740.00116 European War 1939/21: Telegram

The Ambassador in Poland (Biddle) to the Secretary of State

247. For the President and Secretary.

Beck informs me Dutch Minister in behalf of his Government handed Beck message at 4:30 a.m. from the German Government transmitted through The Hague at 1:30 a.m. Gist of message is to [Page 547] the effect that Germany offered to limit air attacks to military objectives providing Poland would observe same principles. In response to above Beck immediately sent The Hague a message to the effect that Poland would limit air attacks to military objectives providing Germany adhered to this principle despite the fact that the German air attacks and bombings had already wrought harm to civilian populations and open towns in Poland.
In examining Beck’s telegram from The Hague and noting it was despatched at 1:30 a.m. I concluded that Hitler decided to limit aerial bombardments to military objectives vis-à-vis Poland only after he realized he might actually have to face the French and British as well as the Polish air fleets.