740.0011 European War 1939/12361: Telegram

The Ambassador to the Polish Government in Exile (Biddle) to the Secretary of State

Polish Series No. 21. For the President and the Secretary.

1.
General Sikorski’s radio address at 10:30 p.m. London time is important in light of Polish Government’s policy vis-à-vis Soviet Russia. He pointed out that Herr Hitler77 is Poland’s enemy number one and that in view thereof the Polish Government will adopt a friendly attitude toward Russia provided (a) Russia continues her resistance,78 (b) Moscow would recognize the Polish-Russian frontiers as laid down in the treaty of Riga,79 and (c) Moscow would release some 300,000 Polish prisoners of war and some 500,000 civilians held in Siberian concentration camps.
2.
General Sikorski has already secretly communicated the above policy to the clandestine representatives in Poland.
3.
In this connection Sir Stafford Cripps80 told General Sikorski that while the equipment and morale of the Russian forces were good the question of transportation might become a serious problem in event of large scale retreat. Moreover, he had his doubts as to the efficiency of organization throughout the army.
4.
I therefore gain the impression that were Moscow to meet the Polish Government “halfway” as General Sikorski puts it, instructions would forthwith be sent to the trained officers and men now in Russian war prison camps to throw their weight in behind the Russian war effort. Moreover, General Sikorski is confident they would follow his instructions.
[
Biddle
]
  1. Adolf Hitler, Führer and Chancellor of the German Reich from January 30, 1933, and Chief of State from August 2, 1934.
  2. The German attack upon the Soviet Union had begun on June 22, 1941.
  3. Treaty of peace between the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic and Poland signed at Riga on March 18, 1921, League of Nations Treaty Series, Vol. vi, pp. 123, 151.
  4. British Ambassador in the Soviet Union.