File No. 763.72119/1408

The Vice Consul at Zürich ( McNally ) to the Secretary of State


The German offensive is being held back by the influence of the Kaiser who urges that the terrible slaughter which must follow should be withheld as he is certain that Lloyd George, the only person now preventing peace, soon will be deposed. The Pan-Germans are exceedingly incensed and have informed him that the offensive will not be withheld later than very early in March.

Meanwhile the recent speech from the President of the United States is received heartily and appreciated by the German Government and the people, and Hertling hopes to continue to interchange expressions, confident that the President’s attitude will open a way to peace. The feeling in Germany towards the President is completely revolutionized and he is hailed as a conscientious, honest man doing his best to prevent further bloodshed. His utterances in the interest of peace are a great blow to the ambitions of the Pan-Germans who have been making every effort to lessen its effect. I am informed that both Hertling and Kühlmann are impressed with the sincerity of the President’s intentions and that the Kaiser urges President’s sincerity and hopes of peace as an additional argument against the early launching of the offensive.

The Germans heretofore gloomy and conservative are now confident if their offensive is launched that it will carry them through the French and British lines and that the havoc created with some new weapon which they now possess will astonish the world. They are ready and the morale of the men at the front is as it was in the beginning of the war, being impressed that the success of this offensive will force peace, enabling them to return to their homes.

[ McNally ]