Received on February 11, 1942
For January and February our shipments have included and will include 449 light tanks, 408 medium tanks, 244 fighter planes, 24 B-25’s, and 233 A-20’s.
I realize the importance of getting our supplies to you at the earliest possible date and every effort is being made to get shipments off.
The reports here indicate that you are getting on well in pushing back the Nazis.
Although we are having our immediate troubles in the Far East, I believe that we will have that area reinforced in the near future to such an extent that we can stop the Japs, but we are prepared for some further setbacks.
Received on February 13, 1942
I am much pleased that your Government has expressed its willingness to receive my old and trusted friend, Admiral Standley, as the Ambassador of the United States. He and I have been closely associated for many years, and I have complete confidence in him. I recommend him to you not only as a man of integrity and energy but also as one who is appreciative of and an admirer of the accomplishments of the Soviet Union, which, you will recall, he visited last year with Mr Harriman. Admiral Standley has since his return from Moscow already done much to further understanding in the United States of the situation in the Soviet Union and with his rich background and his knowledge of the problems which are facing our respective countries I am sure that with your cooperation his efforts to bring them still more close together will meet with success.
My attention has just been called to the fact that the Soviet Government has placed requisitions with us for supplies and munitions of a value which will exceed the billion dollars which were placed at its disposal last autumn under the Lease-Lend Act5 following an exchange of letters between us. Therefore, I propose that under this same Act a second billion dollars be placed at the disposal of your Government upon the same conditions as those upon which the first billion were allocated. Should you have any counter suggestions to offer with regard to the terms under which the second billion dollars should be made available you may be sure that careful and sympathetic consideration will be given them. It may, in any event, prove mutually desirable later to review such financial arrangements as we may enter into now to meet changing conditions.9
Sent on February 18, 1942
I have received your message about U.S. arms deliveries in January and February. I stress that it is now, when the peoples of the Soviet Union and their Army are bending their energies to throw the Hitler troops back by a tenacious offensive, that U.S. deliveries, including tanks and aircraft, are essential for our common cause and our further success.
Sent on February 18, 1942
This is to acknowledge receipt of yours of February 13. I should like first of all to point out that I share your conviction that the efforts of the new U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, Admiral Standley, whom you hold in such high esteem, to bring our two countries still closer together, will be crowned with success.
Your decision, Mr President, to grant the Government of the U.S.S.R. another $1,000,000,000 under the Lend-Lease Act5 on the same terms as the first $1,000,000,000, is accepted by the Soviet Government with sincere gratitude. With reference to the matter raised by you I would like to say that, in order not to delay decision, the Soviet Government will not at the moment raise the matter of revising the terms for the second $1,000,000,000 to be granted to the Soviet Union nor call for taking due account of the extreme strain placed on the U.S.S.R. by the war against our common foe. At the same time I fully agree with you and hope that later we shall jointly fix the moment when it will be mutually desirable to revise the financial agreements now being concluded, in order to take special account of the circumstances pointed out above.9
I take this opportunity to draw your attention to the fact that in using the loan extended to the U.S.S.R. the appropriate Soviet agencies are encountering great difficulties as far as shipping the munitions and materials purchased in the U.S.A. is concerned. In these circumstances we think that the most useful system is the one effectively used in shipping munitions from Britain to Archangel, a system not introduced so far with regard to supplies from the U.S.A. In keeping with this system the British military authorities supplying the munitions and materials select the ships, supervise their loading in harbour and convoying to the ports of destination. The Soviet Government would be most grateful if the same system of delivering munitions and convoying the ships to Soviet harbours were adopted by the U.S. Government.
Yours very sincerely,
This is to acknowledge receipt of your message of February 20th.10
I would like you to know that in due course we will be glad to revise with you our agreement on the funds advanced by us under the Lend-Lease Act.9 At the moment the prime task is delivery of supplies to you.
I have given directions to study your proposal for centralizing here munitions deliveries to Russia.
We are greatly encouraged by the latest news of the successes of your Army.
I send you warm congratulations on the 24th anniversary of the Red Army.
February 23, 1942
Received on March 16, 194211
My dear Mr Stalin.
Mr Harriman has handed me your kind note dated October 3, 1941.12 I appreciate very much hearing from you.
A cable has already gone to you advising you that we can include the Soviet Union under our Lend-Lease arrangements.5
I want to take this opportunity to assure you again that we are going to bend every possible effort to move these supplies to your battle lines.
The determination of your armies and people to defeat Hitlerism is an inspiration to the free people of all the world.
