Sent on January 1, 1943
I would ask you, Mr President, to convey to the United States Congress
and accept my gratitude for the cordial greetings and good wishes sent
to the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union in the name of the American
Sent on January 5, 1943
Your message concerning the Far East received. I thank you for the readiness to send 100 bombers to the Far East for the Soviet Union. I must say, however, that what we need at present is aircraft, not in the Far East, where the U.S.S.R. is not fighting, but on a front where a most cruel war is being waged against the Germans, that is, on the Soviet-German front. The arrival of those aircraft without pilots – because we have a sufficient number of pilots – on the South-Western or Central Front would play a notable part in the most important sectors of our struggle against Hitler.
As regards the course of the war on our fronts, so far our offensive is, on the whole, making satisfactory progress.
After reading your reply to my radio concerning the Far East, I am afraid I did not make myself clear. As I previously explained reference South Caucasus, it is not practicable to send heavy bombers to Russia at this time other than in existing organized units. Our proposal regarding the one hundred planes referred to a situation which would occur if hostilities were actually to break out between Japan and Russia.
Under such conditions, we calculated that by regrouping our air units in the Pacific theater, one hundred planes in organized units could be concentrated in Eastern Siberia because their action as well as your battle there would enable us to reduce our air strength elsewhere in the Pacific theater.
My radio was intended to be in the nature of anticipatory protective planning against a possibility only.
The immediate action recommended was in reference to the survey and discussions by General Bradley with Soviet officials.
Only by such preliminary survey and advance planning will it be possible to render reasonably prompt assistance in the event of an outbreak of hostilities in Siberia. I should like to send General Marshall to Moscow for a visit in the very near future, and if this can be arranged, I hope that you will be able to discuss this matter with him at that time.
He will be able to tell you about the current situation in Africa and also about planned operations for balance of this year in all war theaters. I think this will be very helpful and he will have the latest news.
Meanwhile I would appreciate an early reply to my proposal of December 30 that General Bradley and his party proceed without delay to the Far East for survey and staff discussions.
My deep appreciation for the continuing advances of your armies. The principle of attrition of the enemy forces on all fronts is beginning to work.
January 8, 1943
I have arranged that two hundred C-47 transport planes be assigned to you in 1943 beginning in January.
Your mission here is being advised of the dates of delivery by months.
I am going to do everything I can to give you another one hundred but you can definitely count on the two hundred planes referred to above.
January 9, 1943
Sent on January 13, 1943
Thank you for the decision to send 200 transport planes to the Soviet Union.
As to sending bomber units to the Far East, I have already pointed out in my previous messages that what we need is not air force units, but planes without pilots, because we have more than enough pilots of our own. Secondly, we need your help in the way of aircraft not in the Far East where the U.S.S.R. is not in a state of war, but on the Soviet-German front, where the need for aircraft aid is particularly great.
I was rather surprised at your proposal that General Bradley should inspect Russian military objectives in the Far East and elsewhere in the U.S.S.R. It should be perfectly obvious that only Russians can inspect Russian military objectives, just as U.S. military objectives can be inspected by none but Americans. There should be no unclarity in this matter.
Concerning General Marshall’s visit to the U.S.S.R. I must say I am not quite clear about his mission. Kindly advise me of the purpose of the visit so that I can consider the matter with full understanding and reply accordingly.
My colleagues are upset by the fact that the operations in North Africa have come to a standstill and, I gather, for a long time, too. Would you care to comment on the matter?
Received on January 27, 1943
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 1943.21 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 theater. 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 theaters 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 Rabaul22 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 jeopardize 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.
Sent on January 30, 1943
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.
Received on February 5, 1943
As Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States of
America I congratulate you on the brilliant victory at Stalingrad of
the armies under your Supreme Command. The one hundred and sixty-two
days of epic battle for the city which has forever honoured your name
and the decisive result which all Americans are celebrating today will
remain one of the proudest chapters in this war of the peoples united
against Nazism and its emulators. The commanders and fighters of your
armies at the front and the men and women, who have supported them in
factory and field, have combined not only to cover with glory their
country’s arms, but to inspire by their example fresh determination
among all the United Nations14 to bend every energy to bring about the
final defeat and unconditional surrender of the common enemy.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Sent on February 6, 1943
The White House, Washington
Thank you for your congratulations on the victory of the Soviet troops at Stalingrad.
I am convinced that the joint combat operations of the armed forces of
the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union will soon lead to
victory over our common foe.
Received on February 12, 1943
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 authorized 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 Staff24 the need for the utmost speed and for reinforcing the attacks to the extreme limit that is humanly and physically possible.
February 9th, 1943
On February 12 I received from Mr Churchill a message giving additional information on the decisions taken by the two of you at Casablanca. Since, according to Mr Churchill, his message is a common reply giving your opinion as well, I should like to make some comments, which I have conveyed to Mr Churchill.
It appears from the message that the date – February – 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.
February 16, 1943
In reply to your message of February 16 in which you set forth certain considerations that you had transmitted to Mr Churchill in reply to his message of February 12 to you, I desire to state that I share your regret that the Allied effort in North Africa did not proceed in accordance with the schedule. It was interrupted by unexpected heavy rains that made the roads extremely difficult for both supplies and troops proceeding to the front lines from our landing ports. These rains made the fields and mountains impassable.
I am fully aware of the adverse effect on the common Allied effort of this delay and I am taking every possible step to begin successful aggressive action against the forces of the Axis in Africa at the earliest possible moment with the purpose of accomplishing their destruction.
The wide dispersion of America’s transportation facilities at the present time is well known by you and I can assure you that a maximum effort to increase our transportation is being made.
I understand the importance of a military effort on the continent of Europe at the earliest date practicable in order to reduce Axis resistance to your heroic army. You may be sure that the American war effort will be projected on to the European Continent at as early a date subsequent to success in North Africa as transportation facilities can be provided by our maximum effort.
We wish for the continuance of the success of your heroic army which is an inspiration to all of us.
February 22, 1943
Received on February 23, 1943
On behalf of the people of the United States I want to express to the Red Army on its twenty-fifth anniversary our profound admiration for its magnificent achievements unsurpassed in all history. For many months in spite of many tremendous losses in supplies, transportation and territory the Red Army denied victory to a most powerful enemy. It checked him at Leningrad, at Moscow, at Voronezh, in the Caucasus and finally at the immortal battle of Stalingrad the Red Army not only defeated the enemy but launched the great offensive which is still moving forward along the whole front from the Baltic to the Black Sea. The enforced retreat of the enemy is costing him heavily in men, supplies, territory and especially in morale. Such achievements can only be accomplished by an army that has skillful leadership, sound organization, adequate training and above all determination to defeat the enemy no matter what the cost in self-sacrifice. At the same time I also wish to pay tribute to the Russian people from whom the Red Army springs and upon whom it is dependent for its men, women and supplies. They, too, are giving their full efforts to the war and are making the supreme sacrifice. The Red Army and the Russian people have surely started the Hitler forces on the road to ultimate defeat and have earned the lasting admiration of the people of the United States.
