740.0011 European War 1939/21584: Telegram

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

399. The following telegram has been received from the Embassy in Moscow:

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119. May 9, 6 p.m. Ehrenburg,76 who was present at a luncheon given by the United Press correspondent yesterday, told the British correspondents present that he was convinced that the British would only establish a second front if it became clear that the Russians were either being defeated or were about to be victorious. He said that in pursuing such a policy Britain was running the risk of incurring the lasting hatred not only of the Russians but of all Europe no matter which side won the war. He said there was not much popular resentment in Russia against Great Britain at the present time but in his opinion this feeling was growing. He admitted that the Soviet Union had received material help from Great Britain and the United States but said that they should either have sent the best grade of war materials or if this was not available larger quantities of second grade materials should have been sent.

The most interesting aspect of the foregoing was that Ehrenburg was obviously taking a predetermined official line.

In the course of the discussion Ehrenburg said that judging from recently captured prisoners about 50% of the German front line troops are now inexperienced or inferior soldiers.

  1. Ilya Grigoryevich Ehrenburg, a Soviet literary figure and journalist.