Very sincerely yours,
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Received on April 12, 1942
It is unfortunate that geographical distance makes it practically impossible for you and me to meet at this time. Such a meeting of minds in personal conversation would be useful to the conduct of the war against Hitlerism. Perhaps if things go as well as we hope, you and I could spend a few days together next summer near our common border off Alaska. But, in the meantime, I regard it as of the utmost military importance that we have the nearest possible approach to an exchange of views.
I have in mind a very important military proposal involving the utilization of our armed forces in a manner to relieve your critical Western Front. This objective carries great weight with me.
Therefore, I wish you would consider sending Mr Molotov and a General upon whom you rely to Washington in the immediate future. Time is of the essence if we are to help in an important way. We will furnish them with a good transport plane so that they should be able to make the round trip in two weeks.
I do not want by such a trip to go over the head of my friend, Mr Litvinov, in any way, as he will understand, but we can gain time by the visit I propose.
I suggest this procedure not only because of the secrecy, which is so essential, but because I need your advice before we determine with finality the strategic course of our common military action.
I have sent Hopkins to London relative to this proposal.
The American people are thrilled by the magnificent fighting of your armed forces and we want to help you in the destruction of Hitler’s armies and material more than we are doing now.
I send you my sincere regards.
Sent on April 20, 1942
Thank you for the message which I received in Moscow a few days ago.
The Soviet Government agrees that it is essential to arrange a meeting between V. M. Molotov and you for an exchange of views on the organisation of a second front in Europe in the near future. Molotov can arrive in Washington not later than May 10-15, accompanied by an appropriate military representative.
It goes without saying that Molotov will also go to London to exchange views with the British Government.
I have no doubt that I shall be able to have a personal meeting with you, to which I attach great importance, especially in view of the big problems of organising the defeat of Hitlerism that confront our two countries.
Please accept my sincere regards and wishes for success in the struggle against the enemies of the United States of America.
We are having grave difficulties with the northern convoy route and have informed Litvinov of the complications. You may be sure, however, that no effort will be omitted to get as many ships off as possible.
I have heard of Admiral Standley’s cordial reception by you and wish to express my appreciation.
I am looking forward to seeing Molotov and the moment I hear of the
route we shall make preparations to provide immediate transportation. I
do hope Molotov can stay with me in the White House while he is in
Washington but we can make a private home nearby available if that is
May 4, 1942
Sent on May 15, 1942
Thank you for the message delivered by M. M. Litvinov. In connection with the present difficulties in sailing and escorting ships to the U.S.S.R. I have already approached Prime Minister Churchill for his help in overcoming them as quickly as possible. As the delivery of cargoes from the U.S.A. and Britain in May is a pressing matter, I address the same request to you, Mr President.
V. M. Molotov will leave for the U.S.A. and Britain a few days later than planned – on account of weather vagaries. It appears that he can fly in a Soviet aircraft – both to Britain and the U.S.A. I should add that the Soviet Government thinks it necessary for Molotov to travel without any press publicity until he returns to Moscow, as was done in the case of Mr Eden’s visit to Moscow last December.
As to Molotov’s place of residence in Washington, both he and I thank you for your offer.
Received on June 8, 1942
I am greatly appreciative of your having sent Mr Molotov to see me and I am anxiously awaiting word of his safe arrival back in the Soviet Union. Our visit was very satisfactory.13
Sent on June 12, 1942
The Soviet Government considers as you do, Mr President, that the results of V. M. Molotov’s visit to the U.S.A. were quite satisfactory.13
I take the occasion to express to you, Mr President, the Soviet Government’s sincere gratitude for the cordial welcome given to Molotov and his colleagues during their stay in the U.S.A.
He returned safely to Moscow today.
The situation, which is developing in the Northern Area of the Pacific Ocean and in the Alaskan Area, presents tangible evidence that the Japanese Government may be taking steps to carry out operations against the Soviet Maritime Provinces. Should such an attack materialize the United States is ready to assist the Soviet Union with American air power provided the Soviet Union makes available to it suitable landing fields in the Siberian Area. The efforts of the Soviet Union and of the United States would of course have to be carefully coordinated in order promptly to carry out such an operation.
Ambassador Litvinov has informed me that you have signified your approval of the movement of American planes via Alaska and Northern Siberia to the Western Front and I am pleased to receive this news. I am of the opinion that in our common interests it is essential that detailed information be immediately initiated between our joint Army, Navy and Air representatives in order to meet this new danger in the Pacific I feel that the question is so urgent as to warrant granting to the representatives of the Soviet Union and of the United States full power to initiate action and to make definite plans. For this reason I propose that you and I appoint such representatives and that we direct them immediately to confer in Moscow and Washington.
