November 29, 1941: Berlin to Tokyo:

I was to have had an evening meeting yesterday, the 28th, with RIBBENTROP at his request, but he suddenly asked me to postpone it, and it was ten at night before we met. The reason for the postponement was that GOERING and leading Government and Forces personalities met at the Fuehrer’s official residence and held an important conference lasting many hour. Now that the objects of the Russian campaign have for the most part been achieved, and the results of interviews with the Premiers and Foreign Ministers of the European countries collated, they discussed the direction and policy of next year's campaign, and I have no doubt that at this conference JAPAN’s action was also discussed.

1. First of all RIBBENTROP again asked if I had received any news about the Japanese-American negotiations. I replied that I had not yet received any official news. RIBBENTROP said JAPAN must not lose this opportunity of achieving the establishment of the New Order in East Asia, and never had there been a time when close cooperation between the three Allies was more imperative. If JAPAN hesitated and GERMANY carried through the New Order in EUROPE alone, BRITAIN and AMERICA would turn the brunt of their attack to JAPAN. He insisted that, as the Fuehrer had said that day, the existence of JAPAN and GERMANY on the one hand and AMERICA on the other was fundamentally incompatible, and the Germans were in receipt of reports that, owing to the stiff attitude of the Americans, there was practically no possibility of the Japanese-American negotiations being successful.

If this was so, and if JAPAN determined on war against BRITAIN and AMERICA, not only would this be to the common advantage of JAPAN and GERMANY, but he believed it would be to JAPAN’s advantage also. I said I know nothing of JAPAN’s plans and therefore could not answer, but I asked whether His Excellency really thought a state of war would arise between GERMANY and AMERICA. He replied that Roosevelt was diseased, and there was no knowing what he would do. Considering that hitherto RIBBENTROP has always answered that AMERICA would avoid war, and in view of recent speeches by HITLER and RIBBENTROP, it seems to me that GERMANY’s attitude towards AMERICA is gradually stiffening, and that she has reached the stage where she would not shun even war with AMERICA.

2. I enquired about the future of the war against RUSSIA, RIBBENTROP replied that the Fuehrer had said that it was now his inflexible determination to sweep away and crush the Soviet once and for all. The most important military operation had been concluded, and a large part of the army would withdraw to GERMANY. They would, however, continue operations in the CAUCASUS, and next Spring with a part of it they would make an attack on and beyond the URALS and chase STALIN into SIBERIA. I asked when approximately this was to be, and he said it was intended that the attack should start in about May of next year.

I next observed that I gathered from what he said that they were quite determined on attacking the SOVIET, and the thing I should like done as soon as possible was the creation of air communications between MANCHURIA and GERMANY. He replied that the Germans had been thinking of this for some time past, and he thought that next Summer it would not be impossible to fly in one hop from somewhere hear the URALS to MANCHURIA.

3. I asked about plans for an attack on BRITAIN. He said that before the landing in BRITAIN they would chase British influence clean out of the NEAR EAST, AFRICA, GIBRALTAR and the MEDITERRANEAN. I gather from this statement by RIBBENTROP that they attach even more importance than before to this area. I asked if they intended to carry on without attacking the BRITISH ISLES. RIBBENTROP said that GERMANY was of course making preparations for this, but according to reports reaching GERMANY the internal situation in BRITAIN was not any too good. For instance the split in the Conservative Party, the lack of confidence in CHURCHILL, and the revolutionary ideas of BEVIN, the Labour leader, were making internal conditions quite difficult.

There were of course some people who did not believe this: but the Fuehrer believed that conditions in BRITAIN were bad and thought that as a result of GERMANY’s future operations, even, it might be, without an invasion, BRITAIN would be beaten. In any case, however, GERMANY for her part had no intention whatever of making peace with ENGLAND, and the plan was to drive British influence out of EUROPE entirely. After the War, therefore, BRITAIN would be left absolutely powerless, and although the BRITISH ISLES would remain, all other British territory would be split up into three under GERMANY, ITALY and JAPAN. In AFRICA, GERMANY would, generally speaking, be satisfied with her old colonies and would give a great part to ITALY. It was, he said, to obtaining…(corrupt transcript)…that GERMANY attached the most importance.

4. Remarking in conclusion that the very satisfactory progress of the War under Germany leadership was fully recognized and that GERMANY naturally had to extend the area of operations by regarding as enemies not only BRITAIN but also countries under British influence and those helping BRITAIN. I asked him when he thought the war would end. To this he replied that, although he hoped it would be brought to a conclusion in the course of next year, it might possibly continue till the following year.

He also said that if JAPAN were to go to war with AMERICA, GERMANY would, of course, join in immediately, and Hitler’s intention was that there should be absolutely no question of GERMANY making a separate peace with ENGLAND. At the end of the talk RIBBENTROP asked that the substance of it should be kept strictly secret, so please pay special attention to its handling. This telegram has been given to the Naval and Military Attaches and to Vice-Admiral NOMURA and Major-General ABE. Please have it shown to the Army and Navy.

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