Correspondence

Between the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Presidents of the USA and the Prime Ministers of Great Britain During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945

Volume 1

Correspondence with Winston S. Churchill and Clement R. Attlee
(July 1941-November 1945)

Progress Publishers
Moscow




USSR Foreign Ministry Commission for the Publication of Diplomatic Documents: A. A. Gromyko, Dr. Sc. (Econ.) (Chairman), Prof. I. N. Zemskov (Deputy Chairman), G. K. Deyev (Executive Secretary), F. I. Dolgikh, Cand. Sc. (Phil.), Corr. Members of USSR Academy of Sciences P. A. Zhilin and L. M. Zamyatin, S. A. Kondrashov, Cand. Sc. (Hist.), V. S. Lavrov, Cand. Sc. (Hist.), Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences A. L. Narochnitsky, Sh. P. Sanakoyev, Dr. Sc. (Hist.), P. P. Sevostyanov, Cand. Sc. (Hist.), Corr. Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences S. L. Tikhvinsky, N. V. Tropkin, Cand. Sc. (Hist.), S. S. Khromov, Dr. Sc. (Hist.), Y. N. Chernyakov, Cand. Sc. (Techn.), I. I. Chkhikvishvili, Cand. Sc. (Phil.).



Contents

Publisher’s Note
Preface to the Second Edition
Documents
Notes



Publisher’s Note

The first edition of the Correspondence Between the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the U.S.S.R. and the Presidents of the U.S.A. and the Prime Ministers of Great Britain During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 published in 1957 has become a bibliographical rarity despite its large printing.

In view of this it was decided to put out a second edition of the correspondence of the heads of the three Great Powers of the anti-Hitler coalition. This book reproduces the second Russian edition with a preface written by A. A. Gromyko.

The present edition, like the first, contains the full texts of all the documents available in the Soviet Union of J. V. Stalin’s correspondence with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Winston S. Churchill and Clement R. Attlee during the period in question. Certain messages quoted or otherwise mentioned in publications abroad are missing from this book as their texts have not been found in the Soviet archives. In searching for the missing texts it was found that some of them – for instance, a Roosevelt message transmitted to Stalin by U.S. Ambassador Standley on April 23, 19421 and a Truman message to Stalin of June 19452 – had been conveyed orally by the respective representatives during meetings with Stalin. Concerning a Roosevelt message to Stalin in July 19413 and another sent, according to Cordell Hull, between February and April 1942,4 there is no record in the Soviet archives that would indicate that they were transmitted in any form whatever to Stalin or were ever received in the Soviet Union. This is also true for Churchill's message to Stalin of June 23, 1945,5 which, according to Churchill, was by way of reply to a Stalin message of June 21, 1945 (see Volume One of this book, Doc. No. 493); in the Soviet archives there is a reply from Churchill to the above-mentioned Stalin message, but its contents are different (see Volume One, Doc. No. 497). It appears that in his war memoirs Churchill presented not the final text but one of the drafts of his reply to Stalin. This is borne out by the fact that Churchill dated his message June 23, 1945, whereas the message received by Stalin in reply to his message of June 21, 1945, is dated June 24, 1945.

The Roosevelt message to Stalin concerning deliveries, of October 13, 1941, mentioned by Sherwood,6 was evidently sent to Churchill in copy for perusal and afterwards was handed in this shape to the Soviet Ambassador in London by the British Minister Beaverbrook, who was in charge of deliveries, in October 1941; but there is nothing in the archives to confirm transmission of the message directly by U.S. representatives to the Soviet side.

Volume One includes the correspondence with Winston S. Churchill and Clement R. Attlee, and Volume Two, the correspondence with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman – the correspondence with Roosevelt began at a later date than that with Churchill.

The correspondence between the heads of the Governments published here was conducted chiefly by exchanging code messages through the Soviet Embassies in Washington and London and through the Embassies of the U.S.A. and Great Britain in Moscow. The messages were decoded in the respective Embassies and their texts delivered to the addressee generally in the original language. Some of the messages were delivered by diplomatic post or by authorised representatives of the Powers concerned.

The messages of the Presidents of the USA and the Prime Ministers of Great Britain appear in their original wording, with the exception of some documents available in the Soviet Union in Russian translation only. In this volume they are Nos. 2, 11, 24, 25, 46, 52, 58, 59, 61, 62, 67, 68 and 332, Nos. 2, 11, 58, 61, 62, and 68 were printed in various British and American publications, and their English texts are given in this volume according to those publications. Others, i.e., Nos. 24, 25, 46, 52, 59, 67 and 332, for which the original English texts are not available, have been translated back from the Russian.

The ordinal numbers under which the messages appear in this collection have been supplied by the Editors.

An asterisk in the title of a message denotes that the document had no title and that the title used has been furnished by the Editors.

The dates on which the messages were signed are reproduced when available in the lower left-hand corner under the text. Where the date is missing in the original the date given in this book is that of despatch or receipt.

Brief reference notes and photostats are appended.

Compilation was handled by the Department of Diplomatic History of the USSR Foreign Ministry.

1 This message is mentioned in Postwar Foreign Policy Preparation 1939-1945, Washington, 1949, pp. 199-200.

2 Mentioned in James F. Byrnes’ Speaking Frankly, London, 1947, p. 64. Byrnes does not give the exact date of the message.

3 Quoted in The White House Papers of Harry L. Hopkins by Robert E. Sherwood, Vol. I, London, 1948-1949, pp. 321-322. Sherwood does not give the exact date of the message.

4 Mentioned in The Memoirs of Cordell Hull, Vol. II, New York, 1948, p. 1170. Hull does not give the exact date of the message.

5 Quoted in Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War, Vol. VI, London, 1954, pp. 488-489.

6 Robert E. Sherwood, The White House Papers of Harry L. Hopkins, Vol. I, London, 1948-1949, p 399.



Preface to the Second Edition

This second two-volume edition of the Correspondence Between the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Presidents of the USA and the Prime Ministers of Great Britain During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 has come off the press thirty years after the victory of the powers of the anti-Hitler coalition and the freedom-loving nations over German fascism and Japanese militarism.

This historic victory made a profound impact on all subsequent world developments and has been a decisive factor in the destinies of many peoples, in the struggle for a revolutionary renovation of human society, and for lasting world peace.

The greatness of this event has now been brought into even bolder relief by the profound changes it has produced in the world.

Thirty years ago, the Soviet people, in alliance with other peoples, won the battle against fascism, mankind’s most vicious enemy – a battle stupendous in scale and unprecedented in the exertion of effort it entailed and the number of casualties. The rout of world imperialism’s strike force as personified by German fascism and aggressive Japanese militarism, the Soviet Union’s decisive contribution to their defeat and to the final victory, brought about cardinal changes in the correlation and alignment of forces on the international scene, and led to tremendous social and political change throughout the world.

The Soviet Union’s victory in the war was not only a triumph of its Armed Forces over the armies of Hitler Germany, militarist Japan and their satellites, but also a triumph of the Soviet foreign policy of peace.

In the postwar period the Soviet Union’s principled and flexible foreign policy based on Lenin’s behests contributed to the political consolidation of the military successes scored by its Armed Forces on the battlefield.

Soviet diplomacy exerted great effort to ensure durable international peace and security after the war, and to lay democratic foundations in Europe and Asia.

As a result of its intensive and consistent struggle on the diplomatic front, the Soviet Union has scored important successes in determining the main directions of the world’s postwar organisation and cooperation among states.

The victory over Hitler Germany and militarist Japan has led to a considerable change in the relation of forces between capitalism and socialism, in favour of the latter.

The Soviet Union, which the capitalist world was not always willing to reckon with before the war, has become the most significant and determining factor in the postwar world. It is now quite impossible to resolve international problems without the USSR, let alone regardless of it.

The Soviet Union’s decisive victory over fascism and militarism has enabled a number of European and Asian countries to embark on the road of revolutionary transformations and has created favourable external conditions for national-democratic revolutions.

The Soviet Army, in combat cooperation with the People’s Liberation Army of Yugoslavia, the armies and units formed in Soviet territory by patriots of Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania, and with the active assistance of the Resistance forces and troops of Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Albania, cleared the countries of Central and Southeast Europe of the nazi invaders and helped restore their freedom and independence, while Soviet foreign policy consistently laid the foundation of peace and friendship with these countries. Setting out to liberate Poland, the Soviet Government declared that it regarded the Soviet Army’s military operations in its territory as operations in the territory of a sovereign, friendly and allied state. After the entry of Soviet forces into Polish territory, the relations between the Soviet Supreme Command and the Polish Administration became the object of a special agreement between the Government of the USSR and the Polish Committee of National Liberation.

A similar agreement was concluded with the Czechoslovak Government. The Soviet Government and the National Committee for the Liberation of Yugoslavia reached agreement on the temporary entry of Soviet troops into Yugoslav territory to conduct military operations against the nazi troops.

All this contributed to the establishment between the USSR and its allies – Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia – of relations of equality and friendship, based on respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and on non-interference in their internal affairs.

At the end of the war, a new political situation arose in Europe. To restore historical justice the Soviet Union handed over to the Polish people lands on the Oder, the Neisse and the Baltic coast once forcibly taken from them by German invaders. Simultaneously, at international conferences Soviet diplomats vigorously promoted Poland’s right to these lands and its recognition by the other powers of the anti-Hitler coalition. By so doing the Soviet Union upheld the Polish people’s vital state interests and security. All this is reflected in the pages of the present publication.

The rout of German fascism and the weakening of the reactionary forces in the countries of Eastern Europe created favourable conditions for the rapid maturing of a revolutionary situation. The Soviet Union rendered these countries inestimable assistance by preventing foreign interference in their internal affairs, forestalling export of counter-revolution, and safeguarding the road of genuinely democratic development chosen by their peoples.

In the course of an intense diplomatic struggle, the Soviet Union succeeded in repelling the dogged attempts by Britain and the United States to impose the old order on the Polish people; to return to Poland the government-in-exile alien to the Polish people, which had abandoned the country in its hour of need and tided over the war years in London; to bring back to Yugoslavia monarchist reactionaries concerned only with preserving their class privileges, and to reinstal in Czechoslovakia the rule of the men of Munich. The treaties of friendship and mutual assistance concluded by the Soviet Union with Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia in 1943-1945 were a dependable support for the democratic forces of the countries.

Guided by the peaceful and democratic principles of its foreign policy, the Soviet Union was a magnanimous victor towards the Hitler Germany’s former allies, countries whose armies had taken part in the war against the USSR. At the cost of great sacrifice, the Soviet Army freed these countries from their imposed “alliance” with Hitlerism and expelled the fascist troops from their territories. Since the big bourgeoisie and the landowners of these countries had collaborated with the fascist invaders, the rout of German fascism also meant the defeat of reaction at home.

In an intensive struggle against Western negotiators, Soviet diplomats upheld the right of these countries to sovereignty and independent development, and protected them against encroachment by the imperialist circles of the West, which sought to prevent any weakening of the foundations of capitalism in Europe, and therefore resisted the progressive social reforms in Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. The Soviet Union’s firm stand frustrated the attempts of the United States and Britain to impose decisions that would enable the imperialist powers to interfere in the internal affairs of these countries and restore the capitalist order there.

An important part in ensuring favourable external conditions for the development of the people’s democratic revolutions in these countries was played by the equitable and democratic armistice agreements drawn up with the active participation of the USSR.

The Soviet Union’s far-sighted and humane policy toward Hitler Germany’s former satellites soon yielded fruit. Relations of equality based on trust were established between the USSR and these states, later formalised in treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance.

Questions connected with the fate of countries liberated from fascism hold an important place in the correspondence between the heads of government of the USSR, the USA and Britain. The documents conclusively show the Soviet Union’s consistent policy of safeguarding their freedom, independence and security.

Special importance attaches to the liberation from fascism of the German people themselves. Of historic significance was the proclamation, in 1949, of the German Democratic Republic, which has become a major and stable factor strengthening socialism, peace and security in Europe.

The countries of Central and Southeast Europe are now members of a powerful socialist community, which exercises a determining influence on world politics, and acts decisively to defend the interests of universal peace and security, and protect the independence of nations.

The Soviet Union also consistently upheld the right to free and democratic development of the West European countries liberated by the Allied forces from the Hitler tyranny. Soviet diplomacy devoted considerable effort to preventing Anglo-US dictate from being imposed on France and Italy. Although imperialism, with the help of the Anglo-US armies and the use of its economic power and political pressure, was able to suppress the revolutionary movement which could have led to the establishment of the people’s power in the West European countries, it proved incapable of preventing a powerful upswing of the communist and working-class movement. The CPSU Central Committee’s Decision “On the 30th Anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet People in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945” said in part: “The victory over fascism created favourable conditions for the further development of the working-class movement in the capitalist countries, for the growth and consolidation of the communist and workers’ parties, which are the most active champions of the cause of the working class and all working people. The international communist movement has become the most influential political force of today.”

Before our eyes there is taking place a radical restructuring – on the principles of peaceful coexistence – of the entire system of international relations, many elements of which had begun to take shape when the battle against German fascism and Japanese militarism was still in progress.

In the course of the Second World War a broad democratic coalition of countries and peoples was set up, headed by the USSR, the USA and Great Britain. The creation and consolidation of the anti-Hitler coalition was an objective necessity dictated by life itself. The coalition was an effective military-political alliance, whose formation testified to the correctness and far-sightedness of Soviet foreign policy on the eve of the Second World War, a policy directed to giving a collective rebuff to the aggressors, and to collective guarantees of security.

Even before the outbreak of the war, the Soviet Union had deemed it possible and necessary for the freedom-loving nations to join effort to avert war. Therefore, after the war had broken out, and Britain and the United States expressed their readiness to join forces with the Soviet Union, the anti-Hitler coalition was formed fairly quickly, although not without difficulties. This was graphic confirmation of the validity of the Leninist principles of Soviet foreign policy, which provides for cooperation with any state that so wishes, regardless of its social system, on the basis of mutual respect for independence and in the interests of peace.

Many important aspects of the Soviet Union’s relations with its Western partners in the anti-Hitler coalition are dealt with in the present publication. An enumeration of only a few of the questions touched upon in the documents published shows how extensive was the sphere of war-time cooperation between the USSR, the USA and Great Britain: the partners in the coalition found common ground for joint action against Hitler Germany and later against militarist Japan; they agreed on the principles on which the Soviet Union was to receive some quantity of the means of war from the United States and Britain, worked out a common policy in relation to Italy’s withdrawal from the war, agreed on the attitude to the national liberation struggle of the peoples in the nazi-occupied European states, on the main principles of the United Nations, the principles of the postwar peace settlement, and on a number of other complex questions of common interest to the USSR, USA and Great Britain. These documents graphically testify to the existence of close contacts and businesslike cooperation between the three Great Powers on a number of major military and political problems.

Needless to say, the discussion and solution of questions which arose during the war did not proceed without difficulties. The documents show that there were differences between the USSR, USA and Britain. At times, they were of a highly acute nature. The policy of the Western powers was burdened by old concepts aimed at infringing on the interests of the USSR, profiting from a mutual weakening of Germany and the USSR in the war, a desire to shift the main burden of the war effort onto the Soviet Union, and so on. But it is a fact that the desire to cooperate for victory and the establishment of a stable peace after the war proved stronger than all obstacles and led to solutions of the most complex questions of the war and the postwar settlement to the satisfaction of all the parties concerned. The documents published are a reminder  – and this accounts for their major importance – that any difficulties and obstacles along the road to a lasting peace can and must be overcome when mankind’s destiny is at stake, and a great goal has to be achieved.

The cooperation between the member states of the anti-Hitler coalition was an example of active implementation of the basic principles of the policy of peaceful coexistence. In a speech on February 14, 1975, on the occasion of British Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s visit to Moscow, Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, very accurately defined the essence of that coalition, saying that “it was not only an alliance of governments but a combat alliance of our armies and our peoples, a historic example of successful cooperation regardless of the difference in social systems.”

The Soviet Union regarded the broad and fruitful wartime cooperation with the capitalist member countries of the anti-Hitler coalition as a promising long-term arrangement. Tested in the crucible of war, it assumed ever greater importance in peace time. The basis for such cooperation was to have been provided by a joint programme of the future organisation of the world and guaranteed international security.

As Leonid Brezhnev said in his speech at the meeting commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Soviet people’s victory in the Great Patriotic War, “The experience of the war period showed that different social systems are no bar to the pooling of efforts in fighting aggression and working for peace and international security. In the war years we cooperated with each other, and did so fairly well, in order to end the war in the shortest time possible. We are now tackling another, equally important and perhaps more complicated task, that of developing cooperation in order to prevent another worldwide disaster.”

The agreements and accords reached during the war have served – and are still serving today – as the foundation of a postwar peace settlement in Europe. To put them into effect means recognising the inviolability of the existing European boundaries and the political realities resulting from the Second World War and postwar development, and producing dependable guarantees of security in the European continent.

The inviolability of European borders has now been recognized by all European states, as well as by the United States and Canada, who, in Helsinki on August 1, 1975, signed the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. This agreement is of historic importance and constitutes a great contribution of the cause of peace.

The success of the European Conference – an unprecedented event in the history of the continent which was the main theatre of two world wars – has opened a new stage in Europe’s history; it signifies a victory for the peace forces and cannot but have a beneficial effect on the development of international relations throughout the world.

For three decades mankind has been spared a world war. This is a great achievement of the peace forces. Europe, and the world as a whole, have drawn nearer to the attainment of the great goal the peoples of the anti-Hitler coalition aspired to, and for which scores of millions of lives were sacrificed – to secure a stable, just and democratic peace. The principles of equality, sovereignty, renunciation of the use of force, settlement of disputes by negotiation, regular consultations, long-term economic cooperation, and exchange of scientific and cultural achievements are gradually taking root in relations between states.

Never has so much been done for the cause of peace as in recent years, when the efforts of Soviet foreign policy and diplomacy were directed to implementing the impressive Peace Programme advanced by the 24th Congress of the CPSU. Addressing the 25th CPSU Congress, Leonid Brezhnev said: “Its main purpose was to achieve a turn in international relations with reliance on the might, unity and dynamism of world socialism, on its closer alliance with all progressive and peace-loving forces – a turn from cold war to peaceful coexistence of states with different social systems, a turn from-explosive tensions to detente and normal, mutually beneficial cooperation.”

The achievements in this most important field during the five years between the 24th and 25th Congresses of the CPSU are truly tremendous. The situation on the international scene has changed substantially thanks to the consistent peace policy of the socialist states, the vigorous efforts of the democratic and peace forces in all countries, and the more sober-minded attitude of the governments of many capitalist states, which have realised the danger of continuing the cold war and tensions.

The treaties and agreements signed in recent years, with the Soviet Union participating, have formalised the fruits of the victory over fascism and created more reliable requisites for developing fruitful and peaceful cooperation between European states, as well as with the United States. Leonid Brezhnev stated at the 25th CPSU Congress: “The most important results of the liberation struggle of the European peoples during and after the Second World War have been formalised. Conditions have been created for stable peace and good-neighbour cooperation in Europe and beyond it.”

The 25th Congress of the CPSU charted a programme of further action directed toward solving the key problems of modern international life, on whose settlement mankind’s peaceful future depends.

A. Gromyko



Documents

No. 1

Received on July 8, 1941

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Monsieur Stalin

We are all very glad here that the Russian armies are making such strong and spirited resistance to the utterly unprovoked and merciless invasion of the Nazis. There is general admiration for the bravery and tenacity of the Soviet soldiers and people. We shall do everything to help you that time, geography and our growing resources allow. The longer the war lasts the more help we can give. We are making very heavy attacks both by day and night with our Air Force upon all German-occupied territories and all Germany within our reach. About 400 aeroplanes made daylight sorties overseas yesterday. On Saturday night over 200 heavy bombers attacked German towns, some carrying three tons apiece, and last night nearly 250 heavy bombers were operating. This will go on. Thus we hope to force Hitler to bring back some of his air power to the West and gradually take some of the strain off you. Besides this the Admiralty have at my desire prepared a serious operation to come off in the near future in the Arctic, after which I hope that contact will be established between the British and Russian Navies. Meanwhile by sweeping along the Norwegian coast we have intercepted various supply ships which were moving north against you.

We welcome the arrival of the Russian Military Mission in order to concert future plans.1

We have only got to go on fighting to beat the life out of the villains.


No. 2*

Received on July 10, 1941

Highly confidential

Prime Minister Churchill to M. Stalin

Ambassador Cripps having reported his talk with you and having stated the terms of a proposed Anglo-Russian agreed declaration under two heads, namely,

(1) mutual help without any precision as to quantity or quality, and

(2) neither country to conclude a separate peace,

I have immediately convened the War Cabinet, including Mr Fraser, Prime Minister of the Dominion of New Zealand, who is with us now. It will be necessary for us to consult with the Dominions of Canada, Australia, and South Africa, but in the meanwhile I should like to assure you that we are wholly in favour of the agreed declaration you propose. We think it should be signed as soon as we have heard from the Dominions, and published to the world immediately thereafter.2

* Quoted from Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War, Vol. III London, 1950, pp. 341-342.


No. 3

Personal Message from Stalin to Mr Churchill

Allow me to thank you for your two personal messages.

Your messages have initiated agreement between our two Governments. Now, as you with every justification put it, the Soviet Union and Great Britain have become fighting Allies in the struggle against Hitler Germany. I have no doubt that our two countries are strong enough to defeat our common enemy in the face of all difficulties.

It may not be out of place to inform you that the position of the Soviet troops at the front remains strained. The results of Hitler’s unexpected violation of the Non-Aggression Pact and the sudden attack on the Soviet Union, which have placed the German troops at an advantage, are still affecting the position of the Soviet armies. It is quite obvious that the German forces would have been far more advantageously placed if the Soviet troops had had to counter the blow, not along the line Kishinev-Lvov-Brest-Bialystok-Kaunas and Vyborg, but along the line Odessa-Kamenets Podolsk-Minsk and the vicinity of Leningrad.

It seems to me, furthermore, that the military position of the Soviet Union, and by the same token that of Great Britain, would improve substantially if a front were established against Hitler in the West (Northern France) and the North (the Arctic).

A front in the North of France, besides diverting Hitler’s forces from the East, would make impossible invasion of Britain by Hitler. Establishment of this front would be popular both with the British Army and with the population of Southern England. I am aware of the difficulty of establishing such a front, but it seems to me that, notwithstanding the difficulties, it should be done, not only for the sake of our common cause, but also in Britain’s own interest. The best time to open this front is now, seeing that Hitler’s forces have been switched to the East and that he has not yet been able to consolidate the positions he has taken in the East.

It would be easier still to open a front in the North. This would call for action only by British naval and air forces, without landing troops or artillery. Soviet land, naval and air forces could take part in the operation. We would be glad if Great Britain could send thither, say, one light division or more of Norwegian volunteers, who could be moved to Northern Norway for insurgent operations against the Germans.

July 18, 1941


No. 4

Received on, July 21, 1941

Text of Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to M. Stalin

I am very glad to get your message and to learn from many sources of the valiant fight and many vigorous counter-attacks with which the Russian armies are defending their native soil. I fully realise the military advantage you have gained by forcing the enemy to deploy and engage on forward Western fronts, thus exhausting some of the force of his initial effort.

Anything sensible and effective that we can do to help will be done. I beg you, however, to realise the limitations imposed upon us by our resources and geographical position. From the first day of the German attack upon Russia, we have examined the possibilities of attacking occupied France and the Low Countries. The Chiefs of Staff do not see any way of doing anything on a scale likely to be of the slightest use to you. The Germans have forty divisions in France alone, and the whole coast has been fortified with German diligence for more than a year and bristles with cannon, wire, pill-boxes and beach mines. The only part where we could have even temporary air superiority and air fighter protection is from Dunkirk to Boulogne. This is one mass of fortifications, with scores of heavy guns commanding the sea approaches, many of which can fire right across the Straits. There is less than five hours of darkness, and even then the whole area is illuminated by searchlights. To attempt a landing in force would be to encounter a bloody repulse, and petty raids would only lead to fiascos, doing far more harm than good to both of us. It would all be over without their having to move, or before they could move, a single unit from your fronts.

You must remember that we have been fighting all alone for more than a year, and that, although our resources are growing, and will grow fast from now on, we are at the utmost strain both at home and in the Middle East by land and air, and also that the battle of the Atlantic, on which our life depends, and the movements of all our convoys in the face of the U-boat and Focke-Wulf blockade, strain our naval forces, great though they be, to the utmost limit.

It is however to the North that we must look for any speedy help that we can give. The Naval Staff have been preparing for three weeks past an operation by sea-borne aircraft upon German shipping in Northern Norway and Finland, hoping thereby to destroy the enemy’s power of transporting troops by sea to attack your Arctic flank. We have asked your Staff to keep a certain area clear of Russian vessels between July 28th and August 2nd, when we shall hope to strike. Secondly, we are sending forthwith some cruisers and destroyers to Spitzbergen, whence they will be able to raid enemy shipping in concert with your naval forces. Thirdly, we are sending submarines to intercept German traffic on the Arctic coast, although owing to perpetual daylight this service is particularly dangerous. Fourthly, we are sending a mine-layer with various supplies to Archangel. This is the most we can do at the moment. I wish it were more. Pray let the most extreme secrecy be kept until the moment when we tell you that publicity will not be harmful.

There is no Norwegian Light Division in existence, and it would be impossible to land troops, either British or Russian, on German-occupied territory in perpetual daylight without having first obtained reasonable fighter air cover. We had bitter experiences at Namsos3 last year, and in Crete this year,4 of trying such enterprises.

We are also studying, as a further development, the basing of some British fighter air squadrons on Murmansk. This would require first of all a consignment of anti-aircraft guns, in addition to ground staff and equipment, then the arrival of the aircraft, some of which could be flown off carriers and others crated. When these were established our Spitzbergen squadron might possibly come to Murmansk. As soon as our naval forces are known to be in the North, we are under no delusion but that the Germans will immediately follow their invariable practice of opposing our forces with a strong force of dive-bombers, and it is therefore necessary to proceed step by step. All this, however, will take weeks.

Do not hesitate to suggest anything else that occurs to you, and we will also be searching earnestly for other ways of striking at the common foe.


No. 5

Received on July 26, 1941

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to M. Stalin

I am glad to inform you that the entire War Cabinet have decided, despite the fact that this will seriously deplete our fighter resources, to send to Russia as soon as possible two hundred Tomahawk fighter aeroplanes. One hundred and forty of these will be sent from here to Archangel, and sixty from our supplies in the United States of America. Details as to spare parts and American personnel to erect the machines have still to be arranged with the United States Government.

From two to three million pairs of ankle boots should shortly be available in this country for shipment. We are also arranging to provide during the present year large quantities of rubber, tin, wool and woollen clothes, jute, lead and shellac. All your other requirements from raw materials are receiving careful consideration.5 Where supplies are impossible or limited here, we are discussing matters with the U.S.A. Details will of course be communicated through the usual official channels.

We are watching with admiration and emotion all your armies’ magnificent fight, and all our information shows the heavy losses and concern of the enemy. Our air attack on Germany will continue with increasing strength.


No. 6

Received on July 28, 1941

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to M. Stalin

As regards your request for rubber, we will deliver the goods from here or the U.S.A. by the best and quickest route. Please say exactly what kind of rubber, and which way you wish it to come. Preliminary orders are already given.

Mr Harry Hopkins has been with me these days. Last week he asked the President to let him go to Moscow. I must tell you that there is a flame in this man for democracy and to beat Hitler. A little while ago, when I asked him for a quarter of a million rifles, they came at once. He is the nearest personal representative of the President. The President has now sent him full instructions, and he leaves my house tonight to go to you. You will be advised of his arrival through the proper channels. You can trust him absolutely. He is your friend and our friend. He will help you to plan for the future victory and for the long-term supply of Russia. You could talk to him also freely about policy, strategy and Japan.

The grand resistance of the Russian armies in the defence of their soil unites us all. A terrible winter of bombing lies before Germany. No one has yet had what they are going to get.

The naval operations mentioned in my last telegram to you are in progress.

Thank you very much for your comprehension, in the midst of your great fight, of our difficulties in doing more. We will do our utmost.


No. 7

Received on August 1, 1941

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to M. Stalin

Following my personal intervention, arrangements are now complete for the despatch of ten thousand tons of rubber from this country to one of your northern ports. In view of the urgency of your requirements we are taking the risk of depleting to this extent our metropolitan stocks, which are none too large and will take time to replace.

The British ships carrying this rubber and certain other supplies will be loaded within a week, or at most ten days, and will sail to one of your northern ports as soon as the Admiralty can arrange a convoy.

This new amount of 10,000 tons is additional to 10,000 tons of rubber already allotted from Malaya. Of this latter amount, 2,651 tons have already sailed on July 20th in the s.s. Volga from Port Swettenham for Vladivostok. The s.s. Arktika has also sailed from Malaya with 2,500 tons on board. The s.s Maxim Gorki, which left Shanghai on July 25th, and the s.s. Krasny Partizan, due to sail from Hong Kong on August 1st, should reach Malaya early in August and pick up additional cargoes of rubber which, added to those carried in the first two ships, will raise the amount to 10,000 tons in addition to the 10,000 tons mentioned in the first paragraph above.


No. 8

Received on August 15, 1941

W. Churchill and F. Roosevelt to J. V. Stalin*6

We have taken the opportunity afforded by the consideration of the report of Mr Harry Hopkins on his return from Moscow7 to consult together as to how best our two countries can help your country in the splendid defence that you are putting up against the Nazi attack. We are at the moment cooperating to provide you with the very maximum of supplies that you most urgently need. Already many shiploads have left our shores and more will leave in the immediate future.

We must now turn our minds to the consideration of a more long-term policy, since there is still a long and hard path to be traversed before there can be won that complete victory without which our efforts and sacrifices would be wasted.

The war goes on upon many fronts and before it is over there may be yet further fighting fronts that will be developed. Our resources, though immense, are limited and it must become a question of where and when those resources can best be used to further to the greatest extent our common effort. This applies equally to manufactured war supplies and to raw materials.

The needs and demands of your and our armed services can only be determined in the light of the full knowledge of the many facts which must be taken into consideration in the decisions that we take. In order that all of us may be in a position to arrive at speedy decisions as to the apportionment of our joint resources, we suggest that we prepare a meeting which should be held at Moscow, to which we would send high representatives who could discuss these matters directly with you. If this conference appeals to you, we want you to know that pending the decisions of that conference we shall continue to send supplies and material as rapidly as possible.

We realise fully how vitally important to the defeat of Hitlerism is the brave and steadfast resistance of the Soviet Union, and we feel therefore that we must not in any circumstances fail to act quickly and immediately in this matter of planning the programme for the future allocation of our joint resources.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Winston S. Churchill


No. 9

Received on August 30, 1941

Personal Message from Prime Minister to Monsieur Stalin

I have been searching for any way to give you help in your splendid resistance pending the long-term arrangements which we are discussing with the United States of America and which will form the subject of the Moscow Conference. M. Maisky has represented that fighter aircraft are much needed in view of your heavy losses. We are expediting the despatch of the 200 Tomahawks about which I telegraphed in my last message. Our two squadrons should reach Murmansk about September 6th, comprising 40 Hurricanes. You will, I am sure, realise that fighter aircraft are the foundation of our home defence, besides which we are trying to obtain air superiority in Libya and also to provide Turkey so as to bring her in on our side. Nevertheless I could send 200 more Hurricanes, making 440 fighters in all, if your pilots could use them effectively. These would be eight- and twelve-gun Hurricanes, which we have found very deadly in action. We could send 100 now and two batches of fifty soon afterwards, together with mechanics, instructors, spare parts and equipment, to Archangel. Meanwhile arrangements could be made to begin accustoming your pilots and mechanics to the new type if you send them to our squadrons at Murmansk. If you feel that this would be useful, orders will be given here accordingly, and a full technical memorandum is being telegraphed through our Military Air Mission.

The news that the Persians have decided to cease resistance is most welcome.8 Even more than safeguarding the oil-fields, our object in entering Persia has been to get another through route to you which cannot be cut. For this purpose we must develop the railway from the Persian Gulf to the Caspian and make sure that it runs smoothly with reinforcements of railway material from India. The Foreign Secretary has given to M. Maisky for you the kind of terms which we should like to make with the Persian Government so as to have a friendly people and not be compelled to waste a number of divisions merely guarding the railway line. Food is being sent from India, and if the Persians submit we shall resume the payment of oil royalties now due to the Shah. We are instructing our advance guards to push on and join hands with your forces at a point to be fixed by the military commanders somewhere between Hamadan and Qazvin. It would be a good thing to let the world know that the British and Soviet forces had actually joined hands. In our view it would be better at this moment for neither of us to enter Tehran in force,9 as all we want is a through route. We are making a large-scale base at Basra, and we hope to make this a well-equipped warm water reception port for American supplies, which can thus surely reach the Caspian and Volga regions.

I must again express the admiration of the British nation for the wonderful fight which the Russian armies and the Russian people are making against the Nazi criminals. General MacFarlane was immensely impressed by all he saw at the front. A very hard time lies before us, but Hitler will not have a pleasant winter under our ever-increasing air bombardment. I was gratified by the very firm warning which Your Excellency gave to Japan about supplies via Vladivostok.10 President Roosevelt seemed disposed when I met him11 to take a strong line against further Japanese aggression, whether in the South or in the North-west Pacific, and I made haste to declare that we would range ourselves upon his side should war come. I am most anxious to do more for General Chiang Kai-shek than we have hitherto felt strong enough to do. We do not want war with Japan, and I am sure that the way to stop it is to confront these people, who are divided and far from sure of themselves, with the prospect of the heaviest combination.


No. 10

Sent on September 3, 1941

Personal Message from Premier Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Churchill

Please accept my thanks for the promise to sell to the Soviet, Union another 200 fighter aeroplanes in addition to the 200 fighters promised earlier. I have no doubt that Soviet pilots will succeed in mastering them and putting them to use.

I must say, however, that these aircraft, which it appears we shall not be able to use soon and not all at once, but at intervals and in groups, cannot seriously change the situation on the Eastern Front. They cannot do so not merely because of the scale of the war, which necessitates the continuous despatch of large numbers of aircraft, but also, and chiefly, because during the last three weeks the position of the Soviet troops has considerably deteriorated in such vital areas as the Ukraine and Leningrad.

The fact is that the relative stabilisation of the front, achieved some three weeks ago, has been upset in recent weeks by the arrival of 30-34 fresh German infantry divisions and enormous numbers of tanks and aircraft at the Eastern Front, and also by the activisation of 20 Finnish and 26 Roumanian divisions. The Germans look on the threat in the West as a bluff, so they are moving all their forces from the West to the East with impunity, knowing that there is no second front in the West nor is there likely to be one. They think it perfectly possible that they will be able to beat their enemies one at a time – first the Russians and then the British.

As a result we have lost more than half the Ukraine and, what is more, the enemy is now at the gates of Leningrad.

These circumstances have led to our loss of the Krivoi Rog iron ore area and a number of iron and steel works in the Ukraine, to the evacuation by us of an aluminium plant on the Dnieper and another in Tikhvin, a motor plant and two aircraft plants in the Ukraine and two motor and two aircraft plants in Leningrad, which cannot begin production on their new sites before seven or eight months.

This has resulted in a lessening of our defence capacity and has confronted the Soviet Union with mortal danger.

Here it is pertinent to ask – what is the way out of this more than unfavourable situation.

I think the only way is to open a second front this year somewhere in the Balkans or in France, one that would divert 30-40 German divisions from the Eastern Front, and simultaneously to supply the Soviet Union with 30,000 tons of aluminium by the beginning of October and a minimum monthly aid of 400 aeroplanes and 500 tanks (of small or medium size).

Without these two kinds of aid the Soviet Union will be either defeated or weakened to the extent that it will lose for a long time the ability to help its Allies by active operations at the front against Hitlerism.

I realise that this message will cause Your Excellency some vexation. But that cannot be helped. Experience has taught me to face up to reality, no matter how unpleasant it may be, and not to shrink from telling the truth, no matter how unpleasant.

The matter of Iran came off well indeed. 8 Joint operations by the British and Soviet troops settled the issue. And so it will be in the future, as long as our forces operate jointly. But Iran is merely an episode. It is not in Iran, of course, that the outcome of the war will be decided.

The Soviet Union, like Britain, does not want war with Japan. The Soviet Union does not deem it possible to violate treaties, including the treaty of neutrality with Japan. But should Japan violate that treaty and attack the Soviet Union, she will be properly rebuffed by Soviet troops.

In conclusion allow me to thank you for the admiration you have expressed for the operations of the Soviet troops, who are waging a bloody war against Hitler’s robber hordes for our common liberation cause.


No. 11*

Received on September 6, 1941

Prime Minister Churchill to Monsieur Stalin

I reply at once in the spirit of your message. Although we should shrink from no exertion, there is in fact no possibility of any British action in the West, except air action, which would draw the German forces from the East before the winter sets in. There is no chance whatever of a second front being formed in the Balkans without the help of Turkey. I will, if Your Excellency desires, give all the reasons which have led our Chiefs of Staff to these conclusions. They have already been discussed with your Ambassador in conference today with the Foreign Secretary and the Chiefs of Staff. Action, however well-meant, leading only to costly fiascos would be no help to anyone but Hitler.

2. The information at my disposal gives me the impression that the culminating violence of the German invasion is already over and that winter will give your heroic armies a breathing-space. This however is a personal opinion.

3. About supplies. We are well aware of the grievous losses which Russian industry has sustained, and every effort has been and will be made by us to help you. I am cabling President

Roosevelt to expedite the arrival here in London of Mr Harriman’s Mission, and we shall try even before the Moscow Conference to tell you the numbers of aircraft and tanks we can jointly promise to send each month, together with supplies of rubber, aluminium, cloth, etc. For our part we are now prepared to send you, from British production, one-half of the monthly total for which you ask in aircraft and tanks. We hope the United States will supply the other half of your requirements. We shall use every endeavour to start the flow of equipment to you immediately.

4. We have given already the orders for supplying the Persian railway with rolling-stock to raise it from its present capacity of two trains a day each way up to its full capacity, namely, twelve trains a day each way. This should be reached by the spring of 1942, and meanwhile will be steadily improving. Locomotives and rolling-stock have to be sent round the Cape from this country after being converted to oil-burners, and the water supply along the railway has to be developed. The first forty-eight locomotives and 400 steel trucks are about to start.

5. We are ready to make joint plans with you now. Whether British armies will be strong enough to invade the mainland of Europe during 1942 must depend on unforeseeable events. It may be possible however to assist you in the extreme North when there is more darkness. We are hoping to raise our armies in the Middle East to a strength of three-quarters of a million before the end of the present year, and thereafter to a million by the summer of 1942. Once the German-Italian forces in Libya have been destroyed all these forces will be available to come into line on your southern flank, and it is hoped to encourage Turkey to maintain at the least a faithful neutrality. Meanwhile we shall continue to batter Germany from the air with increasing severity and to keep the seas open and ourselves alive.

6. In your first paragraph you used the word “sell.” We had not viewed the matter in such terms and have never thought of payment. Any assistance we can give you would better be upon the same basis of comradeship as the American Lend-Lease Bill,12 of which no formal account is kept in money.

7. We are willing to put any pressure upon Finland in our power, including immediate notification that we will declare war upon her should she continue beyond the old frontiers. We are asking the United States to take all possible steps to influence Finland.

4 September, 1941

* Quoted from Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War, Vol. III, London, 1950, pp. 405-406.


No. 12

Sent on September 13, 1941

Personal Message from Premier Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Churchill

In my last message I set forth the views of the Government of the U.S.S.R. on the opening of a second front as the chief means of promoting our common cause. In reply to your message in which you reaffirm the impossibility of opening a second front at the moment, I can only repeat that its absence is playing into the hands of our common enemies.

I have no doubt that the British Government wants the Soviet Union to win and is searching for ways to attain that goal. If at the moment the opening of a second front in the West seems unfeasible to the British Government, then perhaps some other means could be found of rendering the Soviet Union active military aid against the common enemy. It seems to me that Britain could safely land 25-30 divisions at Archangel or ship them to the southern areas of the U.S.S.R. via Iran for military cooperation with the Soviet troops on Soviet soil in the same way as was done during the last war in France. That would be a great help. I think that help of this kind would be a severe blow to the Hitler aggression.

Please accept my thanks for the promise of monthly British aid in aluminium, aircraft and tanks.

I can but be glad that the British Government contemplates this aid, not as a transaction of selling and buying aircraft, aluminium and tanks, but in the shape of comradely cooperation.

It is my hope that the British Government will have not a few opportunities of satisfying itself that the Soviet Government knows how to appreciate help from its Ally.

A few words about the Memorandum transmitted by British Ambassador Cripps to V. M. Molotov on September 12, 1941. The Memorandum says: “If the Soviet Government were compelled to destroy its naval vessels at Leningrad in order to prevent their falling into the enemy hands, His Majesty’s Government would recognise after the war claims of the Soviet Government to a certain compensation from His Majesty’s Government for the restoration of the vessels destroyed.”

The Soviet Government is aware of and appreciates the British Government’s readiness to compensate for part of the damage that would be caused to the Soviet Union in the event of the Soviet vessels at Leningrad being destroyed. There can be little doubt that, if necessary, Soviet people will actually destroy the ships at Leningrad. But responsibility for the damage would be borne, not by Britain but by Germany. I think, therefore, that Germany will have to make good the damage after the war.


No. 13

Received on September 19, 1941

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Monsieur Stalin

Many thanks for your message. The Harriman Mission has all arrived, and is working all day long with Lord Beaverbrook and his colleagues. The object is to survey the whole field of resources, so as to be able to work out with you a definite programme of monthly deliveries by every available route and thus help to repair as far as possible the losses of your munition industries. President Roosevelt’s idea is that this first plan should cover up till the end of June, but naturally we shall go on with you till victory. I hope that the Conference may open in Moscow on the 25th of this month, but no publicity should be given till all are safely gathered. Routes and methods of travel will be signalled later.

2. I attach great importance to the opening of the through route from the Persian Gulf to the Caspian, not only by railway, but by a great motor road in the making of which we hope to enlist American energies and organisation. Lord Beaverbrook will be able to explain the whole scheme of supply and transportation; he is on the closest terms of friendship with Mr Harriman.

3. All possible theatres in which we might effect military co-operation with you have been examined by the Staffs. The two flanks North and South certainly present the most favourable opportunities. If we could act successfully in Norway, the attitude of Sweden would be powerfully affected, but at the moment we have neither the forces nor the shipping available for this project. Again, in the South the great prize is Turkey; if Turkey can be gained, another powerful army will be available. Turkey would like to come in with us, but is afraid, not without reason. It may be that the promise of considerable British forces and supplies of technical material in which the Turks are deficient will exercise a decisive influence upon them. We will study with you any other form of useful aid, the sole object being to bring the maximum force against the common enemy.

4. I entirely agree that the first source from which the Russian Fleet should be replenished should be at the expense of Germany. Victory will certainly give us control of important German and Italian naval vessels, and in our view these would be most suitable for repairing the losses to the Russian Fleet.


No. 14

His Excellency Monsieur Joseph Stalin

My dear Premier Stalin,

The British and American Missions have now started, and this letter will be presented to you by Lord Beaverbrook. Lord Beaverbrook has the fullest confidence of the Cabinet, and is one of my oldest and most intimate friends. He has established the closest relations with Mr Harriman, who is a remarkable American, wholeheartedly devoted to the victory of the common cause. They will lay before you all that we have been able to arrange in much anxious consultation between Great Britain and the United States.

President Roosevelt has decided that our proposals shall, in the first instance, deal with the monthly quotas we shall send to you in the nine months period from October 1941 to June 1942 inclusive. You have the right to know exactly what we can deliver month by month in order that you may handle your reserves to the best advantage.

The American proposals have not yet gone beyond the end of June 1942, but I have no doubt that considerably larger quotas can be furnished by both countries thereafter, and you may be sure we shall do our utmost to repair as far as possible the grievous curtailments which your war industries have suffered through the Nazi invasion. I will not anticipate what Lord Beaverbrook will have to say upon this subject.

You will realise that the quotas up to the end of June 1942 are supplied almost entirely out of British production, or production which the United States would have given us under our own purchases or under the Lease and Lend Bill.12 The United States were resolved to give us virtually the whole of their exportable surplus, and it is not easy for them within that time to open out effectively new sources of supply. I am hopeful that a further great impulse will be given to the production of the United States, and that by 1943 the mighty industry of America will be in full war swing. For our part, we shall not only make substantially increased contributions from our own existing forecast production, but also try to obtain from our people an extra further effort to meet our common needs. You will understand, however, that our Army and its supply which has been planned is perhaps only one-fifth or one-sixth as large as that of yours or Germany’s. Our first duty and need is to keep open the seas, and our second duty is to obtain decisive superiority in the air. These have the first claims upon the man-power of our 44,000,000 in the British Islands. We can never hope to have an Army or Army munitions industries comparable to those of the great Continental military Powers. None the less, we will do our utmost to aid you.

General Ismay, who is my personal representative on the Chiefs of the Staffs Committee, and is thoroughly acquainted with the whole field of our military policy, is authorised to study with your Commanders any plans for practical cooperation which may suggest themselves.

If we can clear our western flank in Libya of the enemy, we shall have considerable forces, both Air and Army, to cooperate upon the southern flank of the Russian front.

It seems to me that the most speedy and effective help would come if Turkey could be induced to resist a German demand for the passage of troops, or better still, if she would enter the war on our side. You will I am sure attach due weight to this.

I have always shared your sympathy for the Chinese people in their struggle to defend their native land against Japanese aggression. Naturally we do not want to add Japan to the side of our foes, but the attitude of the United States, resulting from my conference with President Roosevelt, has already enforced a far more sober view upon the Japanese Government. I made haste to declare on behalf of His Majesty’s Government that should the United States be involved in war with Japan, Great Britain would immediately range herself on her side. I think that all our three countries should, so far as possible, continue to give aid to China, and that this may go to considerable lengths without provoking a Japanese declaration of war.

There is no doubt that a long period of struggle and suffering lies before our peoples, but I have great hopes that the United States will enter the war as a belligerent, and if so, I cannot doubt that we have but to endure to conquer.

I am hopeful that as the war continues, the great masses of the peoples of the British Empire, the Soviet Union, the United States and China, which alone comprise two-thirds of the entire human race, may be found marching together against their persecutors; and I am sure the road they travel will lead to victory.

With heartfelt wishes for the success of the Russian Armies, and of the ruin of the Nazi tyrants,

Believe me,

Yours sincerely,

Winston S. Churchill

September 21, 1941


No. 15

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Monsieur Stalin

I am most anxious to settle our alliance with Persia and to make an intimate, efficient working arrangement with your forces in Persia. There are in Persia signs of serious disorder among the tribes, and of a break-down of Persian authority. Disorder, if it spreads, will mean wasting our divisions in holding down these people, which again means burdening road and railway communications with the movements and supplies of the aforesaid divisions, whereas we want to keep the line clear and improved to the utmost in order to get supplies through to you. Our object should be to make the Persians keep each other quiet while we get on with the war. Your Excellency’s decisive indications in this direction will speed forward the already favourable trend of our affairs in this minor theatre.

October 1st, 1941


No. 16

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

My dear Prime Minister Churchill,

The arrival of the British and American Missions in Moscow and particularly the fact that they were led by Lord Beaverbrook and Mr Harriman, had a most favourable effect. As for Lord Beaverbrook, he did his utmost to expedite consideration and, possibly, solution of the most pressing problems discussed at the Moscow Tripartite Conference13 and to make them fruitful. I can say the same for Mr Harriman. I wish therefore to convey to you and Mr Roosevelt the sincere gratitude of the Soviet Government for sending such authoritative representatives to Moscow.

I admit that our present requirements in military supplies, arising from a number of unfavourable circumstances on our front and the resulting evacuation of a further group of enterprises, to say nothing of the fact that a number of issues have been put off until final consideration and settlement in London and Washington, transcend the decisions agreed at the conference. Nevertheless, the Moscow Conference did a great deal of important work. I hope the British and American Governments will do all they can to increase the monthly quotas and also to seize the slightest opportunity to accelerate the planned deliveries right now, since the Hitlerites will use the pre-winter months to exert the utmost pressure on the U.S.S.R.

With regard to both Turkey and China I agree with the considerations you have stated. I hope the British Government is displaying the proper activity at the moment in both directions, because this is particularly important now that the U.S.S.R.’s opportunities are naturally limited.

As regards the prospects of our common struggle against the bandits’ lair of Hitlerites, who have entrenched themselves in the heart of Europe, I am confident that despite the difficulties we shall secure the defeat of Hitler in the interest of our freedom-loving peoples.

Yours sincerely,

J. Stalin

October 3, 1941


No. 17

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Monsieur Stalin

I am glad to learn from Lord Beaverbrook of the success of the Tripartite Conference at Moscow. “Bis dat qui cito dat.” We intend to run a continuous cycle of convoys leaving every ten days. The following are on their way and arrive at Archangel on October 12th: 20 heavy tanks, 193 fighters (pre- October quota). The following will sail on October 12th, arriving October 29th: 140 heavy tanks, 100 Hurricanes, 200 Bren carriers, 200 anti-tank rifles and ammunition, 50 2-pounder guns and ammunition. The following will sail on October 22nd: 200 fighters, 120 heavy tanks. The above shows that the total October quota of aircraft and 280 tanks will arrive in Russia by November 6th. The October quota of Bren carriers, anti-tank rifles and 2-pounder tank guns will all arrive in October. 20 tanks have been shipped to go via Persia and 15 are about to be shipped from Canada via Vladivostok. Total of tanks shipped will therefore be 315 which is 19 short of our full quota. This number will be made up in November. Above programme does not take into account goods from the United States.

In arranging this regular cycle of convoys we are counting on Archangel to handle the main bulk of deliveries. I presume this part of the job is in hand.

October 6th, 1941


No. 18

Personal Message from Mr Winston Churchill to Monsieur Stalin

I thank you for your letter of October 3rd.

I have given incessant directions to accelerate the deliveries at Archangel, as reported to you in my telegram of October 6th. Your request for three thousand lorries will be met immediately from our army stocks, but the deliveries must not impede the flow of tanks and aircraft. We are asking Mr Harriman to arrange a larger long-term programme from the United States.

About Persia. Our only interests there are: first, as a barrier against German penetration eastwards, and secondly as a through route for supplies to the Caspian basin. If you wish to withdraw the five or six Russian divisions for use on the battle front, we will take over the whole responsibility for keeping order and maintaining and improving the supply route. I pledge the faith of Britain that we will not seek any advantage for ourselves at the expense of any rightful Russian interest during the war or at the end of it. In any case the signing of the tripartite treaty14 is urgently required to avoid internal disorders growing, with the consequent danger of choking the supply route. General Wavell will be at Tiflis on October 16th, and will discuss with your generals any questions which you may instruct them to settle with him.

Words are useless to express what we feel about your vast, heroic struggle. We hope presently to testify by action.

October 12th, 1941


No. 19

Received on November 7, 1941

Personal Message from Prime Minister Churchill to Premier Stalin

In order to clear things up and to plan for the future I am ready to send General Wavell, the Commander-in-Chief in India, Persia and Iraq, to meet you in Moscow, Kuibyshev, Tiflis of wherever you will be. Besides this, General Paget, our new Commander-in-Chief designate for the Far East, will come with General Wavell. General Paget has been in control of things here, and will have with him the latest and best opinions of our High Command. These two officers will be able to tell you exactly how we stand, what is possible and what we think is wise. They can reach you in about a fortnight. Do you want them?

We told you in my message of September 6th that we were willing to declare war on Finland. Will you, however, consider whether it is really good business that Great Britain should declare war on Finland, Hungary and Roumania at this moment? It is only a formality, because our extreme blockade is already in force against them. My judgment is against it because, firstly, Finland has many friends in the United States and it is more prudent to take account of this fact. Secondly, Roumania and Hungary: these countries are full of our friends: they have been overpowered by Hitler and used as a cat’s-paw. But if fortune turns against that ruffian they might easily come back to our side. A British declaration of war would only freeze them all and make it look as if Hitler were the head of a Grand European Alliance solidly against us. Do not, pray, suppose that it is any want of zeal or comradeship that makes us doubt the advantage of this step. Our Dominions, except Australia, are reluctant. Nevertheless if you think that it will be a real help to you and worthwhile I will put it to the Cabinet again.

I hope our supplies are being cleared from Archangel as fast as they come in. A trickle is now beginning through Persia. We shall pump both ways to our utmost. Please make sure that our technicians who are going with the tanks and aircraft have full opportunity to hand these weapons over to your men under the best conditions. At present our Mission at Kuibyshev is out of touch with all these affairs. They only want to help. These weapons are sent at our peril, and we are anxious that they shall have the best chance. An order from you seems necessary.

I cannot tell you about our immediate military plans any more than you can tell me about yours, but rest assured that we are not going to be idle.

With the object of keeping Japan quiet we are sending our latest battleship, the Prince of Wales, which can catch and kill any Japanese ship, into the Indian Ocean, and are building up a powerful battle squadron there. I am urging President Roosevelt to increase his pressure on the Japanese and to keep them frightened, so that the Vladivostok route will not be blocked.

I will not waste words in compliments, because you know already from Lord Beaverbrook and Mr Harriman what we feel about your fight. Have confidence in our untiring support.

I should be glad to hear from you direct that you have received this telegram.


No. 20

Sent on November 8, 1941

Personal Message from Premier Stalin to Prime Minister Churchill

Your message reached me on November 7.

I agree with you that we need clarity, which at the moment is lacking in relations between the U.S.S.R. and Great Britain. The unclarity is due to two circumstances: first, there is no definite understanding between our two countries concerning war aims and plans for the post-war organisation of peace; secondly, there is no treaty between the U.S.S.R. and Great Britain on mutual military aid in Europe against Hitler. Until understanding is reached on these two main points, not only will there be no clarity in Anglo-Soviet relations, but, if we are to speak frankly, there will be no mutual trust. To be sure, the agreement on military supplies to the Soviet Union is of great positive significance, but that does not settle the issue, nor does it fully cover the question of relations between our two countries.

If General Wavell and General Paget, whom you mention in your message, come to Moscow to conclude agreements on the main points stated above, I shall be willing, naturally, to meet them and consider these points. If, however, the mission of the two Generals is to be restricted to information and examination of secondary issues, then I see no need for keeping them from their duties, nor can I myself go out of my way to engage in talks of that nature.

2. Concerning a British declaration of war on Finland, Hungary and Roumania I think that the situation is intolerable. The Soviet Government placed this matter before the Government of Great Britain through secret diplomatic channels. Then, unexpectedly for the U.S.S.R., the whole matter, beginning with the Soviet Government’s request to the Government of Great Britain all the way to its consideration by the U.S. Government, has got into the press, both friendly and hostile, and is now the subject of all kinds of speculation. For all that the British Government declares that it takes a negative view of our proposal. What is the explanation? Can it be that the purpose is to demonstrate that there is disagreement between the U.S.S.R. and Great Britain?

3. You may rest assured that everything is being done to ensure that the arms delivered to Archangel from Britain reach their destination in time. The same will be done with regard to Iran. I must add, however, even though it is a trifling matter, that the tanks, guns and aircraft are badly packed, some parts of the guns come in different ships and the aircraft are so badly crated that we get them in a damaged state.


No. 21

Received on November 22, 1941

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

Many thanks for your message just received. At the very beginning of the war I began a personal correspondence with President Roosevelt which has led to a very solid understanding being established between us and has often helped in getting things done quickly. My only desire is to work on equal terms of comradeship and confidence with you.

About Finland. I was quite ready to advise the Cabinet to contemplate declaring war on Finland when I sent you my telegram of September 5th. Later information has made me think that it will be more helpful to Russia and the common cause if the Finns can be got to stop fighting and stand still or go home, than if we put them in the dock with the guilty Axis Powers by a formal declaration of war and make them fight it out to the end. However, if they do not stop in the next fortnight and you still wish us to declare war on them we will certainly do so. I agree with you that it was very wrong that any publication should have been made. We certainly were not responsible.

Should our offensive in Libya result, as we hope, in the destruction of the German and Italian armies there, it will be possible to take a broad survey of the war as a whole with more freedom than has hitherto been open to His Majesty’s Government.

For this purpose we shall be willing in the near future to send Foreign Secretary Eden, whom you know, via the Mediterranean to meet you at Moscow or elsewhere. He would be accompanied by high military and other experts, and will be able to discuss every question relating to the war, including the sending of troops not only into the Caucasus but into the fighting line of your armies in the South. Neither our shipping resources nor our communications will allow large numbers to be employed, and even so you will have to choose between troops and supplies across Persia.

I notice that you wish also to discuss the post-war organisation of peace. Our intention is to fight the war, in alliance with you and in constant consultation with you, to the utmost of our strength and however long it lasts, and when the war is won, as I am sure it will be, we expect that Soviet Russia, Great Britain and the U.S.A. will meet at the council table of victory as the three principal partners and as the agencies by which Nazism will have been destroyed. Naturally the first object will be to prevent Germany, and particularly Prussia, from breaking out upon us for a third time. The fact that Russia is a Communist State and that Britain and the U.S.A. are not and do not intend to be is not any obstacle to our making a good plan for our mutual safety and rightful interests. The Foreign Secretary will be able to discuss the whole of this field with you.

It may well be that your defence of Moscow and Leningrad, as well as the splendid resistance to the invader along the whole Russian front, will inflict mortal injuries upon the internal structure of the Nazi regime. But we must not count upon such good fortune but simply keep on striking at them to the utmost with might and main.


No. 22

Sent on November 23, 1941

Message from Premier Stalin to Prime Minister Churchill

Thank you for your message.

I sincerely welcome the desire, expressed in your message, to cooperate with me through personal correspondence on a basis of collaboration and trust, and I hope it will contribute in many respects to the success of our common cause.

As to Finland, the U.S.S.R. does not suggest anything – at least for the time being – but cessation of military operations and her withdrawal from the war. If, however, Finland does not do this within the brief time stipulated by you, I consider a British declaration of the state of war with Finland advisable and necessary.15 Otherwise the impression might be created that we lack unity in the war against Hitler and his more zealous accomplices and that the accomplices in the Hitler aggression may continue to commit their infamous deeds with impunity. As regards Hungary and Roumania, I suppose we can wait.15

I fully support your proposal for sending Mr Eden, your Foreign Secretary, to the U.S.S.R. in the near future. Discussion and approval of an agreement on joint operations by the Soviet and British troops on our front and the speedy execution of that task would be of great positive significance. It is quite true that the discussion and adoption of a plan for the post-war organisation of peace should be designed to keep Germany, above all Prussia, from again breaking the peace and plunging the nations into a new bloodbath.

I also agree that difference of political system in the U.S.S.R., on the one hand, and of Great Britain and the U.S.A., on the other, should not and cannot be an obstacle to a favourable solution of the fundamental problems of safeguarding our mutual security and rightful interests. I hope that reticences or doubts on this score, if any, will be dispelled by the talks with Mr Eden.

Please accept my congratulations on the successful beginning of the British offensive in Libya.

The Soviet troops are still engaged in tense struggle against the Hitler armies. However, despite the difficulties, the resistance of our troops is growing and will continue to do so. Our resolve to smash the enemy is unshakeable.


No. 23

To Mr Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain

Hearty birthday greetings. I sincerely wish you the vigour and health that are so essential for defeating Hitlerism, the enemy of mankind.

Best regards.

Stalin

November 30, 1941


No. 24

Received on December 5, 1941

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

(Retranslated)

Thank you ever so much for your most kind and friendly greetings on the occasion of my birthday. May I take the opportunity to tell you of the admiration with which the British people are following the staunch defence of Leningrad and Moscow by the gallant Russian armies and how glad we all are of your brilliant victory at Rostov-on-Don.


No. 25

Received on December 16, 1941

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

(Retranslated)

I am on my way to a rendezvous with President Roosevelt to discuss our common plans.16 From Washington I shall cable you full information on the state of affairs. I shall get in touch with Litvinov as you presumably wish.

I cannot tell you how relieved I am to learn daily about your remarkable victories on the Russian front. I have never felt so confident of the outcome of the war.


No. 26

Received on December 21, 1941

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

I send you sincere good wishes for your birthday and hope that future anniversaries will enable you to bring to Russia victory, peace and safety after so much storm.


No. 27

Sent on December 27, 1941

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

Thank you very much for your kind birthday wishes. I avail myself of this opportunity to convey to you and to the friendly British Army my hearty congratulations on their latest victories in Libya.


No. 28

Received on January 5, 1942

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

I am much concerned to read in the American papers the article in the Pravda of December 31st,17 as it is assumed that such articles have the approval of the Russian Government. I feel that you will allow me to point out to you the very great danger which might be caused here by a continuation of such criticism. From the very first day of the Nazi attack on you I have laboured to get all possible support for Soviet Russia in the United States, and therefore I venture to send you this most private and entirely friendly comment.


No. 29

Sent on January 8, 1942

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

Thank you for the message and your solicitude for the progress of Soviet-American relations. The Pravda article to which you refer is not at all official and certainly has no other aims in view but the interests of the fight against aggression, which are common to our countries. For its part the Soviet Government is doing, and will certainly continue to do its utmost to strengthen Soviet-American relations.


No. 30

Received on January 15, 1942

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

I am very glad to receive your kind telegram, which reached me through Monsieur Litvinov on January 9th. The papers here are filled with tributes to the Russian armies, and may I also express my admiration of the great victories which have rewarded the leadership and devotion of the Russian forces. I am emphasising in my talks here the extreme importance of making punctual deliveries to Russia of the promised quotas.

I send you every good wish for the New Year.


No. 31

Sent on January 16, 1942

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

I have received your message of January 15.

I sincerely thank you for your good wishes for the New Year and the successes of the Red Army. I greet you and the British Army on the occasion of your major successes in North Africa.


No. 32

Received on February 11, 1942

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

Words fail me to express the admiration which all of us feel at the continued brilliant successes of your armies against the German invader, but I cannot resist sending you a further word of gratitude and congratulation on all that Russia is doing for the common cause.


No. 33

Sent on February 14, 1942

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

Thank you for your congratulations on the successes of the Red Army. Despite the difficulties experienced on the Soviet- German front and on the other fronts, I do not doubt for a moment that the mighty alliance of the U.S.S.R., Great Britain and the U.S.A. will crush the enemy and achieve complete victory.


No. 34

Received on February 24, 1942

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

The twenty-fourth anniversary of the foundation of the Red Army is being celebrated today after eight months of a campaign which has reflected the greatest glory on its officers and men and has enshrined its deeds in history for all time. On this proud occasion I convey to you the Chairman of the Defence Committee of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and to all members of the Soviet forces, an expression of the admiration and gratitude with which the peoples of the British Empire have watched their exploits and of our confidence in the victorious end of the struggle we are waging together against the common foe.


No. 35

Received on March 12, 1942

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

I have sent a message to President Roosevelt urging him to approve our signing agreement with you about the frontiers of Russia at the end of the war.18

2. I have given express directions that supplies promised by us shall not in any way be interrupted or delayed.

3. Now that season is improving we are resuming heavy air offensive both by day and night upon Germany. We are continuing to study other measures for taking some of the weight off you.

4. The continued progress of the Russian armies and the known terrible losses of the enemy are naturally our sources of greatest encouragement in trying period.


No. 36

Sent on March 14, 1942

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

Thank you very much for your message, transmitted in Kuibyshev on March 12.

Please accept the Soviet Government’s gratitude for the information on the steps you have taken to ensure deliveries to the U.S.S.R. and to intensify the air offensive against Germany.

I feel entirely confident that the combined efforts of our troops occasional setbacks notwithstanding, will culminate in crushing the common enemy and that the year 1942 will see a decisive turn on the anti-Hitler front.

As to paragraph one of your message – concerning the frontiers of the U.S.S.R. – I think we still shall have to exchange views on the text of an appropriate treaty, if it is approved for signing by both parties.


No. 37

Received on March 21, 1942

Secret and Personal

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin
*

Many thanks for your reply to my latest telegram. Lord Beaverbrook is off to Washington where he will help to smooth out the treaty question with the President in accordance with the communications which have passed between us and between our Governments.

2. Ambassador Maisky lunched with me last week and mentioned some evidences that Germans may use gas upon you in their attempted spring offensive. After consulting my colleagues and the Chiefs of Staff I wish to assure you that His Majesty’s Government will treat any use of this weapon of poison gas against Russia exactly as if it was directed against ourselves. I have been building up an immense store of gas bombs for discharge from aircraft and we shall not hesitate to use these over all suitable objectives in Western Germany from the moment that your armies and people are assaulted in this way.

3. It is a question to be considered whether at the right time we should not give a public warning that such is our resolve, as a warning might deter the Germans from adding this new horror to the many they have loosed upon the world. Please let me know what you think about this and whether the evidence of preparations warrants a warning.

4. There is no immediate hurry and before I take a step which may draw upon our citizens this new form of attack I must of course have ample time to bring all our anti-gas preparations to extreme readiness.

5. I trust you will give our new Ambassador19 an opportunity of presenting this message himself and the advantage of personal discussion with you. He comes as you know almost direct from close personal contact with General Chiang Kai-shek, which he has maintained during the last four years. He enjoyed, I believe, the General’s high regard and confidence. I hope and believe that he will equally gain yours. He is a personal friend of mine of many years standing.


No. 38

Personal and Secret

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

Thank you for the message which reached me through Mr Kerr a few days ago. I have had a talk with Mr Kerr, and my impression is that our joint work will proceed in an atmosphere of complete mutual trust.

I convey to you the Soviet Government’s gratitude for the assurance that the British Government will treat any use of poison gas upon the U.S.S.R. by the Germans as if that weapon were directed against Great Britain and that the British Air Force will not hesitate to use the large store of gas bombs available in Britain for dropping on suitable targets in Germany.

According to our information poison gas may be launched against the U.S.S.R. not only by the Germans, but also by the Finns. I should like what you say in your message about retaliation with gas attack upon Germany to be extended to Finland in the event of the latter assaulting the U.S.S.R. with poison gas.

I think it highly advisable for the British Government to give in the near future a public warning that Britain would treat the use of poison gas against the U.S.S.R. by Germany or Finland as an attack on Britain herself and that she would retaliate by using gas against Germany.

It goes without saying that, if the British Government so desires, the U.S.S.R. is prepared in its turn to issue a similar warning to Germany against a German gas attack upon Britain.

The Soviet Government holds that a British Government warning to Germany on the above lines should come not later than the end of April or early May.

The Soviet Government would be most grateful if the British Government could help the U.S.S.R. to obtain certain chemical means of defence it lacks, as well as means of chemical retaliation against eventual chemical attack upon the U.S.S.R. by Germany. If you have no objection I could send an authorised person to Britain shortly to take care of the matter.

March 29, 1942


No. 39

Received on April 10, 1942

Personal and Secret

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

Yours of March 29th.

At the beginning of May I shall make an announcement warning the Nazis about our retaliating with poison gas for similar attacks on you. The warning will of course be applied equally to Finland and they will be mentioned though I do not see how we can get at them.

2. Please send your specialist in chemical means of defence and counter-attack to explain exactly what materials the Soviet Government requires from this country. We will then do our best to meet his wishes.

3. We could certainly let you have at least one thousand tons of Mustard and one thousand tons of Bleaching by the first available ship, if necessary in advance of your expert’s report. There is more danger to troops in the open field from Mustard Spray than to people in towns.


No. 40

Personal and Secret

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill *

Thank you for the readiness you have expressed to give a warning to Germany and Finland early in May concerning the use of poison gas by Britain in the event of Germany and Finland resorting to that weapon in the war against the U.S.S.R.

I express to you my gratitude for the readiness to supply 1,000 tons of Mustard and 1,000 tons of Bleaching. Since, however, the U.S.S.R. has a more pressing need for other chemicals, the Soviet Government would like to receive, instead of the products mentioned above, 1,000 tons of calcium hypochloride and 1,000 tons of chloramine or, if these products cannot be supplied, 2,000 tons of liquid Bleaching in holders. The Soviet Government intends to send Andrei Georgiyevich Kasatkin, Deputy People’s Commissar of the Chemical Industry, to London as its expert in chemical defence and counterattack.

2. A few days ago the Soviet Government received from Mr Eden the drafts of two treaties between the U.S.S.R. and Britain, which substantially depart on certain points from the texts of the treaties discussed during Mr Eden’s stay in Moscow.20 As this circumstance involves fresh differences which it is hard to iron out by correspondence, the Soviet Government has resolved, despite the difficulties, to send V. M. Molotov to London for personal talks with a view to settling the issues holding up the signing of the treaties. This is all the more essential as the question of a second front in Europe raised by Mr Roosevelt the U.S. President, in his latest message to me, inviting- V. M. Molotov to Washington to discuss the matter, calls for a preliminary exchange of views between representatives of our two Governments.

Please accept my regards and wishes for success in the fight against the enemies of Great Britain.

J. Stalin

April 22, 1942


No. 41

Received on April 25, 1942

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

I am very grateful to you for your message of April 23rd,21 and we shall of course welcome Monsieur Molotov, with whom I am confident we shall be able to do much useful work. I am very glad that you feel able to allow this visit, which I am sure will be most valuable.


No. 42

Received on April 27, 1942

Personal and Secret

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

Many thanks for your message of April 22nd. His Majesty’s Government will of course be very happy to receive M. Kasatkin and will do their best to supply your requirements after discussion with him.


No. 43

Secret

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

I have a request to you. Up to 90 shiploads of essential war supplies for the U.S.S.R. have accumulated at present in Iceland and on the approaches to Iceland from America. I understand that the ships have been delayed for a long time owing to the difficulty British naval forces have in running a convoy.

