English

 

 

STALIN

1943

 

Tehran Conference


The Tehran Conference

(November 28 to December 1, 1943)

The First Sitting of the Conference of the Heads of Government of the U.S.S.R., the United States and Great Britain

Tehran, November 28, 1943

Opened: 16.00; Closed: 19.30

Roosevelt: As the youngest head of Government present here I should like to take the liberty of speaking first. I should like to assure the members of the new family – the members of the present conference gathered around this table – that we are gathered here for one purpose, for the purpose of winning the war as soon as possible.

     I should also like to say a few words about the conduct of the conference. We do not intend to make public anything that will be said here, but we shall address each other as friends, openly and candidly. I think that this conference will be a success, and that our three nations, which united in the course of the present war, will strengthen their ties and will create the prerequisites for the close co-operation of future generations. Our staffs can discuss military matters, and our delegations, although we do not have any fixed agenda, can discuss other problems as well, such, for example, as problems of the post-war settlement. If, however, you do not wish to discuss such problems, they can be left aside.

     Before beginning our work I should like to know if Mr. Churchill wishes to say a few general words on the importance of this meeting, and what this meeting means to humanity.

     Churchill: This is the greatest concentration of world forces that ever existed in the history of mankind. We hold

Page 7

the solution of the problem of reducing the length of the war, the winning of victory, the future of mankind. I pray that we may be worthy of this remarkable opportunity granted to us by God, the opportunity of serving mankind.

     Roosevelt: Would Marshal Stalin like to say anything?

     Stalin: In greeting this conference of the representatives of the three Governments I should like to make a few remarks. I think we are being pampered by history. She has given us possession of very big forces and very great opportunities. I hope that we shall do everything at this conference to make due use, within the framework of our co-operation, of the power and authority that our peoples have vested in us. Let us now begin our work.

     Roosevelt: May I start with a general review of the war and the requirements of the war at the present time. Of course, I shall speak of this from the standpoint of the U.S.A. We, like the British Empire and the Soviet Union, hope for an early victory. I should like to start with a review of that part of the war which concerns the United States rather than the Soviet Union and Great Britain. I mean the war in the Pacific Ocean, where the United States bears the brunt of the war, receiving help from the Australian and New Zealand forces...

     Taking up the more important question, which is of greater interest to the Soviet Union – the operation across the Channel – I should like to say that we have been drawing up our plans for the last year and a half, but because of the shortage of tonnage we were unable to decide on a date for this operation. We want not only to cross the Channel, but to pursue the enemy into the heart of the territory. The English Channel is that unpleasant strip of water that excludes the possibility of starting the expedition across the Channel before May 1, that is why the plan drawn up at Quebec was based on the premise that the expedition across the Channel would be made on approximately May 1, 1944. All landing operations involve special craft. If we undertake large-scale landing operations in the Mediterranean, the expedition across the Channel will have to be postponed for two or three months. That is why we should like to have the advice of our Soviet colleagues on the matter, and also advice on how best to use the forces now in the Mediterranean area, considering that there are few ships there too. But we do not want to defer the date of the invasion across

Page 8

the Channel beyond May or June. At the same time there are many places where Anglo-American forces could be used. They could be used in Italy, in the Adriatic area, in the Aegean area, and finally, to help Turkey if she enters the war. All this we must decide here. We should very much like to help the Soviet Union and to draw off a part of the German forces from the Soviet front. We should like to have the advice of our Soviet friends on how we could best ease their position.

     Would Mr. Churchill like to add anything?

     Churchill: May I speak and express my opinion after Marshal Stalin has expressed his. At the same time I should like to say that I agree in principle with what has been said by President Roosevelt.

     Stalin: As for the first part of Mr. President's speech concerning the war in the Pacific Area, we can say the following: We Russians welcome the successes that have been and are being scored by the Anglo-American forces in the Pacific.

     As for the second part of Mr. President's speech about the war in Europe, I also have several remarks to make.

     First of all, a few words in the form of a report about the way we have been and are conducting operations since the July offensive of the Germans. If I am going into too great detail I could shorten my statement.

     Churchill: We are prepared to hear everything you wish to say.

     Stalin: I must say, in passing, that we ourselves have been lately preparing for an offensive. The Germans were ahead of us, but since we had been preparing for an offensive and had massed a great force, after we beat back the German offensive, it was relatively easy for us to go over to the offensive. I must say that although the opinion about us is that we plan everything beforehand, we did not expect the successes we scored in August and September. Contrary to our expectations the Germans proved to be weaker than we expected. At present, according to our intelligence, the Germans have 210 divisions on our front, and another six divisions on the way there. In addition, there are 50 non-German divisions, including the Finns. Thus, altogether the Germans have 260 divisions on our front, including up to 10 Hungarian, up to 20 Finnish, and up to 16 or 18 Rumanian.

Page 9

    Roosevelt: What is the numerical strength of a German division?

    Stalin: The German division consists roughly of from 8,000 to 9,000 men, excluding auxiliary forces. With the auxiliary forces the division numbers from 12,000 to 13,000 men. Last year, there were 240 divisions on our front, 179 of them German. This year, there are 260 divisions on our front, 210 of them German, with six German divisions on their way to the front. From 300 to 330 divisions are operating on the Russian side. Thus, we have more divisions than the Germans together with their satellites. This surplus of forces is being used for offensive operations. Otherwise there would have been no offensive. But as time goes on the difference between the number of Russian and German divisions becomes smaller. Another great difficulty is that the Germans are barbarously destroying everything as they retreat. This makes ammunition supply more difficult. That is the reason why our offensive has slowed down. In the last three weeks the Germans launched offensive operations in the Ukraine, south and west of Kiev. They have recaptured Zhitomir, an important railway junction. This has been announced. It looks as if one of these days they will take Korosten, also an important railway junction. In that area the Germans have five new tank divisions and three old tank divisions, altogether 8 tank divisions, and also 22 or 23 infantry and motorised divisions. Their goal is to recapture Kiev. Thus, we are faced with some difficulties in the future.

     That is the report part about our operations in the summer. Now a few words about the place where operations of the Anglo-American forces in Europe would be desirable in order to ease the situation on our front. I may be mistaken, but we Russians thought that the Italian theatre was important only to the extent of ensuring free navigation of Allied shipping in the Mediterranean Sea. Only in that sense is the Italian theatre of operations important. That is what we thought, and that is what we continue to think. As for the idea of launching an offensive from Italy directly against Germany, we Russians think that the Italian theatre is not suitable for such purposes. Consequently, the fact is that the Italian theatre is important for free navigation in the Mediterranean, but it is of no significance in the sense of further operations against Germany, because the Alps block

Page 10

the way and hinder any advance towards Germany. We Russians believe that the best result would be yielded by a blow at the enemy in Northern or North-Western France. Even operations in Southern France would be better than operations in Italy. It would be a good thing if Turkey were prepared to open the way for the Allies. After all, it would be nearer from the Balkans to the heart of Germany. There, the way is not blocked either by the Alps or the Channel. But Germany's weakest spot is France. Of course, this is a difficult operation, and the Germans in France will defend themselves desperately; nevertheless that is the best solution. Those are all the remarks I have.

     Churchill: We have long since agreed with the United States to attack Germany via Northern or North-Western France, and extensive preparations for this are under way. It would be necessary to give many facts and figures to show why we were unable to carry out these operations in 1943. But we have decided to attack Germany in 1944. The place for the attack against Germany was selected in 1943. We are now faced with the task of creating the conditions for the possibility of transferring an army into France across the Channel in the late spring of 1944. The forces that we shall be able to accumulate for that purpose in May or June will consist of 16 British and 19 American divisions. But these divisions are· stronger numerically than the German divisions of which Marshal Stalin spoke. These forces would be followed by the main force, and it is planned that the whole of Operation Overlord1 will involve the transfer of about a million men across the Channel in May, June and July. Together with the armies in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean it is all we Britons can give, considering our 46-million population and the numerical strength of our air force. Remanning of the above-mentioned divisions depends on the United States. But the date I mentioned is still far off. It will arrive in six months' time. In the talks between the President and myself we asked each other how best to use our forces in the Mediterranean in order to help the Russians, without any detriment to Overlord, so that this operation could be carried out in time or, possibly, with some delay. We have already sent seven battle-wise divisions from the Mediterranean area, and also a part of the landing

1 Overlord – the code name for the forced crossing of the Channel.

Page 11

craft for Overlord. Taking this into account, and the bad weather in Italy besides, I must say that we are somewhat disappointed at not yet having taken Rome. Our first task is to take Rome, and we expect to wage the decisive battle in January and to win it. General Alexander, the Commander of the 15th Army Group who is under the orders of General Eisenhower, believes that it is quite possible to win the battle for Rome. In addition, it may be possible to capture and destroy more than 11 or 12 enemy divisions. We are not planning to move on into Lombardy or to cross the Alps into Germany. We merely plan to move on somewhat north of Rome up to the Pisa-Rimini line, after which we could make the landing in Southern France and across the Channel.

     The next important question is to convince Turkey to enter the war. This would make possible the opening of communications through the Dardanelles and the Bosporus, and we could send supplies to Russia across the Black Sea. Besides, we could use the Turkish airfields to fight the enemy. It would take only a small force to occupy Rhodes and other Islands. We could then establish direct contact with the Russians and send them supplies continuously. We have been able up to now to send only four convoys to Russia's northern ports, because of a shortage of escorts but if a way is opened across the Black Sea we could regularly send supplies to southern Russian ports.

     Stalin: It should be said that these convoys arrived without losses, without having met the enemy on the way.

     Churchill: How can we make Turkey enter the war? What will she have to do? Will she have to attack Bulgaria and declare war on Germany? Will she have to start offensive operations or should she refrain from advancing into Thrace? What would be the Russian attitude to the Bulgarians who still remember that Russia liberated them from the Turks? What effect would that have on the Rumanians who are already looking for ways out of the war? How would that affect Hungary? Would not the result of this be great political changes among many countries? All these are questions on which our Russian friends, naturally, have their own views.

     Are our operations in the eastern part of the Mediterranean, which could cause some delay in the operation across the Channel, of any interest to the Soviet Government?

Page 12

We do not as yet have any definite decision on this question, and we have come here to settle it.

     Roosevelt: There is another possibility. It might be expedient to make a landing in the northern part of the Adriatic when the Soviet armies approach Odessa.

     Churchill: If we take Rome and block Germany from the south, we would then commence operations in Western or Southern France, and also extend assistance to the guerrilla armies. These operations are not yet worked out in detail. A commission could be set up to study the question and draw up a document in full detail.

     Stalin: I have a few questions: I understand that there are 35 divisions for invasion operations in the north of France.

     Churchill: Yes, that is correct.

     Stalin: Before the operations to invade the north of France it is planned to carry out the operation in the Italian theatre to take Rome, after which it is planned to go on the defensive in Italy.

     Churchill: Yes. We are already withdrawing seven divisions from Italy.

     Stalin: I also understand that three other operations are planned, one of which will consist of a landing in the Adriatic area.

     Churchill: The carrying out of these operations may be useful to the Russians. After the seven divisions are dispatched from the Mediterranean area, we shall have up to 35 divisions for the invasion of Northern France. In addition, we shall have 20 or 23 divisions in Northern Italy.

     I should like to add that the greatest problem is the transfer of the necessary forces. As I have already pointed out, Operation Overlord will be started by 35 divisions. From then on the number of troops will be increased by divisions transferred from the U.S.A.; their number will go up to 50 or 60. I want to add that in the next six months the British and American air force now in Britain will be doubled and trebled. In addition, work is being continuously carried on to accumulate forces in Britain.

     Stalin: Another question. Did I understand correctly that apart from the operations to take Rome it is planned to carry out another operation in the Adriatic, and also an operation in Southern France?

     Churchill: The plan is to carry out an attack in Southern France at the moment Operation Overlord is launched.

Page 13

Troops that can be released from Italy will be used for this. But this operation has not yet· been worked out in detail.

     Stalin: Another question: if Turkey enters the war what is to be done in that case?

     Churchill: I can say that it would take no more than two or three divisions to take the islands along the west coast of Turkey so as to allow the supply ships to go to Turkey, and also to open the route to the Black Sea. But the first thing we shall do is send the Turks 20 air squadrons and several air defence regiments, which can be done without detriment to other operations.

     Stalin: In my opinion, it would be better to make Operation Overlord the basis of all operations in 1944. If a landing were made in Southern France at the same time as that operation, both groups of forces could join in France. That is why it would be well to have two operations: Operation Overlord and the landing in Southern France as a supporting operation. At the same time the operation in the Rome area would be a diversionary operation. In carrying out the landing in France from the North and the South there could be a build-up of forces when these forces are joined. France is Germany's weak spot. As for Turkey, I doubt that Turkey will enter the war. She will not join the war no matter what pressure we exert. That is my opinion.

     Churchill: We understood that the Soviet Government is highly interested in making Turkey enter the war. Of course, we may fail to make Turkey enter the war, but we must try to do everything in this respect.

     Stalin: Yes, we must try to get Turkey to enter the war.

     Churchill: I agree with Marshal Stalin's considerations concerning the undesirability of dispersing the forces but if we have 25 divisions in the Mediterranean area three or four divisions and 20 air squadrons may well be set aside for Turkey, particularly since they are at present being used to protect Egypt, and they could be moved from there to the north.

     Stalin: That is a big force, these 20 air squadrons. Of course, it would be a good thing if Turkey entered the war.

     Churchill: I'm afraid that in this six-month period, during which we could take Rome and prepare for big operations in Europe, our army will remain inactive and will not exert pressure on the enemy. I fear that in that case Parliament

Page 14

would reproach me for not giving any assistance to the Russians.

     Stalin: I think that Overlord is a big operation. It would be considerably facilitated and would be sure to have an effect if it were supported from the south of France. I personally would go to this extreme. I would go on the defensive in Italy, abandoning the capture of Rome, and would start an operation in Southern France, drawing off German forces from Northern France. In about two or three months I would start the operation in the north of France. This plan would ensure the success of Operation Overlord; the two armies could meet, and that would result in a build up of forces.

     Churchill: I could adduce even more arguments but I wish to say only that we would be weaker if we did not take Rome. Besides, in order to carry out an air offensive against Germany it is necessary to reach the Pisa-Rimini line. I should like the military specialists to discuss this question. The struggle for Rome is already on, and we expect to take Rome in January. Refusal to take Rome would mean our defeat, and I could not explain this to the House.

     Roosevelt: We could carry out Overlord on time if there were no operations in the Mediterranean. If there are operations in the Mediterranean this will defer the date of Operation Overlord. I should not like to delay Overlord.

     Stalin: From the experience of our operations we know that success is gained where the blow is dealt from two sides, and that operations undertaken from one side do not yield enough effect. That is why we try to strike at the enemy from two sides to make him shuttle his forces from one side to another. I think that in this case too it would be well to carry out the operation from the south and the north of France.

     Churchill: I personally quite agree with this, but I think that we might undertake diversionary acts in Yugoslavia, and also make Turkey join the war, regardless of the invasion of Southern or Northern France. I personally regard the idleness of our army in the Mediterranean as a highly negative fact. That is why we cannot guarantee that the date of May 1 will be met precisely. It would be a big mistake to fix that date. I cannot sacrifice the operations in the Mediterranean just to keep the date of May 1. Of course

Page 15

we must come to a definite agreement on the matter. This question could be discussed by our military specialists.

     Stalin: All right. We did not expect a discussion of purely military matters, that is why we did not invite representatives of the General Staff to come along, but I think that Marshal Voroshilov and I can arrange something.

     Churchill: What are we to do with the question of Turkey? Should we also refer it to the military specialists?

     Stalin: It is both a political and a military question. Turkey is an ally of Great Britain and has friendly relations with the U.S.S.R. and the United States. Turkey should no longer play between us and Germany.

     Churchill: I may possibly have six or seven questions concerning Turkey. But I should first like to consider them.

     Stalin: Very well.

     Roosevelt: Of course, I favour making Turkey enter the war, but if I were in the place of the Turkish President, I would ask a price that could be paid only by inflicting damage on Operation Overlord.

     Stalin: There should be an effort to make Turkey fight. She has many idle divisions.

     Churchill: We all have feelings of friendship for each other, but we naturally have differences. We need time and patience.

     Stalin: That's right.

     Roosevelt: And so, the military experts are meeting tomorrow morning, and at four o'clock there is a session of the conference.

Conference of Military Representatives

November 29, 1943, at 10.30

     Admiral Leahy suggests that General Brooke should report on the Mediterranean theatre of military operations.

     Gen. Brooke says that the cardinal task facing the Anglo-Americans is to exert pressure on the enemy wherever possible. At the same time it is desirable to stem the tide of German divisions that could be directed by the Germans to Northern France where their increase would be undesirable. Operation Overlord will divert a great number of German divisions. But this operation cannot take place before

Page 16

May 1, as the most suitable date for the landing. That is why there will be a break of five or six months before the start of this operation, during which something must be done to draw off the German divisions. Brooke says that the British have big forces in the Mediterranean, which they wish to use in the best possible way.

     Addressing General Marshall, Brooke says that if he says anything that does not accord with the opinion of the Americans, he, Brooke, asks that he be interrupted.

     Gen. Marshall asks Brooke to continue his review.

     Brooke says that the Anglo-American plans provide for active operations on all fronts, including those in the Mediterranean. At present there are 23 German divisions in Central and Northern Italy. The Anglo-Americans have enough forces to move the front up into Northern Italy. But in view of the terrain, the Anglo-American forces are unable to exert enough direct pressure on the German troops, and that is why it will be necessary to carry out a flanking operation from the sea. It is expected that this operation will involve 11 or 12 divisions which the German Command will be forced to reman. As a result of these operations, the present number of German divisions will be kept in Italy; besides, these divisions will be considerably weakened.

     On the question of Turkey Brooke says that if the purely political considerations are left aside, Turkey's entry into the war would be highly desirable from the purely military standpoint, and would yield great advantages. First, it would open the sea lanes through the Dardanelles. This would be of great significance in the sense of a possible withdrawal from the war by Rumania and Bulgaria. In addition, contact could be established with the Russians across the Black Sea and supplies sent to Russia that way. Finally, the establishment of Allied air bases in Turkey would make possible raids on key German objectives, in particular the oil fields in Rumania, etc. The shorter route for cargoes across the Black Sea instead of the roundabout way via Persia would release tonnage that could be used elsewhere. To open the way to the Black Sea it would be enough to take several islands along the Turkish coast, beginning from the island of Rhodes. That will not be a difficult operation and will not entail the use of big forces. Brooke says that in the Mediterranean the British have special landing barges which

Page 17

could be used for the operations he described. Operation Overlord would need to be postponed only for the period required for the use of these craft in the Mediterranean. At the same time these operations would hold up the German troops which could otherwise be used by the Germans during Operation Overlord. Brooke says that it is highly important to ensure airfields in Italy in order to start raids on industry in Southern Germany. These air operations, together with raids carried out from Britain, would be highly important for the conduct of the war in 1944. If the proposal made yesterday were accepted, to go on the defensive in Italy before the operation there is completed, it would be necessary to maintain large forces there in order to hold back the German troops. In consequence, only a limited force could be released for operations in Southern France. Brooke says that he is in full agreement with the strategy proposed by Marshal Stalin to deal the enemy a blow in two places. But this is easier done when the operations are developed on land, than when a sea landing is concerned. In that case two such operations are not always able to support each other because it is not easy to manage the alternation of reserves between the two groupings. If we were to land six or eight divisions in the south of France at present, the Germans could easily cope with them. That is why it is necessary that the two operations should be undertaken closer in time to each other. But this will require a great number of landing facilities. Brooke says that the Allies had planned to carry out a small landing in the Mediterranean during Operation Overlord in order to draw off a part of the German forces from Overlord. But the difficulties lie in the timely reinforcement of such an auxiliary landing. The fact is that only three or four divisions could be landed right away later to be brought up to the strength of 35. It is necessary that the Germans should not be able to increase their forces while the Allied force is still insignificant. Brooke says that that is all concerning land operations and invites Air Force Marshal Portal to make a review of air operations.

     Marshal Voroshilov says that it would be better to hear the American report on land operations, and then go on to air operations.

     Marshall says that he wants to shed light on the military situation as it appears from the American standpoint. At present the Americans have to fight on two theatres of military

Page 18

operations, namely, in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The main problem is that American operations extend over two such great oceans. In contrast to ordinary conditions the Americans do not have a shortage either of troops or supplies. Marshall says that apart from: the divisions already in action there are more than 50 divisions In the U.S.A. which the Americans would like to use as soon as possible. But the problem lies in tonnage and in landing craft. Marshall says that the Americans can still say that they have achieved considerable successes and are now prepared to intensify their pressure on the enemy. It is the desire of the Americans to put into action all their available forces as soon as possible. When mention is made of landing craft it concerns above all ships for the transfer of tanks and motorised units. That is just the kind of vessels lacking for the successful realisation of the operations in the Mediterranean of which General Brooke spoke. Marshall repeats that the Americans do not have any shortage either of troops or supplies. Marshall points out that the Americans are deeply interested in reducing transportation time and the stay of ships in ports. Marshall says that the advantage of Operation Overlord is that it involves the shortest distance to be overcome at the initial moment. Subsequently, it is planned to transfer troops to France directly from the United States. About 60 American divisions are to be transferred to France. Marshall says that no definite decisions have yet been taken in respect of the Mediterranean, because the idea was to discuss this question at Tehran. The question now is what is to be done in the next three, and depending on that, the next six months. Marshall says that it is highly dangerous to undertake an operation in Southern France two months before Operation Overlord, but it is very true, at the same time, that an operation in Southern France would promote the success of Operation Overlord. Marshall thinks that the landing in Southern France should be carried out two or three weeks before Operation Overlord. It must be borne in mind that a serious obstacle to these operations will be the German destruction of all ports. For a long time the armies will have to be supplied across the open coast. American combat engineers have extensive experience in restoring ports, but Marshall nevertheless believes that there will be some delay. He says that during the landing at Salerno only 108 tons a day of supplies could be got through in the first

Page 19

18 days. Altogether 189,000 men were transferred across the open coast. It must also be borne in mind that this requires strong fighter cover from the air. Marshall says that at Salerno the Anglo-American planes had only from 15 to 20 minutes of action. In Operation Overlord the planes may have up to 30 minutes. Marshall points out once again that the problem facing the Americans is not a shortage of troops or supplies, but a shortage of landing craft. Marshall says that he would like Marshal Voroshilov to understand that in the Pacific the Americans are now carrying out five landing operations accompanied by heavy air battles. Four other landing operations are to be undertaken m the course of January. Marshall says that that is all he wished to say.

     Leahy suggests that Air Force Marshal Portal should add to the reports of Brooke and Marshall.

     Marshal Portal declares that he will speak only of air operations. Up to now the main raids on Germany were carried out from Britain. Now such raids are being started also from the Mediterranean area. At present, the Anglo-Americans are dropping from 15,000 to 30,000 tons of bombs on Germany a month, and their main purpose is to destroy the enemy's industry, communications and air force. In addition, considerable numbers of German fighter planes are being destroyed from the air. There is a heavy struggle ahead but it can be safely said that the Anglo-American plan of destroying the German Air Force will be crowned with success. That the plan is being successfully implemented is evident from the deployment of the enemy's forces. At present, there are from 1,650 to 1,700 fighters in Western and Southern Germany, while there are only 750 German fighters on all the other fronts. How sensitive the Germans are to the raids is evident from the fact that only one raid by the Anglo-American air force on Southern Germany, undertaken from the Mediterranean, forced the Germans to transfer 300 fighter planes from Central Germany. Portal says that he understands that Soviet aircraft is almost entirely engaged in land battles but it would be well for the Soviet command to have the possibility of setting aside a part of the air force for bombing Eastern Germany. This would have a great effect on the situation on all the other fronts. Portal says that that is all he wished to say.

     Leahy says that it would be well to hear the opinion of Marshal Voroshilov.

Page 20

     Voroshilov says that as he understood from General Marshall's report, the Americans have from 50 to 60 divisions which they want to use in France, and the only delay is in transport and landing facilities. Voroshilov asks what is being done to solve the problem of transport and landing facilities.

     Voroshilov says that he understood from General Marshall's report that the Americans regard Operation Overlord as the principal operation, and asks, whether General Brooke, as the chief of the British General Staff, also regards this operation as the principal one, and whether or not he considers that this operation could be replaced by another operation in the Mediterranean area or elsewhere.

     Marshall says that he would like to reply to Marshal Voroshilov's question about the preparations for Operation Overlord. Everything is now being done to carry out Operation Overlord, but the whole question turns on transport and landing facilities. Marshall adds that while there was only one American division in Britain in August, at present there are already nine American divisions and more divisions are coming up.

     Voroshilov refers to the reports made by Generals Dean and Ismey at the Moscow Conference, which said that there was large-scale construction of landing facilities in Britain and the United States, and that preparations were under way for the construction of temporary floating ports, and asks whether it can now be said that this construction will eventually ensure the necessary quantity of landing craft by the time Operation Overlord is to start.

     Marshall replies that General Brooke can say more about the ports. As far as it concerns the United States, everything is being done to have all the necessary preparations completed by the start of Operation Overlord. In particular, landing barges, each to carry up to 40 tanks, are being readied.

     Brooke says that he would first like to answer Marshal Voroshilov's first question as to the view taken of Operation Overlord by the British. Brooke says that the British attach great importance to this operation and regard it as an essential part of this war. But for the success of this operation there must be definite prerequisites, which would prevent the Germans from using the good roads of Northern France to bring up reserves. Brooke says that the British

Page 21

believe such prerequisites will exist in 1944. All British forces were reorganised for the forthcoming operations. Special divisions are being trained for the purpose. At present, four divisions have already been transferred from Italy and Africa. A part of the landing ships has also been transferred from the Mediterranean. The British are doing everything to realise these operations, which must be carried out in the course of 1944. But the difficulties of the Anglo-Americans lie in landing ships. In order to be ready for May 1, the bulk of the landing ships should be transferred from the Mediterranean now. But that would result in a suspension of operations in Italy. At the same time the British would like to keep the maximum number of German divisions in continuous action. That is required not only to draw off German forces from the Russian front, but also for the success of Operation Overlord. As for the construction of temporary floating ports, Brooke says that experiments in that respect are now under way. Some of these experiments were not as successful as expected, but at any rate there is success in this matter. Brooke says that the success or failure of the forthcoming operation will depend by and large on the availability of these ports.

     Voroshilov says that he wants to ask General Brooke once again whether the British regard Operation Overlord as the principal one.

     Brooke says that he had expected this question. He, Brooke, must say that he would not like to see the failure of the operation either in Northern or in Southern France. But in certain circumstances these operations are doomed to failure.

     Voroshilov says that Marshal Stalin and the Soviet General Staff regard the operations in the Mediterranean as of secondary significance. Marshal Stalin believes, however, that an operation in Southern France, carried out two or three months before the operation in Northern France, could be of decisive significance for the success of Overlord. The experience of the war, and the successes of the Anglo-American troops in North Africa and the landing operations in Italy, the operations of the Anglo-American air force against Germany, the organisational trim of the forces of the United States and the United Kingdom, the powerful equipment of the United States, the naval strength of the Allies and especially their superiority in the Medi-

Page 22

terranean, show that given the will, Overlord can be a success. Will is the only thing required.

     Voroshilov says that the military must plan operations in such a way that auxiliary operations, far from hindering the principal operation, should promote it in every way. Voroshilov then goes on to say that Marshal Stalin's proposal is to have the cross-Channel operation supported by the action of Allied forces in the south of France. With that aim in view he allows the possibility of going on the defensive in Italy, and of making a landing in Southern France with the forces released, so as to strike at the enemy from two sides. If the operation in Southern France cannot be carried out two or three months before Operation Overlord, Marshal Stalin does not insist on it at all. This landing can be carried out either simultaneously, or even somewhat later than Operation Overlord. But it must take place.

     As for the operations of the Soviet Air Force, it is well known that it is engaged in combat operations together with the land forces. At present, there are on the Soviet German front 210 German divisions alone, there being 260 enemy divisions altogether, as Marshal Stalin reported. The intensity of the combat operations has drawn our air force to the front and rear of the enemy, and we have no possibility of using any air force for raids on Eastern Germany, but, of course, as soon as this becomes possible, our Supreme Command will take a relevant decision.

     Voroshilov says that we regard the operation across the Channel as not an easy one. We realise that this operation is more difficult than the forced crossing of rivers. Still, on the basis of our experience of the forced crossing of big rivers, such as the Dnieper, the Desna, and the Sozh, whose right bank is mountainous and in addition was well fortified by the Germans, we can say that the operation across the Channel, if it is carried out in earnest, will be a success. On the right bank of the above-mentioned rivers the Germans built strong modern reinforced-concrete fortifications, armed them with powerful artillery, and were able to bring our low left bank under fire to a great depth, preventing our troops from approaching the river; still after concentrated artillery, mine-thrower fire, after powerful strikes by the air force, our troops succeeded in crossing these rivers, and the enemy was routed.

