865.24/8–2846: Telegram

The Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations ( Lee ), to the War Department


F 70622. Provision of armored cars for interim Italian Army is subject.

It has been agreed here to furnish 280 armored cars to the Interim Italian Army. This figure includes the requirements of the Italian Carabinieri. The British presently hold as surplus the required number of Staghound vehicles. The Staghound is an American vehicle obtained by the British through Lend Lease. American nomenclature is: Car, armored, T 17E1 or Car 17E2.

In January 1946 when immediate provision of 168 Staghounds to the Carabinieri was desirable, CG MTOUSA agreed to the transfer of this number of Staghounds on loan to the Italian Army from British stocks pending determination of availability of British type armored cars (number IV). War Office later informed GHQ CMF that number IV were not available on global basis and now request MTOUSA take back entire 280 Staghounds for final delivery to Italian Army.

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Believed here much better to authorize British to turn over these Lend Lease items direct to 3rd country.

Request authority for British to turn over 280 Staghounds obtained through Lend Lease, to the Interim Italian Army. Can similar blanket authority be given regarding other Lend Lease items held by British which are surplus to British and US needs but which could be used for equipment of Italian Army?70

  1. In a covering letter dated August 28, Col. Joseph W. Scobey, Chief of the International Branch, Supply Group, W.D.G.S., forwarded a copy of this telegram to Mr. H. F. Havlik, Chief of the Division of Lend-Lease and Surplus Property Affairs of the Department of State, together with the draft of an affirmative answer including the following: “Blanket authorization to transfer other items of Lend-Lease origin held by British is approved provided items are excess to theater needs …” The concurrence or comments of the Department of State were requested. (865.24/8–2846)