June 17, 1942
In connection with my message to you of June 17, I wish to emphasize that if the delivery of aircraft from the United States to the Soviet Union could be effected through Alaska and Siberia instead of across Africa, as is now the practice, a great deal of time would be saved. Furthermore, the establishment of a ferry service through Siberia would permit the delivery by air of short-range aircraft to the Soviet Union instead of by sea, as is now the case.
If landing fields can be constructed in the Siberian area and meteorological and navigational facilities can be established to connect up with the appropriate American air services, I am prepared to instruct the American ferry crews to deliver aircraft to you at Lake Baikal. This air route could be easily connected up with the landing fields leading into the Vladivostok area. In the event of a Japanese attack on the Soviet Maritime Provinces, such a Siberian airway would permit the United States quickly to transfer American aircraft units to the latter area for the purpose of coming to the assistance of the Soviet Union.
From the studies I have made of the problems involved in the establishment of a Siberian-Lake Baikal air service, it is clear that certain rivers which flow into the Arctic Ocean would have to be utilized for the shipping into Eastern Siberia of such bulky goods as fuel, as well as machinery, needed for the construction of the landing fields. The reason why I am communicating with you before receiving an answer to my message of June 17 is dictated by the necessity for immediate action, since this freight must be moved while the rivers in question are free of ice, that is, during the next few weeks.
If you are in agreement with the urgency and importance of this air route, I request that in order to expedite its development you authorize an American airplane to make a survey and experimental flight from Alaska over the proposed route for the purpose of ascertaining what equipment and supplies would be needed to construct the necessary landing fields and to establish the essential navigational services. Civilian clothes would be worn by the personnel making this flight and they would in fact conduct the flight as personnel of a commercial agency. Furthermore, all necessary measures would be taken to make sure that the personnel in no way would be identified with the military services of the United States. One or two Soviet officers or officials could, of course, be taken on the American plane at Nome, Alaska.
The flight would not be in lieu of the conversations of the joint Army, Navy and Air representatives of the United States and the Soviet Union as recommended in my message of June 17. It would be conducted for the sole purpose of enabling these representatives to enter into their discussions with more accurate and detailed information of the problems involved than would otherwise be the case.
June 23, 1942
Sent on July 1, 1942
With reference to your latest messages I should like to tell you that I fully concur with you as to the advisability of using the Alaska-Siberia route for U.S. aircraft deliveries to the Western Front. The Soviet Government has, therefore, issued instructions for completing at the earliest possible date the preparations now under way in Siberia to receive aircraft, that is, for adapting the existing air fields and providing them with additional facilities. As to whose pilots should fly the aircraft from Alaska, I think the task can be entrusted, as the State Department once suggested, to Soviet pilots who could travel to Nome or some other suitable place at the appointed time. An appropriate group of those pilots could be instructed to carry out the survey flight proposed by you. To fully ensure reception of the aircraft we should like to know the number of planes which the U.S.A. is allocating for despatch to the Western Front by that route.
As to your proposal for a meeting between U.S. and Soviet Army and Navy representatives to exchange information if necessary, the Soviet Government is in agreement and would prefer to have the meeting in Moscow.
Received on July 6, 1942
The Egyptian crisis which is threatening the supply route to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has caused Prime Minister Churchill to direct to me an urgent inquiry whether forty A-20 bombers which are now in Iraq en route to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics can be transferred to the Egyptian front. Because of limited information here, it is impossible for me to express judgment on this matter. For this reason I have thought it better to request you to make a decision, taking into consideration the interests of the war effort of the United Nations14 as a whole.
Sent on July 7, 1942
In view of the situation in which the Allied forces find themselves in Egypt I have no objection to forty of the A-20 bombers now in Iraq en route to the U.S.S.R. being transferred to the Egyptian front.
As the American representatives at the conferences to be held in Moscow which were suggested in my cable to you of June 17, I am designating Major-General Follet Bradley, our Naval Attaché, Captain Duncan, and our Military Attaché, Colonel Michela. General Bradley is the only representative who will be sent to Moscow from the United States. He will come fully prepared and authorized to discuss all plans in relation to the conference.
We are prepared to have at Nome within the next few days an American four-engine plane to make the survey trip, three or four Soviet officers to accompany it. On the other hand we would be very glad to have American officers accompany a Soviet plane.