Sent on February 23, 1943
Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your friendly message on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Red Army and your high praise of its combat achievements.
I share your confidence that these achievements clear the way for the
final defeat of our common enemy, who must and shall be crushed by the
combined might of our countries and of all the freedom-loving nations.
Now that I have Mr Churchill’s reply to my message of February 16, I consider it my duty to answer yours of February 22, which likewise was a reply to mine of February 16.
I learned from Mr Churchill’s message that Anglo-American operations in North Africa, far from being accelerated, are being postponed till the end of April; indeed, even this date is given in rather vague terms. In other words, at the height of the 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 altogether, and the time fixed for it has been set back. Meanwhile Germany has succeeded in moving from the West 36 divisions, including six armoured, to be used against the 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.
Mr Churchill has also informed me that the Anglo-American operation against Sicily is planned for June. For all its importance that operation can by no means replace a second front in France. But I fully welcome, of course, your intention to expedite the carrying out of the operation.
At the same time I consider it my duty to state that the early opening of a second front in France is the most important thing. You will recall that you and Mr Churchill 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 message of February 16 the need for striking in the West not later than this spring or early summer.
The Soviet troops have 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 appreciate the considerable difficulties caused by a shortage of transport facilities, of which you advised me in your message. 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. That is why the vagueness of both your reply and Mr Churchill’s as to the opening of a second front in France causes me concern, which I cannot help expressing.
March 16, 1943
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 those 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 U.S. Government will appreciate the motives that necessitated this forced step on the part of the Soviet Government.
April 21, 1943
I received your telegram during an inspection trip which I was making in the western part of the United States. I fully understand your problem but at the same time I hope that you can find a way in this present situation to define your action as a suspension of conversations with the Polish Government in exile in London rather than to label it as a complete severance of diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Poland.
I cannot believe that Sikorski has in any way whatsoever collaborated with the Hitler gangsters. In my opinion, however, he has erred in taking up this particular question with the International Red Cross. Furthermore, I am inclined to think that Prime Minister Churchill will find a way of prevailing upon the Polish Government in London in the future to act with more common sense.
I would appreciate it if you would let me know if I can help in any way in respect to this question and particularly in connection with looking after any Poles which you may desire to send out of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Incidentally, I have several million Poles in the United States, a great many of whom are in the Army and Navy. I can assure you that all of them are bitter against the Hitlerites. However, the overall situation would not be helped by the knowledge of a complete diplomatic break between the Soviet and Polish Governments.
April 26, 1943
I am sorry to say your reply did not reach me until April 27, whereas on April 25 the Soviet Government was compelled to interrupt relations with the Polish Government.
As the Polish Government for nearly two weeks, far from ceasing a campaign hostile to the Soviet Union and beneficial to none but Hitler, intensified it in its press and on the radio Soviet public opinion was deeply outraged by such conduct, and hence the Soviet Government could no longer defer action.
It may well be that Mr Sikorski himself has no intention of collaborating with the Hitler gangsters. I should be happy to see this surmise borne out by facts. But my impression is that certain pro-Hitler elements – either inside the Polish Government or in its environment – have induced Mr Sikorski to follow them, with the result that the Polish Government has come to be, possibly against its own will, a tool in Hitler’s hands in the anti-Soviet campaign of which you are aware.
I, too, believe that Prime Minister Churchill will find ways to bring the Polish Government to reason and help it proceed henceforward in a spirit of common sense. I may be wrong, but I believe that one of our duties as Allies is to prevent this or that Ally from taking hostile action against any other Ally to the joy and benefit of the common enemy.
As regards Polish subjects in the U.S.S.R. and their future, I can assure you that Soviet Government agencies have always treated and will continue to treat them as comrades, as people near and dear to us. It should be obvious that there never has been, nor could have been, any question of their being deported from the U.S.S.R. If, however, they themselves wish to leave the U.S.S.R., Soviet Government agencies will not hinder them, just as they have never done, and will, in fact, try to help them.
April 29, 1943
My dear Mr Stalin,
I am sending this personal note to you by the hands of my old friend, Joseph E. Davies. It relates solely to one subject which I think it is easier for us to talk over through a mutual friend. Mr Litvinov is the only other person with whom I have talked about it.
I want to get away from the difficulties of large Staff conferences or the red tape of diplomatic conversations. Therefore, the simplest and most practical method that I can think of would be an informal and completely simple visit for a few days between you and me.
I fully appreciate the desirability for you to stay in daily touch with your military operations; I also find it inadvisable to be away from Washington more than a short time. There are two sides to the problem. The first relates to timing. There is always the possibility that the historic Russian defense, followed by taking the offensive, may cause a crack-up in Germany next winter. In such a case we must be prepared for the many next steps. We are none of us prepared today. Therefore, it is my belief that you and I ought to meet this summer.
The second problem is where to meet. Africa is almost out of the question in summer and Khartoum is British territory. Iceland I do not like because for both you and me it involves rather difficult flights and, in addition, would make it, quite frankly, difficult not to invite Prime Minister Churchill at the same time.
Therefore, I suggest that we could meet either on your side or my side of Bering Straits. Such a point would be about three days from Washington and I think about two days from Moscow if the weather is good. That means that you could always get back to Moscow in two days in an emergency.
It is my thought that neither of us would want to bring any Staff. I would be accompanied by Harry Hopkins, an interpreter and a stenographer – and that you and I would talk very informally and get what we call “a meeting of the minds.” I do not believe that any official agreements or declarations are in the least bit necessary.
You and I would, of course, talk over the military and naval situation, but I think we can both do that without Staffs being present.
Mr Davies has no knowledge of our military affairs nor of the post-war plans of this Government, and I am sending him to you for the sole purpose of talking over our meeting.
I greatly hope that our forces will be in complete control of Tunisia by the end of May, and Churchill and I next week will be working on the second phase of the offensive.
Our estimates of the situation are that Germany will deliver an all-out attack on you this summer, and my Staff people think it will be directed against the middle of your line.
You are doing a grand job. Good luck!
Franklin D. Roosevelt
May 6, 1943
I wish to inform you that Prime Minister Churchill is proceeding next week to Washington for the purpose of discussing our immediate next steps. General Belyaev will, of course, be kept currently informed of our conversations.
May 6, 1943
Sent on May 8, 1943
I congratulate you and the gallant U.S. and British troops on the
brilliant victory which has resulted in the liberation of Bizerta and
Tunis from Hitler tyranny. I wish you further success.
Received on May 14, 1943
I wish to express my appreciation for your kind message of congratulation on the performance of our armies in bringing about the liberation of Tunisia. Now that we have gained the initiative further successes on the Eastern and Western Fronts, as well as further supplies, including aircraft, may reasonably be expected.
