740.0011 European War 1939/827: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Bullitt) to the Secretary of State

2537. The authoritative source referred to in my No. 565 of March 25, 1 p.m.95 has just received the following direct information: [Page 464]

The King of Italy states that at the outbreak of war Mussolini desired to enter the war on the side of Germany and the King was obliged to threaten that he would not sign the order for war against France. Since that time Mussolini constantly has been anxious to find an opportunity to enter the war on the side of Germany. Ciano, however, is supporting the King in his opposition to such a policy. The King feels, however, that if the German Army should be successful in marching through Switzerland and reaching the valley of the Rhone it would be impossible for him to prevent Mussolini from bringing Italy into the war on the side of Germany. Except in case of this eventuality the King believes that Italy will remain neutral.

  1. Not printed.