Franklin Roosevelt Administration: Petain's Reply to Roosevelt's Letter
White House news release.
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.