I am conscious of the real difficulty involved and I know about the sacrifices which Britain has made in this matter. Nevertheless, I consider it possible to request you to do your utmost to ensure delivery of those cargoes to the U.S.S.R. during May, when we shall need them badly for the front.

Please accept my best regards and good wishes.

J. Stalin

May 6, 1942


No. 44

Received on May 11, 1942

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

I have received your telegram of May 6th and thank you for your message and greetings. We are resolved to fight our way through to you with the maximum amount of war materials. On account of the Tirpitz and other enemy surface ships at Trondhjem the passage of every convoy has become a serious fleet operation. We shall continue to do our utmost.

No doubt your naval advisers have pointed out to you the dangers to which the convoys are subjected from attack by enemy surface forces, submarines and the air from various bases in enemy hands which flank the route of a convoy throughout its passage.

Owing to adverse weather conditions the scale of attack which the Germans have so far developed is considerably less than we can reasonably expect in future.

We are throwing all our available resources into the solution of this problem, have dangerously weakened our Atlantic convoy escorts for this purpose, and as you are no doubt aware have suffered severe naval casualties in the course of these operations.

I am sure that you will not mind my being quite frank and emphasising the need of increasing the assistance given by the U.S.S.R. naval and air forces in helping to get these convoys through safely.

If you are to receive a fair proportion of the material which is loaded into ships in the United Kingdom and the U.S.A., it is essential that the U.S.S.R. naval and air forces should realise that they must be largely responsible for convoys, whether incoming or outgoing, when to the east of meridian longitude 28 degrees east in waters which are out of sight of the Murmansk coast.

The ways in which further assistance is required from the U.S.S.R. forces are as follows:

(a) increased and more determined assistance from the U.S.S.R. surface forces;

(b) provision of sufficient long-range bombers to enable the aerodromes used by the Germans to be heavily bombed during the passing of convoys in the North Cape areas;

(c) provision of long-range fighters to cover convoys for that part of their voyage when they are approaching your coasts;

(d) anti-submarine patrols both by aircraft and surface vessels. When broadcasting tomorrow (Sunday) night I propose to make a declaration warning the Germans that if they begin gas warfare upon the Russian armies we shall certainly retaliate at once upon Germany.22


No. 45

Sent on May 12, 1942

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

I have received your message of May 11 and thank you for the promise to take measures to deliver the maximum war materials to the U.S.S.R. We fully realise the serious difficulties which Great Britain has to overcome and the heavy naval casualties involved in carrying out that major task.

As to your proposal for increased assistance by the Soviet air and naval forces in covering the supply ships in the area mentioned by you, rest assured that we shall immediately do all we can. It should be borne in mind, however, that, as you know, our naval forces are very limited and by far most of our air forces are engaged in action at the front.

Please accept my best regards.

J. Stalin


No. 46

Received on May 20, 1942

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

(Retranslated)

A convoy of thirty-five ships left yesterday with instructions to make its way to you. Having about a hundred bombers, the Germans are on the look-out for these ships and escort. Our advisers believe that unless the weather is again favourable enough to hamper operations by the German air forces we should expect the greater part of the ships and the war materials they carry to be lost.

As I pointed out in my telegram of May 9th,23 a very great deal depends on the extent to which your long-range bombers can bomb enemy air fields, including the one at Bardufoss, between May 22nd and 29th. I know you will do all in your power.

If we are in bad luck and the convoy suffers very heavy losses, then the only thing we can do will be to hold up the further sailing of convoys until we have greater sea space when the ice recedes northwards in July.


No. 47

Received on May 24, 1942

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

We have greatly enjoyed receiving M. Molotov in London and have had fruitful conversations with him on both military and political affairs. We have given him a full and true account of our plans and resources. As regards the treaty24 he will explain to you the difficulties, which are mainly that we cannot go back on our previous undertakings to Poland and have to take account of our own and American opinion.

I am sure that it would be of the greatest value to the common cause if M. Molotov could come back this way from America. We can then continue our discussions which I hope will lead to the development of close military cooperation between our three countries. Moreover I shall then be able to give him the latest development in our own military plans.

Finally I hope that political discussions might also then be carried a stage further. For all these reasons I greatly hope you will agree that M. Molotov should pay us a further visit on his way home to you.


No. 48

Sent on May 24, 1942

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

I have received the message, transmitted in Kuibyshev on May 20, in which you say that thirty-five ships with supplies for the U.S.S.R. are en route to Soviet ports. Thank you for the message and the steps taken by you in sending the ships. Our air and naval forces will, on their part, do all they can to cover the supply ships in the sector of which you informed me in your message of May 9.23


No. 49

Sent on May 24, 1942

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

Your latest message reached me on May 24. Both Vyacheslav Molotov and myself think it advisable for him to stop in London on his way back from the U.S.A. to complete the discussions with British Government representatives on matters of interest to our two countries.


No. 50

Received on May 27, 1942

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

We are most grateful to you for meeting our difficulties in the treaty25 as you have done. I am sure the reward in the United States will be solid and that our three Great Powers will now be able to march together united through whatever has to come.

It has been a great pleasure to meet M. Molotov and we have done a great deal towards beating down the barriers between our two countries. I am very glad he is coming back this way for there will be more good work to be done.

So far all has been well with the convoy, but it is now at its most dangerous stage. Many thanks for the measures you are taking to help it in.

Now that we have bound ourselves to be allies and friends for twenty years I take the occasion to send you my sincere good wishes and to assure you of the confidence which I feel that victory will be ours.


No. 51

Sent on May 28, 1942

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

I am very grateful to you for the friendly sentiments and good wishes expressed on the occasion of our signing the new treaty.25

I am certain that this treaty will be of great importance in promoting friendly relations between the Soviet Union and Great Britain, as well as between our two countries and the United States, and that it will ensure close cooperation by our three countries after victory.

I also hope that your meeting with Molotov on his way back from the United States will make it possible to complete the work left unfinished.26

As to measures for covering the convoy, you may rest assured that we are doing and will continue to do our utmost in this respect.

Please accept my sincere good wishes and the expression of firm confidence in our common complete victory.


No. 52

Received on June 17, 1942

Message for Premier Stalin from Mr Churchill

(Retranslated)

We have told you about the various indications that the Germans are fortifying the North of Norway and Finland and sending invasion ships thither.

 That may serve as a portent of an attack upon Murmansk with heavy surface ships based in the Far North, with the intention of cutting our supply lines. Please let me know what you think of Joint operations with us in the areas mentioned and particularly whether you want the six Royal Air Force squadrons I referred to in my Aide-Mémoire to Monsieur Molotov.


No. 53

Sent on June 20, 1942

Message for the Prime Minister, Mr Churchill, from J. V. Stalin

 
I have received your message warning me of the Germans’ intention to launch an invasion from Northern Norway and Finland.

I fully share your view of the desirability of joint operations in those two areas, but I should like to know whether British naval and land forces are planned to take part in the operations and, if so, on what scale.

Thank you very much for the promise to send six squadrons to the Murmansk area. Will you let me know when they are due to arrive?


No. 54

Received on June 21, 1942

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

As the Soviet Union enters the second year of the war I, as Prime Minister of Great Britain, which in a few months’ time will enter on its fourth year of the war, send to you, the leader of the great Allied Soviet peoples, a renewed expression of our admiration for the triumphant defence of your armed forces, guerrilla bands and civilian workers during the past year, and of our firm conviction that those achievements will be equalled and surpassed in the coming months. The fighting alliance of our two countries and of our other Allies, to whom there have now been joined the vast resources of the United States of America, will surely bring our enemies to their knees. You can count on us to assist you by every means in our power.

During the year which has passed since Hitler fell upon your country without warning, friendly relations between our two countries and peoples have progressively strengthened. We have thought not only of the present but of the future and our treaty of alliance in the war against Hitlerite Germany and of collaboration during M. Molotov’s recent visit to this country has been welcomed as sincerely by the British people as I know it has been welcomed by the Soviet people. That treaty is a pledge that we shall confound our enemies and, when the war is over, build a sure peace for all freedom-loving peoples.


No. 55

Received on July 10, 1942

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

I have just heard from President Roosevelt that you have consented to the transfer to our forces in Egypt of 40 Boston bombers which had reached Basra on their way to you. This was a hard request to make to you at this time and I am deeply obliged to you for your prompt and generous response. They are going straight into battle where our aircraft have been taking heavy toll of the enemy.


No. 56

Received on July 18, 1942

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

We began running small convoys to North Russia in August 1941, and until December the Germans did not take any steps to interfere with them. From February 1942, the size of the convoys was increased, and the Germans then moved a considerable force of U-boats and a large number of aircraft to Northern Norway and made determined attacks on the convoys. By giving the convoys the strongest possible escort of destroyers and anti-submarine craft, the convoys got through with varying but not prohibitive losses. It is evident that the Germans were dissatisfied with the results which were being achieved by means of aircraft and U-boats alone, because they began to use their surface forces against the convoys. Luckily for us, however, at the outset they made use of their heavy surface forces to the westward of Bear Island and their submarines to the eastward.

The Home Fleet was thus in a position to prevent an attack by enemy surface forces. Before the May convoy was sent off, the Admiralty warned us that losses would be very severe if, as was expected, the Germans employed their surface forces to the eastward of Bear Island. We decided to sail the convoy. An attack by surface ships did not materialise, and the convoy got through with a loss of one-sixth, chiefly from air attack. In the case of the last convoy which is numbered P.Q. 17, however, the Germans at last used their forces in the manner we had always feared. They concentrated their U-boats to the westward of Bear Island and reserved their surface forces for attack to the eastward of Bear Island. The final story of P.Q. 17 convoy is not yet clear. At the moment only four ships have arrived at Archangel but six others are in Nova Zemlya harbours. The latter may however be attacked from the air separately. At the best therefore only one-third will have survived.

I must explain the dangers and difficulties of these convoy operations when the enemy battle squadron takes its station in the extreme North. We do not think it right to risk our Home Fleet eastward of Bear Island or where it can be brought under the attack of the airmen of German shore-based aircraft. If one or two of our very few most powerful types were to be lost or even seriously damaged while the Tirpitz and her consorts, soon to be joined by the Scharnhorst, remained in action, the whole command of the Atlantic would be lost. Besides affecting the food supplies by which we live, our war effort would be crippled; and, above all, the great convoys of American troops across the ocean, rising presently to as many as 80,000 in a month, would be prevented and the building up of a really strong second front in 1943 rendered impossible.

My naval advisers tell me that if they had the handling of the German surface, submarine and air forces in present circumstances, they would guarantee the complete destruction of any convoy to North Russia. They have not been able so far to hold out hopes that convoys attempting to make the passage in perpetual daylight would fare better than P.Q. 17. It is therefore with the greatest regret that we have reached the conclusion that to attempt to run the next convoy, P.Q. 18, would bring no benefit to you and would only involve a dead loss to the common cause. At the same time I give you my assurance that if we can devise arrangements which give a reasonable chance of at least a fair proportion of the contents of the convoys reaching you, we will start them again at once. The crux of the problem is to make the Barents Sea as dangerous for German warships as they make it for ourselves. This is what we should aim at doing with our joint resources. I should like to send a senior officer shortly to North Russia to confer with your officers and make a plan.

Meanwhile we are prepared to despatch immediately to the Persian Gulf some of the ships which were to have sailed in P.Q. convoy. The selection of ships would be made with the Soviet authorities in London, in order that priorities of cargo may be agreed. If fighter aircraft (Hurricanes and Aircobras) are selected, can you operate and maintain them on the Southern Front? We could undertake to assemble them at Basra. We hope to increase the through-clearance capacity of the Trans-Iranian routes so as to reach 75,000 tons monthly by October, and are making efforts to obtain a further increase. We are asking the United States Government to help us by expediting the despatch of rolling-stock and trucks. An increased volume of traffic would be handled at once if you would agree to American trucks for the U.S.S.R., now being assembled in the Persian Gulf, being used as a shuttle service for transporting goods by road between the Gulf and the Caspian. In order to ensure the full use of capacity, we agree to raise the figure of loads due to arrive in September to 95,000 tons and October to 100,000 tons, both exclusive of trucks and aircraft.

Your telegram to me on June 20th referred to combined operations in the North. The obstacles to sending further convoys at the present time equally prevent our sending land forces and air forces for operations in Northern Norway. But our officers should forthwith consider together what combined operations may be possible in or after October when there is a reasonable amount of darkness. It would be better if you could send your officers here, but if this is impossible ours will come to you.

In addition to a combined operation in the North, we are studying how to help on your southern flank. If we can beat back Rommel, we might be able to send powerful air forces in the autumn to operate on the left of your line. The difficulties of maintaining these forces over the Trans-Iranian route without reducing your supplies will clearly be considerable but I hope to put detailed proposals before you in the near future. We must first beat Rommel. The battle is now intense.

Let me once again express my thanks for the forty Bostons. The Germans are constantly sending more men and aircraft to Africa; but large reinforcements are approaching General Auchinleck and the impending arrival of strong British and American heavy bomber aircraft forces should give security to the Eastern Mediterranean as well as obstruct Rommel’s supply ports of Tobruk and Benghazi.

I am sure it would be in our common interest, Premier Stalin, to have the three divisions of Poles27 you so kindly offered join their compatriots in Palestine, where we can arm them fully. These would play a most important part in the future fighting, as well as in keeping the Turks in good heart by a sense of growing numbers to the southward. I hope this project of yours, which we greatly value, will not fall to the ground on account of the Poles wanting to bring with the troops a considerable mass of their women and children, who are largely dependent on the rations of the Polish soldiers. The feeding of these dependents will be a considerable burden to us. We think it well worth while bearing that burden for the sake of forming this Polish army which will be used faithfully for our common advantage. We are very hard up for food ourselves in the Levant area, but there is enough in India if we can bring it there.

If we do not get the Poles we should have to fill their places by drawing on preparations now going forward on a vast scale for Anglo-American mass invasion of the Continent. These preparations have already led the Germans to withdraw two heavy bomber groups from South Russia to France. Believe me there is nothing that is useful and sensible that we and the Americans will not do to help you in your grand struggle. The President and I are ceaselessly searching for means of overcoming the extraordinary difficulties which the geography, sea-water and the enemy’s air power interpose. I have shown this telegram to the President.


No. 57

Sent on July 23, 1942

Message from Premier Stalin to Prime Minister Churchill

I have received your message of July 18.

I gather from the message, first, that the British Government refuses to go on supplying the Soviet Union with war materials by the northern route and, secondly, that despite the agreed Anglo-Soviet Communiqué28 on the adoption of urgent measures to open a second front in 1942, the British Government is putting off the operation till 1943.

According to our naval experts, the arguments of British naval experts on the necessity of stopping delivery of war supplies to the northern harbours of the U.S.S.R. are untenable. They are convinced that, given goodwill and readiness to honour obligations, steady deliveries could be effected, with heavy loss to the Germans. The British Admiralty’s order to the P.Q. 17 convoy to abandon the supply ships and return to Britain, and to the supply ships to disperse and make for Soviet harbours singly, without escort, is, in the view of our experts, puzzling and inexplicable. Of course, I do not think steady deliveries to northern Soviet ports are possible without risk or loss. But then no major task can be carried out in wartime without risk or losses. You know, of course, that the Soviet Union is suffering far greater losses. Be that as it may, I never imagined that the British Government would deny us delivery of war materials precisely now, when the Soviet Union is badly in need of them in view of the grave situation on the Soviet-German front. It should be obvious that deliveries via Persian ports can in no way make up for the loss in the event of deliveries via the northern route being discontinued.

As to the second point, namely, that of opening a second front in Europe, I fear the matter is taking an improper turn. In view of the situation on the Soviet-German front, I state most emphatically that the Soviet Government cannot tolerate the second front in Europe being postponed till 1943.

I hope you will not take it amiss that I have seen fit to give you my frank and honest opinion and that of my colleagues on the points raised in your message.

J. Stalin


No. 58*

Most Secret

Prime Minister to Premier Stalin

We are making preliminary arrangements for another effort to run a large convoy through to Archangel in the first week of September.

2. I am willing, if you invite me, to come myself to meet you in Astrakhan, the Caucasus, or similar convenient meeting-place. We could then survey the war together and take decisions hand-in-hand. I could then tell you plans we have made with President Roosevelt for offensive action in 1942. I would bring the Chief of the Imperial General Staff with me.

3. I am starting for Cairo forthwith. I have serious business there, as you may imagine. From there I will, if you desire it, fix a convenient date for our meeting, which might, so far as I am concerned, be between August 10 and 13, all being well.

4. The War Cabinet have endorsed my proposals.

July 31, 1942

* Quoted from Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War, Vol. IV, London, 1951, pp. 409-410.


No. 59

Received on July 31, 1942

Personal and Secret

The Prime Minister to Premier Stalin

(Retranslated)

In addition to my previous message. We are taking preliminary steps to run a convoy of 40 ships in the first week of September. I must, however, tell you outright that unless the air threat to German surface ships in the Barents Sea is so strong as to prevent them from operations against the convoy we shall have little chance, as the experience of P.Q. 17 convoy has shown, of getting so much as one-third of the ships safely through. As you certainly know, this situation was discussed with Maisky and I understand the latter has informed you that we think minimum air cover to be indispensable.



No. 60

Most Secret

For Prime Minister Churchill from Premier Stalin

I have received both your messages of July 31.

I hereby invite you on behalf of the Soviet Government to the U.S.S.R. for a meeting with members of the Government.

I should be much obliged if you could travel to the U.S.S.R. for joint consideration of urgent matters relating to the war against Hitler, who is now threatening Britain, the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. more than ever.

I think that Moscow would be the most suitable place for our meeting, since the members of the Government, the General Staff and myself cannot be away at this moment of bitter fighting against the Germans.

The presence of the Chief of the Imperial General Staff would be most desirable.

I would request you to fix the date for the meeting at your convenience, depending on how you finish your business in Cairo and with the knowledge that there will be no objection on my part as to the date.

I am grateful to you for agreeing to sail the next convoy with war materials to the U.S.S.R. early in September. Although it will be very difficult for us to withdraw aircraft from the front, we shall take all possible steps to increase air cover for supply ships and convoy.

July 31, 1942


No. 61*

Received on August 1, 1942

Prime Minister to Premier Stalin

I will certainly come to Moscow to meet you, and will fix the date from Cairo.

* Quoted from Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War, Vol. IV, London, 1951, p. 410.


No. 62*

Received on August 5, 1942

Prime Minister to Premier Stalin*

We plan to leave here one day, arriving Moscow the next, with intermediate stop at Tehran.

Details will have to be arranged in part by our R.A.F. authorities in Tehran in consultation with yours. I hope you may instruct latter to give the benefit of their assistance in every way.

I cannot yet give any indication regarding dates beyond what I have already suggested to you.

* Quoted from Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War, Vol. IV, London, 1951, pp. 425.


No. 63

Sent on August 6, 1942

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

Your message of August 5 received.

The representatives of the Soviet Air Force in Tehran have been given the necessary instructions in compliance with your wishes.


No. 64

For Premier Stalin

News

Malta Convoy

Latest reports show that we have suffered the following casualties:

(a) Sunk:

 Aircraft Carrier Eagle
5 Merchant Ships.

(b) Mined or torpedoed, but condition not known:

 3 Cruisers – Nigeria, Kenya, Cairo.
(c) Damaged:
Aircraft Carrier Indomitable by air attack.
Destroyer Foresight by torpedo.

2. Enemy losses so far reported are 2 U-boats rammed and sunk and another U-boat almost certainly sunk by air attack. (Another U-boat sunk in Atlantic on 3rd August, and one on 10th August in Mediterranean.)

3. The enemy had concentrated very large air forces and it is considered that our fighters, operating from aircraft carriers, must have done very well and got a lot.

4. There may be an action this (Thursday) morning with enemy cruisers. The enemy also has a capital ship at sea.

5. As we expected, this convoy to this vital outpost in the Mediterranean has had to fight its way through against very heavy opposition, and what will reach its destination is as yet unknown.

Air Attacks

On the night of August 11-12 we sent out 427 bombers in all; 220 went to Mainz where very large fires were started and 154 to Havre. The remainder were sea-mining, etc. Sixteen bombers were lost and 3 crashed on return.

W. Ch.

August 13, 1942


No. 65

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

Memorandum

As a result of the exchange of views in Moscow on August 12 I have established that Mr Churchill, the British Prime Minister, considers it impossible to open a second front in Europe in 1942.

It will be recalled that the decision to open a second front in Europe in 1942 was reached at the time of Molotov’s visit to London, and found expression in the agreed Anglo-Soviet Communiqué released on June 12 last.28

It will be recalled further that the opening of a second front in Europe was designed to divert German forces from the Eastern Front to the West, to set up in the West a major centre of resistance to the German fascist forces and thereby ease the position of the Soviet troops on the Soviet-German front in 1942.

Needless to say, the Soviet High Command, in planning its summer and autumn operations, counted on a second front being opened in Europe in 1942.

It will be readily understood that the British Government’s refusal to open a second front in Europe in 1942 delivers a moral blow to Soviet public opinion, which had hoped that the second front would be opened, complicates the position of the Red Army at the front and injures the plans of the Soviet High Command.

I say nothing of the fact that the difficulties in which the Red Army is involved- through the refusal to open a second front in 1942 are bound to impair the military position of Britain and the other Allies.

I and my colleagues believe that the year 1942 offers the most favourable conditions for a second front in Europe, seeing that nearly all the German forces – and their crack troops, too – are tied down on the Eastern Front, while only negligible forces, and the poorest, too, are left in Europe. It is hard to say whether 1943 will offer as favourable conditions for opening a second front as 1942. For this reason we think that it is possible and necessary to open a second front in Europe in 1942. Unfortunately I did not succeed in convincing the British Prime Minister of this, while Mr Harriman, the U.S. President’s representative at the Moscow talks, fully supported the Prime Minister.

J. Stalin

August 13, 1942


No. 66

Most Secret W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

Aide-Memoire

In reply to Premier Stalin’s Aide-Mémoire of August 13th the Prime Minister of Great Britain states:

1. The best second front in 1942, and the only large-scale operation possible from the Atlantic, is “Torch.”29 If this can be effected in October it will give more aid to Russia than any other plan. It also prepares the way for 1943 and has the four advantages mentioned by Premier Stalin in the conversation of August 12th. The British and United States Governments have made up their minds about this and all preparations are proceeding with the utmost speed.

2. Compared with “Torch,” the attack with 6 or 8 Anglo- American Divisions on the Cherbourg Peninsula and the Channel Islands30 would be a hazardous and futile operation. The Germans have enough troops in the West to block us in this narrow peninsula with fortified lines, and would concentrate all their air forces in the West upon it. In the opinion of all the British Naval, Military and Air authorities the operation could only end in disaster. Even if the lodgment were made, it would not bring a single division back from Russia. It would also be far more a running sore for us than for the enemy, and would use up wastefully and wantonly the key men and the landing craft required for real action in 1943. This is our settled view. The Chief of the Imperial General Staff will go into details with the Russian Commanders to any extent that may be desired.

3. No promise has been broken by Great Britain or the United States. I point to paragraph 5 of my Aide-Mémoire given to Mr Molotov on the 10th June, 1942,31 which distinctly says: “We can, therefore, give no promise.” This Aide-Mémoire followed upon lengthy conversations, in which the very small chance of such a plan being adopted was made abundantly clear. Several of these conversations are on record.

4. However, all the talk about an Anglo-American invasion of France this year has misled the enemy, and has held large air forces and considerable military forces on the French Channel coast. It would be injurious to all common interests, especially Russian interests, if any public controversy arose in which it would be necessary for the British Government to unfold to the nation the crushing argument which they conceive themselves to possess against “Sledgehammer.”32 Widespread discouragement would be caused to the Russian armies who have been buoyed up on this subject, and the enemy would be free to withdraw further forces from the West. The wisest course is to use “Sledgehammer” as a blind for “Torch,” and proclaim “Torch,” when it begins, as the second front. This is what we ourselves mean to do.

5. We cannot admit that the conversations with Mr Molotov about the second front, safeguarded as they were by reservations both oral and written, formed any ground for altering the strategic plans of the Russian High Command.

6. We reaffirm our resolve to aid our Russian allies by every practicable means.

W. Ch.

August 14th, 1942


No. 67

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

(Retranslated)

My dear Premier Stalin,

The following is a report on the results of the battle for a Malta convoy. Only three merchant ships out of fourteen have made Malta. Another two are being towed and may reach their destination. The three that are there have delivered supplies for a period of from two to three months. Thus a fortress which is vital to the situation throughout the Mediterranean can hold out until the inevitable battle in the Western Desert of Egypt and “Torch”29 take place.

2. We paid dearly for this. The aircraft carrier Eagle was sunk, the carrier Indomitable seriously damaged by three bombs and three close bursts; two good cruisers sunk, one damaged and the fate of a third unknown; one destroyer sunk together with nine or possibly eleven fast ships, so that few are unscathed. The Rodney was also slightly damaged by a close bomb burst.

3. I hold the view that the price was worth paying. Another aspect was the sad circumstance that the warships had to operate among all those land-based enemy aircraft. We sank three U-boats and probably inflicted serious damage on the attacking air force. An Italian cruiser and battleship did not venture to attack the remnants of the convoy under the air-defence canopy of Malta. The enemy will no doubt play this up as a great sea victory, and so it would have been, were it not for the strategic importance of Malta in terms of future plans.

Sincerely yours,

Winston S. Churchill

Moscow, August 14th, 1942



No. 68*
Received on August 17, 1942

Prime Minister to Premier Stalin

On arriving at Tehran after a swift and smooth flight I take occasion to thank you for your comradeship and hospitality. I am very glad I came to Moscow, firstly because it was my duty to tell the tale, and secondly because I feel sure our contacts will play a helpful part in furthering our cause. Give my regards to M. Molotov.

* Quoted from Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War, Vol. IV, London. 1951, p. 425.


No. 69

Received on, August 31, 1942

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

Rommel has begun the attack for which we have been preparing. An important battle may now be fought.


No. 70

Received on September 7, 1942

Personal and Secret Message From the Prime Minister, Mr Churchill, to Premier Stalin

Convoy P.Q. 18 with forty ships has started. As we cannot send our heavy ships within range of enemy shore-based aircraft we are providing a powerful destroyer striking force which will be used against enemy’s surface ships should they attack us east of Bear Island. We are also including in convoy escort, to assist in protecting it against air attack, an auxiliary aircraft carrier just completed. Further, we are placing a strong line of submarine patrols between convoy and German bases. The risk of an attack by German surface ships still, however, remains serious. This danger can only be effectively warded off by providing in Barents Sea air striking forces of such strength that Germans will not risk their heavy ships any more than we will risk ours in that area. For reconnaissance we are providing eight Catalina flying boats and three Photographic Reconnaissance Unit Spitfires to operate from North Russia. To increase scale of air attack we have sent thirty-two torpedo-carrying aircraft which have suffered loss on the way though we hope at least twenty-four will be available for operation. These with nineteen bombers, including torpedo carrying aircraft, forty-two short-range and forty-three long-range fighters which we understand you are providing will almost certainly not be enough to act as a final deterrent. What is needed is more long-range bombers. We quite understand immense pressure put upon you on the main line of battle makes it difficult to supply any more Russian army long-range bombers. But we must stress great importance of this convoy in which we are using seventy-seven warships requiring to take in 15,000 tons of fuel during the operation. If you can transfer more long-range bombers to the North temporarily please do so. It is most needful for our common interests.

2. Rommel’s attack in Egypt has been sharply rebuffed and I have good hopes we may reach a favourable decision there during present month.

3. The operation “Torch,”29 though set back about three weeks beyond the earliest date I mentioned to you, is on full blast.

4. I am awaiting President’s answer to definite proposals I have made him for bringing a British-American air contingent into action during winter on your southern flank. He agrees in principle and I am expecting to receive his plans in detail. I will then cable you again. Meanwhile I hope planning with regard to air fields and communications may proceed as was agreed, subject to your approval, by your officers while I was in Moscow. For this purpose we are anxious to send staff officers from Egypt to Moscow in the first instance as soon as you are ready for us to do so.

5. We are watching with lively admiration the continued magnificent resistance of Russian armies. The German losses are certainly heavy and winter is drawing nearer. When I address the House of Commons on Tuesday I shall give, in what I hope you will regard as agreeable terms, an account of my visit to Moscow of which I retain the most pleasing memory of all.

6. Please give my good wishes to M. Molotov and thank him for his congratulations on my safe return. May God prosper all our undertakings.


No. 71

Sent on September 8, 1942

Personal and Secret Message From Premier Stalin to Prime Minister Churchill

I received your message on September 7. I realise the importance of the safe arrival in the Soviet Union of P.Q. 18 convoy and the need for measures to protect it. Difficult though we find it at present to assign extra long-range bombers for the purpose, we have decided to do so. Orders have been given today to assign an additional force of long-range bombers for the purpose mentioned by you.

I wish you success in the operation against Rommel in Egypt and all success in “Torch.”29


No. 72

Received on September 13, 1942

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Premier Stalin

I am much obliged for the 48 long-range bombers, 10 torpedo bombers and 200 fighters, including 47 long-range fighters, which I now learn you are sending to help bring in P.Q. 18.33

2. I thought you might like to know the weight of bombs dropped by the Royal Air Force on Germany since July 1st this year. The total amount from July 1st to September 6th was 11,500 tons. The tonnage dropped on the more important targets was: Duisburg 2,500 tons. Düsseldorf 1,250 tons, Saardrücken 1,150 tons, Bremen and Hamburg 1,000 tons each, Osnabrück 700 tons, Kassel, Wilhelmshaven, Mainz and Frankfurt all about 500 tons; Nuremberg received 300 tons and there were many other lesser tonnages. Included in the bombs dropped were six 8,000-pound bombs and 1,400 4,000-pound bombs. We have found that by using these with instantaneous fuses the bombs explode most effectively so that parachutes are not required.


No. 73

Received on September 23, 1942

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Premier Stalin

We have made the following estimate of German operational aircraft production, which Air Ministry believe is trustworthy. It may be of interest to you and I should be very glad to learn, at your convenience, how it squares with your own estimate of enemy output.

Following is estimate referred to:

German Aircraft Production
(Operational Types)
at September 1st, 1942

Type Assembly factory Average
monthly
output
Long-range bombers    
Junker 88 A.T.G., Leipzig 30
Junker 88 Arado, Brandenburg Neuendorf 30
Junker 88 Arado, Rathehow (?) 25
Junker 88 Heinkel, Oranienburg 15
Junker 88 Henschel, Schonfeld 35
Junker 88 Junker (Dessau and Bernberg) 75
Junker 88 Siebel, Halle 25
Junker 88 Unidentified 15
  Total Junker 88 250
Heinkel 111 Heinkel (Rostock and Oranienburg) 100
DO 217 Dornier, Allmansweiller 30
DO 217 Dornier, Oberpfaffenhofen 30
DO 217 Dornier, Wissmar 25
  Total DO 217 85
HE 177 Heinkel (Rostock and Oranienburg) 15
FW 200 Focke-Wulf, Bremen (?) 5
  Total long-range
bombers
455
Dive bombers    
Junker 87 Wesser, Bremen and Lemwerder 80
HS 129 Henschel, Schleswig
Holstein
20
  Total dive bombers 100
Single-engine fighters    
ME 109 Ago, Oschersleben 55
ME 109 Erla, Leipzig 85
ME 109 Fieseler Kassel (is believed to be
changing over to FW 190)
40
ME 109 Messerschmitt,  Regensburg 45
ME 109 Wiener-Neustadter, Wiener-Neustadt 85
  Total ME 109 310
FW 190 Focke-Wulf, Bremen 50
FW 190 Arado, Warnemünde (?) 40
FW 190 Fieseler Kassel (?) 10
  Total FW 190 100
  Total single-engine fighters 410
Twin-engine fighters    
ME 110 and 210 Gothar, Gotha 10
ME 110 and 210 Messerschmitt, Augsburg 80
ME 110 and 210 Miag Brunswick (Braunschweig) 25
  Total twin-engine fighters 115
Army reconnaissance    
HS 126 Henschel, Schonfeld 40
FW 189 Focke-Wulf, Bremen 15
BV 141 Blohm and Voss, Hamburg 10
Junker 86
(P 1 and P 2)
Junker, Dessau 5
  Total Army reconnaissance 70
Coastal    
AR 196 Arado, Warnemünde 15
BV 138 Blohm and Voss, Hamburg 20
DO 24 Dornier, Manzell 5
DO 24 Aviolanda, Papendracht 5
  Total DO 24 10
  Total Coastal 45
  Miscellaneous types and unidentified production 55
  Total operational 1,250


No. 74

Most Secret and Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to M. Stalin

I have got the following information from the same source that I used to warn you of the impending attack on Russia a year and a half ago.34 I believe this source to be absolutely trustworthy. Pray let this be for your own eye.

Begins:

“Germans have already appointed an admiral to take charge of naval operations in the Caspian. They have selected Makhach-Kala as their main naval base. About twenty craft, including Italian submarines, Italian torpedo boats and minesweepers, are to be transported by rail from Mariupol to the Caspian as soon as they have got a line open. On account of icing up of the Sea of Azov, the submarines will be loaded before completion of railway line.” Ends.

2. No doubt you are already prepared for this kind of attack. It seems to me to make all the more important the plan I mentioned to you of our reinforcing with American aid your air force in the Caspian and Caucasian theatre by twenty British and American squadrons. I have never stopped working since we were together and I hope in a week or so to have the final approval of the President and to be able to make you a definite joint offer.

3. With regard to the one hundred and fifty-four Aircobras, which have been unloaded from P.Q. 19,33 I personally authorised this at the urgent request of General Marshall, American Commander-in-Chief. They were American machines assigned to us and by us assigned to you. The American demand was urgent and explicit and was concerned with “Torch.”29 General Marshall undertook to replace them via Alaskan route forthwith. I shall telegraph to you further within the next ten days.

September 30th, 1942


No. 75

Premier Stalin to Prime Minister Churchill

I must inform you that our position in the Stalingrad area has changed for the worse since the early days of September. It appears that the Germans have large reserves of aircraft which they concentrated in the Stalingrad area, achieving a twofold air superiority. We were short of fighters with which to cover our ground forces. Even the bravest troops are helpless without air cover. What we need particularly is Spitfires and Aircobras. I have given Mr Willkie detailed information on these points.

2. Supply ships with munitions have reached Archangel and are being unloaded. This is a great help. However, in view of the shortage of tonnage we could forgo for a while certain kinds of aid and thereby reduce the demand for shipping, provided the aid in the shape of fighter aircraft is increased. We could forgo for a while our request for tanks and guns, if Britain and the U.S.A. together could supply us with 800 fighters a month – Britain giving roughly 300 and the U.S.A. 500. This aid would be more effective and would improve the situation at the front.

3. Your intelligence to the effect that Germany’s monthly output of operational aircraft does not exceed 1,300 does not tally with our information. According to our data, the German aircraft industry, including plants in the occupied countries making aeroplane parts, turns out some 2,500 operational aircraft a month.

October 3, 1942


No. 76

Received on October 9, 1942

Most Secret and Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Premier Stalin

Further to paragraph one of my message of September 30th, my later information shows that the German plans for sending shipping to the Caspian by rail have been suspended.


No. 77

Received on October 9, 1942

Most Secret and Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Premier Stalin

We shall attack in Egypt towards the end of this month and “Torch”29 will begin early in November. The effect of these operations must be either:

(a) to oblige the Germans to send air and land forces to counter our move, or

(b) to compel them to accept new position created by our success which would then create a diversion by threat of attack against Sicily and South of Europe.

2. Our attack in Egypt will be in good force. “Torch” will be a heavy operation in which, in addition to United States Navy, 240 British warships and more than half a million men will be engaged. This is all rolling forward irrevocably.

3. The President and I are anxious to put an Anglo-American force on your southern flank and operate it under strategic control of Soviet High Command. This force would consist of following: British – 9 Fighter Squadrons, 5 Bomber Squadrons. United States – 1 Heavy Bombardment Group, 1 Transport Group. Orders have been issued by us to assemble this force and take their station so that they would be available for combat early in the New Year. Most of this force will come from Egypt as soon as they can be disengaged from the battle there, which we believe will be successful on our part.

4. In a letter, which M. Maisky delivered to me on October 5th, you asked for a great increase in fighter aircraft supplies for Russia by this country and the United States. We will send you as soon as possible by the Persian Gulf route 150 Spitfires with equivalent of 50 more in the form of spares to be sent as they become available as a special reinforcement which we cannot repeat. This special reinforcement is over and above protocol supplies35 by the northern route so far as it- can be used. President Roosevelt will cable separately about United States contribution.

5. I was greatly relieved that so large a proportion of the last convoy reached Archangel safely. This success was achieved only because no less than 77 warships were employed on the operation. Naval protection will be impossible until our impending operations are completed. As necessary escorts are withdrawn from “Torch” they can again be made available in northern waters.

6. Nevertheless, we intend in the meanwhile to do our best to send you supplies by the northern route by means of ships sailed independently instead of in escorted convoys. Arrangements have been made to sail ships from Iceland during moonless period October 28th to November 8th. Ten of ours are preparing in addition to what Americans will do. The ships will sail singly at about 200-mile intervals with occasional larger gaps and rely on evasion and dispersion.

7. We hope to resume flow of supplies in strongly escorted convoys from January 1943.

8. It would, of course, greatly help both you and us if Germans could be denied the use of air fields in Northern Norway. If your Staffs could make a good plan, the President and I would at once examine possibility of cooperating up to the limit of our ability.


No. 78

Sent on October 13, 1942

Reply of Premier Stalin to Message from Prime Minister Churchill

Your message of October 9 received. Thank you.

J. Stalin


No. 79

Received on October 19, 1942

Most Secret and Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to M. Stalin

I should have added that the 150 Spitfires are all armed with two cannons and four machine-guns.


No. 80

Received on November 5, 1942

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to M. Stalin

I promised to tell you when our army in Egypt had gained a decisive victory over Rommel. General Alexander now reports that enemy’s front is broken and that he is retreating westwards in considerable disorder. Apart from the troops in the main battle, there are six Italian and two German divisions in the desert to the South of our advance along the coast. These have very little mechanical transport or supplies, and it is possible that a very heavy toll will be taken in the next few days. Besides this, Rommel’s only line of retreat is along the coastal road which is now crammed with troops and transport and under continuous attack of our greatly superior Air Force.

2. Most Secret. For yourself alone. “Torch”29 is imminent on a very great scale. I believe political difficulties about which you expressed concern36 have been satisfactorily solved. The military movement is proceeding with precision.

3. I am most anxious to proceed with the placing of twenty British and American Squadrons on your southern flank as early as possible. President Roosevelt is in full accord and there is no danger now of a disaster in Egypt. Before anything can be done, however, it is necessary that detailed arrangements should be made about landing grounds, etc., between your officers and ourselves. Kindly let me know as soon as possible how you would like this consultation to be arranged. The Squadrons it is proposed to send were stated in my telegram of October 9th, in accordance with which we have been making such preparations as were possible pending arrangements with you.

4. Let me further express to you, Premier Stalin, and to M. Molotov, our congratulations on the ever glorious defence of Stalingrad and on the decisive defeat of Hitler’s second campaign against Russia. I should be glad to know from you how you stand in the Caucasus.

5. All good wishes for your anniversary.


No. 81

Sent on November 8, 1942

Personal and Secret Message from Premier Stalin to Prime Minister Churchill

Your message reached me on November 5.

I congratulate you on the progress of the operation in Egypt and feel confident that now it will be possible to finish off the bands of Rommel and his Italian allies.

All of us here hope that “Torch”29 will be successful.

I am grateful to you for informing me that you and President Roosevelt have decided to send 20 British and American Squadrons to the Southern Front in the near future. Speedy despatch of the 20 Squadrons will be a very valuable help. As to the conferences required in this connection and to the working out of specific measures by representatives of the British, American and our own Air Forces, it would be best to hold the appropriate meetings first in Moscow and then, if necessary, directly in the Caucasus. I have already been informed that the U.S. side is sending General Elmer E. Adler for the purpose. I shall expect to hear from you the name of the British appointee.

The situation on our Caucasian front has deteriorated somewhat compared with October. The Germans have succeeded in capturing Nalchik and are closing in on Vladikavkaz, where heavy fighting is now in progress. Our weak point there is shortage of fighter aircraft.

Thank you for your good wishes for the anniversary of the U.S.S.R.


No. 82

Received on November 8, 1942

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

I have just heard the following from General Alexander: Prisoners estimated now at 20,000; tanks 350; guns 400; mechanical transport several thousand. Our advanced mobile forces are south of Mersa Matruh. The Eighth Army is advancing.


No. 83

Received on November 8, 1942

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

You have no doubt realised that when Hitler despairs of taking Baku he will try to wreck it by air attack. Pray accept this from me.


No. 84

Personal Message from Premier Stalin to Prime Minister Churchill

We are highly pleased with your success in Libya and the successful launching of “Torch.”29 I wish you all success.

Thanks for the warning about Baku. We are taking counter measures.

November 9, 1942


No. 85

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Premier Stalin

Many thanks for your messages of November 8th and November 10th which have both reached me.

2. I have appointed Air Marshal Drummond to represent Great Britain in Staff discussions between the Soviet, American and British representatives on the preliminary arrangements for the employment of twenty British and American Squadrons on your Southern Front. Air Marshal Drummond has been ordered to leave Cairo for Moscow with a small party of Staff Officers forthwith.

3. Important success has rewarded our operations both in Egypt and in French North Africa. We have already penetrated deeply into Cyrenaica. Tobruk has just been recaptured. The so-called Panzer army is now reduced to a very small hard-pressed band with hardly a score of tanks and we are in hot pursuit. It seems to me almost certain that Benghazi will soon be recovered and that the enemy will try to escape into Tripolitania, holding a line at Agheila. He is already evacuating stores from Benghazi and is endeavouring to open new improvised and restricted bases in the Gulf of Sirte.

4. “Torch”29 is flaming well and General Eisenhower and our own Commanders have every hope of obtaining complete control of French North Africa and building up a superior air power at the tip of Tunisia. All the great troop convoys have moved, or are moving so far, safely across the Ocean and from Great Britain. We hope to create a strong anti-German French army in North Africa under General Giraud.

5. Political reactions in Spain and Portugal have been most satisfactory and the danger of Gibraltar Harbour and air field being rendered unusable has ceased for the present to be an anxiety. The German invasion of Vichy France37 which was foreseen by us and also by you in our conversations is all to the good. The poison of the paralysing influence of Vichy on the French nation will decline and the whole people will soon learn to hate the Germans as much as they are hated in the occupied zone. The future of the Toulon fleet38 is obscure. The Germans have not felt themselves strong enough to demand its surrender and are reported to intend to respect Toulon. Admiral Darlan, who is in our power, has asked the fleet to sail for West African ports. Whether this order will be obeyed is still doubtful.

6. A great reversal of the situation along the whole African shore has taken place and may be counted on. If we can open a passage for military traffic through the Mediterranean our shipping problem will be greatly eased and we shall come into far closer contact with Turkey than has hitherto been possible. I am in communication with President Roosevelt who is delighted at the success of the American enterprise. The whole position must be reviewed in a few days with the intention of further vehement action. I will let you know as soon as possible what our ideas for the future are. You know, I am sure, how anxious we are to take off you some of the undue weight which you have steadfastly borne in these last hard months. Meanwhile I am proceeding on the assumption that you are still confident that the Caucasus range will not be penetrated in the winter months.

November 13th, 1942


No. 86

Personal and Secret Message from Premier Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Churchill

Thank you for the message of November 13. All of us here are delighted with your success in Libya and the Anglo-American success in French Africa. I congratulate you with all my heart on the victory, and wish you further success.

In the past few days we have succeeded in halting the German advance on Vladikavkaz and stabilising the situation. Vladikavkaz is, and I think will remain, in our hands. We are taking all possible steps to retain our positions in the North Caucasus.

We are planning to start a winter campaign in the near future. Just when, depends on the weather, which is beyond our control. I shall keep you posted.

November 14, 1942


No. 87

Sent on, November 20, 1942

Personal and Secret Message from Premier Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Churchill

We have begun the offensive operations in the Stalingrad area – in its southern and north-western sectors. The objective of the first stage is to seize the Stalingrad-Likhaya railway and disrupt the communications of the Stalingrad group of the German troops. In the north-western sector the German front has been pierced along a 22-kilometre line and along a 12-kilometre line in the southern sector. The operation is proceeding satisfactorily.


No. 88

Most Secret and Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Premier Stalin

It gave me the very greatest pleasure to receive your warm and heartfelt congratulations. I regard our truthful personal relations as most important to the discharge of our duties to the great masses whose lives are at stake.

2. Although the President is unable with great regret to lend me the twelve American destroyers for which I asked, I have now succeeded in making arrangements to sail a convoy of over thirty ships from Iceland on December 22nd. The Admiralty will concert operations with your officers as before. The Germans have moved the bulk of their aircraft from North Norway to South Europe as a result of “Torch.”29 On the other hand, German surface forces in Norway are still on guard. The Admiralty are pleased so far with the progress of the Q.P. convoy, which has been helped by bad weather and is now under the protection of our cruisers which have been sent out to meet it.

3. I have communicated to President Roosevelt some preliminary ideas about Turkey and have found that he independently had formed very similar views. It seems to me that we ought all of us to make a new intense effort to make Turkey enter the war on our side in the spring. For the purpose I should like the United States to join in an Anglo-Soviet guarantee of the territorial integrity and status of Turkey.39 This would bring our three forces all into line; and the Americans count for a lot with the Turks. Secondly, we are already sending Turkey a considerable consignment of munitions, including 200 tanks from the Middle East. During the winter, by land route or coasting up the Levant, I shall keep on sending supplies of munitions to Turkey together, if permitted, with experts in plain clothes for training and maintenance purposes. Thirdly, I hope by early spring to assemble a considerable army in Syria drawn from our Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Armies, so as to go to help Turkey if either she were threatened or were willing to join us. It is evident that your operations in the Caucasus or north of it may also exercise a great influence. If we could get Turkey into the war we could not only proceed with operations designed to open a shipping route to your left flank on the Black Sea, but we could also bomb heavily from Turkish bases the Roumanian oil-fields which are of such vital importance to the Axis in view of your successful defence of main oil supplies in the Caucasus. The advantage of a move into Turkey is that it proceeds mainly by land and can be additional to offensive action in the Central Mediterranean, which will absorb our sea power and much of our air power.

4. I have agreed to President Roosevelt’s suggestion that we each send in the near future, if agreeable to you, two high British officers and two Americans to Moscow to plan this part of the war in 1943. Pray let me know if you agree.

5. I hope you realise, Premier Stalin, that shipping is our limiting factor. In order to do “Torch” we have had to cut our Trans-Atlantic escorts so fine that the first half of November has been our worst month so far. We and the Americans have budgeted to lose at the rate of 700,000 tons a month and still improve our margin. Over the year the average loss has not been quite so bad as that, but this first fortnight in November is worse. You who have so much land may find it hard to realise that we can only live and fight in proportion to our sea communications.

6. Do not be disturbed about the rogue Darlan. We have thrown a large Anglo-American army into French North Africa and are getting a very firm grip. Owing to the non-resistance of the French Army and now to its increasing support we are perhaps fifteen days ahead of schedule. It is of the utmost consequence to get the Tunis tip and the naval base of Bizerta at the earliest moment. The leading elements of our First Army will probably begin their attack immediately. Once established there with over-powering air strength we can bring the war home to Mussolini and his Fascist gang with an intensity not yet possible.

7. At the same time by building up a strong Anglo-American army and air force in Great Britain and making continuous preparations along our south-eastern and southern coasts, we keep the Germans pinned in the Pas de Calais, etc., and are ready to take advantage of any favourable opportunity. And all the time our bombers will be blasting Germany with ever-increasing violence. Thus the halter will tighten upon the guilty doomed.

8. The glorious news of your offensive is streaming in. We are watching it with breathless attention. Every good wish.

November 24th, 1942


No. 89

Sent on November 27, 1942

Personal and Secret Message from Premier Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Churchill

Thank you for your message, which I received on November 25. I fully share your view that it is highly important to promote our personal relations.

I express gratitude for the steps you are taking to send another large convoy to Archangel. I realise that at the moment this is particularly difficult for you, especially in view of the considerable operations by the British fleet in the Mediterranean.

I agree with you and President Roosevelt concerning the desirability of doing everything to bring Turkey into the war on our side in the spring. That, without a doubt, would mean a great deal for the speedy defeat of Hitler and his accomplices. As for Darlan, I think the Americans have made skilful use of him to facilitate the occupation of North and West Africa. Military diplomacy should know how to use for the war aims not only the Darlans, but even the devil and his grandmother.

I have carefully read your communication saying that you and the Americans are continuing the preparations along your south-eastern and southern coasts in order to keep the Germans pinned in the Pas de Calais, etc., and that you are ready to take advantage of any favourable opportunity. That, I hope, does not imply renunciation of your Moscow promise to open a second front in Western Europe in the spring of 1943.

I accept President Roosevelt’s and your suggestion that we call a conference of representatives of our three Staffs in Moscow to make appropriate war plans for 1943. We are prepared to meet your representatives, and the Americans, whenever you like.

So far the Stalingrad operation is proceeding successfully, helped among other things by snowfall and fog which prevent full-scale action by German aircraft.

We are planning active operations on the Central Front one of these days in order to tie up the enemy and prevent him from moving forces south.


No. 90

Sent on November 29, 1942

To Mr Winston Churchill

On the occasion of your birthday I send you best wishes for good health and success in your war effort for the triumph of our common cause.

J. Stalin



No. 91

Received on December 1, 1942

J. V. Stalin, Chairman of Council of People’s Commissars

Kremlin, Moscow

I am most grateful to you for your kind message on my birthday. It was the first to reach me and has given me lively pleasure.

Winston Churchill


No. 92

Received on December 4, 1942

Most Secret and Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Premier Stalin

The President tells me that he has proposed a meeting for us three in January somewhere in North Africa.

This is far better than the Iceland project we talked over in Moscow. You could get to any point desired in three days, I in two, and the President in about the same time as you. I earnestly hope you will agree. We must decide at the earliest moment the best way of attacking Germany in Europe with all possible force in 1943. This can only be settled between the heads of the Governments and States with their high expert authorities at their side. It is only by such a meeting that the full burden of the war can be shared according to capacity and opportunity.


No. 93

Sent on December 6, 1942

Personal and Secret Message from Premier Stalin to Prime Minister Churchill

Your message of December 4 received. I welcome the idea of a meeting of the three heads of the Governments to establish a common strategic line. To my great regret, however, I shall be unable to leave the Soviet Union. I must tell you that this is such a crucial moment that I cannot be away even for a single day. Just now the major operations of our winter campaign are getting under way, nor will they be relaxed in January. More than likely it will be the other way round.

I await your reply to that part of my previous message concerning the opening of a second front in Western Europe in the spring of 1943.

Fighting is developing both at Stalingrad and on the Central Front. At Stalingrad we have encircled a large group of German troops and hope to complete their destruction.


No. 94

Most Secret and Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Premier Stalin

In your message to me of November 27th in the last sentence of paragraph 5 and also in your message of December 6th, you ask specifically about a second front in 1943. I am not able to reply to this question except jointly with the President of the United States. It was for this reason that I so earnestly desired a meeting between the three of us. We both understand the paramount military reasons which prevent you from leaving Russia while conducting your great operations. I am in constant communication with the President in order to see what can be done.

December 12th, 1942


No. 95

Received on December 20, 1942

Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Premier Stalin

Please accept my best wishes and warm personal regards on your birthday.

We are all watching with admiration the magnificent offensives being carried out by the Red Army.



No. 96

Sent on December 21, 1942

Personal Message from Premier Stalin to Prime Minister Churchill

Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your congratulations and good wishes.



No. 97

Personal, Private and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill, to Premier Stalin

We are deeply encouraged by the growing magnitude of your victories in the South. They bear out all that you told me at Moscow. The results may be very far-reaching indeed.

2. The Axis are making good their bridgehead on the Tunis tip, which we nearly managed to seize at the first rush. It now looks as if fighting there will continue through January and February. I hope General Alexander’s Army will be masters of Tripoli early in February. Rommel will very likely withdraw towards the Tunis tip with his forces, which amount to about 70,000 German troops and as many Italians, two-thirds of all of them administrative. The warfare on the African coast is very costly to the enemy on account of the heavy losses in transit and at ports. We shall do our utmost to finish it as quickly as possible.

3. The December P.Q. convoy has prospered so far beyond all expectations. I have now arranged to send a full convoy of thirty or more ships through in January, though whether they will go in one portion or in two is not yet settled by the Admiralty.

4. For yourself alone, I am going to visit President Roosevelt soon in order to settle our plans for 1943.40 My supreme object is for the British and Americans to engage the enemy with the largest numbers in the shortest time. The shipping stringency is most severe. I will inform you of what passes.

30th December, 1942


No. 98

Sent on January 5, 1943

Personal and Secret Message from Premier Stalin to Prime Minister Churchill

Both your messages received. Thank you for notifying me about the forthcoming meeting with the President.40 I shall be grateful for a report about the outcome of the meeting.



No. 99

Most Secret and Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Premier Stalin

The December convoy has now been fought through successfully and you will have received details of the fine engagement fought by our light forces against heavy odds.

2. The Admiralty had intended to run the January convoy in two parts of fifteen ships each, the first part sailing about January 17th and the second part later in the month. Since it is clear from the experience of the last convoy that the enemy means to dispute the passage of further convoys by surface forces it will be necessary immediately to increase our escorts beyond the scale originally contemplated for January. A still further increase will be necessary for later convoys owing to the increased hours of daylight.

3. We have, therefore, had to revise our arrangements. Instead of running the January convoy in two parts we will sail nineteen ships (including two oilers) instead of the fifteen originally contemplated on January 17th. This will be followed on about February 11th by a full convoy of twenty-eight to thirty ships. Thereafter we will do our utmost to sail a convoy of thirty ships on about March 10th, but this is dependent on the Americans assisting us with escort vessels. If they cannot provide this assistance this convoy could not sail until March 19th at the earliest.

January 11th, 1943


No. 100

Sent on January 16, 1943

Personal and Secret Message from Premier Stalin to Prime Minister Churchill

Your message of January 11 has reached me. Thanks for the information.

Our operations against the Germans on the fronts are so far making satisfactory progress. We are finishing the destruction of the German group encircled at Stalingrad.


No. 101

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill, to Monsieur Stalin

We dropped 142 tons of high explosive and 218 tons of incendiaries on Berlin last night.

17th January, 1943


No. 102

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill, to Monsieur Stalin

In last night’s raid we dropped 117 tons of high explosive and 211 tons of incendiary bombs on Berlin.

18th January, 1943


No. 103

Sent on January 19, 1943

Personal and Secret Message from Premier Stalin to Prime Minister Churchill

Thank you for the information on the successful bombing of Berlin on the night of January 17. I wish the British Air Force further success, particularly in bombing Berlin.


No. 104

Received on January 27, 1943

From President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill to Premier Stalin

We have been in conference with our military advisers and have decided on the operations which are to be undertaken by the American and British forces in the first nine months of 1943.40 We wish to inform you of our intentions at once. We believe that these operations, together with your powerful offensive, may well bring Germany to her knees in 1943. Every effort must be made to accomplish this purpose.

2. We are in no doubt that our correct strategy is to concentrate on the defeat of Germany with a view to achieving an early and decisive victory in the European theatre. At the same time we must maintain sufficient pressure on Japan to retain the initiative in the Pacific and the Far East and sustain China and prevent the Japanese from extending their aggression to other theatres such as your Maritime provinces.

3. Our main desire has been to divert strong German land, and air forces from the Russian front and to send Russia the maximum flow of supplies. We shall spare no exertion to send you material assistance in any case by every available route.

4. Our immediate intention is to clear the Axis out of North Africa and set up naval and air installations to open:

(1) an effective passage through the Mediterranean for military traffic, and

(2) an intensive bombardment of important Axis targets in Southern Europe.

5. We have made the decision to launch large-scale amphibious operations in the Mediterranean at the earliest possible moment. The preparation for these operations is now under way and will involve a considerable concentration of forces, including landing craft and shipping, in Egypt and the North Africa ports. In addition we shall concentrate within the United Kingdom a strong American land and air force. These, combined with the British forces in the United Kingdom, will prepare themselves to re-enter the continent of Europe as soon as practicable. These concentrations will certainly be known to our enemies but they will not know where or when or on what scale we propose striking. They will, therefore, be compelled to divert both land and air forces to all the shores of France, the Low Countries, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily and the Levant, and Italy, Yugoslavia, Greece, Crete and the Dodecanese.

6. In Europe we shall increase the Allied bomber offensive from the United Kingdom against Germany at a rapid rate and by midsummer it should be double its present strength. Our experiences to date have shown that day bombing attacks result in the destruction of, and damage to, large numbers of German fighter aircraft. We believe that an increased tempo and weight of daylight and night attacks will lead to greatly increased material and moral damage in Germany and rapidly deplete German fighter strength. As you are aware, we are already containing more than half the German Air Force in Western Europe and the Mediterranean. We have no doubt that our intensified and diversified bombing offensive, together with the other operations which we are undertaking, will compel further withdrawals of German air and other forces from the Russian front.

7. In the Pacific it is our intention to eject the Japanese from Rabaul41 within the next few months and thereafter to exploit the success in the general direction of Japan. We also intend to increase the scale of our operations in Burma in order to reopen this channel of supply to China. We intend to increase our Air Forces in China at once. We shall not, however, allow our offensives against Japan to jeopardise our capacity to take advantage of every opportunity that may present itself for the decisive defeat of Germany in 1943.

8. Our ruling purpose is to bring to bear upon Germany and Italy the maximum forces by land, sea and air which can be physically applied.



No. 105

Most Secret and Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Premier Stalin

It was agreed between President Roosevelt and me that I should propose to the Turkish President a meeting between him and me in order to arrange for better and more speedy equipment of the Turkish army with a view to future eventualities. The Turkish President has replied, cordially welcoming this plan for increasing “the general defensive security” of Turkey, and he is willing, if I wish, that our meeting should become public in due course after it has taken place.

You know my views already in this matter from telegrams exchanged between us, and you may be sure I shall keep you promptly and fully informed.

Pray accept my renewed expression of admiration at the continued marvellous feats of the Soviet armies.

27th January, 1943


No. 106

Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to M. Stalin

I should be obliged if you would not contradict any rumour you may hear that I am coming again to Moscow because it is thought important that my real movements, of which I have informed you, should be secret for a few days. All good wishes.

29th January, 1943


No. 107

Sent on January 30, 1943

Personal and Secret Message from Premier Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Churchill and the President, Mr Roosevelt

Your friendly joint message reached me on January 27. Thank you for informing me of the Casablanca decisions about the operations to be undertaken by the U.S. and British armed forces in the first nine months of 1943. Assuming that your decisions on Germany are designed to defeat her by opening a second front in Europe in 1943, I should be grateful if you would inform me of the concrete operations planned and of their timing.

As to the Soviet Union, I can assure you that the Soviet armed forces will do all in their power to continue the offensive against Germany and her allies on the Soviet-German front. We expect to finish our winter campaign, circumstances permitting, in the first half of February. Our troops are tired, they are in need of rest and they will hardly be able to carry on the offensive beyond that period.


No. 108

Sent on January 31, 1943

Personal and Secret Message from Premier Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Churchill

Your message on the forthcoming meeting with the Turkish President received. I shall be grateful for information about the outcome of the meeting, the vital importance of which I appreciate.

Your wish that rumours about your visit be not contradicted will, naturally, be complied with.


No. 109

Most Secret and Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to M. Stalin

Thank you for your telegram about Turkey. I met all the chief Turks at Adana on the 30th January and had long and most friendly talks.42 There is no doubt that they have come a long way towards us both and also that their news from Germany convinces them of a bad condition there. The first thing is to equip them with modern weapons, of which we have so far been able to spare only a few. I have arranged to press forward everything they can take over the Taurus railway, which is the only road, and also to lend them some ships to carry more supplies from Egypt. I am also giving them some German material which we have captured in the desert. We are setting up at Angora a joint Anglo-Turkish military commission to improve communications for the transit of munitions. We are making joint plans to aid them if they are attacked by Germany or Bulgaria.

2. I have not asked for any precise political engagement or promise about entering the war on our side, but it is my opinion that they will do so before the year is out, and that possibly earlier, by a strained interpretation of neutrality similar to that of the United States before she came in, they may allow us to use their air fields for refuelling for British and American bombing attacks on the Ploesti oil wells, which are of vital importance to Germany, especially now that your armies have recovered Maikop. I repeat, I have not asked for or received a definite political engagement and have told them they are free to say so. Nevertheless, their meeting me, their whole attitude and the joint communiqué which I am telegraphing to you range them more plainly than before in the anti-Hitler system, and will be so taken all over the world.

3. They are, of course, apprehensive of their position after the war in view of the great strength of the Soviet Union. I told them that in my experience the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics had never broken an engagement or treaty; that the time for them to make a good arrangement was now, and that the safest place for Turkey was to have a seat with the victors as a belligerent at the peace table. All this I said in our common interest in accordance with our alliance, and I hope you will approve. They would, I am sure, be very responsive to any gesture of friendship on the part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. I should be very glad to have your candid opinion on all this. I have established very close personal relations with them, particularly with President Inonu.

4. In your recent telegram which you sent to President Roosevelt you asked about the slowing down of the Allied operations in North Africa. So far as the British Eighth Army is concerned we have since then taken Tripoli and Zuara and hope shortly to enter Tunisia in force and drive the enemy from the Mareth and Gabes positions. The clearing and restoring of the harbour at Tripoli is proceeding with all speed. But at present our line of communications runs to Benghazi and partly even to Cairo, 1,600 miles away. Our First Army, reinforced by strong American forces, is bringing its supplies forward and will attack in conjunction with the Eighth Army as soon as possible. The wet weather is a serious factor, as are also communications which, both by road and rail, are slender and 500 miles long. However, it is my hope that the enemy will be completely destroyed or driven from the African shore by the end of April and perhaps earlier. My own estimate, which is based on good information, is that the Fifth German Panzer Army in Tunisia has a ration strength of 80,000 Germans and with them 25,000 to 30,000 Italians. Rommel has 150,000 Germans and Italians on his ration strength, of which perhaps 40,000 only are fighting troops, and is weak in weapons. The destruction of these forces is our immediate aim.

5. I will reply later to your most proper inquiries of me and the President about the concrete operations settled at Casablanca.

6. Pray accept my congratulations on the surrender of Field Marshal Paulus and the end of the German Sixth Army. This is indeed a wonderful achievement.

February 1st, 1943


No. 110

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to M. Stalin

Inquiries are made of me whether you were informed of Anglo-Turkish meeting beforehand. It would be well, I think, to reply: “Yes. Premier Stalin has been kept fully informed.” Alternatively, you might make some statement in Moscow. In this latter case you do not need to consult me as I am sure what you say will be helpful.

February 2nd, 1943


No. 111

Sent on February 6, 1943

Personal Message from Premier Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill,

I received on February 2 and 3 your messages on the subject of Turkey. Thank you for the information on your talks with the Turkish leaders in Adana.

With reference to your statement that the Turks would respond to any gesture of friendship on the part of the Soviet Union I think it opportune to point out that in relation to Turkey we made, both some months before the outbreak of the Soviet-German war and after it had begun, a number of statements the friendly nature of which is known to the British Government. The Turks failed to react, apparently fearing that they might upset the Germans. It can be assumed that they will react in the same way to the gesture you suggest.

Turkey’s international position remains rather ticklish. On the one hand, she is linked to the U.S.S.R. by a treaty of friendship and neutrality, and to Great Britain by a treaty of mutual aid in resisting aggression; on the other hand, she is linked with Germany by a treaty of friendship concluded three-days before Germany attacked the U.S.S.R. I do not know how, in the present circumstances, Turkey expects to square fulfilment of her obligations to the U.S.S.R. and Great-Britain with fulfilment of her obligations to Germany. However, if the Turks want closer and more friendly relations with the U.S.S.R. let them say so. In that case the Soviet Union will meet them half-way.

2. I shall certainly not object to you saying that you informed me of the Anglo-Turkish meeting, although I cannot say the information was complete.

3. I wish you every success in the coming offensive of the First and Eighth British Armies and the U.S. troops in North Africa and speedy expulsion of the Italo-German troops from the African coast.

4. Please accept my thanks for the friendly congratulations on the surrender of Field Marshal Paulus and the destruction of the enemy troops encircled at Stalingrad.


No. 112

Received on February 12, 1943

Most Secret and Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to M. Stalin

Your message of January 30th. I have now consulted the President and the matter has been referred to the Staffs on both sides of the Ocean. I am authorised to reply for us both as follows:

(a) There are a quarter of a million Germans and Italians in Eastern Tunisia. We hope to destroy or expel these during April, if not earlier.

(b) When this is accomplished, we intend in July, or earlier if possible, to seize Sicily with the object of clearing the Mediterranean, promoting an Italian collapse with the consequent effect on Greece and Yugoslavia and wearing down of the German Air Force; this is to be closely followed by an operation in the Eastern Mediterranean, probably against the Dodecanese.

(c) This operation will involve all the shipping and landing craft we can get together in the Mediterranean and all the troops we can have trained in assault-landing in time, and will be of the order of three or four hundred thousand men. We shall press any advantage to the utmost once ports of entry and landing bases have been established.

(d) We are also pushing preparations to the limit of our resources for a cross-Channel operation in August, in which British and United States units would participate. Here again, shipping and assault-landing craft will be the limiting factors. If the operation is delayed by the weather or other reasons, it will be prepared with stronger forces for September. The timing of this attack must, of course, be dependent upon the condition of German defensive possibilities across the Channel at that time.

(e) Both operations will be supported by very large United States and British air forces, and that across the Channel by the whole metropolitan Air Force of Great Britain. Together, these operations will strain to the very utmost the shipping resources of Great Britain and the United States.

(f) The President and I have enjoined upon our Combined Chiefs of Staff43 the need for the utmost speed and for reinforcing the attacks to the extreme limit that is humanly and physically possible.

February 9th, 1943


No. 113

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to M. Stalin

The series of prodigious victories, which tonight brings us news of the liberation of Rostov on the Don, leaves me without power to express to you the admiration and gratitude which we feel to Russian arms. My most earnest wish is to do more to aid you.

14th February, 1943


No. 114

Most Secret and Personal Message from Premier Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Churchill

On February 12 I received your message on the forthcoming Anglo-American military operations.

Thanks for the additional information on the Casablanca decisions. On the other hand, I cannot but state certain considerations with reference to your message, which you tell me is a common reply conveying also the President’s opinion.

It appears from your message that the date – February – which you had fixed earlier for completing the operations in Tunisia is now set back to April. There is no need to demonstrate at length the undesirability of this delay in operations against the Germans and Italians. It is now, when the Soviet troops are still keeping up their broad offensive, that action by the Anglo- American troops in North Africa is imperative. Simultaneous pressure on Hitler from our front and from yours in Tunisia would be of great positive significance for our common cause and would create most serious difficulties for Hitler and Mussolini It would also expedite the operations you are planning in Sicily and the Eastern Mediterranean.

As to the opening of a second front in Europe, in particular in France, it is planned, judging by your communication, for August or September. As I see it, however, the situation calls for shortening these time limits to the utmost and for the opening of a second front in the West at a date much earlier than the one mentioned. So that the enemy should not be given a chance to recover, it is very important, to my mind, that the blow from the West, instead of being put off till the second half of the year, be delivered in spring or early summer.

According to reliable information at our disposal, since the end of December, when for some reason the Anglo-American operations in Tunisia were suspended, the Germans have moved 27 divisions, including five armoured divisions, to the Soviet-German front from France, the Low Countries and Germany. In other words, instead of the Soviet Union being aided by diverting German forces from the Soviet-German front, what we get is relief for Hitler, who, because of the let-up in Anglo-American operations in Tunisia, was able to move additional troops against the Russians.

The foregoing indicates that the sooner we make joint use of the Hitler camp’s difficulties at the front, the more grounds we shall have for anticipating early defeat for Hitler. Unless we take account of this and profit by the present moment to further our common interests, it may well be that, having gained a respite and rallied their forces, the Germans might recover. It is clear to you and us that such an undesirable miscalculation should not be made.

2. I have deemed it necessary to send this reply to Mr Roosevelt as well.

3. Thank you for your cordial congratulations on the liberation of Rostov. This morning our troops have taken Kharkov.

February 16, 1943


No. 115

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to M. Stalin

I told the Turks about your friendly message.

The Turkish Government have now authorised me to tell you that they are ready with the greatest of pleasure to enter upon exchanges of views with you through the respective Ambassadors. I understand the Turks have been in agreeable contact with your Ambassador in Angora.

2. The Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs has told our Ambassador that his idea is that the exchange of views should start as soon as possible, preferably in Moscow. He suggests that they should have as their starting point the Adana Conference,42 including the point I mentioned about air bases to attack Ploesti, etc., and should, if desirable, include the issue in due course of some joint communiqué.

3. Sir A. Clark Kerr is bringing you fuller information from me about the Adana conversations. Unfortunately he has for a week been held up by bad weather.

4. Pray let me know if there is anything I should put to them, not as coming from you, but on my own.

February 17th, 1943


No. 116

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to M. Stalin

Much regret I have not been able to answer your last telegram to me. I had the answer all in draft but my fever got so high that I thought it better to leave it for a while. In a few days I hope to send you more information on the whole scene. Meanwhile what you are doing is simply indescribable. The battle in Tunisia is all right. The enemy have shot their bolt and will now be brought into the grip of the vice. Every good wish.

