File No. 763.72119/9094

The Special Representative ( House) to the Secretary of State


58. For the President:

German Government at 12.30 last night transmitted the following radio to Marshal Foch:

German Government have been informed by the President of the United States that Marshal Foch has received full power to receive the accredited representatives of the German Government and to communicate to them the terms of an armistice. The following plenipotentiaries have been named by the German Government: General [of Infantry] von Gündell, Secretary of State Erzberger, Ambassador von Oberndorff, General von Winterfeldt, Lieutenant Commander Vanselow. The plenipotentiaries [are] ready to leave at once [to proceed] to place agreed upon. The German Government would be happy if in the interest of humanity the arrival of the German delegation on the Allied front would bring [about] a provisional suspension of arms. Please acknowledge.

Marshal Foch sent in reply at 1.19 the following:

If the German plenipotentiaries desire to meet Marshal Foch to ask for an armistice they shall present themselves to the French advanced posts by the Chimay-Fourmies-La Capelle-Guise [road] Orders have been given to receive them and to conduct them to the place fixed for the meeting.

Two further German radios were received. Number 1, received at 1 o’clock this morning from the General Headquarters, the German commander in chief, to Marshal Foch:

The German plenipotentiaries for an armistice are leaving Spa today and will be here at midday, and at 5 o’clock in the afternoon will reach the French advanced posts along the Chimay-Fourmies-La Capelle-Guise [road]. There are altogether ten persons, at the head of which is Secretary of State Erzberger.

The second one was received at 1.30 o’clock this morning from the supreme commander of the German Army to Marshal Foch:

To permit the passage of the German delegation through the two lines, orders have been given to stop firing on that part oi the front today after 3.30 this afternoon until further orders. From the German advanced posts to the French advanced posts the delegation will be accompanied by a company of road menders to permit the [Page 482] automobiles to follow the [La Capelle road] which has been destroyed.

A third radio was sent at 4 o’clock this afternoon from the supreme German commander to Marshal Foch:

On account of a delay the German delegation cannot cross the line of the advanced posts until between 8 and 10 o’clock in the evening at Haudroy, two kilometers to the northwest of La Capelle.

Edward House