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position of the Belgian Army. The Belgian Army covers the Liege-Antwerp Line. Then it deals with the disposition of the Dutch Army. The German Western Army is accordingly directing its attack between the North Sea and the Moselle, with the strongest possible air-force support, through the Belgo-Luxembourg region. The rest consists of operational details as to the bombing of the various targets in Belgium and in Holland. (TC58)
The nature of the Army's planning is shown in the 1 February 1940 entry in Jodl's diary, which reads in part as follows:
"1. Behavior of parachute units. In front of The Hague they
action against the Dutch air force." (1809-PS) The entry for 2 February 1940 states that "landings can be made in the centre of The Hague.” On 26 February Jodl wrote: "Fuehrer raises the question whether it is better to undertake the Weser Exercise before or after case 'Yellow.'” On 3 March, he recorded the answer: “Fuehrer decides to carry out Weser Exercise before case 'Yellow', with a few days' interval.” And on May 8, two days before the invasion, Jodl made this entry:
"Alarming news from Holland, cancelling of furloughs, evacuations, road-blocks, other mobilization measures; according to reports of the intelligence service the British have asked for permission to march in, but the Dutch have re
fused." (1809-PS) In other words, the Germans objected because the Dutch were actually making some preparation to resist their endeavor. Furthermore, the Dutch armies, according to the Germans' own intelligence reports, were still adhering properly to their neutrality.
At 4:30 a.m. on 10 May, the months of planning bore fruit, and Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg were violently invaded with all the fury of modern warfare. No warning was given by Germany and no complaint was made by Germany of any breaches of neutrality before this action was taken.
After the invasion of each of the three countries was a fait accompli, the German Ambassador called upon representatives of the three Governments some hours later and handed them documents which were similar in each case, and which are described as memoranda or ultimatums. An account of what happened in Belgium is contained in an official Belgian report:
“From 4:30 information was received which left no shadow
of doubt: the hour had struck. Aircraft were first reported in the east. At five o'clock came news of the bombing of two Netherlands aerodromes, the violation of the Belgian frontier, the landing of German soldiers at the Eben-Emael Fort, the bombing of the Jemelle station."
"At 8:30 the German Ambassador came to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When he entered the Minister's room, he began to take a paper from his pocket. M. Spaak” (Belgian Foreign Minister] "stopped him 'I beg your pardon, Mr. Ambassador. I will speak first.' And in an indignant voice, he read the Belgian Government's protest: 'Mr. Ambassador, the German Army has just attacked our country. This is the second time in twenty-five years that Germany has committed a criminal aggression against a neutral and loyal Belgium. What has just happened is perhaps even more odious than the aggression of 1914. No ultimatum, no note, ,no protest of any kind has ever been placed before the Belgian Government. It is through the attack itself that Belgium has learned that Germany has violated the undertakings given by her on October 13th, 1937, and renewed spontaneously at the beginning of the war. The act of aggression committed by Germany, for which there is no justification whatever, will deeply shock the conscience of the world. The German Reich will be held responsible by history. Belgium is resolved to defend herself. Her cause, which is the cause of Right, cannot be vanquished'."
"The Ambassador was then able to read the note he had brought: 'I am instructed by the Government of the Reich,' he said, 'to make the following declaration: In order to forestall the invasion of Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg, for which Great Britain and France have been making preparations clearly aimed at Germany, the Government of the Reich is compelled to ensure the neutrality of the three countries mentioned by means of arms. For this purpose, the Government of the Reich will bring up an armed force of the greatest size, so that resistance of any kind will be useless. The Government of the Reich guarantees Belgium's European and colonial territory, as well as her dynasty, on condition that no resistance is offered. Should there be any resistance, Belgium will risk the destruction of her country and loss of her independence. It is therefore, in the interests of Belgium that the population be called upon to cease all resistance and
that the authorities be given the necessary instructions to make contact with the German Military Command.”
“In the middle of this communication, M. Spaak, who had by his side the Secretary-General of the Department, interrupted the Ambassador: 'Hand me the document', he said. 'I should like to spare you so painful a task.' After studying the note, M. Spaak confined himself to pointing out that he had already replied by the protest he had just made.
(TC-58) The so-called ultimatum, which was delivered some hours after the invasion had started, read in part as follows:
"The Reich Government has for a long time had no doubts
carefully prepared and now immediately imminent attack on
tion." (TC-57) The so-called ultimatum goes on to complain of the hostile expressions in the Belgian and the Netherlands Press, and to allege attempts by the British Intelligence to bring a revolution into Germany with the assistance of Belgium and the Netherlands. Reference is made to military preparation of the two countries, and it is pointed out that Belgium has fortified the Belgian frontier. A complaint was made in regard to Holland, that British aircraft had flown over the Netherlands country. Other charges were made against the neutrality of these two countries, although no instances were given (TC-57). The document continued:
"In this struggle for existence forced upon the German people by England and France, the Reich Government is not disposed to await submissively the attack by England and France and to allow them to carry the war over Belgium and the Netherlands into German territory. It has therefore now issued the command to German troops to ensure the neutrality of these countries by all the military means at the dis
posal of the Reich." (TC-57) It is unnecessary, in view of the documents previously adverted to, to emphasize the falsity of that statement. It is now known that for months preparations had been made to violate the neutrality of these three countries. This document is merely saying, “The orders to do so have now been issued."
A similar document, similar in terms altogether, was handed to the representatives of the Netherlands Government; and a memorandum was sent to the Luxembourg Government, which enclosed with it a copy of the document handed to the Governments of Belgium and the Netherlands. The second paragraph of the latter declared:
"In defense against the imminent attack, the German troops have now received the order to safeguard the neutrality of these two countries
*". (TC-60) The protest of the Belgium Government against the crime which was committed against her is contained in TC-59.