740.0011 E.W./4–645: Telegram

The Ambassador to the Norwegian Government in Exile (Osborne) to the Secretary of State

Noweg 43. Recent developments indicate that the possibility and desirability of bringing Sweden into the war, and the steps necessary to that end, should be carefully reviewed from the political and military angles. It seems to me to have become increasingly evident in the last few weeks that Sweden is more receptive than hitherto to the idea of military intervention, and that the Norwegian Government is far more ready to accept it because of deterioration of the food and transport situations and the increased probability of bitter-end German resistance in Norway even after general collapse in Germany.

This last consideration also, in my opinion, makes Swedish intervention much more desirable from our viewpoint.

Foreign Minister Trygve Lie confirmed yesterday what he had said previously: (1) That Sweden will intervene military [militarily] if directly requested by Norway and (2) that while Norway would much prefer liberation by British and American forces, the question of Swedish armed intervention is a military one and Norway would abide by the decision of the Allied military authorities. In other words, if SHAEF in agreement with the Russian High Command, asks the Norwegian Government to request Swedish intervention, the Norwegians will comply; and on the basis of the assurances Lie received in Stockholm, he is confident that Sweden will not refuse Norway’s plea.

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With reference to (1) above and the last sentence of foregoing paragraph, I believe Department some months ago received a telegram from our Legation in Stockholm which would tend to confirm this all-important point.

While Germans continue to evacuate some troops, there are still reported to be between 150,000 and 200,000 in their armed forces in Norway. Moreover, naval personnel, ammunition and explosives are being shipped to Norway, naval installations and fortifications are being built or strengthened, all indicating an intention of continued resistance, particularly naval warfare.

From the Allied point of view a bitter-end German resistance in Norway will undoubtedly involve at least several additional weeks of U-boat activity against shipping, the effect of which on the war in the Far East and on the progress of the rehabilitation of Europe may be considered.

Sent Department as Noweg 43; repeated to Stockholm as 297.