The Military Writings of
Leon Trotsky

Volume 2, 1919

How the Revolution Armed

The Southern Front

III. The Red Army’s Second Offensive in the Ukraine
(August-December 1919)


To the Revolutionary War Council of the Southern Front the occasion of the rout of the Whites’ cavalry corps before Voronezh

Transcribed and HTML markup for the Trotsky Internet Archive by David Walters

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The news of the brilliant victory over Mamontov and Shkuro has evoked mighty, joyful echoes on all fronts. Before Petrograd, where the Seventh Army has begun to beat Yudenich, your victories have inspired a fresh access of energy. To the capture of Voronezh the Seventh Army will reply with the capture of Krasnoye Selo, Gatchina, Yamburg and Gdov. On its second anniversary the Soviet Republic displays invincibility for all the world to see. I embrace Budyonny and the heroes of his invincible corps. I greet the commander and the members of the Revolutionary War Council of the Southern Front. [67]

En Route
October 26, 1919, No.102


67. Comrade Budyonny’s victory before Voronezh formed pan of the general plan for defeating Denikin. After Mamontov’s raid the enemy renewed his offensive, but his victories were bought now at a high price. On September 21 our forces abandoned Kursk, and on October 14 Orel. By mid-October preparations had been completed for a decisive counter-blow by our forces. Two groups were formed for this purpose: one, drawn from the Commander-in-Chief’s reserves (the Lettish Division, Pavlov’s brigade, the Red Cossack cavalry brigade, and units of the Fourteenth Army) to the north-west of Orel, for action towards the Kursk-Orel railway line: the other, east of Voronezh, formed from Budyonny’s cavalry corps, which, together with units of the Eighth Army was to smash the enemy before Voronezh and strike at the rear of the enemy’s Orel group, in the direction of Kastomaya.

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Last updated on: 22.12.2006