740.0011 European War, 1939/204: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Bullitt) to the Secretary of State

1824. Leger said to me this morning that the Soviet Embassy in Paris had packed all its archives and made all preparations to leave Paris immediately in anticipation of an attack by the Red Army on Poland.

Furthermore, in spite of the fact that the Soviet Government a few days ago had offered to send supplies to the Polish Government yesterday when the Polish Government had asked for supplies, the Soviet Government had refused definitely to send them. Furthermore, the Soviet Government was mobilizing troops at strategic points for an invasion of Poland.

Leger stated that he considered it of the utmost importance to prevent the Soviet Union from attacking Poland.

If this attack should take place Polish resistance to Germany would collapse at once. Germany would be in a position to propose peace to France and England with the Soviet Government as ally; Poland destroyed; and Italy as a potential ally.

It was absolutely certain that even under these circumstances France and England would continue to fight but it was extremely difficult to convince any foreign nation that this was so.

A further consequence of the Soviet Union attacking Poland, which would mean war also with France and England, would be that Japan would no longer fear action of the Soviet Union in Far East and would feel free to take immediate action against France and England in the Far East.

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Leger went on to say that he hoped the Government of the United States could convey in some way to the Soviet Government its absolute knowledge that France and England intended to go on fighting whether or not Poland should be overrun in the near future and that France and England would consider an attack by the Soviet Union on Poland an act of war against France and England.

I venture to suggest that you might think it worth while to say some word on this subject to the Soviet Chargé d’Affaires in Washington.

Incidentally if the Soviet Union at this moment should attack Poland the Government of the United States might no longer be interested in maintaining relations with a government so entirely dishonorable.