July 7, 1942
I am deeply appreciative of your telegram authorizing the transfer of forty bombers to Egypt. I have arranged for one hundred and fifteen medium tanks with ammunition and spare parts to be shipped to you at once in addition to all tanks being shipped in accordance with the terms of the July protocol.15
July 9, 1942
Sent on July 18, 1942
Your message on the designation of Major-General F. Bradley, Captain Duncan and Colonel Michela as the U.S. representatives at the Moscow conference has reached me. The U.S. delegates will be given every assistance in carrying out their assignment.
On the Soviet side the conference will be attended by Major- General Sterligov, Colonel Kabanov and Colonel Levandovich.
As regards the survey flight, we could in the next few days send a plane from Krasnoyarsk to Nome – I mean an American twin-engine aircraft – which could take on the U.S. officers on its way back from Nome.
I take this opportunity to thank you for the news about the despatch of an additional hundred and fifteen tanks to the U.S.S.R.
I consider it my duty to warn you that, according to our experts at the front, U.S. tanks catch fire very easily when hit from behind or from the side by anti-tank rifle bullets. The reason is that the high-grade gasoline used forms inside the tank a thick layer of highly inflammable fumes. German tanks also use gasoline, but of low grade which yields smaller quantities of fumes, hence, they are more fireproof. Our experts think that the diesel makes the best tank motor.
I have received your message regarding the proposed survey flight from Alaska and the Moscow conference. Members of the survey flight will be in Alaska and ready to depart by August first. In this connection a four-engine bomber will be at Nome in the event that it is required.
I greatly appreciate your report on the difficulties experienced at the front with American tanks. It will be most helpful to our tank experts in eradicating the trouble with this model to have this information. The fire hazard in future models will be reduced, however, as they will operate on a lower octane fuel.
July 23, 1942
Sent on August 2, 1942
I have received your latest message about the survey flight from Alaska. Our B-25 aircraft will arrive at Nome probably between August 8 and 10 and before taking off for the planned survey flight will pick up the three American members of the flight.
I have asked Mr Harriman to go to Moscow to be at your call and that of your visitor16 to render any help which he may possibly give.
August 5, 1942
Knowledge has come to me which I feel is definitely authentic that the Government of Japan has decided not to undertake military operations against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics at this time. This, I believe, means postponement of any attack on Siberia until the spring of next year. Will you be kind enough to give this information to your visitor.16
August 5, 1942
Sent on August 7, 1942
I have received your messages dated August 5. Thank you for advising me of Mr Harriman’s forthcoming arrival in Moscow. I read with interest your information on Japan, and shall not fail to pass it on to my visitor.16
Your frank opinion on the following plan, which I think may be useful, would be very much appreciated:
For the primary purpose of explaining to the Governments of Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt the danger they run in a German victory and that their greatest hope for the future lies in the defeat of Nazi domination of the places of the Near East and the Middle East, I am sending Mr Wendell Willkie to visit the Governments of these countries.
For a wholly different purpose Mr Willkie would very much like to visit the Soviet Union. In addition to seeing for himself the undying unity of thought in repelling the invader and the great sacrifices which you are all making, he wants to know more about the wonderful progress made by the Russian people.
As you know Mr Willkie was my opponent in the 1940 elections and he is today the head of the minority party. He is heart and soul with my administration in our foreign policy of opposition to Nazism and real friendship with your Government, and he is greatly helping in war work. For the sake of the present and the future I personally think that a visit to the Soviet Union by Mr Willkie would be a good thing. He would proceed to the Soviet Union by air during the first two weeks of September.
I should be grateful if you would confidentially and frankly inform me whether you would welcome a very short visit by him.
August 9, 1942
Sent on August 12, 1942
Your message of August 9 to hand. The Soviet Government takes a favourable view of Mr Wendell Willkie’s visit to the U.S.S.R. and I can assure you that he will be most cordially entertained.
Received on August 19, 1942
I regret indeed that I was unable to have been with you and Mr Churchill in the conferences which have recently taken place in Moscow. The urgent needs of the military situation, especially insofar as the Soviet-German front is concerned, are well known to me.
I am of the opinion that it will be difficult for the Japanese to dislodge us from the vantage point which we have gained in the area of the South-west Pacific.17 Although the naval losses of our forces were considerable in that area, the advantages which we have gained will justify them and I can assure you we are going to press them in a vigorous manner. I well realize on the other hand that the real enemy of both our countries is Germany and that at the earliest possible moment it will be necessary for both our countries to bring our power and forces to bear against Hitler. Just as soon as it is humanly possible to assemble the transportation you may be sure that this will be done.
