Truman Papers: Telegram

No. 75
President Truman to Marshal Stalin 1

top secret

Number 297. Top secret and personal from the President for Marshal Stalin.

Your message of June 16 regarding Allied occupation of agreed zones in Germany and Austria2 is received.

I have issued instructions to the American commanders to begin the movement on July 1 as requested by you. It is assumed that American troops will be in Berlin at an earlier date in sufficient number to accomplish their duties in preparation for our conference.

  1. Sent to the United States Naval Attaché, Moscow, via Navy channels. Text repeated in extenso for Churchill’s information in Truman’s telegram No. 77 of July 18 to Churchill (Leahy Papers).
  2. Not printed herein. Truman and Churchill had told Stalin on June 14 and 15, respectively, that they were prepared, among other things, to issue instructions for the withdrawal of American and British forces in Germany to their allotted zones of occupation in accordance with arrangements, to be worked out by the commanders in Germany, which would provide for the simultaneous movement of American and British garrisons into Greater Berlin. Truman had suggested June 21 as the date on which American forces would begin their withdrawal. Stalin had replied to Truman and Churchill on June 16 and 17, respectively, that mine-clearing operations in Berlin would not be completed until late in June and that Zhukov and other Soviet military commanders, who had been summoned to Moscow, would not be able to return to Germany until June 28–30. Stalin had therefore suggested beginning the withdrawal of American and British forces to their zones of occupation on July 1. See Truman, Year of Decisions, pp. 303–305; Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy, pp. 606–608; Stalin’s Correspondence, vol. i, pp. 365–367, and vol. ii, pp. 245–248.