232. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in France1

3316. Paris for Kohler2 With reference to continued military movements over Autobahn, Department considers it essential they be maintained and conducted at fairly frequent intervals. Movements need not be large. In fact they probably should not exceed company size units. But they should be frequent enough so that Communists aware of them but will not feel challenged in such way that they forced take harassing action.

Moreover, in view publicity which preceded present battle group rotation and implied threats to movements of this kind that have come from Communist, particularly East German side during past few days, it would, in our view, be mistake to suspend further movements at this time and give Communists impressions they succeeded in intimidating us.

Department in touch with Defense and JCS this matter with view getting appropriate guidance along above lines to CINCEUR.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/12-961. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Klein (SOV) and approved by Rusk. Repeated to Bonn and Berlin.
  2. Kohler was in Paris for a senior officials meeting December 7-10.