861.20/488: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Steinhardt ) to the Secretary of State

546. My 536, September 13, 11 a.m.76 Although, in so far as I can ascertain no additional reservists are being called up, Soviet military preparations are continuing and anti-aircraft batteries have been mounted in and around Moscow. While I am more than ever convinced that it is the intention of the Soviet Government to aid and abet a speedy termination of the Polish-German conflict in the hope of a withdrawal of the main body of German troops to the western front, it is not yet certain what measures the Soviet would be prepared to take in the furtherance of that aim. It may be assumed from the violent and hostile tone against Poland in the Pravda editorial yesterday that the Soviet authorities are endeavoring, possibly through agents, to foment discontent and disorder among the Ukrainian and White Russian minorities in the rear of the Polish armies. It is even rumored, although I have been unable to obtain any confirmation thereof, that the German Government is pressing the Soviet Government for direct Soviet intervention in Poland, presumably in the hope of embroiling the Soviet Union in war with England and France. I am inclined to regard this rumor with reserve, since according to previous information received from German sources the German Government would prefer a benevolently neutral Russia which might prove a source of economic assistance to Germany. Nor is there any reason to believe that the Soviet Government has any desire or intention of becoming involved in a war with England and France at the present time. For this reason, it is probable that any Soviet action, even that outlined in the last paragraph of my telegram under reference, will await the collapse of the smaller Polish Government and the obvious disintegration of the Polish State.

Steinhardt
  1. Not printed.