124.61/166: Telegram

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

549. Since the receipt of the Department’s 240, March 1, 11 a.m.,65 I have given careful consideration to the measures which would be necessary in order that the Embassy would continue to perform essential functions under the extremely difficult physical conditions that would unquestionably prevail if it became necessary to evacuate the city of Moscow. As I must envisage the total absence of cooperation or assistance from the Soviet authorities in such an eventuality, as well as the breakdown of all public services, and as I also foresee that we would be dependent on our own resources for living accommodations, food supplies, and transport, I have already taken the necessary steps to obtain a suburban building of limited size,66 but equipped with telephone, and have on hand food supplies for a period of several months. Arrangements for transportation, including fuel, have also been made.67 While the living quarters of this building are inadequate to house more than a few individuals, these grounds are large enough to accommodate the entire personnel of this Mission, provided sturdy tents and equipment are available.

As these are not obtainable here I should appreciate it if the Department would request the War Department to ship to this Mission urgently and immediately by way of Vladivostok from Hawaii, if possible, and otherwise from San Francisco, the following:68 (a) 6 tents pyramidal complete with poles, pins, ropes and hoods; (b) 6 stoves, tent, complete; (c) 24 cots canvas folding; (d) 24 mattresses single; (e) 24 mess kits complete with knife, fork, and spoon; (f) 24 blankets wool; (g) 24 pillows; (h) 24 pillow cases; (i) 48 sheets, single; (j) 2 tents, wool, small, officers, complete with poles, tent ropes, and fly.

  1. Ante, p. 712.
  2. This building was known as Dacha No. 7, located 19.9 miles northwards near Tarasovka from the Mokhovaya Building, the American office and residence quarters in Moscow.
  3. A copy of the detailed Chancery Order on the Evacuation of Moscow in the Event of Emergency was sent to the Department in despatch No. 1330, May 12, 1941 (124.61/185).
  4. The Department informed the Embassy at Moscow in telegram No. 486, April 19, 1941, that the equipment, which was available at San Francisco and Honolulu, would be shipped soon (124.61/168).