The Oshima telegram

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In May 1944 the Japanese Ambassador to Berlin was Mr Oshima. He had a face to face meeting with Adolf on May 28 1944 and sent the results to Tokyo encoded using Purple which had been broken by the Americans. The message was intercepted and this is an extract of what transpired, there are 7 parts – this was condensed down from 9 pages.

Part 1

In Hitler’s own words

Where the battle is now acute is the Italian Front. In my view they are trying to lure us to that quarter. Therefore Germany will not count too highly the loss of territory but we are putting up stiff resistance and inflicting huge losses on the enemy.

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Part 2

There is a temporary easing on the eastern front but I think the Soviets will attack before long. We are taking steps to stave it off, the Hungarians have also sent seventeen divisions to the front. Romania too has practically the same number. in view of past experiences, Germany has placed some of her finest divisions, particularly armoured ones, among these foreign troops. We decided the best defence of Europe would be at the River Don but neither Hungary nor Romania understood this. Now the Russians are much closer to their borders and so far they have come out rather well. Hitler then describes where he thinks the Russians will attack and say he is not content to be on the defensive all the time but intends to turn to the offensive again.

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Part 3

The second front. Hitler believes that sooner or later an invasion of Europe will happen. He thinks there are about eighty divisions gathered on the British Isles though there are a mere eight who have fighting experience. Firstly Hitler thinks that diversionary operations will be carried out against Norway, Denmark, the south west of France and the Mediterranean coast of France. After that, when they have established their bridgehead in Normandy and Brittany, they will establish an all out second front in the area of the Straits of Dover. The best for Germany would be to smite them in as brief a time as possible but, if the enemy does as has just been described, their men will be dispersed and we can finish them off in many spots.

well_chuffed, Going Postal
well_chuffed, Going Postal

Part 4

Hitler then explains about his super guns encased in concrete in France which will be bombarding England. If the Anglo-Americans don’t invade, he is not going to hang about but will go on the offensive although where exactly is not stated.

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Part 5

Then there is a discussion about the size and quality of the Russian Army. Again Hitler is somewhat deluded and seems to think the Russians have passed their peak even though some of their equipment is extremely good.

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Part 6

This is about producing assault guns and attaching them to every unit with various boasts of how Speer is increasing production. Then he switches to planes and says they are making 6,000 a month which will be up to 8,000 by the start of 1945.

well_chuffed, Going Postal
well_chuffed, Going Postal

Part 7

Hitler describes how plane production has been put underground to avoid allied air attacks and that though the military situation is dark for Germany, it will improve.

Hitler then asked about conditions in Greater East Asia, particularly the battle of India, how the battle of Honan was going, what our plans were and what America’s war strength and plans seemed to be. The Ambassador knew very little about these things and gave only vague answers. However he did state that the Empire of Japan was doing its best to increase the output of planes and ships.

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Along with showing Hitler’s confidence, the interesting part about this is that Adolf knew an invasion was coming in Normandy/Brittany but was still convinced the real invasion would be around the Straits of Dover area. There seems to be nothing in any of the reports about how effective Operation Fortitude was, this was where the Allies tried to convince the Germans there was a massive force in the south east of England just waiting to pounce across the channel. This ideas of Hitler seem to imply that it worked rather well.

There have been scores of ideas about why the Allies were allowed to establish a beachhead in Normandy and there are reports that Hitler could not be woken up to receive the news, if only he had allowed tanks to be moved to Normandy, why didn’t he he shift some divisions over there and so on. At least one part of this is explained by the fact that he expected a diversionary attack exactly there. Presumably he was expecting a few more diversions before the main assault arrived. In his mind he was never wrong and never wanted to hear a different point of view. How he still clung on to this in 1944 is beyond me, he had been proven wrong time and time again but still he persisted. The Germans were never going to win with him in charge.

Hitler Oshima meeting pdf : Hitler-Oshima meeting 27 May 1944
 

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