February 25th, 1943


No. 117

Sent on March 2, 1943

Personal and Secret Message from Premier Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill

I have received your message of February 17 on the Turkish Government’s desire to enter upon exchange of views with the Soviet Government. On February 24 I also received from you three documents, transmitted by Mr Kerr: (1) a brief record of the statements made by the Prime Minister to President Ismet and the Turkish delegation at the Adana Conference; (2) the agreed conclusions of the Anglo-Turkish conference held in Adana on January 30-31, 1943; and (3) an aide-mémoire on post-war security.44

Thank you for the information.

I find it necessary to inform you that on February 13 the Turkish Foreign Minister advised the Soviet Ambassador in Ankara of his Government’s desire to begin negotiations with the Soviet Government to improve Soviet-Turkish relations. The Soviet Government replied through its Ambassador in Ankara that it welcomed the Turkish Government’s desire to improve Soviet-Turkish relations, and signified its readiness to begin negotiations. We are now waiting for the return to Moscow of the Turkish Ambassador with whom we plan to begin the negotiations.

I take this occasion sincerely to wish you complete recovery and a speedy return to good health.


No. 118

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to M. Stalin

Last night the R.A.F. dropped over 700 tons of bombs on Berlin. Raid reported most successful. Out of 302 four-engine bombers we lost 19.

March 2nd, 1943


No. 119

Sent on March 3, 1943

Personal and Secret Message from Premier Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill

I salute the British Air Force, which successfully raided Berlin last night. I regret that the Soviet Air Force, busy fighting the Germans at the front, is, for the time being, unable to take part in bombing Berlin.


No. 120

Most Secret and Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to M. Stalin

The weather being unsuitable over Berlin we cast over 800 tons with good results last night on Hamburg. These are very heavy discharges especially when compressed into such short periods. We shall increase steadily in weight and frequency during the next few months and I expect the Nazi experiences will be very severe and make them less keen about the war than they used to be. Apart from hampering their production we are drawing an ever-increasing volume of their resources into antiaircraft batteries and other defensive measures.

2. Accept my warmest congratulations on Rzhev. I know from our conversations in August how much importance you attach to the liberation of this place.

3. I am consulting President Roosevelt about an answer to your telegram of the sixteenth and I hope soon to forward it to you from us both.

March 4th, 1943


No. 121

Sent on March 6, 1943

Most Secret and Personal Message From Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message informing me of the successful bombing of Hamburg received. I salute the British Air Force and welcome your intention to increase the bomber attacks on Germany.

Thank you for your congratulations on our capture of Rzhev. Today our troops have taken Gzhatsk.

I look forward to a reply from you and Mr Roosevelt to my message of February 16.


No. 122

Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to M. Stalin

468 tons of high explosive and 518 tons of incendiary (986 tons altogether) were dropped last night on Essen under good conditions in a short time in an area of about two square miles.

March 6th, 1943


No. 123

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshall Stalin

Mr Roosevelt has sent me a copy of his reply to your message of February 16th. I am well enough to reply myself.

2. Our first task is to clear the Axis out of North Africa by an operation, the code name of which is in my immediately following message. We hope that this will be accomplished towards the end of April, by which time about a quarter of a million Axis troops will be engaged by us.

3. Meanwhile all preparations are being pressed forward to carry out the operation “Husky,”45 which is the new code word (see my immediately following message), in June, a month earlier than we had planned at Casablanca.

4. Plans are also being investigated for operations in the Eastern Mediterranean such as:

(a) Capture of Crete and/or Dodecanese, and

(b) A landing in Greece.

The timing of these operations is largely governed by the result of “Husky” and the availability of the necessary assemblage of shipping and landing craft. The assistance of Turkey and the use of Turkish air fields would, of course, be of immense value. At the right time I shall make a request of them.

5. The Anglo-American attempt to get Tunis and Bizerta at a run was abandoned in December because of the strength of the enemy, the impending rainy season, the already sodden character of the ground and the fact that communications stretched 500 miles from Algiers and 160 from Bone through bad roads and a week’s travelling over single-track French railways. It was only possible to get supplies up to the Army by sea on a small scale owing to the strength of the enemy air and submarine attack. Thus it was not possible to accumulate petrol or other supplies in forward areas. Indeed it was just possible to nourish the troops already there. The same was true of the air, and improvised air fields became quagmires. When we stopped attacking there were about 40,000 Germans in Tunisia apart from Italians and from Rommel who was still in Tripoli. The German force in North Tunisia is now more than double that figure, and they are rushing over every man they can in transport aircraft and destroyers. Some sharp local reverses were suffered towards the end of last month, but the position has now been restored. We hope that the delays caused by this setback will be repaired by the earlier advance of Montgomery’s army which should have six divisions (say 200,000 men) operating from Tripoli with sufficient supplies against the Mareth position before the end of March. Already on the 6th March Montgomery’s army repulsed Rommel’s forestalling attack with heavy losses. The British and American armies in the northern sector of Tunisia will act in combination with Montgomery’s battle.

6. I thought that you would like to know these details of the story, although it is on a small scale compared with the tremendous operations over which you are presiding.

7. The British Staffs estimate that about half the number of the divisions which were sent to the Soviet-German front from France and the Low Countries since last November have already been replaced mainly by divisions from Russia and Germany, and partly by new divisions formed in France. They estimate that at the present time there are thirty German divisions in France and the Low Countries.

8. I am anxious that you should know, for your own most secret information, exactly what our military resources are for an attack upon Europe across the Mediterranean or the Channel. By far the larger part of the British Army is in North Africa, in the Middle East and in India and there is no physical possibility of moving it by sea back to the British Isles. By the end of April we shall have five British divisions or about 200,000 men in Northern Tunisia in addition to General Montgomery’s army of some six divisions and we are bringing two specially trained British divisions from Iran, sending one from this country to reinforce them for “Husky,” a total of fourteen. We have four mobile British divisions, the two Polish divisions, one Free French division and one Greek division in the Middle East. There is the equivalent of four static divisions in Gibraltar, Malta and Cyprus. Apart from the garrisons and frontier troops, there are ten or twelve divisions formed and forming in India for reconquering Burma after the monsoon and reopening contact with China (see my immediately following message for the code word of this operation). Thus we have under British command, spread over a distance of some 6,300 miles from Gibraltar to Calcutta, thirty-eight divisions including strong armoured and a powerful proportion of air forces. For all these forces active and definite tasks are assigned for 1943.

9. The gross strength of a British division, including Corps, army, and lines of communication troops, may be estimated at about 40,000 men. There remain in the United Kingdom about nineteen formed divisions, four home defence divisions and four drafting divisions, of which sixteen are being prepared for a cross-Channel operation in August. You must remember that our total population is 46,000,000 and that the first charge upon it is the Royal Navy and Mercantile Marine, without which we could not live. Thereafter comes our very large Air Force, about 1,200,000 strong, and the needs of munitions, agriculture and air raid defence. Thus the entire manhood and womanhood of the country is, and has been, for some time, fully absorbed.

10. The United States had an idea in July last to send twenty-seven divisions, each of a gross strength of between 40,000 and 50,000 men, to the United Kingdom for the invasion of France. Since then they have sent seven divisions to the operation “Torch”29 and three more are to go. In this country there is now only one American division and no more are expected for two months at least. They hope to have four divisions available by August in addition to a strong air force. This is no disparagement of the American effort. The reason why these performances have fallen so far short of the expectations of last year is not that the troops do not exist, but that the shipping at our disposal and the means of escorting it do not exist. There is in fact no prospect whatever of bringing anything more than I have mentioned into the United Kingdom in the period concerned.

11. The bomber offensive from the United Kingdom has been going steadily forward. During February over 10,000 tons of bombs were dropped on Germany and on German-occupied territory, and 4,000 tons have fallen on Germany since the beginning of March. Our Air Staff estimates that out of a German first line strength of 4,500 combat aircraft about 1,780 are now on the Russian front, the remainder being held opposite us in Germany and on the Western and Mediterranean fronts. Besides this, there is the Italian Air Force with a first line strength of 1,385 aircraft, the great bulk of which is opposed to us.

12. With regard to the attack across the Channel it is the earnest wish of the President and myself that our troops should be in the general battle in Europe which you are fighting with such astounding prowess. But in order to sustain the operations in North Africa, the Pacific, and India, and to carry supplies to Russia the import programme into the United Kingdom has been cut to the bone and we have eaten and are eating into reserves. However, in case the enemy should weaken sufficiently we are preparing to strike earlier than August and plans are kept alive from week to week. If he does not weaken, a premature attack with inferior and insufficient forces would merely lead to a bloody repulse, Nazi vengeance on the local population if they rose and a great triumph for the enemy. The actual situation can only be judged nearer the time and in making, for your own personal information, this declaration of our intentions there I must not be understood to limit our freedom of decision.

March 11th, 1943


No. 124

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshall Stalin

With reference to my immediately preceding message:

(1) The code name of the operation in paragraph 2 is “Vulcan.”

(2) The operation mentioned in paragraph 3 is against Sicily.

(3) The code name of the operation in paragraph 8 is “Anakim.”

March 11th, 1943


No. 125

Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshall Stalin

I have just seen and greatly enjoyed an excellent film of the Red Army victories at Stalingrad and of the capture of Paulus. The front line cameramen attached to our Eighth Army have produced a record of their victory in the desert. I have had the commentary translated into Russian and am sending you a copy in the hope you will find time to see it.

The officers and men of the Eighth Army will, I am sure, be proud to know that the record of their victorious struggle will be seen by their Allies, the armies and peoples of the Soviet Union.

March 11th, 1943


No. 126

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshall Stalin

With regard to my last message I am anxious that paragraphs 8, 9 and 10 should be considered as a separate message of a military operation addressed under that character to yourself as Marshal and Commander-in-Chief. Let these paragraphs be between you and me.

2. We had another raid of 400 aircraft on Essen last night losing 23 but the results are reported good. This follows upon Stuttgart, Munich, Nuremberg and Essen again almost without intermission. There is no doubt that these increasingly frequent and heavy raids are having an effect on German morale and I expect Hitler will be forced to order the strongest retaliation in his power. He is holding a strong bombing force in the West to be used against the beaches in case we make landings. One of our objects is to compel him to bring this into action against Great Britain where we shall give him a warm reception and also clear the way for future operations.

3. I congratulate you cordially upon Vyazma and I earnestly hope for final success at Kharkov.

March 13th, 1943


No. 127

Sent on March 15, 1943

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

On March 12 Mr Standley, the U.S. Ambassador, handed to Mr Molotov the following message from the U.S. Government.

The U.S. Government offers to mediate between the U.S.S.R. and Finland with a view to ascertaining the possibility of a separate peace between them. Asked by Mr Molotov whether the U.S. Government knew that Finland wanted peace and what her attitude was, Mr Standley said he had nothing to say on the matter.

As is known, the Anglo-Soviet Treaty of May 26, 1942, provides that our two countries shall not negotiate a separate peace either with Germany or with her allies other than by mutual agreement. This, for me, is an inviolable provision.

I therefore consider it my duty, first, to inform you of the American proposal and, secondly, to ask your opinion on the matter.

I have no reason to believe that Finland really wants peace, that she has already resolved to break with Germany and is willing to offer acceptable terms. She has probably not yet broken loose from Hitler’s clutches, if she wants at all to do so. The present rulers of Finland, who signed a peace treaty with the Soviet Union and then tore it up and, in alliance with Germany, attacked the Soviet Union, are hardly capable of breaking with Hitler.

Nevertheless, in view of the U.S. proposal, I considered it my duty to advise you of the foregoing.


No. 128

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your messages of March 6 and 13, informing me of successful air raids on Essen, Stuttgart, Munich and Nuremberg, have reached me. With all my heart I salute the British Air Force, which is stepping up its bombing of German industrial centres.

Your wish that paragraphs 8, 9 and 10 of your message of March 11 be treated as special military information shall be complied with.

Thanks for your congratulations on the capture of Vyazma. I regret to say that we have had to withdraw from Kharkov today.

As soon as we receive your film of the Eighth Army, of which you advised me in a special message of March 11, I shall see it and we shall arrange for our Army and population to see it. I realise how valuable it will be for our fighting alliance. Allow me to send our Soviet film Stalingrad to you personally.

March 15, 1943


No. 129

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your reply to my message of February 16.

It appears from your communication that Anglo-American operations in North Africa are not being hastened, but are, in fact, being postponed till the end of April. Moreover, even this date is given in rather vague terms. In other words, at the height of fighting against the Hitler troops, in February and March, the Anglo-American offensive in North Africa, far from having been stepped up, has been called off, and the date fixed by yourself has been set back. Meanwhile Germany has succeeded in moving from the West 36 divisions, including six armoured ones, to be used against Soviet troops. The difficulties that this has created for the Soviet Army and the extent to which it has eased the German position on the Soviet-German front will be readily appreciated.

For all its importance “Husky”45 can by no means replace a second front in France, but I fully welcome, of course, your intention to expedite the operation.

I still regard the opening of a second front in France as the important thing. You will recall that you thought it possible to open a second front as early as 1942 or this spring at the latest. The grounds for doing so were weighty enough. Hence it should be obvious why I stressed in my previous message the need for striking in the West not later than this spring or early summer.

The Soviet troops fought strenuously all winter and are continuing to do so, while Hitler is taking important measures to rehabilitate and reinforce his Army for the spring and summer operations against the U.S.S.R.; it is therefore particularly essential for us that the blow from the West be no longer delayed, that it be delivered this spring or in early summer.

I have studied the arguments you set out in paragraphs 8, 9 and 10 as indicative of the difficulties of Anglo-American operations in Europe. I grant the difficulties. Nevertheless, I think I must give a most emphatic warning, in the interest of our common cause, of the grave danger with which further delay in opening a second front in France is fraught. For this reason the vagueness of your statements about the contemplated Anglo- American offensive across the Channel causes apprehension which I cannot conceal from you.

March 15, 1943


No. 130

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal Stalin

I am obliged to you for your telegram of March 15th about the American approach to you on the subject of Finland.

2. You can best judge how much military value it would be in the struggle against the Germans on your front to get Finland out of the war. I should suppose it would have the effect of releasing more Soviet divisions than German divisions for use elsewhere Further, the defection of Finland from the Axis might have a considerable effect on Hitler’s other satellites.

3. The exclusion of the most clearly pro-German of the Finnish Ministers from the new government seems to have been a concession to public opinion and to denote a desire to show an independence of German control. It is thus possibly preparatory to a reorientation of Finnish policy when the moment is judged ripe. Although my own information, which is not very full, tends to show that the Finns are probably not yet ripe for negotiations, I feel that events on your front in the next few months will decide the issue for them. I believe them to be dependent on supplies of grain promised by the Germans for delivery between now and May. After these supplies have been received, Finland could probably get along without German food supplies until the end of the year.

4. Generally speaking, I should have thought that the Finns would be anxious to withdraw from the war as soon as they are convinced that Germany must be defeated. If so, it seems to me that it might not be altogether premature for you to ask the United States Government whether they know, or could find out without disclosing your interest, what terms the Finns would be prepared to accept. But you will be the best judge of the right tactics.

March 20th, 1943


No. 131

Personal and Secret Operational Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

Our main battle in Tunisia is now in full swing. The American advance from the West began on March 17th. On the night of March 20th the Eighth Army attacked the fortifications of Mareth and is now driving through them in a north-westerly direction. At the same time the New Zealand Army Corps with strong armoured forces by a circuitous march of over 150 miles has reached a position behind the enemy about 30 miles west of Gabes. This Corps also reports progress towards the Gabes bottle-neck which is its objective. We have about 70,000 Germans and 50,000 Italians inside the closing circle but it is too soon to speculate on what will happen. You will be able yourself to judge from the map the possibilities that are open. I will keep you informed.

2. Ten days of fog on our home landing grounds have held up our air offensive. It will begin again with added strength the moment the weather improves. I am sending you a few reels showing the destruction effected, particularly at Essen. I think you will like the look of these pictures as much as I do. March 23rd, 1943


No. 132

Sent on March 27, 1943

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your communication of the main battle being fought in Tunisia. I wish the British and U.S. troops complete and speedy success. I hope you will now be able to overwhelm and defeat the enemy and expel him from Tunisia.

I also hope that the air offensive against Germany will gain in momentum. I shall be obliged for the reels showing the destruction wrought in Essen.


No. 133

To Marshal J. V. Stalin, President of the Council of People’s Commissars and People’s Commissar for Defence

Dear Marshal Stalin,

I have appointed Lieutenant-General G. le Q. Martel, C.B., D.S.O., M.C., to be Head of the British Military Mission to the Soviet Union.

General Martel is a senior general who has held high appointments in the British Army, having commanded a division in France until Dunkirk and having lately been Commander of the Royal Armoured Corps. I have specially selected him for this appointment, as I consider that he has those qualities both military and personal which will appeal to you and to the Soviet military authorities and will ensure the success of his mission. In sending to the Soviet Union a distinguished officer with a fine record of service, I emphasise the great importance which I attach to close cooperation between our countries and put at your disposal one of my best officers in whom I ask you to place full confidence. He has already in 1936 had the privilege of seeing the Red Army during manoeuvres, and now looks forward to renewing acquaintance with them in the stern test of war. I hope that you will give the necessary instructions to enable him to receive all proper facilities to this end.

Yours sincerely,

Winston Churchill

March 27th, 1943


No. 134

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal Stalin

Last night 395 heavy bombers flung 1,050 tons on Berlin in fifty minutes. The sky was clear over the target and the raid was highly successful. This is the best Berlin has yet got. Our loss was nine only.

2. After a check the battle in Tunisia has again taken a favourable turn and I have just received news that our armoured troops after an enveloping movement are within two miles of El Hamma.

3. I saw the Stalingrad film last night. It is absolutely grand and will have a most moving effect on our people.

28th March, 1943


No. 135

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message of March 28.

I congratulate the British Air Force on its latest big and successful raid on Berlin.

I hope the British armoured troops will be able to take full advantage of the improved situation in Tunisia and give the enemy no respite.

Last night I saw, with my colleagues, the film Desert Victory, you have sent us, and was greatly impressed. It splendidly shows how Britain is fighting, and skilfully exposes those scoundrels – we have them in our country too – who allege that Britain is not fighting but merely looking on. I eagerly look forward to another film of the same kind, showing your victory in Tunisia.

Desert Victory will be circulated to all our armies at the front and shown to the public.

March 29, 1943


No. 136

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

The Germans have concentrated at Narvik a powerful battle fleet consisting of the Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, Lutzow, one 6-inch cruiser and eight destroyers. Thus the danger to the Russian convoys which I described in my message to you of July 17th of last year has been revived in an even more menacing form. I told you then that we did not think it right to risk our Home Fleet in the Barents Sea, where it could be brought under the attack of German shore-based aircraft and U-boats without adequate protection against either, and I explained that if one or two of our most modern battleships were to be lost or even seriously damaged while the Tirpitz and other large units of the German battle fleet remained in action, the whole command of the Atlantic would be jeopardised with dire consequences to our common cause.

2. President Roosevelt and I have, therefore, decided with the greatest reluctance that it is impossible to provide adequate protection for the next Russian convoy and that without such protection there is not the slightest chance of any of the ships reaching you in the face of the known German preparations for their destruction. Orders have, therefore, been issued that the sailing of the March convoy is to be postponed.

3. It is a great disappointment to President Roosevelt and myself that it should be necessary to postpone the March convoy. Had it not been for the German concentration, it had been our firm intention to send you a convoy of thirty ships each in March and again in early May. At the same time we feel it only right to let you know at once that it will not be possible to continue convoys by the northern route after early May, since from that time onwards every single escort vessel will be required to support our offensive operations in the Mediterranean, leaving only a minimum to safeguard our lifelines in the Atlantic. In the latter we have had grievous and almost unprecedented losses during the last three weeks. Assuming that “Husky”45 goes well we should hope to resume convoys in early September, provided that the disposition of German main units permits and that the situation in the North Atlantic is such as to enable us to provide the necessary escorts and covering force.

4. We are doing our utmost to increase the flow of supplies by the southern route. The monthly figure has been more than doubled in the last six months. We have reason to hope that the increase will be progressive and that the figures for August will reach 240,000 tons. If this is achieved, the month’s delivery will have increased eightfold in twelve months. Furthermore, the United States will materially increase shipments via Vladivostok. This will in some way offset both your disappointment and ours at the interruption to the northern convoys. March 30th, 1943


No. 137

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

Last night we went back with 370 machines and threw 700 tons upon Berlin. The first reports show excellent results.

March 30th, 1943


No. 138

Sent on April 2, 1943

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message of March 30 advising me that you and Mr Roosevelt are compelled by necessity to postpone despatch of the convoys to the U.S.S.R. till September. I regard this unexpected step as a catastrophic cut in the delivery of strategic raw materials and munitions to the Soviet Union by Great Britain and the U.S.A., because the Pacific route is limited in shipping and none too reliable, and the southern route has small clearance capacity, which means that those two routes cannot make up for the cessation of deliveries by the northern route. It goes without saying that this circumstance cannot but affect the position of the Soviet troops.


No. 139

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

I acknowledge the force of all you say in your telegram about the convoys. I assure you that I shall do my utmost to make any improvement which is possible. I am deeply conscious of the giant burden borne by the Russian armies and of their unequalled contribution to the common cause.

2. We sent three hundred and forty-eight heavy bombers to Essen on Saturday, casting 900 tons of bombs in order to increase the damage to Krupps, which was again effectively hit, and to carry ruin into the south-western part of the city which had previously suffered little. Last night five hundred and seven aircraft, all but one hundred and sixty-six being heavies, carried 1,400 tons to Kiel. This is one of the heaviest discharges we have ever made. Cloud layers were thicker than we expected but we hope the attack got home. The American daylight bombing with Flying Fortresses is becoming most effective. Yesterday they struck at the Renault works near Paris which had begun to spring to life again. Besides the bombing which they do from great altitudes with remarkable precision by daylight, they provoke enemy fighters to attacks in which many are destroyed by the heavy armament of the Flying Fortresses. Four American and about thirty-three British bombers were lost in these three enterprises. I must now emphasise that our bombing of Germany will increase in scale month by month and that we are able to find the targets with much more certainty.

3. This present week the general battle in Tunisia will begin and the British Eighth and First Armies and the American and French forces will all engage according to plan. The enemy is preparing to retire into his final bridgehead. He has already begun demolitions and the removal of coastal batteries from Sfax. Under the pressure about to be renewed upon him he seems likely to retire, perhaps rapidly, to a line he is fortifying from Enfidaville in the Gulf of Hammamet. This new position will run into the main front he now holds in Northern Tunisia facing west and which rests its northern flank on the Mediterranean about thirty miles from Bizerta. At this northern flank also we are striking. I shall keep you informed of how we get on and whether we are able to cut off any large body of the so-called “Rommel’s Army” before they reach the final bridgehead.

4. Hitler, with his usual obstinacy, is sending the Hermann Goering and the 99th German Division into Tunisia, chiefly by air transport in which at least one hundred large machines are employed. The leading elements of both of these Divisions have already arrived. Therefore we must expect a stubborn defence of the Tunisian tip by about a quarter of a million men, less any they lose on the way. Our forces have a good superiority both in numbers and equipment. We are taking very heavy toll of all the ships that go across with fuel, ammunition, vehicles, etc. When we have captured the southern air fields we shall be able to bring very heavy constant air attack to bear upon the ports and we are making every preparation to prevent a Dunkirk escape. This is particularly important in the interest of “Husky.”45 In about a month after we are masters of Bizerta and Tunis we hope to be able to pass store-ships through the Mediterranean, thus shortening the voyage to Egypt and the Persian Gulf.

April 6th, 1943


No. 140

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

The High Command in North Africa has just reported to me that General Montgomery’s army has broken through the Akarit line having surprised and overwhelmed the enemy and that all dominating positions in this line are now in his hands. He is now passing his armour through the gap into the far more open country beyond. After only six hours fighting 2,000 prisoners have already been counted and many more are flowing in. Heavy fighting is proceeding and our attacks towards Kairouan, about which I told you in my last message, are doing well.

I know you so much like to hear good news. The hunt is on.

6th April, 1943


No. 141

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

Enemy in full retreat northwards, hotly pursued by Montgomery’s armour. Six thousand prisoners so far.

April 7th, 1943


No. 142

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your two messages of April 6, as well as today’s message on the important advance made by your troops in Tunisia. This is a notable success – congratulations. I hope that this time the Anglo-American troops will completely overcome and beat Rommel and the other Hitler bands in Tunisia. That would be of great value to our common struggle as a whole.

I welcome the stepped up bombing of Essen, Berlin, Kiel and other industrial centres of Germany. Every blow delivered by your Air Force to vital German centres evokes a most lively echo in the hearts of many millions throughout the length and breadth of our country.

April 7, 1943


No. 143

Most Secret and Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

In the two cancelled convoys J.W.54 and J.W.55 there were 375 of your Hurricanes and 285 of your Aircobras and Kittyhawks. The latter were part of the American quota. We are working day and night to make a plan for sending you all these aircraft as rapidly as possible by other routes.

2. The Aircobras and Kittyhawks might go via Gibraltar and North Africa to Abadan. The Hurricanes have not sufficient range to manage the flight to Gibraltar, so they have to go by sea to Takoradi or Casablanca, be assembled there, be tropicalised and fly on to Tehran where we can de-tropicalise them. Alternatively, if Tunis is conquered soon we may be able to pass a number of Hurricanes by sea through the Mediterranean and erect them in Egypt or Basra. Each of these alternatives presents its difficulties. There is also a big problem in transporting the large number of spares which accompany the aircraft. Nevertheless we shall overcome these difficulties.

3. It has also occurred to me that you might like to have some of our 40-mm. cannon fighter Hurricanes for your operations against German armour on the Russian front. During the recent fighting in Tunisia these have met with success against Rommel’s tanks. One squadron of sixteen aircraft destroyed nineteen tanks in four days. The aircraft is known as Hurricane II D and carries two 40-mm. cannon with sixteen rounds of ammunition per gun and two 303 inch machineguns with 303 rounds per gun. In other respects it is similar to Hurricane II C, except that it is 430 pounds heavier and approximately 20 miles per hour slower. I could send you a maximum of sixty of this type of aircraft. Let me know whether you would like them. They would probably have to go via Takoradi and could be worked into the plan which is being made for the Hurricanes, Aircobras and Kittyhawks from the convoys.

4. With the President’s approval Mr Harriman is collaborating with making the plan. I hope to telegraph to you next week giving you our concrete proposals. I am determined that you shall have the aircraft as soon as it is humanly possible to get them to you.

April 10th, 1943


No. 144

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

All Nazi-Fascist forces are falling back to the line Enfidaville of which I told you. Our armour has broken through from the West towards Kairouan. The Eighth Army has been pushing northwards and we are preparing to deliver a weighty punch by the First Army. Great pains are being taken for a heavy toll of an escape by sea. I hope to have good news for you soon from Africa. There are still over 200,000 of the enemy in the net, including wounded, and we have 25,000 prisoners so far apart from the killed, of which the number may be put from 5,000 to 10,000.

2. Air. We sent 378 aircraft to Duisburg and repeated with about 100 the next night. Last night 502 went to Frankfurt. We hit both of these places hard but were hampered by heavy cloud. I hope you got the short film of devastations and also the photographs. I am having these sent regularly to you as they might please your soldiers who have seen so many Russian towns in ruins.

3. I am trying to arrange to push some fast ships through the Mediterranean as soon as it is open to carry your priority cargoes to the Persian Gulf. These cargoes will include some of the specially selected drugs and medical appliances purchased by my wife’s fund46 which will shortly reach £3,000,000 and has been raised voluntarily by gifts from both poor and rich. This fund is a proof of the warm regard of the British people for the Russian people.

April 11th, 1943


No. 145

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your messages of April 10 and 11 have reached me.

The rapid progress of the British and U.S. offensive in Tunisia is an important achievement in the war against Hitler and Mussolini. I hope you finish off the enemy and take as many prisoners and as much booty as possible.

We are delighted that you are giving Hitler no respite. To your vigorous and successful bombings of large German towns we are now adding our own air raids on German industrial centres in East Prussia. Thank you for the film showing the effects of the raids on Essen. Both this and the other films which you have promised us will be shown to the public and the Army.

The fighter aircraft which you have released by cancelling convoys and intend to deliver to us will be of great value. I am also grateful for the offer to send us sixty 40-mm. cannon Hurricane II D aeroplanes. We are badly in need of such aircraft, especially for use against heavy tanks. I hope that the efforts of yourself and Mr Harriman to plan and guarantee the despatch of aircraft to the U.S.S.R. will be crowned with speedy success.

Our people greatly appreciate the warm sentiments and sympathy displayed by the British people expressed in the establishment of the medical relief fund mentioned by you. Please convey my thanks to Mrs Churchill, who heads the fund, for her vigorous work.

Today I received Lieutenant-General Martel, who handed me your letter. He will certainly be afforded every opportunity to acquaint himself with the Red Army and its battle experience. April 12, 1943


No. 146

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

In a recent telegram to me you said: “I welcome the bombing of Essen and Berlin and other industrial centres of Germany. Every blow delivered by your Air Force to vital German centres evokes a most lively echo in the hearts of many millions throughout the length and breadth of our country.” The Commander-in-Chief of our bombers wants very much to give this to his squadrons, who would be very pleased with it indeed. Will you allow this? There is always a possibility that it might get into the press. I do not myself see that this could do anything but good. What do you say?

2. We have struck three good blows this week, namely Spezia, Stuttgart and, last night, both the Škoda Works Company at Plzen, and Mannheim. In the first, 174 aircraft dropped 460 tons of bombs but hit the town of Spezia more than the shipping in the harbour owing to haze and smoke. The second, Stuttgart, was a flaming success. 462 bombers took part throwing 750 tons. Last night we sent 598 aircraft on the two targets, and about 850 tons were dropped. Reports about Škoda damage so far received are good though photographs have not yet come in. It was particularly important to go for Škoda as workmen and vital tasks have been transferred from Krupps thither owing to damage at Essen. In these three raids we lost 81 bombers, of which 64 were heavies, with about 500 highly-trained air personnel. I repeat my assurance that attacks will continue throughout the summer on an ever-increasing scale. We are very glad you are also striking at Nazi munition works from your side.

3.A short pause is now necessary in Tunisia while General Alexander regroups his armies in the North and while General Montgomery brings up the mass artillery which he habitually uses in his battles. But very soon the largest battle we have yet fought in this war will begin and, having once begun, will not stop till Africa is cleared of the Axis forces.

April 17th, 1943.


No. 147

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

We have a rumour from Spain of the intention of the Germans to use gas on the Russian front and I understand you also have some indications of the same kind. This occurred last year also about the same time. Let me know if you want me to renew the declaration I made last year that any attack by gas on you will be immediately retaliated by us on the largest scale over Germany. We are fully capable of making good any threat we may make.

April 19th, 1943


No. 148

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message asking my consent to convey to the British bomber squadrons my congratulations on the bombing of Essen, Berlin and other industrial centres of Germany. I have no objection to your proposal, of course, and I leave the matter to you. I am glad you intend to go on bombing German towns on an ever-increasing scale.

Events in Tunisia seem to be progressing favourably. I wish you complete victory.

Your mention of the Germans’ intention to use gas on our front is borne out by our information. It goes without saying that I fully support your proposal to warn Hitler and his allies and to threaten them with powerful chemical retaliation should they undertake a gas attack on our front. The Soviet troops will in their turn prepare for a rebuff.

April 19, 1943


No. 149

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

The battle in Tunisia has begun. General Alexander informs me that the Eighth Army will attack tonight (19th-20th) and other Armies will engage in succession in accordance with the general plan of the offensive. These operations will involve large forces, including the British First and Eighth Armies together with limited United States forces, all brought and maintained across enormous sea distances. It is intended to carry matters to a conclusion if possible by continuous pressure.

2. An important air battle has taken place between the Tunis tip and Sicily in which the German transport air fleet has suffered most heavy losses.

April 20th, 1943


No. 150

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

The behaviour of the Polish Government towards the U.S.S.R. of late is, in the view of the Soviet Government, completely abnormal and contrary to all the rules and standards governing relations between two allied states.

The anti-Soviet slander campaign launched by the German fascists in connection with the Polish officers whom they themselves murdered in the Smolensk area, in German-occupied territory, was immediately seized upon by the Sikorski Government and is being fanned in every way by the Polish official press. Far from countering the infamous fascist slander against the U.S.S.R., the Sikorski Government has not found it necessary even to address questions to the Soviet Government or to request information on the matter.

The Hitler authorities, having perpetrated a monstrous crime against the Polish officers, are now staging a farcical investigation, using for the purpose certain pro-fascist Polish elements picked by themselves in occupied Poland, where everything is under Hitler’s heel and where no honest Pole can open his mouth.

Both the Sikorski and Hitler Governments have enlisted for the “investigation” the aid of the International Red Cross, which, under a terror régime of gallows and wholesale extermination of the civil population, is forced to take part in the investigation farce directed by Hitler. It is obvious that this “investigation,” which, moreover, is being carried out behind the Soviet Government’s back, cannot enjoy the confidence of anyone with a semblance of honesty.

The fact that the anti-Soviet campaign has been started simultaneously in the German and Polish press and follows identical lines is indubitable evidence of contact and collusion between Hitler – the Allies’ enemy – and the Sikorski Government in this hostile campaign.

At a time when the peoples of the Soviet Union are shedding their blood in a grim struggle against Hitler Germany and bending their energies to defeat the common foe of the freedom- loving democratic countries, the Sikorski Government is striking a treacherous blow at the Soviet Union to help Hitler tyranny.

These circumstances compel the Soviet Government to consider that the present Polish Government, having descended to collusion with the Hitler Government, has, in practice, severed its relations of alliance with the U.S.S.R. and adopted a hostile attitude to the Soviet Union.

For these reasons the Soviet Government has decided to interrupt relations with that Government.

I think it necessary to inform you of the foregoing, and I trust that the British Government will appreciate the motives that necessitated this forced step on the part of the Soviet Government.

April 21, 1943


No. 151

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

Ambassador Maisky delivered your message to me last night. We shall certainly oppose vigorously any “investigation” by the International Red Cross or any other body in any territory under German authority. Such investigation would be a fraud, and its conclusions reached by terrorism. Mr Eden is seeing Sikorski today and will press him as strongly as possible to withdraw all countenance from any investigation under Nazi auspices. Also we should never approve of any parley with the Germans or contact with them of any kind whatever and we shall press this point upon our Polish allies.

2. I shall telegraph to you later how Sikorski reacts to the above points. His position is one of great difficulty. Far from being pro-German or in league with them, he is in danger of being overthrown by the Poles who consider that he has not stood up sufficiently for his people against the Soviets. If he should go we should only get somebody worse. I hope therefore that your decision to “interrupt” relations is to be read in the sense of a final warning rather than of a break and that it will not be made public at any rate until every other plan has been tried. The public announcement of a break would do the greatest possible harm in the United States, where the Poles are numerous and influential.

3. I had drafted a telegram to you yesterday asking you to consider allowing more Poles and Polish dependents to go into Iran. This would allay the rising discontent of the Polish army formed there and would enable me to influence the Polish Government to act in conformity with our common interests and against the common foe. I have deferred sending this telegram in consequence of yours to me in hopes that the situation may clear.

April 24th, 1943


No. 152

Personal and Secret Message from Premier Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message concerning Polish affairs. Thank you for your sympathetic stand on this issue. I must tell you, however, that the matter of interrupting relations with the Polish Government has already been settled and that today V. M. Molotov delivered a Note to the Polish Government. All my colleagues insisted on this because the Polish official press is not only keeping up its hostile campaign but is actually intensifying it day by day. I also had to take cognisance of Soviet public opinion, which is deeply outraged by the ingratitude and treachery of the Polish Government.

As to publishing the Soviet document on interrupting relations with the Polish Government, I fear that it is simply impossible to avoid doing so.

April 25, 1943


No. 153

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

Mr Eden saw General Sikorski yesterday evening. Sikorski stated that so far from synchronising his appeal to the Red Cross with that of the Germans his Government took the initiative without knowing what line the Germans would take. In fact the Germans acted after hearing the Polish broadcast announcement. Sikorski also told Mr Eden that his Government had simultaneously approached Monsieur Bogomolov on the subject. Sikorski emphasised that previously he had several times raised this question of the missing officers with the Soviet Government and once with you personally. On his instructions the Polish Minister of Information in his broadcasts has reacted strongly against the German propaganda and this has brought an angry German reply. As a result of Mr Eden’s strong representations Sikorski has undertaken not to press the request for the Red Cross investigation and will so inform the Red Cross authorities in Berne. He will also restrain the Polish press from polemics. In this connection I am examining the possibility of silencing those Polish newspapers in this country which attacked the Soviet Government and at the same time attacked Sikorski for trying to work with the Soviet Government.

In view of Sikorski’s undertaking I would now urge you to abandon the idea of any interruption of relations.

I have reflected further on this matter and I am more than ever convinced that it can only assist our enemies, if there is a break between the Soviet and Polish Governments. German propaganda has produced this story precisely in order to make a rift in the ranks of the United Nations and to lend some semblance of reality to its new attempts to persuade the world that the interests of Europe and the smaller nations are being defended by Germany against the great extra-European Powers, namely the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United States and the British Empire.

I know General Sikorski well and I am convinced that no contacts or understanding could exist between him or his Government and our common enemy, against whom he has led the Poles in bitter and uncompromising resistance. His appeal to the International Red Cross was clearly a mistake though I am convinced that it was not made in collusion with the Germans.

Now that we have, I hope, cleared up the issue raised in your telegram to me, I want to revert to the proposals contained in my draft telegram to which I referred in my message of April 24th. I shall therefore shortly be sending you this earlier message in its original form. If we two were able to arrange to link the matter of getting these Poles out of the Soviet Union it would be easier for Sikorski to withdraw entirely from the position he has been forced by his public opinion to adopt. I hope that you will help me to achieve this.

April 25th, 1943


No. 154

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

I cannot refrain from expressing my disappointment that you should have felt it necessary to take action in breaking off relations with the Poles without giving me time to inform you of the results of my approach to General Sikorski, about which I had telegraphed to you on April 24th. I had hoped that, in the spirit of our treaty of last year, we should always consult each other about such important matters, more especially as they affect the combined strength of the United Nations.

2. Mr Eden and I have pointed out to the Polish Government that no resumption of friendly or working relations with the Soviets is possible while they make charges of an insulting character against the Soviet Government and thus seem to countenance the atrocious Nazi propaganda. Still more would it be impossible for any of us to tolerate inquiries by the International Red Cross held under Nazi auspices and dominated by Nazi terrorism. I am glad to tell you that they have accepted our view and that they want to work loyally with you. Their request now is to have dependents of the Polish army in Iran and the fighting Poles in the Soviet Union sent to join the Polish forces already allowed to go to Iran. This is surely a matter which admits of patient discussion. We think the request is reasonable if made in the right way and at the right time and I am pretty sure that the President thinks so too. We hope earnestly that remembering the difficulties in which we have all been plunged by the brutal Nazi aggression, you will consider this matter in a spirit of collaboration.

3. The Cabinet here is determined to have proper discipline in the Polish press in Great Britain. The miserable rags attacking Sikorski can say things which German broadcasts repeat open-mouthed to the world to our joint detriment. This must be stopped and it will be stopped.

4. So far this business has been Goebbels’ triumph. He is now busy suggesting that the U.S.S.R. will set up a Polish Government on Russian soil and deal only with them. We should not, of course, be able to recognise such a Government and would continue our relations with Sikorski who is far the most helpful man you or we are likely to find for the purposes of the common cause. I expect that this will also be the American view.

5. My own feeling is that they have had a shock and that after whatever interval is thought convenient the relationship established on July 30th, 1941,47 should be restored. No one will hate this more than Hitler and what he hates most is wise for us to do.

6. We owe it to our armies now engaged and presently to be more heavily engaged to maintain good conditions behind the fronts. I and my colleagues look steadily to the ever closer cooperation and understanding of the U.S.S.R., the United States and the British Commonwealth and Empire, not only in the deepening war struggle, but after the war. What other hope can there be than this for the tortured world?

30th April, 1943


No. 155

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

I have just read with the utmost satisfaction and admiration your splendid speech on May Day and I particularly appreciate your reference to the united blow of the Allies and you can indeed count on me to do everything in my power “to break the spine of the Fascist beast.”

2. Although photographs show about one-third of Essen in ruins, the enemy are making great efforts to keep their vital Krupps factories going, rather like you did at Stalingrad. We therefore gave them another dose, 800 tons. Also we gave Duisburg 1,450 tons, the heaviest yet launched in a single raid, last week. Stettin got 782 tons and Rostock 117. We executed very heavy but costly mining operations in the Baltic with 226 aircraft. All this is since I last reported to you. This mining helps in various ways: we get a good steady bag from the enemy’s already straitened tonnage, and secondly we force him to build minesweepers in large numbers and to make other diversions of strength. When the weather is bad for land targets we find an outlet in mining. We have been standing by for the last two nights all ready for another heavy operation in the Ruhr, but the weather baffles. In the raid on Plzen we did not hit the Škoda works with any great concentration, but this target will not be forgotten when the exceptional conditions, which alone render it practicable, recur. 3. In the Tunis tip the battle continues at high pitch and with considerable casualties on both sides. Since we entered Tunisia we have taken about 40,000 prisoners; in addition, the enemy have suffered 35,000 dead and wounded. The casualties in the First Army have been about 23,000 and in the Eighth Army about 10,000. The total Allied casualties are about 50,000 of which two-thirds are British. The battle will be maintained along the whole front with the utmost intensity and General Alexander is regrouping for a strong thrust very soon. The enemy have now under 200,000 encircled. They are still steadily reinforcing, but in the last few days our air force, which is growing ever stronger and coming closer, has cut into them well. So many destroyers and transports have been sunk, including several carrying German reinforcements, that all traffic was temporarily suspended. Unless it can immediately be reopened the supply situation of the enemy will be very serious for him. Also his chances of getting away by sea in any numbers are not good. The peculiar character of the country with flat plains commanded by rugged upstanding peaks, each of which is a fortress, aids the enemy’s defence and slows up our advance. I hope, however, to have good news for you before the end of this month. Meanwhile, the whole campaign is most costly to the enemy on account of his additional losses in transit.

May 2nd, 1943


No. 156

May 4, 1943

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

In sending my message of April 21 on interrupting relations with the Polish Government, I was guided by the fact that the notorious anti-Soviet press campaign, launched by the Poles as early as April 15 and aggravated first by the statement of the Polish Ministry of National Defence and later by the Polish Government’s declaration of April 17, had not encountered any opposition in London; moreover, the Soviet Government had not been forewarned of the anti-Soviet campaign prepared by the Poles, although it is hard to imagine that the British Government was not informed of the contemplated campaign. I think that from the point of view of the spirit of our treaty it would have been only natural to dissuade one ally from striking a blow at another, particularly if the blow directly helped the common enemy. That, at any rate, is how I see the duty of an ally. Nevertheless, I thought it necessary to inform you of the Soviet Government’s view of Polish-Soviet relations. Since the Poles continued their anti-Soviet smear campaign without any opposition in London, the patience of the Soviet Government could not have been expected to be infinite.

You tell me that you will enforce proper discipline in the Polish press. I thank you for that, but I doubt if it will be as easy as all that to impose discipline on the present Polish Government, its following of pro-Hitler boosters and its fanatical press. Although you informed me that the Polish Government wanted to work loyally with the Soviet Government, I question its ability to keep its world. The Polish Government is surrounded by such a vast pro-Hitler following, and Sikorski is so helpless and browbeaten that there is no certainty at all of his being able to remain loyal in relations with the Soviet Union even granting that he wants to be loyal.

As to the rumours, circulated by the Hitlerites, that a new Polish Government is being formed in the U.S.S.R., there is hardly any need to deny this fabrication. Our Ambassador has already told you so. This does not rule out Great Britain, and the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. taking measures to improve the composition of the present Polish Government in terms of consolidating the Allied united front against Hitler. The sooner this is done, the better. Upon his return from the U.S.A. Mr Eden told Maisky that President Roosevelt’s adherents in the U.S.A. thought that the present Polish Government had no prospects for the future and doubted whether it had any chance of returning to Poland and assuming power, although they would like to retain Sikorski. I think the Americans are not so very far from the truth as regards the prospects of the present Polish Government.

As regards the Polish citizens in the U.S.S.R., whose number is not great, and the families of the Polish soldiers evacuated to Iran, the Soviet Government has never raised any obstacles to their departure from the U.S.S.R.

2. I have received your message on the latest events in Tunisia. Thank you for the information. I am glad of the success of the Anglo-American troops and wish them still greater success. May 4, 1943


No. 157

Sent on May 8, 1943

For Prime Minister Churchill

London

I congratulate you and the valiant British and U.S. troops on the brilliant victory which has resulted in the liberation of Bizerta and Tunis from Hitler tyranny. I wish you further success.

J. Stalin


No. 158

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

Personal and most secret for your eye alone.

I am in mid-Atlantic on my way to Washington to settle the further stroke in Europe after “Husky”45 and also to discourage undue bias towards the Pacific, and further, to deal with the problem of the Indian Ocean and the offensive against Japan there. Barring accidents my next cable will be from Washington.

2. You will have heard the good news about Tunis and Bizerta where the British and American armies are pressing hard towards the final goal.

3. I am very glad to hear of your success around Novorossiisk and of the capture of Krymskaya.

4. In a naval convoy action on the sixth we lost thirteen merchant ships sunk but we destroyed five U-boats and five others were damaged or possibly destroyed. We estimate we got at least sixteen U-boats in April against about twenty new ones which have come out.

5. The attack on Dortmund by five hundred and ninety aircraft was one of our heaviest and most successful.

May 10th, 1943


No. 159

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

I am much obliged to you for your message about the Polish affair.

The Poles did not tell us what they were going to do and so we could not warn them against the peril of the course which they proposed to take.

The Polish press will be disciplined in future and all other foreign language publications.

I agree that the Polish Government is susceptible of improvement, though there would be a great difficulty in finding better substitutes. I think like you that Sikorski and some others should in any event be retained. If Sikorski were to reconstruct his Government under foreign pressure he would probably be repudiated and thrown out and we should not get anyone so good in his place. Therefore he probably cannot make changes at once, but I will take every opportunity to urge him to this direction as soon as may be. I will discuss this with President Roosevelt.

I note from your intimation that it is not the policy of the Soviet Government to put obstacles in the way of the exit of Polish subjects in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or families of Polish soldiers, and will communicate with you further on this subject through the Ambassador. Many thanks for your message about the occupation of Tunis and Bizerta. The question is now how many we catch.

May 12th, 1943


No. 160

Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

In my message dated April 10th I told you that we were making plans for sending on to you the Hurricanes, Aircobras and Kittyhawks from J.W.54 and J.W.55.

I can now give you some information about the arrangements we have made.

The number of Hurricanes is now 435, including the 60 Hurricanes II D’s. 235 Hurricanes will be shipped to Gibraltar where they will be assembled and flown on for your collection at Basra (not Tehran as previously suggested). We hope that these Hurricanes will begin to reach Basra during the first half of June.

The remaining 200 Hurricanes, including the 60 Hurricanes II D’s, will be shipped through the Mediterranean and will be handed over at Basra. I previously said that the Hurricane II D’s would probably go via Takoradi but it has now been decided to ship them to Basra as we could not fit extra tanks required for flying them across Africa without removing the guns which would have had to be sent to Tehran.

Mr Harriman is arranging for 285 Aircobras and Kittyhawks to be shipped through the Mediterranean and the Red Sea to Abadan where they will be assembled.

May 14th, 1943


No. 161

To Marshal J. V. Stalin, President of the Council of People’s Commissars and People’s Commissar for Defence

My dear Marshal Stalin,

I am writing this letter to introduce to you Air Marshal Sir John Babington, who is taking up his duties as Head of the Royal Air Force Section of No. 30 Mission.48

Sir John Babington has until recently been Commander-in- Chief of our Technical Training Command. He possesses a wide and varied experience of all aspects of modern air warfare and I feel sure that his appointment will contribute to the strengthening of the already admirable understanding that has been established between the Air Forces of the U.S.S.R. and of Great Britain.

Yours sincerely,

Winston Churchill

June 9th, 1943


No. 162

Sent on June 11, 1943

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Churchill

I am sending you the text of my personal message in reply to the President’s message about the decisions on strategic matters which you and Mr Roosevelt adopted in May.

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Roosevelt

Your message informing me of certain decisions on strategic matters adopted by you and Mr Churchill reached me on June 4. Thank you for the information.

It appears from your communication that the decisions run counter to those reached by you and Mr Churchill earlier this year concerning the date for a second front in Western Europe. You will doubtless recall that the joint message of January 26, set by you and Mr Churchill, announced the decision adopted at that time to divert considerable German ground and air forces from the Russian front and bring Germany to her knees in 1943.

Then on February 12 Mr Churchill communicated on his own behalf and yours the specified time of the Anglo-American operation in Tunisia and the Mediterranean, as well as on the west coast of Europe. The communication said that Great Britain and the United States were vigorously preparing to cross the Channel in August 1943 and that if the operation were hindered by weather or other causes, then it would be prepared with an eye to being carried out in greater force in September 1943.

Now, in May 1943, you and Mr Churchill have decided to postpone the Anglo-American invasion of Western Europe until the spring of 1944. In other words, the opening of the second front in Western Europe, previously postponed from 1942 till 1943, is now being put off again, this time till the spring of 1944.

Your decision creates exceptional difficulties for the Soviet Union, which, straining all its resources, for the past two years, has been engaged against the main forces of Germany and her satellites, and leaves the Soviet Army, which is fighting not only for its country, but also for its Allies, to do the job alone, almost single-handed, against an enemy that is still very strong and formidable.

Need I speak of the dishearteningly negative impression that this fresh postponement of the second front and the withholding from our Army, which has sacrificed so much, of the anticipated substantial support by the Anglo-American armies, will produce in the Soviet Union – both among the people and in the Army?

As for the Soviet Government, it cannot align itself with this decision, which, moreover, was adopted without its participation and without any attempt at a joint discussion of this highly important matter and which may gravely affect the subsequent course of the war.


No. 163

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

I have received a copy of your telegram of about the 11th June to the President. I quite understand your disappointment but I am sure we are doing not only the right thing but the only thing that is physically possible in the circumstances. It would be no help to Russia if we threw away a hundred thousand men in a disastrous cross-Channel attack such as would, in my opinion, certainly occur if we tried under present conditions and with forces too weak to exploit any success that might be gained at very heavy cost. In my view and that of all my expert military advisers we should, even if we got ashore, be driven off as the Germans have forces already in France superior to any we could put there this year, and can reinforce far more quickly across the main lateral railways of Europe than we could do over the beaches or through any of the destroyed Channel ports we might seize. I cannot see how a great British defeat and slaughter would aid the Soviet armies. It might, however, cause the utmost ill-feeling here if it were thought it had been incurred against the advice of our military experts and under pressure from you. You will remember that I have always made it clear in my telegram sent to you that I would never authorise any cross-Channel attack which I believed would lead to only useless massacre.

2. The best way for us to help you is by winning battles and not by losing them. This we have done in Tunisia where the long arm of the British and United States sea power has reached across the Atlantic and ten thousand miles around the Cape and helped us to annihilate great Axis land and air forces. The threat immediately resulting to the whole Axis defensive system in the Mediterranean has already forced the Germans to reinforce Italy, the Mediterranean islands, the Balkans and Southern France with land and air forces. It is my earnest and sober hope that we can knock Italy out of the war this year and by doing so we shall draw far more Germans off your front than by any other means open. The attack that is now not far off will absorb the capacities of every port under our control in the Mediterranean from Gibraltar to Port Said inclusive. After Italy has been forced out of the war the Germans will have to occupy the Riviera, make a new front either on the Alps or the Po and above all provide for the replacement of thirty-two Italian divisions now in the Balkans. The moment for inviting Turkey to participate in the war actively or passively will then arrive. The bombing of the Roumanian oilfields can be carried through on a decisive scale. Already we are holding in the West and South of Europe the larger part of the German Air Forces and our superiority will increase continually. Out of a first line operational strength of between four thousand eight hundred and four thousand nine hundred aircraft Germany, according to our information, has today on the Russian front some two thousand compared with two thousand five hundred this time last year. We are also ruining a large part of the cities and munition centres of Germany which may well have a decisive effect by sapping German resistance on all fronts. By this coming autumn this great air offensive should have produced a massive return. If the favourable trend of anti-U-boat warfare of the last few months continues, it will quicken and increase the movement of the United States forces to Europe which is being pressed to the full limit of available shipping. No one has paid more tribute than I have to the immense contribution of the Soviet Government to the common victory and I thank you also for the recognition which you have lately given to the exertions of your two Western Allies. It is my firm belief that we shall present you before the end of the year with results which will give you substantial relief and satisfaction.

3. I have never asked you for detailed information about the strength and dispositions of the Russian armies because you have been, and are still, bearing the brunt on land. I should, however, be glad to have your appreciation of the situation and immediate prospects on the Russian front and whether you think a German attack is imminent. We are already again in the middle of June and no attack has been launched. We have some reason to believe that the unexpectedly rapid defeat of the Axis forces in North Africa has dislocated German strategy and that the consequent threat to Southern Europe has been an important factor in causing Hitler to hesitate and to delay his plans for a large-scale offensive against Russia this summer. It is no doubt too soon to pronounce decidedly on all this but we should be very pleased to hear what you think about it.

4. At the end of your message you complain that Russia has not been consulted in our recent decisions. I fully understand the reasons which prevented you from meeting the President and me at Khartoum whither we would have gone in January and I am sure you were right not to relinquish even for a week the direction of your immense and victorious campaign. Nevertheless the need and advantage of a meeting are very great. I can only say I will go at any risk to any place that you and the President may agree upon. I and my advisers believe Scapa Flow, which is our main naval harbour in the North of Scotland, would be most convenient, the safest and, if secrecy be desired, probably the most secret. I have again suggested this to the President. If you could come there by air at any time in the summer you may be sure that every arrangement would be made to suit your wishes and you would have a most hearty welcome from your British and American comrades.

19th June, 1943


No. 164

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

I am concerned to hear through Monsieur Molotov that you are thinking of recognising the French National Committee of Liberation recently set up at Algiers. It is unlikely that the British, and still more that the United States Government, will recognise this Committee for some time and then only after they have had reasonable proof that its character and action will be satisfactory to the interests of the Allied cause.

2. Since he arrived at Algiers, General de Gaulle has been struggling to obtain effective control of the French Army. Headquarters cannot be sure of what he will do or of his friendly feelings towards us if he obtained the mastery. President Roosevelt and I are in entire agreement in feeling that de Gaulle might endanger the base and communications of the armies about to operate in “Husky.”45 We cannot run any risk of this, as it would affect the lives of our soldiers and hamper the prosecution of the war.

3. Originally there were seven members of the Committee but the number has now been expanded to fourteen, and we cannot be sure of its action. General Eisenhower has therefore in the name of both the United States and the British Governments notified the Committee that General Giraud must remain the Commander-in-Chief of the French Army and have effective power over its character and organisation. Undoubtedly this will cause discussion in the House of Commons as well as in the United States, and the President and I will have to give reasons, of which there are plenty, for the course we have taken. If the Soviet Government had already recognised the Committee, the mere giving of these reasons and the explanations would reveal a difference of view between the Soviet Government and the Western Allies, which would be most regrettable.

4. We are very anxious to find a French authority to which all Frenchmen will rally, and we still hope that one may emerge from the discussions now proceeding at Algiers. It seems to us far too soon to decide upon this at present. 23rd June, 1943


No. 165

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of June 19 received.

I fully realise the difficulty of organising an Anglo-American invasion of Western Europe, in particular, of transferring troops across the Channel. The difficulty could also be discerned in your communications.

From your messages of last year and this I gained the conviction that you and the President were fully aware of the difficulties of organising such an operation and were preparing the invasion accordingly, with due regard to the difficulties and the necessary exertion of forces and means. Even last year you told me that a large-scale invasion of Europe by Anglo-American troops would be effected in 1943. In the Aide-Mémoire handed to V. M. Molotov on June 10, 1942, you wrote:

 “Finally, and most important of all, we are concentrating our maximum effort on the organisation and preparation of a large-scale invasion of the Continent of Europe by British and American forces in 1943. We are setting no limit to the scope and objectives of this campaign, which will be carried out in the first instance by over a million men, British and American, with air forces of appropriate strength.”
Early this year you twice informed me, on your own behalf and on behalf of the President, of decisions concerning an Anglo- American invasion of Western Europe intended to “divert strong German land and air forces from the Russian front.” You had set yourself the task of bringing Germany to her knees as early as 1943, and named September as the latest date for the invasion.

In your message of January 26 you wrote:

 “We have been in conference with our military advisers and have decided on the operations which are to be undertaken by the American and British forces in the first nine months of 1943. We wish to inform you of our intentions at once. We believe that these operations, together with your powerful offensive, may well bring Germany to her knees in 1943.”
In your next message, which I received on February 12, you wrote, specifying the date of the invasion of Western Europe decided on by you and the President:
 “We are also pushing preparations to the limit of our resources for a cross-Channel operation in August, in which British and United States units would participate. Here again, shipping and assault-landing craft will be the limiting factors. If the operation is delayed by the weather or other reasons, it will be prepared with stronger forces for September.”
Last February, when you wrote to me about those plans and the date for invading Western Europe, the difficulties of that operation were greater than they are now. Since then the Germans have suffered more than one defeat: they were pushed back by our troops in the South, where they suffered appreciable loss; they were beaten in North Africa and expelled by the Anglo-American troops; in submarine warfare, too, the Germans found themselves in a bigger predicament than ever, while Anglo-American superiority increased substantially; it is also known that the Americans and British have won air superiority in Europe and that their navies and mercantile marines have grown in power.

It follows that the conditions for opening a second front in Western Europe during 1943, far from deteriorating, have, indeed, greatly improved.

That being so, the Soviet Government could not have imagined that the British and U.S. Governments would revise the decision to invade Western Europe, which they had adopted early this year. In fact, the Soviet Government was fully entitled to expect that the Anglo-American decision would be carried out, that appropriate preparations were under way and that the second front in Western Europe would at last be opened in 1943.

That is why, when you now write that “it would be no help to Russia if we threw away a hundred thousand men in a disastrous cross-Channel attack,” all I can do is remind you of the following:

First, your own Aide-Mémoire of June 1942 in which you declared that preparations were under way for an invasion, not by a hundred thousand, but by an Anglo-American force exceeding one million men at the very start of the operation.

Second, your February message, which mentioned extensive measures preparatory to the invasion of Western Europe in August or September 1943, which, apparently, envisaged an operation, not by a hundred thousand men, but by an adequate force.

So when you now declare: “I cannot see how a great British defeat and slaughter would aid the Soviet armies,” is it not clear that a statement of this kind in relation to the Soviet Union is utterly groundless and directly contradicts your previous and responsible decisions, listed above, about extensive and vigorous measures by the British and Americans to organise the invasion this year, measures on which the complete success of the operation should hinge?

I shall not enlarge on the fact that this responsible decision, revoking your previous decisions on the invasion of Western Europe, was reached by you and the President without Soviet participation and without inviting its representatives to the Washington conference, although you cannot but be aware that the Soviet Union’s role in the war against Germany and its interest in the problems of the second front are great enough.

There is no need to say that the Soviet Government cannot become reconciled to this disregard of vital Soviet interests in the war against the common enemy.

You say that you “quite understand” my disappointment. I must tell you that the point here is not just the disappointment of the Soviet Government, but the preservation of its confidence in its Allies, a confidence which is being subjected to severe stress. One should not forget that it is a question of saving millions of lives in the occupied areas of Western Europe and Russia and of reducing the enormous sacrifices of the Soviet armies, compared with which the sacrifices of the Anglo-American armies are insignificant.

June 24, 1943


No. 166

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill

I have received your message of June 23, 1943, in which you point out that for the present the Governments of Great Britain and the United States of America will refrain from recognising the French National Committee of Liberation. In support of your attitude you say that Headquarters cannot be sure what action General de Gaulle may undertake or of his friendly feelings for the Allies.

We had the impression that the British Government had thus far supported General de Gaulle, which seemed only natural, since from the moment of the French surrender General de Gaulle had headed the anti-Hitler forces of France and the struggle of the French patriots united around Fighting France. Subsequent developments in North Africa, beginning with November 1942, and the part played by French armed forces under Generals Giraud and de Gaulle in the operations carried out by the Anglo-American troops provided the conditions for their union. All the Allies concurred that this union was advisable, and there were no doubts as to this point. Recognition of the existing united agency in the form of the French National Committee of Liberation was to be a result of the aspirations displayed and the efforts made in this matter. All the more so because, after the French National Committee in the persons of Giraud and de Gaulle officially requested Allied recognition of the Committee, the Soviet Government felt that refusal to grant the request would be incomprehensible to French public opinion.

At the moment the Soviet Government has no information that could support the British Government’s present attitude to the French National Committee of Liberation and, in particular, to General de Gaulle.

Since, however, the British Government requests that the recognition of the French Committee be postponed and through its Ambassador has given the assurance that no steps will be taken in this matter without consulting the Soviet Government, the Soviet Government is prepared to meet the British Government half-way.

I hope you will take cognisance of the Soviet interest in French affairs and not deny the Soviet Government timely information, which is indispensable for the adoption of appropriate decisions.

June 26, 1943


No. 167

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

I am sorry to receive your message of the 24th. At every stage the information I have given you as to our future intentions has been based upon recorded advice of the British and American Staffs, and I have at all times been sincere in my relations with you. Although until June 22nd, 1941, we British were left alone to face the worst that Nazi Germany could do to us, I instantly began aiding Soviet Russia to the best of our limited means from the moment that she was herself attacked by Hitler. I am satisfied that I have done everything in human power to help you. Therefore the reproaches which you now cast upon your Western Allies leave me unmoved. Nor, apart from the damage to our military interests, should I have any difficulty in presenting my case to the British Parliament and the nation.

2. The views of our Staffs, which I have shared at every stage, have been continually modified by the course of events. In the first place, although all shipping has been fully occupied, it has not been possible to transport the American army to Britain according to the programme proposed in June 1942. Whereas it was then hoped that twenty-seven American divisions would be in Great Britain by April 1943, in fact there is now, in June 1943, only one, and there will be by August only five. This is due to the demands of the war against Japan, the shipping shortage, and above all the expansion of the campaign in North Africa, into which powerful Nazi forces were drawn. Moreover, the landing craft which in January of this year we proposed to make available for a cross-Channel enterprise, have either not fully materialised up to date or have all been drawn into the great operation now impending in the Mediterranean. The enemy’s uncertainty as to where the blow will fall and what its weight will be has already, in the opinion of my trusty advisers, led to the delaying of Hitler’s third attack upon Russia, for which it seemed great preparations were in existence six weeks ago. It may even prove that you will not be heavily attacked this summer. If that were so, it would vindicate decisively what you once called the “military correctness” of our Mediterranean strategy. However, in these matters we must await the unfolding of events.

3. Thus not only on the one hand have the difficulties of a cross-Channel attack continually seemed greater to us and the resources have not been forthcoming, but a more hopeful and fruitful policy has been opened to us in another theatre, and we have the right and duty to act in accordance with our convictions informing you at every stage of the changes in our views imposed by the vast movement of the war.

27th June, 1943


No. 168

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

The operation “Husky”45 is now imminent. It comprises the oversea movement of half a million men in which sixteen hundred large ships and twelve hundred special landing vessels are employed. The enemy have three hundred thousand men in “Husky” land. Much depends on the first impact. I will let you know how the battle goes as soon as I can see clearly.

2. Meanwhile we have sunk fifty U-boats for certain in seventy days.

3. I hope all is going well on your battle-front. The German accounts seem confused and embarrassed.

July 8th, 1943


No. 169

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

Both British and United States armies seem to be getting ashore all right. The weather is improving.

10th July, 1943


No. 170

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have just come back from the front and have read the British Government’s message of August 7.49

I agree that a meeting of the three heads of the Governments is highly desirable. The meeting should be arranged at the earliest opportunity and the place and time of the meeting coordinated with the President.

At the same time I must say that, the situation on the Soviet- German front being what it is, I am, unfortunately, unable to leave and lose touch with the front even for one week. Although we have had certain successes at the front lately, it is now that the Soviet troops and the Soviet Command must exert the utmost effort and show particular vigilance towards the new actions which the enemy may undertake. In view of this I am obliged to be with the troops and visit this or that sector of our front more often than usual. Hence I cannot at the moment travel to meet you and the President at Scapa Flow or any other distant point.

Nevertheless, in order not to put off elucidation of the problems which interest our countries, it would be advisable to hold a meeting of authorised representatives of our states, and we could agree on the place and time of meeting in the near future.

Besides, we should agree beforehand on the range of problems to be discussed and on the draft proposals to be approved. Unless this is done the meeting can hardly yield tangible results.

2. I take this opportunity to congratulate the British Government and the Anglo-American troops on their highly successful operations in Sicily, which have already led to the fall of Mussolini and the collapse of his gang.

August 9, 1943


No. 171

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

Your telegram of August 9th gives me the opportunity to offer you my heartfelt congratulations on the recent most important victories gained by the Russian armies at Orel and Byelgorod, opening the way to your further advances towards Bryansk and Kharkov. Defeats of the German army on this front are milestones to our final victory.

2. I have arrived at the Citadel of Quebec and start this afternoon to meet the President at his private home. Meanwhile the Staffs will be in conference here and the President and I will join them at the end of the week. I will show the President your telegram about a meeting of our responsible representatives in the near future, which certainly seems to be most desirable. I quite understand that you cannot leave the front at this critical period when you are actually directing the victorious movements of your armies.

3. Thank you for your congratulations on our Sicilian successes, together we shall endeavour to exploit to the full without prejudice to “Overlord.”50 Certainly our affairs are much better in every quarter than when we met in Moscow exactly a year ago.

4. I am sending you a small stereoscopic machine with a large number of photographic slides of the damage done by our bombing to German cities. They give one a much more vivid impression than anything that can be gained from photographs. I hope you will find half an hour in which to look at them. This we know for certain, eighty per cent of the houses in Hamburg are down. It is only now a question of a short time before the nights lengthen and even greater destruction will be laid upon Berlin. This subject only to weather. This will be continued for several nights and days and will be the heaviest ever known.

5. Finally, in the U-boat war, we have in the months of May, June and July destroyed U-boats at the rate of almost one a day while our losses have been far less than we planned for. Our net gain in new tonnage is very great. All this will facilitate the establishment of large-scale Anglo-American fronts against the Germans, which I agree with you are indispensable to the shortening of the war.

August 12th, 1943


No. 172

Most Secret and Personal Message from President Roosevelt and the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

On August 15th the British Ambassador at Madrid reported that General Castellano51 had arrived from Badoglio with a letter of introduction from the British Minister to the Vatican. The General declared that he was authorised by Badoglio to say that Italy was willing to surrender unconditionally provided that she could join the Allies. The British representative to the Vatican has since been furnished by Marshal Badoglio with a written statement that he has duly authorised General Castellano. This therefore seems a firm offer.

We are not prepared to enter into any bargain with Badoglio’s Government to induce Italy to change sides; on the other hand there are many advantages and a great speeding up of the campaign which might follow therefrom. We shall begin our invasion of the mainland of Italy probably before the end of this month and about a week later we shall make our full-scale thrust at “Avalanche.”52 It is very likely that Badoglio’s Government will not last so long. The Germans have one or more armoured divisions outside Rome and once they think that the Badoglio Government is playing them false, they are quite capable of overthrowing it and setting up a Quisling Government of Fascist elements under, for instance, Farinacci. Alternatively, Badoglio may collapse and the whole of Italy pass into disorder.

Such being the situation, the Combined Chiefs of Staff43 have prepared, and the President and the Prime Minister approved, as a measure of military diplomacy, the following instructions which have been sent to General Eisenhower for action:

 “The President and the Prime Minister having approved, the Combined Chiefs of Staff direct you to send at once to Lisbon two Staff Officers; one United States’, and one British. They should report upon arrival to the British Ambassador. They should take with them agreed armistice terms which have already been sent to you. Acting on instructions the British Ambassador at Lisbon will have arranged a meeting with General Castellano. Your Staff Officers will be present at this meeting.”
At this meeting a communication to General Castellano will be made on the following lines:

(a) The unconditional surrender of Italy is accepted on the terms stated in the document to be handed to him. (He should then be given the armistice terms for Italy already agreed and previously sent to you. He should be told that these do not include the political, economic or financial terms which will be communicated later by other means.)53

(b) These terms do not visualise active assistance of Italy in fighting the Germans. The extent to which the terms will be modified in favour of Italy will depend on how far the Italian Government and people do in fact aid the United Nations against Germany during the remainder of the war. The United Nations, however, state without reservation, that wherever Italian troops or Italians fight the Germans, or destroy German property, or hamper German movements, they will be given all possible support by troops of the United Nations. Meanwhile, provided that information about the enemy is immediately and regularly supplied, Allied bombing will so far as possible be directed on targets which affect the movements and operations of German troops.

(c) Cessation of hostilities between the United Nations and Italy will take effect from a date and hour to be notified by General Eisenhower.

(Note: General Eisenhower should make this notification a few hours before Allied troops land in Italy in strength.)

(d) Italian Government must undertake to proclaim the Armistice immediately it is announced by General Eisenhower, and to order their troops and people from that hour to collaborate with the Allies and to resist the Germans.

