19. Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State1

3502. For Compub from Palmer. Pershings offer unreserved assistance against German offensive wholly sufficient.2 Encouragement to Allies and our fighting will continue to strengthen Allied morale. Strongly suggest concentration educational facts on enemy country immediately. German soldiers and people begin to feel effect of heavy casualties and failure of offensive. Gibson who is making remarkable progress and thoroughly familiar European methods, should, I think, be given authority and support to direct this work in cooperation with [Page 45] Kerney with whom he has established cordial working relations. Work would include two methods; first; use of airplane, trench guns, and other army methods to reach German trenches; and second; through Switzerland and Holland across frontier through socialist and other sympathetic agencies to reach to people with reference to Presidential message3 and appeals in keeping with his ideals and policies. As no German soldier is allowed to possess, with his officers knowledge, any literature of this sort it is important that matter be printed on small sheets which can be compressed into pellet form for firing from guns, dropping from planes, or private distribution in Germany. Important that there be several of appeals that can be repeated and passed around as element of time is vital and action may be necessary on short notice. Advisable that printing be done here and that we write appeals aside from keeping strictly to lines you laid down. In Switzerland, which Gibson will visit before proceeding Rome, he will get further information as to methods of distribution.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Decimal File 1910–1929, Box 732, 103.93/121. No classification marking. Blue. Received at 11 p.m. Patchin wrote at the top of the telegram: “Copied to Creel Apl. 3, 1918. File. PHP.”
  2. On March 28, Pershing visited General Ferdinand Foch, who had been named Supreme Commander of the Allied Armies, and “placed at his disposal the whole resources of the American Army for employment in the battle now in progress.” (“Pershing Offers Army for Great Battle,” New York Times, March 30, 1918, p. 3) On March 21, the Germans had launched a series of attacks along the Western Front.
  3. Presumably Wilson’s Fourteen Points; see footnote 4, Document 7.