J.C.S. Files: Telegram

The Commander in Chief, Allied Force Headquarters (Eisenhower) to the Combined Chiefs of Staff 1


W–9635. Through every possible channel we are urging Badoglio to unify the Italians against the Germans. To AGWar for the Combined Chiefs of Staff and to USFor for British Chiefs of Staff signed Eisenhower. This is Naf 395. We consider that the President and the Prime Minister could assist our operations greatly by urging the Italians to oppose with the fiercest possible resistance every German in Italy and it is requested that you recommend this if not inconsistent with the higher policy of the two Governments. The following message has just been sent to Badoglio in Taranto via Naval channels and Monkey . “Pass the following to Marshal Badoglio by quickest means possible and report when delivered. (Begins) The whole future and honour of Italy depend upon the part which her Armed Forces are [Page 1285] now prepared to play. The Germans have definitely and deliberately taken the field against you. They have mutilated your fleet and sunk one of your ships, they have attacked your soldiers and seized your ports. The Germans are now being attacked by land and sea and on an ever increasing scale from the air. Now is the time to strike. If Italy rises now as one man we shall seize every German by the throat. I urge you to issue immediately a clarion call to all patriotic Italians. They have done much locally already but action appears to be uncoordinated and uncertain. They require inspired leadership and, in order to fight, an appeal setting out the situation to your people as it now exists is essential. Your Excellency is the one man that can do this. You can help free your country from the horrors of the battlefield. I urge you to act now: delay will be interpreted by the common enemy as weakness and lack of resolution. Dwight D Eisenhower signed.”

  1. The White House Map Room delivered a copy of this message to Churchill by usher, and forwarded the text of the message to Roosevelt at Hyde Park as telegram No. White 5, September 10, 1943.