The Holocaust Historiography Project

Translation of document 3786-PS

              Stenographic transcription in the
                Headquarters of the Fuehrer.
       Discussion on the Situation of January 27, 1945
             First copy of second transcription

No 24/25

       Situation at noon of January 27, 1945 in Berlin

                          Present:

The Fuehrer                           Rear Admiral v. Puttkamer
Reich Marshal Goering                 Colonel v. Below
Field Marshal Keitel                  Colonel v. Brauchitsch
Col. General Jodl                     Captain (naval) Assmann
Col. General Guderian                 Hauptbereichsleiter Zander
General Burgdorf                      Direktor Dr. Schuster
General Buhle                         Lt. Colonel Waizenegger
Ambassador Hewel                      Major Buechs
Lt. General Winter                    Major v. Freytagh-Loringhoven
General Koller                        Major John v. Freyend
Vice Admiral Voss                     SS Major Goehler
SS Maj. General Fegelein              SS Major Guensche
Maj. General Scherff



                    Beginning 16.20 hours


                                                              [Page 656]

Dr. Schuster: As far as the weather conditions are concerned, my
Fuehrer, I have to report, the weather conditions are characterized by
incoming depressions over the Atlantic all the way to France. They
continue over Germany with snow and remain in the east, caused by a
strata of cold air, which lies over Russia and which penetrates in the
area of the province of East Prussia caused by strong winds from the
east and south. An offshoot of this depression spreads all over Italy
and this causes a considerable increase in difficulties in parachuting
for the enemy.

A major change in the weather conditions cannot yet be expected. These
depressions with some areas of precipitations will as before continue
from the west; it is going to spread from west to east and stay longer
here in this area, because a further advance to the cast is barred.

For England that means, that the conditions for parachuting are
deteriorating with these east winds, which blow here towards England. In
the last 3 days the whole of the eastern counties and the Midlands,
there were low-lying clouds with continuous falls of snow, accompanied
by poor visibility and heavy icing in these clouds. But the weather in
England is not so bad as to prevent all flying, because conditions over
the west of England are better, when the wind is blowing off the land.
There the clouds are sparse and visibility is good, i.e. better weather.
Hence the complete lull in flying over England is not caused solely by
the weather.

The Fuehrer:  By what else?

Goering:  Here there are no airfields; the latter lie in this direction.

Dr. Schustet.(to the Reichsmarschall): We have further ascertained, that
in December similar conditions existed over England and during 4 weeks
the British flew under similar circumstances. They were compelled,
within one month, to move 2800 aircraft to airfields in the North and
the West of England.

                                                              [Page 657]

Goering:  They have also lost a lot in recent weeks through these
changes.

Schuster: The fact remains, that the major part of the British
airfields, approx. 90%, are located in a territory of bad weather.
England is reporting considerable snow fall and low temperatures.

New precipitations are c oming over France and western front. The whole
territory from the Eifel to the south is covered today by snow with
heavy clouds and very bad visibility.

The weather conditions over the Reich are very much different. Snow
covered territories alternate with belts of fog, especially in the
northern part of the Reich. Conditions improved somewhat in the
territory south of Stettin as far as Breslau including the large
territory of Posen. The clouds are dense, but at a height of 800-1200 m
and below these clouds visibility is about 5-10 kin, with the result
that flying is possible today. This is the first day for some time past,
which shows somewhat more favorable conditions. Therefore the area of
Pomerania and the Vistula, as far south as Cracow has very poor
visibility the whole day owing to the snowfall. Here the units are
grounded. In East Prussia the clouds are dense at a height of 300-500m
with temperatures of 15 degrees. Yesterday there was a strong easterly
wind with a velocity of about 40 kin p.h. This strong east wind makes
icing in the whole of this area worse. As far as Hungary conditions make
for good flying over the whole Hungarian area with its heavy clouds at a
height of about a 1000m. Budapest lies within the region of snowfalls.
At nighttime: clouds at 400 m very heavy icing was recorded.

As regards to ice, I have to report that the Oder, throughout the whole
area, is completely covered with ice except in a few places. The ice is
so thick, that people can walk over it and vehicles even drive across
it. The ice is about 50cm thick. From 60 cm upwards armored vehicles can
cross it. With regard to the Danube. there is ice in the neighborhood of
Budapest.

Regarding Baltic ports I have further to report, that Pillau, even with
these strong easterly winds and low temperatures, remains open the whole
winter whereas Koenigsberg, at such low temperatures, has great
difficulty to contend with as regards ice. The channel from Koenigsberg
to the sea has to be kept open by ice-breakers. The Stettiner
Haff(lagune) all freezes very hard, but Swinernuende is comparatively
free from ice. The remaining Baltic ports, to the west of Swinemuende as
far as the Meeklenburger Big already have heavy ice, particularly in the
region of' Ruegen and south eastwards.

As regards to Neisse I have to report, that it is frozen to the sourth
of Ottmachau. The Neisse is only open in the town of Neisse itself. The
situation is this: if we want to open the Oder by changing the water
level, then very large quantities of water must be at our disposal.

The Fuehrer:  Small quaintities are not sufficient?

Schuster: The waves subside very strongly on this long course down to
the Oder and exceedingly strong thrust of water is required; the ice
breaks up, the blocks of ice push over the cover of ice, but freeze very
fast again. The temperature has to be close to zero, so that the
structure of ice can change and that the ice can break up easier.

Guderian:  My Fuehrer, the situation changed somewhat at the army
groups.

The Fuehrer:  This has to be stopped at once! There is no sense in it
anymore, they have to fight their way back; a defense line has to be
built here and they have to repel that.

Guderian:  The enemy has attacked here. Up till now he was repelled
everywhere. However, it can be easily seen, that the XVIIIth panzer
division is reinforced by the VIIth and there is a possibility Plijew
will be placed here or down there.

The Fuehrer:  It is obvious that position cannot be held with the forces
at our disposal at this place.

Guderian:  This is clear by now — The enemy achieved a dent up till
here, and was repulsed at the center. He is further being repelled now.
10 tanks have been
destroyed. The bridgehead is annihilated. Very strong attacks here.
Strong attacks being made here from four directions, a total of 15 tanks
were destroyed here.

A counter attack is made against the attack of the 23rd tank division.

The 356th division is arriving, the first transports are here already.

The Fuehrer:  We cannot count upon it yet.

Guderian:  The 23rd. tank division is being taken out in order to build
up replacements here.

The advance of the 6th tank division came up till the red circle. An
enemy attack was repulsed here.

Fuehrer: This has to be discontinued. We have to change here to the
defense, we have to retake that, the Werfercorps and the people's army
artillery have to go on defense. The units have to be put in the line
here in order to retake that.

Guderian: The situation in Budapest became more acute, because the enemy
transferred his main effort in the center of the west section and
penetrated up to the so-called "BIutwiese" (bloody field), on which up
till now most of the parachuting took place. A counter-attack is in the
making. Whether we will succeed with the available forces in improving
the situation is questionable because our heavy losses increased
considerably. He is at tempting to build a bridge across the
Margaretenwiese. The situation becomes more acute day by day.

On the rest of the front there are up here individual attacks: they were
repulsed here, a small dent here, without any importance. An attack was
repulsed here. Regrouping, replacement of Russian troops with Rumanian
troops in this corner here. The Plijew corps is being withdrawn in this
direction.

The Fuehrer:  Here.

Guderian:  Either he replaces the 6th guard tank army…

The Fuehrer:  No, he will succeed.

Guderian:  Either he will succeed, or he goes over here.

                                                              [Page 660]

The Fuehrer:  No, he will succeed, in order to break through here. He
knows, that the 20th is gone. Where is the 6th tank army now?

Guderian:  It departed in the direction of Vienna. I don't know exactly,
where the transports stand at this time.

Keitel: 6 trains have departed.

Winter:The forward elements of the 12th SS tank division are already in
the train. The conditions are somewhat better and eased, because there
enough fuel on hand; the road conditions became better, because it did
not snow; even the activities of the planes decreased in the afternoon.
In spite of that the progress for which we hoped generally and which was
ordered, could not be achieved. It can be assumed, that the rate of
speed is slightly improving now.

The Fuehrer:  I at once said: there is no sense in hypnotizing yourself
and then saying: I need it here, consequently it must happen. After all,
I must face facts as they are. The deployment of sufficient forces from
the West is not feasible for another to 8 weeks, because it just could
not be done. Any one who says the contrary is dreaming and live in a
state of wishful thinking, but not in reality This is exactly the same,
as when units were recalled from Greece. But that takes time; we can't
help that. I shall be glad, if the 1st and 2nd corps get here, say in
fourteen days, if they are able to come at all from so far away. If that
can be done, it will be extraordinary. However, I believe, that at the
most, combat units [Kampfstaffeln] will be here. But, there again, one
cannot merely say, I entrain the Karnpfstaffeln, whatever happens.
And I cannot wait long, but I must see, that I get it done, otherwise
everything that stays will also be destroyed.

Winter: There is a strict order that no consideration can be given to
that, but they have to leave.

The Fuehrer:  It is quite clear, there is no other possibility; they
rnust leave, otherwise everything will come to a standstill. All will be
destroyed and afterwards riothing will get away. As far as can be
foretold,

                                                              [Page 661]

the units which at least can be used here, will get away; those that
have been farthest in the rear will arrive first.

Goering:  How can he get out in such strength?

The Fuehrer:  He assembled everything.

Guderian:  He scraped everything together.

The Fuehrer:  I believe he will start his next attack here. Now, I am
not sure, whether the 44th division can stand up under it.

Guderian:  There is still the 46th division which through its withdrawal
moves the front farther back and shortens the lines.

The Fuebrer: Then they must be brought close to this position here, and
not any farther back. We can't waste anymore time. Whatever breaks in
front, cannot be repaired in the rear. Things must be tightened up. The
attacks will most likely be in the direction of Kormon. That is quite
clear. Then he also blocks the railroad.

Guderian:  This is occupied by the 357th, which is going into position.
The 271st is not so far advanced. Eventually it would be at our disposal
for that.

Now we have to consider, whether we should bring the 356th here. In any
case, the 46th Division must then come here.

The Fuehrer:  What does the 46th division look like?

Guderian:  It is a good division.


The Fuehrer:  We must do it that way for the reason, that we come to a
standstill here, so that I don't have to use the corps or the army here,
but I have to use it in the south. But one sees how dangerous this is.
Things must be cleared up. It is not quite clear to me, whether we can
do it from here, because we have to expect frontal assaults, or whether
we should come around from below. Because, once we are involved in long
frontal assaults, this would not work. But with the strength of this
army it can't be done. For that reason he must go into defensive
positions as quickly as possible, before it is too late. He must build
up a front between the Valances Lake and the Danube. and must cut his
way through to the south.

                                                              [Page 662]

Guderian:  In the opinion of General Woehler and Balek, some bungling
has occurred here. Turning to the west has been done too slowly. Certain
complications in the passing of commands and communications have caiised
the delays.

The Fuehrer:  I also think, it is too narrow again. The other one stood
firm. Things are like this: if one pushes into an enemy, who is massed,
then the meaning of a panzer division is of no value. A panzer division
is then practically nothing else but an inferior infantry division with
assault artillery support and panzer support. It is armored support
artillery, nothing else. Here we have to learn from the British and the
Americans. Now we must pay more attention to that. The panzers also,
will then become more artillery support. For a break-through they are no
longer useful, because of minefields, etc.

Guderian:  Everywhere very close teamwork has been established between
armored infantry, pioneers, and the armored forces.

The Fuehrer: I believe the training in firing of the armored forces at
the present time is still limited to very short distances. Thus the
panzers will be destroyed.

Guderian:  No, my Fuehrer, I as Inspector General personally increased
it to the highest possible range of
our optical instruments.

The Fuehrer: The optical instruments must still be improved: for it is
quite clear, if I advance them so far, they will then destroy the tanks
and that through artillery fire. Thus the tanks will be destroyed. Our
tanks, especially the old ones, with armored sideplates of 30- to 40-mm
are hardly safe against heavy shrapnel. This must be decided upon today.

Guderian:  This will be decided.

The Fuehrer:  The pushing through has no sense any more. That doesn't
help. How he stops it, doesn't make any difference. The right thing is
for him to settle down here, go on the defensive, and try, through
bringing up a unit, if necessary with the most combatable parts of both
SS divisions and the 1st

                                                              [Page 663]

armored division, to take a good grip of the whole thing, and then sweep
upwards, so that no space is lost any more.

Guderian:  The XXIIIrd armored corps, which up to now has been in
reserve, has also turned up here.

The Fuehrer:  So, that makes no more sense.

Guderian:  Of course. He now has no tank-reserves.

The Fuehrer:  I would no longer withdraw the 23rd from here.

Guderian:  This is most likely taking place now. He will spread out the
cavalry.

