J. C. S. Files

Memorandum of Conversation 1
top secret

Memorandum for the United States Chiefs of Staff:

Subject: Conference with Russian Staff.

On the afternoon of Friday, February 9th, General Antonov orally gave the following answers to the eleven questions propounded by the United States Chiefs of Staff the previous afternoon.

To the First Question—(Changes in projected operations). No change, except for delay in transfer of troops which it had been planned to get under way the first of the year. These troops are now engaged in the Central Sector on the Eastern Front, therefore the delay.

To the Second Question—(Necessity for Pacific Supply route). Marshal Stalin stated the Pacific Sea supply route will be required particularly for the delivery of food stuffs and petroleum products. [Page 840]Some air transport will probably be needed but due to its small carrying capacity the sea route is of first importance.

To the Third Question—(U. S. Airbases). Aviation bases in the Komsomolsk-Nikolaevsk region will be given the United States Air Forces. Reconnaissances can now be made.

To the Fourth Question—(U. S. Defenses Kamchatka). Because Kamchatka is very far from the mainland United States assistance there will be very helpful.

To the Fifth Question—(Soviet construction for U. S.). When it is finally decided in exactly what places and what types of construction are required for the United States Air Forces in the district mentioned in the third question, the Russians will be able to carry out this construction for the United States forces. Assistance in the way of matériel is very desirable—gasoline tankage, knock-down buildings, etc.

To the Sixth Question—(Kamchatka Survey party). With regard to the reconnaissance of the Kamchatka region we ask you to arrange for the departure of the party only at the very last moment because under present conditions it is impossible to make the reconnaissance in secrecy. This does not apply to the reconnaissance of the Amur River district.

To the Seventh Question—(Occupation of Sakhalin). The Russians will take the southern half of Sakhalin Island considering this should be one of the first operations.

(Opening of the Straits of La Perouse). Answer is the same as yesterday. The Russians will do this.

To the Eighth Question—(Moscow Planning). Marshal Stalin stated that “From our side we shall fulfill your desires to carry on the planning vigorously.”

To the Ninth Question—(Effect of weather on operations). From a ground force point of view the most difficult conditions will be experienced in the thaws and floods in April and May and although June is a favorable month, July and August are undesirable. As far as the ground forces are concerned weather will be most favorable in September, October and November. At sea weather is favorable in July, August and September.

To the Tenth Question—(Additional weather stations). Arrangements will be made to open additional stations if the details will be presented to the Russian authorities.

General Antonov expressed thanks for the information already given to him regarding the movements of Divisions to the Eastern Front and requested again that the Russian Staff be provided at the earliest moment with any information we might have regarding German concentrations and planned counter-attacks.

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General Marshall informed General Antonov that arrangements were being made to give General Deane a daily routine report covering all such details of information in our possession, that if the character of the information or the details regarding it were not of a character satisfactory to General Antonov he would please notify General Deane accordingly and we would endeavor to meet his wishes.

General Marshall also informed General Antonov that he had discussed this matter with Field Marshal Brooke who is undertaking the moment he returns to London arrangements amplifying the information now being transmitted and expediting it; furthermore that instructions to this end had already been dispatched.

General Marshall then asked General Antonov if the United States Chiefs of Staff estimate was correct in the opinion of the Russians that if the Japanese obtained any intimation of the Russian concentration and intention in the Far East they themselves would launch an immediate offensive. General Antonov replied in the affirmative.

General Marshall then asked General Antonov how long a period was required for the concentration of additional troops and supplies on the Eastern Front and was told that three months was the desired period. General Antonov also stated that supplies, fuel and such were already being shipped but that the divisions could only go upon the completion of hostilities in Germany and then would be rushed. He stated that the equipment of the divisions would have to accompany them. It could not be sent in advance.

General Antonov requested that we keep the Russian Staff informed as to the deployment of the Japanese forces, particularly as regards Manchuria and as to the general progress of events in the Pacific.

  1. Authorship not indicated.