740.0011 E.W./4–2945: Telegram

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

2210. My 2179, April 28, 2 p.m. General Bedell Smith convinced me at once that our military authorities were in the right and the French in the wrong over the whole business leading up to and including the “Stuttgart incident”. The French behaved very badly indeed. He asked me to have my Military Attaché47 deliver personally to General de Gaulle’s Chief of Cabinet48 a letter49 from General Eisenhower to General de Gaulle (text was cabled to Joint Chiefs of Staff—the military reference is SCAEF 319 which is self explanatory). I had the letter delivered at once.

I went to see Jeanneney50 and found Palewski had already arrived there. I told Jeanneney that I backed the attitude of our military authorities in holding that the French military had behaved badly. I talked along the lines of information given me by General Bedell Smith showing how General de Lattre de Tassigny had recently repeatedly violated orders given him by General Devers51 which had hampered the military operations. I told him also that while our military authorities had left Stuttgart in the hands of the French they are not satisfied with the situation. Jeanneney expressed surprise and regret.

General Bedell Smith told me also that he had just received word from the Joint Chiefs of Staff that all French rearmament is now to be terminated in view of the fact that that rearmament could now serve no useful purpose in the war.51a

  1. Maj. Gen. Ralph C. Smith.
  2. Gaston Palewski.
  3. See infra.
  4. Jules Jeanneney, French Minister of State.
  5. Gen. Jacob L. Devers, U.S.A., Commanding General, Sixth Army Group, Allied Expeditionary Force.
  6. The Department of Defense has supplied information to the effect that the specific terms of the decision of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were that “equipment which cannot be used against the German forces will not be shipped from the United States to complete the French Metropolitan Rearmament Program.” The decision was reached on April 20, three days before the capture of Stuttgart by the French First Army.