America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

Roosevelt-Churchill-Stalin luncheon meeting, 1:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom Soviet Union
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill Marshal Stalin
Mr. Bohlen Major Birse Mr. Berezhkov

Bohlen Minutes

November 30, 1943, 1:30 p.m.

Before luncheon, at the Prime Minister’s request, the President read to Marshal Stalin the recommendations of the combined British and American Staffs, which had been approved by himself and the Prime Minister.

Marshal Stalin expressed his great satisfaction with this decision. He added that the Red Army would at the same time undertake offensive operations, and would demonstrate by its actions the value it placed on this decision. He asked when the Commander-in-Chief would be named.

The President said he had to consult with his Staff, but that he was sure that the Commander-in-Chief would be named in three or four days or, in other words, immediately following his return, and that of the Prime Minister, to Cairo. The President said that there were a number of questions in regard to command which he had had to discuss with Mr. Churchill. He added that the Commander-in-Chief of OVERLORD would operate from England, and that there would be a Commander-in-Chief for the Mediterranean area. And one question was, under whose command the operations in Southern France would fall.

At this point The Prime Minister interrupted to say that the operations in Southern France should be under the Commander-in-Chief of OVERLORD, but the operations in Italy, which must be intensified to coordinate with the operations in France, would be under the Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean theater.

Marshal Stalin expressed agreement with this idea, and said it was sound military doctrine.

For the next part of the luncheon the conversation was general, until the Prime Minister asked Marshal Stalin whether he had read the proposed communiqué on the Far East of the Cairo Conference.

Marshal Stalin replied that he had and that although he could make no commitments, he thoroughly approved the communiqué and all its contents. He said it was right that Korea should be independent, and that Manchuria, Formosa and the Pescadores Islands should be returned to China. He added, however, that the Chinese must be made to fight, which they had not thus far done.

The Prime Minister and the President expressed agreement with Marshal Stalin’s views.

After some discussion of the great size of the Soviet Union, during which Marshal Stalin admitted frankly that had Russia not had at her disposal such a vast territory the Germans would have probably won the victory, the Prime Minister said that he felt that such a large land mass as Russia deserved the access to warm water ports. He said that the question would of course form part of the peace settlement, and he observed that it could be settled agreeably and as between friends.

Marshal Stalin replied that at the proper time that question could be discussed, but that since Mr. Churchill had raised the question he would like to inquire as to the regime of the Dardanelles. He said that since England no longer objected, it would be well to relax that regime.

The Prime Minister replied that England had now no objections to Russia’s access to warm water ports, although he admitted that in the past she had. He questioned, however, the advisability of doing anything about the Straits at the time, as we were all trying to get Turkey to enter the war.

Marshal Stalin said there was no need to hurry about that question, but that he was merely interested in discussing it here in general.

The Prime Minister replied that Great Britain saw no objections to this legitimate question, and that furthermore we all hoped to see Russian fleets, both naval and merchant, on all seas of the world.

Marshal Stalin said that Lord Curzon had had other ideas.

The Prime Minister replied that that was true, and that it would be idle to deny that in those days Russia and England did not see eye to eye.

Marshal Stalin replied that Russia also was quite different in those days.

The President reverted to the question of the approaches to the Baltic Sea, which he had previously discussed with Marshal Stalin. He said he liked the idea of establishing the former Hanseatic cities of Bremen, Hamburg and Lubeck into some form of a free zone, with the Kiel Canal put under international control and guaranty, with freedom of passage for the world’s commerce.

Marshal Stalin said he thought that that was a good idea, and then asked what could be done for Russia in the Far East.

The Prime Minister replied that it was for this reason that he had been particularly glad to hear the Marshal’s views on the Cairo communiqué, since he was interested to find out the views of the Soviet government on the Far East and the question of warm water ports there.

Marshal Stalin replied that of course the Russians had their views, but that it would perhaps be better to await the time when the Russians would be taking an active representation in the Far Eastern war. He added, however, that there was no port in the Far East that was not closed off, since Vladivostok was only partly ice-free, and besides covered by Japanese-controlled Straits.

The President said he thought the idea of a free port might be applied to the Far East besides, and mentioned Dairen as a possibility.

Marshal Stalin said he did not think that the Chinese would like such a scheme.

To which the President replied that he thought they would like the idea of a free port under international guaranty.

Marshal Stalin said that that would not be bad, and added that Petropavlovsk or [on?] Kamchatka was an excellent port, and ice-free, but with no rail connections. He pointed out in this general connection that Russia had only one ice-free port, that of Murmansk.

The Prime Minister then said that it was important that the nations who would govern the world after the war, and who would be entrusted with the direction of the world after the war, should be satisfied and have no territorial or other ambitions. If that question could be settled in a manner agreeable to the great powers, he felt then that the world might indeed remain at peace. He said that hungry nations and ambitious nations are dangerous, and he would like to see the leading nations of the world in the position of rich, happy men.

The President and Marshal Stalin agreed.

It was then decided that after a short session this afternoon at 4:30 there would be no more full sessions of the conference, but at 4:00 o’clock tomorrow the President, Marshal Stalin and the Prime Minister, together with Mr. Eden, Mr. Molotov and Mr. Hopkins, would meet to discuss political matters, and reference was made to Poland, Finland and Sweden as possible subjects of discussion.

Hopkins-Eden-Molotov luncheon meeting, 1:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom Soviet Union
Mr. Hopkins Foreign Secretary Eden Foreign Commissar Molotov
Captain Ware Captain Lunghi Mr. Pavlov

Ware Minutes

November 30, 1943, 1:30 p.m.

Mr. Hopkins brought up the question of the “strong points” to which reference had evidently been made previously in discussions with Mr. Molotov and Marshal Stalin about post-war Europe.

