V. I. Lenin

Speech At The Send-Off
Of The Socialist Army’s First Troop Trains

January 1(14), 1918[1]

Newspaper Report

Delivered: 1 January, 1918
First Published: January 17, 1929 in Pravda No. 3 (evening edition).
Source:Lenin’s Collected Works, Progress Publishers, Moscow, Volume 26, 1972, pp. 420
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov and George Hanna, Edited by George Hanna
Transcription & HTML Markup: Charles Farrell and David Walters
Online Version: Lenin Internet Archive November, 2000


Comrades, I greet you as the living embodiment of the Russian proletariat’s determination to fight for the triumph of the Russian revolution, for the triumph of its great slogans not only in this country, but also among the peoples of the whole world. I greet you as the first heroic volunteers of the socialist army, who are to build up a mighty revolutionary army. This army is called upon to safeguard the gains of the revolution and our people’s power, the Soviets of Soldiers’, Workers’ and Peasants’ Deputies, the whole of this new and truly democratic system, against the attacks of all the enemies of the people, who are bending all efforts to destroy the revolution. These enemies are the world capitalists who are now organising a crusade against the Russian revolution, which holds out the prospect of liberation to all working people. We must show that we are a force capable of overcoming every obstacle on the way to world revolution. Let the example of the comrades going into the trenches buoy up the weak, steady the hesitant and rouse the weary. The peoples hear our revolution’s clarion call and are awakening; our army’s ranks will soon be swelled by the proletarian forces of other countries and we shall no longer be alone. (Comrade Lenin’s words were drowned in shouts of greetings and prolonged applause. The volunteers of the socialist army accompanied Comrade Lenin to his car to the strains of the Internationale.)

Classification of .


[1] The send-off took place in Mikhailovsky Manège on January 1 (14), 1918. As Lenin was returning to the Smolny an attempt was made on his life: a bullet went through the windscreen and passed over his head. The Swiss Communist, Fritz Platten, who was with Lenin, was wounded.