The Fuehrer:  This is very serious. Once, Guderian, this is taken back,
he will again push in here. He will make a strong attack in the
direction of Stuhlweissenburg, because he is cutting up the whole
business [Klumpatsch]. This must therefore be secured. That is the most
important thing to do. The second one is here.

GuderianYes, that will be stressed later.

The Fuehrer: He will push in here with all his might. This is the first
move.

Guderian:  If that is withdrawn, certainly. The question is, whether
this should be held here.

The Fuehrer:  Then they will be destroyed here. It can't be done with
the present forces. Here one line for the defense must be taken, and one
here. In this area he has to make the assault first against the weaker
enemy; he can do that somehow. Otherwise he will get a defensive front
here of such a length, that it can't be done with these forces. Then he
must retreat. We must make decisions now with lightning speed. We have
no time to try out anything like up there, but it must he done like
lightning. Therefore I order that he immediately assumes the defensive
and that he strengthens it with all possible means. Here he has the
people's artillery corps. Here he must have other units, otherwise he
can't do anything. Unfortunately one can not count on this division;
this is an illusion.

Guderian:  It will take a very long time.

The Fuehrer:  Probably the rear echelon troops will arrive first. There
is one train here?

                                                              [Page 664]

Guderian:  One train has arrived, six are due to arrive. There are
combat units among them, but not many, some artillery and one battalion.

The Fuehrer: With cavalry I can't stop a tank assault, that will
certainly happen here, and should he suddenly break-through here, then
the whole thIng is totally lost. Then I have to see, that I manage it
somehow; there is nothing one can do about it. The whole assault came at
a moment when he had the forces free here. That is too late already. It
had to be carried out for a start, three weeks ago; perhaps at that time
it would have been possible, that we would have come through with one
push and establish a connection. It is also a question, whether one
would have been able to hold that. I do not know. For, on the other
hand, I do not overlook that one point, that the enemy would not have
stood here, but here. This is also a questionable thing; if he pushes on
farther here, then. . . . This must be put in hand right
away.

Guderian: This will be done right away, my Fuehrer. At the Central Army
Group movements are carried out smoothly. The other final position which
is to be taken, is this line. The enemy has only pushed very slightly
there. The withdrawal of the 208th division proceeds rather smoothly.
The transport stopped due to various interruptions on the railroad. One
part is being loaded in Briesen.

The Fuehrer: Is this the final position?

Guderian: Yes. It should be reached by 30 January.

The Fuehrer: Naturally, this would be good, because behind it we would
still have the large Rochade Line.

Guderian: It should then connect with the 8th army at that point below.
Over here the 100th Jaeger division is withdrawing; this is now almost
accomplished. Behind it is the Ski Aeger division, of which the first
two battalions already are in position up here. It isn't quite deployed
as yet. Here is a part of the Ski Jaeger division, which had to be sent
in, because the enemy had pressed heavily here. In the area of the 17th
army very heavy battles have developed. The attacks have become

                                                              [Page 665]

static in one connecting line in the area from Richau to Auschwitz.
However Auschwitz has been lost. Farther north the 371st division has
been split into three fighting groups, between which only very loose
connections exist. Five tanks have been shot up. The situation in the
industrial area itself is serious. The enemy has encircled Mieslowitz
from both sides in a break-through from the south and a breakthrough in
the north, and has pushed through towards Kattowitz. There is fighting
in Kattowitz. From the south enemy tanks have pushed into Kattowitz.
Fighting groups, consisting of groups scraped together from other units,
units of the 20th panzer division, have been committed to counter
attacks in order to regain the loss. In various places farther north
very heavy attacks and break-throughs have taken place, nevertheless
General Schoerner decided to withdraw a further number of battalions
here, in order to cut off the enemy break-through in the direction of
Hindenburg and to the south of it which has taken place beyond Gleiwitz.
In these battles, yesterday 30, and today again 10 tanks of the 20th
panzer division have been shot up, altogether 40. However the 20th
panzer division itself is engaged on a wide front in a very furious and
unequal defense battle.

The enemy once more has encircled us farther south. Three battalions of
the 1st Ski Jaeger division are being sent up in order to counteract
this move.

The 8th armored division, now arrived in greater part (31 of 39
transports) is being assembled near Ratibor to be used in a
counter-attack in the direction of Rauden.

The Fuehrer:  Where is the principal coal district?

Goering:  Rybnick and Maehrisch-Ostrau.

Buhle: That is a very important district.

Goering:  High-grade steel and everything.

Guderian:  As from this evening, regimental units from Gneisenau. now in
the Protectorate will be put in

                                                              [Page 666]

marching order, to join the army group [Heeres-Gruppe] in
Maehrisch-Ostrau overnight.

Here the 3rd Russian guards-tank-army with its subordinate corps, a
total of 5 tank corps is deployed, who are strongly pushing south, to
surround this industrial district from the west. Here, the fighting is
heavy and at present unequal.

To the north, within the region of the army group, fighting for the
Oder-crossings developed. We succeeded at Kruppitz in throwing back the
enemy yesterday. This morning, they advanced and recrossed the Oder.
Counter-attacks are in progress to throw them back again. Here the 100th
Jaeger division and the Stegmann group, which is an armored group of the
103rd panzer brigade are in the line.

The bridgehead which had formed a connecting link here, was broken into
and split at this one place. Whether this situation will remain so
permanent, is not quite certain.

To the north of Oppeln there is also an enlarging of the bridgehead,
which will have to be diminished through counter-attacks of assembled
combat groups under command of General Hoffmann. Here there was an
advance as far as the river, likewise here in the middle.

The broad bridgehead south of Schurgast present, difficulties and
anxieties.

The enemy also managed to cross the river between Brieg and Ohlau.
Counter-attacks were started but did not succeed. Now, here in Zedlitz,
where the enemy attack yesterday has progressed far beyond the street
and the railroad, the enemy was thrown back into the street by combat
elements under direction of the commanding officer Ohlau. We shall try
today, by putting in the Pantherrabteilung 1/39, to clear up the
situation completely. So far 4 enemy tanks have been knocked out.

No change in the situation in the bend of the Oder southeast of Breslau.
In spite of heavy attacks and a slight indentation of the lines, the

                                                              [Page 667]

269th division has managed to maintain its position. The situation is
difficult south of Steinau and at Koehen, where during the forenoon the
enemy managed to accomplish deeper breakthroughs in the direction of
Herzogswalde and Rauthen. Here combat elements of the LOS have been
thrown in under the command of General Kirchner's LVIlth tank corps and
here under the command of the staff of the 16th tank division which had
already been withdrawn from the pocket, a counter-attack was made
together with a nuniber of SM from the Glogau district about the result
of which we have no reports. All we know is, that the attack has been
ordered.

The Fuehrer:  What does this mean?

Guderian:  This is the objective of the Saucken and Juercorps. They have
reached the district of Koppelstedt and are now to advance to
Schmueekert; there they should turn south and beat the enemy forces in
line. especially the 4th guards tank army and the two tank corps, which
have advanced already as far as the river, thereby endangering the
bridgehead, and thus relieving the sector north of Breslau.

The Saucken-corps was attacked today at Horle from the south. 16 tanks
were destroyed in this sector. The northern flank of this corps is
covered by the 19th armored div. which is deployed in the sector of
Gosten and Storchnest and remains in fair fighting condition with a
number of light artillery pieces and their own artillery, so that it is
to be hoped that this screening is sufficient to cover the attack to the
south.

The 9th army today moves into the Reichsfuehrer's sector of the Weichsel
army group. The command in Glogau has already been taken over by the
XXIVth tank corps under General Nehrung, who withdraws his forces, so
far as they are still within his command, to form a new point of
resistance on the Oder and if possible to extend this point eastwards
from the Oder.

The enemy up here is at present advancing with tank corps. What has
filtered through the line

                                                              [Page 668]

Glogau-Graetz, so far consists chiefly of reconnaissance elements, who
are, up to Wollstein quite numerous but of negligible strength from
there on. The Tirschtiegel Position was held, and only a few patrols
infiltrated there.

Fegelein: The Reichsfuehrer just ordered that the Tirschtigel position
be held by Volkssturm only, and all other elements were to advance.

The Fuehrer:  That is the objective.

Fegelein: That is correct.

The Fuehrer:  The objective is, that the Volkssturm is to be put in the
line here, and all other available troops are to advance and press on
down here.

Guderian:  An order to all units had been issued. Above all, they were
to advance to the line Lissaz-Kosten-Posen. That was interrupted here.
Without the Reichsfuehrer and myself knowing about it, these units were
stopped at the Tirschtiegel positions by Wehrkreis III. I have made
inquiries twice a day, whether these units are moving forward. The order
has evidently not been carried out with the necessary emphasis.

The Fuehrer:  It will be carried out with the necessary emphasis now.

Fegelein:He now has 2 companies of light artillery. His objective is to
advance into the Posen sector.

Guderian: That is the Saucken group. The Reichsmarshall's division and
the Brandenburg division are here.

They will lead the attack, and annihilate enemy forces in the
Steinauer-Oder bend.

The Fuehrer: That is good.

Jodl: There is only one thing I cannot understand. Didn't you say, that
the 19th was to be withdrawn?

Guderian:  No, the 19th is in Gostyn.

Jodl: Then it must be other forces, since they must cover the rear.

Guderian:  No, so far only rear echelon units, workshop units etc., have
been withdrawn. They are beyond the Oder. All else will be held there.

I request authorization, for putting in line the war academy, which at
any rate would close within the next few days, in order to form in this
sector, directly west of the Oder together with 2 comp-

                                                              [Page 669]


panies of the Berlin guard regiment a dense line of resistance, strongly
interspersed with officers, to avoid dispersal of other forces.

The Fuehrer: Yes — And here cavalry is to be employed.

Fegelein:The reserve training cavalry regiment, about 1,500 strong,
which General Schoerner supplies from rear echelons.

Guderian: The men are to be distributed.

Goering: What returns here, is of course very weak in officer material;
now, when these good selected officers are added …

The Fuehrer:  I admit that. Here tens of thousand men retreat. They must
he collected. They must also have officers, and the best, or else you
cannot get hold of them.

Guderian: You want to start here, collect things, put them in order and
initiate a forward movement.

Goering:  But not in formations.

The Fuehrer: No, I want to establish a collecting line here,
to.assemble men and put things in order. But you can do that only with
the best.

Goering: I am of the same opinion.

The Fuehrer: And here we must have the cavalry.

Fegelein:They will arrive the day after tomorrow.

The Fuehrer: What is the name of the unit?

Fegelein: That is the cavalry reserve and training regiment. They are
about 1,500 strong.

The Fuehrer: Schoerner will be entrusted with this task, to cover the
roads in the rear.

Guderian: The war academy is to cover the roads from Breslau to Glogau.

The Fuehrer: Eastwards of Breslau this can be done by the calvary
regiment. They are 1500 strong.

Fegelein:There may be more, I am not certain. The commanding officer is
on the way. They are at the disposal of the 8th and 22nd divisions. But
that is not of importance.

The Fuehrer: It is of no importance. The most important thing is, that
they solve this problem.

Guderian: It is true that formations which retreat in marching order are
in good condition and carry no surplus men, but that a good many
shirkers have infiltrated into treckers and railroads returning frorn
the front and that on these vehicles

                                                              [Page 670]

many soldiers are returning as drivers and helpers who have, in part,
changed their uniform for civilian clothing. Control of these matters
should not so much cover military formations, which under guidance of
officers, maintenance men, and inspectors retreat in orderly fashion,
but rather these treckers.

The Fuehrer:  They are caught in a rear zone anyway. They cannot get
beyond it, but whatever leaks through must be caught in rear echelons.
Schoerner reports that so far he was able to reinstate 13,000 men.

Guderian:  As from today, with the taking over of the command by the
XXIVth tank corps and the 9th army in the Weichsel army group, a new
demarkation line will be in force, which will run north to Glogau, south
of Lissa, north of Krotoschin into the general direction of Kalisch.
Here the XL corps is in the line which covers exclusively the terrain
from Lissa to Posen; then there is the Posen command and to the north
the Vth SS-alpine-corps, with whom communication at present is very bad,
due to harassing tactics, of enemy patrols, which continuously interrupt
the communication system. Up here, on the Tischtiegel front a continuous
line, and ahead of it a locked door. It is not quite clear, whether
Graetz is in our possession. Then, we have the Posen fortress, which was
subjected to several attacks from the northwest and the south. Here,
apparently a fort was taken, it is not entirely clear, whether here or
there.

At any rate, something unpleasant happened there.

Through decoding of enemy radio messages it has been possible to
ascertain beyond doubt, that opposing forces were elements of the 1st
guards tank army. They are to be deployed in this line. The flanks
extend exactly, as is pencilled in here, in this general direction.

The Fuehrer:  I want within the next days, a clear picture of the troop
concentrations, the position of the enemy, their probable objectives,
and the areas

                                                              [Page 671]

of concentration, since counter-measures depend upon this knowledge.

Guderian:  Yes. At any event the 1st guard armored army is reported as
deploying in the Posen area.

