The Chargé in Austria (Kliefoth) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 15—11:25 a.m.]
21. Yesterday’s execution of two rebels particularly of one who was taken wounded and disclosures regarding killing of women in barricaded houses has started change in public confidence in the Chancellor whose past prestige built up exclusively on moral suasion. Nevertheless, public still uninterested in general strike and greatly amazed at Socialist Party military preparations at taxpayers’ expense.
While Socialist uprising is a lost cause the stubborn resistance in heavily fortified dwellings has not been completely subdued and may take several days more. Government offered truce to rebels at 11 o’clock last night up to noon today in hope of obtaining surrender of last strongholds.
The unusual feature of the revolt was the extent of the armaments of the Socialist military organizations. In one center there were 60 machine guns and other armament which is equivalent of five American peace regiments. Such resistance necessitated artillery action and veritable assault methods to overcome it. This explains heavy casualties attending fighting. The public and foreign press correspondents unable to understand that the struggle was a real warfare between two armies and not merely the effort of police forces to put down an unarmed mob.