(Note: As will be seen from 2(c)54 above, the Italian Government will be given a few hours’ notice.)

(e) Italian Government must, at the hour of Armistice, order that all United Nations prisoners in danger of capture by the Germans shall be immediately released.

(f) Italian Government must at the hour of the Armistice order the Italian fleet and as much of their merchant shipping as possible to put to sea for Allied ports. As many military aircraft as possible shall fly to Allied bases. Any ships or aircraft in danger of capture must be destroyed.

2. General Castellano should be told that meanwhile there is a good deal that Badoglio can do without the Germans becoming aware of what is afoot. The precise character and extent of his action must be left to his judgment but the following are the general lines which should be suggested to him:

(a) General passive resistance throughout the country if this order can be conveyed to local authorities without the Germans’ knowing.

(b) Minor sabotage throughout the country, particularly of communications and of air fields used by the Germans.

(c) Safeguard of Allied prisoners of war. If German pressure to hand them over becomes too great they should be released.

(d) No Italian warships to be allowed to fall into German hands. Arrangements to be made to ensure that all of these ships can sail to ports designated by General Eisenhower immediately he gives the order. Italian submarines should not be withdrawn from patrol as this would reveal our common purpose to the enemy.

(e) No merchant shipping to be allowed to fall into German hands. Merchant shipping in northern ports should, if possible, be sailed to ports south of a line Venice-Leghorn. In the last resort they should be scuttled. All ships must be ready to sail for ports designated by General Eisenhower.

(f) Germans must not be allowed to take over Italian coast defences.

(g) Instructions to be put into force at the proper time for Italian formations in the Balkans to march to the coast with a view to their being taken off to Italy by the United Nations.

3. A safe channel of communication between General Eisenhower and the Italian headquarters is to be arranged with General Castellano by General Eisenhower’s representatives.”

(End of General Eisenhower’s message.)

To turn to another subject, following on decisions taken at “Trident,”55 His Majesty’s Government entered upon negotiations with Portugal in order to obtain naval and air facilities in a “life-belt.”56 Accordingly His Majesty’s Ambassador at Lisbon invoked the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance which has lasted 600 years unbroken and invited Portugal to grant the said facilities. Dr. Salazar was of course oppressed by the fear of German bombing out of revenge and of possible hostile moves by the Spaniards. We have accordingly furnished him with supplies of anti-aircraft artillery and fighter aircraft which are now in transit, and we have also informed Dr. Salazar that should Spain attack Portugal we shall immediately declare war on Spain and render such help as is in our power. We have not however made any precise military convention earmarking particular troops as we do not think either of these contingencies probable. Dr. Salazar has now consented to the use of a “life-belt” by the British with Portuguese collaboration in the early part of October. As soon as we are established there and he is relieved from his anxieties we shall press for extensions of these facilities to United States ships and aircraft.

The possession of the “life-belt” is of great importance to the sea war. The U-boats have quitted the North Atlantic where convoys have been running without loss since the middle of May and have concentrated on the southern route. The use of the “life-belt” will be of the utmost help in attacks on them from the air. Besides this there is the ferrying of United States heavy bombers to Europe and Africa which is also most desirable. All the above is of most especially secret operational character.

19th August, 1943


No. 173

For Marshal Stalin from President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill

Mr Churchill and I are here,57 accompanied by our staffs, and will confer for a period of perhaps ten days. We are very desirous of emphasising to you again the importance of our all three meeting. We at the same time entirely understand the strong reasons which cause you to be near the fronts of battle, fronts where your personal presence has been so fruitful of victory.

Neither Astrakhan nor Archangel are suitable, in our opinion. We are quite prepared, however, to go with appropriate officers to Fairbanks, Alaska. There, we may survey the entire picture, in common with you.

We are now at a crucial point in the war, a time presenting a unique chance for a rendezvous. Both Mr Churchill and I earnestly hope you will give this opportunity your consideration once more.

If we are unable to agree on this very essential meeting between our three governmental heads, Churchill and I agree with you that we should in the near future arrange a meeting of foreign office level representatives. Final decisions must, of course, be left to our respective Governments, so such a meeting would be of an exploratory character.

In 38 days, General Eisenhower and General Alexander have accomplished the conquest of Sicily.

The Axis defenders amounted to a total of 405,000 men: 315,000 Italians and 90,000 Germans. We attacked with 13 American and British divisions, suffering approximately 13,000 casualties (killed and wounded). The Axis forces lost 30,000 dead and wounded: 23,000 Germans and 7,000 Italians, collected and counted. There were 130,000 prisoners.

Italian forces on Sicily have been wiped out, with the exception of some few who took to the countryside in plain clothes. There is a tremendous amount of booty, guns and planes and munitions of all sorts lying about everywhere, including more than 1,000 aeroplanes captured on the various air fields.

As you have been informed previously, we will soon make a powerful attack on the mainland of Italy.

Churchill
Roosevelt

19 August, 1943


No. 174

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the President, Mr F. D. Roosevelt and the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill,

I have received your message on the negotiations with the Italians and on the new armistice terms for Italy. Thank you for the information.

Mr Eden informed Sobolev that Moscow had been kept fully informed of the negotiations with Italy. I must say, however, that Mr Eden’s statement is at variance with the facts, for I received your message with large omissions and without the closing paragraphs.58 It should be said, therefore, that the Soviet Government has not been kept informed of the Anglo- American negotiations with the Italians. Mr Kerr assures me that he will shortly receive the full text of your message, but three days have passed and Ambassador Kerr has yet to give it to me. I cannot understand how this delay could have come about in transmitting information on so important a matter.

2. I think the time is ripe for us to set up a military-political commission of representatives of the three countries – the U.S.A., Great Britain and the U.S.S.R. – for consideration of problems related to negotiations with various Governments falling away from Germany. To date it has been like this: the U.S.A. and Britain reach agreement between themselves while the U.S.S.R. is informed of the agreement between the two powers as a third party looking passively on. I must say that this situation cannot be tolerated any longer. I propose setting up the commission and making Sicily its seat for the time being.

3. I am looking forward to receiving the full text of your message on the negotiations with Italy.

August 22, 1943


No. 175

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill, and the President, Mr F. D. Roosevelt

Your joint message of August 19 has reached me.

I fully share your opinion and that of Mr Roosevelt concerning the importance of a meeting between the three of us. At the same time I earnestly request you to appreciate my position at a time when our armies are exerting themselves to the utmost against the main forces of Hitler and when Hitler, far from having withdrawn a single division from our front, has already moved, and keeps moving, fresh divisions to the Soviet- German front. At a moment like this I cannot, in the opinion of all my colleagues, leave the front without injury to our military operations to go to so distant a point as Fairbanks, even though, had the situation on our front been different, Fairbanks would doubtless have been a perfectly suitable place for our meeting, as I indeed thought before.

As to a meeting between representatives of our states, and perhaps representatives in charge of foreign affairs, I share your view of the advisability of such a meeting in the near future. However, the meeting should not be restricted to the narrow bounds of investigation, but should concern itself with practical preparations so that after the conference our Governments might take specific decisions and thus avoid delay in reaching decisions on urgent matters.

Hence I think I must revert to my proposal for fixing beforehand the range of problems to be discussed by the representatives of the three states and drafting the proposals they will have to discuss and submit to our Governments for final decision.

2. Yesterday we received from Mr Kerr the addenda and corrections to the joint message in which you and Mr Roosevelt informed me of the instructions sent to General Eisenhower in connection with the surrender terms worked out for Italy during the discussions with General Castellano. I and my colleagues believe that the instructions given to General Eisenhower follow entirely from the thesis on Italy’s unconditional surrender and hence cannot give rise to any objections.

Still, I consider the information received so far insufficient for judging the steps that the Allies should take in the negotiations with Italy. This circumstance confirms the necessity of Soviet participation in reaching a decision in the course of the negotiations. I consider it timely, therefore, to set up the military- political commission representing the three countries, of which I wrote to you on August 22.

August 24, 1943


No. 176

Received on August 26, 1943

F. Roosevelt and W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

The following is the decision as to the military operations to be carried out during 1943 and 1944 which we have arrived at in our conference at Quebec just concluded. We shall continue the bomber offensive against Germany from bases in the United Kingdom and Italy on a rapidly increasing scale. The objectives of this air attack will be to destroy the air combat strength of Germany, to dislocate her military, economic and industrial system and to prepare the way for an invasion across the Channel. A large-scale building-up of American forces in the United Kingdom is now under way. It will provide an assemblage force of American and British divisions for operations across the Channel. Once a bridgehead on the Continent has been secured it will be reinforced steadily by additional American troops at the rate of from three to five divisions a month. This operation will be the primary American and British air and ground effort against the Axis. The war in the Mediterranean is to be pressed vigorously. In that area our objectives will be the elimination of Italy from the Axis alliance and the occupation of Italy, as well as of Corsica and Sardinia, as bases for operations against Germany. In the Balkans operations will be limited to the supply by air and sea transport of the Balkan guerrillas, minor commando raids and the bombarding of strategic objectives. In the Pacific and in South-east Asia we shall accelerate our operations against Japan. Our purposes are to exhaust the air, naval and shipping resources of Japan, to cut her communications and to secure bases from which Japan proper may be bombed.


No. 177

Received on August 29, 1943

From the Prime Minister and the President to Marshal Stalin

(Retranslated)

Just now we are examining your proposals and are almost certain that plans satisfactory to all of us can be made both for a meeting of representatives of the Foreign Ministries and for setting up a tripartite commission. The Prime Minister and I meet again early next week and shall communicate with you again by cable.


No. 178

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

Would you be in favour of having representatives of the French National Committee of Liberation on the commission about the negotiations with Italy? If so, I would suggest it here.59 They certainly have a great stake and it would be bringing them more into the limelight.

August 30th, 1943


No. 179

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill

I am for having the French National Committee of Liberation represented on the commission for negotiations with Italy. If you consider it advisable you may say so on behalf of our two Governments.

August 31, 1943


No. 180

Most Secret and Personal Message from President Roosevelt and the Prime Minister to Marshal J. V. Stalin

We have received from General C.51 a statement that the Italians accept and that he is coming to sign, but we do not know for certain whether this refers to the short military terms, which you have already seen, or to the more comprehensive and complete terms in regard to which your readiness to sign was specifically indicated.60

2. The military situation there is at once critical and hopeful. Our invasion of the mainland begins almost immediately, and a heavy blow called “Avalanche”52 will be struck in the next week or so. The difficulty of the Italian Government and people in extricating themselves from Hitler’s clutches may make a still more daring enterprise necessary, for General Eisenhower will need as much Italian help as he can get. The Italians’ acceptance of the terms is largely based on the fact that we shall send an air-borne division to Rome to enable them to hold off the Germans who have gathered Panzer strength in that vicinity and who may replace the Badoglio Government with a Quisling administration, probably under Farinacci. Matters are moving so fast there that we think General Eisenhower should have discretion not to delay settlement with the Italians for the sake of the difference between the short and long terms. It is clear that the short terms are included in the long terms, that they proceed on the basis of unconditional surrender, and Clause 10 in the short term61 places the interpretation in the hands of the Allied Commander- in-Chief.

3. We are therefore assuming that you expect General Eisenhower to sign the short terms on your behalf if that be necessary to avoid the further journeying of General C. to Rome and the consequent delay and the uncertainty affecting military operations. We are, of course, anxious that Italian unconditional surrender be to Soviet Russia as well as to Great Britain and the United States. The date of the surrender announcement must, of course, be fitted in with the military coup.

Roosevelt
Churchill

September 3rd, 1943


No. 181

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

The military commission.

I have discussed with the President your suggestion for a military-political commission representative of our three countries. The President is sending you his views.

2. If a formal commission is to be set up I make the following suggestions as to its constitution and scope, from which I think the President would not dissent, but he is telegraphing separately.

3. As to its location I will agree to Sicily if you are set upon it, but I believe that either Tunis or Algiers, which are an established Allied headquarters, would be more convenient. There will be no harm in trying both.

4. I suggest that the members of the commission should be political representatives appointed by the three governments, each reporting to his Government direct. The commission could not, of course, supersede or override the authority of the Governments concerned. The representatives may require to be assisted by military advisers. The political representatives should be kept informed by their governments of military and political developments affecting their work, and would in their turn inform their Governments of local developments. They could make joint representations to their Governments, but would not have the power to take final decisions. They would, of course, not interfere with the military functions of the Allied Commander-in-Chief.

5. I was glad to find that you agreed that a French member might be added. The President to whom I have submitted the idea also seemed inclined to accept it with certain reservations. We must remember that before long the French will presumably have ten or more fully equipped divisions which will certainly be needed in action.

6. There are others, notably the Greeks and the Yugoslavs, who are directly interested, and I suggest that we should devise a procedure for calling them in for consultation when questions of direct concern to them are under examination.

7. As I understand it the commission would, in the first instance, handle the Italian question only. When other cases arise experience should have shown whether this or some other organ would be the best medium for cooperating our views and plans.

8. The President is making to you the different suggestion that you might think it sufficient to send an officer to General Eisenhower’s headquarters. Seeing that the commission, if set up, would meet almost concurrently with the conference of Foreign Ministers, it may be that you will agree that the President’s plan meets the case.

9. In the event of its being decided to establish the commission, I should be grateful to learn whether you agree with the proposals I have made above. The commission, if it is desired, should be set going this month, but see my immediately following telegram.

September 5th, 1943


No. 182

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

Reference to my immediately preceding telegram.

Secret, Personal. Operational.

General “C”,51 after a long struggle, signed the short terms last night, September 3rd, and he is now working out with Generals Eisenhower and Alexander the best way to bring them into force. This will certainly lead to immediate fighting between the Italian and German forces and we are going to help the Italians at every possible point as effectively as we can. The next week will show a startling development. The invasion of the toe has been successful and is being pressed, and the operation “Avalanche”52 and the air-borne venture are both imminent. Though I believe we shall get ashore at “Avalanche” in strong force, I cannot foresee what will happen in Rome, or throughout Italy. The dominant aim should be to kill Germans and make the Italians kill Germans on the largest scale possible in this theatre.

2. I am staying over on this side of the Atlantic till this business clears itself. Meanwhile accept my warmest congratulations on your new set of victories and penetrations on your main front.

September 5th, 1943


No. 183

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

The conference of Foreign Ministers.

I was glad to get your message of August 25th in which you agree to an early meeting of Soviet, United States and British representatives in charge of foreign affairs. If Monsieur Molotov comes we will send Mr Eden.

2. The conference even thus constituted could not, of course, supersede the authority of all the governments concerned. We are most anxious to know what your wishes are about the future and will tell you our views as soon as they are formed. After that the Governments will have to decide and I hope we may be able to meet personally somewhere. I would if necessary go to Moscow.

3. The political representatives might require to be assisted by military advisers. I would provide a general officer, Sir Hastings Ismay, who is my personal representative on the Chiefs of Staff Committee and conducts the Secretariat of the Ministry of Defence. He could supply arguments and facts and figures on the military questions involved. I believe the United States would send an officer similarly qualified. This I think would be sufficient at this stage for the meeting of Foreign Ministers.

4. If, however, you wish to go in technical detail into the question why we have not yet invaded France across the Channel and why we cannot do it sooner or in greater strength than is now proposed, I should welcome a separate technical mission of your Generals and Admirals coming to London or Washington or both, when the fullest possible exposition of our conjoint resources and intentions could be laid before them and thrashed out. Indeed I should be very glad that you should have this explanation to which you have every right.

5. We are disposed to think that Britain being the midway point would be the most convenient place for the meeting, though it might be preferred to hold it outside London. I have made this proposal to the President but he has not given me a final decision upon it. If England were agreeable to you, I should be glad of your support in the proposal.

6. I hope we can aim at assembling the conference early in October.

September 5th, 1943


No. 184

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the President, Mr Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill

I have received your message of September 4. The question which you ask me, namely, whether the Soviet Government would agree to General Eisenhower signing on its behalf the short armistice terms for Italy, should be considered as having been answered in the letter which V. M. Molotov, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, wrote to Mr Kerr, the British Ambassador, on September 2. The letter said that the powers which the Soviet Government entrusted to General Eisenhower also extended to his signing the short armistice terms.

September 7, 1943


No. 185

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your messages of September 5.

As I am writing simultaneously to the President, I think the most pressing problem is that of the military-political commission concerning which I wrote on August 22 and 24. After receiving your previous messages I expected the matter of setting up the tripartite military-political commission to be settled positively and without delay. But the solution of this very urgent problem has been delayed. The point is not, of course, this or that detail, which we could easily dispose of. The sending of a Soviet officer to General Eisenhower cannot in any way substitute the military-political commission which should already be at work, whereas it does not yet exist.

I have already informed you of my opinion on having a French representative. However, if the President is doubtful the question of French participation might be postponed.

2. The proposed date for the meeting of the representatives of the Governments – early October – suits me. I suggest that it be held in Moscow. The thing now is for us to agree beforehand on the range of problems and the proposals concerning those problems, in which our Governments are interested. I still think that this is essential for the success of the meeting, which should draft agreed decisions for subsequent adoption by the Governments. As for other matters relating to the convening of the conference I think there will be no difficulty in reaching agreement.

3. About a personal meeting of the heads of the three Governments – I have informed the President that I, too, am anxious for it to be held as early as possible, that the date suggested by him – November or December – suits me, but that it would be advisable to hold it in a country where all three are represented, such as Iran. I made the reservation that the actual date would have to be specified later, with due account to the situation on the Soviet-German front, where more than 500 divisions are engaged on both sides and where the supervision of the Supreme Command of the U.S.S.R. is required almost daily.

4. Thank you for your congratulations on the victories won by the Soviet armies. Please accept my congratulations on the splendid successes of the Anglo-American troops in Italy and my good wishes for further success in fulfilling the plans made for further operations.

September 8, 1943


No. 186

Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

Messages from General Eisenhower have indicated that the Italians have reason to believe that the Germans may resort to gas warfare against Italy, if she should withdraw from the Axis.

2. The President and I have agreed that General Eisenhower should give a special warning to the Germans as to the retaliatory measures that she may expect if she indulges in this form of warfare.

3. In view of the urgency of the matter there was no time to consult you in advance but in view of your attitude on a previous occasion we feel sure that you will agree.

8th September, 1943


No. 187

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message of September 8, advising me of the directions which you and the President have given to General Eisenhower to warn the Germans of the retaliation they must expect should they venture on gas warfare against Italy.

For my part I think it was the right thing to do and have no objection to appropriate instructions having already been given by you and the President.

September 8, 1943


No. 188

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

At the last minute the Italian Government have backed out of the armistice alleging the Germans will immediately enter Rome and set up a Quisling government. This may well be true. We are, however, announcing the fact of the armistice at the hour agreed, namely 16.30 hours Greenwich Mean Time today, and of course “Avalanche”52 starts tonight.

I hope you will let me know if you have received this telegram. It would also be convenient if you could tell me when you expect to be able to reply to my telegrams regarding the conference of Foreign Ministers and the Mediterranean Commission since all these matters can be so much more easily settled while the President and I are together here.62

September 8th, 1943


No. 189

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of September 8 reached me on September 9. Apparently you had not received my message of September 8 when you wrote yours.

I hope you will have read it by now, for it answers the questions that interest you concerning the meeting of the three Foreign Ministers and the tripartite commission.

September 9, 1943


No. 190

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

Your message of September 8th received. The President tells me that he is cabling you separately. His Majesty’s Government agree to the immediate formation of the Three Power Military-Political Commission with headquarters in Sicily or Algiers. We agree that the French National Committee of Liberation shall send a fourth member. I believe that President Roosevelt will also agree to this. His Majesty’s Government’s nominee is Mr Harold Macmillan, my personal representative at General Eisenhower’s headquarters at Algiers, which duties he will continue to discharge. Mr Macmillan is a Member of Parliament and a Minister of the Crown and has acquired a complete knowledge of the entire situation in the Mediterranean. He has the complete confidence of the Foreign Office and constant access to me.

2. I do not propose to appoint a military representative, because Mr Macmillan will be in close contact with the Anglo- American headquarters staff. I shall equip him, however, with a high-grade staff officer with the rank of Brigadier. It seems to me that the American representative will be in much the same position, though I do not know what arrangements they will make. We should quite understand that your representative, being far from home, might require stronger military representation.

3. His Majesty’s Government conceive that the functions of the Commission would be the following. All its members would be kept immediately supplied with all information at the disposal of the three Governments and the French National Committee of Liberation about the present and future relations with the Italian Government or with any other enemy governments who in the future may find themselves in a similar plight. They would meet together as often as they pleased to discuss these matters. They would report to their governments constantly, and could advise them collectively or individually. They would receive instructions from their Governments as to the line they should take, but they would be encouraged to develop their own thoughts. All the above is without prejudice to the ultimate overriding responsibility of the three Governments concerned. There can be no question of the Committee deciding anything or taking executive action. In Great Britain Parliament is supreme and it would never consent to the alienation of any of its powers. This was made clear in my earlier telegram.

4. With respect to the meeting of Foreign Office representatives we defer to your wishes that Moscow should be the scene. Accordingly our Foreign Secretary Mr Eden will proceed thither at an early date in October. He will be attended by a suitable staff.

5. Agenda. His Majesty’s Government declares itself willing to discuss any and every subject with its Russian and United States Allies. We will in a few days furnish you with our ideas. But we should particularly like to know what are the main points you have in mind.

6. This meeting of Foreign Office representatives seems to me a most important and necessary preliminary to the meeting of the three heads of Governments. I am pleased and relieved to feel that there is a good prospect of this taking place between November 15th and December 15th. I have for some time past informed you that I will come anywhere at any time at any risk for such a meeting. I am therefore prepared to go to Tehran unless you can think of a better place in Iran. I should have preferred Cyprus or Khartoum but I defer to your wishes. Marshal Stalin, I wish to tell you that on this meeting. of the three of us, so greatly desired by all the United Nations, may depend not only the best and shortest method of finishing the war, but also those good arrangements for the future of the world which will enable the British and the American and Russian nations to render a lasting service to humanity.

7. Thank you for your congratulations. Badoglio seems to have played straight. The Italian Navy is reported sailing for our ports. The reports from the Salerno area are good so far. We have got a substantial force ashore and are engaging the Germans.

10th September, 1943


No. 191

Received on September 10, 1943

F. Roosevelt and W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

We are pleased to tell you that General Eisenhower has accepted the unconditional surrender of Italy, terms of which were approved by the United States, the Soviet Republics and the United Kingdom.

Allied troops have landed near Naples and are now in contact with German forces. Allied troops are also making good progress in the southern end of the Italian peninsula.


No. 192

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the President, Mr Roosevelt, and the Prime Minister, Mr Churchill

I have received your message of September 10. I congratulate you on your latest success, particularly the landing in the Naples area. There can be no doubt that the landing in the Naples area and Italy’s break with Germany will be yet another blow to Hitler Germany and considerably facilitate the Soviet armies’ operations on the Soviet-German front.

So far the offensive of the Soviet troops is making good progress. I think we shall have further success in the next two or three weeks. It may be that we shall take Novorossiisk in a day or two.

September 10, 1943


No. 193

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the President, Mr F. D. Roosevelt, and the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Basically, the point about the military-political commission can be regarded as settled. We have appointed as the Soviet Ambassador A. Y. Vyshinsky, Deputy Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars and Deputy People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, whom you know. A. Y. Bogomolov, the Soviet Ambassador to the Allied Governments in London, has been appointed his deputy. In addition, we are sending a group of responsible military and political experts and a small technical staff.

I think that the date September 25-30 should be fixed for the military-political commission getting down to work. I have nothing against the commission functioning in Algiers for a start and later deciding whether it should move to Sicily or elsewhere in Italy.

The Prime Minister’s considerations regarding the functions of the commission are correct in my view, but I think that later, taking into account the initial experience of the commission, we shall be able to specify its functions in respect of both Italy and other countries.

2. Concerning the meeting of our three representatives I suggest that we consider it agreed that Moscow be the place, and the date, October 4, as suggested by the President. As stated in previous messages, I still believe that for the conference to be a success it is essential to know in advance the proposals that the British and U.S. Governments intend to submit to it. I do not, however, suggest any restriction as far as the agenda is concerned.

3. As regards the meeting of the three heads of the Governments, I have no objection to Tehran, which, I think, is a more suitable place than Egypt where the Soviet Union is not yet represented.

September 12, 1943


No. 194

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

Now that Mussolini has been set up by the Germans as head of a so-called Republican Fascist Government it is essential to counter this movement by doing all we can to strengthen the authority of the King and Badoglio who signed the armistice with us and have since faithfully carried it out to the best of their ability, and surrendered the bulk of their fleet. Besides, for military reasons we must mobilise and concentrate all the forces in Italy which anxious to fight or at least obstruct the Germans. These are already active.

I propose therefore to advise the King to appeal on the wireless to the Italian people to rally round the Badoglio Government and to announce his intention to build up a broad-based anti-fascist coalition government, it being understood that nothing shall be done to prevent the Italian people from settling what form of democratic government they will have after the war.

It should also be said that useful service by the Italian Government’s army and people against the enemy will be recognised in the adjustment and working of the armistice; but that while the Italian Government is free to declare war on Germany this will not make Italy an ally but only a co-belligerent.

I want at the same time to insist on the signing of the comprehensive armistice terms which are still outstanding, even though some of those terms cannot be enforced at the present time. Against this Badoglio would be told that the Allied Governments intend to hand over the historic mainland of Italy, Sicily and Sardinia to the administration of the Italian Government under the Allied Control Commission as it is freed from the enemy.

I am putting these proposals also to President Roosevelt and I hope I may count on your approval. As you will readily understand, the matter is vitally urgent for military reasons. For instance, the Italians have already driven the Germans out of Sardinia and there are many islands and key points which they still hold and which we may get.

September 21st, 1943


No. 195

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of September 21 received.

I agree with your proposal for a radio address to the people by the King of Italy. But I think it is absolutely essential that the King’s address should clearly say that Italy, which has surrendered to Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union, will fight against Germany together with Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union.

2. I also agree with your proposal for signing the comprehensive armistice terms. Concerning your reservation that some of the conditions cannot become effective at present, I take this to mean that they cannot be carried out in a territory still under German control. In any case I should like to get confirmation of this from you or the necessary explanation.

September 22, 1943


No. 196

Received on September 26, 1943

Personal Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

Mr Eden and I wish to send you our personal congratulations on the grand news about Smolensk.


No. 197

Personal Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Many thanks to you and Mr Eden for the congratulations on the capture of Smolensk.

September 26, 1943


No. 198

Received on September 27, 1943

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal Stalin

I have been pondering about our meeting of heads of Governments at Tehran. Good arrangements must be made for security in this somewhat loosely-controlled area. Accordingly I suggest for your consideration that I make preparations at Cairo in regard to accommodation, security, etc., which are bound to be noticed in spite of all willing efforts to keep them secret. Then perhaps only two or three days before our meeting we should throw a British and a Russian brigade round a Suitable area in Tehran, including the air field, and keep an absolute cordon till we have finished our talks. We would not tell the Iranian Government nor make any arrangements for our accommodation until this moment comes. We should of course have to control absolutely all outgoing messages. Thus we shall have an effective blind for the world press and also for any unpleasant people who might not be as fond of us as they ought.

2. I suggest also that in all future correspondence on this subject we use the expression “Cairo Three” instead of Tehran which should be buried, and also that the code name for the operation should be “Eureka” which I believe is ancient Greek. If you have other ideas let me know and we can then put them to the President. I have not said anything to him about this aspect yet.


No. 199

Received on October 1, 1943

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

I have received your request for the reopening of convoys to North Russia.63 I and all my colleagues are most anxious to help you and the valiant armies you lead to the utmost of our ability. I do not therefore reply to the various controversial points made in Monsieur Molotov’s communication. Since June 22nd, 1941, we have always done our best in spite of our own heavy burdens to help you defend your own country against the cruel invasion of the Hitlerite gang and we have never ceased to acknowledge and proclaim the great advantages that have come to us from the splendid victories you have won and from the deadly blows you have dealt the German armies.

2. For the last four days I have been working with the Admiralty to make a plan for sending a new series of convoys to North Russia. This entails very great hardships. Firstly the battle of the Atlantic has begun again. U-boats have set about us with a new kind of acoustic torpedo which has proved effective against escorting vessels when hunting U-boats. Secondly we are at very full stretch in the Mediterranean building up an army in Italy of about 600,000 men by the end of November and also trying to take full advantage of the Italian collapse in the Aegean Islands and Balkan Peninsula. Thirdly we have to provide our share of the war against Japan in which the United States are greatly interested and whose people would be offended if we were lukewarm.

3. Notwithstanding the above it is a very great pleasure to me to tell you that we are planning to sail a series of four convoys to North Russia in November, December, January and February each of which will consist of approximately thirty-five ships, British and American. Convoys may be sailed in two halts to meet operational requirements. The first convoy will leave the United Kingdom about November 12th arriving in North Russia ten days later; subsequent convoys at about twenty- eight day intervals. We intend to withdraw as many as possible of the merchant vessels now in North Russia towards the end of October and the remainder with the returning convoy escorts.

4. However I must put it on record that this is not a contract or bargain but rather a declaration of our solemn and earnest resolve. On this basis I have ordered the necessary measures to be taken for sending these four convoys of thirty-five ships.

5. The Foreign Office and Admiralty however request me to put before you for your personal attention, hoping indeed that your own eye may look at it, the following representations about the difficulties we have experienced in North Russia.

6. If we are to resume the convoys we shall have to reinforce our establishments in North Russia which have been reduced in numbers since last March. The present numbers of naval personnel are below what is necessary for our present requirements owing to men having to be sent home without relief. Your civil authorities have refused us all visas for men to go to North Russia even to relieve those who are seriously overdue for relief. Monsieur Molotov has pressed His Majesty’s Government to agree that the number of British Service personnel in North Russia should not exceed that of the Soviet Service personnel and of the Trade Delegation in this country. We have been unable to accept this proposal since their work is quite dissimilar and the number of men needed for war operations cannot be determined in such an unpractical way. Secondly as we have already informed the Soviet Government we must manifestly be judges of the personnel required to carry out operations for which we are responsible; Mr Eden has already given his assurance that the greatest care will be taken to limit the numbers strictly to the minimum.

7. I must therefore ask you to agree to the immediate grant of visas for the additional personnel now required and for your assurance that you will not in future withhold visas when we find it necessary to ask for them in connection with the assistance that we are giving you in North Russia. I emphasise that of about 170 naval personnel at present in the North over 150 should have been relieved some months ago but the Soviet visas have been withheld. The state of health of these men who are unaccustomed to the climate and other conditions makes it very necessary to relieve them without further delay.

8. We should also wish to send a small medical unit for Archangel to which your authorities agreed but for which the necessary visas have not been granted. Please remember that we may have heavy casualties.

9. I must also ask your help in remedying the conditions under which our Service personnel and seamen are at present finding themselves in North Russia. These men are of course engaged in operations against the enemy in our joint interest and chiefly to bring Allied supplies to your country. They are, I am sure you will admit, in a wholly different position from the ordinary individuals proceeding to Russian territory. Yet they are subjected by your authorities to the following restrictions which seem to me inappropriate for men sent by an ally to carry out operations of the greatest interest to the Soviet Union:

(a) No one may land from one of His Majesty’s ships or from a British merchant ship except by a Soviet boat in the presence of a Soviet official and after examination of documents on each occasion;

(b) No one from a British warship is allowed to proceed alongside a British merchantman without the Soviet authorities being informed beforehand. This even applies to the British Admiral in charge.

(c) British officers and men are required to obtain special passes before they can go from ship to shore or between the two British shore stations. These passes are often much delayed with consequent dislocation of the work in hand.

(d) No stores, luggage or mail for this operational force may be landed except in the presence of a Soviet official and numerous formalities are required for the shipment of all stores and mail.

(e) Private service mail is subjected to censorship although for an operational force of this kind censorship should in our view be left in the hands of the British Service authorities.

10. The imposition of these restrictions makes an impression upon officers and men alike which is bad for Anglo-Soviet relations and would be deeply injurious if Parliament got to hear of it. The cumulative effect of these formalities has been most hampering to the efficient performance of the men’s duties and, on more than one occasion, to urgent and important operations. No such restrictions are placed upon Soviet personnel here.

11. We have already proposed to Monsieur Molotov that as regards offences against Soviet law committed by personnel of the Services and of ships of convoys, they should be handed over to the British Service authorities to deal with. There have been a few such cases, no doubt partially at any rate, due to the rigorous conditions of service in the North.

12. I trust indeed therefore that you will find it possible to have these difficulties smoothed out in a friendly spirit so that we may each help each other and the common cause to the utmost of our strength.


No. 200

Personal and Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal J. V. Stalin

His Majesty’s Government are in full agreement with the proposals of General Eisenhower telegraphed to you by the President on this first day of October and hope you will concur.

2. We also hope you will join with the President and me in the threefold declaration to be made public immediately following a declaration of war against Germany by Italy.

3. Following is the text of the declaration:

The Governments of Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union acknowledge the position of the Royal Italian Government as stated by Marshal Badoglio and accept the active cooperation of the Italian nation and armed forces as a co-belligerent in the war against Germany. The military events since the 8th September and the brutal maltreatment by the Germans of the Italian population culminating in the Italian declaration of war against Germany have in fact made Italy a co-belligerent, and the American, British and Soviet Governments will continue to work with the Italian Government on that basis. The three Governments acknowledge the Italian Government’s pledge to submit to the will of the Italian people after the Germans have been driven from Italy, and it is understood that nothing can detract from the absolute and untrammelled right of the people of Italy by constitutional means to decide on the democratic form of government they will eventually have.

The relationship of co-belligerency between the Government of Italy and the United Nations Governments cannot of itself affect the terms recently signed, which retain their full force and can only be adjusted by agreement between the Allied Governments in the light of the assistance which the Italian Government may be able to afford the United Nations’ cause.

2nd October, 1943


No. 201

Personal and Most Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of October 2 received.

The Soviet Government is prepared to participate in a tripartite declaration to be made public immediately after Italy has declared war on Germany. The text of the declaration proposed by you seems acceptable to me. For my part I suggest that the declaration be published simultaneously in London, Moscow and Washington.

Please be advised that I have not yet received the President’s telegram conveying General Eisenhower’s proposals, sent, as you write, on October 1.

October 2, 1943


No. 202

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to Prime Minister W. Churchill

I have received your message of September 27 on the forthcoming meeting of the three heads of the Governments. I have no objection to the diversive preparations which you intend to carry out in Cairo. Concerning your proposal to throw a British and a Russian brigade round a suitable area in Cairo 3 several days in advance of our meeting in that city, I do not think the measure advisable – it could lead to undue commotion and exposure. I suggest that each take a strong police force with him. I think that would be adequate for security.

I have no objection to the other proposals for the coming meeting, and I agree to the code names suggested for correspondence on the meeting.

October 3, 1943


No. 203

Personal and Most Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message of October 1 informing me of your intention to send four convoys to the Soviet Union by the northern route in November, December, January and February. However, the information is depreciated by your further statement that the intention to send northern convoys to the U.S.S.R. is “not a contract or bargain,” but merely a declaration which, I take it, may be renounced by the British side at any moment regardless of the effect on the Soviet armies at the front. I must say I cannot agree to this approach to the matter. The British Government’s deliveries of munitions and other war cargoes to the U.S.S.R. cannot be treated other than as an obligation assumed by the British Government, in accordance with the terms of a special agreement between our two countries, in relation to the U.S.S.R., which for more than two years has borne the tremendous burden of the struggle against Hitler Germany, the common enemy of the Allies.

Nor can the fact be ignored that the northern route is the shortest, ensuring quickest delivery to the Soviet-German front of the munitions supplied by the Allies, and that unless that route is properly used the U.S.S.R. cannot get supplies on the required scale. As I have told you before, and as borne out by experience, shipment of munitions and other war materials to the U.S.S.R. through Persian ports simply cannot make up for the shortage, arising from non-shipment via the northern route, of munitions and materials which, it will be readily understood, are needed to fully meet the requirements of the Soviet armies. This year, however, the shipment of war cargoes by the northern route has, for some reason or other, decreased considerably compared with last year, thus making it impossible to fulfil the plan for military deliveries and running counter to the appropriate Anglo-Soviet protocol on war supplies. And so at the present time, when the Soviet Union is straining its forces to the limit in order to meet the needs of the front and ensure the success of the struggle against the main forces of our common enemy it would be impermissible to make supplies to the Soviet armies conditional on the arbitrary judgment of the British side. Such an approach cannot but be regarded as renunciation by the British Government of its obligations, as something in the nature of a threat to the U.S.S.R.

2. Concerning what you describe as controversial points in V. M. Molotov’s communication, I must say that I see no grounds whatever for this comment. In my view the principle of reciprocity and equality, advanced by the Soviet side for settling all visa matters affecting the personnel of the Military Missions, 64 is sound and really just. I am not convinced by the point that the difference in the functions of the British and Soviet Military Missions precludes the application of the above principle and that the numerical strength of the British Military Mission should be determined solely by the British Government. This matter has already been dealt with in sufficient detail in the appropriate aide-mémoires of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs.

3. I see no need for increasing the numbers of the British military personnel in the Soviet North, for the overwhelming majority of the British military personnel there now are not being used properly and have for months been doomed to idleness, something repeatedly pointed out by the Soviet side. As an example Base No. 126 at Archangel can be given, the abolition of which in view of its uselessness had been suggested more than once and to which abolition the British Government has only now agreed. I regret to say there are also instances of impermissible behaviour on the part of individual British servicemen, who in a number of cases resorted to corruption in their efforts to recruit certain Soviet citizens for intelligence purposes. Facts such as these, which offend Soviet citizens, naturally, give rise to incidents with undesirable complications.

4. With regard to the formalities and certain restrictions imposed in our northern ports, mentioned by you, it should be borne in mind that in a zone adjoining the front these formalities and restrictions are inevitable in view of the military situation in which the U.S.S.R. now finds itself. Besides, they apply in equal measure to British and other foreign citizens as well as to Soviet citizens. Nevertheless, in this respect too, the Soviet authorities have granted British servicemen and seamen a number of privileges, of which the British Embassy was informed in March. It follows that your reference to numerous formalities and restrictions is based on inaccurate information.

As regards censorship and penalties in relation to British Service personnel, I have no objection to the censorship of private mail for the British personnel in our northern ports being handled, on a reciprocal basis, by the British authorities, nor to British personnel who have committed minor offences that do not involve judicial investigation being dealt with by the appropriate military authorities.

October 13, 1943


No. 204

Received on October 13, 1943

Most Secret and Personal

Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal Stalin

Would you very kindly consider whether something like the following might not be issued over our three signatures:

“Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union (in whatever order is thought convenient, we being quite ready to be the last) have received from many quarters evidence of atrocities, massacres and cold-blooded mass executions which are being perpetrated by the Hitlerite forces in the many countries they have overrun and from which they are now being steadily expelled. The brutalities of Nazi domination are no new thing and all the peoples or territories in their grip have suffered from the worst form of government by terror. What is new is that many of these territories are now being redeemed by the advancing armies of the liberating Powers and that in their desperation, the recoiling Hitlerites and Huns are redoubling their ruthless cruelties.

“2. Accordingly the aforesaid three Allied Powers speaking in the interests of the thirty-two United Nations, hereby solemnly declare and give full warning of their declaration as follows:

“At the time of the granting of any armistice to any government which may be set up in Germany, those German officers and men and members of the Nazi party who have been responsible for, or have taken a consenting part in the above atrocities, massacres and executions, will be sent back to the countries in which their abominable deeds were done in order that they may be judged and punished according to the laws of these liberated countries and of the free governments which will be erected therein. Lists will be compiled in all possible detail from all these countries having regard especially to the invaded parts of Russia, to Poland and Czechoslovakia, to Yugoslavia and Greece including Crete and other islands, to Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, France and Italy.

“Thus, the Germans who take part in wholesale shootings of Italian officers or in the execution of French, Dutch, Belgian or Norwegian hostages or of Cretan peasants, or who have shared in the slaughters inflicted on the people of Poland or in territories of the Soviet Republic which are now being swept clear of the enemy, will know that they will be brought back, regardless of expense, to the scene of their crimes and judged on the spot by the peoples whom they have outraged. Let those who have hitherto not imbrued their hands with innocent blood beware lest they join the ranks of the guilty, for most assuredly the three Allied Powers will pursue them to the uttermost ends of the earth and will deliver them to their accusers in order that justice may be done.

“The above declaration is without prejudice to the case of the major criminals, whose offences have no particular geographical localisation.

(Signed) Roosevelt,
Stalin,
Churchill.”

If this, or something like this (and I am not particular about the wording) were put out over our three signatures, it would, I believe, make some of these villains shy of being mixed up in the butcheries now that they know they are going to be beaten. We know for instance that our threat of reprisals about the Poles has brought about a mitigation of severities being inflicted on the people there. There is no doubt that the use of the terror-weapon by the enemy imposes an additional burden on our armies. Lots of Germans may develop moral scruples if they know they are going to be brought back and judged in the country, and perhaps in the very place, where their cruel deeds were done. I strongly commend to you the principle of the localisation of judgment as likely to exert a deterrent effect on the enemy terrorism. The British cabinet endorse this principle and policy.65


No. 205

Received on November 12, 1943

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister to Marshal Stalin

Thank you so much for your very agreeable gift and also for all your kindness to Mr Eden. I am so glad that the Conference was such a success.66

The British and American Chiefs of Staff are meeting in Cairo about November 22nd to discuss in detail the operations of the Anglo-American armies, and also the war against Japan, for which our long-term plans have now been prepared. For the latter subject it is hoped that Chiang Kai-shek himself and a Chinese military delegation may be present.

After these domestic and Far East discussions have been concluded, we have the hope that the meeting of the three heads of Governments may take place. Besides and apart from this it is proposed that there should be formed a triple conference of Soviet, American and British Staffs, starting about November 25th or November 26th to discuss the whole field of the war in all its aspects. It is much hoped therefore that you will send a powerful military delegation to this conference, accompanied if possible by M. Molotov. All this is separate from, and additional to the meeting between the three heads of Governments. I am very glad to learn that the President is willing to fly to Tehran. I have pressed him to do this for a long time. I myself have for months passed declared my willingness to go to any place at any time when the three of us can meet together.


No. 206

Received on November 12, 1943

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister to Marshal Stalin

My immediately preceding telegram has not yet been confirmed by the President but I have every reason to believe it will be. If I am wrong we must start again. I have no doubt that a satisfactory variant can be found, but it is very difficult to settle things by triangular correspondence, especially when people are moving by sea and air.


No. 207

Personal and Most Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Today I have received two messages from you.

Although I had written to the President that V. M. Molotov would arrive in Cairo on November 22, I must say that, owing to reasons of a serious nature, Molotov will not, unfortunately, be able to go to Cairo. He will be able to travel with me to Tehran towards the end of November. A number of military officers will also accompany me.

It goes without saying that the Tehran meeting should involve only the three heads of the Governments as agreed. Participation of representatives of any other Powers should be absolutely ruled out.

I wish you success in your conference with the Chinese on Far Eastern affairs.

November 12, 1943


No. 208

Received on November 15, 1943

W. Churchill to J. V. Stalin*

Your message of November 12th received. I entirely understand your position and I am in full accord with your wishes. I am at sea. All congratulations on your continued triumphant advance.


No. 209

Personal and Most Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your reply reached me on November 15. Thank you for your congratulations on the offensive of the Soviet troops who are now having to withstand strong pressure west of Kiev, whither the Germans have rushed up fresh forces and armour.

November 17, 1943


No. 210

Personal and Most Secret Message from the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, to Marshal Stalin

The President has shown me his telegram to you about our meeting. I understand that you wish to make your headquarters at the Soviet Embassy. It seems therefore best for the President to stay in the British Legation, which is next door. Both Missions would then be surrounded by a cordon. It is most undesirable for the principals to make repeated journeys to and fro through the streets of Tehran. Better fix a suitable place and stay inside.

2. The Foreign Secretary and the British Ambassador will accompany me. In addition both the President and I are bringing our Chiefs of Staff. I hope that we can be with you as long as possible so that there may be a real chance to get together and also to have a full interchange of views on all aspects of the war.

23rd November, 1943


No. 211

Personal and Most Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your Cairo message received. I shall be at your service in Tehran in the evening of November 28.

November 25, 1943


No. 212

Received on December 7, 1943

Secret and Personal from the President and Prime Minister to Marshal Stalin

In the Conference just concluded in Cairo we have reached the following decisions regarding the conduct of the war against Germany in 1944 in addition to the agreements arrived at by the three of us at Tehran.

With the purpose of dislocating the German military, economic and industrial system, destroying the German air combat strength, and paving the way for an operation across the Channel the highest strategic priority will be given to the bomber offensive against Germany.

The operation scheduled for March in the Bay of Bengal has been reduced in scale in order to permit the reinforcement of amphibious craft for the operation against Southern France.

We have directed the greatest effort be made to increase the production of landing craft in the United States and Great Britain to provide reinforcement of cross-Channel operations. The diversion from the Pacific of certain landing craft has been ordered for the same purpose.


No. 213

Secret and Personal to President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill from Premier Stalin

Thank you for your joint message informing me of additional decisions on waging the war against Germany in 1944.

Best regards.

December 10, 1943


No. 214

Received on December 20, 1943

Personal and Secret

Message from Mr Winston Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Cordial greetings, my friend, upon the occasion of your birthday. May the coming year see the culmination of our struggle against the common foe.


No. 215

Sent on December 22, 1943

Message from Marshal Stalin to Prime Minister W. Churchill

Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your friendly greetings on the occasion of my birthday. With all my heart I wish you speedy recovery and return to complete health, which is so essential for delivering the decisive blow to the enemy.


No. 216

Received on December 26, 1943

Personal and Secret

Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Thank you so much for your message.

I am making a good recovery and am already fully at work again on the matter of common interest to us both. I send my best wishes to you and your gallant armies for further successes in 1944.


No. 217

Received on December 27, 1943

Personal and Secret

Message from Mr Winston Churchill to Marshal Stalin

The Arctic convoys to Russia have brought us luck. Yesterday the enemy attempted to intercept with the battle cruiser Scharnhorst. The Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Fraser, with the Duke of York (35,000 tons battleship) cut off the Scharnhorst’s retreat and after an action sank her.

Am much better and off to the South for convalescence.


No. 218

Message from Marshal Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Thank you for the message about the Scharnhorst.

To you, Admiral Fraser and the gallant men of the Duke of York, congratulations on a masterly blow and the sinking of the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst.

I am glad you have recovered from your illness.

I firmly shake your hand.

December 27, 1943


No. 219

Received on January 1, 1944

Personal Message from Mr W. Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Thank you so much. I am informing Admiral Fraser, his officers and men of your congratulations. They will welcome the tribute from a gallant and honoured Ally. I am so glad you have retaken Korosten, whose loss you told us about at Tehran. I only wish we could meet once a week. Please give my regards to Monsieur Molotov. If you will send me the music of the new Soviet Russian Anthem, I could arrange to have it played by the British Broadcasting Corporation on all occasions when important Russian victories were announced.

 


No. 220

Personal Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill

I shall send you the music of the new Soviet Anthem by the next post. V. M. Molotov has asked me to thank you on his behalf for your greetings and to transmit his best wishes. I fully agree with you about frequent meetings.

January 2, 1944


No. 221

Received on January 5, 1944

Personal and Most Secret

Message from Mr Winston Churchill to Marshal Stalin

The splendid advances you are making beyond Vitebsk and west and south-west of Kiev fill our hearts with joy. I hope before the end of the month to make a small contribution at which I have been labouring here. Meanwhile everything is going full blast for “Overlord.”50 General Montgomery passed through here on his way to take up his command of the expeditionary group of armies. He naturally has his own ideas about the details of the plan but he is full of zeal to engage the enemy and of confidence in the result.

2. President Beneš is coming to see me today. He is a wise man and should be a help in bringing Poland to reason.

3. I am getting stronger every day. Beaverbrook is with me and sends his warmest greetings. My son Randolph is flying in by parachute to Tito with Brigadier Maclean, the head of our Mission, so I shall be kept well informed. All officers have been instructed to work in the closest harmony with any mission you may send. Many thanks for your help about the Greeks.67


No. 222

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill

Your message of January 5 received. I am glad to learn from you that the preparations for “Overlord”50 are in full swing and that you will take other measures before the month is out.

2. I must say, since you have brought up the matter, that if we are to judge by the latest declaration of the Polish émigré Government and other statements by Polish leaders, we will see that there are no grounds for thinking that these circles can be made to see reason. They are incorrigible.

3. Please convey my thanks and good wishes to Lord Beaverbrook.

4. Our offensive is still making headway, particularly in the South, although the Germans are resisting desperately wherever they can.

January 7, 1944


No. 223

Received on January 12, 1944

Most Secret and Personal

Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I have sent the following letter to Tito by our Mission who are parachuting in next few days. I send you this for your personal information only.

“Africa. January 8th, 1944.

“Sir,

“I thank you very much for your kind message about my health from yourself and the heroic patriotic and partisan army of Yugoslavia. From Major Ashkin, who is a friend of mine, I learnt all about your valiant efforts. It is my most earnest desire to give you all aid in human power by sea supplies, by air support and by Commandos helping you in island fighting. Brigadier Maclean is also a friend of mine and a colleague in the House of Commons. With him at your Headquarters will soon be serving my son Major Randolph Churchill who is also a Member of Parliament One supreme object stands before us, namely, to cleanse the soil of Europe from the filthy Nazi- Fascist taint. You may be sure that we British have no desire to dictate the future government of Yugoslavia. At the same time, we hope that all will pull together as much as possible for the defeat of the common foe, and afterwards settle the form of government in accordance with the will of the people.

“I am resolved that the British Government will give no further military support to Mihajlović and will only give help to you and we should be glad if the Royal Yugoslav Government would dismiss him from their councils. King Peter the Second however escaped as a boy from the treacherous clutches of the Regent Prince Paul and came to us as representative of Yugoslavia and as a young Prince in distress. It would not be chivalrous or honourable for Great Britain to cast him aside. Nor can we ask him to cut all his existing contacts with his country. I hope therefore that you will understand that we shall in any case remain in official relations with him while at the same time giving you all possible military support. I hope also that there may be an end to polemics on either side, for these only help the Germans.

“You may be sure that I shall work in closest contact with my friends Marshal Stalin and President Roosevelt; and I earnestly hope that the Military Mission which the Soviet Government are sending to your Headquarters68 will work in similar harmony with the Anglo-American Mission under Brigadier Maclean. Please correspond with me through Brigadier Maclean and let me know anything you think I can do to help, for I will certainly try my best.

“Looking forward to the end of your sufferings and to the liberation of all Europe from tyranny,

“Believe me,

“Yours faithfully,

“Winston S. Churchill”


No. 224

Received on January 12, 1944

Personal and Secret

Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

We are watching almost from hour to hour the marvellous advances of the Soviet armies. To my lay mind it looks as if Zhmerinka might be very important. If we were in Tehran again, I would now be saying to you across the table: “Please let me know in plenty of time when we are to stop knocking down Berlin so as to leave sufficient billeting accommodation for the Soviet armies.”

All plans for our Italian battle have been satisfactorily settled here. I return your handshake well and truly.


No. 225

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of January 12 received. Our armies have indeed achieved success of late, but we are still a long way from Berlin. What is more, the Germans are now launching rather serious counter-attacks, particularly east of Vinnitsa. There is no danger in that, of course, but they have succeeded in pushing back our advanced units there and in temporarily checking our progress. Hence you should not slacken, but intensify the bombing of Berlin as much as possible. By the time we all arrive in Berlin the Germans will have had a chance to rebuild certain premises that you and we here shall need.

Your message to Tito, whom you are encouraging so much with your support, will be of great importance.

I hope your preparations jointly with the Americans for “Overlord”50 are making good progress.

January 14, 1944


No. 226

Received on January 15, 1944

Personal Message from Mr Winston Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Music promised in your message of January 2nd now received and will be played before the 9 p.m. news on Sunday night by the full Symphony Orchestra of the B.B.C.


No. 227

Personal and Most Secret

Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I find I can work in an additional Arctic convoy, twenty ships, mostly United States’, leaving the United Kingdom about March 15th to March 18th without prejudice to our main operations. I hope this will be agreeable to you.

I am delighted to hear from Admiral Fraser in H.M.S. Duke of York of the hearty and cordial meeting with Admiral Golovko and all your officers and men in the Kola Inlet before the sinking of the Scharnhorst. He reported how much good feeling manifested itself through all ranks of our two Navies. I am glad that you like my message to Marshal Tito. We shall certainly go on bombing Berlin without limit. I am at present at sea but you may be sure that on reaching home I shall make the success of “Overlord”50 my first care.

January 17th, 1944


No. 228

Personal and Secret

From Premier J. V. Stalin to Prime Minister W. Churchill

Thank you for informing me of your decision to send an additional convoy of 20 ships to the Soviet Union in mid-March over and above those provided for earlier. They will be of great value to our front.

January 20, 1944


No. 229

Received on January 22, 1944

Personal and Most Secret

Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

We have launched the big attack against the German armies defending Rome which I told you about at Tehran. The weather conditions seem favourable. I hope to have good news for you before long.

2. I am sending you a joint telegram from the President and myself about the Italian ships. I have taken a lot of trouble to arrange this matter and I hope that the proposals will be agreeable to you. If not, let me know privately and I will see whether anything else can be done.

3. I am telegraphing to you separately about my talks with the Poles.


No. 230

Most Secret and Personal

Message from Mr Churchill and President Roosevelt to Marshal Stalin

With regard to the handling over to Soviet Russia of the Italian shipping asked for by the Soviet Government at the Moscow Conference66 and agreed to with you by us both at Tehran, we have received a memorandum by the Combined Chiefs of Staff43 contained in our immediately following telegram. For the reasons set out in this memorandum, we think it would be dangerous to our triple interests actually to carry out any transfer or to say anything about it to the Italians until their cooperation is no longer of operational importance.

Nevertheless if after full consideration you desire us to proceed, we will make a secret approach to Marshal Badoglio with a view to concluding the necessary arrangements without their becoming generally known to the Italian naval forces. If in this way agreement could be reached, such arrangements with the Italian naval authorities as were necessary could be left to him. These arrangements would have to be on the lines that the Italian ships selected should be sailed to suitable Allied ports where they would be collected by Russian crews, who would sail into Russian northern ports which are the only ones open where any refitting necessary would be undertaken.

We are, however, very conscious of the dangers of the above course for the reasons we have laid before you and we have therefore decided to propose the following alternative, which from the military point of view has many advantages.

The British battleship Royal Sovereign has recently completed refitting in the United States. She is fitted with radar for all types of armament. The United States will make one light cruiser available at approximately the same time.

His Majesty’s Government and the United States Government are willing for their part that these vessels should be taken over at British ports by Soviet crews and sailed to North Russian ports. You could then make such alterations as you find necessary for Arctic conditions.

These vessels would be temporarily transferred on loan to Soviet Russia and would fly the Soviet flag until, without prejudice to military operations, the Italian vessels can be made available.

His Majesty’s Government and the United States Government will each arrange to provide 20,000 tons of merchant shipping to be available as soon as practicable and until the Italian merchant ships can be obtained without prejudice to the projected essential operations “Overlord”50 and “Anvil.”69

This alternative has the advantage that the Soviet Government would obtain the use of the vessels at a very much earlier date than if they all had to be refitted and rendered suitable for northern waters. Thus, if our efforts should take a favourable turn with the Turks, and the Straits become open, these vessels would be ready to operate in the Black Sea. We hope you will very carefully consider this alternative, which we think is in every way superior to the first proposal.

Churchill
Roosevelt


No. 231

Received on January 23, 1944

Most Secret and Personal

Message from Mr Churchill and President Roosevelt to Marshal Stalin

Our immediately preceding telegram.

Our Combined Chiefs of Staff43 have made the following positive recommendation with supporting data:

(a) The present time is inopportune for effecting the transfer of captured Italian ships because of pending Allied operations.

(b) To impose the transfer at this time would remove needed Italian resources now employed in current operations and would interfere with their assistance now being given by Italian repair facilities. It might cause scuttling of Italian warships and result in the loss of Italian cooperation, thus jeopardising “Overlord”50 and “Anvil.”69

(c) At the earliest moment permitted by operations the implementation of the delivery of the Italian vessels may proceed.

Churchill
Roosevelt


No. 232

Received on January 24, 1944

Most Secret and Personal

Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

We are sending Ambassador Clark Kerr back to you at once in order that he may explain a series of difficulties which although they appear trifling at the outset may ripen into the greatest embarrassment for us both.

2. I have been much impressed and also surprised by the extraordinarily bad effects produced here by the Pravda story70 to which so much official publicity was given by the Soviet Government. Even the best friends of Soviet Russia in England have been bewildered. What makes it so injurious is that we cannot understand it. I am sure you know that I would never negotiate with the Germans separately and that we tell you every overture they make as you have told us. We never thought of making a separate peace even in the year when we were all alone and could easily have made one without serious loss to the British Empire and largely at your expense. Why should we think of it now, when our triple fortunes are marching forward to victory? If anything has occurred or been printed in the English newspapers annoying to you, why can you not send me a telegram or make your Ambassador come round and see us about it? In this way all the harm that has been done and the suspicions that have been aroused could be avoided.

3. I get every day long extracts from War and the Working Class71 which seems to make continuous left-wing attacks on our administration in Italy and politics in Greece. Considering that you have a representative on the Commission for Italy we should hope that these complaints would be ventilated there and we should hear about them and explain our point of view between governments. As these attacks are made in public in Soviet newspapers which on foreign affairs are believed rightly or wrongly not to diverge from the policy of the Soviet Union, the divergence between our Governments becomes a serious parliamentary issue. I have delayed speaking to the House of Commons until I see the results of the battle in Italy, which is not going too badly but in a week or ten days I shall have to address the House of Commons and deal with the matter to which I have referred in this telegram as I cannot allow charges and criticism to go unanswered.

4. I have been very much buoyed up with the feeling brought back from Tehran of our good relations and by the message you sent me through Monsieur Benes and I try night and day to make things go the way you wish them and the way our triple interests require. I am sure that if we had been together these difficulties would not have occurred. I am working now constantly at making the second front a success and on an even larger scale and my work is rendered more difficult by the kind of pinpricking to which I have referred. Of course a few words spoken by you would blow the whole thing out of the water. We have always agreed to write frankly to each other so I do so now but I hope you will see Clark Kerr when he arrives and let him explain more at length the position as between Allies not only fused together in war but linked by our twenty years’ treaty.

5. I have not yet been able to telegraph about the talks with the Poles because I must in a matter of such far-reaching importance, know where I am with the United States. I hope however, to send you a message in a few days.

6. Brigadier Maclean and my son Randolph have safely parachuted into Tito’s headquarters.


No. 233

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill, and the President, Mr Franklin D. Roosevelt

The joint messages signed by you, Mr Prime Minister, and you, Mr President, concerning the transfer of Italian vessels to the Soviet Union, arrived on January 23.

I must say that after getting your joint favourable reply to my question in Tehran about transferring Italian ships to the Soviet Union before the end of January 1944 I had considered the matter settled; it never occurred to me that that decision reached and agreed to by the three of us could be revised in any way. All the more so because we agreed at the time that the matter would be fully settled with the Italians during December and January. Now I see that this is not the case and that nothing has been said to the Italians on this score.

However, in order not to delay settlement of this matter, which is so vitally important to our common fight against Germany, the Soviet Union is willing to accept your proposal for the battleship Royal Sovereign and one cruiser being transferred from British ports to the U.S.S.R. and for the Soviet Naval Command using the two ships temporarily, until corresponding Italian ships can be made available to the Soviet Union. In the same way we are ready to accept from the U.S.A. and Britain 20,000 tons of merchant shipping apiece, which we shall likewise use until we are provided with the same amount of Italian shipping. The important thing is that there should no longer be any delay in the matter and that the ships mentioned above be handed over to us before the end of February.

However, there is no mention in your reply of the transfer to the Soviet Union at the end of January of the eight Italian destroyers and four submarines to which you, Mr Prime Minister, and you, Mr President, consented in Tehran. Yet this question of destroyers and submarines is of paramount importance to the Soviet Union, for without them the transfer of one battleship and one cruiser would be pointless. You will agree that cruisers and battleships are powerless unless accompanied by destroyers. As the whole of the Italian Navy is at your disposal, it should not be difficult for you to carry out the Tehran decision for the transfer of eight destroyers and four submarines from the Navy to the Soviet Union. I also agree to accept, instead of Italian destroyers and submarines, as many U.S. or British destroyers and submarines for the Soviet Union. The transfer of the destroyers and submarines should not be delayed, it should be effected simultaneously with the transfer of the battleship and cruiser, as the three of us agreed in Tehran.

January 29, 1944


No. 234

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill

I have received your message of January 24.

I am a little late with this reply due to the pressure of front affairs.

As regards the Pravda report,70 its significance should not be overrated, nor is there any reason to question the right of a newspaper to carry reports or rumours received from tried and tested correspondents. In any case we Russians have never laid claim to that kind of interference in the affairs of the British press, even though we have had, and still have, far more reasons for doing so. Our TASS denies only a very small part of the reports printed in British newspapers and deserving to be denied.

To come to the gist of the matter, I cannot agree with you that Britain could easily have made a separate peace with Germany, largely at the expense of the U.S.S.R. and without serious loss to the British Empire. I think that that was said rashly, for I recall statements of a different nature made by you. I recall, for example, that when Britain was in difficulties, before the Soviet Union became involved in the war against Germany, you believed that the British Government might have to move to Canada and fight Germany across the ocean. On the other hand, you admitted that it was the Soviet Union which, by engaging Hitler, eliminated the danger which undoubtedly threatened Great Britain on the part of Germany. But if, nevertheless, we grant that Britain could have managed without the U.S.S.R., exactly the same could be said about the Soviet Union. I should have preferred not to bring this up, but I had to do so to remind you of the facts.

Concerning War and the Working Class71 all I can say is that it is a trade-union magazine for whose articles the Government cannot be held responsible. However, this magazine, like our other magazines, is loyal to the fundamental principle – closer friendship with the Allies – which does not preclude but presupposes friendly criticism as well.

Like you I was favourably impressed by our meetings in Tehran and our joint work.

I will certainly see Mr Kerr when he arrives.

January 29, 1944


No. 235

Received on February 1, 1944

Most Secret and Personal

Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

On Thursday last accompanied by the Foreign Secretary and with the authority of the War Cabinet I saw representatives of the Polish Government in London. I informed them that the security of the Russian frontiers against Germany was a matter of high consequence to His Majesty’s Government and that we should certainly support the Soviet Union in all measures we considered necessary to that end. I remarked that Russia had sustained two frightful invasions with immense slaughter and devastation at the hands of Germany, that Poland had had her national independence and existence restored after the First World War, and that it was the policy of the great Allies to restore Poland once again after this war. I said that although we had gone to war for the sake of Poland we had not gone for any particular frontier line but for the existence of a strong, free, independent Poland which Marshal Stalin declared himself as supporting. Moreover although Great Britain would have fought on in any case for years until something happened to Germany, the liberation of Poland from Germany’s grip is being achieved mainly by the enormous sacrifices of the Russian armies. Therefore, the Allies had a right to ask that Poland should be guided to a large extent about the frontiers of the territory she would have.

2. I then said that I believed from what had passed at Tehran that the Soviet Government would be willing to agree to the easterly frontiers of Poland conforming to the Curzon Line72 subject to the discussion of ethnographical considerations, and I advised them to accept the Curzon Line as a basis for discussion. I spoke of the compensations which Poland would receive in the North and in the West. In the North there would be East Prussia; but here I did not mention the point about Königsberg. In the West they would be secure and aided to occupy Germany up to the line of the Oder. I told them it was their duty to accept this task and guard their frontiers against German aggression towards the East in consequence of their liberation by the Allied forces. I said in this task they would need a friendly Russia behind them and would, I presume, be sustained by the guarantee of the three Great Powers against further German attack. Great Britain would be willing to give such a guarantee if it were in harmony with her ally, Soviet Russia. I could not forecast the action of the United States but it seemed that the three Great Powers would stand together against all disturbers of the peace, at any rate until a long time after the war was ended. I made it clear that the Polish Government would not be committed to agree to the Curzon Line as a basis of examination except as part of the arrangement which gave them the fine compensations to the North and to the West which I had mentioned.

3. Finally, I said that if the Russians’ policy was unfolded in the sense I had described, I would urge the Polish Government to settle on that basis and His Majesty’s Government would advocate the confirmation of such a settlement by the Peace Conference or by the conferences for the settlement of Europe following the destruction of Hitlerism, and would support no territorial claims from Poland which went beyond it. If the Polish Ministers were satisfied that agreement could be reached upon these lines, it would be their duty at the proper time not merely to acquiesce in it but to commend it to their people with courage, even though they ran the risk of being repudiated by extremists.

4. The Polish Ministers were very far from rejecting the prospects thus unfolded but they asked for time to consider the matter with the rest of their colleagues, and as a result of this they have asked a number of questions none of which seem to be in conflict with the general outline of my suggestions to them. In particular they wish to be assured that Poland would be free and independent in the new home assigned to her; that she would receive the guarantee of the Great Powers against German revenge effectively, that these Great Powers would also assist in expelling the Germans from the new territories to be assigned to Poland; and that in the regions to be incorporated in Soviet Russia such Poles as wished would be assisted to depart for their new abodes. They also inquired about what their position will be if a large part of Poland west of the Curzon Line is to be occupied by the advancing Soviet armies. Will they be allowed to go back and form a more broad-based government in accordance with the popular wish and allowed to function administratively in the liberated areas in the same way as other governments who have been overrun? In particular they are deeply concerned about the relations between the Polish underground movement and the advancing Soviet forces, it being understood that their prime desire was to assist in driving out the Germans. This underground movement raises matters important to our common war effort.

5. We also attach great importance to assimilating our action in the different regions which we hope to liberate. You know the policy we are following in Italy. There we have taken you fully into our councils, and we want to do the same in regard to France and the other countries to whose liberation we look forward. We believe such uniformity of action is of great importance now and in the future to the cause of the United Nations.

6. The earliest possible agreement in principle on the frontiers of the new Polish State is highly desirable to allow of a satisfactory arrangement regarding these two very important points.

7. While, however, everyone will agree that Soviet Russia has the right to recognise or refuse recognition to any foreign government, do you not agree that to advocate changes within a foreign government comes near to that interference in internal sovereignty to which you and I have expressed ourselves opposed? I may mention that this view is strongly held by His Majesty’s Government.

8. I now report this conversation, which expresses the policy of His Majesty’s Government at the present time upon this difficult question, to my friend and comrade Marshal Stalin. I earnestly hope these plans may be helpful. I had always hoped to postpone discussions of frontier questions until the end of the war when the victors would be round the table together. The dangers which have forced His Majesty’s Government to depart from this principle are formidable and imminent. If, as we may justly hope, the successful advance of the Soviet armies continues and a large part of Poland is cleared of German oppressors, a good relationship will be absolutely necessary between whatever forces can speak for Poland and the Soviet Union. The creation in Warsaw of another Polish Government different from the one we have recognised up to the present, together with disturbances in Poland, would raise an issue in Great Britain and the United States detrimental to that close accord between the three Great Powers upon which the future of the world depends.

9. I wish to make it clear that this message is not intended to be any intervention or interference between the Governments of the Soviet Union and Poland. It is a statement in broad outline of the position of His Majesty’s Government in Great Britain in regard to a matter in which they feel themselves deeply concerned.

10. I should like myself to know from you what steps you would be prepared to take to help us all to resolve this serious problem. You could certainly count on our good offices for what they would be worth.

11. I am sending a copy of this message to the President of the United States with a request for complete secrecy.


No. 236

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill

Your message on the Polish question has reached me through Mr Kerr who arrived in Moscow a few days ago and with whom I had a useful talk.

I see you are giving a good deal of attention to the problem of Soviet-Polish relations. All of us greatly appreciate your efforts.

I have the feeling that the very first question which must be completely cleared up even now is that of the Soviet-Polish frontier. You are right, of course, in noting that on this point Poland should be guided by the Allies. As for the Soviet Government, it has already stated, openly and clearly, its views on the frontier question.73 We have stated that we do not consider the 1939 boundary final, and have agreed to the Curzon Line,72 thereby making very important concessions to the Poles. Yet the Polish Government has evaded our proposal for the Curzon Line and in its official statements continues to maintain that the frontier imposed upon us under the Riga Treaty74 is final. I infer from your letter that the Polish Government is prepared to recognise the Curzon Line, but, as is known, the Poles have not made such a statement anywhere.

I think the Polish Government should officially state in a declaration that the boundary line established by the Riga Treaty shall be revised and that the Curzon Line is the new boundary line between the U.S.S.R. and Poland. It should state that as officially as the Soviet Government has done by declaring that the 1939 boundary line shall be revised and that the Soviet-Polish frontier should follow the Curzon Line.

As regards your statement to the Poles that Poland could considerably extend her frontiers in the West and North, we are in agreement with that with, as you are aware, one amendment. I mentioned the amendment to you and the President in Tehran. We claim the transfer of the north-eastern part of East Prussia, including the port of Königsberg as an ice-free one, to the Soviet Union. It is the only German territory claimed by us. Unless this minimum claim of the Soviet Union is met, the Soviet Union’s concession in recognising the Curzon Line becomes entirely pointless, as I told you in Tehran.

