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The Allied Campaign in Africa, Answers to Associated Press Moscow Correspondent
November 13, 1942
The Moscow correspondent of the American News Agency, Associated Press, Mr. Henry Cassidy, addressed to J. V. Stalin, as Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the U.S.S.R., a letter in which he asked for an answer, either verbally or in writing, to three questions of interest to the American public. In reply, Stalin sent Mr. Cassidy the following letter:
Dear Mr. Cassidy, – I am answering your questions which reached me on November 12.
(1) Question: What is the Soviet view of the Allied campaign in Africa?
Answer: The Soviet view of this campaign is that it represents an outstanding fact of major importance, demonstrating the growing might of the armed forces of the Allies and opening the prospect of the disintegration of the Italy-German coalition in the nearest future.
The campaign in Africa refutes once more the sceptics who affirm that the Anglo-American leaders are not capable of organizing a serious military campaign.
There can be no doubt that only first-rate organizers could carry out such important military operations as the successful landings in North Africa across the ocean, as the rapid occupation of harbours and wide territories from Casablanca to Bougie, and as the smashing of the Italy-German armies in the Western Desert, effected with such mastery.
(2) Question: How effective has this campaign been in relieving pressure on the Soviet Union, and what further aid does the Soviet Union await?
Answer: It is yet too soon to say to what extent this campaign has been effective in relieving immediate pressure on the Soviet Union, but it may confidently be said that the effect will not be a small one, and that a certain relief in pressure on the Soviet Union will result in the nearest future.
But this is not the only thing that matters.
What matters, first of all, is that, since the campaign in Africa means that the initiative has passed into the hands of our Allies, this campaign radically changes the military and political situation in Europe in favour of the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition. It undermines the prestige of Hitlerite Germany as the leading force in the system of Axis powers and demoralizes Hitler’s allies in Europe. It releases France from her state of lethargy, mobilizes the anti-Hitler forces of France and provides a basis for the organization of an anti-Hitler French army.
It creates conditions for putting Italy out of commission and for isolating Hitlerite Germany.
Finally, it creates the prerequisites for the organization of a second front in Europe nearer to Germany’s vital centres, which will be of decisive importance for organizing victory over the Hitlerite tyranny.
(3) Question: What possibility is there of the Soviet offensive power in the East joining the Allies in the West to hasten final victory?
Answer: There need be no doubt that the Red Army will fulfil its task with honour, as it has been fulfilling it throughout the whole war.
November 13, 1942
(Signed) J. Stalin