740.0011 European War 1939/20944: Telegram

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

307. The British Ambassador68 informed me this morning that when he saw Stalin in Moscow last week the following subjects were discussed:

The discontent of the British Military Mission resulting from the lack of cooperation on the part of the Soviet military authorities. With respect to this Stalin stated that they had given orders that this situation was to be remedied and that if any further difficulties should be encountered they should be referred to him personally. He stated that his “people” were rough and rude and unfamiliar with the requirements of collaboration with foreigners and that they had moreover been so strictly schooled and disciplined in secrecy that they found it almost impossible to amend their habits in that respect.
Sweden and Turkey. Stalin expressed the opinion that both these countries are swinging in to the German orbit. In this connection Kerr said that he had been able to reassure Stalin, as in the opinion of his Government, neither Sweden nor Turkey is likely to go over to Germany.
Hitler. Stalin stated that he was determined to destroy Hitler personally and requested the aid of the British Government in locating Hitler in furtherance of this end. He said that whenever [Page 438] he received a report of Hitler’s presence at any given point he immediately directed that a heavy bombing attack should be made and that in this manner he had driven Hitler out of Minsk to Vilna and back, and would continue so to pursue him. He said that in his efforts to destroy Hitler he had already killed Kotz (the engineer of the German Siegfried line) and General Brauchitsch—both of whose deaths had been attributed to other causes.
Supplies. Stalin stated that he had been agreeably surprised by the speed and efficacy with which the British Government had fulfilled its promises with respect to the delivery of war material to the Soviet Union, adding that when Beaverbrook had made his commitments on this subject the Soviet authorities had been skeptical. He then said that just the opposite was true with the United States, which had lamentably failed to keep its pledges with respect to the supply of war material and which had been especially derelict in the dispatch of wheat.

The Ambassador stated that during his conversation, which took place in a very deep air raid shelter beneath the Kremlin and which lasted for two and one half hours, no reference had been made to the Soviet demand with respect to the Baltic States and its other 1941 frontiers.

In this latter connection I desire to report that the Minister Counselor of the Polish Embassy69 yesterday informed a member of my staff that it was his understanding that the Soviet territorial demands now under consideration by the British70 include not only those originally reported by this Embassy,71 but a segment of territory south of the Danube River embracing the full estuary of that river and a strip of Hungarian territory in the Carpathian district. The Minister Counselor expressed the opinion that the Soviet demand for this Hungarian territory had been instigated by the Czechoslovakian Minister in the Soviet Union.

  1. Sir Archibald Clark Kerr.
  2. Henryk Sokolnicki.
  3. For correspondence regarding consideration by the British of Soviet demands for recognition of its 1941 frontiers during negotiations for an Anglo-Soviet treaty of collaboration and mutual assistance, see pp. 490566, passim.
  4. In this connection see telegrams No. 10, December 19, 1941, and No. 12, December 20, 1941, from Moscow, Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. i, pp. 198 and 200, respectively.