740.00119 European War 1939/2353: Telegram

The Ambassador to the Yugoslav Government in Exile ( MacVeagh ) to the Secretary of State

Yugos 68. Under stress of developing circumstances Stirbei expressed the desire to talk specially and separately with the Soviet Ambassador here and my British colleague has inquired of London whether this can be permitted, in the belief that Stirbei would certainly be willing to report anything which might be said. Meanwhile on March 22 Stirbei received from the Rumanian Ambassador in Ankara through the British the following message which the Department will note reveals the actually close connection between the Rumanian Government and the emissary.

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[“]I have received a telegram from Mihai Antonescu telling me that Marshal Antonescu was invited to Hitler’s headquarters and that he (Mihai) will probably accompany him. Mihai sends me the following:

‘I must know at once what is the impression made by recent events in Hungary,40 the effect they may have on eventual territorial problems with which Rumania may be faced. In view of rapid turn of events from the Hungarian standpoint it is necessary that we should know upon what eventual political and military help we can count. I wish to draw your attention to vital character of present statement and necessity of obtaining clear understanding by Wednesday March 22nd at latest.’

I consider that Germans now having control of Hungary will repeat their demands to Rumania to send entire army to assist Germans upon whatever final defense line they may decide. Previous pretext of a defense against possible Hungarian attack no longer exists. Therefore Rumania is faced with either still closer collaboration with Germany or resistance to Germany without knowing upon what immediate assistance she can count and what she may expect in the future from political standpoint.”

In reply to the above General Wilson in his quality of Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean sent on the same date the following to Marshal Antonescu.

“You should on no account visit Hitler. If you do, this will be taken as final evidence of Roumanian intention to collaborate to the end with Germany and your country will have to take the full consequences.

You should at once surrender to the Three Great Powers and order Roumanian troops to oppose no resistance to the Russians. The Germans are in a hopeless position in South Russia and you have now your last and best chance to contribute to their total defeat. We shall judge by results and nature of peace terms ultimately imposed on Roumania will be largely determined by the extent to which she contributes towards the defeat of Germany. The more you do to embarrass the Germans the swifter will be their defeat and the better the prospect of saving Roumania from becoming a battleground during the coming weeks.

Acknowledge receipt at once.”

I have advised my British colleague of the contents of the Department’s telegram No. 2146 of March 22, 5 p.m., to London but no word has yet been received from there in this connection and meanwhile the Department may consider that General Wilson’s reply gives the Allied position as of the present moment.

  1. German military occupation of Hungary had led to the flight of Prime Minister Kallay.