MINKOVA K.V. The Problem of Choosing the Candidate of the New U.S. Ambassador in the USSR in 1941–1942 (According to New Archival Documents)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2022.2.5

Kristina V. Minkova

Candidate of Sciences (History), Senior Lecturer,

Department of American Studies, Saint Petersburg State University,

Universitetskaya Emb., 7/9, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5833-6808


Abstract. Introduction. Differences in views with the US Ambassador to the USSR L. Steinhardt and the military situation in the USSR forced the President of the United States F.D. Roosevelt to approach the search for subsequent candidates for the post of ambassador to the USSR in the fall of 1941 more carefully.

Methods and materials. The analysis of documents deposited in the Roosevelt Presidential library, memoirs of the ambassadors and their biographies can explain the appointment of Standley to Moscow and to determine his contestants.

Analysis. Ambassador Steinhardt left Moscow in early November 1941, but the new ambassador was appointed only on February 13, 1942. The delay was caused both by the controversy surrounding the candidates prinvosed by the President and the reluctance of some of them to accept the prinvosed position. President Roosevelt strove to ensure that this responsible post was occupied by peinvle loyal to him, who fully shared his views on rapprochement with Moscow through unilateral concessions. The State Department opposed candidates who supported this policy. In 1941–1942, the post of the U.S. ambassador to the USSR could have been granted to the Soviet spy A. Stern, famous for his pro-Soviet views General Faymonville, General J. Burns from the Lend-Lease Administration. None of these candidates was supported by the Department of State, and as a result, a compromise figure of Admiral Standley was found to satisfy both sides.

Results. The mistrust and disrespect of Roosevelt and the Soviet leadership towards Steinhardt and Standley significantly reduced the effectiveness of interaction between the USA and the USSR in 1941–1943. As a result of confrontation between the President and the Department of State, inexperienced diplomats who occupied an unstable intermediate position between these two poles became US ambassadors to the Soviet Union.

Key words: Soviet-American relations, Stalin, Roosevelt, Burns, Standley, Harriman, Faymonville, Stern.

Citation. Minkova K.V. The Problem of Choosing the Candidate of the New U.S. Ambassador in the USSR in 1941–1942 (According to New Archival Documents). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2022, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 58-66. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2022.2.5.

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The Problem of Choosing the Candidate of the New U.S. Ambassador in the USSR in 1941–1942 (According to New Archival Documents) by Minkova K.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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