Mr. Molotov specifically mentioned Bizerte and Dakar and was interested in the question of the sovereignty of Bizerte. He said it would be difficult to realize how the war could not but affect such places, and that this was Marshal Stalin’s point of view also.

He added that it would be difficult also to comprehend how France, specifically, could be considered for treatment which would exclude punishment for her hostile acts committed in the past – in other words, how France could go unpunished for these acts.

Mr. Hopkins, specifically mentioning Belgium and Holland, brought out the implications of the fact that these countries were in close proximity to Germany and questioned the ability of such countries to defend themselves after this war.

Mr. Molotov said it had been shown once more that they are unable to defend themselves. Regarding France, however, he stated that this was a different matter. He said that France did not want to defend herself and in this respect she could be held much more responsible for her hostile acts than could Belgium and Holland.

Mr. Eden very willingly admitted that Great Britain should have given France more help.

Mr. Molotov indicated that France was not merely a country overpowered by the Germans but in fact was now with the Germans actively supporting German strategy. He added that France was not weak and that France did not want to join the Allies but wanted to collaborate with Germany. He said that the former French government had collapsed and that France made an alliance with Germany.

Mr. Eden , in reference to possible future attitudes toward France, said that nothing was too bad for the Lavals and Petains.

Mr. Molotov repeated that they are supporting Hitler now and that regarding France it is not just a matter of weakness.

Mr. Hopkins mentioned as an example the possibility of a strong point and airbase in Belgium and wanted to know what sort of agreement could be worked out in regard to who would operate such a base and under what right or authority.

It was pointed out that it would perhaps be easier just to arrange for the use of such bases for the Allies following the war in countries which had been enemy countries, and that in order to get the use of such bases in friendly countries, certain complications and rights of sovereignty might arise.

Mr. Eden suggested that the leasing of bases in the West Indies to the United States by Great Britain might serve as a rough example of these future arrangements.

Turning to Mr. Hopkins he said that it seemed that this was an exchange of bases for United States ships but really it was because “We like the United States to be there.” He asked Mr. Hopkins if he did not think that was really it.

Mr. Hopkins indicated that he would object to any such conclusion.

Mr. Molotov indicated that it would be hard to realize how such future arrangements for strong points could not but affect the countries where such bases were located but that at the present time it seemed uncertain what countries would be so affected. He said that he felt he was expressing the views of Marshal Stalin in stating that after the war in order to assure that there would be no future big war, the States particularly responsible for securing the peace will have to see to it that the main strategic bases will be in their control.

Regarding the strong points which will be taken from Germany or Japan, he remarked that these could be under the control possibly of Great Britain or the United States or both.

Specifically concerning Bizerte and Dakar, he mentioned United States or British control.

It appeared that he assumed there would be United States control in the Atlantic, and he asked if this was the correct understanding.

Mr. Eden said that the Prime Minister had stated that he did not want any more territory and that in regard to strong points taken from Germany and Japan, there might be joint control by the United States and Great Britain or United Nations control.

Regarding French bases, he could not say, since this matter would take great consideration, particularly in view of the fact that for many years England had been very close to France.

It might be supposed that the French could make a contribution by placing their bases under some United Nations control. In this way it would be possible for France to give something, and this should not in any way hurt the pride of France.

Mr. Molotov agreed that these sounded like legitimate demands.

Mr. Hopkins indicated that the place and strength of these future strong points would have to be worked out with a view as to who would possibly be a potential future enemy. He said that the President feels it essential to world peace that Russia, Great Britain, and the United States work out this control question in a manner which will not start each of the three powers arming against the others.

He indicated that the people would select as likely future enemies, Germany and Japan.

He said that the question of building up bases in the Pacific would not be a difficult one. Specifically in regard to the Philippines, he indicated that following their independence we would still consider it advisable to have naval and air bases there. He indicated that we feel such bases in the Philippines would not be under United Nations control but rather United States control.

In the event that Formosa was returned to China, naval and air bases would be desired there also.

The size, character, and duties of occupying forces on such bases would have to be worked out.

Mr. Eden said he agreed also.

Mr. Hopkins said that there are two problems which disturb the President in this connection. We do not want sovereignty over any islands which will be free [freed?] from Japanese domination. The United Nations may perhaps exercise some sort of protective influence.

The problem remains as to the type of base and as to who will operate them. The three great powers should decide these basic questions regarding strong points and who will control these. This control will involve air, naval, and ground forces.

Mr. Hopkins pointed out that it is relatively easy for the United States to discuss the question of strong points because the United States is not located under any possible immediate danger from Germany. The difficult problem will be to enforce peace upon Germany. The Russian and British strong points located nearer to Germany would involve more immediate problems in connection with the enforcing of peace on Germany.

The question of the location of strong points should not be too difficult once the most difficult problems in this connection have been basically agreed upon here. This whole question of strong points is one of the most important post-war problems.

Mr. Hopkins mentioned that there had been a brief discussion between the Prime Minister and Marshal Stalin on this subject and that it would be fully worthwhile, he believed, if the President, Prime Minister, and Marshal Stalin could further discuss this problem but that he understood that time was short and that possibly we could go into this matter now.

Mr. Molotov indicated that of course the heads of the governments had greater authority and would be more fully competent to talk through the issue but that possibly we could clarify the matter now.

Mr. Eden said he would like to know what Mr. Molotov recommends on the matter. Then he turned to the problem of Turkey.

He said that the Turkey problem had been thought over carefully and that it was his suggestion that we should make a joint summons to Turkey to enter the war. This summons would be made to Turkey, making clear what consequences would follow if Turkey refused, with all three of us backing the demand. He indicated that if it were agreeable to Mr. Molotov, an invitation could be extended to President Inonu of Turkey to come to Cairo where he could meet with the Prime Minister and the President if the President would be willing to stop over for this purpose in Cairo on his way back.

