4-113 Memorandum for General Styer, September 22, 1943

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: September 22, 1943

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for General Styer1

September 22, 1943 Washington, D.C.


Mr. Harriman saw me this morning with reference to his mission to Moscow. He leaves here next Wednesday on a mission which he may or may not head; however, he will remain in Moscow as our Ambassador (this is very confidential, for your information only).2

We have had a mess in Russia between Faymonville and the Ambassador and our Attaches. I told Harriman all should be removed and a fresh start made. To this he has agreed.3

Now he wants two people in particular, one to replace Faymonville and another who can confidentially and most intimately explain at the present time and for the future the basis of our global strategy, etc.

To replace Faymonville he would like General Sidney P. Spalding who now I believe is in Africa in charge of allocation of materiel to the French.4

Please let me know as quickly as possible whether or not you can detach Spalding from his job.5

G. C. M.

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. Major General Wilhelm D. Styer was acting commanding general, Army Service Forces.

2. Businessman W. Averell Harriman, a close friend of President Roosevelt’s confidant Harry Hopkins and the lend-lease expediter in Britain since 1941, was soon to be named U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union to replace Admiral William H. Standley, a former chief of naval operations. Harriman’s appointment, not publicly announced until October 1, formally began on October 7. At the time of the document printed here, Harriman was preparing to depart for a mid-October meeting of American, British, and Soviet foreign affairs department representatives in Moscow. On September 28, President Roosevelt told Stalin that he had decided to allow Secretary of State Hull to make the lengthy trip, thereby converting the meeting into the Moscow Foreign Ministers Conference. (Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1943, 7 vols. [Washington: GPO, 1957-65], 1: 519, 530; The Memoirs of Cordell Hull, 2 vols. [New York: Macmillan Company, 1948], 2: 1254-55.) Concerning Harriman’s role, see W. Averell Harriman and Elie Abel, Special Envoy to Churchill and Stalin, 1941-1946 (New York: Random House, 1975).

3. Brigadier General Philip R. Faymonville, chief of the United States Supply Mission, was the lend-lease expediter in the Soviet Union. Concerning his status, see Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-569 [2: 635-36]. Marshall approved the designation of John R. Deane, who had been the secretary of the Joint and Combined Chiefs of Staff, to head the new Moscow Military Mission and his promotion to major general. For Deane’s observations regarding the establishment of the mission, see John R. Deane, The Strange Alliance: The Story of Our Efforts at Wartime Co-operation with Russia (New York: Viking Press, 1947), pp. 10-12, 48-49. Admiral Standley, who had been United States ambassador in the Soviet Union between February 1942 and September 1943, comments at length on his strained relations with Faymonville in William H. Standley and Arthur A. Ageton, Admiral Ambassador to Russia (Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1955), particularly pp. 235-47. The embassy’s problems, both internally and with the Soviet bureaucracy, were well known. Bill Downs, Moscow correspondent for Newsweek magazine and C.B.S. radio, observed that prior to Harriman’s arrival “the embassy staff had grown into a happy-go-lucky crowd” and that “the embassy military and naval staffs spend a lot of time chasing ballet and theater tickets.” (“Harriman’s Broom,” Newsweek 22[November 15, 1943]: 24-25.)

4. Brigadier General Spalding (U.S.M.A., 1912), who had served in various War Department supply assignments, had been sent to Allied Force Headquarters in Algiers in July to become chairman of the Joint Rearmament Committee.

5. Spalding was not under Army Service Forces jurisdiction, so Styer suggested that the chief of staff ask Eisenhower to release Spalding. Marshall did this. (Styer Memorandum for General Marshall, September 22, 1943, and Marshall to Eisenhower, Radio, September 22, 1943, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) Spalding was to head the Moscow Military Mission’s Lend-Lease Division.

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. 134-135.

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