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Translation of document C-41
COPY QUESTIONS OF TERRITORIAL EXPANSION AND BASES 1. These problems are preeminently of apolitical character and comprise an abundance of questions of a political type, which it is not the Navy’s province to answer, but they also materially affect the strategic possibilities open, — according to the way in which this question is answered — for the subsequent use and operation of the Navy. It is too well known to need further mention that Germany’s present position in the narrows of the Heligoland Bight, and in the Baltic-bordered as it is by a whole series of states, and under their influence,-is an impossible cne for the future of Greater Germany. If, over and above this, one extends these strategic possibilities to the point that Germany shall not continue to be cut off for all time from overseas by natural geographical facts, the demand is raised that somehow or other an end shall be put to this state of affairs at the end of the war. The solution could perhaps be found among the following possibilities: 1. The territories of Denmark, Norway, and Northern France acquired during the course of the war continue to be so occupied and organized that they can in future be considered as German possessions. This solution will recommend itself for areas where the severity of the decision tells, and should tell, on the enemy, and where a gradual "Germanizing” of the territory appears practicable. 2. The taking over and holding of areas which have no direct connection with Germany’s main body, and which, like the Russian solution in Hango, remain permanently as an enclave in the hostile state. Such areas might be considered possibly around Brest and Trondjem. [Pencil note] But this isn’t at all the case with Trondjem. This type of solution can only be discouraged. It is fraught with every conceivable weakness to which a bridgehead in a hostile country and national body, difficult of access, far removed from the homeland and thrown back on its own resources is subject. On the face of it the thought of having made provision for; the outbreak of a fresh war is a right one. As, however, it has in mind the possibility of a war breaking out in the near or distant future, it is basically wrong and ineffectual. [Pencil note] What does this mean in Norway’s case? 3. The power of Greater Germany in the strategic areas acquired in this war should result in the existing population of these areas feeling themselves politically, economically, and militarily, to be completely dependent on Germany. If the following results are achieved: that expansion is undertaken (on a scale I shall describe later) by means of the military measures for occupation taken during the war — that French powers of resistance (popular unity, mineral resources, industry, Armed Forces) are so broken that a revival must be considered out of the question — that the smaller states, such as the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway are forced into a dependence on us which will enable us in any circumstances and at any time, easily to occupy these countries again — then in practice the same, but psychologically much more, will be achieved. [Pencil note] No, I can’t agree there as far as Trondjem is concerned. If we clear right out of Trondjem the British could make difficulties again one fine day. We must have Trondjem ! The solution given above therefore, appears to be the proper one, that is, to crush France, to occupy Belgium, part of North and East France, to allow the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway to exist on the basis indicated above. To straighten out relations with Switzerland. The possession of Iceland would mean material strategic expansion for Germany. [Pencil note] Yes. II. I would advise against the creation of bases in the North and South America, Asia, or Australia. On the other hand contiguous possessions in Central Africa are considered extremely desirable — possessions which are made up of the area between Senegal and the Congo and stretch east as far as German East Africa — that is, they comprise: the French possession, say, South of the line of Latitude running through the mouth of the Senegal, the former German Colonies of Central Africa and the Belgian Congo. For the purpose of rounding off this area, German South West Africa could be considered as exchange territory for British or Portuguese possessions. [Pencil note] Yes. The acquisition of one or more bases on the groups of islands off Africa would be of the greatest importance, and besides this the possession of Madagascar and the French groups of islands in the Indian Ocean. Time will show how far the outcome of the war with England will make an extension of these demands possible. 1. Skl. [signed] Fricke 3.6.40.