Mr. Eden said to Mr. Molotov that he would like to have Russian participation also and that it would be good if they would send someone representing the Soviet Government to the proposed meeting with the Turkish President in Cairo.

Mr. Eden added that it may be likely that President Inonu would not come; that he might make a constitutional excuse. But in case President Inonu does refuse to come to Cairo, he would suggest that the President or the Prime Minister should not go to Turkey. If President Inonu does not come, perhaps an Ambassador or better yet, some special messenger should be sent to President Inonu in Turkey with our demands.

Mr. Eden emphasized that he thought there should be a special person sent and asked who this person should be.

Mr. Molotov stated that he was in favor of bringing Turkey into the war not in the distant future, but now, this year.

Mr. Eden remarked that the problem then is not what we want but how. He stated that he understood that Marshal Stalin does not believe that Turkey will go to war, but Mr. Eden added it should be tried.

He said to Mr. Molotov that it was his feeling that the Soviet position was of much greater optimism in regard to the possibility of getting Turkey into the war at the time of the Three Power Conference in Moscow.

Mr. Molotov indicated that following the Numan request and the negotiations with Turkey conducted by Mr. Eden in the name of the Three Powers, that the reply which Great Britain had received from Turkey had caused the Russian loss of optimism.

Mr. Hopkins said that he understood that the Russians had wanted Turkey to enter the war particularly for immediate military benefit which the Russians had felt they would derive from having this action force more German troops away from the Soviet front.

He understood that the Prime Minister had discussed with Marshal Stalin on several occasions, the Turkey problem and that Marshal Stalin had emphasized his desire to have Turkey in the war now.

He said that the President would want to know more about the present Soviet attitude on this question. He assumed that all of us would want Turkey in the war and wanted to know whether there was actually a change in emphasis in the Soviet analysis of this situation.

Mr. Eden, in answer to a question put to him, stated that he had spoken in Turkey on behalf of the three countries.

Mr. Molotov remarked that under the authority of the protocol of the Three Power Conference, this was as it should be.

Mr. Hopkins indicated that it was quite all right for Mr. Eden to speak for the United States.

Mr. Molotov pointed out that the reply made by Turkey was very bad and could not but affect the Soviet point of view which he understood had been made clear to Mr. Churchill by Marshal Stalin.

Mr. Molotov then added that if Turkey does declare war on Germany and if Bulgaria continues to take a hostile attitude, the Soviet Union will not only break diplomatic relations with Bulgaria but will be at war with Bulgaria. This all goes to show, he indicated, that the Soviet Government does attach importance to the participation of Turkey in the war.

Mr. Eden said that when he first learned of this Soviet analysis in regard to Bulgaria in this connection, and that he had heard about this at the conference yesterday, that he was frankly surprised.

Mr. Molotov said that this was a brief exposition of the Soviet point of view.

He asked Mr. Eden if he could elucidate a statement made at the conference yesterday by Prime Minister Churchill to the effect that if Turkey refuses the demands, that Turkey’s post-war rights in the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles would be affected. He asked Mr. Eden what Mr. Churchill meant by this.

Mr. Eden replied “frankly I do not know.”

Then he went on to add that he supposed the Prime Minister had meant that the present cordiality and support being offered Turkey would be changed; in fact that the whole basis of relationship with Great Britain would be changed.

He offered to ask Mr. Churchill for further elucidation if Mr. Molotov would so desire.

Mr. Molotov indicated that he would like to know.

Mr. Eden then asked Mr. Molotov if specifically his government would agree to the suggestion to try to bring President Inonu of Turkey to Cairo.

Mr. Molotov said that he thought it would be a good idea but that he would ask Marshal Stalin.

Mr. Eden thanked Mr. Molotov very much.

Mr. Hopkins, turning to Mr. Eden, stated that he had good reason to believe that a substantial understanding on these points under discussion would be arrived at between Marshal Stalin, the Prime Minister, and the President.

Mr. Molotov said he was convinced that the results of this conference would add vigor to the people of our respective countries and that the coming together of the three heads of government would do still more toward improving the morale in our countries.

Mr. Hopkins indicated that if large undertakings were started following Turkey’s entry into the war, and if in this connection the island of Rhodes were occupied and attacks were made on the Dodecanese Islands, that such large commitments which would inevitably follow, would possibly cause at least a delay of OVERLORD. However, he stated that aside from the military situation which might be of sufficient importance that also there might be a psychological advantage in developing the war in this area at this time which would justify a delay in OVERLORD. Among other things, this might force Finland to ask for peace from Russia.

Mr. Molotov asked if he was to understand that the entry of Turkey into the war at this time was connected with a delay in the timing of OVERLORD in the opinion of Mr. Hopkins.

Mr. Hopkins said that the President was under this impression and so also our Chiefs of Staff.

Mr. Molotov said that Marshal Stalin would be against getting Turkey into the war now if this necessarily meant a delay of OVERLORD.

Mr. Hopkins said he hesitated to be too encouraging but that he might be mistaken and that possibly a formula was being worked out whereby this possible action in the Eastern Mediterranean could take place without interfering with OVERLORD.

Mr. Hopkins said that he understands there were three questions of urgent importance to the Russians in regard to OVERLORD as stated at the conference yesterday:

  1. The assurance that OVERLORD will take place and on time.
  2. The Commander of OVERLORD.
  3. The supporting action in Southern France.

Mr. Eden then turned to the question of aid to Tito in Yugoslavia. He made mention of a mission with United States Officers in it and suggested to Mr. Molotov that the Russians might also want to send a mission and that maybe the Russians would want to have an airbase in Northern Africa.

