765.84/161: Telegram

The Ambassador in Italy ( Long ) to the Secretary of State

72. My 69, February 13, noon.9 Recent information all points to a more general preparation for an extensive campaign in Abyssinia than was indicated by the announcements of the Italian Government. Military forces and supplies are being moved clandestinely. Every effort is being made to prevent information of the size or general nature of the shipments. Troops called are kept in barracks and denied freedom. Movements are by night.

I am today advised by a person I believe well informed that 30,000 troops have left the port of Naples; that the movement now under way contemplates between 200,000 and 300,000 troops being used in Ethiopia; and that the troops who are now or who have been recently in Tripoli and thus have had tropical experience are being transferred to the Ethiopian front and are being replaced by forces from Italy.

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  1. Not printed.