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do it, but he is convinced of a victory of his fleet in Japanese

waters." (1834-PS) In the paragraphs that follow, Ribbentrop again stresses the mutual interdependence of the Tripartite Pact powers and suggests coordinated action. He indulged in a typical bit of Nazi cynicism:

"The Reich Foreign Minister then touched upon the question, explicitly pointed out as theoretical, that the contracting powers might be required, on the basis of new affronts by the U.S.A., to break off diplomatic relations. Germany and Italy were fundamentally determined on this; after signing of the Three-Power Pact we should proceed if the occasion arises, but also jointly in this matter. Such a lesson should open the eyes of the people in the U.S.A. to the situation and under certain conditions bring about a swing toward isolation in public opinion. Naturally a situation had to be chosen in which America found herself entirely in the wrong. The common step of the signatory powers should be exploited correspondingly in propaganda. The question, however, was

in no way acute at the time.(1834-PS) Again on 29 March 1941, Ribbentrop—this time in a conference with the Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka-discussed the possible involvement of the United States. (1877-PS)

The Nazi conspirators knew that the aggressive war they were urging the Japanese to undertake both threatened the vital interests of the United States and could lead the U.S. to involvement in the contemplated Far Eastern conflict. This fact is clear from the report of the conference between Hitler and the Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka in Berlin on 4 April 1941 (1881PS). The report states, in part:

Matsuoka then also expressed the request that the Fuehrer should instruct the proper authorities in Germany to meet as broad-mindedly as possible the wishes of the Japanese Military Commission. Japan was in need of German help particularly concerning the U-boat warfare, which could be given by making available to them the latest experiences of the war as well as the latest technical improvements and inventions. Japan would do her utmost to avoid a war with the United States. In case that the country should decide to attack Singapore, the Japanese Navy, of course, had to be prepared for a fight with the United States, because in that case America probably would side with Great Britain. He (Matsuoka) personally believed that the United States would be restrained by diplomatic exertions from entering 685964-46-56

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the war at the side of Great Britain. The Army and Navy
had, however, to count on the worst situation, that is, with
war against America. They were of the opinion that such
a war would extend for five years or longer and would take
the form of guerrilla warfare in the Pacific and would be
fought out in the South Sea. For this reason the German
experiences in her guerrilla warfare are of the greatest value
to Japan. It was a question how such a war would best be
conducted and how all the technical improvements of sub-
marines, in all details such as periscopes and such like, could
best be exploited by Japan.
“To sum up, Matsuoka requested that the Fuehrer should see
to it that the proper German authorities would place at the
disposal of the Japanese those developments and inventions
concerning Navy and Army, which were needed by the Japa-
“The Fuehrer promised this and pointed out that Germany
too considered a conflict with the United States undesirable,
but that it had already made allowances for such a contin-


"Matsuoka once more repeated his request that the Fuehrer
might give the necessary instructions, in order that the
proper German authorities would place at the disposal of the
Japanese the latest improvement and inventions, which are
of interest to them, because the Japanese Navy had to pre-
pare immediately for a conflict with the United States.
“As regards Japanese-American relationship, Matsuoka ex-
plained further that he has always declared in his country
that sooner or later a war with the United States would be
unavoidable, if Japan continued to drift along as at present.
In his opinion this conflict would happen rather sooner than
later. His argumentation went on, why should Japan, there-
fore, not decisively strike at the right moment and take the

risk upon herself of a fight against America ?(1881-PS) The passages just quoted show not only a realization of the probable involvement of the United States in the Far Eastern conflict that the Nazis were urging, but also a knowledge on their part that the Japanese Army and Navy were actually preparing war plans against the United States. Furthermore, the Nazis knew at least a part of what those war plans were. This fact is revealed in a secret telegram from the German military attaché in Tokyo, dated 24 May 1941 (1538-PS). The attaché reports

the conferences he has had regarding Japan's entry in the war in the event Germany should become involved in war with the United States. In paragraph 1, this sentence appears:

"Preparations for attack on Singapore and Manila stand."

(1538-PS). A review of the Nazi position with regard to the United States at this point, the Spring of 1941, shows that in view of their press of commitments elsewhere and their aggressive plans against the U.S.S.R., set for execution in June of 1941, their temporary strategy was naturally a preference that the United States not be involved in war at that time. Nevertheless they had been considering their own preliminary plans against the United States, as seen in the Atlantic Islands document (376-PS). They were repeatedly urging the Japanese to aggression against the British Commonwealth, just as they would urge them to attack the U.S.S.R. soon after the launching of the Nazi invasion. They were aware that the course along which they were pushing the Japanese, in the Far East would probably lead to involvement of the United States. Indeed, the Japanese Foreign Minister had told Hitler this in so many words, and their own military men had fully realized the implications of the move against Singapore. They knew also that the Japanese Army and Navy were preparing operational plans against the United States. They knew at least part of those plans.