     I am sure, says Voroshilov, that if well prepared, and,

Page 23

above all, if well supported by a strong air force, Operation Overlord will be crowned with full success. Needless to say, the Allied air force must secure full domination of the air before the land forces go into action.

     Brooke says that the Anglo-Americans also regard the operations in the Mediterranean as operations of secondary importance. But since there are large forces in the Mediterranean area, these operations can and must be carried out in order to help the principal operation. These operations are closely bound up with the entire conduct of the war, and, in particular, with the success of the operation in Northern France.

     Brooke says that in connection with Marshal Voroshilov's remarks about the difficulty of the operation across the Channel he would like to say that the British watched the Red Army's forcing of rivers with great interest and admiration. The British think that the Russians have achieved great successes in landing operations. But the cross-Channel operation requires special facilities and needs to be worked out in detail. For several years now the Anglo-Americans have been studying all the necessary details connected with this operation. There are considerable difficulties also in the fact that there are beaches on the shore of France, and big sand banks. That is why in many places ships find it hard to approach the shore itself. All this requires preparations.

     Voroshilov says that in August or September the British held exercises in the Channel area. He, Voroshilov, would like to know how the British assess the results of these exercises.

     Brooke replies that the purpose of these exercises was to bring about an air battle with the Germans. In addition, these exercises did a great deal for the training of the troops. It was not, of course, a landing exercise. Such exercises are carried out by the British on the coast of Britain.

     Voroshilov asks how the Germans reacted to these manoeuvres.

     Brooke replies that the Germans failed to react to these manoeuvres to the degree expected by the British.

     Marshall says that he must raise an objection to Marshal Voroshilov's statements on a cross-Channel landing. He, Marshall, was trained in land operations, he also had knowledge of the forced crossing of rivers, but when he came up against landing operations across the ocean, he had

Page 24

to start all over again. For if a defeat of troops landed in a forced crossing of a river is only a setback, a defeat in a landing across the ocean is a disaster.

     Voroshilov says that he does not agree with this. In such a serious operation as Overlord the main thing is organisation, planning and well thought-out tactics. If the tactics accord with the set task, even a setback for the advance force will be only a setback, and not a disaster. The air force must win domination of the air and must crush the enemy’s artillery, and after the intensive artillery preparation only the advance force is to be sent out. After this force consolidates its positions and appears to have succeeded, the main force is to be landed.

     Marshall says that another thing that must be borne in mind here is that artillery support from the sea is more complicated than from the opposite bank of a river.

     Voroshilov agrees with this and asks what is the expected ratio between the German and the Anglo-American air force by the start of the invasion.

     Portal replies that it will be five or six to one.

     Voroshilov says that agreement should be reached on the decision to be adopted at this conference.

     Brooke says that he considers that not all the questions have yet been discussed at this conference, and therefore proposes that the conference be adjourned until tomorrow.

     It is agreed to adjourn the session until November 30. The talk continued for three hours.

The Second Sitting of the Conference of the Heads of Government of the U.S.S.R., the United States and Great Britain

     Tehran, November 29, 1943

Opened: 16.00; Closed: 19.40

     Roosevelt: I do not know what went on at the conference of the military this morning. I suggest therefore that Marshal Voroshilov, General Brooke and General Marshall should report to us on their work.

     Stalin: I agree, but it appears that the military have not yet finished.

Page 25

     Churchill: I think it would still be useful to hear the military.

     Brooke: Our conference today was not finished. We started out by examining possible military operations and their interrelation. We examined Operation Overlord and all the ensuing consequences. We concentrated on the period intervening from the present to the date of Operation Overlord; we took into account the fact that if we do not carry out active operations in the Mediterranean in this period before Operation Overlord, we shall be giving the Germans the possibility of transferring their troops to the Soviet-German front, or transferring them to the West with the aim of counteracting Overlord. We examined the possibility of continuing our operations in Italy, where we are holding German divisions, and where we have concentrated large forces. We then turned our attention to the East and examined the desirability of Turkey's entry into the war, and the possible consequences this may have in terms of helping us to conduct the war and open the Dardanelles so as to supply the Soviet Union, and also of opening a way to the Balkans. We examined the possible operations in Southern France in combination with Operation Overlord. The Chief of Staff of the British Air Force reviewed the operations of the Anglo-American Air Force against Germany, and showed the effect of these operations on the over-all course of the war. General Marshall gave figures on the concentration of the American forces in Britain, and spoke of the preparations of the British troops for going over from the defensive to the offensive. The question of Overlord was also studied. Marshal Voroshilov asked several questions which we tried to answer. Marshal Voroshilov set forth the view expressed by Marshal Stalin at the conference yesterday in respect of the operations to be carried out next year. That is about all we had time to examine at our sitting this morning.

     Would General Marshall like to add anything to my report?

     Marshall: There remains little for me to add to what has been said by General Brooke. His report was sufficiently detailed. The problem facing the Americans is not man power but tonnage, special landing facilities and also the availability of air bases sufficiently close to the area of operations. When I say landing facilities, I mean special

Page 26

landing craft capable of carrying up to 40 tanks or vehicles. It is precisely the number of these vessels that is limited. The transfer of American troops, equipment and ammunition to Britain is proceeding according to plan. One million tons of various equipment has already been transported to Britain. But landing facilities remain the limiting factor. We have a plan for the manufacture of landing facilities, which was expanded both in the United States and in Britain. The accelerated production of landing facilities will result in an increase of their number for invasion across the Channel and for operations in the Mediterranean. In short, preparations for Overlord are proceeding according to plan, insofar as materiel and personnel are concerned. The problem is mainly transport and the distribution of landing facilities. As General Brooke has explained, several divisions have already been transferred from Italy.

     Voroshilov: The reports of Generals Brooke and Marshall correspond to the talk we had this morning. My questions were intended to specify the technical preparations for Operation Overlord and they were answered in the manner now set forth by General Marshall. We made no effort to specify the dates for Operation Overlord and all the details connected with the operation considering that these questions could be dealt with at our next meeting if it is held.

     Stalin: If possible I should like to know who will be appointed to command Operation Overlord.

     Roosevelt: This matter has not yet been decided.

     Stalin: Inthat case nothing will come of Operation Overlord. Who bears the moral and military responsibility for the preparation and execution of Operation Overlord? If that is unknown, then Operation Overlord is just so much talk.

     Roosevelt: The British General Morgan is responsible for preparing Operation Overlord.

     Stalin: Who is responsible for carrying out Operation Overlord?

     Roosevelt: We know the men who will take part in carrying out Operation Overlord, with the exception of the commander-in-chief of the operation.

     Stalin: It may happen that General Morgan will consider the operation prepared, but after the appointment of the commander responsible for the execution of the operation it may turn out that the commander will consider the opera-

Page 27

tion unprepared. There must be someone who is responsible both for preparing and executing the operation.

     Churchill: General Morgan was given the assignment of preliminary preparations.

     Stalin: .Who gave General Morgan this assignment?

     Churchill: Several months ago the assignment was given to General Morgan by the Joint Anglo-American Staff with the consent of the President and with my consent. General Morgan was assigned to carry out preparations for Overlord together with the American and British staffs, but the commander-in-chief has not yet been appointed. The British Government has expressed its readiness to place its forces under the command of an American commander-in-chief in Operation Overlord, because the United States is responsible for the concentration and remanning of forces and has a greater number of forces. On the other hand, the British Government proposed the appointment of a British commander-in-chief of operations in the Mediterranean, where the British have a greater number of forces. The question of appointing a commander-in-chief cannot be solved at such a broad sitting as today's. This question should be decided by the three heads of Government among themselves, in private. As the President has just told me – and I confirm this – the decision on the appointment of a commander-in-chief will depend on the talks we are now having.

     Stalin: I should like to be understood that the Russians do not claim participation in the appointment of the commander-in-chief, but the Russians would like to know who is going to be the commander. The Russians would like him to be appointed sooner, and would like to see him responsible for the preparations as well as for the carrying out of Operation Overlord.

     Churchill: We fully agree with what Marshal Stalin has said and I think the President will agree with me if I say that we shall appoint a commander-in-chief in a fortnight, and shall communicate his name. One of the tasks of the conference is to appoint a commander-in-chief.

     Stalin: I have no questions in connection with the reports of Brooke and Marshall.

     Churchill: I am somewhat worried by the number and complexity of the problems facing us. This conference is unique. Millions of people look to this conference and place

Page 28

their hopes on it, and I very much wish that we should not part until we have reached agreement on political and military questions we have been trusted to solve. Today, I want to indicate several points requiring study in a subcommittee. The British Staff and I have long been studying the situation in the Mediterranean, where we have quite a big army. We want this army to be in action there in the course of the whole year and to be independent of factors that would force it to be idle. In this connection we ask our Russian allies to examine the whole problem and the various alternatives we shall propose to them as to the best use of our available forces in the Mediterranean area.

     There are three questions which require detailed study. The first of these is, of course, the assistance that can be given to Operation Overlord with the use of the forces in the Mediterranean area. What I mean is the scale of the operations which are to be carried out in Southern France from Northern Italy. The President and I spoke of this yesterday. I do not think the matter has been studied sufficiently to allow a final decision. I should welcome a study of this question by our staffs from the standpoint of its urgency. In this connection Marshal Stalin correctly stressed the importance of a flanking movement in. Southern France. The date is important. If operations with smaller forces are started at one point and with bigger forces at another, the first operation will be a failure. Our staffs should discuss the operations on a broader plane. I should like to have enough landing facilities in the Mediterranean to transfer two divisions. If these two divisions are available we could undertake an operation to help the advance of the Anglo-American troops along the Italian Peninsula in order to destroy the enemy forces there. There is another possibility of using these forces. They would be sufficient for the capture of the island of Rhodes in the event Turkey entered the war. The third possibility of using these forces is that, minus their losses, they could be used in Southern France in six months to support Operation Overlord. None of these possibilities is excluded. But the matter of the date is important. The use of these two divisions, no matter for which of the three operations I have indicated they might be used in the Mediterranean, cannot be carried out without deferring Operation Overlord, or without diverting a part of the landing facilities from the area of the Indian

Page 29

Ocean. There is our dilemma. In order to decide which way to choose we should like to hear the view of Marshal Stalin concerning the overall strategic situation, because we are delighted and inspired by the military experience of our Russian allies. I should like to propose that the study of the question I have raised be continued by our military committee tomorrow.

