860h.01/1–845: Telegram

Mr. Alexander C. Kirk, Political Adviser, Allied Force Headquarters,10 to the Secretary of State

70. Thayer11 has reported from Belgrade that during a conversation on January 6 Tito12 discussed at length attitude of American officers and officials in Italy toward Yugoslavia and (his movement). [Page 1209] When Thayer (suggested?) that lack of cooperation and hospitality experienced by American field officers was causing suspicion as to Tito’s real objectives both military and political, Tito denied he had anything to hide and expressed bewilderment at (amazing) political attitude of some Americans in Italy. Tito said he had just received reports form Smodlaka13 of (incredibly irritating) actions of American officials; said that American reactionaries incited by Fotich14 had damaged his (Tito’s) reputation; and that “majority of Americans were opposed to his regime but what were they going to do about it”.15 Thayer refuted Tito’s statements and suggested he study President’s statements and American press on which he has ample material.

When Tito complained about meager supplies furnished him by Allies, Thayer quoted official figures to prove Allies had equipped almost half the Partisans. Tito requested and was furnished complete lists of equipment supplied him by the Allies, which figures apparently impressed and surprised him.

  1. Mr. Kirk was also Ambassador to Italy.
  2. Lt. Col. Charles W. Thayer, Commander of the Independent American Military Mission to Marshal Tito.
  3. Josip Broz Tito, President of the National Committee of Liberation of Yugoslavia.
  4. Josip Smodlaka, Yugoslav representative on the Allied Advisory Council for Italy.
  5. Constantin Fotich, former Yugoslav Ambassador in the United States.
  6. Telegram 107, January 11, 1945, from Caserta, informed the Department that Colonel Thayer had suggested that it would be unfortunate, “if the impression were permitted to gain currency that we might in any way short of military measures alter the present course of events in Yugoslavia. . . . there is not the slightest evidence that any form of pressure from United States would increase the chances of the population to express itself freely in a genuine election …” (860h.00/1–1145)

    In telegram 233, January 20, 1945, from Caserta, the United States Political Adviser informed the Department that Colonel Thayer had reported “his opinion that despite superficial professions of warmest friendship for United States, we are regarded by Partisan officials with a suspicion which, though far less acute than that directed at British, is so deep rooted that it will require much patient effort to overcome.” (740.00119 Control (Italy)/1–2045)