Mr. Eden stated that the British were ready to provide that base.

Mr. Molotov said thank you.

Mr. Eden went on to explain that the British airbase for sending supplies to Tito is located at Cairo and asked Mr. Molotov where he would like to have a base for the Russians.

Mr. Molotov answered that he would leave that to the discretion of Mr. Eden and that as Mr. Eden suggested Cairo he thought that would be a good location for the Russians too.

Mr. Molotov said that the Soviet General Staff plans to send a mission to Yugoslavia and that on his return to Moscow he will be able to state who is taking part in this mission.

Mr. Eden said that he would try to get preliminary arrangements made and a place ready for an airbase for the Russians at Cairo and assured that such a base would be made available.

Mr. Molotov asked whether it would not be better to have a mission to Michaelovich [Mihailović] rather than to Tito in order to get better information.

Mr. Eden said that he would know better tomorrow but that from reports he had received from British Officers, Michaelovich would not be good to deal with, but he said that maybe it would be good for the Russians to send some of their people to Michaelovich.

Then he brought up the question as to whether the territory occupied by Tito was or was not separated by German forces from the area or areas occupied by Michaelovich.

Mr. Eden then referred to Mr. Molotov, making reference to what he termed an “indiscreet conversation” held between the Prime Minister and Marshal Stalin the other day on the subject of Poland.

He added that the British have only one desire – to prevent the problem from becoming a source of friction between our countries. He said that if the question of two steps to the left was to be considered for Poland, then he would want to know how large these steps would be. He said that if he knew what was in the minds of the Russians on this question he would then be able to ask them for some sort of an agreement of opinion. Therefore, he suggested that this problem should be carefully looked over.

Mr. Molotov added that he agreed.

Mr. Hopkins said that he was under the impression that the President had spoken quite openly and frankly with Marshal Stalin and that he had told him or would tell him all that he had on his mind on this subject and that he was sure the President and Prime Minister had talked over the question of Poland.

Third plenary meeting, 4 p.m.

United States United Kingdom Soviet Union
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill Marshal Stalin
Mr. Hopkins Foreign Secretary Eden Foreign Commissar Molotov
Mr. Harriman Sir Archibald Clark Kerr Marshal Voroshilov
Admiral Leahy Field Marshal Dill Mr. Pavlov
General Marshall General Brooke Mr. Berezhkov
Admiral King Admiral of the Fleet Cunningham
General Arnold Air Chief Marshal Portal
Major General Deane Lieutenant General Ismay
Captain Royal Lieutenant General Martel
Captain Ware Major Birse
Mr. Bohlen

Bohlen Minutes

November 30, 1943, 4 p.m.

The President opened the proceedings by stating that while most of those present were aware of what had occurred this morning at the meeting of the British and American Staffs, he wished personally to express his happiness at the decision reached which he hoped would be satisfactory to Marshal Stalin. He proposed that Sir Alan Brooke, British Chief of Staff, report for the Combined Chiefs.

General Brooke said that sitting in combined session the United States and British Staffs had reached the following agreement, which had been submitted for the approval of the President and the Prime Minister. It was agreed:

  1. That OVERLORD will be launched during the month of May 1944.

  2. That there will be a supporting operation in southern France on as large a scale as possible, depending on the number of landing craft available for this operation.

The Prime Minister stated that it was important that close and intimate contact be maintained with Marshal Stalin and the Soviet General Staff since it was important that in closing on the wild beast all parts of the narrowing circle should be aflame with battle. All operations must be considered, and if Turkey entered the war her action as well as the resistance operations in Yugoslavia should also be coordinated with the actions of the allied army.

Marshal Stalin said he fully understood the importance of the decision reached and the difficulties which would be encountered in the execution of OVERLORD. He added that the danger in the beginning of the operation was that the Germans might attempt to transfer troops from the eastern front to oppose OVERLORD. In order to deny to the Germans the possibility of maneuvering he pledged that the Red Army would launch simultaneously with OVERLORD large scale offensives in a number of places for the purpose of pinning down German forces and preventing the transfer of German troops to the west. He said that he had already made the foregoing statement to the President, and Mr. Churchill but he thought it necessary to repeat it to the conference.

The President said that we were all aware of the importance of maintaining the closest cooperation between the three Staffs, and now that they had gotten together he hoped they would stay together. He went on to say that he had already told Marshal Stalin that the next step would be the appointment of a Commander-in-Chief for OVERLORD, and that he was confident that this appointment would be made within three or four days or immediately after he and the Prime Minister had returned to Cairo. He suggested that if Marshal Stalin and the Prime Minister had no objection it might be advisable for the British and American military staffs to return to Cairo tomorrow as they had a great deal of detail work to do in working out the decisions reached here. Both Marshal Stalin and the Prime Minister agreed.

The Prime Minister stated that having taken this important decision the main question now was to find enough landing craft for all our needs. He said he could not believe that the great resources of the United States and England could not make available what was needed. He said he had caused an inquiry to be made in regard to the total number of landing craft in the Mediterranean, and that upon their return home his military staff would have this information. Mr. Churchill added that he wished to state that now the decision had been taken he felt that OVERLORD should be delivered with smashing force and he hoped that it would be possible to add to the strength of the operation as he wished to place that man in a position where there was no way out for him; if he put force in the west he would be smashed on the Soviet front, and if he attempted to hold firm in the east he would be smashed on the west. He went on to say that the present conclave might now break up as the military questions had been settled. Some political questions remained to be discussed and he hoped it would be possible on December 1st and 2nd to discuss these questions since he felt it would be of great value to be able to tell the world that full agreement had been reached on all questions at this conference. He expressed the hope that the President and Marshal Stalin would be willing to remain in Tehran through December 2 if necessary. Both the President and Marshal Stalin agreed.