Lastly, about the composition of the Polish Government. I think you realise that we cannot re-establish relations with the present Polish Government. Indeed, what would be the use of re-establishing relations with it when we are not at all certain that tomorrow we shall not be compelled to sever those relations again on account of another fascist provocation on its part, such as the “Katyn affair”?75 Throughout the recent period the Polish Government, in which the tone is set by Sosnkowski, has not desisted from statements hostile to the Soviet Union. The extremely anti-Soviet statements of the Polish Ambassadors in Mexico and Canada and of Gen. Anders in the Middle East, the hostility displayed towards the Soviet Union by Polish underground publications in German-occupied territory, a hostility which transcends all bounds, the annihilation, on directions from the Polish Government, of Polish guerrillas fighting the Hitler invaders, these and many other pro-fascist actions of the Polish Government are known. That being so, no good can be expected unless the composition of the Polish Government is thoroughly improved. On the other hand, the removal from it of pro-fascist imperialist elements and the inclusion of democratic-minded people would, one is entitled to hope, create the proper conditions for normal Soviet- Polish relations, for solving the problem of the Soviet-Polish frontier and, in general, for the rebirth of Poland as a strong, free and independent state. Those interested in improving the composition of the Polish Government along these lines are primarily the Poles themselves, the broad sections of the Polish people. By the way, last May you wrote to me saying that the composition of the Polish Government could be improved and that you would work towards that end. You did not at that time think that this would be interference in Poland’s internal sovereignty.

With reference to the questions posed by the Polish Ministers and mentioned in paragraph 4 of your letter I think there will be no difficulty in reaching agreement on them.

February 4, 1944


No. 237

Received on February 24, 1944

Most Secret and Personal

Joint Personal Message from President Roosevelt and Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

The receipt is acknowledged of your message in regard to the handing over of the Italian shipping to Soviet Russia.

It is our intention to carry out the transfer agreed to at Tehran at the earliest date practicable without hazarding the success of “Anvil”69 and “Overlord”,50 which operations we all agree should be given the first priority in our common effort to defeat Germany at the earliest possible date.

There is no thought of not carrying through the transfers agreed at Tehran. The British battleship and American cruiser can be made available without any delay and an effort will be made at once to make available from the British Navy the eight destroyers. Four submarines will also be provided temporarily by Great Britain. We are convinced that disaffecting Italian Navy at this time would be what you have so aptly termed an unnecessary diversion and that it would adversely affect the prospects of our success in France.

February 7th, 1944


No. 238

Received on February 9, 1944

Personal and Most Secret

Message from Mr Winston Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Very many thanks for your full telegram about Polish affairs. Mr Eden and I had a long day with the Poles on Sunday and are working hard. In two or three days I shall report to you further.

2. My military advisers are profoundly impressed with recent developments on your front. I offer my sincere congratulations.

3. The battle in Italy has not gone as I hoped or planned. Although the landing was a brilliant piece of work and achieved complete surprise, the advantage was lost and now it is a question of hard slogging. However the enemy has brought five; additional divisions to the South of Rome and we are now actively engaging seventeen. We have good hopes of a satisfactory outcome, and anyhow the front will be kept aflame from now on.

4. I have now succeeded in arranging with the British Admiralty and the American War Shipping Administration for another additional convoy of ships to go to North Russia in March. I should hope that the actual number of ships would be 18 or 20, nearly all of which are American. Although this does not increase the amount of supplies due under the protocol, 76 it conveys them to you a good deal quicker and along the northern route which I understand you greatly prefer to the Persian. The Arctic convoys have been getting through well and the U-boats were much knocked about on the last occasion by our escorts. Every good wish.


No. 239

To Marshal J. V. Stalin

My dear Marshal Stalin,

I have received from the Soviet Ambassador the words and music of the Soviet National Anthem, which you were good enough to send at my request.

This stirring music has already been played by the British Broadcasting Corporation on several occasions, and will continue to be played in celebration of Russian victories. I do not doubt, therefore that the British people will soon be very familiar with the Anthem, of which I, personally, am proud to possess a copy.

Yours sincerely,

Winston Churchill

February 10th, 1944


No. 240

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I received your message on February 9.

Thank you for your congratulations. Our troops are still pushing on in some sectors, but the Germans are doggedly counter-attacking.

I have read your communication on Italy. I hope for an improvement in the Allies’ position in the near future. The Soviet Government is grateful to you for the information on the despatch of another additional convoy to the U.S.S.R. in March.

Please accept my best wishes.

February 11, 1944


No. 241

Received on February 19, 1944

Urgent, Secret and Personal

Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

We have been wrestling continually with the Poles and I am glad to say that we have at last produced some results. I hope to send you a telegram in the next day or two with proposals for your consideration. I must warn you that these proposals will very likely split the Polish Government.

2. Mr Eden and I rejoice in your liquidation of the southern pocket. We are having very hard and continuous fighting on the Italian front and I am confident that a good result will ultimately be achieved. Meanwhile all preparations for “Overlord”50 are moving forward well.


No. 242

Received on February 27, 1944

Most Secret and Personal Message from Mr Winston Churchill to Marshal Stalin

The following telegram from me to you has been seen by the Polish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, has been written in close consultation with them, and is despatched with their agreement. I earnestly hope that it may be the means of reaching a working arrangement between Poland and Soviet Russia during the war and that it may become the foundation of a lasting peace and friendship between the two countries as part of the general settlement of Europe.

2. I am sending a copy of it to the President of the United States.

3. Mr Eden and I send you our best wishes.

London, February 20th, 1944


No. 243

Received on February 27, 1944

Most Secret and Personal Message from Mr Winston Churchill to Marshal Stalin

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and I have had numerous long discussions with the Polish Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs. I shall not attempt to repeat all the arguments which were used but only to give what I conceive to be the position of the Polish Government in the upshot.

The Polish Government are ready to declare that the Riga Line77 no longer corresponds to realities and with our participation to discuss with the Soviet Government, as part of the general settlement, a new frontier between Poland and the Soviet Union together with the future frontiers of Poland in the North and West. Since however the compensations which Poland is to receive in the North and West cannot be stated publicly or precisely at the present time the Polish Government clearly cannot make an immediate public declaration of their willingness to cede territory as indicated above because the publication of such an arrangement would have an entirely one-sided appearance with the consequence that they would immediately be repudiated by a large part of their people abroad and by the underground movement in Poland with which they are in constant contact. It is evident therefore that the Polish-Soviet territorial settlement which must be an integral part of the general territorial settlement of Europe could only formally be agreed and ratified when the victorious Powers are gathered round the table at the time of an armistice or peace.

For the above reasons the Polish Government, until it had returned to Polish territory and been allowed to consult the Polish people, can obviously not formally abdicate its rights in any part of Poland as hitherto constituted, but vigorous prosecution of the war against Germany in collaboration with the Soviet armies would be greatly assisted if the Soviet Government will facilitate the return of the Polish Government to liberated territory at the earliest possible moment; and in consultation with their British and American Allies as the Russian armies advance, arrange from time to time with the Polish Government for the establishment of the civil administration of the Polish Government in given districts. This procedure would be in general accordance with those to be followed in the case of other countries as they are liberated. The Polish Government is naturally very anxious that the districts to be placed under Polish civil administration should include such places as Vilna and Lvov where there are concentrations of Poles and that the territories to the east of the demarcation line should be administered by Soviet military authorities with the assistance of representatives of the United Nations. They point out that thus they would be in the best position to enlist all such able-bodied Poles in the war effort. I have informed them and they clearly understand that you will not assent to leaving Vilna and Lvov under Polish administration. I wish on the other hand to be able to assure them that the area to be placed under Polish civil administration will include at least all Poland west of the Curzon Line.72

At the frontier negotiations contemplated in paragraph 2 above the Polish Government, taking into consideration the mixed character of the population of Eastern Poland, would favour a frontier drawn with a view to assuring the highest degree of homogeneity on both sides, while reducing as much as possible the extent and hardship of an exchange of populations. I have no doubt myself, especially in view of the immediate practical arrangements contemplated by the Polish Government set out in paragraph 3 above, that these negotiations will inevitably lead to the conclusion you desire in regard to the future of the Polish-Soviet frontier, but it seems to me unnecessary and undesirable publicly to emphasise this at this stage.

As regards the war with Germany, which they wish to prosecute with the utmost vigour, the Polish Government realise that it is imperative to have a working agreement with the Soviet Government in view of the advance of the liberating armies on to Polish soil, from which these armies are driving the German invader. They assure me emphatically that they have at no time given instructions to the underground movement to attack “partisans”. On the contrary, after consultation with the leaders of their underground movement and with these people they have issued orders for all Poles now in arms or about to revolt against Hitlerite tyranny as follows:

 When the Russian army enters any particular district in Poland, the underground movement is to disclose its identity and meet the requirements of the Soviet commanders, even in the absence of a resumption of Polish-Soviet relations. The local Polish military commander, accompanied by the local civilian underground authority, will meet and declare to the commander of incoming Soviet troops that, following the instructions of the Polish Government, to which they remain faithful, they are ready to coordinate their actions with him in the fight against the common foe.
These orders, which are already in operation, seem to me, as I am sure they will to you, of the highest significance and importance.

For the first time on February 6th I told the Polish Government that the Soviet Government wished to have the frontier in East Prussia drawn to include, on the Russian side, Königsberg. The information came as a shock to the Polish Government, who see in such a decision substantial reduction in the size and in the economic importance of the German territory to be incorporated in Poland by way of compensation. But I stated that, in the opinion of His Majesty’s Government, this was a rightful claim on the part of Russia. Regarding, as I do, this war against German aggression as all one and as a thirty-years’ war from 1914 onwards, I reminded M. Mikolajczyk of the fact that the soil of this part of East Prussia was dyed with Russian blood expended freely in the common cause. Here the Russian armies advancing in August 1914 and winning the battle of Gumbinnen and other actions had with their forward thrusts and with much injury to their mobilisation forced the Germans to recall two army corps from the advance on Paris which withdrawal was an essential part in the victory of the Marne. The disaster at Tannenberg did not in any way undo this great result. Therefore it seemed to me that the Russians had a historic and well-founded claim to this German territory.

As regards the composition of the Polish Government, the Polish Government cannot admit any right of a foreign intervention. They can however assure the Russian Government that by the time they have entered into diplomatic relations with the Soviet Government they will include among themselves none but persons fully determined to cooperate with the Soviet Union. I am of the opinion that it is much better that such changes should come about naturally and as a result of further Polish consideration of their interests as a whole. It might well be in my opinion that the moment for a resumption of these relations in a formal manner would await the reconstitution of a Polish Government at the time of the liberation of Warsaw when it would arise naturally from the circumstances attending that glorious event.

It would be in accordance with the assurances I have received from you that in an agreement covering the points made above the Soviet Government should join with His Majesty’s Government in undertaking vis-à-vis each other and Poland, first to recognise and respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of reconstituted Poland and the right of each to conduct its domestic affairs without interference, and secondly to do their best to secure in due course the incorporation in Poland of the Free City of Danzig, Oppeln, Silesia, East Prussia, west and south of a line running from Königsberg and of as much territory up to the Oder as the Polish Government see fit to accept; thirdly to effect the removal from Poland including the German territories to be incorporated in Poland of the German population; and fourthly to negotiate the procedure for the exchange of population between Poland and the Soviet Union and for the return to the Mother Country of the nationals of the Powers in question. All the undertakings to each other on the part of Poland, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom should in my view be drawn up in such a form that they could be embodied in a single instrument or exchange of letters.

I informed the Polish Ministers that should the settlement which has now been outlined in the various telegrams that have passed between us become a fact and be observed in spirit by all the parties to it, His Majesty’s Government would support that settlement at the Conference after the defeat of Hitler and also that we would guarantee that settlement in after years to the best of our ability.

London, February 20th, 1944


No. 244

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to Prime Minister W. Churchill

Your message of February 19 received. Thank you for the communications.

I must at the same time point out that so far I have had no reply on the eight British and U.S. destroyers and other ships, which were to be put at Soviet disposal temporarily in exchange for Italian warships and merchant vessels, as agreed in Tehran by you, the President and myself. I cannot understand the long delay.

I await a reply to my message of January 29.

February 21, 1944


No. 245

Most Secret and Personal

Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Italian Ships.

I sent you a message on February 7th signed by the President and myself and also a private one to Ambassador Clark Kerr, the substance of which he was to deliver personally. The upshot was that I will supply from British resources the eight destroyers and four submarines as well as a battleship and twenty thousand tons of merchant shipping. The United States will supply a cruiser and twenty thousand tons of merchant shipping. I have been wondering why I had not received a message from you acknowledging this, as I was hoping you would be pleased with the efforts I had made. I gathered that Ambassador Clark Kerr wanted to deliver the message to you personally and that you were away at the front. I have telegraphed to him to put things right. No time has been lost in preparing the ships.

February 22nd, 1944


No. 246

Received on February 23, 1944

Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

On this, the 26th anniversary of the Red Army, I send to you and all ranks this expression of my profound admiration of their glorious record. Inspired and guided by your leadership and by their love of the soil of Russia, trusting in the skill and resolution of their commanders, they will go forward to victory and through victory to peace with honour.


No. 247

Secret and Personal

From Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill, and the President, Mr F. Roosevelt

I received on February 24 your two messages, including the one of February 7 concerning the Italian ships. I have also read Mr Kerr’s letter on the matter, addressed to V. M. Molotov.78

My thanks to you and the President for the news about the temporary transfer to the Soviet Union of eight destroyers and four submarines, as well as a battleship and 20,000 tons of merchant shipping by Great Britain and a cruiser and 20,000 tons of merchant shipping by the United States. Mr Kerr has expressly warned us that all the destroyers are old ones so that I have misgivings about their combat qualities. It seems to me that the British and U.S. Navies should find no difficulty in assigning, out of the eight destroyers, at least four modern, not old, ones. I still hope that you and the President will find it possible to transfer at least four modern destroyers. As a result of military operations by Germany and Italy we have lost a substantial part of our destroyers. It is, therefore, very important for us to have that loss repaired at least in part.

February 26, 1944


No. 248

Sent on February 29, 1944

Message from Marshal J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Please accept my thanks and the thanks of the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union for your congratulations on the 26th anniversary of the Red Army and for your high praise of its achievements in the struggle against our common foe, Hitler Germany.


No. 249

Secret and Personal

From Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Both messages of February 20 on the Polish question reached me through Mr Kerr on February 27.

Now that I have read the detailed record of your conversations with the leaders of the Polish émigré Government, I am more convinced than ever that men of their type are incapable of establishing normal relations with the U.S.S.R. Suffice it to point out that they, far from being ready to recognise the Curzon Line,72 claim both Lvov and Vilna. As regards the desire to place certain Soviet territories under foreign control, we cannot agree to discuss such encroachments, for, as we see it, the mere posing of the question is an affront to the Soviet Union.

I have already written to the President that the time is not yet ripe for a solution of the problem of Soviet-Polish relations. I am compelled to reaffirm the soundness of this conclusion.

March 3, 1944


No. 250

Most Secret and Personal

Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I thank you for your message of March 3rd about the Polish question.

2. I made it clear to the Poles that they would not get either Lvov or Vilna and references to these places as my message shows merely suggested a way in those areas in which Poles thought they could help the common cause. They were certainly not intended to be insulting either by the Poles or by me. However, since you find them an obstacle, pray consider them withdrawn and expunged from the message.

3. Proposals I submitted to you make the occupation by Russia of the Curzon Line72 a de facto reality in the agreement with the Poles from the moment your armies reach it and I have told you that provided the settlement you and we have outlined in our talks and correspondence was brought into being, His Britannic Majesty’s Government would support it at the armistice or peace conferences. I have no doubt that it would be equally supported by the United States. Therefore you would have the Curzon Line de facto with the assent of the Poles as soon as you get there, and with the blessing of your Western Allies at the general settlement.

4. Force can achieve much but force supported by the good will of the world can achieve more. I earnestly hope that you will not close the door finally to a working arrangement with the Poles which will help the common cause during the war and give you all you require at the peace. If nothing can be arranged and you are unable to have any relations with the Polish Government which we shall continue to recognise as the government of the ally for whom we declared war upon Hitler, I should be very sorry indeed. The War Cabinet ask me to say that they would share this regret. Our only comfort will be that we have tried our very best.

5. You spoke to Ambassador Clark Kerr of the danger of the Polish question making a rift between you and me. I shall try earnestly to prevent this. All my hopes for the future of the world are based upon the friendship and cooperation of the Western democracies and Soviet Russia.

London, 7th March, 1944


No. 251

Received on March 9, 1944

Personal and Most Secret

Message from Mr Churchill and President Roosevelt to Marshal Stalin

Although the Prime Minister instructed Ambassador Clark Kerr to tell you that the destroyers we are lending you were old, this was only for the sake of absolute frankness. In fact they are good, serviceable ships, quite efficient for escort duty. There are only seven fleet destroyers in the whole Italian Navy, the rest being older destroyers and torpedo-boats. Moreover, these Italian destroyers when we do get them, are absolutely unfitted for work in the North without very lengthy refit. Therefore we thought the eight which the British Government had found would be an earlier and more convenient form of help to you. The Prime Minister regrets that he cannot spare any new destroyers at the present time. He lost two the week before last, one in the Russian convoy, and for landing at “Overlord”50 alone he has to deploy for close in-shore work against batteries no fewer than forty-two destroyers, a large proportion of which may be sunk. Every single vessel that he has of this class is being used to the utmost pressure in the common cause. The movement of the Japanese Fleet to Singapore creates a new situation for us both in the Indian Ocean. The fighting in Anzio bridgehead and generally throughout the Mediterranean is at its height. The vast troop convoys are crossing the Atlantic with the United States Army of Liberation. The Russian convoys are being run up to the last minute before “Overlord” with very heavy destroyer escorts. Finally there is “Overlord” itself. The President’s position is similarly strained but in this case mainly because of the great scale and activity of the operations in the Pacific. Our joint intentions to deliver to you the Italian ships agreed on at Moscow and Tehran remain unaltered, and we shall put the position formally to the Italian Government at the time the latter is broadened and the new Ministers take over their responsibilities. There is no question of our right to dispose of the Italian Navy, but only of exercising that right with the least harm to our common interests. Meanwhile all our specified ships are being prepared for delivery to you on loan as already agreed.

Roosevelt
Churchill


No. 252

Received on March 10, 1944

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

You will be glad to hear that the latest Russian convoy has now got safe home and that four U-boats out of the pack that attacked it were certainly sunk on the voyage by the escort.


No. 253

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Thank you for your information about the latest convoy, which has delivered badly-needed cargoes to the Soviet Union. I was deeply satisfied to learn from your telegram that the convoy sunk four enemy U-boats en route.

March 13, 1944


No. 254

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message on the Polish question, dated March 7, reached me through Mr Kerr on March 12.

Thank you for the elucidations you offer in the message.

Although our correspondence is considered secret and personal, for some time past the contents of my messages to you have been getting into the British press and with serious distortions at that, distortions which I am not in a position to rebut. That, as I see it, is a violation of secrecy. This circumstance makes it difficult for me to speak my mind freely. You will, I hope, appreciate the point.

March 16, 1944


No. 255

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill and the President, Mr F. Roosevelt

I have received your message concerning the transfer of eight destroyers to the Soviet Union by the British Government. I am ready to agree that the said destroyers are quite fit for escort service, but surely you realise that the Soviet Union also needs destroyers fit for other combat operations. The Allies’ right to dispose of the Italian Navy is absolutely beyond question, of course, and this should be made clear to the Italian Government, especially as regards the Italian ships which are to be transferred to the Soviet Union.

March 17, 1944


No. 256

Personal and Most Secret

Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Your telegram of March 16th.

First of all I must congratulate you again on all the wonderful victories your armies are winning and also on the extremely temperate way in which you have dealt with the Finns. I suppose they are worried about interning nine German divisions in Finland for fear that the nine German divisions should intern them. We are much obliged to you for keeping us in touch with all your action in this theatre.

2. With regard to the Poles, I am not to blame in any way about revealing your secret correspondence. The information was given both to the American Herald Tribune correspondent and to the London Times correspondent by the Soviet Embassy in London. In the latter case, it was given personally by Ambassador Gusev.

3. I shall have very soon to make a statement to the House of Commons about the Polish position. This will involve my saying that attempts to make an arrangement between the Soviet and Polish Governments have broken down; that we continue to recognise the Polish Government, with whom we have been in continuous relations since the invasion of Poland in 1939; that we now consider all questions of territorial change must await the armistice or peace conferences of the victorious Powers; and that in the meantime we can recognise no forcible transferences of territory.

4. I am repeating this telegram to the President of the United States. I only wish I had better news to give him for the sake of all.

5. Finally, let me express the earnest hope that the breakdown which has occurred between us about Poland will not have any effect upon our cooperation in other spheres where the maintenance of our common action is of the greatest consequence.

London, 21 March, 1944


No. 257

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have lately received two messages from you on the Polish question and have read the statement made by Mr Kerr on the question to V. M. Molotov on instructions from you.79 I have not been able to reply earlier as front affairs often keep me away from non-military matters.

I shall now answer point by point.

I was struck by the fact that both your messages and particularly Kerr’s statement bristle with threats against the Soviet Union. I should like to call your attention to this circumstance because threats as a method are not only out of place in relations between Allies, but also harmful, for they may lead to opposite results.

The Soviet Union’s efforts to uphold and implement the Curzon Line72 are referred to in one of your messages as a policy of force. This implies that you are now trying to describe the Curzon Line as unlawful and the struggle for it as unjust I totally disagree with you. I must point out that at Tehran you, the President and myself were agreed that the Curzon Line was lawful. At that time you considered the Soviet Government’s stand on the issue quite correct, and said it would be crazy for representatives of the Polish émigré Government to reject the Curzon Line. But now you maintain something to the contrary.

Does this mean that you no longer recognise what we agreed on in Tehran and are ready to violate the Tehran agreement? I have no doubt that had you persevered in your Tehran stand the conflict with the Polish émigré Government could have been settled. As for me and the Soviet Government, we still adhere to the Tehran standpoint, and we have no intention of going back on it, for we believe implementation of the Curzon Line to be evidence, not of a policy of force, but of a policy of re-establishing the Soviet Union’s legitimate right to those territories, which even Curzon and the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers recognised as non-Polish in 1919.

You say in your message of March 7 that the problem of the Soviet-Polish frontier will have to be put off till the armistice conference is convened. I think there is a misunderstanding here. The Soviet Union is not waging nor does it intend to wage war against Poland. It has no conflict with the Polish people and considers itself an ally of Poland and the Polish people. That is why it is shedding its blood to free Poland from German oppression. It would be strange, therefore, to speak of an armistice between the U.S.S.R. and Poland. But the Soviet Union is in conflict with the Polish émigré Government, which does not represent the interests of the Polish people or express their aspirations. It would be stranger still to identify Poland with the Polish émigré Government in London, a government isolated from Poland. I even find it hard to tell the difference between Poland’s émigré Government and the Yugoslav émigré Government, which is akin to it, or between certain generals of the Polish émigré Government and the Serb General Mihajlović.

In your message of March 21 you tell me of your intention to make a statement in the House of Commons to the effect that all territorial questions must await the armistice or peace conferences of the victorious Powers and that in the meantime you cannot recognise any forcible transferences of territory. As I see it you make the Soviet Union appear as being hostile to Poland, and virtually deny the liberation nature of the war waged by the Soviet Union against German aggression. That is tantamount to attributing to the Soviet Union something which is non-existent, and, thereby, discrediting it. I have no doubt that the peoples of the Soviet Union and world public opinion will evaluate your statement as a gratuitous insult to the Soviet Union.

To be sure you are free to make any statement you like in the House of Commons – that is your business. But should you make a statement of this nature I shall consider that you have committed an unjust and unfriendly act in relation to the Soviet Union.

In your message you express the hope that the breakdown over the Polish question will not affect our cooperation in other spheres. As far as I am concerned, I have been, and still am, for cooperation. But I fear that the method of intimidation and defamation, if continued, will not benefit our cooperation.

March 23, 1944


No. 258

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have had a rigorous check made on your communication that correspondence between you and me had been divulged, through the fault of the Soviet Embassy in London, in particular Ambassador F. T. Gusev. The verification showed that neither the Embassy as such nor F. T. Gusev personally is to, blame in the least and, in fact, does not even have some of the documents the contents of which were divulged by British newspapers. In other words, the leak came from the British, not the Soviet side. Gusev is willing for any investigation to prove that neither he nor any member of his staff has had anything to do with divulging the contents of our correspondence. It appears that you have been misled as to Gusev and the Soviet Embassy.

March 25, 1944


No. 259

Personal and Most Secret

Message from Mr Churchill and President Roosevelt to Marshal Stalin

Pursuant to our talks at Tehran, the general crossing of the sea will take place around “R” date, which Generals Deane and Burrows have recently been directed to give to the Soviet General Staff.80 We shall be acting at our fullest strength.

2. We are launching an offensive on the Italian mainland at maximum strength about mid-May.

3. Since Tehran your armies have been gaining a magnificent series of victories for the common cause. Even in the month when you thought they would not be active they have gained these great victories. We send you our very best wishes and trust that your armies and ours, operating in unison in accordance with our Tehran agreement, will crush the Hitlerites.

Roosevelt
Churchill

April 18th, 1944


No. 260

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill and the President, Mr F. Roosevelt

Your message of April 18 received.

The Soviet Government is satisfied to learn that in accordance with the Tehran agreement the sea crossing will take place at the appointed time, which Generals Deane and Burrows have already imparted to our General Staff,80 and that you will be acting at full strength. I am confident that the planned operation will be a success.

I hope that the operations you are undertaking in Italy will likewise be successful.

As agreed in Tehran, the Red Army will launch a new offensive at the same time so as to give maximum support to the Anglo-American operations.

Please accept my thanks for the good wishes you have expressed on the occasion of the Red Army’s success. I subscribe to your statement that your armies and our own, supporting each other, will defeat the Hitlerites and thus fulfil their historic mission.

April 22, 1944


No. 261

Most Personal and Secret

Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Last autumn I gave instructions for a convoy cycle consisting of four convoys, each of about 35 British and American ships, to be sailed to your northern ports and I was later able to add two additional half convoys of 20 ships each to the original programme, making a total of 180 ships which were expected to carry about one million tons dead-weight of cargo. The outward cycle has now been completed and I take pleasure in reporting to you the results of the efforts we have made.

2. Excluding rescue ships, the Royal Navy has convoyed 191 ships to your northern ports comprising 49 British and 118 United States dry cargo ships, one crane ship to aid in discharge, 5 ships with United States military cargoes, and 18 tankers. In dead-weight tons the cargo carried consisted of:


tons
British 232,600
American 830,500
Aviation spirit, alcohol and fuel oil 171,500
United States army stores     25,000
A total of 
1,259,600

3. In spite of heavy attacks launched by a vigilant enemy, the Royal Navy succeeded in bringing safely to your ports all but three of the ships despatched; in doing so I am glad to tell you that our losses were only two destroyers sunk and one fighter aircraft shot down, for which the infliction on the enemy of the loss of the Scharnhorst, 8 U-boats and 5 aircraft is fair compensation. Also we have damaged seriously the Tirpitz in this part of the world.

4. All this has been very successful and it rejoices my heart that these weapons should reach your gallant armies at a time when their great victories are occurring. The moment we have got over the crisis of “Overlord”50 I shall be making plans to send you more. I have already given directions for the matter to be studied so that we can make another convoy engagement with you if the course of battle allows. I expect really heavy sea losses in this particular “Overlord” battle, where warships will have a prolonged engagement with shore batteries and all vessels will be in great danger from mines. We think we have got the U-boat and enemy aircraft pretty well mastered, but the little “E” boats will be a danger at night with their great speed. I felt I owe it to Mr Lyttelton, Minister of Production, who has been largely in charge of this business of Arctic supplies to make you acquainted with the fact that we have succeeded beyond our hopes.

Good wishes.

May 3rd, 1944


No. 262

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of May 3 received.

The organisation of the convoys which delivered their cargoes to Soviet northern ports is indeed worthy of recognition and approval. I thank you for the exceptional attention you have devoted to this matter. Would you mind if the Soviet Government were to confer an Order on Mr Lyttelton for his great services? We would gladly award decorations to others as well, who have distinguished themselves in organising and sailing convoys.

I am pleased to learn from your communication that you have issued instructions to study the question of sending the further convoys of which we are still badly in need.

I realise how much your attention is now riveted to “Overlord,”50 which is bound to call for tremendous exertion, but which also holds out the promise of tremendous gains for the entire course of the war.

Best wishes.

May 8, 1944


No. 263

Received on May 14, 1944

Joint Message from President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill to Marshal Stalin

In order to give the maximum strength to the attack across the sea against Northern France, we have transferred part of our landing craft from the Mediterranean to England. This, together with the need for using our Mediterranean land forces in the present Italian battle makes it impracticable to attack the Mediterranean coast of France simultaneously with the “Overlord”50 assault. We are planning to make such an attack later, for which purpose additional landing craft are being sent to the Mediterranean from the United States. In order to keep the greatest number of German forces away from Northern France and the Eastern Front, we are attacking the Germans in Italy at once on a maximum scale and, at the same time, are maintaining a threat against the Mediterranean coast of France.

Roosevelt
Churchill


No. 264

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill and the President, Mr F. Roosevelt

Your Joint message received. You can best decide how and in what way to allocate your forces. The important thing, of course, is to ensure complete success for “Overlord.”50 I express confidence also in the success of the offensive launched in Italy.

May 15, 1944


No. 265

Personal and Most Secret

Message from Mr Winston Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Thank you very much for your message of May 8th. Mr Lyttelton would be honoured to accept a Soviet Order, and I would readily submit to The King for permission for him to accept it. There are one or two other persons who have done very well in this business, and in view of your invitation I should like t go into this more closely than I have yet been able to do Perhaps you will allow me to telegraph again.

2. The battle in Italy has gone very well. The Poles fought bravely, but were driven back with heavy losses from positions. They had gained north of Cassino. They lost several thousand men. They have, however, attacked again and have been successful. The French also distinguished themselves. General Alexander has conducted the battle with great determination, and the capture of Cassino is a trophy. Our losses to May 17th have been about 13,000. We have 7,000 German prisoners and there are many dead. We are now approaching the Adolf Hitler Line, which we hope to enter with energy.

3. It was decided to hold back the impending attack from Anzio bridgehead until the best moment was reached in the main battle. But there is a good punch to come from there presently.

4. I am hopeful that this German army of seventeen or eighteen divisions, of which five or six have already been cut to pieces, will be in very poor condition by the time this battle ends. This will leave us free to organise immediately an amphibious operation threatening the whole coasts of the Gulf of Genoa and the Gulf to Lions. Exactly where to strike cannot yet be settled. The Americans have been good in sending us more landing craft for this purpose, and I hope we shall succeed in keeping thirty to thirty-five German divisions in this theatre and away from “Overlord.”50

5. As you well understand, all our thoughts are wrapped up in this. All commanders are confident and the troops most eager.

6. I have also asked the Foreign Office to send through Mr Molotov a telegram I have sent to Marshal Tito,81 which will show you exactly where we stand. My son Randolph, whom you met at Tehran, is with Marshal Tito, and writes about the very excellent relations which exist between the Soviet Mission and ours. So may it continue.

May 19th, 1944


No. 266

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of May 19 has reached me.

As you say, I shall await your final communication with regard to Mr Lyttelton and the other persons eligible for decoration.

Congratulations on the successful Allied offensive in Italy, under Gen. Alexander. The important thing now is to ensure that the Allied operations against the German forces in Italy should indeed keep considerable German forces away from “Overlord.”50

I have read your telegram to Marshal Tito. I, too, welcome the good relations between our Missions in Yugoslavia, and I hope they will continue so.

May 22, 1944


No. 267

Received on May 24, 1944

Most Secret

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

The battle in Italy is at its climax. Last night, May 22nd- 23rd, we attacked both on the main front (British and French) and Americans were launched in considerable strength from Anzio on the lines of communication. The enemy have drawn down a regiment of the 278th Infantry Division and two Divisions, the 29th and 90th Panzer Grenadier Divisions, from the north of Rome. Far from withdrawing under heavy rearguard, as the American Staffs thought, evidently Hitler has committed himself obstinately to fighting it out south of Rome. If Kesselring’s army is defeated and partially destroyed thereabouts, this will give favourable conditions for the future. The Hermann Goering division, which is a part of Hitler ’s special reserve, may yet be thrown into the battle against us. If so it all helps “Overlord.”50 The battle must be considered critical and our forces do not greatly exceed those of the enemy.

2. I am hoping to make you a renewed programme for Arctic convoys, but I must see first what we lose in destroyers and cruisers in the sea part of “Overlord.” I visited many troops, British and American, and found them most eager to engage; also every kind of floating structure and apparatus has been made to enable great numbers of men and vehicles to be flung ashore the same moment, protected by unparalleled fire from the sea. We have 11,000 aircraft of the first class ready to engage on one single day.

3. Every good wish for the great operation which you are preparing. I have not yet congratulated you on your capture of Odessa and Sevastopol. I do so now.


No. 268

Personal and Secret

From Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I am obliged to you for the information on the battle in Italy, contained in your latest message. We are watching your successes with admiration.

We are greatly encouraged by your news on the “Overlord”50 preparations now in full swing. What is most important is that the British and U.S. troops are so full of resolve.

I welcome your readiness to resume later the programme for Arctic convoys.

Thank you for your congratulations. We are preparing might and main for new major operations.

May 26, 1944


No. 269

Most Secret

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Thank you very much for your telegram. The battle in Italy goes well and I am greatly in hopes that we cut some of them off. We are not thinking of Rome except as a by-product. Our main object is to draw the largest number of Germans into the battle and destroy them. Immediately this battle is won we turn all our Mediterranean forces towards the best amphibious operation possible to help “Overlord.”50

2. Everything here is centred on “Overlord,” and everything in human power will be done or risked.

May 28th, 1944


No. 270

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Thank you for your latest message on the battle in Italy. We, too, hope for its successful conclusion, which is bound to facilitate the efforts involved in “Overlord.”50 We wish you further success.

May 30, 1944


No. 271

Personal, Private and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

You will have been pleased to learn of the Allied entry into Rome. What we have always regarded as more important is the cutting off of as many enemy divisions as possible. General Alexander is now ordering strong armoured forces northward on Terni, which should largely complete the cutting off of all the divisions which were sent by Hitler to fight south of Rome. Although the amphibious landing at Anzio and Nettuno did not immediately fructify, as I had hoped when it was planned, it was a correct strategical move and brought its reward in the end. First it drew ten divisions from the following places:

1 from France, 1 from the Rhineland,

4 from Yugoslavia and Istria,

1 from Denmark, and 3 from North Italy.

Secondly, it brought on a defensive battle in which, though we lost about 25,000 men, the Germans were repulsed and much of the fighting strength of their divisions was broken with a loss of about 30,000 men. Finally the Anzio landing has made possible the kind of movement for which it was originally planned, only on a far larger scale. General Alexander is concentrating every effort now on the entrapping of the divisions south of Rome. Several have retreated into the mountains leaving a great deal of their heavy weapons behind, but we hope for a very good round-up of prisoners and material. As soon as this is over we shall decide how best to use our armies in Italy to support the main adventure. British, Americans, Free French and Poles have all broken or beaten in frontal attack the German troops opposite them and there are various important options which will soon have to be considered.

2. I have just returned from two days at General Eisenhower’s Headquarters watching troops embark. The difficulties of getting proper weather conditions are very great, especially as we have to consider the fullest employment of the vast naval and ground forces in relation to the tides, waves, fog and cloud. With great regret General Eisenhower was forced to postpone for one night, but the weather forecast has undergone a most favourable change and tonight we go. We are using 5,000 ships and have available 11,000 fully mounted aircraft.

June 5th, 1944


No. 272

From Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I congratulate you on the taking of Rome – a grand victory for the Allied Anglo-American troops. The news has caused deep satisfaction in the Soviet Union.

June 5, 1944


No. 273

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Everything has started well. The mines, obstacles and land batteries have been largely overcome. The air landings were very successful and on a large scale. Infantry landings are proceeding rapidly and many tanks and self-propelled guns are already ashore.

The weather outlook is moderate to good.

June 6th, 1944


No. 274

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your communication on the successful launching of “Overlord”50 has reached me. It is a source of joy to us all and of hope for further successes.

The summer offensive of the Soviet troops, to be launched in keeping with the agreement reached at the Tehran Conference, will begin in mid-June in one of the vital sectors of the front. The general offensive will develop by stages, through consecutive engagement of the armies in offensive operations. Between late June and the end of July the operations will turn into a general offensive of the Soviet troops.

I shall not fail to keep you posted about the course of the operations.

June 6, 1944


No. 275

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Winston Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Thank you for your message and congratulations about Rome. About “Overlord”50 I am well satisfied with the situation up to noon today, the 7th of June. Only at one American beach has there been serious difficulty and that has now been cleared up. Twenty thousand air-borne troops are safely landed behind the flanks of the enemy’s line and have made contact in each case with American and British sea-borne forces. We got across with small losses. We had expected to lose about ten thousand men. By tonight we hope to have the best part of a quarter of a million men ashore including a considerable quantity of armour (tanks) landed from special ships or swimming ashore by themselves. In this latter class of tanks there have been a good many casualties especially on the American front owing to the waves overturning these swimming tanks. We must now expect heavy counter-attacks but we expect to be stronger in armour, and, of course, overwhelming in the air whenever the clouds lift.

2. There was a tank engagement of our newly landed armour with fifty enemy tanks of the 21st Panzer-Grenadier Division late last night towards Caen as a result of which the enemy quitted the field. The British 7th Armoured Division is now going in and should give us superiority for a few days. The question is how many can they bring against us in the next week. The weather in the Channel does not seem to impose any prohibition on our continued landings. Indeed it seems more promising than before. All commanders are satisfied that in the actual landing things have gone better than we expected.

3. Most Especially Secret. We are planning to make very quickly two large synthetic harbours on the beaches of the wide sand bay of the Seine Estuary. Nothing like these has at any time ever been seen before. Great ocean liners will be able to discharge and run by numerous piers the supplies to the fighting troops. This must be quite unexpected by the enemy and will enable the building-up to proceed with very great independence of weather conditions. We hope to get Cherbourg at early point in the operations.

4. On the other hand the enemy will concentrate rapidly and heavily and fighting will be severe and increasing in scale. Still we hope to have by D+30 day82 about 25 divisions deployed with all their corps troops with both flanks of the eventual front resting on the sea and possessed of at least three good harbours, Cherbourg and the two synthetic harbours. This front will be constantly nourished and expanded and we hope to include later the Brest Peninsula. But all this waits on the hazards of war which, Marshal Stalin, you know so well.

5. We hope that this successful landing and the victory of Rome, of which the fruits have still to be gathered from the cut-off Hun divisions, will cheer your valiant soldiers after all the weight they have had to bear, which no one outside your country has felt more keenly than I.

6. Since dictating the above I have received your message about the successful beginning of “Overlord” in which you speak of the summer offensive of the Soviet forces. I thank you cordially for this. I hope you will observe that we have never asked you a single question because of our full confidence in you, your nation and your armies.

June 7th, 1944


No. 276

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message of June 7 informing me of the successful development of “Overlord.”50 We all salute you and the gallant British and U.S. troops and sincerely wish you further success.

Preparations for the summer offensive of the Soviet troops are nearing completion. Tomorrow, June 10, we begin the first round on the Leningrad front.

June 9, 1944


No. 277

Most Secret

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I am delighted to receive your message which I have communicated to General Eisenhower. The whole world can see the Tehran design appearing in our concerted attacks upon the common foe. May all good fortune go with the Soviet armies.

2. By tonight, 10th, we ought to have landed nearly 400,000 men together with a large superiority in tanks and a rapidly growing mass of artillery and lorries. We have found three small fishing ports which are capable of taking unexpected traffic. In addition, the two great synthetic harbours are going ahead well. The fighting on the front is reported satisfactory. We think Rommel has frittered away some of his strategical reserves in tactical counter-attacks. These have all been held. We must expect strategical reaction of the enemy in the near future.

3. General Alexander is chasing the beaten remnants of Kesselring’s army northwards swiftly. They will probably make a stand on Rimini-Pisa position on which some work has been done. General Alexander reports fighting value of the twenty German divisions is greatly reduced. There are six or seven divisions retreating northwards under cover of rearguards and demolitions. He is on their track while mopping up continues.

June 10th, 1944


No. 278

Received on June 11, 1944

Most Secret

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I have been astounded by what happened83 to Marshal Badoglio. It seems to me that we have lost the only competent man we had to deal with and one who was bound to serve us best. The present cluster of aged and hungry politicians will naturally endeavour to push Italian claims and might be the greatest possible inconvenience to us. It would be a great help to me to know how you feel about this.


No. 279

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message on the resignation of Badoglio. To me, too, his resignation came as a surprise. I thought that without the consent of the Allies – the British and Americans – Badoglio could not be removed and replaced by Bonomi. However, it appears from your message that this has happened against the will of the Allies. It is to be expected that certain Italian circles will try to change the armistice terms in their favour. Be that as it may, if circumstances suggest to you and the Americans that Italy should have a Government different from that of Bonomi, you may rest assured that the Soviet side will raise no obstacles.

2. I have also received your message of June 10. Thank you for the information. It appears that the landing, planned on a tremendous scale, has been crowned with success. I and my colleagues cannot but recognise that this is an enterprise unprecedented in military history as to scale, breadth of conception and masterly execution. As is known, Napoleon’s plan for crossing the Channel failed disgracefully. Hitler the hysteric, who for two years had boasted that he would cross the Channel, did not venture even to make an attempt to carry out his threat. None but our Allies have been able to fulfil with flying colours the grand plan for crossing the Channel. History will record this as a feat of the highest order.

June 11, 1944


No. 280

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Your message of June 11th gave me and the whole Cabinet to whom I read it lively pleasure. Your first paragraph fits in with what President Roosevelt has agreed, namely that the matter must be considered by the Joint Advisory Committee and, after discussion there, must be remitted to the three governments who will consult together on their attitude to the new government. Meanwhile Badoglio who is apparently on quite friendly terms with Bonomi will carry on for a space.

2. I visited the British sector of the front on Monday as you may have seen from the newspapers. The fighting is continuous and at that time we had fourteen divisions operating on a front of about seventy miles. Against this the enemy has thirteen divisions not nearly so strong as ours. Reinforcements are hurrying up from their rear but we think we can pour them in much quicker from the sea. It is a wonderful sight to see this city of ships stretching along the coast for nearly fifty miles and apparently secure from the air and the U-boats which are so near. We have to encircle Caen and perhaps to make the capture there of prisoners. Two days ago the number of prisoners was thirteen thousand which is more than all the killed and wounded we had lost up to that time. Therefore it may be said that the enemy has lost nearly double what we have although we have been continuously on the offensive. During yesterday the advances were quite good though enemy resistance is stiffening as his strategic reserves are thrown into the battle. I should think it quite likely that we should work up to a battle about a million a side lasting through June and July. We plan to have about two million there by mid-August.

3. Every good wish for your successes in Karelia.

June 14th, 1944


No. 281

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message on June 14 received.

I think you are right in proposing that the question of a new Italian Cabinet be examined preliminarily by the Advisory Council for Italy so that our three Governments can arrive at a common view on the matter.

I have read with great interest your news about the military operations in Northern France. All success to the planned encirclement of Caen and to the further development of the operations in Normandy.

Thank you for your good wishes for the success of our offensive. Our operations are developing according to plan and will be of vital importance to the whole of our common Allied front.

June 15, 1944


No. 282

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I am hoping to resume northern convoys to Russia about August 10th. I have communicated with President Roosevelt and he is in full agreement. We hope to have about thirty merchant ships loading in the near future of which two-thirds will be American. The regular official correspondence will pass through the usual channels.

2. Your telegram of June 15th about Italy. You will have seen the Foreign Office telegram to the Naples High Commissioner No. 285 of June 14th repeated to Moscow No. 1796.84 I thank you very much for the way you have looked at this surprise situation. I must now tell you that after hearing from the President of the United States as well as from our representatives on the spot I have become convinced that it will be impossible to set up Badoglio again and that he himself feels that he has had enough of it. He has served us well. I agree that these matters should now be considered by the Advisory Council for Italy in order that our three Governments may declare our opinion at the same time on this question. The important thing is that the new Italian Government should be made to understand exactly what the obligations are which they have inherited.

3. The battle in Normandy is now fully engaged on a seventy-mile front and will increase steadily in scale and violence. It is by this increase in scale and violence that its course should be measured at this juncture rather than in territorial gains. We have had about thirty thousand casualties and have certainly inflicted more upon the enemy. Three days ago we held thirteen thousand prisoners and many more have been taken since. We have about five hundred and fifty thousand men ashore so far representing twenty divisions plus corps troops, etc. The enemy is about sixteen but weaker. I have just conferred with General Marshall, United States Army, who tells me that he is well assured as regards the position and that the power of the enemy to launch a great-scale counter-attack in the next few days has been largely removed through Rommel throwing in strategic reserves prematurely to feed the battle line.

4. Hitler has started his secret weapon upon London. We had a noisy night. We believe we have it under control. All good wishes in these stirring times.

June 17th, 1944


No. 283

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Thank you for the news that you and the President plan to resume northern convoys to the Soviet Union about August 10. This will help us considerably.

As regards Italian affairs, I presume that you are already familiar with the Advisory Council resolution85 on the new Italian Government. The Soviet Government has no objection to the resolution.

We are all happy about the progress of the operations by the British and U.S. troops in Normandy, which have already assumed such a vast scale. With all my heart I wish your troops further success.

2. The second round of the summer offensive of the Soviet forces will begin within a week. The offensive will involve 130 divisions, including armoured ones. I and my colleagues expect important success from it and I hope it will be a substantial help to the Allied operations in France and in Italy.

June 21, 1944


No. 284

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I was greatly cheered by the information conveyed in your telegram of June 21st. We now rejoice in the opening results of your immense operations and will not cease by every human means to broaden our fronts engaged with the enemy and to have the fighting kept at the utmost intensity.

2. The Americans hope to take Cherbourg in a few days. The fall of Cherbourg will soon set three American divisions free to reinforce our attack southward, and it may be that twenty-five thousand prisoners will fall into our hands at Cherbourg.

3. We have had three or four days of gale – most unusual in June – which has delayed the build-up and done much injury to our synthetic harbours in their incomplete condition. We have provided means to repair and strengthen them. The roads leading inland from the two synthetic harbours are being made with great speed by bulldozers and steel networks unrolled. Thus with Cherbourg a large base will be established from which very considerable armies can be operated irrespective of the weather.

4. We have had bitter fighting on the British front where four out of the five Panzer divisions are engaged. New British onslaught there has been delayed a few days by bad weather which delayed the completion of several divisions. The attack will begin tomorrow.

5. The advance in Italy goes forward with great rapidity and we hope to be in possession of Florence in June and in contact with the Pisa-Rimini line by the middle or end of July. I shall send you a telegram presently about various strategical possibilities which are opened up herewith. The overriding principle which in my opinion we should follow is the continuous engagement of the largest possible number of Hitlerites on the broadest and most effective fronts. It is only by hard fighting that we can take some of the weight off you.

6. You may safely disregard all the German rubbish about the results of their flying bomb. It has had no appreciable effect upon the production or the life of London. Casualties during the seven days it has been used are between ten and eleven thousand. The streets and parks remain full of people enjoying the sunshine when off work or duty. Parliament Debates continue throughout the alarms. The rocket development may be more formidable when it comes. The people are proud to share in a small way the perils of our own soldiers and of your soldiers who are so highly admired in Britain. May all good fortune attend your new onfall.

June 25th, 1944


No. 285

Personal for the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Please accept my warmest congratulations on the liberation of Cherbourg from the German invaders. I salute the valiant British and U.S. troops on the occasion of their brilliant success.

J. Stalin

June 27, 1944


No. 286

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of June 25 received.

Meanwhile the Allied troops have liberated Cherbourg, thus crowning their efforts in Normandy with another major victory. I welcome the continuing success of the gallant British and U.S. troops who are developing their operations both in Northern France and in Italy.

While the scale of the operations in Northern France is becoming more and more powerful and menacing for Hitler, the successful development of the Allied offensive in Italy, too, is worthy of the greatest attention and praise. We wish you further success.

With regard to our offensive I may say that we shall give the Germans no respite, but shall go on extending the front of our offensive operations, increasing the force of our drive against the German armies. You will agree, I suppose, that this is essential for our common cause.

As to Hitler’s flying bomb, this weapon, as we see, cannot seriously affect either the operations in Normandy or the population of London whose courage is a matter of record.

June 27, 1944


No. 287

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Your message of June 27th. We are honoured by your congratulations on the liberation of Cherbourg and for your greetings to American and British troops on the occasion of this most pregnant victory.

June 29th, 1944


No. 288

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Your message of June 27th has given us all the greatest encouragement and pleasure. I am forwarding it to the President, who will I am sure be gratified.

2. This is the moment for me to tell you how immensely we are all here impressed with the magnificent advances of the Russian armies which seem, as they grow in momentum, to be pulverising the German armies which stand between you and Warsaw, and afterwards Berlin. Every victory that you gain is watched with eager attention here. I realise vividly that all this is the second round you have fought since Tehran, the first which regained Sebastopol, Odessa and the Crimea and carried your vanguards to the Carpathians, Sereth and Prut.

3. The battle is hot in Normandy. The June weather has been very tiresome. Not only did we have a gale on the beaches worse than any in the summer-time records for many years, but there has been a great deal of cloud. This denies us full use of our overwhelming air superiority and also helps flying bombs to get through to London. However, I hope July will show an improvement. Meanwhile the hard fighting goes in our favour and, although eight Panzer divisions are in action against the British sector, we still have a good majority of tanks. We have well over three-quarters of a million British and Americans ashore, half and half. The enemy is burning and bleeding on every front at once, and I agree with you that this must go on to the end.

July 1st, 1944


No. 289

Received on July 3, 1944

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I received the splendid photograph of yourself which you have sent me, with an inscription which adds greatly to the pleasure it gives me. Thank you very much indeed.


No. 290

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of July 1 received.

I am grateful for your high praise of the successes of the Red Army, which is now fighting the second round of its summer offensive.

We are all confident that the temporary difficulties in Normandy of which you write will not prevent the British and U.S. forces from making good use of their superiority over the enemy in aircraft and armour, from further exploiting the success of their offensive operations.

Regards and best wishes from us all.

July 4, 1944


No. 291

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

With great joy I hear of your glorious victory in taking Minsk and of the tremendous advance made on so broad a front by the invincible Russian armies.

July 5th, 1944


No. 292

Personal for the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill, from Premier J. V. Stalin

Thank you for your warm greetings on the occasion of the capture of Minsk by the Soviet troops.

July 7, 1944


No. 293

Personal for the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill, from Premier J. V. Stalin

I congratulate you on the glorious victory of the British troops who have liberated Caen.

July 11, 1944


No. 294

Received on July 12, 1944

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Some weeks ago it was suggested by Mr Eden to your Ambassador that the Soviet Government should take the lead in Roumania and the British should do the same in Greece. This was only a working arrangement to avoid as much as possible the awful business of triangular telegrams which paralyses action. Mr Molotov then suggested very properly that I should tell the United States Government, which I did and always meant to, and after some discussion the President agreed to a three-months’ trial being made. These may be three very important months, Marshal Stalin, July, August and September. Now, however, I see that you find some difficulties in this. I would ask whether you should not tell us that the plan may be allowed to have its chance for three months. No one can say it affects the future of Europe or divides it into spheres. But we can get a clear-headed policy in each theatre and we will all report to the others what we are doing. However if you tell me it is hopeless I shall not take it amiss.

2. There is another matter I should like to put to you. Turkey is willing to break off relations immediately with the Axis Powers. I agree with you that she ought to declare war, but I fear that if we tell her to do so she will defend herself by asking both for aircraft to protect her towns, which we shall find it hard to spare or put there at the present moment, and also for Joint military operations in Bulgaria and the Aegean for which we have not at present the means. And in addition to all this she will demand once again all sorts of munitions, which we cannot spare because the stocks we had ready for her at the beginning of the year have been drawn off in other directions. It seems to me therefore wiser to take this breaking of relations with Germany as a first instalment. We can then push a few things in to help her against a vengeance attack from the air and out of this, while we are together, her entry into the war might come. The Turkish alliance in the last war was very dear to the Germans and the fact that Turkey had broken off relations would be a knell to the German soul. This seems to be a pretty good time to strike such a knell.

3. I am only putting to you my personal thoughts on these matters, which are also being transmitted by Mr Eden to Mr Molotov.

4. We have about a million and 50,000 men in Normandy, with a vast mass of equipment, and rising by 25,000 a day. The fighting is very hard and before the recent battles, for which casualties have not yet come in, we and the Americans had lost 64,000 men. However there is every evidence that the enemy has lost at least as many and we have besides 51,000 prisoners in the bag. Considering that we have been on the offensive and had been landing from the sea I consider the enemy has been severely mauled. The front will continue to broaden and the fighting will be unceasing.

5. Alexander is pushing very hard in Italy also. He hopes to force the Pisa-Rimini line and break into the Po Valley. This will either draw further German divisions on to him or yield up valuable strategical ground.

6. Londoners are standing up well to the bombing which has amounted to 22,000 casualties so far and looks like becoming chronic.

7. Once more congratulations on your glorious advance to Vilna.


No. 295

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

There is firm evidence that the Germans have been conducting the trials of flying rockets from an experimental station at Debice in Poland for a considerable time. According to our information this missile has an explosive charge of about twelve thousand pounds and the effectiveness of our counter-measures largely depends on how much we can find out about this weapon before it is launched against this country. Debice is in the path of your victorious advancing armies and it may well be that you will overrun this place in the next few weeks.

2. Although the Germans will almost certainly destroy or remove as much of the equipment at Debice as they can, it is probable that a considerable amount of information will become available when the area is in Russian hands. In particular we hope to learn how the rocket is discharged as this will enable us to locate the launching sites.

3. I should be grateful, therefore, Marshal Stalin, if you could give appropriate instructions for the preservation of such apparatus and installations at Debice as your armies are able to ensure after the area has been overrun, and that thereafter you would afford us facilities for the examination of this experimental station by our experts.

July 13th, 1944


No. 296

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Thank you very much for your message of congratulation. I have repeated it to General Montgomery and told him that he may tell his troops.

July 13th, 1944


No. 297

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of July 12 received.

With regard to the question of Roumania and Greece there is no need to repeat what you already know from correspondence between our Ambassador in London and Mr Eden. One thing is clear to me, that the U.S. Government has certain doubts about this matter, and we shall do well to return to the matter when we get the U.S. reply. I shall write to you on the subject again the moment we get the U.S. Government’s comments.

2. The question of Turkey should be examined in the light of the facts with which the Governments of Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the U.S.A. have been familiar since the negotiations with the Turkish Government at the end of last year. You will no doubt recall how insistently the Governments of our three countries proposed that Turkey should enter the war against Hitler Germany on the side of the Allies as early as November and December 1943. But nothing came of this. As you know, on the initiative of the Turkish Government we resumed negotiations with it last May and June, and twice made the same proposal that the three Allied Governments made at the end of last year. Nothing came of that, either. As regards any half-hearted step by Turkey I do not at the moment see how it can benefit the Allies. In view of the evasive and vague attitude which the Turkish Government has assumed in relation to Germany it is better to leave Turkey to herself and to refrain from any further pressure on her. This implies, of course, that the claims of Turkey, who has evaded fighting Germany, to special rights in post-war affairs will be disregarded.

3. We should like to comply with your request, stated in your message of July 13, concerning the experimental station at Debice in the event of it falling into our hands. Please specify which Debice you mean, for I understand there are several places with that name in Poland.

4. Thank you for the information on the situation in Normandy and Italy and for the congratulations on our advance in the Vilna area.

July 15, 1944


No. 298

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Your telegram of July 15th about the experimental station at Debice. The following is the British official location of the said station.

2. The area in which we are interested and where the experimental firing of large rockets takes place is north-east of Debice or Debica, which is situated on the main railway line between Cracow and Lvov, latitude 50°05´ North, longitude 21°25´ East. The actual area is some ten by three and a half miles, and lies between the following points:

A. 50°07´ North, 21°27´ East.

B. 50°12´ North, 21°36´ East.

C. 50°11´ North, 21°39´ East.

  D. 50°04´ North, 21°32´ East.
3. It is possible that they have a thousand of these things, each of which carries about five tons. If this be true it would become an undoubted factor in the life of London. Our present killed and wounded are about thirty thousand but everyone is taking it very well. Parliament will require me to convince them that everything possible is done. Therefore it would be a help if you could lay your hands on any evidence that may be available and let us know, so that some of our people may come and see it. We have got a good deal out of the bomb that fell in Sweden and which did not detonate, but traces of the Polish experiments will give an invaluable supplement. There is one particular part of the radio work out of the rocket that fell in Sweden which we should particularly like to find although it looks quite a petty thing. If you will put your officers in touch with Generals Burrows and Deane and order them to help, the matter need not be of any more trouble to you.

4. You will no doubt have been rejoiced to know that we have broken out into the plains of Normandy in a strong force of seven or eight hundred tanks with a number of highly mechanized brigades and artillery, and that we are behind their line and that their lines are already stretched by many days of battle to the last limit. I am therefore sanguine enough to hope that we may derange the entire enemy front. However, everybody has had disappointments in this war, so all I will say is that I hope to report good news to you ere long. I am going over tomorrow to be there for a few days myself.

July 19th, 1944


No. 299

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

In your telegram of May 8th you spoke of some decorations with which you would honour personalities and officers concerned in the Arctic convoys. I have been a long time replying to this because I had to make some inquiries. For the honour which you thought of for Mr Lyttelton I would also recommend Lord Beaverbrook. He was the first who roused us to the need of instituting the convoys and it was due largely to his energy that several more months were not wasted. He came to you with the mission at the beginning, and I know he would be greatly complimented to receive a Russian Order. Both these Ministers therefore would be proud to accept. There are some people who have done good work lower down but I do not want to trespass on your kindness about them unless you feel the inclination to recognise some of the lower grades. They do a great work and very often do not get distinguished. In our orders we have many similar variants which can be given out judiciously. I could even send you names.

2. The first convoy of the new cycle starts in August. Thereafter I am planning to run a regular stream of convoys which will not be given up unless I show you good reason that I must have the destroyers elsewhere. I do not think it will occur. Presently we may come by shorter routes.

3. With respect to Poland I have avoided saying anything because I trust in you to make comradeship with the underground movement if it really strikes hard and true against the Germans. Should Mikolajczyk ask to come to see you, I hope you will consent.

4. All the world is marvelling at the organised attacks on Germany from three points at once. I hope you and the President and I may have a meeting somewhere or other before the winter closes in. It will be worth it to the poor people everywhere.

July 20th, 1944


No. 300

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

In connection with your latest message I have given proper instructions on the experimental station in Debice. General Slavin, a General Staff representative, will establish the necessary contact on this matter with Generals Burrows and Deane. I appreciate the British Government’s great interest in this matter. I promise, therefore, to take personal care of the matter so as to do all that can be done according to your wishes.

I was deeply satisfied to learn from you that your troops in Normandy have broken into the German rear. I wish you further success.

July 22, 1944


No. 301

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of July 20 received. I am now writing to you on the Polish question only.

Events on our front are going forward at a very rapid pace. Lublin, one of Poland’s major towns, was taken today by our troops, who continue their advance.

In this situation we find ourselves confronted with the practical problem of administration on Polish territory. We do not want to, nor shall we, set up our own administration on Polish soil, for we do not wish to interfere in Poland’s internal affairs. That is for the Poles themselves to do. We have, therefore, seen fit to get in touch with the Polish Committee of National Liberation, recently set up by the National Council of Poland, which was formed in Warsaw at the end of last year, and consisting of representatives of democratic parties and groups, as you must have been informed by your Ambassador in Moscow. The Polish Committee of National Liberation intends to set up an administration on Polish territory, and I hope this will be done. We have not found in Poland other forces capable of establishing a Polish administration. The so-called underground organisations, led by the Polish Government in London, have turned out to be ephemeral and lacking influence. As to the Polish Committee, I cannot consider it a Polish Government, but it may be that later on it will constitute the core of a Provisional Polish Government made up of democratic forces.

As for Mikolajczyk, I shall certainly not refuse to see him. It would be better, however, if he were to approach the Polish National Committee, who are favourably disposed towards him.

July 23, 1944


No. 302

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I thank you for your telegram of July 22nd about Debice and am very glad you will give the matter your personal attention.

2. You will no doubt by now have received the President’s telegram suggesting another meeting between us three in the North of Scotland around the second week in September. I need not say how earnestly His Majesty’s Government and I personally hope you will be able to come. I know well your difficulties and how your movements must depend upon the situation at the front, but I beg you to consider also the great advantage and simplification of all our joint affairs which would flow as at Tehran from a threefold meeting. We had thought that Invergordon was the best place and that we could either be accommodated in three separate battleships or that satisfactory arrangements could be made on shore or a blend of both. It would be easy to make the highest arrangements for secrecy as far as was thought desirable and for security. The weather is often at its best in the Highlands of Scotland in September, but in this matter I could give you no guarantee. Meanwhile I am making preparations for the President and myself as he has notified me of his intention to come. Pray let me know your thoughts and wishes.

3. I have just returned from three days in Normandy. Our advances have not been as fast or as far as I had hoped, but the weather has prevented on most days the use of our superior air power and has gravely impeded operations. A new battle will open on the first fine day, I hope tomorrow the 25th. Up to the present since the landing we have lost 110,000 men, and according to our estimates the enemy at least 160,000, including 60,000 prisoners. We have landed over 1,400,000 troops ashore. One of our new synthetic harbours was destroyed by the fury of the storm in June but the remaining one has delivered up to 11,000 tons in a day and is an astonishing sight to see. We are strengthening this by every means so that it can face the winter storms. Cherbourg is being rapidly developed by the Americans and will take a very great tonnage. Half a dozen smaller ports have been found capable of valuable contributions and Caen itself will be a 6,000-ton port when the enemy has been cleared sufficiently far to the east of it.

4. You know no doubt already that “Anvil”69 begins on August 15th. We have gathered more reinforcements from every part of the Mediterranean in order to support Alexander’s advances through the Apennines into the lower valley of the Po. He is conducting an offensive against about twenty-seven German divisions, many of them greatly reduced, with about twenty-four of his own representing seven countries. He hopes to reach Trieste before the winter sets in. He will give his right hand to Marshal Tito whom we are helping in every way possible.

5. Finally let me send my heartfelt congratulations on the irresistible onward marches of the Soviet armies and on the enormously important conquests you have made.

July 24th, 1944


No. 303

Urgent, Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

M. Mikolajczyk is starting tomorrow night in response to the suggestion in the last paragraph of your message of July 23rd. He is bringing with him M. Romer and M. Grabski. His Majesty’s Government are making arrangements for his transport to Tehran or to Moscow as may be required. He desires a full and friendly conversation with you personally. He commands the full support of all his colleagues in the Polish Government, which of course we continue to recognise.

2. Our heartfelt wish is that all Poles may be united in clearing the Germans from their country and in establishing that free, strong and independent Poland working in friendship with Russia which you have proclaimed is your aim.

3. I have told the President of the United States of your telegram to me and have sent him also a copy of this. He will no doubt communicate with you.

July 25th, 1944


No. 304

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I fully agree with you about decorating, besides Mr Lyttelton, Lord Beaverbrook who has contributed so much to the successful running of the convoys and indeed deserves a high reward. The Soviet Government will propose to the Supreme Soviet that Lord Beaverbrook and Mr Lyttelton be decorated with the Order of Suvorov First Class. The Soviet Government shares your idea of decorating men of lower rank, who have distinguished themselves in organising and sailing the convoys, and has assigned for the purpose a hundred and twenty Orders and fifty medals. A specific communication on the matter will be sent through diplomatic channels.

2. I was pleased to learn from your message about the August convoy, to be followed, as you write, by a new cycle of convoys, which we need badly.

3. As regards a meeting between you, Mr Roosevelt and myself, also mentioned in your message of July 24, I rather think that a meeting is desirable. But now that the Soviet armies are fighting along so extended a front and expanding their offensive, I am unable to leave the Soviet Union, to relinquish the leadership of the armies, even for a short time. My colleagues think this absolutely impossible.

4. You tell me about the planned new offensive in Normandy. If launched it will be of tremendous importance in the situation in which Germany finds herself and will make Hitler’s plight pretty sore indeed.

5. The success of “Anvil”69 will hasten the defeat of Hitler or at least involve him in insurmountable difficulties. I hope you will cope with that task as successfully as you did with the invasion of Normandy.

Thank you for your friendly congratulations on the success of the Soviet armies.

July 26, 1944


No. 305

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

M. Mikolajczyk and his colleagues have started. I am sure M. Mikolajczyk is most anxious to help a general fusion of all Poles on the lines on which you and I and the President are, I believe, agreed. I believe that the Poles who are friendly to Russia should join with the Poles who are friendly to Britain and the United States in order to establish a strong, free, independent Poland, the good neighbour of Russia, and an important barrier between you and another German outrage. We will all three take good care that there are other barriers also.

2. It would be a great pity and even a disaster if the Western democracies find themselves recognising one body of Poles and you recognising another. It would lead to constant friction and might even hamper the great business which we have to do the wide world over. Please, therefore, receive these few sentences in the spirit in which they are sent, which is one of sincere friendship and our twenty-years’ alliance.

July 27th, 1944


No. 306

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your messages of July 25 and 27 concerning the departure of Mikolajczyk have reached me. Mr Mikolajczyk and his companions will be given every help in Moscow.

You know our point of view on Poland, which is a neighbour of ours and relations with which are of special importance to the Soviet Union. We welcome the National Committee of the democratic forces on Polish soil, and I think the formation of this Committee signifies a good beginning for the unification of those Poles who are friendly towards Great Britain, the U.S.S.R. and the United States, and for overcoming the resistance of those Polish elements who are incapable of uniting with the democratic forces.

I realise the importance of the Polish question to the common cause of the Allies, and that is why I am willing to help all Poles and to mediate in achieving understanding among them. The Soviet troops have done and are continuing to do all in their power to accelerate the liberation of Poland from the German invaders and to help the Polish people regain freedom and achieve prosperity for their country.

July 28, 1944


No. 307

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Thank you very much for your first paragraph about decorations and for your generosity to the lower ranks. This will, as you say, be transacted through the diplomatic channel. We shall study most carefully those whom we recommend to be recipients.

2. The following is not my business at all; but you will no doubt remember how Harry Hopkins flew to you86 in his state, of ill-health, and certainly he was dead-beat when he got back here. There must surely have been a number of Americans in the very many merchant ships they sent. Perhaps you will consider this side of the picture, which is a good one.

3. I must accept with great regret, but with perfect understanding, what you say about our possible meeting. I presume you will also have notified the President.

4. Your advances become more magnificent every day.

All good wishes.

July 29th, 1944


No. 308

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

It goes without saying that with regard to decorating those who have distinguished themselves in organising and manning the convoys, we have not forgotten the Americans. Thank you for your friendly advice.

Concerning the impracticability of a meeting between you, the President and myself at the moment, I notified the President at the same time as I did you, giving him the reasons.

Please accept my thanks for your good wishes.

August 1, 1944


No. 309

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

In your message of July 22nd you were good enough to tell me that you had given the necessary instructions about the experimental station at Debice.

The party of British experts have been at Tehran for several days waiting for their visas to enter the Soviet Union, although Ambassador Sir A. Clark Kerr was instructed on July 20th to ask the Soviet Government to authorise the Soviet representative at Tehran to grant the visas.

You kindly told me that you would take the matter under your personal control. May I ask you, therefore, to issue the necessary instructions to enable our experts to proceed immediately.

August 3rd, 1944


No. 310

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of August 3 about the experimental station received. The Soviet Ambassador in Tehran has been instructed to issue entry visas right away to the British experts.

August 4, 1944


No. 311

Urgent, Secret and Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

At the urgent request of the Polish underground army we are dropping subject to the weather about sixty tons of equipment and ammunition into the south-western quarter of Warsaw where it is said a Polish revolt against the Germans is in fierce struggle. They also say that they appeal for Russian aid which seems very near. They are being attacked by one and a half German divisions. This may be of help to your operations.

August 4th, 1944


No. 312

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I have just received the following minute from the First Sea Lord for which I called. Considering the great numbers of German troops you are cutting off in Finland and the Baltic States, it occurred to me that you might care to have some of our submarines to help destroy their Baltic shipping and pen the Hitlerites in.

2. If you think that this project would be a help let me know and we will act at once. On the other hand do not hesitate to say if you think that it is not useful or convenient or if it will be too late.

3. The minute begins:

“Provided the Russians can open the White Sea-Baltic Canal it would be possible to send up to six submarines to a port in the Baltic. Available intelligence indicates that the Russians will not be able to open the canal until September owing to the extensive damage done to the locks by the Germans before they withdrew in June. The canal is not navigable after October and the passage of a ship normally takes about fourteen days. Submarines could probably operate in the Baltic up to December before being iced in.

“We have temporarily given the Russians one S-class and three U-class submarines which they may themselves pass into the Baltic.

“Any submarine sent via the canal would have to be lightened for the passage, stores and spare gear being sent separately.”

Minute ends.

August 4th, 1944


No. 313

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I am in receipt of your message about Warsaw.

I think that the information given to you by the Poles is greatly exaggerated and unreliable. I am impelled to this conclusion by the mere fact that the Polish émigrés claim that they have all but captured Vilna with Home Army units, and have even announced this on the radio. But, of course, that has nothing at all to do with the facts. The Home Army consists of a few detachments misnamed divisions. They have neither guns, aircraft nor tanks. I cannot imagine detachments like those taking Warsaw, which the Germans are defending with four armoured divisions, including the Hermann Goering Division.

