740.0011 European War 1939/12793: Telegram
The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Steinhardt)
Washington, July 4, 1941—2 p.m.
868. Your 1261, July 1, noon, and 1282, July 3, 7 p.m.11
- In view of conflicting reports and lack of observers on any front the War Department is also encountering difficulties in keeping itself precisely informed regarding the rapidly shifting positions of the opposing forces.
- It is the opinion of officials of the War Department observing developments that German troops would be able, if they desire so to do, to enter Moscow within a week. They say that it is possible, however, that the Germans may decide to endeavor to complete the destruction of the Russian armies in the West before doing so. We shall attempt to keep you informed of important military developments which in our opinion you would not be likely to learn elsewhere. Are you able to receive the Berlin broadcasts?
- We leave entirely to your discretion the decision as to when and how you should leave Moscow. It is of course preferable that you leave simultaneously with the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs.
- Since it is possible that the Government may abandon Moscow without advance or any notice to the Diplomatic Corps, it has occurred to us that it might be advisable to endeavor to open immediately a temporary consular office in Sverdlovsk or in some other city east of Moscow agreed upon between you and the Soviet authorities. To [Page 893] this consulate could be sent at once personnel selected by you together with such official and personal effects as might be urgently needed by the Embassy later but which you might not be able to take out of Moscow with you in case you should leave while the city was under bombardment or in a state of panic. If this suggestion meets your approval you may at once broach it to the Soviet authorities and begin taking the steps necessary for putting it into effect.
- Latter not printed; here the Ambassador mentioned reports that several People’s Commissariats were moving away from Moscow, and that the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs had begun to burn its records.↩