The President then said it would be necessary to consider the text of the communiqué to be issued and suggested that the military staffs before their departure work out a draft of the military aspects of the conference for their consideration. This was agreed.

The Prime Minister then said some form of cover plan should be worked out in order to confuse and deceive the enemy as to the real time and place of our joint blows. He said that the vast preparations in England could not be concealed from the enemy, and it was therefore important that every effort be made to confuse and mislead him. He said that “truth deserves a bodyguard of lies.”

Marshal Stalin then described the methods used on the Soviet front to conceal the location and timing of Soviet offenses. This was done through the use of dummy tanks, aircraft, fake landing fields and false information on the military radio.

The formal conference then closed with the agreement that the President, Marshal Stalin and the Prime Minister, Mr. Molotov, Mr. Eden and Mr. Hopkins would meet tomorrow to discuss political questions.

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

November 30, 1943, 4 p.m.

In opening the meeting, the President said he assumed that most of those present were familiar with what had transpired at the meeting of the British and American staffs earlier in the day, but he suggested that General Brooke be asked to read the conclusions which were reached at that meeting.

Marshal Stalin and the Prime Minister agreed.

General Brooke said that at the meeting of the British and American staffs they had agreed to recommend to the President and Prime Minister that they should inform Marshal Stalin that the Anglo-American forces would launch OVERLORD during the month of May, in conjunction with a supporting operation against the South of France, on the largest scale that would be permitted by the landing craft available at that time.

The Prime Minister said it is of course understood that we shall keep in close touch with Marshal Stalin and the Soviet military authorities in order that all operations may be coordinated with each other. He said that the Anglo-American-Soviet forces would be closing in on Germany from all parts of a circle and it was essential that the pressure be exerted by all forces at the same moment. For this purpose, he proposed to keep the Soviet authorities informed of the Anglo-American plans. He added that it would be possible to hold 8 to 10 German divisions on the Italian front, and he expressed the hope that the Yugoslavs could continue their good work in holding German divisions in that country. He said that if Turkey could be brought into the war, so much the better, and emphasized again the necessity for the three great Powers to work together as one team.

Marshal Stalin said that he understood the importance of the decision that had been reached by the Anglo-American staffs. He emphasized that there would be difficulties in the beginning and possibly dangers. The greatest danger would be that at the time of the attack the Germans might endeavor to transfer divisions from the Eastern Front to meet it and attempt to prevent its success. In order to deny the Germans freedom of action and [not to?] permit them to move their forces to the West he stated that the Soviets would undertake to organize a large-scale offensive against the Germans in May in order to contain the maximum number of German divisions on the Eastern Front and thus remove the difficulties for OVERLORD. He added that he had already made such a statement to the President and Prime Minister but felt it necessary to repeat it at the Plenary Session of the conference.

The President said that the Marshal’s statement concerning the timing and coordination of operations was extremely satisfactory and it forestalled a question on that subject he was about to ask. He suggested that now that the staffs of the three nations had gotten together it was essential they should maintain close contact with each other, with particular emphasis on making certain that all future operations were timed with relation to each other.

The President then said he had told Marshal Stalin that the next step was the appointment of the Supreme Commander for the OVERLORD operation. He said that he and the Prime Minister would take up this matter with their staffs and make the decision within three or four days, certainly soon after their arrival in Cairo.

The President said that the only military matters remaining for consideration were details of the OVERLORD operation which would have to be worked out between the combined British and American staffs, and suggested it might be more convenient for them to return to Cairo at once for this purpose.

After ascertaining from Marshal Stalin that he had no more matters which he wished presented to the Combined British and American Staffs, the President and Prime Minister agreed that the staffs should return to Cairo on the following day.

The Prime Minister said there are many details about the OVERLORD operation which remain to be settled. He said that the necessary landing craft would have to be found, but he could not believe that the two nations, with their great volume of production, could not make the necessary landing craft available. He said also that he would like to add weight to the operation as it is now planned, especially in the initial assault. In all events, he wished to make sure that the armed forces of the three nations would be in heavy action on the Continent of Europe during the month of June. If this were so, he added, it would make it very difficult for “that man.” If Hitler attempts to meet the Soviet attack from the east, the Anglo-American forces will move in on him. On the other hand, if he attempts to stop the Anglo-American forces, the Soviet forces will be able to advance into Germany.

Marshal Stalin said that he understood the necessity for the detailed staff planning and concurred that it would be a good idea for the staffs to return to Cairo at once.

The Prime Minister then indicated that since the military business of the conference was concluded, there were some political matters of extreme importance which remained to be decided. He hoped it would be possible for the three Heads of State to meet on the first and second of December and not to leave Tehran until December 3. He said it would be well if they remained until all questions of importance had been decided. He indicated that he was prepared to delay his departure, and the President and Marshal Stalin agreed to stay the extra day.

The President brought up the subject of the communiqué, particularly as it referred to the military decisions. He suggested that the military staffs draft something for the President and Prime Minister’s approval.

Marshal Stalin agreed that this should be done insofar as military matters taken up at the conference were concerned.

The Prime Minister said he thought the communiqué should strike the note that all future military operations were to be concerted between the three great Powers.

Marshal Stalin added, certainly those in Europe from both the east and west.

The Prime Minister said that the preparations for OVERLORD are bound to be known to the enemy. Numerous depots are being constructed in Southern England, the entire appearance of the coast is changing and photographs indicate these changes in detail.

Marshal Stalin said that it was difficult, if not impossible, to hide such a large operation from the enemy.

The Prime Minister then asked if any arrangements had been made to provide a combined cover plan for the operations in May as between the three great Powers.

