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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 27, 1952

TELEGRAM FROM STALIN TO MAO ZEDONG

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    Stalin agrees to send ammunitions to Mao in preparation for a US attack.
    "Telegram from Stalin to Mao Zedong," December 27, 1952, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, APRF, Fond 45, Op. 1, D. 343, L. 115-116, and RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 343, ll. 0115-0118. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110021
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BEIJING
To the Main Military Adviser
for Comrade MAO ZEDONG

Comrade Mao Zedong!

We have received your telegram of 17 December.

Your observations regarding the probability of an attack by the Americans in the spring of 1953 reflect the plans of the present American command in Korea, who are operating under the leadership of the Truman government. It is fully possible that these plans will be changed by the Eisenhower government in the direction of less tension on the front in Korea. Nevertheless, you are acting correctly when you count on the worst and proceed from the probability of an attack by the Americans.

We have reviewed your application for military goods for 1953 and the application for urgently needed military goods.

The quantity of arms, ammunition and other military goods which you requested oversteps the limits of our possibilities in 1953. Our calculations are based on the fact that we must deliver to you in 1953 arms, ammunition and other goods for 20 infantry divisions, this means that we must deliver for each of 20 divisions around 800,000 [units of] ammunition, 1320 artillery pieces of various types and other goods.

Taking into account the situation you speak of in your telegram, with great difficulty we can deliver to you in 1953, besides the arms and ammunition for 20 divisions [already] earmarked, with equal shipments until the end of the year, approximately one-fourth of the quantity you stated in your telegram of 17 December, specifically: 600,000 pieces of ammunition, 332 pieces of artillery of various types, tractor artillery, detonating fuses and other goods; the amounts of the deliveries of each will be determined by our War Ministry.

Thus, with a calculation of the arms and ammunition being delivered for 20 infantry divisions in 1953, there will be shipped to you: 1400 pieces of ammunition, as opposed to the 1,125,000 delivered in 1952, 1652 pieces of artillery of various types, as opposed to 1056 guns delivered in 1952.

As regards the applications for materials for military production mentioned in your telegram, transmitted to us by Minister of Foreign Trade Comrade Ye Jizhuang--this application is now being studied by our Ministry of Foreign Trade.

SEMENOV [Stalin].

27 December 1952