Vol. 1: 25 August 1939–23 August 1940

The first and second editions of the first volume in the series of seven books deal with the period from August 1939 to August 1940. The first edition is a paperback copy published in 1982. The Diary was originally compiled by Captain Joachim Lietzmann, who was German naval attache in Tokyo from 1937 to February 1940, followed by Rear-Admiral Paul Wenneker, whose presence was called for by Ambassador Eugen Ott on account of his reputation as someone who was particularly good at eliciting the co-operation of the Japanese Navy.

The second edition was compiled in 2017 in disk form. This edition adds in a lengthy historical introduction, which selectively identifies the steps taken during the Weimar Period to establish a naval attache post. It also provides details of the appointment of Paul Wenneker in 1933 and follows his career up to his departure at the end of his first tour of duty in 1937. Details of reports to the High Command of the German Navy by Lietzmann made up to August 1939 include the full text of a special diary compiled in the course of the Czech Crisis in 1938. .Learn More

Copies of the first edition are available from the author. Please see Contact Us

Vols. II-III: 23 August 1940–9 September 1941

The second volume in the series covers the period from 23 August 1940 to 3 May 1941 and the third volume runs from 4 May to 9 September 1941 and were published as a joint paperback edition in 1984. This edition includes details in the War Diary concerning the capture in the Indian Ocean of the British liner Automedon by the German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis in November 1940. It recounts the capture of an entire set of messages and codebooks intended for the Governor-General of Malaya, and for Army and Navy posts, including items for MI6 and a copy of a Cabinet paper on how to cope with the Japanese threat. This paperback edition is currently out of print and a disk edition is being prepared. [Please see Contact Us to discover progress]

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Vol. IV: 10 September 1941–31 January 1942

This volume covers the prelude to the Japanese entry into the Pacific War and contains an appendix of selected documents from different official German agencies. These documents, which are of significance to the implementation of the alliance with Japan, were found in the remaining archives. Copies available from the author: see Contact Us.

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Vol.V: 1 February – 31 May 1942

This volume, prepared as a disk in 2019, covers the early stages of the Pacific War, when the Japanese fleet advanced into the Indian Ocean in April 1942 and major sorties were made into the South Pacific. Only limited information was made available to Admiral Wenneker about the operations in the Coral Sea. This limited information, however, led to dissension between the German High Command and Foreign Minister Ribbentrop, who conducted a campaign for many months aiming to force Wenneker to make all his reports of a ‘political’ variety via the Tokyo Embassy. This failed to meet Hitler’s approval as it appears that Ribbentrop was unaware of the fact that German decrypts of Allied signals had been routed uniquely via Wenneker to the Japanese Naval Staff since Pearl Harbor.

Vol.VI: 1 June 1942 – 13 February 1943

This volume, published in disk form in 2019, contains copies of the War Diary only between 13 November 1942 and 13 February 1943 (Part 45) as a result of losses of parts from the earlier period (Parts 41-44). These have partially been compensated by a selection of documents from surviving central archives which concentrate on interactions with Japanese diplomats and attaches in Berlin. As a supplement to the surviving German sources included is a selection of intercepted signals published in the 1990s from US sources.

Vol. VII: 14 February 1943 – 8 May 1945

This volume, prepared in disk form in 2019, is limited by the loss of copies of the War Diary after 30 April 1943, but which to some extent has been covered by documents from central government archives and by the availability of intercepted signals decrypted by the Allied Powers.

Other publications by the same author:

Hitler’s Oil Broker – Thomas Brown, Harbinger of Worldwide War

This is an account, written in and to be published by Pen & Sword Ltd. in 2022, of the life of Thomas Brown, a man of Scottish parentage, who was born at Bremen in 1880 and died in Berlin in 1936. In the decade before World War I, Brown was apprenticed as a trader in the Persian Gulf to the Hamburg firm of Woenckhaus & Co. but crossed swords with the British commissioner in the Gulf, Percy Cox. At the outbreak of World War I, Brown was arrested in Hamburg by German police because he was still a British citizen but then released after being encouraged to apply for German citizenship. In 1915, he moved to Turkey, where he worked as head of logistical support for Field-Marshal von der Goltz and was instrumental in supporting the Turkish victory at Kut-el-Amarna in 1916.

Brown continued working with the Turkish forces until the negotiated armistice. In the course of his repatriation he was arrested and removed from his troopship on the orders of MI5. Brown was held in custody for several months accused of treason until evidence of his acquisition of German citizenship in 1915 was supplied. He returned to Hamburg and moved to Berlin. He then set up business in Persia with several German firms involved in rail and air transport. From there he became involved with German engineering firms, which sought to provide equipment for the oil industry in Iraq, and he also acted as a broker with the British Oil Development Co. (BOD Co.) which went on to obtain a substantial oil prospecting concession from King Faisal. It took several years before BOD made a breakthrough, but in their turn the German firms fell foul of the Hitler’s move in 1936 to economic ‘autarky’, despite the interest of the German Navy in the project. He was mistakenly described as a ‘Scottish Jew’ because his whole business career had been conducted with German-Jewish companies. German Navy hopes for access to a reliable independent source of crude oil were dashed when the company was sold to US oil interests. However, the model developed by Brown provided a template for the strategic acquisition of fuel oil pursued successfully into the middle of World War II by the Kriegsmarine. Brown himself died of liver failure in Berlin on 10 May 1936.

The Polish Labyrinth – Japan, Poland & the German Secret War, 1919-45

Prepared as a disk in 2017, this is a collection of mainly German documentation of the conflict between the German and Polish intelligence services. This conflict was complicated by the longstanding contacts between the Polish and Japanese military intelligence agencies dating back to the war between Russia and Japan in 1904-5. The relationship between the two countries emerged with the restoration of Polish sovereignty in 1919. It was consolidated in 1920 by the co-operation between Japanese and Polish radio analysts which thus enabled the Poles to defeat surrounding Soviet forces threatening to encircle Warsaw. The co-operation flourished in the 1920s, when close ties were forged between the German and Soviet military, but began to change in the 1930s in the wake of the Great Depression, the Japanese Army’s invasion of China and Polish efforts to secure non-aggression pacts with both Germany and the USSR.

Hitler’s volte-face in 1939 meant temporarily abandoning the hostile policy toward Stalin and Germany waging war on Poland and the Western Powers which drove Polish agencies underground. However, these continued to maintain secret links with Japanese Army officers, even after a nominal Polish declaration of war on Japan after Pearl Harbor. The surviving documentation is complemented by interviews, photos and letters with two of the main collaborators, Colonel Rybikowski and Major-General Onodera, as well as access to relevant Polish and US evidence.