In the interim there will leave the United States for the Soviet Union during the month of August over 1,000 tanks, and at the same time other strategic materials are going forward, including aircraft.
The fact that the Soviet Union is bearing the brunt of the fighting and losses during the year 1942 is well understood by the United States and I may state that we greatly admire the magnificent resistance which your country has exhibited. We are coming as quickly and as strongly to your assistance as we possibly can and I hope that you will believe me when I tell you this.
Sent on August 22, 1942
Your message of August 19 received. I, too, regret that you were unable to take part in the talks which Mr Churchill and I recently had.
With reference to what you say about the despatch of tanks and other strategic materials from the United States in August I should like to emphasise our special interest in receiving U.S. aircraft and other weapons, as well as trucks in the greatest numbers possible. It is my hope that every step will be taken to ensure early delivery of the cargoes to the Soviet Union, particularly over the northern sea route.
My dear Mr Stalin,
I am giving this letter of presentation to you to General Patrick J. Hurley, former Secretary of War and at present United States Minister to New Zealand.
General Hurley is returning to his post in New Zealand and I have felt it to be of the highest importance that, prior to his return, he should be afforded the opportunity of visiting Moscow and of learning, so far as may be possible, through his own eyes the most significant aspects of our present world strategy. I wish him in this way, as a result of his personal experiences, to be able to assure the Government of New Zealand and likewise the Government of Australia that the most effective manner in which the United Nations14 can join in defeating Hitler is through the rendering of all possible assistance to the gallant Russian armies, who have so brilliantly withstood the attacks of Hitler’s armies.
I have requested General Hurley likewise to visit Egypt, as well as Iran and Iraq, in order that he might thus personally familiarize himself with that portion of the Middle East and see for himself the campaign which is being carried on in that area.
As you know, the Governments of Australia and of New Zealand have been inclined to believe that it was imperative that an immediate and all-out attack should be made by the United Nations against Japan. What I wish General Hurley to be able to say to those two Governments after his visit to the Soviet Union is that the best strategy for the United Nations to pursue is for them first to join in making possible the defeat of Hitler and that this is the best and surest way of insuring the defeat of Japan.
I send you my heartiest congratulations on the magnificent achievements of the Soviet armies and my best wishes for your continued welfare.
Yours very sincerely,
Franklin D. Roosevelt
October 5, 194218
In taking this opportunity to send you a personal message through the courtesy of Mr Standley, who is leaving for Washington, I should like to say a few words about U.S. military deliveries to the U.S.S.R.
The difficulties of delivery are reported to be due primarily to shortage of shipping. To remedy the shipping situation the Soviet Government would be prepared to agree to a certain curtailment of U.S. arms deliveries to the Soviet Union. We should be prepared temporarily fully to renounce deliveries of tanks, guns, ammunition, pistols, etc. At the same time, however, we are badly in need of increased deliveries of modern fighter aircraft – such as Aircobras – and certain other supplies. It should be borne in mind that the Kittyhawk is no match for the modern German fighter.
It would be very good if the U.S.A. could ensure the monthly delivery of at least the following items: 500 fighters, 8,000 to 10,000 trucks, 5,000 tons of aluminium, and 4,000 to 5,000 tons of explosives. Besides, we need, within 12 months, two million tons of grain (wheat) and as much as we can have of fats, concentrated foods and canned meat. We could bring in a considerable part of the food supplies in Soviet ships via Vladivostok if the U.S.A. consented to turn over to the U.S.S.R. 20 to 30 ships at the least to replenish our fleet. I have talked this over with Mr Willkie, feeling certain that he will convey it to you.
As regards the situation at the front, you are undoubtedly aware that in recent months our position in the South, particularly in the Stalingrad area, has deteriorated due to shortage of aircraft, mostly fighters. The Germans have bigger stocks of aircraft than we anticipated. In the South they have at least a twofold superiority in the air, which makes it impossible for us to protect our troops. War experience has shown that the bravest troops are helpless unless protected against air attack.
