No. 239  NAI DFA Secretary's Files P12/8

Personal code telegram from Michael MacWhite to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(No. 229) (P. 30)

ROME, 11 November 1942

Invasion of French North Africa took Axis Powers completely by surprise.1 Rapidity with which it followed their defeat in Egypt has had demoralising effect; their inability to react is believed to indicate poverty of resources. Neutral military attachés here hold the view that Allied domination of North African coast cannot now be prevented. Safety of this route to Middle East will necessitate neutralisation of Sicily and Crete, and invasion of Italian Peninsula is not excluded.

During the coming month, Mediterranean will undoubtedly be pivotal war centre. Diplomats here believe American invasion marks turning point in war.

1 Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa, commenced on 8 November 1942.

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