Roosevelt Papers: Telegram

President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill to the Commander in Chief, Allied Force Headquarters ( Eisenhower )

operational priority

7194. From President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill to General Eisenhower, personal and secret.

Your No. W9412 Dated September 7, 1943.2

The President and the Prime Minister approve the following for press release. This release will be made by them jointly at a press conference in Washington at 1830 B3 on September 8, 1943.

[Page 1269]

“At this moment General Eisenhower is broadcasting the following announcement:

‘The Italian Government has surrendered its armed forces unconditionally. As allied commander-in-chief, I have granted a military armistice, the terms of which have been approved by the Governments of the United Kingdom, the United States, and of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, acting in the interests of the United Nations. The Italian Government has bound itself to abide by these terms without reservation. The armistice was signed by my representative and the representative of Marshal Badoglio, and becomes effective this instant. Hostilities between the armed forces of the United Nations and those of Italy terminate at once. All Italians who now actively help to eject the German aggressor from Italian soil will have the assistance and support of the United Nations.

‘Marshal Badoglio has undertaken simultaneously to make an announcement of the armistice, and his message to the Italian armed forces and people will be issued forthwith.’

“The President and the Prime Minister added that the armistice is strictly a military instrument, signed by soldiers. No political, financial or economic terms are included. These will be imposed later. The granting of an armistice does not necessarily imply recognition of any Italian government, or acceptance of Italy as an ally or collaborator.”

  1. Although so dated, this message was not actually dispatched by the White House Map Room until 1:15 a.m., September 8, 1943.
  2. Not printed.
  3. i.e., 6:30 p.m., Algiers time. Eisenhower actually broadcast the statement contained in the first paragraph quoted below, as amended by telegram No. Fan 219, supra, at the time specified (see Garland and Smyth, p. 508), but the contemplated Roosevelt–Churchill joint press conference was not held.