740.0011 E.W./7–1244: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

5477. From Phillips.24 At the direction of the Supreme Allied Commander,25 the Psychological Warfare Division is preparing an official statement for broadcast in the name of the Supreme Commander, that the French Forces of the Interior constitute a combatant force forming a part of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and is commanded and directed by General Koenig. It is proposed that it is to be stressed that the French Forces in the Maquis are bearing arms openly in accordance with the rules of war. Although they may not be provided with a distinctive uniform, they are regarded by the Supreme Allied Commander as an army under his command.

Attention is to be drawn also [to?] the enemy’s threats against the Allied parachutists and to their barbarous reprisals against civilian population, thus violating the rules of war to which Germany is reputed to subscribe. Announcement follows that the Supreme Allied Commander will spare no effort to trace the authors of any atrocities committed against the Armed Forces under his command and to exact retribution.

I learned that the Foreign Office, on July 9, has instructed the British Embassy in Washington to discuss with the State Department a similar statement by the two governments. The Foreign Office believes that an Eisenhower statement would make a useful preliminary to an Anglo-American governmental statement but consider that action on a governmental level is still desirable in order to satisfy both the British and French and to impress the Germans.

The present intention of SHAEF is to broadcast the Supreme Commander’s statement immediately unless you believe that it is desirable for the governments concerned to make their statements first in which case General Eisenhower’s broadcast would follow.

May I have an immediate reply. [Phillips.]

  1. William Phillips, Political Adviser at the Headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander, London.
  2. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.