Marshal Stalin said that on such occasions the Soviets had achieved success by the construction of false tanks, airplanes and airfields. They move these items to sectors in which no operations are planned, and such movements are immediately picked up by the German intelligence. In sectors from which blows are to be launched, all movements are made quietly and mostly under cover of darkness. In this manner they had often succeeded in deceiving the Germans. He noted that at times up to 5,000 false tanks and 2,000 false airplanes had been used, as well as the construction of a number of airfields which were not actually intended to be used. Another method of deception practiced by the Red Army was by the use of radio. Unit commanders communicate freely by radio giving the Germans false information and evoke immediate attacks from the German air forces in areas where such attacks can do no harm.

The Prime Minister observed that truth deserves a bodyguard of lies.

Marshal Stalin said, “This is what we call military cunning.”

The Prime Minister said that he considered it rather military diplomacy. He suggested that arrangements be made for liaison to be established between the three great Powers as regards the deception and propaganda methods to be adopted.

It was agreed that the Chiefs of State and their Foreign Ministers should meet on the following day at 1600.

Sketch by Roosevelt to illustrate his concept of the United Nations Organization


The Joint Chiefs of Staff to the President

Tehran, 30 November 1943

Memorandum for the President

From: The United States Chiefs of Staff.

The question of the allocation of Italian ships to the USSR, as requested at the Moscow Conference, may be brought up during the EUREKA proceedings.

The original Russian request was for 1 battleship, 1 cruiser, 8 destroyers, 4 submarines and 40,000 displacement tons of merchant shipping. This request is the subject of the exchange of a number of dispatches between our delegation in Moscow and the President. During these exchanges the allocation, or possible allocation, of one-third of the Italian Fleet for the use of the USSR was concurred in by the United States. However, it is understood that the USSR would not be prepared at this time to man and employ one-third of the Italian Fleet.

If the allocation of Italian ships to the USSR is brought up at this time, the action agreed upon should be solely with regard to its influence on the prosecution of the war. The following factors are to be considered:

a. The turning over of Italian ships to the Russians at this time would have a serious adverse effect on the prosecution of the war in Italy and in such other places as Italian forces are now cooperating. It seems quite possible that the Italian crews, before surrendering the ships to the Russians would scuttle. Italy has been accepted as a cobelligerent. The surrender of Italian ships would provide valuable propaganda for use by the enemy with the Italians in Germany, occupied Italy, even elsewhere.

b. Italian ships would not come provided with spare parts and ammunition. Further, they would probably require some modernization, especially as regards antiaircraft armament, which the USSR has no means of effecting.

It is recommended that it continue to be agreed in principle that one-third of the Italian warships that are allocated for transfer to powers other than Italy be allocated for the use of the USSR It is further recommended that any question of the allocation of Italian naval ships to other powers be deferred, at least until after the conclusion of Allied offensive operations in Italy.

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

Draft declaration on Iran

Tehran, November 30, 1943

Suggested draft declaration

The Governments of Iran, the United States, the USSR, and the United Kingdom, having consulted together, desire to make plain their common policy with regard to the prosecution of the war and their complete agreement with respect to the special economic questions with which the war has confronted Iran.

By subscribing to the Declaration by United Nations, all four governments have already declared their joint determination to press the war to a victorious conclusion. They are further agreed that Iran can make its most useful contribution to this end by facilitating the movement of essential supplies from overseas to the USSR and they recognize the assistance along this line which Iran has already rendered. All four governments intend to continue and intensify the cooperation in this respect which has been established. It is clearly understood that any armed forces of the United States, the USSR, and the United Kingdom which are, or may be, established on Iranian territory are solely for the purpose of furthering the common war effort and will be withdrawn as soon as the needs of that effort permit, in accordance with the published agreements already concluded between Iran and the other three Governments.

The four Governments are in agreement that the maximum benefit from their combined efforts can be obtained only if the essential economic needs of Iran are met, and they reaffirm their intention to cooperate closely to achieve this objective. The Governments of the United States, the USSR, and the United Kingdom will continue to make available to the Government of Iran such financial and material assistance as may be possible, having regard to the heavy demands made upon them by their worldwide military operations and to the worldwide shortage of transport, raw materials, and supplies for civilian consumption. The four Governments will work together in planning the importation of essential goods into Iran, and, in general, they will act in close consultation with regard to all economic matters which may affect the war effort in Iran.

With respect to the post-war period, the Governments of the United States, the USSR, and the United Kingdom are in accord with the Government of Iran that any economic problems confronting Iran at the conclusion of hostilities should receive full consideration, on an equal basis with those of other members of the United Nations, by any conferences or international agencies which may be set up to deal with international economic matters.

The Governments of the United States, the USSR, and the United Kingdom are as one with the Government of Iran in their desire for the maintenance of the complete independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iran. They count upon the participation of Iran, along with all other peace-loving nations, in the establishment of international peace, security and prosperity after the war, in accordance with the principles of the Atlantic Charter, to which all four Governments have subscribed.

The Secretary of State to the President

Washington, November 30, 1943

For the President from Secretary Hull

Winant would certainly be a fine choice. Our representative on the Commission will have a full-time job and much detailed drafting and discussion will be essential. I don’t see, therefore, how one man can combine the exacting duties of American Ambassador to Great Britain with those of our representative on the Commission if these two important jobs are to be effectively done. Have you any further comment or suggestions in the light of the foregoing, in other words do you still desire him to hold both positions?


The Secretary of State to the President

Washington, 30 November 1943

From the Secretary of State for the President

Following the sinking by a German submarine of a small Colombian Vessel in the Caribbean (The second such sinking) the Colombian Government with the approval of the Senate proclaimed a state of belligerency with Germany. This will involve the adherence of Colombia to the United Nations declaration.

