740.0011 EW/l-245: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Caffery) to the Secretary of State

us urgent

16. General De Gaulle asked me this morning to send a letter (which I am transmitting by air) to President Roosevelt and he suggested that I telegraph the text therof.

The letter reads in translation as follows:

“Mr. President, events have proved that we will not defeat Germany completely without throwing in new forces; now, France, in spite of the loss or absence of 3,000,000 men, is in a position to increase her military forces powerfully and rapidly. I might add that she ardently desires to do so.

We are trying to put our armament factories back into operation. But this takes a great deal of time because our machine tools have seriously suffered and above all we lack raw materials.

You have already furnished us in North Africa armament and equipment for eight divisions. It is an effort which I believe you know was not lost.

You have recently agreed to send United States armament and equipment for eight divisions. Thank you most sincerely, but I ask you, in our common interests, to hasten the shipment of this material, all of which the French Army is in a position to use on the battlefield within the next three months.

If I were sure that you would afterwards send us more armament and equipment material, and if I could know in advance, even approximately, the quantities, the nature and the rhythm of these shipments, [Page 293]this information would be of great assistance to the French Government in preparing its plans for mobilization.

We could have before the end of this year about 50 good French divisions if we were able to arm and equip them. If you could give me a favorable reply in principle, all details could be settled with your technical services by General Juin, Chief of the General Staff of National Defense, whom I would send at once to Washington.

With my deeply sincere wishes for this year 1945 which will be hard but glorious for our two countries, I beg of you to accept, Mr. President, the expression of my feelings of devoted friendship, De Gaulle.”

(I assume in paragraph four he is speaking of the conversations mentioned in my 1146, December 30, 6 p. m.)1

  1. 740.0011 EW/12–3044; not printed.