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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 62 (October 1946)

Press and radio comment,   pp. 18-31 PDF (7.5 MB)


Page 23

within the meaning of that word as used by
the Charter. Submarine   warfare, which
began immediately upon the outbreak of
war, was fully coordinated with the other
branches of the Wehrmacht. It is clear that
his U-Boats, few in number at the time, were
fully prepared to wage war....
The High Seas fleet made a few minor,
if spectacular, raids during the early years
of the war but the real damage to the enemy
was done almost exclusively by his sub-
marines as the millions of tons of Allied and
neutral shipping sunk will testify. Doenitz
was solely in charge of this warefare....
From January 1943, Doenitz was consulted
almost continuously by Hitler.... As late
as April 1945 when he admits he knew the
struggle was hopeless, Doenitz as its Com-
mander-in-Chief urged the Navy to continue
its fight....
The Tribunal is not prepared to hold
Doenitz guilty for his conduct of submarine
warfare against British armed merchant
ships. However, the proclamation of opera-
tional zones and sinking of neutral merchant
vessels which enter those zones presents a
different question.... The order of Doenitz
to sink neutral ships without warning when
found within these zones was, in the opinion
of the Tribunal, therefore a violation of the
Protocol (of 1936). ... The evidence further
shows that the rescue provisions were not
carried out and that the defendant ordered
that they should not be carried out....
Conclusion: The tribunal finds Doenitz is
not guilty on Count One (conspiracy), guilty
on Counts Two and Three (crimes against
peace, war crimes).
Sentence: Ten years imprisonement.
Erich Raeder
In 1928 he became Chief of Naval Com-
mand and in 1935 Commander-in-Chief; in
1939 Hitler made him Gross-Admiral. He
was a member of the Reich Defense Council.
... On 30 January 1943 he became Admiral
Inspector of the Navy, a nominal title.
In the 15 years he commanded it, Raeder
built and directed the German Navy; he
accepted full responsibility until retirement
in 1943. He admits the Navy violated the
Versailles Treaty, insisting it was "a matter
of honor for  every  man" to do so, and
alleged that the violations were for the most
part minor, and Germany built less than -her
allowable strength.
Raeder received the directive of 24 June
1937 from von Blomberg requiring special
operations for war against Austria.... The
conception of the invasion of Norway first
arose in the mind of Raeder and not that of
Hitler.... Raeder defends his actions on
the ground it was a move to forestall the
British... Raeder received the directives...
for the attack in the West. In a meeting of
18 March 1941 with Hitler he urged the
occupation of all Greece.... Raeder endeav-
ored to dissuade Hitler from embarking
upon the invasion of the USSR. In Septem-
ber 1940 he urged on Hitler an aggressive
Mediterranean policy as an alternative to an
attack on Russia.... It is clear from this
evidence that Raeder participated in the
planning and waging or aggressive war....
The most serious charge against Raeder is
that he carried out unrestricted submarine
warfare, including sinking of unarmed
merchant ships, of neutrals, non-rescue and
machine-gunning of survivors, contrary to
the London Protocol of 1936. The Tribunal
makes the same finding on Raeder on this
charge as it did as to Doenitz.... up until
30 January 1943 when Raeder retired....
The Commando Order of 18 October 1942 .
was transmitted by the Naval War Staff to
the lower naval commanders.... Two com-
mandos were put to death by the navy....
at Bordeaux.... Raeder admits he passed
the order down through the chain of com-
mand, and he did not object to Hitler.
Conclusion: The Tribunal finds that
Raeder is guilty on Counts One, Two and
Three (conspiracy, war against peace, war
crimes).
Sentence: Life imprisonment.
Baldur von Schirach
He joined the Nazi Party and the SA in
1925. In 1929 he became the Leader of the
National Socialist Students Union. In 1931
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