V. I. Lenin

To the Workers and Red Army Men of Petrograd

Written: 17 October, 1919
First Published: Petrogradskaua Pravda No. 237, October 19, 1919; Published according to the manuscript
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 30, pages 68-69
Translated: George Hanna
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters & Robert Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marx.org) 2002. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Comrades, the decisive moment has arrived. The tsarist generals have again been provided with munitions and other supplies by the capitalists of Britain, France and America, and with gangs of landowners’ sons are again trying to capture Red Petrograd. The enemy launched his attack at the time of the peace negotiations with Estonia, attacked our Red Army troops who believed in these negotiations. The treacherous nature of the attack partly explains the rapid successes of the enemy. Krasnoye Selo, Gatchina and Vyritsa have been captured. Two railway lines to Petrograd have been cut. The enemy is trying to cut the third, Nikolayevskaya, line, and the fourth, Vologda, line so as to starve Petrograd into surrender.

Comrades, you all know and can see for yourselves the tremendous threat hanging over Petrograd. A few days will decide the fate of the city, and that means half the fate of Soviet power in Russia.

There is no need for me to remind Petrograd workers and Red Army soldiers of their duty. The entire history of the two years’ struggle of the Soviet Republic against the bourgeoisie of the whole world, a struggle of unprecedented difficulty that has brought unprecedented victories, has demonstrated that the Petrograd workers are not only a model in the fulfilment of their duty but have also shown examples of the greatest heroism and of revolutionary enthusiasm and devotion such as the world has never before seen.

Comrades, the fate of Petrograd is being decided! The enemy is trying to catch us unawares. His forces are weak, insignificant even, but he is strong because he is swift, because his officers are insolent and because he is well supplied and well armed. Help for Petrograd is near at hand, we have sent reinforcements. We are much stronger than the enemy. Fight to the last drop of blood, comrades, hold fast to every inch of land, he firm to the end, victory is hear! Victory will be ours!

V. Ulyanov (Lenin)

October 17