4 Jan. 46

"Until the summer of 1944 they bore the designation Befehlshaber and from then on that of Oberbefehlshaber. This change of designation carried with it no change in the functions and responsibilities that they previously had."
Your Honor, that concludes the description of the composition of the group and the personnel of it. The staff of the Tribunal have referred to me two inquiries which have been addressed to the Tribunal by counsel for the group and it seemed to me it might be appropriate if I disposed of those inquiries now as to the composition of the group. The letters were turned over to me 2 days ago.

The first is from Hofrat Düllmann, and he has asked whether the group, as defined in the Indictment, is contingent upon rank, whether it includes officers holding a definite rank such as field marshal or "Generaloberst."

The answer to that is clearly "no." As has been pointed out, the criterion of membership in the group is whether one held one of the positions on the chart up there; and one would be in the group if one held one of the positions, no matter what one's rank. Rank is no criterion. In point of fact, I suppose everybody in the group held at least the rank of general in the German Army, which is the equivalent of lieutenant general in ours.

He has also asked whether the group includes officers of the so-called General Staff Corps. The answer to that is "no." There was in the German Army a war academy, and graduates of the war academy were in the branch of service described as the General Staff Corps. They signed themselves, for example, "Colonel in Generalstab." They functioned largely as adjutants, and assistants to the chief staff officers. I suppose there were some thousands of them-two or three thousand, but they are not included in the group. Many of them were officers of junior rank. They are not named in the Indictment, and there is no reason and no respect in which they are comprehended within the group as defined.

The other letter of inquiry is from Dr. Exner, who states that he is in doubt as to the meaning of Oberbefehlshaber and goes on to state that he believes that Oberbefehlshaber includes commanders-in-chief in theaters of war, the commanders-in-chief of army groups, and the commanders-in-chief of armies. That is quite right. Those are the positions as shown on the chart.

Let us now spend a few minutes examining the way this group worked. In many respects, of course, the German military leaders functioned in the same general manner as obtained in the military establishments of other large nations. General plans were made by the top staff officers and their assistants in collaboration with the field generals or admirals who were entrusted with the execution of the plans. A decision to wage a particular campaign would be made,