HC Deb 20 January 1942 vol 377 cc188-9
26. Mr. Granville

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will take steps to arrange for an adequate number of all ranks of the British Army to visit the Russian front, to be attached to the Russian Army as a token Allied Force, and to allow them to obtain first-hand experience and information of the methods being employed by the Russian Forces in their successful offensive against the German and satellite troops; and whether he will extend a similar invitation to the Russian military authorities to visit the Libyan, Malayan and home defence fronts, in order that experiences in fighting the enemy may be interchanged between the Allied Forces on the basis of Allied command and united operations in a world-scale strategy?

Sir E. Grigg

As the hon. Member is aware, the British Military Mission in Moscow, made up of officers representing the various arms of the Service, is in close contact with the Soviet military authorities, and its task is to study and report on Russian tactics and experience. The Russians have a similar mission in England. His Majesty's Government and the Soviet Government are keeping under continuous consideration methods of achieving the maximum co-operation between the Russian and British armies, and of enabling the latter to benefit by Russian experience.

Mr. Granville

Will the hon. Gentleman take into consideration the fact that the people of this country have a very high regard for Russian military methods? Does he not think it would be advantageous to the British Army if representatives of all ranks could obtain experience in this way?

Sir E. Grigg

The hon. Gentleman will realise that there are many practical difficulties, such as transportation, but I am satisfied that we are getting all we can from Russian experience.

Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

Is it not the case that the British Military Mission is not in Moscow, but is on the Volga, about 600 miles from the front?