Received on May 20, 1943
I know that the following American estimates of Axis losses in North Africa during the period December 8, 1940, to May 12, 1943, will be of interest to you. These figures agree substantially with the estimates which have been made by the British with the exception of personnel losses. The British estimates of these losses are somewhat lower than ours.
1. Total personnel losses: 625,000.
2. Total plane losses (in North Africa and in the Mediterranean): 7,596 destroyed, 1,748 probably destroyed, 4,499 damaged.
3. Total tank losses: Not less than 2,100.
4. Total losses of merchant ships: 625 ships sunk (approximately 2,200,000 tons) and 371 ships damaged (approximately 1,600,000 tons).
5. Italian losses in East Africa: 150,000 (exclusive of natives).
My dear Mr Roosevelt,
Mr Davies has delivered your message to me.
I agree that this summer – possibly as early as June – we should expect the Hitlerites to launch a new major offensive on the Soviet-German front. Hitler has already concentrated about 200 German divisions and up to 30 divisions of his allies for use against us. We are getting ready to repel the new German offensive and to launch counter-attacks, but we are short of aircraft and aircraft fuel. Of course, it is at the moment impossible to foresee all the military and other steps that we may have to take. That will depend on the course of events on our front. A good deal will also depend on the speed and vigour with which Anglo-American military operations are launched in Europe.
I have mentioned these important circumstances to explain why my reply to your suggestion for a meeting between us cannot be quite specific as yet.
I agree that the time is ripe for such a meeting and that it should not be delayed. But I beg you to assess properly the importance of the circumstances I have referred to, because the summer months will be exceedingly trying for the Soviet armies. As I do not know how events will develop on the Soviet-German front in June, I shall not be able to leave Moscow during that month. I therefore suggest holding the meeting in July or August. If you agree, I shall let you know two weeks before the date of the meeting just when it could be held in July or August. If, after being notified by me, you agree to the date suggested, I could arrive in time.
Mr Davies will personally inform you of the meeting place.
I agree with you about cutting down the number of your advisers and mine.
Thank you for sending Mr Davies to Moscow, a man familiar with the Soviet Union and who can pass impartial judgment on things.
Yours very sincerely,
May 26, 1943
Received on June 4, 1943
The Combined Chiefs of Staff24 have recently approved certain decisions which have the approval as well of Mr Churchill and myself.
As these decisions are of the very highest secrecy, I am asking Ambassador Standley to deliver them to you personally.
Received on June 4, 1943
Basic strategy in the recent decisions approved by the Combined Chiefs of Staff24 is divided into the below listed groupings:
A. The control of the threat developed by enemy submarines receives primary consideration, along with the security of Allied maritime communication lines and with every practicable means of support for the Soviet Union.
B. The laying of preparatory groundwork for the participation of Turkey in the war, either as an active or as a passive ally.
C. The reduction of Japanese military power by keeping up an unremitting pressure against her.
D. The carrying out of those measures found practicable by which China may be kept in the war as an effective power and maintained as a base from which operations may be carried out against Japan.
E. The rendering of such aid and assistance to the French forces in Africa that they may be prepared for an active part in the attacks to be made on enemy-held territory in Europe.
Referring to (A) above, we have been greatly encouraged by results recently obtained against enemy submarines by the use of long-range airplanes carrying new devices and equipment and also of groups of special attack vessels. Since the first of May, we have destroyed an average of more than one submarine per day. Destruction at this rate over a period of time will have a tremendous effect on the morale of the crews of the German undersea fleet. It will eventually reduce our ship losses and will thereby increase our shipping pool.
In respect support of the U.S.S.R., the following decisions were made: the air offensive now being mounted against enemy-held Europe will be intensified, for the threefold purpose of destruction of enemy industry, of whittling down of German fighter plane strength, and for the breaking of German civil morale. That this intensification is already in progress is demonstrated by the events of the last three weeks, during which France, Italy, Germany, Sicily and Sardinia have been heavily attacked. British strength in Bomber Command is growing steadily. The United States heavy bomber force operating in England has increased at a constant rate and will continue to do so. In March, there were about 350 United States heavy bombers in England. At the present time there are about 700. Plans call for 900 at the end of June, 1,150 at the end of September and 2,500 by the first of April.
It has been decided to put Italy out of the war at the earliest possible moment. The plan for the attack on Sicily is designated as “Husky.” General Eisenhower has been ordered that when “Husky” has been successfully concluded, he is to be prepared to immediately launch offensives directed toward the collapse of Italy. Forces available to Eisenhower for these operations will be the total now in the Mediterranean theater less four American and three British divisions which are to be sent to England as part of a concentration of forces in that country shortly to be referred to below.
The collapse of Italy will greatly facilitate the carrying out of the air offensive against South and East Germany, will continue the attrition of their fighter strength and will jeopardize the Axis position in the Balkan area.
With Africa firmly in our hands, it was decided that it was now feasible to resume the concentration of ground forces in England. A joint Anglo-American staff has been and is constantly occupied with keeping up to the last minute the necessary plans for instantly taking advantage of any enemy weakness in France or Norway. Under the present plans, there should be a sufficiently large concentration of men and materiel in the British Isles in the spring of 1944 to permit a full-scale invasion of the continent at that time. The great air offensive will then be at its peak. A certain number of large landing craft have necessarily been sent to the South-west Pacific, the Aleutians, and to the Mediterranean. The necessity of so doing has of course reduced by that extent the number of such boats sent to England. This has been the most important limiting factor as far as operations out of England have been concerned.
The decisions enumerated and explained above are believed to be such
that the enemy will be forced to disperse his ground forces to an
excessive degree, both to oppose actual attacks and to guard against
the possibility of attack. He will in addition be subject to heavy and
continuous activity in the air. When signs of Axis weakness become
apparent in any quarter, actual attacks and threats of attack will
easily and quickly be translated into successful operations. We believe
that these decisions as stated herein will require the full resources
which we will be able to bring to bear.
Received on June 5, 1943
Permit me to express to you my sincere thanks for the courtesies which you have extended to me and to the Government of the United States in your cordial reception of Mr Davies. He has returned safely to Washington bringing with him your message25 to me. I am pleased to note that you and I fully agree in principle on all matters set forth in your letter. In accordance with your letter and your understanding with Mr Davies I will await your further communication.
Please give my kind remembrances and warm personal regards to Mr Brown.26
Sent on June 11, 1943
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 26,27 sent 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 disheartening 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.
I wish to reply herewith to your special request in connection with the supply of aluminum.
In July, August and September the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will receive from Canada and the United States the following shipments: (Long tons) Primary aluminum, 5,000 tons per month; Secondary aluminum, 1,000 tons per month.
The secondary aluminum is of a high quality and we use it in the construction of airplanes.
