File No. 763.72/1428

The Ambassador in Germany ( Gerard ) to the Secretary of State


1503. Proclamation of German Admiralty urgently warns all merchant vessels to avoid north and west coast of France as Germany intends to employ all means of war at its disposal against English transports and shipments of ammunition to France. Recommends that merchant vessels bound for North Sea take north of Scotland course.1

  1. The full text of the German declaration, dated February 1, as transmitted by the German Ambassador, February 6, J. No. A 869 (File No. 763.72/1440), was as follows (translation):

    It is known to the Imperial Government that Great Britain is on the point of shipping to France large forces of troops and quantities of implements of war. Germany will oppose this shipment with every war means at its command.

    As peaceful craft may be, from being mistaken for vessels engaged in war operations, exposed to serious danger, the Imperial Government is placed under the necessity of warning of such danger vessels approaching the north and west coasts of France. Merchant vessels repairing to the North Sea are advised to steer around Scotland.