The Fuehrer:  With how many corps?

Guderian:  With their armored corps; four altogether.

The Fuehrer:  They have normally 1600 tanks. How many, will they have
left now?

Guderian:  Half that amount at the most.

The fortress Posen, which has held out, lies in between. The enemy
infantry, according to radio messages, depends mainly on the railroad
which runs from Nakel to the south toward Jarotschin via Gnesen.

Fuehrer:  The further they penetrate here the more difficult their
supply.

Goering:  The railroads are all intact, indeed; they will get through
smoothly along the railroads.

Fuehrer:  I hope that not all trains and all locomotives were left
behind by us.

Guderian: There has been a considerable bottle neck not everything could
be gotten out. Then there the second guard armored army with their
corps. The situation there has also become somewhat more complicated.
Strong reconnaissance elements of the enemy have crossed the river Netze
near Scharnikau and are advancing toward Schoenlanke, Schloppe and
Filehne. Schneidemuehl was attacked today. This bridgehead near Usch was
still in our hands this morning. The
enemy, however, has by-passed it and crossed the river Netze.

Fuehrer:  This river is no obstacle.

Guderian:  It is frozen over now.

Fuehrer:  Completely frozen over.

Guderian:  He is threatening the position of Schneidemuehl and is also
probing his way from the east and the northeast; there he was repulsed.
The headquarters of the army group is being moved to Groessinsee.

The situation around Nakel is uncertain, Nakel itself is lost. The
Latvian division has displaced toward the north. The General High
Command

                                                              [Page 672]

has withdrawn toward Preusisch Friedland; the enemy has broken through
in between.

The situation around Krone is questionable. Bromberg is in the hands of
the enemy. holding force is in this railroad triangle and the enemy is
advancing from there with the second guard cavalry corps along the roads
of the valley of the Vistula and along the railroad in the direction of
Schwetz. The XXXXVIth panzercorps with the 4th panzer division, the
337th division and the 542nd division has launched a counterattack.

The bridgehead around Kulm which has become smaller is held on the
eastern fringe only by the 252nd division.

Fuehrer: If necessary it must be given up.

Guderian:  It must be given up. The Reich Fuehrer intends as he has
already discussed with you, to give it up.

Fuehrer: The big one; he wants to have a small one.

forces, while the 32nd division is on its way.

Fuehrer: That's our problem child now (East Prussia).

Guderian: The army group North launched their attack,
Guderian: He wants to hold Graudenz and the small bridge head of
Marienwerder and take across his forces there.

Fuehrer: No he prefers to hold Graudenz. Marienwerderburg is so far
away.

Guderian:  Graudenz is preferable, it is a fortress. The lines run along
here. The enemy attacked there and succeeded in breaking through. He
also at tacked near Graudenz but was repulsed.

The enemy is also pushing against the bridgehead of Mewe and succeeded
in crossing the river to the south with minor elements but was repulsed
to the north.

At Marienburg are battles for the sactle and the railroad which are in
our hands. A navy battalion is marching in there.

Fuehrer:  They have thus far given a good account of themselves.

Guderian:  Yes, indeed. The position along the Nogat is held by the
Navy.

The 7th panzer division is being deployed toward Neuteich, in order to
defeat the enemy who has crossed the Nogat, and is fighting in
collaboration with the Navy regiment which up to now has

                                                              [Page 673]

occupied the bridgehead, in order to clear up this matter on the left
bank of the Nogat.

The bridgehead south of Elbing is still in our hands. The enemy has
penetrated into the town with several tanks, 15 altogether. A battle is
in progress.

The Reichsfuehrer wants to deploy the 32nd division in the Nakel area.

Fegelein: One regiment just arrived, he reports just now.

Fuehrer:  Where?

Fegelein: I don't know.

Guderian" The 227th division which likewise has come down from Kurland
stands here. It is already here with essential elements, with the bulk
of its forces, while the 32nd division is on its way.

Fuehrer:  That's our problem child now (East Prussia).

Guderian:  The army group North launched their attack, this morning, and
achieved pretty good results. Advanced elements of these tank destroyers
and the Arko 302 have advanced half way to Frauenburg-Elbing. There they
were already this morning. Armoured groups that advanced here got up to
this point, the 28th Jaeger division got as far as Karwinden and
Liebemuehl and engaged the enemy north of that town. Group Einem was to
give support in this direction in order to force a decision. The 170th
division and 131st division also obtained good results in their attack,
as is shown here by these blue arrows.

Further to the south is the territory of the 18th armored division and
the remnants of the 229th division. Their own attack aimed mainly at
keeping the enemy engaged did not succeed, the decision remains that we
defend ourselves in this position. It is intended to attack again at
this place in order to tie down the enemy.

Down here an enemy attack was repulsed.

"Grossdeutschland" was pulled out here together with another division,
at present however, still without gasoline.

Fuehrer:  "Grossdeutschland" to be sent there?

                                                              [Page 674]

"Grossdeutschland" is to be sent up here, also the 562nd division. It is
intended to move the 562nd division up there on foot in order to be able
to deploy them up there or here, as necessary. The disengagement
occurred without pressure of the enemy. The enemy did not pursue. O.P.'s
and rear guard elements are still far behind in touch with the enemy.

There is a pressure against Friedland without result.

Furthermore, the enemy attacked south of Koenigsberg in considerable
force. The 547th division, remnants of the 61st division and elements of
the 2nd division "Hermann Goering" which were movable have been put into
action. The main pressure of the enemy lies at the northeastern front
and north of Koenigsberg where the remnants of the 551st division and
the 286th division apparently have lost the last remainder of their
fighting power and where, therefore, this morning a critical situation
has arisen. It is not quite certain whether the front still runs as is
shown here or whether it was taken back into.

Fuehrer:  If they are in this line, they can no longer withdraw.

Guderian:  Then nothing will come back from the Nehrung. I spoke with
Colonel General Reinhardt and pointed this fact out to him.

Lasch, the commander of the fortress Koenigsberg, was given the command
as far as the Samland coast. I ask for your subsequent approval.

Fuehrer:  Yes, or course.

Guderian:  He is the most remarkable personality we have up there. Koeh
himself has called up, also General Lasch, reporting that a serious
crisis has arisen there. General Lasch went there personally in order to
halt the disordered troops here. It is hoped that they get there in time
in order to halt them. There are now 3 battalions of the 95th division,
3 battalions of the 58th division, 3 battalions fortress troops, a
chemical brigade, and the 278th s.p. artillery brigade.

                                                              [Page 675]

Fuehrer: I cannot understand one thing. One should have left the
fortress troops here to the end and bring in the infantry first.

Guderian: Yes, indeed, do it the other way round.

Fuehrer: One can experience the most primitive affairs if one does not
indicate exactly in advance what has to be done.

Guderian: It was indicated that at first one division should be
restaged. That was done. There is still another battalion with trucks on
its way. I hope they get there in time to halt it.

Fuehrer: Where are the S.P. guns?

Guderian: The S.P. guns are mostly here already. That's already on the
way. The 278th and the Tiger detachment are still in here.

Fuehrer: I hope they have not been sent down here.

Guderian: They had such order.

Fuehrer: Find out, these are 60 pieces.

Guderian: This up here is the weakest point.

Army Group Kurland was again successful holding back the enemy. It has
now become necessary due to strong enemy pressure to withdraw the front
toward a formerly designated line. Enemy attacks have failed there, his
preparations were broken up. Here is a break-through which is being
successfully fought off by the 14th panzer division supported by
elements of the 218th division.

All enemy attacks have been repulsed there under considerable losses to
the enemy. He lost 10 tanks. Unimportant local break-throughs will be
cleared up by the 12th armored division which is approaching the scene.

The enemy is regrouping from here also, toward the west and it seems
more and more as if his main effort is directed toward the southern
front in the direction of Libau.

Fuehrer: That's obvious because there is a port there, and they hope to
get it. Libau, therefore, must be heavily protected.

Guderian: Rather heavy enemy air activities during the night.

                                                              [Page 676]

Goering: There are 10,000 captured air corps officers at Sagan, their
custody is the responsibility of the Director General of Training [BDE].
Personnel for guarding or transporting them is said to be lacking. The
thought has been expressed to leave the prisoners to their Soviet
Allies. It would give them 10,000 flyers.

Fuehrer: Why did you not remove them earlier. This is unequalled
bungling.

Goering: That's the BDE. We have nothing to do with it I can only report
it.

The Fuehrer:They must go, even if they have to march afoot through the
mud. The Volkssturm will he called out. Anyone who escapes, will be
shot. This has to be done with all means available.

Goering: That is from Sagen, there are 10,000 men.

Guderian: Of those to be transported back, the 4th panzer division has
been moved out completely, also the 227th division. The rest of the 32nd
division is moving back now. Then the general command of the 111rd SS
panzercorps will move tonight, and tomorrow night the "Nederland"
division, which has come out already. Sections of "Nordland" have also
already been withdrawn from the front.

The Fuehrer: Are they to get replacements? Are these underway already?

Guderian: Fegelein has seen to that. He has already ordered that they
should be replenished immediately.

The Fuehrer: It is absolutely clear, the army group Vistula has nothing
beside the corps Nehring, one group and what stands on the Weichsel.
This has to be organized. That comes only now from here, partly from
Germany. This must be done. Nevertheless!

Goering: How many cattle-ears are required for 10,000 men?

The Fuehrer: If we transport them according to German standards we will
need at least 20 transport trains for 10,000 men. If we transport them
according to Russian standards, we will need 5 or 3.

Goering: Take off pants and boots so they can't walk in the snow.

                                                              [Page 677]

Guderian: Then Wlassow wanted to make certain statements.

The Fuehrer: Wlassow is nothing at all.

Goering:  Then they should not walk around in German uniforms.
Everywhere one sees young people. That only irritates the people. If one
tries to get hold of them, then they are Wlassow people.

The Fuehrer: Well, I was against it, to have them dressed in our
uniforms. But who was for it? That was our dear army, who had their own
ideas.

Goering:  At present they are walking around like that.

The Fuehrer: I can't give them a change of clothes, we have no uniforms.
Altogether at that time I wanted the foreigners. . . . But our Herr v.
Seeckt sold German steel helmets to the Chinese. One has no sense of
honor around here. Every wretch is put in German uniform. I was always
against it. I was against putting Cossacks in German uniforms. We had to
give them Cossack uniforms and insignia as proof that they were fighting
for us. That is much more romantic too. The British would not think of
putting English clothes on an Indian. Such shamelessness exists only
with us because there's no character in it. Otherwise one would not put
German steel helmets on the heads of others. The British let the Indians
run around as natives.

Goering:  The Wlassow-men surely are so hated over there, that they'll
be punished if they are caught.

The Fuehrer: Don't say that, they are deserting just the same.

Goering:  That is the only thing they can do: desert, they are not
capable of more.

Guderian: Shall the division garrisoned in Muensingen be gotten ready
speedily?

The Fuehrer: Yes, indeed, have them made ready.

Fegelein:The Reichsfuehrer wanted to be put in command of the two
divisions.

The Fuehrer: Wlassow will not desert.

Goering:  They can't do more than desert. Then they'll no longer eat
here.

Fegelein:The men will not desert, either: I have seen them.

The Fuehrer: They look mad. We have experienced it in France, they did
desert.

                                                              [Page 678]

Fegelein: The Russians will kill them all, because the Russians also
kill all the laborers who have worked for us. We already have the
proofs. They will beat them all to death.

The Fuehrer: We do exactly the same with those who have worked in the
West. The Allies find it already difficult to find a mayor.

Goering:  I would use the Wlassow-men just the same.

Fegelein: And the officers from Sagan.

Goering:  Obergruppenfuehrer Tuettner shall move the 10,000 prisoners
away from Sagan.

The Fuehrer: They must be moved away by all the means available,
Volkssturm will have to be called out with the most energetic men.
Attempted flight will be punished with shooting.

Fegelein: We have a man for it, who guarded the KZs. That is
Gruppenfuelirer Gluecks, he will have to do it.

Guderian: Schoerner is complaining that Group Rudd has been called away.
He asks for a written report on it and is beside himself. This is really
inexcusable, after all one has to give something to the Reichsfuehrer.

The Fuehrer: Because he has nothing at all. Rudel can move much better
out in the open than in the industrial section.

Guderian: Then may I tell Schoerner, that this is your order.

I have talked it over with ZolIer once more. He is of the same opinion.

Then there are 1,800 men of the SS antitank replacement and training
unit at Kastenburg. They shall be moved out immediately. I believe, they
will have to be left in Koenigsberg, so that that man has something.

The Fuehrer: But there is no SS-unit here. I would put them also at
Himmler's disposal, he needs them. There they have nothing at all. They
must be given to Himmler, so he can gradually get a skeleton force.

Guderian: At present they are with the combat group Hauser, which has
been at Loetzen.

The Fuehrer: If they were defending Loetzen, I would not say anything.
But after that is gone anyhow!