August 5, 1944


No. 314

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

With regard to sending six British submarines into the Baltic I must say this.

The White Sea-Baltic Canal has been heavily damaged by the Germans and cannot be used this year. But if the British submarines could make their way into the Baltic through the Skagerrak and Kattegat, as they did during the last world war, that would be a magnificent exploit and would be a fresh blow to the Germans.

August 5, 1944


No. 315

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I should like to inform you of my meeting with Mikolajczyk, Grabski and Romer. My talk with Mikolajczyk convinced me that he has inadequate information about the situation in Poland. At the same time I had the impression that Mikolajczyk is not against ways being found to unite the Poles.

As I do not think it proper to impose any decision on the Poles, I suggested to Mikolajczyk that he and his colleagues should meet and discuss their problems with representatives of the Polish Committee of National Liberation, first and foremost the matter of early unification of all democratic forces on liberated Polish soil. Meetings have already taken place. I have been informed of them by both parties. The National Committee delegation suggested the 1921 Constitution as a basis for the Polish Government and expressed readiness if the Mikolajczyk group acceded to the proposal, to give it four portfolios, including that of Prime Minister for Mikolajczyk. Mikolajczyk, however, could not see his way to accept. I regret to say the meetings have not yet yielded the desired results. Still, they were useful because they provided Mikolajczyk and Morawski, as well as Bierut who had just arrived from Warsaw, with the opportunity for an exchange of views and particularly for informing each other that both the Polish National Committee and Mikolajczyk are anxious to co-operate and to seek practical opportunities in that direction. That can be considered as the first stage in the relations between the Polish Committee and Mikolajczyk and his colleagues. Let us hope that things will improve.

August 8, 1944


No. 316

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I am very much obliged to you for your telegram of August 8th about the Poles. I am very glad that you brought both sides together. Undoubtedly an advance has been made towards our common goal. I share your hope that the business will go better in future.

2. Another effort was made by Polish aviators last night to carry some more ammunition to Warsaw. It is claimed that this was delivered. I am so glad to learn that you are sending supplies yourself. Anything you feel able to do will be warmly appreciated by your British friends and Allies.

3. I can give you good news of the battle in the West. The enemy quite rightly struck with five Panzer divisions at the waspwaist at Avranches between the Cherbourg and the Brittany Peninsula, but the Americans had it well in hand. The enemy’s armour has probably been reduced at this point by more than a third through our concentrated bombing and in fighting. We are not particularly anxious for him to hurry off too quickly because the Americans, who have a great force operating around the German left, propose to march via Alencon and Argentan to join hands with the British, Canadian and Polish attack from Caen towards Falaise. General Montgomery has hopes that we may surround the main German forces. If this encirclement is only partially successful and a large number break out, as often happens, we shall still have the chance of driving them up against the Seine where all the bridges are destroyed and will be kept destroyed by our Air Forces. Thus a victory of first class proportions is not beyond our hopes. Altogether there are in France a million Americans and three-quarters of a million British, Canadian and Allied troops. The Dutch and Belgian brigade groups have already landed. I am sure you will wish us good fortune.

4. I am off to the Mediterranean tonight for a short visit, in the course of which I am to meet Tito. I will send you a message about our meeting.

Every good wish for your further successes.

August 10th, 1944


No. 317

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I have seen a distressing message from the Poles in Warsaw, who after ten days are still fighting against considerable German forces which have cut the city into three. They implore machine-guns and ammunition. Can you not give them some further help, as the distance from Italy is so very great?

August 12th, 1944


No. 318

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I have examined the question of our submarines penetrating into the Baltic Sea through the Skagerrak-Kattegat, but am advised that, owing to extensive mining of both our own and the enemy’s and net barrages, this is not a practicable proposition.

I am sorry about the canal being damaged. We would like to be with you.

August 12th, 1944


No. 319

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I read with the greatest interest your communication on the front situation in Northern France and acquainted myself with your plan for encircling and destroying the main German forces. I wish you all success in carrying out the plan.

Thank you for the good wishes and for the news about your forthcoming meeting with Marshal Tito.

August 14, 1944


No. 320

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I have had meetings during the last two days with Marshal Tito and the Yugoslav Prime Minister.87 I told both Yugoslav leaders that we had not thought but that they should combine their resources so as to weld the Yugoslav people into one instrument in the struggle against the Germans. Our aim was to promote the establishment of a stable and independent Yugoslavia, and the creation of a united Yugoslav Government was a step towards this end.

2. The two leaders reached a satisfactory agreement on a number of practical questions. They agreed that all Yugoslav naval forces will now be united in the struggle under a common flag. This agreement between the Yugoslav Prime Minister and Marshal Tito will enable us with more confidence to increase our supplies of war material to the Yugoslav forces.

3. They agree between themselves to issue a simultaneous declaration in a few days’ time which I hope will reduce internal fighting and will strengthen and intensify the Yugoslav war effort. They are going off together today to Vis to continue their discussions.

4. I am informing President Roosevelt of the results of these meetings.

August 14th, 1944


No. 321

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

After a talk with Mr Mikolajczyk I instructed the Red Army Command to drop munitions intensively into the Warsaw area. A liaison officer was parachuted, but headquarters report that he did not reach his objective, being killed by the Germans.

Now, after probing more deeply into the Warsaw affair, I have come to the conclusion that the Warsaw action is a reckless and fearful gamble, taking a heavy toll of the population. This would not have been the case had Soviet headquarters been informed beforehand about the Warsaw action and had the Poles maintained contact with them.

Things being what they are, Soviet headquarters have decided that they must dissociate themselves from the Warsaw adventure since they cannot assume either direct or indirect responsibility for it.

2. I have received your communication about the meeting with Marshal Tito and Prime Minister Šubašić. Thank you for the information.

3. The successful Allied landing in Southern France is very heartening. I wish them every success.

August 16, 1944


No. 322

Urgent and Most Secret Message from President Roosevelt and Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

We are thinking of world opinion if anti-Nazis in Warsaw are in effect abandoned. We believe that all three of us should do the utmost to save as many of the patriots there as possible. We hope that you will drop immediate supplies and munitions to the patriot Poles of Warsaw, or will you agree to help our planes in doing it very quickly? We hope you will approve. The time element is of extreme importance.

Roosevelt
Churchill

August 20th, 1944


No. 323

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill and the President, Mr F. Roosevelt

The message from you and Mr Roosevelt about Warsaw has reached me. I should like to state my views.

Sooner or later the truth about the handful of power-seeking criminals who launched the Warsaw adventure will out. Those elements, playing on the credulity of the inhabitants of Warsaw, exposed practically unarmed people to German guns, armour and aircraft. The result is a situation in which every day is used, not by the Poles for freeing Warsaw, but by the Hitlerites, who are cruelly exterminating the civil population.

From the military point of view the situation, which keeps German attention riveted to Warsaw, is highly unfavourable both to the Red Army and to the Poles. Nevertheless, the Soviet troops, who of late have had to face renewed German counterattacks, are doing all they can to repulse the Hitlerite sallies and go over to a new large-scale offensive near Warsaw. I can assure you that the Red Army will stint no effort to crush the Germans at Warsaw and liberate it for the Poles. That will be the best, really effective, help to the anti-Nazi Poles.

August 22, 1944


No. 324

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

This morning, August 24, the squadron of one battleship and eight destroyers, transferred to the Soviet Union by Great Britain, arrived safely at the Soviet port of which you are aware.

I wish to convey to you and to the Government of Great Britain heartfelt thanks on my own behalf and on behalf of the Soviet Government for this vital aid to the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union.

August 24, 1944


No. 325

Personal and Secret Message to Marshal Stalin from the United States Government and His Majesty’s Government

We have arrived at the following decisions as to military, operations in our conference at Quebec just concluded:

1. North-west Europe – Our intention is to press on with all speed to destroy the German armed forces and penetrate into the heart of Germany. The best opportunity to defeat the enemy in the West lies in striking at the Ruhr and the Saar since the enemy will concentrate there the remainder of his available forces in the defence of these essential areas. The northern line of approach clearly has advantages over the southern and it is essential that before bad weather sets in we should open up the northern ports, particularly Rotterdam and Antwerp. It is on the left, therefore, that our main effort will be exerted.

2. Italy – Our present operations in Italy will result in either: (A) The forces of Kesselring will be routed, in which event it should be possible to undertake a rapid regrouping and a pursuit toward the Ljubljana Gap; or (B) Kesselring will succeed in effecting an orderly retreat, in which event we may have to be content this year with the clearing of the plains of Lombardy.

The progress of the battle will determine our future action Plans are being prepared for an amphibious operation to be carried out if the situation so demands on the Istrian Peninsula

3. The Balkans – We will continue operations of our air forces and commando type operations.

4. Japan – With the ultimate objective of invading the Japanese homeland we have agreed on further operations to intensify in all theatres the offensive against the Japanese.

5. Plans were agreed upon for the prompt transfer of power after the collapse of Germany to the Pacific theatre.

Roosevelt
Churchill

September 19, 1944


No. 326

Personal, Secret and Most Private Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I was gratified to hear from Ambassador Sir A. Clark Kerr the praise which you gave to the British and American operations in France. We value very much such expressions from the Leader of the heroic Russian armies. I shall take the occasion to repeat tomorrow in the House of Commons what I have said before, that it is the Russian army that tore the guts out of the German military machine and is at the present moment holding by far the larger portion of the enemy on its front.

2. I have just returned from long talks with the President and I can assure you of our intense conviction that on the agreement of our three nations, Britain, the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, stand the hopes of the world. I was very sorry to learn that you had not been feeling well lately and that your doctors did not like your taking long, journeys by air. The President had the idea that the Hague would be a good place for us to meet. We have not got it yet but it may be that the course of the war even before Christmas may alter the picture along the Baltic shore to such an extent that your journey would not be tiring or difficult. However we shall have much hard fighting to do before any such plan can be made.

3. Most private. The President intends to visit England and thereafter France and the Low Countries immediately after the election, win or lose. My information leads me to believe that he will win.

4. I most earnestly desire, and so I know does the President, the intervention of the Soviets in the Japanese war as promised by you at Tehran as soon as the German army was beaten and destroyed. The opening of a Russian military front against the Japanese would force them to burn and bleed, especially in the air, in a manner which would vastly accelerate their defeat. From all that I have learnt about the internal state of Japan and the sense of hopelessness weighing on their people, I believe it might well be that once the Nazis are shattered a triple summons to Japan to surrender coming from our three Great Powers might be decisive. Of course we must go into all these plans together. I would be glad to come to Moscow in October if I can get away from here. If I cannot Eden would be very ready to take my place. Meanwhile I send you and Molotov my most sincere good wishes.

September 27th, 1944


No. 327

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received the message from you and Mr Roosevelt about the Quebec Conference, informing me of your future military plans. Your communication shows the important tasks ahead of the U.S. and British armed forces.

Allow me to wish you and your armies every success.

At present Soviet troops are mopping up the Baltic group of German forces, which threatens our right flank. Without wiping out this group we shall not be able to thrust deep into Eastern Germany. Besides, our forces have two immediate aims – to knock Hungary out of the war and to probe the German defences on the Eastern Front and, if the situation proves favourable, pierce them.

September 29, 1944


No. 328

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of September 27 received.

I share your conviction that stable harmony between the three leading Powers is an earnest of future peace and is in tune with the hopes cherished by all peace-loving nations. The consistency of our Governments in this policy in the post-war; period, like that achieved during this great war, will, I believe, be the decisive thing.

Certainly I should like very much to meet you and the President. I think it very important to our common cause. I must, however, make a reservation as far as I am concerned: my doctors advise against undertaking long journeys. I shall have to bow to this for some time to come.

I wholeheartedly welcome your desire to come to Moscow in October. Military and other problems of great importance need to be discussed. Should anything keep you from coming, we should, naturally, be glad to see Mr Eden.

Your communication on the plans for the President’s visit to Europe is very interesting. I, too, feel sure that he will win the election.

As regards Japan, our attitude remains the same as it was in Tehran.

I and Molotov send you our best wishes.

September 30, 1944


No. 329

Private, Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Your people are anxious about the route I have been advised to take. It is not good for me to go much above 8,000 feet, though I can if necessary do so for an hour or so. We think it less of a risk to fly across the Aegean Sea and Black Sea. I have satisfied myself on the whole that this is best and involves no inappropriate risk.

So long as we can get down safely to refuel if necessary at Simferopol or at any other operational landing ground on the coast which you may prefer, I shall be quite content with the facilities available. I have everything I want in my plane. The only vital thing is that we may send an aircraft on ahead to establish with you a joint signal station regulating our homing and landing. Please have the necessary orders given.

I am looking forward to returning to Moscow under the much happier conditions created since August 1942.

October 4th, 1944


No. 330

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of October 4 received.

Landing arranged at the Sarabuz air field near Simferopol. Direct your signal aircraft thither.

October 5, 1944


No. 331

Message to President Roosevelt from Marshal Stalin and Prime Minister Churchill

In an informal discussion we have taken a preliminary view of the situation as it affects us and have planned out the course of our meetings, social and others. We have invited Messrs Mikolajczyk, Romer and Grabski to come at once for further conversations with us and with the Polish National Committee. We have agreed not to refer in our discussions to the Dumbarton Oaks issues,88 and that these shall be taken up when we three can meet together. We have to consider the best way of reaching an agreed policy about the Balkan countries, including Hungary and Turkey. We have arranged for Mr Harriman to sit in as an observer at all the meetings, where business of importance is to be transacted, and for General Deane to be present whenever military topics are raised. We have arranged for technical contacts between our high officers and General Deane on military aspects, and for any meetings which may be necessary later in our presence and that of the two Foreign Secretaries together with Mr Harriman. We shall keep you fully informed ourselves about the progress we make.

2. We take this occasion to send you our heartiest good wishes and to offer our congratulations on the prowess of the United States forces and upon the conduct of the war in the West by General Eisenhower.

Churchill
Stalin

October 10th, 1944


No. 332

Most Secret

To Marshal Stalin

(Retranslated)

My dear Marshal Stalin,

I suggest, if it is all right with you, that we fix the talks on military matters for Saturday, the 14th, 10 p.m. Eden and I would come with Field Marshal Brooke and two officers of the Ministry of Defence – General Ismay and Major-General Jacob – to the Kremlin, if that meets your wishes. I suggest that Averell Harriman come with General Deane. Field Marshal Brooke would be prepared to explain on the map the situation on the Western Front and would also set forth the plans and intentions that we and the Americans have there, and he can give a much more detailed exposition than the President and I could have communicated in our joint message from Quebec.

After that he will outline the situation in Italy and the connection between that situation and the westward offensive of your southern armies. He or I will readily answer any questions that you or your officers may wish to ask. We should also be glad to hear anything you might wish to tell us about your future plans on the Eastern Front, which, of course, are essential to the Anglo-American offensive both in the West and in the South. After our talks on European affairs Field Marshal Brooke will tell you briefly about our campaign in Burma against the Japanese and about our plans and intentions there. Mr Harriman is in full agreement that thereafter General Deane should describe the course of Allied operations and plans in the Pacific and indicate what kind of help from you would be of the greatest use. We should like to hear from you all that you can tell us about the locations of Soviet troops in the Far East or about any other measures there after the German armies surrender unconditionally or are reduced to the status of mere guerrilla detachments. I think it exceedingly important that we should have a preliminary exchange of views on this matter.

Mr Harriman is with me while I am writing this and is in agreement with the foregoing.

Believe me to be

Your sincere friend,

Winston Churchill

Moscow, October 12, 1944


No. 333

To the Prime Minister, Mr Churchill

Dear Mr Churchill,

I am in receipt of your letter of October 12, in which you suggest holding the military talks on the 14th, at 10 p.m. I agree with the proposal and with your plan for the conference. I suggest that we hold the discussions in Molotov’s office in the Kremlin.

Sincerely yours,

J. Stalin

October 12, 1944


No. 334

To Marshal Stalin

My dear Marshal Stalin,

You will remember the telegrams we exchanged in the summer, about the visit of British experts sent to visit the German rocket experimental establishment at Debice in Poland, for whom you were good enough to grant facilities.

I now hear that the experts have returned to England bringing back valuable information which has filled in some of the gaps in our knowledge about the long-range rocket.

Pray accept my thanks for the excellent arrangements made for this visit and for the help given to our Mission by the Soviet Authorities.

Yours with sincere respect,

Winston S. Churchill

16 October, 1944


No. 335

To Marshal Stalin

My dear Marshal Stalin,

I found these telegrams89 waiting for me when I returned and unless you have this news from other quarters, you may be interested to read them. Pray do not trouble to send them back as we have other copies.

Yours in sincere respect,

Winston S. Churchill

Moscow, 16 October, 1944


No. 336

To Marshal Stalin

My dear Marshal Stalin,

We have had further conversations with Mikolajczyk, and we have made progress. I am more than ever convinced of his desire to reach an understanding with you and with the National Committee, despite the very real difficulties that confront him. Mikolajczyk is anxious to see you himself alone, in order to tell you what his plans now are and to seek your advice. The conversations which I have had with him since I saw you lead me to press this request most strongly upon you.

I am looking forward to our conversation tonight on the question of the partition of Germany. I feel, as I think you agreed yesterday, that we may clarify and focus our ideas with a precision which was certainly lacking at Tehran, when victory seemed so much more distant than now.

Finally let me tell you what a great pleasure it has been to me to find ourselves talking on the difficult and often unavoidably painful topics of State policy with so much ease and mutual understanding.

My daughter Sarah will be delighted with the charming token from Miss Stalin and will guard it among her most valued possessions.

I remain, with sincere respect and goodwill,

Your friend and war comrade,

Winston S. Churchill

Moscow, October 17, 1944


No. 337

To Mr Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain

Moscow

Dear Mr Churchill,

On the occasion of your departure from Moscow please accept from me two modest gifts as souvenirs of your sojourn in the Soviet capital: the vase “Man in a Boat” is for Mrs Churchill and the vase “With Bow Against Bear” for yourself.

Once again I wish you good health and good cheer.

J. Stalin

October 19, 1944


No. 338

To Marshal Stalin

My dear Marshal Stalin,

I have just received the two beautiful vases which you have given to me and my wife as a souvenir of this memorable visit to Moscow. We shall treasure them among our most cherished possessions.

I have had to work very hard here this time and also have received an Air Courier every day entailing decisions about our own affairs. Consequently I have not been able to see any of the City of Moscow, with all its historic memories. But in spite of this, the visit has been from beginning to end a real pleasure to me on account of the warm welcome we have received, and most particularly because of our very pleasant talks together.

My hopes for the future alliance of our peoples never stood so high. I hope you may long be spared to repair the ravages of war and lead All The Russias out of the years of storm into glorious sunshine.

Your friend and war-time comrade,

Winston S. Churchill

Moscow, October 19, 1944


No. 339

Received on October 21, 1944

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Mr Eden and I have come away from the Soviet Union refreshed and fortified by the discussions which we had with you, Marshal Stalin, and with your colleagues. This memorable meeting in Moscow has shown that there are no matters that cannot be adjusted between us when we meet together, in frank and intimate discussion. Russian hospitality, which is renowned, excelled itself on the occasion of our visit. Both in Moscow and in the Crimea, where we spent some enjoyable hours, there was the highest consideration for the comfort of myself and our mission. I am most grateful to you and to all those who were responsible for these arrangements. May we soon meet again.


No. 340

Received on October 24, 1944

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

At Moscow you said you would let me know whether there was any way we could help you in Northern Norway. I understand that a token force of two hundred Norwegians will be sent. Please let me know if you have other requirements and I will immediately make inquiries whether, and to what extent, they can be met.

All good wishes and kind regards.


No. 341

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message of October 24 informing me of the Norwegians’ intention to send a token force of two hundred to Northern Norway. I must say that in a talk with Molotov the Norwegian Ambassador spoke of more substantial measures against the Germans on the part of the Norwegians.

If you could launch naval operations of some kind against the Germans in Norway they would be helpful.

Congratulations on your safe return to London and my best wishes.

October 24, 1944


No. 342

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

It is only since my arrival in London that I have realised the great generosity of your gifts of Russian products to myself and members of my mission. Please accept the warmest thanks of all who have been grateful recipients of this new example of Russian hospitality.

October 29th, 1944


No. 343

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I am informed that the Norwegian Ambassador in Moscow and Mr Molotov arranged the size of the token Norwegian military force to be sent from this country at 120 men, and that later, as a result of examination of the figure by Norwegian military authorities in this country, it was raised to 230. This force has already sailed.

2. I must point out that there are an insignificant number of Norwegian troops in this country. There are only three mountain companies of a strength of 200 each, and a parachute company and field battery of 170 each. Thus the token force already despatched to Murmansk represents one-third of the effective infantry strength in this country. The Norwegian Government have hitherto wished to keep the rest in England, with the idea that they should return to Norway with our forces when the Germans are in the process of withdrawal; but if you would prefer to have a proportion of these sent to cooperate with the Red Army I would see the Norwegian Prime Minister about it.

3. As regards naval operations, our Home Fleet are constantly engaged in all forms of attack on enemy shipping to and from the North of Norway. Considerable success is being achieved. I shall be pleased to consider what further and more direct naval help can be given if you can give me an outline of your intended operations.

October 31st, 1944


No. 344

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Many congratulations on your advance to Budapest.

2. We have now got effective control of the approaches to Antwerp and I hope that coasters will be through in about ten days and ocean-going ships in three or four weeks. This solves the problem of the northern flank of the advance into Germany. There has been very hard fighting in Belgium and Holland and the British 21st Army Group have lost in British and British-controlled forces alone over 40,000 since the taking of Brussels. When the various pockets and ports that are still holding out have been reduced, we shall have a far larger number of prisoners than that.

3. During the quiet spell on the Anglo-American front, all preparations have been made for a major offensive.

4. Tremendous torrential rains have broken a vast number of our bridges on the Italian front and all movement is at present at a standstill.

5. About Yugoslavia, I am awaiting Dr. Šubašić’s return and the result of his report to King Peter. I was very glad to learn that King Peter was favourably impressed with such accounts as had hitherto reached him. Brigadier Maclean is with me now and tells me how much the atmosphere improved at Partisan headquarters when it was known that Russia and Britain were working together.

6. Although I have not said anything to you about Poland you may be sure that I have not been idle. At present they are still talking to the United States Government and I do not know what answer I shall be able to extract. However I take this opportunity of assuring you that I stand exactly where I stood when we parted and that His Majesty’s Government will support at any armistice or peace conference the Soviet claims to the line we have agreed upon. It will be a great blessing when the election in the United States is over.

Every good wish.

5th November, 1944


No. 345

Received on November 6, 1944

Message from the Prime Minister to Marshal Stalin

It gives me great pleasure to send you my congratulations on the anniversary of the foundation of the Soviet State. I wish your country and yourself all success in peace as in war, and pray that the Anglo-Soviet Alliance may be the cause of much benefit to our two countries, to the United Nations and to the world.


No. 346

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of October 31 is to hand.

At the request of the Norwegian Government and in keeping with your previous message, I have instructed the Soviet military authorities to receive the Norwegian unit arriving at Murmansk from Britain and to send it to the liberated Norwegian territory, where it will be under the general guidance of the Soviet Command.

As for other Norwegian military groups, that, I think, is a matter for the Norwegian Government to decide.

I have no specific proposals for British naval forces taking part in liberating Norway. Any step you might take towards that end would be welcomed.

November 7, 1944


No. 347

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Thank you for your message of November 5.

I was glad to learn that you now have effective control of the approaches to so important a port as Antwerp. I hope your preparations for a new offensive are making good progress and that soon the Germans will again experience the force of powerful Anglo-American blows.

With regard to Yugoslavia, I have been advised that the trend is favourable to the Allies. Dr. Šubašić plans to come to Moscow to tell us about his latest meetings with Marshal Tito. It appears that we can count on the formation of a United Yugoslav Government before long.

As to Polish affairs, it must be admitted that Mr Mikolajczyk, to the detriment of his own chances, is wasting much valuable time.

Thank you for your congratulations on the Soviet forces’ advance to Budapest. Our troops are pushing on in Hungary, though they are having to overcome numerous difficulties on the way. With regard to the 32 German divisions left in Latvia we are taking the necessary steps to accelerate their destruction. Rain and fog have greatly handicapped our operations in that area in the past few days. The delay, however, has enabled us to step up preparations for forthcoming decisive operations.

It is now safe to say that the President has won the election, and with a big majority. In the Soviet Union the news will be hailed as another victory for all of us. November 9, 1944


No. 348

Private Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Royal Air Force bombers have sunk the Tirpitz. Let us rejoice together.

Everything has gone very well here, and the great operations which I mentioned in my last telegram are rapidly unfolding. I am off tonight first to French and then to United States Headquarters.

Every good wish.

Paris, November 12th, 1944


No. 349

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

The news of the sinking of the Tirpitz by British aircraft has greatly rejoiced us. The pilots have every reason to be proud of their feat.

Here’s wishing you success in the large-scale operations of which you have apprised me.

Best wishes.

November 13, 1944


No. 350

Sent on November 16, 1944

To the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Mr Churchill

Thank you for your congratulations and good wishes for the anniversary of the Soviet State. I am confident that the growing alliance of our two countries will promote victory over our common foe and serve lasting peace throughout the world.

J. Stalin


No. 351

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

You will doubtless like to have some account of our visit to Paris. I certainly had a wonderful reception from about half a million Frenchmen in the Champs Élysées and also from the headquarters of the Resistance Movement at the Hotel de Ville. I also re-established friendly private relations with de Gaulle.

2. I see statements being put out in the French press and other quarters that all sorts of things were decided by us in Paris. You may be sure that our discussions about important things took place solely on an ad referendum basis to the three Great Powers. Eden and I had a two hours’ talk with de Gaulle and two or three of his people after luncheon on the 11th. De Gaulle asked a number of questions which made me feel how very little they had been kept informed about what had been decided or was taking place. He is anxious to obtain full modern equipment for eight more divisions, which can only be supplied by the Americans. Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force, reasonably contend that these will not be ready for the defeat of Germany in the field, and that shipping must be concentrated on the actual forces that will win the battles of the winter and spring. I reinforced this argument.

3. At the same time I sympathise with their wish to take over more lines, to have the best share they can in the fighting or what is left of it, and there may be plenty, and not to have to go into Germany as a so-called conqueror who has not fought. I remarked that this was a sentimental point which ought nevertheless to receive consideration. The important thing for France was to have an army prepared for the task which it would actually have to discharge, namely their obligations firstly, to maintain a peaceful and orderly France behind the front of our armies, and secondly to assist in the holding down of parts of Germany later on.

4. On this second point they pressed very strongly to have a share in the occupation of Germany not merely as sub-participation under British or Allied Command but as a French Command. I expressed my sympathy with this and urged them to study the type of army fitted for that purpose, which is totally different in any form from the organisation by divisions required to break resistance of a modern war-hardened army. They were impressed by this argument but nevertheless pressed their view.

5. I see a Reuter’s message, emanating no doubt unofficially from Paris, that it was agreed that France should be assigned certain areas, the Ruhr, the Rhineland, etc., for her troops to garrison. There is no truth in this and it is obvious that nothing of the kind can be settled on such a subject except in agreement with the President and you. All I said to de Gaulle on this was that we had made a division of Germany into Russian, British and United States spheres; roughly, the Russians had the East, the British the North, and the Americans the South. I further said that, speaking for His Majesty’s Government, we would certainly favour the French taking over as large a part as their capacity allowed, but that all this must be settled at an inter-Allied table. I am telegraphing to the President in the same sense. We did not attempt to settle anything finally or make definite agreements.

6. It is evident, however, that there are a number of questions which press for decision at a level higher than that of the High Commands, without which decision no guidance can be given to the High Commands, and this seems to reinforce the desirability of a meeting between us three and the French in the fairly near future. In this case the French would be in on some subjects and out on others.

7. Generally, I felt in the presence of an organised government, broadly based and of rapidly growing strength, and I am certain that we should be most unwise to do anything to weaken it in the eyes of France at this difficult, critical time. I had a considerable feeling of stability and thought we could safely take them more into our confidence.

November 16th, 1944


No. 352

November 20, 1944

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Thank you for keeping me posted about your talks with de Gaulle. I read your communications with interest. I have nothing against the proposal for an eventual meeting between the three of us and the French if the President is willing, but we must first reach final agreement on the time and place of the meeting of us three.

Recently General de Gaulle expressed the wish to come to Moscow to contact Soviet Government leaders. We told him we were willing, and we expect the French to reach Moscow by the end of the month. They have not yet specified the points they would like to discuss. Anyway, I shall inform you of them after the talks with de Gaulle.


No. 353

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Dr. Šubašić is leaving Moscow today after a brief visit. I had a talk with him, as well as with Kardelj, Vice-Chairman of the National Committee, and Simić, the Yugoslav Ambassador. The talk showed that the agreement reached by Marshal Tito and Šubašić about a United Yugoslav Government is likely to benefit Yugoslavia and that its implementation should not be delayed. You are probably aware of the agreement, and I hope, will have no objection, especially after you talk with Šubašić who is now on his way to London. Now that Belgrade has been liberated and that the Yugoslavs – Serbs, Croats, Slovenes and others – are ready to unite and work together, support by our Governments for the joint efforts of the peoples of Yugoslavia will be another blow to the Hitlerites and will considerably further the common Allied cause.

November 24, 1944


No. 354

Personal Message for Marshal Stalin from Mr Churchill

Your message of November 20th. I am glad that de Gaulle is coming to see you and I hope you will talk over the whole field of negotiation. There has been some talk in the press about a western bloc. I have not yet considered this. I trust first of all to our Treaty of Alliance and close collaboration with the United States to form the mainstay of a world organisation to ensure and compel peace upon the tortured world. It is only after and subordinate to any such world structure that European arrangements for better comradeship should be set on foot and in these matters we shall have no secrets from you, being well assured that you will keep us equally informed of what you feel and need.

2. The battle in the West is severe and the mud frightful. The main collision is on the axis Aix-la-Chapelle-Cologne. This is by no means decided in our favour yet, though Eisenhower still has substantial reserves to throw in. To the North-west, Montgomery’s armies are facing north holding back the Germans on the line of the Dutch Maas. This river permits us an economy in force on this front. To the East we are making slow but steady progress and keeping the enemy in continual battle. One must acclaim the capture of Metz and the driving of the enemy back towards the Rhine as a fine victory for the Americans. In the South the French have had brilliant success particularly in reaching the Rhine on a broad front and in taking Strasbourg, and these young French soldiers, from 18 to 21 years old, are showing themselves worthy of the glorious chance to cleanse the soil of France. I think highly of General de Lattre de Tassigny. De Gaulle and I travelled there in order to see the opening of this battle from a good viewpoint. However, a foot of snow fell in the night and that was put off for three days.

3. In a week or ten days it should be possible to estimate whether the German armies will be beaten decisively west of the Rhine. If they are, we can go on in spite of the weather. Otherwise there may be some lull during the severity of the winter, after which one more major onslaught should break organised German resistance in the West.

4. Do you think it is going to be a hard winter and will this suit your strategy? We all greatly liked your last speech. Please do not fail to let me know privately if anything troublesome occurs so that we can smooth it away and keep the closing grip on Nazidom at its most tense degree.

November 25th, 1944


No. 355

Sent on November 29, 1944

From Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Heartfelt congratulations on your birthday. I send you my friendly wishes for long years of good health and good cheer for the benefit of our common cause.


No. 356

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

The Admiralty have asked me to seek your assistance in a small but important matter. The Soviet Navy have informed the Admiralty that two German T5 acoustic torpedoes have been found in a U-boat captured at Tallinn. This is the only known type of torpedo directed by acoustic principles and is very effective against not only merchant ships, but escort vessels. Although not yet in use on a very large scale, it has sunk or damaged twenty-four British escorts, five of them in convoys to North Russia.

2. Our experts have invented one special device which provides some protection against the torpedo and is fitted to British destroyers now operated by the Soviet Navy. Study of an actual specimen of the T5 torpedo would however be of the utmost value in developing counter-measures. Admiral Archer has asked the Soviet naval authorities that one of the two torpedoes should immediately be made available for examination and practical tests in the United Kingdom. I understand that they do not rule out the possibility, but that the question is still under consideration.

3. You will, I am sure, recognise the great assistance that the Soviet Navy can render to the Royal Navy by facilitating the immediate transport of one torpedo to the United Kingdom, when I remind you that the enemy have for many months past been preparing to launch fresh U-boat campaigns on a large scale with new boats specially fast under water. From this there would follow all the increased difficulties of transporting United States troops and supplies across the ocean to both theatres of war. We regard the obtaining of a T5 torpedo as of such urgency that we should be ready to send a British aircraft to any convenient place designated by you to fetch the torpedo.

4. I therefore ask you to give your kind attention to this matter, the importance of which is increased by the probability that the Germans have given the designs of the torpedo to the Japanese Navy. The Admiralty will gladly give to the Soviet Navy all the results of their researches and experiments with the torpedo, and the benefit of any new protective equipment subsequently devised.

November 30th, 1944


No. 357

Urgent, Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

We very much regret the unfortunate accident in Yugoslavia on November 7th which resulted in the loss of valuable Russian lives through a mistake by Allied aircraft.90 To prevent possible repetition of such an accident in existing circumstances, the Combined Chiefs of Staff43 have restricted the operations of Anglo-American forces on an extensive front to the area southward of a line drawn south-eastwards from Sarajevo through Prilep to the Yugoslav frontier with Greece. This restriction has virtually paralysed the effective action we have hitherto been taking against German lines of retreat from Yugoslavia’ and will undoubtedly allow great numbers of Germans to escape northwards unmolested. Such a state of affairs is in the interest only of our common enemy.

2. With a view to allowing the greatest possible freedom of action by all Allied forces against the Germans whilst at the same time reducing the risk of accidents, the British and American Military Missions in Moscow are discussing with your staff the adoption of a revised boundary to the area in which air attacks may be carried out. This new boundary follows recognisable ground features and whilst safeguarding Russian forces, will allow air attacks to be made against the enemy’s lines of communication and roads which constitute his escape routes.

3. I am sure that you would not wish to restrict our operations against the retreating enemy provided that these can be carried out without the risk of attacks on friendly forces, and I hope that you will instruct your staff to agree to this new boundary, which I am assured adequately safeguards Russian forces, as a temporary measure.

4. I shall be telegraphing further regarding more permanent and satisfactory measures of providing liaison between the Anglo-American and Russian forces in the Balkans which is essential if we are to inflict the greatest possible damage upon the enemy and at the same time avoid the risks of attack on friendly forces.

December 1st, 1944


No. 358

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

As regards the Western bloc, so far I have little information about it, and the newspaper reports are contradictory. I am grateful to you for the promise to keep me informed about developments, and I myself am ready to reciprocate.

I read with interest your message on military operations in the West. True, weather is now a serious obstacle.

I shall not fail to profit by your kind advice and shall inform you of anything worthy of special attention.

December 1, 1944


No. 359

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I thank you most warmly for your very kind message upon my birthday, which a year ago I celebrated with you and the President of the United States on either hand. Since then we have made gigantic advances and we are entitled to hope that a continuance of all our efforts at the highest speed and with the utmost energy and devotion will see the final destruction of Hitlerism in the coming year. I most particularly welcomed in your message the wish you expressed that our comradeship and personal relations may continue in the future, not only in the hazards of war but also in solving the problems of peace.

2nd December, 1944


No. 360

Most Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

The indications are that de Gaulle and his friends, who have arrived in the Soviet Union, will raise two questions.

1. Concluding a Franco-Soviet pact of mutual aid similar to the Anglo-Soviet pact.

We shall find it hard to object. But I should like to know what you think. What do you advise?

2. De Gaulle will probably suggest revising the eastern frontier of France and shifting it to the left bank of the Rhine. There is talk, too, about a plan for forming a Rhine-Westphalian region under international control.91 Possibly French participation in the control is likewise envisaged. In other words, the French proposal for shifting the frontier line to the Rhine will compete with the plan for a Rhineland region under international control.

I would like your advice on this matter as well.

I have sent a similar message to the President.

December 2, 1944


No. 361

Urgent, Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I beg you to read for yourself the attached telegram circulated to General Deane and others concerned,92 especially paragraph 1 and paragraph 2. It would be bad if these Hitlerite columns escaped through these mountain roads upon which we can drop a serious bomb weight. Therefore please give us more latitude in the bomb line. The new line will enable powerful, even destructive, attacks to be brought to bear upon the retreating foe. Pray let us have this now.

2. But best of all would be a reasonable and comrade-like liaison between our advanced High Commands. Any of the enemy that get away will confront us both in strong positions later on. Let us strike them while we can. We hope that your people will understand why we are having to go ahead on the lines mentioned in paragraph 3 and paragraph 4 of the attached telegram. To save time I am counting on you to issue the orders or replies to all quarters, pending any further communication with me or the others.

All good wishes.

2nd December, 1944


No. 362

Personal and Most Secret Message to Marshal Stalin from the Prime Minister

I have seen Mr Mikolajczyk, who has explained to me the reason for his resignation. Briefly, the position is that he could not count on the support of important sections of his cabinet for his policy and was, therefore, unable at this stage to conclude an agreement on the basis of the discussions between us at our recent Moscow meeting.

2. Attempts are now being made to form an alternative Polish Government, in which Mr Mikolajczyk, Mr Romer and the Ambassador, Mr Raczynski, have refused to participate. A change of Prime Ministers does not affect the formal relations between States. The desire of His Majesty’s Government for the reconstitution of a strong and independent Poland, friendly to Russia, remains unalterable. We have practical matters to handle with the Polish Government, and more especially the control of the considerable Polish armed forces, over 80,000 excellent fighting men, under our operational command. These are now making an appreciable contribution to the United Nations’ war effort in Italy, Holland and elsewhere. Our attitude towards any new Polish Government must therefore be correct, though it will certainly be cold. We cannot of course have the same close relations of confidence with such a government as we have had with Mr Mikolajczyk or with his predecessor, the late General Sikorski, and we shall do all in our power to ensure that its activities do not endanger the unity between the Allies.

3. It is not thought that such a government, even when formed, will have a long life. Indeed, after my conversations with Mr Mikolajczyk, I should not be surprised to see him back in office before long with increased prestige and with the necessary powers to carry through the programme discussed between us in Moscow. This outcome would be all the more propitious because he would by his resignation have proclaimed himself and his friends in the most convincing way as a champion of Poland’s good relations with Russia.

4. I trust, therefore, that you will agree that our respective influence should be used with the Poles here and with those at Lublin to prevent any steps on either side which might increase the tension between them and so render more difficult Mr Mikolajczyk’s task when, as I hope, he takes it up again in the not far distant future. He is himself in good heart and remains anxious, as ever, for a satisfactory settlement. I see no reason why he should not emerge from this crisis as an even more necessary factor than before for the reconstruction of Poland.

December 3rd, 1944


No. 363

Urgent

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

In view of our agreement about our joint policy in regard to Yugoslavia, I send you a copy of a telegram I have been forced with much regret to send to Marshal Tito.93 I shall be very ready to hear your views.

3rd December, 1944


No. 364

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

The meeting with General de Gaulle provided the opportunity for a friendly exchange of views on Franco-Soviet relations. In the course of the talks General de Gaulle, as I had anticipated, brought up two major issues – the French frontier on the Rhine and a Franco-Soviet mutual aid pact patterned on the Anglo-Soviet Treaty.

As to the French frontier on the Rhine, I said, in effect, that the matter could not be settled without the knowledge and consent of our chief Allies, whose forces are waging a liberation struggle against the Germans on French soil. I stressed the difficulty of the problem.

Concerning the proposal for a Franco-Soviet mutual aid pact I pointed to the need for a thorough study of the matter and for clearing up the legal aspects, in particular the question of who in France in the present circumstances is to ratify such a pact. This means the French will have to offer a number of elucidations, which I have yet to receive from them.

I shall be obliged for a reply to this message and for your comments on these points.

I have sent a similar message to the President.

Best wishes.

December 3, 1944


No. 365

Urgent, Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Your telegram about General de Gaulle’s visit and the two questions he will raise. We have no objection whatever to a Franco-Soviet pact of mutual assistance similar to the Anglo- Soviet pact. On the contrary His Majesty’s Government consider it desirable and an additional link between us all. Indeed it also occurs to us that it might be best of all if we were to conclude a tripartite treaty between the three of us which would embody our existing Anglo-Soviet Treaty with any improvements. In this way the obligations of each one of us would be identical and linked together. Please let me know if this idea appeals to you as I hope it may. We should both of course tell the United States.

2. The question of changing the eastern frontier of France to the left bank of the Rhine, or alternatively of forming a Rhenish-Westphalian province under international control, together with the other alternatives, ought to await settlement at the peace table. There is, however, no reason why, when the three heads of government meet, we should not come much closer to conclusions about all this than we have done so far. As you have seen, the President does not expect General de Gaulle to come to the meeting of the three. I would hope that this could be modified to his coming in later on when decisions specially affecting France were under discussion.

3. Meanwhile would it not be a good thing to let the European Advisory Commission94 sitting in London, of which France is a member, explore the topic for us all without committing in any way the heads of government.

4. I am keeping the President informed.

5th December, 1944


No. 366

Personal and Secret to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill from Premier J. V. Stalin

I have received your reply to my message about the Franco- Soviet pact and the French frontier on the Rhine. Thank you for your advice.

By the time your reply came we had begun talks on the pact with the French. I and my colleagues approve of your suggestion that a tripartite Anglo-Franco-Soviet pact, improved in comparison with the Anglo-Soviet one, would be preferable. We have suggested a tripartite pact to de Gaulle, but have had no reply so far.

I am behind in replying to the other messages I have had from you. I hope to be able to answer them soon.

December 7, 1944


No. 367

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message on Mikolajczyk received.

It has become obvious since my last meeting with Mr Mikolajczyk in Moscow that he is incapable of helping a Polish settlement. Indeed, his negative role has been revealed. It is now evident that his negotiations with the Polish National Committee are designed to cover up those who, behind his back, engaged in criminal terror acts against Soviet officers and Soviet people generally on Polish territory. We cannot tolerate this state of affairs. We cannot tolerate terrorists, instigated by the Polish émigrés, assassinating our people in Poland and waging a criminal struggle against the Soviet forces liberating Poland. We look on these people as allies of our common enemy, and as to their radio correspondence with Mr Mikolajczyk, which we found on émigré agents arrested on Polish territory, it not only exposes their treacherous designs, it also casts a shadow on Mr Mikolajczyk and his men.

Ministerial changes in the émigré Government no longer deserve serious attention. For these elements, who have lost touch with the national soil and have no contact with their people, are merely marking time. Meanwhile the Polish Committee of National Liberation has made substantial progress in consolidating its national, democratic organisations on Polish soil, in implementing a land reform in favour of the peasants and in expanding its armed forces, and enjoys great prestige among the population.

I think that our task now is to support the National Committee in Lublin and all who want to cooperate and are capable of cooperating with it. This is particularly important to the Allies in view of the need for accelerating the defeat of the Germans.

December 8, 1944


No. 368

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Both your messages of December 2 received. Of course, we must ensure complete coordination and effectiveness of our operations against the Germans in Yugoslavia. A report has been submitted to me concerning the proposal, received from the Combined Chiefs of Staff43 on November 29, for establishing a new boundary line for the operations of the Soviet and Allied air forces in Yugoslavia. You are probably aware that as early as December 3 our General Staff agreed that the boundary should be established along the line Sarajevo-Mokro-Sokolac- Babrun-Uvac-Prijepolje-Sjenica-Peć through Prilep to the southern frontier of Yugoslavia, it being understood that Peć and Prilep would remain in the sphere of operations of the Soviet air forces, and along the southern frontier of Bulgaria. I presume that that line meets your wishes.

As to the other questions, I hope our military representatives will be able to settle them.

December 8, 1944


No. 369

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Thank you very much for both your telegrams of December 8th which we will study very carefully. We must make sure that our permanent and loyal relations are not disturbed by awkward moves of subordinate events. I will send you a further telegram about the Polish business when I have consulted the Foreign Secretary.

2. I understand that the drawing up of the bomb line is being carried out by our military experts. I will write to you again in a few days. Many congratulations on the successes of your southern armies.

December 10th, 1944


No. 370

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I informed General de Gaulle of your opinion that an Anglo- Franco-Soviet mutual aid pact was preferable and declared for your proposal. General de Gaulle, however, insisted on a Franco- Soviet pact, suggesting that a tripartite pact be the next stage, because the matter required preparation. Meanwhile we received a message from the President, saying that he had no objection to a Franco-Soviet pact. As a result we agreed on a pact which was signed today. The text will be published when General de Gaulle reaches Paris.

I think de Gaulle’s visit has yielded positive results; not only will it help strengthen Franco-Soviet relations, it will be a contribution to the common cause of the Allies.

December 10, 1944


No. 371

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message and the copy of your letter to Marshal Tito.

Before expressing an opinion on the issues raised in your message to Marshal Tito I should like to have Marshal’s views on these matters. I bear out your statement that the Soviet and British Governments agreed in Moscow on pursuing, as far as feasible, a joint policy on Yugoslavia. I hope you will be able to come to terms with Marshal Tito and give your backing to the agreement reached between him and Mr Šubašić.95

2. I have received your message concerning the German T5 torpedo. Soviet seamen have actually captured two German acoustic torpedoes, which our experts are now examining. Unfortunately we cannot at the moment send one of them to Britain because both have been damaged by explosion, so that in order to examine and test the torpedo, the damaged parts of one torpedo will have to be replaced by those of the other, otherwise it will be impossible to examine and test it. Hence the alternative: either the drawings and descriptions of the torpedo can be turned over to the British Military Mission at once, as the torpedo is examined, and after examination and tests are finished the torpedo itself can be handed over to the British Admiralty; or British experts could leave for the Soviet Union at once to examine the torpedo in detail on the spot and make the required drawings. We are ready to provide you with either opportunity.

December 14, 1944


No. 372

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Many thanks for your message of the 14th about Yugoslav affairs. I have had no answer yet from Marshal Tito in reply to my last message, but will let you know as soon as I do.

Dr. Šubašić reports that you impressed on him and on Marshal Tito’s emissary who accompanied him that the Soviet and British Governments were pursuing a joint policy in regard to Yugoslavia. This will, I am sure, do much to facilitate a satisfactory settlement between Marshal Tito and the Yugoslav Government.

Mr Eden has now seen Dr. Šubašić, who has explained to him the agreement95 he has reached with Marshal Tito. When read together with the additions to which Marshal Tito consented on Dr. Šubašić’s return to Belgrade from Moscow it seems to us to offer a satisfactory basis on which to build a new federal Yugoslavia in which all loyal Yugoslavs will be able to play their part. I am sure that you will agree that what is essential is that the Yugoslav people as a whole should have complete freedom to decide as soon as conditions permit both on the question of the monarchy and on the new federal constitution. Provided that there is goodwill and loyalty among the Yugoslavs, this freedom of decision seems to be safeguarded in the Tito-Šubašić agreement. Mr Eden and I are seeing the King this week in order to discuss the whole question with him, and I will of course let you know the result.

Meanwhile I am explaining matters to the United States Government in the hope of being able to persuade them to take the same line as we do.

December 19th, 1944


No. 373

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I saw last night for the second time the film which you have given me called Kutuzov. The first time I greatly admired it but, as it was all in Russian, I could not understand the exact meaning of each situation. Last night I saw it with English captions, which made exactly intelligible the whole thing, and I must tell you that in my view this is one of the most masterly film productions I have ever witnessed. Never has the conflict of two willpowers been more clearly displayed. Never has the importance of fidelity in commanders and men been more effectively inculcated by film pictures. Never have the Russian soldiers and Russian nation been presented by this medium so gloriously to the British nation. Never have I seen the art of the camera better used.

If you thought it fit privately to communicate my admiration and thanks to those who have laboured in producing this work of art and high morale, I should thank you. Meanwhile I congratulate you.

I like to think we were together in that deadly struggle, as in this thirty years’ war. I do not suppose you showed the film to de Gaulle, any more than I shall show him Lady Hamilton when he comes over here to make a similar treaty to that which you have made with him, and we have made together.

Salutations.

December 19th, 1944


No. 374

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I send you my most sincere congratulations on your birthday. I believe that your life is very precious to the future of the world and to the constant strengthening of the ties which unite our two countries. It is therefore no figure of speech when I wish you “Many happy returns of the day.”

20th December, 1944


No. 375

Personal and Secret from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

In reply to your message about the German torpedo, I quite understand that you cannot send one of these torpedoes to England immediately. I prefer the second of the two alternatives you suggest, that British experts should go to the Soviet Union to study the torpedo on the spot. I am informed that the Soviet Navy expect to carry out trials in early January, and the Admiralty think it would be most convenient if their officer were sent by the next convoy, thus arriving in time for the trials.

I am most grateful for your help in this matter and am asking the Admiralty to make their arrangements through the British Mission.

December 23rd, 1944


No. 376

Urgent, Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I do not consider the situation in the West bad, but quite evidently Eisenhower cannot solve his problem without knowing what your plans are. President Roosevelt, with whom I had already communicated, has proposed to you the sending of a fully qualified staff officer to receive from you necessary points for our guidance. We certainly have great need to know the main outlines and dates of your movements. Our confidence in the offensives to be of the Russian army is such that we have never asked you a question before and we are convinced now that the answer will be reassuring; but we thought for secrecy’s sake you would rather tell a highly trusted officer than make any signal.

December 24th, 1944


No. 377

Personal Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Thank you for your congratulations and good wishes for my birthday. I have always greatly appreciated your friendly sentiments.

December 25, 1944


No. 378

Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

It goes without saying that I shall welcome the conclusion of an Anglo-French treaty.

I greatly appreciate your praise for the Kutuzov film and shall not fail to convey your comment to those who made it.

Best wishes.

December 25, 1944


No. 379

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message about a competent officer coming to Moscow from Gen. Eisenhower.

I have already advised the President of my concurrence and readiness to exchange information with the said officer.

December 25, 1944


No. 380

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message informing me that you prefer to send British experts to the Soviet Union to examine the German torpedo on the spot. Appropriate instructions have, therefore, been given to the relevant Soviet military authorities.

December 27, 1944


No. 381

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

You, no doubt, know already that the Polish National Council in Lublin has announced its decision to transform the National Committee into a Provisional National Government of the Polish Republic.96 You are well aware of our attitude to the National Committee, which, in our view, has already won great prestige in Poland and is the lawful exponent of the will of the Polish people. The decision to make it the Provisional Government seems to us quite timely, especially now that Mikolajczyk has withdrawn from the émigré Government and that the latter has thereby lost all semblance of a government. I think that Poland cannot be left without a government. Accordingly, the Soviet Government has agreed to recognise the Provisional Polish Government.

I greatly regret that I have not succeeded in fully convincing you of the correctness of the Soviet Government’s stand on the Polish question. Still, I hope the events will show that our recognition of the Polish Government in Lublin is in keeping with the interests of the common cause of the Allies and that it will help accelerate the defeat of Germany.

I enclose for your information the two messages I sent to the President on the Polish question.

2. I know that the President has your consent to a meeting of the three of us at the end of the month or early in February. I shall be glad to see you both on our soil and hope that our joint work will be a success.

I take this opportunity to send you New Year greetings and to wish you the best of health and success.

January 3, 1945

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the President, Mr F. Roosevelt

Your message on Polish affairs reached me on December 20.

As to Mr Stettinius’ statement of December 18,97 I should prefer to comment on it when we meet. At any rate events in Poland have already gone far beyond that which is reflected in the said statement.

A number of things that have taken place since Mr Mikolajczyk’s last visit to Moscow, in particular the wireless correspondence with the Mikolajczyk Government, which we found on terrorists arrested in Poland – underground agents of the émigré Government – demonstrate beyond all doubt that Mr Mikolajczyk’s talks with the Polish National Committee served to cover up those elements who, behind Mr Mikolajczyk’s back, had been engaged in terror against Soviet officers and soldiers in Poland. We cannot tolerate a situation in which terrorists, instigated by Polish émigrés, assassinate Red Army soldiers and officers in Poland, wage a criminal struggle against the Soviet forces engaged in liberating Poland and directly aid our enemies, with whom they are virtually in league. The substitution of Arciszewski for Mikolajczyk and the ministerial changes in the émigré Government in general have aggravated the situation and have resulted in a deep rift between Poland and the émigré Government.

Meanwhile the National Committee has made notable progress in consolidating the Polish state and the machinery of state power on Polish soil, in expanding and strengthening the Polish Army, in implementing a number of important government measures, primarily the land reform in favour of the peasants. These developments have resulted in the consolidation of the democratic forces in Poland and in an appreciable increase in the prestige of the National Committee among the Polish people and large sections of the Poles abroad.

As I see it, we must now be interested in supporting the National Committee and all who are willing to cooperate and who are capable of cooperating with it, which is of special moment for the Allies and for fulfilment of our common task – accelerating the defeat of Hitler Germany. For the Soviet Union, which is bearing the whole burden of the struggle for freeing Poland from the German invaders, the problem of relations with Poland is, in present circumstances, a matter of everyday, close and friendly relations with an authority brought into being by the Polish people on their own soil, an authority which has already grown strong and has armed forces of its own, which, together with the Red Army, are fighting the Germans.

I must say frankly that in the event of the Polish Committee of National Liberation becoming a Provisional Polish Government, the Soviet Government will, in view of the foregoing, have no serious reasons for postponing its recognition. It should be borne in mind that the Soviet Union, more than any other Power, has a stake in strengthening a pro-Ally and democratic Poland, not only because she is bearing the brunt of the struggle for Poland’s liberation, but also because Poland borders on the Soviet Union and because the Polish problem is inseparable from that of the security of the Soviet Union. To this I should add that the Red Army’s success in fighting the Germans in Poland largely depends on a tranquil and reliable rear in Poland, and the Polish National Committee is fully cognisant of this circumstance, whereas the émigré Government and its underground agents by their acts of terror threaten civil war in the rear of the Red Army and counter its successes.

On the other hand, in the conditions now prevailing in Poland there are no grounds for continuing to support the émigré Government, which has completely forfeited the trust of the population inside the country and which, moreover, threatens civil war in the rear of the Red Army, thereby injuring our common interest in the success of the struggle we are waging against the Germans. I think it would be only natural, fair and beneficial to our common cause if the Governments of the Allied Powers agreed as a first step to exchange representatives at this juncture with the National Committee with a view to its later recognition as the lawful government of Poland, after it has proclaimed itself the Provisional Government of Poland. Unless this is done I fear that the Polish people’s trust in the Allied Powers may diminish. I think we should not countenance a situation in which Poles can say that we are sacrificing the interests of Poland to those of a handful of émigrés in London.

December 27, 1944

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the President, Mr F. Roosevelt

Your message of December 31 received.

I am very sorry that I have not succeeded in convincing you of the correctness of the Soviet Government’s stand on the Polish question. Nevertheless, I hope events will convince you that the National Committee has always given important help to the Allies, and continues to do so, particularly, to the Red Army, in the struggle against Hitler Germany, while the émigré Government in London is disorganising that struggle, thereby helping the Germans.

Of course I quite understand your proposal for postponing recognition of the Provisional Government of Poland by the Soviet Union for a month. But one circumstance makes me powerless to comply with your wish. The point is that on December 27 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R., replying to a corresponding question by the Poles, declared that it would recognise the Provisional Government of Poland the moment it was set up. This circumstance makes me powerless to comply with your wish.

Allow me to congratulate you on the New Year and to wish you good health and success.

January 1, 1945


No. 382

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Your personal and secret message of January 3rd, 1945.

I thank you for sending me your two messages to the President on the Polish question. Naturally I and my War Cabinet colleagues are distressed at the course events are taking. I am quite clear that much the best thing is for us three to meet together and talk all these matters over, not only as isolated problems but in relation to the whole world situation both of war and transit to peace. Meanwhile, our attitude, as you know it, remains unchanged.

2. I look forward very much to this momentous meeting and I am glad that the President of the United States has been willing to make this long journey. We have agreed, subject to your concurrence, that the code name shall be called “Argonaut”98 and I hope that you will use that in any messages that may be interchanged by the staffs who will be consulting about arrangements.

3. I have just come back from General Eisenhower’s and Field Marshal Montgomery’s separate headquarters. The battle in Belgium is very heavy but it is thought that we have the mastery. The dispersionary attack which the Germans are making into Alsace also causes difficulties with the French and tends to pin down American forces. I still remain of the opinion that weight and weapons, including air, of the Allied forces will make von Rundstedt regret his daring and well organised attempt to split our front and, if possible, lay hands on the now absolutely vital Antwerp port.

4. I reciprocate your cordial wishes for the New Year. May it shorten the agony of the great nations we serve and bring about a lasting peace on our joint guarantee.

January 5th, 1945


No. 383

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

The battle in the West is very heavy and, at any time, large decisions may be called for from the Supreme Command. You know yourself from your own experience how very anxious the position is when a very broad front has to be defended after temporary loss of the initiative. It is General Eisenhower’s great desire and need to know in outline what you plan to do, as this obviously affects all his and our major decisions. Our Envoy, Air Chief Marshal Tedder, was last night reported weather-bound in Cairo. His journey has been much delayed through no fault of yours. In case he has not reached you yet, I shall be grateful if you can tell me whether we can count on a major Russian offensive on the Vistula front, or elsewhere, during January, with any other points you may care to mention. I shall not pass this most secret information to anyone except Field Marshal Brooke and General Eisenhower, and only under conditions of the utmost secrecy. I regard the matter as urgent.

January 6th, 1945


No. 384

Personal and Most Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of January 6 reached me in the evening of January 7.

I am sorry to say that Air Marshal Tedder has not yet arrived in Moscow.

It is extremely important to take advantage of our superiority over the Germans in guns and aircraft. What we need for the purpose is clear flying weather and the absence of low mists that prevent aimed artillery fire. We are mounting an offensive, but at the moment the weather is unfavourable. Still, in view of our Allies’ position on the Western Front, GHQ of the Supreme Command have decided to complete preparations at a rapid rate and, regardless of weather, to launch large-scale offensive operations along the entire Central Front not later than the second half of January. Rest assured we shall do all in our power to support the valiant forces of our Allies.

January 7, 1945


No. 385

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I am most grateful to you for your thrilling message. I have sent it over to General Eisenhower for his eye only. May all good fortune rest upon your noble venture.

2. The battle in the West goes not too badly. There is a good chance of the Huns being crushed out of their salient with very heavy losses. It is preponderantly an American battle and their troops have fought splendidly with heavy losses. We are both shoving everything in we can. The news you give me will be a great encouragement to General Eisenhower because it gives him the assurance that German reinforcements will have to be split between both our flaming fronts. The battle in the West will be continuous according to the Generals responsible for fighting it.

January 9th, 1945


No. 386

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I agree to the use of “Argonaut”98 as a code name for all messages on the meeting, as suggested in your message of January 5.

In accordance with the proposal sent by the President, I want your agreement to Yalta as the place and February 2 as the date for the meeting.

January 10, 1945


No. 387

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Mr Eden and I tried our best on several occasions with King Peter. He is a spirited young man and feels that the Tito-Šubašić agreement95 is virtual abdication. He has now put out his declaration99 without consultation with us and indeed against our advice. He thinks that if he keeps himself free of all that is going to happen in Yugoslavia in the next few years a day will dawn for him. He has a great admiration for you, more I think than for either of us.

2. I now suggest that we make the Tito-Šubašić agreement valid and simply by-pass King Peter II. His statement was delivered without advice from any Prime Minister, and as he presents himself as a constitutional sovereign it cannot be regarded as an act of state. This means that we favour the idea of recognising the government of Marshal Tito set up under the Regency as the Royal Yugoslav Government and sending an Ambassador to Belgrade and receiving one here. I hope that you will think this is a good way out of the difficulty until there is a free and fair expression of the people’s will.

3. However, before we can express ourselves finally on this subject we must put the matter to the United States, who would be much offended if they were not kept informed. We are not of course in any way bound to accept their solution. I am telegraphing to you before saying anything to Marshal Tito except asking him to await a communication which I will make to him after consultation with the Soviet Government.

11th January, 1945


No. 388

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Your telegram dated January 10th.

Okay and all good wishes.

12th January, 1945


No. 389

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message on the Yugoslav question received. Thank you for the information.

I accept your proposal for putting the Tito-Šubašić agreement95 into effect. By doing so we shall stave off eventual complications. I hope you have already informed the President.

January 13, 1945


No. 390

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Since sending you my telegram of January 11th about Yugoslavia a new development has occurred in that Mr Šubašić, basing himself on King Peter’s acceptance in principle of the agreement, 95 is trying to see whether there is any way of getting over the King’s objections. We must clearly give Mr Šubašić time to clear this up if he can before we ourselves take any action.

2. King Peter took Mr Eden’s advice on at least one important point, showing that he does not object to the Regency in itself but only to the form in which it is proposed. This suggests that the differences between Mr Šubašić and the King may not be irreconcilable.

3. I will let you know the result of this development as soon as possible.

January 14th, 1945


No. 391

Personal and Most Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Today I had a talk with Marshal Tedder and the generals accompanying him. I think that the information exchanged was complete enough, as Marshal Tedder will probably report to you. Let me add that Marshal Tedder made a very good impression on me.

Despite unfavourable weather the Soviet offensive is developing according to plan. The troops are in action all along the Central Front, from the Carpathians to the Baltic Sea. Although offering desperate resistance, the Germans have been forced to retreat. I hope this circumstance will facilitate and expedite General Eisenhower’s planned offensive on the Western Front.

January 15, 1945


No. 392

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of January 14 on the Yugoslav question has reached me.

As far as I am concerned I see no grounds for putting off execution of our decision, which I communicated to you last time. In my view we should not waste time and thus expose the whole thing to the trials caused by delay.

January 16, 1945


No. 393

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Yugoslavia.

Your message of January 13th, in answer to mine of January 11th, received. Many thanks. I sent you another on the 14th to which I now add the following.

At our suggestion King Peter is discussing with Dr. Šubašić the possibility of finding a solution whereby he can accept the Tito-Šubašić agreement.95

I think we should give them a little more time to work it out

January 16th, 1945


No. 394

Received on January 17, 1945

Letter from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

My dear Marshal Stalin,

The Spanish Ambassador in London recently sent to me a letter which he had received from General Franco about relations between the United Kingdom and Spain. I have now replied to General Franco in terms which have been carefully considered by the War Cabinet and have received their full approval. My colleagues and I think you will be interested to see the correspondence, particularly in view of the references to this country’s friendship with the U.S.S.R. which it contains, and I am therefore enclosing both letters for your information.100

Yours sincerely,

Winston S. Churchill


No. 395

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I am most grateful to you for your message, and am extremely glad that Air Marshal Tedder made so favourable an impression upon you.

On behalf of His Majesty’s Government, and from the bottom of my heart, I offer you our thanks and congratulations on the immense assault you have launched upon the Eastern Front.

You will now, no doubt, know the plans of General Eisenhower and to what extent they have been delayed by Rundstedt’s spoiling attack. I am sure that fighting along our whole front will be continuous. The British 21st Army Group under Field Marshal Montgomery have today begun an attack in the area south of Roermond.

January 17th, 1945


No. 396

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Thank you for your message of January 16th about the Yugoslav situation.

I should be glad, nevertheless, if you would agree that we should hold our hand for a few days. Dr. Šubašić and his Cabinet are doing their best to rally King Peter to his constitutional duty and thus save the agreement.95 substantially as it stands. If they succeed, it will make matters easier for us and, I feel sure, for the Americans also. I agree with you about the urgency of settling this matter and am acting in that sense.

January 17th, 1945


No. 397

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I suggest the press should be entirely excluded from “Argonaut”98 but that each of us should be free to bring not more than three or four uniformed service photographers to take “still” and cinematograph pictures to be released when we think fit. Please let me know if you agree.

There will, of course, be the usual agreed communiqué or communiqués.

I am sending a similar telegram to President Roosevelt.

January 21st, 1945


No. 398

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your telegram of January 21 to hand.

I agree to your suggestion that the Press be excluded from “Argonaut.”98 I have no objection to each party admitting a number of photographers.

I have replied in similar strain to the President’s query.

January 23, 1945


No. 399

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

King Peter, without informing us of his intention, dismissed Šubašić and his government last night.

We are informing Dr. Šubašić that the King’s action does not affect His Majesty’s Government’s intention to see that the Tito-Šubašić agreement95 is carried out and that we are therefore ready to transport him and his government to Belgrade.

I suggest that the three Great Powers should now decide to put the Tito-Šubašić agreement into force and that Tito should be informed that, if he will concert with Šubašić and his government, to carry out the agreement, the three Great Powers will recognise the united government formed in accordance therewith and will accredit Ambassadors to the Council of Regency. I also suggest that pending the formation of this united government no government formed either by King Peter or Marshal Tito alone should be recognised.

I am also putting this proposal to the United States Government and trust that you for your part will agree to it. I will let you know directly I learn the American reaction so that we can concert simultaneous action.

January 23rd, 1945


No. 400

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message of January 23 on the Yugoslav question.

I agree that the Tito-Šubašić agreement95 as agreed between them, should be put into effect without further delay and that the three Great Powers should recognise the United Government. I think we should not make any reservations whatever in carrying out this plan.

January 25, 1945


No. 401

Secret and Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Our idea is that if Dr. Šubašić has not reached a satisfactory agreement with the King, he and his whole government, whether dismissed or not, should return to Belgrade as early as possible next week, and in combination with Marshal Tito, appoint a Regency under which the Tito-Šubašić agreement95 for the Royal Yugoslav Government will be carried out whatever the King may say. I hope that we shall be able to talk over any further developments or details in the very near future. Meanwhile we are trying to get the agreement of the United States Government to this plan. You may care to say a word to them yourself.

We are spellbound by your glorious victories over the common foe and by the mighty forces you have brought into line against them. Accept our warmest thanks and congratulations on historic deeds.

January 27th, 1945


No. 402

Urgent, Most Secret and Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

As the President will not arrive at Malta until February 2nd, we cannot reach Yalta earlier than February 3rd. I will however telegraph again as soon as it is possible to give a more definite time. We are of course dependent on the weather.

We shall travel in separate aircraft but in company.

Looking forward greatly to meeting you.

1st February, 1945


No. 403

Personal and Most Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message received.

I and my colleagues have arrived at the meeting place.

February 1, 1945


No. 404

Secret and Most Urgent Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Expected time of arrival at Saki 12.00 hours Moscow Time,

February 3rd. Will have lunched in aircraft before landing. Will proceed by car to Yalta.

February 3rd, 1945


No. 405

To Marshal Stalin

My dear Marshal Stalin,

I send you herewith.

(i) the latest news received from London regarding the fighting on the Western Front,101 and

(ii) a memorandum setting out the latest position in Greece.102 I trust that these notes may be of interest to you.

Yours sincerely,

Winston Churchill

Vorontsov Palace, February 9, 1945


No. 406

Received on February 18, 1945

Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

On behalf of His Majesty’s Government I send you grateful thanks for all the hospitality and friendship extended to the British delegation to the Crimea Conference. We were deeply impressed by the feats of organisation and of improvisation which enabled the Conference to meet in such agreeable and imposing surroundings, and we all take back with us most happy recollections. To this I must add a personal expression of my own thanks and gratitude. No previous meeting has shown so clearly the results which can be achieved when the three heads of Government meet together with the firm intention to face difficulties and solve them. You yourself said that cooperation would be less easy when the unifying bond of the fight against a common enemy had been removed. I am resolved, as I am sure the President and you are resolved, that the friendship and cooperation so firmly established shall not fade when victory has been won. I pray that you may long be spared to preside over the destinies of your country which has shown its full greatness under your leadership, and I send you my best wishes and heartfelt thanks.

February 17th, 1945


No. 407

Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message of February 18. I am very glad that you were satisfied with the facilities provided in the Crimea.

February 20, 1945


No. 408

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I read with sorrow of the loss you have sustained by the death from wounds received in action of General Chernyakhovsky. The quality and services of this brilliant and brave officer were greatly admired by His Majesty’s Government and the British Army.

20th February, 1945


No. 409

Personal Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Please accept my gratitude for the condolences on the death of General I. D. Chernyakhovsky, one of the finest Red Army soldiers.

February 21, 1945


No. 410

Received on February 23, 1945

Personal Message for Marshal Stalin from Mr Churchill

The Red Army celebrates its twenty-seventh anniversary amid triumphs which have won the unstinted applause of their allies and have sealed the doom of German militarism. Future generations will acknowledge their debt to the Red Army as unreservedly as do we who have lived to witness these proud achievements. I ask you, the great leader of a great army, to salute them from me today, on the threshold of final victory.


No. 411

Sent on February 27, 1945

Personal Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Please accept my thanks for your high praise of the Red Army’s contribution to the cause of defeating the German armed forces.

I will gladly convey your greetings to the Red Army on its twenty-seventh anniversary.


No. 412

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I have just received from our ship which was at Sebastopol the present of Russian products which you have sent to me in her.

Please accept my warmest thanks for this most generous gift which I shall enjoy almost as much as I value the kind thought which prompted you to send it.

9th March, 1945


No. 413

Most Secret and Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Mr Eden has shown me a message which he has sent to Mr Molotov about our prisoners of war103 which your armies are rescuing and the agreement104 which was reached at Yalta about them. We are very much distressed about the position set forth in the above message. There is no subject on which the British nation is more sensitive than on the fate of our prisoners in German hands and their speedy deliverance from captivity and restoration to their own country. I should be very much obliged if you would give the matter your personal attention as I am sure you would wish to do your best for our men as I can promise you we are doing for your men as they come into our control along the Rhine.