The monthly shipments of primary aluminum which is 1,000 tons over the agreement for 4,000 tons as contained in the Protocol15 may possibly make it necessary that succeeding shipments after September will have to be cut down in compensation. I hope that this will not be necessary. I regret that due to a shortage of primary aluminum we find it impossible to increase the Protocol Agreement amount. The secondary aluminum is, however, an additional offering. We will inform you again within the next two months regarding the schedule of shipments for October, November and December. We will also try to give you information on shipments for the rest of the protocol year15 at the same time.
June 16, 1943
I have given instructions that you are to receive during the remainder of 1943 the following additional planes over the new Protocol Agreement28:78 B-25 bombers,
We have no fighters that are more maneuverable than the P-40-N type which was used with excellent results in the recent fighting in Tunisia. This plane proved to be our best protection against dive bombers. It also proved to be highly useful in covering low-level strafing attacks of the P-39’s.
We will be in a position to furnish you in November with a shipping schedule covering the last half of the protocol year as we will by that time have again reviewed the aircraft situation.
June 16, 1943
Received on June 20, 1943
What the Prime Minister cabled you has my full accord. Please be assured that everything possible at this time is being done. I hope you will understand and appreciate that the situation as to shipping is still tight. We are, however, encouraged by the way our anti-submarine campaign has been going during the last two months. It has resulted in a good net gain in available shipping.
This answer is a few days late as I was away when your telegram was received.
Received on June 22, 1943
The Kremlin, Moscow
Two years ago tomorrow by an act of treachery in keeping with the long record of Nazi duplicity the Nazi leaders launched their brutal attack upon the Soviet Union. They thus added to their growing list of enemies the mighty forces of the Soviet Union. These Nazi leaders had underestimated the extent to which the Soviet Government and people had developed and strengthened their military power to defend their country and had utterly failed to realize the determination and valor of the Soviet people during the past two years. The freedom-loving peoples of the world have watched with increasing admiration the history-making exploits of the armed forces of the Soviet Union and the almost incredible sacrifices which the Russian people are so heroically making. The growing might of the combined forces of all the United Nations14 which is being brought increasingly to bear upon our common enemy testifies to the spirit of unity and sacrifice necessary for our ultimate victory.
This same spirit will, I am sure, animate us in approaching the
challenging tasks of peace, which victory will present to the world.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
I am sending you the text of my reply to a message from Mr Churchill, with which you are in full accord, as stated in the message delivered to me by Mr Standley on June 20.29
June 24, 1943
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-Memoire 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 2627 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.
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
Sent on June 26, 1943
Thank you for your high commendation of the resolve and bravery of the Soviet people and Armed Forces in fighting the Hitler invaders.
As a result of the two years of the Soviet Union’s struggle against Hitler Germany and her vassals and of the telling blows delivered by the Allies to the Italo-German armies in North Africa, conditions have been created for the final defeat of our common enemy.
I have no doubt that the sooner we strike from east and west our joint,
combined blows at the enemy, the sooner victory will come.
Received on July 16, 1943
Following the unfortunate sinking of one of your ships in the North Pacific, for which I am deeply sorry, I have directed that every possible precaution be taken in the future.30
Although I have no detailed news, I think I can safely congratulate you on the splendid showing your armies are making against the German offensive at Kursk.
I hope to hear from you soon about the other matter which I still feel to be of great importance to you and me.
Your forces have, during a month of tremendous fighting, by their skill, their courage, their sacrifices and their ceaseless effort, not only stopped the long planned German attack, but have launched a successful counter-offensive of far-reaching import.
Sincere congratulations to the Red Army, the people of the Soviet Union and to yourself upon the great victory of Orel.
The Soviet Union can be justly proud of its heroic achievements.
August 6, 1943
I can answer your latest message – that of July 16 – now that I am back from the front. I have no doubt that you are aware of our military position and will appreciate the delay.
Contrary to our expectations, the Germans launched their offensive in July, not in June, and now fighting is in full swing on the Soviet-German front. The Soviet armies have, as you know, repulsed the July offensive of the Hitlerites, switched to the offensive, taking Orel and Belgorod, and are still pressing the enemy.
It will be readily seen that in the present crucial situation on the Soviet-German front the Soviet Command has to exert great efforts and display the utmost vigilance towards the enemy’s activities. For this reason I, too, am compelled to put aside other problems and my other duties, to a certain degree, except my chief duty, that of directing the front. I have to go to the various front sectors more frequently and to subordinate all else to the interests of the front.
I hope you will appreciate that in these circumstances I cannot start on a distant journey and shall unfortunately be unable during the summer and autumn to make good the promise I gave you through Mr Davies.
I am very sorry about this, but circumstances, as you know, are stronger than people, and so we must bow to them.
I consider it highly advisable for responsible representatives of our two countries to meet. In the present military situation the meeting could be held either in Astrakhan or in Archangel If that does not suit you personally, then you might send a fully authorised man of confidence to one of these two towns. If you accept, we should specify beforehand the range of problems to be discussed at the conference and draft appropriate proposals.
I have already told Mr Davies that I have no objection to Mr Churchill attending the conference and to the bipartite conference being turned into a tripartite one. I still hold this view provided you have no objections.
2. I take this opportunity to congratulate you and the Anglo- American forces on their outstanding success in Sicily, which has led to the fall of Mussolini and his gang.
3. Thank you for congratulating the Red Army and the Soviet people on their success at Orel.
August 8, 1943
On August 15th the British Ambassador at Madrid reported that General Castellano31 had arrived from Badoglio with a letter of introduction from the British Minister to the Vatican. The General declared that he was authorized 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 authorized 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.”32 It is very likely that Badoglio’s Government will not last so long. The Germans have one or more armoured division 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 Staff24 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.)33
(b) These terms do not visualize 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) above,34 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,”35 His Majesty’s Government entered upon negotiations with Portugal in order to obtain naval and air facilities in a “life-belt.”36 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 antiaircraft 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.
August 19th, 1943
Mr Churchill and I are here,37 accompanied by our staffs, and will confer for a period of perhaps ten days. We are very desirous of emphasizing 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 18,000 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 airplanes captured on the various air fields.
As you have been informed previously, we will soon make a powerful attack on the mainland of Italy.
August 19, 1943
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 advised 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.38 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
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 moment 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.31 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
Received on August 26, 1943
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.
Received on August 29, 1943
We are just 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.
