Personal Message from Stalin to Mr Churchill

Allow me to thank you for your two personal messages.

Your messages have initiated agreement between our two Governments. Now, as you with every justification put it, the Soviet Union and Great Britain have become fighting Allies in the struggle against Hitler Germany. I have no doubt that our two countries are strong enough to defeat our common enemy in the face of all difficulties.

It may not be out of place to inform you that the position of the Soviet troops at the front remains strained. The results of Hitler’s unexpected violation of the Non-Aggression Pact and the sudden attack on the Soviet Union, which have placed the German troops at an advantage, are still affecting the position of the Soviet armies. It is quite obvious that the German forces would have been far more advantageously placed if the Soviet troops had had to counter the blow, not along the line Kishinev-Lvov-Brest-Bialystok-Kaunas and Vyborg, but along the line Odessa-Kamenets Podolsk-Minsk and the vicinity of Leningrad.

It seems to me, furthermore, that the military position of the Soviet Union, and by the same token that of Great Britain, would improve substantially if a front were established against Hitler in the West (Northern France) and the North (the Arctic).

A front in the North of France, besides diverting Hitler’s forces from the East, would make impossible invasion of Britain by Hitler. Establishment of this front would be popular both with the British Army and with the population of Southern England. I am aware of the difficulty of establishing such a front, but it seems to me that, notwithstanding the difficulties, it should be done, not only for the sake of our common cause, but also in Britain’s own interest. The best time to open this front is now, seeing that Hitler’s forces have been switched to the East and that he has not yet been able to consolidate the positions he has taken in the East.

It would be easier still to open a front in the North. This would call for action only by British naval and air forces, without landing troops or artillery. Soviet land, naval and air forces could take part in the operation. We would be glad if Great Britain could send& thither, say, one light division or more of Norwegian volunteers, who could be moved to Northern Norway for insurgent operations against the Germans.

July 18, 1941

J. V. Stalin to F. Roosevelt
Sent on August 4, 1941

The U.S.S.R. attaches great importance to the matter of neutralising Finland and her dissociation from Germany. The severance of relations between Britain and Finland and the blockade of Finland, announced by Britain, have already borne fruit and engendered conflicts among the ruling circles of Finland. Voices are being raised in support of neutrality and reconciliation with the U.S.S.R.
If the U.S. Government were to threaten Finland with a rupture of relations, the Finnish Government would be more resolute in the matter of breaking with Germany. In that case the Soviet Government could make certain territorial concessions to Finland with a view to assuaging her and conclude a new peace treaty with her.

Source: Stalin: Works, Vol. 17: 1941

To the continuation war

Paluu sisällysluetteloon 1941-48