740.00119 Control (Austria)/5–1845: Telegram

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

2757. For Matthews88 from Heath.89 Field Marshal Alexander has telegraphed General Eisenhower90 personally under date of May 17 that owing to behavior of the Yugoslavs who are endeavoring to set up their own government, the situation in the Fifth Corps area in Austria has deteriorated further. He mentions he cannot stop these activities without the use of force which is not yet possible in view of démarche to Yugoslav Government91 but that open hostilities may break out at any moment.92 In order to strengthen his military position, Alexander therefore requests Eisenhower to arrange for certain troop dispositions in SHAEF93 area.

You should also see Alexander’s message to Eisenhower FX–76939 of May 16 (Naf 974)94 repeated to Agwar95 for Combined Chiefs of Staff. [Heath.]

  1. H. Freeman Matthews, Director of the Office of European Affairs.
  2. Donald R. Heath, Counselor of Mission on the staff of the Political Adviser for Germany.
  3. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force.
  4. For documentation on Allied negotiations with Yugoslavia over Venezia Giulia which were being conducted at this time, and regarding military preparations made by the Allies against possible failure of these negotiations, see vol. iv, pp. 11551184, passim.
  5. In telegram 2221, May 18, 1945, from Caserta, the U.S. Political Adviser reported that Field Marshal Alexander had issued a special message to his troops in which he pointed to the dangers of the present situation. “It is, however, Marshal Tito’s apparent intention to establish his claims by force of arms and mil[itary] occupation. Action of this kind would be all too reminiscent of Hitler, Mussolini and Japan. It is to prevent such actions that we have been fighting this war … We cannot now throw away the vital principles for which we have all fought. Under these principles, it is our duty to hold these disputed territories as trustees until their ultimate disposal is settled at the peace conference.” (740.00119 Control (Italy)/5–1845)
  6. Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force.
  7. Not found in Department files.
  8. Adjutant General, War Department.