859A.01/49: Telegram

The Consul at Reykjavik (Kuniholm) to the Secretary of State

British occupation of Iceland proceeding without resistance. Prime Minister6 estimates troops at 4,000. Other officials put figure as high as 7,000. Heaviest concentration at Reykjavik where German air raid is expected. Radio station, harbor entrance, bridges, piers, and principal public buildings occupied. Warships in hiding Alfjordur [Hvalfjördur] Bay mouth of which has been mined.

Iceland Government feels that capital is now a defended city and a legitimate object for total bombing. Feeling generally is that military occupation is necessary evil not only to prevent Germans from establishing air base but more particularly submarine base which could be used with Norway to break blockade of North Atlantic.

Officials disturbed over meager British defensive measures. They state only two airplanes on island and that heavy machine guns but very little anti-aircraft setup as yet.

All telegrams and mail abroad must pass via England through censor. Our consular correspondence and radiograms may be sent directly to New York without censoring.

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British Legation established with Minister to Copenhagen in charge.

  1. H. Jonasson.