The Nazi conspirators not only knew all these things. They accepted the risk of the aggressive course they were urging on the Japanese and pushed their Eastern allies still farther along that course. On 4 April 1941, Hitler told the Japanese Foreign Minister that in the event Japan were to become involved in war with the United States, Germany would immediately take the consequences and strike without delay. The following is a passage from the notes of the Hitler-Matsuoka conference in Berlin on 4 April 1941:

"In the further course of the discussion the Fuehrer pointed out that Germany on her part would immediately take the consequences, if Japan would get involved with the United States. It did not matter with whom the United States would first get involved, if with Germany or with Japan. They would always try to eliminate one country at a time, not to come to an understanding with the other country subsequently, but to liquidate this one just the same. Therefore Germany would strike, as already mentioned, without delay in case of a conflict between Japan and America, because the strength of the tripartite powers lies in their joined action. Their weakness would be if they would let

themselves be beaten individually.(1881-PS) Hitler then encouraged Matsuoka in his decision to strike against the United States:

"The Fuehrer replied that he could well understand the situation of Matsuoka, because he himself was in similar situations (the clearing of the Rhineland, declaration of sovereignty of armed Forces). He too was of the opinion that he had to exploit favorable conditions and accept the risk of an anyhow unavoidable fight at a time when he himself was still young and full of vigor. How right he was in his attitude was proven by events. Europe now was free. He would not hesitate a moment to instantly reply to any widening of the war, be it by Russia, be it by America. Providence favored those who will not let dangers come to them,

but who will bravely face them.” (1881-PS) Here, in the passages just quoted, were assurance, encouragement, and abetment by the head of the German State, the leading Nazi co-conspirator, in April 1941. But the Nazi encouragement and promise of support did not end there. Another telegram from the German Ambassador in Tokyo regarding conversations with the Japanese Foreign Minister, dated 30 November 1941, one week before Pearl Harbor, read as follows:

“The progress of the negotiations so far confirms his viewpoint that the difference of opinion between Japan and the U. S. is very great. The Japanese Government since it sent Ambassador Kurusu has taken a firm stand, as he told me. He is convinced that this position is in our favor and makes the United States think that her entry into the European war would be risky business. The new American proposal of 25 November showed great divergences in the viewpoints of the two nations. These differences of opinion concern, for example, the further treatment of the Chinese question. The biggest (one word missing) however resulted from the U. S. attempt to make the three-power agreement ineffective. U. S. suggested to Japan to conclude treaties of non-aggression with the U. S., the British Empire, the Soviet Union, and other countries in order to prevent Japan's entry into the war on the side of the Axis powers. Japan, however, insisted upon maintaining her treaty obligations and for this reason American demands are the greatest obstacles for adjusting Japanese-American relations. He avoided discussing concessions promised by the U. S. and merely mentioned that grave decisions were at stake.

“The U. S. is seriously preparing for war and is about to
operate a considerable part of its fleet from Southern Pa-
cific bases. The Japanese Government is busy working out
an answer in order to clarify its viewpoint. But he has no
particulars at that moment. He thinks the American pro-
posals, as a whole, unacceptable.
"Japan is not afraid of a breakdown of negotiations and
she hopes that in that case Germany and Italy, according to
the Three Power Agreement, would stand at her side. I
answered that there could be no doubt about Germany's
future position. The Japanese Foreign Minister thereupon
stated that he understood from my words that Germany in
such a case would consider her relationship to Japan as that
of a community of fate. I answered, according to my opin-
ion, Germany was certainly ready to have mutual agreement
between the two countries over this situation.
"Minister of Foreign Affairs answered that it was possible
that he would come back to this point soon. The conversa-
tion with the Minister of Foreign Affairs confirmed the im-
pression that the U. S. note, in fact, is very unsatisfactory
even for the compromise-seeking politicians here. For these
circles America's position, especially in the China question,
is very disappointing. The emphasis upon the Three Power
Pact as being the main obstacle between successful Japa-
nese-U. S. negotiations seems to point to the fact that the
Japanese Government is becoming aware of the necessity of

close cooperation with the Axis powers.” (2898-PS) Extracts from the handwritten diary of Count Galleazzo Ciano during the period 3 December to 8 December 1941 fill in the picture (2987-PS). These are taken from notes which Ciano jotted down in the course of his daily business as Foreign Minister of Italy. The entries for 3, 4, and 5 December read:

"December 3.
“Sensational move by Japan. The Ambassador asks for
an audience with the Duce and reads him a long statement
on the progress of the negotiations with America, conclud-
ing with the assertion that they have reached a dead end.
Then, invoking the appropriate clause in the Tripartite Pact,
he asks that Italy declare war on America immediately after
the outbreak of hostilities and proposes the signature of an
agreement not to conclude a separate peace. The interpreter
translating this request was trembling like a leaf. The Duce
gave fullest assurances, reserving the right to confer with

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