     The next problem I want to speak of is political rather than military, because the military forces we intend to set aside for its solution are insignificant. I have in mind the Balkans. In the Balkans there are 21 German divisions apart from garrison troops. Of this number, i.e., of the 21 divisions, 54,000 German troops are concentrated in the Aegean Islands. In addition, there are not less than 12 Bulgarian divisions in the Balkans. Altogether, there are 42 enemy divisions in the Balkans. If Turkey should enter the war the Bulgarians would be forced to withdraw their troops to the front in Thrace against Turkey. This will result in an increased danger to the German divisions in the Balkans. I give these figures to show the enormous importance of this factor in .the. Balkans, where we do not intend to send our regular divisions and where we intend to limit ourselves to raids by combined detachments. In the Balkans we have neither interests nor ambitions. All we want to do is to tie down the 21 German divisions in the Balkans and to destroy them, if possible. I propose, therefore, that a meeting should be held today of the two Foreign Ministers and a representative appointed by the President to discuss the political aspect of this question. We want to work concertedly with our Russian allies. If there are any difficulties they can be cleared up between ourselves. The military questions could be discussed later.

     I pass now to the next question, the question of Turkey. We British are Turkey’s allies, and we have assumed the responsibility of trying to convince or make Turkey enter the war before Christmas. If the President should like to join us or to assume the leadership, that will be acceptable to us, but we shall need the full help of Marshal Stalin in implementing the decision adopted at the Moscow Conference. On behalf of the British Government I can say that it is prepared to warn Turkey that if Turkey does not accept the proposal of entering the war this may have the most serious political consequences for Turkey and have an

Page 30

effect on her rights in respect of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. This morning, the military committee composed of our generals discussed the military aspect of the Turkish problem, but the problem of Turkey is a political rather than a military problem. We intend to set aside not more than two or three divisions for operations in the area of Turkey if she enters the war, apart from the air force that we shall also make available.

     I have raised several questions which are mainly political, for example, the question of what the Soviet Government thinks about Bulgaria, whether it is inclined, in the event that Turkey declares war on Germany and Bulgaria attacks Turkey, to tell the Bulgarians that it will regard Bulgaria as its enemy. This will have a great effect on Bulgaria. There are other political problems as well. I propose that the two Foreign Ministers and a representative appointed by the President should study this question and advise us on how to make Turkey enter the war and what the results of this will be. I think these results will be enormous with decisive possibilities. If Turkey declares war on Germany it will be a great blow for the German people. If we manage to make good use of this fact it should neutralise Bulgaria. As for the other countries in the Balkans, Rumania is already looking for a country to which she can capitulate. Hungary is also in confusion. It is time for us to reap the harvest. Now we must pay the price for this harvest, if we consider it expedient. I propose that these questions should be discussed by our three representatives, who, as a result of their discussion, may tell us what can be done to lighten Russia's burden, and to ensure the success of Operation Overlord.

     Stalin: As for the two divisions which Mr. Churchill proposes to set aside for help to Turkey and the partisans, we have no disagreements on this question. We regard the assignment of two divisions and help to the partisans as important. But if we are prevailed upon here to discuss military questions, we regard Operation Overlord as the main and decisive question.

     I should like the military committee to have a definite task. I propose that the committee be given a definite directive within whose framework it could work. Of course the Russians are in need of help. I should like to state that if the question is one of aid to us, we do expect aid from

Page 31

those who carry out the operations planned, and we expect real aid.

     What should our directives to the military committee be? They should stipulate that the date of Operation Overlord should not be postponed, and that May should be the time limit for carrying out this operation. Our second directive should stipulate, in conformity with the desires of the Russians, support of Operation Overlord by a landing in the south of France. If it is impossible to land a force in Southern France two or three months before the start of Operation Overlord, it would be worth while doing this simultaneously with Operation Overlord. If transport difficulties do not allow a landing in Southern France simultaneously with Operation Overlord, the operation in Southern France could be undertaken some time after the start of Operation Overlord. I think that a landing in Southern France would be an auxiliary operation in respect of Overlord. This operation would ensure the success of Operation Overlord. Meanwhile, the operation to take Rome would be of a diverting nature. The third directive would instruct the committee to hurry the appointment of the commander-in-chief for Operation Overlord. It would be best to settle these matters during our stay here, and I see no reason why this cannot be done. We believe that until a commander-in-chief is appointed Operation Overlord cannot be expected to be a success. The appointment of a commander-in-chief is the task of the British and the Americans, but the Russians would like to know who is going to be the commander-in-chief. Those are the three directives to the military committee. If the committee works within the framework of these directives its work can be successful and can be finished earlier. I ask the conference to take account of the considerations I have put forward.

     Roosevelt: I listened with interest to everything that was said, beginning from Operation Overlord and ending with the question of Turkey. I attach great importance to dates. If there is agreement on Operation Overlord, there is need to come to agreement on the date of this operation.

     Operation Overlord can be carried out in the first week of May or it may be postponed somewhat. The postponement of Overlord would result from our carrying out one or two operations in the Mediterranean, which:-would require landing facilities and planes. If an expedition is carried

Page 32

out in the eastern part of the Mediterranean and fails it will be necessary to transfer additional materiel and troops to that area. In that case Overlord will not be carried out in time.

     Stalin: Against Yugoslavia the Germans have eight divisions, of which five are in Greece. In Bulgaria, there are three or four German divisions, and nine in Italy.

     Churchill: Our figures differ from these.

     Stalin: Your figures are wrong. In France, the Germans have 25 divisions.

     Roosevelt: Our staffs must work out plans in order to tie down the German divisions in the Balkans. These plans must be worked out in such a way that the operations we undertake for that purpose should not prejudice Overlord.

     Stalin: That is right.

     Churchill: Speaking of measures with respect to the Balkans, I did not mean the use of large forces for these purposes.

     Stalin: If possible it would be good to carry out Operation Overlord in May, say the 10th, 15th, or 20th of May.

     Churchill: I cannot undertake such an obligation.

     Stalin: If Overlord is carried out in August, as Churchill said yesterday, nothing will come of the operation because of the unfavourable weather in that period. April and May are the best months for Overlord.

     Churchill: I do not think that we differ in our views as it may seem. I am prepared to do everything that is within the power of the British Government to carry out Operation Overlord at the earliest possible date. But I do not think that the many possibilities available in the Mediterranean should be coldly rejected as being of no importance, just because their use will hold up Operation Overlord for two or three months.

     Stalin: The operations in the Mediterranean of which Churchill speaks are merely diversional. I do not deny the importance of these diversions.

     Churchill: In our opinion the numerous British troops must not be idle for six months. They should carry on operations against the enemy, and with the help of our American allies we hope to destroy the German divisions In Italy. We cannot remain passive in Italy, for that will spoil our whole campaign there. We must extend assistance to our Russian friends.

Page 33

Stalin: According to Churchill it would appear that the Russians want the British to be idle.

     Churchill: If the vessels are withdrawn from the Mediterranean, this will considerably reduce the scale of operations in that area. Marshal Stalin will recall that at the Moscow Conference conditions were specified under which Operation Overlord can be a success. These conditions stipulate that by the time of the invasion there should be not more than 12 German mobile divisions in France, and that in the course of 60 days the Germans should be unable to transfer more than 15 divisions to reinforce their troops in France. There is no mistake here, for these conditions are the basis of Overlord. We must tie down as many German divisions as possible in Italy, the Balkans, and in the area of Turkey, if she enters the war. German divisions transferred from France are fighting us at the front in Italy. If we are passive on the front in Italy, the Germans will be able to transfer their divisions back to France to the prejudice of Overlord. That is why we must tie up the enemy by action and keep our front in Italy in an active state so as to pin down a sufficient number of German divisions there.

     As for Turkey, I agree to insist on her entry into the war. If she refuses to do this, nothing can be done about it. If she does agree we must make use of the Turkish air bases in Anatolia and take Rhodes. One assault division will be enough for this operation. Subsequently, the garrison in the island will be able to defend it. Having received Rhodes and the Turkish bases we shall be able to expel the German garrisons from the other islands of the Aegean Sea and open up the Dardanelles. That is not an operation that will require a great force. It is a limited operation. If Turkey enters the war and we take Rhodes we shall have secured superiority in this area and the time will come when all the islands in the Aegean Sea will be ours. If Turkey does not enter the war we shall not grieve over the matter and I shall not ask for troops to take Rhodes and the islands of the Aegean Sea. But in that case Germany will not grieve either, for she will continue to dominate the area. If Turkey enters the war, our troops stationed in Egypt for the purposes of defence, and our air force there also defending Egypt, could be advanced to the fore. After the taking of the Aegean Islands these forces could be used in areas north

Page 34

of Egypt. I suggest a thorough discussion of this question. It will be a great misfortune for us, if Turkey does not join the war, from the standpoint of Germany's continued domination of that area. I want the troops and planes now idle in Egypt to be used as soon as possible if Turkey enters the war. Everything depends on the landing facilities. The difficulty lies in the transportation of troops across the sea. I am always prepared to discuss all details with our Allies. But everything depends on the availability of landing facilities. If these landing facilities are left in the Mediterranean or in the Indian Ocean to the prejudice of Overlord, then the success of Overlord and the success of the operation in Southern France cannot be guaranteed. The operations in Southern France will require a great quantity of landing facilities. I ask this to be taken into consideration.

