Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Letter to Adolf Hitler, April 11, 1940

April 11, 1940


I am very grateful to you for having sent me the message announcing your action in the north and the second one describing the separate phases of it.

It is superfluous for me to tell you that I entirely approve your action, which has forestalled a Franco-English landing in Norway, a landing which, as you rightly say, would have created a difficult situation for Germany.

The Italian people are unanimous in admiring the truly lightning speed of your action and understand that it was inevitable.

The growing vexations of the blockade against Italian traffic have created a very strong anti-Allied Stimmung in the Italian people, and those in Paris and London who assert the contrary are showing once again that they confuse reality with their desires.

I consider that the Franco-English counteraction on the coast of Norway will be powerless to undo what your fait accompli, the far-reaching consequences of which can already be foreseen.

I take this opportunity to call your attention to the situation in the Balkans and to the ambiguous attitude of Romania, which has accepted the usual Franco-English guarantee. It is sufficient to consider that the Romanian authorities did not decide to stop the flotilla of the Intelligence Service until it had traveled 200 miles on the river.

Nevertheless, I believe it is in our common interest that this part of Europe should not become involved in the war; but here too we must be ready to prevent the moves of the French and English.

I can confirm to you that by tomorrow, the 12th, the Italian Fleet will be entirely prepared for war. In the meantime, I am accelerating the "tempo" of the other Armed Forces. I do not know whether the French ever seriously harbored any illusions as to what Italy's attitude might be, but if they did, they undoubtedly have lost them now.

As for the Italian people, although they desire a delay in order to be better prepared, they are now aware that they will not be able to avoid entering the war.

I would be very grateful, Führer, if you would keep me informed of any future developments in the operations. Please accept my cordial and comradely greetings.