room and which was attached to the affidavit. The two meetings referred to in the last paragraph of the affidavit are covered by documents which will be introduced subsequently.

I next offer a substantially identical statement by Von Brauchitsch, which will be Exhibit Number USA-532 (Document 3703-PS). Von Brauchitsch held the rank of field marshal and was Commander-in-Chief of the Army from 1938 to 1941 — therefore also a member of the group. I need not read his statement, since it is practically the same as that given by Halder; but I will ask that it be set forth in full in the transcript at this point. The only difference between the two statements is in the last sentence of each. Halder states that the group described in the Indictment "was, in effect, the General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces," whereas Von Brauchitsch puts it a little differently, saying, "In the hands of those who filled the positions shown in the chart lay the actual direction of the Armed Forces." Otherwise, the two statements are identical.

[The document referred to above is as follows:]

"Ultimate authority and responsibility for military affairs in Germany was vested in the head of State who prior to 2 August 1934 was Field Marshal Von Hindenburg and thereafter until 1945 was Adolf Hitler.

"Specialized military matters were the responsibility of the three branches of the Armed Forces subordinate to the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces (at the same time head of State), that is to say, the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. In practice supervision within this field was exercised by a relatively small group of high ranking officers. These officers exercised such supervision on the basis of their official instructions and by virtue of their training, their positions, and their mutual contacts. Plans for military operations