865.24/5–2448: Telegram

The Ambassador in Italy (Dunn) to the Secretary of State

top secret

2349. Subject is provision of equipment for Italian armed forces. Italian Minister of Defense has recently made inquiries with respect certain items of interest to Navy which were included in original request submitted by Embassy Military Attaché cable MAR 345 dated 6 [7] December 19471 but not furnished or indicated as available in CNO’s topsec 192241Z February to Alusna Rome.2 We have informed Minister of Defense and in particular Navy General Staff that non-inclusion of originally requested items in Navy portion of $10,000,000 purchase program indicates that US Navy is not in position to furnish these items either from excess stock or under replacement system operative in case of Greek-Turkish program. Notwithstanding this Minister of Defense has asked us to confirm foregoing and to request details as to possibility of securing any or all of desired items from civilian supply concerns on straight procurement basis.

Equipment involved although covered briefly in Mar 345 is repeated herewith in detail for your information:

Fifty each search radar units for installation on fleet units or coastal patrol boats on Adriatic watch.
Twenty each search radar units mobile or semimobile for positioning on Italy’s Adriatic coast to supplement fleet and coastal patrol boat screen. If not truck mounted unit must be portable.
Forty each 40 mm, automatic guns on naval mountings (presumably pedestal type). These are intended as anti-ship rather than antiaircraft and are planned for installation on coastal patrol craft.
16,000 rounds 40 mm ammunition for weapons described in paragraph three above.
Sixty each radio telephone sets, for coastal craft to establish rapid inter-ship communication.
Sixty each radio sets CW, ship to shore for installation on coastal craft.
Forty each radio sets CW, shore to ship for fixed coastal installations. Sets to be capable of operation on same frequency as those cited in paragraph six above.
Ten each radio sets truck mounted to work with shore station outlined in paragraph seven above.
Ten each radio direction finder sets truck mounted for use along Adriatic coast to locate clandestine radio stations and ships afloat.
Five thousand tons gasoline, one hundred octane. In this connection, Italians are aware of inability US Navy furnish this item (per CNO’s Topsec March 101415Z) but desire details on procurement possibilities from other sources.

While data is not available locally regarding current nomenclature of communication and detection equipment listed in this cable it is felt that outline of intended use will permit local determination of specific types envisaged by Italian Navy.

It is requested that we be informed:

Whether or not there is any possibility of furnishing any or all of foregoing under a program similar to one now nearly completed or,
Whether or not any or all of foregoing may be procured by Italians on straight purchase basis from US civilian concerns. If this latter is feasible approximate on of3 cost involved would be helpful.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not found in Department of State files.
  3. Apparently garbled.