     Finally, I consider acceptable and, on behalf of the British Government, agree to the working out of directives for the military committee. I suggest that we work out our own directives to the committee together with the Americans. I think that our views coincide more or less.

     Stalin: How long do we intend to stay at Tehran?

     Churchill: I am prepared to stop eating until these directives are worked out.

     Stalin: What I mean is when shall we end our conference?

     Roosevelt: I am prepared to stay at Tehran as long as Marshal Stalin remains at Tehran.

     Churchill: If it is necessary I am prepared to stay in Tehran for good.

     Stalin: I should like to know how many French divisions there are at present.

     Roosevelt: The plan is to arm 11 French divisions. But of this number only five are ready now, and another four divisions are to be equipped shortly.

     Stalin: Are these French divisions in action or are they idle?

     Roosevelt: One division is fighting in Italy, one or two divisions are in Corsica and Sardinia.

     Stalin: How does the command intend to use these French divisions?

     Marshall: The plan is to merge the French Corps with the Fifth Army operating on the left flank in Italy. One division is now being transferred to the front in Italy where

Page 35

it will be tested in action. After this a decision will be taken on the most expedient use of the French divisions. The time required to equip another four French divisions depends on the time it will take to train the personnel of these divisions.

     Stalin: Are these divisions of the French type?

     Marshall: These divisions are of the American type and consist of 15,000 men each. Most of the soldiers are not Frenchmen. In the armoured divisions, three-quarters of the personnel are French and the rest are Africans.

     Roosevelt: I should like to say a few words. I think that if we three give instructions to our military committee it will be able to discuss these questions.

     Stalin: There is no need for any military committee. We can solve all the questions here at the conference. We must decide on the date, the commander-in-chief and the need of an auxiliary operation in Southern France. We Russians are limited in time of stay at Tehran. We could stay on until December 1, but we have to leave on the 2nd. The President will recall that we agreed on three or four days.

     Roosevelt: I think that my proposal will simplify the work of the staff. The military committee must take Operation Overlord as a basis. The committee must table its proposals on the auxiliary operations in the Mediterranean. It must also bear in mind that these operations may hold up Overlord.

     Stalin: The Russians would like to know the date on which Overlord is to start in order to prepare their blow at the Germans.

     Roosevelt: The date of Operation Overlord was determined at Quebec. Only the most serious changes in the situation can justify any changes in the date determined for this operation.

     Churchill: I have just heard the directive which the President proposed to give the committee. I should like to have the opportunity of considering the President's proposals. I have no objections to this in principle, but I should like to have time to examine the President's proposals. I am very pleased to spend December 1 at Tehran, and to leave on December 2. It is not clear to me whether or not the President proposes the establishment of a military committee, for Marshal Stalin suggests that we do without a committee. Personally, I want such a committee.

Page 36

As for determining the date of Operation Overlord, if it is decided to have an examination of strategic questions in the military committee...

     Stalin: We are not demanding any examination.

     Roosevelt: We are all aware that the contradictions between us and the British are small. I object to the postponement of Operation Overlord, while Churchill lays emphasis on the importance of operations in the Mediterranean. The military committee could clear up these questions.

     Stalin: We can solve these problems ourselves, because we have more rights than the military committee. If I may permit myself an incautious question, I should like to know whether the British believe in Operation Overlord or simply speak of it to reassure the Russians.

     Churchill: Given the conditions which were indicated at the Moscow Conference, I am quite sure that we shall have to transfer all our available forces against the Germans when Operation Overlord is launched.

     Roosevelt: We are very hungry now, and I propose that we adjourn to attend the dinner given for us today by Marshal Stalin. I propose that our military committee should continue its conference tomorrow morning.

     Stalin: There is no need for the meeting of a military committee. That is superfluous. Only we ourselves can speed up our work.

     Churchill: Would it be better for the President and myself to co-ordinate our views and then report to you our common standpoint?

     Stalin: This would accelerate our work.

     Churchill: And what about the committee consisting of Hopkins and the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs?

     Stalin: This committee is not required either. But if Mr. Churchill insists, we do not object to its formation.

     Roosevelt: Tomorrow, Hopkins, Molotov and Eden could have talk with each other at luncheon.

     Stalin: What are we going to do tomorrow? 'Will the proposals of Churchill and Roosevelt be ready?

     Roosevelt: The proposals will be ready, and I suggest that Churchill, Marshal Stalin and I have luncheon at one thirty and discuss all questions.

     Churchill: That will be our programme for tomorrow.

     Stalin: I agree.

Page 37


The Third Sitting of the Conference of the Heads of Government of the U.S.S.R., the United States and Great Britain

Tehran, November 30, 1943

Opened: 16.30; Closed: 17.20

     Roosevelt: The decision of the British and American staffs was communicated to Marshal Stalin and has satisfied him. It would be desirable for General Brooke to announce this decision to the conference if Marshal Stalin has no objections.

     Stalin: I agree.

     Churchill: General Brooke will make this announcement on behalf of both the Americans and the British.

     Brooke: The chiefs of the Joint Staffs have advised the President and the Prime Minister to inform Marshal Stalin that Operation Overlord will be started in May. This operation will be supported by an operation against Southern France, with the scale of this operation depending on the number of landing craft available at the time.

     Churchill: Needless to say the Joint British and American Staffs will be in close contact with Marshal Stalin in order to permit the co-ordination of operations by all the allies, so that a blow is dealt at the enemy simultaneously from both sides.

     Stalin: I am aware of the importance of the decisions adopted by the staffs of our allies, and the difficulties in implementing these decisions. There may be a danger not at the start of Overlord but when the operation is unfolded, when the Germans try to transfer a part of their troops from the Eastern Front to the Western to hamper Overlord. In order to prevent the Germans from manoeuvring their reserves and transferring any sizable forces from the Eastern Front to the West, the Russians undertake to organise a big offensive against the Germans in several places by May, in order to pin down the German divisions on the Eastern Front and to prevent the Germans from creating any difficulties for Overlord. I informed President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill of this today, but I wish to repeat my statement before the conference.

     Roosevelt: I am highly satisfied with Marshal Stalin's

Page 38

statement that steps will be taken to co-ordinate the blows at the enemy. I hope that our nations have now realised the need of joint action, and that the forthcoming operations of our three countries will show that we have learned to act together.

     The United States has not yet appointed a commander in-chief for Operation Overlord, but I am sure that a commander-in-chief will be appointed in the next three or four days, as soon as we return to Cairo.

     I have only one proposal to make, namely, that our staffs should without delay start elaborating the proposals adopted here. That is why I suppose they could return to Cairo tomorrow, if Marshal Stalin has no objections to this.

     Stalin: I agree with this.

     Churchill: I want to say that today we adopted a serious decision. Now the President and I and our staffs must work out this question in detail and decide where we are to find the necessary landing craft. We have ahead of us five months, and I think that we shall be able to obtain the required number of landing craft. I have already given an assignment to study this matter and a detailed report will be submitted as soon as our staffs return home. For Operation Overlord to succeed we must have a considerable superiority of forces, and I hope that our staffs will be able to assure this. By June, we shall already be in bitter action against the enemy. I believe that we have finished discussing military matters. We could now discuss political questions. For this we could use December 1 and 2, and could leave on December 3. We have scored a great success and it would be well if we left after solving all questions, and announced to the public that we have reached complete agreement. I hope that the President can stay until December 3, as I can, if Marshal Stalin agrees to stay.

     Stalin: I agree.

     Roosevelt: I am very happy to hear that Marshal Stalin has agreed to stay for another day. I also wanted to say about the communiqué: our staffs could give us a draft of this communiqué.

     Stalin: In the part relating to military matters?

     Churchill: Of course. The communiqué must be brief and mystifying.

     Stalin: But without any mysticism.

     Churchill: I am sure that the enemy will shortly learn

Page 39

of our preparations because he will be able to discover them by the great accumulation of trains, by the activity of our ports, etc.

     Stalin: A big operation cannot be hidden in a sack.

     Churchill: Our staffs will have to think how to camouflage these preparations and to mislead the enemy.

     Stalin: In such cases we mislead the enemy by building dummies of tanks, planes, and mock airfields. Then we set the dummies of the tanks and planes in motion with the aid of tractors. Intelligence reports on these movements to the enemy, and the Germans believe that the blow is being prepared in that very place. Meanwhile, there is absolute quiet where the offensive is really being staged. All transportation takes place at night. We set up in several places from 5,000 to 8,000 dummies of tanks, up to 2,000 dummies of planes, and a great number of dummy airfields. In addition, we mislead the enemy with the aid of the radio. In areas where no offensive is planned, radio stations exchange messages. These stations are monitored by the enemy, and he receives the impression that a great force is deployed there. Enemy planes often bomb these places night and day although they are absolutely empty.

     Churchill: Sometimes truth has to be safeguarded with the aid of untruth. In any case, steps will be taken to mislead the enemy.

The Fourth Sitting of the Conference of the Heads of Government of the U.S.S.R., the United States and Great Britain

     Tehran, December 1, 1943

I. Sitting During Luncheon

Opened: 13.00; Closed: 15.00

     Hopkins: The question of inviting Turkey to enter the war is connected with the question of how much support Turkey can get from Great Britain and the United States. In addition, it is necessary to co-ordinate Turkey's entry into the war with the over-all strategy.

Page 40

     Roosevelt: In other words, Inönü is going to ask us whether we shall support Turkey. I think this question must be further worked out.

     Stalin: Churchill said that the British Government was making available 20 or 30 squadrons and 2 or 3 divisions for aid to Turkey.

     Churchill: We gave no consent in respect of two or three divisions. In Egypt, we have 17 squadrons which are not used at present by the Anglo-American command. These squadrons, in the event of Turkey's entry into the war, would serve for the purpose of her defence. In addition, Britain agreed to make available to Turkey three anti-aircraft defence regiments. That is all the British promised Turkey. The British did not promise Turkey any troops. The Turks have 50 divisions. The Turks are good fighters, but they have no modern weapons. As for the two or three divisions mentioned by Marshal Stalin the British Government has set these divisions aside for the capture of the Aegean Islands in the event Turkey enters the war, and not for aid to Turkey.