President Lopez of Colombia is in the United States on leave of absence. The reason for his trip is his wife’s need for medical attention. However, the President’s political position, while improved, has not entirely recovered from the recent political crisis. It is generally believed that he will return to Colombia to resume his office within a few weeks.

Senator Butler’s article in Readers Digest and his address and reports to the Senate on his trip to the other American Republics have caused a sensation. However, his charges which are as sweeping as they are unfounded have been vigorously challenged by the Vice President and by Nelson Rockefeller. The general effect in the other American Republics cannot be minimized although the majority of those commenting have shown a good understanding of the situation here. Senator Butler’s elaborate report will when available be analyzed in detail by the different agencies concerned.

Tripartite dinner meeting, 8:30 p.m.

Major Boettiger Mr. Holman
Lieutenant General Ismay Mr. Martin
General Arnold Lieutenant General Somervell
Lord Moran General Brooke
Mr. Harriman Mr. Berezhkov
Field Marshal Dill Marshal Voroshilov
Major Birse Sir Reader Bullard
Marshal Stalin Mr. Molotov
Prime Minister Churchill Mr. Eden
President Roosevelt Mr. Hopkins
Mr. Bohlen Sir Archibald Clark Kerr
Admiral of the Fleet Cunningham Mr. Winant
Admiral Leahy Air Chief Marshal Portal
Section Officer Sarah Churchill Oliver General Marshall
Admiral King Captain Randolph Churchill
Sir Alexander Cadogan Colonel Elliott Roosevelt
Sergeant Robert Hopkins Commander Thompson

Boettiger Minutes

November 30, 1943, 8:30 p.m.

Thirty-three members of the American, British and Russian representatives [delegations?] at the Tehran Conference gathered with Mr. Churchill for dinner on the occasion of his 69th birthday. A list of the guests, and the seating arrangement at the dinner-table, is attached.

It was clear that those present had a sense of realization that historic understanding had been reached and this conception was brought out in the statements and speeches. Back of all was the feeling that basic friendships had been established which there was every reason to believe would endure.

This strong feeling of optimism appeared to be based on the realization that if the three nations went forward together, there was real hope for a better world future, and that their own most vital interests dictated such a policy.

President Roosevelt sat on the Prime Minister’s right, and Marshal Stalin on his left. All speeches took the form of toasts, following the Russian custom and the policy established at the Stalin dinner at the Soviet Embassy on Sunday [Monday] night.

The President opened the proceedings with the first toast, an unusual departure from rote in that he, instead of the host, proposed the traditional toast to the King. The President said that as an old friend of King George he had requested of Mr. Churchill the privilege of offering the toast.

The Prime Minister then paid a warm official and personal tribute to the President, whom he characterized as a man who had devoted his entire life to the cause of defending the weak and helpless, and to the promotion of the great principles that underlie our democratic civilization. Following this with a toast to Marshal Stalin, he said the latter was worthy to stand with the great figures of Russian history and merited the title of “Stalin the Great.”

The President spoke of his long admiration for Winston Churchill and his joy in the friendship which had developed between them in the midst of their common efforts in this war.

Marshal Stalin said the honors which had been paid to him really belonged to the Russian people; that it was easy to be a hero or a great leader, if one had to do with people such as the Russians. He said that the Red Army had fought heroically, but that the Russian people would have tolerated no other quality from their armed forces. He said that even persons of medium courage and even cowards became heroes in Russia. Those who didn’t, he said, were killed.

The Prime Minister spoke of the great responsibility that rested on the three men who have the power to command some 30 million armed men, as well as the vast number of men and women who stood behind these men in their work in field and factory, which makes possible the activities of the armies. In a personal toast to Franklin Roosevelt, the Prime Minister expressed his opinion that through the President’s courage and foresighted action in 1933, he had indeed prevented a revolution in the United States. He expressed his admiration for the way the President had guided his country along the “tumultuous stream of party friction and internal politics amidst the violent freedoms of democracy.”

Among the many toasts of the evening was one by President Roosevelt to Sir Alan Brooke, the British Army Chief of Staff. Marshal Stalin stood with the others, but he held his glass in his hand, and when the others had drunk he stayed on his feet. He said he wished to join in the toast of General Brooke, but wished to make certain observations.

Acknowledging the General’s greatness, Marshal Stalin, with a twinkle in his eye, said he regretted that Sir Alan was unfriendly to the Soviet Union, and adopted a grim and distrustful attitude toward the Russians. He drank the General’s health in the hope that Sir Alan “would come to know us better and would find that we are not so bad after all.”

Sometime later, in reply to Stalin, General Brooke rose and with some stiffness of manner declared that the Marshal had made note of the means used by the Russians in deceiving the enemy on the Eastern Front. For the greater part of the war, he went on, Great Britain had adopted cover plans to deceive the enemy, and it was possible that Marshal Stalin had mistaken the dummy “tanks and airplanes” for the real operations. “That is possible” interjected Stalin, dryly, bringing chuckles around the table. His real desire, continued Brooke, was to establish closer collaboration with the Russians. “That is possible,” Stalin repeated, “even probable.” And there were more chuckles. It was thought that General Brooke would wind up with a toast to Marshal Voroshilov, the Russian chief of staff, but instead he broke away completely from his [this?] vein and abruptly proposed the health of Admiral Leahy.

Mr. Churchill took indirect note of the incident and seemed inclined to soften the effect of it, and in a subsequent toast he observed that he had heard the suggestions concerning changing political complexions in the world. He said that he could not speak with authority concerning the political view which might be expressed by the American people in the coming year’s elections, and that he would not presume to discuss the changing political philosophy of the Russian nation. But, he continued, so far as the British people were concerned, he could say very definitely that their “complexions are becoming a trifle pinker.” Stalin spoke up instantly: “That is a sign of good health!”