October 7, 1942
Received on October 9, 1942
I have received a copy of the Prime Minister’s message to you. We are going to move as rapidly as possible to place an air force under your strategic command in the Caucasus. I am now trying to find additional planes for you immediately and will advise you soon. I am also trying to arrange to have some of our merchant ships transferred to your flag to increase your flow of materials in the Pacific. I have just ordered an automobile tire plant to be made available to you. We are sending very substantial reinforcements to the Persian Gulf to increase the flow of supplies over that route and are confident that this can be done. We are sending a large number of engines and other equipment as well as personnel. I am confident that our contemplated operation will be successfull.
The gallant defense of Stalingrad has thrilled everyone in America and we are confident of its success.
I am examining every possibility of increasing the number of fighter planes to be sent to the Soviet Union. The fact of the matter is that all Aircobra production is now going to fighting fronts immediately. While these urgent combat requirements make it impossible to increase the number of Aircobras for you at the moment, nevertheless I am hoping to increase our production of this type at the expense of other types in order to give you more planes. Also if our forthcoming operations which you know about turn out as successfully as they promise, we would then be in a position to release fighters.
Our heavy bombardment group has been ordered mobilized immediately for the purpose of operating on your southern flank. This movement will not be contingent on any other operation or commitment and these planes and sufficient transports will go to the Caucasus at an early date.
I shall telegraph you in a day or so in reference to explosives, aluminium and trucks.
Twenty merchant ships for use in the Pacific are being made available to you.
In October we will ship to you 276 combat planes and everything possible is being done to expedite these deliveries.
October 12, 1942
Sent on October 15, 1942
Your message of October 12 to hand. I am grateful for the information.
Received on October 16, 1942
I am glad to inform you, in response to your request, that the items involved can be made available for shipment as follows:
Wheat; two million short tons during the remainder of the protocol year15 at approximately equal monthly rates.Trucks; 8,000 to 10,000 per month.
I will advise you at an early date of the aluminum shipments which I am still exploring.
I have given orders that no effort be spared to keep our routes fully supplied with ships and cargo in conformity with your desires as to priorities on our commitments to you.
I have received your message of October 16. I am behind in answering because front affairs held my attention. The thing now is to have the promised cargoes delivered to the U.S.S.R. as scheduled by you.
October 19, 1942
I have just received from Admiral Standley your personal note, a copy of which you had previously sent me.19 The Ambassador has also given me a very full report of his views on the situation in the Soviet Union. He confirms reports we have already received of the fighting qualities and strength of the Soviet Army and the urgent need of the supplies which you have indicated. These needs I fully recognize.
October 24, 1942
Sent on October 28, 1942
Your message of October 24 received. Thank you for the information.
My dear Mr President,
Thank you very much for your letter, which reached me through General Hurley18 today. I have had a long talk with him on strategic matters. I think that he understood me and is now convinced of the soundness of the Allies’ present strategy. He asked for an opportunity to visit one of our fronts, in particular the Caucasus. This opportunity will be provided.
No serious changes have occurred on the Soviet-German front in the past week. We plan to launch our winter campaign in the near future and are preparing for it. I shall keep you informed about it.
All of us here rejoice at the brilliant success of U.S. and British arms in North Africa. Congratulations on the victory. With all my heart I wish you further success.
Yours very sincerely,
November 14, 1942
I am glad you have been so kind to General Hurley. As you can well recognize, I have had a problem in persuading the people of Australia and New Zealand that the menace of Japan can be most effectively met by destroying the Nazis first. General Hurley will be able to tell them at first hand how you and Churchill and I are in complete agreement on this.
Our recent battles in the South-west Pacific make the position there more secure even though we have not yet eliminated attempts by the Japanese to extend their southward drive.
The American and British staffs are now studying further moves in the event that we secure the whole south shore of the Mediterranean from Gibraltar to Syria. Before any further step is taken, both Churchill and I want to consult with you and your staff, because whatever we do next in the Mediterranean will have a definite bearing on your magnificent campaign and your proposed moves this coming winter.
I do not have to tell you to keep up the good work. You are doing that, and I honestly feel that things everywhere look brighter.
With my warm regards,
November 19, 1942
Sent on November 20, 1942
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.
I want you to know that we have hit the Japs very hard in the Solomons. There is a probability that we have broken the backbone of the strength of their fleet, although they still have too many aircraft carriers to suit me, but we may well get some more of them soon.
We are in the South-west Pacific with very heavy forces by air, land and sea and we do not intend to play a waiting game. We are going to press our advantages.
I am sure we are sinking far more Jap ships and destroying more airplanes than they can build.
I am hopeful that we are going to drive the Germans out of Africa soon and then we will give the Italians a taste of some real bombing, and I am quite sure they will never stand up under that kind of pressure.
