Roosevelt Papers

Draft by Prime Minister Churchill1

The President and the Prime Minister have sent the following message to Marshal Badoglio:

“Marshal.2 It has fallen to you in the hour of your country’s agony to take the first decisive steps to win peace and freedom for the Italian people and to win back for Italy an honourable place3 in the civilization of Europe.

You have already freed your country from Fascist servitude. There remains the even more important task of cleansing the Italian soil from the German invaders. Hitler, through his accomplice Mussolini, has brought Italy to the verge of ruin. He has driven the Italians into disastrous campaigns in the sands of Egypt and the snows of Russia. The Germans have always deserted the Italian troops on the battlefield, sacrificing them contemptuously in order to cover their own retreats. Now Hitler threatens to subject you all to the cruelties he is perpetrating in so many lands.

[Page 1286]

4 Now is the time for every Italian to strike his blow. The liberating armies of the Western World are coming to your rescue. We have very strong forces and are entering at many points. The German terror in Italy will not last long. They will be extirpated from your land and you, by helping in this great surge of liberation, will place yourselves once more among the true and long-proved friends of Italy5 from whom you have been so wrongfully estranged.

Take every chance you can. Strike hard and strike home. Have faith in your future. All will come well. March forward with your American and British friends in the great world movement towards Freedom, Justice and Peace.”

W[inston] S C[hurchill]
  1. This draft was forwarded by the President’s Naval Aide to Roosevelt at Hyde Park in telegram No. White 7, September 10, 1943, with the following introductory paragraph: “This is from Admiral Brown to the President. With reference to Naf 395 from Eisenhower [ante, p. 1284], the Prime Minister suggests the following from you and him to Marshal Badoglio.” White 7 also contained the following concluding paragraph: “Further from Admiral Brown with reference to above. Admiral Leahy suggests it well to consider whether it is wise for you to send any message to Badoglio at this time. This note for the President.”
  2. This word was a manuscript addition on the source text. It was later crossed out, but was included in the text sent to Roosevelt in telegram No. White 7 and also in the text sent to Eisenhower. See post, p. 1286, fn. 3.
  3. In the text sent to Eisenhower this passage, apparently as a result of a typographical error, read “honorable peace”.
  4. In the text sent to Eisenhower, this paragraph began “People of Italy,” in accordance with a suggestion by Roosevelt. See infra.
  5. In the text sent to Eisenhower this passage read “friends of your country”.
  6. In the text sent to Eisenhower Churchill’s initials and the date were replaced by the words, “Signed Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.”