Received on September 4, 1943
General Charlie31 has stated that the Italians accept and he is coming to sign, but we do not know for certain whether this statement refers to the short military terms, which have been seen by you, or to the more complete and comprehensive terms which your readiness to sign has been specifically indicated.39
The military situation there is both critical and hopeful. The mainland invasion begins almost immediately while the heavy blow called “Avalanche”32 will be delivered in the next week or so. The difficulties of the Italian Government and people in escaping from the clutches of Hitler may make a still more daring move necessary, and for this General Eisenhower will require as much Italian help as he can get. The acceptance of the terms by the Italians is largely supported by the fact that we shall send an air-borne division to Rome to help them hold off the Germans who have gathered Panzer strength near there and who may replace the Badoglio Government with a Quisling administration probably headed by Farinacci. We think, since matters are moving so fast there, that General Eisenhower should have discretion not to delay settlement with the Italians because of differences between the long and the short terms. The short terms, it is clear, are included in the long terms, that they are based on unconditional surrender, and that clause ten of the short terms40 places the interpretation in the hands of the Allied Commander-in-Chief.
We are assuming, therefore, that you expect General Eisenhower to sign the short terms in your behalf, if that be necessary, to avoid the further journeying of General Charlie to Rome and the consequent delay and uncertainty affecting military operations.
We are, of course, anxious that the Italian unconditional surrender be
to the Soviet Union as well as to the United States and Britain. The
date of the surrender announcement must, of course, be fitted in with
the military coup.
Received on September 6, 1943
Both the Prime Minister and myself are pleased with the idea of a political and military meeting on the State Department level.
It should be held, I think, as soon as possible. Perhaps September 25 would be a good date. What do you think of this?
The Prime Minister has suggested London or some other place in England, and I should agree to have my representative go to either of these if you also think it best. I am inclined, however, to the thought of a more remote spot where the meeting would be less surrounded by reporters. Perhaps Casablanca or Tunis, and I do not object to Sicily, except that the communications from and to there are more troublesome.
The political representatives would, of course, report to their respective Governments as I do not think we could give plenary powers to them. They could be advised on military developments by attaching one or two military advisers to them, although I do not want to have the meeting develop at this stage into a full-scale combined chiefs’ conference.
If Mr Molotov and Mr Eden attend I should wish to send Mr Hull but I do not want Mr Hull to undertake such a long journey, so I would, therefore, send Mr Welles, the Under Secretary of State. Mr Harriman would also attend as he has an excellent knowledge of shipping and commercial matters. I shall endeavor to send someone from my staff as American military adviser. He would be in complete touch with the work of the Combined Staffs.24
May I congratulate you again on the tenacity and drive of your armies. It is magnificent.
While this coming conference is a very good thing, I still have the hope that you and Mr Churchill and myself can meet as soon as possible. I, personally, could arrange to meet in a place as far as North Africa between November 15 and December 15. You will understand, I know, that I cannot be away for more than 20 days from Washington as, under our constitution, no one can sign for me while I am absent.
Why not send an officer to General Eisenhower’s headquarters in connection with the commission to sit in Sicily on further settlements with the Italians? He would join the British and Americans who are now working on this very subject.
There is no objection as far as I am concerned to adding a French member to this commission, as we are now in the midst of equipping ten or eleven of their divisions in North Africa. It would, however, be very unwise to let the French take part in the discussions relating to the military occupation of Italy. If the Italians go through with the terms of surrender, which they have already signed, I hope they will wholeheartedly support the occupation troops. On the whole, the Italians dislike the French greatly, and if we bring the French into occupation discussions, the civil and military elements in Italy will resent it extremely.
The problem of consulting the Greeks and Yugoslavs can be discussed later on.
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
I received on September 6 your message dealing with a number of important subjects.
I still think that the most pressing problem is to set up a three-Power military-political commission, with headquarters in Sicily, or in Algiers to begin with. The despatch of a Soviet officer to Gen. Eisenhower’s headquarters can in no way replace the military-political commission, which is required to direct on the spot negotiations with Italy and with the Governments of other countries falling away from Germany. Much time has passed without things making the slightest headway.
As to French participation in the commission, I have already stated my opinion.41 However, if you have any doubts we can naturally discuss the matter after the three-Power commission is set up.
2. The time suggested by the Prime Minister for the meeting of our three representatives – early October – would be suitable; as to the place, I suggest Moscow. By that time the three Governments could agree on the range of subjects to be discussed, as well as on proposals relating to those problems, otherwise the conference will not yield the results which our Governments want.
3. As regards a personal meeting between us with Mr Churchill participating, I, too, desire this as early as possible. The date suggested by you is acceptable to me. It would be advisable to select a country where all the three countries are represented, such as Iran. I should add, however, that we shall yet have to specify the date of meeting with due regard to the situation on the Soviet-German front, where more than 500 divisions are engaged on both sides and where supervision by the Supreme Command of the U.S.S.R. is required almost daily.
4. Thank you for your congratulations on the successes of the Soviet armies. I take the occasion to congratulate you and the Anglo-American forces on their latest brilliant successes in Italy.
September 8, 1943
Received on September 10, 1943
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.
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
Received on September 11, 1943
I thank you for your message received today.
I agree on the immediate setting up of the military-political commission, but think that Algiers would be better than Sicily if only because of communications and, therefore, suggest they meet in Algiers on Tuesday, 21 September. Full information will be given, of course, in regard to the progress of current and future negotiations, but they should not have plenary powers. Such authority would, of course, have to be referred to their governments before final action.
I am entirely willing to have a French representative on this commission. It is important to all of us that the secrecy of all their deliberations be fully maintained.
Regarding the meeting of our three representatives, I will cheerfully agree that the place of meeting be Moscow and the date the beginning of October – say Monday, the fourth. I will send you in two or three days a suggested informal list of subjects to be discussed, but I think the three members should feel free, after becoming acquainted with each other, to discuss any other matters which may come up.
I am delighted with your willingness to go along with the third suggestion, and the time about the end of November is all right. I fully understand that military events might alter the situation for you or for Mr Churchill or myself. Meanwhile, we can go ahead on that basis. Personally, my only hesitation is the place, but only because it is a bit further away from Washington than I had counted on. My Congress will be in session at that time and, under our constitution, I must act on legislation within ten days. In other words, I must receive documents and return them to the Congress within ten days, and Tehran makes this rather a grave risk if the flying weather is bad. If the Azores route is not available, it means coming by way of Brazil and across the South Atlantic Ocean. For these reasons I hope that you will consider some part of Egypt, which is also a neutral state, and where every arrangement can be made for our convenience.
I really feel that the three of us are making real headway.
I have received your messages of September 10.42
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 restrictions 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
I regret that I feel it necessary to reopen the question of the meeting of the foreign ministers, but on further consideration I am most anxious that Secretary Hull attend in person in the meeting with Mr Molotov and Mr Eden.
Mr Hull would find the long flight to Moscow extremely difficult for physical reasons. Would it be possible, therefore, for the conference to be held in England? It would, I believe, be a great advantage to all of us if Mr Hull could personally attend the conference.
I feel sure the British would be willing to make the change. Could the date be made October 15 for the opening session.
September 27, 1943
Your message of September 27 reached me today.
