Military history

CHAPTER 15

 1. Schnurre’s memo of the meeting, taken from his dispatch to the embassy in Moscow, Aug. 14, 1939, DGFP, VII, pp. 58–59.

 2. Text of Schulenburg’s letter, ibid., pp. 67–68.

 3. Text of Ribbentrop’s telegram, ibid., pp. 62–64.

 4. The memo of the British businessmen was found in a file of Goering’s office and is published in DGFP, VI, pp. 1088–93. There are numerous jottings on the document in Goering’s handwriting. “Oho!” he scribbled several times opposite statements that obviously he could not believe. The whole fantastic and somewhat ludicrous story of Dahlerus’ peace mission which brought him briefly to the center of the stage at a momentous moment is told in his own book, The Last Attempt. Also in his testimony at Nuremberg, TMWC, IX, pp. 457–91, and in Sir Lewis Namier’sDiplomatic Prelude, pp. 417–33; the chapter is entitled “An Interloper in Diplomacy.”

 5. Interrogation of Halder, Feb. 26, 1946, NCA, Suppl. B, p. 1562.

 6. Hassell, op. cit., pp. 53, 58–59.

 7. Thomas, “Gedanken und Ereignisse,” Schweizerische Monatshefte, December 1945.

 8. Memo of Canaris on conversation with Keitel, Aug. 17, 1939, NCA, III, p. 580 (N.D. 795–PS).

 9. Naujocks affidavit, NCA, VI, pp. 390–92 (N.D. 2751–PS).

10. Dispatch of Schulenburg, 2:48 A.M., Aug. 16, DGFP, VII, pp. 7677. The ambassador gave a fuller account in a memo dispatched by courier, and he added details in a letter to Weizsaecker, ibid., pp. 87–90, 99–100.

11DBrFP, Third Series, VII, pp. 41–42. For Ambassador Steinhardt’s reports see U.S. Diplomatic Papers, 1939, I, pp. 296–99, 334.

12. Dispatch of Ribbentrop to Schulenburg, Aug. 16, DGFP, VII, pp. 84–85.

13Ibid., p. 100.

14Ibid., p. 102.

15. Dispatch by Schulenburg, 5:58 A.M., Aug. 18, ibid., pp. 114–16.

16. Dispatch of Ribbentrop, 10:48 P.M., Aug. 18, ibid., pp. 121–23.

17. Memo of Schnurre, Aug. 19, ibid., pp. 132–33.

18. Dispatch of Schulenburg, 6:22 P.M., Aug. 19, ibid., p. 134.

19. Dispatch of Schulenburg, 12:08 A.M., Aug. 20, ibid., pp. 149–50.

20. Churchill, The Gathering Storm, p. 392. He does not give his source.

21Ibid., p. 391.

22. Hitler’s telegram to Stalin, Aug. 20, DGFP, VII, pp. 156–57.

23. Dispatch of Schulenburg, 1:19 A.M., Aug. 21, ibid., pp. 161–62.

24. Dispatch of Ribbentrop, Aug. 21, ibid., p. 162.

25. Dispatch of Schulenburg, 1:43 P.M., Aug. 21, ibid., p. 164.

26. Stalin’s letter to Hitler, Aug. 21, ibid., p. 168.

27NCA, Suppl. B, pp. 1103–5.

28DBrFP, VI, No. 376.

29. See DBrFP, Third Series, VII, Appendix II, pp. 558–614. The appendix contains a detailed day-to-day record of the military conversations in Moscow and constitutes the most comprehensive source I have seen of the Allied version of the talks. It includes reports to London, during the negotiations, by Air Marshal Burnett and Gen. Heywood, and the final report of the British mission by Adm. Drax. Also, a verbatim account of the dramatic meeting of Gen. Doumenc with Marshal Voroshilov on the evening of Aug. 22, when the chief of the French military mission tried desperately to save the situation despite the public announcement that Ribbentrop was arriving in Moscow the next day. Also, the record of the final, painful meeting of the Allied missions with Voroshilov on Aug. 26. Volume VII also includes many dispatches between the British Foreign Office and the embassy in Moscow which throw fresh light on this episode.

This section of the chapter is based largely on these confidential British papers. Unfortunately the Russians, so far as I know, have never published their documents on the meeting, though a Soviet account is given in Nikonov’s Origins of World War II, in which much use of the British Foreign Office documents is made. The Soviet version is also given in Histoire de la Diplomatie, ed. by V. Potemkin.

30. Paul Reynaud, In the Thick of the Fight, p. 212. Reynaud, pp. 210–33, gives the French version of the Allied negotiations in Moscow in August 1939. He gives his sources on p. 211. Bonnet gives his version in his book Fin d’une Europe.

31. The documents are in DBrFP, VII (see note 29 above). It is interesting that not a line on the Anglo–French diplomatic efforts in Warsaw to get the Poles to accept Russian help nor on the course of the military talks in Moscow was published in either the British Blue Book or the French Yellow Book.

32. Dispatch of Ribbentrop, 9:05 P.M., Aug. 23, from Moscow, DGFP, VII, p. 220.

33. Secret German memoranda, Aug. 24, ibid., pp. 225–29.

34. Text of the Soviet draft, DGFP, VII, pp. 150–51.

35. Gaus affidavit at Nuremberg, TMWC, X, p. 312.

36. Text of the German–Soviet nonaggression pact and of secret additional protocol, signed in Moscow Aug. 23, 1939, DGFP, VII, pp. 245–47.

37. Churchill, The Gathering Storm, p. 394.

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