                                                              [Page 679]

Guderian: The question is, whether they are to be left in Koenigsberg,
so as not to create a complete vacuum there.

The Fuehrer: I am afraid they will not get to Koenigsberg, but go to the
West.

Guderian: An order can be given to that effect.

The Fuehrer: You can give orders alright. But whether they'll be carried
out! Nobody carries out the orders.

Guderian: Yes, they do.
Burgdorf: Rendulic has just arrived up there.

Guderian: Rendulic and Natzmer have taken over the command.

Goering: The decisive question is arms.We screen out men. The men are
here and get no arms.

Guderian: Here are the strength reports. I don't know if you have asked
Wenck for them.

(Report)   The 203rd has 3400 men, the 541st has 3100 still. Of the
"Hannibal" — that is to say the police unit — there are 900 men;
combat unit Hauser and 21st could not be obtained, however,
"Grossdeutschland", still halfway OK: 2 medium, 1 average, 3 weak
battalions, 4 light batteries, 39 pieces of heavy artillery. This means
the corps artillery and army artillery. Armor strength considerably
diminished. Yet altogether still some 25.

Then, my Fuehrer I wanted to request the authorization, to remove the
recruits of 1928 from the Eastern military districts, so that they will
be trained only in somewhat safer military districts.

Keitel:Otherwise the Russians will take them. Every month about 50- to
60,000 men, we need them under all circumstances.

Guderian: Military districts I, XX and XXI; VI and XII have dropped out,
VIII has dropped out also. Already II and 11I have to be exempted too.

Keitel:For the next 3 or 4 months. I have had everything discussed once
more with Juettner today.

Goering: Arms! Arms!

The Fuehrer: That is quite clear. We are losing industrial areas all the
time and do not have as many arms.

Goering: But we mobilize men and thereby everywhere harm our reserve.

                                                              [Page 680]

The Fuehrer: What are you talking about reserves. At present we cannot
work to capacity in the industry, anyhow.

Goering: No I mean military reserves. Without any consideration
everything is crowded together to the utmost, to get men free, and we
have no arms I want to call attention to one thing only. I was obliged
to turn in all the small arms of the anti-aircraft. And I have done it.
Now the anti-aircraft stands there with their heavy guns and has no
small arms. So and so many heavy batteries were overpowered in combat
because they had no small arms and could not shoot with the heavy guns.

The Fuehrer: A large program is coming up. I hope that it can be carried
through with the forces at our disposal; I can not say. 900,000 assault
pistols are to be manufactured monthly.

Buhle: That will require some time yet.

The Fuehrer: And the People's Rifle [Volkswehr]?

Buhle: The People's Rifle is being delivered now. This month we will get
the first 8,000, next month 25,000, and the month after that 50,000.
That's the prognosis.

Goering: The arms, which Field Marshal Keitel has taken away from us.

The Fuehrer: Where are our rifles manufactured? Mainly in Upper Silesia?

Buhle: No, the rifle factories are located more in Central Germany, in
Sulil and Oberndorf. But there are also a lot of them in Wuerttemberg,
and there is the terrible shortage of coal and electricity.

The Fuehrer:As far as I know, the rifle and machine-gun factories are
not afrected by it.

Buhle: This is going to be shortened now. It will be completely adapted
to the emergency program for coal and electricity, to that everything
else will stop with one stroke and something will come along there.
Hence this month will be a very bad one.

Guderian: Then regarding the situation of south I want to state: The
army group believes, that in that sector they cannot get along with only
one division.

                                                              [Page 681]

They propose, to have the entire Corps Gille with 2 divisions remain
there, to get out the first and 23rd and to take together the entire
group under Breith.

The Fuehrer: Here we have to protect ourselves also; because here will
be the next very large attack. The moment we leave there the big push
will start. This is even more dangerous.

v. Freytag-
Loringhoven: The 346th has arrived with 6 troop trains.

The Fuehrer: But this has no fighting power yet. These trains cannot be
considered. All that comes from Italy are at first the service forces.

Guderian: There were, however, already a few combat troops among them. I
shall find out, how much it is.

The Fuehrer: When he withdraws the 23rd, he has here only the cavalry.
When this goes over to the defensive he will come over with his armor.
This is a great danger.

Guderian: He will have to leave his armored group long enough until the
danger is entirely removed.

The Fuehrer: He has to leave his armored group by all means here.

Jodl: The combat echelon went at first, and is departed. It has now
completely left down there.

Winter: It travels about with speed?

The Fuehrer: But this is the decisive point. If he succeeds in breaking
through here, everything is lost, we have to be clear about that. I have
no objection to the Korps Gille going also over to the defensive.

Guderian: The Ist panzer division out and assigned to the 3rd. and
whatever can be relieved of the 23rd, in addition the Generalkommando
Breith.

The Fuehrer: He believes that he can not do it with the 1st alone.

Guderian: I do not know it, I have to discuss that myself.

The Fuehrer: How does the Ist look on the whole?

Guderian: It is not too strong any more. It was replenished once more in
numbers. The 23rd is in fact the stronger one, it is better.

The Fuehrer: When I speak of danger, I would say: Danger-point one is
here, danger-point 2 is here, danger-point 3 is here. If he breaks
through at this

                                                              [Page 682]

place everything is lost. If he advances here, this part will collapse
too.

Guderian: This is the 1st, the 3rd, the 23rd.

The Fuehrer: The 23rd is the best.

Guderian: Yes, passable, also the 6th, and then the two SS divisions.
This is the position of the 24th. It has somewhat suffered naturally in
the fighting. But in spite of that, it is always the best with regards
to replacements — I shall discuss that.

The Fuehrer: Say it again: This is the most critical point. The next one
is here. When he breaks through at this place the thing is lost. This is
also a dangerous point.

Guderian: Here are artillery and mine throwers.

The Fuehrer: When one is forced into a hose, it will slow up the
retreat. But here you have the wide plain. When he penetrates in here
the whole thing collapses, this is the most dangerous.

Jodl: No important change has been noticed with the enemy apart from the
6th English airborne division which went into the lines in the. sector
of Venlo which caused a slight consolidation of these very wide division
sectors. In the attack on the Roer bridgehead also no additional
divisions have been deployed, apart from a few panzer brigades, so that
the English guard panzer division and the 50th English division, also
the 11th English panzer division are here still in the reserve. The
American group around Luettich is very likely still there.

The Fuehrer: What about the English air attacks in the south in
connection with the weather situation.

Keitel: No attacks on a large scale.

Jodl: It was bad, it was snow storm and fog.

Goering: No action on both sides. I therefore do not believe solely in
the weather condition.

Keitel: There was no large scale attack.

Jodl: Only five trainloads have been dispatched of the 1st SS panzer
division. The division is now moving into the sector. Gasoline is there.
If now further delays should occur it will be the fault of the march
technique or of the strongly snow-covered roads. Here too the conditions
did not deteriorate.

                                                              [Page 683]

The Fuehrer: One day without flying is of course better than five days
with flying, if they move fast on such a day.

Goering: There is no flying today, Bucchs?

Buechs: No.

v. Below: Very little, so far.

Jodl: The 12th SS pz. division is moving now with the advance units into
the zone of embarkation. The 9th SS pz. division has also started
moving. It is unknown in what direction the 2nd must come.

The Fuehrer: If the weather stays like that for one or two days, do you
believe that he will attack? When can we count on the arrival in Vienna
of at least the combat troops of this panzer army, not before two or
three weeks?

Jodl: The one corps will be there in a fortnight.

The Fuehrer: And the 2nd corps?

Jodl: That one will mix.

Winter: That will take 12 days. The 2nd Corps can be there in another 4
or 5 days., if it keeps going like it did so far.

The Fuehrer: They are arriving just in time, because down there will be
the next crisis.

Jodl: The railroad will probably run then very smoothly. If they are
assembled now we should think that in 16 days the complete 4 divisions
will be there and the speed with 40 trains will then be rather fluid.

The Fuehrer: This is the first real fighting power.

Keitel: Across Germany it goes very fast.

Goering: In a fortnight he can be deployed up there.

Jodl: 23 trains arrived with the second mountain division. The 25th did
not start moving yet.

The Fuehrer: How did the 2nd stand up? I understand it had a slight
failure.

Jodl: Yes, I have such a report. I shall ask the division commander for
another report.

The Fuehrer: But it proved itself very well up there. The best division
can once sustain a reverse somewhere.

Jodl: There are entirely new conditions here. It is always like that.
When a division comes into a new theatre of operation. there is always a
little crisis at first.

The Fuehrer: Even the best division can get a shock.

Jodl:  Besides every new division will be regarded
suspiciously.

The Fuehrer: Especially if it arrives in good
condition; well-looking men with good boots, in good
shape, and the rifle not rusted. At once they say:
Where do they come from, are there still such things?

Jodl:  The 3rd panzer grenadier division has been
started moving. It comes to Erkelenz.

The Fuehrer: What dirty tricks are done there, I know
frorn my own experience. Once there arrived a brand
new division from home. One regiment came to the
place where we were. They passed through but rested
then and stacked rifles. Our men then really did a
nasty trick. Before they could blink an eye the nice
rifles were gone and the old completely dirty and
rusted ones were there. They had to go on. It was a
mess but nothing could be done. Immediately they say:
Where do they come from, do such things still run
around?

Jodl:  The Fuehrergrenadier and Fuehrerescort brigade
did not yet start moving, but are now assembled.

The Fuehrergrenadier brigade reports the following
strength: 4,229 men basic strength, 2 panzer IV, 3 in
repair, 8 panzer V, 10 in repair: 5 assault guns, 11
in repair, 27 in transit. That amounts to a total of
60 panzers.

The Fuebrer:And the Fuehrerescort brigade is slightly
stronger.

Jodl:  I do not have its report.

The Fuehrer: I believe it has 7,000 men.

Goering: Can not small groups of panzers-6 or 10-be
assigned which speed around in the foreground and put
the panzer advance guards out of action?

The Fuehrer: This is being done. They work in very
small groups of 10 to 14 assault guns with SPW.

Goering: They look for the panzers.

Keitel: Antitank reconnaissance patrols [Panzerjaeger-
spaehtrupps].

The Fuehrer: And antitank reconnaissance cars with
PAK which drive very fast. They will now be deployed
there for hunting.

                                           [Page 685]

Goering: Reconnaissance units can be very helptul.

Jodl:  At the thrust against the 6th parachute
division on the 26th, the enemy lost 25 killed, who
have been counted and 2 Flamepanzers (flamethrowing
tanks) which have been destroyed.

Stronger range finding fire by batteries southeast of
Nymwegen.

The Fuehrer: Until when, may we assume, can the 7th
parachute division be brought back from down there,
to its original unit?

Jodl: That will take long, at least 14 to 20 days.

The Fuehrer: Alright, but we have to bring it up
here; because here will be a critical point of the
first degree.
And the 5th parachute division?

Jodl:  There are no stronger forces yet but at least
the 5th and 3rd are here.

Goering: We have to combine them. The fighting
strength of 4 combined parachute divisions equals
that of five divisions.

Jodl:  Assembled reserves have been destroyed here
through artillery fire. The assault continues here
with the present forces. He penetrated in
Ottilienburg and was thrown out.

The Fuehrer: They moan terribly about the whole
situation on the Western front and cry.

Jodl:  The front has been pushed back there. There
are now two flat bridgeheads beyond the Roer.

It was quiet on the rest of the front, there was
movement. The attacks did not take place with the
same concentration as during the last days, but were
continued more weakly and sporadically. The enemy
penetrated south of Hevenbach. A counter-attack is
being made there. Farther south he was repelled
again. Northwest of St. Vith he was also repelled.

The Fuehrer: Here is the Schnee-Eifel.

Jodl:  No, the Schnee-Eifel is farther back. Here
runs the Westwall. This is the wooded ridge of hills,
which has to be held then. Well the line will be
running a little bit backwards. They are still
standing somewhat in front of it. This was the part,
which was in the hands of the enemy. Here is the
Westwall.

                                           [Page 686]

Farther south the attacks were sporadic and weaker.
Three strong attacks in the direction of the castle
Reyland were repulsed.

This are will be retaken on this chord. The Roehr has
been already reached in one place. From there the
line bulges again. Only skirmishes took place today.
The following up of the enemy was prevented again and
again through counterattacks. The enemy is suffering
here considerable losses anyway.

The Fuehrer: You reported, that the Americans lost
85,000 men this month; that would mean 50% of their
total losses during the whole world war.

Jodl: Farther south all was quiet. The enemy advanced
again yesterday in the corner at Remich up to
Schlossburg and beyond. He was again repulsed there
by counter-attacks north of Tettingen. Additional
attacks were repulsed. The tanks withdrew after the
leading tank was destroyed.

Considerable movement was observed southeast of
Saarburg. Some replacements or reinforcements seem to
take place near Saargemine. There was a strong
concentration of rolling stock in the area around
Metz and a strong concentration of vehicles in the
area around Saverne and Saarbourg.

There was no fighting yesterday at the newly gained
Moder front, where the section of ModerRotbach was
reached everywhere. The bridge in the rear near
Merzviller has been completed in this section in
spite of the shelling by enemy artillery; it is a 40
ft bridge, which facilitates the supply.

Heavier fighting was raging down here, where the
enemy continued his attack from the area south of
Erstein and south of Colmar. We succeeded here,
however, to repel all attacks. One tank was
destroyed. These attacks were also repulsed at
Markolsheim and 8 tanks were destroyed here.

The Fuehrer: This matter here has to be straightened
out under any circumstances. The situation is Ruch.
that

                                           [Page 687]

we have to attempt to retake this segment. Does this
mean the recapture?

Jodl:  This is the recapturey which he ordered, on
the 27th this line, on the 28th this position.

The Fuehrer: But the most important thing is, that
this segment will be taken by us. He should carefully
consider, whether we should not pull out here the 6th
mountain division, relieve it by some other unit,
move this unit around and unite it with the 2nd
mountain division, so that we can manage. Only
mountain divisions can do the trick; the decisive
point is, that Breisach remains safely in our hands.
If that remains in a large bridgehead, the danger in
itself will be small. Maybe you can talk it over with
the Western High Command. An attempt has to be made,
to remove by any method the 6th SS mountain division
and transfer it to the 2nd mountain division, so that
both mountain divisions can jointly execute the
attack. This can be done in partial movements. The
enemy cannot achieve here very much with his tanks.
The attack has to be carried out here. That always
was also Himmler's idea, because he cannot achieve
very much with his tanks. On that sort of ground that
may result in a success. The distance is 30 to 50 km.
A mountain division can do that. Otherwise it cannot
be done. If his affair could be settled, it would fit
very well with that linking up here Schlettstadt
could be outflanked; that is not so necessary, that
can be smaller too, this does not make any
difference, the only thing is, we would have better
protection, because Colmar is very close.

Jodl: And the whole artillery is here.

The Fuehrer: The bridges have to be out of artillery
range. Planes are reported, when they approach, but
not artillery fire.

Up here the whole thing has been stopped.

Jodl: It has been stopped.

The Fuehrer: Discuss it with Western High Command,
whether the 6th SS mountain division cannot be pulled
out there. This line can also be held easier
defensively later on than the other one.

                                           [Page 688]

Jodl: Much easier.

The Fuehrer: If 2 mountain divisions are placed in
the frontline, the whole position could be held.

Jodel: This order was issued yesterday.

(Presentation)

The Fuehrer: Especially an elaborate defense line has
still to be built here.

Jodl: That's the old one, the new one is a little bit
farther in front.

The Fuehrer: This one has to be developed.

Jodl: The question of command in the West is still to
be discussed today.

The Fuehrer: Yes, Goering, I wanted to talk that over
with you.

Well, the people, who are speaking here today,
assume, that Student has become very tired.

Goering: He need not stay, you don't know him, you
don't know his terrible slow way of talking. You
don't understand that. But he is still — if I don't
consider Model — of all of them, as he was before,
the one of those with the greater standing power if
the going is tough, I am convinced of that. He is
terribly slow; you think he is nuts, because you
don't know him. But I take him gladly.

The Fuehrer: He had the same thing previously at the
operations in Italy.

Goering: He talked just as slowly. Everybody thought,
he was dumb. I take him gladly, because I knowand
you. gentlemen, are witnesses — that he will be
called again in a critical hour. I am taking him with
the greatest pleasure; for I need him, because he
inspires again his parachute army. He says: "Yes, the
Fuehrer told me also…" I know him, the others
don't. I don't blame them, because they don't have
any other means to judge him. The other day somebody
asked me, whether I had a dumbbell up there. Then I
replied: No, he is not dumb, he talked so slowly
before. As he was wounded on the head, they think
that this is an effect of it. But he had it
previously. Nevertheless before every operation he
says: We better jump on the enemy.

The Fuehrer: He performed the most audacious
operations.

                                           [Page 689]

Goering: Well, I gladly take him, so that he won't be
judged wrongly. I know, he will be called in the
critical hour. He stands up well. He is not a great
genius in any other respect but he is sticking it out
in a good and straight fashion, who knows that he has
to hold his troops in line. But I take him gladly
away, that you can judge later on how the front is
held, after he is gone.

The Fuehrer: I would regret that very much, I really
don't know. Does Blaskowitz stick it out so well?

Goering: No, he is a smoothy. Student's little toe is
worth more than all of Blaskowitz.

The Fuehrer: That's just the question.

Goering: But I shall be delighted to take him because
I know at the critical moment you will get angry and
ask for Student again. I shall be looking forward to
that day.

The Fuehrer: I won't.

Goering: No, but you will give him back to me then.
Why should I expose an outstanding man to such
gossip. You know him he has always talked so slowly.

The Fuehrer: At the time I developed our plans for
the West he was just as slow. But at the end he
delivered the goods. The same goes for the operation
for the liberation of the Duce.

Goering: He did his other jobs in Italy well, too.

The Fuehrer: He absolutely cleared up everything in
Italy.

Goering: If he had stayed there, no bridgehead would
have been established there either. But I need him
urgently. He must reorganize the army of parachutists
and move the divisions there.

You got a man then whom you can transfer somewhere
else where the going is rough, in case the need
arises. He won't yield an inch. He probably will
speak tlnen still more slowly, that is possible, but
he will be slower in retreating, too.

The Fuehrer: He reminds me of Fehrs my new valet from
Holstein. When I tell him something it takes him
minutes to grasp it. He makes a very stupid
impression, but he does his job very well, only he is
terribly slow.

                                           [Page 690]

Goering: Student is a man with very clever ideas.
There is no doubt about it. He figures things out for
himself.

The Fuehrer: It was suggested however, to move
Blaskowitz up there and give his job to Hausser or
should we do it the other way around?

Jodl: To move up Hausser.

Goering: Hausser has now become familiar with things
here now.

Jodl: Here are essentially SS-formations.

The Fuehrer: I just want to say that's mere
improvising. In case I want to carry out that thing I
should like to have Hausser here too.

Fegelein: Especially since pressure always comes from
the Reichsfuehrer although he can no longer
interfere; he, nevertheless always presses him.

The Fuehrer: To carry out this operation. The
Reichsfuehrer is alI wrapped up in it. He says: "My
Fuehrer, if we have that piece here, then he has one
important supply line less, we have a beautiful new
position, and I can guarantee that nothing is going
to happen at Breisach." After all, the whole
bridgehead depends on it. Ferries this and ferries
that, a bridge is much better after all.

Jodl: In any case, the difficulties caused by the
severing jof the line] becomes already apparent.
Hausser has now pulled out all he could out of the
line and deployed them down below there, so that it
is impossible to figure out at the moment. how to get
out the fast moving formations.

For this reason also it will be necessary to
concentrate the control in one hand; too many high
headquarters only cause difficulties, there. Apart
from that he has no quartermaster staff.

I would suggest that Hausser is left here and that we
give him also the 1st army. That I believe would be
the right thing.

The Fuehrer: Hausser is a shrewd fellow. He gives the
impression of a shrew-mouse.

Jodl: A terribly sarcastic, witty man. At least
that's what he was.

The Fuehrer: He has the features of a fox.

Guderian: He has a good wit.

Keitel: He is very qulck-witted.

The Fuehrer: With his sly little eyes. Only I am not
quite sure whether he has suffered through the last
serious injury.

Fegelein:No he has not suffered, this was tested. The
Reichsf Lfehrer said he does not quite trust the
story. He says if he comes with a succession down
there, and he does something which does not fit who's
mind is not quite in order this would be most
embarrassing for him [sic]. The Reichsfuehrer is so
smart he would not have suggested it if he did not
know exactly that it would be possible, because he
makes a fool of himself and the Reichsfuehrer is very
sensitive in such matters.

The Fuehrer: We all are.

Fegelein:But. of course the Reichsfuehrer is always
being subjected to criticism.

The Fuehrer: When something goes wrong.

Goering: like to ask that the relief of Student takes
place in such a manner that it does not look as if he
was a failure; because he has not failed in a single
point, nowhere, this I wish to emphasize. but he
accomplished all his tasks very well, even though
there was not much going on. He carried out the
flooding etc. I should like to arrange it so that I
require him urgently for the parachute army and make
the request.

The Fuehrer: Hausser has also the following
philosophy: He says as a soldier I am almost 65
years, the highest  ahievement I can accomplish is
that I shall die in battle.

The Fuehrer: I do not want that at all.

Fegelein: pushing.

The Fuehrer: This is no philosophy at all.

Guderian:  very well. This will not necessarily have
to come to pass. He is a happy man.

Fegelein: he gives his last regardless of anything.
He walks through artillery fire and when his aides
flung themselves to the ground, he says: why are you
so sensitive?

The Fuehrer: I would lie down, too. I had only one
general who did not lie down. But he did not hear it.

                                           [Page 692]

Jodl: heless I would suggest it. This a little weak,
Christiansen too is not exactly a born army leader.

Goering: That I admit.

Jodl: Up there it is rather thin as far as command is
concerned.

The Fuehrer: Allright. . .

Jodl: I believe that this is the most practical way.
Thus the Reichsfuehrer will get his staff in the
East.

Guderian: This is especially important: at present
the staff of the Reichsfuehrer is a miserable
improvisation with which he cannot achieve anything.
The communication service does not function, it is
bad. They cannot go on like that. Something must be
sent there immediately.

Keitel: Entirely adapted to his personality.

The Fuehrer: Well, it shall be done thus: Hausser
remains here, Blaskowitz there.

Fegelein: My Fuehrer, I have here something which
requires immediate decision. I have just checked. Out
there in the barracks of the Leibstandarte there are
6,000 men for the 1st panzereorps. It will yet take
some time for the moment. I request that 4,000 to
5,000 of these men with the best officers are placed
behind Schoerner. It does not matter during the next
fortnight whether they are in the barracks or on the
streets.

The Fuehrer: We are not going to do that: because
they have to be trained. When the Leibstandarte is
pulled out, they must move in immediately.

Fegelein:They are trained.

The Fuehrer: I will not be able to assemble them any
more at that time. This corps has not much time. Take
the cavalrymen, they are 1,500 men. You can add a few
"Volkssturm" men.

Fegelein: Shall I bring the commander here?

The Fuehrer: Just as you like, I, for my part, see no
need talking to him.

Fegelein: Well, they are not to be taken away then.

The Fuehrer: No.

v. Below: Then the ammunition allotment.

                                           [Page 693]

The Fuehrer: Yes, the business about the ammunition
allotment. He says: with eight or five rounds for
heavy field howitzers he cannot fight a defensive.

Jodl: This is the calculation by the Quartermaster
General and he added: this will become still worse.

The Fuehrer: But he cannot fight a defensive in such
critical places.

Jodl: I assume that it was figured out that way.

The Fuehrer: If one has a large front line sector
with quiet sections, it might be possible. But if one
has the bad luck-

Jodl: This is prorated for the entire western front
for every artillery piece.

The Fuehrer: Quite. But if one has the bad luck to be
in a sector which gets a constant boxing and he
receives his 5 rounds of ammunition, he cannot
possibly manage, because on a single day of defense
he needs 500 to 600 rounds. In the first World War
during large defensive battles we used up to 500 to
600 rounds with a small battery.

Guderian: This calculation goes for the entire front.

The Fuehrer: For that very reason. If one has a large
sector, it is better.

Jodl: This is ordered for the entire western front.

The Fuehrer: Now he is doubly unlucky. All others
have divisions while he on the Rhine has only a
medley of troops which have no artillery at all.
Consequently his allotment is very small because he
has the artillery only where there is shooting and
where emergency exists. He has no other artillery,
only Russian cannons etc. There is no shooting
elsewhere. For instance he has 100 field howitzers,
they are in the midst of constant heavy fighting. If
he can fire 500 rounds per day with 100 field
howitzers it will not be of much use in a heavy
battle. This has to be taken in consideration when he
gets a larger sector, that this will be balanced.

Jodl: No, this is for the entire front.

The Fuehrer: In the world war in normal times in
1915/16 we had an ammunition supply which was
atrocious.

Guderian: I to 2 rounds per gun per day.

                                           [Page 694]

The Fuehrer: Frequently the regiment begged all day
long for retaliation fire. Then, regularly towards
the evening, six rounds were approved, 4 with time
fuse and two with percussion fuse. This was the
entire artillery support of an infantry regiment.
They came usually after the others had ceased tiring
and upon that they started again. We became raving
mad and said: if only we had not started with those 6
rounds. But I must say: when there were attacks
during heavy fighting there was unlimited ammunition.
Then they fired all the barrels could shoot.

Guderian: This is not the case at present.

The Fuehrer: Normally there was an enormous
restriction. But when an attack was imminent or
actually started, they really blasted away. I know,
on 9 May the battery of Major Parzival fired 5,000
rounds. They fired away, the whole day long, full
blast, that is to say more than 1,000 shells per
barrel.

Jodl: In Italy all quiet, .,.now and fog. The last
remainders of the 29th armored infantry division are
now withdrawn and the last parts of the 4th parachute
division have gone into the line. The 1st and 4th
parachute divisions are now combined under the Ist
parachute corps.

The Fuehrer: I don't know, do you think that the
English still regard the whole Russian development
with honest enthusiasm?

Jodl: No, definitely not. The plans were indeed
entirely different. This will perhaps be realized in
its full extent only later.

Goering: That we stop them there and in the meantime
let the Russians conquer all of Germany, that is
definitely not according to their plans. If things
continue like that we shall receive a telegram in a
few days. It is not so that we do not let them
advance one step and, according to the opinion of the
enemy, hold like mad in the West and the Russian
penetrates more and more into Germany and practically
has all of Germany.

The Fuehrer: In that way the National Committee, the
organization of the traitors, could flave a certain
impor-

                                           [Page 695]

tance. If the Russians really proclaim a national
government. then the English will naturally get
frightened.

Jodl: Those have always regarded them with suspicion.

The Fuehrer: I have ordered that something is to be
played into their hands now, namely the report that
those set up an army of 200,000 of our men, under the
leadership of German officers, completely infected by
communism, which they intend to send into battle. I
ordered that this report be played into the hands of
the British. I gave it to the Foreign Minister. That
is something which will have an effect on them, just
like you prick a shoemaker's awl into something.

Goering: Those entered the war so that we should not
get to the East but not that the East come to the
Atlantic.

The Fuehrer: That is quite clear. That is something
abnormal. English papers are already writing
bitterly: What is the sense of that war"

Goering: On the other hand I read in the "Braunen
Blaettern" a report, they could support the Russians
with their air force. Because they could reach with
their heavy bombers those territories to which the
Russians would have come, even though it would have
been a long flight. But the report comes from an
absurd source.

The Fuehrer: They cannot give them tactical support.
If we ourselves do not know where the Russians are
and where we are, how could they know?

Jodl: 31 trains of the 356th division departed with
speed 8.

The Fuehrer: I have a disagreeable duty yet to
perform today. I have to "hypnotize" Quisling today,
or I let him come tomorrow at three o'clock. Below,
try to find out whether this is possible.

I want to have a short talk with the Foreign
Minister, as to whether Quisling can be received at 3
o'clock; whether that is at all possible; whether he
will wait till the end of our state of war. It is an
awful affair. He is completely out of his head, the
people have driven him crazy.

                                           [Page 696]

Jodl: The cleaning up near Travik is finished. The
104th is being brought up here. It is impossible to
get through here. He f urther asks that the
bridgehead near Visegrad be eliminated. I have no
objections to this. Since we no longer intend to
attack in that direction, it is no longer important.
He requests to withdraw behind the river Drina
because they can thus save forces and can spread out
more.

The Fuehrer: Yes.

Jodl: The 22nd is fighting in this direction and has
now reached the Drina. The bridge there is out. They
are moving north on the western bank.

Here in this district there is a considerable
lessening of tension through the moving away of
Partisans in connection with the fights of the
Jetnicks. Communication with PlevIja is
re-established. The situation here has thus improved.

First elements of the 297th division have reached
Brod. Supply situation has again improved because the
8-ton bridge was completed yesterday the 25th.
Communication is thus re-established. A hospital
convoy has been attacked on the road by fighter
planes here, 10 dead and 7 more wounded. The Syrmish
Front was ciuiet. Commando activity of our own. About
two divisions can be assembled here by the 1st
February, 3 or 4 divisions by 6th February.

The Fuehrer:  In other words, it can't be done before
then.

Guderian: If there is no crisis, mein Fuehrer, it is
better to wait.

The Fuehrer: Absolutely. I will not give myself away
in advance, but preparations will be made quite
secretly and then suddenly the matter will be tackled
from both sides concentrically.

Jodl: Whether the 233rd Schuetzen division is
completely lost is not certain, but it must be
assumed.

Again, several attacks against the Fischer group
which have been repulsed.

The territory round Virovitica was quiet. A new
movement is intended toward the south to be done

                                           [Page 697]

by the Cossacks who as a matter of fact are doing
very well.

The Fuehrer: The Cossacks are good. But why must they
wear German uniforms? Why not have the beautiful
Cossack uniforms?

Jodl: Most of them have Cossack uniforms.

Guderian: Red fur caps.

The Fuehrer: They still have them?

Jodl: Yes, they have red trousers with silver
stripes.

The Fuehrer: Really it is wonderful that Cossacks are
marching with us!

Burgdorf:General von Pannwitz, the commander of the
Cossack division, always visits his troops in a
Cossack uniform. I have seen a photograph of him; he
looks quite savage with his crooked sword dangling in
the scabbard hanging down in front.

Jodl: They have been recruited as national troops.
They now also have their reinforcements because their
families were with them. I don't know where they are
now. They were in East Prussia before.

Guderian: They left there long ago. They reached some
place or other.

Goering: They were in Belgrad.

Jodl: They have their children there.

Goering: Their campaigns always resemble a tribal
movement, they take everything with them.

Jodl: Nothing else has happened here excepting
attacks that were repulsed. This territory was also
quiet on account of the tremendous amount of snow.

The same is true of the Brenner pass. In the north
the 163rd division is now with 57 trains in Oslo, the
2nd mountain division left Aarhus with 39 trains.

I now want to present the report of General von
Uthmann from Stockholm.

That is a case where even the ambassador could show a
stiff upper lip.

The Fuehrer: Can the ambassador show a stiff upper
lip? Thomsen always makes some very clever remarks;
his views on world policy are inspired by the
Stockholm atmosphere.

                                           [Page 698]

Goering: Mein Fuehrer, may I read You the following
about the panzer division which is fighting with the
Saucken Corps? The report is dated 27th. After
successful defensive battles near Litzinannstadt the
division fought its way toward the west according to
orders.

(Reads:) 5 Panthers achieved 25 hits.

The Fuehrer: An American or English newspaper man got
his temper up, he said he would not be stopped from
telling the truth. The truth was that the Germans
were far superior with their tanks.

Hewel: He cites a lot of examples.

The Fuehrer: He cites examples, how he was forced to
lie.

Hewel: For instance, they had lost as many tanks as
the enemy; he was forced to write they had only lost
a few.

The Fuehrer: He says the German tanks are superior,
that is undeniable.

Guderian: The main problem with us at the present
time is gasoline supply.

The Fuehrer: That's why I am worried, Guderian, that
something is going to happen down there. That would
be the end. That*is the most dangerous point. You can
still improvise everywhere but not down there. You
cannot improvise gasoline. I cannot make a tank into
a wood burner; in garrison that's possible. I have
seen tanks with wood generators for training
purposes.

Guderian: Yes indeed, we had them months ago.

The Fuehrer: There was something else: Buhle, news
has come that they have a giant tank, the Boxer …
gun L48…

Buhle: The note which I gave you, yes.

The Fuehrer: They fight the tank from a distance from
200 to 300 meters. Should we not make a new type of
shell perhaps with a bigger charge, I don't know
whether the Holilladung principle is applicable. Or,
perhaps, under certain circumstances, one could fire
a grenade with a handle attached to it; a grenade
with a handle. Of course one would have to load the
piece from the front, but all one has to do is to
approach the target sufficiently. It is certain that
such a grenade can be fired.

                                           [Page 699]

Buhle: I believe a HL 70 is necessary at first.

Guderian: 38 T might also be possible.

The Fuehrer: But it is not quite certain whether it
will penetrate the new tank.

Goering: Does the heavy Panzerfaust penetrate?

The Fuehrer: That has not been tried out.

Buhle: It is to be assumed. A charge of a 150-mm
penetrates also.

The Fuehrer: If one fires a shell or bomb with a
handle it is sure to destroy the tank. Of course. one
can only fire once.

Buhle: One must move with the piece charged. in order
to be ready.

The Fuehrer: If its approach is observed.

Guderian: Then he must hit with the first shot.

The Fuehrer: They have approached up to 150 to 200
meters.

Goering: Does the 88-mm penetrate also?

The Fuehrer: It has not been proven. One has been
unable to find out. The Koenigstiger with his
long-barrelled gun could penetrate, perhaps.

Buhle: On the side it seems to have a flat roof.

The Fuehrer: Anyway it seems to be a new thing.

Buhle: I spoke about it with Sauer yesterday.

Goering: Has a Jagdtiger ever been hit?

Thus far none of the Jagdtigers have ever been hit
effectively. He was hit from behind, not yet
from the front. It is different with the Jagdpanther.
The Jagdtiger is the toughest nut to crack.

The Fuehrer: Thus far it has blown up every pill box
with one shot.

Buhle: We will bring out the new 250-mm on the 5th.

The Fuehrer: It is very slow, only 12- to 15-km per
hour.

v. Below: Reich Minister Lammers says that Quisling
could come tomorrow. One day more or less did not
matter.

The Fuehrer: He will be glad to be able to stay here.
But I would like the Foreign Minister to hold himself
in readiness so that he can report on the situation.

v. Below: Yes indeed.

The Fuehrer: Is there anything else?

Hewel: Only one thing. In connection with this story
the Swedish newspapers publish also sensational
articles according to which the inventor and con-

                                           [Page 700]

structor of the V-weapons has arrived there. They are
publishing interviews with a certain Professor
Hartmann. I have already spoken with the Luftwaffe
and General Buffle; they don't even know him.

The Fuehrer: They have not found a V-man but an
S-man, a swindler.

Hewel: They do that regularly. They suddenly discover
something tremendously sensational.

Goering: They are used to tremendous sensations.

The Fuehrer: They, must know everything if they
believe they have got the inventor.

Hewel: They even got the man now who worked on the
V-4. He was ready to give detailed reports.

Assmann: In the Polar Sea there are movements of
British and Russian naval forces. U-292 has carried
out supply missions for metereological troops on Bear
Island.

Three of our destroyers from the 4th destroyer
flotilla are now being transferred from Narvik to
home base because they will be urgently needed in the
Baltic during spring.

We unfortunately lost an ore boat of 2900, too,
during an aerial attack on a southbound convoy. She
was hit thrice by bombs, was still afloat, but when
being towed into port she sank anyway.

In the waters round Haugesund several mines have been
cleared. We are laying a mine field near Stavanger
for coastal protection.

Traffic between Oslo and Aarhus suffered yesterday
again from the weather. We have extraordinary bad
weather. The convoys can make their runs, but are 7
to 10 hours late. One troop transport ship with 776
men of the 163rd infantry division, 328 horses and
191 vehicles arrived at Aarhus. Another 5,500 men of
the 163rd division are waiting for shipment in Oslo.
Reports come in from the eastern part of the Baltic
Sea, saying that transports are still running
according to schedule. 3 ships arrived, 4 ships will
arrive today. These 4 ships will probably leave today
again loaded. In Libau are no more boats at present,
because traffic from Gotenhafen and

                                           [Page 701]

Danzig had to be stopped yesterday on account of the
stormy weather.

Yesterday's transport record: 3,294 men Courland,
further 1,122 horses, 713 vehicles, 115 tons of
ammunition and some prisoners of war. The traffic
from Memel also ran according to schedule.21I men, 40
vehicles and 2,000 tons have left for pillau. The
ferry "Deutschland" is enroute to Swinenluende with
1,500 wounded men. The evacuation of East Prussia has
further progressed with 34 vessels. 25,000 refugees
have been sent to the western part of the Baltic Sea.
including them, 45,360 refugees have started from
East Prussia to the Reich.A small steamer with 150
vehicles has run aground near the peninsula of
Hela.Salvage attempts are being made. Yesterday, in
loading mines at Pillau a deplorable explosion. 207
mines did explode.They were aerial mines with time
fuses.Probably, the accidenthappened by a mine that
was dropped, wherebythe fuse was set off. The result
was heavy damage, 19 men were lost.

The cruiser "Prinz Eugen" has been scheduled for
action north of Elbing.It could not be done
today,however, on account of the very bad weather
situation.There was a blizzard with very poor
visibility.The necessary preparations have been
made.The cruiser can go into action at any time, as
soon as the weather situation improves.

The Fuehrer: Isit not possible to use here the old
canoes "Schleswig Holstein" and "Schlesien"?

Assmann:They are no longer very seaworthy. They are
being used only for training purposes and are lying
stationary at Gotenhafen.

v. Puttkamer: One has been sunk.

Assmann: Yes, "Schleswig Holstein" is no longer
seaworthy.

The Fuehrer: If she has been sunk, she cannot fire.

v. Puttkamer: The 15 centimeter are no longer on
board, only the worn out 28.

The Fuehrer: Why can't you rebore them?

v. Puttkamer: I don't know about that. ger of putting
them

The Fuehrer: So that you don't run the danger of
putting them into action suddenly.

                                           [Page 702]

v. Puttkamer: Probably there is other work which has
priority now.

The Fuehrer: Sifice the days of the Westernplatte,
the reboring of the 8 barrels could have been done.

Assmann: In the Pomeranian Bight a minesweeper hit a
mine. The boat is being towed in.

In the North Sea blizzard, wind velocity up to 7.

In front of the peninsula some of our mines blocking
the beach have been exploded by ice stoppage.

It was not possible to commit our speed boats and
small U-boats on account of bad weather.

No special reports from the Mediterranean.

Buechs: Only local fighting in Hungary yesterday
southwest of lpolysag.

Provisioning with 19 airplanes has been attempted.
Only 7 succeeded, have dropped 6 tons of ammunition,
16 tons of food.

The fighting in Silesia was concentrated between
Oppeln and Steinau, 103 airplanes, also partly around
Bentschen, Gleiwitz and for the first time somewhat
more at Marienburg with 114 airplanes. 391 fighters
mostly for low level attacks, destroyed 5 tanks.
about 178 vehicles, many of them horse drawn.

Besides, 2 bridges, which were put up between Oppeln
and Breslau, were hit.

In the west only fighter bombers IJABO] concentrating
upon the Ruhr district and a weak two-engine unit.

Last night London brought a radio report which
answered the question, why they did not fly. It said,
that they have had bad weather over England for 4
days, that they would use this time to bring their
machines into top fighting trim. Apparently, they
have recruited and used once more 70,000 men and
women. Apparently, due to our offensive, they have
used many men and the technical ground staff have
decreased very much, or it is an excuse upon
questions. It was announced publicly over the radio.

During the night only 20 mosquitoes flew in and
dropped bombs upon Recklinghausen. Bad weather
in Italy. From the west and south no flights of
fighting units today.

The Fuehrer: The meeting seems to take place again in
Teheran.

Hewel: If it will take place at all now. I am sure it
will be postponed.

Burgdorf:Here is an excerpt of measures taken by
Frederic the Great and Frederic William I. I can give
it to you to read.

The Fuehrer: If people think that I am so brutal — I
would recommend all dignified gentlemen to read this.
-- It has always been that way. These things ought to
be read by our officers. They have absorbed only the
spirit of Schlieffen, not the spirit of Moltke,
Frederic the Great, Frederic William I, Blueeher,
etc. That was also a good spirit. That can be seen by
the 73 year old Courbiere.

Goering: That shows, age does not mean anything.

The Fuehrer: No, on the contrary, if they get old,
they become "bucks". I have seen that too.

Burgdorf: Schoerner has heavily interfered with your
authority which only belonged to you, my Fuehrer,
dismissals, etc. But I am in favor of not disavowing
it afterwards. Otherwise, we don't get anywhere. He
also writes here, that he almost feels like hanging
the commander if he does not bring (Presents text)
order into it. Then the matter of the officers, which
I presented, has been brought up again by the
Reichsmarshal. The Reiclismarshal holds the view that
it is better to leave the men in their ranks and that
they should be used in subordinate positions
according to their aptitude.

Goering: For instance, I have a commanding general
leading a company in a parachute regiment. Up to now
degradation was part of the punishment, if somebody
had committed a crime. If now somebody has been
dismissed honorably, and he is called back, only you
give him a smaller position because he cannot lead
anything else, we cannot draft him as a sergeant.
That is a degradation. I do not know who would still
want to become an officer. Even if the work is done
honorably there would be no protection any longer.

The Fuehrer: It is very diflicult, if today a general
should lead a company under a battalion commander who
is perhaps only a first lieutenant.

Goering: In this case it will work all right. But he
must not be degraded.

Burgdorf: If I may point out the development as it is
in the army very often. We have now several thousand
officers who have never served with a fighting unit,
or the last time, at the end of the world war. Since
that time they were either used in office positions,
administrative positions or as railroad commanders,
patrolling trains, while the front was far away and
these spaces had to he protected. Now they are at our
disposal. Reichsminister Goebbels has now justifiably
demanded, that these men shall not be dismissed
because we could not use them as officers, while all
men back to the class of 86 have been drafted.
Because,if we would discharge them from the active
Wehrmacht, even younger men might be dismissed who
could still be IA, while old men are still being
drafted. That they remain on active service has not
been disputed by the Reichsmarshal. That they have to
be used, is evident. The only question is how can
they be used.

Goering: In the World War the men have done their
duty as officers and have been retired.

Burgdorf: But they have not been trained with arms at
all. We have an officer's training regiment at
Wildtlecken. There, the men have been divided into
three parts: those who have to be dismissed because
they can't do their job any more, and would be of
better use in business — that will be thoroughly
examined — those who could be used advantageously in
any capacity within the units. and those who have
systematically shirked their duty during the whole
war. We have found people who have been with 15
different units during one year from which it can be
seen that they have been sent away everywhere.

Goering: If you have a shirker, you courtmartial and
decommission him. I am only of the opinion that it is
impossible in a profession-this can't be found

                                           [Page 705]

in the whole world — that somebody, with a clean
record, who has served honorably, shall be degraded
because he is being used in a subordinate position.

The Fuehrer: It is so with us, not in England.

Goering: He always remains an officer.

Burgdorf: A retired officer can only start again.
Hewel told me of a colonel, who entered the service
again and was killed as an airgunner.

Goering: Ask, why he has been dismissed.

Burgdorf: He thinks, he has been quite a decent
fellow.

The Fuehrer: In England rank goes with the position.

Goering: I have examined it thoroughly. If a man is a
captain and is in line to become major in 10 years,
and tomorrow he fills a post which carries the rank
of major, he will be made major out of his turn, and
if he returns to a position which carries the rank of
captain, he becomes a captain again. But, if due to
his length of service, he is up for major after 10
years, he will become major, no matter which position
he holds. That applies only for those who advanced
outside of their turn.

The Fuehrer: Now I want to have an exact report how
it is in England. Who can give it?

Fegelein: General Christian knows it well. I have
talked to him, he was in America.

Burgdorf: It will then have to be decided, whether we
should form officer unit,,,, whereby should be added
that in the officer units a first lieutenant may lead
perhaps a squad and a captain a platoon, where ranks
are nonsense. But I warn you, since I have seen the
men. The last prestige of the officer corps will be
lost by the run of an entire battalion of officers.
Because the men I have seen, will run away.

Goering: That is correct. But how do you intend to
make an officer of a man who knows that he may be
degraded any time without him doing anything wrong?

Burgdorf: As soon as the Fuehrer started to promote
men without regard in what rank he happened to be
only according to their qualification, at that
moment. it was logical that we said to the people



who could not fulfill it: I am sorry but you are not
capable to fill that post.

Keitel: But these men are completely different men.
They would not have come if they had been told that,
they would have taken up another profession.

Burgdorf: In this war there is no officer, who has
not been promoted three grades during this war.

Goering: Naturally he has been promoted; if an
officer has gotten his discharge because of age or
temporary illness, illness does not enter into the
question-

The Fuehrer: I believe, the point is briefly as
follows, Goering. This, whole bureaucratic apparatus
is going to be cleaned out now. It has indeed become
so inflated that in comparison the civilian
bureaucracy, appears like a rabbit against a saurian,
and that comes from the fact that the military at the
beginning of the war automatically calls back into
the ranks every man who has ever seen military
service and appears on some file. They have been
called up on the basis of their former ranks.

They have been promoted again now. The men have grown
old and can lead only in a limited way. For those are
world-war-officers, they have the rank of a general
today, and are not capable of commanding a battalion.
Thus the situation would arise that I would call out
all the men in the whole nation who are only fit for
limited war service, and have them serve in the army,
regardless of the positions they occupy in civilian
life, while at the same time I am dismissing and
sending home others, who occupy superfluous posts,
because I cannot use them. To the general I cannot
give a division or a regiment, because he can't
handle it. To a colonel I cannot give a battalion,
because he cannot handle that at all. He has been
currently promoted and cannot even command a company.
This is the problem. It has nothing to do with his
claims for a pension. But the moment I am calling up
the Volkssturm and drafting, God only knows what kind
of people by lowering the age limit, I up and send
people home who are absolutely fit for front line
duty, because they oc-

                                           [Page 707]

cupy a post, which apparently needs not to be
occupied at all Jand they do not fill this post,
because the post is superfluous, because they sit in
a bureaucracy, which we want to air out. Thus I am
sending home people, who are fit f or front line
duty, are really soldiers, and others, who are only
fit for limited service., and are not soldiers, I am
drafting.

Goering: Exactly-that must not happen. He shall go to
a post where he can work but in his rank.

The Fuehrer: Yes, I can not use him in his rank.

Goering: Not in his official position. He has done
his duty during the world war, has become a regular
army officer.

The Fuehrer: I admit all of that. But take it, the
man is now a colonel, and to give him command over a
regiment would mean assassinating 3,000 men.

Goering: He is not to get a regiment, either.

The Fuehrer: Under certain circumstances he may not
even be able to command a squad, then it will be
difficult.

Goering: Then he can stand guard. I have made that
proposition to generals of mine. I have said, I
cannot give them anything else.

The Fuehrer: Have the generals accepted that?

Goering: Some yes; some no.

The Fuehrer: And these?

Goering: These I will call in now under the more
stringent regulations. Up until now, I have given
them their choice, and have not drafted them.

The Fuehrer: What is he going to do then?

Goering: If there is nothing else, he will stand
guard.

The Fuehrer: As a general?

Goering: As a general.

The Fuehrer: Do you think that the cause will be
served better in this way?

Goering: During World War I this general proved
himself as a valiant battalion commander, was
discharged as a colonel, and has now been called in
again because he is needed.

The Fuehrer: In the world war no battalion commander
was discharged as a colonel.

Goering: As lieutenant colonel.

                                           [Page 708]

The Fuehrer: My regimental commander was a major,
then later he was given an acting rank, and only I
made him a colonel. In the world. war people were not
promoted at all. That was the poorest promotion
possible.

Goering: Some were promoted. But this one was given
the rank of an acting lieutenant colonel, and was
drafted as a lieutenant colonel, because he was
needed in some bureaucratic affair, and received
further promotions. Hitherto demotion has been
considered the greatest disgrace imaginable among
officers — there is no doubt about it — and this is
not being understood among us.

The Fuehrer: I too, am of the opinion; on principle
that must be done difTerently. It will have to be
done go that rank and appointment will be basically
identical.

Goering: That is right. Here I am entirely of your
opinion.

The Fuehrer: For three years I have tried to go after
this. With the British this is basically so. If one
commands a division, he is division general, if he
commands a regiment, he is colonel, and if he
commands a battalion, he is a major. If he has for a
time, been commander of a regiment, he afterwards
goes back again.

Goering: Only a "Schweinehund" would take a demotion.
If he was not that, he would have shot and killed
himself.

The Fuehrer: That is no demotion.

Goering: If one has been a colonel, and is callied up
to serve as sergeant, that is a demotion. If he is
put into that rank, he can--

The Fuehrer: This is not to affect his emoluments.

Goering: I would simply throw the emoluments at his
feet and say: You are taking away my honor, and you
well know, that so far this has been considered the
greatest disgrace among officers.

The Fuehrer: In reality it is not so. That is your
conception. It was also considered a disgrace when I
promoted a man like lightning. It was considered a
disgrace among the officers when I promoted one Major
Remer immediately to colonel.

                                           [Page 709]

Goering: Certainiy not for him.

Burgdorf: If I, a general, should have to serve as a
major, I would prefer to do it in a major's uniform,
otherwise it would be a constant public defamation,
and everybody would know it.

Goering: You say that, because it does not apply to
you. Then do it. It would be a shining example.

Burgdorf: I am confident that I can still be used in
the capacity of my rank.

Goering: Then complete reconstruction will be
necessary. In this case it would be demotion without
judicial sentence.

The Fuehrer: It is no demotion. The man is not
demoted, he is only given a position which he really
can fill, which he had outgrown, without being able
to measure up to the new rank. Then it would be a
demotion also, if I draft the president of some
concern today, and he has to serve as a private.

Goering: No, he is not a professional officer, he did
not choose the profession of a soldier.

The Fuehrer: But the other one has chosen his
profession, and must be able to meet its
requirements. If he cannot do that, that is no
demotion.

Goering: If he does not meet the requirements of a
president, he will be discharged.

The Fuehrer: Then he can no longer be president, but
perhaps be only plant manager.

Goering: Or somewhere else a travelling salesman.

Fegelein: It has always been like that with the
political leaders.

The Fuehrer: Fundamentally I am of the opinion, that
the British system is healthier. It says: Anyone who
commands a division is a division general, and if he
does not, he is not, and if a division general should
some day again command a regiment, then he is
regimental commander. In the "Reichswehr" we were, at
the time, of the opinion, the generals there were
never to command regiments and battalions, and
therefore we took off the old army insignia as
unsuited. We simply said, we will not wear uniforms,
just stars, so that a general at that time could also
command a battalion. We could not have done it any
other way.

