The French Yellow Book

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No. 55 :
M. Coulondre, French Ambassador in Berlin, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Berlin, March 13, 1939.

WHILE at the Wilhelmstrasse, as late as in the evening of March 12, they professed to be confident that M. Chvalkovsky would find a satisfactory solution for the crisis within Czechoslovakia, the Minister for Propaganda, according to information obtained this morning by my Belgian colleague, now declares that from the moment Germans are molested, the Reich will have to intervene in a more direct manner, but in what manner they decline to say.

The situation as I found it on my return to Berlin is, therefore, an extremely serious one, and seems to be developing rapidly.

Analyzed in its political and military factors, it appears in the following light:

On March 11 and 12 military preparations were noticed in certain German garrisons, and particularly in those near Berlin. These preparations, which consisted for instance in camouflaging the numbers on the cars and the men's regimental badges, are an indication of impending troop movements.

In the course of the same days, troop movements were definitely observed in the provinces, on one side through Saxony and Silesia in the direction of Gleiwitz, on the other in Franconia in the direction of Austria.

In spite of camouflage it was possible to identify light armoured units coming from Northern Germany, as well as certain anti-aircraft units. On the other hand, on March 12 no preparations could be noticed in Austria north of Vienna, or in Vienna itself. That region, however, is well provided with mechanized units, the second Armoured Division especially, which is now in line.

Everything suggests that Germany will very soon resort to force against Czechoslovakia. Although no actual measures of mobilization, even partial, have yet been noticed, movements of troop units belonging to the standing army are taking place with the object either of gripping the corridor or Moravia in a vice, or of surrounding the entire Bohemian Quadrilateral.

It appears from more recent information that, on the one hand Staff officers are to leave Berlin to-morrow morning, March 14, in order to take part in the operation, and also that the Black Militia would be entrusted with vanguard duties.


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