740.0011 European War 1939/6455: Telegram

The Chargé in Germany ( Morris ) to the Secretary of State

4590. Reference my 4551, November 1, noon.45 The Greek Minister this afternoon gave me the following picture of the Greek-Italian conflict. Italy was disgruntled because it was not consulted or previously informed of the German intrusion into Rumania. He was very positive on this point. It felt justified in balancing the Axis scales by a thrust against Greece which it expected to succeed as easily as the Rumanian one. Italy therefore acted without previous notification to Germany just before Hitler and Mussolini had arranged to meet in Florence. Resentful of the Italian coup, Berlin officialdom is delighted at Greek resistance. From his first fears of a rupture the Minister has veered to strong hope of a German mediation on the basis of Greek surrender of some strategic points to Italy possibly with German participation in their control. It was evident to me he hoped for this solution to end hostilities. He expressed the feeling that German official circles regarded the Greek situation so far as an isolated one but Greece’s acceptance of English military assistance will soon cause Greece to be looked upon as an ally of England in the war. The Minister spoke of a German ultimatum to Greece the preparation of which a few days ago was abandoned in favor of a more moderate policy tending to justify Greece’s resistance but to wheedle her into “honorable concessions”. The Minister had seen two high officials before he received me.

  1. Not printed.