3-462 To Admiral Jean François Darlan, December 24, 1942

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: December 24, 1942

Subject: World War II

To Admiral Jean François Darlan

December 24, 1942   Radio No. 447   Washington, D.C.



To Eisenhower from General Marshall for Admiral Darlan:

“I am grieved and shocked by the news of the assault on you. You are rendering a service of vast importance to our armed forces and I pray that your injuries are not serious and that you will soon be able to resume your vital share in the great task of destroying the power of the Axis in Africa in the first great step to free France.1

With deep sympathy,



Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed radio message.


1. Marshall gave Secretary Stimson the news that Darlan, French high commissioner in North Africa, had been shot and that from the description of the wounds the admiral probably would not live. Stimson observed in his diary: “It was a good deal of a shock because Darlan has been doing better and better in his conferences with Eisenhower and has been showing himself very useful to the cause of the Allies in North Africa.” Marshall’s message was sent after he had its wording approved by Stimson and Secretary of State Cordell Hull. (December 24, 1942, Yale/H. L. Stimson Papers [Diary, 41: 114].) Darlan died before the message could be delivered. His assassin was Fernand Bonnier de la Chapelle, who was tried, convicted, and executed by the French military the next morning. (Howe, Northwest Africa, p. 357.)


Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981– ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), p. 492.

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