2. The attack which the British and Canadians began on February 8th cost us about 16,000 men. It had been hoped that the American Ninth and First Armies would attack on our right or southern flank about February 10th but owing to flooding from dams opened by the enemy it was physically impossible for the two American armies to follow on till the floods abated. This left our armies in the North to keep on attacking across very difficult water-logged country for fifteen days before any serious advance could be made by the United States troops. We agreed thoroughly that their delay was right but it did in fact draw on to us a large proportion of the remaining elite formations of the German armies west of the Rhine. When in the opening days of March the American Ninth, First and Third Armies engaged, the vulnerability of the enemy on the rest of the front had in Eisenhower’s words been greatly increased. However, the results obtained by these three American Armies far exceed our expectations, and by the most brilliant and daring operations they have now completely broken up the enemy’s defence west of the Rhine which we have also achieved at length in the North. The field is now set for the next phase and I am going to Montgomery’s Headquarters to witness it. He will have under his orders the Canadian Army, the British Second Army and the American Ninth and I hope to have good news to send you before very long. I am delighted to see your advances upon an ever-diminishing Nazi East Prussian pocket. It looks to me as if Hitler will try to prolong the war after all North Germany has been conquered and the Russian armies have joined hands with us by a death struggle in Southern Germany and Austria with possibly a contact across the Alps with his army of Northern Italy. The pitiless persistence of the fighting in Budapest and now by Lake Balaton together with other dispositions, favours this idea. Meanwhile I look forward to decisive operations in the West and North and no doubt you also will be moving in the East before long. All the above in paragraph 2 is for your eye alone.

3.W e seem to have a lot of difficulties now since we parted at Yalta but I am quite sure that all these would soon be swept away if only we could meet together.

21st March, 1945


No. 414

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your messages.

As regards British prisoners of war, your fears for their welfare are groundless. They have better conditions than the Soviet prisoners of war in British camps where in a number of cases they were ill-treated and even beaten. Moreover, they are no longer in our camps, being on their way to Odessa, whence they will leave for home.

Thank you for the information on the position on the Western Front. I have faith in the strategic talent of Field Marshal Montgomery.

March 23, 1945


No. 415

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I am at Field Marshal Montgomery’s Headquarters. He has just given orders to launch the main battle to force the Rhine on a broad front centring about Wesel by the landing of an airborne corps and by about two thousand guns.

It is hoped to pass the river tonight and tomorrow and establish bridgeheads. A very large reserve of armour is available to exploit the assault once the river is crossed.

I shall send you another message tomorrow. Field Marshal Montgomery asks me to present his best respects to you.

24th March, 1945


No. 416

Received on April 1, 1945

Personal and Most Secret Message for Marshal Stalin from Mr Churchill

You will by now, I hope, have received the message from the President of the United States which he was good enough to show to me before he sent it. It is now my duty on behalf of His Majesty’s Government to assure you that the War Cabinet desire me to express to you our wholehearted endorsement of this message of the President and that we associate ourselves with it in its entirety.

2. There are two or three points which I desire specially to emphasise. First that we do not consider that we have retained in the Moscow discussions105 the spirit of Yalta, nor indeed, at points, the letter. It was never imagined by us that the Commission which we all three appointed with so much goodwill would not have been able to carry out their part swiftly and easily in a mood of give and take. We certainly thought that a Polish Government, “new” and “reorganised,” would by now have been in existence, recognised by all the United Nations. This would have afforded a proof to the world of our capacity and resolve to work together for its future. It is still not too late to achieve this.

3. However , even before the forming of such a new and reorganised Polish Government it was agreed by the Commission that representative Poles should be summoned from inside Poland and from Poles abroad, not necessarily to take part in the government but merely for free and frank consultation. Even this preliminary step cannot be taken because of the claim put forward to veto any invitation, even to consultation, of which the Soviet or Lublin Governments do not approve. We can never agree to such a veto by any one of us three. This veto reaches its supreme example in the case of M. Mikolajczyk, who is regarded throughout the British and American world as the outstanding Polish figure outside Poland.

4.W e also have learned with surprise and regret that Mr Molotov’s spontaneous offer to allow observers or missions to enter Poland has now been withdrawn. We are, therefore, deprived of all means of checking for ourselves information, often of a most painful character, which is sent us almost daily by the Polish Government in London. We do not understand why a veil of secrecy should thus be drawn over the Polish scene. We offer fullest facilities to the Soviet Government to send missions or individuals to visit any of the territories in our military occupation. In several cases this offer has been accepted by the Soviets and visits have taken place to mutual satisfaction. We ask that the principle of reciprocity shall be observed in these matters, which would help to make so good a foundation for our enduring partnership.

5. The President has also shown me messages which have passed between him and you about Mr Molotov’s inability to be present at the Conference at San Francisco.106 We had hoped the presence there of the three Foreign Ministers might have led to a clearance of many of the difficulties which have descended upon us in a storm since our happy and hopeful union at Yalta. We do not however question in any way the weight of public reasons which make it necessary for him to remain in Russia.

6. Like the President I too was struck with the concluding sentence of your message to him. What he says about the American people also applies to the British people and to nations of the British Commonwealth with the addition that His Majesty’s present advisers only hold office at the will of a universal suffrage parliament. If our efforts to reach an agreement about Poland are to be doomed to failure I shall be bound to confess the fact to Parliament when they return from the Easter recess. No one has pleaded the cause of Russia with more fervour and conviction than I have tried to do. I was the first to raise my voice on June 22nd, 1941. It is more than a year since I proclaimed to a startled world the justice of the Curzon Line.72 for Russia’s western frontier and this frontier has now been accepted by both the British Parliament and the President of the United States. It is as a sincere friend of Russia that I make my personal appeal to you and to your colleagues to come to a good understanding about Poland with the Western democracies and not to smite down the hands of comradeship in the future guidance of the world which we now extend.

March 31st, 1945


No. 417

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

The President has sent me his correspondence with you about the contacts made in Switzerland between a British and an American officer on Field Marshal Alexander’s staff and a German general named Wolff, relating, to the possible surrender of Kesselring’s army in Northern Italy. I therefore deem it right to send you a precise summary of the action of His Majesty’s Government. As soon as we learned of these contacts we immediately informed the Soviet Government on March 12th, and we and the United States Government have faithfully reported to you everything that has taken place. The sole and only business mentioned or referred to in any way in Switzerland was to test the credentials of the German emissary and try to arrange a meeting between a nominee of Kesselring’s and Field Marshal Alexander at his headquarters or some convenient point in Northern Italy. There were no negotiations in Switzerland even for a military surrender of Kesselring’s army. Still less did any political-military plot, as alleged in your telegram to the President, enter our thoughts, which are not as suggested of so dishonourable a character.

2. Your representatives were immediately invited to the meeting we attempted to arrange in Italy. Had it taken place, and had your representatives come, they would have heard every word that passed.

3.W e consider that Field Marshal Alexander has the full right to accept the surrender of the German army of 25 divisions on his front in Italy and to discuss such matters with German envoys who have power to settle the terms of the capitulation. Nevertheless we took special care to invite your representatives to this purely military discussion at his headquarters, should it take place. In fact, however, nothing resulted from any of the contacts in Switzerland. Our officers returned from Switzerland without having succeeded in fixing a rendezvous in Italy for Kesselring’s emissaries to come to. Of all this the Soviet Government have been fully informed step by step by Field Marshal Alexander or by Sir A. Clark Kerr, as well as through United States channels. I repeat that no negotiations of any kind were entered into or even touched upon, formally or informally, in Switzerland.

4. There is however a possibility that the whole of this request to parley by the German General Wolff was one of those attempts which are made by the enemy with the object of sowing distrust between the Allies. Field Marshal Alexander made this point in a telegram sent on March 11th, in which he remarked: “Please note that the two leading figures are S.S. and Himmler men, which makes me very suspicious.” This telegram was repeated to the British Ambassador in Moscow on March 12th for communication to the Soviet Government.107 If to sow distrust between us was the German intention, it has certainly for the moment been successful.

5. Sir A. Clark Kerr was instructed by Mr Eden to explain the whole position to Mr Molotov in his letter of March 21st.108 The reply of March 22nd handed to him from Mr Molotov contained the following expression: “In this instance the Soviet Government sees not a misunderstanding but something worse.” It also complained that “in Berne for two weeks behind the back of the Soviet Union, which is bearing the brunt of the war against Germany, negotiations have been going on between representatives of the German Military Command on the one hand and representatives of the English and American Commands on the other.” In the interest of Anglo-Russian relations His Majesty’s Government decided not to make any reply to this most wounding and unfounded charge but to ignore it. This is the reason for what you call in your message to the President “the silence of the British.” We thought it better to keep silent than to respond to such a message as was sent by Mr Molotov, but you may be sure that we were astonished by it and affronted that Mr Molotov should impute such conduct to us. This, however, in no way affected our instructions to Field Marshal Alexander to keep you fully informed.

6. Neither is it true that the initiative in this matter came, as you state to the President, wholly from the British. In fact the information given to Field Marshal Alexander that the German General Wolff wished to make a contact in Switzerland was brought to him by an American agency.

7. There is no connection whatever between any contacts at Berne or elsewhere with the total defeat of the German armies on the Western Front. They have in fact fought with great obstinacy and inflicted upon our and the American armies, since the opening of our February offensive, up to March 28th, upwards of 87,000 casualties. However, being outnumbered on the ground and literally overwhelmed in the air by the vastly superior Anglo-American air forces, which in the month of March alone dropped over 200,000 tons of bombs on Germany, the German armies in the West have been decisively broken. The fact that they were outnumbered on the ground in the West is due to the magnificent attacks and weight of the Soviet armies.

8. With regard to the charges which are made in your message to the President of April 3rd which also asperse His Majesty’s Government, I associate myself and my colleagues with the last sentence of the President’s reply.

5th April, 1945


No. 418

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message of April 1 on the Polish problem. In a relevant message to the President, a copy of which I am also sending to you, I have replied to the salient points about the work of the Moscow Commission on Poland.105 Concerning the other points in your message, I must say this:

The British and U.S. Ambassadors – members of the Moscow Commission – refuse to consider the opinion of the Polish Provisional Government and insist on inviting Polish leaders for consultation regardless of their attitude to the decisions of the Crimea Conference on Poland or to the Soviet Union. They insist, for example, on Mikolajczyk being invited to Moscow for consultation, and they do so in the form of an ultimatum, ignoring the fact that Mikolajczyk has openly attacked the Crimea Conference decisions on Poland. However, if you deem it necessary, I shall try to induce the Provisional Polish Government to withdraw its objections to inviting Mikolajczyk provided he publicly endorses the decisions of the Crimea Conference on the Polish question and declares in favour of establishing friendly relations between Poland and the Soviet Union.

2. You wonder why the Polish military theatre should be veiled in secrecy. Actually there is no secrecy at all. You forget the circumstance that the Poles regard the despatch of British or other foreign observers to Poland as an affront to their national dignity, especially when it is borne in mind that the Polish Provisional Government feels the British Government has adopted an unfriendly attitude towards it. As to the Soviet Government, it has to take note of the Polish Provisional Government’s negative view on sending foreign observers to Poland. Furthermore, you know that, given a different attitude towards it, the Polish Provisional Government would not object to representatives of other countries entering Poland and, as was the case, for example, with representatives of the Czechoslovak Government, the Yugoslav Government and others, would not put any difficulties in their way.

3. I had a pleasant talk with Mrs Churchill who made a deep impression upon me. She gave me a present from you. Please accept my heartfelt thanks for it.

April 7, 1945

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the President, Mr F. Roosevelt

With reference to your message of April 1st I think I must make the following comments on the Polish question.

The Polish question has indeed reached an impasse. What is the reason?

The reason is that the U.S. and British Ambassadors in Moscow – members of the Moscow Commission – have departed from the instructions of the Crimea Conference, introducing new elements not provided for by the Crimea Conference. Namely:

(a) At the Crimea Conference the three of us regarded the Polish Provisional Government as the government now functioning in Poland and subject to reconstruction, as the government that should be the core of a new Government of National Unity. The U.S. and British Ambassadors in Moscow, however, have departed from that thesis; they ignore the Polish Provisional Government, pay no heed to it and at best place individuals in Poland and London on a par with the Provisional Government. Furthermore, they hold that reconstruction of the Provisional Government should be understood in terms of its abolition and the establishment of an entirely new government. Things have gone so far that Mr Harriman declared in the Moscow Commission that it might be that not a single member of the Provisional Government would be included in the Polish Government of National Unity.

Obviously this thesis of the U.S. and British Ambassadors cannot but be strongly resented by the Polish Provisional Government. As regards the Soviet Union, it certainly cannot accept a thesis that is tantamount to direct violation of the Crimea Conference decisions.

(b) At the Crimea Conference the three of us held that five people should be invited for consultation from Poland and three from London, not more. But the U.S. and British Ambassadors have abandoned that position and insist that each member of the Moscow Commission be entitled to invite an unlimited number from Poland and from London.

Clearly the Soviet Government could not agree to that, because, according to the Crimea decision, invitations should be sent not by individual members of the Commission, but by the Commission as a whole, as a body. The demand for no limit to the number invited for consultation runs counter to what was envisaged at the Crimea Conference.

(c) The Soviet Government proceeds from the assumption that by virtue of the Crimea decisions, those invited for consultation should be in the first instance Polish leaders who recognise the decisions of the Crimea Conference, including the one on the Curzon Line,72 and, secondly, who actually want friendly relations between Poland and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Government insists on this because the blood of Soviet soldiers, so freely shed in liberating Poland, and the fact that in the past 30 years the territory of Poland has twice been used by an enemy for invading Russia, oblige the Soviet Government to ensure friendly relations between the Soviet Union and Poland.

The U.S. and British Ambassadors in Moscow, however, ignore this and want to invite Polish leaders for consultation regardless of their attitude to the Crimea decisions and to the Soviet Union.

Such, to my mind, are the factors hindering a settlement of the Polish problem through mutual agreement. In order to break the deadlock and reach an agreed decision, the following steps should, I think, be taken:

(1) Affirm that reconstruction of the Polish Provisional Government implies, not its abolition, but its reconstruction by enlarging it, it being understood that the Provisional Government shall form the core of the future Polish Government of National Unity.

(2) Return to the provisions of the Crimea Conference and restrict the number of Polish leaders to be invited to eight persons, of whom five should be from Poland and three from London.

(3) Affirm that the representatives of the Polish Provisional Government shall be consulted in all circumstances, that they be consulted in the first place, since the Provisional Government is much stronger in Poland compared with the individuals to be invited from London and Poland whose influence among the population in no way compares with the tremendous prestige of the Provisional Government.

I draw your attention to this because, to my mind, any other decision on the point might be regarded in Poland as an affront to the people and as an attempt to impose a government without regard to Polish public opinion.

(4) Only those leaders should be summoned for consultation from Poland and from London who recognise the decisions of the Crimea Conference on Poland and who in practice want friendly relations between Poland and the Soviet Union.

(5) Reconstruction of the Provisional Government to be effected by replacing a number of Ministers of the Provisional Government by nominees among the Polish leaders who are not members of the Provisional Government.

As to the ratio of old and new Ministers in the Government of National Unity, it might be established more or less on the same lines as was done in the case of the Yugoslav Government.

I think if these comments are taken into consideration the Polish question can be settled in a short time.

April 7, 1945


No. 419

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message of April 5.

I have already answered, in my message of April 7 to the President, which I am also sending to you, all the main points raised in your message in relation to the negotiations in Switzerland. As regards other points in your message, I think it necessary to say this.

Neither I nor Molotov had any intention of “aspersing” anyone. It is not a question of our wanting to “asperse” anyone but of the fact that differences have arisen between us as to the duties and the rights of an Ally. You will see from my message to the President that the Russian view of the matter is correct, for it guarantees the rights of any Ally and deprives the enemy of any opportunity to sow distrust between us.

2. My messages are personal and most secret. This enables me to speak my mind frankly and clearly. That is an advantage of secret correspondence. But if you take every frank statement of mine as an affront, then the correspondence will be greatly handicapped. I can assure you that I have never had, nor have I now, any intention of affronting anyone.

April 7, 1945

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the President, Mr F. Roosevelt

I have received your message of April 5.

In my message of April 3 the point was not about integrity or trustworthiness. I have never doubted your integrity or trustworthiness, just as I have never questioned the integrity or trustworthiness of Mr Churchill. My point is that in the course of our correspondence a difference of views has arisen over what an Ally may permit himself with regard to another and what he may not. We Russians believe that, in view of the present situation on the fronts, a situation in which the enemy is faced with inevitable surrender, whenever the representatives of one of the Allies meet the Germans to discuss surrender terms, the representatives of the other Ally should be enabled to take part in the meeting. That is absolutely necessary, at least when the other Ally seeks participation in the meeting. The Americans and British, however, have a different opinion – they hold that the Russian point of view is wrong. For that reason they have denied the Russians the right to be present at the meeting with the Germans in Switzerland. I have already written to you, and I see no harm in repeating that, given a similar situation, the Russians would never have denied the Americans and British the right to attend such a meeting. I still consider the Russian point of view to be the only correct one, because it precludes mutual suspicions and gives the enemy no chance to sow distrust between us.

2. It is hard to agree that the absence of German resistance on the Western Front is due solely to the fact that they have been beaten. The Germans have 147 divisions on the Eastern Front. They could safely withdraw from 15 to 20 divisions from the Eastern Front to aid their forces on the Western Front. Yet they have not done so, nor are they doing so. They are fighting desperately against the Russians for Zemlenice, an obscure station in Czechoslovakia, which they need just as much as a dead man needs a poultice, but they surrender without any resistance such important towns in the heart of Germany as Osnabrück, Mannheim and Kassel. You will admit that this behaviour on the part of the Germans is more than strange and unaccountable.

3. As regards those who supply my information, I can assure you that they are honest and unassuming people who carry out their duties conscientiously and who have no intention of affronting anybody. They have been tested in action on numerous occasions. Judge for yourself. In February General Marshall made available to the General Staff of the Soviet troops a number of important reports in which he, citing data in his possession, warned the Russians that in March the Germans were planning two serious counter-blows on the Eastern Front, one from Pomerania towards Thorn, the other from the Moravskâ Ostrava area towards Lódź. It turned out, however, that the main German blow had been prepared, and delivered, not in the areas mentioned above, but in an entirely different area, namely, in the Lake Balaton area, south-west of Budapest. The Germans, as we now know, had concentrated 35 divisions in the area, 11 of them armoured. This, with its great concentration of armour, was one of the heaviest blows of the war. Marshal Tolbukhin succeeded first in warding off disaster and then in smashing the Germans, and was able to do so also because my informants had disclosed – true with some delay – the plan for the main German blow and immediately apprised Marshal Tolbukhin. Thus I had yet another opportunity to satisfy myself as to the reliability and soundness of my sources of information.

For your guidance in this matter I enclose a letter sent by Army General Antonov, Chief of Staff of the Red Army, to Major-General Deane.

April 7, 1945


Copy. Secret

To Major-General John R. Deane, Head Of the Military Mission Of the U.S.A. In the U.S.S.R.

Dear General Deane,

Please convey to General Marshall the following:

On February 20 I received a message from General Marshall through General Deane, saying that the Germans were forming two groups for a counter-offensive on the Eastern Front: one in Pomerania to strike in the direction of Thorn and the other in the Vienna-Moravskâ Ostrava area to advance in the direction of Lódź. The southern group was to include the 6th S.S. Panzer Army. On February 12 I received similar information from Colonel Brinkman, head of the Army Section of the British Military Mission.

I am very much obliged and grateful to General Marshall for the information, designed to further our common aims, which he so kindly made available to us.

At the same time it is my duty to inform General Marshall that the military operations on the Eastern Front in March did not bear out the information furnished by him. For the battles showed that the main group of German troops, which included the 6th S.S. Panzer Army, had been concentrated, not in Pomerania or in the Moravskâ Ostrava area, but in the Lake Balaton area, whence the Germans launched their offensive in an attempt to break through to the Danube and force it south of Budapest.

Thus, the information supplied by General Marshall was at variance with the actual course of events on the Eastern Front in March.

It may well be that certain sources of this information wanted to bluff both Anglo-American and Soviet Headquarters and divert the attention of the Soviet High Command from the area where the Germans were mounting their main offensive operation on the Eastern Front.

Despite the foregoing, I would ask General Marshall, if possible, to keep me posted with information about the enemy. I consider it my duty to convey this information to General Marshall solely for the purpose of enabling him to draw the proper conclusions in relation to the source of the information. Please convey to General Marshall my respect and gratitude. Truly yours,

 Army General Antonov
Chief of Staff of the Red Army

March 30, 1945


No. 420

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I have received your message of April 7th. I thank you for its reassuring tone and trust the “Crossword”109 misunderstanding may now be considered at an end.

2. I have been greatly distressed by the death of President Roosevelt with whom I had in the last five and a half years established very close personal ties of friendship. This sad event makes it all the more valuable that you and I are linked together by the many pleasant courtesies and memories even in the midst of all the perils and difficulties that we have surmounted.

3. I must take the occasion to thank you for all the kindness with which you have received my wife during her visit to Moscow, and for all the care that is being taken of her on her journey through Russia. We regard it as a great honour that she should receive the Order of the Red Banner of Labour on account of the work she has done to mitigate the terrible sufferings of the wounded soldiers of the heroic Red Army. The amount of money she collected is perhaps not great, but it is a love offering not only of the rich but mainly of the pennies of the poor who have been proud to make their small weekly contributions. In the friendship of the masses of our peoples, in the comprehension of their governments and in the mutual respect of their armies the future of the world resides.

14th April, 1945


No. 421

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

The glorious moment when your forces and ours will link up in a defeated Germany is rapidly approaching. I am sure it would have a heartening effect on all our peoples if the occasion were marked by short broadcast messages by yourself, President Truman and myself. Please let me know if you agree to this proposal.

I am sending a similar message to President Truman.

14th April, 1945


No. 422

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

In my message of March 22nd110 I expressed the hope that you and President Roosevelt would go forward with us in issuing a warning to the Germans about the safety of Allied prisoners of war in their hands. President Roosevelt agreed to do so if you will. My military advisers consider that it may be necessary to issue the warning shortly. I hope, therefore, that you will be able to let me have an early reply.

14th April, 1945


No. 423

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your messages of April 14.

I agree that it would be advisable to broadcast brief messages to the troops by you, the President and myself in connection with the anticipated link-up of our troops – that is, of course, if President Truman does not object. We should agree, however, on the date for these broadcasts.

2. I also agree that we should issue a joint warning on behalf of the three Governments about the safety of the prisoners of war in the hands of the Hitler Government. I have no objection to the text of the warning sent by you.110 Kindly advise me whether the warning has to be signed or not. And let me know date and time of publication.

April 14, 1945


No. 424

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message on the occasion of the death of President F. Roosevelt has reached me.

In President Franklin Roosevelt the Soviet people recognised an outstanding political leader and unswerving champion of close cooperation between our three countries.

Our people will always value highly and remember President F. Roosevelt’s friendly attitude to the Soviet Union.

As for myself, I am deeply afflicted by the loss of this great man, our common friend.

April 15, 1945


No. 425

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

M. Mikolajczyk came to see me today and after some conversation he issued the following declaration, to which he desired that immediate publicity should be given. I hope that you will find this helpful in view of your private telegram to me of April 7th.

1. I consider that close and lasting friendship with Russia is the keystone of future Polish policy within the wider friendship of the United Nations.

2. To remove all doubt as to my attitude, I wish to declare that I accept the Crimea decision in regard to the future of Poland, its sovereign independent position and the formation of a provisional government representative of national unity.

3. I support the decision arrived at in the Crimea that a conference of leading Polish personalities be called with a view to constituting a government of national unity as widely and fairly representative of the Polish people as possible and one which will command recognition by the three major Powers.

15th April, 1945


No. 426

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I am very glad you agree about the three messages. It would be well if they were put on records and then on the day agreed between us they can all be let off in succession with the necessary translations at the most convenient times. I would propose to the President that he goes first, you next and I will bring up the rear. I will send you a copy of the sort of thing I should propose to say myself.

2. With regard to the warning, it should surely be signed by us three and also properly timed and I am telling Mr Eden to clear the matter with Mr Stettinius, and I hope, Mr Molotov in Washington.111

3. I look forward very much to the impending meeting of the three Foreign Secretaries at Washington.

16th April, 1945


No. 427

Sent on April 18, 1945

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I am in receipt of your message of April 16 concerning the texts of the broadcasts to the troops and the joint warning.

I have no objection to the succession in which you propose releasing the messages. As to warning the Germans about the safety of prisoners of war, we can, no doubt, direct V. M. Molotov, Mr Eden and Mr Stettinius to reach agreement in Washington.


No. 428

Sent on April 18, 1945

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message setting out Mikolajczyk’s declaration reached me on April 16. Thank you for the information.

Mikolajczyk’s declaration is undoubtedly a big step forward, but it is not clear whether he accepts that part of the Crimea Conference decisions which bears on Poland’s eastern frontier. It wouldn’t be bad first, to have the full text of Mikolajczyk’s declaration and, second, to have an elucidation from him as to whether he also accepts that part of the Crimea decisions which relates to Poland’s eastern frontier.


No. 429

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

My message of April 16th contained the full text of M. Mikolajczyk’s statement.

Since receiving your message I have made quite certain by explicit inquiry that M. Mikolajczyk accepts the Crimea decisions as a whole, including that part which deals with the eastern frontiers of Poland. I should not indeed have thought it worthwhile to have forwarded his statement unless I had been sure that this was the fact.

April 18th, 1945


No. 430

Received on April 18th, 1945

Personal and Secret from the Prime Minister and the President

We are sending this joint reply to your messages of April 7th in regard to the Polish negotiations for the sake of greater clarity and in order that there will be no misunderstanding as to our position on this matter. The British and United States Governments have tried most earnestly to be constructive and fair in their approach and will continue to do so. Before putting before you the concrete and constructive suggestion which is the purpose of this message, we feel it necessary, however, to correct the completely erroneous impression which you have apparently received in regard to the position of the British and United States Governments as set forth by our Ambassadors under direct instructions during the negotiations. It is most surprising to have you state that the present government functioning in Warsaw has been in any way ignored during these negotiations. Such has never been our intention nor our position. You must be cognisant of the fact that our Ambassadors in Moscow have agreed without question that the three leaders of the Warsaw Government should be included in the list of Poles to be invited to come to Moscow for consultation with the Polish Commission.105 We have never denied that among the three elements from which the new Provisional Government of National Unity is to be formed the representatives of the present Warsaw Government will play, unquestionably, a prominent part. Nor can it be said with any justification that our Ambassadors are demanding the right to invite an unlimited number of Poles. The right to put forward and have accepted by the Commission individual representative Poles from abroad and from within Poland to be invited to Moscow for consultation cannot be interpreted in that sense. Indeed, in his message of April 1st President Roosevelt specifically said: “In order to facilitate agreement the Commission might first of all select a small but representative group of Polish leaders who could suggest other names for consideration by the Commission.” The real issue between us is whether or not the Warsaw Government has the right to veto individual candidates for consultation. No such interpretation, in our considered opinion, can be found in the Crimea decision. It appears to us that you are reverting to the original position taken by the Soviet delegation at the Crimea, which was subsequently modified in the agreement. Let us keep clearly in mind that we are now speaking only of the group of Poles who are to be invited to Moscow for consultation.

You mention the desirability of inviting eight Poles – five from within Poland and three from London – to take part in these first consultations, and in your message to the Prime Minister you indicate that Mikolajczyk would be acceptable if he issued a statement in support of the Crimea decision. We therefore submit the following proposals for your consideration in order to prevent a breakdown, with all its incalculable consequences, of our endeavours to settle the Polish question. We hope that you will give them your most immediate and earnest consideration:

(1) That we instruct our representatives on the Commission to extend invitations immediately to the following Polish leaders to come to Moscow for consultation: Bierut, Osubka- Morawski, Rola-Zymerski, Bishop Sapieha, one representative Polish political party leader not connected with the present Warsaw Government (if any of the following were agreeable to you he would be agreeable to us – Witos, Zulawski, Chachinski, Jasiukowicz), and from London: Mikolajczyk, Grabski and Stanczyk.

(2) That once invitations to come for consultation have been issued by the Commission, the representatives of the Warsaw Provisional Government would arrive first if desired.

(3) That it be agreed that these Polish leaders called for consultation could suggest to the Commission the names of a certain number of other Polish leaders from within Poland or abroad who might be brought in for consultation in order that all the major Polish groups be represented in the discussions.

(4) We do not feel that we could commit ourselves to any formula for determining the composition of the new Government of National Unity in advance of consultation with the Polish leaders and we do not in any case consider the Yugoslav precedent112 to be applicable to Poland.

We ask you to read again carefully the American and British messages of April 1st since they set forth the larger considerations which we still have very much in mind and to which we must adhere.


No. 431

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

As we have all three agreed to broadcast messages when our forces link up in Germany, I suggest the following procedure.

Each State should broadcast all three messages. We will have to exchange records by air. Mine will read as follows. Begins:

“After long journeys, toils and victories across land and oceans, the armies of the Great Allies have traversed Germany and joined hands (in Berlin). Now their task will be the destruction of all areas of German resistance, the rooting out of Nazi power and the subjugation of Hitler’s Reich. For these purposes ample forces are available and we join hands in true and victorious comradeship and with the inflexible resolve to fulfil our purpose and our duty. Let all march forward upon the foe.”

Ends.

I am having this recorded and flown to you at once. It would be convenient if you could send me yours as soon as possible and telegraph the text in advance so that we know its substance. As regards the order, I think after inquiry, it would be appropriate that we should each have our own message broadcast first from our own stations.

It seems to me to be best to leave it to the broadcasting authorities in each country to decide the precise time at which they wish to broadcast the records to their respective audiences. They would, of course, be under pledge not to put these broadcasts on the air until a firm link-up of the Russian and Anglo-American armies has been officially reported. It would be a great convenience if this official announcement could be made in all three countries at the same time. Would you be agreeable to synchronising your announcement of this event with a similar announcement by General Eisenhower? If so, I will ask him to communicate with you to this end.

I am sending a similar telegram to President Truman.

19th April, 1945


No. 432

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

My telegram of April 19th. The last three sentences do not mean so far as I am concerned that any announcement in the sense of a message to the troops will be made on this occasion otherwise than by the three heads of Governments concerned. This last sentence referred only to announcement of the fact of a link-up which will come out in the ordinary way.

20th April, 1945


No. 433

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Churchill

I have received yours of April 19 concerning the messages to the troops. I am in agreement with the procedure set out by you.

My message will run as follows:

“The victorious armies of the Allied Powers, waging a war of liberation in Europe, have defeated the German forces and linked up on German soil.

“It is our task and our duty to finish off the enemy, to force him to lay down his arms and surrender unconditionally. This task and this duty to our people and to all the freedom-loving peoples will be fully carried out as far as the Red Army is concerned.

“We salute the valiant troops of our Allies, who now stand on German soil shoulder to shoulder with the Soviet troops, fully resolved to carry out their duty to the end.”

The message will be recorded and sent to you immediately.

I have no objection to leaving it to the broadcasting authorities in each country to fix the exact time when our messages will be broadcast the moment the link-up of Soviet and Anglo- American troops is officially announced. Nor have I any objection to coordinating our link-up statements with a similar statement by General Eisenhower.

Your suggestion that our messages be broadcast first in the respective countries over their own network is likewise acceptable.

April 20, 1945


No. 434

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

President Truman informs me that he finds it impracticable to broadcast a message on linking up of armies. He therefore proposes to issue it as a statement from him to the Press and Radio for release on the date and hour that are agreed upon.

I suggest General Eisenhower be instructed to agree with the Soviet military authorities as to appropriate time for release.

A recording of my own message is being flown to you.

21st April, 1945


No. 435

Personal Message from the Prime Minister to Marshal Stalin

Thank you for your telegram of the 20th April about the link-up of our forces. I agree with President Truman’s proposal that the announcement should be made simultaneously in the three capitals at 12 noon Washington Time on the day in question and unless we hear you have any objection, our arrangements will be made accordingly.

22nd April, 1945


No. 436

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

The following is a public statement by M. Mikolajczyk which has appeared in his newspaper. There is no doubt about the answer which he gave in his last sentence to the question you put to me, namely that he accepts the Curzon Line72 including the Lvov cession to the Soviets. I hope that this will be satisfactory to you.

 “On demand of Russia the three Great Powers have declared themselves in favour of establishing Poland’s eastern frontier on the Curzon Line with the possibility of small rectifications. My own point of view was that at least Lvov and the oil district should be left to Poland. Considering, however, firstly that in this respect there is an absolute demand on the Soviet side and secondly that the existence side by side of our two nations is dependent on the fulfilment of this condition, we Poles are obliged to ask ourselves whether in the name of the so-called integrity of our republic we are to reject it and thereby jeopardise the whole existence of our country’s interests. The answer to this question must be ‘No.’ ”
22nd April, 1945

No. 437

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

Your message on the procedure of releasing President Truman’s statement reached me on April 21. Thank you for the information. As agreed, the sound record of my message is being flown to you by the returning Mosquito.

April 23, 1945


No. 438

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

Your message concerning the time of announcing the link-up of our armies in Germany reached me on April 22.

I have no objection to President Truman’s proposal that the link-up of our armies be announced simultaneously in the three capitals at 12.00 hours Washington Time.

I am sending a similar message to Mr Truman.

April 23, 1945


No. 439

J. V. Stalin to W. Churchill*

I received the joint message from you and President Truman of April 18.

It would appear that you still regard the Polish Provisional Government, not as the core of a future Polish Government of National Unity, but merely as a group on a par with any other group of Poles. It would be hard to reconcile this concept of the position of the Provisional Government and this attitude towards it with the Crimea decision on Poland. At the Crimea Conference the three of us, including President Roosevelt, based ourselves on the assumption that the Polish Provisional Government, as the Government now fuctioning in Poland and enjoying the trust and support of the majority of the Polish people, should be the core, that is, the main part of a new, reconstructed Polish Government of National Unity.

You apparently disagree with this understanding of the issue. By turning down the Yugoslav example112 as a model for Poland, you confirm that the Polish Provisional Government cannot be regarded as a basis for, and the core of, a future Government of National Unity.

2. Another circumstance that should be borne in mind is that Poland borders on the Soviet Union, which cannot be said about Great Britain or the U.S.A.

Poland is to the security of the Soviet Union what Belgium and Greece are to the security of Great Britain.

You evidently do not agree that the Soviet Union is entitled to seek in Poland a Government that would be friendly to it, that the Soviet Government cannot agree to the existence in Poland of a Government hostile to it. This is rendered imperative, among other things, by the Soviet people’s blood freely shed on the fields of Poland for the liberation of that country. I do not know whether a genuinely representative Government has been established in Greece, or whether the Belgian Government is a genuinely democratic one. The Soviet Union was not consulted when those Governments were being formed, nor did it claim the right to interfere in those matters, because it realises how important Belgium and Greece are to the security of Great Britain.

I cannot understand why in discussing Poland no attempt is made to consider the interests of the Soviet Union in terms of security as well.

3. One cannot but recognise as unusual a situation in which two Governments – those of the United States and Great Britain – reach agreement beforehand on Poland, a country in which the U.S.S.R. is interested first of all and most of all, and, placing its representatives in an intolerable position, try to dictate to it.

I say that this situation cannot contribute to agreed settlement of the Polish problem.

4. I am most grateful to you for kindly communicating the text of Mikolajczyk’s declaration concerning Poland’s eastern frontier. I am prepared to recommend to the Polish Provisional Government that they take note of this declaration and withdraw their objection to inviting Mikolajczyk for consultation on a Polish Government.

The important thing now is to accept the Yugoslav precedent as a model for Poland. I think that if this is done we shall be able to make progress on the Polish question.

April 24, 1945


No. 440

Personal and Secret Message for Marshal Stalin from the Prime Minister

I have seen the message about Poland which the President handed to M. Molotov for transmission to you, and I have consulted the War Cabinet on account of its special importance. It is my duty now to inform you that we fully support the President in the aforesaid message. I earnestly hope that means will be found to compose the serious difficulties which, if they continue, will darken the hour of victory.

April 24th, 1945

No. 441

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Thank you for both yours of April 23rd which I duly received. And thank you also for the greetings which you send from your brave armies to those of the Western democracies who now join hands with you. I can assure you that we reciprocate these greetings.

25th April, 1945


No. 442

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

The telegram in my immediately following has just reached me from the British Ambassador in Sweden. The President of the United States has the news also. There can be no question as far as His Majesty’s Government is concerned of anything less than unconditional surrender simultaneously to the three major Powers. We consider Himmler should be told that German forces, either as individuals or in units, should everywhere surrender themselves to the Allied troops or representatives on the spot. Until this happens the attack of the Allies upon them and on all sides and in all theatres where resistance continues will be prosecuted with the utmost vigour.

Nothing in the above telegram should affect the release of our orations on the link-up.

April 25th, 1945


No. 443

Received on April 25th, 1945

Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

The following telegram was received from the British Minister at Stockholm dated April 25th.

Most Secret.

The Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs asked me and my United States colleague to call upon him at 23.00 hours on April 24th. Mr Boheman and Count Bernadotte of the Swedish Red Cross were also present.

2. Bernadotte had returned from Germany via Denmark tonight. Himmler, who was on the Eastern Front, had asked him to come from Flensburg, where he had been on Red Cross work, to meet him urgently in North Germany and Bernadotte suggested Lübeck, where the meeting took place, at 1 o’clock on the morning of April 24th. Himmler, though tired and admitting that Germany was finished, was still calm and coherent.

3. Himmler said that Hitler was so desperately ill that he might be dead already and in any case would be so in two days’ time. General Schellenberg of Himmler’s staff told Bernadotte that it was haemorrhage of the brain.

4. Himmler stated that while Hitler was still active he would not have been able to take the step now proposed, but as Hitler was finished he was now in a position of full authority to act. He then asked Bernadotte to forward to the Swedish Government his desire that they should make arrangements in order to arrange for him to meet General Eisenhower in order to capitulate on the whole Western Front. Bernadotte remarked that such a meeting was not necessary as he could simply order his troops to surrender. He was not willing to forward Himmler’s request to the Swedish Government unless Norway and Denmark were included in this capitulation. If this were the case there might be some point in a meeting because special technical arrangements might have to be made regarding how and to whom the Germans there were to lay down their arms. Himmler replied that he was prepared to order the troops in Denmark and Norway to surrender to either British, American or Swedish troops.

5. Himmler hoped to continue to resist on the Eastern Front at least for a time which Bernadotte told him was scarcely possible in practice and not acceptable to the Allies. Himmler mentioned for instance that he hoped that the Western Allies rather than the Russians would be the first to enter Mecklenburg in order to save the civilian population. Schellenberg is now in Flensburg near the Danish border eagerly waiting to hear something, and could ensure the immediate delivery to Himmler of any message which it might be desired to convey. Bernadotte remarked to us that if no reaction at all was forthcoming from the Allies it would probably mean a lot of unnecessary suffering and loss of human life.

6. The Minister for Foreign Affairs explained that he thought this was such an important piece of news that he ought to communicate it to my United States colleague and me immediately. My United States colleague and I remarked that Himmler’s refusal actually to order surrender on the Eastern Front looked like a last attempt to sow discord between the Western Allies and Russia. Obviously the Nazis would have to surrender to all the Allies simultaneously. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Mr Boheman, while admitting that this motive could not be excluded, pointed out that the fact that the Nazi chief would order capitulation of all troops on the whole of the Western Front and in Norway and Denmark must be of great advantage for all the Allies, including Russia, and would in fact lead to early total capitulation. In any case, the Minister for Foreign Affairs thought Bernadotte’s information should be passed on to the British and United States Governments who were, as far as the Swedish Government were concerned, at complete liberty to transmit it to the Soviet Government, as the Swedish Government would in no way be or be thought to be an instrument in promoting any attempt to sow discord between the Allies. The only reason why the Swedish Government could not inform the Soviet Government directly was because Himmler had stipulated that this information was exclusively for the Western Allies.

7. My United States colleague is sending a similar telegram to his Government.


No. 444

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Thank you for the message of April 25 about Himmler’s intention to surrender on the Western Front.

I regard your suggestion for confronting Himmler with a demand for unconditional surrender on all fronts, including the Soviet front, as the only correct one. Knowing you as I do, I never doubted that you would act in exactly this manner. Please act in the spirit of your suggestion, and as for the Red Army, it will press on to Berlin in the interest of our common cause.

For your information I have sent a similar reply to President Truman who addressed me with the same query.

April 25, 1945


No. 445

Received on April 26, 1945

Personal and Private Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

This is about “Crossword.”109 The German envoys, with whom all contact was broken by us some days ago, have now arrived again on the Lake of Lucerne. They claim to have full powers to surrender the army in Italy. Field Marshal Alexander is therefore being told that he is free to permit these envoys to come to Allied Force Headquarters in Italy. This they can easily do by going into France and being picked up by our aircraft from there. Will you please send Russian representatives forthwith to Field Marshal Alexander’s Headquarters.

Field Marshal Alexander is free to accept the unconditional surrender of the considerable enemy army on his front, but all political issues are reserved to the three Governments.

2. You will notice that surrender in Italy was not mentioned in the telegrams I sent you a few hours ago about Himmler’s proposed surrender in the West and the North. We have spent a lot of blood in Italy and the capture of the German armies south of the Alps is a prize dear to the hearts of the British nation, with whom in this matter the United States have shared the costs and perils.

3. All the above is for your personal information. Our staff have telegraphed to the American staff in order that the Combined Anglo-American Staff43 may send instructions in the same sense to Field Marshal Alexander, who will be told to keep your High Command fully informed through the Anglo- American Military Missions in Moscow.


No. 446

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message on “Crossword”109 reached me on April 26. Thank you for the information.

For my part I want to tell you that the Soviet Military Command has appointed Major-General Kislenko, at present the Soviet Government’s delegate on the Advisory Council for Italy, to take part in the negotiations at Field Marshal Alexander’s headquarters for the surrender of the German forces in Northern Italy.

April 26, 1945


No. 447

Personal and Most Secret Message for Marshal Stalin from Mr Churchill

Your telegram of April 25th. I am extremely pleased to know that you had no doubt how I would act, and always will act, towards your glorious country and yourself. The British and United States Governments, sure in their action on this matter, will go forward on the lines you approve and we all three will continually keep each other fully informed.

2. The following is a small item, but may be convenient. Our armies will soon be in contact on a broad front. We must have a good air corridor made as soon and as broad as possible so that messages may pass every day by aircraft and personal contacts will become easy. I have asked General Eisenhower to arrange the route from his end.

April 27th, 1945


No. 448

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

The Anglo-American armies will soon make contact in Germany with Soviet forces, and the approaching end of German resistance makes it necessary that the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union decide upon an orderly procedure for the occupation by their forces of zones which they will occupy in Germany and in Austria.

2. Our immediate task is the final defeat of the German army. During this period the boundaries between the forces of the three Allies must be decided by the Commanders in the field and will be governed by operational considerations and requirements. It is inevitable that our armies will in this phase find themselves in occupation of territory outside the boundaries of the ultimate occupation zones.

3. When the fighting is finished, the next task is for the Allied Control Commissions to be set up in Berlin and Vienna, and for the forces of the Allies to be redisposed and to take over their respective occupational zones. The demarcation of zones in Germany has already been decided upon113 and it is necessary that we shall without delay reach an agreement on the zones to be occupied in Austria at the forthcoming meeting proposed by you in Vienna.114

4. It appears now that no signed instrument of surrender will be forthcoming. In this event the Governments should decide to set up at once the Allied Control Commissions, and to entrust to them the task of making detailed arrangements for the withdrawal of forces to their agreed occupational zones.

5. In order to meet the requirements of the situation referred to in paragraph 2 above, namely, the emergency and temporary arrangements for tactical zones, instructions have been sent to General Eisenhower. These are as follows:

“(a) To avoid confusion between the two armies and to prevent either of them from expanding into areas already occupied by the other, both sides should halt as and where they meet, subject to such adjustments to the rear or to the flanks as are required, in the opinion of local commanders on either side, to deal with any remaining opposition.

“(b) As to adjustments of forces after the cessation of hostilities in an area, your troops should be disposed in accordance with military requirements regardless of zonal boundaries. You will, in so far as permitted by the urgency of the situation, obtain the approval of the Combined Chiefs of Staff.43 prior to any major adjustment in contrast to local adjustments for operational and administrative reasons.”

6. I request that you will be so good as to issue similar instructions to your commanders in the field.

7. I am sending this message to you and to President Truman simultaneously.

27th April, 1945


No. 449

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

My personal message of April 27th.

In the absence of a signed instrument of surrender, the four Powers will have to issue a declaration recording the defeat and the unconditional surrender of Germany and assuming supreme authority in Germany. A draft text of such a declaration is before the European Advisory Commission94 and I would ask you to send urgent instructions to your representative on the Commission so that a final text may be settled without delay.

28th April, 1945


No. 450

Personal and Most Secret Message for Marshal Stalin from Mr Churchill

I thank you for your message of April 24th. I have been much distressed at the misunderstanding that has grown up between us on the Crimea agreement about Poland. I certainly went to Yalta with the hope that both the London and Lublin Polish Governments would be swept away and that a new government would be formed from among Poles of goodwill, among whom members of M. Bierut’s government would be prominent. But you did not like this plan, and we and the Americans agreed, therefore, that there was to be no sweeping away of the Bierut government but that instead it should become a “new” government “reorganised on a broader democratic basis with the inclusion of democratic leaders from Poland itself and from Poles abroad.” For this purpose, M. Molotov and the two Ambassadors were to sit together in Moscow105 and try to bring into being such a government by consultations with members of the present Provisional Government and with other Polish democratic leaders from within Poland and from abroad.

2. The Commission then would have to set to work to select Poles who were to come for the consultations. We tried in each case to find representative men, and in this we were careful to exclude what we thought were extreme people unfriendly to Russia. We did not select for our list anyone at present in the London Polish Government, but three good men, namely M. Mikolajczyk, M. Stanczyk and M. Grabski, who went into opposition to the London Polish Government because they did not like its attitude towards Russia, and in particular its refusal to accept the eastern frontier which you and I agreed upon, now so long ago, and which I was the first man outside the Soviet Government to proclaim to the world as just and fair, together with compensations, etc., in the West and North. It is true that M. Mikolajczyk at that time still hoped for Lvov, as you know he has now publicly abandoned that claim.

3. Our names for those from inside and outside Poland were put forward in the same spirit of helpfulness by the Americans and ourselves. The first thing the British complained of is that after nine weeks of discussion on the Commission at Moscow, and any amount of telegrams between our three Governments, not the least progress has been made, because M. Molotov has steadily refused in the Commission to give an opinion about the Poles we have mentioned, so that not one of them has been allowed to come even to a preliminary round table discussion. Please observe that these names were put forward not as necessarily to be members of a reorganised Polish Government but simply to come for the round table talk provided for in the Crimea declaration, out of which it was intended to bring about the formation of a united provisional government, representative of the main elements of Polish life and prepared to work on friendly terms with the Soviet Government, and also of a kind which we and all the world could recognise. That was and still is our desire. This provisional government was then, according to our joint decision at the Crimea, to pledge itself to hold “free and unfettered elections as soon as possible on the basis of universal suffrage and secret ballot” in which “all democratic and anti-Nazi parties shall have the right to take part and put forward candidates.” Alas! none of this has been allowed to move forward.

4. In your paragraph 1 you speak of accepting “the Yugoslav precedent112 as a model for Poland.” You have always wished that our private personal series of telegrams should be frank and outspoken. I must say at once that the two cases are completely different. In the case of Poland, the three Powers reached agreement about how we should arrange the emergence of a new government. This was to be by means of consultations before our Commission between representatives of the Bierut government and democratic Polish leaders from inside and outside Poland. In the case of Yugoslavia there was nothing of this kind. You seem now to be proposing, after your representative on the Moscow Polish Commission has made it impossible to start the conversations provided for in our agreement, that the agreed procedure should be abandoned. Thus we British feel that after all this time absolutely no headway has been made towards forming a “new” and “reorganised” government while on the contrary the Soviet Government have made a twenty years’ treaty with the present Provisional Government under M. Bierut although it remains neither new nor reorganised. We have the feeling that it is we who have been dictated to and brought up against a stone wall upon matters which we sincerely believed were settled in a spirit of friendly comradeship in the Crimea.

5. I must also say that the way things have worked out in Yugoslavia certainly does not give me the feeling of a fifty-fifty interest as between our countries. Marshal Tito has become a complete dictator. He has proclaimed that his prime loyalties are to the Soviet Union. Although he allowed members of the Royal Yugoslav Government to enter his government they only number six as against twenty-five of his own nominees. We have the impression that they are not taken into consultation on matters of high policy and that it is becoming a one-party régime. However, I have not made any complaint or comment about all this, and both at Yalta and at other times have acquiesced in the settlement which has been reached in Yugoslavia. I do not complain of any action you have taken there in spite of my misgivings and I hope it will all work out smoothly and make Yugoslavia a prosperous and free people friendly to both Russia and ourselves.

6. We could not however accept “the Yugoslav model” as a guide to what should happen in Poland. Neither we nor the Americans have any military or special interest in Poland. All we seek in material things is to be treated in the regular way between friendly States. Here we are all shocked that you should think we would work for a Polish Government hostile to the U.S.S.R. This is the opposite of our policy. But it was on account of Poland that the British went to war with Germany in 1939. We saw in the Nazi treatment of Poland a symbol of Hitler’s vile and wicked lust of conquest and subjugation, and his invasion of Poland was the spark that fired the mine. The British people do not, as is sometimes thought, go to war for calculation, but for sentiment. They had a feeling, which grew up in the years, that with all Hitler’s encroachments and preparations he was a danger to our country and to the liberties which we prize in Europe and when after Munich he broke his word so shamefully about Czechoslovakia even the extremely peace-loving Chamberlain gave our guarantee against Hitler to Poland. When that guarantee was invoked by the German invasion of Poland the whole nation went to war with Hitler, unprepared as we were. There was a flame in the hearts of men like that which swept your people in their noble defence of their country from a treacherous, brutal, and as at one time it almost seemed, overwhelming German attack. This British flame burns still among all classes and parties in this island and in its self-governing Dominions, and they can never feel this war will have ended rightly unless Poland has a fair deal in the full sense of sovereignty, independence and freedom on a basis of friendship with Russia. It was on this that I thought we had agreed at Yalta.

7. Side by side with this strong sentiment for the rights of Poland, which I believe is shared in at least as strong a degree throughout the United States, there has grown up throughout the English-speaking world a very warm and deep desire to be friends on equal and honourable terms with the mighty Russian Soviet Republic and to work with you, making allowances for our different systems of thought and government, in the long and bright years for all the world which we three Powers alone can make together. I, who in my years of great responsibility, have worked methodically for this unity, will certainly continue to do so by every means in my power, and in particular I can assure you that we in Great Britain would not work for or tolerate a Polish Government unfriendly to Russia. Neither could we recognise a Polish Government that did not truly correspond to the description in our joint declaration at Yalta with proper regard for the rights of the individual as we understand these matters in the Western world.

8. With regard to your reference to Greece and Belgium, I recognise the consideration which you gave me when we had to intervene with heavy armed forces to quell the E.A.M.- E.L.A.S. attack upon the centre of government in Athens.115 We have given repeated instructions that your interest in Roumania and Bulgaria is to be recognised as predominant. We cannot however be excluded altogether, and we dislike being treated by your subordinates in these countries so differently from the kind manner in which we at the top are always treated by you. In Greece we seek nothing but her friendship, which is of long duration, and desire only her independence and integrity. But we have no intention of trying to decide whether she is to be a monarchy or a republic. Our only policy there is to restore matters to normal as quickly as possible and to hold fair and free elections, I hope within the next four or five months. These elections will decide the régime and later on the constitution. The will of the people expressed in conditions of freedom and universal franchise must prevail; that is our root principle. If the Greeks were to decide for a republic it would not affect our relations with them. We will use our influence with the Greek Government to invite Russian representatives to come and see freely what is going on in Greece, and at the elections I hope that there will be Russian, American and British Commissioners at large in the country to make sure that there is no intimidation or other frustration of freedom of choice of the people between the different parties who will be contending. After that our work in Greece may well be done.

9. As to Belgium we have no conditions to demand though naturally we should get disturbed if they started putting up V-weapons, etc., pointed at us, and we hope they will, under whatever form of government they adopt by popular decision, come into a general system of resistance to prevent Germany striking westward. Belgium, like Poland, is a theatre of war and corridor of communication, and everyone must recognise the force of these considerations, without which the great armies cannot operate.

10. As to your paragraph 3, it is quite true that about Poland we have reached a definite line of action with the Americans. This is because we agree naturally upon the subject, and both sincerely feel we have been rather ill-treated about the way the matter has been handled since the Crimea Conference. No doubt these things seem different when looked at from the opposite point of view. But we are absolutely agreed that the pledge we have given for a sovereign, free, independent Poland with a government fully and adequately representing all democratic elements among the Poles, is for us a matter of honour and duty. I do not think there is the slightest chance of any change in the attitude of our two Powers, and when we are agreed we are bound to say so. After all, we have joined with you, largely on my original initiative early in 1944, in proclaiming the Polish- Russian frontier which you desired, namely the Curzon Line.72  including Lvov for Russia. We think you ought to meet us with regard to the other half of the policy which you equally with us have proclaimed, namely the sovereignty, independence and freedom of Poland, provided it is a Poland friendly to Russia. Therefore, His Majesty’s Government cannot accept a government on the Yugoslav precedent in which there would be four representatives of the present Warsaw Provisional Government to every one representing the other democratic elements. There ought to be a proper balance and a proper distribution of important posts in the government; this result should be reached as we agreed at the Crimea by discussing the matter with true representatives of all different Polish elements which are not fundamentally anti-Russian.

11. Also difficulties arise at the present moment because all sorts of stories are brought out of Poland which are eagerly listened to by many members of Parliament and which at any time may be violently raised in Parliament or the press in spite of my deprecating such action and on which M. Molotov will vouchsafe us no information at all in spite of repeated requests. For instance, there is talk of fifteen Poles who were said to have met the Russian authorities for discussion over four weeks ago, and of M. Witos about whom there has been a similar, but more recent report; and there are many other statements of deportations, etc. How can I contradict such complaints when you give me no information whatever and when neither I nor the Americans are allowed to send anyone into Poland to find out for themselves the true state of affairs? There is no part of our occupied or liberated territory into which you are not free to send delegations, and people do not see why you should have any reasons against similar visits by British delegations to foreign countries liberated by you.

12. There is not much comfort in looking into a future where you and the countries you dominate, plus the Communist parties in many other States, are all drawn up on one side, and those who rally to the English-speaking nations and their Associates or Dominions are on the other. It is quite obvious that their quarrel would tear the world to pieces and that all of us leading men on either side who had anything to do with that would be shamed before history. Even embarking on a long period of suspicions, of abuse and counter-abuse and of opposing policies would be a disaster hampering the great developments of world prosperity for the masses which are attainable only by our trinity. I hope there is no word or phrase in this outpouring of my heart to you which unwittingly gives offence. If so, let me know. But do not, I beg you, my friend Stalin, underrate the divergencies which are opening about matters which you may think are small to us but which are symbolic of the way the English-speaking democracies look at life.

April 28th, 1945


No. 451

Personal and Most Secret Message for Marshal Stalin from Mr Churchill

I have just received a telegram from Field Marshal Alexander that after a meeting at which your officers were present the Germans accepted the terms of unconditional surrender presented to them and are sending the material clauses of the instrument of surrender to General von Vietinghoff, with a request to name the date and hour at which conclusion of hostilities can be made effective. It looks therefore as if the entire German forces south of the Alps will almost immediately surrender.

April 29th, 1945


No. 452

Personal and Secret Message from Marshal Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of April 28 received.

I have nothing against your proposal for publishing, on behalf of the Four Powers, a declaration establishing the defeat and unconditional surrender of Germany, in the event of Germany being left without a normally functioning centralised authority.

The Soviet representative on the European Advisory Commission94 has been instructed to insert in the preamble to the declaration, the draft of which has been submitted by the British delegation, an amendment laying down the principle of unconditional surrender for the armed forces of Germany.

April 30, 1945


No. 453

Urgent and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

1. I have today received the following from Field Marshal Alexander. We must rejoice together at this great surrender.

“Lieutenant-Colonel von Schweinitz and Major Wenner, representing General von Vietinghoff, German Commander-in- Chief, South-west, and S. S. General Wolff, Supreme Commander of the S.S. and Police and Plenipotentiary General of the German Wehrmacht in Italy, respectively signed the terms of surrender at 14.00 British Time today (April 29th). Von Vietinghoff ’s and Wolff ’s Command includes all Italy (except the portion of Venezia Giulia east of Isonzo River), Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Salzburg Provinces and part of Carinthia.

“Hostilities are to cease at 12.00 hours Greenwich Mean Time, May 2nd.

“Von Schweinitz pointed out at the signing ceremony that he had exceeded in some respects the powers granted to him by von Vietinghoff, but I do not think this will affect the results.

“Von Schweinitz and Werner are now returning to von Vietinghoff ’s Headquarters at Bolzano via Switzerland. They should arrive during tomorrow April 30th. On arrival direct wireless contact will be established between my Headquarters and von Vietinghoff ’s. General Kislenko and one other Russian officer were present. It is important that no publicity whatsoever is permitted until the terms become effective.”

2. President Truman has suggested that the announcement of this surrender be made first by Field Marshal Alexander. As your officers were present, I have given instructions to Field Marshal Alexander accordingly.

30th April, 1945


No. 454

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message of April 27 concerning the order of the occupation of Germany and Austria by the Red Army and the Anglo-American armed forces.

For my part I want to tell you that the Soviet Supreme Command has given instructions that whenever Soviet troops contact Allied troops the Soviet Command is immediately to get in touch with the Command of the U.S. or British troops, so that they, by agreement between themselves, (1) establish a temporary tactical demarcation line and (2) take steps to crush within the bounds of their temporary demarcation line all resistance by German troops.

May 2, 1945


No. 455

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your messages of April 29 and 30 concerning the unconditional surrender by the Germans in Italy have reached me.

Thanks for the information. I have no objection to the announcement of the German surrender in Italy being made first by Field Marshal Alexander.

May 2, 1945


No. 456

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I am in receipt of your message of April 28 on the Polish question.

I must say that I cannot accept the arguments put forward in support of your stand.

You are inclined to regard the proposal that the Yugoslav precedent112 be accepted as a model for Poland as renunciation of the procedure agreed between us for setting up a Polish Government of National Unity. I cannot agree with you. I think that the Yugoslav precedent is important first of all because it points the way to the most suitable and practical solution of the problem of forming a new United Government based on the governmental agency at present exercising state power in the country.

It is quite obvious that, unless the Provisional Government now functioning in Poland and enjoying the support and trust of a majority of the Polish people is taken as a basis for a future Government of National Unity, it will be impossible to count on successful fulfilment of the task set by the Crimea Conference.

2. I cannot subscribe to that part of your considerations on Greece where you suggest three-Power control over the elections. Such control over the people of an allied country would of necessity be assessed as an affront and gross interference in their internal affairs. Such control is out of place in relation to former satellite countries which subsequently declared war on Germany and ranged themselves with the Allies, as demonstrated by electoral experience, for example, in Finland, where the election was held without outside interference and yielded positive results.

Your comments on Belgium and Poland as war theatres and communication corridors are perfectly justified. As regards Poland, it is her being a neighbour of the Soviet Union that makes it essential for a future Polish Government to seek in practice friendly relations between Poland and the U.S.S.R., which is also in the interests of the other freedom-loving nations. This circumstance, too, speaks for the Yugoslav precedent. The United Nations are interested in constant and durable friendship between the U.S.S.R. and Poland. Hence we cannot acquiesce in the attempts that are being made to involve in the forming of a future Polish Government people who, to quote you, “are not fundamentally anti-Russian,” or to bar from participation only those who, in your view, are “extreme people unfriendly to Russia.” Neither one nor the other can satisfy us. We insist, and shall continue to insist, that only people who have demonstrated by deeds their friendly attitude to the Soviet Union, who are willing honestly and sincerely to cooperate with the Soviet state, should be consulted on the formation of a future Polish Government.

3. I must deal specially with paragraph 11 of your message concerning the difficulties arising from rumours about the arrest of 15 Poles, about deportations, etc.

I am able to inform you that the group of Poles mentioned by you comprises 16, not 15, persons. The group is headed by the well-known General Okulicki. The British information services maintain a deliberate silence, in view of his particular odiousness, about this Polish General, who, along with the 15 other Poles, has “disappeared.” But we have no intention of being silent about the matter. This group of 16, led by General Okulicki, has been arrested by the military authorities of the Soviet front and is undergoing investigation in Moscow. General Okulicki’s group, in the first place General Okulicki himself, is charged with preparing and carrying out subversive activities behind the lines of the Red Army, subversion which has taken a toll of over a hundred Red Army soldiers and officers; the group is also charged with keeping illegal radio-transmitters in the rear of our troops, which is prohibited by law. All, or part of them – depending on the outcome of the investigation – will be tried. That is how the Red Army is forced to protect its units and its rear-lines against saboteurs and those who create disorder.

The British information services are spreading rumours about the murder or shooting of Poles in Siedlce. The report is a fabrication from beginning to end and has, apparently, been concocted by Arciszewski’s agents.

4. It appears from your message that you are unwilling to consider the Polish Provisional Government as a basis for a future Government of National Unity, or to accord it the place in that Government to which it is entitled. I must say frankly that this attitude precludes the possibility of an agreed decision on the Polish question.

May 4, 1945


No. 457

Personal and Secret Message for Marshal Stalin from Mr Churchill

President Truman tells me that he has sent you a message asking that we should synchronise our announcements about V.-E. Day. I am in full agreement with this.

2. The best hour for me would be noon, and I should only take three or four minutes to announce the victory over Germany. Making allowance for British Double Summer Time this would mean 1 p.m. with you. But it would require President Truman’s message to be delivered in Washington at 6 a. m., which would hardly be fair either to the President or people of the United States. I therefore propose to meet the American’s views and I have been fixing on 3 p.m. British Double Summer Time, which is 4 p.m. your present clock time. This would enable the President’s announcement to be made at 9 a.m. Washington Time.

3.W ill you let the President and me know as soon as possible whether you agree?

May 5th, 1945


No. 458

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister Of Great Britain, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of May 5 about the time of announcing V.-E. Day reached me on May 6.

I agree to your proposal for 3 p.m. British Double Summer Time, which corresponds to 4 p.m. Moscow Time. I have also notified Mr Truman about this.

May 6, 1945


No. 459

Personal and Secret Message for Marshal Stalin from Mr Churchill

The President agrees to the broadcast of Victory in Europe Day at 9 a.m. Washington Time, which would mean 3 p.m. in London and 4 p.m. in Moscow. This is the same moment for all three of us owing to the world being round. I hope that you will cable him and me your agreement.

Target day is Tuesday, May 8th, but I will confirm during Monday, May 7th, whether Tuesday can be the day or whether it must be put off till Wednesday, May 9th.

May 7th, 1945


No. 460

Personal Message for Marshal Stalin from Mr Churchill

Our Military Mission will have shown you General Eisenhower’s telegram of May 7th. General Eisenhower says that it will be impossible to keep secret until Tuesday the news of the German surrender. Orders to German troops will be going out en clair and it will be physically impossible to prevent the news from spreading. In these circumstances he urges that the announcement by the Governments should be made at the earliest possible moment. I consider this change inevitable. I propose therefore that the announcement should be made here at 6 p.m. today, Monday, which means that a simultaneous announcement would be made in Moscow at 7 p.m. and in Washington at 12 noon. I earnestly hope that this arrangement will not be inconvenient to you. I understand from General Eisenhower that he is arranging with you for formal signature of the agreement made at 1.41 this morning to take place in Berlin on Tuesday.

May 7th, 1945


No. 461

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

In view of the difficulty in concerting an earlier release time I have decided with much regret to postpone my broadcast announcement until the time originally proposed, i.e. 3 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, which corresponds to 4 p.m. Moscow Time.

A statement has been issued to the press intimating the time of the announcement tomorrow and stating that tomorrow, Tuesday, will be treated as Victory in Europe Day and will be regarded as a holiday. This was necessary on account of the masses of work-people who have to be considered. I have informed President Truman.

7th May, 1945


No. 462

Personal and Secret Message from Marshal J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your messages of May 7 regarding the announcement of Germany’s surrender.

The Supreme Command of the Red Army is not sure that the order of the German High Command on unconditional surrender will be executed by the German armies on the Eastern Front. We fear, therefore, that if the Government of the U.S.S.R. announces today the surrender of Germany we may find ourselves in an awkward position and mislead the Soviet public. It should be borne in mind that the German resistance on the Eastern Front is not slackening but, judging by intercepted radio messages, a considerable grouping of German troops have explicitly declared their intention to continue the resistance and to disobey Dönitz’s surrender order.

For this reason the Command of the Soviet troops would like to wait until the German surrender takes effect and to postpone the Government’s announcement of the surrender till May 9, 7 p.m. Moscow Time.

May 7, 1945


No. 463

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I have just received your message and have also seen the letter from General Antonov to General Eisenhower suggesting that announcement of German surrender should be postponed till May 9th, 1945. It will not be possible for me to put off my announcement for twenty-four hours as you suggest. Moreover Parliament will require to be informed of the signature at Rheims116 yesterday and formal ratification arranged to take place in Berlin today. I have spoken with General Eisenhower on the telephone and he assures me of his intention to cooperate to the full with all forces against the fanatical groups of the enemy who may disobey the orders they have received from their own Government and High Command. This would of course apply to all British and United States forces under General Eisenhower’s command. I shall make it clear in my announcement that there is still resistance in some places. This is not surprising considering the immense length of the front and disorganised condition of the German Government. I believe that President Truman is making his announcement at 9 a.m. American Time today and I hope that you will be able under the necessary reserves, to make yours as arranged.

8th May, 1945


No. 464

Received on May 9, 1945

From the Prime Minister to Marshal Stalin

Message to the Red Army and to the Russian People from the British Nation

I send you heartfelt greetings on the splendid victory you have won in driving the invader from your soil and laying the Nazi tyrant low. It is my firm belief that on friendship and understanding between the British and Russian peoples depends the future of mankind. Here in our island home we are thinking today very often about you and we send you from the bottom of our hearts our wishes for your happiness and well-being and that after all the sacrifices and sufferings of the dark valley through which we have marched together we may also in loyal comradeship and sympathy walk in the sunshine of victorious peace. I have asked my wife to speak these few words of friendship and admiration to you all.


No. 465

From J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Message to the Armed Forces and People of Great Britain from the Peoples of the Soviet Union

I salute you, the gallant British Armed Forces and people of Britain, and cordially congratulate you on the great victory over our common enemy, German imperialism. This historic victory has crowned the joint struggle waged by the Soviet, British and United States armies for the liberation of Europe.

I express confidence in continued successful and happy development in the post-war period of the friendly relations that have taken shape between our countries during the war.

I have instructed our Ambassador in London to convey to all of you my congratulations on the victory and my best wishes.

May 10, 1945


No. 466

Secret and Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I have received your message of May 2nd about arrangements in Germany and Austria as our armies establish contact. I am glad to know instructions have been issued to Soviet commanders and this information has been passed on to General Eisenhower and Field Marshal Alexander.

12th May, 1945


No. 467

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I am sorry to say that a serious situation has arisen in the Italian province of Venezia Giulia.

2. It has always been recognised that the future of this province which was acquired by Italy after the last war will have to be decided at the peace settlement since its population is largely Yugoslav and only partly Italian. Until the peace settlement it would only be right and proper that the province should be placed under the military government of Field Marshal Alexander who will occupy and administer it on behalf of all the United Nations.

3. Before however this could be done Yugoslav regular forces entered the province and occupied not only the country districts where Yugoslav guerrillas had already been active but also entered the towns of Pola, Trieste, Gorizia and Monfalcone where the population is Italian. Field Marshal Alexander’s forces advancing from the west reached Trieste at about the same time and took the surrender of the German garrisons in Trieste and elsewhere.

4. Field Marshal Alexander thereupon proposed to Marshal Tito that Yugoslav troops and administration should be withdrawn from the western part of the province so as to enable Field Marshal Alexander to control the lines of communication by road and rail between Trieste and Austria. This was a very modest request. In this western portion of the province the Field Marshal proposed to set up an Allied military government including in particular the town of Trieste, it being clearly understood that this arrangement was made purely for the sake of military convenience and in no way prejudiced the ultimate settlement of the province, which His Majesty’s Government consider should be reserved for the peace table.

5. Field Marshal Alexander sent his Chief of Staff to Belgrade to discuss the proposal with Marshal Tito, but unfortunately the latter refused to accept it and insisted instead on extending his own military government within the Isonzo River, while merely offering Field Marshal Alexander facilities for communicating with Austria through Trieste.

6. His Majesty’s Government cannot agree to such an arrangement. Yugoslav occupation and administration of the whole province would be in contradiction with the principle, which we seek to maintain, that the fate of the province must not be decided by conquest and by one-sided establishment of sovereignty by military occupation.

7. As you know, Field Marshal Alexander is in command of both British and American troops and speaks therefore on behalf of both the British and United States Governments. In view of the unhelpful attitude adopted by Marshal Tito he has now referred the matter to these two Governments.