The news from the Stalingrad area is most encouraging and I send you my warmest congratulations.
November 26, 1942
Sent on November 27, 1942
Thank you for your message, received on November 21. I fully appreciate your desire to explain the military set-up to people in Australia and New Zealand, and your preoccupation with operations in the South-west Pacific. As to the Mediterranean operations, which are making such favourable progress and are important in terms of changing the whole military situation in Europe, I share your view that the time is ripe for appropriate consultations between the General Staffs of the U.S.A., Great Britain and the U.S.S.R.
Heartfelt regards and best wishes for further success in your offensive.
Thank you for your message which reached me on November 27. I am glad to hear of your successes in the Solomons area and of the strong build-up of your forces in the Southwest Pacific.
Feeling certain of the speedy expulsion of Germans from North Africa, I trust that this will help in launching Allied offensive operations in Europe. The intensive air raids planned for Italy will no doubt be very- useful.
We have achieved some success in the Stalingrad operation, largely facilitated by snowfall and fog which prevented the Germans from making full use of their aircraft.
We have decided to launch operations on the Central Front, too, to keep the enemy from moving his forces south.
I send you warm regards and best wishes to the U.S. Armed Forces.
November 28, 1942
The more I consider our mutual military situation and the necessity for reaching early strategic decisions, the more persuaded I am that you, Churchill and I should have an early meeting.
It seems to me that a conference of our military leaders alone will not be sufficient, first, because they could come to no ultimate decisions without our approval and, secondly, because I think we should come to some tentative understanding about the procedures which should be adopted in event of a German collapse.
My most compelling reason is that I am very anxious to have a talk with you. My suggestion would be that we meet secretly in some secure place in Africa that is convenient to all three of us. The time, about January 15th to 20th.
We would each of us bring a very small staff of our top army, air and naval commanders.
I hope that you will consider this proposal favourably because I can see no other way of reaching the vital strategic decisions which should be made soon by all of us together. If the right decision is reached, we may, and I believe will, knock Germany out of the war much sooner than we anticipated.
I can readily fly, but I consider Iceland or Alaska out of the question at this time of the year. Some place can, I think, be found in Southern Algeria or at or near Khartoum where all visitors and press can be kept out. As a mere suggestion as to date would you think of sometime around January 15.
December 2, 1942
Sent on December 6, 1942
Your message reached me on December 5.
I welcome the idea of a meeting between the three heads of the Governments to establish a common strategy. To my great regret, however, I shall be unable to leave the Soviet Union. This is so crucial a moment that I cannot absent myself even for a single day. Just now major military operations – part of our winter campaign – are under way, nor will they be relaxed in January. It is more than likely that it will be the other way round.
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.
I am deeply disappointed you feel you cannot get away for a conference in January. There are many matters of vital importance to be discussed between us. These relate not only to vital strategic decision, but also to things we should talk over in a tentative way in regard to emergency policies which we should be ready with, if, and when, conditions in Germany permit.
These would also include other matters relating to future policies about North Africa and the Far East which cannot be discussed by our military people alone.
I fully realize your strenuous situation now and in the immediate future and the necessity of your presence close to the fighting front. Therefore I want to suggest that we set a tentative date for meeting in North Africa about March 1.
December 8, 1942
Sent on December 14, 1942
I, too, express deep regret at not being able to leave the Soviet Union in the immediate future, or even in early March. Front affairs simply will not let me do so. Indeed, they necessitate my continuous presence.
I do not know as yet what were the specific matters that you, Mr President, and Mr Churchill wanted discussed at our joint conference. Could we not discuss them by correspondence until we have an opportunity to meet? I think we shall not differ.
I feel confident that no time is being wasted, that the promise to open a second front in Europe, which you, Mr President, and Mr Churchill gave for 1942 or the spring of 1943 at the latest, will be kept and that a second front in Europe will really be opened jointly by Great Britain and the U.S.A. next spring.
With reference to the rumours about the Soviet attitude to the use of Darlan and people like him, I should like to tell you that as I and my colleagues see it, Eisenhower’s policy towards Darlan, Boisson, Giraud and the others is absolutely sound. I consider it an important achievement that you have succeeded in winning Darlan and others to the Allied side against Hitler. Earlier I wrote the same to Mr Churchill.
I am not clear as to just what has happened in regard to our offer of American air assistance in the Caucasus. I am fully willing to send units with American pilots and crews. I think they should operate by units under their American commanders, but each group would, of course, be under overall Russian command as to tactical objectives.