I agree on the desirability of the Secretary of State, Mr Hull, being present at the forthcoming conference of the representatives of the three Governments.
At the same time I must call your attention to the great difficulties we should encounter if the agreed decision to hold the conference in Moscow were revised. If the conference were convened, not in Moscow, but in Britain, as you now suggest, V. M. Molotov, who I think should attend the three-Power conference as the representative of the Soviet Government, would be unable to get there in time. Molotov will not be able to leave the U.S.S.R. – at least in the immediate future – because A. Y. Vyshinsky, who is his first deputy in the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs, is expected, as you know, to leave for Algiers shortly.
Moreover, as you are aware, the U.S. and British press has been announcing for a long time that the forthcoming meeting will be held in Moscow, and a change of place might give rise to undesirable comments.
I have no objection to October 15 as the date of meeting. Presumably by that time the three Governments will have reached final agreement on the conference agenda.
September 28, 1943
The Prime Minister of Great Britain and I have agreed with a recommendation of General Eisenhower that the long-term surrender document, after it is signed by the Italian Government, should be retained in a confidential status and not published at the present time.
September 28, 1943
The Allied Supreme Commander in the Mediterranean area, Eisenhower, has recommended the following changes in the “Instrument of Surrender of Italy.”43
Change the title to “Additional Conditions of the Armistice with Italy.
Change the last sentence of the preamble to read “and have been accepted unconditionally by Marshal Pietro Badoglio, head of the Italian Government.”
Omit the statement of unconditional surrender in Paragraph One.
General Eisenhower and all of his senior commanders concur in this recommendation as highly advantageous to our progress in defeating the German forces in Italy in that it will help to align the Italian army, navy and civil population on our side.
Eisenhower urgently requests that pending a decision on these recommendations, secrecy in regard to the terms of the surrender document is “absolutely vital to our success in Italy.”
I hope that these recommendations of General Eisenhower will be approved by the Allied Powers because they are highly advantageous to our war effort and can be of no disadvantage to us.
Your concurrence is requested by telegraph at the earliest practicable date.
October 1, 1943
I have no objection to you and the British Prime Minister having approved General Eisenhower’s suggestion that the long-term surrender document be kept secret after the Italian Government has signed it and not published for the time being.
October 2, 1943
Your wire has reached me and our delegation will be in Moscow on October 15th. While I do not consider this conference as one to plan or recommend military strategy, I have no objection to and would welcome the widest exchange of views of your proposal relating to an expedition directed against France.44
General Deane, who is to be a member of our mission, will be informed fully of our plans and intentions.
That this is a three-Power conference and that any discussion on our proposal should be limited to the future intentions and plans of these three Powers exclusively is agreeable to me. This would, of course, in no way preclude a wider participation at some later date and under circumstances which would be mutually acceptable to our three Governments.
I am sure that we are going to find a meeting of minds for the important decisions which must finally be made by us. And so this preliminary conference will explore the ground, and if difficulties develop at the meeting of our Foreign Ministers, I would still have every hope that they can be reconciled when you and Mr Churchill and I meet.
It appears that the American and British armies should enter Rome in another few weeks.
October 4, 1943
I received your message of October 1 only today, October 5. I have no objection to the changes you suggest making in the “Instrument of Surrender of Italy.”
October 5, 1943
Your message of October 4 received.
Regarding military matters, that is, Anglo-American measures to shorten the war, you already know the Soviet Government’s point of view from my previous message.44 It is still my hope that in this respect a preliminary three-Power conference will be useful and clear the ground for further important decisions.
If I have understood you aright, the Moscow conference will confine itself to discussing matters bearing on our three countries only, hence we can take it as agreed that a four-Power declaration is not to be on the agenda.
Our representatives should do their best to overcome the difficulties that may arise in their responsible work. As to decisions, they can, of course, only be taken by our Governments – I hope when you, Mr Churchill and myself meet in person.
I wish the U.S. and British armies successful fulfilment of their mission and entry into Rome, which will be another blow to Mussolini and Hitler.
October 14, 1943
Received on October 13, 1943
War will be declared on Germany on October 13 by Badoglio.
Allied forces have secured air and naval facilities in the Azores. This move is based on old treaty relationships.
October 12, 1943
Your message of October 13 received. Thank you for the news. All success to the armed forces of the United States of America and Great Britain.
October 14, 1943
The Secretary of State and his staff are well on their way to Moscow but it seems doubtful if they can get there before the 17th. I will let you know of their progress.
I am very much disturbed in regard to the location of the other meeting, but I will send you this problem in another message.
October 14, 1943
The problem of my going to the place you suggested is becoming so acute that I feel that I should tell you frankly that, for constitutional reasons, I cannot take the risk. The Congress will be in session. New laws and resolutions must be acted on by me after their receipt and must be returned to the Congress physically before ten days have elapsed. None of this can be done by radio or cable. The place you mentioned is too far to be sure that the requirements are fulfilled. The possibility of delay in getting over the mountain – first east-bound and then west-bound – is insurmountable. We know from experience that planes in either direction are often held up for three or four days.
I do not think that any one of us will need legation facilities as each of us can have adequate personal and technical staffs. I venture, therefore, to make some other suggestions and I hope you will consider them or suggest any other place where I can be assured of meeting my constitutional obligations.
In many ways Cairo is attractive, and I understand there is a hotel and some villas out near the pyramids which could be completely segregated. Asmara, the former Italian capital of Eritrea, is said to have excellent buildings and a landing field – good at all times.
Then there is the possibility of meeting at some port in the Eastern Mediterranean, each one of us to have a ship. If this idea attracts you, we could easily place a fine ship entirely at your disposal for you and your party so that you would be completely independent and, at the same time, be in constant contact with your own war front.
Another suggestion is in the neighborhood of Bagdad where we could have three comfortable camps with adequate Russian, British and American guards. This last idea seems worth considering.
In any event I think the press should be entirely banished, and the whole place surrounded by a cordon so that we would not be disturbed in any way. What would you think of November 20th or November 25th as the date of the meeting?
I am placing a very great importance on the personal and intimate conversations which you and Churchill and I will have for on them depend the hopes of the future world.
Your continuous initiative along your whole front heartens all of us.
October 14, 1943
I have received your two messages of October 14.
Thank you for the news about the Secretary of State and his staff who are on their way. I hope they will soon arrive safely in Moscow.
As regards the subject raised in your second message, I shall send you a reply after I have conferred with my Government colleagues.
October 17, 1943
In view of Mr Molotov’s note to the United States Chargé d’Affaires of October 14,45 and in order that there may be no misunderstanding with regard to representation on the Political- Military Commission, I think I should make clear that, as indicated in my telegram to you of September 5, I feel that French representation should be restricted to matters other than the military occupation of Italy in which the three Governments establishing the Commission decide that France has a direct interest.