                                           [Page 710]

Goering: With me a general had command ot a group.

The Fuehrer: Then what kind of insignia did these
wear?

Keitel: In the Reichswehr only stars.

Fegelein: Hausser was discharged as a major general
and then was a colonel with us.

The Fuehrer: Here is an example. I want to tell you
something right now. How many were discharged from
the army as generals, entered the Waffen-SS and
occupied subordinate positions.

Goering: They were not forced to do it.

The Fuehrer: What do you mean "not forced"? We stand
in a time of emergency today. The question is this: I
must think myself in the place of a company
commander. Such an officer is a lieutenant and able
to lead a company, but he has a colonel, who himself
is absolutely incapable to lead a company, because it
has been 25 years since he knew how. But he is now in
that company as a platoon leader, maybe not even
that, he is in it in his uniform. What sort of a
mottled affair are we going to have then? Does the
officer in charge of the company then salute his
colonel'?

Goering: It is a fundamental matter, which upsets and
overturns everything that has been existing hitherto,
an idea, which was inconceivable until now. To this
alone I call attention.

The Fuehrer: Anyhow, it is this way in the rest of
the world.

Goering: Not in the rest of the world. It's never so
in England. Therefore I made the suggestion, to
differentiate between rank and position.

Keitel: In the Volkssturm there have been no
difficulties so far.

Goering: No, not there. You said., in the
Reichswelir. Then you mean to say, that it had been
introduced by the Reichswehr, that some general, who
commanded a battalion, was only a major.

Keitel: Exactly. He did not wear a General's uniform
and the man was called battalion commander, and no
longer major, lieutenant colonel or general.

Goering: How long was that?

Keitel: It had been carried through'in the
Reichswehr. Then it disappeared again, because it was
said, how can you do such a thing, this is madness. I
was the one who said we have no rank, no lieutenant,
no captain, major, lieutenant colonel, but we
have platoon leaders, company leaders, battalion
leaders, regimental leaders.

Goering: When for instance was a general a platoon
leader?

Keitel: I must know that. I have been organizational
chief of the Army General Staff.

Goering: What years are you speaking of?

Keitel:The years 1925-30. The mobilization orders
which were applicable to the entire Armed Forces, had
been officially introduced and recognized. There was
no longer any rank, only the rating connected with
the appointment.

Goering:That is just what I have been requesting for
2 years. But it has not been the case, that a
general, who was a general, suddenly becomes
sergeant,

Jodl: I would do it this way: Lt. Colonel X would be
ordered to report for active duty as a platoon
leader.

The Fuehrer: He will not be demoted. That is a
definition which suddenly was dropped in here. But
his rank in itself is dormant.

Goering: If one has -been a general, and is ordered
to report for active duty as a sergeant, then
according to the prevailing conception, he is
demoted.

The Fuehrer: I cannot call him in as a general.

Goering: If he is ordered to report as platoon leader
or squad leader, that is something different.

Keitel: At that time an emergency existed and with
the giant officers corps of the world war we could
not have done otherwise.

Jodl: Such extreme cases surely would never occur.

Burgdorf: To be squad leader, one does not need to
have any leadership-personality at all.

Goering: How do you intend to change the rank? You
said yourself, as technical sergeant or sergeant.

Burgdorf: It is the numerous captains and majors,
with whom I am stuck.

Goering: You spoke of generals. But even with a
colonel it is not easy either.

Burgdorf: Even a colonel I could always use as an
officer. But the majority of them have never been
soldiers.

                                           [Page 712]

Goering: Right, I agree with your definition, if the
rank is taken into account.

The Fuehrer: But even then he can't run around in a
general's uniform. What kind of a company would you
have, if each company commander wears the uniform of
a lieutenant and the platoon leader the uniform of a
general, to speak in extremes. I don't know which one
is the greater degradation. On the other hand, I
can't give a unit to the general that corresponds to
his rank, when he is not capable of it. How can I
give a young volunteer division to the general, when
it is going to be destroyed through it? Maybe he was
a poor company commander in World War I, where it was
generally known, that in normal peace times he would
not have been in the position to lead a company. Then
he would have had to attend courses,' just like
nowadays. We promote many and know, that under normal
peace time conditions, they couldn't make it.

Jodl: Can't one say: Colonel X will be given the
command as a chief of a Volkssturm company
[Volkssturmkompaniechef], even though he is
transferred elsewhere?

Burgdorf:There he is subject to a different
classification.

The Fuehrer: I had people in the SA and the SS who
advanced by hard work. In the army this is
impossible. Just visualize this company in reality,
led by a capable lieutenant, who became a lieutenant;
who is able to lead it and must lead it, and
under.his command he has a couple of lieutenant
colonels or generals in their respective uniforms.
During that time the service rank must not count, the
way I see it. There is no other way.

Goering: Off duty he will keep his rank, on duty he
will not.

The Fuehrer: One thing must be avoided: that those
men who are fit for active service now don't fight at
all, because they can't hold their jobs, but the one
who is fit for limited combat duty must fight.
Nowadays I must keep in mind the psychological
moments not only in the case of officer but also of
the German people. After all this is no disgrace.

                                           [Page 713]

Goering: But that must be made clear.

Jodl: There must not be the feeling of a degradation
without guilt.

Burgdorf: Six weeks of training will be given to
them, in order to show whether they are capable or
not. I have seen the men and you yourself would say
instantly, Reiclismarshall, that fellow shouldn't be
in uniform at all. If I had to carry out thousands of
judicially interwoven degradations, I wouldn't have
even enough men, to do the work.

Goering: Then I would say immediately, out of the
armed forces and into the Home Guard [Volkssturm].

Burgdorf: There are old people in the Volkssturm.
Then a 46 year old man comes up who is fit for
combat, and who has been shirking successfully and
who has been in the West before.

Goering: You could degrade a man like that.

The Fuehrer: He also cannot command a unit. He has
never held such positions. I can't trust him with the
smallest unit.

Goering: Then in the unit itself. a number of men has
also to be taken out.

Burgdorf: In a fighting unit one can see that pretty
quickly.

Fegelein: The Reichsfuehrer did it the same way. He
only said to the 19th army, I am of that opinion, and
that did it.

The Fuehrer: After all, the profession of a soldier
is a fighting profession. That must be the aim. That
must be made clear basically. Because this is an
entirely different point of view. The Fuehrer: It is
no degradation, but the rank drops during the time of
operations. If the man is capable, then he will be
reinstated into his rank within a short time. He has
a much easier time than anyone else. But some
solution must be found. One thing must be avoided:
that a military purge takes place, with the result of
a change from the military bureaucracy into civilian
idleness. I can't even use them in the labor-pool,
because in a way we have a surplus of workers. Apart
from that, people are justified in saying: This one
is fit for combat and not the other one who is sent
to the front.

                                           [Page 714]

Burgdorf: The sending of a mortar platoon to the
Reichsfuehrer in the Black Forest worked miracles in
the O.C.S. regiment. However, it didn't look so good
to the lower ranks, when a lieutenant colonel and
three lieutenants carried mortars around.

The Fuehrer: This to me is much more degrading than
the other method. The other method consists in givIng
a position to a man which corresponds to his ability
and with which I can trust him fully. Otherwise I let
him run around in his uniform and perform work, that
can be done by a common private or N.C.O.

Goering: Then one must act consequently and quick by
freezing promotions, etc.

Burgdorf :To promote unit commanders only.

Goering: Then none will stay on the staff.

Burgdorf: Privileged positions are to be had.

Keitel: We have duties, which have to be performed by
men who are really close to the front. We can't do
anything with idiots.

Burgdorf: It is much worse to take away the men who
are fit for combat.

Keitel: Would you read my order concerning the
withdrawal of men, who are fit for combat. This is
gradually becoming unbearable.

Goering: I also can't let anyone remain with the
staff, when he says: I can't be promoted while on the
staff, I must prove myself as commanding officer of
troops, I won't stay here, that you can't ask of me.
Today I can lead a company, you suspended me for one
year, now I am not able anymore to lead a unit, this
is not my fault. That is what he will say.

Burgdorf: We promote them. We take paymasters as
C.O.'s of companies and battalions, as soon as they
can do that.

The Fuehrer: I deem it worse, to assemble so called
officer's battalions these days. Because if they
fail, they leave a very bad impression. That will be
talked about in another unit. Then they are looked
upon as disciplinary battalions. In my opinion it
would be better to place them into other units. For
this would be a definite defamation.

                                           [Page 715]

Guderian: In the mortar battalion mentioned, there is
as lieutenant colonel one who was my supply leader in
Poland, France, and Russia, he was decorated, I
myself decorated him with the Iron Cross, first
class. This man was reported by one of his countrymen
from Oberdonau because of alleged remarks which he
never made, but which were said to be made before the
Anschluss; therefore he was dismissed from his
position, was placed into this mortar battalion at
Wildflecken, and as a decent, splendid lieutenant
colonel who in his case has been an outspokenly
capable and especially splendid man, he is carrying
mortars around, and he wrote me the most awful
letters that were just heartbreaking. He says: I have
been defamed without being guilty, without a logical
investigation and verification, only because of a
dirty fellow who reported me, and I don't know how to
help myself. I believe, he has not been rehabilitated
yet.

The Fuehrer: Those are cases in which at the present
we have to discharge 5/6 of our administration. It is
not a question of defamations. The administration
must be discharged, and one cannot decide that those
5/6 don't have to be soldiers anymore for the reason,
that they can't get a military command corresponding
to their rank.

Guderian: Then we must use them some place else. If a
colonel can only be used as a leader of a battalion
or company, he is going to get that rank and for the
duration of this duty he takes off his shoulder-
pieces.

The Fuehrer: That is it.

Goering: But he does not become a N.C.O.

Guderian: No, he remains a colonel or general with
full pay and privileges.

Goering: Never mind the pay.

Fegelein: With the escort detachment there are a
great many captains [Hauptsturmfuehrer] who served
with the Leibstandarte in the rank of sergeants.
There were never any difficulties.

Goering: The Waffen-SS is an active formation. The
other ones are inactive. When they are serving there,
they are on reserve duty. One can be Oberpraes-

                                           [Page 716]

ident and also can be corporal. This is something
else. Not a single one will remain now in a command,
because he says, I am running this risk.

The Fuehrer: Under no circumstances would I release
these men to go home in the first place. At a time,
when I draft men up to almost 56 years, who are fit
for limited combat service, I discharge 45-year-old
ones, although they have been soldiers all the time.
That doesn't work. In the second place, it is not
plausible that I give a man, who is not able to lead
a unit, a command of a unit in spite of it.

Goering: And in the third place, I cannot say to the
man, after I have taken them on the staff and who
were able to lead a unit: Because you have been on
the staff, you won't get a unit.

The Fuehrer: If they are able to lead a unit, then
they will get it.

Goering: No, they were capable.

The Fuehrer: Then they will be there again within the
shortest time. That they must learn. This is no
disgrace. I myself had to learn it too, to be
Reiclischancellor. I used to be party leader, my own
boss, and as Reiclischancellor I was a subordinate of
the Reichspresident. For a period of time I was
Regierungsrat in Braunschweig.

Goering: But not an acting one.

The Fuehrer: Don't say that. I have been very useful
to the country.

Burgdorf: We will put them all into training courses,
to continue. their training. In addition to that we
constantly have a request to higher army authorities
to release the ones concerned to us for two months,
so that the man in question returns again. This way
he won't become a stranger.

The Fuehrer: Nowadays I can bring the born commanding
officer on any staff, — when I return him, I cannot
say, that he will skip all that. That is an
impossibility. Because they must learn an awful lot.
Anyone who is leading out there now, will confirm
that. In a few months, however, he will naturally
again prove his qualities as a leader. He will then
again have the position corresponding to his rank. if
he is the born commanding officer at

                                           [Page 717]

all, That is quite clear; it shouldn't be difficult.
Now, take the born commanding officer, he'll be that
corresponding to his rank, in no time at all.

Fegelein: The 10,000 officers and non-coms, the
British and Americans in Sagan, will march in two
hours and in formation. Besides that, there are also
1,500 men marching toward Sagan who were somewhere
near the Government General. They were offered to
remain with the Russians, because they couldn't be
transported; they declined that and offered to fight
on our side …

Hewel: They want guns.

Jodl: Should we succeed in persuading the British and
Americans to fight against the Russians, this will be
a sensation.

Hewel: But this is not confirmed yet.

The Fuehrer: Perhaps somebody said something like
that, and then it is immediately generalized. I am
suspicious to the utmost.

Fegelein: If it works, O.K., we may do so.

The Fuehrer: But not, because someone said so.

Fegelein: The 1,500 marched on foot, they did not
want to ride trucks, because they were afraid, they
would be driven to the Russians. Therefore they
marched, because they saw, that the Russians drove
into a German civilian formation. This impressed them
in such a way, that they left on foot.

Hewel: One should really let a few English officers
go over.

Jodl: They may be airplane specialists.

                               End: 18:50 o'clock.