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תשובתו של פטן למכתבו של רוזוולט – קטע מתוך העיתון לה דפש תוניזיין La Dépêche Tunisienne – 09.11.1942






Petain, Roosevelt


Operation Torch


Bibliotheque Nationale

Case number:

La Dépêche Tunisienne - 09.11.1942


Following the landing of the Allied troops on 08.11.1942 (Operation TORCH), Marshal Pétain’s reply to President Roosevelt is published.
He saw the Allied landing as an attack against the French Empire and planned to engage French troops from North Africa against the Allies.

Approximate translation:

Vichy, November 8. – American and British forces attacked the coasts of French North Africa this morning, President Roosevelt, in a message to the Head of State, claimed to justify the aggression. Here is the reply the Marshal of France has just done to him: 

It is with stupor and sadness that I learned tonight of the aggression of your troops against North Africa.

I have read your message. You invoke pretexts which nothing justifies. You attribute to your enemies intentions which have not ever been manifested in acts. I have always declared that we would defend our empire if it were attacked; you should know that we would defend it against any aggressor whoever it might be. You should know that I would keep my word.

In our misfortune I had, when requesting the armistice, protected our empire and it is you who, acting in the name of a country to which so many memories and ties bind us, have taken such a cruel initiative.

France and her honor are at stake.

We are attacked; we shall defend ourselves; this is the order I am giving.

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