740.0011 EW 1939/33542: Telegram

The Minister in Switzerland ( Harrison ) to the Secretary of State

1530. From Tittmann 76, March 6.

My 74, 4th.18 Vatican high officials as usual seem considerably upset by Allied daylight raid March 3rd which they maintain was made on Rome although objectives obviously restricted to railway yards and other military targets in periphery of city. Unfortunately, according Vatican reports some 500 civilians were killed but it seems largest proportion this loss due mischance when shelter received direct hit. Resentment of air attacks in Rome area has become so fixed an idea with Vatican that any recognition of the good work (of which I am told there is ample evidence in present instance) accomplished by our air men seems to be precluded. Two articles in Osservatore Romano mentioned in my 74 are misleading in that they give impression only civilian damage done. I have taken occasion to protest to appropriate authorities against this one-sided method of presenting the facts as I did once before (see my despatch 264, January 1st18). [Tittmann]

Harrison
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