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Franklin Roosevelt Administration: Petain's Reply to Roosevelt's Letter

(November 1942)

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.


Sources: ibiblio