4 Jan. 46

appears to be a most extraordinary notion from a diplomatic angle. It was a proposal to violate without any excuse the neutrality of three neighboring small countries and simultaneously to guarantee the neutrality of a fourth. What value the Belgians might have attributed to a guarantee of neutrality offered under such circumstances, it is difficult to imagine; and in fact, the "new idea" projected at this meeting seems a most extraordinary combination of cynicism and naïveté.

In the meantime, as Jodl's diary shows, on 5 February 1940 the 14 special staff" for the Norway invasion met for the first time and got its instructions from Keitel. On 21 February Hitler put General Von Falkenhorst in command of the Norway undertaking; and Jodl's diary records that "Falkenhorst accepts gladly."

On 26 February Hitler was still in doubt whether to go first to Norway or the Low Countries, but on 3 March he decided to do Norway first and the Low Countries a short time thereafter. This decision proved final. Norway and Denmark were invaded on 9 April and the success of the adventure was certain by the 1st of May. The invasion of the Low Countries took place 10 days later.

So France and the Low Countries fell, Italy joined the war on the side of Germany, and the African campaign began. In October 1940 Italy attacked Greece. The Italo-Greek stalemate and the uncertain attitude of Yugoslavia became embarrassing to Germany, particularly because the attack of the Soviet Union was being planned and Germany felt she could not risk an uncertain situation at her rear in the Balkans.

Accordingly, it was decided to end the Greek situation by coming to Italy's aid, and the Yugoslavian coup d'etat of 26 March 1941 brought about the final German decision to crush Yugoslavia also. The documents have already been introduced by Colonel Phillimore, and there is little that I need to add for my present purpose. The decisions were made; the Armed Forces drew up the necessary plans and executed the attacks. The onslaught was particularly unmerciful and ruthless against Yugoslavia for the special purpose of frightening Turkey and Greece. The final deployment instructions were issued by Brauchitsch and appear in Document R-95, Exhibit Number GB-127, which has not been read before. Two extracts from this are of interest. These extracts are very short:
"The political situation in the Balkans having changed by reason of the Yugoslav military revolt, Yugoslavia has to be considered an enemy even should it make declarations of loyalty at first.

"The Führer and Supreme Commander has decided therefore to destroy Yugoslavia as quickly as possible."