Skip to content


1 - 10 of 20


March 30, 1963

Department of State Telegram 1905 to the American Embassy Rome

The State Department instructs the embassies in Ankara and Rome of the importance of avoiding “fallacious comparison between Jupiter dismantling and withdrawal Soviet missiles from Cuba.” To help do that, the embassies should ensure that “no official facilitation will be given press or photo coverage of missile dismantling.” In response to any press queries, the embassies could state that “dismantled missiles will be transported over period several weeks.” To avoid an “air of mystery” around the dismantling, the Department opposed efforts to block media coverage of missiles in transit. The embassies should approach Italian and Turkish officials “along [those] lines.”

March 28, 1963

American Embassy Rome Airgram A-1368 to State Department, 'Exchange of Notes Affecting Replacement of Jupiter Missiles in Italy'

On March 22, 1963, through an exchange of notes, the U.S. and Italy confirmed the final agreement on the dismantling of the Jupiter missiles and their replacement with patrols of Polaris submarines assigned to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe. The Polaris patrols would begin on April 1, 1963, and the dismantling operation would occur during the next 25 days.

March 19, 1963

American Embassy Rome Telegram 1890 to the Secretary of State, Washington, DC

The Embassy had informed the Italian Foreign Office of the need to coordinate the dismantling with military officials, but, according to the U.S. military assistance mission, Ministry of Defense officials were without instructions. An “early exchange of notes would help button up matter promptly.” The Embassy made the point that the “action to be completed within 25 days includes removal from Italy of nose cones, warheads and guidance systems, and laying missiles in horizontal positions, but that salvage of missile hulls and disposal of assorted administrative equipment … might take as long as six-eight months.”

March 15, 1963

Department of State Telegram 1772 to the American Embassy Rome

The State Department instructs the Embassy to inform Italian authorities that if the Jupiter dismantling was to be completed within the first 25 days of April, as the Italian government requested, military officials needed to be notified accordingly.  According to the Deputy CINCEUR, Italian military officials had not yet received authorization on the dismantling. The State Department hoped that Italian military personnel would be available for the operation “notwithstanding Easter holidays."

February 28, 1963

Department of State Telegram 1659 to the American Embassy Rome

The State Department sent the embassies in Ankara and Rome the text of a draft note to be used in negotiations with both countries for formal agreements on the removal of the Jupiter missiles and their replacement with Polaris submarines operating in the Mediterranean. The dismantlement of Jupiter sites in Italy would  “begin concurrently with the arrival of the Polaris submarines in the Mediterranean” around April 1, while the dismantling in Turkey would begin with the arrival of the second Polaris submarine on or about April 15.

February 16, 1963

American Embassy Paris Telegram NIACT POLTO 77 to Rome

Responding to the State Department proposal for a memorandum to NATO on the Jupiter/Polaris arrangements, Ambassador Thomas Finletter writes that Italian officials suggested that government approval would be expedited if the draft were “altered to become a United States memorandum” in which the Italian and Turkish representatives “simply concur.” When Finletter suggested that the proposal was not workable, the Italians responded that their government would “accept present text.” NATO Secretary General Dirk Stikker did not see any serious problem, even if the substitution of Polaris for Jupiters caused “some reduction in target coverage.” Stikker asked that the U.S. “squash [the] rumor” that Polaris would be based at Rota, Spain (which was in fact the U.S. objective).

It is not clear exactly when the North Atlantic Council received this memorandum, but it may have been on February 22, 1963, the preferred date, from the State Department’s perspective, for avoiding delays in the removal of the Jupiters.

February 12, 1963

American Embassy Rome Telegram 1612 to the Secretary of State, Washington, DC

Detailed records of the conversations between Gilpatric and top Italian officials have yet to surface. The sole source is a telegram from the Rome Embassy summing up the talks with Fanfani. On February 11, Gilpatric and Ambassador G. Frederick Reinhardt met with Prime Minister Fanfani. Gilpatric reviewed U.S. plans for three Polaris submarines assigned to SACEUR to patrol the Mediterranean and the projected visit to Rome by Ambassador Livingston Merchant to discuss the multilateral force proposal. In that connection, Fanfani said that Italy had given up the proposal to equip the Garibaldi with Polaris missiles. Gilpatric discussed some of the negative implications of French President Charles De Gaulle’s 14 January 1963 press conference, which included statements critical of NATO. This raised concerns in Washington that  if the American people felt “unwanted” in Europe, there might be pressure to take a “more restrictive” position on the U.S. military presence in Europe. Fanfani agreed that it was “more important than ever for … the alliance to strive for greater unity.”

February 7, 1963

Department of State Telegram 1490 to the American Embassy Rome

In this overview of the state of the Jupiter/Polaris negotiations and the next steps, the State Department instructs Ambassador Hare to lead the negotiations with Turkey and to inform U.S missions that McNamara’s letter to Andreotti on the Polaris and Sergeant deployments was in the works; that Turkish “conditions” were not clear; that the U.S. and the two countries had to formally notify NATO of the “modernization” program; that bilateral agreements with Ankara and Rome on the Jupiter/Polaris arrangement would need to be negotiated; that steps had to be taken to prepare Polaris submarines for missions in the Mediterranean by April 1; and that the U.S. needed “considerable lead time” to prepare for the removal of the Jupiters. The negotiation of Turkey’s conditions for the Jupiter removal should not hold up notifying NATO or cause delay of the U.S.-Italy arrangements. On the use of the naval base at Rota, Spain, for stationing Polaris submarines, several NATO governments had objected (because of the Franco dictatorship), and so far Madrid had rejected U.S. proposals.

January 29, 1963

American Embassy Rome Telegram 1507 to the Secretary of State, Washington, DC

Following the Italian Government’s acceptance of the Jupiter-Polaris arrangement, Defense Minister Andreotti answered Secretary of Defense McNamara’s January 5 letter. He declared that he was ready to begin “mutual consultations” to reach “specific agreements” on removing the Jupiters and said that he would await further guidance from McNamara.

January 29, 1963

Department of State Telegram 1416 to the American Embassy Rome

Responding to Finletter’s request, the State Department provides a statement on the Jupiters for the NAC meeting on January 30, 1963. It explained that the U.S. cannot bring up the matter unilaterally until consultations with Italy and Turkey have progressed. Finletter should coordinate delivery of the statement with Italian and Turkish representatives while Reinhard and Hare work with the Italians and Turks in preparing a written statement that can be presented to the NAC at a later stage. While the Italians were willing to join the statement, it is not clear whether Turkey did or whether the statement was made to the NAC on January 30.