     Roosevelt: (addressing Churchill): Isn't it a fact that the operation against Rhodes will require a great quantity of landing facilities.

     Churchill: This operation will require no more facilities than are available in the Mediterranean.

     Roosevelt: My difficulty is that the American Staff has not yet studied how many landing craft will be required by the operations in Italy, the preparations of Overlord in Britain, and for the Indian Ocean. That is why I must be careful in respect of promises to Turkey. I'm afraid these promises may hamper the fulfilment of our agreement of yesterday.

     Stalin: Apart from entering the war, Turkey will also make her territory available to the allied air force.

     Churchill: Of course.

     Stalin: I think that we have finished with this question.

     Churchill: We have not offered anything we are unable to give. We offered the Turks three new squadrons of fighters to bring the total number of squadrons, including those in Egypt, up to 20. Perhaps, the Americans could add anything to this number? We promised the Turks some anti-aircraft defence units, but we did not promise them any troops, for we haven't any. As for landing facilities,

Page 41

these will be needed in March, but I believe we shall be able to find them in the period between the taking of Rome and the start of Operation Overlord.

     Roosevelt: I want to consult with the military. I hope Churchill is right, but my advisers say that there may be difficulties in the use of landing craft between the taking of Rome and the start of Overlord. They believe that it is absolutely necessary to have the landing craft for Operation Overlord by April 1.

     Churchill: I do not see any difficulties. We have not made any proposals to Turkey, and I don't know if Inönü will accept them. He will be in Cairo and will acquaint himself with the situation. I can give the Turks 20 squadrons. I won't give the Turks any troops. Besides, I don't think they need troops. But the point is that I don't know whether or not Inönü is coming to Cairo.

     Stalin: He might fall ill?

     Churchill: Easily. If Inönü does not agree to go to Cairo to meet the President and myself, I am prepared to go on a cruiser to see him in Adana. Inönü will go there, and I shall paint for him the unpleasant picture that will face the Turks if they refuse to enter the war, and the pleasant picture in the opposite case. I shall then inform you of the results of my talks with Inönü.

     Hopkins: The question of supporting Turkey in the war was not discussed by the American military, and I doubt the expediency of inviting Inönü to Cairo before the military have studied this matter.

     Stalin: Consequently, Hopkins proposes not to invite Inönü.

     Hopkins: I am not proposing not to invite Inönü but I stress that it would be useful to receive information beforehand on the aid we could give the Turks.

     Churchill: I agree with Hopkins. We must agree on the possible aid to the Turks.

     Stalin: Can't this be done without the military?

     Churchill: Together with the military we must study the question of landing facilities. We may be able to get more than we hope by taking them from the Indian or Pacific oceans or building them. If that is impossible we should abandon the idea. However, in any case, it has been decided that Overlord must not suffer.

     Roosevelt: I think that it would be useful if I outlined the

Page 42

situation in the Pacific in connection with the possible withdrawal of landing facilities from there, as Churchill suggests. I must point out, first, that the distance from the Pacific to the Mediterranean is enormous. Second, in the Pacific we are moving northwards so as to cut Japanese communications, and we need landing facilities in that area.

     Hopkins: Is it true that Churchill and Eden have not spoken to the Turks about the taking of the Aegean Islands?

     Eden: No, I have not spoken of this. I only asked the Turks to make available air bases and did not touch upon the question of landing facilities.

     Roosevelt: If I see the Turkish President I shall make the offer to take Crete and the Dodecanese Islands because they are rather close to Turkey.

     Churchill: I want the Turks to give us air bases in the area of Smyrna, which the British helped the Turks to build. When we get these air bases we shall expel the German air force from the Islands. For this purpose we are prepared to pay with one of our planes for every destroyed German plane. The task of expelling the German garrisons from the Islands will be feasible if we ensure air superiority in that area. There is no need to storm the island of Rhodes where there are 8,000 Italians and 5,000 Germans. They can be starved out. If we get bases in Turkey our ships with air support will be able to cut German communications and the goal will be reached.

     Stalin: That is correct. It seems that the 20 squadrons now in Cairo are idle. If they go into action nothing will be left of the German air force. But a certain number of bombers should be added to the fighter squadrons.

     Roosevelt: I agree with Churchill's proposal to make available for Turkey's defence 20 squadrons with a certain number of bombers.

     Churchill: We are offering Turkey limited air cover and anti-aircraft defence. It is winter now, and an invasion of Turkey is improbable. We intend to continue supplying Turkey with arms. Turkey is receiving mainly American weapons. At the present time we are offering Turkey the invaluable opportunity of accepting the Soviet Government's invitation to take part in a peace conference.

     Stalin: What kind of weapons is Turkey short of?

     Churchill: The Turks have rifles, pretty good artillery, but they have no anti-tank artillery, no air force, no tanks.

Page 43

We organised military schools in Turkey, but attendance is low. The Turks have no experience in handling radio equipment. But the Turks are good fighters.

     Stalin: It is quite possible that if the Turks give airfields to the allies, Bulgaria will not attack Turkey, and the Germans will be expecting Turkey's attack. Turkey will not attack the Germans, but will simply be in a state of war with them. But this will give the allies airfields and ports in Turkey. If events took such a turn, that would not be bad either.

     Eden: I told the Turks that they could make air bases available to the allies without fighting, for Germany would not attack Turkey.

     Roosevelt: In this respect Portugal could serve as an example for Turkey.

     Eden: Numan would not agree with my standpoint. He said Germany would react, and that Turkey prefers to enter the war of her own free will, instead of being dragged in.

     Churchill: That is true. But I must say the following. When you ask Turkey to stretch her neutrality by giving us air bases, the Turks reply that they prefer a war in earnest; when you tell the Turks about entering the war in earnest, they reply that they have not got the arms. If the Turks give a negative reply to our proposal we must let them know our serious considerations. We must tell them that in that case they will not participate in the peace conference. As for Britain, we shall tell them on our part that we are not interested in Turkish affairs. In addition, we shall stop supplying Turkey with arms.

     Eden: I should like to specify the demands we are to present to Turkey in Cairo. I understand that we must demand of the Turks entry into the war against Germany.

     Stalin: Precisely, against Germany....

II. Round-Table Sitting

Opened: 16.00; Closed: 19.40

     Roosevelt: At this sitting I should like us to discuss the questions of Poland and Germany.

     Stalin: And also the question of a communiqué.

     Roosevelt: The Communiqué is already being prepared.

Page 44

     Molotov: Can we receive an answer now concerning the transfer to us of a part of the Italian merchant fleet and navy?

     Roosevelt: The answer to this question is very simple. We have received a great number of Italian ships. They should, I think, remain in the temporary use of the United Nations and should be used in the best way. After the war they should be distributed among the United Nations.

     Molotov: If these ships cannot be conveyed into our ownership we ask that they be given to us for temporary use. We shall use them in the interests of the allies and all the United Nations.

     Stalin: If Turkey does not enter the war, the Italian ships transferred to us cannot be sailed into the Black Sea, and we should then like to have them in the North Sea. We are aware that Great Britain and the United States are in need of ships, but we are not asking for many.

     Churchill: I am for it.

     Roosevelt: I am also for it.

     Churchill: I should like to see these ships in the Black Sea.

     Stalin: We also prefer to have them in the Black Sea.

     Churchill: It may be well to send the Italian ships handed over to the Soviet Union into the Black Sea with the British ships to help the Soviet Navy.

     Stalin: All right, please.

     Churchill: We must settle the matter of transferring the ships with the Italians, because they are helping us with their fleet. Some Italian ships are fighting, others are patrolling. The submarines are being used for supply. Of course, it is desirable to put the Italian fleet to the best possible use instead of having it against us. That is why I request two months in which to settle with the Italians the question of transferring the Italian ships to the Soviet Union: This is a delicate matter and it is necessary to go about it like a cat with a mouse.

     Stalin: Can we then receive these ships by the end of January of next year?

     Roosevelt: I agree.

     Churchill: I agree.

     Stalin: Our crews will man these ships.

     Churchill: We should like to help the Russian Navy in the Black Sea with our own ships. In addition, we should

Page 45

be happy to help in repairing the Soviet naval bases in the Black Sea, for instance, Sevastopol. We should also be happy if the Soviet Government considers it useful to send four or five submarines into the Black Sea to sink the Rumanians and Germans there. I must say that we have neither claims nor interests in the Black Sea.

     Stalin: Very well, we shall be grateful for any assistance extended to us.

     Churchill: There is one point we could make use of in the event Turkey joins the war. If Turkey is afraid to enter the war but will agree to stretch her neutrality, Turkey may permit several submarines to pass through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles into the Black Sea with supply ships for them. American submarines are sinking many Japanese ships in the Pacific Ocean; our submarines sank a great number of German and Italian ships in the Mediterranean; now our submarines could help in the Black Sea.

     Stalin: Have we finished with this question?

     Churchill: Yes.

     Roosevelt: I should like to discuss Poland. I wish to express the hope that the Soviet Government will be able to start talks and restore its relations with the Polish Government.

     Stalin: The agents of the Polish Government, who are in Poland, are connected with the Germans. They are killing partisans. You cannot imagine what they are doing there.

