740.00119 EW 1939/3–2844

The Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: The Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered your two undated memoranda forwarding a summary of a series of telegrams from Moscow to London to Cairo, setting forth the views of the Soviet Government as to steps now to be taken if the surrender of the Rumanian army can be effected. The Joint Chiefs of Staff note that the Russian proposal in effect leaves the matter of Rumanian surrender exclusively in Russian hands but consider that from a military viewpoint, this is only natural and to be expected since Russian forces are the only ones prepared to implement and take advantage of the surrender terms.

From the military point of view, the present Rumanian situation is analogous to the Italian situation at the time of her surrender to the British and ourselves. Since Russian participation in Italian operations was impracticable, the western Allies handled the matter of Italian surrender to the three principal Allies and Russian participation in the Italian situation has been limited to representation on the Allied Advisory Council for Italy and the Allied Control Commission.

As indicated in previous letters on this subject, the Joint Chiefs of Staff feel that the detachment of Rumania and the other Balkan satellites from the Axis is militarily of the highest importance and that it is especially desirable that this detachment should take the form of a maximum effort on their part in support of Allied interests. Especially in view of the current developing military situation prompt results are of the greatest importance and urgency. In view of this, the Joint Chiefs of Staff are of the opinion that no restrictive political considerations should be advanced that would militate against the early surrender of the Rumanian forces.

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The Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend that Mr. MacVeagh be instructed to join in the proposed communication from the representatives of the three Governments to Prince Stirbey.

Sincerely yours,

For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
William D. Leahy

Admiral, U.S. Navy Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy