The Military Writings of
Leon Trotsky

Volume 2, 1919

How the Revolution Armed

The Fight for Petrograd

ORDER No.159

By the Chairman of the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic and People’s Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs to the Red Army and the Red Navy, October 24, 1919, No.159, Dyerskoye Syelo (formerly Tsarskoye Syelo)

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

* * *

The Two Britains

Red warriors!

On all fronts you are encountering the hostile machinations of Britain. It is from British guns that the counter-revolutionary troops fire at you. It is munitions of British make that you have found in the depots of Shenkursk and Onega and on the Southern and Western fronts. The prisoners you take wear British clothing and equipment. The women and children of Archangel and Astrakhan have been murdered and maimed by British airmen and British explosives. British ships are shelling our shores. British gold is sowing corruption, bribing dishonourable elements at the front and in the rear. The British wireless tells lies about and slanders workers’ and peasants’ Russia every day, trying to poison the whole world with its falsehoods.

Soldiers! Sailors! Your hearts are often filled to overflowing with hatred for predatory, lying, hypocritical, bloody Britain. And your hatred is just and holy. It multiplies tenfold your strength in the struggle against the enemy ...

But even today, when we are engaged in a bitter fight against Britain’s hireling Yudenich, I demand this of you: never forget that there are two Britains. Besides the Britain of profits, violence, bribery and bloodthirstiness there is the Britain of labour, of spiritual power, of high ideals of international solidarity. It is the vile and dishonest Britain of the stock-exchange that fights against us. The Britain of labour, of the people, is with us. We are firmly convinced that this Britain will soon rise to its full height and put a strait-jacket on the criminals who are now plotting against the working masses of Russia. Moved by this indestructible belief, we cry amid the flame and smoke of conflict: Death to the vultures of imperialism! Long live workers’ Britain, the Britain of labour, of the people!

return return

Last updated on: 23.12.2006