Stalin to Mr Churchill
Allow me to thank you for your two personal messages.
Your messages have initiated agreement between our two Governments.
Now, as you with every justification put it, the Soviet Union and Great
Britain have become fighting Allies in the struggle against
Hitler Germany. I have no doubt that our two countries are
strong enough to defeat our common enemy in the face of all
It may not be out of place to inform you that the position of the
Soviet troops at the front remains strained. The results of
Hitler’s unexpected violation of the Non-Aggression
Pact and the sudden attack on the Soviet Union, which have placed the
German troops at an advantage, are still affecting the
position of the Soviet armies. It is quite obvious that the German
forces would have been far more advantageously placed if the
Soviet troops had had to counter the blow, not along the line
and Vyborg, but along the line Odessa-Kamenets Podolsk-Minsk and
the vicinity of Leningrad.
It seems to me, furthermore, that the military position of the Soviet
Union, and by the same token that of Great Britain, would improve
substantially if a front were established
against Hitler in the West (Northern France) and the North (the Arctic).
A front in the North of France, besides diverting Hitler’s
forces from the East, would make impossible invasion of Britain by
Hitler. Establishment of this front would be popular both
with the British Army and with the population of Southern England. I am
aware of the difficulty of establishing such a front, but it
seems to me that, notwithstanding the difficulties, it should be done,
not only for the sake of our common cause, but also in
Britain’s own interest. The best time to open this front is
now, seeing that Hitler’s forces have been switched
to the East and that he has not yet been able to consolidate the
positions he has taken in the East.
It would be easier still to open a front in the North. This would call
for action only by British naval and air forces, without
landing troops or artillery. Soviet land, naval and air
forces could take part in the operation. We would be glad if Great
Britain could send& thither, say, one light division or more
of Norwegian volunteers, who could be moved to Northern Norway for
insurgent operations against the Germans.
July 18, 1941
V. Stalin to F.
Sent on August 4, 1941
The U.S.S.R. attaches great importance to the matter of neutralising
Finland and her dissociation from Germany. The severance of relations
between Britain and Finland and the blockade of Finland,
announced by Britain, have already borne fruit and engendered conflicts
among the ruling circles of Finland. Voices are being raised
in support of neutrality and reconciliation with the U.S.S.R.
If the U.S. Government were to threaten Finland with a rupture of
relations, the Finnish Government would be more resolute in
the matter of breaking with Germany. In that case the Soviet
Government could make certain territorial concessions to Finland with a
view to assuaging her and conclude a new peace treaty with her.
Works, Vol. 17: 1941
To the continuation war