In what he declared would be the concluding toast of the evening, Mr. Churchill referred to the great progress which had been made at Tehran toward solution of world affairs, and proposed a joint toast to the President and Marshal Stalin.

But before the dinner could break up, Stalin requested of his host the privilege of delivering one more toast. Mr. Churchill nodded assent and Stalin then said he wished to speak of the importance of “the machine” in the present war, and to express his great admiration for the productive capacity of the United States. He had been advised, he said, that the United States would very soon be producing 10,000 planes every month. This compared, he said, with 2,500 to 3,000 planes which the Soviet Union was able to produce, after making every effort to speed the task, and with a somewhat similar number of planes produced monthly by Great Britain.

Without these planes from America the war would have been lost, said Stalin with emphasis. He expressed his gratitude and that of the Russian people for the great leadership of President Roosevelt which had developed the great production of war machines and made possible their delivery to Russia. He wound up with a warm toast to the President.

Then the President sought the privilege of adding a last word, and he said these meetings at Tehran had raised all our hopes that the future would find a better world, an ordered world in which the ordinary citizen would be assured the possibility of peaceful toil and the just enjoyment of the fruits of his labors.

He said:

There has been discussion here tonight of our varying colors of political complexion. I like to think of this in terms of the rainbow. In our country the rainbow is a symbol of good fortune and of hope. It has many varying colors, each individualistic, but blending into one glorious whole.

Thus with our nations. We have differing customs and philosophies and ways of life. Each of us works out our scheme of things according to the desires and ideas of our own peoples.

But we have proved here at Tehran that the varying ideals of our nations can come together in a harmonious whole, moving unitedly for the common good of ourselves and of the world.

So as we leave this historic gathering, we can see in the sky, for the first time, that traditional symbol of hope, the rainbow.

Reuters (November 30, 1943)

Roosevelt, Churchill and Chiang hold long conference in Cairo

Lisbon, Portugal –
President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill have completed a long conference in Cairo and are now en route to somewhere in Iran to meet Premier Stalin, it is known here definitely.

Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek took part in the Cairo conference and will also meet Premier Stalin.

A communiqué agreed on after the Cairo Conference will be published later this week. The three statesmen met on one occasion in a tent in the shadow of the Pyramids.

During the conference, Cairo was cut off from communications with the rest of the world. President Roosevelt and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, who was accompanied by Madame Chiang, traveled to Cairo by air, while Prime Minister Churchill traveled by sea.

U.S. Navy Department (November 30, 1943)

CINCPAC Press Release No. 178

Adm. C. W. Nimitz, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, has returned to his headquarters following an inspection of the Gilbert Islands area, including Tarawa Atoll. Adm. Nimitz was accompanied by Lt. Gen. Robert C. Richardson Jr., Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces, Central Pacific, and members of their staffs.

U.S. State Department (November 30, 1943)

The Director of the Office of War Information to the British Minister of Information

Washington, November 30, 1943


I must enter the most energetic protest against the Reuters dispatch purporting to come from Lisbon and distributed today. While I realize that Reuters is a purely private institution on which the British government has not the slightest shadow of influence, this dispatch is reported to have been passed by the British censorship for radio transmission abroad though we understand it was not published in the United Kingdom. I need hardly point out to you the very unfortunate consequences. First is a serious and perhaps perilous violation of security. Second, the political warfare value for both the American and British governments of the meetings and the decisions made thereat will be materially lessened by premature disclosure of the fact which enables the Germans and the Japanese to blanket the world with their version of the story before the actual announcement is on the record. Finally, a consideration not without importance is the universal indignation of the American press at Reuters disclosure here though not in British Isles of facts this morning imparted to American newspapers with instruction to observe extraordinary precautions to preserve secrecy. As you know this is far from the first time that such an incident has occurred though this exceeds all its predecessors in flagrancy. This practice could become one of the most serious obstacles to Anglo-American understanding. In the interest of that understanding, as well as of our coordinated propaganda against the enemy, I most urgently request you to see that censorship holds Reuters in line hereafter.

The Pittsburgh Press (November 30, 1943)

Big bombers in action for second day

Mosquitoes repeat night blow; Bremen attacked by Fortresses

Nazi line in Italy pierced

8th Army storms ridge, drives four miles near Adriatic
By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer

Meeting of ‘Big 3,’ Chiang reported

London, England (UP) –
Radio Ankara today broadcast unconfirmed reports that Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin met in Cairo with President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.

A German DNB News Agency dispatch, datelined Amsterdam, today quoted what was described as a Reuters report that Mr. Roosevelt, Mr. Churchill and Generalissimo Chiang had just conferred at Cairo and are now on the way to meet Premier Stalin in Iran.

Vandegrift named Marine Corps head

Leader of Guadalcanal and Bougainville invasion will succeed Gen. Thomas Holcomb Jan. 1

5 Marines kill 74 of 75 Japs

Americans on Bougainville suffer one slight wound
By George Jones, United Press staff writer

Planes pound Wewak fields

Liberators drop 94 tons on Jap planes
By Brydon C. Taves, United Press staff writer

Unions fight move to list their assets

Officer-election procedure will be upset, Senators are told

Beauty is only skin deep

By Florence Fisher Parry

Landon to air Willkie views in capital club

GOP freshmen to hear former party chief discuss successor
By Lyle C. Wilson, United Press staff writer

In Washington –
Federal paper wasters hit by drastic economy order

OWI’s Elmer Davis declares approval for government prints must clear through his office

Brewster cuts factory rolls

150-plane goal to be met, Kaiser declares