Moscow Embassy Files: Lot F–96

The American Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Standley) to the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union (Molotov)

No. L–13

My Dear Mr. Molotov: I would be grateful if you would transmit the following message addressed to Mr. Stalin, which I have received from the President today:29

“I regret indeed that I was unable to have been with you and Mr. Churchill in the conferences which have recently taken place in Moscow. The urgent needs of the military situation, especially insofar as the Soviet-German front is concerned, are well known to me.

“I am of the opinion that it will be difficult for the Japanese to dislodge us from the vantage point which we have gained in the area of the Southwest Pacific. Although the naval losses of our forces were considerable in that area, the advantages which we have gained will justify them and I can assure you we are going to press them in a vigorous manner. I well realize on the other hand that the real enemy of both our countries is Germany and that at the earliest possible moment it will be necessary for both our countries to bring our power and forces to bear against Hitler. Just as soon as it is humanly possible to assemble the transportation you may be sure that this will be done.

“In the interim there will leave the United States for the Soviet Union during the month of August over 1,000 tanks, and at the same time other strategic materials are going forward, including aircraft.

“The fact that the Soviet Union is bearing the brunt of the fighting and losses during the year 1942 is well understood by the United States and I may state that we greatly admire the magnificent resistance which your country has exhibited. We are coming as quickly and as strongly to your assistance as we possibly can and I hope that you will believe me when I tell you this.”

Sincerely yours,

W. H. Standley
  1. Prime Minister Churchill had telegraphed his belief on August 16, 1942, to President Roosevelt that “any consoling or heartening message you feel like sending to Stalin secretly would be helpful.”