     Churchill: That is a big issue. We declared war on Germany because Germany attacked Poland. I was surprised when Chamberlain failed to fight for the Czechs in Munich, but suddenly in April 1939 gave Poland a guarantee. I was surprised when he rejected more favourable opportunities and returned to the policy of war. But at the same time I was also pleased with this fact. For the sake of Poland and in pursuance of our promise we declared war on Germany, although we were not prepared, with the exception of our naval forces, and played a big part in inducing France to enter the war. France has collapsed. But we turned out to be active fighters thanks to our insular position. We attach great importance to the reason for which we entered the war. I understand the historical difference between ours and the Russian standpoint on Poland. But at home we pay a great deal of attention to Poland, for it was the attack on Poland that prompted us to undertake the present effort. I

Page 46

was also very well aware of the Russian position at the start of the war, and considering our weakness at the beginning of the war, and the fact that France went back on the guarantees she gave in Munich, I understand that the Soviet Government could not at the time risk its life in that struggle. But now the situation is different, and I hope that if we are asked why we entered the war we shall reply that it happened because we gave Poland a guarantee. I want to return to my example of the three matches, one of which represents Germany, another Poland, and the third, the Soviet Union. All these three matches must be moved to the West in order to settle one of the main problems facing the allies: to ensure the Soviet Union's Western borders.

     Stalin: Yesterday there was no mention of negotiations with the Polish Government. Yesterday it was said that the Polish Government must be directed to do this and that. I must say that Russia, no less than the other Powers, is interested in good relations with Poland, because Poland is Russia's neighbour. We stand for the restoration and strengthening of Poland. But we draw a line between Poland and the émigré Polish Government in London. We broke off relations with that Government not out of any whim on our part, but because the Polish Government joined Hitler in slandering the Soviet Union. All that was published in the press. What are the guarantees that the émigré Polish Government in London will not do the same thing again? We should like to have a guarantee that the agents of the Polish Government will not kill partisans, that the émigré Polish Government will really call for struggle against the Germans, instead of engaging in machinations. We shall maintain good relations with any Government that calls for active struggle against the Germans. But I am not at all sure that the present émigré Government in London is such as it should be. If it sides with the partisans and if we are given a guarantee that its agents will not have ties with the Germans in Poland, we shall be prepared to start talks with it.

     Churchill mentioned three matches. I should like to ask him what it means.

     Churchill: It would be a good thing now at the round table to hear the views of the Russians on Poland's borders. I think Eden or I could then make them known to the Poles.

Page 47

We believe that Poland unquestionably should be satisfied at the expense of Germany. We are prepared to tell the Poles that this is a good plan, and that they cannot expect a better one. After this we could raise the question of restoring relations. But I should like to emphasise that we want a strong independent Poland, friendly to Russia.

     Stalin: The question is that the Ukrainian lands should go to the Ukraine, and the Byelorussian, to Byelorussia, i.e., the 1939 border established by the Soviet Constitution should exist between us and Poland. The Soviet Government stands for this border and considers that this is correct.

     What other questions are there for discussion?

     Roosevelt: The question of Germany.

     Stalin: What are the proposals on this matter?

     Roosevelt: The partition of Germany.

     Churchill: I am for partitioning Germany. But I should like to consider the question of partitioning Prussia. I am for separating Bavaria and the other provinces from Germany.

     Roosevelt: In order to stimulate our discussion on this question, I want to set forth a plan for partitioning Germany into five states, which I personally drew up two months ago.

     Churchill: I should like to stress that the root of evil in Germany is Prussia.

     Roosevelt: I should like us to have a picture of the whole before we speak of the separate components. In my opinion, Prussia must be weakened as far as possible, and reduced to size. Prussia should constitute the first independent part of Germany. The second part of Germany should include Hannover and the north-western regions of Germany. The third part – Saxony and the Leipzig area. The fourth part – Hessen Province, Darmstadt, Kassel and the areas to the south of the Rhine, and also the old towns of Westphalia. The fifth part – Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg. Each of these five parts would be an independent state. In addition the regions of the Kiel Canal and Hamburg should be separated from Germany. These regions would be administered by the United Nations, or the four Powers. The Ruhr and the Saar must be placed either under the control of the United Nations or under the trusteeship of the whole of Europe. That is my proposal. I must add that it is merely exploratory.

Page 48

     Churchill: You have said a mouthful. I think there are two questions: one – destructive, the other – constructive. I have two ideas: the first is to isolate Prussia from the rest of Germany; the second is to separate Germany's southern provinces – Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg, the Palatinate, from the Saar to Saxony inclusive. I would keep Prussia in strict conditions. I think it would be easy to sever the southern provinces from Prussia and include them in a Danubian federation. The people who live in the Danube basin are not the cause of war. At any rate, I would give the Prussians harsher treatment than the other Germans. The southern Germans will not start a new war.

     Stalin: I do not like the plan for new associations of states. If it is decided to partition Germany, no new associations need be set up. Whether it is five or six states, and two regions into which Roosevelt proposes to divide Germany, this plan of Roosevelt's to weaken Germany can be examined. Like us, Churchill will soon have to deal with great masses of Germans. Churchill will then see that it is not only the Prussians who are fighting in the German Army but also Germans from the other provinces of Germany. Only the Austrians, when surrendering, shout ''I'm Austrian", and our soldiers accept them. As for the Germans from Germany's other provinces they fight with equal doggedness. Regardless of how we approach the partitioning of Germany there is no need to set up some new association of Danubian states lacking vitality. Hungary and Austria must exist separately. Austria existed as a separate state until it was seized.

     Roosevelt: I agree with Marshal Stalin, in particular, that there is no difference between Germans from the various German provinces. Fifty years ago there was a difference but now all German soldiers are alike. It is true that this does not apply to the Prussian officers.

     Churchill: I should not like to be understood as not favouring the partition of Germany. But I wanted to say that if Germany is broken up into several parts without these parts being combined then, as Marshal Stalin said, the time will come when the Germans will unite.

     Stalin: There are no steps that could exclude the possibility of Germany's unification.

     Churchill: Does Marshal Stalin prefer a divided Europe?

     Stalin: Europe has nothing to do with it. I don't know

Page 49

that there is need to set up four, five or six independent German states. This question must be discussed.

     Roosevelt: Should a special committee be set up to study the question of Germany, or should it be referred to the London Commission?

     Stalin: This question could be referred to the London Commission, in which there are representatives of our three states.

     Churchill: I should now like to return to the Polish question, which appears to me to be more urgent because the Poles can make a great deal of noise. I should like to read out my following proposals on the Polish question. I am not asking you to agree with it in the form in which I have drawn it up, because I have not yet taken a final decision myself.

     My proposal says:

     "It was agreed in principle that the hearth of the Polish state and people must be situated between the so-called Curzon line and the line of the Oder River, including Eastern Prussia and the Oppeln Province as part of Poland. But the final drawing of the boundary line requires thorough study and possible resettlement in some points."

     Stalin: The Russians have no ice-free ports on the Baltic. That is why the Russians would need the ice-free ports of Königsberg and Memel and the corresponding part of the territory of Eastern Prussia, particularly since these are age old Slav lands. If the British agree to the transfer of the said territory to us, we shall agree to the formula proposed by Churchill.

     Churchill: This is a very interesting proposal which I will make a point of studying.

Page 50

Communiqué: On the Conference of the Heads of Government of the Allied Countries – The U.S.S.R., the United States and Great Britain – Held in Tehran

     The Conference of the Heads of Government of the three Allied Powers was held in Tehran from November 28 to December 1. J. V. Stalin, Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the U.S.S.R., F. D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America and W. Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain, took part in its work.

     The Conference adopted the Declaration on the joint action in the war against Germany and the post-war cooperation of the three Powers and also the Declaration Regarding Iran. The texts are published below.

Declaration of the Three Powers

     We – the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and the Premier of the Soviet Union, have met these four days past, in this, the capital of our Ally, Iran, and have shaped and confirmed our common policy.

     We express our determination that our nations shall work together in war and in the peace that will follow.

     As to war – our military staffs have joined in our round table discussions, and we have concerted our plans for the destruction of the German forces. We have reached complete agreement as to the scope and timing of the operations to be undertaken from the east, west and south.

     The common understanding which we have here reached guarantees that victory will be ours.

     And as to peace – we are sure that our concord will win an enduring peace. We recognise fully the supreme respon-

Page 51

sibility resting upon us and all the United Nations to make a peace which will command the good will of the overwhelming mass of the peoples of the world and banish the scourge and terror of war for many generations.

     With our diplomatic advisers we have surveyed the problems of the future. We shall seek the co-operation and active participation of all nations, large and small, whose peoples in heart and mind are dedicated, as are our own peoples, to the elimination of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance. We will welcome them, as they may choose to come, into a world family of democratic nations.

     No power on earth can prevent our destroying the German armies by land, their U-Boats by sea, and their war plants from the air.

     Our attack will be relentless and increasing.

     Emerging from these cordial conferences we look with confidence to the day when all peoples of the world may live free lives, untouched by tyranny, and according to their varying desires and their own consciences.

     We came here with hope and determination. We leave here, friends in fact, in spirit and in purpose.

Signed in Tehran
on December
1, 1948
Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill

Declaration Regarding Iran

     The President of the United States of America, the Premier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, having consulted with each other and with the Prime Minister of Iran, desire to declare the mutual agreement of their three Governments regarding their relations with Iran.

     The Governments of the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United Kingdom recognise the assistance which Iran has given in the prosecution of the war against the common enemy, particularly by facilitating transportation of supplies from overseas to the Soviet Union.

     The three Governments realise that the war has caused special economic difficulties for Iran and they are agreed

Page 52

that they will continue to make available to the Government of Iran such economic assistance as may be possible, having regard to the heavy demands made upon them by their world-wide military operations and to the world-wide shortage of transport, raw materials and supplies for civilian consumption.

     With respect to the post-war period, the Governments of the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United Kingdom are in accord with the Government of Iran that any economic problem confronting Iran at the close of hostilities should receive full consideration along with those of the other members of the United Nations by conferences or international agencies held or created to deal with international economic matters.

     The Governments of the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United Kingdom are at one with the Government of Iran in their desire for the maintenance of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iran. They count upon the participation of Iran together 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.

December 1, 1948

Churchill, Stalin, Roosevelt

 

 

 

* * *

 

 

Stalin