December 3, 1941: From the diary of Mussolini's son-in-law, Count Galeazzo Ciano, Foreign Minister of Italy:
Sensational move by Japan. The Ambassador asks for an audience with the Duce and reads him a long statement on the progress of the negotiations with America, concluding with the assertion that they have reached a dead end. Then invoking the appropriate clause in the Tripartite Pact, he asks that Italy declare war on America immediately after the outbreak of hostilities and proposes the signing of an agreement not to conclude a separate peace. The interpreter translating this request was trembling like a leaf. The Duce gave fullest assurances, reserving the right to confer with Berlin before giving a reply.
The Duce was pleased with the communication and said, "We are now on the brink of the intercontinental war which I predicted as early as September 1939." What does this new event mean? In any case it means that Roosevelt has succeeded in his maneuver. Since he could not enter the war immediately and directly, he entered it indirectly by letting himself be attacked by Japan. Furthermore, this event also means that every prospect of peace is becoming further and further removed and that it is now easyŚmuch too easyŚto predict a long war. Who will be able to hold out longest? It is on this basis that the problem must be considered. Berlin's answer will be somewhat delayed because Hitler has gone to the southern Front to see General Kleist. (IMT)
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