One issue which was constantly discussed between the wartime allies was
the 'Second Front'.
Throughout the war Stalin called for Britain and the USA to open a Second
Front against Germany. What he meant was the Western powers should attack
areas such as the Balkans, Italy or France. This would draw off large German
forces which for most of the war were focused on the USSR.
The land battle between Germany and the USSR was by far the largest campaign
of the war.
However, many Soviets were not aware of US and British actions in North
Africa, as well as the enormous supplies sent to the USSR and also the impact
of the bombing campaign against Germany.
This document is a telegram from the Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden to the
British ambassador in Moscow. It is one of a series in which the British embassy
in Moscow and Eden exchanged views regarding feelings in the USSR on the issue
of the Second Front.
The Hess incident refers to an event in May 1941 when the very senior Nazi,
Rudolf Hess, flew to Scotland. He put forward plans for peace between Britain
and Germany and even an alliance against the USSR. He was arrested and the
offer was totally rejected. However, the event seemed suspicious to some Soviet
observers who remembered the Munich Agreement of 1938.
Pravda was a Soviet newspaper.
Even in 1940 some politicians in Britain favoured appeasement - a deal with
Germany. By the time of this telegram this was not an issue.