8. The latter having carefully considered the situation with which they are faced, have decided to make the following communication to the Yugoslav Government:

“The question of Venezia Giulia is only one of the many territorial problems in Europe to be solved in the general peace settlement. The doctrine of solution by conquest and by unilateral proclamation of sovereignty through occupation, the method used by the enemy with such tragic consequences, has been definitely and solemnly repudiated by the Allied Governments participating in this war. This agreement to work together to seek an orderly and just solution of territorial claims must be the cardinal principle for which the peoples of the United Nations have made their tremendous sacrifice to attain a just and lasting peace. It is one of the corner-stones on which their representatives with the approbation of world public opinion are now at work to build a system of world security.

“The plan of the Allied Military Government for Venezia Giulia was adopted precisely to achieve a peaceful and lasting solution of a problem of admitted complexities. It is designed to safeguard the interests of the peoples involved. Its implementation, while assuring to the military forces of the Allied Governments the means of carrying on their further tasks in enemy territory, would bring no prejudice to the Yugoslav claims in the final settlement.

“With these considerations in mind and in view of the previous general agreement of the Yugoslav Government to the plans proposed for this region my Government has instructed me to inform you that it expects the Yugoslav Government will immediately agree to control by the Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean of the region which must include Trieste, Gorizia, Monfalcone and Pola, the lines of communications through Gorizia and Monfalcone to Austria and an area sufficiently to the east of this line to permit proper administrative control, and will issue appropriate instructions to the Yugoslav forces in the region in question to cooperate with the Allied Commander in the establishment of a military government in that area under the authority of the Allied Commander.

“I have been instructed to report most urgently to my Government whether the Yugoslav Government is prepared immediately to acquiesce in the foregoing.”

9. In view of the serious issues at stake I have deemed it right to inform you at the earliest possible moment of the action that the British and American Governments have found it necessary to take as a result of the attitude adopted by the Yugoslav Government and army in Venezia Giulia.

15th May, 1945


No. 468

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I am surprised that despite the invitation you extended to Mr Harriman on April 13th the Soviet Government are still refusing to allow Allied representatives to proceed to Vienna. The fact to which Mr Vyshinsky has drawn attention in a letter to the British Chargé d’Affaires that the zones of occupation in Germany and Berlin were established on a tripartite basis by the European Advisory Commission94 before Allied troops entered German territory, seems to me to have no relevance to the refusal of the Soviet Government to allow representatives of their Allies to proceed to Vienna, which has been liberated by Soviet forces. I have no wish as suggested by Mr Vyshinsky to transfer the ultimate decision on the zones question from the European Advisory Commission to Vienna. But the Soviet representative on the European Advisory Commission having had occasion to alter his own recommendations to the Commission because of the discovery that part of the proposed Soviet zone had been destroyed, makes me feel that we too are fully entitled to have opportunity to examine on the spot factors bearing on our own proposals in the Commission.

2. In order therefore to facilitate a rapid conclusion of agreements on the European Advisory Commission, which you will, I am sure, agree to be very desirable, I request that the necessary instructions may be issued to Marshal Tolbukhin so that Allied representatives may fly at once to Vienna.

17th May, 1945


No. 469

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I am in receipt of your message of May 17 concerning the arrival of British representatives in Vienna in connection with establishing the occupation zones there.

The Soviet Government considers that the establishment of occupation zones in Vienna, as well as the examination of other matters relating to the situation in Austria, are wholly under the jurisdiction of the European Advisory Commission,94 as agreed between you, President Roosevelt and myself. Hence the Soviet Government could not agree to Allied military representatives coming to Vienna to establish occupation zones and settle other issues bearing on the situation in Austria. That is still our point of view. Judging from your message of May 17, you, too, do not find it possible to transfer settlement of the zone issue to Vienna. And since our views on the matter are identical, it can be anticipated that the issue of occupation zones in Austria and in Vienna will be settled by the European Advisory Commission in the near future.

As regards the visit of British representatives to Vienna to acquaint themselves with the condition of the city on the spot and to draft proposals for the occupation zones in Vienna, the Soviet Government has no objection to the visit. Accordingly, we are giving appropriate directions to Marshal Tolbukhin simultaneously with this. The British military representatives could arrive in Vienna towards the end of May or early June, when Marshal Tolbukhin, now on his way to Moscow, returns to Vienna.

May 18, 1945


No. 470

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Although your information message of May 15 did not call for reply, I think it proper to send you the text of the message I sent to President Truman in reply to his on the Yugoslav question.

May 22, 1945

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the President, Mr H. Truman

Your message on the Istria-Trieste area reached me on May 21. A little earlier I received from you, through Mr Kennan, the text of a message on the same subject,117 transmitted by the U.S. Ambassador in Belgrade to the Yugoslav Government. Thank you for the information.

My views on the substance of the matter are as follows.

I think you are quite correct in saying that the matter is one of principle and that in relation to the Istria-Trieste territory no action should be permitted that does not take full account of Yugoslavia’s rightful claims and of the contribution made by the Yugoslav armed forces to the common Allied cause in fighting against Hitler Germany. It goes without saying that the future of that territory, the population of which is mostly Yugoslav, will have to be determined at the peace settlement. However, the point at issue at the moment is its temporary military occupation. In this respect account should be taken, I believe, of the fact that it was the allied Yugoslav troops who drove the German invaders out of the Istria-Trieste territory, thereby rendering an important service to the common Allied cause. By virtue of this circumstance alone, it would be unfair and would be a gratuitous insult to the Yugoslav Army and people to deny Yugoslavia the right to occupy a territory won from the enemy, after their great sacrifice in the struggle for the national rights of Yugoslavia and for the common cause of the United Nations.

The right solution of this problem, in my view, would be for the Yugoslav troops and administration now functioning in the Istria-Trieste area to stay there. At the same time the area should be placed under the control of the Allied Supreme Commander and a demarcation line established by mutual agreement between Field Marshal Alexander and Marshal Tito. If these proposals were accepted the problem of administration in the Istria-Trieste area would likewise find the right solution.

And since Yugoslavs are a majority in the territory and even during the German occupation a local Yugoslav administration, now enjoying the trust of the local population, began to function there, these things should be taken into account. The problem of administrative government of the territory could be properly solved by subordinating the existing Yugoslav civil administration to the Yugoslav Military Command.

I do hope that the misunderstandings over the status of the Istria-Trieste region, which have arisen between the U.S. and British Governments, on the one hand, and the Yugoslav Government, on the other, will be removed and a happy solution found.

May 22, 1945


No. 471

Personal and Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I am glad to receive your message of May 18th. Directions will be given accordingly to our military representatives through Field Marshal Alexander who will communicate with Marshal Tolbukhin through the usual channels. I have no wish, as I said in my message of May 17th, to transfer the ultimate decision of the zones question from the European Advisory Commission94 to Vienna.

22nd May, 1945


No. 472

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

According to information at the disposal of the Soviet Military and Naval Commands, Germany, in keeping with the instrument of surrender, has delivered her navy and merchant marine to the British and Americans. I must inform you that the Germans have refused to surrender a single warship or merchant vessel to the Soviet armed forces, and have sent the whole of their navy and merchant marine to be handed over to the Anglo-American armed forces.

In these circumstances the question naturally arises of assigning the Soviet Union its share of German warships and merchant vessels, as was done with regard to Italy. The Soviet Government holds that it can with good reason and in all fairness count on a minimum of one-third of Germany’s navy and merchant marine. In addition I think it necessary for the naval representatives of the U.S.S.R. to be enabled to acquaint themselves with all the materials pertaining to the surrender of Germany’s navy and merchant marine, and with their actual condition.

The Soviet Naval Command has appointed Admiral Levchenko and a group of assistants to take care of the matter.

I am sending a similar message to President Truman.

May 23, 1945


No. 473

Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I am obliged to you for sending me a copy of your message to President Truman about the Yugoslav question.

24th May, 1945


No. 474

Secret and Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I thank you for your telegram of May 23rd. It seems to me that these matters should form a general discussion which ought to take place between us and President Truman at the earliest possible date and I thank you for giving me this avowal of your views beforehand.

May 26th, 1945


No. 475

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Mr Hopkins, who has arrived in Moscow, on behalf of the President has suggested a meeting between the three of us in the immediate future. I think that a meeting is called for and that the most convenient place would be the vicinity of Berlin. That would probably be right politically as well.

Have you any objections?

May 27, 1945


No. 476

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

More than eight months ago Roumania and Bulgaria broke with Hitler Germany, signed an armistice with the Allied countries and entered the war on the side of the Allies against Germany, assigning their armed forces. They thereby contributed to the defeat of Hitlerism and facilitated the victorious conclusion of the war in Europe. In view of this the Soviet Government deems it timely to resume diplomatic relations right now and exchange Ministers with the Roumanian and Bulgarian Governments.

The Soviet Government also considers it advisable to resume diplomatic relations with Finland, which, fulfilling the terms of the armistice agreement, is now taking the democratic way. I think that it will be possible a little later to adopt a similar decision with regard to Hungary.

I am sending a similar message to the President.

May 27, 1945


No. 477

Personal and Most Secret

For Marshal Stalin from Mr Churchill

Your message of May 27th.

I shall be very glad to meet you and President Truman in what is left of Berlin in the very near future. I hope this might take place about the middle of June.

2. I have repeated this telegram to President Truman, who has informed me that this point was raised in your talks with Mr Hopkins.

All good wishes. I am very anxious to meet you soon.

May 29th, 1945


No. 478

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of May 29 to hand.

A few hours after it arrived Mr Hopkins called and informed me that President Truman thought July 15 would be the most convenient date for the meeting of the three of us. If it suits you I have no objections.

Best wishes.

May 30, 1945


No. 479

Personal and Secret Message for Marshal Stalin from Mr Churchill

I will be glad to come to Berlin with a British delegation, but I consider that July 15th, repeat July, the month after June, is much too late for the urgent questions that demand attention between us, and that we shall do an injury to world hopes and unity if we allow personal or national requirements to stand in the way of an earlier meeting. Although I am in the midst of a hotly-contested election, I would not consider my tasks here as comparable to a meeting between the three of us. I have proposed June 15th, repeat June, the month before July, but if that is not possible why not July 1st, July 2nd, or July 3rd?

I have sent a copy of this message to President Truman.

June 1st, 1945


No. 480

Secret and Personal from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

With reference to your message on the desirability of fixing the meeting of the three of us for an earlier date than July 15 I should like to tell you again that July 15 was suggested by President Truman and that I have agreed. In view of the correspondence now being exchanged between you and the President on the matter, I refrain from suggesting a new date for our meeting.

June 5, 1945


No. 481

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Thank you for your message of June 5th. I have told President Truman that I will accept the date you and he have agreed on namely July 15th.

6th June, 1945


No. 482

Secret and Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Thank you for your message of May 27th informing me that you think the time has come to resume diplomatic relations with Roumania, Bulgaria and Finland with the possibility that similar action can be taken with regard to Hungary in the near future.

2. We have ourselves been considering our future relations with these States, and we hope very shortly to put comprehensive proposals before you and the United States Government. I should hope that we might then discuss them when next we meet.

June 10th, 1945


No. 483

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Thank you for yours of June 10 about resuming diplomatic relations with Roumania, Bulgaria and Finland, as well as Hungary. I note that you will shortly let me have your proposals on the point. I still think that resumption of diplomatic relations with Roumania and Bulgaria, who together with Soviet troops helped defeat Hitler Germany, should not be delayed any longer. Nor is there any reason to defer resumption of diplomatic relations with Finland, which is fulfilling the armistice terms. As to Hungary, this can be done somewhat later.

June 14, 1945


No. 484

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

As our conference beginning on July 15th at Berlin will probably be continuing before the British election results are made known, I think it well to bring with me Mr Attlee, the official leader of the Opposition, in order that full continuity of British policy may be assured. I have informed President Truman of my intention in similar terms.

2. I am looking forward very much to meeting you again.

June 14th, 1945


No. 485

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I suggest that we use the code word “Terminal” for the forthcoming Berlin Conference. Do you agree?

15th June, 1945


No. 486

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Yours of June 15 to hand. Agree with “Terminal.”118

June 15, 1945


No. 487

Secret and Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I have seen a copy of President Truman’s message to you of June 14th regarding the withdrawal of all American troops into their own occupation zone beginning on June 21st in accordance with arrangements to be made between the respective commanders.119

2. I also am ready to issue instructions to Field Marshal Montgomery to make the necessary arrangements in conjunction with his colleagues for a similar withdrawal of British troops into their zone in Germany, for the simultaneous movement of Allied garrisons into Greater Berlin, and for provision of free movement for British forces by air, rail and road to and from the British zone to Berlin.

3. I entirely endorse what President Truman says about Austria. In particular I trust that you will issue instructions that Russian forces should begin to withdraw from that part of Austria which the European Advisory Commission94 has agreed in principle should form part of the British zone on the same date as movements begin in Germany.

June 15th, 1945


No. 488

Private

Personal and Most Secret Message for Marshal Stalin from Mr Churchill

During the progress of our conference from July 15th onwards King George will be travelling in France and Germany inspecting his troops, and he will probably visit American Headquarters. He would like very much to have an opportunity of meeting you and some of the Soviet Generals. He would therefore like to come to Berlin on one day when we shall all be together. He would, of course, take no part in the business of the conference. He would stay in the British sector. He would be very glad if you invited him to come to luncheon with you at Soviet Headquarters. He would, in the evening, give a dinner in the British sector to which he would invite yourself and other Soviet leaders and also President Truman and members of his delegation. If desired by President Truman he would lunch with him on the next day. Thereafter he would resume inspection of his troops. During his visit he would, no doubt, confer British honours on British, Russian and American commanders agreed upon through the usual channels. Anyhow I hope it might be an occasion of goodwill and rejoicing which would be helpful in other directions.

2. I am telegraphing in this sense at this moment to President Truman. Pray let me know how you feel about this, as I have to advise His Majesty.

June 15th, 1945


No. 489

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I have received your message about the withdrawal of Allied forces into their respective zones in Germany120 and Austria.

I must say regretfully that difficulties have arisen in the matter of beginning the withdrawal of British and U.S. troops into their zones and the moving of British and U.S. troops into Berlin121 on June 21, as Marshal Zhukov and other military commanders have been summoned to the Supreme Soviet session which opens in Moscow on June 19, and to arrange a parade and take part in it on June 24. They will not be able to return to Berlin until June 28-30. Moreover, it should be borne in mind that mine-clearing operations in Berlin are not yet complete and are not likely to be so before the end of the month.

With regard to Austria I must repeat what I have said about calling the Soviet commanders to Moscow and about the time of their return. It is necessary, furthermore, that in the next few days the European Advisory Commission94  should complete its work on establishing the occupation zones in Austria and in Vienna, which has yet to be done.

In view of the foregoing I suggest that we put off the beginning of the withdrawal of the respective troops and the placing of them in their zones both in Germany and in Austria till July 1.

Besides, in respect of both Germany and Austria we should even now establish occupation zones for the French troops.

We shall take proper steps in Germany and Austria in keeping with the plan set out above.

I have written about this to President Truman as well.

June 17, 1945


No. 490

Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

It is most important that the exact venue of the forthcoming Conference should be settled as soon as possible since much preparatory work will be necessary.

2. I feel very strongly, and I am sure that you will agree, that on this occasion the Russian, American and British delegations should each have separate enclaves and that they should make their own arrangements for accommodation, food, transport, guards, communications, etc. I suggest in addition there should be a fourth place in which the three delegations could meet to confer. It would be much appreciated if the Soviet Government would make arrangements for this common meeting place.

3. President Truman is in entire agreement with the above proposal.

4. I should therefore be glad if you would let me know as soon as possible the area in the vicinity of Berlin that you propose for the Conference, and the precise localities within that area that it is proposed to allot to the Soviet, American and British delegations respectively. On receipt of your reply I would immediately instruct Field Marshal Montgomery to send advance parties to make all arrangements for the British delegation in consultation with Marshal Zhukov and General Eisenhower.

5. I hope that it will be borne in mind that we will require to use an air field as near as possible to our delegation area. We could if convenient share an air field with the Americans.

June 17th, 1945


No. 491

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Yours of June 14 to hand.

I fully appreciate the motives which make you think it necessary to include Mr Attlee in the British delegation.

June 18, 1945


No. 492

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I am in receipt of your message of June 17.

The delegations will be accommodated as anticipated in your message and as was done in the Crimea. Each delegation will have its own enclave with regulations in accordance with the wishes of the head of the delegation. All three delegations will be accommodated in the Babelsberg district, south-east of Potsdam. The Crown Prince’s palace in Potsdam, a fourth building, will be used for joint meetings.

2. Marshal Zhukov will arrive in Berlin on June 28. By that date the advance groups of Montgomery and Eisenhower should be on the spot to inspect and take over the Babelsberg premises. The Montgomery and Eisenhower groups will get all the information and explanations they need concerning the premises from General Kruglov, whom your people know from Yalta.

3. There is a good air field in Kladow, not far from where the delegations will stay, and landings can be made there.

June 18, 1945


No. 493

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Although the Yugoslav Government has accepted the U.S. and British Governments’ proposal concerning the Istria-Trieste area, the Trieste negotiations seem to be deadlocked. The main reason is that the representatives of the Allied Command in the Mediterranean refuse to entertain even the minimum wishes of the Yugoslavs, to whom credit is due for liberating the area from the German invaders, an area, moreover, where the Yugoslav population predominates. This situation cannot be considered satisfactory from the Allied point of view.

Being loath to aggravate relations, I have so far in my correspondence refrained from mentioning the conduct of Field Marshal Alexander, but now I must stress that in the course of the negotiations the haughty tone to which Field Marshal Alexander sometimes resorts in relation to the Yugoslavs is inadmissible. It is simply intolerable that Field Marshal Alexander has, in an official public address, permitted himself to compare Marshal Tito with Hitler and Mussolini. That is unfair and insulting to Yugoslavia.

The Soviet Government was also surprised by the peremptory tone of the statement which the Anglo-American representatives made to the Yugoslav Government on June 2. How can one expect to get lasting and positive results by using such methods?

The foregoing compels me to draw your attention to the situation. I still hope that as far as Trieste-Istria is concerned, the Yugoslavs’ rightful interests will be respected, particularly in view of the fact that on the main point the Yugoslavs have met the Allies half-way.

June 21, 1945


No. 494

Personal, Most Secret and Quite Private Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

I had another conversation with the King yesterday and he suggested it might be better if he arrived at Berlin on the day arranged and simply gave a luncheon to you and President Truman, together with suitable guests, and then departed in the afternoon to continue his inspection. It occurred to me this might be more convenient to you. Please let me know exactly how you feel and be assured no offence will be caused in this.

22nd June, 1945


No. 495

Personal and Secret Message For Marshal Stalin from Mr Churchill

I suggest that following the precedent of the Crimea Conference the press should not be allowed at “Terminal”118 but that photographers should be permitted.

I have repeated this telegram to President Truman.

June 23rd, 1945


No. 496

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of June 22 about the King visiting Berlin, and your previous message on the same subject, have reached me.

My plan did not envisage a meeting with the King, it had in view the conference of the three of us, on which you, the President and myself had exchanged messages earlier. However, if you think it necessary that I should meet the King, I have no objection to your plan.

June 23, 1945


No. 497

Secret and Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Thank you very much for your message of June 21st. I hope as things have now been happily adjusted at Belgrade, we may discuss the position together at Berlin. Although I did not see the terms of Field Marshal Alexander’s statement before it was issued, I can assure you that he is entirely well disposed both to Russia and to Marshal Tito. I am sure that Marshal Tolbukhin would confirm this.

June 24th, 1945


No. 498

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

I accept the proposal contained in your message of June 23.

June 27, 1945


No. 499

Personal and Secret Message for Marshal Stalin from Mr Churchill

Thank you so much for your most kind telegram about the proposal that the King should visit Berlin during the conference. I greatly appreciate your answer. However, the King now finds it impossible for him to make his tour in Germany at the present time, as so many detectives and special service officers will be required for the conference of three. He has now informed me of his wish to visit Ulster at this time. Therefore I must ask you to excuse me from pursuing the question which I mentioned to you earlier and to which I have your answer of June 23rd.

July 1st, 1945


No. 500

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Premier J. V. Stalin

As we are all agreed that the press should not be allowed at Terminal”118 I think it would be advantageous to announce this publicly in advance. This will avoid disappointment and sending to Berlin of high-powered press representatives. I suggest that we should each let it be known that they will not be allowed at “Terminal” and that all that will be issued will be official communiqués as may be decided from time to time.

I am sending a similar telegram to President Truman.

July 4th, 1945


No. 501

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message on Trieste-Istria and Yugoslavia received.

I have nothing against discussing this matter at the forthcoming meeting in Germany.

July 6, 1945


No. 502

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill

Your message of July 4 received.

I agree with you about warning the press that its representatives will not be admitted to “Terminal”.118

July 6, 1945


No. 503

Personal and Secret Message for Premier Stalin from Mr Churchill

I have heard from the President that in conformity with our understanding he is announcing today that the press will not be allowed at “Terminal”118 and that all that will be issued from “Terminal” will be such official communiqués as may be decided upon from time to time.

The President tells me he is sending a similar message to you.

In anticipation of your concurrence we are making a similar announcement in London today.

July 6th, 1945


No. 504

Received on July 12, 1945

Personal Message from Mr Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Here is the letter which Ribbentrop has addressed to me and Mr Eden.122 I thought you might be interested in some of its contents, though it is extremely lengthy and dull.


No. 505

Received on July 27, 1945

Personal Message from Mr Attlee to Generalissimo J. V. Stalin

On resignation of Mr Churchill, His Majesty the King has entrusted me with the formation of a Government. You will I am sure realise that owing to the immediate and urgent tasks before me I shall be unable to return to Potsdam in time for the Plenary Meeting fixed for 5 p.m. on Friday, 27th July.

I plan to arrive in Potsdam in time for a meeting late on Saturday, 28th July, and should be much obliged if provisional arrangements could be made accordingly if this would suit your convenience. I greatly regret the inconvenience caused by this postponement.


No. 506

Personal and Secret

From Generalissimo J. V. Stalin to Mr C. Attlee

I received your message on July 27. I have no objection to your proposal for holding our conference on Saturday, July 28, at any hour you like.

July 27, 1945


No. 507

To Generalissimo Stalin

My dear Generalissimo,

You were good enough to tell me this afternoon that you would facilitate the early release from Soviet citizenship of a number of young women who have contracted marriages during the past three or four years with officers and men of the British forces serving in the Soviet Union and in a few cases with civilians.

I should like to express to you my warm thanks and to take this opportunity to tell you that you will bring happiness to some twenty young couples.

I propose, if you have no objections, to instruct Sir Archibald Clark Kerr to discuss the formalities of release with M. Molotov on their return to Moscow.

Yours sincerely,

C. R. Attlee

Berlin, August 1, 1945


No. 508

Personal and Secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr C. Attlee

Your letter of August 1 received. I have nothing against the British Ambassador in Moscow discussing with V. M. Molotov the question of the Soviet citizens who married British subjects during the war leaving for Great Britain.

August 7, 1945


No. 509

Personal Message for Generalissimo Stalin from Mr Attlee

I send you my warm congratulations on the coming of peace and the complete victory of our united armies over the last of the aggressor nations.

We have now before us the prospect of building a new spirit amongst nations which will banish suspicion and fear of war and replace them with trust and cooperation, without which there can be little hope for the world. It is therefore my earnest hope that the friendship and understanding which has grown up between the U.S.S.R. and the United Kingdom during the war may endure and expand still further in the years of reconstruction, and that our treaty of alliance may be the basis of close and lasting collaboration between us.

August 17th, 1945


No. 510

From Generalissimo J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Attlee

I thank you for your friendly greetings and congratulations on the victory over Japan and in turn congratulate you on the victory. The war against Germany and Japan and our common aims in the struggle against the aggressors have brought the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom closer and have promoted our cooperation, which for many years to come will be based on the treaty of alliance between us.

I am confident that this cooperation, tried in war and in the perils of war, will develop and grow stronger for the benefit of our peoples in the post-war as well.

August 20, 1945


No. 511

Urgent, Personal and Most Secret Message from Mr Attlee to Premier Stalin

A difference of opinion arose yesterday over the composition of the Council of Foreign Ministers for the purpose of its work on preparation of peace treaties. The discussion centred round the interpretation of the Berlin Protocol.

2. Mr Bevin maintained that the overriding provision was the decision to establish a Council composed of Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom, the U.S.S.R., China, France and the United States of America to do the necessary preparatory work for the peace settlements (paragraphs A and A (1) of Part 1 of Protocol of the Berlin Conference), and that the Council as a whole is thus responsible for discharging all tasks remitted to it. He therefore maintained that the following decision reached by the Council on September 11th is correct:

“it was agreed that all five members of the Council should have the right to attend all meetings and take part in all discussions but that in matters concerning peace settlements members whose governments had not been signatories to the relevant terms of surrender should not be entitled to vote.”

3. I have spoken to Mr Eden who tells me that his understanding at the Potsdam Conference was that the Council was free to arrange its own procedure and that it was not bound within the limits of the exact terms of the Potsdam Agreement.

4. M. Molotov considers that the decision of the Council on September 11th was a violation of the Potsdam Agreement, that it should be rescinded and that in future the Council, for work on the peace treaties, should be composed only of Foreign Ministers of States signatory to Armistices and that whilst the United States of America would be added in the case of Finland, China would be excluded altogether and France from all treaties except the Italian. This does not accord with my understanding of the spirit and intention of the decision arrived at in Potsdam.

5. The decision of the Council on September 11th was agreed by the five Ministers present, including M. Molotov, and it accords with the understanding held in good faith by the United States and British Foreign Secretaries. It seems to me beyond question that the Council was entitled to adopt the above resolution (see paragraph A (4) (ii) Part 1 of Berlin Protocol). Moreover it cannot be held to depart in any way from the Potsdam decision as restriction of the vote means in effect that the Council will be composed for taking decisions as proposed. Since this question has been referred to me I should like to touch on a broader aspect of the matter. The decision of September 11th was adopted unanimously after discussion and I should view with grave misgiving the institution of a precedent calling in question decisions so taken and seeking to reverse them and therefore rejecting conclusions arrived at by the British Foreign Minister acting in faithful concert with the other Foreign Ministers. That I should fear would change altogether in an adverse sense the nature and indeed the value of the Council of Foreign Ministers and introduce an element of confusion into their proceedings. Indeed I doubt whether it would be possible to gain unanimous consent of the Council to a reversal of its earlier decision and any attempt to do so would clearly cause grave offence to France and China and be completely misunderstood here by public and Parliament to whom we reported in good faith that the Council would act as a Council of Five, a statement which was received with a sense of relief in this country. M. Molotov argues that under his proposals the work of the Council would be greatly accelerated. Even if this were so, which is by no means proved by the course of the discussions, it would certainly not counterbalance the damage to harmonious collaboration caused by the offence given. To my mind the success of the present Conference123 and indeed of the whole future of the Council and confidence in a just peace is at stake. Therefore I earnestly hope you will agree to authorise your delegation to adhere to the decision taken on September 11th. After all it is peace we are endeavouring to establish which is more important than procedure.

23rd September, 1945


No. 512

Sent on September 24, 1945

Personal and Secret Message from Premier J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr Attlee

Your message on the differences over the Council of Ministers has reached me.

V. M. Molotov’s stand on this issue derives from the necessity of faithfully carrying out the Berlin Conference decision, clearly formulated in paragraph 3 (b) of the decision on the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers decision of September 11 runs counter to the Berlin Conference decision mentioned above and is, therefore, inacceptable.

The point, then, is not Council of Ministers procedure, but whether the Council of Foreign Ministers has the right to revoke this or that provision of the Berlin Conference decisions. I think we shall depreciate the Berlin Conference decisions if we for a single moment grant the Council of Foreign Ministers the right to revoke them.

I do not think that rectification of the error committed – a rectification designed to reaffirm the decisions of the Berlin Conference, on which V. M. Molotov insists – can give rise to a negative attitude to the Conference or to the Council of Ministers, or offend anyone.


No. 513

Received on October 30, 1945

Personal Message from Mr Attlee to Generalissimo Stalin

I wish you to know that I am visiting President Truman shortly in Washington to discuss with him and the Prime Minister of Canada problems to which the discovery of atomic energy has given rise.

2. I trust that you are benefiting from your short respite from work.


No. 514

Received on November 6, 1945

Message from Mr Attlee to Generalissimo Stalin

On this anniversary of the foundation of the Soviet State I send you my warmest greetings and congratulations. May the Soviet Union long flourish under your leadership and may the friendship of our people, based on our victory, upon the Anglo- Soviet alliance and upon our common membership of the United Nations Organisation, grow ever stronger in the coming year of peace.


No. 515

Personal and Secret from Generalissimo J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister, Mr C. Attlee

I am in receipt of your message about the meeting with President Truman. Thank you for the communication.

November 8, 1945


No. 516

Sent on November 15, 1945

From Generalissimo J. V. Stalin to the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Mr C. Attlee

Thank you for your congratulations on the 28th anniversary of the founding of the Soviet State.


Notes

1 A Soviet military mission under General F. I. Godlike arrived in London on July 8, 1941 to put Soviet-British military cooperation on a practical footing and settle matters relating to British military and technical aid to the USSR. A British military and economic mission arrived in Moscow on June 27, 1941.

2 On July 12, 1941, the Soviet and British Governments concluded an agreement on joint operations in the war against Germany, instead of issuing a joint declaration as originally planned.

3 A Norwegian port where British troops were landed in April 1940 during the German invasion. On May 2 and 3 the Germans forced the British to withdraw.

4 British troops were landed on the Greek island of Crete in November 1940, after the Italian attack on Greece. On May 20, 1941, German forces assaulted Crete and by May 31 had overrun it.

5 The Soviet Union submitted the list of raw materials it wished to buy from the United Kingdom to the British economic mission in the USSR on June 28, 1941.

6 In Placentia Bay (Newfoundland) on August 9-12, 1941, President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill held a meeting known as the Atlantic Conference. They discussed further United States and British plans in connection with the radical change in the international situation following the Soviet Union’s entry into the war against Hitler Germany. They coordinated the foreign policies of their two countries, and declared their war aims. On August 14, 1941, they adopted and made known a joint declaration (the Atlantic Charter), containing “certain common principles in the national policies of their respective countries”. On September 24, 1941, the Soviet Government announced its concurrence with the basic principles of the Atlantic Charter.

At their Atlantic Conference the two leaders discussed the question of supplying arms and materiel to the Soviet Union. The joint message by Roosevelt and Churchill given between these covers was a result of this discussion.

7 Harry Hopkins visited Moscow in July 1941 as President Roosevelt’s personal representative and was received by J. V. Stalin.

8 Under an agreement between the governments of the Soviet Union and Britain, the two countries sent troops to Iran on August 25, 1941, to safeguard it against seizure by fascist Germany and prevent an attack from Iranian territory on the Soviet Union and British possessions in the Middle East.

9 Subsequently the British Government revised its stand on the entry of British and Soviet troops into Tehran. In September 1941 it notified the Soviet Government that it had decided immediately to move troops into Tehran and had sent appropriate instructions to the British Commander in Iran. It asked the Soviet Government to issue similar instructions to the Soviet Commander in Iran. As a result of the British initiative British and Soviet troops moved into Tehran in September 1941.

10 On August 23, 1941, the Japanese Foreign Minister, Toyoda, informed the Soviet Ambassador in Tokyo that the transit of U.S. supplies, purchased by the Soviet Union, to Vladivostok, in proximity of Japanese territory placed Japan in a difficult position in view of her relations with Germany and Italy. He added that although the Japanese Government wished, in keeping with the neutrality pact, to avoid the extension of the calamity of war to East Asia, it would be “hard” for Japan, depending on how Germany and Italy reacted to the transit of those cargoes, “to maintain her present attitude for long”.

On August 26, 1941, the Soviet Ambassador gave the following reply:

“The Soviet Government sees no reason for any Japanese concern whatever about the fact that the goods purchased by the U.S.S.R. in the U.S.A., such as oil or gasoline, which you, Mr Minister, have mentioned, will be shipped to the U.S.S.R. by the usual trade routes, including the one leading to Soviet Far Eastern ports. Nor does the Soviet Government see any reason for concern about the fact that Japan imports from other countries any commodities she needs.

“The Soviet Government deems it necessary to state in this connection that it could not but regard any attempt to interfere with normal trade relations between the Soviet Union and the U.S.A. through Far Eastern ports as an unfriendly act towards the U.S.S.R.

“At the same time the Soviet Government confirms that the goods which the Soviet Union purchases in the U.S.A. are intended primarily for the increased needs in the west of the U.S.S.R. due to the defensive war imposed upon the Soviet Union, as well as for the current economic requirements of the Soviet Far East.”

11 The allusion is to the meeting between Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt in the Atlantic in August 1941.

12 The writer refers to the Lease-Lend Act, adopted by the U.S. Congress on March 11, 1941. The Act empowered the U.S. Government to lease or lend to other countries various articles and materials essential to their defence, provided their defence was, according to the definition of the President, vital to U.S. defence.

13 That is, the conference between Soviet, British and U.S. representatives held in Moscow over September 29-October 1, 1941, to discuss reciprocal deliveries of war materials.

14 The treaty of alliance between the U.S.S.R., Britain and Iran was signed on January 29, 1942.

Under the treaty the Soviet Union and Britain undertook to respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Iran, to protect it from aggression by Germany or any other country, and to render it every possible economic aid. Iran undertook to cooperate with the Allies by all possible means at its disposal, with aid of the Iranian armed forces being confined to support of an internal order within Iranian territory. The parties undertook not to conclude any agreements incompatible with the provisions of the treaty. The treaty ensured Iran’s cooperation with member-countries of the anti-Hitler coalition.

15 Britain declared war on Finland, Hungary and Roumania on December 6, 1941.

16 The meeting between President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill on December 22, 1941-January 14, 1942 in Washington was devoted to working out Joint military plans. Following the Japanese attack on the US naval base in Pearl Harbour on December 8, 1941, and the declaration of war on the U.S.A. by Germany and Italy on December 11, 1941, the United States became a party to the Second World War.

17 In a letter to A. Y. Vyshinsky, Deputy People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. on January 5, 1942, British Ambassador Cripps stated that Churchill’s message referred to the article “Pétain Methods in the Philippines” by D. Zaslavsky. The article appeared in Pravda on December 30 – not 31, as indicated in Churchill’s message – 1941.

18 The reference is to a draft agreement on British recognition of the frontier which existed at the time of the Hitler attack upon the Soviet Union, that is, June 22, 1941, as the western frontier of the Soviet Union after the war.

19 Sir Archibald Clark Kerr.

20 The reference is to draft military and political treaties between the Soviet Union and Britain.

Negotiations to conclude the two treaties (one military – alliance and mutual assistance in war – the other political – post-war cooperation) were begun in December 1941, during Mr Eden’s visit to Moscow. After Mr Eden’s departure they were continued in London between British Government representatives and the Soviet Ambassador.

21 Apparently J. V. Stalin’s message of April 22, 1942 (see Document No. 40, p. 50).

22 Winston Churchill made this statement over the radio on May 10, 1942.

23 Prime Minister Churchill’s message, dated May 9, 1942, was received by J. V. Stalin on May 11, 1942 (see Document No. 44).

24 The writer alludes to a draft agreement on British recognition of the western frontiers of the U.S.S.R. (see Note 18).

25 That is, the Soviet-British treaty of alliance in the war against Hitler Germany and her associates in Europe, and of collaboration and mutual assistance after the war, signed in London on May 26 1942. The signing of the treaty was the outcome of the negotiations started during Eden’s visit to Moscow in December 1941. The original idea was to conclude two treaties – alliance and mutual assistance in war and post-war cooperation. In subsequent course of the discussions it was decided to sign one treaty comprising obligations relating to the war as well as to the post-war. The duration of the commitments relating to post-war Soviet-British cooperation was set at 20 years at the proposal of the British side. The Soviet Government agreed not to insist on including in the treaty a clause on Britain’s recognition of the Soviet Union’s western frontiers of 1941.

26 The allusion is to opening a second front in France in 1942, a decision on which was to have been taken after a discussion of the matter by V. M. Molotov and the US Government.

27 The writer has in mind the Polish émigré Government’s troops formed on Soviet territory in 1941-42, in accordance with the Soviet- Polish agreement of July 30, 1941, for joint operations with the Red Army against the German-fascist aggressor on the Soviet-German front. A part of these troops was withdrawn from the Soviet Union by the Polish émigré Government in March-August 1942.

28 The reference is to the Anglo-Soviet Communiqué on the London visit of the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. released on June 12, 1942. The communiqué pointed out that during V. M. Molotov’s negotiations with British Prime Minister Mr Winston Churchill the two countries had reached complete agreement concerning the pressing tasks of opening a second front in Europe in 1942.

29 Code name for the landing of U.S. and British forces in North Africa, carried out in November 1942.

30 The Channel Islands were seized by the Hitlerites on June 30 and July 1, 1940.

31 Paragraph 5 of the Aide-Mémoire reads as follows:

“We are making preparations for a landing on the Continent in August or September 1942. As already explained, the main limiting factor to the size of the landing force is the availability of special landing craft. Clearly, however, it would not further either the Russian cause or that of the Allies as a whole if, for the sake of action at any price, we embarked on some operation which ended in disaster and gave the enemy an opportunity for glorification at our discomfiture. It is impossible to say in advance whether the situation will be such as to make this operation feasible when the time comes. We can therefore give no promise in the matter, but provided that it appears sound and sensible we shall not hesitate to put our plans into effect.”

32 Code name for an operation that U.S. and British forces planned to carry out in the Strait of Dover area in 1942.

33 A convoy carrying war cargoes for the Soviet Union.

34 Mr Churchill refers to the message which he sent to J. V. Stalin and which was received by the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. on April 19, 1941, enclosed with a letter from British Ambassador Cripps to A. Y. Vyshinsky, Deputy People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. The message read:

“I have sure information from a trusted agent that when the Germans thought they had got Yugoslavia in the net, that is to say after March 20th, they began to move three out of five Panzer divisions from Roumania to Southern Poland. The moment they heard of the Serbian revolution this movement was countermanded. Your Excellency will readily appreciate the significance of these facts.”

35 On October 6 1942, representatives of the Soviet Union, the U.S.A. and Britain signed a protocol in Washington on U.S. and British deliveries of war equipment, ammunition and raw materials to the Soviet Union for a year’s term – from July 1, 1942 to June 30, 1943.

36 When Churchill informed Stalin during their Moscow meeting in August 1942 of the planned Allied invasion of French North-West Africa, Stalin expressed his doubts as to the wisdom of not involving General de Gaulle and the troops of Fighting France. It would be more useful to have General de Gaulle in the operation, he held, for this would make it politically more justifiable.

37 The reference is to German occupation of that part of France which, under the armistice agreement signed between France and Germany on June 22, 1940, was not to be occupied. In November 1942 the Germans crossed the demarcation line and overran the whole of France, except a strip running along the Franco-Italian frontier, which was occupied by the Italians.

38 That is, the French fleet concentrated at Toulon.

39 On August 10, 1941, the Soviet and British Ambassadors in Ankara informed the Turkish Government that their countries would respect the territorial inviolability of the Turkish Republic and were ready to render Turkey every aid and assistance in the event of an attack by any European power.

40 The allusion is to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s and Winston S. Churchill’s conference in Casablanca (North-West Africa) on January 14-23, 1943.

41 Rabaul, a town in New Britain, an island of the Bismarck Archipelago.

42 The conference between Prime Minister Churchill and Saracoğlu, the Turkish Premier, took place on January 30-31, 1943, at Adana, Turkey.

43 The allusion is to the Combined Anglo-American Staffs formed in Washington on February 6, 1942, to work on the problems of Anglo- American military cooperation. The staff consisted of representatives of the armed forces of the United States and Britain.

44 The documents in question were:

(1) “Notes from which the Prime Minister addressed President Ismet and the Turkish Delegation at the Adana Conference.”

In this document Mr Churchill pointed out that he and Roosevelt wanted Turkey to become strong and to be closely linked with Britain and the United States. Mr Churchill held this particularly important because “there remains . . . the German need of oil and of Drang nach Osten” and because “a state of anarchy” might arise in the Balkans “needing the Turkish Government to intervene to protect its own interests.” He also pointed out that J. V. Stalin “is most anxious to see Turkey well armed and ready to defend herself against aggression.” He wrote that Britain and the U.S.A. were prepared to help Turkey both by supplying her with considerable quantities of war materials and by sending anti-aircraft artillery and anti-tank units to Turkey. Later, Turkey would be assisted, he pointed out by sending a Polish corps along with units of the Ninth and Tenth British Armies.

(2) “Agreed Conclusions of the Anglo-Turkish Military Conference Held at Adana on the 30th and 31st January, 1943.”

The document said that Turkey would submit to Britain lists of the munitions and materiel required by the Turkish armed forces to be examined by the British. The latter were also to consider the possibility of transferring British ships to the Turks for the delivery of materials to Turkey. The document said that British staff officers were being sent to Ankara to confer with the Turkish General Staff and that Britain undertook to train a certain number of Turkish service personnel in her military schools and Army units.

(3) “Note on Post-War Security.”

In this document Mr Churchill dealt with plans for convening, even before the end of the war in the Pacific, a peace conference in Europe, with a long period of post-war rehabilitation and the founding of a world organisation for preserving peace. His plan envisaged, as an integral part of that organisation, an “instrument of European government.” A similar “instrument” was to be set up in the Far East, he wrote. “The victorious Powers,” he went on, “intend to continue fully armed, especially in the air.” He declared that Britain would do her utmost to organise a coalition of resistance to any act of aggression committed by any Power and that the United States was expected to cooperate with Great Britain and “even possibly take the lead of the world, on account of her numbers and strength.”

Mr Churchill maintained that “the highest security for Turkey in the post-war world will be formed by her in taking her place as a victorious belligerent ally at the side of Great Britain, the United States and Russia”. He went on to say that Turkey must definitely side with the United Nations and become a full belligerent.

45 Code name for the Allied landing in Sicily, effected in July 1943.

46 That is, the “Aid to Russia” fund, set up by the British Red Cross in October 1941 under the presidency of Mrs Churchill, the Prime Minister’s wife.

47 The agreement between the Soviet Government and the Polish émigré Government on renewing diplomatic relations and fighting jointly against Hitler Germany was signed in London on July 30, 1941.

48 Mission 30 is the code name of the wartime British military mission in the USSR.

49 The writer has in mind the following message sent to him by the British Government on August 7, 1943:

“The successful development of Anglo-American action against Italy has made it necessary for His Majesty’s Government and the United States Government to resume, as had been agreed between them in May, the recent Washington discussions for the purpose of reaching agreement on further operations in the Mediterranean theatre accompanied by the pressing forward of our preparations for “Overlord” (the code name for the large-scale cross-Channel operations in 1944) and of determining the relations of all of them to the war in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

“2. Beside this the whole long-term plan of the Anglo-American war against Japan after the defeat of Hitler in Europe has been for several months under continual study by a joint Anglo-American Staff. The work of this joint body has now reached a stage where it must be reviewed by the Combined Staffs, and by the President and by the Prime Minister. The task is one of enormous magnitude and it is essential that everything should be planned as far as possible to accomplish it. The Prime Minister accompanied by the Chiefs of Staff is, therefore, hoping to meet President Roosevelt and his advisers again in the course of the next few days. The Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will be kept informed of what passes and of all the conclusions affecting the European theatre in which our supreme and unchanging object is to engage the enemy as soon and as closely as possible on the largest scale.

“3. The Prime Minister still hopes that a meeting between the three heads of the Governments may be possible before long. He understood that Marshal Stalin was unable to leave Russia for a meeting a deux with the President, which the President proposed and which the Prime Minister would have welcomed. His own suggestion for a tripartite meeting also could not be realised. The Prime Minister still thinks that Scapa Flow is the best for all parties, but he repeats his willingness to go to any rendezvous which is convenient for the Marshal and the President. In spite of the fact that it has not been possible yet to arrange any tripartite meeting, the war affairs of the United Nations have prospered on all fronts. Nevertheless very great advantages might be gained by a discussion between the three principals, and he still hopes that this desirable end may be achieved.”

50 Code name for the crossing of the Channel and the invasion of France, carried out by Allied forces in June 1944.

51 The Italian General Castellano who, on instructions from Badoglio, signed the “short terms” for the surrender of Italy on September 3, 1943.

52 Code name for the Allied invasion of Italy in the Naples area, carried out in September 1943.

53 The text of the message from F. D. Roosevelt and W. S. Churchill to J. V. Stalin, dated August 19, 1943, was received in the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. with the following remark by British Ambassador Kerr: “The armistice terms referred to in paragraph 1 (a) above are those of which I informed you in my letter of the 3rd August. The terms to be communicated later will follow the political, economic and financial terms which were communicated by Mr Eden to Monsieur Sobolev on the 30th July.”

In a letter of August 3, 1943, Mr Kerr communicated the “short terms” for the surrender of Italy. The document setting forth the “comprehensive terms” for the Italian surrender was transmitted to the Soviet Government on July 30, 1943, through the Soviet Embassy in London (it was handed by Mr Eden to A. A. Sobolev, the Soviet Chargé d’Affaires in Britain). On July 31, 1943, the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. informed the British Ambassador that the Soviet Government did not object to the terms and that it had instructed the Soviet Chargé d’Affaires in Britain to notify Mr Eden accordingly.

54 The reference should apparently have been made to paragraph 1 (c).

55 Code name for the meeting between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, which took place in Washington in May 1943.

56 Code name for the Azores.

57 That is, at Quebec.

58 The reference is to a joint message from President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, dated August 19, 1943 (see Document No. 172, pp. 148-151). It was sent to the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. by British Ambassador Kerr on August 20 1943, with some omissions. The supplements and corrections to the text came in on August 22. The full text of the message appears under No. 172.

59 That is, at the conference which Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt were holding in Quebec at the time.

60 The allusion is to the “short” and “comprehensive” or (“long”) terms for the surrender of Italy. The “short terms” consisted of eleven articles bearing chiefly on military issues. On August 3, 1943 British Ambassador Kerr communicated the text of the “short terms” to the Soviet Government, advising it that they had already been sent to General Eisenhower against the eventuality of the Italian Government directly approaching him with a request for an armistice.

On August 26, 1943, the British and U.S. Ambassadors handed to the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. the full text of the “comprehensive terms” for the Italian surrender, consisting of forty-four articles which contained not only military provisions but also political, economic and financial stipulations bound up with the surrender. On August 27, 1943, the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. notified the British and U.S. Ambassadors that the Soviet Government agreed to the “comprehensive terms” for the surrender of Italy and empowered General Eisenhower to sign those terms on behalf of the Soviet Government.

On September 1, 1943, the British Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. informed the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. that the “short terms” – with the addition of Article 12, which read: “Other conditions of a political, economic and financial nature, with which Italy would be bound to comply, will be transmitted at a later date” – had been communicated to the Italian Government. The Ambassador pointed out that the Italian Government could send a representative authorised to sign only the “short terms”. He asked to be advised whether the Soviet Government’s agreement to the signing of the “comprehensive terms” for the surrender of Italy applied to the “short terms” as well. On September 2, 1943, the Soviet Government answered in the affirmative. On September 3, 1943, the “short terms” were signed in Sicily by General Castellano on behalf of Italy and General Bedell Smith acting on behalf of the United Nations. The “comprehensive terms” were signed on Malta on September 29, 1943, by Marshal Badoglio and General Eisenhower on behalf of Italy and the United Nations respectively.

61 Article 10 of the “short terms” for the surrender of Italy read: “The Commander-in-Chief of the Allied forces reserves to himself the right to take any measures which, in his opinion, may be necessary for the protection of the interests of the Allied forces or for the prosecution of the war, and the Italian Government bind themselves to take such administrative or other actions as the Commander-in- Chief may require, and in particular the Commander-in-Chief will establish an Allied Military Government over such parts of Italian territory, as he may deem necessary in the military interests of the Allied nations.”

62 That is, Washington.

63 The writer means the Aide-Mémoire which the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. handed to the British Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. on September 20, 1943. In it the Soviet Government insisted on resumption of the convoys to northern harbours of the Soviet Union, suspended by the British and U.S. Governments in March 1943.

64 The reference is to the Note which the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. sent through the Soviet Ambassador in London to the British Foreign Office on June 15, 1943. It raised for the second time in 1943 the question of establishing, by mutual agreement between the Soviet and British Governments, an equal maximum for the numerical composition of the Soviet Military Mission in Britain and the British Military Mission in the U.S.S.R., a maximum within which entrance visas might be issued. The proposal was supported with the fact that numerically the Soviet Military Mission and Soviet Trade Delegation in Britain, who performed about the same amount of work as the British Military Mission in the Soviet Union made up slightly more than one-third of the British Military Mission in the Soviet Union.

65 In Reply to Prime Minister Churchill’s message, received on October 13, 1943, A. Y. Vyshinsky, Deputy People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R., on October 25 handed British Ambassador Kerr and U.S. Ambassador Harriman the following Aide-Mémoire:

“The Soviet Government agrees to the draft Declaration of the Governments of Great Britain, the United States of America and the Soviet Union, proposed by the Prime Minister, Mr W. Churchill, in his message to Premier J. V. Stalin, dated October 13, with the following amendments:

“1. Insert at the end of the first paragraph: ‘This is now attested most clearly by the monstrous crimes perpetrated on Soviet soil now being liberated from the Hitlerites and on French and Italian soil.’

“2. In the third paragraph, substitute ‘The Soviet Union’ for the ‘Russia.’

“3. In the fourth paragraph, omit the words ‘regardless of expenditure.’

“4. At the end of the last paragraph, insert: ‘and who will be punished by joint decision of the Allied Governments.’ ”

66 The conference of the Foreign Ministers of the Soviet Union, the U.S.A. and Britain, held in Moscow between October 19 and 30, 1943.

67 On December 23, 1943, the British Chargé d’Affaires in the U.S.S.R. Mr Balfour, wrote to the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. that the Greek Prime Minister, Mr Tsouderos was about to call on the Greek guerrillas over the radio to cease civil strife and join forces in order to fight the Germans. In that appeal he wanted to say that his call had the approval of the British, Soviet and U.S. Governments. Saying that the British Government was ready to approve an appeal of this nature, Mr Balfour asked whether the Soviet Government could empower Mr Tsouderos to make it on behalf of the Soviet Government as well. On January 3, 1944, the Soviet Ambassador to Britain, F. T. Gusev, acting on instructions from the Soviet Government, replied to the British Government’s proposal in the affirmative.

68 The Soviet military mission arrived at the headquarters of the Yugoslav partisan movement on February 23, 1944.

69 Code name for the landing on the south coast of France, carried out by the Allies on August 15, 1944.

70 The reference is to a Cairo report by Pravda’s Own Correspondent published on January 17, 1944. The report said that, according to reliable information, a secret meeting had taken place between Ribbentrop and British leaders with the aim of ascertaining the terms for a separate peace with Germany.

71 The war-time title of the magazine New Times.

72 The Curzon Line – the conventional name for the line recommended by the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers on December 8, 1919, as Poland’s eastern frontier. The Curzon Line derived from the decision of the delegations of the principal Allied Powers, who considered it necessary to include only ethnographically Polish regions in the territory of Poland. On July 12, 1920, the British Foreign Secretary, Curzon, sent a Note to the Soviet Government proposing a line approved by the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers in 1919 as the eastern frontier of Poland. In the Note it said: “This line runs approximately as follows: Grodno-Jalovka-Nemirov-Brest-Litovsk-Dorohusk-Ustilug, east of Grobeshov, Krilov and thence west of Rava-Ruska, east of Pryemysl to Carpathians.” On August 16, 1945 a treaty signed in Moscow defined the Soviet-Polish frontier; according to its terms the frontier as a whole was established along the Curzon Line, with certain departures in favour of Poland.

73 The allusion is to the statement of the Soviet Government on Soviet- Polish relations, published on January 11, 1944. It said: “Poland’s eastern frontiers may be worked out with the Soviet Union. The Soviet Government does not regard the 1939 frontiers as immutable. Corrections may be introduced in Poland’s favour in the sense that districts where Poles are in the majority should go to Poland. The Soviet-Polish frontier could run approximately along the so-called Curzon Line adopted in 1919 by the Supreme Council of Allied Powers, with the Western Ukraine and Western Byelorussia going to the Soviet Union. Poland’s western frontiers must be extended to include the old Polish lands formerly seized by Germany, for without this the Polish people will not be united in their own state. Furthermore, the Polish state will then get a much needed outlet to the Baltic Sea. The Polish people’s just desire to be fully united in a strong and independent state must be recognised and supported.”

74 The Soviet-Polish peace treaty was signed in Riga on March 18, 1921. Under it the Western Ukraine and Western Byelorussia were ceded to Poland.

75 The allusion is to the anti-Soviet slander campaign which the Hitlerites launched in 1943 over the Polish officers whom they themselves had massacred at Katyn near Smolensk. See J. V. Stalin’s message to Prime Minister Churchill of April 21, 1943 (Document No. 150, pp. 125- 126)

76 That is, the protocol on reciprocal deliveries, signed by the United States, Britain, Canada and the Soviet Union on October 19, 1943, for one year – from July 1, 1943, to June 30, 1944.

77 That is, the Soviet-Polish frontier line, established on March 18, 1921, under the Riga Treaty between the Soviet Union and Poland.

78 The reference is to a letter of February 23, 1944, in which the British Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. communicated that Prime Minister Churchill was prepared to lend eight old British destroyers and four British submarines to the Soviet Union until such time as they could be replaced by Italian ships.

79 The reference is to the statement which the British Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. made on March 19, 1944, insisting, on instructions from Prime Minister Churchill, that the Soviet Government should reach agreement with the Polish émigré Government along the lines proposed by Mr Churchill that is, by postponing settlement of the Soviet- Polish frontier till the armistice conference. The Ambassador contended that if the Soviet Government’s point of view, stated in the course of the Anglo-Soviet discussions on the Polish question, namely, that the Polish-Soviet frontier should follow the Curzon Line, became known to public opinion there would be general disillusionment both in Britain and in the United States. Soviet rejection of the Churchill proposal, he said, might give rise to difficulties in Anglo-Soviet relations, cast a shadow on the carrying out of the military operations agreed at Tehran and complicate the prosecution of the war by the United Nations as a whole.

80 On April 10, 1944, General Deane, head of the U.S. Military Mission, and General Burrows, head of the British Military Mission, notified Marshal Vasilevsky, Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army, that the British and U.S. High Commands planned to launch a cross- Channel operation on May 31, 1944, it being understood that the date might be shifted two or three days one way or the other depending on weather and tide.

81 On May 20, 1944, the British Ambassador sent to the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. the copy of a telegram from Churchill to Tito. The telegram informed Tito of the changes that had taken place in the Yugoslav émigré Government in London and in connection with them asked Tito not to take any action, at least not until Churchill and Tito had exchanged views on the matter; besides, it said that Maclean, a British officer, would arrive in Yugoslavia and would inform Tito in detail of the British Government’s point of view.

82 Code name for the date of the Allied invasion of Europe across the Channel. “D+30” stands for the date thirty days after the invasion.

83 The allusion is to the resignation of Marshal Badoglio, the Italian Prime Minister, which occurred on June 9, 1944, after a futile attempt to form a new Cabinet.

84 This refers to the “Text of the Instructions to the British Representative on the Advisory Council for Italy”, enclosed with a letter from, the British Ambassador to the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. of June 14, 1944. It said in the “Instructions” that in discussing the question of a new Italian Government the British representative should point out that, in the opinion of the British government, two conditions for the acceptance of any such administration – that is, the Bonomi Cabinet – would be (1) the new Italian Government should formally express its readiness in writing to accept all obligations towards the Allies entered into by the former Italian Governments since the conclusion of the armistice, including the “long” armistice terms, and that each member of the administration should be personally acquainted with the terms of all such obligations, and (2) the new Government must undertake not to reopen the Constitutional question without the prior consent of the Allied Governments. The British Government requested the Soviet Government’s support for the above statement of the British representative. On June 15, 1944, the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. advised the British Ambassador that the Soviet Government had directed its representative on the Advisory Council for Italy to support the proposals of the British representative in discussing the question of a new Italian Government.

85 The allusion is to the resolution on Italy adopted by the Advisory Council on June 16, 1944. The resolution demanded that the new Italian Government (Bonomi) should reaffirm in writing all obligations towards the Allies entered into by the former Italian Governments since the signing of the armistice on September 3, 1943, and that it should take no steps to discuss the Constitutional question until Italy was liberated and the Italian people enabled freely to express their views.

86 Harry Hopkins’ visit to the Soviet Union in July 1941.

87 Winston Churchill met Tito and Šubašić in Naples on August 12-13 1944. Thereupon Tito and Šubašić continued their talks on the island of Vis.

88 The allusion is to an international organisation for the maintenance of peace and security (United Nations Organisation), discussed by representatives of the Soviet Union, the United States and Britain in Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, in August-September 1944.

89 Enclosed with Prime Minister Churchill’s letter were two cables from Washington describing a manifestation held by Americans of Polish descent in New York on October 8, 1944.

90 On November 7, 1944, a group of U.S. military aircraft attacked a Soviet column between the towns of Niš and Aleksinac (Yugoslavia) and engaged the Soviet fighters sent to cover it. The attack resulted in casualties among the Soviet troops, and each side lost several planes. In reply to a Soviet representation the head of the U.S. Military Mission in the U.S.S.R. stated on November 20, 1944, that, as established by investigation, the attack had been launched by mistake.

91 The writer refers to the plan for establishing under international control a zone comprising the Ruhr, Westphalia and the Saar. The plan was put forward by Mr Churchill and Mr Eden during discussions with J. V. Stalin in Moscow in October 1944.

92 Enclosed with Prime Minister Churchill’s message was the following telegram of November 27, 1944, sent by General Wilson to the Anglo- American Combined Staffs, as well as to the British Chiefs of Staff in London and to General Deane in Moscow:

“1. Germans are escaping from Yugoslavia, and it is vital to us and to the Russians that they be attacked. A strict interpretation of the present temporary bomb line imposed upon our forces by an unrecognisable straight line drawn on a map from Sarajevo to Prilep would virtually stop all Allied air effort against disorganised and retreating Germans. This temporary bomb line would, in effect, take out of our action and reach the most lucrative targets along remaining escape routes left open to the Germans getting out of Southern Yugoslavia.

“2. For example, there has been much movement the last few days on the main escape route, Novi Pazar-Prijepolje-Višegrad. Also during this time, six major concentrations of parked vehicles were revealed by reconnaissance between Rogatica and Novi Pazar. These concentrations were reported to be from three to eight miles in length. Under a strict application of the temporary bomb line now laid down, these lucrative targets would be denied the weight of our air effort. The Sarajevo area is known to be of increasing importance to the German in his concentration of troops and supplies, yet with the current bomb line that area would be free from Allied air attack.

“3. In the general area Scutari-Podgorica are also two German Divisions. The probable escape route of these divisions would be Podgorica-Mateševo, thence via Kolašin or Berane-Prijepolje-Sarajevo. The initial part of this route under present conditions is open to us for attack. However, the greater majority of the route would enjoy the protection of the temporary bomb line, which would preclude our forces from taking action against these concentrations.

“4. Instead of a straight bomb line from Sarajevo to Prilep, we propose the following bomb line which follows certain recognisable features, such as enemy’s communications lines and roads which constitute his escape routes, and to include these on our side of the bomb line. The following is the way in which we propose to delineate this temporary bomb line: Reference is *11 over 500,000* Europe (Air), all places inclusive to our forces: The roads Sarajevo-Mokro-Sokolac-Rogačica-Pešuici-Dobrun-Uvac-Prijepolje-Zenića-thence (exclusive to our forces) Šuivdo-Krstaca-Desnica River-Vioca-thence (inclusive to our forces) road Berane-Podgorica-Scutari. Within these areas, known partisan-held areas would be exempted from attack.

“Obviously this delineation must be changed almost daily in accord with information furnished to us as to the Soviet forward elements.

“It is desired to point out that although some of these places are included on our side of the bomb line, this in no way precludes the Russian Air Forces from attacking any of these localities where targets may be offered. In effect it offers the opportunity for our forces as well as the Russian forces, to attack them.

“The forward Soviet and partisan lines, as known to us this date are as follows: Boljevci-Obrenovac-Lajkovac-Valjevo-Kraljevo-Mitrovica- Priština-Prizren-Lesh.

“Request your authorisation of this amended bomb line and that you immediately advise Russians to this effect.

“Further request you press the immediate acceptance of field liaison and that no future commitments concerning bomb lines in this area be made without prior reference to this theatre.”

93 In the telegram W. Churchill called Tito’s attention to a number of cases in which Yugoslav officers had refused to cooperate with British. That, he wrote, “can scarcely fail to hinder the attainment of our common object”. Elsewhere in the telegram he wrote: “Since our meeting I have always entertained high hopes which I have felt sure you shared that close and friendly relations should exist between your forces and ours. Indeed, only thus can our joint resources be put to their best use. I would, therefore, most earnestly request you to issue orders to your officers in this sense and to ensure that our forces are offered every facility for cooperating with yours so as to allow the Allied war effort its full scope.” Mr Churchill also informed Tito that he had examined the draft agreement between Tito and Šubašić (see Note 95) and held that the agreement “should provide a basis for an understanding”. He notified Tito that he would send J. V. Stalin a copy of the telegram.

94 The European Advisory Commission (E.A.C.) was constituted by the Governments of the U.S.S.R., U.S.A. and Britain under a decision of the Moscow Foreign Ministers’ Conference (October 19-30, 1943), it consisted of representatives of the three powers. The purpose of the E.A.C. was to study European problems designated by the three governments relating to the termination of hostilities, and to give the three governments joint advice on these problems. On November 11, 1944 the Governments of the U.S.S.R., U.S.A. and Britain invited the Provisional Government of the French Republic to participate in the work of the European Advisory Commission with headquarters in London as its fourth permanent member. The E.A.C. was dissolved in August 1945.

95 The Šubašić-Tito agreement, concluded on November 1, 1944, provided for the establishment of a Regency Council in Yugoslavia and the formation of a United Yugoslav Government from representatives of the National Committee of Liberation and the Royal Government.

96 The decision to convert the Polish Committee of National Liberation into the Provisional Government of the Polish Republic was taken at the 6th session of the Krajowa Rada Narodowa on December 31, 1944-January 3,1945. The Government was made up of representatives of Polish democratic parties.

97 Stettinius’ statement said in part: “It has been the consistently held policy of the United States Government that questions relating to boundaries should be left in abeyance until the termination of hostilities. As Secretary Hull stated in his address of April 9, 1944, ‘This does not mean that certain questions may not and should not in the meantime be settled by friendly conference and agreement.’ In the case of the future frontiers of Poland, if a mutual agreement is reached by the United Nations directly concerned, this Government would have no objection to such an agreement which could make an essential contribution to the prosecution of the war against the common enemy.”

98 Code name for the conference of the leaders of the three Allied Powers – the Soviet Union, the U.S.A. and Britain – held in the Crimea in February 1945.

99 The writer has in mind the Communiqué issued by the Chancellery of the Yugoslav King on January 11, 1945. The Communiqué said that the King had raised objections to the Tito-Šubašić agreement “as it stands now”.

100 Prime Minister Churchill enclosed with his message undated copies of a letter from Franco to the Spanish Ambassador in Britain, the Duke of Alba, and Churchill’s reply to Franco. Franco instructed the Ambassador to convey the contents of his letter “to our good friend, the British Prime Minister”. Franco’s letter, which attacked the Soviet Union, said that he desired a rapprochement between Spain and Britain, it being obvious from the letter that the rapprochement should, as Franco saw it , be aimed above all at combating the U.S.S.R., as well as the U.S.A. “With a Germany annihilated and a Russia that has consolidated her ascendancy in Europe and Asia, and the United States similarly dominant in the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans as the mightiest nation of the world,” the letter said, “the European countries surviving in a devastated continent will be facing the most serious and dangerous crisis in their history.” Franco complained of “the activities of the British Secret Service” and of the “petty intrigue” carried on by the British against Spain.

In his reply Mr Churchill took exception to Franco’s statement about the activities of British agents in Spain. He pointed out the difficulties which Spain had raised during the war to the Allied military effort, the aid which she had extended to the Allies’ enemies, and Franco’s disparaging comments on Britain. “I had indeed been happy,” he wrote, “to observe the favourable changes in Spanish policy towards this country, which began during the tenure of office of the late General Jordana, and I publicly took note of these developments in the speech which I made in the House of Commons on May 24th. Unfortunately, as Your Excellency recognises in your letter to the Duke of Alba, these developments have not yet gone far enough to remove all barriers between our two countries. While such barriers remain, the development of really close relations of friendship and cooperation with Spain, which His Majesty’s Government desire, must meet with difficulties. . . .”

In his message to J. V. Stalin Mr Churchill recalled the mention of British-Soviet friendship in his reply to Franco. The relevant passage in Mr Churchill’s letter reads: “I should be seriously misleading you if I did not at once remove any misconception that His Majesty’s Government are prepared to consider any grouping of Powers in Western Europe or elsewhere on a basis of hostility towards, or of the alleged necessity of defence against, our Russian allies. The policy of His Majesty’s Government remains firmly based upon the Anglo-Soviet Treaty of 1942 and they regard the continuance of Anglo-Russian collaboration, within the framework of the future world organisation, as essential, not only to their own interests, but also to the future peace and prosperity of Europe as a whole.”

101 The communication enclosed with Prime Minister Churchill’s letter ran as follows:

“London, 6 p.m., 9.2.45.

“Field Marshal Montgomery’s new offensive south-east of Nijmegen is keeping up its momentum on the upper end of the Siegfried Line. British and Canadian troops have advanced 4 1/2 miles and are well into the first of the three Siegfried Lines.

“7 towns and villages have been captured, 1,800 prisoners taken and German losses are reported as heavy. Our losses are comparatively light.

“German resistance on the West Rhine south of Strasbourg has ended.”

102 The memorandum enclosed with Churchill’s letter read:

“After the restoration of order in Athens by British and Greek troops, a truce was arranged with the E.L.A.S. forces under which the latter withdrew from the main towns to certain specified districts. Negotiations were then opened by the Regent and by the Greek Government of General Plastiras with the main E.L.A.S. leaders, as the result of which a Conference was convened in Athens at the beginning of February, at which E.L.A.S. were represented by three delegates.

“The Greek Government on February 3 put forward very conciliatory proposals aiming at the formation of a new National Army the purging of the gendarmerie and the police, the restoration of rights of free speech and assembly and Trades Union association to be followed by early election. The Greek Government insisted upon general disarmament prior to the formation of a new National Army. The Greek Government were also prepared to offer an amnesty to all concerned in the recent fighting, but insisted that those guilty of crimes not arising out of the conditions created by civil war should be punished. The Government’s proposals were calculated to guarantee impartial justice through a carefully conceived system of trials and appeals and leaders of the recent revolt would be immune from attack.

“The E.L.A.S. delegates from the outset welcomed the Government proposals in general terms, but at first pressed for a general amnesty without any qualification. But on February 6 they also agreed in writing to the Government’s amnesty proposal.

“On the same day the E.L.A.S. delegates however pressed for the immediate raising of martial law. To this the Greek Government are not prepared to agree, since they consider that martial law can only be raised after disarmament has been effected. The Conference was adjourned and did not meet on February 7.

“The economic situation in Greece, already difficult, has been further prejudiced by the recent fighting, but order having now been restored in the main ports, including Piraeus, Salonika and Patras, H.M.G. are resuming the provision of food and other supplies to Greece. H.M.G. propose to assist the Government with equipment, etc. for the new National Army, the formation of which should enable British troops to be progressively withdrawn from the country for use on the main war front against the common enemy.”

103 In the letter of February 11, 1945, Mr Eden asked for information on the number of British prisoners of war liberated by the Soviet Army and for entry visas to British officers being sent by the British Government to German prisoner of war camps in the areas liberated by Soviet troops. He also inquired how British subjects could be sent to Britain from the Soviet Union.

104 On February 11, 1945, as a result of discussions held at the Crimea Conference, analogous agreements were concluded between the Soviet Union and Britain, and between the Soviet Union and the U.S.A., providing for measures to protect, maintain and repatriate Allied prisoners of war and civilians – Soviet or U.S. citizens or British subjects – liberated by Allied troops.

105 At the Crimea Conference the leaders of the three Allied Powers – the Soviet Union, the United States and Britain – reached a decision on Poland which, among other things, said that the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. and British Ambassadors “are authorised as a commission to consult in the first instance in Moscow with members of the present Provisional Government and with other Polish democratic leaders from within Poland and from abroad, with a view to the reorganisation of the present Government. . . .” In accordance with this decision the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. and British Ambassadors to the Soviet Union held discussions in Moscow for reorganising the Polish Provisional Government to include representatives of both Polish emigres and Poles from the home country.

106 The San Francisco Conference was held between April 25 and June 26, 1945, to elaborate the charter of the future international organisation for the maintenance of peace and security.

107 Copy of Alexander’s telegram was sent to the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. by the British Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. on March 12, 1945. The telegram said that the Hitler General Wolff had arrived in Switzerland to discuss the capitulation of the German forces in North Italy and that the Office of Strategic Services of the Anglo-American forces in the Mediterranean theatre was holding “further discussions” with Wolff.

On the same day the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R. advised the British Ambassador that the Soviet Government would like officers representing the Soviet Command to take part in the discussions.

In a letter dated March 15,1945, the British Ambassador replied that Alexander’s representatives had already arrived secretly in Berne. It was evident from the letter that the British Government was denying representatives of the Soviet Command the right to attend the Berne discussions.