Cicero's Last Achievements
Anglo-Turkish relations reached their lowest point after the military mission left on 3 February. Deliveries of supplies and equipment ceased immediately, and no further personnel arrived; trade sanctions and an oil embargo were both considered for a while. London had nevertheless already decided against a complete break in formal ties and therefore rejected a proposal by Stalin to withdraw ambassadors. Still hoping for some compromise, Britain wanted a diplomat available in Ankara. There was little official contact between Sir Hughe and Menemencioglu, however, until they had a chilly conversation on 28 February, just before the diplomat left the country for three weeks. Before his departure for Cairo the ambassador described as "little short of an insult" the stories circulating in Turkey that its airfields might be seized by force. During this critical period the Foreign Office instructed its missions in the region to remain "aloof"and let Turkey and the enemy alike worry about what the Anglo-Turkish breakdown in relations might mean.1
Cicero resumed his spying on a reduced level during February. Germany nevertheless failed to profit from its knowledge, gained from British documents, that any large-scale Anglo-Turkish military operation in the Balkans had been abandoned. Berlin still questioned whether there might be renewed pressure on Turkey, and it realized from the spy and other sources that the Allies planned some major action in the west for the late spring. Scholarship on both issues -- Germany's manpower commitment to the Balkans and what it learned through Cicero about the plans for Overlord -- has often been misleading. Meanwhile, a local incident with far-reaching repercussions diminished the Germans' satisfaction with the end of the immediate threat to their position.