The Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Foreign Ministry
Moscow, December 9, 1939 - 9:40 p.m.
No. 905 of December
Received December 10 - 2:00 a.m.
Only for the State Secretary personally.
For the High Command of the Navy and the Wehrmacht.
The Soviet Naval Committee [Sowjet-Marineausschuss] informs us in strict confidence that a submarine blockade against Finland is planned in the Gulf of Bothnia. The Chief of the Naval Staff inquires whether German steamers on the regular route to northern Sweden could take fuel and food for secret delivery at sea to Soviet submarines there. The quantities delivered would be returned in kind
wherever we wished, for example, in any Soviet port where our naval forces had similar needs. The Russians will communicate the details of their wishes, the place of contact, etc., as soon as Germany has indicated her agreement in principle. The Russians ask for utmost speed, since they are planning on the first deliveries at sea in just three or four days. I strongly recommend taking into consideration
compliance with the Russian request because, first, such assistance would have little effect on the Finnish position and be of minor consequence for the outcome of the conflict ; second, because return deliveries, for example in the Far East, would offer great possibilities for naval operations; and third, because the German Naval authorities on the strength of such assistance can make demands on the Soviet Navy in the future. 448 G Kdos.
Source: Documents on German foreign policy 1918-1945. Series D. Volume VIII. No. 433. Washington, Department of State, publication 5436, 1954.