The Holocaust Historiography Project

Translation of document 3705-PS

                STATEMENT OF 7 November 1945

In April 1939 I was instructed by Hitler to start military
preparations for a possible campaign against Poland. Work
was immediately begun to prepare an operational and
deployment plan. This was then presented to Hitler and
approved by him as amended by a change which he desired.

After the operational and deployment orders had been given
to the two Commanders of the army groups and the five
Commanders of the armies, conferences took place with them
about details in order to hear their desires and

                                                  [Page 416]

After the outbreak of the war I continued this policy of
keeping in close and constant touch with the Commanders-in-
Chief of army groups and of armies by personal visits to
their headquarters as well as by telephone, teletype, or
wireless. In this way I was able to obtain their advice and
their recommendations during the conduct of military
operations. In fact it was the accepted policy and common
practice for the Commander-in-Chief of the Army to consult
his subordinate Commanders-in-Chief and to maintain a
constant exchange of ideas with them. The Commander-in-Chief
of the Army and his Chief of Staff communicated with army
groups and, through them as well as directly, with armies;
through army groups on strategical and tactical matters;
directly on questions affecting supply and the
administration of conquered territory occupied by these
armies. An army group had no territorial jurisdiction . It
had a relatively small staff which was concerned only with
military operations. In all territorial matters it was the
Commander-in-Chief of the army and not of the army group who
exercised jurisdiction.

                                    [signed] von BRAUCHITSCH


When Hitler had made a decision to support the realization
of his political objectives through military pressure or
through the application of military force, the Commander-in-
Chief of the Army, if he was at all involved, ordinarily
first received an appropriate oral briefing or an
appropriate oral command.

Operational and deployment plans were next worked out in the
OKH. After these plans had been presented to Hitler,
generally by word of mouth, and had been approved by him,
there followed a written order from the OKW to the three
branches of the Armed Forces. In the meanwhile the OKW began
to transmit the operational and deployment plans to the army
groups and armies involved. Details of the operational and
deployment plans were discussed by the OKH with the
Commanders of the army groups and armies and with the Chiefs
of Staff of these Commanders.

During the operations the OKH maintained a constant exchange
of ideas with the army groups by means of telephone, radio,
and courier. The Commander-in-Chief of the Army used every
opportunity to maintain a personal exchange of ideas with
the Commanders of army groups, armies, and lower echelons by
means of personal visits to them. In the war against Russia

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the Commanders of army groups and of armies were
individually and repeatedly called in by Hitler for

Orders for all operational matters went from the OKH to army
groups and for all matters concerning supply and territorial
jurisdiction from the OKH directly to the armies.

                                    [signed] von BRAUCHITSCH


Before me, Walter H. Rapp, Captain, Cavalry, ASN 0-454231,
an officer duly qualified to take oaths, appeared Field
Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch, to me known who in my
presence signed the foregoing “Erklaerung vom 7 November
1945” (statement of 7 November 1945) consisting of two pages
in the German language, and who in my presence also signed
the attached “Ergaenzung zu meiner Erklaerung vom 7 November
1945” (supplement to my statement of 7 November 1945)
consisting of one sheet written on both sides in German
script, and swore that the same was true on the 7th day of
November 1945.

                                     [signed] Walter H. Rapp
                                              WALTER H. RAPP
                                                Captain, CAV