Winston Churchill to Franklin D. Roosevelt (May 31, 1941)
JT This telegram must be closely paraphrased before being communicated to anyone. (SC)
Dated May 31, 1941
Rec'd 12:12 p.m.
Secretary of State, Washington.
2233, May 31, 5 p.m. (SECTION TWO)
The fore and fury of the air attack was beyond anything known or expected, and as we had no airfields which could work virtually unrestricted, both against the ships holding off airborne attacks and against our troops and anti-aircraft guns ashore. The enemy has suffered very heavy losses to his high-grade personnel, in aircraft, and above all troop carrying machines. We must expect increasing strain upon our defence of Egypt and our communications with Malta and Gibraltar. Valuable time has, however, been gained and it remains to be seen what use we can make of it.
"Five. The capture of Crete will, of course, be exploited to the full of enemy propaganda, and any open move by you like sending even a brigade to Iceland could not come at a more timely moment. See also second epistle to the Corinthians Chapter Six, Verse Two."