The Zimmerman Note

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:<font size=-1><i>This English translation of the [http://www.footnote.com/image/4346728 cipher telegram] -- from Arthur Zimmermann, German Foreign Secretary, to Heinrich von Eckardt, the German Ambassador in Mexico -- is transcribed from a telegram of Walter H. Page, American Ambassador in Great Britain, to Robert Lansing, American Secretary of State (File No. 862,20212/69) and mirrors [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Zimmermann-telegramm-offen.jpg a typescript] discovered October 2005 in British archives (assumed to be the actual copy shown to the American ambassador in 1917).<br><br>
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:The telegram was sent January 16, 1917.<br><br>
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:The transcription of the [[Zimmerman Note - Decoded German Text|British Admiralty's decoding of the text in German]] is likewise based on a telegram from Ambassador Page to the Secretary of State.
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</i><hr>
  
Berlin, January 19, 1917<br><br>
 
  
On the first of February we intend to begin submarine warfare
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::We intend to begin on the 1st of February unrestricted submarine warfare. We shall endeavor in spite of this to keep the United States of America neutral.  In the event of this not succeeding, we make Mexico a proposal of alliance on the following basis: make war together, make peace together, generous financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The settlement in detail is left to you. You will inform the President of the above most secretly as soon as the outbreak of war with the United States of America is certain and add the suggestion that he should, on his own initiative, invite Japan to immediate adherence and at the same time mediate between Japan and ourselves. Please call the President's attention to the fact that the ruthless employment of our submarines now offers the prospect of compelling England in a few months to make peace. Signed, Zimmermann.
unrestricted.  In spite of this, it is our intention to
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endeavor to keep neutral the United States of America.<br><br>
+
  
If this attempt is not successful, we propose an alliance on
 
the following basis with Mexico:  That we shall make war
 
together and together make peace.  We shall give general
 
financial support, and it is understood that Mexico is to
 
reconquer the lost territory in New Mexico, Texas, and
 
Arizona.  The details are left to you for settlement....<br><br>
 
 
You are instructed to inform the President of Mexico of the
 
above in the greatest confidence as soon as it is certain that
 
there will be an outbreak of war with the United States and
 
suggest that the President of Mexico, on his own initiative,
 
should communicate with Japan suggesting adherence at once to
 
this plan; at the same time, offer to mediate between Germany
 
and Japan.  <br><br>
 
 
Please call to the attention of the President of Mexico that
 
the employment of ruthless submarine warfare now promises to
 
compel England to make peace in a few months.<br><br>
 
 
Zimmerman<br>
 
(Secretary of State)
 
 
<hr>
 
<hr>
  
 
<center>Return to '''[[1917 Documents]]'''</center>
 
<center>Return to '''[[1917 Documents]]'''</center>

Revision as of 21:03, 26 December 2007

This English translation of the cipher telegram -- from Arthur Zimmermann, German Foreign Secretary, to Heinrich von Eckardt, the German Ambassador in Mexico -- is transcribed from a telegram of Walter H. Page, American Ambassador in Great Britain, to Robert Lansing, American Secretary of State (File No. 862,20212/69) and mirrors a typescript discovered October 2005 in British archives (assumed to be the actual copy shown to the American ambassador in 1917).

The telegram was sent January 16, 1917.

The transcription of the British Admiralty's decoding of the text in German is likewise based on a telegram from Ambassador Page to the Secretary of State.


We intend to begin on the 1st of February unrestricted submarine warfare. We shall endeavor in spite of this to keep the United States of America neutral. In the event of this not succeeding, we make Mexico a proposal of alliance on the following basis: make war together, make peace together, generous financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The settlement in detail is left to you. You will inform the President of the above most secretly as soon as the outbreak of war with the United States of America is certain and add the suggestion that he should, on his own initiative, invite Japan to immediate adherence and at the same time mediate between Japan and ourselves. Please call the President's attention to the fact that the ruthless employment of our submarines now offers the prospect of compelling England in a few months to make peace. Signed, Zimmermann.

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