740.0011 European War 1939/24609: Telegram

The Chargé in France (Tuck) to the Secretary of State

1459. There is increasing nervousness in official circles that an Anglo-American military operation against French Africa particularly Dakar is imminent. Friendly officials base their belief that something is in the wind on stories they hear of concentrations of troops and material in Gibraltar, Gambia and African territory in the hands of the United Nations. The free zone press this morning even carries an article on the front page stating that European women and children are being evacuated from Dakar as a precautionary measure.

The Paris press frequently used as a sounding board by the Germans has for the past several days been publishing a series of articles dealing with Anglo-Saxon intentions concerning French African possessions. Under such headlines as: “Freetown is the base of departure for an Anglo-Saxon attack against French West Africa”, “Let us save the Empire”, “Defense of our Empire” et cetera. These articles state that an Anglo-Saxon aggression against Dakar has been planned and is imminent. The articles conclude that since the measures which France took for the defense of Syria and Madagascar were completely insufficient, only by enlisting German assistance and military cooperation may French North and West Africa be saved.

Repeated to London.