761.67/7–545: Telegram

No. 699
The Ambassador in Italy (Kirk) to the Secretary of State


2866. Air Vice Marshal Stevenson (head Brit deleg ACC Rumania) has reported that his information indicates Rumanian Army peacetime strength will be 15 or 16 infantry divisions and one armored div, arms and equipment to be supplied by Russia. Although terms of the Soviet Rumanian military treaty, recently discussed between Rascanu and Stalin are probably now in preparatory stage above figures may be considered firm.

There are now four pontoon bridges across Danube at Calafat, Bechet (south of Craiova)[,] Calărăşi and Harşova (northwest of Constanta). Scant info on troop movements south across Danube but certain that any movements will be made under cover of darkness including moderate truck movement over bridge at Harşova directed toward Constanţa area.

Center of Constanţa has been evacuated to provide quarters for Russian troops. Advance guard including high ranking officers has arrived there. Most municipal buildings and hotels have been commandeered. At Eforie, south of Constanţa, hotels and buildings are being prepared for HQ staffs. Now almost certain that Tolbukhin’s HQ will be Constanţa.

Based on above info plus reports from Hungary, Bulgaria and AFHQ Stevenson commented that future set up may well be as follows; Tolbukhin’s army will eventually be concentrated in Yugo and Bulgaria with HQ in Constanţa; Malinovsky’s army will be concentrated in zones delineated in Rumania with HQ in Bucharest; both Marshals likely to live in Bucharest.

Gen Oxley (head Brit deleg ACC Bulgaria) after learning of above info reported substance to Brit WarOff with comment that he (Oxley) is convinced there can be no other reason for concentration of Russian [Page 1043] troops in Rumania and Bulgaria other than browbeating the Turks into accepting Russian proposals for the Straits.