I feel that in this regard French representation should correspond to that which I suggested in my message of October 1346 should be accorded to the Governments of China, Brazil, Greece and Yugoslavia, or to any other Governments which may by mutual agreement be invited to participate.
It was never my intention that the French Committee of National Liberation should function on the same plane as the Governments of the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the United States or enter into its deliberations on all subjects.
October 17, 1943
With regard to the place for the meeting of the three heads of the Governments I should like to inform you of the following.
I am afraid I cannot accept as suitable any one of the places suggested by you as against Tehran. It is not a matter of security, for that does not worry me.
In the course of the Soviet troops’ operations in the summer and autumn of this year it became evident that our forces would be able to continue their offensive operations against the German Army and that the summer campaign would thus continue into winter. My colleagues hold that the operations necessitate day-to-day guidance by the Supreme Command and my personal contact with the Command. In Tehran, unlike the other places, these requirements can be met by communicating directly with Moscow by telegraph or telephone. For this reason my colleagues insist on Tehran.
I agree that the press should be barred. I also accept your proposal for fixing November 20 or 25 as possible dates for the meeting.
Mr Hull has arrived safely in Moscow, and I hope his attendance at the Moscow three-Power conference47 will be very useful.
October 19, 1943
Your message of October 17 received. I have nothing against your suggestion for the powers to be accorded the French representatives on the Allied military-political commission.
October 21, 1943
Received on October 25, 194348
Your message in regard to our meeting was received today (October 21). I am deeply disappointed.
Your reason for needing daily guidance from and your personal contact with the Supreme Command, which is causing such outstanding results, is fully appreciated by me. Please accept my assurance on that.
All this is of high importance, and I wish you would realize that there are other vital matters which, in our constitutional American Government, are my fixed obligations. These I cannot change. Under our constitution legislation must be acted on by the President within ten days after such legislation has been passed. In other words, the President must receive and return to Congress physical documents, with his written approval or veto, within this period. As I have told you previously, I cannot do this by cable or radio.
The difficulty with Tehran is this simple fact. The over-the-mountain approach to that city often makes flying impossible for some days at a time. This risk of delay is double, both for the plane delivering documents from Washington and for the one returning these documents to Congress. I regret to say that, as the head of the nation, it is impossible for me to go to a place where it is impossible to fulfill my obligations under our constitution.
The flying risks for documents up to and including the low country as far as the Gulf of Persia can be assumed by me through a relay system of planes. I cannot assume, however, the delays suffered by flights over the mountains in both directions into the saucer where Tehran lies. With much regret, therefore, I must tell you that I cannot go to Tehran. My cabinet members and legislative leaders are in complete agreement on this.
One last practical suggestion, however, can be made. Let all three of us go to Basra where we shall be perfectly protected in three camps, established and guarded by our respective troops. You can have easily, as you know, a special telephone, controlled by you, laid from Basra to Tehran where it would connect with your own line into Russia. All your needs should be met by such a wire service, and by plane you will only be a little further off from Russia than at Tehran itself.
I do not consider in any way the fact that from United States territory I would have to travel to within six hundred miles from Russian territory.
I must carry on a constitutional government more than one hundred and fifty years old. Were it not for this fact I would gladly go ten times the distance to meet you.
Your obligation to your people to carry on the defeat of our common enemy is great, but I am begging you not to forget my great obligation to the American Government and toward maintenance of the all-out United States war effort.
I look upon our three meeting as of the greatest possible importance; this not only as regards our people of today, but also in the light of a peaceful world for generations to come. This I have told you before.
Future generations would look upon it as a tragedy if a few hundred miles caused yourself, Mr Churchill and me to fail.
I say again that I would go to Tehran gladly if limitations over which I have no control did not prevent me.
Because of your communications problem, may I suggest Basra.
If this does not appeal to you, may I hope deeply you will think again of Bagdad or Asmara, or even Ankara. I think the latter place is worth considering. It is in neutral territory. The Turks might think well of the idea of being hosts. Of course, this has not been mentioned by me to them or to anyone else.
Please do not fail me in this crisis.
Mr Hull delivered your latest message to me on October 25, and I discussed it with him. I did not reply at once, being certain that Mr Hull had informed you of our talk and of my considerations as to the meeting with you and Mr Churchill.
I cannot but take into account the circumstances which you say prevent you from going to Tehran. It is for you alone, of course, to decide whether you can go there.
As far as I am concerned, there is no city more suitable than the one mentioned.
I have been entrusted with the Supreme Command of the Soviet forces, which obliges me to direct military operations day in and day out. This is particularly essential now, when the continuous four-month summer campaign is developing into a winter campaign and when military operations are getting under way practically along the entire 2,600-kilometre front. In this situation I, as Supreme Commander, cannot possibly go any farther than Tehran. My Government colleagues tend to the view that at present I cannot leave the U.S.S.R. at all in view of the exceedingly complicated situation at the front.
That accounts for the idea which has occurred to me and which I have already mentioned to Mr Hull. I could be fully replaced at that meeting by my First Deputy in the Government, V. M. Molotov, who during the discussions will enjoy, in keeping with our Constitution, the rights of head of the Soviet Government. In that case the difficulties of choosing a place would disappear. I hope this suggestion will at the moment be found suitable.
November 5, 1943
Your Ambassador, Mr Gromyko, was good enough to deliver to me your message of November 5th and I thank you for it.
I hope in a few days to leave here and to arrive in Cairo by November 22nd.
You will be glad to know that I have worked out a method whereby, if I receive word that there has been passed by the Congress and forwarded to me a bill requiring my veto, I will fly to Tunis to meet it and then return to the Conference.
I have therefore decided to go to Tehran and this makes me especially happy.
As I have told you, I regard it as of vital importance that you and Mr Churchill and I should meet. Even if our meeting lasted only two days, the psychology of the present feeling really demands it. It is my thought, therefore, that the staffs begin their work on November 22nd in Cairo, and I hope Mr Molotov and your military representative will come to Cairo at that time.
We can then all go to Tehran on November 26th and meet with you there on the 27th, 28th, or 30th, for as long as you feel you can be away. Churchill and I and the top staff people can then return to Cairo to complete the details.
The whole world is watching for this meeting of the three of us and the fact that you and Churchill and I have got to know each other personally will have far-reaching effect on the good opinion within our three nations and will assist in the further disturbance of Nazi morale even if we make no announcements as vital as those announced at the recent highly successful meeting in Moscow.
I am looking forward with keen anticipation to a good talk with you.
November 8, 1943
I am in receipt of yours of November 8. Thank you for your reply.
I agree with your plan for our meeting in Iran and hope Mr Churchill will do likewise.
V. M. Molotov and our military representative will arrive in Cairo on November 22, and there work out with you everything about our meeting in Iran.
November 10, 1943
It now turns out that reasons of a serious nature will prevent V. M. Molotov from reaching Cairo on November 22. He will accompany me to Iran towards the end of the month. I am simultaneously advising Mr Churchill of this, as you will be informed.
P.S. Despatch of this message was, unfortunately, held up through the fault of some members of the staff, but I hope it will arrive in time just the same.
November 12, 1943
Sent on November 13, 1943
I feel that I must inform you that today I sent a message to Mr Churchill which reads as follows:
“Today I 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 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.”
Received on November 13, 1943
Your telegram of November 10th and the definite prospect of our meeting makes me, of course, very happy. I shall be very glad to see Mr Molotov in Cairo on November 22nd.
I am just departing for North Africa.
I am sincerely happy about the fine continuance of your gains.
I have just landed. I am sorry about Mr Molotov and hope he is all well again. I will be glad to see him with you in Tehran. Let me know when you expect to get there. I will be in Cairo from tomorrow on and Mr Churchill will be nearby.
November 20, 1943
Received on November 24, 1943
This morning I arrived in Cairo and have begun discussions with the Prime Minister. By the end of the week, conference will follow with the Generalissimo49 after which he will return to China. Then the Prime Minister and myself accompanied by our senior staffs can proceed to Tehran to meet you, Mr Molotov and your staff officers. I could arrive the afternoon of November 29 if it meets with your convenience. I am prepared to remain for two to four days depending upon how long you can stay away from your compelling responsibilities. If you would telegraph me what day you wish to set for the meeting and how long you could stay I would be very grateful. I would appreciate your keeping me informed of your plans as I realize bad weather often causes delays in travel from Moscow to Tehran at this time of the year.
I understand that your Embassy and the British Embassy in Tehran are placed close together whereas my Legation is some distance away. I am informed that all three of us would be incurring unnecessary risks while driving to and from our meetings if we were staying too far apart.
Where do you think we should live?
It is with keen anticipation that I look forward to our conversations.
Your Cairo message has reached me. I shall be at your service in Tehran on November 28 in the evening.
November 25, 1943
Received on November 27, 1943
I thank you very much for your message of November 23 telling me of your intention to arrive at Tehran on the 28th or 29th of November.50
As for myself, I hope to get there on the 27th. It will be good to see you.
During the recent Moscow Conference the United States Delegation proposed that air bases be made available in the U.S.S.R. on which United States aircraft could be refueled, emergency repaired and rearmed in connection with shuttle bombing from the United Kingdom. It was also proposed that a more effective mutual interchange of weather information be implemented and that both signal and air communication between our two countries be improved.
It was my understanding that the U.S.S.R. agreed to these proposals in principle and that appropriate Soviet authorities would be given instructions to meet with my Military Mission for the purpose of considering concrete measures which would be necessary to carry out the proposals.
I hope that it will be possible to work out these arrangements promptly.
With a view of shortening the war, it is our opinion that the bombing of Japan from your Maritime Provinces, immediately following the beginning of hostilities between the U.S.S.R. and Japan, will be of the utmost importance, as it will enable us to destroy Japanese military and industrial centers.
If agreeable, would you arrange for my Military Mission in Moscow to be given the necessary information covering airports housing, supplies, communications, and weather in the Maritime Provinces and the route thereto from Alaska. Our objective is to base the maximum bomber force possible, anywhere from 100 to 1,000 four-engine bombers, with their maintenance and operating crews in that area, the number to depend upon facilities available.
It is of the utmost importance that planning to this end should be started at once. I realize that the physical surveys by our people should be limited at this time to a very few individuals and accomplished with the utmost secrecy. We would of course meet any conditions you might prescribe in this regard.
If the above arrangements are worked out now, I am convinced that the time of employment of our bombers against Japan will be materially advanced.
November 29, 194351
I would like to arrange with you at this time for the exchange of information and for such preliminary planning as may be appropriate under the present conditions for eventual operations against Japan when Germany has been eliminated from the war. The more of this preliminary planning that can be done, without undue jeopardy to the situation, the sooner the war as a whole can be brought to a conclusion.
Specifically, I have in mind the following items:
a. We would be glad to receive combat intelligence information concerning Japan.
b. Considering that the ports for your Far Eastern submarine and destroyer force might be threatened seriously by land or air attack, do you feel it desirable that the United States should expand base facilities sufficiently to provide for these forces in U.S. bases?
c. What direct or indirect assistance would you be able to give in the event of a U.S. attack against the Northern Kuriles?
d. Could you indicate what ports, if any, our forces could use, and could you furnish data on these ports in regard to their naval use as well as port capacities for despatch of cargo?
These questions can be discussed as you may find appropriate with our Military Mission in Moscow, similar to the procedure suggested for plans regarding air operations.
November 29, 194351
Dear Marshal Stalin,
The weather conditions were ideal for crossing the mountains the day of our departure from Tehran so that we had an easy and comfortable flight to Cairo. I hasten to send you my personal thanks for your thoughtfulness and hospitality in providing living quarters for me in your Embassy at Tehran. I was not only extremely comfortable there but I am very conscious of how much more we were able to accomplish in a brief period of time because we were such close neighbors throughout our stay.
I view those momentous days of our meeting with the greatest satisfaction as being an important milestone in the progress of human affairs. I thank you and the members of your staff and household for the many kindnesses to me and to the members of my staff.
I am just starting home and will visit my troops in Italy on the way.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
December 3, 1943
The destination of our party has been reached in safety and all of us earnestly hope that by this time you also have arrived safely. I consider the conference to have been a great success, and it was an historic event, I feel sure, in the assurance not only of our ability to wage war together but also to work for the peace to come in utmost harmony. Our personal talks together were enjoyed very much by me, and particularly the opportunity of meeting with you face to face. I look forward to seeing you again sometime, and, until that time, I wish the greatest success to you and your armies.
December 4, 1943
Thank you for your telegram.
I agree that the Tehran Conference was a great success and that our personal meetings were of great importance in many respects. I hope the common enemy of our peoples – Hitler Germany – will soon feel this. Now there is certainty that our peoples will cooperate harmoniously, both at present and after the war.
I wish you and your armed forces the best of success in the coming momentous operations.
I also hope that our meeting in Tehran will not be the last and that we shall meet again.
December 6, 1943
Received on December 7, 1943
It has been decided to appoint General Eisenhower immediately to the command of cross-Channel operations.
Received on December 7, 1943
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.
Thank you for your joint message informing me of the additional decisions on waging the war against Germany in 1944. Best regards.
December 10, 1943
I have received your message about the appointment of General Eisenhower. I welcome it. I wish him success in preparing and carrying out the forthcoming decisive operations.
December 10, 1943
Thank you for your letter, which reached me through your Ambassador on December 18.52
I am glad that chance enabled me to render you a service in Tehran. I, too, attach great importance to our meeting and to the talks we had on the vital problem of accelerating our common victory and establishing lasting peace among the nations.
December 20, 1943
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