4-145 Memorandum for Admiral Leahy, October 25, 1943

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: October 25, 1943

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for Admiral Leahy

October 25, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]


The following is a first trial at a draft of a message regarding the subject of Russian participation in the Combined Chiefs of Staff conferences.1 You will recall that the other day I was opposed to a formal joining up by the Russians with our Chiefs of Staff organization, first because I felt certain the Russians would feel that we were endeavoring to penetrate their strategical and operational plans, and further, that it would be next to impossible to reach final decisions with such a variegated group. My view is to make a small beginning, and very definitely on the basis that we are not asking for anything from the Russians in the way of information but are offering them virtually a complete insight into all of our strategical and logistical doings.

The following is the proposed message from the President to the Prime Minister:

“The present Moscow conference appears to be a genuine beginning of British-Russian-U.S. collaboration which should lead to the early defeat of Hitler.2 In order to further stimulate this cooperation and particularly to increase the confidence of Stalin in the sincerity of our intentions it is suggested that we jointly transmit some such message as the following to him.

Heretofore we have informed you of the results of our combined British-American military staff conferences. You may feel that it would be better to have a Russian military representative sit in at such meetings to listen to the discussions regarding British-American operations and take note of the decisions. He would be free to make such comments and proposals as you might desire. This arrangement would afford you and your staff an intimate and prompt report of these meetings.

If you favorably consider such an arrangement we shall advise you of the date and place of the next conference as soon as they have been determined. It would be understood that the procedure outlined carried no implication of discussion of plans for purely Russian operations except as your representative might be instructed to present.”

[P.S.] King should have a shot at this before final consideration.

G. C. M.3

Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed memorandum signed.

1. Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin were negotiating the arrangements for the conferences that were ultimately held in Teheran and Cairo in November and December.

2. The conference in Moscow of U.K.-U.S.-U.S.S.R. foreign ministers had begun on October 18.

3. The proposed message, with some modifications by Admiral Leahy and the president, was sent on October 26. See Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States: The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943 [Washington: GPO, 1961], p. 42.)

Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 167-168.

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