Please let me know your desires as soon as possible, as I truly want to help all I can.
Pursuit plane program would not be affected. What I refer to is essentially the bombing plane type which can be flown to the Caucasus.
December 16, 1942
Sent on December 18, 1942
Thank you very much for the willingness to help us. The Anglo-American squadrons with crews are no longer needed in Transcaucasia. The main battles are being fought, and will be fought, on the Central Front and in the Voronezh area. I should be most grateful if you would expedite the despatch of aircraft, especially fighters, but without crews, whom you now need badly for use in the areas mentioned.
A feature of the Soviet Air Force is that we have more than enough pilots but suffer from a shortage of machines.
I am very sorry arrangements for conference could not be made but I can well understand your position. This will acknowledge your note about the Anglo-American squadrons. We will expedite delivery of planes to the utmost. I have arranged to get you ten transport planes in January.
I am writing you in regard to certain post-war activities.
December 21, 1942
Received on December 28, 1942
Struggling side by side against powerful foes, thousands upon thousands of soldiers of those nations, large and small, which are united in defense of freedom and justice and human rights face the holiday season far from home, across oceans or continents, in fields-of desert sand or winter snow, in jungles, forests, on warships or merchant vessels, on island ramparts from Iceland to the Solomons, in the old and new worlds.
They strive to the limit of their strength, without regard for the clock or the calendar, to hold the enemy in check and to push him back. They strike mighty blows and receive blows in return. They fight the good fight in order that they may win victory which will bring to the world peace, freedom, and the advancement of human welfare.
With a deep and abiding sense of gratitude the Congress of the United States has by a joint resolution asked me to transmit on behalf of the people of the United States to the armed forces and auxiliary services of our Allies on land, on sea, and in the air, the best wishes and greetings of the season to them and to their families and a fervent hope and prayer for a speedy and complete victory and a lasting peace.
Accordingly, I shall be grateful to you if you will convey to your armed forces and auxiliary services, in the name of the Congress of the United States, in my own name, and in the name of the people of the United States, the cordial wishes and greetings and the hope and prayer expressed in the joint resolution.
I note in a radio news report from Tokyo that a Japanese submarine sank an Allied nation submarine in the Pacific on October 12.
This report appears to refer to your submarine, Love-16, sunk by enemy action on October 11 while en route to the United States from Alaska,20 and I am sending to you this expression of regret for the loss of your ship with its gallant crew, and of my appreciation of the part your gallant Navy is also contributing to the Allied cause in addition to the heroic accomplishments of your Army.
December 30, 1942
In the event that Japan should attack Russia in the Far East, I am prepared to assist you in that theater with an American air force of approximately one hundred four-engine bombardment airplanes as early as practicable, provided that certain items of supply and equipment are furnished by Soviet authorities and that suitable operation facilities are prepared in advance.
Supply of our units must be entirely by air transport, hence it will be necessary for the Soviet Government to furnish such items as bombs, fuel, lubricants, transportation, shelter, heat and other minor items to be determined.
Although we have no positive information that Japan will attack Russia, it does appear to be an eventual probability. Therefore, in order that we may be prepared for this contingency, I propose that the survey of air force facilities in the Far East, authorized by you to General Bradley on October 6 be made now, and that the discussions initiated on November 11 on your authority between General Bradley and General Korolenko be continued.
It is my intention to appoint General Bradley, who has my full confidence, to continue these discussions for the United States if you so agree. He will be empowered to explore for the United States every phase of combined Russo-American operations in the Far East theater and based upon his survey to recommend the composition and strength of our air forces, which will be allocated to assist you should the necessity arise.
He will also determine the extent of advance preparations practicable and necessary to insure effective participation of our units promptly on initiation of hostilities. His party will not exceed twenty persons to fly into Russia in two American Douglas DC-3 type airplanes.
If this meets with your approval, I would suggest that they proceed from Alaska along the ferry route into Siberia, thence, under Russian direction, to the headquarters of the Soviet armies in the Far East, and thence to such other places in Russia as may be necessary to make their quiet survey and discuss operating plans.
It would be very helpful if an English-speaking Russian officer such as Captain Vladimir Ovnovin, Washington, or Captain Smolyarov in Moscow be detailed to accompany General Bradley as adjutant and liaison officer.
I seize this opportunity of expressing my admiration for the courage, stamina and military prowess of your great Russian armies as reported to me by General Bradley and as demonstrated by your great victories of the past month.
December 30, 1942
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