740.0011 European War 1939/24558: Telegram

The Consul General at Algiers (Cole) to the Secretary of State

637. For Murphy if still in the United States, if not kindly repeat to him immediately. The group here which you knew including military connections are becoming very anxious. They state [Page 384] that all essential preparations here including retail deliveries, staff agreements, arrangements for the Chief on the White Horse,68 and so on, require both a certain amount of time and extremely accurate timing. Nevertheless, they continue, everything is standing still here while, first, they hear constantly of imminent action which, they state, is sure to meet strong resistance unless the ground is properly prepared. Second, the situation is rapidly deteriorating as evidenced by the reported forthcoming visit of Admiral Darlan brought about, it is said, by the success of five unheralded night landing maneuvers from destroyers which reached all objectives easily from Castiglione to Ain-Taya including Algiers gas and light plants some even without being observed (see my 636 today69). Third, Robin Hood’s68 men disbanded early in October and the new class untrained and unknown joins only at the end of that month.

I tranquillize them using your two telegrams of the 23rd70 (staff meetings and ridiculing rumors) but they are still jumpy. Definite news of date of your arrival would reassure them.

  1. Code name for French contact.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Code name for French contact.
  4. Telegrams No. 284 and No. 287, p. 381.