Atlantic Islands and American Defense

June 27, 1941

Report Outline
Nazi Aggression and Defense of the Americas
Atlantic Geographic and Strategic Factors
Portuguese and French Atlantic Possessions
Inter-American Defense Policies and Measures
Special Focus

Nazi Aggression and Defense of the Americas

While the Nazi legions have now turned east to invade Russia, Hitler's attack upon the Soviet Union, in violation of his non-aggression pact with that country, was interpreted by Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles, not as indicating any diminution of the threat of Nazi aggression against the Western Hemisphere, but as further proof “of the real purposes and projects of the present leaders of Germany for world domination,” President Roosevelt pointed out in his fireside radio talk, May 27, 1941, that the Nazis “have the armed power at any moment to occupy Spain and Portugal; and that threat extends not only to French North Africa and the western end of the Mediterranean Sea, it extends also to the Atlantic fortress of Dakar, and to the [Portuguese] island outposts of the New World-the Azores and Cape Verde Islands.”

Control or occupation by Nazi forces of any of the islands of the Atlantic [Roosevelt warned] would jeopardize the immediate safety of portions of North and South America, and of the island possessions of the United States, and therefore of the ultimate safety of the continental United States itself…

No spurious argument, no appeal to sentiment, and no false pledges like those given by Hitler at Munich, can deceive the American people into believing that he and his Axis partners would not, with Britain defeated, close in relentlessly on this hemisphere of ours.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
U.S. Preparation for World War II
Aug. 22, 1947  Industrial Mobilization
Sep. 23, 1941  War Organization of the Government
Aug. 02, 1941  Daylight Saving
Jul. 24, 1941  Conservation of Strategic Materials
Jun. 27, 1941  Atlantic Islands and American Defense
May 27, 1941  Production of War Materials
May 21, 1941  Rearmament and Work Relief
Mar. 15, 1941  War Aims
Feb. 20, 1941  War Orders and Decentralization
Feb. 05, 1941  Regulation of Priorities
Jun. 03, 1940  Methods of Financing War
Dec. 27, 1938  American Rearmament
Feb. 20, 1937  War Profits and Industrial Mobilization
Military Bases
U.S. at War: World War II