Roosevelt Papers: Telegram

President Roosevelt to Prime Minister Churchill1

top secret

Number 611, personal and top secret, from the President for the Prime Minister.

Your 772.2 I was very glad to receive your account of the way in which General Wilson has concentrated his forces in Italy and has now renewed the offensive. My Chiefs of Staff feel that a vigorous attack, [Page 223] using all the forces available, should force the enemy into the Po Valley. The enemy may then choose to withdraw entirely from northern Italy. Since such action on his part might enable the enemy to release divisions for other fronts, we must do our best to destroy his forces while we have them in our grasp. I am confident that General Wilson has this as his objective.

With an offensive under way and being pressed full strength in Italy, I am sure that General Eisenhower will be satisfied that everything possible is being done in the Mediterranean to assist him by mauling German divisions which might otherwise be moved against his forces in the near future. I understand all available British resources in the Mediterranean are being put into Italy. We are pressing into France all reinforcements and resources we can in order to guarantee that General Eisenhower will be able to maintain the impetus of the joint victories our forces have already won. With the smashing success of our invasion of southern France and the Russians now crumbling the enemy flank in the Balkans, I have great hopes that complete and final victory will not be long delayed.

It is my thought that we should press the German Army in Italy vigorously with every facility we have available and suspend decision on the future use of General Wilson’s armies until the results of his campaign are better known and we have better information as to what the Germans may do.

We can renew our Teheran talk about Trieste and Istria at Octagon.

  1. Sent to the United States Naval Attaché, London, via Navy channels.
  2. Supra.