Sunday, August 28, 2016
ADSS 1.194 Valeri to Maglione: French opinion and rumours
ADSS 1.194 Valerio Valeri, France, to Luigi Maglione, Sec State
Reference: Report 9044/291 (AES 6776/39)
Location and date: 08.09.1939
Summary statement: French opinion divided on course of action – attack the Siegfried Line or wait? Rumours on concessions offered to Italy. Germany avoids all military action in the West.
1. In view of the collapse of the Polish border, it is reported that one current of opinion would suspend action and wait, while another favours an attempt to break through the Siegfried line (1) even if that would mean a great sacrifice of men; if the army could then reach Mayence [Mainz] one could rely on certain revolution in Germany;
2. It seems certain that negotiations with Italy regarding her neutrality are well advanced: it is said that Djibouti, British Somaliland, the Cameroons, and South Tunisia (2), have been offered to Italy;
3. Syria would be given to Turkey. Turkey would await results of dealings with Italy before going to the aid of Poland through Rumania; this county fears German strength and eventual conflict (?) with Hungary and Bulgaria, as the same Rumanian Ambassador has affirmed to me, adding that Poland has twice refused a reciprocal guarantee against Germany;
4. Up to now Germany for political reasons has remained inactive against France. Only air raid warnings without any action. Germany probably thinks of offering peace after defeating Poland.
(1) On similar rumours reported by the Italian Ambassador see DDI, Series 9, Volume 1, n38.
(2) ADSS 1.77 for tentative Franco-Italian negotiations.