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–27

Excellency: I have the honor to inform you that I have been instructed to deliver the following message, dated January 8, 1943, from President Roosevelt to Premier Stalin.

“After reading your reply to my radio concerning the Far East,63 I am afraid I did not make myself clear. As I previously explained reference South Caucasus,64 it is not practicable to send heavy bombers to Russia at this time other than in existing organized units. Our proposal regarding the one hundred planes referred to a situation which would occur if hostilities were actually to break out between Japan and Russia.

“Under such conditions, we calculated that by regrouping our air units in the Pacific theatre, one hundred planes in organized units could be concentrated in Eastern Siberia because their action as well as your battle there would enable us to reduce our air strength elsewhere in the Pacific theatre.

“My radio was intended to be in the nature of anticipatory protective planning against a possibility only.

“The immediate action recommended was in reference to the survey and discussions by General Bradley65 with Soviet officials.

“Only by such preliminary survey and advance planning will it be possible to render reasonably prompt assistance in the event of an outbreak of hostilities in Siberia. I should like to send General Marshall66 to Moscow for a visit in the very near future, and if this can be arranged, I hope that you will be able to discuss this matter with him at that time.

“He will be able to tell you about the current situation in Africa and also about planned operations for balance of this year in all war [Page 617]theatres. I think this will be very helpful and he will have the latest news.

“Meanwhile I would appreciate an early reply to my proposal of December 30 that General Bradley and his party proceed without delay to the Far East for survey and staff discussions.

“My deep appreciation for the continuing advances of your armies. The principle of attrition of the enemy forces on all fronts is beginning to work.”

Accept [etc.]

For the Ambassador:
Llewellyn E. Thompson, Jr.

Secretary of Embassy
  1. Premier Stalin replied to President Roosevelt’s message of December 30, 1942, on January 5, 1943. For President Roosevelt’s message to Stalin, see note No. L–26, January 1, 1943, from the Chargé in the Soviet Union to Foreign Commissar Molotov, Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. iii, p. 683; for Stalin’s reply of January 5, 1943, see Department of Defense, The Entry of the Soviet Union Into the War Against Japan: Military Plans, 1941–1945, p. 14.
  2. See note No. L–22, December 17, 1942, from the Chargé in the Soviet Union to Foreign Commissar Molotov, Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. iii, p. 677.
  3. Maj. Gen. Follett Bradley had arrived in Moscow in August 1942, as leader of a special air mission to the Soviet Union with the personal rank of Minister. He returned to the United States for consultation in November.
  4. Gen. George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army.