Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, 1931-1941

By United States Department of State | Go to book overview

V
ITALIAN CONQUEST
OF ETHIOPIA 1935-1936

Italian Preparations for War

ON SEPTEMBER 28, 1934 the United States Ambassador at Rome, Breckinridge Long, reported to the Secretary of State that rumors were current that Italy contemplated war against Ethiopia and was making extensive preparations to this end. Ambassador Long said he was convinced that preparations of an unusual sort were under way; he considered it quite possible that these preparations related to Ethiopia. A few months later, February 14, 1935, he reported to the Secretary of State that there were indications of general preparation for an extensive campaign in Ethiopia. The Ambassador reported that factories for the manufacture of trucks, tanks, and artiliery at and around Milan were working day and night; that supplies and military forces were moving clandestinely; that concerted effort was being made to prevent any information getting out as to the size or general nature of shipments; that troop movements were at night; that embarkation was proceeding from several cities; that he had received reports that 30,000 troops had left Naples, and that the movement under way contemplated the use in Ethiopia of 200,000 or 300,000 troops; and that all of these movements were being camouflaged by the use of the regular merchant marine without using war vessels. (37, 42)

Italian preparations continued in the spring and summer and the danger of war became acute. Secretary Hull called in Italian Ambassador Rosso on July 10, 1935 to discuss the situation. He informed the Ambassador that the United States was deeply interested in the preservation of peace in all parts of the world. He emphasized the increasing concern of this Government in the situation arising cut of Italy's dispute with Ethiopia and expressed the earnest hope that a peaceful means might be found to arrive at a mutually satisfactory solution of the problem. (52)

On August 18, 1935 President Roosevelt sent a personal message to Premier Mussolini of Italy, stating that the Government and people of the United States felt that failure to arrive at a peaceful settlement of this dispute and a subsequent outbreak of hostilities would be a world calamity the consequences of which would adversely affect the interests of all nations. (48)

Ambassador Long cabled the Secretary of State on September 10, 1935 that there remained no vestige of doubt that Italy was irrevo

-29-

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Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, 1931-1941
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Peace and War - United States Foreign Policy 1931-1941 *
  • Foreword iii
  • Contents v
  • Documents i
  • I- The Fateful Decade 1
  • II- Japanese Conquest of Manchuria 1931-1932 4
  • III- Disarmament Discussions 1932-1934 9
  • IV- Warnings of Danger 1933-1935 13
  • V- Italian Conquest of Ethiopia 1935-1936 29
  • VI- Developing Dangers 1936-1937 34
  • VII- Japanese Attack on China 1937 45
  • VIII- European Crisis 1938 54
  • IX- European War 1939 62
  • X- European War 1940 71
  • XI- Defense Measures of the United States 1940 80
  • XII- Relations with Japan 1938-1940 88
  • XIII- European War 1941 99
  • XIV- Discussions with Japan 1941 Pearl Harbor 118
  • XV- United Nations 151
  • Documents 1-271 *
  • Index *
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